Winter can't make up its mind this year. We had a couple days of high 30's/40's that melted away all of the snow and gave us lots of fun mud to deal with, but then sub-zero temps set in and we are freezing our butts off. The good news is that we also had a ton of wind when it was warmer, so thankfully most of the lakes dried up in the yard. We have one clear running path so the dogs can still play -- at least when it's not as cold as it is today. I'm off work for MLK day, but unfortunately we are stuck inside the house because it's too cold to do anything fun outdoors.
Thankfully I got off my butt and bundled everyone up to go walking yesterday. It was nice & sunny, which helped to take a bit of bite out of the windchill. It was about 14 degrees with a windchill around zero. The dogs certainly didn't mind it at all, not even Kaiser (who can't wear his coat when he is wearing his harness).
We went hiking on the bike trail between Sparta & Rockland. This big open field called our name about a mile or so down the trail. It looked more entertaining than sticking to the trail, so we went and walked the perimeter. May as well take advantage of the mud being frozen! We stayed out for almost a full hour and the dogs were so appreciative of their time out. It was a pretty quiet evening here, which was a nice change from the bouncing off the walls we were experiencing during the mud-fest.
One bonus to having more weekends available is that I can volunteer for transports again! This is something I've always tried to do whenever I can because, after all, Secret was brought up from Kentucky via transport. I feel like it's a good way to pay it back and help out, especially now that I'm not in a good position to foster anymore. :o(
This handsome fellow is named, "Blue," and was transported to Midwest Australian Shepherd Rescue - MN on Saturday. He's younger, probably two or less, and was a very good boy. I made a day of it and went shopping in Wisconsin Dells with my mother before picking him up and driving him to La Crosse. My mom wasn't a fan of his blue eyes, but I find them very striking! I'm sure Blue won't be in rescue too long -- with his looks & personality I'm sure he'll get snapped up quickly.
Our nice long walk yesterday kept the dogs quiet for quite a while today, but by late this afternoon Secret was getting antsy. I bundled everyone up to go outside to pick up poop and see how everyone tolerated it and it didn't take long for everyone to pretty much say, "this sucks." Well, except Luke; he was all for playing, but in these temps (today it's 0 with wind chills at -15) it's not really even safe to run. Secret just sat there and looked at me, so we all came back in the house.
Kaiser is such a weenie about the cold considering he's a "Northern Breed." One of his favorite spots these days is to lay on the heat register while I'm on the computer. Silly dog. His coat is thicker than ever this year, too. You can just see how plush it is around his neck. He's like a mink!
I finally did trial entries this weekend. Our NADAC entries for FDC next weekend are done and our USDAA entries for the MAC trial in Cannon Falls will go in the mail tomorrow. Because they are both running a full weekend of USDAA in two weeks and because they are both so far ahead in Regular, I decided to cut out those runs on Sunday for Luke & Secret next weekend. That means they'll have four runs on Saturday and just two runs on Sunday. I hemmed and hawed about it (it's "only" $40), but ultimately I decided to save the money, especially since I did get a hotel room in Cannon Falls. Not only that, but Secret never really shines in those last two Regular classes on Sunday anyhow, so why not just do Jumpers & Chances and let her chill the rest of the day?
Kaiser is using the free day I won in the worker raffle and gets to run all 6 classes that day. I figure he deserves it since he doesn't get to play at the USDAA trials anymore. He will probably come along to Cannon Falls, though -- mostly because I apparently have issues and have a harder time leaving him behind than, say, when I ask my parents to watch Luke.
Since I was already spending so much money this weekend, I also went ahead and reserved my room down in Springfield for Champs this year. I really enjoyed staying at the Red Roof Inn last time and wanted to make sure we would be able to stay there again. I scored a King room with fridge & microwave again and put in a request for the first floor, all for like $275 for the entire five days. Not bad. Now I just have to not be totally broke when the time comes to enter.
Public Service Announcement of the day: Apparently you are supposed to clean the beater bar of your vacuum cleaner every once in a while? Definitely more than never, I would guess.
I never claimed to be a good cleaner or even somewhat knowledgeable about these things. My Dyson has been getting worse and worse in recent months -- I often have to go over something like 10 times before it gets sucked up. I just figured the thing is getting old (it's probably 7-8 years old now) and wasn't sucking as well.
A few days ago I noted a post on Facebook where a friend commented about cleaning all the hair out of the brush on the Dyson she just got for Christmas. I thought to myself, "Hmm, you are supposed to do that?" (shaking my head in embarrassment...) So today when I got the vacuum out to suck the dog hair off my bed I turned it over and gagged at what I saw.
Um, yeah. I guess you are supposed to do that regularly. I went on YouTube and found a handy little instructional video on how to do it and then got to work at hacking away the 2" layer of nastiness wrapped around my beater bar. There were carpet threads from the apartment wrapped around that sucker.
Imagine how that baby is going to suck now! :o)