Thursday, March 26, 2015


From May, 2011. When you adopt a dog or cat from Hendrick's County Animal Control, and that animal is not neutered, you have 4 days to neuter the pet. To prove you are serious, you must prepay the neutering fees, and bring the paperwork with you to adopt. If you fail to schedule the neutering or return the proof of the surgery, a warrant can be issued for your arrest. Animal Control is serious in this county.

I adopted Jake on a Wednesday. Not wanting any hassles, I scheduled his surgery for the next day, Thursday. Poor little guy. Finds his forever home, complete with a big sister, and he gets his balls cut off immediately.

Gracie had been spayed when she was 6 months old, before her first heat. She wore the cone of shame for 2 full weeks and needed it. The collar fell off once, and she went directly to her stitches before I grabbed her. I got the same speech from the vet that neutered Jake, that the collar was necessary for 2 weeks. What I wasn't counting on was Gracie being terrified of the cone. And Jake figured that little tidbit out real fast. If I let the two of them out in the yard, Grace was fine. Coming into the house, no, not happening. So I would bring Jake in first, barricade him in the kitchen, then go let Gracie back in. After 3 days I was frustrated and exhausted. I called a knowledgeable dog friend who worked for a vet. She said male dogs were less likely to go after the stitches, and to remove the collar and see how Jake did. He was good as gold. And he stopped terrorizing his sister.

Motherhood. There is no end, is there?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Say what?

Last week I decided to reorganize the craft/studio room. Every day I enter said room, and do something. It isn't finished. It's not finished, because I don't know what to do with all this stuff.

In the past 6 years (since I bought this house), I have enjoyed the following hobbies: scrap books, mini albums which are scrap books, painting paper mache and wood, mixed media canvases, primitive crafts, sewing, stamping, card making, stamping metal and making bracelets, and abstract art.

The card making and scrap books are over and done. Time to move on. But at one point this was a passion, so I hesitate to give away or throw out any and all of those supplies. My thoughts are to put the supplies I am not currently using into containers, place the containers in the closet with labels, and reorganize the room. I did that. Do you see any hope for this room? The key word is "room", as in there is none. It was suggested by a friend that I use the spare bedroom that is actually set up as a guest room for more storage. There is a queen size bed and two dressers in that bedroom, and it is where Gracie sleeps every night. Gracie put her paw down, and said no way. Uh huh. Not happening, mom.

Today I am tackling this again. One more time. There is a solution, I just haven't found it yet.

On another note entirely, I am not proud to be living in Indiana today. The Religious Freedom Act is about to be signed into law. This is a legal way for businesses and the government to discriminate without any threat of being sued. Gen Con, the largest convention that Indianapolis hosts, will not return to the city if this becomes law. I am hoping that entertainers, the racing industry, and sports teams formally protest as well. Sad. A very sad day.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What happened to Spring?

I was the good dog. For once.

You yelled at me. My feelings are hurt.
You enjoy a few days of temperatures in the upper 50's and 60's, and think, YEAH! We are done with winter. Then winter turns around and kicks you in the ass. It is cold, grey and damp. The type of weather that makes my bones feel like I should just step in front of a semi.

With the nicer weather, we went to the dog park. On Sunday, there was another dog owner with a young Corgi. Cutest little guy, so full of happiness. This was not our first encounter, so I thought Jake would be a gentleman. I was wrong. We had been at the  park for over an hour when the Corgi entered. Jake decided this would be a good dog to pick on. Poor little guy was terrified, especially when Gracie is running circles, barking like a fool. Neither dog would listen, so I ran towards the gate, knowing they wouldn't want to be left. It worked and they followed. A discussion on manners was held in the car on the way home. I know. Doesn't do a damn thing for them, but put my thoughts in order.

Yesterday afternoon we tried the park again. This time we had it to ourselves, but before I could wear them out it started to sleet and rain so we had to come home. Evidently it was just enough of a tease to make Frick and Frack feisty, because we went through 15 minutes of running and barking in the back yard. I try to keep the barking to a minimum due to complaints, so I was at the back door telling them to "leave it". Gracie knows that tone of voice from mom, and she sat down and behaved. Little Shit, also known as Jake, blew me off. Yeah, it's spring and I know that has something to do with it. But he wasn't giving me a glance, and I became aggravated in a second. Enough bad behavior is enough. When His Royal Highness finally decided to come to the door and enter the house, I walked him into the living room and put him in a "sit", then "all the way down". And in a very deep, stern voice told him he was a bad dog. His ears went down, tail down, and he put his head on his paws. Did not move out of that position for 10 minutes. He also knew, by instinct, that last night was too soon for an apology, and sat politely at the bedroom door, waiting for an invitation.

The old adage about you can't teach an old dog new tricks is bullshit. At least once a year we go back to basic training, and I fully intend to do that again starting today. A mom's got to do what a mom's got to do.


Thursday, March 19, 2015


The above photos are from 2010. Once upon a time I had adopted a dog named Sarge. He was only with us for 18 months, when someone opened a gate to the backyard and let him out. Gracie was frightened, and stayed by the back door. Sarge ran for 2 weeks, then was hit by a car on a very busy highway near the house. If you want to read about the 2 week ordeal, it is in the archives during the month of March, 2011. I warn you. It is raw.

Until I went back this morning and looked at these old photos, I had forgotten how playful Sarge could be. He adored Gracie, and she him. They wrestled, rolled, and chased one another through the house on a daily basis. Jake will not do that with Gracie, and I have to wonder if she misses it. I do. Best entertainment ever. Sarge loved to get her up on my bed to play. He rarely slept with us. With all that fur, it was just too hot. He preferred the floor for sleeping.

The quilt that is on the bed ended up in the trash. I had it in the car when we set up a wired cage trap in the woods to try and catch Sarge. Dan, a friend, told me we needed something to cover the trap with my scent, and ideally with the dogs scent. So we used that quilt. Unfortunately, we caught a raccoon, who chewed on the blanket trying to get out. This is the time of year Sarge went missing, and the changing weather brings back the memories. I am grateful for the closure of knowing my beloved dog died. If that sounds harsh, then you have never been through 2 weeks of hell with people calling to say they just saw your dog. Everywhere, running within a quarter mile of my home. Like I said, raw. Harsh. And always just below the surface to come back and kick me in the ass.

The brown and green eggs came from chickens at the farm where we used to sheep herd. Colored eggs are produced by the type of chicken and type of feed, nothing more. I had never seen green eggs. What a beautiful color.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Is it for real?

Public beach at Michigan City, IN. 2011

Yesterday we walked at the park, and the dogs were panting. For the first time this year, I wore a sweatshirt jacket instead of a coat.

Spring has arrived.

We then spent a few hours in the backyard, cleaning up dog poop, trimming back the decorative grasses, and generally sprucing things up. It felt so good having hot sun on my face. Today, for the first time this year, we will hit 70 degrees and beyond. Fist pumping in the air. High fives all around.

My plan for today is more yard work, walking the dogs again, and possibly cleaning out the garage. Sometimes my ambition exceeds the physical stamina, but I will give it a try. On the negative side, the back and leg problems are worse and walking is, at times, extremely painful. I miss the 2 hour walks with my dogs, and I know they do too. We have all put on weight, and it's not necessarily eating more, but lack of the level of exercise we were used to. Although I did buy one box of Fannie May dark chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs.

Sometimes you have to treat yourself.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Jake May 2011

The maple tree on the right is now in the back yard

Siberian Iris on the south side of the house
I am going to try and make this an every week occurrence, choosing photograph folders at random and pulling something out. I am fairly certain that the pics of Jake were taken the day after I brought him home from the shelter. He climbed up on my bed that first night, and I didn't have the heart to put him in the crate or make him get down. My dog friends informed me that it was so wrong to allow him to sleep up against the pillows. In dog language, Jake was claiming that he was now my equal.

Yeah, well, so be it. When you bring a dog home from a shelter, where he has slept on concrete for over 5 weeks, you want to make him comfortable. Or at least I do. It's my soft heart. Shoot me.

Last week I had a shot of the backyard, with the little Maple tree. THIS is that tree, that I dug up from the spot on the side of the house and replanted in the backyard. Unfortunately, not sure the Siberian iris have made it. They were puny last year. Just have to wait and see.

Enjoy the warmer weather. We will.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Monday

We are rapidly approaching sheep herding season. We have not been since early November, and Gracie was bossy and disrespectful. Yes, dogs can be that way. These are photos from when we first started herding, in September 2010. Leah is in the field with Gracie because either a) Gracie wasn't listening to me, or b) I wasn't listening to Leah.

I would like to continue the herding with Gracie because it's great exercise, and gives us a chance to do something without Jake. Jake sits at the fence and watches. His job is to protect his women. Or at least that's what he thinks. But I'm not sure I will be physically able to accomplish this. We are no longer at the farm in Boone county, where these photos were taken, but at a different mini farm south of us. Grace had become accustomed to the above fields, having worked them for over 5 years. It was her turf, and she had confidence. At the new farm we work a big field that is fenced, and my Aussie likes to wander to avoid the sheep and me. It is her version of flipping me the bird. Good times.

It is also mud season. Yesterday the temperature climbed to 50, and the packed snow is almost completely gone. My floors are decorated in a lovely pattern of mid size dog paw prints. Goes well with the wood laminate flooring. Cleaning seems to be a continuous process: you start, you pause, you continue. Never ending.

The good news is that spring is here. Sigh. Finally. Life is good.