Thursday, April 23, 2015


Gracie starting a hole in the yard

March 27, 2011

Brand new chain and locks on the gates
I took these during the 15 days that Sarge ran and we didn't know where he was. Gracie was missing her brother, constantly looked for him in the house and yard.

Dogs can pick up on our emotions. Any dog owner knows that. My girl knew I was upset, and never left my side. Every time I headed to the car, she sat and looked up as if to ask, "Am I coming too?" The answer was yes, because I wanted her with me if at all possible.

My beautiful Aussie. I love her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Artsy Fartsy

12 x 12 gallery canvas


Jake approves this blog post. Gracie doesn't care.
First, before I forget, more on the canine flu: my vet said the vaccine now on the market that is in short supply is not the strain of the current flu. Just like the human vaccines, the drug companies guessed wrong. And again, just like the human population, the flu is particularly bad this year, hitting the canine population a little late. The vet's office recommends watching your dog for symptoms, and calling them at the first sign. The vast majority of the dogs will be sick one to two weeks and recover. It is the dogs (just like their human counterparts) with weakened immune systems that will have a problem. I feel better about this, and hope you do, too.

I have a lot of new canvases. The one above was done in so many, many steps. It was inspired by something else I saw on Pinterest, and just didn't want to come together. So I would work on it, walk away, work, walk away for a few days, but kept coming back to it. The day the mood hit me, I finished this in less than one hour. And said it was done. Complete.

I have never been a big fan of abstract art until this year. Don't know why, don't really care. The colors and randomness make me happy, and that is all that matters at this point. Gracie ignores me when I enter the studio bedroom to work. Jake is ever at my feet, not leaving my side. Such a mama's boy. Bless his heart.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Canine Flu

Looks like a little angel, doesn't he?

There is a vicious canine flu outbreak in Chicago, with over 1,000 dogs affected. Some have died. Because of the proximity to that area, Indianapolis has had this on the news. I have read conflicting reports about the vaccine. First, there isn't one, and second, it is now out of stock. So not sure what to believe.

Going to do what I always do: ask questions. Your dog(s) is at risk if you use a dog park or doggie day care, and we use both. If there is something I can do to keep my two dogs healthy, then I will do it. The vet will be called, and I will pass along whatever information I get. A word of caution. The vets are not always up to date on what is actually happening with the dogs in your area. When I insisted on a blood test for Lyme's disease 18 months ago, and that both dogs be vaccinated (this is expensive if you are considering), the vet was surprised. She had not heard of Lyme's in the area or in the state. It was rare at that time for the test to be done, or the vaccine to be administered. The best way to stay informed is to network with other pet owners. I explained to the vet that a friend had lost her Newfie to Lyme's. (see any tags for Coal). As a result there were about 10 of us from the dog park that started with the Lyme's vaccine.

Look at that face. Dogs trust us to lead them, to love them, take care of their needs. In return, we get nothing but loyalty and love.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Sarge and Gracie, June 2010

There are no words.

I still miss him.

I still miss the daily play between the two dogs.

It just wasn't meant to be.


Monday, April 13, 2015

A Time To Vent

Let us review:

We all have our little quirks and problem areas that seem to intensify as we get older. There are those over 62 that still run marathons, organize charitable events, manage businesses, and juggle families. And there are those that you wonder how they manage to put their underwear on unassisted. You get my drift, right?

But something else has reared it's head of late, and I have to vent about it. Really. Bear with me.

Have you noticed people who are out to get all they can get? And in that process don't give a flying fig about anyone else, who might be inconvenienced or delayed, who might be patiently waiting, plotting in their own minds how to run over these people and not get caught. Or worse, damage one's new car.

Case in point: I went grocery shopping at Super Walmart this afternoon. In this area, we are loaded with "super" grocery centers. Walmart is still the cheapest, and with the price of groceries in a constant climb upwards, I do the majority of my food shopping there. Zipped through the store in record time, entered a check out line. Behind someone in one of those motorized carts. Bless her heart. The husband was standing with the regular cart in front of his wife, taking the bags of groceries and miscellaneous what nots and placing them in their cart. He appeared to be a nice gentle soul. He has my sympathy.

His wife had a small oxygen tank in the go cart. My guess is she was in her late fifties. Perhaps the oxygen was due to illness, perhaps due to a genetic disorder, or perhaps she huffed paint fumes, who can tell? The point is the use of the go cart was necessary. If it hadn't been, I am fairly certain my mouth would have been open with inappropriate words coming out after what she pulled. Bless her heart.

Walmart matches prices. You are suppose to only ask for a match price from a printed ad, and it helps to have that ad with you. This woman had no paper work except her own hand written list. And for every frigging item that was on that conveyer belt, she found a cheaper price on her hand written list, and requested that price be matched. Every. Single. Item.

Really? I mean, really? If the other stores in the area are soooo much better than Walmart, what the hell are you doing here? Using their free go cart to boot? The cashier was young, but certainly not unaware that a fast one was being pulled. I don't know what transpired prior to my entering this check out line. Maybe the cashier challenged this self centered know it all, and was shot down by her team leader. Had I not emptied my cart, placing everything on the conveyor, I would have changed lanes. When this woman was down to the last item, 5 pounds of generic potatoes, she pondered the list. You could tell she was trying to remember what a good price would be on 5 pounds of potatoes. Her husband, long suffering soul, told the clerk to just let it go. But wifey held up her hand, and shouted out "$2.50".  The husband was blushing. He looked my way, but I had been doing standing stretches for about 5 minutes at this point. Making use of my time. Trying not to throttle this woman.

Bless her heart.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Random Thoughts

Spring is definitely here. After a full week of rain, we did yard work yesterday. The yard work consisted of me cutting back 12 foot stalks of decorative grasses, and trying to make a neat pile I could tie with string.  To Jake, it represented something that mom was touching and isn't that a nice pile of dried grass? I must roll in it. I must grab pieces of it and run around the yard while my mom calls me "Little Shit". Gracie stayed out of the way, surviving the scene. I swear she was laughing.

Plants are emerging from the ground, and once again I have lost a lot on the north side of the house. I may have to give up growing hostas. That makes me sad, because I love the beauty of the leaves.

Have a productive day. Enjoy this weather because we all know that within a month, it will be 90 degrees. The Midwest. Ya gotta love it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


New born lambs from April, 2013

I chose this folder in my Pictures folder because it was labeled April 2013. Sad for so many reasons.

Leah, our sheep herding coach, called me a few weeks back to tell me this weekend would be a fundraiser at the farm in Mooresville, IN. I knew something was wrong immediately. It seems her barn caught fire in January. 12 dogs and 18 sheep were trapped inside and died. My heart was in my throat. The thought of the animals suffering was overwhelming. The fundraiser is so she can rebuild a structure, and get more sheep. Insurance would not cover the loss.

There are two different types of animal people: the first are those raised on farms, who look at the farm animals, and this includes dogs and cats, as stock. Dogs are not considered members of the family. It's not that these people don't love the animals, they do, they are just slightly more removed from the loss. I have encountered this time and again, and perhaps they have the correct attitude for living on a farm. Animals die, life moves on. Attachment slows the work process.

The second type of animal person is me. And my friends. And the people I've met at the dog park. "Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen?"  "Her fur is so soft! What do you use on her?" "Jake is giving me the evil stink eye again, Linda." We let our dogs on the furniture and beds. We talk to them when another human is not in the immediate area. We spend money on our pets as if they were humans. And we love them completely.

Who is to say which attitude towards animals is correct? Not me. Yes, I am going to the fundraiser. Yes, I will donate money that I can ill afford. Why? Look at those sheep. And I knew each and every dog that perished in the fire.

It's the right thing to do.