Selasa, 29 Desember 2009

Have You Seen________________?

On the front of our house is an angel, the kind the homeowner can leave out year round. We need that too. This is no ordinary angel. It's the "Keeper of Lost Things". We lose "things" a lot. I mean, really, we do.

Then there is always the adventure of finding the missing items. Long ago I gave up trying to do it without sounding as if I am a complete nincompoop. Sometimes I carry on for a few minutes, more likely a few days. Yes, there is the adage, "Stop looking for it; it will show up." Here we tend to go with "Throw out the part you have and the missing part will show up." If only there was a way to toss the in-hand part someplace and fake it being gone.

It would not work; I know. The missing item would show up. The item I did have would be lost. My trip to crazyland would be arranged much sooner if I tried this. Still, if it just worked ONCE...well, I'm not going there.

Right now we are missing the charger for the handy-dandy, battery-powered, portable vac from Black and Decker, purchased a very few months ago from . We had it as I did use it so I am confident it exists in more than my imagination. There needs to be a generic small appliance charger made for folks such as I. Who'll be the first to invent that PLEASE?

What I have learned so far is that the cell phone charger to an old cell phone will not work on this appliance. Oh, and of course, I looked in the place where it was supposed to be, three times; it is not there. That's not to say that when it is found by someone else it won't be put there with a "Isn't this what you're looking for?". And, I have also learned the charger is not in the bag which contains all the other chargers, with labels on them now so I know with what they are associated. Finally, it is not in the office. I know because this was the morning I took the room apart, reworked all the computer cabling (that makes me sound very smart, heh?), and sorted through everything, doing the keep-or-toss decisionmaking.

That would be keep-or-toss of anything that doesn't require a charger.

The angel will not be getting a year end bonus.

BTW, you will note that I did succeed with all the cable uncluttering, dismantling, re-establishing - I'm online, right?

It's Brew's Birthday

It's a day of celebration! Brew is FIVE today!

Minggu, 27 Desember 2009


Beautiful as this is - and it truly is - a word to the wise: Mosquitoes still linger! YES! One crossed my path indoors today. If you have a dog it could get heartworm.

It could get it anytime of the year.

Be sure you give heartworm preventative throughout the year! Make it a resolution. Mark your calendars now. Call the vet in the morning.

The treatments are painful. Recovery time is lengthy and the dogs get restless.

Do the right thing and do it now.


This email note came to me and I have to share it as it is pertinent to this entry. If you're ever in doubt of what to get as a gift remember this. Cat lovers/owners could benefit from flea protection or a gift certificate to go to the vet for a check up. OK, maybe that's an awkward sentence...the owners are probably not needing flea protection for themselves and probably go to a regular doctor. But, their cats would appreciate the gift. Hee hee

Speaking of your most recent entry on Paws to Love, you'll never believe what a friend of mine gave me for Christmas. 4 bully sticks, 2 Kong toys, and a YEAR'S SUPPLY of Heart Guard for EACH of my girls!!! Talk about someone who really knows the things I need and love! I don't think I've ever been so touched--or at such a loss for words!

Selasa, 22 Desember 2009

Happy Holidays

Maria's 4th & 5th week with Team Beagle

Maria is now back at home with Lesley, but she had a grand time while visiting Team Beagle. Lots of walks and car rides to new and strange places. She did well in her conformation classes and we had a lot of fun doing it. Bob misses his playmate. She learned a few tricks as well (Spin, Twirl, Down and Capsize (rollover). I will post a video later of Maria performing her tricks.

Minggu, 20 Desember 2009

Burning the Midnight Candle

Well, not exactly midnight, let's call it the 9:00 candle.

It doesn't have the same ring to it. Keeps the story truthful though.

You see, last night our good friends T & P came by with their annual contribution to our Christmas Calorie Count - a huge plate of greaties (too awesome to be goodies). Silly me, I lit a candle in the kitchen for aroma. That was fine and I could have quit there but nOOOO. There was a cute snowball candle on a stand which happened to be on top of the television. I lit the candle.

"Brown" came with a package for me too. We're a late delivery because we are on the way home for the driver. We all were excited to see my new yard statue of St. Francis (I know enough to know he watches over animals. Those two years at the convent I did learn something about the Catholic faith.) We all oo'd and ahh'd and they went on their way. St. Francis went to get dried off and safely placed in a corner for now (facing out, it was not a time out for him).

I set about reading email, Facebook, and sorting photos. My dear you-know-who snoozed while reading and watching tv, only to awake and say, "We have a problem with the television." Thankyouverymuch.

Yes, I (could it please be we?) had left the snowball candle a-glowin' a bit too long and the wax of the candle was now the wax of the tv set. Boo hiss

Not to worry, not for long anyway. I got it off using a dull, dull, dull knife blade and an old soft cloth.
Today if I took a before and after photo they'd look the same.
But I won't.
I'd just invite repeating this event as I'd then have to sort those photos along with the remaining ones which need sorting. Can I get a Bah-humbug here?

Sabtu, 19 Desember 2009

Merry Christmas it is!

The boys are fussing over who gets to come forward and be the first to wish the world a Merry Christmas. Tripp and Baxter, along with our other dogs and the cats join us in sending seasonal greetings for a Joyous Christmas Day and a Magnificent New Year to each and every one of you!

Jumat, 18 Desember 2009

Brief Glimpse

Something about a teensy little bottlefeeder kitty gives the busy-ness of the world a touch of insignificance, especially at this time of the year.

The little critter is trusting that this strange being (to her anyway) is providing the nourishment she needs. When was the last time I ever did that? Hard to say!

The kitten is relying upon another soul to give her the physical support and safety essential to keep her sustained.

This is one of my favorite kitten types - she's striped on the topside and dotted on the underside. Because she was SO full and SO wiggly after eating I call her Squiggy.

Rabu, 16 Desember 2009

What Do You Call...

The Chinese may make the toys kids play with, the dishes we eat off of, the floor we walk on, but they will not be making comments on this blog. I have had to invoke the "right to refuse posting" of comments.

I tell you that because this posting is about a game created decades ago after a huge dinner and a "little" wine, and a long drive home (riding as a passenger). It's corny but fun. We own it. But you can play and I encourage you to do so in the comments section.

Here's how it goes:

First, you either need a map of a state or need to be very familiar with the towns/villages/cities of a state. Often this is the state in which you live. This is the part that could turn this into an educational tool for all you teachers.

Next, the first player thinks up a question and answer and presents just the question to other players. Two or more can play. The question is "What do you call a town where all the residents are little Angelina Jolie's?" In this case the answer is "Joliet" as if they are "Joliettes"...

No body said it had to be anything other than corny and the more groans the better. Of course, proper wording of the question is key. "What do you call a town where all Santa's elves finish this phrase, 'No____.'?" The answer is "Pekin" as in "peekin'" as in ...duh, at the Christmas presents.

And, Whaddaya or whatcha is not acceptable. PLEASE, proper grammar is important. Come up with a few.

Selasa, 15 Desember 2009

Tuesday - a Clean Sweep

It's not that I've been away.

I've been cleaning. oooouu-eeey. What have I learned from this?

1. Dogs bring in a lot of dirt and manage to look clean doing it.
2. Dogs bring in even more dirt when they look dirty.
3. We have charge units with no associated devices. Sure as I toss them - well, you know the rest.
4. It's hard to find the good lemon furniture oil in our town.
5. We need a new sofa.
6. It is possible to clean without re-arranging the furniture.
7. Music makes me move.
8. Don't put lids down if you expect to find them and put them on the bottle again.
9. Making a "to go" box should be part of the routine.
10. I will always want to start with dusting and end with vacuuming even if my husband wants to do the reverse.
11. Santa won't recognize the place.
12. You can turn the thermostat down and generate your own heat.
13. By the time it's all done your brain is to fried to think who you should invite over to see it.
14. Facebook can wait.

Senin, 07 Desember 2009

What Should I Do?

These are things I should be doing instead of blogging:

Finish the details on my will
Go to the art gallery and pick up two framed items
Sweep the snow off the deck and steps
Paint the closet and the bedroom ceiling
Clean out the car
Read a book that is due Wednesday
Fold laundry
Updating and backing up files

All right, there's probably a lot more but how disgusting is this? The last item made me quit. Now I'm ticked about technology. It seems to suck up time. I went shopping on Woot. com a few days back - oh, hang on, what's the deal for today? - Phew. Toshiba 26” LCD HDTV with Built-In DVD Player

+ $5 shipping
Condition:NewProduct:1 Toshiba 26LV61K 26” LCD HDTV with DivX Certified Built-In DVD Player
I don't need one of these, I? Anyway, no. I'm already listening to my Woot $20 Sansa Clip which is smaller than a matchbook. THANKFULLY, although I downloaded and printed the manual, I can listen to the FM radio portion without reading beyond the "Here's the power button." Eventually I find a song I have to download, I'm sure. Then Ill figure it out. In the meantime, there's the blog. Oh, and, yes, the list above which shall, I fear, remain incomplete and unfinished. I'll add to it and remove things as they are done though.
I call this progress. And, isn't that what all this technology brings us too? Progress. Ah, yes.
My life IS a work in progress.

first snow

We have it.Our "First Snow" is here and there is always something magical about its arrival. The smaller trees express "I made it! I can hold my own snow!" The noises we usually hear in the morning are muffled and the children are mufflered. The dogs, oh, the dogs, chasing around, in an entirely new yard, seeing all the potential it offers for the day.

Snow is a mood-setter. People, although already bustling for the best deals, will now get in the spirit. It's like a "last call" - Here's the snow now! Enjoy it! So do.

It's the way the song, "Silver Bells", goes..."Soon it will be CHRISTMAS time."

Sabtu, 05 Desember 2009

Maria's 3rd week with Team Beagle

Maria's 3rd week included more walks and playing around with Team Beagle. We tried to go to conformation class but the instructor wasn't there. Try again next week and hopefully get pictures of Maria in class.

Kamis, 03 Desember 2009

Ho Ho Ho

...And, I'm not talking about a person so don't report me for an indiscretion in terms of political correctness.

Darn IT. The past two times one of our dogs and I have been out for Donation Dog duty (collecting money for the local shelter animals) we have had WEATHER and plenty of it, all crappy. That means few $$$$. But last night takes the proverbial "cake".

A local politician was to show up to light the tree in front of the Old State Capitol. He did. The event was canceled. The tree fell over. WHY, OH WHY did I not have my camera with me?

What's more, the group which was supposed to sing had few singers show up. They were kids, after all, and their parents were to bring them. Uh, I'm thinking the parents who didn't bring their kids were wise to the probability of it being a wasted trip.

There stood poor Baxter (in his new hoodie, I might add, under his Donation Dog vest) and me, under the generous awning of the Chamber's current office. They are moving tomorrow. Anyway, that's another story. But, all these Magnet School kids and parents crowded under the awning, making it less than generous. They IGNORED our presence and, in old people speak, "carried on loudly". Then the director came along, late I might add. She announced "We're not singing!"

OK. And, this is because....? Well, someone(s) complained and they sang from last year's already wrecked song books, three songs.

That was it. It was pretty painful.

The worst was yet to come. Baxter and I roamed downtown Springpatch for 1 hour and got $20, $5 which was (sucker) mine.

Last week Harmony and I shivered in front of WalMart the night before Thanksgiving for $25, $5 which was (sucker) mine.

I'm thinking tee shirts...

"My owner took me out as a Donation Dog and all I got was a lousy $20."
and for me
"BWS" for Bad Weather Sucker

Other ideas?

Minggu, 29 November 2009


Santa was holed up at our house for a long time. He came out of the closet this week to spend time building up strength to face the "Night of the Great Challenge". You've read, haven't you, that the fastest a reindeer can travel is about 32 MPH? You do the math about how long it'll take to get to everyone's domain.

So,taking his position on the hearth, near a trusty replica of abovementioned deer, Santa Claus was ruthlessly attacked today. It was the Beagle. I caught her red-coat and fur-trimmed covered, gnawing away at his hand. So much for not biting the hand that feeds you.

If you read yesterday's post you know I pet sit. If you didn't read it, well, now you know but you didn't laugh at the rest of that entry. My own dogs' behaviors leave me questioning my abilities. It's like kids though, I rationalize. Everyone else's seem to be no trouble at all.

I was in the house with this villan when the malicious crime took place. There I was, in the kitchen, making cold pea salad. You know the one: peas, cheese, and mayo. It was deathly quiet, no clatter at all, in the living room. The poor, stalwart fella had no chance. He'd been cornered. I stepped in to see what was the matter. It was already over.

I removed the bodily remains, grimly and silently. OK, that's just for drama. I uttered a sharp and disappointing "OH!"

Trashy Santa now is ready for his next stop, the outside cans. Before the week is out he'll be transported, swept away by unknowing workers, never to see his elves, his workshop, or, sigh, Mrs. Claus, again.

It seems as if it was only yesterday I was taking the Santa's helper hat I had set out away from this same dog. Ah, it was yesterday.

Well, I managed to re-attach that pom-pon so the hat is still a fashion statement. And, I kept the hood from dead Santa to stitch up and make a larger Donation Dog pocket for dog vests when we go a-collecting and a-caroling for APL. Tis the season.

All's well that ends well.
Guinnie is satisfied with a nylabone wishbone. I am hoping tomorrow is a slow news day.

Sabtu, 28 November 2009

Recently I started pet sitting. Yes, I have plenty here but this is just "fun" and "money". So, I did that early this a.m. and then headed to Starbucks to meet a Missouri friend, as we had scheduled. Ed came from home.

Mind you, we opt for locally owned coffee houses 99.9% of the time. So to the staff we were strangers. The young bari---coffee hound who waited on us was a R-I-O-T. At 9:30 there I am ordering decaf to which he says "It will be a few minutes. We only make it on demand." I responded, "Well, then, I DEMAND decaf." He got it. Away we went.

An hour later he came over to ask us to leave, citing that other customers were complaining. They weren't really and we didn't leave. He said, and other staff backed him up on this, that we were laughing too much and having too good a time.

I let that pass, soaked it in for a few minutes. Then I wandered over to the counter, near the door to the back room. I waited for him to come back out. Another young guy was at the counter working.

It was then that I advised them I was from corporate.

One good yuck deserves another!

BTW, the guy I'd been exchanging barbs with hesitated ever so slightly. The other guy fell for it totally.

Yes, I confessed. I'm really from the buyout company.

Maria's 2nd week with Team Beagle

Maria had a busy week again with lots of walks and conformation class. Everyone in class thinks she is beautiful with good movement. This week we even got off the city streets and hit a trail. It had lots of wonderful smells for Maria to sample. On Saturday night she was out on the town with a visit to Glady the beagle's house. Then more playing in the backyard and in the house with Team Beagle.
Starbuck Torbay Easy Money

Selasa, 24 November 2009


A fellow foster parent, who also is a transporter of dogs being rescued, sent this image set with a brief story. Nico is pictured on what was to be his last day, then in less than 3 full months, in his new setting. Time heals.Nikki Audet took the original photo, and Deena Crouch took the more recent one.

It takes many people hearing God's voice, following His lead, doing the right things.

Sometimes it seems there's no end to what needs to be done. Sometimes it seems as if it does no good because there are so many needing to be saved.

I don't think Jesus ever thought this way, thank goodness.
Keeping this in mind can be inspiring.

Jumat, 20 November 2009

Maria's 1st week with Team Beagle

Maria had a busy 1st week with walks, playing with the big beagles and conformation class. She did well in her conformation class - met some new people and dog friends (weimaraners & papillons). Once she got used to the place, she pranced around like a star just need to work with her on the table. On one of her walks, we encountered a downpour. We ran for cover under an eave until it lightened up but we were still soaked to the bone.

(Starbuck Torbay Easy Money (Cookie/Thomas pup))

Minggu, 15 November 2009

Maria's 1st day with Team Beagle

Maria (Cookie-Thomas pup) is visiting with us while Lesley and David are away. On her 1st day, we went to the Monroe show to watch Maria's dad, Thomas, in the ring. Thomas won the beagle group and then placed 3rd in the Hound Group. And what a nice surprise for Jo and I - Roo (now Jack (Abba-Jazz puppy) was there as well with his family. Jack has grown into a handsome young beagle and will be starting his show career in January 2010.

Kamis, 12 November 2009


Elisabeth Kubler Ross wrote about DEATH AND DYING and her book included the steps associated with grieving. That was 1969. I read it in college during a psychology course or maybe sociology.

I'm entering step 2 today. ANGER: anger over Frieda having to die, more anger at the people who mistreated her so badly she feared her own shadow, even guilty anger at myself for not being able to fix it.

Expect me to write about it on this blog. Look at the title if you doubt for a moment that I wouldn't open up and try to rip those unknown individuals (I hesitate to call them humans)"a new one".

We had six dogs. Some people would say that's too many. But there are two of us and we are retired and we love dogs. All the dogs were adopted/rescued - call it what you will, they all have pasts, usually sad, some bad. Frieda's was both.

You might not think going from six to five would mean much. But it does. Each of them is bonded to the others and to us in lots of ways. One of our dogs had been tied to a tree in the country, her dead puppies and 17 other adult dogs nearby. The property owner lived an hour and a half away and drove by once or twice a week to toss out food. If the chain went far enough to get some of it then a dog was lucky. That's Sally's story. Needless to say she has issues.

We started out fostering Sally. She was adopted by friends but ran away, in the country, and that led to 9 days of searching for her, thru mucky fields. It was Frieda Joy who truly brought her back to safety, walking with me thru mud on that ninth day, making a "scent path" back to the live trap set for her. The next morning there was Sally, waiting. We brought her home. She and Frieda found solace in the life they shared here. Sally sits in Frieda's spots and went to Frieda's feeding spot when Frieda wasn't there Monday night.

I'm angry that Sally had already had much taken from her and now she has lost her best friend. Don't we all know how that feels?

For Sally and the others Frieda Joy was the alpha dog. Just her presence made it clear, even when she was frightened. She was first to the door with a greeting, first to a lap when thunder and lightning started, first to leap into the car when a field trip was in order. She got treats and then everyone else got them. We tried not to over-pamper her, tough as it was, because all the books say it's not good for them. But we spoiled her and protected her.

We just couldn't keep her from the demons she brought with her, the past sewn into her soul, carved on her heart. She covered them bravely with all the love she could muster up but sometimes those bad guys eeked out.

We helped her through those times but this time they beat us. But they didn't get the best of her. That's ours, all ours.

Rabu, 11 November 2009

Frieda Joy Hein 2005-2009

This was taken the day Frieda Joy came home with me and got her name. Frieda was named for the wife of D.H. Lawrence. She died in Taos, NM (a favorite spot of mine) on her 77th birthday. On her own she was an intriguing woman, well worth learning more about. Joy was given as our Frieda's middle name because she needed a little joy in her life.
It is unlike our no-kill shelter to take dogs who have been involved in fighting but Frieda's plight was that she'd been used more as bait than as a fighter. Plus I took one look at her and said I would take her. I was at the shelter, volunteering, on the day someone brought her in and we asked the young woman to hold her at her home for a few days, until there was room for her to come in and be examined, get her shots and microchip. I was there two days later and answered the phone when the girl called to say she couldn't keep her and had just left her at Animal Control.
I freaked. We pulled her from there. She went straight home with me.
Frieda's timidity revealed itself in her fear of loud noises, storms, fast moves. She'd been abused terribly. Don't let the gorgeous image of her fool you.
Our time together was outlandishly brief. She very occasionally became dog aggressive and in an unprovoked incident she latched onto another of our dogs, through a gate. It was this that brought us to the realization that we could no longer trust her nor could we trust her to be all right in another home.
We said goodbye to her for two hours Monday morning and then she peacefully left us, never to have to defend herself or be afraid again.
And, with a love bigger than we can contain, we began to grieve, knowing we should also celebrate.
We gave her almost 3 full years of continuous love, pampering, attention, and spoiling. She gave us all she was and left us with wonderful memories.
I took her dish from the feeding area. Her old collar and tags are gone. The bedding she used has been washed and the bed moved to a new location so the others will not wait for her to appear. We did all necessary tasks to keep her dog friends from stressing out. But they can't help us.
Well, maybe they can. We can hold them, play with them, exercise them, carry on with them. Through them we will smile and eventually laugh.

She's always going to be with me. Her solid frame, her big brown questioning eyes, her need for a tee shirt during storms, her serious-dog approach to making certain we were all secured each night - always, always will be here.
She was what I am.
After Frieda was home with me I called the young woman and told her the dog was safe and would be with us. She wanted to know what we named her and I told her. Turns out her paternal grandmother's name was Frieda.
God gave us this beauty and the irreplaceable relationship we had with her. On the day she moved in He had to have a good time with the naming game. On the day she moved up to be with Him I bet He told her that story as she snuggled in next to Him and took a deep, relaxing breath as she realized now she could see everything we do all of the time. It's what she always wanted.

Minggu, 08 November 2009

WARNING: Do Not Try This At Home

The sirens were roaring. The fire truck steaked past our country dwelling. Out I went. Out came my husband. Whoosh. It was over. Back to the house we went, not knowing where the truck stopped but it was not far from our place.

In the meantime, the door had locked behind my husband. Not to worry, there is the side door. Whoops. Someone who grew up in a big city keeps that door locked. Not to worry, two of the dogs are out and the one who never locks the sliding door put them out so we'll go in that way. Whoops. Never isn't always true (ha).

Genius. Three ways to get in or stay out. We have a key stashed. We used it once before to get in. It unlocked the top lock handily. Huh. It doesn't seem to want to open the lower lock. Nor will it open the side door locks. And, it's the wrong key for the sliding door.

Fortunately, and I do mean this, we'd begun working on painting the bedroom and the window was open, screen preventing ladybug lookalikes from entering, but nevertheless, tis spelled A-C-C-E-S-S and it was all mine.

It could have been, really. His Nims went to get the screwdriver to remove the screen. We worked together and got it off. At that point he said, "Are you sure you can get in there?"

All right, who doesn't know how big the standard window is? Ya, I thought so. Now you know where I'm headed.

He got The Look.

Then he proceeded to say, "It's kinda high, that's what I mean.". Can you see him backing up? I pointed out the bench 2 feet away. He was overjoyed that I knew to slide it over.

I easily climbed thru and crawled on my hands till I could lower a knee gently to the floor. One leg, then the other, then up on my feet and I'm inside looking out.

Decision time. Let him in? Let him suffer?

Notes to self:

Advise husband to get new keys cut and test them on all locks.
Add "can break into own house" to list of living in the country benefits.

Selasa, 03 November 2009

Coat of Many Colors...and Many Years

Do you have one of these: A clothing item you just haven't been able to part with although you've tried? I confess. This Liz Claiborne wool blazer, circa 1993, is one of my all-time favorites. I know where I bought it and who was with me and what else I purchased that day.
Like a favorite Christmas sweater I had for a couple of decades, this blazer appeared in photos of me with long hair, longer hair, short hair, long hair. Once I shuffled through those photos and pitched them I knew it was also time to say goodbye to the blazer. Look at it! It's long. I purposefully hung it on the doorknob to show how outdated it is.
As for waiting for this to come back in fashion, hello? Not gonna happen. You know as well as I do that those fashionistas prey on people who think something will come back in style. Off we trot to the retail store or web site and declare "Oooo, time to get out the Bianca Jagger outfit from the 70's. It's back." Then, upon closer observation or even study, we see, well, not really. It's different now. Not only that but the item we cherished and lovingly moved from one closet to another, from one town to another, one dry cleaner to another, well, it looks worse than ever next to the updated version.
Admittedly lofty thoughts drift into my mind at times and I've envisioned turning some of these favorite pieces into priceless works of art. Yes, fill the home with braided rugs made from old business suits. Turn the 10k tee shirts into stuffed pillows. Fortunately those thoughts did not anchor themselves to anything so have floated away.
So today's the day. As I head west to town my first stop will be a place where one person's trash becomes another person's treasure. It's turning colder.
Someone who appreciates warmth is more important than fashion will be sporting a new blazer soon.
Maybe that's what has made it so difficult to give it up. It's symbolic of me, and so many of us. We trade in. We upgrade. We replace rather than repair.
And, I'm about to do just that.

Kamis, 29 Oktober 2009

Safe House

We went to a party.

It's not often we say that anymore. But this party was made for people like us as we didn't need new clothes to go, it started early, had lots of food and many happy people, included games and activities, and we all departed at a "sensible" hour.

Our friends who hosted it are truly just that, friends. So what if they also have beautified our landscaping, taking our ideas and making them real? They were friends first and will be friends last.

The next day I thought. Sundays are often good thinking days for many reasons. I focused on the success of the party. Guests were varied in about every description. It was that observation which led me to realizing how safe they make us all feel.

Remember when you were a kid there was always one house that kids went to to play because, well, you could be a kid there? Each of us has our own reason why we liked that house. Really we liked the people in it. We could cut loose, be ourselves, play hard at tag, get glue on the table, sing along to Conway Twitty at the top of our lungs, holler at cars out the upstairs window, sneak a fresh-from-the-oven cookie. Or two.

That's how I felt about our friends and their house. Safe. Being comfortable. Welcomed. Thankful.

Gosh, I hope they do it again.

There's water standing on water

This October just set a record for the rainiest October since rain recordkeeping started in IL. A moment of silence is in order, perhaps? Not. Going outside tonight, accompanying the pansy dogs who suddenly don't want to get their tootsies wet and their hair messed, I notice that our former moat has returned temporarily. There is so much water it has nowhere to go. Really.
As if water outside wasn't enough we had an, ah-hem, ordeal, with our indoor water purifying system. It was simple, at first. Our "technician" arrived last Friday. Gee, haven't we known him for a lifetime? Well, he tackled the drip, aka leak, with gusto and a tool or two. I think Ed mentioned the servicable paperclip. Frankly, who can argue against that? Certainly not anyone who has had to pop open a CD or DVD slot on a computer. I digress.
In an effort to address customer service, "D" decided to check the tank component, which he found to be in need of attention. We were reminded there was nothing we should be doing. So he went about cleaning it up. That included jamming another tool through the membrane of the tank. He left. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt...he had no clue.
Alas, our little 15 year old Abner, long-term foster dog, residing in the usual quiet of the utility room, was gathering laundry lint and plastic bags to build a floation device for he-of-short-stature had a sense of pending doom. Water, water, everywhere. We mopped, wiped, soaked up, and won the water fight. Abner was grateful.
Inbetween squeezing the towels out we were calling the establishment. We got the owner's ph # at 10:41 p.m. Sat. A little late to call.
But we thought about it. Instead, civility reigned and we called the next day. Ed was hoping he'd actually spoken to someone other than the owner. In other words, he was not impressed.
Monday arrived. The tech returned, replacement tank in tow. It's almost snap-in so it didn't take long and he was on his way after checking the sink for the thumping sound that had emerged since Friday. He shook things around. The sound disappeared. So did he.
Tuesday we decided to have a life. That is, in spite of, yes, water under the sink. Without a soul to be found at the place of business there was a slim chance that anyone would be servicing the system that day so the poor admin asst had to take a message that we expected someone to be at our home pronto on Wednesday.
Are you keeping track? We anticpated visit #3. "D" came and went all within fifteen minutes. He was filled with, oh, generously speaking, explanations.
It's Thursday night. Inside we are dry. Those aforementioned pansy dogs are glad for that and glad that they can return to concentrating on developing strong cases of cabin fever.
As is so often said when there is this much rain, thank God it's not snow.

Sabtu, 24 Oktober 2009

Fall In Place

We're building up for an annual celebration in our neck of the woods. Next week will be Halloween but this year its significance extends beyond the edible treat. We change the clocks; we fall back. For me it means my car clock will once again be set on the right time.

It's not that I can't change the time. I can change it to show 24 hours or two sets of 12 hours. In other words sometimes 3 p.m. is 15:00 and other times it is 3 p.m. What I can't do is change it minute to minute or hour to hour. Even using the book I can't do it. Watching the technicians do it makes it seem easy. Once I took the car in for a check-up and asked that they "re-set" the time while they were doing whatever it was, since it was time to gain or lose an hour. I always tell myself I'll remember what they did. Months later, not so true.

I adjust. It's really pretty easy for me to get along with the wrong hour showing part of the year. I make allowances.

Perhaps the engineer/designer knew about people like me. They allow a simple button push to hide the time and show something more vital, such as the outside temp or how many miles you have left in the gas tank, at the rate being driven.

We shouldn't be so obsessed with time anyway.

Sabtu, 17 Oktober 2009

Cheers to You Today!

A couple of days ago - was it only that - I b_t_h_d about, well, attitude and moods, and just the way "we" are these days.

A book comes to our rescue! How often does that happen? Probably more than we realize if we are readers. If we are not (we being you) then don't answer the question.

But if you are a reader or want to be, try THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY. You can't have any pre-conceived notion as to what it is about from the title. That's part of it's beauty. The rest lies between the covers (oooh, tempting, huh?). You will meet the people you want as neighbors. Perhaps your best friend steps out of these pages. Maybe you know one or several of these people.

There's reassurance.
There's gladness.
There's sacrifice.
There's strength.
There's the stuff we should all be made of.

If reading can make it so, then I am better.

small wonder

Meet Abner, our "long term" foster. In other words, he's 15, has 4 teeth, yaps, and can see much. Sure, it could be me in a few years! But, it was Ed who couldn't go home w/o him!!! Now I blog with a dog on my lap. It's that or everyone else has a case of bad nerves from listening to him.

Not far from home these fungi grow, every year, by the same tree. I just deleted the photos from last year. These are much prettier; there's more color. As Abner would tell you if he could see much, there's plenty to see down low.

Is there anything with an uglier label than a slug? And, usually they are just plain, well, ugly and sluggish. This one, amidst what I call "drink umbrella mushrooms" just fit in the photo and doesn't look half bad.
All right, someone has a fixation with fungi. Call them mushrooms if you wish. But, you must admit, by whatever label you give them, you have to give them credit for being beautiful and unique.

It's October and what would a blog be if not a place to post the pumpkin selection process and an obvious victory. Mom and Dad were probably thrilled to see the arms go up with the results!
Not too long ago we pooch sat for some former fosters who bring their own toys. Our own Harmony Victoria was worn out after a long day of play and chose to take temporary possession of their Clifford. This one made the papers so I thought it should go universal!

Nuts for everyone. My treat.

Kamis, 15 Oktober 2009

Closing Arguments

Isn't it sad when situations dissolve (versus evolve) so much that pettiness is all that anyone will ever remember once the end has arrived?

Such is the case with so much these days. People seem to be edgier than ever - I'm no exception. In bed last night, listening to the all night radio talk show, I got to thinking about how it seems as if fuses are shorter these days. We all want what is best, what is right, what works - or at least I hope we do. Yet, far too much time is spent spinning the story, making excuses, telling a lie often enough people forget there was a truth.

I'm perplexed. More than ever we need to be upbeat, successful at relationships, and forward thinking. It doesn't seem to happen. I don't even know where to go looking for it. I should say "church". Having said that I must admit I hear the same sound bites there, just different topics.

Where is peace? Where is satisfaction? Where is a sense of contentment?

In learning to be a teacher and in learning to be a parent and in learning to be a boss I learned "Say 3 good things for every 1 corrective thing." or words to that effect. I wish I could say I hear that in discussions. I wish I could say I do it.

Selasa, 13 Oktober 2009

Appreciating Where I Am

It pays to take the shutterbox along on even the shortest walks. This time all I did was go out the front door, down the steps, along the driveway and up the road. How hard this little guy must have worked, without knowing the beauty he was spinning and what it would capture. Right outside the door and waiting, enjoying a bit of nourishment - one last fling for this winged beauty.
We've had rain. Before we had all this rain we had mulch put down (months ago) and now when the moisture comes it's a true adventure in mini-land to see what pops up.

What's a house without a busy spider hard at work each evening? Gives us something to walk into later, when it's dark, or early the next morning. Just watching the process boggles the mind.

Kamis, 01 Oktober 2009

Nothing Fair About Puppy Mills

We all love cute little puppies.

Some of us have even raised a few so they can be adopted happily.

Other people love the profits and have arranged for births, separation, sales, and repetition.

In other words: puppy mills.

Don't go there. Just don't go to one. I don't care if it is in the middle of Missouri or Carlinville, IL or Arthur, IL or PA or CA - nowhere.

If you BUY a puppy from a puppy mill it allows the mill owner to continue. It reinforces the perverted thinking that there's a market / demand.

Puppy mills are not the good breeders. Those folks open the doors and let you see their facilities. They manage blood lines to avoid in-breeding or defects.

We have a connection who is adamant about a puppy mill in Carlinville, IL being disreputable. I've not been there, don't know the person so what I have is heresay. But hearing that the owner (DS) won't let people inside and that the place is a mess is discouraging.

What a dilemma - One should not go but out all his dogs; he'll just go get more and keep the process going. At the same time, what can be done. There's only one Dept of Ag person to inspect throughout the state. How many dogs will be abused, mis-used, undernourished, overbred, tossed out, ignored?

Life's not fair. We grow up hearing that. We can do some things about trying to make it fair for ourselves. What can a puppy do?

Rabu, 30 September 2009

Secret Life

Everyone who has cared for a deceased person knows that sometimes mail still is sent to that person.

If my dad were alive he would be celebrating his 99th birthday in a couple of weeks. He passed away almost 3 years ago, bless his heart. He really had planned to get to 100.

His secret life must have worn him down. I'm not talking about the poetry he wrote during WWII and tucked away for decades. This is not about the quiet good samaritan acts he performed. I can't write about how he helped the kids at his school; he didn't talk much about it.

No, this is about what came in the mail for him this week. It's addressed to him but at our address as once he was in the nursing home that was just easier for us - handling insurance, Social Security, retirement stuff. But this - THIS is a birthday card/wish, with a gift card worth $10 and hopes that he'll be making a purchase soon.

It's from Victoria's Secret! Wouldn't the executive who purchased that mass marketing mailer list be thrilled to learn the value of the names on it?

Or, and this is just to make you smile, maybe my dad took this secret to the grave with him.

Selasa, 22 September 2009

Holy Moly - How Time Flies

All right I've been remiss in posting ANYTHING. Keeping up with email has been a challenge - all Animal Protective League related. Geez and Wow. Go figure!

But the amazing story is how time has flown since the Vietnam War. As it turns out, Ed's brother spent 43 years there. Well, that's what our government thinks. See, he's had to contact the administration - a division long in existence - and has been informed that there is no proof he ever returned from Vietnam 42 years ago, having put in his one year of duty there.

Of course we were all surprised, the least of all not him and his wife. Think of the problems that arise. First, the whole marriage and home ownership thing - who's been doing that in his name? But there's more to consider - What if he voted for someone while reportedly not here and it changed the outcome of the election? And then, what if that someone proposed and got passage on a law, just a local one, that, oh, made a $1,000,000 difference in the town's income or expense in the last 4 some decades? Personally, who have we been buying Christmas presents for? Why didn't the government contact his family (us) to find out if we'd heard from him or tell us where they thought he was or that he wasn't back? Do we ask for a DNA test?

Turns out my husband has to write a letter vouching for him, saying how it is he knows that his brother has been back all this time. Lucky for the younger one that his older brother also came back and is known to have come back so he can write the letter.

What do you do if/when this happens? Do you wonder if you're really alive - ask yourself if all that is in your memory bank really happened? Do you tell anyone you owe money to that you can't possibly be in debt to them since you're not here? Do you tell the government you'll be stopping by to collect the backpay for the past 42 years when you were in the jungle?

Sometimes the system works. Sometimes it swallows us up. Sometimes it just makes us laugh.

Welcome home, D. Let us know when the big parade is!

Kamis, 17 September 2009

Brew's Camping Trip Around the Olympic Peninsula

Last week, Kevin and Steve rode around the Olympic Peninsula. I was to follow in the Sienna van with all of their gear. At the last minute, I decided that Brew should come along so I switched vehicles and reloaded all the gear and Brew into the Get Away Van. Brew had a grand time - lots of new smells and things to see as well as bark at. Here are pixs of Brew on the trip

Sabtu, 05 September 2009

Taking To The Road

We were up and out of town like bandits this a.m. Stealing time for ourselves. The dogs were outside, inside, outside again and then dispersed to where each would luxuriate in comfort while we were gone.

Our drive was on the back roads (2 laners) to Nauvoo. Saw some nice rolling hill country in western IL - a treat to flatlanders such as we. Our destination was Nauvoo, over on the MISS-ISS-IPP-I. Luck would have it today was grape stomp festival day but we missed the 10k race. Darn that. And, no one appeared to be stomping grapes at all. Modern day festivals seem to hold on to titles even when they are no longer associated with old activities. There was a big flea market going on and from the road we could tell we could pass it up.

We went around the historic village. Nauvoo, for the uninitiated or unfamiliar, is where Joseph Smith dwelled and where his family remained after he was mobbed to death in nearby Carthage (while in prison there). Therefore, it remains a sacred place for LDS/Mormons and there's a huge temple (re-built in 2002). About every place had something to offer to help pave the way to knowing more about them. We took a tour of the bakery - heard more about the religion than the baking but got a mini-mini gingerbread cooky for our time.

Get thee to the we got confused because the LDS people refer to women as "Sisters" and we knew from people down here that Sisters run the winery. We thought it was Catholic Sisters. Now we don't know and there didn't seem to be a right time or right person to ask. Instead we shared a piece of yummy pie and then went to lunch, proving that life is short, eat dessert first is sage advice no matter what faith you are.

Kamis, 03 September 2009

Tried it. Didn't like it.

We are trying restaurants we haven't frequented before as part of this next year together. Frankly, we want them to be local establishments, not chains. It's not that we aren't happy with some, OK many, of the chains. Rather we want to explore and there appear to be more small, locally owned restaurants that are new to our area than there are chain-types.

Off we went on a short drive to an Italian restaurant in nearby Williamsville. We had peeked in the window once when it was full of patrons but we already were going to the place on the opposite corner - which we LOVED. Our hopes were high that this would hold up its end of the short boulevard.

Whoops. That didn't happen. Not by a long shot - and a long shot it was as the waiter/bartender/greeter was the former basketball (?) coach from somewhere, probably there. He was interested in his son calling, the sports news, passing his Cardinal baseball tickets to someone. Not that he wasn't attentive. But we were the only clientele for the first half hour. None of that really mattered; he was pleasant enough.

I spent time reading the touching story of the immigration from Italy to America and how the Italian bloodline held up and the recipes were passed down, time spent sharing family cooking secrets. Then I went on to the menu.

Sometimes when a menu is, well, short, it's a good sign. They know what they can do and they do it great. Sometimes.

Not in this case. I heard the undeniable ding of the microwave in the kitchen. Nothing against microwaves but the story did more than mention, it dwelled on long, slow cooking, careful simmering, flavors melding together. You know what I mean. Mama Mia in the kitchen with a big wooden spoon, tasting her sauce every so often, just to be sure it was perfect. I wanted wafting scents and steaming dishes.

I asked about the ravioli - meat: beef or pork? Beef was the response, quick as it was. I think scores were being reported on the big screen tv. Beef ravioli was my choice then and Ed got the fettucine, with chicken and broccoli - creamy fettucine being his current food fancy.

We were served promptly. I use that word cautiously as we really weren't ready for dinner, not yet having finished our salads. The food was hot. The cook had sprinkled dried, non-descript green stuff - maybe parsley - on my bowl of ravioli. No doubt we cleaned some of that out of my mother's kitchen a couple of years ago. It did add color but not attractively. And nothing could help the food.

The ravioli were too perfect to be handmade. It made me contemplate what the kitchen secrets exchanged long ago had lost in translation or in being handed on to the next generation. "Remove from frozen, commercial packaged box and place in boiling water." hardly seems like what Nonna really said. The meat was flavorless, making my question as to its origin not a matter of taste nor appearance nor difference. The sauce? Well, runny. Some jarred (as in glass jar, not disturbedly moved) mushrooms were put in, probably when the water was added to extend it.

Maybe it was just the ravioli, I pondered optimistically. Then I looked at Ed and he, who usually is a tidy public eater(and I am not), was wearing fettucine sauce next to his moustache. Removing that with his napkin he approached another bite and splash - the other cheek was adorned. At that point I asked if that sauce was runny also.

Indeed, it was. Far from creamy, it merely shared the bowl with the noodles, not clinging to them as it should. He actually ended up taking a piece of non-Italian bread and sopping the sauce up at the end of his meal. Then, because I had no interest in it, he finished mine.

You have just read my $40 restaurant review blog post. Don't go there. Go to the other end of the block, The Blu Cat Cafe.

Rabu, 02 September 2009

Anniversary Gifts

Quite often we go to the local tavern on Friday nights for fish.

And, so it was that I learned our favorite waitress is getting ready to celebrate 30 yrs. of wedded bliss and our second favorite waitress was celebrating her first year of marriage. Since ours fell inbetween their two dates I decided to ask these ladies what they wanted.

You will know why "L" is our favorite waitress when you learn what she was doing. She was making a list of 30 items she wanted! Ha! BRILLIANT!!!! We could each do that.

Thus, I set about talking it thru with my husband. We had 10 days until our anniversary - plenty of time to come up with a 30 point list, independently, respectful of what was possible.

The big day arrives. Let's keep in mind that it was marked by him deciding to go through the preparatory steps so that today (the day after) he could have me wake him up and drive him to the clinic for a test. He had to be there at 5:45 a.m. You probably know what kind of test takes a day of prep, fasting, and then is somewhat invasive. I digress but, hey, the world knows now!

All right, cards are exchanged. I had two for him: a regular one and a hilarious one about him having a cute butt. There's a long story about that but it also ties in with the test, if you haven't figured it out now you never will.

Next, the lists! Ah, the moment of excitement arrives! I had stayed up late the night before, numbering the items and hand printing mine neatly so it could be read clearly. I didn't want any mistakes which would lead to me getting my own blimp or something equally extraordinary.

Let's take a look at the first item on each list. You'll know whose list is which right away, no matter what your gender. At the top of one is "RV". At the top of the other is "I love you" "written in 30 languages".

Still with me? How about some random picks? "Rend Lake vinyard trip & art fair at the end of the month" AND/OR "compressor"; "GPS" AND/OR "$30 to WUIS our NPR station".

We did overlap a bit. We both want to travel. He wants to go to PEI and the Gulf Coast and Burnt Corn Valley (places we have been and love), plus something called "a NASCAR trip". I want to go to St. Louis, Nauvoo, 10 state parks we've never been to, and on a picnic somewhere. Neither of us mentioned the other going along. Was it an assumption?

Continuing on, I asked that he give $5 to 6 strangers in need, w/o them asking for help; that we take 3 +/- days and together clean out the garage; that we work on the medicine wheel garden together so it's done for spring; that he help me bake for the October APL fundraiser...lofty, generous, and yes, practical ideas.

He was practical too. Remember the RV - how could that not be practical? Surely by now you are not surprised by my pointing towards him as the owner of that #1 item. Farther down, what's this - a new car?! A shed? steel cabinets for the garage? (See my garage request involved removing and disposing of items not hiding them in steel cabinets.) To give credit where it is due, he included "weather stripping" - oh, my, I hope that's what I first thought it was and not something really kinky.

Selasa, 01 September 2009


Chiggers. They got me. What purpose do they serve in the bigger view of life - a bite out of my hide doesn't seem to matter much. I suppose they in turn are food for another insect which ends up being food for a snake and on up the food chain.

But I look as if I have the measles.

This week brings some celebrations! Our local library director is entering retirement today and so is her husband. Boy will they learn even more about each other. The house does get a bit smaller when both people are around more. We (happily) bump into each other. Still, there are times....

Speaking of times, today is our 30th wedding anniversary. Now that takes a lot to admit! I'm pleased to reach this point with Ed. The photos we have indicate we'd still be recognizable to people we haven't seen in 30 years - phew. On the other hand, how did this happen? Where to from here?

So, once again, it may be time for a makeover. Return to the days of hippiedom? Sharpen my poetry pencil? Get a job? Move? I'm thinking a kick in my butt to get me spirited and fiesty and adventurous is in order. I just don't know if I can kick that high anymore.

Oh, wait, my butt's not that high...

Jumat, 28 Agustus 2009

Welcome to the PartyLine

Astride the back of my cousin's Honda (shudder), wearing my Harley jacket, headed through Southern Illinois, well, I had time to think. It wasn't easy to take photos. Singing was all for the wind. Reading was inappropriate behavior. I thought.

One topic which played in my mind was what we call progress. Let's see what I mean. When the telephone was first invented and started to become a regular fixture in households it was a wooden box on the wall. People "shared" a line, sometimes begrudingly, but that's the price they paid. Each "party", or owner, had a designated ring/signal. The decision to answer was based on whether it was your ring and/or whether or not you were snooping on your neighbors and answering their calls as well as your own. It truly was an open line.

Advance a century and a decade or two...we have phones with designated rings. Ah, the obvious, right? But, we also are right back to party lines - such worries about privacy and yet phone calls can be listened to because security is just not where we all think it should be. Email can be invaded and snatched away. Photos or videos end up on global tubes/posts.

The world is one big party line.

As fast as we have progressed in providing new and fancy communication tools the fact remains that the best way to keep a secret is to not tell it to anyone.


Kamis, 13 Agustus 2009

It's a Fair Shot and Then Some

The other day I saw Thomas spelled Taumus and I liked it. That's how my brain works. So you'll forgive my indulgences with the camera and twisting the words to caption the images. If not, well, don't look.

"Welcome to Springfield" - this guy has no idea what his future holds. He was laughing it up and entertaining us, glad to have an audience.

The Fair is for everyone and those who come to make it happen have to keep busy and eat right so they stay alert. Note - Uno, oreo, and soda pop (soda for some, pop for others - this is a global application).

Sometimes the kids have to be above it all. It's kids' play.

The fine china - set out for company, near the pork barns. Isn't there a China something pig?

Speaking of the little porkers the creamy colored one is a rascal. Meet Little Buttinsky who later pees in the food bowl and admonishes us if we consider being tattle "tails".

Before one sets out to visit the Fair one must have all his/her ducks in a row. You never know how long you'll want to stay at the Fair.

Get really close. Maybe you'll hear this little guy crying out about the sky falling. Who says the Fair isn't political?

This was interesting - a tail hairpiece? The note attached says "Do You Dare?" My hubby thought that meant don't touch; I wondered if it was a dare to others about adding to your horse's tail before competition. Notice the horse appropriately has presented its back end.

Graceful ride

This is really what the Fair is about. Every year we look for the babies.

There comes a time when visitors mistake pre-Fair jitters for napping.

Everything Old Is New Again - it's an all skate or a singalong

Yes, I cheated on my cell phone, the old one. I put it aside and tried out a good-looking, fast action phone. It drove me nuts. I found I was able to go without rather than live in an unsatisfying commitment with this new gadget that decided for itself whether to pay attention to my needs or act like I wasn't touching it.

It got what it deserved: returned. And, my old phone was willing to take me and my SIM card back as long as I promise to plug it in so it will re-charge just a bit more often. Everyone is happy again. Sometimes it is sweet to have the comfort of a known relationship.

Which leads me to confessing our 30th wedding anniversary is coming up. How does that happen? It DOES seem we have been married at least 5 years but 30? EGADS. Does this mixup in recognizing the years have passed mean I'm going to start confusing other things too? Oh, not counting the phone incident, please. That was more incompatibility than confusion.

So what does a happy couple sans children but loaded with pets do as a celebration? Ummm. The "mister" is working that night, in his newly found job as a community college instructor. He's growing his hair - sticking to the plan. I'll make a hippie out of him yet. Maybe we'll get his ear pierced as his present to me. As my present to him I will stop telling him to get his ear pierced.

What will I do that evening? Well, we've fallen into yet another TV pit - watching HGTV. Fortunately we are not in the crowd that can claim hundreds of viewing hours but if I had a crystal ball and looked into I might predict that we're headed there. We are intrigued by a number of sociological observations and that's what keeps us going back. Uh-huh.

But moreso is the House Hunters International. Last week we were moving to Spain. This week the country of choice is Nicuragua. I think I should have to spell that correctly before I'm allowed to move there. You can bet that after the show ends my loving partner is on the internet looking for homes for sale.

Ya know, I'm darned happy in my old log house here. The dogs are content to call this home and so are the cats. Packing them up and moving - not all that appealing. And, I won't own two homes, just won't. So I couldn't pull the cell phone routine with houses and "go back". This house has served me well. I'm staying.

It should be good news to my husband. I'm darned happy with him. The dogs and cats are content. He has served me well. I'm staying!

Sabtu, 08 Agustus 2009

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.

Going off to do Donation Dog duty today, with a dog, water and bowl, a minimum of essentials such as ID and cash, made sense. Why haul a lot around when you don't know if you'll be seated in the shade or standing in the sun for two hours?

We ended up in a compromising location - standing in the shade. I was glad we had a plan and had worked it. That was until I realized I needed to put in the "starter money" I always carry for the donation dog events. Reaching in for the few singles I brought along I also pulled out my license.

Well, I thought it was my license. It was my Barnes and Noble membership card. As one guy visiting with Baxter when I made the discovery said, "If you get stopped they'll just book you." Ha ha ha!

The plan fell apart completely when Baxter and I left our post because the heat index was over 100 and there was a heat alert issued. There should have been a humidity alert too.

Back to the car we went, not having coaxed a single copper out of anyone's pocket or hand. People were not in a giving mood although he did receive plenty of pats on the head and I gave out lots of Adoption Alert newsletters. It was a PR mission rather than Donation Dog mission. Not discouraged by that we rode home in the air-conditioned car; he kept an eye on approaching traffic on the chance he'd have to warn them off or out of our lane.

Once we arrived here we trotted happily up to the house and discovered we were locked out. I had not taken my house keys. Ed was gone. We were keyless and clueless in the country. Duh.

Before the other critters knew we were there we dashed quietly back to the car and drove to the near west side of Springfield to interrupt the Pet First Aid class and get Ed's house key. We were still without my driver's license and getting low on gas. Last time I checked I couldn't buy gas at Barnes and Noble but it wouldn't matter - the card is only for discounts not charges. I drove at a speed with which I am unaccustomed. The car reported we can get in again and go 28 miles before it coasts to a stop. The good part is we heard an interesting story on NPR. At least I thought it was interesting. Baxter didn't pay attention all that much.

Yesterday I gave my new cell phone a second chance to perform as I wanted. The evening before I had made attempts to understand the intuitiveness it supposedly has.

I think these things are intuitive for young men only - always have been. Now it seems everything is in pictures, no real instructions other than a horrid noise when the phone puts forth the "you're stupid" bleep. The guy at the store whipped through the few cues and clues and never once said, "Don't try this at home." The result was I made several unplanned calls, early in the day. Hopefully only the one person I heard from was disturbed in 'real time' and everyone else had their phones still off or charging or whatever phones do when by themselves.

I did manage to replicate everyone's phone number in my address book too so had fun removing them. I hope that's what I did. And, oddly enough, the numbers the provider put in cannot be removed - there's no trash can for all their stuff. Oh, what a mistake that is!

Last night we went to the usual hang out for fish. It's a bar not a restaurant. The food, even though it is fish, is not good for us. Fried fish and fried taters. We go for the atmosphere.

Really. It's good to know a wide range of people, bikers of all sizes and shapes and hair styles and tattoos and humor, those who swear more than me, neighbors who drink so much they don't remember they have met you. Hey, there but for the grace of God goes any one of us. Most of these people would give you the shirt off their backs.

Mid-meal I gasped, which brought an end to the action temporarily, and revealed to the man I was with that we were actually missing the mission trip fundraiser we were supposed to be attending at a swanky place on the lake. Having been to the same type of event a couple of years past, for the same reason, we had been looking forward to seeing people we saw two years ago. Did those two ever get married? Is that guy stil wearing a bad rug? Something is different about her. Hmmmm. Look at the size of that (choose all that apply): plate of food, diamond, check. It was to support our doctor and nurse practitioner (owners of one of our foster dogs). A pharmacist and his wife (also adopters of one of our fosters) were going. We WANTED to be there. Ya can't dress 'em up or take 'em out it appears. And, if you do, it's likely you won't end up where you were supposed to be.

Three strikes.
I think I'm out.

Rabu, 05 Agustus 2009

One Full Moon, Eight Dogs, and a Strange Cat

4 a.m. is not a great time to get up. Especially true if there's no sound reason to do so, it tends to make one need more make-up and feel hungry at odd hours. I wish we had a turkey to put in the oven and roast.

Nonetheless, here I am. OK, it's 5 a.m. but I have been awake for an hour, composing this in my mind.

There's a full moon and the dogs know it. All 8 of them (ours plus 3 visitors) and their additional personalities. We know there's a good dog/bad dog for each of them. Who else shows up on these full moon nights? I'll tell you. One new strange, stray, long-haired black cat. Lovely. Just what we need - another reason to be territorial.

And, we all know dogs will go back to sleep instantly, as soon as they get what they want, usually kibble, out, and a little attention. Then they lick themselves inappropriately, drop over on your personal space, and start with what gets us every time, "Oh, look how cute! He's dreaming." or "Aren't her little dream whimpers sweet?" Uh-huh.

But I'm up. I did mention that, didn't I? Short of making coffee or taking a dog for a drive to an all-night store to get the abovementioned turkey, there isn't much else to do other than write in the blog. (Sorry, don't take it personally.)

Actually when you read this you should count your blessings that we haven't crossed paths in some other way. If I go out somewhere today I know at least I, and probably others, will write notes to me and pin them to my shirt so that when I get home I can read them aloud to the four-legged culprits. They all start something like this:
Your person was not in the best of form today. Perhaps a nap, providing a little more sleep, would be beneficial. She seems a bit disturbed and grumpy.

Do yourself a favor. If you see a crazed female who needs a makeover, trolling the grocery store as if she has the blind nibblies, and perhaps even talking to herself and wearing her tee shirt inside out, give plenty of room when nearby.

Beware, one full moon, eight dogs, and a strange cat can play with your mind.

Minggu, 02 Agustus 2009

Arthur Who?

My Texas cousin, about whom I have reported at other times, keeps asking who the Arthur is I mention in emails to him. It'd be Arthur, IL., duh. We went there on a free day - free in the sense that we ignored any personal chores, had no outside obligations, and decide to take advantage of what we thought was to be a rainy day and meant no yardwork.

It was a gift. The weather was perfect.
We lingered. We strolled. We observed. We drove. There was nothing spectacular about what we did yet just doing it and using our senses made the day spectacular.

There was time to go to Sullivan, a community near Arthur, famous for Little Theater on the Square. Only one "star" name was recognized - Dick Van Patten's. So much for fame and fortune foundations in central Illinois.

But, speaking of theater and foundations, we ate at Jibby's (owned by the apparently famous "Trading Spaces" host, Doug Wilson). I had to Google him to get info on him; I like his hair, thus the photo. Ed fans be aware - I'm encouraging him to let his hair grow like this. So far so good, just not curly.
Note the decor. They've made the place over temporarily, to promote "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" at the theater. For those of you who burned all you had back in the 60's, those are bras.
Can I write "whorehouse" on a blog? Yes, but, will there be questionable visitors if I put that word in as a label? We'll see.

This one's titled "Butt Wait There's Mower" ... as in I have to go use the mower and will ride to blog again!

Senin, 27 Juli 2009

Bits 'N Pieces of Gratitude

A flower garden asks little and offers much. Some water which is given to us. Weeds pulled if you are inclined. Sunlight which we can't provide. Space, decent dirt, and maybe compost if you have it.

Clearly coneflowers attract.
The outcome is always the same.



We all have wings.

Then there are those who are on their way to garden pleasures and stop by the blue tarp folding area. These critters - what we call the circuit beetle and longlegger - re-defined the tarp's use, making it a rest stop. They moved on after the photo session.

From a distance, and thanks to a yip from one of the dogs, I saw and captured our fawns. Mom was close at hand. Silence was called for because no words were needed.

Jumat, 17 Juli 2009

How's the View?

Laws are tightening up about talking and twitter and messaging while driving. We can't drink. It's not good to eat a meal. Changing clothes is, well, do-able, unadvisable. Where does taking photos fall? No one has passed a law or even brought it up to the radio talk show hosts.

I'll keep on snappin'. Once in awhile I follow an interesting rear. Here's one. A farmer with a sense of humor, driving crop to the Thursday night Farmers' Market at the fairgrounds no doubt.
Look at the bell pepper box! Hot Darn! Or as they probably say at their home, "El's Bells, Maw, close the barn door before the horse gets out."

You know, one of the things we rarely address is how our car looks from behind. And yet, think about the number of people who see that and get to know you, just a little. Perhaps it is a sensitive issue to some of you. It can be touchy. Just the other day husband told me my tail pipe seemed a bit loose and before I was too enraged I figured out he meant on my car. :-)