Hello, My Name Is The Food Lady

And I inhale paint fumes.

No, not because this is THE SCANDAL you’ve all been waiting for these past 11 years of blogging, but because I spent the day starting to finally fix up this old new house o’mine.  I’ve been here nearly three weeks, but as I work, like, 10 or more hours a day, there’s not been a lot of time to do stuff. And also, first it needed to be cleaned.  If ever I meet the old tenant of this house, I am going to offer her my condolences on being allergic to cleaning products, sponges, cloths and scrubbing implements, because there is NO other reason for a house to be this gross.  I have found dirt caked into places I did not know dirt could even find.  It’s almost remarkable.  I am the first to admit that my fastidiousness only extends to things I can see and I cannot guarantee that anything is sparkling behind furniture or appliances I can’t move easily, like my stove (actually I can guarantee that it ISN’T), but dear doG in heaven, how do you get dirt INSIDE your medicine cabinet?

We are on well water here too, and the water is hard, and very high in iron.  My landlord installed a very expensive filtration system on both houses when he bought the place, but former tenant failed to maintain her system (it’s, umm, super easy to maintain incidentally) so it no longer works.  The water smells like it tastes when you bite your lip.  It also stains everything it sits in.  The other morning I was waiting for my toast and *idly* took an SOS pad to the kitchen sink because the entire thing was stained orange.  I assumed I was fighting a losing battle but guess what – 5 minutes later I had a stainless steel coloured sink again.  The bathtub is another story – it’s coming off, slowly, but I am using SOS pads at an alarming rate (and WTF does CLR even do?  Not clean rust off your bathtub, that’s for sure!).  Seriously – had she taken 5 minutes even once a week to give it a quick pass with an SOS pad, it would not be taking me days and days to try and make the bathtub not look like someone murdered pennies in it.  Ugh.

So I woke up this morning and had a lie-in because I was feeling sorry for myself.  I knew starting a new business would be tough, but I guess I didn’t know how tough.  Once I land a client they absolutely love me and their dogs do as well, but I need more of them; I’m not making enough money to survive yet.  I work from 7AM – noonish for my other job, which I can fortunately do from home, but it doesn’t pay very well.  Then I leave around 12:30 and walk dogs, and get home around 5:30PM, if traffic and such favours me.  The nice part of not having many clients yet is that all or almost all of my dogs can come with me, so I don’t need to then exercise dogs when I get home, but the downside is that between gas and bridge tolls, I’m earning almost nothing.  I know it will come – I have a full time client, and one part time client that is going full time soon, and one sporadic part time client.  Not enough yet.  I advertise online wherever I can, and I know it will take time, but at the end of the day, it’s just not enough yet.

My landlord is great and basically will pay for anything I want to do, as long as he himself doesn’t have to do the work as he has own very large farm to run and take care of.  So that’s fine, I buy what I need and take it off the rent.  But my morning job covers my rent, car insurance and car payments and that’s it, so if I spend too much money on stuff before the end of the month, one of those car payments or whatever will bounce.  So that’s frustrating.  I also still have not gotten my security deposit back from my previous landlord, which is supposed to be my hydro payment because I have no other spare money.  I’m living on tomato soup and toast at the moment and I count every penny before I spend it.  It’s kinda of exhausting.  Nope, it’s super exhausting actually, and sometimes it’s so scary I can’t sleep at night.

So anyway, I lay in bed this morning feeling sad, and decided that laying around feeling sad wasn’t going to change anything, so I got out of bed and went for a short drive and dropped business cards off at all the local pet related businesses in the area.  And I picked up some primer and got to work in the bathroom.  Because the bathroom was green.  And I don’t mean a happy apple green, I mean an institutional green like it’s the 1940s and my house is a hospital for mental patients and the nation is at war and there’s no money for nice coloured paint for a class of society we want to pretend is invisible anyway.  It was mental hospital green and DIRTY.  And for some reason, full of nail holes and screw holes.  So I filled them all in, and primed the hell out of it.  Note: “Second coat in just 1 hour!” is LIES DAMN LIES.  It’s bed time and it’s still wet.  But now that the bathroom is white(ish) it looks about 3 times bigger than it did this morning.  It’s going to look pretty okay when it’s painted a) white and b) not with flat paint.  And I am just going to assume that all of the other rooms are going to look bigger when painted too, because most them are ALSO green of some kind, or else some really depressing bargain-bin beige, or – like the room that is going to become my photo studio – an acid trip of insane psychedelic swirls (not.even.kidding).  Oh primer, we are going to become very good friends for a long time, I think.

Whilst waiting (futilely as it turned out) for the primer to dry in the bathroom so I could apply a second coat, I decided to paint the dog room.  But first I had to prime the door, because all the doors in the place are ALSO filthy.  And the dog room walls were covered in what looks suspiciously like snot, so they needed to be cleaned.  And then I started painting with a can of orange paint that is supposed to be terracotta with a kick, but looked alarmingly like a pumpkin on ecstasy at a rave when I first slapped it on. I’m hoping it calms the fuck down when it dries!  I did two walls and then decided I was just plain old done with painting for the day, because it was almost dinner time.  And I grabbed my camera and took the dogs outside in the sun.  And this is where you come in :)

“Look Simba, everything the light touches is our kingdom.”

(and yes, I recycled that from my personal facebook page, so here’s my preemptive shut UP to my FB friends)

We started out playing ball in my front field, but that field is ringed with old blackberry bushes (although they are not bushy, just huge tangles of dead and thorniness) but RABBITS hang out in the thorny and RABBITS cause Spring to go berserk.  Even the thought, hint or suspicion of RABBITS cause her to go berserk.

And when Springs goes berserk, all the other bastardogs lose their collective minds and then this happens:

And when that happens, it cannot happen quietly.  It has to be accompanied by as much barking as possible, as well as the ungodly sounds of Wootie barkscreaming.  And since we live next door to, and share a fence with lots of these:

And those are guarded by a couple of – okay I don’t have a photo of them, but let’s just say REALLY BIG DOGS.  And I don’t want my new neighbours to hate me right out of the gate.  So I have to put a stop to the RABBIT insanity as soon as it starts.  So we moved to the pasture between my house and my landlord’s house to play.  Because the turkey won’t let us play in my actual yard.  Ever since we moved here, the turkey and the roosters have become crazy territorial.  They don’t f*ck with me, because I schooled them from the get go (with a shovel), but last weekend Tyrone the rooster attacked my friend Michelle!  It was a cheap ass sneak attack from behind too, the asshole.

Anyway, Terrence the turkey scares the little dogs, and also Dexter.  Because Dexter’s body is large, but his brain is little.

So we just decided to play in the field.  It has a couple of little ponds that my ducks were not using at the moment, and kindly let the dogs splash around in it.

And they raced up and down the hill, because the pasture is … well, pastoral and full of gently rolling hills and other The Sound Of Music shit.

(last weekend my landlord took me and Michelle on a tour of the rest of the 18 acres.  Dudes, there’s a LAKE at the back, like a trout lake. where my dogs can swim!  And there are cows.  And I met my baby goats.  This one many of you have seen already; I named him Harvey.  He thought my coffee cup was his milk bottle and he was REAL happy to meet me as a result.  So I named him Harvey Milk)

harvey

Anyhoo.  There was much gallumping and gleeful running around after frisbees and toys to be done, border collie style.

Look at this ole lady dog!  14.5, still tough as nails.  She comes hiking almost every day, and though she has to be lifted over logs, and  she goes up hills sideways because neither her front end nor her back end has the power to propel her up an incline, she’s determined to do it!

And still the non-border collies found tangles of thorniness to hunt RABBITS in.

They didn’t find any RABBITS though, so at least they came back when I called them.

I really have to get on the fencing and keep them from reaching that side of the field though, because it borders a path that lots of horse riders use, and as my dogs are both OBNOXIOUS and not used to horses, they tend to race over en masses and scare the bejesus out of the horses and riders both.  I really don’t want to inadvertently kill some horse rider when it gets chucked off its 1000 lb mount, so I am double fencing, so they can’t reach that fence.  Also, I want the poultry to live between those two fences, as when they are in my yard they take disgusting liberties like pooping in my porch.  And a while ago I had my kitchen door open while I was doing stuff and came into the house to get something and found like 7 chickens IN MY LIVING ROOM.  Impertinent assholes.

Anyway, that was our first real playtime on the property and I think everyone had fun, because they are all now passed out cold, about 80% of them in my office here with me now.  Piper favours the closet, while Dexter and Gemma argue over the bed under my desk (Gemma usually wins because she can’t hear or see Dexter’s ugly faces and sounds, and he’s all teeth and no trousers that one).

I think I like it here.  I think the dogs do too :)

I will like it just a teensy bit better when the wood stove finally goes in though, because when it’s cold outside, it’s COLD in here.  When the temperature drops, I can see my breath in my house.

I will also like it a little better when I can afford it.  So please, be sure to tell your friends about The Walking Dog so I can round up some more clients to walk.  We walk in some really amazing places with tons of stuff to explore, rivers to splash through, logs to leap over and stuff.  The dogs are so pooped when they get home.  It’s really awesome!  They just love it, and so do I … and I really want to keep doing it!  Even if some weirdo sent me a huge long email in response to one of CL ads that accused me and all dogwalkers of destroying wildlife habitat (I don’t EVER take dogs to areas where there is wildlife habitat risk!) and wrapped up her insane rant by suggesting I should want to kill myself for being such a horrible person.  Like, wow.  Whacko.

Also, you can really help me out by booking a photo shoot, or purchasing a print or two from me.  I have a few 18X24 prints ready to go already – if you’re interested in seeing them, contact me and I’ll send photos.  if there’s anything I’ve photographed that you’d like to have a print of, please let me know and I can make that happen too.  Soon I hope to have my photo studio IN MY HOUSE ready to roll, and can do studio sessions right here at home, which saves you the cost of me renting studio space.

Hopefully tomorrow that blasted primer will be dry enough to apply the second coat, and I can finish painting the dog room, and then get rid of the acid trip in the photo studio room.  *shudder*

Then Monday it’s back to work.  I have all three clients to walk on Monday, so TWooie gets to stay home because otherwise he beats up the 100lb Lab.  Because TWooie is small, but his ego is enormous.

Much love to you all from our slowly-being-improved stixier house in the stix (now with RABBITS)

And *Poof* – Like Magic, It Was Gone

The snow that is.  It got warm, started raining and overnight, inches and inches of snow has vanished, like it was never here.

(This post would be more effective if I had photos taken after the snow melted, but it’s raining and I don’t wanna take my camera out there)

It’s hard to imagine that just a few days ago it still looked like this!

The only thing that has still not melted is my driveway, which remains not only an ice rink, but a wet EXTRA slippery ice rink.  Apparently the expression “it gets worse before it gets better” was invented specifically to describe trying to drive out of said extra slippery ice driveway, which was the silly thing I attempted yesterday before giving up, sliding backward into my spot and deciding I didn’t *really* need to go out after all.  I’m hopeful that another day of rain will make it navigable.

Addy is completely skeptical of the sudden change in weather.  She starts shivering before we go outside in anticipation of this:

And then is pleasantly surprised when there is no snow to be found and it’s a balmy 11 degrees.  But then is pissed off that everywhere in the grass that is springing back to life after being smooshed down for a month and a half, is a puddle lurking right at Addy-belly height.  It’s hard to be a tiny dog sometimes.

The other dogs don’t seem to care either way.  As long as they have a ball, the collies don’t care if it’s a monsoon, typhoon, hurricane or sandstorm.

It’s mine, you can’t have it.

These two just want cookies.

I would also like cookies pleaz kthnx.

… and nobody knows what this dog wants.

And this dog just wants to cosplay Snoopy.

(These two just kill me, the are SO FREAKIN’ ADORABLE!)

I actually miss the snow.  Despite complaining about it for like 6 weeks, I guess I had forgotten how much I hate mud.  I was spoiled by not having to wipe paws and bellies every time the dogs come in from outside for so long!

Stop wiping my feet, or I’ll kill you.

 If only the snow wasn’t so cold … and if my landlord would have sanded or plowed the driveway, the snow coulda just hung around until it was 25 degrees outside.

Also, I will miss taking photos like this:

I’m sorry I said that thing about my feet and murder.  Please love me.

(I taught Winter to stand up on his hind legs and turn his back to me rather than putting his paws on me when he wants cookies or pets, that way he doesn’t get reboundy terrier mud feet prints all over my clothes.  This is my view of that trick.)

Winter’s creepy!

You’re all creepy.

(says the turkey with a tiny penis on its forehead)

So Wootubers … I am looking to partner with other creative types to create some sellable items that combine my artistry and yours.  I partnered a few years ago with Claudine of Laughing Dingo Studios for a limited edition Woo print if you recall, and it was quite a hit and very successful.  I would like to do this again, or something similar, or work with an artist wherein we could combine our services for a fee – ie, I take the photos, client chooses a photo(s) to be turned into a painting, sculpture or similar, at a discounted rate for the client for combining the services.  It will build up both our portfolios while earning us both some dineros and also offer people a unique blend of services!  Are any of my Wootube friends interested in partnering for something like this?  Any Wootubers interested in purchasing such a service?  Food Lady needs to make some dog food money while building up her business (and thank you all for the many many shares, please feel free to keep sharing and recommending my business!).  I have a couple of interviews coming up for part time jobs to keep us all in kibble and potato chips in the meantime, but I have this funny catch-22 where if I am employed full time I can’t walk my clients’ dogs, but if I don’t walk dogs full time I can’t … you know, afford to live.  Got any other brilliant ideas for me?

Judgey Spring will judge you if you don’t!

It Goats Better

(yes, I can spell)

Auntie Michelle and I did our first walkies of the year yesterday at Pitt Lake.  I had the Cabin Fever real bad, since I’ve been off and on snowed in for most of a month.  Ugh, winter.

Not this Winter, who ears what you ear, and ears many other things besides, if those dumbotrons on his head are any indication.

I actually like the snow (soooo much better than muddy feets!), but I just wish it wouldn’t strand me on the farm so often.  They finally plowed the main road, and the driveway has packed down and is now driveable, so I was keen to get out and do an epic New Year walk .  We had a lot of fun, but I didn’t take very many photos because they turn out the same as taking them at home.  Everything is brown covered in white.

Like here is FaeFae standing on a frozen lake, but you wouldn’t know that if I didn’t tell you that.

And Dexter running through the brush, which may as well be my yard for all you could see the difference.

And Pesty Peetie posing on the dyke, which may as well be the river behind my house, except for the mountain in the background.

Wootie found a Really Big Stick, but it’s from the same kind of trees we have at home, so ….

But everyone had fun, and ran themselves to sleep after almost three hours of meandering around the lake – so first goal of 2017 accomplished!

Second goal of 2017 accomplished this morning when I (*insert drumroll here*) signed the leash on my new place!

!!!!

Those of you on Facebook already know this, but I found a new home.  I am SO EXCITED!  It’s an old three bedroom house (rooms!  I will have REAL rooms!) on an 18 acre farm that is filled with

(wait for it)

GOATS!

Goats goats goats!  Big goats!  Little Goats!  Baby goats! Grown up goats!

MY NEW LANDLORD GAVE ME A GOAT AS A HOUSEWARMING GIFT!  I named him Snorfles.  I have no photos of the goats because I was so excited I plain old forgot to take any. Not even a photo of baby Snorfles because I was too busy cuddling him.  My stepdad practically had to pry him out of my arms and make me leave. But I did get a couple of photos of the property with the phone.

This is my new house and the front yard.

ahomefrontyard

The side yard, and you can see the garage (currently houses horses) where my poultry can live.  Or my car.  Priorities, you know.

ahomefrontside

Here’s a view of the back of my house and garage-thing from the other end of the property where the landlord lives.

ahomefrontback

The inside of the house needs a lot of work done, as it’s old, and the current tenant hasn’t done anything to it.  But my landlord says if I do the work, he’ll pay for the needed materials.  And it has a wood burning stove in it too!  I predict Addy will be vacating my shirt and living on a dog bed next to the stove.

My new landlord is the nicest guy.  I had posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a new place to rent – it’s how I found the place I’m on now, seven years ago, so I figured it could work again.  And it did!  He hadn’t advertised this house yet and he said when he saw my advert he thought “PERFECT.”  He doesn’t care how many dogs I have.  And when I suggested I might get a donkey he said “OH MY GOD, YES PLEASE!”  Could this be any more wonderful?

The property is much more rural than where I am now – my current location is a pocket of pseudo rural in a fairly developed neighborhood.  The new place is way out in the boonies.  And SO QUIET.  Michelle and I creeped my new house and hood yesterday after our walk and I stopped the car, rolled down the windows and made her listen to the sound of NOTHING.  It’s going to be so great!

I’m so relieved that we will all have a new home :)  Thank you all for putting it out there in the universe for us!

(This is a random photo of Wootie who looks like how I feel right now)

So.  Who wants to help me move?  ;-)