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Archive for the ‘animals’ Category

We do not have any pets, at this time, but in October, every year, a black cat hangs around our yard, and likes to groom itself on our car, obviously.

This was my view out the kitchen window this morning.

Black cat grooming on the car

Happy Halloween everyone!

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After my father died, my mother was lost. As much as she loved her freedom, she was lonely without someone there to talk to. She had always wanted a Chihuahua and so another relative gave her half the money to purchase a Chihuahua puppy.

The puppy was adorable, and quiet. Very quiet. She did not bark for months until it got to the point that my mother encouraged her to bark. I do not know what the problem was that mom worried the dog could not bark. Granted, barking is the only way she is going to scare anything away (although I did read about three Chihuahua puppies cornering a coyote in a garage once), this dog is not going to do it alone. She has yet to catch a bird or a rabbit, both of which she used to chase. Never brought a deer home either, but mostly they turn and walk away from her.

Skeeter attacking her favorite toy; a Taco Belle Dog.

Mother is in a senior’s apartment building now and, while she could have the dog with her, the dog has learned to bark. All company must sit before the dog will stop barking. (I guess a bid to bring them more to her eye level, although they would have to lay on the floor, on their stomach for that.) Mom let her dog stay with us, so she did not have complaints about the barking. Now, it is also because mom can no longer move quick enough to let the dog out (out the door, down the hall, down the elevator, through the lobby, and then out.)

Chihuahua puppy is now thirteen years old. She has always had a collapsing larynx, which requires her to stretch out and cough to open it; two slipped discs in her back; and an enlarged heart. It is the enlarged heart that is doing her in.  Some nights she has me awake for a half hour as she coughs and coughs in an effort to get that larynx fully open.  She is not gasping for air though.

When I took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago, he looked very grave and shook his head and told the nurse to put away the rabies shot. He gave her a steroid shot and new heart medicine and said her heart was failing. She threw up for two days and every day, I debated if today was the day to take her back in. I finally quit giving her the new heart medication and went back to the old (which he told me to do if she didn’t tolerate it.) and she was back to herself.

Some days she doesn’t eat, she laps up more water than she ever has, the stairs are tough on her old bones, some days she loves her chicken plate, some days it sits and drys up. Like most of us, who are getting up there, she has her good days and bad days. And, every day, we wonder if today is that day.

Then, she will ask to go out and she will sit in the sun and survey her domain and I’m thinking that as long as she can get joy in the world, and is not in pain, today is NOT the day.  Let her enjoy another day in the sun.

Yesterday, I was petting her and noticed a lump. I’m not sure but her kidneys may be shutting down and one is enlarged.  She is not in pain though, but I know that the day is closer, but not today.

Chihuahua Skeeter

7.2 lbs of Earthquake warning

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After informing everyone on Facebook and Twitter that the Geminids meteor shower was at its peak yesterday, I went to bed and forgot all about it.  Senior moment or Alzheimer’s?  Of course we had not seen anything in the sky, but grey and snow for days, so I did not hold out a lot of hope to see them.

When we lived in Wyoming, we had seen everything in the sky.  I remember getting out of the car every night and watching Haley’s comet.  Every rainy season there were double and even triple rainbows in the sky.   Yes, I know, Wyoming does not have rainy seasons.  But, it does have triple rainbows.  One night, I sat curled in a blanket on the front porch, and watched a lunar eclipse.  Another night, all of us went in the back yard, with lawnchairs and sleeping bags, and watched a fantastic comet show.  They sky’s in Wyoming always seemed to have a show.  It was just when that show became fire and smoke that it was not fun.  Three years of having our area burn around us and it just seemed like we were playing Russian Roulette

Last night, at 2:30 am, the dog decided she had to go out.  I slipped on my boots and grabbed a sweater and stood waiting for her.  She has had a problem with her back leg recently and it seems to be cramped up and frozen when she comes in.  She is twelve years old this month and has had bone problems for years.  I keep an eye on her for that and the fact that we have had a coyote walk down our driveway and a fox den in our meadow.  She would make a tasty morsel for a coyote.  Then, I remembered the Geminid meteor showers.

I began looking for them and soon short streaks were random in the sky.  It was two hours after they were to be at their peak, darn!  I think I made it all of fifteen minutes outside and then came in and watched from the window.  I saw a streak every five minutes probably but it was enough to wake me up to all the things that we can still enjoy, sans money.

Sometimes, with all the neat technology upgrading almost daily, I can feel left behind.  We have very basic cell phones and a cheap computer, but the really important things in life are still here for all of us.  Where I live it includes seeing triplet fawns in our yard all summer, and coyotes and fox and blue herron in the pond.

And, to the readership of this blog, who has still checked in, even when I seemed to abandon you and even though I still do not use punctuation properly.  Thanks to all.

Check out the stars tonight and smile.

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This is Irritating little Chihuahua at six weeks, January of 1999.  She is eleven years old this month, and she has her daily exercise routine.

It consists of sleeping, and

going outside and surveying her driveway, from the great sniffing of automobile tires down to the Yucca plant.  I have yet to figure out what is so intriguing about the Yucca, as it does not seem a normal “pee” spot to me, but it is on her daily route. 

It is also on her daily route to debate whether to go on down the driveway to the road.  She will look back, to see if we are watching, go a few trots, stop and look back.  This continues until I rap on the window or yell at her.  Then, she ambles off into the yard as if, “No, I never intended on going down the driveway.  I know my boundry.” 

The rest of the day is taken up with sleeping with nose buried,

and begging for food, and sleeping.  Mostly sleeping. 

Oh, and there is the occasional — jump up and give me a dirty look because she swears I touched her haunches, when she actually has a flea. 

Before I am yelled at, she has a frontline flea application monthly, as well as her heart worm pill.  She has had neurological problems with other flea applications, so Frontline it is.  This was working well for her until the St. Bernard family decided to eat our garbage and deposit their “city of fleas” in our yard.  They DO NOT get flea applications.  Chihuahua  added the garbage cans to her morning run as those St. Bernard’s leave behind all kinds of things, including their fleas. 

The St. Bernard’s eating the lid of the garbage can, to circumvent the ties and boards and anything else we could find to keep them out, finally resulted in putting the garbage cans in my studio (which I rarely use in winter).  The city of fleas resides on the ground yet, as well as the smells do.

Twice a day I comb her with a frozen flea comb, catch the fleas that freeze on it, and put them in the freezer of doom; a disposable container in the freezer.   I know this is wierd, but, yes, I have a container of frozen fleas in my freezer (Try saying that three times fast.).  On top of which, sits her flea comb.  Someday the City of fleas will all die —– I hope.

So, back on topic, the Chihuahua sleeps, eats, poops, and sleeps all day.  For ten minutes, at night, she also plays with her Taco Belle Chihuahua.   Taco Belle Chihuahua has more sewn body parts than you can imagine.  Irritating Chihuahua loves to grab it by the neck and try to knock herself sensless with it.

My fear, the year we had floods, was that our home would be flooded, fall into the pond and the Taco Belle Chihuahua would be history.  I have searched ebay, Good Will and yard sales for a back-up Christmas Taco Belle dog.  Chihuahua has a basket of stuffed toys and will occasionally play with the Turkey Buzzard and rarely with the cat mouse toy.  Taco Belle Chihuahua is her love.

Now, we have found another exercise outlet for Chihuahua: The Wii.

Yes, Gaffer brought a Wii home.  One of the games sounds rather like a bark, so she stands on the couch and barks back at the Wii.  But, bowling drives her nuts.  It took her three hours to figure out they were not throwing food for her.  She loves her Wii.  She does not understand it, but she loves it.

This is Skeeter, trying to communicate with the blue jean leg of the Wii player.  She is either saying, “Okay, where is the treat you have been throwing for three hours?” or “GO TO BED!”

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Irritating Little Chihuahua is still giving the recliner a wide birth but she is ferocious in her sleep!

sleepingdogface

OR NOT!

sleepingdog

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My Labor Day

I slept late and we are having a quiet day.  This is what I woke up to at 9 a.m.

9amfog

This was not night time.  This was out my front door at 9 am and we don’t have fires to blame.

fawn

With the cool nights all summer in Indiana, the marigolds are about the only thing left, and our fawn twins are now just one.  I don’t know if they have split up or one got hit by a car but this guy is still coming through twice a day and feeding, so she can have what she likes.

Happy Labor Day all

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It’s so beautiful out today.  I love this property, with all the trees waving in the wind and the two fawns that have taken up residence (I think their mom might have died in a car crash).  Poor babies are eating all the red tomatoes and yellow roses.  They do not like the pink roses.  Pink must taste bad.   They wait for the tomatoes to turn red.  Actually, not just turn red but be soft and ripe.  It is now a game of wits between us to see who gets the tomato at the proper maturity.  They won the other night and got the three I planned on picking the next morning.

This morning I opened the door to let irritating Chihuahua out and a rabbit was sitting in front of the door munching the grass.  Probably the same rabbit who is eating the blooms on my melons.  I do think mother nature is winning this year.  Between the late blooms, due to cool weather, and the animals, I’m not sure what we are getting out of the garden other than peppers.  Anyway, the rabbit would NOT move.  Just refused.  I knew the Chihuahua would take out after the rabbit and I wanted the rabbit to have a chance and also not to beat the tar out of the dog, so I said “shoe.”  The rabbit munched away.  I knocked on the inside of the door.  The rabbit munched away.  The dog actually went back in the house (we were on the porch) and laid back down and the dumb rabbit was still munching away.  I think my wildlife has gotten tame.

I have two gardens this year.  I planted vegetables in the very sparse rose garden, where a bunch of roses came up in the beginning but didn’t do much with the cool weather.  I took care of them this year too.  But, I have two new plants that are doing great.  One is a yellow rose and one is varigated and I just love it.  Will post a picture later.  The vegetables were doing great too, before the orphans took up residence.

And, then we have the square foot back garden and the pumpkin patch that is invading our yard.  These are some of the numerous blossoms.

pumpkinvines

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Sorry, for the long absence. We have the log off our roof now. That’s good. I reformatted my computer, hoping to improve my Dial-up Access, but that is not working so well. I never get on to AOL with the first try and, when I do get on, other things seem to be constantly running and keeping me from doing anything.

So, I am writing this at night, hoping to have a solid minute online to actually upload it.
Husband left town for a few days to pick up eldest boy, Gaffer. His ride from Duluth, MN fell through and he had no way to get home. He has his permit and IS getting his license when he gets back if I have to take him.

You have no idea how exciting it is to have a husband gone for three days; until you have had one home with you, twenty-four hours a day, for twenty years. Since, I am an artist and work out of my home, and he has been disabled and unable to work for that long, it is just way too much togetherness.

Mom offered to come, and stay and keep me company. I have to wonder how often she actually listens to me, since I repeatedly say, “I love to be alone.” Of course, she does not and probably wanted company herself, but husband took our only reliable car and there is not a bed here she is comfortable in and, once you have read the rest of this, you will see why she is probably glad she stayed home.

Yes, things are normal around here.

The first day EMT took JRock to school, almost. His truck, the one they worked on all weekend; the one they dropped the engine and replaced a seal and all kinds of goodies on, well, it broke down between here and town. The restaurant owner, where it is parked, is kindly letting it sit there for a few days. I got the call, and went to pick the boys up. So, while he is at work now, I do not have access to a car. No problem!

That day, the icemaker quit working. Okay, fill the stack of small yogurt containers with water and freeze them. No problem!

My plan to clean my downstairs studio, while husband was gone, went well. I emptied it the first day, onto his bed. Today, I put things away where they belong, cleaned off his bed, went out to the outside studio and got the couple of containers that belong in here. I do have three containers I have to sort through yet, but it is not piles here and there. I had no idea how much room I had down there. I still have empty cupboards I can fill up.

However, I may never go down there again after what I found, this evening.

EMT works with making knives and doing leather goods. He was looking for some copper, to decorate a knife holder with, and I thought I might have some in my downstairs studio. And, since it was now mostly clean, I could find it. I got down on my knees, searched the cupboard, only had rods and tubes, nothing flat; closed it all up, stood up and spotted a snake. YES, A SNAKE. A snake in my studio downstairs. A snake in the room that used to be my mother’s kitchen.

EMT is deathly in hate with snakes. He won’t even watch them on tv, but I yelled for him and all without telling him why; rat that I am. It was a little snake, and I didn’t think, I was just afraid to lose sight of it and not be able to find it again and then I would have to sleep in the car or on the roof.

The snake was thinner than a pencil, mostly, and probably a foot and a half long. It’s hard to tell when they won’t quit slithering.

He comes down and says, “Get out of here. It’s a copperhead.” We have copperhead here. We had a nest in the gully, the second summer the boys were here. I think EMT burned it out. But, they seem to be plentiful in Brown County. Hence, all the people so proud of this fact that they name their properties, “Copperhead Ridge” “Copperhead Hollow” etc.

Are you ready for this? EMT then killed the snake with the side of a folding table. Whatever works! He then picked it up with his leatherman and put it in the garbage and his brother took it out. After he killed it and turned it over, he says it was probably a black snake. I don’t care, it does not belong in my basement, and how many friends did the darn thing invite in? He searched the basement for more. Found a hole it may have come in and plugged it, but no other snakes. Very brave for a kid who absolutely loathes snakes.

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The rain has stopped, the sun is out and I am on my dial-up, for a while at least. I have been kicked off twice, so I shall type fast. This morning I had a party line on my phone. Thank you SOOOOOO much AT&T, for this wonderful service.

I am working industriously on the book stuff. I have a printed manuscript and am passing it around the family for each to read and critique. It’s interesting the different things they each find.

Irritating Little Chihuahua has a new phobia. My mother purchased three recliners for her apartment and sent home the rocking love seat and reclining chair that she had to our house. We now have a leather couch, a sofa bed, a love seat, a huge old broken down recliner of my dad’s (I just can’t part with it) and my mother’s recliner. They are all in the frontroom although working their way to the dining room and it is mom’s chair that is half in and half out that is frightening the dog.

She seems alright with the chair being there and has even braved jumping up on the love seat. However, if anyone sets in mom’s recliner and reclines, feet up, the dog becomes a quivering mass of jello. She tries to hide behind my back, or forces herself into my arms, no matter what I am doing.

But, perhaps it is inherited. I hesitate to tell this story on myself, but what the heck. Last night, I woke up on the floor. Seriously! And, no I had not been drinking or doing any drugs. I do not remember falling out of bed. I just woke up on the floor, kind of under my table-matic, whatever it is that my computer sits on.

The worse part is, I sort of woke up and realized I was on the floor but that I could not get up. I believe I dozed off at that point and woke again and realized my arm was wet, so I reached up and moved my dumped water glass and went back to sleep again. I believe it was three tries before I got myself up off the floor. This morning, needless to say, I was really tired and slept late.

And, as if that was not enough, or maybe there is some connection, I dreamt that I was having a baby and that Severus Snape was the father.  (Sorry, all you not Harry Potter people, he is a great character, but I would not want to marry him.  Lupin maybe but not Severus.)   I was going to die after the baby was born and he was there, with his van, taking things to his house because he would be raising the baby. 

Okay, maybe I need to quit sleeping with my headphones on and listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at night.

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I grew up in northern Indiana and went to college and worked in Chicago for many years.  I have taken buses and trains to get where I was going since 1974.  I remember early South Shore train seats that were woven wicker and the windows opened because there was no air-conditioning.  Yes, grasshopper, I am ancient.

Master’s Daughter and I took the “new” South Shore train from the beginning of the line, in South Bend, to Chicago.  It was either, a two hour, one hour or three hour ride, depending on what time zone you were going to or from.  I believe in actuality, it took two hours.  They have air conditioning and bathrooms now.  And, during the day time, off rush hours, they have children; lots and lots of children.

But, first you had to park your car and put a dollar bill or change in the right slot of the box.  Okay, now we were a wee bit tired.  This is not rocket science and, between us, we have over eleven years of college.  We drove by the pay box, decided to park first (Yes, I know, that should have been obvious.) and then walked up to pay. 

sharon slot

After using another quarter to push the quarters in, Master’s Daughter pushed the last quarter in with a car key.  Then, we read the sign, “Use a key or the pusher attached by a cable to the box.”  OKAY, the rest of the trip should be a breeze, after learning about the pusher.  The result is the above laugh.

We were waiting with a group of people for the train to arrive, when a school bus pulled up.  The energy in that station raised by fourteen knots.  The elderly couple near us began to shake and we all headed for the door.  Frankly, I think the strategy should have been to let the children board the train and then walk to the other end for our seats.  We met someone, coming home that night, who was in the car with the children.  Apparently, it was not a pleasant ride.  Most notably mentioned was children playing in the bathroom.

And this is what we (and a sleeping chick at the Museum) looked like at the end of the day.

chicken sleep jpg

All the other chicks, in the incubator were sleeping laying down but this guy was standing up sound asleep.  My mother has done this a time or two also. 

Even so, Master’s Daughter and I have decided this “June girl’s retreat” really needs to be an annual event.  Last year, I went up for her Master’s Graduation.  This year it was for the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.  We are now looking for something fun to do next year.

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