Miscellany: Operation 13.1 + Good Stuff to Start The Week

I haven’t been the very best NaBloPoMo’er this year. Last year it was quite a catalyst for me and so there is an inkling of guilt over it not being the same fit again this year; as if I owe it something. Which is silly of course, if anything, not being in the same place in my life and work a full year later is a good thing. With any luck I’ll be in yet another entirely different place at this time next year.

In fact, in one of many efforts to ensure just that, I began what I’m calling Operation 13.1 today. The ultimate goal of which is to participate in the Detroit International Half Marathon in October 2013. I took The Pig Dog with me on my 20 minute walk/hike through the woods and we kicked up a few does. (And no, I don’t know why he looks drunk in this picture.)

I’m going to try to complete as many of the four to six walks/runs per week in the out of doors, both because I hope being active out there will help stave off the seasonal depression as long as possible and because doing so allows me to continue to take The Pig Dog along.

Speaking of whom: he has his first stock work lesson scheduled for tomorrow. I’m hoping he’s ready so we can train throughout the winter. In some part as another way to stave off that strong urge to hibernate, but also because he’d then be ready to work come spring; something that would be of the utmost help. At just shy of eight months he’s on the cusp of readiness. Some dogs are, some aren’t. He has been turned on for a few months now, but that’s only part of it. He needs to be able to handle the pressure, take the correction, channel his instincts.

In speaking with the trainer we’ll be working with last week, I found out that his lines tend to be a little hard to get started. “They’re keen,” she said, “but can be hard headed.”

Which is, obviously, exactly what I need in the first dog I ever start on stock. Right? Right!

Which brings me to the first of a few good things I’d like to share to (hopefully) kick off your week on the right foot. Ever since we started considering stock dogs as a way to help alleviate a bit of the workload around here, I’ve been glued to YouTube videos on the training and work of Border Collies. Since the beginning I’ve tended to gravitate to the trainers from across the pond, they just seem to jive better with my preferences and expectations. I found this video today and it’s by far one of my favorites. Is there anything more beautiful than a working animal? One in perfect sync with his human? I think not.

Other Good Stuff

My friend, Karen, is kicking off a 10 Days of Thanksgiving daily journaling prompt series. She’s basically my journaling hero so I’m super excited about it.

If there was ever a reason to fall head over heels in love with The Blair Family, I cannot think of a better one than this Olive Us Episode on Post-Dinner Kitchen Clean Up. Seriously, you guys. It made me want more kids. And I pretty much despise kids. It’s that good.

I have a nineteen pound turkey thawing in my kitchen sink, so tomorrow afternoon I’m going to do this to it and then blog about it. Not the least of the reasons for which is that it will give me an excuse to write ‘spatchcocked’ repeatedly. It’s an even better word than ‘persnickety’ and I love ‘persnickety’.

I’m also going to tweak this recipe to go along with it. Because, mushrooms and bacon and stuffing! All at once. It’s self-explanatory, people.

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