Goofy Dog

Our Sweet Nellie has always loved being outside during the day. Lying on the hot sidewalk to warm her bones, then following the shade patches around. Even in the winter, she loves lying in the snow for hours on end. But sleeping outside? She has never done that...until this summer.

She has always been content to eat her last snack then toddle off to her bed at the end of our bed. This Spring, she started getting goofy and wanted out during the night. That means somebody was losing sleep being on call to let her out, then back in. When our daughter came home for the summer she was the designated one to do the chore. Sometimes it was multiple times during the night. Finally I just told her to let Nellie out, shut the door and go back to bed.

Now that is her new routine, one last snack, then outside when we go to bed. She doesn't have a dog house, rather enjoying lying in the cool grass. Who ever gets up first lets her in. If she wants in earlier, she makes it very clear by knocking on the screen door with her foot or head. BANG goes the door. So she isn't locked out at night, it's her choice.

But now as Fall is coming on it's dropping down to the 40's at night. And Heavens, what about Winter?! Will she continue this new sleeping ritual? She's already all wet in the  morning from collecting dew. I imagine that soon she will come in with frost on her butt or be covered by a foot of snow.

Jack Frost will soon be nipping at her nose and toes
She is a shallow breather and you can't see her taking breaths until you are practically on top of her. Every morning I look out the window and hope that she will get up. She will be 16 in about a month, to the best of my guessing ability. I hope that when she does go, that it will be peacefully in her sleep in her yard that she loves so much.



Sometimes I just get a wild hair and feel like I need to make a change in the house.

We have a wall that after I painted years ago, I put up pictures. All people pictures; baby, graduation, wedding, grandparents, great grandparents and many of our daughter. But I wanted something different up there.

My daughter and I take a lot of photos and although we have some of them around the house, I wanted a whole wall to show them off. So all the people came down. We cleaned the wall and frames and took out all of the pictures. We then counted each size and divided them up between us. That gave us each 13 frames of various sizes to work with. Now the hard part, to only choose 13 of our favorites and which size of frame we were going to put them in.

We took our thumb drive to Walmart to place our order and picked them up the next day. It was fun deciding which photo should go in which frame. The frame is what makes the photo look good or bad. Hanging them was a bit challenging. We used most of the same nails so had to find the right sized frames to use in those spaces. After some adjusting and a few nail moving and removing, we think we finally have it looking good. They sure invoke a lot of good memories of all the places we've been and the fun we've had. It only took 4 days in all, which is a lot less time than I thought it would. Now I wish I hadn't procrastinated all summer.

The wall looks less crowded and jumbled up and we love the new look. So I will now introduce you to--The Mozzarella Hall Of Fame!




No Can Do

My relationship with our neighbor has remained copasetic. He doesn't talk to me and I don't talk to him.

A few weeks ago he called and told my husband that if we had heard a dog barking it wasn't any of his. He said the new people next to them just got a pitbull and it was barking at 4:00 am. He said he was going to leave a note on their fence and if that didn't do the job, he was going to have to talk to them. As my husband was relaying this story to me I was grinning from ear to ear. A barking dog right under his bedroom window :) Karma is a bitch, ain't it?

Later that day I was getting some clothes off the line and I heard this meek little voice say, "Kden?"

I wasn't even sure it was him so I said "yes?"

"Can you ever forgive me? I totally understand if you can't but I just had to put it out there. I'm sorry I was so terrible to you and I feel very bad and really want to ask your forgiveness."

I had to move so I could look at him through the slats in the fence. Our eyes locked and I politely said, "No I really can't."

"That's fine, I understand, I'm just trying to be a better person."

"You say that, then you jump all over Hubby about the compost bin"

"It was just the opportune time when I saw him, and it was attracting rats."

Here is where I almost laughed. Since when do mice turn into rats? And yes, we have eradicated the problem. Killed us a LOT of mice!

He said he just didn't want to fight anymore and I thanked him and we bid each other goodnight. In a way I felt sorry for him. Sitting in his chair he looked like a shriveled up old man who has finally realized what a jerk he really is. When I told my husband about our conversation he asked if his speech sounded kind of slurred. We kind of surmised that maybe he's on some kind of medication because he certainly couldn't be drinking.

It was a nice gesture on his part and I do appreciate that he is working on his issues, but it's too little too late for my liking. Fifteen years of putting up with his verbal abuse cannot be wiped out with a beg for forgiveness.


Sip and Paint

For a few years now, the business of adding a little wine/beer, an instructor and paint, has become popular. A FB friend of mine has done several of them and it looked like a lot of fun. About a year ago, one of the venues was having a 'pet' night where you brought a picture of your pet to paint. I wanted to go sooooo bad and put out a plea on FB for someone to go with me. Ok, I begged. No one wanted to go and I was really bummed.

So finally when The Kid turned 21, I knew who I was dragging along with me. I found a place kind of far away across the border into Idaho, but they discount their paintings through the summer. We chose the painting and day we wanted to go and made an appointment. This is what we were going to be painting. It's an abstract using mostly a pallet knife for the butterfly.

The room holds up to 40, but we had a small class of 14. The instructor walked us through every step and stroke. The background was no problem, easy peasy. Then came the body. Adding the wings is where I messed up. The angle was just all wrong and it went suckily downhill from there; in my opinion. The Kid wasn't doing any better. We're glad we went though and had a good laugh when we got home. Maybe we'll do it again sometime, although I think I'm a lot better at coloring and painting ceramics.

This is the group photo and it's cool to see everyone's different rendition of the same picture.


How Could You FORGET?!

We've all seen the headlines of babies dying from being left in hot cars. About 37 children die each year in that situation. Some are out-and-out neglect cases which result in much deserved charges for the parent or caretaker.

But most seem to be the "I forgot" defense. Busy lives. Both spouses working, swapping who takes the kids to daycare. Running errands, going to meetings or work, etc.

Charges generally are not filed against these parents, because it was a mistake. A tragic mistake. And at that point, unless they can prove the action was neglectful, it wouldn't bring the child back. Their child's death is enough punishment.

What really baffles me is hearing the parents say, "I forgot little Billy was in the car." How in the world can that even happen? The baby may fall asleep, but at some point they will fuss, cry, laugh, and play with noisy toys.  It's true that rear facing car seats inhibit your view of the baby, but a mirror can easily be placed on the back of the seat they are facing, so you can glance in your rear view mirror and see your child's reflection. There are just so many things you can do to prevent this! Being busy and distracted is no excuse. Checking on your child when you are driving should be as common as checking all of your mirrors, watching traffic, and watching the speedometer. Eyes checking, scanning, checking.

I am terribly forgetful and when our daughter was a baby, I had plenty of distractions and stressful days. But I never once forgot she was in the car with me. Never.

You can forget milk when you go shopping. You can forget your cell phone at the office. You can forget your gym bag in the car. But NEVER forget your child is in the car.



Garden Ramblings

Things are finally starting to ripen in our garden. Cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and cukes are being eaten as fast as we can pick them. The regular tomatoes have been very pokey and we haven't been able to pick ONE of them. This mystery plant started growing out of our compost. We knew it was probably some kind of squash but not sure as to what kind. They got very large and rotund so we picked them and ate them either raw or grilled. One night I noticed the consistency was stringy. Ah ha, mystery solved! We got ourselves some spaghetti squash. It's probably been well over a year since we had put seeds in the compost so that little guy waited all that time before it sprouted. We'll leave them alone now so they can ripen to a golden yellow instead of a pasty green.

We've been back to Green Bluff a few times, once to pick beans in a storm. It wasn't planned that way but it was thundering and lightening when we got there. It sure made us pick a lot faster though. We were able to freeze several meals' worth that should carry us through Thanksgiving. 

They also have a large greenhouse with just tomatoes, LARGE tomatoes. We can have our fried green tomatoes now instead of waiting till the end of the season. Grilling them was OK but I'd rather do them in the oven and get them done all at once. It's a messy and time consuming job but sooooooo worth it.

I bought a food dehydrator on CL so we could make some zucchini chips. The trip there was almost not worth the effort. I didn't think it would be a 2 hour round trip, some of it on gravel road. People that live in the boonies apparently don't have to live by any city codes and their houses look like run down shacks. The woman is a dog breeder and the place just grossed me out; The Kid wouldn't even get out of the car. But I cleaned the dehydrator well and it works.

We tried to make some zucchini chips but I cut them too thin and they dried to a crisp right on the tray. We chipped off what we could but then soaked the trays in  hot water to re-hydrated them. As they floated to the top, they went in the compost, yuk. It was a disappointing first attempt considering the work we put into it.

That's all that's new with us because it's been too darn hot to do anything else.


Nellie Takes A Trip

Hey it's me, Nellie! My Mom is pretty tired today after just getting home from our little trip so I thought I'd fill you all in on how it went. Last Sunday morning they loaded the car up and then decided to throw me in the back. They made it all nice looking and comfy but I still didn't like going in that way.

I would lay down for awhile, then stand up and pace back and forth. When they stopped at a rest area I tried to get myself out MY way and end up tangled up in the food box. That's when my hip went out. Mom carried me under a shady tree so my Dad could work on me to get it back in. When we finally got to our destination I was tired, hot, and confused. I got caught in between the wall and bed so I just crashed and slept for a long time. That night I slept on the deck just because it was hot in the room. The next day I got to lay here for hours and rest up.

My family took turns staying with me while the other two would go out and about. I loved walking around the property, they had a nice grassy area and a hill that I walked up every day when my Dad walked me. Every time I went outside, I wanted to walk up that hill! One day we even had visitors up on the lawn.

In the evening we would go up and sit on the lawn and watch the birds and listen to the river. Usually I would take advantage of a cat sighting to chase it, but I was too comfortable lying down and he did not seem impressed with me at all.

I had my family convinced that I was afraid of the deck because I fell a lot on the slick boards. So my dad was inside the room and I walk out there, knocked some chairs over that were blocking (ha ha, not really) an exit, walked under a safety rope and was walking in front of the deck just 2 feet from the edge of the river bank. My Dad just about pooped his pants, ran to grab my leash and followed me out on the edge of the bank to get me before I became fish food. I'm surprised he even told Mom about that!

Just when I was getting used to this new routine, they packed the car back up and threw me in again. I was a little more chill on the way home except for trying to jump out the back instead of waiting for someone to get me, kind of like a kid jumping in a swimming pool before the parent is ready. I can be an obstinate old broad sometimes.

All in all I'm glad they took me and I hope they feel the same way. Here are some more pics my Mom took, and now I'm going to go back to doing what I do best, ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.

More deer with babies close by
The cabins
Wenatchee river, cabins on right bank
Really low river this time of year