10.16.2014

quicksand

Sometime in late July they had to dig up, remove, and replace the sewage plumbing in my spot. The RV park was built in the 1950's and tree roots had finally pinched the pipes. There were a few blockages that were snaked leading up to the final discovery. The snake would not push thru and there was mud on the tip when it was pulled back.

This is what caused an entirely different problem for me almost two months later. At the time I had moved for a few days while it was repaired. In mid to late August monsoon season hit and there was some settling of the earth which was expected. It wasn't until the last storm of the season hit three weeks ago that I almost lost my trailer to the earth. Unfortunately I only had time to shoot the one photo below before I went into crisis mode and had to save my trailer.


It was my weekend off and had been pouring rain nonstop for a day and a half. Technically it was my Sunday. I was left in the morning to run my usual weekend errands and returned around lunch. I made a nice bowl of clam chowder and settled in to watch a few episodes of Orange is the New Black. I think about four or five hours had passed when I finally stood up and noticed that the trailer seemed to be leaning towards the driver side. I went outside to check and saw that my leveler wasn't visible and my tire had sank. I live between the park managers and consulted them for advice. We were surprised that it had sank at all given all the storms we've had in between thus far and all agreed that it wouldn't sink any more. A minute after I climbed back in I felt the trailer shift downward on that side again. When I jumped out to look, the bottom half of my tire wasn't visible. Panic mode kicked in and I scrambled to unhook and move it as fast as I could. When I did, I was able to move it forward about a tire length and had only created a canal. The upside to that is that my sewage pipes weren't snapped off, with the downside being that I was almost flat on the ground on that side. I managed to back up enough to slip a short board with some rocks underneath and climb back onto firmer land. I moved temporarily to another spot for a few days while they fixed it. In addition to more gravel a lot of road base was applied to the trench which makes the earth set more like concrete. I'm back in my old spot again and have been for a few weeks now. 

It's good to be terra firma again!

10.13.2014

my hill

It's a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans! - Frank Drebin

Since starting anew, I've been crawling thru my journey into the world of animal welfare.  Despite my being a noob (again), past experience has helped to minimize rookie mistakes. It's always taken me about three months to feel comfortable in any new job. Dogtown has been no exception despite it also being a new and different career than the one prior. There have been many challenges and subsequent successes along the way which confirmed that I'd made the right choices. This isn't to say that there haven't been any downsides.

I earn about a third of what I used to. This in of itself isn't bad in lieu of my starting out with a lack of debt. However the town I live in is a bit of a tourist trap which equates to slightly higher prices for your average goods. I get around that by my monthly trips to the Walmart an hour away. I know a lot of people are in favor of supporting mom'n'pop places over big box stores, but I say screw that and you too. People gotta make the most of what they've got and if mom'n'pop can't compete then so be it. There are a few local business' who don't out-price the locals which is where I spend my money instead. It's also harder to save, but I feel this is temporary since I started out entry level. As I work my way up the ladder here, my pay scale will follow accordingly.

One of the fringe benefits I've recently experienced is that some volunteers understand and appreciate how much we work versus how little we earn. They treat us to meals and/or gifts to help make life a little more pleasant. It's the personal interaction with them and the animals that makes the experience worthwhile.

Living in a small town versus a large city definitely reduces the convenience factor which is almost doubled when you couple it with it being in a Mormon state. The upside is that I'm not, nor have been in a very long while, into the nightlife. I'm happy with my TV shows, a good book, or some Xbox time indoors.

My trailer has buckled (if ever so slightly) under the strains of full time living. I've answered those calls and made reparations as/when needed. She's still holding tough while providing B and myself safe haven. We even managed to avoid potentially disastrous quicksand episode two weeks ago.

Looks like we've got more catching up to do than I'd thought. More to come!

10.01.2014

my my

... how time flies. It's been four months fifteen days since I arrived here with little more than my possessions and a (loose) plan to start a new life. In that time it took me 38 days to go from volunteer to employee at Best Friends, This is something I later learned is not as easy a thing to do as it was for me. As I wound my way through the hiring process I came to really learn how fortunate I was. The sanctuary receives approximately 7000+ applicants per year, and if you don't have any prior animal experience you're sorted out immediately. This explains why I never heard back from them when I applied last February. Turns out my idea of volunteering until I was hired or asked to leave the premises never to return again was a good one.

I've been learning a great deal about dog behavior, body language, and training techniques in my first three months here. The education has been informative if not humbling at the very least.

As far as things with my family. I don't expect them to ever make the effort to visit me. I mean my parents mainly since they never made the effort when I lived in Texas for four years. Sissy and the nephew did and I know they will come here when they can. I'm a little hurt by this because I wanted them to see me truly happy (for once) in my new life. In recognizing the reality of their never coming to see me I also came to the conclusion that they really don't care enough to begin with.