Monday, January 23, 2012

Good Medicine

Well, since I posted about Lucy's frisbee talents and aspirations, I wanted to spread the word about what Mr. Ricardo has been up to!

This weekend, Ricky and I were so excited to attend our first Therapy Dog Preparation Class.
Fermin snapped a photo of us as were were about to be on our way!
The class is held at different places- sometimes the bookstore, sometimes a park, and sometimes, Dog City Training Center, which is where Ricky's class was this Saturday.

Ricky and Lucy had taken a Puppy Headstart class there when they were just babies.
Lucy and Ricky's first class at Dog City Training Center
Back then, they were the smallest, and the youngest in class.
Back when Ricky was the little, new kid on the block
I'm pretty sure Ricky remembered the place because he was so excited when we first got there!  For a second, I thought, "Uh oh.  These people are going to think I'm insane that I think my dog could ever be calm enough to be a therapy dog."

But within just a few minutes, Ricky realized what was expected of him now that he was an older, and wiser kid in class. 

Although Ricky is no longer the smallest dog in class, he is still the youngest.  The instructor was talking about how a dog knowing a few tricks is fun for the people that therapy dogs go out to visit.  She went around our circle and asked people if their dogs knew any tricks.  A few of them said they knew "shake", or "down", and were working on a few others.  When she came to me, I said, "He knows "beg", and "say your prayers", ..." and then I found myself just sort of trailing off and not finishing my sentence.  BECAUSE it would have been one, big, super long, run on sentence.  I realized then, I think for the first time, that Ricky knows so many tricks!  So many that I would've felt embarrassed to rattle them all off.  Like a bragging parent.  Anyway, I am bragging now.  And for that I sort of apologize.  But OH!  My boy is a smartypants!   

The class was so fun.  All the stuff we worked on, like being calm around other dogs and people in close proximity, just felt like fun games!  We played a dog version of musical chairs, and a game where we had to stay in either a sit or down position on a tic tac toe grid with other dogs all around us. 

Ricky did great.  I was so proud of how well he did on his first day!  I know someday soon he is going to be a great therapy dog. 
Day 1- Therapy Dog Prep Class
Day 1- Puppy Headstart

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CoverSong: "Heart of Gold"

This is my first installment of my new, weekly--or at least bi-monthly, segment of my blog simply called CoverSongs.

For today's cover song, I chose Neil Young's "Heart of Gold".  I knew I wanted my brother to be my first guest, and he plays the harmonica.  "Heart of Gold" was the first song that came to mind when I was trying to think of songs with memorable harmonica parts.  The harp is such a key component in this song!

I apologize to Mr. Young for flip-flopping a few of his lyrics.  We're just doing this to have a little fun and pay tribute to some great songs.  I was afraid that if we did more than just a few takes, we might lose the fun and spontaneity.  And that's what it's all about!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Little Champs

Normally, this is the kind of thing I write about on my PuppyTracks blog, my other blog that's dedicated to all things Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.  (My Lucy and Ricky, the Australian Shepherds that is!)  But today is such a special day and I just had to write about me and Lucy's morning on my blog, because it was so meaningful to me! 

I took Lucy to her first Dallas Dog and Disc Club meeting today.

Lucy loves to play with her little floppy frisbee in our backyard.  She's just sort of naturally taken to it.  She jumps up to catch just about every pathetic throw I toss out to her. 

future therapy dog, Ricky
Now that the Ricardo's are nearly a year old,  their individual talents seem more and more evident.  Lucy, like I said, just seems to be a natural with the frisbee.  Ricky, is so calm and obedient. It seems he might have more interest in being a therapy dog.  So I searched around online last week to find out where I could take Lucy for frisbee dog stuff, and where Ricky could work on his skills at becoming a therapy dog.

We got so lucky!  It just happened to be that Dallas Dog and Disc Club was having a meet up at a park nearby this weekend.  And next weekend, Ricky begins his first day of Therapy Dog Prep class.  I'm pretty sure the universe is saying "Yes!" to us.

So today, Lucy and I headed out to the meeting, having no idea what to expect.
On the car ride there, we were both a little nervous.  But I told Lucy to just be herself, and have fun, and everyone would just love her!

We were greeted by the nicest people!  I recognized some of their names from the website I had visited.  Lucy and I watched as the other dogs took their turns at catching the frisbee.
Lucy, patiently waiting her turn.
 Some of the dogs did cool tricks that I'm sure Lucy will learn how to do eventually!

It was all so exciting, Lucy finally just couldn't take it anymore!
"Please give me my turn!"
Lucy finally got her chance to show off her puppy skills at catching her little floppy frisbee.  I was way to busy to photograph though.  :(  And I was a little nervous about her being in an unfenced open field.  But Lucy was a champ! 

In just a short amount of time, I learned a bunch of great stuff I need to know to help Lucy grow into a super champ.  These people I met are a wealth of information and are so passionate about disc dogs---and they just want to spread the word to eager learners like Lucy and me!

I'm definitely going to sign up and pay my dues and be a member of this club!  I can't wait for next month's meeting.  Lucy and I have some new things to work on between now and then.

Someday soon, Lucy, you'll be flying!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Connecting Through Facebook Vs. Email

Months ago, I stopped sending out emails to people who had, over the years, signed up to be on my email list.  I always sort of felt like I was intruding on them to send them stuff each month, asking them to come out and hear me at whatever venue I was currently performing at.

So, I started just to post stuff up on Facebook instead.  Sometimes I went so far as to "create an event".  Most of the time, I just posted on my status something like, "Playing at Joe Blow's Bar tonight".  Not very personal, or inviting of me.  But at least I didn't feel intrusive.

But I've started to realize that when someone sends me an invitation to an event through Facebook, I very often don't see it.  And even if I do see it, I don't give it much attention.  There are just so many invitations to things thru Facebook from people I don't even really know.

The other day, I read a little article sent to me by CDBaby, one of the online store that sells my CDs.  The article listed 6 reasons why using email is more effective, and nicer, than Facebook.

I agreed with every point made on that list.  As impersonal as email can sometimes seem, it's more personal than Facebook. If someone has given me their email address, the article stated, that means they have given me the "keys to their inbox".  It's true, in a way.  The people on my email list actually signed up to be on it!  They actually wanted to know more about where I'd be playing next! 

So, hey!  It's a New Year and it's a great time to rethink the way I'm doing, and not doing, things.  And to make little changes to try to improve everything! 
Today, I sent out my first email in months to the sweet people that gave me the keys to their inbox!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now

Because we have a house that was built in 1961, we have storm windows.  Storm windows provide great insulation but are hard to clean.  And they provide a great place for spiders to build webs and collect small trinkets.  

We've lived in our house about 10 years.  And altho I've cleaned the windows on the inside and outside, I've never cleaned the in between part.  Because I didn't know how.  And because there are shrubs and bushes that would've made it painful.  And to be honest, I just didn't realize how great the outside world could look!

Recently, one of my neighbors  had her windows cleaned before her holiday party.  When I was at her house I noticed how great they looked.  So I asked for the number of the window cleaning company.

Now it's as if we've gone from viewing the outside world in black and white to technicolor!!  Or from watching a TV with bunny ears, to a HD television!

Here is a photo of before we got our windows cleaned:

And after:

I will never wait so long to have my windows cleaned again!

Monday, January 2, 2012


I wrote down some ideas for my New Year's resolutions.  (Notice I said ideas.  I have a hard time making a real commitment to New Year's resolutions since they often just seem like an invitation to failure and disappointment.) 

One thing I wrote on that list of ideas was, "be braver with my blogging".  Another was, "learn LOGIC (software for recording, editing and mixing music)- at least 3 hours a week".

So here is my first attempt at merging those two ideas together.

I posted up a song I wrote a couple of days ago.  You'll notice it's very rough.  And you might even notice that in the video, I'm not wearing any makeup and I'm still in my pajamas (altho, with a hoodie thrown on top!)  So there's my attempt at being brave---Exposing myself before making my song and myself more presentable! ;)

Now that the raw version of that song is out there, my next step will be to edit and record it using Logic over the next few weeks.  Then, I'll repost a more presentable version of the song by the very end of January. At least that's the idea!

I think that I'm done, that I'm all cashed out
I've got nothing left that I can say
I've pulled it all out, and I've run the course
I think now I'll just walk away

Where I'm going, well I don't know
But when I get there, then maybe I'll know

I don't have a plan or a ticket out
I don't know the place I wanna be
I don't know the color of my parachute
so I'll jump and just hope that we'll see

Where I'm going, well I don't know 
But when I get there, then maybe I'll know

Oh the best laid plans often go awry
All the ones I had well, they just passed me by

So where I'm going I don't know
but when I get there that's when I'll know

Let the push of the wind lead me down the path
Keep my boat so it's pointing downstream
Give me patience and hope and an open mind
To see life is but a dream