Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just a Quickie

Wow, was it ever windy yesterday! I had lawn chairs, dog dishes and door mats flying all over the place, and the motorhome was rockin' and rollin'. I think I heard the winds got to around 60 miles per hour somewhere around here. Talk about a bad hair day. Good thing I didn't wear a skirt to work.

This is a just a quick post to provide links to the last two Examiner articles I published, in case you missed them:



Work has been keeping me very busy, but tomorrow is my last day working in the office for awhile. I'll be telecommuting for a bit. Yippee!

Rylie's Notes:


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Las Vegas

Boy, the time sure flies when you're a working stiff. I can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by. Before you know it, I'll be leaving for the Bay Area. Amy and I have been having some fun on the weekends, seeing the Vegas sights. Last weekend we had dinner at The Peppermill, which has been around for ages. Be warned, the portions are enormous! After dinner we went to the Fireside Lounge, which is part of the same establishment, and wow, what a romantic place. We didn't realize until the cocktail waitress told us, but we were sitting at the table that Sharon Stone and Robert De Niro sat at in the movie Casino.

From there we drove to Fremont Street for some vintage Vegas. I saw the Fremont Street Experience for the first time, and it's really something! They have free music on several stages, and that night Lady Antebellum was performing, because they were in town for the Country Music Awards. Unfortunately, there were about 20,000 people there, and we couldn't even get close to the stage. Luckily, they have this enormous, canopy screen that stretches the length of five football fields, and we could watch the band on the screen. You really should see that if you go to Vegas. I'm including the link to the article I wrote about it on Examiner.com, in case you want to see some photos:


We also have spent a little time at the Sterling Club, a private club for people living in the condo development where Amy is staying. It's quite the posh place, and they also have bands playing quite often.
Amy at the Sterling Club

I'll update you on the happenings this weekend in my next post.

Rylie's Notes:

Well time isn't flying by for me. I wait all day in this rat trap for The Staff to come home, and then what does she do as soon as she gets me walked and fed? She gets on the computer, instead of paying attention to me. I tell ya, I get no respect.

I did see something interesting today, however. The Staff and I were out for our usual morning walk when we passed a Class A motorhome towing a large trailer. Next to it, we saw a huge, potbelly pig. The pig's staff was giving it some water and letting it walk around the campsite before getting it back up the ramp and into the trailer. I hope they don't keep that poor pig in that trailer very long. I imagine it gets hot in there. Anyway, that's something you don't normally see in an RV park.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Examiner.com Page

I forgot to mention in my blog post yesterday that my Examiner.com column has moved from the Ft. Myers edition to the coveted National edition. I won't be on the front page all of the time like I was in the Ft. Myers edition and it's a bit harder to find my articles, so I'm providing the link to my new page:


If you don't have the link, you can just go to Examiner.com, click on the Select City button at the top, and then click on the link on the right for the U.S. National edition. Or you can search on my name in the search box.

I'm also posting the link to the article I published yesterday:


Please feel free to pass on this info to anyone that you think might be interested.

Rylie's Notes:

I'm thinking of starting my own column. I could write a series of articles on training as a Staff Training Examiner.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My New Schedule

Now that I have started my new job, I'm adjusting to a new schedule.

5:45 - 6:00 a.m. - The alarm goes off (yuck!), and I try to come to terms with the fact that I have to get up. Rylie comes up for his morning cuddle

6:00 - 6:15 - I get out of bed, brush my teeth, get dressed and get Rylie leashed up

6:15 - 7:00 - We walk, Rylie tries to mark as much territory as he can, and I try to get him to run as much as possible, so that I can get my heart rate up for heart health, physical fitness, and general well-being. This is a challenge, since he lags sometimes.

7:00 - 7:45 - I feed Rylie breakfast, then take a shower and get ready for work. Sometimes I check my email, and I have one eye on the Today show while I'm getting ready

7:45 - 4:30 - Give Rylie a treat, drive to work, and spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how to create training materials for a case management system that hasn't been fully developed yet. But hey, that's why they pay me the big bucks.

4:30 - 4:45 - drive home

4:45 - 5:10 - greet Rylie,and he is so happy to see me that he runs to get one of his toys from the toy basket, jumps on the bed, and chews on his toy while I pet him, scratch his ears, and ask him how his day was. I leash him up, and go for a walk

5:10 - whenever - get Rylie's dinner and mine, check email, write articles, do chores, and relax. When Rylie starts complaining, talk to him, pet him, and brush him. Go back to email, articles and chores.

10:00 - my bedtime. Rylie has been sleeping for hours

It's tough getting used to a regular work schedule and working in an office again. I've been spoiled for almost four years now. But I'm really happy to have this job. The people that I work with are really nice, it's an interesting project, plus I have the added bonus of working with Amy. Soon I will be working from home, so that will make the schedule easier. The best part is, I get weekends off! It has been a long time since I could take a weekend off without feeling guilty that I was missing out on my best sales days. I'm loving it!

Rylie's Notes:

My new schedule:

5:45 - 6:00 - Try to wake up The Staff so that I can have my walk. If I don't give her a morning cuddle, she won't get out of bed.

6:00 - 6:15 - Hurry The Staff so that she will get dressed and get out the door

6:15 - 7:00 - Do my part to water all vertical objects in my territory. Try to get The Staff to run as much as possible so that we can return home and I can have breakfast. This is a challenge, since she lags sometimes.

7:00 - 7:45 - Remind The Staff loudly that it is time for breakfast. If she gets caught on the computer, remind her that it is time for her to get ready and go to work, so that I can have my treat. Wait impatiently for my treat.

7:45 - 4:45 - The Staff gives me a treat, which I eat on the bed while she leaves. The rest of my day is spent perfecting my napping technique in various locations: The Staff's bed, on the floor next to The Staff's bed, my bed, under the table, and on the couch. I intersperse this napping refinement with my lookout duties. I watch for squirrels, cats, birds, and dogs walking by with their staff. This is done from several locations: The Staff's bed, the back of the couch, and my bed in the front seat.

5:00 - 5:10 - I greet The Staff warmly with much tail wagging and kisses. I grab one of my toys and chew on it to show her how hungry I am. I suffer through her chatter until I can get her out the door for a short walk, then back home quickly for my dinner.

5:10 - whenever - I eat my dinner, and watch The Staff prepare hers, hoping for spills and drops. If she stays on the computer too long, I remind her to get off. The best part is, Friday night. Friday is bully stick day!

My work is done, and I go to bed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Road Trip, Continued

The next stop of my cross-country road trip was New Orleans. I stayed at the Jude Travel park where I stayed with some of my fellow Baja Babes back in October. This was not a sight-seeing visit and I won't go into great detail about New Orleans, since I posted about that wonderful city back in October. Suffice it to say that I am enamored with the food, music, architecture, art, and people of this city. This was just a quick stop, because I was on a mission. I wanted to tour plantation country in Southern Louisiana, so I was headed to the River Road area.

It was a short trip -- only 50-some miles -- to the campground where I was staying. It was actually located on a plantation on River Road in the town of Convent, called Poche Plantation. I thought this was a great place to stay if you are visiting the plantations, since there are many close by. It also has a lot of stately shade trees and a pretty swimming pool too.

I toured Houmas House and Laura Plantation, two very different kinds of plantations. The Laura Plantation is definitely the more interesting tour, with a lot of facts and history about the family and the times. Laura is a Creole plantation, and very different from the posh elegance of Houmas House. There are a couple of restaurants at Houmas, so you can dine overlooking the gorgeous gardens there.

Again, I have written Examiner articles about all of this with slide shows, so I'm posting the links in case you missed them and want to see the photos.



I thought it interesting that the Houmas House tour did not mention anything about slavery, nor did they have any slave quarters on the grounds. The Laura Plantation tour did not sweep the issue under the rug, but takes an honest look at the horrors of slavery and even how some family members viewed it. There are many other plantations in that area and I would have liked to tour more of them, but I felt like these two tours gave me a pretty good sampling, and I drove by others.

It was interesting to learn how they built their homes and even planted trees to take advantage of the breezes off the Mississippi River. Now you can't even see the river because of the levee that was built in the 1920's. It's probably just as well. The plantation owners might be horrified if they saw the river today. It is jam-packed with ugly factories.

Rylie's Notes:

So what do I do while The Staff is traipsing around the countryside touring plantations? I sit on the back of the couch, looking out the window. The squirrels and the birds tease me by parading back and forth outside my window, chuckling because they know I can do nothing. Cute little shitzus, Westies, and terriers stroll by, but I am unable to greet them. The only good thing about The Staff leaving is that I get a treat. For that reason, I try to hurry her out the door as quickly as possible. If she is lagging on getting into the shower, I remind her to get going. It usually works.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

St. Augustine and Lake Seminole

Okay, so St. Augustine was a little out of the way, but I couldn't go as far east as I did in Florida and not see the Atlantic Ocean. Plus I wanted to see St. Augustine, since it's the oldest city in the country. It reminded me of a European city with all of its history, and the narrow, cobblestone streets. I loved this little town! They have a neat pedestrian mall, and there are some beautiful historic buildings. I wrote a two-part article about St. Augustine for Examiner.com and included slide shows at the bottom of both articles, so I'm not going to re-post the photos here. I'll provide the links to the articles, in case you would like to see them:



They have a state park called Anastasia State Park and I would have loved to camp there, but the campground was full. It's tough to get into the Florida state park campgrounds, because they take reservations eleven months in advance and are very popular, especially because the private campgrounds can be so expensive. I called several private campgrounds in St. Augustine, but they wanted $50-$70 per night. I did find one for $30 per night, so I stayed there, and I thought it was pretty nice. It's called Indian Forest Campground, and it's only about four miles or so from the Old Town area. It's also in a wooded area with a lot of large shade trees. By the way, Flagler College is a gorgeous campus, and they do tours of some of the rooms. It used to be a hotel. Of course I had to climb to the top of the St. Augustine lighthouse, which is also on Anastasia Island, right next to the state park. If you're in the area, I recommend stopping in St. Augustine. There is plenty to see and photograph.

The second night of my cross-country journey I stayed on Lake Seminole, just north of Chattahoochee, Florida, but actually in the state of Georgia. I tried to get into Three Rivers State Park in Sneads, because they told me that morning there were several first come, first served campsites available, but they were full by the time I got there. They told me about the Corps of Engineers campground back up the road a few miles, and I was able to get a site there. It actually was a nicer campground, in my opinion, and still only $20 per night. I had a nice view of the lake from my campsite. I did an article on that too, so if you want to see the few photos that I took, check out the slide show at the end of the article:


I saw a bald eagle sailing overhead when Rylie and I were having our morning trot at this campground. Apparently, there were also bald eagles in the Punta Gorda/Cape Coral area where I was staying and working, but the only one I saw was lying dead next to the road. I'm not counting the pair that were residents at the Peace River Wildlife Center in Punta Gorda, where they try to rehabilitate wildlife and release it, unless the animals are too injured. I did see a lot of osprey and many other large birds while I was working and sight-seeing, including spoonbills, great blue herons, sandhill cranes and egrets. Southern Florida is great territory for bird-lovers.

Rylie's Notes:

The Staff sure has been pounding the highway lately. While she is driving, I spend the time in my little den beneath the passenger seat. She put down one of those little furry blankets to make it all comfy for me. Of course, I can create my own furry blanket in a matter of days with the hair that I shed. Every time she stops, I come out to see if we have arrived at our destination for the day. If we have, I wait impatiently while she hooks everything up, and then I start whining to get outside and collect some new smells. It's a lot of work marking territory all across the country, but I'm up for the task.