Sunday, November 13, 2011

21 mos

Today, little Acie punk is 21 mos old. Happy 21 month birthday to my spicy little sacuepot and his litter mates...Ella, Libby, Blue and Lily, the little flower.

For his 21 month birthday, little punky boy gave his mom 5-6 contacts this weekend in his standard runs. Before this weekend, he had been COMPLETELY blowing me off, leaping off the contacts with reckless disregard for his command to stop. He has to wear the collar of shame, as gramma calls it...meaning, he now wears a collar during agility so that when he disobeys his "spot" command, he gets the walk of shame off the course held by the collar of shame. This weekend was our first trial with the collar on and all in all, it went pretty well. We are still day, we will get it.

His sister was her usual flawless self. She got a little caught up in the chute and by the time I figured it out, I was pulling her off a jump because she was a little further behind that I expected.

Tomorrow, I will get up and go to work to pay for dog biscuits and agility...and the dogs will stay home and recover...REALLY???

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Broken Glass Ceiling

For the past 2 days, I was very fotunate to attend a "Women In Leadership" conference sponsored by my employer. Planned by 2 females on our executive council (ie, the executive council reports directly to the CEO of the organization), no expense was spared and no detail over looked. Case in point - they had a gift for us at the end of the conference - it was a Vera Bradley cosmetic bag, luggage tag and coin purse. As I said, no detail was overlooked - Vera Bradley was chosen because it was a company owned by a woman in our Indiana service territory.

We were fortunate to have a number of terrific speakers on hand - including the attorney general of Illinois Lisa Madigan ( Connie Lindsey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Norther Trust and the current President of the Girl Scouts of America ( and the former chief of staff for the first Lady Michelle Obama. We also heard from the Dean of the School of Business at Notre Dame, Dr. Carolyn Woo, a member of our Board of Directors.

All of these women are amazing women in their own right - passionate about what they do and believe in giving of themselves to help create more opportunities for women. In my professional career, I have been fortunate to have never had to wonder if I would be held back because I was a woman - I have always felt that if I worked hard and did the right things, that those opportunities would be there for me. To date, this has been the case. But there are a lot of tough situations for women in the workplace - how their co workers perceive them (male and female) achieving balance personally and professionally and taking risks were among the topoics we spoke about.

We also had the gift of hearing from our chairman of the board, as well as our CEO. Our CEO is an awesome leader. He very personable (I know him on a first name basis), very humble and has displayed the ability to make some diffucult decisions in the best interest of the company. I feel very fotunate to not only have a job, but to be working for a company with terrific leadership.

What I took most away from the conference was that occassionally you have to take risk to get potential reward and that finding where your yin meets your yang is key. Dr Woo spoke of leadership in three words - self, others heart. In a nutshell, to be an effective leader, you have to care and nurture yourself, have the capacity to care and nurture others and do everything with passion in your heart - whatever it is. Don't feel guilty for setting limits and enforcing those limits.

All in all, it was a great two days. Last night, a group of us gathered to go out and ended up at a dueling piano bar....transportation for the evening was a Hummer Limo...cost was negotiated by one of our Supply Chain people (who negotiates contracts on a daily basis) So 10 of us rode around in a white Hummer limo that probably could have fit 10 more of us! Just for clarification...this bill was footed by the 10 of us. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another little black dog.... play agility with!

Last night my first night with my new agility charge, an over the top, bursting with excitement black lab named Tequila. Unfortunately, Tequila's mom, my friend Suzi, had a horrible accident a few weeks ago on the agility course. While planting for a turn to change directions, she snapped her heel bone and tore her achilles tendon away from the bone. Apparently, this is not an unheard of injury, that is seen in tennis players who stop and pivot and move forward with great force.

Suzi had surgery 2 weeks ago and will be non weight bearing for another 6-8 weeks. Full recovery time 6-8 months. In the interim, I have agreed to work with T on the agility course and run her in some trials. Last night was our first night working together and it went very well. Many people would find Tequila to be too much for them - she is a lot of dog, but she is a lab who is just excited to be there. She is very well behaved on the course and stayed with me quite fact, our instructor told me to "demand" more of her.

My own two dogs did very well last night also...poor Chelsie still can't get her handler to get her into  the correct end of a U shaped tunnel (where they can see entrances to both ends and I have to send her in the correct end) but she still comes over and jumps on me and gives me kisses after...I hug her, tell her I am sorry and get out the bounty - which, lets face it, that is really all she cares about.

My next trial is this upcoming weekend and first one with T will be the weekend after Thanksgiving. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Life is Good in the New Hood....

Hello readers! It has been awhile since my last here goes.

We have been in the new house for 2 mos now. It is awesome...I am loving it. Totally worth the stress of moving. I had been looking at new cribs for awhile..wasn't too serious about it, just kind of kept my eye on what was out there and all this fell right into the place. It is perfect in every way...the increase in square footage is in all the areas I live in - plus, I now have first floor laundry. I went from 1200 square feet to 1900 square feet - key is that the 1900 square feet is extremely functional. Some of my favorite things about the new place....

Bigger master bedroom
Bigger master bath - with huge walk in closet (ALL MINE) and linen closet
Bigger, open kitchen with countertop bar
Dining room (which I did not have at the other house)
Bigger living room
Master bedroom not off main living area
Upstairs office
Oversized garage
Smaller front yard, flatter back yard

The pooches are loving it as well...we had virtually no transition issues to the new house. This was not the case when Chelsie and I moved into Meadowhurst. Acie has even come out of his crate - he has been out for a month now and no issues.

All in all, it was a great move. I also started a new position the week after I moved, so life around here has been a little stressful. I do like my new job and am learning a lot, but my brains are scrambled at the end of every day.

I promise to post some pictures soon and to deal with the new template...but for now, I leave you with this recent photo of the little punk.