Craziness, an Election and then More Craziness

f2ca8b75f3ea313e4c20ada0ed2a500eEveryone has one month that no matter what, it’s just crazy. Most people would say it is December. The holidays are just crazy, and there is never enough time. Maybe that is why it gets started earlier each year. Some would say around August at the beginning of the school year.

Me it has always been October. I have no idea why. I think it must do with the moon being in alignment with the consolations, but no matter how much I prepare for it, the month always catches me off guard and throws me for a lope.

This year I was determined not to allow it to get to me. I had it all planned. October was going to be a blog Ghost Tours month. I had already written and scheduled the posts leading up to that month so I can write about some of the ghost tours I had been on earlier

I had decorated the house a week early for Halloween. We weren’t planning on doing a Halloween party because the windows were still being redone and nothing was going to get in the way of having a nice, relaxing October.

I was going to have October beat!

Then the best friend called with the surprising news; she was coming to town for a funeral. Great, so there goes my first weekend. Not that I don’t love Aimee, but Aimee is usually a hurricane of actives that blows in from the island of Hawaii and well when we get together it isn’t pretty. Fun, yes, but I am usually exhausted and realizing I am getting too old for this. Luckily for Florida, she was only there until Tuesday, so not too much damage couldn’t be done. 

But the post had already been planned and ready to go, so I am safe.

Until Hurricane Matthew announced his arrival on October 6th, a day before I was leaving on vacation. Hurricanes are funny things, either it is the end of civilization for the next several weeks, or nothing happens. Lucky for me, nothing happened. Other than two days off from work (someone got to start their vacation early) and on the eve of this hurricane, our blinds got installed, it was a lackluster hurricane.

We didn’t have to unplug anything, so I was able to write a post and schedule it.  And off we went (we drove up while the tail end of Matthew was happening to mid-Florida). The vacation went great and came back. I had written a couple of things and couldn’t wait until I get a chance to post them…

The week after vacation followed by the city’s first Concert in the Park, the Obon festival (I go every year) and a Sunday I decided reading was more important than writing (I was tired to say the less).

Work started to pick up as we prep for the Halloween Costume Contest (we take it very seriously at Coconut Creek) and OJ decision to go to his high school reunion (Downtown Ft. Lauderdale here we come).

High School Reunion week was good. We stayed at a hotel that was about 30 minutes from our home. My dog made friends with the whole housekeeping crew, and I found out how boring it is to go to when you didn’t go to that school. I got a couple of great ideas for another post, but by the time we got back on Sunday, I was tired. So, no posting.

Not to mention I have a side job (I work at a farmer’s market by my house) and that Sunday was dec-10-post-2one of them. Lucky for me, one of the vendors makes coffee, so I was good.

Election fever hit. I was kind of caught up in the drama that was sweeping the nation and forgot to blog. Bad excuse, but it sounded right when I was thinking to myself, who has time to blog when there is a major election going on.

Halloween weekend found me with one event for the city, one party that we threw together, finally cleaning the house (I haven’t touched it in a whole month). And on Halloween day, my supervisor’s wife decided to have the baby; he would be MIA for the next two weeks.

By the way, my department won the costume contest (I’ll post a link to the video) and I realized that the City of Coconut Creek has one of our biggest events two and half weeks away and boss man was on maternity leave.

So, after two weeks of trying to figure out the whole permitting, contracting, supervising, stuff… let me say weekends weren’t looking so hot for blogging.

Then on November 8th, we voted. For those who don’t know it, my workplace is also a polling place, so for some reason we had to be on high alert. They were talking about bring in armor guards and everything (just kidding – the only fight we witness between a Hillary supporter and a Trump support was where the closest Starbuck was).

So, halfway through November, I had realized I haven’t blogged once. I am the worst blogger there is. I went from almost every week to this. Shame on me!

But it takes me a good month to get over October. Plus, between having to prep the city for a big special event, with the boss man out, trying not to call the boss man to worry him more, having to deal with that Thanksgiving will be at my house because the boyfriend is working that night, and everything else, the blog was not happening.

So now that December has started, I am determined I am going to get myself caught up. I am going to get more readers and next year; October will not leave me gasping for breath….

I hope.

Imperfection

Wynwood, Miami, 9th Feb 2016 #4

I havery heard about this from some of my students. I have plans to go see this this winter when a friend is down.

Antti Johansson

My fourth set (and the last one) from Wynwood. Big thank you to all street artists in Wynwood and across the globe. Without you streets would be so much boring.

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Have dog, will Travel

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I love my dog. Who wouldn’t? She is this cute little cotton ball full of love and energy.  But when your secret identity is that of a vagabond, having a dog that is as excited about travel as you are is crucial.

Mine isn’t, and she lets you know.

So along the way, I have learned a couple of secrets, tricks, and hacks to help the even faint of heart pooch tolerate travel.

 

The Pet Suitcase

It says a lot on how spoiled my dog it, that she has a own suitcase, but it’s a life saver. Most dogs and cats are pretty clever when come to learning the habits of their masters. And one of the quickest things they learn is when the suitcase comes out, it means the masters is going away.

When our suitcases come out, she starts to pacing and crying, and sometimes she even tries to climb in. So the rule is when my suitcase comes out, hers comes out too. I make sure she see it and I will put a couple of things in it, like her extra leash. Usually this will calm her down and let her know she isn’t being left behind.

Designate a small bag or suitcase to be theirs. Always use that one to pack their stuff in, even if it is a day trip to the park.

EXTRA HINT: If you are traveling without your pet, pack the suitcase in another room, one that the pet doesn’t hang out in, if that is possible. Me, I used my upstairs office. Out of sight, out of mind.

Have a travel kit

We keep a small travel kit in the car. Here is our list for Skyy

  1. A traveling bowl of water
  2. Wipes (if she gets sick)
  3. Her blanket
  4. Extra poop bags and zip lock bags (just in case there isn’t a trash can)
  5. An extra leash
  6. Some chew toys (something she can play quietly with)
  7. Treats

Make them Comfortable

Most pets (especially dogs) are not used to be cooped up without room stretch. In a plane it is kind of hard to do this. But in a car, a couple arranged suitcases and a blanket turns you back set into an area they can take a nap or chew on a toy.

If it is a cat, try investing in a large carrying create. Something that the can move around in.

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Car Sickness

My mom’s dog used to get car sick, so they learn not to feed her until they arrived at the location. Less in the stomach, less to throw up.

The Book

When I first got Skyy, I created a book for her. Not only did it have her registration, family tree, and proof that she belongs to me, but also carries her vet records, the contact number for her microchip, her chip number, her insurance records, and up to date pictures of her. Every trip that she goes on or if I leave her with someone, we bring it.

Just in case something happens, she either gets lost or hurt, I am not trying to find important documents.

Microchip

I cannot stress how important it is to have your dog or cat (or rabbit) microchip. I have lived through two hurricanes and those chips were the only thing that reunited pet owns with their pets.

Collars can get lost, tags can get lost, but the microchip stays with them until they die.

Know the area:

Before I hit the open road, whether it be a quick weekend up at my parents, or a long road trip. I already have the contact of a local vet, and emergency hospital. My little one likes to hide her stuff animals in her stomach, and it is usually 2 AM when she decides to retrieve it. This usually means an emergency trip to the local vet hospital.

I have this information not only stored on my phone, but also a hard copy in her book.

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Getting her used to road trips.

When I first got Skyy, she was only 9 weeks old and barely 3lb. So the only trips she took, were back and forth from the vet. I started to realize that she was associating the car with vet visits (which no dog like). So I started to take her on fun trips.  A trip to a local farm so she could meet other animals, a run to the pet store, a walk along the beach, and even a quick trip to the park, helped her to realize that not all car trips are bad.

 

Exercise them before hitting the open road.

I try to plan most of the trips that Skyy will be traveling with me around a stop at the dog park. If that isn’t possible, we go on a very long walk to ensure that she will not be too energetic at the start. Energy usually equals nervousness.

It also helps to take a break during the traveling. If you are flying, sometime during delays and layovers, take the dog for a walk or find a quiet area and play with them. On one trip, I saw this guy walking his rabbit.

A lot of rest areas on the highways now include a dog run.

Extra hint: For all my solo vagabonds out there, this is a good way to meet people. In the hour that I watched him, Rabbit Guy had about 20 different women stop and talk to him. A couple of times I saw the exchange of numbers.

Make sure every place you are going is pet-friendly.

Thankfully this hasn’t happened to me, but one of my friends had plans for a great weekend in the mountains only to find out that when they got there, –no pets allowed.  It ended up costing them a small fortune to board their dog.

Another friend of mine arrived at “pet-friendly” hotel only to find out that there was a $25 per night fee and that she had to let them know 14 days in advance. So while other dog owners were enjoying their vacation with their pooches, hers was boarded up at the local vet. Even if the hotel or place you are staying says pet-friendly or pets allowed, call up and see what the policy is.

Extra Food

Sometimes plans go astray, sometimes you never want to leave, and sometimes your car breaks down. Pack extra food so that you are not worrying about food for your fur babies.

Extra Hint: I measure and put Skyy’s food and vitamins in a bag for each day. It saves space and makes it easy to feed her.  Just grab the bag, and dump it in her bowl. Plus, if you accidently leave the bags at the vacation site, you still have food when you get home.

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And last trick –

Roll down the window, and let your pup feel the breeze, let her smell the air. Unless you are on a plane.

Remember to plan things they will like too. A dog doesn’t want to spend his/her vacation locked up in a strange room.

 

With a little planning, your cat or dog can have a great time exploring the world with you.  If you have your own tip, please leave it in the comments below.