Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin' carving ideas....

I have an old woman trapped in my body.  I have more cats than probably any one person should have.... I enjoy feeding birds and watching them.... and I really like my subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.

Check out their Halloween ideas here:

The last magazine issue that came sent me to the computer to share with you some cool pumpkin ideas... I am all about faster, easier and less mess... I am instant gratification queen.

Yo!  Check it out dawg....

Get an apple corer... poke it into whole, non-carved squashes and pumpkins of different colors... keep the plugs.  Mix and match the plugs back into the holes and you get polka-dotted pumpkins!   Genius!

Or get a nail... poke holes into your whole, uncarved pumpkin... stick some daisies and mums into the holes.  They say the moisture of the pumpkin will keep the flowers fresh for a couple days....   how is this for a perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece?  

And you can use the apple corer to poke letters into your pumpkins... how do these people think of these things??   It astounds me...

They had a lot of other really fun ideas for pumpkins and Halloween decorations.   Dang.  I love me that Better Homes and Gardens crew!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yelled at....


Yoga class is nuthin' but trouble these days! 

I had a hair-brained idea to WALK over to yoga.  I walk pretty fast and thought it would take me about 15 minutes.  Would be a nice warm-up there and good, peaceful, yoga, namaste reflection on the way back.
Besides the 4-lane road in front of the yoga place is all torn up and traffic is mad-house.  There are barriers up and sign holders and one direction is closed off completely to traffic.  Perfect solution, I'll walk!

I got to class on time, set my intentions, had a good, peaceful yoga experience.  On the way out, I decided to cut straight across the road vs. using the walk/bike path.  I could take another route back to work for a change of scenery and it looked like it might be a little more direct.

There were NO cars anywhere in sight... all the large work trucks and equipment for the road project were way at the other end of the torn up street and I crossed.

There happened to be a sign guy near my path of egress.

He began waving his arms and saying something....

And this is the part that kills me,  I actually stop. 


He keeps gesturing and moving his mouth...

I say again, "What?"

He moves closer still, trying to communicate with me.

A third time I repeat, "What?"

And finally he is close enough for me to hear.  "Can you HEAR my VOICE?"

He's wearing a hard hat, big ol' 70's mirror style sunglasses and sportin' plenty o' facial hair.... like that band member from The Muppet Show... the drummer I think.   Anyway - it's hard to read his facial expression and I obviously can't hear him very well.

I say, "Well, NOW I can."  and I remain standing there.

I'm not sure what pearls of wisdom I thought he would impart to me but it was sunny and warm and I was in my peaceful yoga frame o' mind.  Maybe he is the Buddha coming to bring enlightenment.

He goes on to say, "Do you SEE the barriers and the trucks and this sign I'm holding?   What do you think they are for?"

I look down to the end of the street confused.   I look back at him.

"Uh, cars?"

He proceeds to say something about they are barriers to keep the area clear.

And I say, "Really?  Even for people?"

And I say this remaining completely confused, because at this point I really have no idea what he is trying to convey to me.  Why did he follow me across the street and why is he asking me these questions?  (did I also mention I have a cold and I've been working a ka-trillion hours and this is the first time I've seen sunlight other than on my way in to work in a long time?  Maybe this is why I was being so obtuse.  Well, that and the guy was also a soft talker... unless that was just the snot clogging my ears and he was really speaking at a normal volume...??)

And he says, "Who do you think DRIVES the cars?"

At this point the low wattage bulb goes on above my head.  

Ohhhhhhhhh, I get it!  He's mad at me!  

I tell him, "OK, OK  I get it." in a roll your eyes tone of voice because seriously, what the hell, I just walked there and all the guys next to the bike/walking path stopped their trucks and their work and actually WAVED me across along with two bicyclists.  In FRONT of their tucks so close that I could touch them.... and now on my way home there were absolutely no cars or trucks or equipment anywhere near me and I have this guy chasing me down, with his big STOP/SLOW sign in his hand to yell at me? 

And there were cars coming which he was completely ignoring, not holding his sign to direct them or to stop them from driving into his co-workers a few hundred yards away cuz he was across the street yelling at me.

I turned my back on the guy and begin walking away because what is it exactly I'm supposed to do?  I'm already across the street.  He followed me or a little while still going on about the importance of his job and the barriers and why he is there and who he is there to keep out.  I kept walking back to work.

Boy.  He most defiantly was not The Buddha coming to me with enlightenment.   Tho' he was trying to enlighten me in a manner of speaking.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Confidence gathering....

Well, I did it.  I called up a woman 'round these parts known well for her cross country jumping and eventing skills.  Left a message asking for a few lessons.

I'm not going to become an eventer... however, I don't feel confident much out in the "real" world on horseback.  Sera is fine with it, it's not that she is disobedient or spooky or naughty, it really  is all me and only me.  I just haven't used myself in the saddle outside of my comfort zone in a long time and I worry I won't be able to hang.

Figure if I can take some outdoor jumping lessons with some baby cross country jumps, it'll help with my confidence levels out on the trail and in the "real" world.

Speaking of confidence gathering....

Agility was fun last night.  We are putting sequences of obstacles together and running them.   I was a little rusty and my head wasn't quite in the game  -- I have a cold and we missed last weeks class cuz of the buck hurting himself -- however we did o.k.  Learning, gaining confidence and moving forward...

Keenan was the star of the show and you could tell she was having FUN.  She didn't bark or growl or make one social mis-step the whole night ... not saying she's "cured", tho she is improving and that is nice to see!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Even with the hole, he's fine.

Goat vet came out yesterday.  Furry Husband and I donned our Dickies one last time to go hold the buck while goat vet took a look at him.

Bucks stink this time o' year.  They do this gross thing to attract the does.. the pee all over themselves.   Very much a "golden shower" fetish going on with goats.  And they stink and they are sort of sticky from all the pee in various stages of drying....

We wear the Dickies to protect....and I bought some nifty gloves that are thin and like they have been dipped in rubber... they provide grip and feel.  Most excellent when trying to hold onto an animal that wants to leave or having to give shots to said animal.  

Vet ripped the gauze pads off one at a time... and buck reared up, broke his collar and ran away.  Bet it hurt like a mutha'.  However, all the skin is pink and red underneath... no swellings or oozings or green putrid smelling things.   Bonus!

There is still a hole on the right horn... the one that was sawed off.  I asked if we should be concerned... goat vet says no.... it will heal in 6-8 weeks.  


Tonight is agility... wish us luck!  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Workin' in a coal mine....

Know that Devo song?  Workin' in a coal mine?   That's where I been... workin' like a rented mule.  Should be over in the next week and schedule will go back to normal. 

Harder to keep a schedule like this at 40 yrs old vs. 25 yrs old!  At 25 I was a rock star, work long hours, fit in party time and show up for work the next day no problem. 

At 40, it's all achin back and going to bed early so I can get up in the morning....  no party time for this girl.  Tho' someone did ask if I wanted to go to a one man acoustic show of Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead covers last night.   Wow.  That sounded terrible to me and not something I wanted to sacrifice sleep over.

Mostly I've been neglecting everything except for the most basic elements of personal hygiene.  I'm breaking out like a hormonal teenager but at least I don't stink.   Well.   I don't think I stink.  

The only new thing that's happened is that our buck - who was dehorned as a wee baby boy - grew his horns back as most bucks seem to do.  And he BROKE one of his large, almost full size horns off at the skull line.   We've had bucks break off pieces of horn before and it looks like it hurts them like a mo'fo and there is lots of blood - real gore-fest - but nothing much to do about it.

Tho' at the SKULL line I called the vet.   There are holes - open holes leading into the buck's sinus cavity... thought he might need further attention.    

Turns out he did.

Vet came out, we put the 200+ lb bugger into la-la land to have a look-see.  She ended up sawing the other horn off with a hack saw.  Very bloody and gross since horns have their own blood supply.  Sorta like limb removal in 1776.  I looked down into the buck's head thru the hole that was penny or nickle sized... yes, IN his head.  

Vet put a couple gauze pads with a big ol' dollup o' furazone ointment on each horn/skull base.  Wrapped his head and I gave the buck IM shots of banamine for pain and SubQ shots of penicillin. 

I stunk like a buck in rut the rest of the day.  Even after showering and scrubbing the first 3 layers of my skin off with steel wool. 

I decided Furry Husband and I should invest in Dickies.   Those dark blue, full body suits that zip up?   Yeah.  It's a fashion statement.  Tho' I'm thinking once we are done messing with the buck I could live in my Dickies.   Just go around naked... if someone comes to the door, I'd holler out, "HOLD ON A COTTON PICKIN' MINUTE - I GOTS TO PUT ON MY DICKIES!"  

Getting ready for work would be so much easier.  Never have to match shoes or pants or skirts.  

Dickies are the answer.

I digress.

Vet is coming tomorrow to evaluate our buck and remove bandages, tho' it seems he may have them off by the time I get home today.

Will the hole be closed up??  Will he scratch it open when it's healing and gets itchy?  Will bugs go in there and eat his brain and eyeballs all up from the inside out just in time for Halloween? 

Guess I'll see tomorrow.

Right now his bandage is bloody, dirty, tearing and moved a little to partially cover one eye.  He looks like a Civil War Era soldier.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Free thinking dogs?

So I'm reading this book a friend got for me a long time ago - Can't remember the title right now and I'm feeling a little tired and grumpy this morning.  It's about Merle, the dog,  and this guy, Ted,  who found him while on a river camping trip and he lives in Jackson Hole, WY and is a huge, huge, outdoor enthusiast/hunter and how Merle is this free thinking, free roaming dog who is his equal because Merle has been given his freedom to think things through and learn from his experiences etc. right?  
I've been enjoying the book, the story is good and the author writes well and it's very clear this was a special relationship.  I'm closer to the end and the author has gotten a little "preachy" and "judgemental" ... he was going on about how we've all dumbed down our dogs because we expect them to obey - most dogs only show devotion to their owners because of the Stockholm Syndrome - coming to rely on their captors while they are held captive by us for their food, pleasure, elimination and he was giving this speech about locking them in kennels all day... and so I'm skimming this part cuz not everyone can have these free roaming dogs and I really want to get back to the story vs. the preaching part....
And I get it - Merle was this exceptional dog and this cool, free relationship really worked for them and it really is a neat story... and everyone is entitled to their opinion.... also don't think it would work out well for most people given society and when you live in more crowded areas and I don't think it would work for all dogs because many would die from their experiences with cars, rattlesnakes, coyotes etc. before they had a chance to learn from their experiences....
This morning I get down on my knees and I'm loving on Toe and Bequia (while Sammy remains in his privileged bed spot - Keenan is having daycare day today) and they are licking me and I'm petting them ... asking them, "Am I ruining your lives?  Are you guys kept stupid because of me, cuz I don't let you decide for yourselves and I make you do stupid "baby" tricks that don't mean anything to you and cuz I kennel you all day?"  
So then I think - I'll leave them out and see what happens!  
Well, we leave Bequia out much of the time and Sammy is left out - I only worry about Bequia and her seeming senility and forgetting she's inside and having some accidents tho' it's still only happened that one time (she's 13 and going deaf and blind), Sammy is a solid K9 citizen left to his own devices.  
I'm looking around thinking what is the worst  Toe could do?  He's not a big chewer of weird things, other than socks and they are all picked up - he's too small to counter surf -- there are plenty of nylabones and elk antlers and bones around if he wants to chew.....? 
Decide the worst he can do is get into the litter boxes and gorge himself on clumping litter and then the litter expands in his gut and he dies... so I think - well, I'll baby gate the room with the litter off from him and leave him out.... I get the baby gate which is in the room blocking off access to the litter box entries... but of course I think that he could dig at it or knock it over if left alone all day to think about it - it's only leaning against the litter boxes to block access, not really "baby-gated" in a proper way...
I decide I'm going to put it in the door and block access to the room entirely .... the second I take it away - he runs over and sticks his head in the litter box - I tell him LEAVE IT and he is ignoring me... I go over to grab him and out he pops with this giant cat turd sticking out of his mouth like a cigar.... and in a flash it's gone... in his mouth and he is chewing and swallowing as fast as he can...before I could take it away from him.  Gross. 
Fuck it.  I kenneled the little turd burglar.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


We had agility class last night... working on getting our dogs to work at a distance from us... sending them to a jump away from us using our body language... seemed like everyone in class struggled with this concept and the dogs wanted to stay near their hoo-mans vs. going way over there to the jump while the hoo-mans hung back ....

Good, brain work.... figuring out how to direct the dogs with our body language.... funny how our bodies rarely do what our brains tell them to do when we are learning something new.   Ya watch and think it looks simple enough... til you try it and discover it's not quite so easy.... like pattin your head and rubbin your belly while chewin gum and walkin down the street.  

Keenan was almost like a normal dog in class last night.... she gave an intense stare and a growl at a dog she seems to react to (even tho' this dog never looks Keenan's way).  We nipped it in the bud and she was all innocence and who me?  Look how cute and sweet I am!  I wouldn't growl at that dog over there.... never!   

This morning on our walk tho' she reacted to a car that slowed way down to a crawl to go past - so slow we were walking faster than the car.   I'll give her that - it was weird.   And the school bus... with it's loud, diesel engine and flashing lights....  

Work in progress.   Little improvements here, set backs there... 

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Dead Thing

We took the gogs for a walk the other morning and when we reached the end of our road, we turned Left.  The gogs really like going Left!  (gogs = dogs in small child speak... those "D"s are hard to say when you are learning how to talk!)

There are bunnies galore popping out unexpectedly and running over hill and dale while the gogs are stuck on leash, straining, eyes-bugging out of their heads because they want to chase the bunnies oh so bad.  Damn hoo-mans never let them have a bunny.  Not sure why there are no bunnies if we go Right.... bunnies only seem to live Left.

And there is a house with free roaming chickens.... the hens sometimes come out near the road to scratch for bugs.  When we walk past with the goggies, they all pick up their skirts and run back to the safety of their yard.   Always very exciting to goggies.

Just after this house, on the right side of the road, there is a spot where Little Toe always rolls.  


Without fail.  

The spot is thick with tall grasses.  I've never thought much about it.  Figured some good smelling plant grew there.  The other dogs never sniff or roll there.

We turn to head back home shortly after the house with a brown standard poodle in the yard.  We've named the poodle "Brownie".  Yes!  We are extremely imaginative!  Brownie always barks at us, we say good morning and there is further excitement as all our dogs take turns peeing in front of poor Brownie, whom I imagine is yelling in a canine version of an old man in a robe with his morning newspaper yelling, "Get off my lawn!".

Once home we get ready for work.  I sit at our kitchen table drinking my morning coffee and eating peanut butter toast for breakfast.  Toe sits in the crook of my crossed legs.  I pet his speckled head and rub his long silky ears... sometimes even rubbing my face in the soft fur on the back of his neck and kissing the top of his wee head.

I made a mistake this time when we turned Left. 

I stopped and looked to see what was so great about "The Rolling Spot".

There is a dead thing.  Skeletal with taught skin covering some of the bones.  No way of telling what sort of animal it was... no fur or feathers or shape to discern since it is so completely rotted, decayed and folded in on itself.

Toe has been rolling on this thing every time we've gone Left for months.  Literally.

I've been coming home and rubbing my face in his soft fur... kissing the top of his head... while I eat breakfast.... after he's rolled in a rotting carcass.

It's a little amazing to me that I don't have ebola.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Who knew how important our B vitamins could be???

This whole spring/summer I have been so unmotivated, low energy, tired, draggin' ass and depressed.  Figured I was just nutz in the ol' noggin. 

I am really happy I went to the Dr to have it investigated... finally!   I went to see if my hormones were out of whack or something...

She had some blood pulled and sent away to the lab.... my B12 is way low.  The Dr. was surprised how low it was and told me no wonder I'd been feeling so bad. 

I received a B12 shot and was told I should have one shot every week for 4 weeks to get it back up... then I could either get a shot monthly or take a sub lingual.  She told me the first shot probably wouldn't have much of an effect but once the B vitamins started climbing back up to normal, hoo boy would I feel better.

I just looked at her...  sure I would.

I had my second B12 shot this past Tuesday and didn't think much of it.

Yesterday, for the first time in what seems like forever,  I was completely cheerful and animated  - so much so, my co-workers were asking if I was ok.

Boy did it feel good! 


Hope it wasn't just some strange moon phase or something....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More agility....

We had our first "sequencing" class Monday night.  Now that we are all sort of familiar with obstacles we are putting them together and running short courses.

It is actually great fun!

I am still working with Toe on the A-frame 2on/2off... he gets going so fast he flies off of it and he needs to have 2 paws on the ground and 2 paws on the yellow contact zone or in a competition he'd be disqualified.   I practice it and he does it ... but I practice it slow.  He has to learn how to do his 2on/2off FAST...  the trainer showed me how to practice it fast...

He doesn't care for the teeter yet... the drop and the bang startles him.  We are going slow... treat at the pivot point... treat at his nose to keep him coming forward... the trainer holds the end and lowers it slow so the sound and drop isn't so fast/loud/dramatic and he gets a treat at the end for his 2on/2off at the contact zone of the teeter...

We haven't really even started weaves yet... those weave poles look friggin hard.  I eye them dubiously when I see them....

Toe is having a lot of fun - happy and stump waggin' and zooming along the course....

Keenan still has some reactions with the dogs in class... they are stopped faster and we are trying really hard to get her before they happen but dang... it can happen quick.   When she is off leash and running the course tho' she couldn't care less about the other dogs and people - she is having fun and focused on Furry Husband.  Think this agility training can only be good for her....

She'll be a year old in October and won't be competing or working hard and long in agility for awhile... the jumping and work she's doing in our classes isn't any more than what she does at home running around, jumping over things, playing and doing general puppy things... I don't think we are harming any growth plates or doing damage to her young frame.

I started teaching her to use the treadmill last night... doggie daycare is spendy and we didn't envision taking her for the rest of her life.  It was supposed to be a good social outlet and take off the puppy edge to wear her out a couple days.   Getting her good and tired is helpful to training and with her reactivity issues.  We take her for walks,  practice agility and it's pretty clear that some days she needs more of an energy outlet. 

Treadmill here we come.

I had her on it for a short time last night...she stepped on the motor part that doesn't move which sort of freaked her out, then she stopped and slid off the back of the treadmill which sort of freaked her out.  I got her back on it... for a short time, she wasn't happy and was looking for a way out... I stopped it... treated her big for staying on it and being on it.   Fed her on it this morning....

Tonight we'll try a couple minutes again....