Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 7 part 2

Today did not include a bout on the "torture machine of doom," however, it did include something better. Our neighbors, who live about 1/2 of a mile down the mountain and they had a party today for their 25th wedding anniversary. We live in the country on the side of a mountain, so things are pretty spread out up here. Anyway, rather than hopping in the car and driving down, which all of our other neighbors did, my husband and I decided to walk and it was really nice.

During our walk, we discussed a lot of things about this project and the dog I am looking for. He seems to feel that a puppy would be best for me as I could then train it up to be the dog I want it to be. It would also grow in it's ability to wander as I do and there is a great benefit to that. We are still going down to the town pound tomorrow, however, as we are not in the immediate position to adopt tomorrow and the Animal Control Officer will not be there, we won't be bringing home a dog just yet. I do, however, think that I will be taking my daughter's dog for a walk tomorrow morning because I really enjoyed getting out and walking today. One of my neighbors also mentioned that the berries are ready for picking on the top of the mountain, so I'm thinking that maybe we will take a wander up there at some point this week.

I need a big dog for wanders up the mountain because we have bear here and bear like berries, a lot! My daughter's dog will do for that for this year, I think.

Happy wanderings!

The Writer...and her dog...who is still trying to materialize.

Day 7


Well I'm bummed. I spent a while today online looking for the "dog of my dreams" and I actually thought I had found one...but they didn't. The dog has joint problems and probably wouldn't hold up to the kind of walking we'd be doing.

Glucosamine anyone?

Anyway, the search continues and I'm morbidly depressed because I was actually hoping to get my daughter's dog down to in the immediate future. I'm thinking that having this endless situation with her dog interned here is not such a good thing for me and we need to begin solidifying plans for getting him to her so that I can get on with my life. It would seem so at least.

In other areas, the husband is getting into this idea with me and is helping me in the endeavor. It's kind of fun to be looking at this with him and exploring the different options we can pursue with it! I've also discovered, through some of the readers who have visited, this thing called "geocaching" which might be a really fun aspect to add to the entire idea. While I'm not quite sure about climbing Mt. Everest, finding out if there are some less remote caches might be big fun! Thus, we are adding GPS companies to the list of possible sponsors for our project.

Another area of exploration was "The American Walking Dog Association."

There isn't one.

I think there should be because there might be other people out there who want to take their dogs wandering as well. I think I should talk to that Dog Whisperer guy about this because, not for nothing but, there should be a network out there for people who want to go places with their dogs that neither they, nor their dogs, have to jump through hoops and win blue ribbons to be able to participate in.

Oh well...

The Writer...and her dog that she, unfortunately, did not find today.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 6


Ah, the tales of the eliptical machine... and my daughter's dog... He does not even go into her bedroom anymore while I work in the sewing room up there. He sleeps on my son's bed after bypassing her empty bedroom. Today was different though. I awoke this morning, determined to at least begin my new regime in order to "train" for my wandering around the world with the Leonburger who is still not present.

I spent an hour kabitzing with the spouse, checking the news, having a cigarette and, eventually, got into my shorts and t-shirt, climbed the stairs and walked into my daughter's room which now contains the "torture machine of doom." I mounted the machine and started the timer...while my daughter's dog stood dutifully beside me.

Actually made five minutes on the thing which completely surprised me!

My legs feel quite a bit better and I was actually able to get some work done today for like the first time in a week. It's still hard for me to go up there with the empty bedrooms...

So, when I finished my exercise in masochism on the "torture machine of doom," my daughter's dog and I left the room and had a pretty productive day...until the mail came with no acceptance letter and I checked the emailed list from the place I submitted to and was...decidedly not on it.

Morbid depression ensues...which seems to be the lot for unemployed writer's these days.

So I keep writing and submitting, sending out resume's and working on the sponsor list...

Happy wandering!

The Writer...and her dog...that is still not present.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 5


Day 5...and if Martha Stewart sends me one more "Cookie of the Day Recipe" I have enough weight to drop right now, thank you very much, or "Craft of the Day," there are only so many ways in which one can "creatively" store pencils in covered tin cans or glued together fabric cases, I am going to vomit. Some women are born to do this stuff...I'm not one of them and I'm really okay with that! Noting my angst and as he was off today, my husband took me "visiting" some friends of ours. Prior to leaving, he mentioned that an Old English Sheepdog might be the breed I should consider for the dog who is waiting to wander all over the world with me. I gave this some thought and research on breeds and at present, my thinking is that this dog will either be a German Shepherd mix, I'm still missing Budman, or a Leonburger.

I first came to know the Leonburger when we lived in Germany and have always felt it would be a wonderful dog to live with. They take a lot of time and love, need very gentle training and are very loyal and loving...and huge. While my daughter's dog rivals Clifford the big red dog, a Leonburger would make him, at 120 pounds and meeting my hip at his shoulder, seem malnourished and stunted in his growth. Known as the "Gentle Giants" of the dog world, they are a mix of a Mastiff, Newfoundland and Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog. Big, hairy, wonderful with children and devoted to those they love, this is what I want in a dog...except for the hairy stuff...which I could deal with if it were the dog of my dreams.

The daughter's dog is becoming problematic. As the days pass, he is becoming more and more my shadow. I've started giving him a daily flea comb which has resulted in his not leaving my side when we are inside or outside of the house. If I stop, he is there sitting at my right side, because my daughter is a leftie, with the top of his head under my hand. He has even started switching to the left side on his own and sleeping on the floor beside my side of the bed. Not a good situation for him...

The other issue is that I want to start working on dropping some weight and getting strong enough to do this and if just combing him has resulted in this, I can't imagine what walking with him will do. My daughter wants her dog and I'd really like him to want to go with her when the time comes. So I'm praying for a miracle here and that by Tuesday of next week that I've sold a major piece of writing and can get the car fixed so that he can go down with weekend would be a good time for that to happen. Thus, it's the elliptical machine for me for now...and praying heavily for a miracle at this point.

Happy wanderings!

The writer...and her dog...who is trying to formulate but is still not present yet.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 4


Day 4 is begun and going. My daughter is speaking to me again. She called last night and we talked for quite a while, much to her father's chagrin. It's interesting, the relationships we have with our children. I was very close to our sons until they were late teens, at which point I became the dreaded "Mom Monster" and there was no torture too cruel to submit me to. It was hard because my husband was deployed at the time and, at least in our house, that seemed to be the time they needed him most. With our daughter, it's the opposite. He's the "Dad Monster" and she and I are more like friends. It's really pretty wonderful and speaks volumes for having children of both genders.

Anyway, she doesn't hate me for asking about her dog...although it did piss her off a bit...which brings me back to the entire issue of the dog, which still isn't, and making a plan to get her dog down to her so that I can find this dog that I know is waiting to go wander the world with me.

This does prove to be problematic as we are definitely not going to fly my daughter's dog, and all of her furniture, down to her. Thus we are going to have to drive. The spouse does have a truck which will fit the furniture, however, her dog is not going to ride in the back of an open pickup for the 15 hours it will take to get there. He will not be able to sit in the cab with us as he is... large, and neither of us can fit in the cab with him. This does indicate that we will need two vehicles to get the dog and her furniture down to her. The problem with that is that after having the breaks, $300, and fuel pump, $670, replaced on my vehicle, I now need to have the bearings redone before I can take it on any significant trips...which will entail roughly another $652.91.

The car is two years old and has 46,000 miles on it.

I will never buy a Chevy again.

As this is the situation with the car, I have decided that a meaningless job is in order to fund the repairs to the car which are necessary before being able to embark on the delivery of my daughter's dog and furniture and thus have been creating wonderful documents of resume all morning.

Oh, the joy of being an unemployed writer!

Actually, I'm hoping to hear from one of the places that I have submitted work to this summer within the near to immediate future. It would make my life much more meaningful if this were to happen, but in the event it does not, and morbid depression ensues because I will be relegated back into the realms of the unpublished again, I will at least have a meaningless job with which to accomplish my grander dream of wandering the world with my dog that seems to be consistently absent lately.

And the viscous circle of life continues to rotate around and around and around...

Happy wanderings!

The Writer ... and her dog... that is nowhere in the picture yet.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 3 part 2


Well, the email I received back from my daughter was...not positive. Thus, she will probably not be speaking to me for the next year or two and I am still without a dog...which doesn't work very well for my plans. The issue now becomes getting her dog down to her so that I stop bonding with it and getting a new dog for me.

I did have a dog, not too long ago. He was, at best estimate, 18-20 years old when he died. He was with us from about the time he was between two and four years old. His name was Buddy and he was the best dog. He was a shepherd, husky, lab mix with one blue eye and one brown. His blue eye was the "watch eye." He saw into who a person was with it, I think. He was a really good friend, had both a heart of gold and the heart of a warrior. He would defend any of us to the end but was so gentle with everyone he trusted. He was also an excellent judge of character.

I really miss him.

I'd like to think that he would have loved to do this with me, but I don't think he would have. Bud was a homebody. We got him from the local pound after he had been dumped at the reservoir. People do that up here. They pick up dogs or cats for their summer vacations, decide they don't want them or have to go back to the city and dump them at the end of the summer season down at the reservoir or on the local farms. We had gotten Bud in February after he had been fending for himself since the end of summer. When we picked him up and brought him home, he expected not to be allowed in the house and it took some coaxing to get him even onto the porch. It took him several months before he even attempted to get onto the furniture. When he finally did, it was the pleasure of his life!

All that dog ever wanted was a home and people who loved him. We were lucky enough to be the ones to give that to him.

He passed this past spring and I miss him. I often think that if I ever get another dog, I want one like him. There will never be another Budman, though. He was a "once in a lifetime friend." They all are. So maybe having a bit of extra time here will allow me to get to the point where I can accept the dog ... that is still not present, for who it is. That's my hope, at least.

In the meantime, getting things in order so that I am ready for a new dog is a good thing and getting my daughter's dog down to her is the priority now, especially since "dumping season" has begun here.

We live on one of those farms where animals tend to show up at this time of year.

Happy wanderings!

The Writer...and her dog... who is definitely not yet present.

Day 3


So moving right along here, I am on day three of my journey. Aside from the "technical difficulties" encountered with the Blogger computer, I am encountering other unforeseen "challenges" to my plan here. In discussing the concept of this idea with my spouse, it has come to my attention that he does not intend to get onto an airplane...ever again. That does pose a problem with walking all over the planet because there are these things called oceans that I am not capable of walking across and unless there has been a universal act of divination that I have no knowledge of on his part, he can't either.

He suggested we cross these aquatic wonders by boat.

There's an analogy here.

The Writer detests boats as to her spouse detests airplanes.

That covers the situation accurately.

I love water, I just hate boats. After spending a lot of time on boats as a child in open water and, well, let's be honest here, my idea of hell is being trapped on a boat with no land in sight in either the doldrums or a storm, both of which I have experienced, I have no intention of ever getting on a boat again. Thus, any destinations outside of North America I will probably have to traverse alone, or have him meet me en route because I cannot visualize myself hanging around for two weeks waiting for his boat to come in.

This is one of the reasons why I will need a dog who is capable of and wants to walk all over the planet with me...which I still do not have...because I still have my daughter's very large, black dog...that could use some training...and a bath...but comes right back when I call him no matter what...and follows me everywhere...and could really use someone who is around for him to follow...and has a good heart...and gets along with my husband's dog...knows me inside and house broken...and I trust...

I think I need to think about this a bit...and email my daughter.

Happy wanderings!

The Writer and her dog...who might be here and might not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 2 ... Testing


I received several alarms from the Blogger computer system last night threatening impending doom because it thought that my blog was a "spam blog." After being instructed, several times, to fill out the "review form" which I did, I was assured that a human would take a look at my blog and I would be able to blog again.

I am now testing to see if this is the case.

So, if you see this post, I am operational.

If not, then I guess we're screwed....

Happy wanderings!

The Writer...and her dog that is still not here yet.

Day 1


First days are always difficult. I remember, as a child, first days of school were always horrible. I hated them passionately, primarily because I disliked school intensely as it seemed to have no point. I don't feel that way any longer, but still...first days are difficult, as are first weeks, months and years.

First weeks of college were always dreaded. Professors never quite knew what they were doing. No one had books. Nothing happened aside from clocking classroom hours. First months of pregnancy? I suffered with morning sickness 24/7. First years of marriage? That's when we learned that I'm not an easy person to live with...and neither is he.

We've been married for 27 years and have learned to deal with our difficulties.

First weeks with no kids in the house because they've all grown? It's what you spend a lifetime working for, and then it happens. You wake up. He goes off to work and you're left with their dogs, your goldfish and a house full of memories that bounce off the walls in a continuous cacophony of silence that now stands still where little feet ran for so many years. It's a bittersweet time that doesn't quite fit right when it first happens. In a few weeks, your feet begin to feel the bottom of the sadness, the sense of loss and confusion, and you begin to ask yourself what it is that you want to do with the time you have left because, for the first time, it occurs to you that your time now has a limit.

It occurred to me that I wanted to see my grandchildren and know them...but not raise them or tell my children how they should raise them. That still left a lot of time and echoing in the house. Getting a meaningless job could be good, but I spent a lot of years working meaningless jobs so that we could pay the bills while we raised the kids. I'm tired of jobs with no meaning, especially to me. He's coming up on retirement and, if now is the time for me to have a career, I want it to be doing something that I really like to do.

I've always loved to write...but then again, so do a lot of people. The difference between all of those other people and myself, though, is that I write relatively well.

Thus, the decision to write was a natural for me, but what to write about, beyond the echos in the house, was difficult to find. Oh there are interesting projects that will be good "one time pops" like poetry and short fiction stories, but nothing with which to earn a consistent living. There is always the "great American novel," that every writer on the planet wants to write, except me, because they know they can capture the true angst of living in modern society. Not being a person with any titration level for bureaucracy, I've always found that "society," as a whole, is really pretty boring. It's everyday people that are interesting to me.

I began to think about this and the things I would want to write about, if I ever had the opportunity to try. It took a while, but after giving it some careful consideration, I realized that I want to see places, to wander around the world a bit and find out what is really going on out there. Some might call this traveling, but I want to do more than travel. I want to talk to people, explore different points of view and see the planet through their eyes as well as my own.

The best way to do that, I think, would be on foot, so, at the age of 48 and 3/4's, overweight and a heavy smoker, I have decided to go for a walk, a wander, if you will...with my dog.

Now, there are a couple of "challenges" with this endeavor. First, I do not have a dog. My husband has a dog. My daughter has a dog that is living with us until we can get it from our house in New York to her house in North Carolina, along with her furniture. How she is planning on caring for said dog, with full time college and full time work, I do not know but she has decided that her dog is going to live with her. My husband's dog lives for my husband, weighs about 12 pounds and fetches a ball...incessantly. It lives here as well and would make a good walking companion for him as this dog and I live with a mutual tolerance of each other and not much more. This brings me back to the point that I mentioned earlier; I do not have a dog, let alone a dog capable of wandering the planet with me.

So, I will need a dog.

The next "challenge" is that my husband does not retire for another 18 months. In that time I could train the dog to wander with me and get myself into the kind of shape I will need to be in if I am going to wander and maybe even take a few little wanderings first. This plan works except that we have bills which need to be paid which outstrip his income. I will need to have an income, then. This would mean either getting another meaningless job or getting sponsorship for the job that I want to do. I vote for sponsorship and thus, need to develop a plan of exactly how I intend to wander from being an overweight, unemployed, non-dog owning writer who smokes too much to a writer who is healthy enough to make this kind of journey with her well trained dog that is not only capable of but willing to walk all over the planet with her.

Thus the journey begins with a dream ... and I've got work to do.

Happy wanderings!

The Writer...and her dog who is absent today.