Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A More Productive Day

This is what a water trough without a de-icer looks like in the winter months after the ice has been broken up by a hammer...

That's what my day was like yesterday.  You break ice into water and it just freezes right over so that you have to do it again.  And this is what a water trough with a de-icer looks like in the winter months...

Even the ground around the bottom of the trough is nice and toasty.  While swinging a hammer gives you a better workout, I think I prefer to do nothing besides cleaning it and filling it occasionally.  These troughs are a good representation of my day today, which was more productive than yesterday. This is what happens to the horses' toys in the winter months...

Hee hee.  The basketball looks like it is wearing a beanie.  I haven't even been trying to dig up the manure under the snow. It usually takes care of itself by spring. If it gets muddy I try to clean it up to prevent thrush.  Gabbrielle has such deep crevices in her hooves that she almost always has something stinky in need of being picked out.

I've been at a crossroads regarding making a decision on how to spend my time.  If I keep working on trying to solidify a good reputation so that I can get some clients for my photography business, it means not earning any income in the short term.  I've known that I need to help people get to know me in my community by volunteering and joining clubs and organizations.  I just worry that our bank account will be dropping every day that I'm out rubbing elbows instead of working in a job that makes money.

I've known that I want to volunteer at the animal shelter, even if it is only for a couple of months, but road conditions and being busy with other responsibilities have repeatedly postponed that plan.  I got distracted when I saw an ad in the paper for a job as a preschool aide.  That's something I have experience doing and know I'd be hired without a second thought from the employer, because she knows me and my daughter went to her preschool.  However, then I did the math.  At $9.00 an hour for 30 hours a week, I'd make less than $1,000 a month after taxes and 30 hours a week is a lot of work!  I used to bring home $1,000 a week, not a month, with my old job.

$1,000 a month wouldn't help us break even.  It would just slow down the hemorrhage.  And I deserve more money than that since I have 7 years of higher education.  I'd rather spend this time working to give my new business a chance to grow and prosper, and then if it doesn't work out, hopefully I can get one of those high-paying jobs I'm qualified for to try to get us back on track financially.

I may as well volunteer just a few hours a week at the animal shelter and continue on the path of driving clients to my pet photography business.  So, today I filled out an application and now I have to wait a week for them to do a reference and background check.  Then I can attend an orientation.  I'm hoping that even if they don't want to let me officially take pictures of the animals up for adoption for them, they will at least let me practice my skills on them. 

I wholeheartedly believe that a good picture can lead to animals being adopted sooner.  I go out to Petfinder.com and see pictures of some dogs that put me off, while other pictures make the dogs look adorable and irresistible.  I even found one outfit in California that uses a professional photographer, because the pet photos are taken in a studio setup with backdrops and props. 

It's kind of the same when we are "shopping" for horses online.  I see a picture of a horse's butt facing the camera while it is grazing and I think, "Ahhh, the owner is afraid to approach this horse."  If I see someone standing a horse up at halter and offering a solid side view photo, I think, "This owner is proud of her horse's conformation."  In addition to a conformation photo, I like to see the owners riding the horse in photos or videos so I can see what kind of equitation skills or lack thereof that this horse has experienced in the past.

Anyway, in addition to needing models to practice on, I want to help those guys in the kennel find homes, and care for them in the meantime.  I'm doing it for Scrappy.  He was in the animal shelter for three months before I adopted him.  The shelter I'm going to volunteer at has a black Pit Bull who has been in the shelter for over a year.  I'm surprised the dog isn't deaf by now listening to all that barking day in and day out for that long.  That reminds me, I'll need to invest in some ear plugs. 

7 comments:

achieve1dream said...

It's a pain in the butt but if you pull the ice out of the trough after breaking it you should only have to do it once a day. Well in my experience anyway. It may be colder where you are, but if the ice is left in it refreezes faster. It means having to fill troughs more often, but oh well.

I think it's a great idea to volunteer for the shelter. I've always wanted to take pictures for adoption. So many of the ones on Petfinder like you said are awful and don't do the beautiful dogs justice. Have fun with that!

I totally understand the financial frustration and fear. It's sucks. I hope things get better for you soon.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I know I can pull the ice out, but like you said their are problems that come with that too. I take the lesser of the two evils in every situation. Cold hands, wet gloves, ice blocks to trip over, having to haul the hose out more often -- more evil.

fernvalley01 said...

I couldn't get away with just breaking the ice here, I have to have a de icing float .even with that the big tank for the mares will get ice around the sides, leaving a smaller hole for drinking once the temp really drops down. Sounds good about the work at the shelter hopefully they will let you take some "promo " shots for the pets

Paint Girl said...

Oh the delight of breaking ice in the water trough! Okay, not really a delight. But I have been there and it is not fun! We plug in our water heaters when we know it is going to freeze out and I love that! No more breaking ice!
I think it's great that you are going to volunteer at an animal shelter. I did that for a couple months and it is very rewarding. But also sad. Even though the shelter I volunteered at was a no-kill shelter, I still felt sorry for the older dogs that were there for so long..everyone wants the puppies and younger dogs!
I hope your photography business picks up and I think it's a great idea to practice on the shelter dogs! The shelter I volunteered for needed volunteers for everything, including photographers! So I hope this works out for you. Good luck!

Crystal said...

I love tank deicers, they work really well. And we get so cold here those troughs freeze right to the bottom overnight quite often.

Hope you get the volunteering and they let you take pictures, I wholeheartedly agree a picture can make or break the sale.

Laura said...

water troughs are tough to deal with in the winter...

I hope your photography business starts to bring in some income for you guys - it is tough living on one income when you are used to having more...

I totally agree with you about photos in horse sale ads! I just saw two ads that an acquaintance of mine posted of her horses and both horses had flymasks on in the pictures! How silly is that???

lytha said...

this is why we did not use our frequent flyer miles for a trip to reno/tahoe. i really really wanted to see that area for the first time, and maybe even meet you and funder, but gosh darn that snow, i was not going to purposefully leave warm green seattle and go into snow after what we left behind.

the only snow-free option was so. cal but i've already been there and i wanted to go someplace new.

now we'll have to spend our miles on a trip to northern europe for my 40th bday this year, lordwilling and the creek don't rise: )

~lytha
p.s. WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!