Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving for us starts out with the infamous neighborhood walk. We live in a rural area so a walk around the block is 4 miles.... we all gather at Gina's house and head out by 9AM.

Sometimes people ride horses... one year people brought llamas... another year someone brought a pygmy goat. There are always dogs, dogs and more dogs!
It was a beautiful sunny day - we pass the Irish Cobb horse farm...
We pass by John and Nancy's house. John had a double hip replacement so he didn't join us but watched us all pass by with the grand kids... And we walk happily down the road... cars pass slowly gawking and I always wonder if they think it's some sort of protest movement. Save the turkey!

Here I am with my Ma and Little Toe.... I wore my BIG sunglasses. Furry Husband calls me Chachi when I wear 'em. As in, "Lookin' good there Chachi!"

We cook our turkey on the grill and we mostly we sat outdoors chatting; enjoying the gorgeous day...

Oh - here all the 4 women... Mom, Me, Sister and Baby...

And finally it was turkey time!

Along with pie, pie and more pie..... MMMMMM

I hope you all had a very happy, yummy and wonderful Thanksgiving!!
The End.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seattle Part II

I had an hour before leaving for the airport. I couldn't stand straight and Furry Husband told me I looked like I had spina bifida.

My back went out when I bent over to scoop up some birdseed for my bird feeders and I can tell you I was clutching my back, waving my fist at the sky cursing the birds that day my friends... curse you, you foul feathered fowl! Curse you and the eggs you hatched from!

I made panic calls to chiropractors in the phone book. I found a guy who worked on Saturdays and he said he'd fit me in if I left now...

My hair was all dorked out and it's not exactly how I wanted to leave home... in a big rush, twisted in 6 different directions and stooped over with pain. I gave Furry Husband a big hug and kiss and gimped out to my car.

The chiropractor guy looked like Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Only older. And balder. He did have the long, scraggly hair all around his bald head mullet-style.

That guy struggled to fix my back and he was huffing and he was puffing and he was sweating and he was grunting. He was soft and out of shape. He could not get my back adjusted. I could tell I was still really messed up.

I was beginning to be a little afraid. I put all my trust in this guy and I didn't know him from a serial killer. No one knew where I was and I was alone in this guy's office.
I was trying to figure out a plan to get away from him should he begin to do something dastardly... it's always good to have a plan.... and then the exam was over.


He said that was all he could do for me with a shrug of his shoulders. I was still pretty dicked up and I felt like crying because I was hurting and frustrated and I'd been looking so forward to this trip!

While I was waiting to pay, I noticed he had a picture of himself at the reception desk framed with a Maya Angelou saying about a HEro or a SHEro is someone who makes the world a better place... with a picture of HIMSELF.

Because I guess he is a SHEro or HEro?



Anyhoo - deep breath - let it go.

I made my plane, I made it to Seattle ... it was wunnerful, wunnerful, wunnerful to see my friend, Shonda!

Sunday all day was dog agility and I shoulda taken pix but I was hobbling around like a 108 yr old lady who forgot her walker. It was crowded with dogs and people of every shape, color, size and personality. Really fun to watch... Shonda qualified and she had really nice runs with her dog, Patch.

I thought to myself as I was weaving thru the crowd of dogs and people like a geriatric... if someone bumps into me?
I'm gonna fall down.
I will fall like a ton of bricks.
People will stare and a crowd will gather 'round and someone will call a whaaa-m-bu-lance for my sorry arse.

I managed to stay upright.

I found a chiropractor in the area who helped fix me on Monday... and after the chiro? We hit Pikes Market ... and the Space Needle... and coffee shops.... I know - I look like a man. Bad camera angle from the space needle.

Shonda tweaking a brass nipple. Nipple. Such a funny word. Nipple.

Oh and I had fresh seafood... it was glorious!

Patch didn't get the attraction to Seattle. She thought it was stupid. It was all concrete and waiting in the car for a long time before she could go back to Argus Ranch to play frisbee...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Shonda and I had a whole lotta fun in Seattle... but before Seattle, there was a surprise party for Harry (of the infamous Harry and Sally) in Estes Park. Sally rented a duplex cabin, invited me and Furry Husband along with two other couples.

We all arrived to surprise a semi-suspecting Harry ... after all Sally is devious. She enjoys being deviant and we all love her that much for for her mischievous ways.

Everyone brought wine - I think there were 20 bottles for the 8 humans.


Let's just say that by the end of the night, we were calling Danni's Oma (grandma) in Germany to sing a very raucous, slurred Happy Birthday. Danni is German and speaks it fluently... gawd I love people who are multi-lingual. It is so amazing to me... but only because I want to speak another language fluently and don't. I took a semester of German in college so I could ask Oma how much does that cost, where is the airport and what is that?

And I did.

I asked Oma ALL those things.

I have no idea what she said to me but it sure sounded cool.

Needless to say we didn't sleep much and we were a bit green around the gills the next morning on our way back to Ft. Collins.

Once home, I entered into my manic "I'm leaving home so I must do everything today because I may never see my home ever again" phase.

I cleaned house, cleaned the horse pens, cleaned the goat pens.... and filled bird feeders.

I had to fill the bird feeders because, you see, I am a 107 year old lady trapped inside a 39 yr old body. I like to feed birds, watch birds, talk to the birds and I have a million cats.... crazy cat slash bird lady.

I bent over to grab a handful of peanuts for the jays... snap -- pop -- crack

My back went out.

My back completely and totally went out on me.

When I stood up to tell Furry Husband, he said I looked like a deformed person I was so crooked everywhere. And it hurt. I couldn't stand up straight at all.

I was leaving for Seattle in an hour.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bode Miller

My little doe, Speck, visited Bode Miller last night for some good, good lovin'. Nope - not the amazing Alpine skier but a little buck with the same name.
I drove an hour to Lyons, CO to see Marilou at South Fork Lamanchas.... and I was thinking after being shoved into a dog crate, driven for an hour only to be pulled out of the dog crate in a dark and unfamiliar place... led down a hill and over a bridge to be put in a pen with some strange buck.... well, it's really not so "romantic" is it?

I should have given her a few beers and a shot cuz isn't everyone more horny after drinking? I mean... duh. That is why there is that country song... "Let's get drunk and screw". Am I right people?

Anyhoo.... Marilou went into the pen with my doe and held her collar while the buck did his thang. My little doe looked SO surprised and scooted forward. Then any time the buck came near her she would leap like a stag...

And with my sick sense of humor I laughed and said out loud..."Oh. Sweetie, it only hurts the first time!"

Tho' I did end up in the pen to help Marilou hold her. And I know to non-animal people that may seem strange and bizarre.... and I guess it is sorta. Only if you are a little goat that is in heat for the first time, there is simply no goat version of the Judy Blume book "Forever" or "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" to explain what is happening to your little reproductive tract.

In the end, the goats figure it out.

Case in point.....

When I was done milking Spot last night, she leaped off the milk stand and RAN to the gate leading into the buck pen. RAN I tell you. Stood there with her little behind in his face while all 250 lbs o' him body slammed the gate trying to get at her.

When I grabbed her she looked at me like.... "Whattya doin? I WANT ME A PIECE O' THAT BUCK!"

Well - she can't have him. She is scheduled to meet Headliner... a nice buck in Livermore. I marked her heat date on the calendar and in 3 weeks she has a "date". I don't think an experienced doe like Spot will need any tequila that night to get things started.

Lookit him.
It's like she's gettin' her shot at the goat version of George Clooney.

**As a side note... Sister and I did fine with Dad today. I think it was really more shocking to her because she was hearing things in detail about his condition from nurses and other professionals and couldn't deny the inevitable. Things that aren't pretty. I hope I was there enough for her... I tried to be.
I really feel o.k. and at peace with everything - said my goodbye and told him I loved him.

Course I'm perfectly fine NOW. I'm probably still "processing" or something. I'm sure I'll watch some stupid coffee commercial 3 days from now and it'll make me cry like a baby....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Goats in heat...

Hey - BOTH does are in a raging heat... screaming, tail wagging, mounting each other...

Guess what I'm doing tonight?

Taking does to visit bucks!

Since everyone was waiting and I was keeping you in suspense about my goats hoohas, I decided I wouldn't keep you in suspense.


The definition of which is "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream".

Hospice called last night and Dad has taken a surprisingly fast downhill slide. Sister and I were going to meet staff for a caregiver meeting on Dec 1 but it needs to happen sooner rather than later so we'll go tomorrow.

It's so weird cuz you THINK you are prepared. Not like I didn't think this would happen and it is a blessing because he's been suffering for so long.... really it is.

And yet it still sorta sucker punches you. I'm o.k. when I'm "doing". Making the calls I need to make and arranging times and looking through files for paperwork. Totally and completely fine and normal.

Only today hospice called me while I was at work. Which is fine - I'd rather they call than not. We discussed tasks... I was fine... anointing and priests and other Catholic things. And that got a little surreal. Movie like. Like I'm watching it all go down from a distance. This can't really be about MY family can it?

And then the hospice guy veered off the task path.... he said there is some sort of certificate celebrating the life of the dying person that we'll get tomorrow and could he ask me some questions? Sure I say confident in my "task oriented calm".

He asks about Dad's employment - says he can see that basketball was a huge part of Dad's life and asks about his personality. Goes on to say that I'm a great daughter and it's been a long, hard journey for everyone...

And I couldn't respond to him cuz I knew I'd start crying at my desk.

Why do they have to be NICE? Nice gets me every time. It's not a "to do"! It's not on my list!

I was completely silent trying to get it together... and he took this as license to keep saying kind words and comforting things, which was only making it worse.

I finally squeeked out that he was making me cry and I had to go. I'm sure that tomorrow will be an emotional day. I wonder how it will be with my sister there? If it can sucker punch me and I think I've been as prepared and as expecting for this to happen as one can be.... well, what will it be like for her? Will she realize or will she stay in the river o' denial? "He's exactly the same!" I can hear her say.

Is it gonna be like a big Jerry Springer show with chairs flying and shoes being thrown? No, no, no. It won't be that bad... that's my dramatic side popping out to say hello. It's just going to be very odd and very surreal.

While I like to keep my little blog on the light and funny side... it's been hard to see the funny side of life with all this stuff going on. It's kinda weird how this sort of thing completely scoops up all your energy and devours it. nom nom nom. Please bear with me and hopefully we'll get back to the fun side soon.

I think the very best-est thing about seeing my friend in Seattle was the complete and total void of responsibility, real or imagined, in my life for those 4 days! Boy howdy, what a nice break that was.

And yes. I did say 'boy howdy'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


That is a big fancy word that I'm not sure I spelled right which means humans attributing human behavior to animals. Furry Husband thinks I have a big, giant case of it this morning.

Our buck goat had a visitor last week. A lovely 2 yr old doe named Abby. She lived with him for about 5 days and her owners came to pick her up last night.

I thought for sure our buck would scream bloody murder when she went home. Nope. He was quiet as a mouse.

I told Furry Husband I think our buck is a little introspective this morning.
He is remembering Abby - the things they shared - a nuzzle here and there - the special times they shared - the lovely curve of her udder.

I think our buck is hearing Barry Manilow in his head...."Well you came and you gave without taking .... but they took you away.... Oh Abby....Well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking and I need you today.... Oh Abby...."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What did you do to my dog?

I got home from Seattle Wed. night and as I pulled up, the dogs all came rushing to the gate happily cheering with woofs and wagging tails that I had returned safe and sound. I peered in the darkness at Toe... he looked really different....there was a bow on his collar from the groomer we like in Wellington.


Toe was shaved!!

Oh man. I'd worked with his breeder to learn a little about the hair and how to keep him looking most cockerish. It was my goal to groom him once a month so I could roughly follow the pattern the breeder helped me with.

I know it's a silly thing - it's just hair - but when we shaved Booker, our Gordon Setter, once his show career was over, it changed his hair texture quite a bit. I didn't like it and it's another reason I vowed to keep up with Toe's grooming.

Poor Furry Husband. He was trying to do something really sweet for me... I complained before I left how dirty Toe was. In my mind I thought when I got home I'd give him a bath and a good groom session. I guess I never finished the 2nd part of my thought for Furry Husband to hear.
K - I haven't stacked a dog in a really long time and Toe was NOT at all impressed with me. He kept trying to sit and I had to grab his stub to keep his behind from hitting the floor... Sorry Baby Toe!

He wanted to surprise me with a squeaky clean pup when I got home. (isn't he the best Furry Husband in the whole world!?)

He surprised me all right!

He said when he dropped Toe off, he told them not to shave Toe. Only when he stopped to pick Toe up that afternoon... he took one look and thought: "Oh. Shanster is not going to like this at all!"

What's done is done... it's only hair and it will all grow back.
I don't think I've ever reacted that much to my own hair's bad cut or color jobs in the past. I dunno if that is from having curly hair and the lack of styling products for curly hair in the 70's and 80's and being used to having bad hair or ... if it says something more about me? Something... I'm not sure what but something!
Random kitty picture. Itty Bitty Opal Kitty was just sure she wanted some of my clementine orange at lunch.... ROOT FOR THE CUTE BITTY, ROOT FOR THE CUTE! It's crackin' me up cuz she is still sporting it. My entertainment threshold is so incredibly low... it's just sad. Really, really sad.

Seattle was super fun and I'll share soon... only we are starting a project and I wanna get going on it! We are really digging this color - it is so warm and bright - lets hope we like it as much when it's done! (shhhhh - Mom if you are reading this, it is a Thanksgiving Day suprise so don't tell anyone....)

Friday, November 6, 2009

WA state - here I come!

I'm meeting my best friend from high school in Seattle tomorrow! She has some crazy-mad dog agility skills and flew from Fairbanks to Seattle yesterday with her Border Collie, Patch, for some WA state agility trials.

It's a lot cheaper for me to fly to Seattle on Southwest - $69 each way - than to Fairbanks! (and the weather is probably nicer in WA than in AK - even tho the forecast is rain, rain and more rain... hello frizzy poof ball hair! At least it's not snow and freezing)

The agility trial is in Auburn just outside of Seattle and I guess there is a huge dog complex with housing/dorms or some such thing. We are splitting a room, rental car, meals etc. We will venture out to find unique WA areas, eateries, shops and coffee! Oooooo - I'm gonna get me one o' them fancy coffee whatchamacallits and some fresh, fresh, fresh seafood every day! And there will be dogs - lots and lots o' dogs .... so I'll be happy. Even tho' I will miss my pooches at home... sniff.

I'm looking forward to getting away and getting in some good, quality girl bonding...

Poor Furry Husband will hold down the fort... he thinks Speck will go into heat the second I leave. I'm sure he's right... ain't that the way the world works?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We try not to watch too much t.v.... but it seems in the winter when it's dark so early, we turn to the boob tube for entertainment.

We tuned in for this show, V, the other night... it's a remake of the 1980's t.v. show.

You guys remember that show? Aliens show up on Earth one day with space ships. They look just like us, they claim they are peaceful but ... we learn in the first show they have ulterior motives and underneath the "just like us" appearance are strange glimpses of something otherworldly and reptilian.... creepy! The premier was really good and left us wanting more...

I read the next day in our newspaper's entertainment section that this show, V, mirror's the far right's thinking about President Obama's election and the first black president. Um, yeah. Alien's evil plot to take over the world. That is so exactly like our President.

Seriously? Give me a flippin' break. I can't believe anyone would make that leap from watching a sci-fi t.v. series. Tho' I suppose the ultimate message is supposed to be that blind faith can be a dangerous thing and that message I can buy into... tho' this is ENTERTAINMENT television people so... yeah.

Anyway, the other new show we tuned in for and we are liking so far is The Vampire Diaries. The story line moves, it's not TOO high school kitchy or girly - tho' it does move that direction now and again - it quickly moves on and even Furry Husband is digging the plot. There is good suspense and you wonder what's gonna happen.

And then there is this guy:

Ian Somerhalder. He plays Damon on the show.... Google him.


Poor Furry Husband. I told him if Ian Somerhalder shows up at our house I wouldn't kick him outta bed for eatin' crackers.

Don't worry - Furry Husband has the same agreement from me should Halle Berry knock on our door....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Morning Walk...

This morning on Furry Husband's and my walk with the dogs, we passed under this tree filled with blackbirds. I'm not sure which sort they were... grackles? starlings?

Some were making really odd noises that sounded strangely similar to sirens from emergency vehicles.

I told Furry Husband I thought some blackbirds had the power of mimicry.

He responded in a way I knew he was making fun of me:

"Did you just say, 'the power of mimicry'??"

Yes, I say waiting for further chop bustin'....

"Hmmm - 'the power of mimicry'.... I think if I was a super hero, I'd like to have the power of mockery."

You already do, dear.... you already do.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I was feeding goats Sunday night and I have this little ritual.

When I'm done milking Spot, I take her back to her pen and I feed her a Ritz cracker. And I give a Ritz to the buck. I feel sorry for him that he's by himself and all stinky and sexed up.

I know a Ritz is a small consolation prize compared to sex but he comes running to get his Ritz and happily munches it. He takes what he can get.

The does and buck are next to each other, separated by a fence with a stock tank sitting in the middle - half in the doe pen and half in the buck pen.

I gave Mario his Ritz and looked into the shared stock tank full of water.

Hmm - that is a weird looking algae. It must have frozen during the storm we had and then when it got warmer, it floated to the top.

Wait. What sort of algae IS that?? (I lean in closer)

Is that straw? Did the goats put straw in the stock tank? (I squint my eyes and look harder)

*que the suspense music*


It's hair.

I looked at the buck expecting a big bald patch somewhere.... well, hold on... how would his hair get IN the stock tank?

I stand back a bit... pondering.... looking in the stock tank....



Poor little critter must have wanted water in the storm and fell in... I began screeching in my best screechy, nails on a blackboard voice.... it carries.



Poor Furry Husband pokes his head around the corner of the house. He scooped the poor lil' squirrel out of the stock tank and disposed of it....

Lil' squirrel not gonna be ok.

Poor goaties. I'm sure dead squirrel water didn't taste so good...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Unseeing and grumpy mares....

Weekend turned out fine...

Visited Dad and he is o.k.... The staff is great and he seems to connect well with two of the day staff and they touch him a lot - hand holding, back rubbing. I think touch is so important to us humans...

Sister is still in denial if you ask me... she says he's exactly the same since the last time she saw him. The entire time we were there she was putting together a puzzle from the activities shelf and not really looking at Dad. She kept chattering away like a magpie about anything and everything. Weird.

Even when they moved him with this hydraulic lift thing from his wheelchair into his armchair... she was "busy" looking at old photo albums searching for a picture she wanted. She didn't watch or look up once.

I thought to myself, "Really? He is exactly the same? You took him to Applebees and he ate lunch and he was like this? You used the hydraulic lift and 2 staff people to get him into the booth at the restaurant?"

It is really odd to witness the refusal to see. We all cope differently and that is fine... I worry when he dies what will happen? Suppose we'll cross that bridge when it gets here. I'm steeling myself for weirdness....

Rest of the weekend was fine - Saturday night we went to dinner with friends and watched all 'dem crazy college kids in their costumes.

I feel so old.

Sunday I rode Sera in my lesson - oy, she was grum-PY! Any time I asked her for anything, the ears laid flat and her tail would swish. I can't blame her - she hasn't been worked regularly due to weather, the weather has been bitter cold and then warm with lots of mud. It was quite warm Sunday and with her full winter coat, I'm sure she was hot and not feeling like work.

We rode some walk exercises and when she was concentrating on me, her work and submitting vs. kicking, sucking back or pinning her ears we turned it up a notch... she relaxed, tried hard and we ended on a good note with those nice floppy ears - half pass, extensions, beginning pirouette work and a couple flying changes which are new to us.

Right now she's using the changes against me, as in any time she doesn't want to do something she pins her ears and puts in a big leaping flying change flinging her hind end back and forth... it's very ugly and she's doing it to be naughty, not because I asked because I didn't. She's having a tantrum. Tho' I think once she really "gets" them she'll have fun with them and enjoy them.

She is so good and yet sometimes her personality gets in the way! You can't fight her, you have to finesse her.... she always gives it up and gets to work in the end. I really do love my big, red, funny mare!