One Month here at Dancing Pines…

What’s that badge to the left…. OH! Yep, I graduated from Bloom Institute of Technology boot camp for Data Science yesterday! I’ve been in this program for 11 months, and it’s been quite a ride. The folks there have been very accommodating and helpful, and I have learned so much about ML/NLP. Now the job hunt is on! No, I will not be quitting my position at Eyeth Studios; I will continue to be Jane’s assistant and take care of accounting/payroll, onboarding/drafting agreements and some web work here and there. My goal is to get a position where I will be able to work on NLP for ASL Recognition. Currently, I’ve enrolled in a Kaggle competition for ASL Fingerspelling recognition, and got a notebook started on this project.

So, I’ve been living here at Dancing Pines for a month now. The landlord is very friendly and has left behind a lot of things that have helped me get settled here, including this big awesome weedwhacker with shoulder straps – granted, a lawnmower would be better for me, and easier/quicker to cut the yard… but a weedwhacker will do – even tho it takes a lot of time and I suffer a lot of flying rocks to the legs! I had to find out the hard way that this place has a SHIT TON of foxtails… Harley munched on them not once… not twice… Thrice? Nay, this morning was the fourth time!!! (and I thought I had cut them all down… seems there’s some more that I missed) I’ve become rather proficient at finding the foxtails in his mouth (usually embedded in his gum next to his teeth) and plucking them out with tweeters… This is stressful! I’ve gotta wait til later tonight when it cools off before I can get to yardwork – it’s too hot outside right now. Also, stinging nettles are all over the place as well as wild mustard weeds, which can be toxic for dogs. Man oh man… I’m gonna be buying a lot more weed killer and spread it all over the 1.88 acres here! This gonna cost me a pretty penny in the long run, but my dogs’ health and safety are #1. Hopefully I’ll have the entire yard treated by the end of this month, and I can start putting down drought resistant grass seeds near the house. I’m gonna find some clovers and native groundcover for the rest of the yard. Definitely need to mulch around the pine trees… Oh yeah, pine sap sucks! Sticky mess on my dogs’ fur which naturally transfers to me via direct contact or my bed.

I’ve been caring for the fruit orchard, which is a lot of work, but oh my the strawberries….!!! Fresh and delish! I can’t wait til late summer when the blackberries are ready, as well as apples and peaches! I’m not sure but I think the elderberry bushes will be fruiting this year as well. Cherry tree and grapes will take some more time to fruit. I had hoped to plant some veggies, but I think it might be too late for that. Definitely will be planting root veggies this summer, though! Ginger, potatoes, yams oh my. Canning, jamming, making flavored simple syrups, fermenting – all in my near future!

Some recent pics I took:

Oh yeah – update on Harley’s acceptance of Capt’n: THIS HAS BEEN AMAZING! He has been more accepting of her, faster, than he was of Marley when she was a wee’un pup. I graduated him to the soft muzzle after moving here, and have not returned to the hard rubber cage muzzle. About 2 weeks ago I decided to give him EXTREMELY HIGHLY SUPERVISED unmuzzled time with Capt’n, and all went well… day after day, little bit longer by little bit more longer… Earlier this week, Capt’n jumped on the bed where Harley was laying down, and started rough housing – I ran over to break this up but saw Harley’s tail wagging and he was panting happily… Stuck close by them for that play session.

Muzzle went back on shortly after. Next day, I decided to give him a few hours muzzle free… which turned out to be muzzle-free time since then! I’ve only muzzled him twice when I left home to run to town, but right now… I think I might stop muzzling him. He LOVES playing with Capt’n, and I have noticed that she – like Mama Marley – recognizes Harley is a tripawd and plays just a wee bit more gently with him than others. Marley would body tackle and even flip her siblings over… Capt’n does that to Mama Marley, as well! Neither of them will body slam him, but he will run, drop and flip on his back and play-attack both Marley and Capt’n from the ground. They’re hilarious! I’m so happy and relieved that I can trust Harley to accept and be friendly with both Marley and Capt’n. I’ve read about same sex aggression – Harley definitely doesn’t like male dogs. He growled and grr-borked at all the other male puppies… but not Capt’n. I know Akita’s can be quite a handful, and females tend to be more aggressive against other females, but I doubt this will happen with Marley and Capt’n. Marley spent a lot of time with Mama Fluff and her sisters, so I’m confident I won’t have aggressive females. (I knocked on my wooden desk, just in case…)

As for me? I’m mostly done unpacking; I have 6 boxes left in storage (3 or 4 are full of books) and will be closing my storage unit soon. I still need a LOT more furniture, especially bookshelves, kitchen cabinets, closet, and and and… Well, I’m gonna build a coffee/tea rack out of granadillo wood, and a dish/glasses rack out of cedar wood. I have all the materials here, ready to build – just need to set aside some time to finish setting up my woodshop in the other building. (Yea, other building… there’s 2 2-room buildings on this property – my main residence has a full bathroom and laundry, the other building has just a toliet – very barren and needs interior to be finished) So much to do, so little time and only one of me…

One thing left to do tho, that has been a bit of a headache – fix my bus flat tire and get it running so I can drive it home and not have to worry about Richie doing damage to it. I know for a fact he ripped off the small 15-watt solar panel I had plugged into a PWM that was keeping the bus battery fully charged. I suspect he caused the flat tire, because the day I moved here (June 1), I checked the bus and everything was fine – no flat, no damages, solar panel was on the front of the bus… June 4, I return with my friend and his son, only to see the solar panel is missing, and there’s a flat tire… This guy has been texting me a lot of nasty stuff and threatening me, which I countered and I believe he is now wary of me. I don’t suffer fools who try to make me lie, especially to cover up said fool’s drinking issue from his wife. Fortunately, I took lots of screenshots of our conversations where he became nasty towards me, or where he yelled at me to not mention that he was drunk and driving drunk to his wife, or this one time where he demanded I lie to a bunch of people about his leasing his farm to somebody else – he wants me to claim that those people work for him… probably because it’s illegal to lease out your license. Hmm. Yeah, once I get my bus home, I’ll feel so much better. It’s HELLA EXPENSIVE to tow a bus, especially if said bus is in a very remote area, and a buncha tow guys have refused to come out to my bus. I learned from a local tire shop it’s dangerous for novices to remove the tire I have due to the design of the rim… UGH! At least I was able to afford this $400 air compressor that can handle filling the 120PSI bus tire. Let’s hope I can get the battery fully charged without needing a mechanic to come and assist!

Final thing: I’ve been tracking the height and weight of all my dogs. I measure their height at front shoulders; I weight myself first, then weight myself and one of the dogs and subtract my weight afterwards. Here are the stats:

Harley – 20.5″ tall, 63lbs, 9.5 years old
Marley – 26″ tall, 84lbs, 1.75 years old
Capt’n – 20″ tall, 49lbs, 21 weeks old – estimated adult weight at 1 year old is 122lbs.

Alright, that pretty much covers everything… Peace, love, and chicken grease!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *