Monday, September 30, 2013

Financial aggravation in the AM

My partner is up my butt again about refinancing my house. We went through this a year ago, right after he moved in, and even had a guy do some paperwork for us to see what could be done. Poor guy. I feel guilty about wasting his time, but whatever keeps the peace at home, you know?

I have an FHA loan, because I was a first-time buyer who rescued a foreclosure, and that limits things slightly. But overall, I think what I have now isn't a big problem. I pay $681 a month, including all the taxes and fees. Everyone wants to pay less for everything - just take that as a given - but all things considered, the house isn't under water and it's in moderately okay condition. The interest rate on the loan is 6.0%, fixed. I bought the house the literal day that the economy crashed. I have great credit, but low purchasing power; I make my bills, but I don't make bank, in other words.

We are planning/hoping to move to a nicer area within the next three years. Because of that, I think refinancing would be a disaster because of closing costs and lost equity. I'm the only one who ever put a dime into the house, so obviously, he doesn't care about these aspects and believes we wouldn't pay ANY closing costs. He didn't say as much, but I know that means rolling the closing into the loan and therefore not just paying closing costs, but interest on them as well. NOT cool.

I guess he saw something on the news and is running with it in hopes of getting free money somehow.

Still, I feel really certain that refinancing is not the answer for us. If we were going to stay here long enough to recoup costs and establish more equity in the house, I would go for crunching the numbers again, but for me, the priority is getting the hell out of this neighborhood! I don't want to damage our chances with some risky scheme.

Now, I just need to convince him of that (again).

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy Saturday

Today, we took the dog to Lake Horton for a nice long walk and a little unauthorized swimming. She enjoyed both, but neither so much as her collar-slipping, fence-dive to take a closer look at two very large horses. Scary for me and the partner, terribly exciting for the dog.

She got underneath the fence without us noticing and in the struggle to get her back she managed to slip out of a KONG Adjustable Dog Harness that I've always considered pretty secure. Then she looked us on the wrong side of the fence, laughed doggily, and made a swift beeline for the horses. I was torn between worrying she'd be stamped and worrying she'd come back with a mouthful of horse meat. She is a German Shepherd, from working lines, after all.

Thankfully, neither of those things happened. Instead, she stared at the bigger horse for a minute, sniffed from a respectful distance, and raced back to us. She returned beneath the fence of her own accord. Whew...

That was the adventure for today. The weather was perfect.

Friday, September 27, 2013


This is one of those places where my opinion differs greatly from both mainstream and my own cultural group(s). I despise drinking. It's not just a personal, me, thing. I don't like the taste of anything alcohol-based I have ever tasted, ranging from wine, beer, brandy, and mixed drinks. That's on me. I never had the capacity to acquire the taste.

No, I actually hate drinking more generally, and that's because I've never known anyone to do it well. No one I've ever seen is nicer, smarter, harder-working, or easier to get along with while drinking. In fact, most people I know are either angry or mentally slow while intoxicated. So...which do you prefer: scary or frustrating? I would rather not deal with either one. Especially angry or its near kindred - cruel or violent.

And a lot of people seem to have the backwards notion that if something bad is done while drunk, that should mitigate any legal consequence or social ones. What the heck, people??? Unless a person was held down while alcohol was poured down their gullet, they are just as responsible for that as for anything else in their lives. Decision made, consequences lived with. Done.

I don't advocate prohibition. It didn't work. Plus cooking with wine can work pretty well - I always makes sure to get a one-minute rolling boil or use it in the slow cooker. Pinot Noir and pork chops with black-eyed peas = yum. Screaming drunken jackass = not so much.

What then? I advocate people who dislike drinking saying so instead of holding a cup of diet Coke at a party and pretending it has JD in it. I advocate people standing up and saying that bad drunken behavior is JUST as intolerable as bad sober behavior. I advocate using technology, like Instagram or Youtube, to shame people who engage in dangerous behavior while drinking or who are black-out drunks and plead amnesia in the AM.

But this is just me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


This is a little sad, but I entered a Facebook sweepstakes with voting. Shock and horror, right? Who does that. Anyway, I've actually received a few votes...which sort of made me want to try harder with it, you know?

Here's the link:

It's for furniture from a store right by my house. Seriously, if we had sidewalks, I could walk there in about thirty minutes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Geritocracy vs gerontocracy

A few people have pointed out to me, thanks to their mad wikipedia skills, that the term gerontocracy already exists and describes a form of governance similar to this thing that I posit.

Actually, no.

Gerontocracy existed in Russia during the Cold War. It was a way of explaining that though their leaders aged, they never left their positions in the Communist hierarchy. The system was a static one created by late-middle-aged politicians, much like the ones that rule...everywhere, even here. They were not chosen for their age, their life experience, their values. They just had the right connections and toed a party line.

What I purpose differs in that aging into a position from an unappealingly youthful age (under 70) would be nearly impossible. Those who rule in a geritocracy would already have some serious seasoning before they even got to be so much as dog-catcher. It's not an aging system (much). It's a system run by the aged. No networking. No partisan politics.

And that's different.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Serendipitous newsstory in AJC

I actually wanted to link to it, but the AJC has it as a premium subscriber-only article, and I'll be damned if I pay for a newspaper...on the Internet. Seriously?

The gist is that while the majority of Georgians hate the new healthcare reform act, most of them do support some of the provisions therein, like insurance companies not being able to deny coverage for preexisting conditions. That's one of the biggest victories in the law, IMHO, so it's nice to see I'm not alone in feeling that way.

I just wish people were more open-minded about other parts of the law that will help people, you know?

Monday, September 23, 2013

The elephant in the waiting room

I don't actually feel conflicted about the controversy over healthcare. I feel apathetic toward the healthcare reform currently underway (Affordable Healthcare Act) because it's badly cobbled together with some amazing parts and many more lackluster ones, all of which are the sine qua non of our failed political system. That said, people who oppose reform absolute baffle me at the most basic human level I know.

I think we're pretty much divided into three camps here: the chronically ill, those who've experienced a devastating health crisis, and the well. The first two groups support, IMHO, something being done to fix our broken, emotionally degrading, and financially oppressive system. The third group just wants the sick to fucking die already so they don't have to 'pay' for anyone else's problems. Harsh, but really, isn't that essentially true? Isn't that the crux of the matter?

People who are well believe themselves morally superior. They don't feel any gratitude for having their health. They taken it as a given that being a good, morally upstanding, probably Christian American gives them protection from the demons of disease, illness, and freak accident, while the godless and/or unrepentant get cancer or multiple sclerosis or what-have-you and then selfishly and evilly expect help.

I look at it this way: we do have some health factors within our reasonable control. We can choose not to smoke. We can choose to drink only in moderation. We can buckle our seat belts.

However, there are a lot of factors that are well beyond our control. I don't just mean our genes, gene expression, and genetic predispositions, although these play a huge part. People who are wholly reasonable and responsible in their day-to-day lives can still be injured or die from falling down the stairs. People who exercise can still have a massive heart attack. I refer you to Jim Fixx with regard to that one. People without a familial history of cancer can still get it and suffer expensively...and either live or die based on the quality of care received.

Yes, Virginia, even morally upstanding people who visit their churches and anti-abortion protests twice a week can still end up among the unwell.

I don't really want to wish chronic or long-term illness on anyone.

But for those who have never been there and those who never had a reason to feel grateful for their health or that of others, and therefore might find such gratitude as foreign as taking one's shoes off to enter a home, I sincerely wish they could have some sort of aha! moment that would let them understand how things are for the unwell people whom they so despise, especially those with inadequate access to care.

Now for some disclosure, lest anyone think that I'm interested in reform only for my own benefit: yes, I am chronically ill, but yes, I also have health insurance through my employer, and although the expense remains a pretty harsh financial burden, I am grateful for the fact that I can afford essential medications and preventative healthcare.

That said, most of the people I have sincerely loved in my life -  and for any Christians reading, no, that isn't heathen code for 'guys I've fucked', although most of my former boyfriends fit in here too - the majority of them have had some sort of ongoing medical problem, whether it's debilitating back pain from a car accident, epilepsy, Type II diabetes, lingering effects of a stroke, or fibromyalgia. I have had little cause in my life to find or seek out the companionship of well people. That's just me, how I'm wired, apparently. Not to be flippant or tacky, but as a child, I always prefer my older, broken toys to the new ones. They gave greater comfort.

Anyway, that was weirdly long. Sorry about that. I spent a lot of time this weekend at home with my well partner, getting screamed at over this issue, so it's been on my mind.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Zombie run!

Next month, a local school is sponsoring a zombie-vs-people fun-run event where participants can sign up to be one or the other. How far they're going with the theme, I cannot say...yet.

The run is 3K (1.86 miles) in duration. Or rather, farther than I have run at once in my adult life. Walking, I can do between a fourteen and fifteen minute mile. I can knock out six miles pretty handily. I'm not much on running, though. I'm out of shape. It makes my chest hurt.

But I really want to do this. I could always be a zombie - no pressure, right? - but I would much rather be a live runner.

I have exactly thirty-four days to prepare. Could I train myself to go from here to there in that time? I can run about an eighth of a mile without stopping to walk. Jogging is...harder. Like a lot things in life for me, this seems to be an all or nothing deal.

Even if I do badly, I would still get a T-shirt...which I almost certainly would photograph and post here to share.

I'm even off work that day. No schedule to wrangle.

Friday, September 20, 2013

So the Pope...

I am not Catholic. This is primarily due to being born into families whose Protestant roots stretch back to prior to the Edict of Nantes and to the days of Henry VIII. We were early adopters all around, you see. Therefore, my opinions on matters relating to the Church should be taken with a grain of salt.

That said...yay, Pope Francis, for not being the same kind of curmudgeonly, Bronze-Age twit that his predecessors were. Doesn't the world have more to worry about than gay rights and abortion? Apparently, I'm not alone in thinking so.

Maybe now Catholicism will go back to feeding the hungry, tending the sick, and opposing the death penalty.

Or they'll covertly assassinate Il Papa. Nice popes have short lives. History bears this out.

BUT let's hope he's the exception!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The cabinet

I got another 'friendly' question about the geritocracy thing yesterday. How would I choose to staff the Cabinet?

The basic disagreement here is that the Cabinet is currently staffed by chosen advisers to the president, all of whom have impressive skill sets and resumes and substantial political connections. If chosen based solely on age, the skill sets may not correlate well with job requirements, but if chosen on merit and ability, like now, then the young guns, most of whom would probably be between 45 and 65, may be able to turn the president into a puppet.

Hunh...valid argument.

Also, some (all?) Cabinet positions are in the current order of succession.

A skilled Cabinet is necessary for a good presidency. Two words: Jimmy Carter. The US requires a strong executive. It's part of our national character.

Obviously, in order to satisfy all the demands present in selecting the right kind of people for the job, a system of checks and balances would need to be created, but the system cannot be too complex, because the more moving parts a thing has, the more likely it is to break.

So what I would suggest is that each cabinet position from Secretary of State down to Administrator of the Small Business Administration have a set of qualifications that would ultimately allow for the selection of the oldest qualified professional person, not otherwise engaged in governance. Like with Secretary of State, the likeliest place to find such a person would be the oldest US diplomat. Defense, the oldest (retired probably) US general or admiral. The minimum age for serving on the Cabinet should be 70 or 75 years, with possible exceptions made by act of Congress. Determining the right profession-position fit(s) would be something the Supreme Court might do. Just to spread the responsibility a bit.

This would also take the partisan politics out of the equation, which would be very much necessary in the first few decades of the system overall.

Again, I have no intentions of overthrowing the government. I just like to think about other ways to do things.

I just checked. As of December, John Kerry would still be minimally eligible to be Secretary of State. Seventy just isn't that old these days, is it? :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I need a certain number of training credits every year at work, and what with being a graduate student with a needy partner and a dog, I haven't exactly accrued a whole stack of them yet. Oh, it is already September, isn't it?

This month, because I'm not alone here, we've been provided with a healthy list of qualifying webinars from which to select a few good opportunities at 1 credit-hour a pop. I selected three of them, two of which were this afternoon. Despite having taken courses online for my degree for nearly four years now, I still don't see how people learn anything of lasting use from web-based seminars, which are basically just PowerPoint presentations.

My courses covered strategic planning for volunteer engagement and the homeless in libraries. The latter was actually pretty good. I wrote a paper on the topic during the Spring 2013 semester and enjoyed the refresher, especially since I had cited the presenter in my paper. Yay! I doubt anyone without previous engagement in the topic would have enjoyed as much, but maybe.

Last week, I took one on the health insurance marketplace, which was mind-numbing, but good exposure since I'll no doubt be helping people getting on there. Computer illiterate people, that is.

The main thing is that I'll get sufficient credits, I think, to cover what I need to meet the minimum training hours. I just wish I knew if other people learn more than I do from this type of instruction. If not, then what would make it better?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hapless shilling

I actually do quite a bit of mailing. I enter sweepstakes and what-not and still have bills I can't pay online, because at some point the vendor just went, and opted out of the 21st century and so forth. Anyway, one of the things I really use too many of is postcards. They mail cheaper than letters and sometimes, they're necessary, shiny, little evils.

I order custom ones through Vistaprint. They allow for some pretty nifty design features and look nice and professional. I use the ones I send out for sweepstakes to hock my book, Carpenter Springs, on Amazon. I've received some compliments on my postcard design. I like the price and ease of re-ordering them.

I've actually created another set of postcards to advertise this blog in hopes that someday I'll have more than one reader. *waves*

And supporting the postal service isn't a bad thing. Think of all those postal workers potentially wandering the streets... No one would be safe. No, not even the dog.

Another nifty thing I picked up at Vistaprint is an address stamp, so I almost never have to hand address the return portion of bills and stuff. Save tons of time; looks better than plain labels.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cool weather means walking

This is the eastern shore of the lake, along with its decorative pump house,
looking very much like autumn is in the air already.
I walked just under four miles this afternoon in splendid conditions, considering how hot it's been lately. Tons of people were out and about, so I mostly stayed off the lakeshore paths and walked between and among the neighborhoods. I'm not much for crowds, yo. I managed to catch a yard sale that way too - big bonus. Well...they had almost nothing left, but it was nice anyway because I haven't been to one in a few years. It was good to have the experience again.

I also found this little stone bridge tucked away pretty ridiculously close to one of the big box stores. I have no idea how I missed it all the times I've walked through the area. I almost got nailed by a cyclist taking the picture.

Thanks for not nailing me, cyclist.

The stonework isn't the fake-y kind. This thing looks almost like it was yanked from the English countryside, leaving some poor troll homeless and confused.

Later in the day, I played golf on grass with clubs for the first time. I like watching it on TV with my partner; however, it is much harder than it looks by FAR. I beat the two people I played with, but they hadn't played before either, so I'm calling it dumb luck.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday the 13th

I grew up with a moderate amount of superstition, not including religious matters. My maternal grandmother was superstitious in the extreme. My paternal grandmother was the opposite. I think the level of superstition in a family must be determined by the grandmother.

On Friday the 13th, maternal grandma would scarcely chance leaving the house. She also believed in exiting the house through the same door you entered. And if your nose itched, company would arrive soon. And so forth. She died some years ago.

My non-superstitious grandma is still living and will probably not notice the date unless the evening news makes note of it.

Superstitions are quaint and funny and give life a little more color. Still...I'm glad I don't have any big ones. You know?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Memory of airplane crashes

This is September 11th. No use not talking about it, what with all the TV specials and everything, although from my perspective, perhaps this is the least talkative year I can remember.

Okay. I was in my senior year at the University of Georgia. I was booking it to the dining hall so as not to miss breakfast. Two guys walking the opposite direction were talking about a plane crash in New York. I kept going, wondering what a plane crash in New York (state, I presumed) had to do with any of us. A dozen years later, it's still doing to us. You know?

That was the moment I heard. Understanding only came about an hour later, after I stepped out of a lab and people were frantically wheeling televisions into offices, unrolling extension cords, and screaming into phones.

I don't want to tell the whole story. Everyone has one. Mine, not so special. Maybe next year.

I still feel a little like a douche bag for my initial thoughts, and a few others later. Over the years, maybe I've tried compensating a little by paying more attention to regular plane crashes and other disasters. Not that much has happened that matches that day in September.

What could?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

4,000 candidates

In the US, we supposedly have 4,000 people over the age of 104. I actually read this statistic in a foreign newspaper while brushing up on my language skills. It seems unbelievable that there should be so many, but still, that's pretty amazing.

So going along with my geritocracy idea, that would mean that we would have plenty of people over the age of 100 for key governmental positions, including congress, state legislatures, and local administrations, without having to dip into the younger population for what are now elected positions. Those are readily taken care of, assuming that most of these people pass the Reagan Standard.

Like I tell people, it isn't as though I think this could ever happen. It's just fun to think about.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Addendum to yesterday

Yes, we do have a Human Resources department; however, contacting them usually has repercussion, and as much as the dress code thing upsets me, it is so not worth it to open that can of worms when I have a perfectly good blog to complain on right here. Whew.

That said, I hope in year or just over, I'll be in a different place. Literally. Working somewhere elsewhere in better environment and for more money. Hope-idy, hope.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Work Wear

I work in an environment with a pretty stringent dress code. I understand the necessity of appearing professional, hygienic, and well-groomed. No green/blue/purple hair. I get that. No tattoos where they show. Well, all right then. No open-toed shoes. Um...I guess it's for safety reasons? No denim. Ehhh...I guess a lot of jeans aren't professional-grade.

I just have two problems with our oodles and oodles of rules.

#1 - they are not enforced equally. Some people can wear some things. Others cannot. Some get a public reprimand. Others get a compliment. And for the record, I dress pretty stodgily, so this isn't sour grapes, although I would very much like to wear open-toed shoes or Capri pants in the summer.

#2 - we have all created our own individual, uniform way of dressing. One coworkers wears a patterned top and solid pants every day. One wears a sweater set 90% of the time. The two guys wear shirt/pants/tie. Basically, everyone has found their own way to conform to the code, differing somewhat from each other, but not their individual code.

Because of this, if anyone wears anything 'different' from their usual mode, they get mercilessly harassed from clock-in til clock-out. It's done in a light, faux-complimentary tone, but it's actually as scathing and uncomfortable-making as anything ever portrayed in a sexual harassment PSA.

I hate it.

Because I would like very much to wear other things. I wear eclectic top/neutral color pants/comfortable shoes. Every goddamn day unless we're allowed to wear our event T-shirts.

I am not at all girly, but I would like to wear office-appropriate skirts or dresses or even a layered top or accessories, but I literally almost cried and threw up after the epic pecking, prodding, and mock-catcalling I endured last time.

I know - grow a pair. Take it. They'll stop eventually. I just don't have it in me right now with everything else eroding my femme balls.

The only thing I can really do is promise myself that when I finish my degree and earn a professional position, I will not allow myself to get into this position again. I will dress as diversely as possible. I will skirt the edges of the dress code and find layers of meaning and ... you get the picture. And if the day ever comes, and I'm in charge, I will do away with dress codes entirely and simply trust my employees to act like professionals, and if they can't, I'll privately communicate to them what needs to be changed and in as positive manner as possible.

I also window shop dresses on e-Bay. You know, as therapy.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Canine loyalty is a myth

No, seriously, dogs are not really loyal. If they were, my partner would have been unable to steal the love and loyalty of the dog I raised from a tiny puppy (with virtually no input from him). As it were, he has done so. Gracie lives for him; she only tolerates me.

How was this accomplished?

After all, bonds made in during the puppy months (seven weeks to seven months) should be fairly enduring, right? It isn't like I left the country. I spend quality time with Gracie ever single day. I give her praise, treats, and guidance. And she absolutely loved me when she was little. From the moment I brought her home (I lived alone then), she never wanted me out of her sight.

That was then, as my partner is fond of saying.

After he moved in, his easy work schedule allowed him time with her that I just couldn't have. He would get home three and half hours before me some days. And he would spend the lion's share of that time with the dog-daughter. That's how he was able to usurp her loyalty, and I never even realized before it was too late. And even if I had realized, what would I have been able to do? Nothing. Unless I quit my job (not happening!), I would have been powerless to stop this.

So instead of having the devotion of a German Shepherd, I have a dog that likes me well enough, but really considers, just a friend, while thinking of my partner as her lord and master.

Don't get me wrong. I wanted a family dog for us for when he moved in. I wanted that a lot. BUT I also wanted to be included in that family, not just from my partner's perspective, but from Gracie's as well. I clearly do not have that. loyalty...I'm pretty much calling this one a myth. They're loyal to whoever is convenient at that moment. It's no more complicated or mystical than that. And I have a very fickle and disloyal dog.

For the kicker: my partner blames me and won't accept any responsibility for doing this.

Getting another dog would not fix this; he would just take that one too. I think about it, even though I don't want another dog - I want MY dog back.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Butchering the English language

Two words are causing some confusion among the people I interact with:

Mines (noun, pl.) holes in the ground from whence come diamonds, coal, etc.

Mine (pronoun, possessive) an object belonging to me.


Wrong: "That dollar bill's mines."

Correct: "That dollar bill is mine."

Consider this a PSA.

I mean, really, who on earth does not know the difference between those words? WTF??? Are they trying to sound cool by sounding ignorant? We need to stop tolerating this. If everyone would correct the error, it would go away.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pros and cons of prison suicides

Obviously, this is in reference to Ariel Castro, the nut-job that held three young women prisoner in his house for ten years.

My partner is bummed that he won't serve all that time. I'm pleased that no one has to pay for him to serve all that time and he didn't go free.

I see his point. The guy deserved to suffer. His victims deserved more justice. I'm pretty sure the guy hadn't even had any prison rape.

But with the rising cost of incarceration and the whimsy of our judicial system, at least this provides the whole affair with some very affordable, if not perfectly satisfying, closure. I am a big fan of closure.

Either way, he's dead, Jim.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Scale Shock

Like I have mentioned, I'm trying to get in shape, lose weight, be healthy, single-handedly stop the obesity epidemic. So imagine my surprise this morning when the scales told me that I gained oh...close to 8 lbs. over the holiday weekend, during which I was fairly active, although my appetite increased accordingly.

Not cool.

I'm having a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment tomorrow and I so didn't want to have gained weight for the official weigh in. I wanted to have loss some, of course, but would have been okay with maintaining.

With only 30 hours between the ugly info from the scale and the appointment, I decided to employ some drastic measures to fudge the numbers in my favor.

Note: please not to be imitating any of these as it could lead you to an eating disorder.

So far I have tried not eating, taking water pills, drinking tea, and moving around more to burn calories. Next up tonight, garbage bag + treadmill. Tomorrow, I intend to fast until after the appointment. Since I'm having at least four tubes of blood drawn, I still need to drink.

Results will be forthcoming. I'm just hoping to drop 3.6 lbs. Just so I don't disappoint my doctor.

And, yes, this whole process does make me feel shallow. I'll deal with that later.

Addendum: I lost 3.4 lbs without using garbage bags. The doc was not displeased. ;)

Monday, September 2, 2013


Happy Labor Day! My partner and I both had the day off from our respective jobs. We did not use much of the time wisely, unfortunately, but I managed another walk - about three miles on the trail system. Good times.
This appears to be a crane of some sort.

I also had to pick up a handbag because the handle of mine broke...and one of the zippers is pulling free from the rest of the bag. The stores were absolutely mobbed this afternoon, making the shopping experience even more unpleasant than usual. People are not nice, especially in large numbers. I ended up with a brown shoulder bag that I hope will accommodate all the crap I carry around.

I started this blog basically to vent and rail about politics. I'm not doing nearly as much of that as planned. Partly, I think, because nothing in the news is really piquing my interest. Syria - either we will or won't, but since it's the ME, nothing we do will matter. And hasn't that dominated the weekend?

Please start the next news cycle, thanks.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Line Creek Nature Area

Yes, we all made to the park yesterday for our inaugural visit, and we had a fantastic time. The trails were a lot more primitive than I imagined. An inebriated person would be killed by the exposed rocks and tree roots within minutes. Even for the unencumbered, it's slow going and treacherous in the extreme. The dog did not seem to mind.

She's actually watching two dogs down river,
biding her time before going to chase them.
Gracie had never been in the water before. At just over eighteen months old, we weren't sure exactly how she would take to it, despite German Shepherds being pretty decent water dogs overall. Other than trying to drink the entire river, she did terrific. We even found her a spot deep enough for her to dog paddle a few strokes. She looked very graceful swimming, although perhaps a bit alarmed.

We were able to let her off leash for a little while - we were almost two miles from the nearest road - and she never tried to run off or do anything crazy. I was so proud! She has a history of running.

I think this was a really good outing for her. I'm hoping we can do it a few more times before the end of summer. She needs to swim more.

This is the gazebo and pond near the entrance.
Talking my partner into more visits won't be easy. He likes the couch, and he favors going to the dog park to get Gracie more exercise and social time. I prefer giving her as varied experiences as possible and enjoy walking.

I think the total mileage, walking anyway, came to about 2.25 miles, or almost nothing to me. :)

I'm going to try to get some good swimming pics next time.