Saturday, February 27, 2010


I stopped at the feed store on my way home to get bird seed, suet and raw peanuts. (Evidently I feel that I don't feed enough animals and must feed the wild things as well...)

I saw a sign "buy 2 Moozles dog chews, get 1 free". What a coincidence... we happen to have 3 dogs.
Ummmm - I'm not really sure how to eat this?

I know how to eat it nom nom nom

Can I have another Moozle? Puff dried cow noses are tasty!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Goin' to the dogs...

I volunteered to work the Foothills Tracking Club for the March 28 TDX tracking test. The funny thing is they asked me if I wanted to be a driver...



I have no sense of direction. None. I couldn't find my way out of an open box.

If they let me drive judges around, I'm pretty sure we'd end up in UT and not anywhere near the test site. When I told Furry Husband they asked me to drive he simply started laughing. He knows all too well how easily I get lost.

I also volunteered yesterday to help steward the Gordon Setter National Specialty in June because I just love those big black and tans. It'll cause little heart string tugs cuz each big, happy dog is gonna make me think of my goofy boy, Booker, who died last summer but it's fun to be around such happy, clownish dogs for a couple days and it makes me smile remembering funny Bookerish ways. (besides I absolutely LOVE Ms. H who is organizing the specialty and I would do most anything for her... within reason Ms. H, within reason)

I'll go tracking with Toe tomorrow. We'll work on his starts. Right now at the start of the track, he stands in one place and doesn't give me a direction to go... once we guide him to his first article BAM - he is hot on the trail. However, the lack of a strong start means we won't be going to the certification test March 6.

I was disappointed but Jolynn says there are a couple of people in the tracking club that can grant him his certification and when he's ready we'll arrange it with the club, head to Denver and get him certified. No big deal.

We're supposed to have some nice weather today and tomorrow... I'm hoping to get me arse in the saddle. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One of those nights...

We had company over for Furry Husband's amazing and addicting red sauce the other night. One of them happened to be a wine geek just like Furry Husband. And that means bottle after bottle was shown and talked about and tasted... It was all great fun but the next day was a work day.

I was tired from staying up too late and having too much fun with friends and was so relieved to get home at the end of my day...

While I was changing out of my work clothes, Toe, my little dog, was on the bed doing his little conniption fit thing he does. He rolls around and makes these funny noises, I tug on his paws or rub his belly and he continues on with his "fit". It's a weird game we have - me encouraging him to have his "seizures".

While I was petting him, there was a sharp pain and my back went snap, crackle, pop. Seriously? My back is gonna go out just PETTING the dog?? It wasn't as bad as usual but... still... it's painful and really frustrating.

I finished changing and gimped outdoors with Furry Husband for chores. I had this powder supplement thing I wanted to give Rosso, one of the horses. He doesn't like it so I was trying to be creative - mixing the powder with applesauce while Furry was feeding them.

Only I didn't do this in my kitchen - I did it outside in the 20mph winds with single digit temps in the dark (yeah, not one of my brighter moments - I realize this) making a big ol' mess with glops of applesauce all over...

I haltered Rosso and tried to administer the stuff he doesn't like... mnyaa, mnyaa, mnyaaa - he stood for me chewing at the syringe and I was trying to plunge it, only the powder gummed it up so it wouldn't plunge so easily. His head is above mine and I managed to get most of it in his mouth.

SPLAT - a big wad of applesauce hit my face. And once the plunger was depressed fully? POOF - a blast o' powder that didn't get mixed in flew in my face, down my coat and into my clothes. Nice.

Next I take Spot out for milking. She stands on a wooden stanchion eating grain while I milk. Toe likes to watch me milk while the other dogs, who are riddled with herding genes, are busy bossing the horses thru the fence. I give Toe a couple squirts of milk on the stanchion. This night however, the milk I squirted for Toe was a leeettle too close to Spot's foot...

Once done lapping up the squirt of milk, Toe began licking Spot's hoof and leg. I saw it happen and I knew Spot wouldn't tolerate it but before I could grab the milk bucket, she had fussed, her foot was in the pail and I had milk spilled everywhere.

I let out a big ol' string of curse.....

Toe went running, Spot stood completely still in an "oh crap" sorta way....

I took a deep breath and calmly put Spot back in her pen. Furry Husband checked to make sure I was o.k. but wisely kept his distance. (I was all itchy from the powder down my coat and in my clothes, my back hurt, there was milk everywhere and I was tired from staying up way to late the night before)

I moved the stanchion to expose the spilled milk and called the dogs... all 3 stood politely at the door of the milk room wagging their tails - obviously having thoughts in the same vein as Furry Husband. "uh UH - we aren't comin' in there after all your loud angry words! You think we're stoopid?"

I dug down deep to find my happy voice - It's OK! C'mon! Clean it up! I left them to it while I went in to shower and find a quiet place to curl up with a good book. I think it was best not to tempt fate any more than I needed to.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Keep that trim and no one will F*&$ with you...

Friday night Furry Husband and I went into town for a Big Head Todd and the Monsters show. We don't go out much at night because most things we need for entertainment are at home...

The doors opened at 8, opening act at 9 and Todd to hit the stage at 10:15. The crowd was eclectic to say the least. There were people like us - middle age?, young college students at one end and older, white haired Tony Soprano types wearing Hawaiian shirts and diamond pinky rings. Great people watching!

A guy in a hoodie passed Furry Husband and jumped back about a mile - "Whoa! Dude, you are with the FBI!" and he skittered wild-eyed back into the crowd. I about peed my pants laughing and once we found a good spot to watch the show, Furry Husband asked the college kid in front of us, "Hey man, do you think I look like FBI?"

The college kid looked Furry Husband up and down inspecting him... "Naw. That's more of a cop mustache. You keep that thing trim and NOBODY will fuck with you!"

The show started, Todd and his Monsters were fabulous... that band is tight and Todd plays guitar like... well... like only Todd can.

On our way home, Furry Husband and I were giggling about the "nobody will fuck with you" comment. Where exactly would Furry Husband BE for someone to fuck with him on any given day?

The grocery store on his way home in the afternoon?

His retail accounts while he's selling bordeaux, pinot, merlot? Or would they fuck with him for selling white wines - chardonnay or the rieslings perhaps?

And since we are usually home and in bed by 9pm, I'm quite sure no one is comin' to our house to fuck with him for any reason.

Regardless, I told him to keep that thing trim cuz I don't want anyone to START fuckin' with him.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

No one's ever given me THAT before....

The weekend proved to be snowy, cold and I was on edge with cabin fever.

Meg called me earlier in the week asking if I could clean our trainer's barn for her Saturday. She wanted to go boarding and heard there would be snow this weekend. She was right, there was LOTSA snow.

I had the idea I'd take the horses up to Rex's barn to work them when I was done cleaning stalls since she was at a medical clinic where her sister works as an equine surgeon - Littleton Large - for the day.

Furry Husband was his usual darling self and offered to come up and help me knock out the stalls. Yeah. Once we got there? It was freeze butt cold and snowing and... I'm not bringing the horses out here. Confirmation of my decision came on our way home when our car slid thru the stop sign at Cty Rd 15 with all the snow and ice on the roads. No way would I drive the truck and trailer thru that mess.

We had just gotten home and were debating what to do with our day when Mrs. Kravitz came over to see what I had planned. Furry Husband needed to work in town for his wine sales so Mrs. Kravitz and I decided to hit the dollar movie theatre. We saw a pretty average movie for $2... it was entertaining on a crappy day.

On our way home, she wanted to stop at Beaver's Market to pick up a 12 pack of 3.2 beer (the only beer she says she can drink - it's a CO law that grocery stores can sell beer as long as it's 3.2 vs. full strength)

While we are there she says Beaver's makes their own sausages and brats and I have GOT to try them because they are so good. She is picking up various packages of sausages and brats reading me each and every package's flavors and attributes....
She made up her mind.
"I'm buying this for you - you HAVE to try these!" and she's holding a 6 pack of brats.
"Nooo - don't do that because Furry Husband isn't a big brat fan and I can't eat all 6 of those brats. Let's wait til summer and we can have a cookout."
Mrs. Kravitz looked a little crestfallen but she was not to be deterred. She spied a 2 pack of brats. Picking out a 2 pack of garlic brats she told me, "You can eat TWO brats... I'm getting these for you!"
And the look in her eye was one I know would be futile to argue against. I sat in her car on the way home holding my package of raw bratwurst.
"Mrs. Kravitz? I can honestly say no one has ever bought me raw sausages before. Thank-you"

Friday, February 19, 2010

My day in words...




Shaking muscles

MORE sweat

Tub o' goo

How can I be this weak

Funny hair

White out snow

Empty gas tank

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who do? You do? Voodoo?

. Sorry - but this voodoo doll made me laugh...

Furry Husband gave me a little Valentime's Day present. A friend of his makes some Boo Goo Paw Salve for dogs and these stuffed voodoo dogs. I received this little pot of the paw salve to test along with a small fabric stuffed generic doggie. It is maybe 3 inches x 4 inches of bright green fabric with white daisy-like flowers throughout.

It has a red thread doo dad on it's chest symbolizing a heart and there's a pin in it.

It's supposed to be a good, loving voodoo doll to send good intentions and love to your dog. It's really very cute. Cute idea...

However, while I was holding it and looking at it, Toe came to see. He was very interested in this little doggie representation.

And since the directions say to send love intentions to your dog with the needle into the red threads...

I looked at Toe, I took the needle from the little stuffed voodoo doggie doll and I said in a happy, joking voice, "Here you go baby Toe! See how much I love you?"

And I stabbed the needle in.

Let me tell you, that did NOT feel right AT ALL! I'm not so sure I believe in voodoo or black magic, but um... well... anything I've ever seen about voodoo dolls in jest, cartoons or movies has always been bad and caused pain to the area where a needle was struck.

I immediately thought - "Geez, if Toe falls over clutching his little chest, I am going to feel REALLY awful.."

Toe, of course, did NOT gasp and clutch his chest or even act mildly pained. He was still curious, happily wagging his stumpy tail and hoping I'd give him the little doggie voodoo doll to chew on.

I didn't want him to eat it and ingest the straight pin so I tucked it in my purse and here it sits on my desk. I told some co-workers my story. We laughed but I warned them... "You guys better leave my voodoo doll alone cuz if you kill my dog? I'm going to be really, really pissed!"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sadie the Scottish Terrier wins!

Did you stop watching the men's figure skating in the Winter Olympics to tune in for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?

We are big dorks and tape it each year... We enjoy watching all the different breeds and hearing the announcer give a little summary about each. Tho' the announcer seemed to have a lot of trouble this year - more so than usual and that was distracting. Still fun to watch.
(funny aside - we were visiting a neighbor around Westminster time long ago. Furry Husband and I were joking and I imitated the announcer saying something about "The Little Captain.... " which is what Schipperke means in it's home country's language.
Our neighbor turned beet red and thought I was announcing my pet name for Furry Husband's... his... well his.... cough... ahem - raised eyebrows. I had to explain I was not speaking of bedroom affairs but I was talking about a dog breed. I'm not sure she ever believed me...)
It's pretty amazing to think that each one of those breeds was developed and bred with a purpose in mind and the dogs can be SO incredibly different.

Ok, ok, so I fell asleep during the Working Group... it's why we tape it!

Drum roll please.... the results for anyone who wants to know are as follows:

Hound Group: Whippet Ch. Starline's Chanel

Toy Group: Toy Poodle Ch. Smash JP Moon Walk

Non-Sporting Group: French Bulldog Ch Robobull Fabelhaft Im On Fire

Herding Group: Puli Ch. Cordmaker Field Of Dreams

Sporting Group: Brittany Ch. Willowick Taltean

Working Group: Doberman Pinscher Ch. Allure Blazing Star Alisaton

Terrier Group: Scottish Terrier Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Only takes a minute to lose it all...

I took Rosso and Sera (the younger red horses) over to my vet's clinic yesterday.

We did a flexion test on Sera to check her hocks. After flexion on her left hind she took 1-2 steps off but my vet doesn't think she needs the hock injection yet. Sera didn't test sore over her back or rump at all and she was really sore last time... so this is good news! She is at the 6 mos marker today for the hock injections and we'll inject again at a year - will be a maintenance thing which is what I thought once we injected them the first time.

She was off a little on her left front - there was a nick on her leg - nothing deep, swollen or hot - but maybe that was why - the scab was pulling on her skin? I cleaned it off and put goo on it...

I tied Sera up to the trailer and took Rosso into the vet's shop and led him into the stocks. He was hollering to Sera and Sera was hollering back. Once he was in the stocks I told my vet I was gonna go check on Sera - as I walked to the door of her shop I hear ALL this banging around.

I open the door of the clinic and there is Sera - on the ground - she pulled the lead rope to the end with the tie blocker thingy... and she was hog tied with the rope around her legs... once she heard/saw me she went limp... the rope was stuck in the blocker at the very end where they double back the lead rope braid.

I couldn't get it loose because Sera had it so tight and tied around her legs - I carefully unhooked Sera's right hind fetlock from the rope. I was able to pull on it enough to loosen it so I could undo it... she stayed very still. This is good because if she began thrashing, she would have seriously injured herself.

I untangled the rope from around her legs and she stayed down so I kicked a little gravel at her to get her up. I walked her around she seemed o.k. Rope burned but no cuts, gashes or blood. The back part of the trailer wheel well is really bent - the piece that is a triangle of diamond plate connecting the wheel well to the trailer?

That could have gone wrong SO many ways. And to see her down and tangled like that... didn't really think I carried Louie around with me but that is the first place my head went! Scary.

I've left her alone at the trailer before to run in and pay for a clinic, check into a show, grab a bite to bring back to the trailer to eat ... never for long but for a few minutes just like I did taking Rosso in to load him in the stocks for the evaluation/injection of his eye.

After that mess, Sera came into the shop and stood near the stocks while Rosso got his eye injection... and of course I could see her backing into something and causing a noise that would make Rosso jerk his head riiiiiight as the needle was poised for the injection into his eye for his mysterious cataract....

His injection went fine and Sera stood quietly. The cataract isn't growing - but there are striations radiating out to the edges of his cataract that my vet didn't see before. She wasn't sure what that means and will call Dr. Robertson, the eye specialist, today to discuss.

I trailered both red horses home and felt very discouraged. Really about how out of control all of this really is and how we can lose them in an instant... anyway - Sera is fine. Everything was superficial and I am extremely lucky. I salved her up and I'll dose her with bute... she was moving around normally today...


That is enough excitement to last ME awhile!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ow, ow, ow

In all the years I've owned cats, I've never had injuries to my feet. This one is from vacuuming barefoot a week ago.

Pudge hides under the bed and as you head into the bedroom with the vacuum, she dashes out and runs to another hiding spot.

This particular day she happened to run over my foot. (yeah, my toes are really freaky - sorry bout that for those of you with a foot thing - it's my monkey toe given to me by my paternal gramma and my pa... those crazy Germans) The next one happened today - JUST as the other bloody scratch had healed.

I play "catch the feathers on a stick" with the kitties in the morning... Itty Bitty was hiding behind me as I sat on the floor and somehow ran over my foot, clearly digging in, (told you she was bloodthirsty) in her frenzy to catch the feathers on a stick...

I'm gonna go buy me some steel toe boots today....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wish me luck!

I head over to the Ft. Collins Nursery today with my lotion to see if I can't get another placement in town. They have a really nice retail store and I noticed they were selling goat milk soap at the register the last few times I'd been in. (DebH, you should see if some local places would sell YOUR soap - it's so nice!)

Furry Husband aka Super Salesman gave me some sales pointers and I'm still just a leetle nervous.

I stopped to mail The Help back to my girlfriend in Longmont cuz I'm not sure when I'll see her again and I know she had another person waiting to read the book.

The local pack n' mail place I use is run and owned by this wonderful curmudgeon-y guy. His wife bought some of my lotion way back before my labels were made and I was test marketing it at a craft fair. I think it was in 2008? He recognized our name on the back and he's been my most loyal customer... actually until I began really trying to sell it, he was my ONLY customer!

I told him about my appt. with Ft. Collins Nursery and he made his college age employee come show me the new tattoo she got on her wrist. She said the stuff the tat place gave her didn't really work and when Mr. Curmudgeon gave her some of my goat milk lotion - it did wonders for her new tattoo - kept it soft and smooth and comfortable.

Maybe there's a new market to explore? If you see me at the tat and piercing parlors, look for my lotion! grin

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Something really cool...

K - so you guys that have been reading a long time will remember that I had this very negative and snarky post one day about someone who pees all over the toilet seat in the first stall of the ladies bathroom at work.

I'm not talking about a drip or a little sprinkle - I'm talking SPRAYING of urine ALL over the toilet seat. It is seriously like sasquatch trying to use an indoor potty for the first time.

I had a little fit in my blog about it and picked one woman I saw come out of that stall to take the blame for it. I didn't say anything to her, I didn't act differently to her because I didn't really know if she was the one who did the spraying or not, but I came over here to my blog and I had a big ol' fit about it.

Anyway - it was an uncharacteristically nasty of me to go on the attack like that.

(Tho I do stand by my opinion that if you make THAT much of a mess when you pee in a bathroom that other people have to use and you don't clean up after yourself, you are a huge ass.)

So this woman - I began saying hello to her in the hall or waving hello every once and a while. Probably out of guilt because of that nasty ol' post - which she wouldn't know about and none of you know who I'm talking about - so really no harm done to anyone...but still... I felt icky on the inside about it.

Whattya know, she stopped me in the hall today because SHE goes to see The Groper too. She has balance issues from brain tumors she had removed (yeah, how big of a jerk did I feel like when she said that) but she also has horses and just started learning to ride 4 years ago.

And I gotta tell you - anyone who starts learning to ride when they are over 55 is amazing. One cuz of their courage - horses are big and we are little hairless monkeys on their backs! Two for their commitment because muscle memory is SO MUCH HARDER as we age. I tried learning to play the banjo. Yeeeah. Not so much. Three because that is just cool.

We chatted and plan to get together to find out more about each other. Anyway - goes to show that sometimes when you don't know someone and you dislike them for whatever stupid reason you make up in your head - YOU DON'T KNOW THEM - and they might be really cool people when you begin to find out who they are.

And there is my deep thought for the day... it'll be the only deep thought I have for awhile so I hope it'll last y'all. grin.

Snake Avoidance Clinic...

The Colorado Gun Dog Assoc. is putting on a clinic June 12 & 13 out in Kiowa for snake avoidance. I've always been afraid one of my dogs will get into a rattlesnake when we are out hiking so I'm pretty geeked to go.

I signed up all 3 of our dogs. The clinic is using live de-fanged rattlesnakes on the course. The guy teaching it has trained or de-snaked over 4,500 dogs and hails from TX. The purpose of using live snakes is so the dogs can see, hear and smell the snake. One of the snakes will have it's rattles taped to simulate a dormant snake and one will be full on aggressive rattler.

They use an e-collar and only turn it on if the dog shows interest in the snake. I know that could be harsh BUT this could save my dogs' life so I'm willing to do it and with that many dogs trained, the person is familiar and experienced with e-collars. Should be pretty interesting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A good book...

I had coffee with a girlfriend Sunday and she lent this book to me. She started to tell me the story line and I remembered hearing the tail end of an interview with the author on NPR and how she is still getting a lot of flack in her Mississippi home town for writing this book.
I remembered the author closing the interview by saying she wrote the book because white people kept telling her how much they loved their black employees and how much their black employees loved them. Only, the author says, she never once heard the same sentiments from the black employees.
I devoured this book.
The story was character driven and I could see each person in my mind - their mannerisms, the way they talked, the tone of their voice... I could see their houses, the rooms, the scenery. It was beautifully written.
The story is about Southern life in 1962, centering around the black maids and nannys - told in their voice and with their eyes - about working for white women in Jackson, Mississippi. It's awful and anxiety producing, yet the strength of these amazing women shines through. There is humor (because sometimes people must laugh vs. cry), there is love and there is hope. I found myself on the verge of tears more than once.
If you are looking for a great read, pick up this book and let me know what you thought.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Busy weekend of tracking, taxes and training...

Went tracking with Toe on Saturday. J put in 3 tracks for him that were a bit shorter to get him going - he has a hard time starting but once he's going, he GOES! He nails his right turns and struggles a bit with left turns. I suppose just like us they have one side that is better than the other. I'm learning to read his body language and as in all things animal, J tells me the biggest obstacle to Toe's success will be his handler - me! grin.

Met with our tax guy Saturday afternoon which always makes me nervous even tho' all was fine and we don't owe. "shew!"

Training with Sera Sunday morning went well- she is really "ON" right now. Soft, round, really through ... we ended our lesson with canter half pass down the center line to the wall, a couple strides in counter canter and a flying change.

She still kicks out when I ask for the change but it's becoming less.

All things sort of begin ugly and with practice, muscle building and mental understanding they become pretty. Probably that way for most things we learn... no one does much of anything perfectly the first time.

We laughed together because Rex said when she tells me to do the flying changes now, my eyes don't get huge anymore. I'm sure we - her students - are quite entertaining.

I don't argue and I always do my best to do what she tells me to do tho' I've never had much of a poker face and much of what we work on now is new to me and new to Sera. I always wonder if we CAN do it so I bet the looks that pass across my face are pretty hilarious.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Groper

I met with The Groper again yesterday for back exercises. He didn't have to grope quite SO much since my back wasn't out and I didn't need an adjustment.

We worked on some exercises I can do at home with our dumbbells and treadmill.

I told him that I have him listed in my cell as "The Groper". I think it hurt his manly feelings a bit... he stammered and said he wish he could get around that ... but to stimulate muscles and make corrections in my posture he needs to really get in there where the muscles attach.

Then he went on to say something about how people think it's glamorous and he has girls lined up...

I interrupted him.

"No. No. No. Mr. Groper, I don't believe there is ANYTHING glamorous about putting your hands in my sweaty crotch to activate some inner thigh muscle."


The work I'm doing with him will hopefully increase my balance, body awareness and hopefully strengthen my body for riding.. he has a really good eye for what is needed on a horse and has given a couple clinics at Rex's barn about body awareness and posture while riding...

He already recognizes my short side - the side my trainer and clinicians tell me to lengthen when I ride - and he's working on getting me more even.

He is pretty cool. Even if he does cop a "medicinal" feel near my naughties every now and again!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quilt in progress

My Mother-In-Law quilts.

Well, I guess to use a more correct term, she pieces. She cuts the fabric and hand sews it into quilt squares, attaches the squares together and creates a quilt top. She takes it to her church in Rock Island, IL and has the church ladies quilt and finish it up.

I love looking at her quilts. She hand sews each one and they are amazing. They are pieces of her life, her personality, her skill and handy work all wrapped up into a beautiful quilt to keep you warm.

I tried going to this quilting club in town to keep my motivation going and all the ladies looked at me like I had 5 heads because I was hand sewing. "oh, it'll go much faster with a machine dear" Yeah, yeah. I know but there is something about creating it BY HAND to me. Besides, our house is around 800 sq feet and where would I set up a sewing machine?

I had my Mom-In-Law show me how to piece when she came for a visit probably 3 years ago and we started a Mom-In-Law/Daughter-In-Law quilt together.

She made 1/2 of the squares needed and I made the other half. And I'm slow.... really, really, really slow. I finally finished all my squares (in the meantime Mom-In-Law finished 3 or 4 quilts completely) and I'm sewing the rows together.

I have 2 more rows of squares to put together.

The quilt is sorta ugly.

Her color choices and pattern tastes don't always match mine. The pattern is super simple because I'm such a beginner. Things are uneven because of my lack o' skill. I told her to tell the church quilting ladies that there is something wrong with me when she submits it to them to finish because my hand stitching is rarely even, the straight lines are hardly ever straight - they get wider and then get smaller again. You'd almost think I was drinking as I stitched!

(maybe I was and maybe I wasn't - I'm not tellin')

When I get my rows done, I'll attach them, put a border all around the quilt top and send it to my Mom-In-Law to give to the church ladies. The end is in sight! I need to get cracking because my Mom-In-Law is in her 80's and she isn't going to live forever... as much as we'd like her to!

I want to be able to share this completed work of art with her and own this quilt created by all things feminine stitching, touching, finishing, piecing and quilting ... no matter how ugly it may be, I am going to LOVE this thing we worked on together.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mornings at our house

Before we had our pens and lean-to's for the horses arranged the way we wanted them, Brandon, our old gelding, used to look in our bedroom window which is just on the other side of the front pasture fence. He'd stare at our bed through the window and if he saw any movement, any movement at all, he'd nicker.

And there he would be - innocently blinking and staring in our window waiting for us to get the heck outta bed. Brandon lives outside and he's in a spot where he can't peep in the window giving us a morning wake-up call anymore.

Furry Husband and I have a much more dastardly, nefarious morning crew to deal with IN the house. It's not pretty. If you are squeamish, you might want to stop reading now.

Meet Split Pea Soup - aka - Meow Meow - aka - Mi Mi Mi Mi
Don't let her cute little roll in the dust fool you. She waits until early morning and she nuzzles in my hair looking for.... for.... a nipple? It tickles and gives me goosebumps. Tho she prefers to call it "the nuzzle of death". It means we have been targeted.

It's only the beginning ......

This rarely photographed group are the masterminds of all early morning activity.

I captured this clandestine meeting with the camera one afternoon while they were distracted by their nemesis, Squirrel.

I have walked in on them huddled together, paws across each others shoulders strategizing ways to get us up earlier but they've always immediately gone their separate ways leaving me with no proof.

Punkin aka Fatass -- bringer of voles. Her specialty is laying at the foot of the bed immobile in her rotund-ness.

We can't stretch out or move our feet. Our bodies become cramped and frozen in a pose.
Man's best friend? HA! I don't think so. Not when it's 5:00AM. That little one there on the left? Toe. Toe's forte' is whining in a barely audible whine and gently, ever so gently bumping the door on his kennel for a persistent little rattle, jingle, shake.
The innocent looking middle dog? Hardly. Bequia becomes suspiciously itchy in her kennel at 5:00 AM. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch ending with a loud, ear flapping, full body shake.
That biggest dog there - Sammy - he lets the others take the blame for waking us up. He prefers to skulk around the farmyard lifting lids on grain containers, eating his fill and keeping us up with worry at night about possible exploding bodily functions.... he prefers the psychological games.

Meet Mojo aka Midji Modji aka Mr. Nipples aka Kong
Mojo is one of the three masterminds. He's the muscle of the group. He took some mutant growth steroids as a wee kitten and shot up to 25lbs of miniature panther trapped in the body of a domestic short hair feline.
Mojo cries.
He sounds like an infant wanting his 3AM feeding.
Mojo likes to walk across the tops of our pillows at 1AM.
He earns bonus points with the ringleader of the group if he can step on my hair, pulling piece after piece with eye-watering results. Back and forth he goes, all 25lbs marching across our pillow tops demanding attention.

Another of the trio is Robinella Buzzerbomb aka Buzzer Cat. Buzzer hits us up around 4:30AM. She has an uncanny "feel" for human bladders full of urine.
She jumps onto the bed and lands directly in the middle of your overly full bladder.
I'm amazed Furry Husband and I haven't soiled our bedclothes now that I think of it.
If she can't wake us up with the torturous bladder walk, she begins purring into her hidden megaphone (think glass packs on a car) to amplify the sound taking turns every 4.8 seconds lying on Furry Husband and lying on me. Keeps us guessing.
I think she's been working on the psychological side with Sammy.

The mastermind of the crew is Itty Bitty Opal Kitty.

Itty Bitty relies on her beauty and youth to lure us into a false sense of security. Oh sure, she cuddles with us during the day, all innocence and purity in our laps taunting us with her silky fur for petting.
At 4:00AM she oozes pure evil - pouncing on any exposed body part with skill and precision to maim or destroy. She digs frantically at the blankets covering our battered and abused bodies looking for skin to shred.
She's bloodthirsty that one.

The only one of the group to elude the camera is Banana Puddin' aka Pudgy. She is pure white with blue eyes... she preferes to move about the house like a ghost. You'll never see Pudge coming. Never.
Furry Husband and I would report these crimes against us... only we are afraid. Afraid for our lives....
Shhhh! Here comes one of them now! Don't tell them I've been talking to you ... please... my life depends on it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm a freak....

My Uncle - Dad's brother - sent me this package. It contained stuff from my Dad's service in Omaha Ne.

And it made me feel unreasonably pissed off.

I get that he was just trying to be nice... dunno why it made me mad. Guess death affects people in odd ways.

It had probably 50 of those in memoriam cards with Dad's info on the back and some scripture. And what exactly am I supposed to do with those? Pass them out like baseball cards to all my friends?

He included the song list from the service, a copy of the guest list, a copy of those people who donated money toward the service or made donations to the Parkinson's Disease Research Fund and a photocopied letter in old lady handwriting that read something like this:

"Dear Family Friends,

This Christmas will not be a happy one because my son was diagnosed with cancer and he isn't expected to live that long. Enjoy your family.

Love Alice"

Who is Alice? I have no idea. Poor thing.

My Uncle wrote a note asking if my sister and I had put aside any money for a marker at Dad's internment site? (nope - we wanted him in an unmarked grave - thanks for asking! Gawd. Stupid Uncle...) Said he sent pictures to my sister and to please call him if I had any questions.

And it all made me mad. I know, I know - unreasonable. He's trying to be nice. And how would he know what was supposed to be at the internment site? Well, I guess he could have asked the funeral home when he picked up the ashes for the service and then returned them for internment. Whatever.

I called the cemetery to find out what was going on with Dad's headstone/marker whatever it is. That is something Dad paid for in 1989. When I was putting all this in place and deciding between a mausoleum or internment of his ashes, I was gonna choose the mausoleum because it seemed sorta overkill, pardon the pun, to put his ashes in the ground but they said his name was engraved with his date of birth once he paid for his headstone/marker back in '89. (creepy)

I figured since it was already 1/2 way done, and it was something he picked out, he'd go in the ground and get to use the headstone/marker he chose and paid for.

Once I simmer down and hear back from the cemetery caretaker, I'll send my Uncle a nice and polite thank-you note with the cemetery headstone/marker information.

He'll never have to know that I'm feeling quite pissy about his stupid little death package. After all, Dad was his brother so there is no reason to be a big ol' ass on my part about it. Funny (not exactly funny ha-ha either) how those emotions sorta blind side you and come out sideways huh?

I'm sure my panties will smooth themselves out soon... until then I hope you are all warm and safe and sending kind thoughts to Alice, whoever and wherever she may be.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I can't make this sort of story up...

I met J Saturday at 2pm for some tracking with Toe.

Toe is my little, one year old, English Cocker and I've always been interested in tracking but never been involved until now.
Tracking is an AKC event like obedience or agility. Someone lays a trail and leaves an article at the end - a glove, a sock etc., the tracks are aged and the dog has to follow the scent to find the article.
It's a pass/fail event so if they pass, they earn a title. TD is tracking dog, TDX is tracking dog excellent and VST is variable surface tracking. And now that you know what I'ma talkin' 'bout, on to the story!

I met my tracking teacher J at her house and I noticed the huge, overgrown, 300lb pot-bellied pig wasn't snuffling around J's place. "Where's Harley?" I asked. (famous last words)

J says he must've run off again! We get in her van, driving up and down her road with her window down yelling for the pig (well, she is yelling for the pig, I'm keeping a lookout for him). She's telling me what a bad pig he is to run off like that. That just sounded so funny to me "bad pig - what a bad pig"... in my head I was thinking.... "and THIS is the opposite of 'that'll do pig'"!

We are driving and driving looking for the pig. She decides to stop and lay a track for Toe so it can age - she wants to age it for 30 min this time vs. 15 min. And then we continue looking for the pig.

We find him at this lady's house down the road but J doesn't want to go down the driveway cuz the lady is a not a nice neighbor... only Harley isn't coming so down the driveway we go!
Now I'm hoping I'm not part of some weird altercation with this un-friendly neighbor. J knocks on the door and no one answers - SHEW!

She goes to get Harley, he's not moving very fast and he's sort of going different directions than up the driveway to the road and home. J gets her tracking line out of the van to make a makeshift harness for the pig.

Pig not liking that idea.


Pig very unhappy.

Have you ever heard pigs scream? OMG - it is make your ears bleed loud and high pitched and omg so effing loud and completely continuous. Neighbor horses are all running around and big clouds of dust are rising to the sky.... dogs are barking ... everyone is alerted to the unhappy pig.

Pig finally begins moving but balks at the line around it's belly and somehow gets thru it SCREAMING the entire time.
Tracking line gets hooked on pig's back leg.

Pig really unhappy now.

I get out and I'm trying to help J get the pig back in this makeshift harness... finally it's done...

Pig goes up the driveway. Pig on the road heading home. Pig screaming objections every so often.
I'm following in J's van very slowly behind them....

She tells me to go up ahead and get Toe and once she gets to her property line she'll turn the pig loose and we'll go track. I gather Toe and my tracking stuff from my car. J gets to her property, turns the pig loose and we go to the field where the track was set for Toe... it's now an hour or MORE old.

Hmm what'r ya gonna do?

J let me use her track line vs. my leash... 2 really different things for Toe! He hasn't worked 10-15 feet away from me vs. on my short 6' leash before and he hasn't worked on a track aged that long.
He didn't start very well, seemed confused and was looking to me. (you really couldn't fault him for this at all given the circumstances) We did sort of lead him to the first article and once he found that he was good, the light bulb went on and he worked the track - worked his 90 degree corners beautifully, found his articles and followed the track. YAY TOE!

There is a tracking certification test March 6 we are trying to get him ready for. He has to pass the certification in order to enter a real AKC regulated tracking event which means we'll be tracking each weekend and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!
( yeah, keeping them crossed that the pig doesn't run away again! That'll do pig. That'll do.)