Sorry for being a stranger!

Hey everyone! I still exist and I really hope you haven’t forgotten about me! It’s been a busy few months and I’ll tell you all about it throughout the next few weeks. I’m going to start with something that I’m super proud of and excited to have completed.

 

 

I won NaNoWriMo 2014! That’s right, folks. I wrote a book! It’s a very rough first draft and I haven’t even named it yet, but there’s slightly over 50,000 words on paper (Scrivener) that’s done. The first draft is the hardest part, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Like I said, there’s no title yet, but here’s the short synopsis.

Katie would often loose herself in cheesy romance stories, but she never thought that one night at work would sweep her into a paranormal world of her own. The clock is ticking, and Katie has just inadvertently placed herself in the middle of a war with a race she didn’t know existed. Now she must discover who her absent parents were before she becomes collateral damage.

Nigel simply wanted to visit a friend after a small accident, and ended up witnessing his murder instead. It seems this war will find him no matter where he is. Now he needs to find the people responsible for his friend’s murder and find out why they appeared in this sleepy town. He must also unravel the secret behind the girl who keeps placing herself in harms way before the enemy kills her. She’s just a human, so why do they seem so interested in her past?

I’m very excited to get settled into a place where I can set up a little writing station that’s comfy and cozy so I can finish this book up and publish it. Being a transient is not very compatible with writing at this point. Luckily, I’ve decided to stay here in Missoula and become a permanent resident again. Now all I need to do is find a home and I’m set.

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Oh, The Places This Blind Dog Goes!

Today is National Dog Day and I’m taking this opportunity to showcase all the fantastic places my poor blind dog has gone in the last few months. Being blind hasn’t stopped her from enjoying hikes, national parks, and camping. I bought one of those doggie carrier backpack things a few months back so that she could come on all of my hikes with me and I wouldn’t have to hold her if she got tired or the terrain was rough. Yes, I’m one of those people now. She didn’t like it at first but once she wore herself out she decided it was the best thing ever!

Miya in her backpack.

Miya in her backpack.

Her first hike that involved the pack was huckleberry picking in Pattee Canyon. The path was nice and even with very few obstacles so she was able to walk all the way to our berry picking location. Once there I placed her in the pack since we were going off-trail and the bushes were about shin high. She wasn’t having that and completely wore herself out trampling all the bushes in sight, including the ones I was trying to pull berries off of.

She made it to the trail and that's as far as she goes.

She made it back to the trail and that’s as far as she went.

Next I met my mom for a quick weekend camping trip near Bighorn National Park. She was completely worn out by the end even though she spent most of the time either riding in the car or hanging out at the campsite. I was still able to get a good picture of her before she stumbled into the tent and crashed.

Cheese!

Cheese!

And scene.

And scene.

Finally, I took her to Morrell Falls by Seeley Lake. First of all, if you ever get the chance to visit Salmon Lake, do so. We simply drove by it on our way to the falls and it was absolutely stunning! I’m hoping I get the chance to spend time there before winter. Morrell Falls was not ideal for my blind dog as there were many tree roots sticking up and large rocks to step around. Miya spent 90% of the time in the backpack which she was fine with after stumbling along the path for the first quarter mile.

The noise didn't impress her in the least.

The noise didn’t impress her in the least.

This coming weekend I plan on hiking back up to the “M” on Mount Sentinel then continuing on to the summit and Miya will be tagging along the entire way, either by foot or by pack. It’s been three years since I adopted her and I love that she’s still willing to come with me on adventures even though she can’t see. Not only does she impress me but I’m usually stopped by at least three people asking about her and giving her loads of attention.

I hope all of you out there with pups of your own found some way to celebrate them today. Me? I bought mine a small fry for dinner.

The Story of Cat

I did a blog post a month or so ago with a story about the many trials and tribulations of my poor blind dog. I thought I would also let everyone get to know my old grumpy cat as well. She is actually not so grumpy in her old age, or at least not towards people. She seems to have a vendetta against the dog, though.

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My cat’s name is Kiki, or Kitty when she isn’t listening, or Cat when she’s in trouble. Not original, I know, but it was the only thing she would respond to so I went with it. I estimate that she is about 13 years old so I’ve had her for about 11 years now. She doesn’t have quite the fantastic story as the dog does. She’s in general good health, has had a stable-ish home (I’ve moved quite a bit over the years), and always has food and water (though heaven forbid she can see the bottom of the food bowl). Image

She loves draping, whether it’s on furniture or people. She drapes all four paws off the side and gets really flat along her back. It’s actually pretty impressive given her size. 

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She’s about 5 pounds larger than the dog. And she always looks angry in pictures. She’s honestly very friendly, I swear. I do seem to get the feeling on occasion that she’s simply humoring me until I feed her, though. As far as typical cat behavior goes, she seems to have missed the memo. She doesn’t care about window sills or boxes, she hates canned cat food, and is very picky about cat treats in general. She does, however, like canned dog food, paper on the floor, and the dog kennel if she thinks Miya was headed in there. Brat.

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She’s a goober but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. She handles traveling really well, although she doesn’t like the car as much as she did before I drove 60 miles in 65+ MPH wind gusts. I think it may have traumatized her a little. Now I get the song of her people screamed at me off and on throughout the trip. Lucky me. I guess it could be worse.

I try not to think about how both animals are up there in age, but they are. Until then I figure I’ll spoil them both. I was told that the cat had gained a pound since her visit to the vet last year and was told to put her on a diet consisting of mainly canned cat food. Well, she doesn’t eat canned cat food. Plus, her food intake is regulated which means she’s most likely stealing dog food when I’m not home. Honestly, though, she’s old and in good health. I’m going to let her steal the food and be fat if she wants to.