The Morning World

So this morning my pillow (four legged, purty eyed) decided to move and leave my head on a flat bed.  My pillow moved!!  My pillow had to pee…

With all that is going on in the world a moving pooch being my largest issue I suppose I shouldn’t complain.  I have the blessing of experiencing someone special by my side, woofing and farting and all.  Tail smacking against me cold nose and kisses while I’m trying to sleep.  My poochesness!  I used to be of the mindset that a dog was a working dog and had a purpose.  My Akita changed that, she was a difference in life that everyone should experience.

I was having a tough time career wise once and my grandfather one night explained this to me.  The dog is always there, she doesn’t care how bad or good your day ways she is just happy to see you.  You can be frustrated and angry to her and yet she will still give her life to be at your feet.  The dog is your rock, the most reliable soul you may ever encounter.  But a horrible pillow….

No real topic this morning, just some thoughts on how good life can be if we let it happen.  Today I’m going to be open to the world and see what happens, worst case I’ll find myself in a field with no snack snacks in my pocket, the weather is cold and I have a heavy coat she has fur and the world is big.  One more cup of coffee and the business section of the paper to go and off we will be to explore.

As a long time friend and mentor once said “Don’t be afraid of life”

~J

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The Cold is Here

Well, I’ve got to face it winter is coming!  The last two days have been quite chilly and I am now well aware that unlike the pooch I lack a warm fur coat!  I do have several warm jackets though so life is okay.  Oddly enough we did get a light dusting of snow several weeks ago followed by a 70* day.  Colorado has always been interesting for weather and tucked here on the west side along the mountain range definitely makes for unpredictable results.

Tomorrow is supposed to be partly cloudy which I can deal with, I’m excited to get the backpack for pooch and hopefully get a chance to test it out.  Uncle is stopping by too and it will be nice to see him.  I’m not quite sure I’m ready for a cold wet winter (the predictions for the year).  Usually we don’t get snow until Halloween but it’s popped out early.

I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year, I like the fall colors and the crisper air but I’m not so much a fan of the cold and the wind.  I hate daylight savings time, and October has traditionally been a rocky month for me in the past anyhow.  Pup has been a good stabilizing factor for me though, and I’m going generally okay.  I have a healthy appetite and my activity level is good, things could be better but they could also be far far worse.

So now, I suppose it’s time to put on my jacket and take Elsa out to potty before retiring to my warm bed.

Keep it toasty!

~J

Backpacking Pooches!

I can’t wait, according to the tracking our goodies arrive from Amazon tomorrow!  Pooch will soon have her own saddlebag backpack for our hikes!  Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be nice (it’s a chilly 31* currently) and I’m chomping at the bit to get pupster out and on the trails with her diva pink backpack and a training clicker.

So now I get to figure out what to pack for pooch, which of course means I’ve got to go through my own pack as well.  I love to be prepared and I love to have everything organized and at the ready.  Yes, I’m the guy with a first aid kit in every room, a can of spam in the trunk, rehydration salts in the glove box.  Every so often while hiking I come across people in need of first aid.  I’ve once wrapped a gal’s knee after she fell down some stone stairs at the will rogers shrine.  For some reason every time I hike I come across someone hah.

So we wait impatiently for our backpack and other goodies and have big weekend plans to hit the trails!  She and I both need the exercise and some good walking meditation is in order.  I’ve been refreshing myself with some SMART recovery tools and just finished re-working a tool called the lifestyle balance pie, meant to identify areas of my life that need improvement.  This took me several days of self examination and a good amount of self acceptance and a little bit of time on the trails would do me good.

It’s been a long while since I’ve hit the trails in a serious fashion and I definitely need the exercise.  It’ll be nice to get the camera out and get some good photo’s, photos of my pooch and the woods and the turning leaves.  Nice thing about Colorado is our fall season, the crisp air and scenery, the colors, the breeze, I love it here.  Pup loves it here too 🙂  I’m glad.  So today we will hike, tomorrow we will backpack, and Sunday… well, maybe we’ll go for a drive!  Pupster does love her car rides.

Hike on!

~J

Insomniac Ramblings Pt. 1

Because sleep is just a luxury…

I’ve had quite the interesting day uhm…. well yesterday at this point!  For all purposes I should be fast asleep in a near coma given the planned and unplanned exercise I was so graciously blessed with from the pooch.  Two planned runs on the trail behind the property to continue practicing our recall command (dog should return to me immediately upon receiving the command) back and forth several miles each run.  I began to get very proud of Elsa and maybe a little too proud of myself as she obeyed the recall without fail every time.

Mommy sent a gift card for Elsa from Amazon so we settled in and spent some time picking out some training treats, a clicker and other goodies, and a wonderful saddlebag harness in hot pink (she’s such a diva!)!  Click click… alright it’s evening we better get out for a potty before dinner as I had an online meeting at 6:30, the time was around 5:40.  Admiring my confidence in our recall abilities I subconsciously made the decision not to leash up.

~Deer~  ~It took less than 2 minutes for Elsa…. to disappear~

Colorado is a beautiful place, the area where my apartment building sits is surrounded by open land and wildlife is not exactly a rarity by any means.  Deer, 4 does grazing in our yard….  I love my Border Collie mix for her activity level and her mental capabilities, oh yea and that herding quality that is so funny to watch when she tries to herd the neighbors or the apartment maintenance guy.  It took less than 2 minutes for Elsa and the herd that she was watching to disappear.  A half our or so of jogging around calling and looking I finally gave up and started back hoping some kind soul would read her tag and call my cell or I would get a call based on her chip.

As I neared the edge of the open space to cross the street to the building I was greeted by a black lab and his owner who said he would keep an eye out and as I was just about to leave here comes this happy go lucky brown and white lightning bolt popping up over the hill at break neck speed to my side proudly about a job well done.  Okay, I’ll admit it took me a few minutes to relax and not blame her as it was my fault for not being cognizant of the time and the traits of my wonderful Elsa.

I posted a reminder note to myself on the door as somewhat of a self training tool and we proceeded to have our dinner while I attempted to get into my meeting.  The last 10 hours or so have taught me quite a bit, from the herding incident on through interactions with other people in support groups and other bloggers that I follow.  Perhaps I’m still slightly off in my mental state but all in all I’m in an incredibly serene mood!  Ordinarily at this point after tossing and turning so much I would be grinding my teeth with anger at my insomnia.  Right now I’m incredibly content to reflect on the day and return to my snuggle bear.

Run Elsa Run!!

IMG_1691These last few days have been strange for me, I’m not exactly sure why but I’ve felt a touch emotionally “off”.  I’ve been super emotional the last few weeks and for the last week and a half I’ve had an incredibly hard time sleeping.  Today I slept in, way in!  I slept snuggling my pooch most the day waking up a few times to go for our runs.

My history tells me that about this time the cravings and urges to shut my brain down with a splash (or a pool rather) of vodka would be the norm.  It’s different today, I have no urges or cravings, no intentions, no want or need to jump off that cliff.  This is a positive change for me and while I’ve been here before the trick now is to maintain this positive change.  Despite how strange my emotions are right now I need to absolutely maintain myself in proper fashion.

So, what’s different this time?

What’s different?  A lot is different!  I’ve been taking a drug called Naltrexone and taking it religiously, Naltrexone works as an inhibitor blocking the receptors of the brain that are activated by opioids and such, basically a dopamine inhibitor that is used to reduce cravings of alcohol and other such things.  My quitting smoking is another change (which the Naltrexone seems to be helping as well).  I’ve been on this before but last time I could not seem to keep on it daily, this time another big change that of routine has helped me maintain my dosage without fail.

The most impacting (and important) change though has been Elsa!  She’s been my light and my reason lately.  Knowing that regardless of how I’m feeling or what is going on she needs to be fed has strengthened my routine, and knowing she needs to run has reinforced my health.  She picks up on my emotions and responds without me ever saying a word, often from the other room no less.  Watching her run and roll and play, her looking at me with the Border Collie gaze and those blue eyes it’s impossible not to melt.  She’s my snuggle bear, my roommate, my pooches and while we have some things to work on behavior wise she’s picking up quick.

 

I only wish I had made these changes 10 years ago.  Such is life, the world continues regardless of what is in my head.  I can only pick up and keep moving, accept my faults and problems and try to repair what I have broken when I am capable.  There are plenty of things I need to fix that I am not ready to tackle yet but so long as I stay as positive as possible, and take Elsa’s example to run forward I think I will be okay.

Let’s go another few miles tomorrow Elsa

~J

Splayed out

So pup has figured it out this is all hers!!  No longer sleeping under the bed she’s become my snuggle buddy!!  With the most amazing blue eyes and The calmest demeanor she’s perfect!!

I volunteer at the shelter and recommend shelter pups and cats there is always a risk.  My Elsa had an abusive family constantly getting kicked and beat so she’s shy.  She will never go through that again never ever!

My neighbors love her and I love her she’s a good pup this morning I will spend some time on heel and stay and of course spoil my girl.  She’s coming out and a wonderful pooch and god those eyes she’s the most amazing eyes!!

A man needs a pooch!

~J

Of Pooches and Human Treats

Happy Wednesday everyone, today and tomorrow can’t seem to pass fast enough for me.  Friday evening I go meet “Abe” a beautiful lab mix that with any luck will be coming home with me!  A man needs a pooch plain and simple!

So this morning I was rummaging around the kitchen trying to figure out what to pack as a good energy snack for breaks at work.  The kitchen is slightly bare til payday Friday in the realm of quick items so I’ve got to get creative.  I noticed I had a bag of cashew pieces and a bag of almond slices in the freezer that I use for brownies and such so here’s what I came up with:

Sweet and Salty Nut Mix

I melted about a tablespoon and a half of unsalted butter, mixed this well with a cup and a half of cashew pieces and a cup of almond slices.  

Added 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar mixing well as I added these.  

Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet evenly and baked @ 350 for approximately 15 minutes (sorry I just eyed this step).  Removed from oven and set aside to cool.

After it was cool I poured the whole thing loose sugar/salt and all into a ziplock bag and shook vigorously I ended up adding a little more cinnamon at this stage as I was tasting as I went.

And now I have a tasty snack that should give me a good protein/carb/fat profile and a quick energy boost throughout the day!

Now usually I thin slice a can of spam (fyi the bacon flavor or jalapeño flavor spam is awesome) spread the slices on a baking sheet, dust with whatever curry or rub I’m in the mood for and bake at 425 for around 10-12 minutes.  This gives me Spam chips that I can bag up and snack on during my breaks.  Unfortunately I’ve burned through my Spam stockpile over the last few weeks with my long shifts.  Don’t judge till you’ve tried it!! (Most people that claim Spam is disgusting have never actually tried it).  I can’t fight the Hawaiian in me I love the stuff.

Spam on!!!

~J