Monthly Archives: September 2016

Fall Cleaning

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Intuition kept me company as I started in on the fall cleaning. He has learned to jump onto the bed but not off of it. We keep non-slip bath mats by the bottom half of the bed for the dogs to use as landing and launch pads. It is amusing because our cleaners move them to a more normal position by where your feet would go. We always move them back because they are for the dogs. Our bed is high and the floors are hard and smooth. After a few to many slips and falls we installed the mats for safety.

I decided today that I wanted to clean my room. I need to arrange my yarn into something a bit more coherent. My room easily becomes a mess. I hate folding and laundry so it all piles up. This is our third bedroom and it functions as a craft room, bedding storage room, and my closet. It is not a large room and quickly becomes overwhelmed if I don’t keep up with it.

Throwing things away has been on my mind. My mother and I are about to start a major house cleaning project for her house. It is full of clutter and stuff she was to depressed to deal with. Now that we need to sell it, everything must go.

Our plans to move in 2 or so years makes me eye things such as my own clutter.  This helped to spur me upstairs with several trash bags and a mission to throw it out, even if it is in good condition. We have few charities around here that take old and worn things. I’m tired of trying to find things a home. Today, it was to the trash.

I had some things that didn’t fit, things I found uncomfortable, and clothing that has been in the closet untouched for five years. I threw it away, I cleaned the build up of clutter, boxes, packing material, and such. Over the course of the morning I hauled five bags of trash out to the curb for the trash to pick up that afternoon.

I was at my desk when the trash came. I watched as they took away my bags and then I noticed one of the guys open a bag. He pulled out a pair of shoes I had thrown away, box and all. They were pretty shoes, but they didn’t fit my wide feet as I wanted. I had tried to force it and gave up wondering why I was hurting my feet. He took these shoes and then opened the other shoe boxes and unloaded them. He also grabbed two dresses and took it all up to the front of the truck. Then they continued on.

To the web I went and a few searches later I discovered that this is normal. Now, I am familiar with people going through stuff at the curb as well as free items being left. I was just not prepared for them to open the trash bags. Knowing it happens and seeing it happen to my (ex)stuff  left me feeling a big strange, but I hope that they can be more productive with them then I have been.

 

Garden in September

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Do you see my mother picking tomatoes? She is 5’5 for an idea of the size of my plants.

Yesterday, I decided to take down some of the tomato plants that we have not been impressed with. Those were the green tomatoes and what turned out to be my second Black Krim plant that was really a cherry tomato type.

The green tomatoes have not been a sucess. My mother struggles to remember that they are green and pick them. Upon eating they are mild and not all that interesting compared to the bolder, sweeter flavors in the rest of the garden. With the outside being the wilderness that it is, removing them made it a bit less of a struggle.

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I say a bit less. That is the path through the rows. I learned a lot from this set up this year. It actually works but I need fewer tomatoes. Next year I will keep the tomatoes to the outside and deal with using the ladder later in the season. Everything else will be inside and I will have fewer tomato plants.

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This cucumbers setup worked out fairly well. However, one plant decided to reach out tot the tomatoes. It became vine vs vine and now we have hidden cucumbers.

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Now that we are halfway through September, I expect we will have some crop left. The cherry types are doing quite well. The larger tomatoes are slowing down. The days are cooler. I expect that I will start doing my take down in October. It will be to cool for ripening at that point. Until then…

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I still can’t stop my mother from filling my counter with ripening fruit, nuts, and bread. Living with other people can be quite frustrating stuff. This is why we’re looking to move in the next two years or so. Plus, bigger in ground garden!

 

Month ten

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Today is month Ten. It is quite a difference for not quite a year. On the left, he is six weeks old and about eight pounds. On the right, ten months old and about eighty.

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It is easy to see him as the adult that he will be. Sometimes. Most of the time. When I am not chasing after him or we are not discussion boundaries. He learned that he can flip up my left arm when I am at my desk. He has started to develop a deep love of being scratched and rubbed.  He still struggles to settle. I’ve spent more money on edible chews for him then any other dog I’ve had. He can’t be left with soft toys. He eats them. Shredding is fine. Eating is not.  I don’t want him laid out at the ER having toys pulled out of his guts while I sob.

The girls still dislike him.

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I can’t even blame them because he is so damn annoying to them. With his lack of off and slow down he just rampages, begging them to play. Autumn is six. Sage is about to turn 12. They do not want to play. He always wants to play. It is quite the impasse.

 

Ten Months a Puppy

It seems fashionable these days to record everything. I am quite bad it. Similar to selfies, recording myself has little appeal. I always look weird, pale, and bloated on camera. My voice sounds odd. I look like a frog. It is quite unappealing. Still. Some things translate better through video media and randomly, I found myself deciding to record an instant of Inty being good.

Drop. It is a simple command but complex in its reach. I want him to release what is in his mouth. This means to my hand or onto the floor. We have the hand part down but getting him to just spit out what is in his mouth is slower going.

Teaching a dog to let go of what is in their mouth is a major tool. From them picking up something dangerous to using it with a dog that has possessive tendencies it is a powerful tool that should be taught with trust.

I start with trading. I have a treat. He can’t fit the treat and the toy at the same time. As the toy is released, I use drop, and let him have the treat. Its a slow process. He wants to retain his toy. The lure of the treat makes it worth it. I also give the toy back OR if it is something that needs to be taken from him, I trade up for another toy or a chew treat like a bully stick. The goal is for him to never lose value in releasing what is in his mouth.

Eventually, we don’t have to trade anymore. At the start, it is fairly important. Dogs function on a, “What is in it for me?” mentality. You have to show them what that is. Depending on training styles it can be a treat, attention, a privilege. Negative reinforcement functions on this same level. What is in it for them is a lack of discomfort.

Training has a secondary function of improving a dogs confidence in their life and world. If I only take from him, he will lose confidence. He will believe he loses things and this can lead to possessive behavior. The path of possessive behavior is the path that leads to things like food aggression. Trading helps a dog not ‘lose’ in the transaction and this can help a dog with possessive tendencies or behavior develop confidence that their interaction with you will not cause them to lose anything.

Inty however, has a bold and confident personality without a bit of possessiveness. Drop has been easier to teach then lay down. Lay down he knows. He has known it since his second week home. He just hates it because laying down is being still and he is still not comfortable with being still.

I could force more on him, but he is young yet. In five days he will hit his 10th month. For a large dog, that is still a baby.

 

Read the fine print

I paid off my car this morning. Only a month early, but I am pleased that I had the extra money available to do it.

My auto loan was with Capital One Auto Finance. I have used them for my last two vehicles because they would approve you for the loan and send you a check. You then walk into the dealer with that check and after the bartering and haggling, at that moment when they are going to whip out their paperwork and get more money out of you, you instead whip out your chip and slide it over.

How much irritation that caused. There are kick backs when you finance from the dealer that is part of why they sell a car for the price they sell it. Most people finance through them. While I’d love to be a cash sale, taking control of my own loan was the next best thing.

While pondering the soon to be end of my vehicle loan and the next several years that I plan to live without a car payment, I did some reading on my auto loan bank. I read financial news. I started in the mid two thousands when my credit score was good and life was looking up. Then the financial crisis happened, all my rates got jacked up, my credit score plummeted and I was struggling. I learned what I had done wrong and what the bank had decided to do and how I was caught up in it. I followed the law changes that beat the banks back and saw my own financial pressures improve over time.

I learned about banks. I moved accounts, got some better rates, and while I am no financial guru I learned a bit about the nuts and bolts. Well, in my reading I decided to read about my auto loan company. It was interesting reading the negative reviews from people who had their vehicles repossessed for various reasons. One caught my attention. Someone had changed their auto pay and struggled with double debits that spiraled out of control. They learned that paying early did not ensure that their bill had been moved forward and when they complained they were told they needed to manage their automatic deductions better.That stuck with me. My loan has been on auto pay as it decreased the interest rate another half point. With no plan to not pay for the car, it was a reasonable deal for me.

Today, when I paid off my car, I read the big yellow warning that sat above the ‘accept button’. That warning proved to be very interesting. It said that although I had paid off the loan this would not automatically cancel any reoccurring payment. I would have to cancel that or it would still be taken out and I would wind up with a credit.

The first responses are things like, how stupid is that? Very, in my opinion. The systems I suspect are separate somehow. The onus is placed on the borrower to make sure the automatic payments are cancelled if the loan is paid off early. At least they told me, I guess.

I figured how to cancel the payment. Now, in two weeks, I should receive my car title instead of a payment withdrawn notification. That will be pleasant.