Thursday, April 26, 2012

HSUS one more time

I know I've been totally uninspired for months now.  Then this popped up in my inbox and I was moved to share, share, share.

I have often wondered just how long the rest of us would be allowed to get away with the stuff HSUS is getting away with these days.  Wouldn't it be nice if IRS would at the very least take away their tax-free status?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kitchen Window week 2

Well I did say I would take some pictures each week.. Even though I didn't get around to uploading last weeks until later in the week they were taken on Sunday.  So it is Sunday afternoon at about the same time and this time Momma Robin is out shopping so we get to see what is in that nest so far.

When she is finished laying there should be between 3 and 5 eggs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My kitchen window

Doing dishes is actually interesting these days.  When I look straight forward this is what I see.

Yes, she is a Robin and is very busy with the family thing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A sad day

Yesterday was a very sad day for me.  So sad that I wandered around moaning softly to myself pretty much non-stop. Why?  Did something happen to a dog?  Nope.  Did something happen to a family member?  Sort of.

You see, I lost my most beloved Catawba tree.  Those of you who have been here know the tree.  It featured in at least 50% of all the pictures taken here.  The dogs climbed her.  Kids climbed her.  Squirrels made their home in her.  Birds nested in her.  And above all, I just plain loved her.  For right now I'm going to share a few pictures of it, first in all her glory and then in her ever so sad demise.

See, after at least 120 years of life, bugs, rust, rot, wind, rain, ice storms all took a mighty toll on her and now all that is left are lots of useful logs, a pile of firewood and a somewhat large pile of mulch.  No, the mulch from my once lovely tree did not get mixed with the regular mulch mountain.  Instead it formed its own pile and for some reason the dogs seem to like it better than mulch mountain.  Memories of climbing the mulch when it was a tree?

I moved here 11 years ago and fell in love at once.  Allen Hufnagle, the best tree man there is, told me I needed to cut her down.  I refused.  Every year I refused and every year I patted her and talked to her and made sure she had water when there was a drought.  I did the best I could to keep the bugs and worms away.  Mostly I just enjoyed watching her each and every single day. 

As she was....................................

I truly believe the double whammy blizzards of February 2010 dealt her a fatal blow.  Allen said she was going to have to go.  I fought to keep her one more year.  The snows this past winter tore at her heart and by spring she was clearly too weak to even be able to handle the weight of her wonderful flowers and magnificent leaves.  And so, I didn't get to see one more spring with a tree full of beautiful flowers.

The day she died............................................

That's all for now.  I'll post some more stills tomorrow and then some video footage of how a great crew of real tree men carefully took her down one piece at a time and never let a single piece fall on the fences or harm the much younger and smaller black walnut tree that had grown up in her embrace.  In fact, after she was pretty much finished they even took the time to carefully trim that walnut tree so it will be able to stand on it's own and grow tall and strong.

Last night everyone else thought it rained.  I know better.  Even the sky cried for her.

Oh, beautiful Catawba! You will live in my memories forever and ever.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Open gates

"The gate is open," a cry that can strike fear in the heart of just about any dog owner these days.  It has taken me several days to get it together to post about this since I was so mad, angry, lusting for blood when it first happened I didn't dare post anything.

Last Thursday at 3 a.m. I got up to hand the gate keys to the snowplow guy. I then waited for him to go out and unlock the big gates and bring the keys back to me.  The very last thing I said to him was, "don't forget to close and lock all the gates".  Get that part?  All the gates!

Over the years I have gotten myself something of a reputation for being lacking in sympathy when the cry goes out that someone has lost a dog or dogs because a gate was left open or a door not shut properly, or whatever.  If I respond at all, my very first question is why wasn't the dog or dogs trained to honor gates and doors, open or closed and why, oh, why, weren't the dogs taught to come when called.  Each time I would write such a post after I hit the send button I would always wonder just what sort of bad luck I was bringing down on myself due to my stance.

Back to Thursday.  When I got up, I just glanced out the window to make sure the plowing had been done the way it was supposed to be done.  At the same time, I made note of the fact the big gates were shut and locked, never thinking to look any further.  I opened the office door and let Sanity and Ellie out.  Next I headed downstairs to the kennel room and let out all the dogs who were staying with me.

With everyone outside I made my way back upstairs and went straight to the kitchen porch to collect buckets, unthaw them and put out fresh water.  Having taken care of their morning toileting, all the downstairs dogs were hanging around the porch waiting for the water buckets.  Put fresh water buckets down and headed to the kitchen sink to start washing dog food pans.  Barking.   More barking.  Even more barking.

Wait a minute!  That barking didn't sound right.  In fact, that barking sounded all wrong.  I dropped the pan in my hand to pretty much fly to the office door and check on dogs.  I could see even before I opened the door that all the downstairs dogs were accounted for since they were all lined up at the fence.  Not just lined up but staring intently at the street.

When I got the door open and stepped out on the porch my stomach sank and my heart started to race overtime.  Both the small gates were standing wide open.  For heaven's sake, we have not one but two gates that must be unlocked, unlatched and opened in order to get in or out.  The point is one of safety.  Well, so much for safety in this case.  Not only had said gates not been locked or even latched, they had been left standing open.  And just where, oh where, were Sanity and Ellie?

Ah, yes.  That barking that wasn't right was coming from them.  They were both all the way out at the street at the far corner of the property barking at a walker.  At least I think it was a walker, couldn't really see much because of all the brush, but I could have sworn I saw the tail end of a coat, walking, not running.

I called, "Sanity, come" and "Ellie, come". Only had to make that single call to each of them.  At once without any hesitation, they stopped the barking, turned on a dime, spit out nine cents change and beat feet at top speed all the way back to the house and inside.  I was so shook I simply called all the rest of the dogs to come back in as well.  To H*LL with the gates for the time being.  You can sure believe I was pretty snarky towards the snowplow guy.

A bit later, when the day really got going the gates did get closed and latched and all the dogs got to go back out and play in the snow.  Have you trained your dog to come when called no matter what?  Now I have to go back to the training board and refresh gate manners where Sanity and Ellie are concerned.  But, oh how beautiful a reliable recall is to behold.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Even if I didn't have a single thing to say I would have had to post something today.  How neat if this the date?  11111.  Wonder what that means in machine language?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Hear me shout!  Happy New Year!

Yes, I know there was a picture yesterday with lots of dogs saying the same thing.  However, I wasn't allowed to say anything and now I AM!  So there.