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Or, you know, not.

I had my shoes, coat, and purse on, when I realized that the furnace hadn't kicked off in awhile. I yanked open the door to the basement, got a face full of steam and smoke, and slammed the door shut again.  First things first, I took Kiska out and put her in the car, so no matter what happens she is safe. Then I called my landlady - first time I have ever phoned her at work - and after some frantic phone calling on her part, the plumber who "fixed" the furnace this morning is on his way back. He is 20 minutes away, but I can't leave until I am certain the house wont burn down in my absence....

ETA: As per the plumber's advice, I waded into the smelly steam and pulled the breaker for the furnace. Then I went to my meeting, leaving the door open for him. Apparently he installed an incorrect part this morning and the furnace overheated and started making steam. It doesn't have power, so is theoretically safe, and I have the dehumidifier running to try and dry up the moisture clinging to everything in the basement. I am still not leaving Kiska here alone until we leave for Alaska on Monday. After the last couple car accidents I was feeling like she might be better off at home, but I am now officially over that idea. The world is feeling like a hostile place, and I want her close to me.
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In 84 Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff makes some outrageous claim about London being closer than the downtown used book shops, thanks to the wonders of the postal service. Tonight I can relate - I have been wanting a DVD player to hook to "my" outrageously large TV, and meaning to get to Target to pick one up.  However, comparison shopping in places like that makes me anxious and it's a whole 12 miles away.  During most of my life 12 miles is nothing (for example, I used to live on the other side of the magic Tarjay from here/school) and do the drive at least once but often twice per day; however, in my current bike-riding/walking paradigm it doesn't seem worth a special car trip.  Thanks to the wonders of teh intarweb and Amazon Super Saver shipping, it will now come to me.  I will likely end up taking the car to the post office (1.1 m, roundtrip) so I dont have to lug the box home, but I still feel clever.
In other news, Kiska has adapted very well to being an "apartment" dog.  We actually have a house, but no fenced yard.  It's hot and mosquito-y outside, there is lots of busy-ness around to distract her away, and now she is in heat, so our activities have been severely curtailed. On one hand I feel guilty that the super-jock dog now goes out just twice per day on her leash, with maybe one after-work pee break in the backyard, but I am also proud of how well she is doing on this regimen. She knows the schedule and hasn't had any accidents or emergencies, and limiting her activity this way seems to be providing the rest her hindquarters needed to heal.  I wasn't able to get a solid diagnosis despite taking her to the vet, but there has been something wonky in the way she moves for the last couple months, and it seems to be fading as she gets more rest.  This is good.
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Also, I seem to have a golden retriever superglued to my side.  I actually asked her out loud (yes, I talk to her. She knows a lot of words because of it too) last night, "Why are you being so neurotic?"  Then I realized that she has been accompanying me from room to room since I pulled the suitcases out of the attic yesterday.  Again: she is too smart for my own good.  Guess I can't blame her since about half the time she gets left, but I wish there was a way to say, "Chill - you are going too" in a way that she would get it.
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Anyone who claims animals do not possess object permanence has never worked the command "Leave it" with a tennis ball obsessed golden retriever. She has good self-control and will leave it where it lands, while we work on other things (her re-cert is coming up, so we are practicing).  She is noticeably anxious though, until she hears the magic word ("Okay").  Once that comes out of my mouth, she is off like a shot, to retrieve the ball I threw into the side yard five miuntes before.
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Nauseous. You probably don't want to read about this. )
Since I am feeling pitiful I had spaghetti for breakfast.  This means I have now eaten spaghetti three meals in a row.  I really like spaghetti.

Also, Hate. Computers. Hate. SEM. Hate. midnight kitten-gymnastics.

(If I ever do have kids, it looks like I will be a co-sleeping mom. I am apparently willing to do about anything to keep sleeping, including let the kitten gallop across me and invite the dog - who really wants out of my bedroom since the roomie's dogs are in motion - up onto the bed. Having them both up there is extra restful, as I am sure you can imagine)
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Since I got my webcam, I have talked to the baby every single day.  This is good, and also so bizarre.  I wonder what it will be like for her to grow up assuming that videoconferencinig is an everyday fact and thousands of miles is no excuse for not talking face to face.

ETA: We are all crazy.  First I showed off the cat, since I thought Mara would like her. Then they decided they had to hold their German short haired pointer in camera view.  So then I picked up Kiska to show of her tee-shirt.  The barking (from their end) and camera crashing over again and again (from here, where it balances on a file folder on top of a lamp, in a tangle of cords) were really something, but what else would I expect from Casa de Chaos.
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Our household usually consists of two girls, one part-time guy (he works 4 hours away, and is here between times), a poodle, a golden retriever, and a suspicious cat (he came with the guy, and is Not Sure about the rest of us). We are already a houseful, by most definitions.

This week we have an extra aged border collie on the premises.

I just agreed to foster a kitten.

And my friend's bad, bad border collie may be coming to stay, if she has to go north for ankle surgery.

This should be fun, or something: one dog living with me; one spending his days under the kitchen table; another corralled in RH's space upstairs (I sneak up and let her out a lot, actually). One cat alternating between life in RH's bed and under the front porch (really), and another segregated in my bathroom.  Let the games begin!
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We are back in the Blue Ridge mountains - it was an uneventful, boring 12 hours of airport / airplane drive, then a late night drive home since I just wanted to wake up in my own bed.  Between the driving energy and the time difference, I didn't get to sleep 'til 4 am, and was up at 10:30 so  I am having a hard time getting in motion this morning.  I have everything out of the suitcases at least, and a plan to get through some errands and the resettling today. 

I gotta say, coming home to Elsewhere is always great.  I was amused this trip to find a men's electric shaver charging on the counter, next to a three foot edged sword (note: edged but not sharp, it's a dancer's sword).  The shaver belongs to the new roommate and the sword to the old one - it was just an interesting juxtaposition.  Kiska and Chewbacca-the-cat have met. It went well-ish - the cat ran and she chased him, but there was no aggression on either part.  She seems glad to be home too, and is eating one of Raven's rawhides.

RoommateHeather loves me enough to climb out of bed when I called late last night and plug in my electric space heater.  Thank goodness, since my wing of the house has been closed off for the last month and was still chilly, despite two hours of pre-heating.  I think I may need an electric blanket if I am going to keep from freezing to death... Maybe after I get my errands run today I will go find one.
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I have not sold either of my parent's dogs on Ebay, despite the obvious temptation.

Eventually I whapped one of them with a rolled up JAP article, which still amuses me.  'If you dont behave I am going to get the Journal of Applied Psychology out, and then, buster, you'll have something to cry about!'  It didn't hurt her, but the noise got her attention.  And, since then, she has shut up.  FINALLY.  If only I had figured that out, say, eight hours sooner. 

I went out to breakfast this morning at my favorite cafe because the dogs and I needed an outing, fast.  Then I came home and worked a bit, fell unconscious for an hour, and ate a turkey sandwich.  This being grounded is REALLY BORING.  I know I need to work fast so I can get it over with, but am reminded why sitting at the computer for days on end is just not a good way to get things done.

Anyone want to make a plan to do something fun?  It would give me something to look forward to, and maybe that would help me work fast.  I am getting desperate here....
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I just skijored seven miles. It was perfect - crisp white snow, a reasonably cooperative dog on-line, and good company.  Dogs tend to respond to whatever commands they are trained with, so to speed these guys up you yip and holler.  You can't help feleing festive as you speed along yelling things like "yip-yip-yipeee!" and "wa-hoo!"
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Also, Kiska does not have heartworm, and thus is unlikely to die a tragic premature death due to my "neglect."
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You know you are having A Day when you discover - as dark falls - that you are locked in at the dump (excuse me, solid waste disposal facility), and your next thought is, oh, shit, these pants are WAY too tight for jumping six foot chainlink fences.

I manged to go over the fence without ripping the seat out of my too-tight jeans on the wire 'x's at the top (I have a lot more upper body strength than I would have thought this morning - I climbed up, then sort of held myself out from the barbs and lowered far enough to feel safe jumping), and the gate was chained in a way that the two of us pulling it apart were able to yank the dogs through the gap.  Good thing Kiska is so svelte.

Other than that, it was A Day. 

This whole giving up diet soda and refined sugar thing is not very much fun during the first three days - I get terrible cravings, have constant low-level headaches, and my stomach churns and churns.  

I spent the morning working on my measurement model in preparation for seeing my advisor.  The meeting itself was short and fine - any meeting where she doesn't take me out behind the psychology building and shoot me is a good meeting.  Then I met with a student to help him figure out the statistics for a study he is doing.  (When exactly did I get to be a stats expert?)  After that I escaped home for an hour, before dragging myself out for a dog walk with the border collies of doom, where we got locked in at the dump (the trail we were on ended there and it was too dark to go back into the woods and stumble around until we found another exit).  What a glamorous life I lead.
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I just bought my generously sized golden retriever a miniature-poodle sized bed.  This cracks me up, but I haaaad to - after all, she keeps hijacking the miniature poodle we live with's original bed.  This way she can do her petite impression either in her new bed - leaving him his old one OR in his old bed - leaving him the new one.    She is defiantly curled up in the new bed in the back of the car as I type this. I am at school trying to get my reading for Wednesday's class done . . .
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Happy Birthday to my furbaby - Kiska turns two today!
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Made some phone calls today.

The lawn service (aka:  Marvin) is done mowing my lawn and will let me know how much I owe him tomorrow. I need to send him a check.

The electricity is no longer in my name.

I cant get renter's insurance until I figure out the address for otherHeather's house, but the agent will call me tomorrow to move on that.


Kiska has a reservation to ride in the airplane cabin when we fly east in August. 

She passed her therapy dog test in October, but being Delta registerred is not the same as being a service dog. I inquired about having her fly in the plane then and realized I could probably take advantage of the ticket agent's lack of understanding, but didnt want to do something ethically questionnable. 

Then, on this last trip, I took her all over Regan National Airport with no problem and the women at the customer service desk in Seattle urged me to take her on the plane (after seeing her in her vest and checking her ID).  Between those successes and my continuing worry that the airline is going to kill my dog by leaving her on the tarmac in the heat for hours during a delay, it seemd like time to take her onboard.  So, I called and made her a reservation. We will ride in the bulkhead row window seat, with her curled up at my feet.  I won't tow a roll-on suitcase: I will carry a laptop bag and a shoulderbag with Kiska's stuff.  Not having the dog crate will make travelling so much simpler, and I think she will fly like a champ.


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