Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scheduling While the Sun Still Shines

You may recall me saying that I had applied to volunteer at my local animal shelter.  Well, at the time I applied I was told that my first day would be my orientation day, which is always on Wednesdays at 2:00 PM.  The receptionist said I'd be scheduled into either this Wednesday or the following Wednesday and someone would call me.  Those two Wednesdays came and went without anyone phoning.

Then this article came out in the paper saying that another animal shelter close by had to lay off all of its volunteers.  Say what?  You know that the economy sucks big time when volunteers get laid off.  It had something to do with The Humane Society doing an inspection and suggesting a total reorganization of the staff. 

I worried that my local animal shelter might be going through the same thing, so I phoned them and explained that I'd been waiting for a phone call regarding my interview or orientation.  The lady told me she was working on the schedule right then and would call me back.  She said, "It will be a Wednesday at 2:00 PM.  Does that work for you?"

I said that was fine.  She said she'd call back to finalize the plans.  Then that Wednesday came and went without her calling.  Then I turned the page on my desk calendar and saw that I had my six month dental cleaning scheduled for...

wait for it...

Wednesday at 3:00 PM!

When you consider that I have had nothing on my calendar for the past four months, and then on the one date and time when I'm supposed to start my volunteer job, I have a freakin' dental appointment, you know there's some message buried deep inside that "coincidence" for me.  I got upset and stressed out over what to do about this time conflict.  I won't have much dental insurance after July 1st, so I couldn't reschedule.  If they find something wrong with my teeth, I'll need as much of a cushion of time as possible to schedule in the appointments to fix it before July 1st.

I decided to just let go and let the chips fall where they may.  Ironically, the dentist's office called me and said they had to reschedule, because my hygienist had some kind of accident.  Oh no.  Not good, but at least I now I could attend my orientation at the animal shelter without having to be in two different places at once.  Even more ironically, Wednesday came and went without the animal shelter calling to finalize my schedule.  It's been over a month since I applied for that volunteer position and I'm starting to think they just don't need my help.

Many years ago I ran a volunteer program in my community, and I knew that I had to get these people in within a week of receiving their application or I would lose them to other things.  When people are willing to give you their time, you have to respect that.  You can't expect them to just wait around for you to call them several weeks or months later, saying you are ready to train them now.

In the meantime, I've been working on acquiring some paying freelance writing jobs.  I'm taking a different approach with my photography too.  Instead of marketing portrait services that no one can afford, I'm going to start creating stock photos, copyrighting them, and then either putting them up for sale on stock photo sites or including them in articles I write.  The calendar turned out so well, that I'm also going to put together calendars and postcards of Lake Tahoe.  People go there from all over the world, and I'm sure they'd like to take home some memories of their visit.  It's not a novel idea.  Lots of people do it, but there's no law that says I can't join in.

The weather has been cold, but sunny.  We seem to have finally permanently broken our routine of having it rain or snow every weekend, (though now that I've said it, snow is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday, the only day I can safely ride on my property without disruptions from neighbors).  I've been doing groundwork with the horses and trying to get them into shape for that steep grade on the trails I like to ride.  I decided to make it fun for them by rewarding with treats when they did what I asked. 

Bombay is good as gold.  He remembers everything he's ever been taught.  Gabbrielle kept having her speed demon fits, launching into an uncontrolled gallop, crashing into the railing, and flipping on her side, so I had to reward her when she slowed down and moved at a controlled, consistent pace.  She is so smart.  She picked up on what I wanted right away, and now she has this gorgeous floating trot that's coming all from the hind end that she can maintain for quite a while without any variations in speed.  I can't wait to ride that, once I'm totally confident that she's over her need to impulsively burst out of the gate like a racehorse.  Oh yeah, and when I say whoa, she slides to a stop immediately, which would probably launch me out of saddle and over her head at this point.  I'll have to remember to hang onto that saddle horn before asking for a stop from her.

Lostine bit my hand when I tried to detach her lead rope, because she smelled the apple treat on my palm and assumed I was feeding her.  I yelped and chased her off.  Then I couldn't get her to stop running when I said whoa, so I had to corner her, and then give her a treat when she couldn't move.  From there we worked our way toward treating her when she willingly halted when I said whoa.

I'd really love to get out and ride, but I have got to finish my window covering project first.  I finally completed all of the black-out shades, so now I need to move on to sewing the transparent curtains.  I think if someone had told me how long it would take to complete this project, and that the sun would be shining throughout the end of January, I probably would have bought some finished window coverings or hired someone to custom make them for me.


fernvalley01 said...

Scheduling and priorityies are a headache.I am surprised that the shelter isn't all over you to get there, but? who knows. The widow dressing project sounds like a big headache, but I am not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination . Gabrielle's trot sounds beautiful. I hope you get to ride it soon

Rising Rainbow said...

Well if she stops that quickly you'll want to do more than hang on. I'd suggest shoving your feet forward like the reiners do just in case you need it.

I've contemplated putting calendars together but never quite follow through.

The curtains sound like a pain. Glad it's you and not me. There are miles to sew in curtains. I did it once. That was enough for me.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like you're getting a lot done with your horses. I hope you get the chance to ride soon. It's been 4 months for me, but I've got some plans in the works to change that....

Strange how they aren't reeling you in faster to get you to volunteer. Most place have to beg and plead to find volunteers and then do everything they can to keep them around.

Good lukc with those curatin projects...and the photography marketing ideas, too.


Linda said...

Yep, that's spendy. A few years back I was paying about 230 a ton--delivered. Those were big alfalfa bales--20 to a ton. I thought that was high. Now though, I'm getting it for about 120 a ton or 40.00 for a round bale (800 pounds) of Timothy. I feel like I'm at the mercy of the hay gods.

Linda said...

That's a good idea about the stock photos. I've purchased many farm/horse photos from sites like fotolio and others. I don't see how you can go wrong. Also, another idea for your writing--publishing e-books online for Kindle and Nooks. I think the books only have to be 24 pages and it's a very easy process.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Linda - Thanks for letting me know that you've purchased stock photos. I'm actually writing a novel right now for the Kindle. It sure beats sending out query letters to publishers and getting a million rejections. Of course, since anyone can publish through the Kindle, it kind of dilutes the quality of what you can get, but since they offer samples, readers know what they are getting themselves into. Also, if what you publish through Amazon is successful, you might end up getting your next novel picked up by a publisher.

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that if you have a deeper interest in my window covering project, I've been posting about that on my Frazzle Frenzy website. The link is in my profile.

achieve1dream said...

As weird as that animal shelter is I'm not sure it would be a great place to volunteer for. Are there any local rescues that you can offer your photography services to? Have you checked PetFinder?

Wow, Gabrielle was hitting the rails so hard she fell? Crazy mare! I'm glad she's okay and calmed down enough to listen. You really should try clicker training. You don't have to buy a clicker. Just use a tongue click. It's used as a marker signal and tells them exactly what it is they are being rewarded for. :)

Chrome bit me yesterday too. I must have curled my finger because when he grabbed the treat he got the tip of my finger and wouldn't let go at first because he thought it was the treat!! He broke skin a bit, but it didn't bleed or bruise. He let go when he realized it wasn't a treat lol. :)

Janie said...

Craziness! I can't believe they haven't called you. Here, the shelter would be all over you!

Glad the horses are doing well. And freelance writing can be pretty good income if you can meet the deadlines. I like it.