Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo Winner!!

I don't know how I did it, but I did! 50,090 words with only a little over an hour to spare! That was cutting it close. Third year in a row winning NaNo ( and definitely the hardest one yet lol. Thanks for the encouragement guys. I am so glad November is over this year!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day Twenty Nine - NaNoWriMo Word Count

Good thing I didn't have to work today, because all I did was write, write and write some more. I wrote a total of 5,892 words today for a total of 42,246 words for day twenty nine of NaNo ( So I have 7,754 words left to write. I hope I can finish it tomorrow! It's going to be tough!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Best Summer Ever!

This has been the best summer I've had since moving to this city four years ago! I finally met some great friends that I have a lot in common with. We spent all summer fishing, swimming, having late night card (Rummy) nights, riding horses and four-wheelers, taking pictures, etc (all without spending hardly any money lol). My friends have been what kept me sane during the huge stresses of our uncertain financial future, the dreadful start to the year and the stress of accepting/learning the assistant managers position this summer. I've learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the time I've spent with my friends and pets. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it keeps getting better and better. :D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

First off I want to say that it is very difficult to take nice pictures at my parent's house because the lighting isn't very good, so please excuse the ugly photos lol. Second I had a fantastic Thanksgiving!! It's my favorite holiday because the family is together eating good food and thinking about everything they are thankful for. :) How was yours? I hope it was great!

Here are some pictures from today (sorry I completely forgot to take pictures of the food hehe). I'm not posting any of my human family (except hubby) because they are camera shy and would be very peeved if I posted them to a public blog. So you get to enjoy pictures of the furred family members who got to go along.

Hubby and "lap dog" Storm. :D I love this picture.

The only (unflattering) picture of me because I'm always behind the camera.
And yes, immature hubby is giving me bunny ears lol.

My mom's dog. I interrupted his wallowing session on the recliner lol.

Storm begging for a bite of turkey lol.

My mom's dog playing with his toy. Flash washed it out bad. I love my mom's couch lol.

Jackal wiped out after an exciting day.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

P.S. I got ZERO writing done for NaNo today lol, but I had fun and that's what counts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day Twenty Two - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I wrote 1,295 words today for a total of 31,438 for day twenty two of NaNo. Not a lot, but I can still catch up in time I think. :D

Driving Lessons

One of my goals for 2011 was to learn how to drive a standard. I haven't really practiced much because the truck we have has no power steering and I didn't feel safe taking it out on the roads. Now that we have a new truck I decided to give it a shot again. What I learned is I have definitely improved at driving a standard from the first time I tried it earlier this year. My problem area is when first taking off from a stop. I can shift from first through third once I'm moving easily. I've definitely gotten that part down lol. My first time trying today on the road I only stalled once and only popped the clutch once. Then I watched my husband drive and learned a few things.

1. You can push the clutch all the way in quickly and without the brake.
2. You can use the brake without the clutch in shallow turns.
3. You have to ease out on the clutch slowly . . . very slowly!
4. You can skip gears going up but NOT down!
5. You always use the emergency brake on slopes when parking and must be in 1st or L.
6. You must be under 10mph to shift down into 1st.

Then I tried again and immediately stalled and popped the clutch all in the matter of a minute! Go me! Once I got going I did well all the way to the end, then I had trouble getting turned around again. I did some reversing too and that doesn't freak me out as bad as it used to. When I got back to the house I practiced easing on the gas while parked to get above 1000rpm, but it sticks right where I need it to ease off the clutch, so I just need to practice jumping the gas up above 1000rpm, easing off the clutch and when the rpm drops again jump the gas again, then good to go. It's just going to take practice. :) I had fun even though it gave me a headache haha!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cute Dogs Make NaNo Difficult - Day 21 NaNo Word Count

Okay, these adorable faces make writing very difficult. However, today I resisted. I wrote 6,357 words today for a total of 30,142 for day twenty one of NaNo ( I'm still about 8,000 words behind schedule, but I'm off tomorrow and it's going to be raining all day again so I'll try to write a lot again. For now I need sleep!

Oh and yes I wrote ZERO words the last three days. You probably thought I just forgot to post about it, but nope I'm a slacker lol.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Seventeen - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I wrote 2513 words today for a total of 23,785 for day seventeen of NaNoWriMo. Much better! I'm feeling a little more inspired, so maybe I can catch up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Sixteen - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I keep dozing off, so it's time to call it a night. I wrote 1494 words tonight for a total of 21272 for day sixteen of NaNoWriMo.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day Fifteen - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I wrote 1,111 words today for a total of 19,778 for day fifteen of NaNoWriMo ( I was really hoping to reach 20,000 today, but it's almost midnight and I'm totally exhausted and uninspired lol. This may be the first year I don't complete NaNo . . .

Jackal's November Trick

Picture taken 5/09.

Some of you may remember that I was going to play around and see what Jackal offered for his November trick. Since I'm busy with NaNo ( - Haven't written anything the last two days oops) I wanted something easy to teach. Well I was watching a movie on T.V. and there was a horse doing the halfpass and I thought that would be totally cool to teach Jackal! Well, actually the sidepass. So I decided to try it. I figured why not? What could it hurt?

I got him into a heel position and started walking forward with a lure in front of his nose to keep him in position. As we went forward I started going slightly sideways, sort of like a halfpass. When he crossed his feet over I clicked and gave him a treat. After a couple of times of that I started going completely sideways after just a couple of forward steps. He started to anticipate me pretty quickly, but was swinging his butt wide, so I didn't click those. I only clicked the ones where he stayed right next to me. Eventually I wasn't even having to bump into him. A couple of times he tried to spin and face me, but that was just my lure and delivery. After a few small tweaks we had a cute sidepass going. Of course it's only a couple of sideways steps. We'll have to work on having him do it without a lure and me standing up straight, but for the first session he did great!! Jackal is so much fun. I really need to review all of the tricks he's learned this year so far so I can make my end of the year video. I can't wait to show it to all of you. Start thinking of cool ideas for his final December trick and I'll add them to the poll. :)

P.S. I met a lady today who has Papillons!! The one she was babysitting was adorable! I didn't get to see her dogs because she lives in a nearby city, but maybe someday. I wish I were ready for another dog now because she has puppies, but it'll probably be a few years. I wish I'd had my camera to get a picture for you. She was so cute!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day Twelve - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I wrote 1233 words today for a total of 18,667 words for day twelve of NaNoWriMo.

Silly Cat Video

My cat is so cute. She doesn't get much air time on the blog so I thought I would post this video. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Part II

How does it look? I got the third coat of paint up (turns out only the wall needed a third coat), installed my new spice racks and organized all of my stuff. I love it! I'm so excited. Now I get to empty and clean the other side so I can start painting it. I was hoping to get it done in a week but getting sick slowed things down lol.

Hubby likes his spices lol.

This is with the spice racks pulled down. It's so nice to be able to pull them down to eye level. :) That leaves my bottom shelves for dishes. Yay!

Sort of hard to see, but this shows it pulled down from the side.

And just for cuteness factor. Jackal thinks he's a lap dog. :D

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day Ten - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I'm coming down with something (cough, headache, exhausted) so I only wrote 541 words today for a total of 16,595 for day ten for NaNoWriMo. Hopefully I'll do better (and feel better) tomorrow.

Cute Jackal Picture

Since all of my NaNo talk may be a little boring here is a cute picture of Jackal for you. :D

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day Nine - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I got the second coat of paint on the first section of cabinets. Sadly parts of it will need a third coat. I didn't realize how dark that yellow was. Luckily the cabinet facings and doors will only need two coats. :)

I also wrote 1,382 words in my novel for NaNoWriMo for a total of 16,054 for day nine. :) I'm still having trouble getting into it. I keep procrastinating starting writing and feel like I have writer's block, but when I start writing it usually starts to flow okay. Normally though when I get in the groove I can easily write 5,000 plus words in a sitting. This time however my inspiration is short lived (usually 800-1000 I have to force anything beyond that). I'm not sure why I'm having trouble with this one. It's a fantasy novel of a world I made completely myself from the ground up, so it's completely unique. Sometimes I think I've spent so much time planning out the planet, climate, races, societies, flora, fauna, calendar, etc. that I get bogged down in a "thinking" mode and lose my creative flow. Luckily that's what NaNo is for, forgetting all the planning and details and just writing! So NaNo is forcing me to push through the procrastination and writer's block. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day Eight - NaNoWriMo Word Count

Yay! I finally got some writing done. I wrote 2,054 words for a total of 14,672 words for day eight! I was getting worried I was falling behind, but I pushed through my fatigue and got caught back up. :)

Kitchen Remodel Part I

Alrighty. I want to post a disclaimer first. My husband and I live in a very old fixer upper house. The people we bought it from originally bought it for their daughter and made some "repairs". Their idea of repairs were lazy and cheap! We've had to redo about everything they did (such has putting up window casings without caulking the windows so that air was actually blowing the curtains!!). This house was built during a time when electricity was an afterthought, if that tells you how old it is. When my husband bought the house he started working security where he was working up to seventy hours a week, so he had no time to put into remodeling it.

When I moved in I did what I could on cleaning and organizing it, but my husband has a LOT of stuff and no room to put it lol. I've done the best I could but without money or my husband's help (because he was working) I couldn't do much. Now that he's going back to school we're finally starting the remodel. We're doing one tiny project at a time so we can afford it and don't get overwhelmed. The first project is repainting the kitchen cabinets and reorganizing them (including throwing away a lot of stuff).

So with that in mind and knowing that I've absolutely hated this house the entire four years I've lived here I will let you see the pictures. I forgot to get many before shots, oops. That's okay though because the mess is embarrassing. I know you have to make a mess to clean a mess, but ick . . .

Before. They painted the insides yellow. Ick. And the walls.
And even the stove (left) is yellow. Also note there is no floor (just sub-flooring).

This is after painting the inside of the cabinets today (can't wait to repaint the walls!).

The small cabinets over the sink, showing the difference between painted and unpainted.
I have to do one side at a time so I can move the dishes over because I don't have a place to put them lol.

Showing the color difference again. Note the cobwebs and wall cracks lol.

I'll post more pictures as we make more progress. Slow progress. :)

Note: Also keep in mind that this is just the first coat so it's by no means perfect lol.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I didn't write yesterday or today and I haven't worked out all week. I think I'm going to take a break from working out for November since I'm so busy. We're working on doing some improvements to our fixer-upper house since my husband has the time for it now, so that has kept me busy the last two days and tomorrow too probably. I will try to write tomorrow though. :)

Edit: Wait I did write some, but it was only 429 words. Hardly worth mentioning lol.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day Five - NaNoWriMo Word Count

Since Saturdays are always so slow I took my laptop to work and got some good writing in. I wrote 1951 words for a total of 12,189 for day five. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day Four - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I wrote 1461 words tonight for a total of 10238. :) I still can't believe it took me four days to reach the 10k mark, but I'm not complaining. I'm trying a new approach this year as in I'm writing a lot more descriptively. I get caught up in moving the plot along that I tend not to spend much time describing each scene. Let me tell you it's been difficult lol! I think it's one reason I've had trouble getting motivated this year. :)

I chose a good novel to try this with though because this particular one I've been working on for over five years because it's a fantasy novel with a completely unique world and races. I've written one version of it years ago that I actually completed (and didn't like), but since then it has morphed into a completely different novel, but with the same planet and main characters. The story line is totally different, so I am writing this novel from the beginning as required by NaNo. No cheating allowed lol. Well I'm off to bed. I have to get up at 5am and I'm not looking forward to it (or the time change for that matter) lol.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day Three - NaNoWriMo Word Count

Well getting ready for work this morning I managed to smash my hand in my car door . . . like it latched closed . . . on my hand. First time that has ever happened to me. I still clearly remembering sitting there staring at my hand in the door thinking how could that be?? I hardly even felt anything. So I opened the door, releasing my hand which was really weird and boy did it hurt all of a sudden. I guess it was adrenaline. The whole thing was weird. I took a pain reliever and put my hand on ice. It's still sore but so far not swollen or bruised thank goodness. I've heard so many storied of long fingernails and I was not looking forward to that lol.

Anyway this long, sad story is sort of an excuse hehe. It made typing difficult so I didn't get much writing done. I also sort of . . . goofed off watching music videos on YouTube, so yeah I'm so not as dedicated this year as I have been in the past. Last year I wrote 50,000 words in two weeks, this year I'm just not feeling as inspired. Anyway I managed 1242 words tonight making a total of 8777 for day three. Definitely falls short of last year, but still ahead of the game so far so I'm not upset. Keep up the great work guys!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day Two - NaNoWriMo Word Count

Sadly a really bad headache is making it hard to concentrate on my writing for NaNo ( so my pathetic word count for today is 1916, making my total so far 7535. Hopefully I'll do better tomorrow. :)

Storm's Vet Visit

Storm has had Ehrlichia (tick disease) for years, but it hasn't been symptomatic (intermittent limping) since 2009 after we treated with Doxycycline. We do believe the Ehrlichia was the cause of her auto immune dry eye that she's had since 2009. The dry eye basically means her immune system attacked her tear ducts so she doesn't make tears like she's supposed to. In fact she registers less than ten on a tear test and dogs are supposed to be over 15.

The dry eye caused a corneal ulcer in 2009 which we treated for and resulted in a corneal scar which you can see as a cloudy spot on her pupil, but doesn't cause discomfort. The dry eye wasn't diagnosed until after the corneal ulcer was treated and it does cause a lot of discomfort. Sorry this whole back history is so complicated, but I do want to keep a record of this sort of thing. That's part of what blogging is for. :)

So the point of this long drawn out story is that I noticed a red blood spot in her right eye (the one with the dry eye and scar). I thought it was from trauma because she'd recently ran around in the woods where she could have gotten a limb in the eye. I also noticed that both eyes had been getting cloudy. Then I noticed red spots in her other eye. At that point I decided she needed to see a vet.

So we went yesterday. The vet said the cloudiness is cataracts. First sign that my baby is getting old *sniff sniff*. Everyone still thinks she's two year old. At ten years old I guess cataracts aren't that uncommon. :) I hope they are slow to develop though, because I don't want her to lose her eyesight. We will adapt though if she does.

The blood spots are what's called corneal neovascularization. Long word right? The way he explained it is that Neo means new and vascularization (according to an online dictionary because I can't remember how he described it) is the process of becoming vascular; also : abnormal or excessive formation of blood vessels (as in the retina or on the cornea). Basically since she has dry eye the cornea doesn't stay moist like it needs to so it grows blood vessel endings to nourish the eye and when she rubs it they get irritated and the blood spreads causing the red spots I see on the surface of the eye (cornea). I hope that makes sense.

He said the blood vessels don't hurt or cause any damage and they are probably permanent. He said they also don't affect her vision, although of course the cataracts will. So what I learned at this vet visit (aside from a lot of information about the eye) is that she needs to stay on the Cyclosporine drops (about $30 for 2 ounces ahh!!!) for the rest of her life to prevent further damage to the eye. He also told me I can use over the counter tear gel (not drops) for humans to help when her eye is irritated. The gel lasts longer so it's more effective. So she's okay. It's just one of those auto immune things you have to maintain, but can't cure. I'm familiar with auto immune disorders with my own thyroid so it's something we will deal with. I'm just glad it wasn't something more serious that would require surgery or something.

Oh and to top off the vet bill I also ran over a huge chunk of metal in the road (couldn't avoid it) which totally destroyed my less than two year old $100 tire. *cries* It never fails when you make money (got a bonus at work) then **** happens to make you spend it (so much for the new freezer). Sigh. I'm still happy though because my baby girl is okay. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day One - NaNoWriMo Word Count

I'll get a word count widget up soon. It appears some features of the NaNoWriMo website are down. Oh well. I'm off to bed. My current word count for day one of NaNoWriMo ( is 5,625. Not horrible, but definitely not my best. Normally I write close to ten thousand words on day one. Oh well. Remember if you decide to join the challenge you only have to write 1,666 words a day for thirty days to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. :D Have fun NaNoers.

National Novel Writing Month!!

Alright everyone, it's November again and that means I'm going to be very busy doing a lot of writing. :D If anyone else is doing it this year I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or add me on the NaNo website ( Username is achieve1dream.

As far as Jackal's trick for this month I still haven't decided what to do. I might mess around with a few things and see if something comes of it. Heck I might just do some free shaping and see what he suggests. :D

Have fun writing everyone and don't worry if I'm not reading blogs or posting on mine much. November is a little hectic. I'll try to do word count updates every night. Good luck writers!!