Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oh baby...look at you now!!

Stryker has been with us 6 months now. In that time we have dealt with loose stools because of a rampant bacteria, normally found in the IG tract of dogs but only activated when they are severely stressed. I do count his trip to Denver where we picked him up as a qualifying factor. He missed his plane because of human error ( of course ), arrived many hours late in not only thunder, lightening, hail but also a tornado then had to ride in a car 2 hours back to Colorado Springs...antibiotics.

Then Tess and the kidlets and the two dogs and cat came to visit.....and Stryker got either bitten or scratched and one side of his face swelled up. Antibiotics.....

Next we found a marble sized swelling under Stryker's chin...which between a Friday and the following Monday went from marble to abscess for which no reason could be found.... more antibiotics after a "stab" incision ( yup, exactly what it sounds like ) that drained blood and pus. Lovely.

About 6 days ago Stryker started shaking his head ...repeatedly. One ear was petal pink and lovely and the other was a red-hot mess. Do not ask me why ...its not like in this part of the country he is finding water to dunk his head in and it was before his bath ( see earlier blog ) so there is no apparent reason for this either.

Delicate health aside, he is a WONDERFUL dog. He is funny and bright and very enjoyable most of the time. I say that, thinking of the last two mornings when the whining to go out started at 4:45 am and 5:50 am, respectively. At those times I am tempted to just open the garage door and let what happens, happen ( wolves, bears, mountain lions.....). But I do not.

As to the bright part....after bathing him, he decided he LOVED the bath. I have to keep the bathroom door closed now because he wants to get back in the tub and he now knows how to turn on the water......

And "baby", the one who weighed a meager 13 lbs when we got him is now a whopping 75.7 lbs...but that was yesterday. I am pretty sure he has gained more since then!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out of the night that covers me....

Black as the pit from pole to pole...
Invictus was one of my Mom's favorite poems. I love it too and this morning at 2:30am I got to see just how black it could be. Our power company left a message on Monday saying the power would be out from 2:30 to 3:30am but when you are stumbling to the bathroom at that time of night, rational thought is not present.

I thought "here we go again"...another circuit breaker shut down. I felt my way into the living room where I had left the flashlight after trying to find the non-existant black box for the tv the day before. Found it and trekked out to the garage where the circuit breaker box is located. All seemed ok. Sigh.

Headed back to the bedroom and that is when I noticed that there was no light coming from the village, at all. Then the light in my head went on ( the only dim bulb in the valley ) and I realized what was happening. It was the darkest dark I have ever seen, the only light coming from the stars. With no ambient light there were thousands and thousands visable. Beautiful but strange. So very quiet...

Unfortunately, when dawn finally came this morning everything that has a time set was blinking and had to be reset...not a big problem but a little irritating. When I tried to turn the lights on in the living room, nothing. Ok, thinks me, now it IS the circuit breaker and sure enough it was. It will not stay in the "on" position so the lights still dont work in there. I have no idea who to call since we dont know any electricians.

I KNEW when I posited the question "what next" that I should not have. It never fails.....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bathing a rottie "pup"


Start by preping the bathroom....turning on the space heater on floor so the poor pup doesnt get cold. Rethink said heater and move it to a counter since said pup will probably soak bathroom, thus turning the whole floor into an electrocution risk.

Remove clothes and put on swimsuit. Fill tub. Try and coax 60+ pound baby into bathtub. Drag baby into tub....head and front paws make it, other 50 lbs do not. Soak, lather, rinse, rinse, rinse and repeat. Try and get dog out of tub ( good luck ). Try again. Try again. Try and dry said dog off....again, good luck. Use all 6 towels on floor to dry dog. Now use same towels to dry floor, mirrors, walls and self. Dog is still wet but happy. Try and keep dog out of empty tub. Try and keep dog from turning on faucets, located on outside of tub instead of at either end. Smart dog. Drag semi wet dog OUT of tub and try to re-dry. Again turn off damn faucets. grrrrrr.

Try and catch wet dog. Good luck. Mop floors, dry walls, dry self, repeat. Change to dry clothes. Repeat after said dog leaps with joy into lap. Turn off bleeping FAUCETS, AGAIN.

Next time wait for husband.

What is next....

That is a question one should not ask, I know.

It never fails...when John leaves something always happens. Whether this means critters, dead or alive, in the house or garage or mechanical things going on the fritz, it never seems to happen when he is here.

Last night I went to bed, watched a bit of "Sweet Genius" ( a mind bogglingly stupid show, by the way ) and turned off the tv. Prior to that I had watched a bit of tv in the living room....both tv's working fine.

Woke up this morning and VOILLA neither work. Called Direct TV. Lady said to find black or gray box on the floor. Moved entire entertainment cabinet trying to find said box. No box. Unplugged and replugged every blasted plug I could find. Nothing.
It is not so much that I need to be actually watching television, its the sound of other human voices that it provides.

This means no voices ( we wont talk about the ones in my head ), no music since we dont have a CD player, turntable or even radio, it means silence. They will be out to fix it tomorrow for a hefty fee ( of course!!)
And no, silence is NOT golden.

Did I mention the garage opener didnt work an hour ago? The circuit breaker connection clicked off....something that happens with several of the connections here and for no apparent reason. Somehow I dont think this is going to be the best of days....just one of the quietest.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wanted : dead NOT alive

Last year we had an issue with a rat in the garage. About this time of year the lil fuzzy critters start looking for their winter home and apparently our garage fits the bill. Last year I put out sticky traps and caught the rat. I felt so sorry for it that I got out my 2ft tongs and carried the rat and trap outside, poured oil on it to release it, helped it get under a rock and left about half a pound of birdseed so it would not starve ( talk about crazy!!!)

About two weeks ago, before John left for Hawaii again, we had another invader ; not a rat, it was a mouse. This time we put out poison. Bikki, our hunter knew it was out there and she sat by the wood pile in the garage, waiting and waiting. To no avail. The poison does eventually work.....which I found out when I went into the garage night before last. There on the garage floor was a dead mouse and had I not been looking down, I would have stepped on it. AKKKKKKKKKKKK. Once again I got the tongs out and dumped him into the trash. Had to check the next morning to make sure it was A) still there and B) still dead. Needless to say I took the trash to the dumpster ( we dont have garbage pick-up here...we have to drag it down the mountain ) totally creeped out and fully expecting a miraculous resurrection with the mouse perched on the back seat, laughing at me.
I do have a very active imagination....

It isnt that I am less compassionate about His creatures...but as I found out with the snake, I have limits. This now extends to rodents and I really do prefer them dead, especially if they have the temerity to try and live inside.

I also have to wonder....why this stuff only happens when John is gone. Just lucky, I guess.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spring has sprung...fall has fell

Well...sorta. The seasons here are a bit different than I expected. Winter was cold ( check ), spring was muddy but not warm ( check ), summer was rainy and gray ( check ??) and now that John has gone back to Hawaii, after experiencing the wet/gray, it is sunny ( huh?). Not to say it is warm....almost two weeks ago the overnight temps started dipping to the 40's and have stayed there ever since. Of course this started two days before hubby left so all he got to see was the blahs.

I am a little confused but have come to some conclusions. First, planting stuff ( flowers and tomatoes ) when we are past the last frost, is too late. The tomatoes are wayyyyyyy too much trouble, take too much time and water and produce too little to be worth the effort. The flowers never flowered and down in the valley they had their first frost this morning. They look like weeds growing in the flower beds and nary a single bloom ....ok I lie...three weeks ago there was a tiny white flower but it could well have been a weed and they seem to do just fine up here. Maybe next year I will plant least they grow.

Maybe growing stuff up here, with the exception of very large puppies, is not in my future. Oh does go on and the Valley Market has great tomatoes.

The learning curve continues but somehow I always seem to be behind it....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Purple potatoes

I have been cooking a looooooong time. At least 40 years...most of the time with reasonable success. Many have eaten my food and gone on to lead relatively normal lives. Sometimes, though, I manage to suprise myself, as happened last night.

We have friends who live close to Angel Fire. They have 18 acres and an amazing vegetable garden. John went out there last week to rotate his tires ( they have an hydrolic lift and that made things a lot easier ) and afterward Tom took John over to the vegetable garden for a few gifts. Fresh dill and cilantro ( which tastes like Ivory Soap to me ) fresh lettuce, turnips and an enormous head of red cabbage.

The only way I have ever had red cabbage is as sauerkraut and not knowing how to make that, I decided on corned beef and cabbage. I mean, how different could it taste ? Still cabbage, right? Well....

It did taste ok but it also dyed the potatoes, onions and, to a lesser degree the carrots, a funky purple. Purple is not the color you want potatoes. At least I dont.

I really do appreciate the kindness and am grateful for such lovely friends. I still dont have a clue what to do with the turnips and I dont think I have ever tasted one. After the cabbage experience ( did I mention the tops of the turnips are purple too??) I think I will gently toss them and just thank our friends profusely when next I see them....and stick to green cabbage.