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Oregon trip - The biggest Monday

This Monday deserves its own post because it never ended.  I flew out of Melbourne at 10am and arrived at in San Fransico at 9am on the same Monday.  I didn't really sleep on the plane, possibly because it's impossible to sleep when you are travelling back in time.  It's just one of those things.

The energiser bunnies (I hope those ads are a worldwide thing) of Dawn and Michael and dog Emily picked me up at the airport after leaving their place at 2am that morning, so all three (+Emily) of us were in a great state.  That's when the coffee intake began in full force for me.  On Dawn and Michael's advice: Feeling sleepy? Drink more coffee.  Feeling wistful? Drink more coffee.  Almost got hit by a car by not looking the right way when you cross the road? Drink more coffe.  I'd highly recommend this approach because it worked 100%.

So we drove out of San Fran in the Matrix, the wind in our respective hairs and Dawn astounded that I hadn't finished my tiny coffee after half an hour.  We had a deadline.  We were going to make it over the border that night to Oregon (350miles/560kms).  It seemed a good idea.  With a stop at the famous Avenue of the Giants (add another 100 miles).  Approximately an hour or so in we also decided to add a trip to the coast at Mendocino (add 70 miles).  And so our trip went from a possible 6 hours to 10 hours.  Then add roadworks and stops to drive through trees and you eventually end up in Talent, Oregon juuuuussssst before midnight on Monday.   So my Monday was sort of 40 hours long.  The whole day felt like a dazy party.

Bye bye Sydney airport and Qantas kangaroos

In between this photo and the next photo there was Mendocino with clam chowder (with the proud advertisement of 150 clams per vat!  I assume this is a good measure of clam chowder quality?). Clam chowder is indeed delicious with this many clams per vat.  The coast was cool and grey.  This was to become a common theme when it comes to 'the coast'.  Anywhere that wasn't 'the coast' was hot and hot, which was great because I had come straight out of winter and I like hot, especially on holidays.

Dawn and I in a Redwood Giant.  So many giants.

Being Australian I was incapable of mastering the bear bins.  The Americans watching me just smiled. Michael gave me an education.

That is one big root mass.  Dawn and Michael are so very funny.  It's probably been about 2 years or more since they came to Australia, possibly 4 years, I'm not sure.  But we just picked up from where we left off and those two make my belly laugh so hard. My face hurts to be around them.

We took another detour to pay $5 for the privilage to drive through a tree.

Here we are arriving in Talent on the biggest Monday.

Being back

What a marvelous time I had on holidays.  More than marvelous, exceptionally marvelous.  I'm struggling to work out how to write about it but I might just slowly trawl through the days one by one to drag out the joy.  That could be a fun thing.

It's funny how you get back from a great time and want to make every day of your life as great as that time.  And you can't nor should it be.  The joy of amazing things comes from being completely suprised by it and without some of the ordinary and mundane it would never pale in comparison.  What I found to be a take home message was that getting older (or not being young) doesn't mean I need to lay down and be bored/boring.  So many women doing amazing things.

Dogs have been good and are not broken or too fat.  The neighbor accidentally set fire to the fence while I was away but luckily Mum put it out with the hose (and she conveniently hosed their sound system which they play very annoying loud music on.  Good job Mum).  Someone ran into the back of my car but that is all organised and off to the repairers in a week's time.  All in all nothing serious.

One last day off and then back to work tomorrow.  Luckily we have some agility fun with friends on Wednesday night to keep me pushing through.

And look who is here? We must have crested the hump of winter

Getting on a plane

So on a plane I get.

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Formed paths

The lads and I took a gamble today and drove 2hrs to Marysville to see if a forest loop track allowed dogs.

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This Agility Season written very boringly

I wrote this and it bored me so much I've rewritten it. It's now dot points

— better than last Autumn

— better than Spring

— Badger is really really nice

— I'll never be perfect, but it's still fun

-   I enjoyed feeling stronger in my legs after finishing Jaka's course.

Urgh now the new editor has lost half my words.



When give the dogs their carrots I always choose the biggest woodiest one for Badger, the juicy mid size one for Pan and the one that most resembles a penis for Javelin. I know he appreciates it.

I swear it was lighter already tonight

Goings on

Mostly it's all about getting excited for my trip right now. Sometimes my job is very frantic but then a little glow of joy comes out of my tummy because NOT LONG TO GO! Wheeeeee. Who cares about stock take when there is such a fun thing to look forward to.

I filled out Trumpies visa-application-that-isn't-a-visa-application-because-nobody-trusts-those-dodgy-aussies form last night. I promised I wasn't coming to America for terrorist activities so no one had better make me do anything crazy ok? I promised, and I'm a lady of my word.

The next things to start doing are finding travel insurance which seems to be easy. I suppose I should check that being airlifted from "the woods" after bear mauling is covered? That's the most likely scenario I can imagine where I will need expensive medical attention. Are the sheep at Poodletopia the kind that like to take out your knees? I've herd (haha I'm so funny) sheep can be like that.

Also start making a list of things to pack. I love a list. But I can't imagine that will be too hard to make because IT'S GOING TO BE SUMMER! You don't realise how absolutely stunning the idea of instant summertime is when it is 7.15am and it is still as dark as dark outside. Will I need some jumpers and a rainjacket though? I assume the temps can vary a bit.

In other news I've been taking this course and what a barrel of fun that is! Exactly what I was looking for and a perfect class to do in winter to keep fit before all this hiking Dawn and Tammy are going to make me do ;).  It goes for a month and you get exercises to do every night. By week 2 I can feel my legs getting much stronger and possibly my core although I completely suck at anything that involves core work. I like that he even runs a session on how to get up after falling over on course! He includes both the face-plant-eat-dirt situation and the bam!-hip-smashing version. I've put them below so you can see my non-existent push ups. I say I'm reenacting the falling over part better than if I was to do a real push up. Yes yes.

The exercises are really varied which keeps my easily bored mind interested.

Yesterday I was asked to help get a litter of 10 Lab puppies in a photo before they go to their new homes today. It was quite the task! Those things just flop off everywhere.

Big lumps of tug

The discussions about tugging and play made me wonder how I play tug with my dogs.  Poor Javelin always seems to LOVE tugging and then just find it weird and overwhelming so we play an odd game, an odd game that other dog trainers better than me could turn into something great. I kind of like our weird short game, especially when his lips dry out and his teeth get stuck out.

Pan did very much like this rabbit skin as a tug toy, that is probably the most enthusiastic tugging you will ever see from Pan.  She also likes it when toys rip apart as she tugs with them, because that means she is the best.  She also enjoys if you blow on her face and poke her and look scared because that also means she is the best.  You can also clap her, because that means she is the best. Slightly annoying that Badger is completely in the way at all times for this video.

Badger is of course a standard Border Collie who loves tugging, probably because I am happy when we play tug so that means he is super happy and then that means I'm super happy and in turn he gets happier and then I get ever happier to see him so happy... and it just keeps going like that.

I couldn't edit very much because I found myself smiling the whole time while watching these.

Righto, we are up. +Gore

Not really sure where this post goes.

The ramp up to seed peak season is a difficult time for everyone involved.

January is typically the time for hope and positivity. Without failure, every year someone (myself included) says "I think we'll be right this year, we've done such better planning". And it's true, every year we do better and better planning, but planning is only as good as how accurately you can predict the future and that is never an easy task. The golden cloud of January hugs you with warm safe arms. It could never be as bad as last year, we've got it all under control.

February cruises in with solid work and there are a few phone calls to interrupt you mid thought, but you can deal with this. It's the peak season after all. It's going to be busy. You have a few hours where you get behind because of unexpected problems to solve, but you catch up by the end of the day. It's at this point you convince yourself that shit yes, all that planning is certainly paying off. No one is going to have to work overtime this year. Sweet.

March begins. Mentally you are prepared for March, or so you think. This is the big one. The mighty month. The phones stay manageable in week one. High fives all round. Smashing it. A few people take leave or take a half day and a collective, palpable frown goes around the office. Mid March is when you can see that the body is willing but the mind is not. Friction between who's working more/harder starts to happen. The mental resistance to working at a frantic pace when things have been steady. Inside you just feel grumbly and everyone else around you is grumbly. By the last week in March the overtime and weekend work has begun coupled with common conversations that go "I was thinking about (..insert seed problem..) in the shower this morning" and everyone goes to bed thinking about seed and wakes up thinking about seed.

By April you're in the zone. It's not a great zone because it's a bit frantic and everyone makes mistakes but finally everyone is in it with you. The whole team hums and sometimes fights a little but damn you are pumping seed out of every vein. Seed Seed Seed! You're on. No more friction from slugish minds wanting to stay in their comfortable cave.

Speaking of mistakes, that brings me to the severed finger. One of our guys in the plant put his hand in a moving auger last week. I was on Team Search for Fingers in the Seed because that's at least something I could do. The other workers thought his fingers had been severed so we looked for ages. It was a very strange feeling to be pushing seed through a screener knowing that if you felt a rubbery thing it was someone's finger. Turns out the fingers had stayed attached but just mutilated in a way that looked like they were missing. I don't mind gore but seeing that fear on his face is what leaves you shaken. Lucky for him he is expected to have a full recovery.

Yesterday I closed the electric window of the car on Pan's upper jaw. Somehow I didn't crush her face. She just has some bleeding on her gums. She's ok too.

I never know if I would like a job that is more steady. Would I get bored? Or is this ramping up for long periods no good for me? I don't know anything else so it's hard to compare.