I was trying to read news on my laptop while sitting on the couch just now and the tiny Australian Shepherd (newest addition to our family) decided she absolutely needed to right this moment sit on my lap despite that the laptop impeding her mission. I managed to push her off of me onto the couch between me and the pitbull (where she is now happily mauling a toy squirrel). Not a second later I wondered "why is my cursor going crazy on the screen? I'm not touching anything?" when I realized it was an ant running across my screen. I tried to flick it off but it fell down into the crack in the seam where the base and screen meet on my laptop so I tried shaking it out (without giving my laptop shaken baby syndrome in the process). Sigh. I haven't had a long-haired dog in years so I forgot how many things cling to them. The other morning I was brushing her off after she came in from crawling around under the back deck and I found a slug clinging to her belly hair. She has now earned her very first nickname: Slugbelly. My daughter thinks that would be a good band name. Especially because with Slug Terra and Epic it appears gastropods are the next big thing. I remember being at a writer's conference years ago and an agent saying for children's books hamsters were the next big thing. I wonder if last year she was telling children's books writers that gastropods were the next big thing?
In other random news my daughter woke me up this morning from a dream that I went to Costco to renew my membership but the staff was so rude I decided not to. But I found a baby bag full of bottles and sippy cups and prescription medicine and when I went to return it to the lost and found I ran into all these hassles and they ended up arresting me saying I'd stolen the bag. They put me in Costco's Morgue (???) to hold me until the police came and I was freaking out about how cold it was and that they wheeled in a bunch of dead bodies with me. As soon as they closed the doors the cast from the original Star Trek all sat up on their gurneys and Spock said, "Ok, they're gone, we need to beam back up to the ship before they come back," then Frankenstein sat up from his gurney and said, "Please take me with you!" That's right when my daughter woke me up. I imagine that dream meant absolutely nothing at all.
My mid-life crisis career change seems to be going well so far. I'm signed up for a continuing ed. class next week in Hot Stone Massage which will cover eight of my required twenty-four hours. I'm doing a six hour online course to cover the professional roles and ethics portion of my continuing ed. requirement and four hour online course in AIDS awareness and prevention. So, I just need one more one day course and I'll have my required hours and then just need to take the licensing test again. So, by June I'll hopefully have my people license and that's when I had planned to start my equine massage course if all goes well. So, I'm actually right on track. For humans I'm thinking I will expand my focus from sports and repetitive use injury massage to support for living with autoimmune diseases. Which is why I chose hot stone massage. I know for RA heat is really helpful - which is weird because in all other conditions involving inflammation heat is contraindicated. I think it may have something to do with increased blood flow but I'm not sure and it's something I want to do a little more studying on and see if anyone has found out why that is. The Chinese medicine doctors would have an explanation that has to do with energy and heat/cold affecting our energy flows but I don't know anything about that stuff.
On Saturday I went to help with pony classes at a local riding school that focuses primarily on young children. It is the only program I know of that takes kids as young as preschool. I really enjoyed it and I need to talk to the director today and see if she'd like to have me help out and be an assistant teacher with the plan of eventually becoming a main teacher. I can't think of a better compliment to an equine massage therapy career than teaching at pony camp! I'm just worried about whether or not they want me to help because it's totally different than anything I've ever done with horses. It was more like when I'd babysit my daughter's preschool friends and a couple times substitute for her teacher at the in-home daycare if she had to go to a mid-day doctor appointment. It's 180 degrees different than my riding lessons or even my daughter's riding lessons because especially at camp many of the kids have never been around horses and even the kids my daughter's age have far less experience than she has. My daughter's riding lessons were a little funner than an adults but still very serious because Trainer K. is a "coach" and coaches people who are serious about their riding in that they are going to be out practicing between lessons and really focusing on what they're doing more than just having fun and playing. There's nothing wrong with that - and there's nothing wrong with it just being fun and learning something in the process - it's just too different worlds. Trainer K. is more of a coach for if kids want to show one day and this is more of a chance to be with horses in a fun, safe environment and some of the kids will move on to keep riding and some won't. I could already tell the kids who really wanted to learn to ride and the kids who were just there to hug the pretty ponies but didn't want to actually learn anything else. And it was a learning curve to realize the latter is just fine - as long as we keep them safe and give them the opportunity to learn if they accept it, otherwise they're just there for a pony ride.
Most of the kids I talked to were from downtown Seattle neighborhoods so I had to really roll back my way of relating to them to not using horse phrases they didn't know and really keeping an eye on them to make sure they're safe. Luckily, they have the cutest group of teenage volunteers who I just loved! Before I left one of the teens came up to me and said "I saved your water bottle. The others were going to cover it with colored duct tape," (if any of them leave their water bottles unattended the others massacre them) to which I couldn't help but saying, "They were going to duct tape *my* water bottle? Aaaaaah! That's so sweet!" If I have to explain that you wouldn't get it anyway :)