Friday, March 7, 2008

Spring Forward

It's started, the spring into summer chaos. I can't in all honesty say the winter was a nice quiet reprieve from last fall's hectic schedule. I look forward to down time during the winter. Can't get out and work the horses, no far away big dog show weekends, 4-H is in hibernation too. But hit March and bang, chaosville wakes up.

I love my job. Winter here is quiet too-not too much going on in the pool construction business with 60" of snow on the ground, but as the snow melts, the municipalities start thinking about that magical Memorial Day weekend and opening their pools up. The two weeks before the last weekend in May are called Hell Weeks. I survived them last year and think I have a better handle on it for my second try this year. It's that slow build up that helps, plus my upcoming week vacation before it all breaks loose.

So this week, it started. Agility classes on Tuesday nights and Pet Therapy classes on Thursdays. Add in Kennel Club meetings on Wednesdays(two a month), then 4-H meetings one Monday a month, Horse committee and Dog committee meetings. Oh and the Dog Show Committee is having a meeting sometime this month. Two weekends of dog shows(at least they are local) That's only March....April is the Iowa FFA State Convention, the CWCCA National Specialty, three weekends of dog shows, Pet Expo demos, K9Ambassadors, Therapy Dog visit to the Library, Obedience Trial, finish up Agility class, start competition obedience class and last but not least the start of 4-H obedience classes. Forgot-find the garden and get that ready if all this damn snow has melted, plant the new grapes(200 or so of those), work the new horse and and....

My admin assistant asked me the other day what a typical day for me is. Little background, my admin asst lives in Minneapolis. Pam is owned by one of our former puppies, Clover. Pam is great at checking the website for problems or letting me know if I have something wrong. Then there's that gentle prompt--so what's new??? So she got hired as my admin asst. Love her for it, keeps me out of more trouble. Anyway, here's what I told her about my usual day.

Starts at 5 to 5:30 in the morning with a wake up call by my hubby, who has been up since 4:30 or earlier. He's already let a few dogs out, showered, breakfast and ready to head out to the barn for morning chores. I wander to the shower, which is usually accompanied by Clairee and Moose laying right outside the tub. An audience, love it. My goal is to get dressed, makeup and hair done by 6:20 so that any unexpected happenings don't make me any later out the door then 6:45. The shuffle is on with various dogs in and out, get Meredith up, feed, dressed and ready, ducks to water, feed and collect a random egg. Trying to remember if the pills in my hand are for me or a specific dog, then going over the nightly plans-who's home, who's not, what meetings are going on, then a final kiss to everyone and out we go, on our own merry but very separate ways.

Into work by 7 or 7:15. Daily reports, meetings, grumble about inventory, phone calls, orders, more meetings, end the day around 4 or 5-depends on how much grumbling I have to do about inventory. During the day I field emails, run errands if I have time at lunch. On the way home it's more errands and returning phone calls I missed during the day. Once home, it's a well greased wheel. Let dogs out if Alec already hasn't, empty and fill dishwasher, get dinner going. David heads out to the barn for chores. With the recent weather, yard clean up as not been happening, dreading to see what's under all that white stuff in the yard. Get in a little training session with one dog or another, and if there are not meetings, classes or what not for the night, after dinner, around 6:30 it's house work-vacuum, sweep, laundry, dust. Maybe groom a dog or two, chase a couple down to do nails, then sit at the computer to do show paperwork. Now if we have things going on that evening, it's out the door and all the house work has to wait till we get back. I think we are home by 9 most nights, so then it's let dogs out, pick up house-the dog toys are everywhere. Feed the crew and make sure I give the right pills to the right dog. Oh forgot, clean the cat and feed the litter box, wait I think that's feed the cat and clean the litter box-Meredith's job. Try to get a load of laundry done, feed and water the ducks-again. I might be in bed by 9:30 or it might be 11:30.

Only time things halt is for Wednesday nights for Men In Trees or Thursdays when new episodes of ER are on. Then totally throw the well laid plans out the window when David has to travel(lots of that this year) or Alec is out of town. Let's add a dash of winter weather, heavy rains, emergency vet visit, 'burb in the shop, well you kind of get it. Controlled Chaos.

And what about weekends? Dog show weekends leave David with a Honey Do list--see the snapping turtle post. Non dog show weekends, I attempt to sleep in till 6:30 or 7, that is if Hope isn't staring a hole right through you or Eddie is whining like a banshee. Time to catch up on laundry, house work, grooming, horses(the barn is a nightmare right now with all the water), errands into town, garden, grapes, mowing, poop scoop, all that stuff I managed to put off during the week. Church on Sunday, then time to decompress and watch or at least listen to the NASCAR race. My other luxury is renting a movie or late Sunday night watching Masterpiece Theatre.

Somewhere in there I manage to do private lessons, keep the website updated, clean dog stuff-crates, bedding and a random dog. Paint a bedroom-two of those need to be done. Cook-love to cook, ask Alisa. Sunday dinners at my house tend to be a gathering time for friends and family. Lately it's been trying to find things to do with duck eggs. Lots and lots of quiche, hard boiled duck eggs or scrambled eggs.

So that's a glimpse into Chaosville. A small glimpse ;0)

Oops, time to grumble about inventory again, later gators.....


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