Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Moon!

I'm slightly obssessed with the moon. Not really sure why, but I love it. So imagine my delight when I walked out of the house at super-dark-4:50-in-the-morning and saw a bright moon shining down on us.

For the first time in a week, I kept my flashlight off almost the whole time - as opposed to on almost the whole time - while walking.

While we were walking the moon kept showing off and dancing around the clouds floating around it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Morning Walking

Checking in.

I've been waking up early and walking for about a week.

Max has continued to perform flawlessly as my alarm clock dog. (: This morning there was a problem with the alarm on my phone, so rather than prompting Max to jump around and get excited, it played something else. It still woke me up - thank goodness - and so I asked Max, 'Do you want to go on a walk?' and he jumped up, which made it impossible for me to go back to sleep.

If I could trust myself to say that every time I wake up to an alarm, I wouldn't have to record myself saying it. But it would be way too easy to just turn off the alarm, roll over, and never ask the question. So until this habit is really deeply ingrained, I'll have to keep waking up to my recorded voice asking my dog if he wants to go on a walk.

There are worse things to wake up to.

Anyway, when I go walking, it's dark. DARK. I carry a little flashlight around with me and keep it wrapped around my wrist and pointed at the ground so that my feet and the dogs are at least partly illuminated.

This morning I went a different route altogether. It was a meandering, didn't-make-any-kind-of-sense type of route. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday last week I left the house at the same time, and did the exact same route. For safety reasons, I decided that probably wasn't the best idea (even though I really like that route) and this morning when I left, I had no idea exactly where I was going to go, except that I was going to go three miles. It worked, but I didn't love it. I'll have to plan a few alternative three mile routes that I can rotate through - in no particular order of course.

So this morning, being a new route (not entirely new, but one never before done in the dark early morning), I found myself a little bit on edge since I was hearing new sounds, etc. All of that ended when at one point on the walking trail, before I could see or hear him, this man started singing, 'Here we come a'wandering' in order to give me a heads-up that he was there. I laughed. And relaxed. And from then on I stayed relaxed.

I'm enjoying this early morning thing. It's been good for me - and the dogs - to start the day with a long walk, because no matter how much I might want it to, it just doesn't always happen in the evening. And I like the cool of the early morning better than the cool of the evening when it comes to exercising. Although I still enjoy being out in the evening hours, and that's why the dogs end up getting two walks most days - one much shorter and a bit slower than the other.

Kind of a boring post. Sorry to all who read it... (:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

This Is Either Madness or Brains*

*Name that movie! The response to that statement is probably my favorite line in the movie - 'It's remarkable how often those two traits coincide.'

Okay, so, in the beginning of July I started waking up early (4:45 early) so I could go on a long walk before going to work, and still get to work on time (7-7:30 -- yes, my 'on time' is a range).

I was fairly successful for about 3 weeks. Okay, maybe it was two and a half weeks. Or technically just two. Whatever it was, it all ended completely when I went to CA for the garlic festival (good garlicky times were had by all - and by 'all' I mean me... not that I was the only one there, but I didn't go with anyone I knew. Yes, I'm brave. Moving on.).

I came back from that trip, and I haven't managed to see the early side of 7 o'clock since. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but I haven't been up before 6 for sure, and I haven't been walking in the mornings.

I mentioned this to my dad on Tuesday night when I said I should take the dogs on a walk (whispering the 'on a walk' part because Max totally understands that phrase) that night, but it was getting dark... I was tired... (I had just come from flying yoga so the tired part was totally legit)... and I would take them in the morning (said with a kind of scrunched up face like I didn't really believe what I was saying - and neither did my dad). Then, my dad said the brilliant thing - 'if you had an alarm that could say "go on a walk" (he said that whispering because Max was still in the room) then maybe that would wake Max up and in turn you would have to get up.' I told him it would probably have to be in my voice because he responds the best when he hears me say it. So I started looking into alarm clock apps that let you record your waking up message.

And there is one.

Well, maybe there were more, but I found one.

Wake Smarter

For $3 I downloaded this, figured out how to record a message, and then went outside to record it (because Max follows me around and I didn't want him to hear this and get excited - as a result of recording it outside, you can hear crickets in the background). I recorded something like, 'Max, do you want to go on a walk? ... Should we go on a walk? ... Come on puppy, let's go on a walk. ... Let's go on a walk!'

I figured repeating it a few times would give him a chance to wake up and focus, and then respond to what he was hearing.

I went to sleep around 9:45 (4:45 comes early! - for a really long time I didn't know that there was another 4 o'clock during the day that didn't mean work was almost over) with the alarm set and the app on (I think it's one that you have to keep the alarm on the screen, which keeps the phone on, which means the phone needs to be plugged in. If it's not that way, then yay, but I don't want to take any chances). I woke up at 2... then 2:30... then 3, 4, and 4:30 anticipating the alarming and wanting to see if Max would respond to it. At 4:30 I almost changed the time the alarm was set for so I wouldn't have to wait anymore. But at 4:30 the probability for user error is large and I decided it was best to just run it's course rather than risk setting it to 3:30 on Sunday morning.

Then 4:45 happened. I hear, 'Max, do you want to go on a walk?' and Max has jumped up from his bed and run over to mine, whole body quivering and jumping up and down with excitement. I couldn't dash his hopes, I had to get up.

So I did.

And I went walking.

And was able to take awesome pictures like this -

max and belle



fuzzy picture of the draper temple

- because it was pitch black outside.

No moon, but lots of stars.

I used the alarm again for this morning and miraculously it worked just as well as it had yesterday.

So I think I can honestly say that I have the best alarm clock dog in the world.

And since he responds so quickly to the first statement on the alarm and doesn't need a chance to wake up and focus, I'm beginning to suspect that much like Chuck Norris, Max doesn't sleep. He waits.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ingrown Leaf

And here's a picture of my huge plant at home. I love these guys.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

There Are A Lot of Pictures For This Post


So here's what happened:

Earlier today I got a call from a guy who said he found my registration in his car. His car had also been stolen on Friday - in South Salt Lake - and found at about 4 on Saturday morning in North Lake.

He said there was a lot of stuff in his car that wasn't his, and he hasn't seen my registration until he got home, but everything else was taken to the police station. 

I called NSLPD to follow up with them and was told to call Monday to get an idea of when I could go up there to look through the stuff that was collected (it needs to be processed first...). 

I had a really lousy night of almost no sleep, but sometime during the afternoon I was able to take a nap. A little while after waking up - at 6:15 - I got a call that I thought I recognized as SLCPD dispatch. I answered and... They found my car! Standard procedure is to have it towed to impound 20 minutes after finding it but I told her I was at least 30 minutes away (they found it in Sugarhouse) and she said she'd let the officer know. 

My visiting teacher took me up there, and the whole way up I was wondering what kind of condition it would be in. Brian (the guy who found my registration) said his car was in decent shape and that he'd have to get a few things fixed and cleaned up, but overall it was okay. So I was hopeful mine would be too. 

Here's the car after getting it home and before cleaning it up:

the little slot in the driver's side door. normally there's hand sanitizer, air freshener, etc. there.

thoughtful(?) enough to leave a cigarette in case i really needed to relax once i got my car back.

junk in front of the passenger seat.

damage to the steering wheel.

it's supposed to look like this.

where the only money in the car was kept - there's a little drawer that is supposed to go in that space.

other junk left on the passenger seat (that lotion is mine, but it doesn't go on the seat).

junk in the back seat. you can see that little drawer thing between the driver and passenger seats that was also ripped out - nothing was kept in there... ever. it's the pointless vandalism that bothers me the most. destruction for destruction's sake.

back seat junk.

there should actually be more stuff in the trunk - but all of it was organized before. i threw everything away except for the small dog bed, a bottle of unopened water, window washer fluid, and an ice scraper. other things that should be there - dog leashes, dog harnesses, extra oil, water, coolant, paper towels, clorox wipes, etc.

a syringe...

i don't want to know what's in there (looks kind of like gloves) - i just threw it away.

a bunch of tiny rubber bands dumped in the front seat.

this was from a ward party years ago. i never hung it up there though...

it belonged wrapped around the gear shift. it registered that they had moved it when i was driving home. i threw it away because i knew they had touched it.

close up of the syringe. i hope they didn't give my car a disease...

i found the horn cover in another place. i was able to put it back on, but now that side is super-sensitive. super, super sensitive. it'll take some getting used to.

and a pretty sunset while i was parked on the driveway cleaning out the car.

Other things that were taken: sunglasses (I bought $10 sunglasses earlier today), my tassel from graduating with my master's (it was looped around the gear shift), a bottle of love spell lotion that my sister gave me about 5 or 6 years ago that I've used multiple times (the bottle was definitely getting low, but I would have used it until it was empty if they hadn't taken it)... and other things that may come to me later, like when I reach for them and they're not there.

I'm so glad it's over.

On the positive side -

~ my visiting teacher was able to come right over and drive me up to get my car, and the officer was able to wait until we got there (he did call when we were just a few minutes away just checking to see where we were).

~ one of the positives from it being stolen was that I wouldn't need to transfer a bunch of stuff to another car. my car is so emptied out right now (glove box included) that it's almost like having a new car. very empty. very nice.

~ things could have been so much worse. there is some damage to it, but nothing that changes the way it drives.

~ I got rid of some things of mine just knowing that they had been touched - and I didn't like that feeling - so that helped with the decluttering.

~ things feel very sanitary now - I wiped down everything I could think of with multiple clorox wipes. I also febreezed the devil out of the whole interior. ever since I learned from this book that febreeze actually kills odors and doesn't just hide them, I feel like it's a good thing to use. (: I sprayed the interior to death and then left the doors open for a little while to let it dry off.

~ I have learned how to operate a club. they're really easy to use, but I had never used one before. and now, it's an accessory that my car will never be without (yes, I put it on tonight even though my car is parked inside a locked garage). the officer suggested getting one since some people have their cars stolen repeatedly. $22 from o'reilly auto parts. not too shabby.

~ lastly, my car has street cred now. (: AND, my parents can no longer ask the question, 'who would want to steal that car?' and i have a feeling (or at least a desperate hope) that this baby will last at least another year, giving me a chance to save more than what I would have gotten from insurance had it remained stolen.

Friday, August 2, 2013

There Is No Picture For This Post -

- and that's because you really can't take a picture of something that is gone. Especially when there was something else in the spot of where your something should have been.

Let me explain.

This morning I drove to work.

as usual.

I parked in (one of) my standard spot(s).

as usual.

I went inside and did work.

also as usual.

That's where the usual ends.

My brother texted me a little before 1 to tell me his plane had landed. Since I work about 5-7 minutes away from the airport, people can text me while taxiing and I still often beat them to the curb. It's a nice setup.

I walked outside to where my awesome car (seriously, have I told you how much I *love* my car? it's a lot. a whole lot. A. LOT.) was waiting for me and...




My first thought was, 'oh, I must have parked somewhere else.' But no. No, no, no, no, NO.

I knew that I hadn't parked anywhere else. And I knew that a car belonging to someone else was parked where my car had been parked a little more than 5 hours earlier. I kept looking at the car expecting it to magically change into mine.

It never did.

My first call was to my brother. It went something like, 'Hey, sorry, I can't pick you up because my car was stolen.'

Then I called 911. That call went something like, 'Hi, yeah, this is my address... this is my phone number... this is my name... Oh, it's really not an emergency, because it already happened, by my car was stolen. {license plate, color, make, model, etc.)'

Then I sat on the curb and cried for a couple of minutes.

Partly because I just didn't know what to do next.

Partly because MY CAR HAD BEEN STOLEN.

While crying I was looking at my phone, expecting it to tell me what to do next. I mean, it's a smartphone, right? It should know these things.

As I sat there crying and staring at my unhelpful phone I had the following thoughts running through my head:

~ Do I call Grandpa and ask him to pick me up from the trax station?
~ Thank goodness the train runs really close to my work now.
~ Do I call mom and dad even though they're out of town?
~ Bad things happen when they're out of town, I'm not going to give them permission to go on anymore trips.
~ Should I walk around and look for my car?
~ Maybe if I look over at that strange car one more time it'll turn into mine.
~ Didn't work.
~ Blast.
~ What am I supposed to do now?!

While thinking these random things, my phone rang. It was my parents. Harper had called or texted them (thanks Harper) after talking to me.

I cried a little more, and then started walking away from the lot.

Let me tell you, it was a weird feeling walking away from the lot that I had parked in hours earlier. I felt like I was abandoning my car.

I also had the thought that while I love my car, I realize it's a little like having a child and knowing they have a face only a mother could love. It's an ooold car. So I really didn't see the appeal. 

My dad said by tonight I would be able to find the humor in it.

I told him it was hilarious.

While I'm not necessarily finding humor in it, I am seeing good things in the situation.


~ I have been saving money purposefully for a little over a year. While I don't have a ton, I have enough to buy a new-to-me car.
~ My car was old. As much as I loved it and hoped it would never die, it could have died at any time. I'm going to assume that it was going to die on me next week. Had it died on me, no insurance money. Since it got stolen (and then died on the thieves, I'm sure of it), I get insurance money. Not a lot, but some.
~ I don't have to worry about cleaning out the old car and moving things into the new car. I get to start fresh. That's kind of a nice feeling.
~ Nothing of great value was left in the car. I almost left my wallet in there when I got out, but grabbed it and slipped it into my bag.
~ When fellow-temple workers (I work in the baptistry on Friday night) asked about identifying info in the car and my registration came up, then someone asked about a house key (my keys may have been locked inside the car) I mentioned the garage door opener being in the car. One couple insisted on following me home and helping me disable the garage door (he climbed up a tall ladder to unplug it). Others offered to let me sleep at their home, and another single lady offered to spend the night here.

The big positive of the day -

I got to hold a week-old baby for about an hour while I visited with a dear friend. My visit was delayed by an hour and a half because of the earlier event, but baby-holding therapy works wonders. As does a visit with this wonderful friend and her husband.

Also, working in the temple. Yes, I was a little on edge tonight, and feeling unsettled, but I'm glad I was able to go in and think about something else for a couple of hours.

It's been a day.

I'll start looking at cars now, but won't plan to buy for at least a week. I'm still kind of hopeful that it'll show up somewhere... but I've learned that Honda Accords are the number one (or at least have been in the past) stolen car in this country. Mostly broken down for parts.

So unless they find you soon, rest in peace little Honda. You've served me well.

(While I've perused the car classifieds here and there over the last year, I have a feeling that looking at cars for sale isn't nearly as fun when you *have* to get a car as opposed to when you don't have to.)