Iris resting

This is (potentially) the newest member of our family, Iris.  She is the service dog that I’ve acquired from CWAC.  She is a 4yr old German Shepard (not sure how pure) that came to CWAC from the Humane Society of Utah.

We only have her for a trial right now, to see if everything goes well while she stays with us.  We’ve had her since Thursday and so far so good.  She is THE most calm, mild mannered dog I have ever seen.   In five days I’ve heard her whimper once or twice, but that is it.  She is most often found in the position shown in the pic, laying at my feet waiting for me to move.


She has been so mellow in fact that we aren’t entirely sure she is healthy.   She honestly only moves when I get up and walk around, and then she simply follows me and lays down again.   Before I decide to keep her I’m going to want to make sure that she is in fact healthy.  I don’t want to train and work with a dog that isn’t going to last for several years.

She is also a picky eater.  CWAC provided me with a bag of dried dog food for the weekend, but she won’t touch it.  The only thing she will eat it seems is canned dog food or meat (we gave her some left over ham).   To feed her an adequate amount of that each day would mean we are spending more on feeding her than we do the kids each day.   If we can’t get her to eat a less expensive type of food then expenses might mean we can’t keep her.

Julie is mildly allergic to dogs.  So her allergies will be a potential issue.  The first day or so she had a fairly bad headache.   A great neighbor came by with some DoTerra oils that Julie has used that seem to have solved that issue.   But it is something to consider as well since those aren’t exactly cheap either.  But that will be the case with any dog, and not solely with this one.


So after this trial I’ll get to decide whether to keep Iris or not.  If I keep her I’ll officially adopt her from CWAC.  Then I will continue to train her to meet my specific needs from a service dog (help with PTSD issues including help with public panic attacks and waking me from nightmares).

The name Iris is fairly new to her, so if I keep her I could rename her to something of my choosing.  She’s about 4 yrs old, and we aren’t sure what name(s) she used previously, before ending up at a shelter.  The family that brought her in said they found her and kept her a couple of months.  They named her Iris, but couldn’t afford to keep her.

I wish there were some way to know what she is used to being called.   I’m not a huge fan of the name Iris, so if you have a good name to recommend, feel free.

The kids all love her… some of they too much so.   Little JR thinks she is his personal pillow, horse, trampoline.   It’ll take no small amount of training of him as well I suppose.   They all want to be the next one to take her outside, to hold the leash, to feed her, etc.   Trying to get them to understand that she isn’t exactly a pet will be something we work on.   They are good kids though, so I don’t see any problems.




Long Time Coming

So the reason for this most recent break in posts is that our computer gave up the ghost, and well, I’m just too lazy to go to the public library.


I tried for a week to coax the thing back to life, but to no avail. It had been having issues for about 6 months and is finally beyond the point of no return I’m afraid.

We have acquired a new machine however (thus this post). So stay tuned for the upcoming news.

Book Review: The Candy Shop War

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

I did’t know what I expected for this book, but I was taken for a totally unexpected.  The first series I read from Brandon Mull was Fablehaven. I loved it.  I loved the world within a world, the magical creatures, the adventures, the characters.  The whole family gave up evening TV time so I could read the series aloud to them.  So I watched for other books written by Mull.  The Beyonders was well worth the read.  The last book in the Five Kingdoms series was released in March, so I will probably read that series here in the near future.  What I am trying to get at is…I thought I knew what I was getting into.  SURPRISE!!!


This book was full of magic and mayhem.  Instead of a world within a world, or an alternate dimension, all of the magic happens in the sleepy little town of Colson, California.  When a new candy shop comes to town, four children find that candy can be more than just a sweet treat.  It is magical in every way.  Moon Rocks make them light as air.  Shock Bits fill their bodies with electricity.  Gum enhances your perception and performance, jawbreakers make you unbreakable.  Magic in every bite.

But two competing confectioners behind these sweet treats have ulterior motives for peddling their magical wares.  In search of a treasure that will make a magician all powerful, they enlist the help of children to do their dirty work.  Why children?  Because they are the only ones susceptible to the magical powers of these treats.  How does all of this mayhem go unnoticed by the rest of the town?  Just give out free samples of a highly addictive, mind numbing fudge.  Can anyone stop these magicians?  Is there hope for the children caught in the middle?


I give this read 8 out of 12 dozen rolls.  Charlee (age 9) couldn’t get through the first two chapters (but she has a hard time finishing any book so take that with a grain of salt).  I didn’t think it was a slow start at all.  It was fun and adventurous.  But man, these 10 year old little kids were put in quite the pickle.

The adventurous story deserved a higher recommendation.  However, I didn’t like that the adults were exploiting children and their natural instinct to trust.  Every bad decision made by the four children was because they trusted an adult or searched out an adult to help them.  That negative relationship warranted only 8 of 12 rolls.  I would have loved this book as a child.  As a mom…  Let’s just say, I hope my kids…”Don’t Take Candy From Strangers!”

Running Log: Cross Country 9/12/17

Cross Country Event 9/12/17

Location: Summit Academy Independence, Bluffdale UT

Schools: SA Independence, SA Draper, Ascent Academy (Lehi)

Course: One mile up a slight uphill road, and then one mile downhill to the finish


Joshua ran without his kneebrace but took some Ibuprofren before hand this time.  He didn’t complain about his knee at all.  He finished 15th at 14:53.  This is about 20 seconds slower than last race but 2 places higher.  That placement is higher because there were only three school present.

I think he would give more effort if he thought he could “win” but has settled into a slightly slower and easier pace knowing that he can’t actually win.  This is a different type of competition for him and he isn’t used to the idea of compteting against himself or opponents who aren’t right in front of him.  He’s just happy to go his pace.  Which is fine.  I just want him to be happy.  I think he is enjoying the events even though he doesn’t finish first.

Kristie is still the shortest girl I’ve seen run.  I don’t imagine that is fixable either.  She finished in 12th place at 16:25.  That is 2 spots lower in ranking but an almost identical time to last meet’s 16:26.  She knows how fast she can run, sets the rhythm  she can handle, and keeps it going.  For her size (the shortest I’ve seen) and age (a young 6th grader running with 6/7/8 grades) I continue to be impressed by her effort and results.  She is awesome!

It must be in her genes!

Helping Out

I helped out at this race since it was at OUR school.  I volunteered for “crowd control” and used the van to block off the roadway they were running on.  It was a low-key spot without much traffic that was the 1/2 way point in the race.  I mention myself only to tell the story of the bozo who drove right past me and the cones set up.

The van was parked in the middle of the road, blocking one lane entirely and parts of two others (15 passenger vans are long).  On top of that, there were 2 rows of colored cones (yellow, red, blue) all the way across the road to mark the running path for the racers.  I had an orange safety vest hung on the mirror of the van and a big red STOP sign.

A few minutes after I get set up a local PD comes up and tells me he is glad to see me, because he thought HE was going to have to do it.  Instead he went to check on the other sections of road to be closed off.

Really, Guy?

In between the two races (boys and girls) a work truck comes up and sees me, slows down a bit, then guns it and runs right past me and over the cones.   This means he is now cruising down the racetrack that these middle school kids are running on.

Just as he flies by, the local PD officer I had already talked to came up to the intersection from the other direction.  The driver had been so busy scoping me out he didn’t see the cop.  The cop saw him though.  As I stood up and yelled at they guy, this cop flips on his lights, corners around past me as well, and runs the guy down only about 1/4 mile from where he passed me.

Decision Making Process

The cop did what cops do and then came back my direction.  I asked him what excuse the guy had and he tells me, “He said that this wasn’t an official barricade and that he shouldn’t be required to stop.”  I’m not sure if he cited the idiot or not, but apparently he gave him an earful about his decision making process.

Does he typically see citizens blocking off roads for their own amusement/purposes?  The officer was thought he was going  to be here instead of me.  Can I assume that the PD car with lights flashing on top would have made it “an official barricade” to him?  I wonder what he thought he was going to find at the other end?  What would he have done when he ran into a mass of students and parents with no exit but to turn back?

No one was hurt, and no one was even in danger at that time.  I’m glad he didn’t try it with any kids running by.   If they had been running by I assume he would have seen them and been smart enough to realize there WAS a good reason for the road to be blocked off (children’s protection) and have chosen differently.

Like a Louse

That is how I feel sometimes: like a louse.

 Louse: a small usually sluggish arthropod that lives on other animals or plants and sucks their blood or juices
I’ve been feeling very sluggish, and that I’ve been living off of Julie’s efforts and work.  I feel like I’m sucking the life out of her.

Yesterday it wasn’t because of the mental issues, but the physical ones.  We’ve gotten to the point of putting down flooring in the house and bought 50 sheets of tile backer board to put down.

Those sheets are 3’x5′ and weight approximately 42lbs each.   We bought an entire pallet of them (50 sheets).  That is a weight of just over 2100lbs.  It had the trailer tires looking over taxed on the drive home.  We need 75-80 sheets, but were worried about the weight.

Being the broken louse that I am, I carried exactly ZERO of those sheets up to our work area.  My Wonder Woman wife carried all 50 of them, alone, from the trailer, across the lawn, up a flight of stairs and into the remodeled space of the house.   That is over 1 ton of material moved by her 5 foot tall, 135 lbs frame.

And not content to stop there, she proceeded to then start laying them out on the floor.

Lousy, Yes?

Gentlemen, you would feel pretty lousy too if you couldn’t help you out in such a situation, right?  I’m a big guy, broad shouldered with a fair amount of muscle on me.  I get asked if I’m a bouncer (often), a bodyguard (a few times), or played professional football (really?).  Yet I might was well be a 110lbs weakling for all the help I have to offer around here.   And knowing that I used to be able to do that precise type of thing without feeling taxed at all… well then the mental pains really begin to set in.  Watching my wife do it all in my place … well, makes me feel like a louse!