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All posts for the month February, 2018

Still working on that California post. I promise.

But before that, another project that Alex and I have started on. Our dog, Foxy, is (as I told you last time) getting old.  I want to take her more places and do more things with her, since her days with us are numbered. Her arthritis medication is damaging her kidneys. We could stop the damage if we took her off of the medicine, but then she’d be in pain, so we’ve decided to opt for quality over quantity.  Additionally, she’s getting a little dotty in her old age. Today we went for a walk and after we came home, when I went to leave the house for Alex’s and my outing to the Asian New Year Festival, she decided to go with us, despite not having her leash and walking harness. I had to grab her regular harness to stop her and redirect her into the house.

The Pearl Brewery

The Pearl, San Antonio, Texas, June 2017

So, I invested in a sling so that we can help her support her weight and, ever so slowly we are walking her down the Riverwalk from The Pearl (the old Peal Brewery along US 281 near downtown) heading towards downtown. Every two weeks, on Sunday, we’ll be starting out at the same parking lot, taking the same ramp down to the river, and going just a little farther south than we went two weeks earlier. The sling is great for her speed, but her endurance has declined significantly in the last few years. That’s to be expected; she’s the equivalent of a 96-year-old lady at this point. However, this also means that I don’t know if we’ll ever get her all the way downtown (if it turns out that we won’t be able to get her all the way downtown and back, our plan B is for us to go downtown on a Tuesday night when parking is free. But for now, we’ll try this. Today (I started this post on Saturday night, but it’s now Sunday morning) we’ll be going as far as the river across the street from the San Antonio Museum of Art (have I written up the museum? I can’t recall at this point) and then heading back to the car and coming home. We should, at this rate, be downtown by the end of May.

I started my next post on our trip to California and was suddenly all, “Crap. Should I do this chronologically or leave the latest update on our quest to reach the Griffith Observatory for the end of the post?” And I stopped there.

So instead of doing that, I’ll do this.*

My 16-year-old dog and 17-year-old cat are perking along, more or less. It’s expensive to keep animals this age going and that’s really eaten into my travel budget because my travel budget comes out of my allowance. I pay myself an allowance, and any money I have left in that budget at the end of the month used to go towards travel. Now half goes to vet bills and half goes to travel, which is nearly $1,000 that I’m short for my 2018 trip.

We’re going to end up doing the trip I outlined back in August driving into New Mexico for a couple of days, except even more scaled-back. We go to at least one branch of the National Park Service every year, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park is only about seven hours away by car. So that’s our first day in New Mexico. Our second day, we’ll visit White Sands National Monument and spend the night in Las Cruces. Then we’ll drive north up towards Taos. One of my friends has a hotel that she recommends up by Santa Fe, so we’ll probably stop there for the night. The Wild Earth Llama Adventures people recommend staying in Taos for a couple of days to get acclimated to the elevation before the camping trip. We don’t have the money for that, plus the camping trip would be $800+ for the two of us. I’m going to call the Wild Earth people and ask about their llama day trips. If they’re less strenuous and we could do it in a one-day Taos stop, I’ll shell out the $250 for us to do that. If not, we’ll just knock around Santa Fe and Taos for a day. Then our final day in New Mexico, I would like to drive into Colorado just to do it, because at this point, Colorado will be a lone unvisited island in the center of Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. In other words, I’ll’ve been to all of the states that surround Colorado, but never actually to Colorado itself. If not, well, we’ll do a Colorado trip some other time.  Our final stop will be Capulin Volcano National Monument (which will take care of our every-even-numbered-year volcano), and then we’ll head for home, stopping for the night in, probably, Lubbock.

I’ve passed the $500 mark on paying myself for my language studies, and with the final $200-ish, I’ve purchased my first share of stock. I was ready just as the bottom dropped out of the market this last couple of weeks, but it looked like that stock was about to rebound, so I bought. And then the price dropped farther. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m an investor, not a speculator, so just so long as I hold my current position, I should come out plenty of money ahead in the long run.

I want to go back to tutoring foreign languages this year (I was my junior college’s Spanish and German tutor back in the day) and get more experience so that I can get closer to my goal, which is to be able to work translating children’s books out of any of my assorted target languages into English. The money from that will be put in with the money I’m paying myself to study and all of that will go towards what I guess I’d call my “stretch goal,” which is to get a graduate degree in a modern language. By my calculations I only have $15,500 to go.

*I will get back to California eventually. Hopefully in the next day or two. Probably.