Losing My Mind

I spent my career in the tech industry and it was chaotic and difficult. Technology changes rapidly, there are large development projects to manage quickly, etc. I have been enjoying a retirement without all that drama.

Now, we are in the process of purchasing a house in St. Augustine Florida which brings all its stuff with it. I am trying to get the house listed and sold in Bremerton. Between those two things, its crazy. Meanwhile, I have two juvenile collies to try to make model canine citizens with mixed results.

Recently, I googled to get Stanley Steemer to come clean my floors. In that process, I think I clicked on a link that was not Stanley Steemer, started filling out the information, realized it was not the right link, and backed out. I then made an online schedule with Stanley Steemer. I got a text about when I wanted to schedule a cleaning and I said I already had one at a specific time. The texter said something like I’m sorry. On the day of the scheduled cleaning, I got a text from Stanley Steemer they were on their way. About a half our later, I got a call from another company that said they were on their way. What? How did I not miss that? I got it so only one company showed up. Stanley Steemer did an amazing job, wow.

I started Raven in pre-agility training recently and he did well. I was happy to see his improvement over our last training effort a couple months ago. Clover was scheduled for nosework but the instructor got sick so we missed this weeks class. I worked with both dogs on the agility training and Raven is so focused on food he can’t stop looking at my hand. He does well, but I have to work on this. Clover did not go to pre-agility training and when I took her out to try what I learned with her, she aced everything. She is focused on the challenge and praise. They each have their strengths and it will be fun to work with each of them.

I let the krakens out to go to the car with me so we could go to a local park to walk. They have been wonderful about coming to the car and getting in. Not today. They took off to explore the neighborhood. Being herding dogs, I was pretty certain they would return but was concerned they would venture to a nearby busy road and get hit by a car. While I was trying to decide whether to get in the car to look for them or wait in the driveway for them to come back, I saw them head down the driveway. I caught up with them in the backyard and told them to come and did so with great enthusiasm. They had the most amazing adventure. No walk in the park for them.

Life would be easier if I was not such a restless soul that had to keep moving all the time. I do not know why I am that way. It makes for amazing life experiences but it is sometimes exhausting. I’m hoping to narrow my focus when I get to Florida so I do not try to continue to do more than makes for a good life. Regis will probably chuckle at this because he has spent his life asking me why I can’t sit back with a glass of iced tea and just enjoy.

I would argue that I usually do enjoy and I have enjoyed all the many experiences I have been blessed to have in life. Nevertheless, I exhaust myself. Now that I am no longer a “young spring chicken”, I think I have to slow down my insanity. I would not have changed any choices I have made for anything. I have had a great life with great experiences and met wonderful people along the way and that’s what it is all about.

I recently went to a reception where someone took a photo of my and our son, Jason. I do not have many pictures of the two of us, so this was special.

Linda and her son Jason.

Worst Dog

I hate to label a post worst dog, but I do not know how to make it sound better. Clover is a nut case. She’s a good nut case, but a nut case nevertheless. I recently sent Clover to Seattle for a couple nights stay with Jason and Dan while I kept Raven with me. Both dogs were quiet and lovely. Without each other, they are well-behaved dogs.

After getting Clover back, life became chaotic as usual. I do not walk the dogs together often because they are “bad” when they are together. I try it occasionally only to be reminded it’s not time yet.

I’ve been training Raven in pre-agility and Clover in nosework, but when I get home, I do both with each of them. Raven is not nimble on his feet, yet, so agility is a little tough for him. He loves nosework. Clover is nimble on her feet and loves a challenge, so working on agility at home is fine with her. I do not have an ideal training situation at home, but we are doing the best we can and the dogs love any training I will do with them. I particularly love watching them do nosework. I hide a scent and they have to find it and they are enthusiastic in doing so.

Clover continues to keep Raven from his food. Today, I brought the food bowl in by the computer so Raven could eat and kept Clover away. Here is the clip of Clover whining because Raven has access to food. I do not know why he adores her.

Our house in Bremerton is listed and when there is a showing I have to make the house clean and then leave with the dogs. Recently, I felt sorry for them not having enough activity and took them to a local dog park during a showing. I have had issues with dog parks and Clover has been attacked twice, so I did not do this lightly. Interestingly when we arrived, there was another collie and it turned out to be Raven’s and Clover’s sibling. Way cool except the dog had food issues. When the owner offered a treat to Clover, Ellie attacked her viscously and Clover fought back. We had to drag them apart. Yegads! If your dog has food issues why are you offering treats to other dogs in a dog park? This is the third time Clover has been attacked in a dog park which means its over, no more dog parks.

I recently saw Raven and Clover having a great time over something they were sharing in their mouth which turned out to be a cleaning rag. I set out to find something that would appeal to them without ruining my stuff. I found these little animal toys that are long with no stuffing and it worked perfectly.

I get a kick out of Clover. She is a crazy little girl until she crashes and then she sleeps with her feet up in the air. Regis asked if she was drinking too much wine.

One of our blog followers suggested the dogs feed off each other and I think she is spot on. Together, they can be obnoxious. Separately, not so bad. I think she is absolutely right. Now, I have to figure out how to deal with the pups together in spite of that.

We are settling on a house in Florida on January 31 in St. Augustine Shores. Regis has been bopping around in the boat between transient stays at slips and anchoring locally. He may have a permanent slip around April. He managed to get a 30 day stay at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina around the time of our settlement. His job is to handle the St. Augustine end and get the flooring replaced before we arrive.

In addition, we have our usual crazy stories about our life. When looking for a vehicle to tow behind our small RV, Regis landed on a Ford Maverick hybrid but it was not obtainable. We wound up with a Kia Soul that lived its useful life being towed behind the RV. But, with me moving back to Florida with Regis, it either had to be shipped or sold and I sold it. Regis looked at a Ford Maverick in Florida, not a hybrid, but was happy with it. I looked to see if I could find a Maverick nearby to make sure the dogs could fit in the back. No way was that possible in a regular Ford dealer. Mavericks cannot be had. I found a used one at CarMax in my favorite color in Puyallup. I had to leave the house for a showing, so I dragged the dogs down there with me to check it out. The CarMax folks expected me to want a test drive and I said I only needed to check the back to make sure the dogs would fit. I think they were ready to send the truck home with me. I poked my head in the back, said “it will do” and now can you send it to Florida. I do not think my customer rep knew what to say. They released my hold on the car and Regis got the Jacksonville CarMax to grab it and it is on its way to Florida. It’s beautiful. If I am successful in showing my obnoxious dogs in future dog trials, it will be perfect.

Dawn & Dusk Fort Matanzas anchorage

I have been snapping cell phone pictures of some sun rises and sun sets to share with Linda to help her work thru the Washington state rain and gloom.

I’m going to share them here as well.

Sun rise Ft. Matanzas. It was cold! 37F degrees(about 2C) note the fog just above the water.
Dusk Ft. Matanzas after a chilly day.
Dawn Ft. Matanzas

Dawn & Dusk Pine Island anchorage

I have been snapping cell phone pictures of some sun rises and sun sets to share with Linda to help her work thru the Washington state rain and gloom.

She said I should be posting more so here I am sharing the pictures.

Dawn over the GTM at Pine Island
Dawn over the GTM at Pine Island
Dusk at Pine Island. Very low light but wanted to catch the heron who walked about 300 feet from shore to get here. He fished all the way, very shallow water here.
Dusk at Pine Island.

Journey Take 2

Regis, rightfully, made some critical suggestions regarding my last post with a journey video. He suggested adding the places we visited and not looping the same song. In addition, I found some video from the trip in another place. Therefore, I have a new video of our journey with place names embedded, additional video, and no annoying loops of the same music.


Grab your favorite beverage and take a journey from Pensacola, Florida to St. Augustine, Florida.

For Dolphin Lovers

I put together video clips of our many dolphin encounters as we moved the boat from Pensacola, Florida to St. Augustine, Florida. By far, the dolphin encounters were my favorite part of the trip.

Boat update…

Its been several weeks since a boat post so here we go.

White pelicans south of pine island. We use to see these guys from our house on Rio del Notre.

I have been both busy and at times bored out of my mind. I continue to do boat work which consists of many small jobs. One of the things I did during the big projects was to do it “good enough” just to get it done. I have been going back to to these installs and making everything nice and neat. Not a big task but each is a bit time consuming. I have also been ticking off a bunch of small jobs, trimming doors to close smoothly, tightening door knobs, organizing the hanging lockers yet again, organizing the front berth(tool storage). All the while moving the boat from place to place.

I do not have a permanent home for the boat so I have been moving around. I split my time between two anchorages and marinas. One anchorage is Pine island about 10 miles north of ST. Augustine and the other is Fort Matanzas about 15 miles south of ST. Augustine. My current plan, now that I don’t need frequent access to land, is to spend 4-5 days out on anchor and then go to a marina for 1-2 days. At the marina I can get fresh water, go get groceries, do laundry and stop at my mailbox if needed.

Weather moving in at Fort Matanazs
Fort Matanazs

Why don’t I have a permanent boat home? Glad you asked. It seems, depending on who you talk to, that the number of boat slips in the area has been decreasing over the years coupled with the increase of people into the area. Add to that storm damaged docks which can take months to go thru insurance and there is just not enough docks for all the boats. I do have my name on the wait lists of my top three marinas, however one list is 150 boats long! I am now going down the list of second choices to get added. I may also need to looks farther from St. Augustine, not a great option.

Sun rise over the GTM at Pine Island

The Less Than Perfect Day

Raven and Clover

Lots of people have stories to tell about their less than perfect travels. Today is mine. I woke up early to take the motorhome and tow vehicle to Everett, Washington where we are consigning the motorhome and wanted to sell the tow vehicle at the nearby CarMax. I researched travel options and thought I could drive everything over and had two plans to get back once I was without a car. One: I could get an Uber to the nearest light rail. Take it to a nearby station for the Seattle ferry. Walk to the ferry. Take the ferry to Bremerton and get an Uber home once I arrived. Two: I could Uber to the Edmonds ferry to Kingston. Take the ferry to Kingston. Uber or take some buses back to near my house.

I made a strategic error. I chose to go to Kingston and catch an Uber with a Kitsap Transit backup. Unbeknownst to me, there were no Uber or Lyft options out of Kingston and the Kitsap Transit had “suspended” their buses to the area for that day. Uber was kind enough to tell me they could not accommodate. Lyft, argh, said they could send someone in 40 minutes, then 10 more minutes, then 10 more minutes, then they couldn’t. I gave up on Lyft after forty minutes and tried to get the bus information from the mobile app. My phone would not successfully download the PDF of the bus routes, so I could not determine when a bus would come. It was getting chilly in the rain, but I did not want to exit the bus stop in hopes of getting a ride closer to home. I was sure that my research told me the buses came regularly, but there was not a bus, Uber, or Lyft and I had two ten month old dogs at home that needed to get outside to relieve themselves.

A bus finally showed up and I chased it down and talked to the bus driver. He was not the bus for me. Nevertheless, he felt pity for me and took me to Poulsbo to transfer to a bus that would get me close to home. He regularly ran from the Casino to Kingston but was able to deposit me in Poulsbo. By then, Regis was able to text that the bus in Kingston and my bus to Bremerton were “suspended”. Fortunately, I found one Uber driver to pick me up in Poulsbo and take me home. I was so chilled, after letting the dogs out, I sat in a hot tub to warm up.

I hated myself for not realizing I would have been better off taking the light rail to the Seattle and then catch a ferry to Bremerton where I could likely get an Uber. If not, it’s only 4.5 miles to my house and I could walk it. I spent enough time sitting in the mist and cold in Kingston to have walked 4.5 miles.

I was later told that the thing to do was contact the Clearwater Casino to pick me up. They would do that. Once at the Casino, I could get a ride anywhere home.

Today, I had to leave the house while pictures were taken for listing. I took the dogs to Kingston in hopes of going to a restaurant that was dog friendly. I saw the sign while waiting in the rain the other day. I was able to take the dogs for a walk, but the restaurant was closed today. Bummer. I went back to Bremerton to a Mexican food place I had been considering for the past year. I picked up some tacos at the drive through and they were amazing, especially at $4.91. The dogs were very interested and I was able to provide them my scraps. This location is about 1.5 miles from my house and I will now be visiting regularly.

I had mentioned in prior posts how Clover manages to undo any bandages I apply to her leg. I thought I had her beat when I got bandages with a bitter taste. It did not have any effect on her. We may have moved past her issues with her leg where the IV was inserted, but Raven recently took to licking his leg incessantly. I took the remaining bitter tasting bandage and put it on his leg. Clover said “I got this” and proceeded to remove it.

Abnoxious Dogs

My first dog as an adult was a wonderful Bedlington Terrier named Tess. She was actually our sons dog. We trained her well and showed her in AKC shows and she acquired her championship title. At that point, we bred her and kept one of the puppies and named him Dusty. At first, Tess appeared to want him to leave with the other puppies when they found new homes, but eventually accepted that he was not going anywhere and began training him at the same time we were. Both dogs were wonderful and we took them camping, hiking, and traveling and they always remained well-behaved companions.


First Tess, then Dusty died and for a few months I thought I could not have another dog because I grieved so much. I eventually recovered enough to get my first collie, Copper. He was about three months old and I spent a lot of time training him. When he was about nine months old, I acquired a female collie, Tekoe. Copper spent as much time training her as we did. Regis and I took the two dogs to training sessions regularly and they were wonderful companions and we could take them anywhere. They easily achieved their Canine Good Citizen Awards.

Copper and Tekoe.

When Copper was around 7, I acquired Dart, my blue-merle sheltie. Copper and Tekoe trained him on good dog manners at home and I used clicker training to run agility with Dart. Dart earned his NADAC Novice Agility award and we had a great time. We traveled the country with him and he was a well-behaved, wonderful companion. Copper and later Tekoe died leaving me with Dart as my only dog for many years.

Dart, Copper and Tekoe. When my sister first saw this picture she asked how I got them to do this. I told her I told them to “sit”.

When Dart was twelve, I acquired two collie puppies, Clover and Raven the krakens. At this point, Dart was barely able to walk, so he was not able to train the collies with me. I have been struggling to train them and was nearly in tears over doing so shortly before leaving them with Dan and Jason when I left for a month to help Regis move the boat. Dan and Jason took the krakens on as a project and worked with them extensively. I could see the difference when I picked them up when I came back to Washington. I felt there was hope.


That hope was dashed to pieces yesterday. My local realtor, Heidi, came to visit to discuss selling our house in Bremerton. The dogs fell in love with her. We do not get many guests and they would not leave her alone. They were pretty good about not jumping until Clover decided jumping was okay as long as it was over the top of Raven.

While Heidi and I talked, I left the dogs out front so we could have some peace. They began to crash into and scratch the front door. They have never done this before. I was sure they were going to destroy it. I brought them inside and put them in their crates. They started howling and yowling and crashing against the sides. It was difficult for Heidi and I to talk above the noise. They have never done this before. I then put them out back and closed off the doggy door. I came upstairs to continue my conversation with Heidi and it felt like an earthquake. The dogs were throwing themselves against the doggy door to get in. The entire house was shaking. Heidi and I had discussed whether to keep the doggy door in place once the house was listed. I calmy suggested it might be a moot point since the dogs were about to break it down. I let them back in but they were never calm while Heidi was here.

Oh my goodness. This is not okay. I have both dogs signed up for more official training starting next week. When I get to Florida, I may bribe my friends to come over and be victims while I use their presence to try to train these unruly krakens. Their behavior is totally unacceptable and I will not become a hermit because they cannot behave themselves. My next call may be to Cesar Millan.