Tag Archives: Pets

Presto!

Today was my day to get some things done. I screwed that up before I even got home last night. I was supposed to pick up medications for Otto, one of our dogs. This is about two blocks from where I work. I failed to do this. Let’s face it, at the end of shift you have hundreds of reps involving getting in the truck and going home.

This meant that I had to go back downtown this morning and pick up his pills. It took me an hour and a half. It’s a forty mile round trip, plus the time inside the vet’s office. It kind of killed any forward momentum I may have had.

My wife wanted to go to pizza tonight, and our daughter decided to drive over from Sun Valley to go with us. Sounds nice, right? The hospital called my wife back in, so we had to cancel the whole thing. She has to work until eight o’clock tonight. I feel bad that our daughter drove all the way over here for nothing.

I don’t know what some employers are thinking. They are cutting everyone’s hours due to what they call “low census.” I won’t go into a deep explanation, the main point is reduced hours.

When there is a problem, they seem shocked that people don’t want to drop everything and pull extra hours now. “Gasp!” I’ve learned over the years that happy employees will do anything. Unhappy employees will place you lower on the priority list.

I got a decent small visit with my daughter after Old What’s Her Face went back to work. Everyone is gone now, but it’s time for baseball.

Today, I had low expectations and failed to meet them all. Things can change fast, so I’m just going to go with it. Tomorrow will be partially about packing and getting ready for my flight. I’ll be in Texas next week, but I’ll take my iPad with me. At least I can keep up with blogs and such.

I’m looking forward to the trip. There are times in life where the author in me has to take a back seat. Perhaps I can get some forward momentum when I return. If not, I have vacation coming around the Veteran’s Day holiday.

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And Otto goes berserk

I got through a couple of my projects, then we paid the bills and managed date night. We had a couple of errands along the way, one of which involved stopping at Pet Smart for dog food. Lo and behold, pumpkin balls are available once more.

Otto is bouncing off the walls with joy. Frankie doesn’t know what to think. She has only had tennis balls, and these don’t have fur.

Ever since he was a puppy, the pumpkin ball was his favorite toy. They have a squeaker inside and they flash when they bounce. Otto is a simple soul. It doesn’t take much to make him happy. Maybe I should take a lesson from him.

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This and that

My day was scheduled around being nursemaid to my dog. She stirred most of the night, and was freezing. It wasn’t cold in the house, and she can’t be feverish. She’s loaded with drugs, and I suspect it had something to do with that.

She’s done all the major life activities, and is eating and drinking well.

This means I had to shoehorn bits and pieces into my schedule. I got the guest post scheduled for this site. Then I wrote and scheduled my next post for Story Empire.

I spent a bit of time reading a craft book I bought. It’s good to keep up with story craft and do some studying in the off season.

After my wife got home, and could spend some time with our dog, I did the word searches on Lanternfish. I drafted this one pretty fast, and honestly, I’ve never made so many “it’s” errors in my life.

Word searches are finished, and it’s time to start reading it again. I’ll probably tackle a couple of chapters tomorrow. I saw some wordy phrases during my word searches, and this indicates my mind is ready for the task. This is why authors step back for a few weeks and do something else before editing.

I need to dedicate some time to one last micro-fiction for October. Right now, I’m more inclined to get back to Lanternfish.

I intend to dabble again tomorrow. This is because of my doggie duties. My standard of practice is to hit one project hard and complete it. This isn’t my comfort zone, but it also helps get things done.

I’d like to get Lanternfish ready for my beta readers in the next couple of weeks. I won’t make this a deadline though, because I don’t have any money to put into promotion anyway. The reality of getting it to market might be early 2019.

There is no sense in rushing it either. I’ve published two books this year, and that’s not bad. Maybe we’ll recover from the veterinary bills sometime in January.

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$2,446.96

It’s been a quiet week online for me. The best I could manage in most cases was to hit the like button on some blog posts. I’m trying to post something tonight, but even that is half-hearted.

It all started about 12 days ago. Our female bulldog, Frankie, started throwing up when she drank water. There were no other symptoms, including those of dehydration. She played hard, and drank too much. It happens, and I’ve never owned a dog that didn’t do this a couple of times.

Ten days later this was still going on, and we needed to have the vet check her out. There were a couple of timing problems here, one of which involved payday not happening until today.

The other issue is my work sent me to Moscow, Idaho during the week. This is a long way from home, and involved an overnight stay.

Nothing improved for Frankie, and our vet said he would see her, and we could pay him today. He did an x-ray, and there was something…

No idea what it might be, so another kind of x-rays were ordered. It could have been an ulcer, a tumor, or any number of things.

The barium helped reveal an object in her stomach and throat. He said it looked fibrous, like a sock or something. There was a half day period where the vet thought it might pass, but the clock was against us here.

Our vet doesn’t work Fridays, but he did for us. There are other doctors in the office, and they are all good. Frankie is his patient, and we appreciate him for this. Our most recent update involved the object moving, but not as much as he thought it should. He really didn’t want to do surgery, and gave us the choice.

We’ve been to the emergency vet several times. These people are good, but would not necessarily have the x-rays and diagnoses if we went there in the middle of the night. We reluctantly chose to put her through the surgery.

That turned out to be the right choice. The object was skinny, long, plastic, and pointed. He could not identify it, and we did not get to see it. This would not have passed, and could have led to an emergency situation. (Almost certainly.)

She’s home now, groggy as hell. There is a square shaved on her back from an epidural they gave her. She has a mountain of pills we have to give her too, and a restricted diet.

This is not her first experience with swallowing something, and we have to watch her like a hawk.

I’m not above a bit of speculation, so here goes. If you can imagine her chewing something up first, it sounds to me like it was a piece of someone’s fireworks. These aren’t just for the 4th of July around here. People set off fireworks all year long, and every summer night there are various small pops, and at least a few big sky shells going off.

More than once, I’ve picked up the residue from my yard. If I were to speculate further, I’m not able to cruise the yard before going to work. It’s dark outside. I think there was something in the yard, and she found it before one of us could get to it during the daylight.

I’ll never know for sure, but that’s my best guess.

I usually approach my weekends with a plan, and sometimes a task list. This weekend, I’m kind of dialing it in. I have a post to schedule for a friend, and am waiting for some interview data to come back. Don’t have a plan beyond that.

Oh, “Hey buddy, want to buy a book. I’m trying to raise $2446.96.”

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Glamping with bulldogs

I complained about our camping trip this week. I like to know where we’re going, and what we might be going for. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, but with no idea, it bothers me.

To make matters worse, it’s +/- the Fourth of July. My wife’s big plan was to go somewhere and camp out. Campsites are reserved months ahead of time around here, but they all offer a few that are first come first served. That was my only solace.

I asked for two weeks where we were going, and she never was able to spit out a location. She narrowed it down to about ten general areas, which is no answer at all.

On the Fourth, I said we were going somewhere around McCall. I chose this, because there is a sewer dump available in the area. (Two actually) It wasn’t a great reason, but at least it was no longer random driving.

There was a ton of traffic heading back to Boise, and most of them were towing campers. I decided we should at least look at Ponderosa State Park. Our chances were slim of getting a site, but it wasn’t far out of our way to check.

There were zero sites at Ponderosa, so I decided to head down Warren Wagon Road. There are lesser Forest Service sites all over the area, and if nothing else we could bushwhack another site.

Ultimately we wound up in a nice Forest Service campground alongside Upper Payette Lake. This was my office for two days.

When we got there it was over a hundred degrees. Bulldogs and heat do not get along. I left them in the truck with the AC running while I set up the generators and got the camper AC running.

It took hours to drop the inside from ninety degrees to eighty degrees. The pups had to wear their wet bandanas and drink lots of water.

Friday was much better. We got a head start on the heat, and it only got up to the mid eighties. The dogs got to play outside, and even took a walk. Otto loves meeting people and there were plenty to visit with around the campground.

Frankie is a bit more reserved, and even barks at people who walk by. She appreciated the cool green grass on her tummy though.

We got out of town with no movies, and there was no cellular service either. About all there was to do was read, and I did plenty of that. My wife brought her satellite radio and I listened to about half of a baseball game on Friday night. My team lost. I didn’t listen last night and they won. My curse is intact.

Some of you may not know how I was raised. We camped all the time. As teenagers, we would throw sleeping bags on the ground and sleep beside the fire with nothing but coyotes and stars to keep us company.

When we were a young couple, we had an army tent with cots for all the kids and a wood stove inside.

As one gets older, a camper has a lot more appeal. I never wanted all the flashy stuff that comes with a modern camper, but there really is no choice. As we’ve gotten used to it, I kind of look forward to movie nights out camping. I missed that this time.

Friday we took a drive to check out other camping areas. We drove all the way to Bergdorf Hot Springs, but didn’t stop to swim. It was packed and people were everywhere.

On the way home, our drive devolved into watching for a place that had a decent cell signal. This was so we could do our daily chores on some stupid video games we play.

How did it come to this? Camping has become movie time, satellite radio, and withdrawals from the internet.

Oh, and we ate well. The first night was just brats and some leftovers from home. Last night was steak and marinated shrimp on the barbie. I also downed two really nice bottles of stout.

I read about half of a great book, and will probably finish it while I’m still on vacation. I also added several thousand words to my new story. Old What’s Her Face and the bulldogs like to sleep in, and several hours each morning were dedicated to writing time. There are worse places to kick back and write.

My pirates got involved in a bit of larceny, pulled off a huge con, and had to fight their way out of port. They’re on the open seas now and headed for a neutral country. I expect with four more vacation days to make some serious progress.

Here is the obligatory scenery picture. Idaho is a beautiful state, and everywhere you turn is something worth seeing.

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Not exactly truffle dogs.

We just got back from camping. We spent two glorious days in the wilderness without wifi or cellular service. All of the campsites were full, including a couple bushwhacker style ones we enjoy. This time we wound up far back in the woods. We only saw one other vehicle pass by in two days.

The dogs actually got to play off leash. They do this every day in the back yard, but around other campers I always control them. They really enjoyed the forest, and never tried to roam out of sight.

We hoped to find morels. This is the weekend we usually go, but I told my wife we were going to be too late this year. The seasons seem like they’re three weeks ahead of other years.

We had a huge western thunderstorm friday night. I have to admit I love these. Sitting in the camper during a deluge, or under the awning just clicks with me. It knocked down the pollens too, and I appreciate that.

Storms usually bring on fungus blooms, and this one did. Just not the morels. I found this one though. It’s very picturesque, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the deadlier Amanita species.

We went to my wife’s favorite spot to search for morels. Unfortunately, there were none to be found. We’ve never been skunked here before. Frankie was more interested in finding the right stick to chew up. She doesn’t like them on the ground, but if they protrude from a log or a tree it makes her day.

Otto was just happy to follow dad around and look at whatever dad found.

This was the view about a mile from camp.

It looks like there should be buffalo out there, but not in Idaho. Unless it’s the border of Yellowstone.

We grilled up three lobsters Saturday night and ate like kings. They weren’t big ones, and we split the odd one between us.

Mosquitos were out in force, and we’re going to have to replenish our Deet supply before we go out again.

I managed a little writing time. Words flew from my fingers like never before.

The crew managed to escape the giant jellyfish, which the root monsters named Big Boogah. (Yes, Boogah means just what you might think it means.) They escaped in dramatic and adventurous fashion too. There were many who played a role, including some quick and dangerous thinking, and one feat of strength that impressed a few crew mates.

My pirates managed a big party to celebrate escaping the jellyfish, and the tropical storm. They’re headed for calm seas now, but they aren’t going to find them all that calm.

They uncovered a thief aboard the ship, held a mini Courts Marshal, and dealt with the perpetrator. Chamberpots were redistributed, and I must remember to use the term thundermug. This sounds like an appropriate word for the root monsters to use.

There is something going on with this story that I can’t quite put my finger on. Some stories use world building to gain a long popularity. I’m talking Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter stuff. I feel like I’m getting close to that ground here.

My crew has many broken characters. I’m only giving glimpses into their pasts, but it feels like enough to entice readers to want more. Readers will get a peek at a vast world that can let their imaginations roam after they’ve read the story.

I’ve been accused of white room, or white page syndrome before. My personal goal behind the scenes is to flesh out more of the setting, and I think it’s working.

On the other hand, I’m having a hard time finding a midpoint for this one. This is usually where the bottom falls out, the big plan is a failure, and they have to regroup somehow. Don’t get me wrong, some of this is planned out, but it won’t happen until closer to the end of the story. (I’m going with it for now.)

My next event will involve another sea battle, but some unusual evidence will turn up. I’m going to have to do a bit of research into brass cannons, and how big they got using brass. Obviously, steel is stronger, but brass was pretty popular.

Then I’m going to take them to Serang’s country to pull off a bit of a con game against their enemies. This will let me build more of her sad story into the tale, but only bits and pieces enough to carry the story. Of course a bit of color and pageantry should also be in the mix.

I’m off tomorrow. No idea whether it will be a writing day or not. I kind of hope it is.

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The heavens parted today

Some days even I get lucky. I made it a point to sleep in a bit and get a slow start. I wanted to surf through social media while having my first cup of coffee.

It actually felt good, but the dogs wanted me to get on with it. They took up their positions to remind me.

There is Frankie, who thinks she’s part monkey by climbing behind me.

Here is Otto, who has claimed one arm of my chair.

Today the words just wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop when I did. Old What’s Her Face called to say she’d gotten off work, or I’d still be at it.

At that time, I paused to work on Lisa Burton Radio interviews and schedule another announcement for a friend. Lots of new books coming out right now.

As far as my story goes, I concluded the romantic interlude. It made for a fun tropical vacation. A message in a bottle got dropped into the ocean, some skinny dipping occurred. A creature similar to an anteater appeared on the beach, only he’s a snaileater. Glow in the dark tiny bats made an appearance similar to fireflies.

When the kids got back to town, the captured ship had been completely stripped, painted, renamed (Lanternfish) and is getting ready to set sail. I even amazed myself at the way I stitched some things together.

I built that bit of doubt I mentioned the other night, then quelled it with a small private action and a bit of dialog. This served to strengthen the bonds of friendship amongst the main characters.

A couple of the main characters got new outfits, and one purchased a bird called an anvil bird. He’s like a combo of parrot, toucan, and hornbill. Sean Harrington may have to paint him one day down the road.

The woman who bought the bird revealed a very personal issue, and dealt with the matter by purchasing the bird. Too spoilerish for her character arc to go into more detail.

I even introduced a new crew member. Since this is an alternate world, using words like Asian, Chinese, or even the outdated Oriental won’t quite work. I gave her Eastern features and left it at that. I’ll probably have to go back and work that out later.

Her name is Serang. She’s tall, thin, beautiful, and deadly. She carries a single bladed pole weapon. Another creation called a bay frog got speared. (Frogs don’t live in salt water in reality, plus this one is big.)

I have some cool plans for Serang.

A bigger ship requires a bigger crew, but I can’t name them all. I need enough to make it feel like a whole crew, but limit dialog and actions to those with names.

Oddly enough, I did it all without root monsters, the moving reef, or any of the other sub stories.

Tomorrow, I really want to dive into it again, but it’s also the day I call my parents. I’ll sacrifice a few hours there any time.

Hope all of you are enjoying your weekends. Probably wrap up the day with Baseball, salted caramel stout, and Papa Murphy.

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