Monday, December 1, 2014

He Didn't Want To Go

Andy had visitors on Saturday. They took him home, but, initially he didn't like the idea.

Here he is a few days before, totally relaxed and feeling at home.

A very nice couple, Melissa and Rob, fell in love with him when they saw him on Petfinder. They wanted to adopt him but it depended on whether or not their female Schnorkie, Abby, would tolerate him, as she is a bit particular about the dogs she likes to hang with. She is a cuuuuuuteeeee, and she pretty much knows it.

Look at that face. I just wanted to eat her up but she wanted nothing to do with me.

Andy was friendly toward them, and enjoyed the attention now and again. Little princess girl didn't really give two bits about him. We hung out for awhile and they tested her by giving Andy love and HER TOY! and she didn't care. So, everything's looking good, right? Well, she was barking at all the sounds outside and Andy's face and body language showed signs of stress, possibly from this little barker, but also, because Bug was barking and whining and he couldn't get to her. (Little Bug got locked up in my office because her manners were not stellar when Abby came inside.) I was a bit worried, I wasn't sure if this would be the right fit for Andy. I could tell that over the past couple of weeks Andy thought he was home.

After visiting for a couple hours, the dogs were finally able to go out to the backyard. The gate was open because R. was working out there, so I couldn't let them out at their arrival. Normally, that would be the first thing I would do is let them go figure things out in the yard.

Once the dogs were outside Andy did some fast running around and tried to engage Abby in play. Whew. I think we all breathed a sign of relief. I actually said out loud, "well, I think we all feel better now," and Melissa agreed. So, she was very aware and concerned, too. After we all agreed this would be ok, Andy got a new collar put on him. He went over to his spot on the sofa and in a very relaxed lounging position, laid there. We continued talking, signed paperwork, etc. and the leash was put on Andy by Rob. Andy was not budging. He was not going anywhere. He stayed right there in that lounge position. After a couple more light tugs and me saying, "OK, let's go" he got up, but he was not thrilled with the idea. After outside, halfway down the walk, he turned around and was pulling on the leash back toward the front door. You ever want your heart to break? foster a dog and have him do that. First time ever has a dog physically tried to come back to the house. I usually go out with the new owners and say goodbye, but it was better this time around that I didn't so that Andy was not distracted by me.

He did jump in the car on his own accord once they got him to it. That made me feel better.

I knew he would be fine. When he first came here it was difficult for him to adjust to the change and I knew it might be again.

Yesterday Melissa sent me an email and some photos, here's one of them...

In short, she said, ".....he's doing fine, he's eating well, he's getting along with Abby and the second night she even let him sleep on the bed with them." That is particularly funny to me because when I was interviewing Melissa, she specifically wondered how he would do NOT sleeping on the bed with them, because that was Abby's domain. Now, she's talking about getting a bigger bed so they all fit more comfortably.

Andy was a VERY good boy while here. He had this sweetness about him, a happiness that I loved, and he was easy going. I loved being greeted each morning when he saw that I had gotten out bed. He chatted with happiness about it. What's better than that, right?

I know he is in an excellent home. Melissa and Rob live for their dogs. This is the type of couple you would want as your owner if you were a dog, but, I miss him. 

Friday, October 31, 2014


Her expression says it all.

She isn't moving.

She is a ladybug statue.

If she could, she'd be giving Angela the middle finger. We received this in the mail a couple days ago from Angela. Of course, as soon as I opened the package I had to put the costume on and send a photo to Angela. But, since Halloween was still a couple days away, she didn't know there would be a photo shoot again today. Although we had some good laughs, Bug was not pleased then and she's not pleased now. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meet Andy

Andy came into the rescue about a week ago. His 80 year old owner was tripped up by one of his canine sibling's leashes and he fell and broke his pelvis. His Doc told him "no more dogs." I'm sure he must be very sad, this would be the ideal time for him to have companionship and dog love. He is being cared for by his daughter, and upon meeting her for the doggy exchange, I could tell she was a bit stressed taking care of her farm and her dad, plus his dogs. She handed over Andy and two Cocker Spaniels.

Cocker Spaniel Rescue of New England contacted us to see if we could take Andy, as they are not Schnauzer experienced. I agreed to foster him and to take the other two for the afternoon until a foster mom from their rescue was available to meet with me and grab them.

I haven't had a foster dog since Otis left in January. Angela and I were in the process of dissolving the rescue for a few different reasons but have figured out that we are able to keep it going on a case by case basis. The break was nice, having multiple dogs and the things that were going on in my life was creating a lot of stress. Otis was with me for 10 months with other dogs coming and going and although he was a good dog, he was dog aggressive and an alert barker, and he alerted me a lot. All of this added to other life stresses made me cranky. So, the break was appreciated, but....

....a couple months ago I started to get the itch. It's been lovely having only Little Bug, much easier, and she's so portable. But, camp and vacations came to an end and I started to peruse Craigslist to see if there were any dogs that needed me. It's very frustrating seeing dogs for free on Craigslist, I don't want them getting into the wrong hands so those are the ones I was looking for, or the ones that a fee was asked for but had been posted for quite some time.

Oftentimes, in regard to the 'free' ads, we in rescue will contact the owner of the ad and suggest that they ask for a fee of at least $50, preferably $100. This helps to deter those who do not have the best interest of the dog at heart. Typically it is theorized that if a 'bad' person, (i.e. someone that is going to mistreat, sell to a testing facility, or use as dog bait, etc.) has to pay for a dog, they won't get it and will seek out the free ones.

On top of it, I've been looking for a dog for R.'s mom. It's been a few months since she lost her Toy Poodle, Peaches, and she wants another dog. A female. Small. Non-shedding. A Miniature Schnauzer.  She loves Little Bug. We did get her to agree to a small female, no matter the breed, as female Schnauzers don't drop by too often. So, I've been perusing CL off and on.

When I got the call about Andy, R. and I thought that maybe his mom would accept a male. He sounded great. Even-keeled, relaxed, 'an old soul.' Well, he's nervous, whiney, overly cautious and has separation anxiety. LOL He is vocal with his emotions and actually screams when excited, especially when R. gets home. I've been redirecting to help him stay calm and now that he is getting more comfortable being here, he is showing signs of less anxiety, but the high pitch voice is just part of who he is.

When I first brought the three dogs home, I took Lily out of the car first. Each were in their separate crates and when Lily exited the car...Andy SCREAMED...for a couple minutes. He was so distraught. Then a couple hours later when I took her out of the house, he SCREAMED again. I think it's safe to say he was a bit attached to her. Broke my heart, but I knew he'd get used to the new surroundings in due time. He would do well with someone that can dote on him, give him some training because he has had none, and be home a lot.

In the meantime, he gets love and affection and plenty of sofa time here. He's a sweet boy that loves to be loved and cuddled. He falls right into it and becomes part of it. He plays with his toys and he and Bug have been seen figuring out to play with each other. That's nice for Bug, she hasn't had a playmate since Hanzie died a year ago. He was a whiney boy, too, it drove me nuts, but he was a lover and I miss him a lot.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Puppy-Girl Lila Update

I stole this photo from Angela's IG account. Thanks Angela!

Lila certainly is a Q-Teeeeeeee.

Apparently, little Lila is growing bigger by the minute and is having lots of fun wreaking havoc. She's a rumble tumble of energy I am told. But that is to be expected of a puppy. What's nice is that Bella (Angela adopted her from our rescue) and she play together a lot. Keeping them both busy. She also likes to jump into the water/pond feature of the backyard...and then run around to get the all kinds of dirt stuck to her.

Although Angela loves having her daughter back home in MA (from CA) and thinks this little girl is adorable, I think she might breath a sigh of relief when the two have found their own place and there are visits instead. Puppies are cute, but they are a lot of energy and a lot of work. It seems that having 3 dogs and two cats in the household is quite enough chaos, thank you very much. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I Had a Visitor

...and his name is Rex.

I didn't know his name was Rex when he showed up in my front yard. Little Bug was barking while looking out the window so I took a peek, and there was this handsome boy. I opened the door and invited him in. He was happy to come in for a visit. I put him out in the backyard and called the Police for Animal Control. He seemed pretty non-plussed about being at a stranger's house. 

A policman came and took him away, but not before asking if I would want him if they couldn't find his home. His tags were barely readable because it was obvious he enjoyed chomping on them. We could make out a town (which is 20 miles away from me) and a tag number. I definitely did not want him to be put down, so I said I would take him and find him a home. I told him I am involved in dog rescue and that actually, I have a friend's Aunt that is looking for a dog like Rex. I'm assuming they moved at some point to my town, but I do not know as no information was left with the card. 

So I how did I find out his name you ask? 

I went out to run some errands and came home to this beautiful bouquet and card on my doorstep. The card thanked me for taking care of Rex, then the Mom that penned the card, thanked me another three times. It was signed by her and her two daughters. Two dozen roses with a few that look like to be tropicals mixed in. This was intentional effort, time taken out to show appreciation. This dog is truly loved. I did what a person should do. That's all. I'm sure Rex was happy to see his family, I'm happy that they were reunited. My heart was deeply touched by their love for their dog, and the gift of a sweet thank you. 

Friday, October 10, 2014


I figured I'd come back on the scene by giving you a laugh....

this is what happens when you don't hang onto the cover of the blender when you're taking it off. It even reached behind the juicer into the back corner. Ugh. But, I can say in the spirit of the season, the color works. Unfortunately, this mix includes canned salmon (P.U.) and carrots, which makes extra work getting up the fibrous bits. I think inventing a mini wet/dry vac for the kitchen is in order. 

If you're wondering what the heck I could be making into puree with salmon and carrots that would taste good....wonder no more. It's not for the humans that live here, it's for this cute little canine. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cutie Girl Lila

Look at this face!

photo courtesy PawVille Pups Rescue

My friend Angela's daughter, Anna, just adopted her from PawVille Pups Rescue in CA, where she lives. I've also seen a video and she seems to be a happy, sweet, easy going girl. I would eat her up on a regular basis. I think I'll stare at her photo all night. I want some puppy snuggles. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Black Bears at Camp

The bears are hungry. 

One broke into the garbage shed two nights ago and made the hole -- pparently needing a little leverage as he left his left paw print behind. The next morning my neighbor woke up to find his outside refrigerator cockeyed and unplugged with a paw print on the side and a one point indent from its nail. Yesterday late afternoon the camp staff cleaned out the garbage shed but last night someone threw trash in there and the bears came back for some easy pickings. Although, some eggs were left behind. 

Other friends at a site further from us were sitting out on their deck and from around the corner of the camper a bear came into their site. Fortunately it doesn't take too much too scare them off. 

This morning, my neighbor across the street heard a noise and looked out the window as a bear made it's way across her site. 

When walking at night I mostly don't walk alone or if I absolutely have to, I have a bright flashlight. Nothing like the idea of not seeing a big black thing and walking right into it. Yup, could just be my very active imagination. I always ask R. to walk the dogs. It's dark up here in these woods. 

This keeps a buzz going on in the campground and some interesting stories being told. 

Welcome to camp! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nick the Miniature Schnauzer and His ESP

Mr. Nick was with me for a few days while his mom was off having fun in NH with family. Sue texted me yesterday at 3:30 pm saying she'd be here between 4 and 5:00. As dog owners, one will often hear a story of "my (insert dog/cat name here) knew she/he was going to the (insert place here, i.e., the vet.) and as animal owners, we are always baffled. 

Well, Nick's ESP was right on yesterday. Shortly after Sue texted me, Nick laid in this position at the door. The only thing that would take him away from it was dinner, because he loves to eat. He then went back to this position until Sue arrived around 5pm. He would not budge from this spot. It was the darndest thing. 

When momma entered the house, he then stood pointing his nose at the door as we chatted. What a pip. 

Little Bug finally figured he was an OK kinda guy yesterday -- she ran up to him, barked, then ran fast in a big circle, trying to get him to play. He just looked at her nonplussed as she did this about 5 times before giving up on him and coming to the back door. 

I'm thinking I might need to get her a playmate. I keep reminding myself that if it's meant to be, one will come knocking on my know...figuritively. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Beautiful Weekend -- Laconia, NH Bike Week

We met up with friends on Friday in Massachusetts that we know through the campground, to take the yearly trip to Laconia at the end of Bike Week. This is my second year going and fortunately, as last year, the weather couldn't have been better. Of course, I'm layered with shirt, sweatshirt, scarf and leather as others are in t-shirts, and lightweight jackets. We got into Concord, NH, where we were to bunk down for 2 nights, early enough in the afternoon that we had time to travel further East and visit Angela at her lake house. We were greeted not only by smiling humans, but also, by happy barking dogs...or was that them being protective? LOL

Angela's Misty only had eyes for her and wouldn't even give me a glance...

Cassy was such a good girl visiting with everyone and sitting pretty next to Steve, who she only just met minutes before.

There would also be a photo of Bella here, but I couldn't get her attention long enough to snap one. She was very busy and stimulated from having 6 strangers visiting.

It was a dusty road traveled, well, two dusty roads because Google maps took us down a road that did not connect with Angela's. I thought for sure that even though this group is easy going, they would be ribbing me for making them drive down a dirty gravelly road for a couple miles, (never a chosen path when on a motorcycle) only to have to turn around and drive back on it and then drive down Angela's dirty gravelly road.

Once we got there and were able to see the lake view and beautiful setting, they didn't mind. Angela and Dave have a lovely, comfortable, humble home and I was very excited that we had some extra time to go visit and say 'hi', as I do not get to see her often given the travel difference between us at her MA home and the lake house in NH. I think I must plan a trip to visit NH over the summer for a few days and take advantage of the quiet peacefulness, soaking it in and doing what she does -- watching the Egrets and the boats while sitting doing some needlework.

After our visit we headed back to Concord to our hotel for some food and rest.

Saturday morning we headed out to Laconia, specifically, Weirs Beach.

We spent the afternoon walking the main street and checking out the bikes. R is particularly fond of the Rat bikes and I like the ones that have a some interesting work done to them.

R. had double booked events for himself. They say once a Marine always a Marine, I can vouch for that statement and say it's true in many ways. One instance is that he lives his life with 'missions' and one of those missions for the weekend was to run a 5k he had been training for with a group from work. I knew he wouldn't NOT be able to do the run as he had enjoyed the friends he made and trained with so much and the race would be considered the end of the mission. He always finishes what he starts, and this wasn't going to be an exception. After only 5 hours of broken sleep, we got up at 3:50am Sunday morning and hit the road a little after 4:30. We planned to get on the road 20 minutes earlier than we did, but, per the norm, I kept forgetting stuff in the room. When we first woke up, we were both got slap happy because the silliest things were happening. I had hit my head on the towel holder in the bathroom, then R. conked me on the head with hangers that had gotten hooked onto a part of his jacket when he took it off the clothes hanging bar. I was bent over underneath getting my bag ready and as I lifted my head and he lowered the jacket, clank, collision. We both got so giddy and were trying to be so quiet, I thought we were going to lose it. Add to it, the night before Melinda asked if we had everything out of her van (she drove the sag wagon) and "yup, yup, absolutely" were my words. We get down to the bike and I question where my fleece, rain gear and scarf is....Melinda's van! We cracked up again, because she asked us numerous times because she didn't want to be awakened at 4am. The irony was just too funny. There was no way I was waking her, I'll get the gear from her next weekend up at camp. I was not happy about not having my fleece because it kept air out of the spots where it creeps in on you as you ride. Fortunately, I had another scarf with me, but I was planning to double up on scarves, and use one to partially cover my face. I had to suck it up.

The temperature was 43 degrees. Standing still. I don't know how to calculate the temperature when riding at 60/70 mph, but what I can tell you is that it is C.O.L.D. Make that FREEZING cold. In the mountains, with no sun until we were about 45 minutes away from our destination. I thought my fingers were going to fall off, as well as my face and my toes... and I generally have a rule of no riding unless it's 65 degrees outside -- oh, the things you do for love.

Your body gets so tense trying to stay warm, and riding the highway for that length of time is also muscle consuming. Today I feel like I had an intense workout at the gym. Even my abductors are sore from hugging the tank.

We made one stop for gas about an hour and a half into it, warmed up a little in the store, and we were off again. We had an hour and 45 minute ride to go. We weren't going to make it. The race started at 8am and that timeframe put us at 8:15. So, we didn't stop again until we got there, hoping we could make it close at least...we honked butt.

We got to the race with literally three minutes to spare. We made quite the entrance because where we had to park was behind where the race started. So all those who were there on time and early, had to make a path for us to get through. We really got some looks. We parked and R. undressed/dressed in record time, leaving all clothes and leathers on the ground and ran to the starting line, the horn blew for the race to begin and he was off...he was operating on no food, no coffee, very little water, muscles so tensed that getting off the bike was a task, no stretching, and feeling like he had hypothermia. 

He did awesome under the conditions. 24.58 minutes and he won first place for his age in the male group. He didn't expect that at all and was all smiles when they called his name. This is all a big deal because not only was the morning so intense, but also, he hadn't run in years and was surprised during training that he was doing as well as he was.

I was very happy for him, he works so hard at everything he does and most of it is real work, not 'for fun' work.

When all was said and done, I wanted to sit and have a coffee. Off to Starbucks we went. As we sat at an outside table, we relived the weekend and laughed again. We should have gone and taken naps after that...but we didn't. He had stuff to do, and I had to go pick up Buggy, who got completely spoiled by my friend Toni while watching her, and then I went to pick up Nick (a.k.a. The Nickster) from Sue's. Then, back home to unpack and get the house straightened up. No time for napping.

I hope you also had beautiful weather all weekend, and was able to go out and enjoy it. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Skully Birthday

Although my friend Toni and I already celebrated my birthday together on the big day...she came by today with a skull cake she made for me. I think my squeal with delight calmed her worry about whether or not I'd like it. I'm especially fond of the 'rotting' teeth. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cat vs. Cardinal and Then There's a Turtle

I didn't realize this had not been published. If you check me out on Instagram, you know about bird vs. cat. This little Cardinal was so pretty. Here's how I came about finding her:

A few days ago I walked out to my trash can to throw some stuff away and I saw my neighbors cat, Hunter, hiding behind it and under the privet. I started talking to him not realizing at first that I had interrupted his game of cat and mouse...err, I should say, cat and bird.

All of a sudden I see this little Cardinal with flapping wings running toward me. I tried to catch her, and got a slight hold but she wanted nothing of it. She chomped down onto my finger, which startled me, which made me jump, which made me let go. Damn. Hunter started chasing her. So I went after her and Hunter, shooing Hunter away. Well, the little girl is scared to death and wanted nothing to do with me coming near her. She was finally cornered where my garage attaches to the house and was trying really hard to figure out an escape route. I had to get a small towel to throw over her because it was the only way to get my hands on her. When I did, she let out a nice big squawk, which I hoped was a fear sound and not a pain sound.

I brought her inside and put her on a towel, underneath the top of a bird cage that is for a someday art project, but seems to come in very handy for wayward birds.

That girl was feisty!

I put some bird seed in there with her, as well as a small dish of water. She sat in the water and after awhile she was cracking at the seeds and throwing the shells around. But, she couldn't fly so I figure the outcome was grim no matter how tenacious she was. When picking up injured birds in the past, they've always let me handle them, probably they had given up the fight because then they died after awhile. Since she was so 'vivacious' I thought there was hope.

I brought her to the bird vet the next day, protocol for the rehabilitation center I was going to bring her to. The receptionist came out and I asked if this would be the end, and she said, "well, she's pretty feisty" so you never know. I had to take a breath before asking the question because I started getting really teary and couldn't talk. I really dislike that, it's kind of embarrassing.

The back half of her wing wasn't there, and even though she did have the energy and fight to lamely fly to the cage sides and hang on...I didn't think there was hope for her to be rehabilitated and sent back out to wild. I'm assuming she was just getting a hang of the flying thing, or trying to anyway, because she still had some soft downy fluff on her back. That's probably why Hunter was able to get at her.

It turns out that the damage beneath her wing was too extensive and she had to be euthanized.

Now about that turtle...

Just a few days before, I found this beautiful Eastern Box Turtle in the road, in my lane.

I came upon it quickly, going down hill in Big Bertha, R.'s 1990 quad cab F250, with sorta bad brakes and hauling a trailer full of brush. Fortunately, I was able to straddle it and after stopping down the hill a ways I hoofed it back up as a car was coming speeding down. Who knows if they saw it or not, but they didn't hit it. So I picked it up, it was totally tucked in (the EBT has a hinged shell in the chest so that they can completely hide) and didn't even peak, much to my disappointment. As I save these creatures I talk to them and I like to see their faces. It wasn't happening. I put it back into the wooded area and hoped for the best.

'Tis the season when they head toward nesting areas and often cross the street to get there. They are a turtle that is being watched in CT due to it's mortality rate by automobiles, not reaching maturity for 10 years, not laying many eggs, and being able to hang onto the male sperm for up to 4 years before deciding whether or not to lay eggs. Did you know that 90% of the males have red eyes and the remaining 10% and the females have brown?

One thing a like about finding these awesome creatures is researching them for correct facts,  therefore, being further educated about the species.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

This photo is a month old, but still cool that a double rainbow occurred, something I do not see that often. Like hardly ever. 

I love how the sky gets an eery silvery color when there's a later-in-the-day rain shower. Then to have this pop up, too? pretty cool. What's funny is how amazed we all are at nature. Everyone around my house, came out of their houses, camera in hand, to take photos of this beauty. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

An Organized Cupboard

I'm going to start freshening up and changing things in the kitchen. It was never completed after it was started about 5 years ago. I painted the cabinets, reusing the uppers, and had the lowers made. I've been going inside them and deciding what I need or want, and what I don't. I was going to sell some vintage black and white Pyrex (the dot bowl is actually Fire King) but then found a home by editing something else. My non-coordinated vintage Pyrex will make it's way to camp. I was trying to figure out how a tall cabinet would look on a different wall but decided that instead of adding more storage space, use what I have and edit out what I no longer want.  Honestly, these pieces do not get used very often, but I like them.

7.5 cubic foot area = visually pleased.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vitamix vs. Eggshells

Since my last post I've been thinking about the eggshell in the Vitamix thing. I know that carrots and almonds, two items you'd think wouldn't completely break down, do break down for a smooth drinking experience.

So, my next smoothie, I threw in 3 eggshells from eggs I had just used. I realize 3 may have been really testing the waters as my smoothie quantity usually yields about 4 cups. Well, they didn't break down 100% as to where you didn't know they were in there. If you are the type that leaves it in your mouth and moves it around, maybe bites down a little, you will find a little pearlized type of grainy texture. It's not distracting, it made me curious, it's nothing like an annoying sandy grit between your teeth. This particular smoothie did not have as many fibrous veggies/fruits in it, which I think could make a difference in the amount of texture you'd feel. I think that using one or two eggshells would also make it less noticeable. So, I will have to continue to experiment. But, if you don't want eggshells in your smoothie, there are other things to do with them.

  • add to compost
  • blenderize with veggies or water for your dog, they often don't get enough calcium
  • blenderize with water for plants
  • wash, dry and save for a faux shagreen or hard leather like texture finish on something
  • fill with potting soil, pop in a flower seed and germinate, then plant the whole thing

These are things I can think of off the top of my head, maybe you have some ideas, too. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

I have a tendency to have a banana with peanut butter each morning. But when they hit a certain degree of ripeness, I can't hang with the texture so I have to create an alternative.


I automatically thought of the well known mix of eggs and bananas, but I was looking for something more satisfying. So I started adding things. I used my Vitamix to blend it up smooth but a good blender should work well, too, due to the consistency of the ingredients -- unless, of course, you drop eggshell into the pitcher. If that happens, you might get a little crunch. With the Vitamix, I knew I didn't have to worry and just figured I'd be getting a little calcium in the mix. ;)

Here's how I made it:

2 eggs (with or without shells) 
2 ripe bananas
1/2 can plain pumpkin puree
1/4 c. coconut flour (more or less depending on how thick you like them)
pumpkin pie spice, or mix of cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg (I eyeballed amounts)

Mix on high. This was thick enough that I had to spoon it out. My first batch was a bit less firm and I could pour it out but I wanted more oomph to them, that is when I added the coconut flour. 

I made them in one of my new favorite kitchen appliances. 

I picked it up at my favorite-little-thrift-store, for $5. I had been keeping an eye out for one and I think this may have been used one or two times. Instructions were even with it. I've used it to caramelize onions (works like a bleeping dream) sautéed turkey breast and it browned so nicely...eggs, didn't get that over heated browning my cast iron pans it love it love it. I'm a huge cast iron fan so this is big for me. The only problem with non-stick surfaces is finding a spatula that will work that isn't metal. Fortunately, I've been successful with my wooden one, it's just a little more of a be careful process. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hey Peeps!!

Happy Spring. I think it's finally here. And, I'm back, too. Here. I've been having some fun with Instagram. I admit, I said I would never do Instagram. Yes, I judged it. Shame shame. I really am having fun with it. It's quick, it's instant, it's quite fun. You should try it. I'm still not Tweeting, but I do follow a few interesting people. I'm a visual kinda girl, it makes sense that Instagram appeals to me more. You should try it, you might like it, too.

It's been a full past few weeks. After getting back from CA, I scrambled to get painting done by a deadline then I was off to Nantucket to get some painting done by a deadline for my friends Chuck and Carol, then back home and I've been working pretty diligently to get the crap out of my house. Stuff that I've collected and displayed and really really liked. A switch flipped and I want to get rid of A LOT more stuff that I live with daily.

While doing this continued decluttering my mind has been freer to be creative. I've started a bunch of things while in Nantucket, a place where nothing is mine and my mind is free, so I am creative. So, there's now WIP that have to be completed and I seriously have to set time aside here to do that, otherwise it's go go go work work work.

I don't know if I was further influenced by a couple blogs I found (yeah, I was) 'ZeroWasteHome' being one of them. Although I do not produce a lot of garbage headed for the landfill on a weekly basis I will never be Zero Waste. I don't think I want to be. Wait. Don't get me wrong. I do not want to waste. But within their zero waste home, it fits them to have minimalism, also. It's pretty cool, but I will never have my home devoid of color, I will always have collections - just keeping them to the ones I really love - like my bone/skull and heads collections. And I will always have my studio full of stuff for the 'aha' moments. I'm just trying to pare it down, to a more manageable sense of visual chaos.

I've been putting things on ebay. Something I do in windows of time and need to keep it more consistent. I get frustrated and deterred when I've spent hours photographing items and listing them, then to find that I really need to get more information about said item, and I really need to rephotograph it. Without having one spot set up with good lighting (working on that) I'm always looking for a spot determined by the type of day or time of day. I'm also learning to just let go of things that are not selling or that will take a chunk of time to wrap up but sell for only a couple dollars. I'll be donating them to my favorite little thrift store.

It could also be that I'm going to be hitting that 5-0 number. I'm not freaked out about it. It doesn't even seem fathomable that I will be that number. What freaks me out is all the things I want to do and  my time left is less than my time that I've been on this earth so I must get on the ball.

But anyway....enough about that. The real impetus for me to get back in the saddle here, is to show you this photo:

My friend Angela's daughter. A real animal lover and a bit of an animal whisperer, I think, too, with what I know about how animals react to her. This is such a sensitive photograph. It warms me each time I look at it.

The sun is shining and I think it's supposed to be 67 degrees today. Spring has finally sprung.

Have a great day!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meeting Joey

This is Joey.

I didn't know his name when I found him in my neighbor's yard sniffing around. I just happened to have looked out the window, well, I was keeping an eye out for the mail carrier, when I saw him. Of course, I had to go see if I could get him onto a leash and hopefully find his home.

I crossed the road into the yard, keeping about 12 feet between us. If he was a runner, I didn't want to spook him at the get go. I crouched down and called him to me. He came. That was easy. Usually I'm chasing lost dogs down the street. This big guy had a collar but no tags. Plus, he had a flea collar. You know what that flea collar means to me when I see one on a dog? It's like a secret message that you just know a dog is an escape artist and was not meant to be a stray in any way. Of course, the collar says that, too, but the flea collar? even more so.

I clipped a leash on him and took him into my house. Little Bug greeted him at the door. Little Bug's body language said, "you what? you want to come in here?" I urged him on and her to move that little body out of the way. She did some Big Boss body posturing with a bit of Chicken Little thrown in. She could settle it outside. Out the back door they both went.

He was very friendly. Very nosy as he checked out every room. Very congenial, he didn't lift his leg at all. A gentle unassuming soul. He took treats very delicately. He liked the potato chip (I know, it is pretty much a rule that any of my dogs do not get stuff like that unless it falls on the floor) but, I happen to have one in my hand and it was a test. He did not go for the orange...nor the banana. His body size was an indication of the things that did bring him joy.

I called the ACO, and of course, she was not on duty, but rather than call the police right away to come get him, I thought I'd try to find his owner. I took him for a walk around the neighborhood, hoping to see someone looking for him, or to see if he'd walk me to his house. No go on either. I decided that if the ACO didn't call me back within a couple hours then I'd make the police call.

I kept an eye out for a slow moving vehicle (I've been driving that slow moving vehicle before, it's an awful thing.) Finally, I heard a yell. By the time I got outside the huge white SUV was too far down the street for me to chase after. It was slow moving, I knew it was the one. As I chatted a bit with my neighbor about the big guy inside the house, the SUV made it's way around the circle and was making coming toward me and although it was still a couple of houses away, I heard the words spoken to my neighbor down the road, "have you seen a dog?" I started yelling and waving my arms. Yes! Yes! he's here! I was so happpppy -- for them and for him. He was ready to find his owners, maybe because it was dinner time, or he just missed them, but he had started to be a bit whiney.

I opened the house door and, told him his parents were here and out he came. His mom opened her door and he catapulted himself into her lap. This guy probably weighed a good 80 pounds. She was crying, he was smiling. All was good in the world again. That's when I found out his name.

It turns out that he had a tag, but it somehow got lost or something and they hadn't replaced it yet. They moved to this area of the neighborhood about a month ago from California. They had left their house at 10am and when they got back around 5pm, only one dog (one VERY cute little Rat Terrier named Roxy that I wanted to steal) was still in the house. I have no idea how he got out, the mom made a comment of, "he must have had to go outside." Further details did not come as we chatted about things, but I made sure to get their address in case I see Joey walking around again.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Vintage Planter

This baby caught my eye...and why wouldn't it?

And, I just happened to have a plant that needed a little bit bigger pot. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rocking Chair -- Before and After

This grungy, smelly rocker needed refinishing and reupholstering, a client I did work for about 10 years ago, called me and asked me to work my magic. I love it when former client's hang onto my number and were so pleased with work done before that they want to use me again. It's the nicest compliment.

Because my real studio in the basement is a total catastrophe, the rocker was put on the table...literally...the kitchen table. When I was finished sanding the wood down and applying the stain, it moved to my coffee table for multiple coats of poly and steel wool burnishing. Yup, that's how things work around here. My whole house is the studio.

I ordered some fabric from England off of eBay. I love the internet. It's perfect for those of us who don't like traipsing around in search of something, and that also do not like the over-stimulation of things and people -- which seems to feel even more harassing when in search for something. Add store music to the overload and I need a nap when all is said and done.

So, fortunately, for me, Donna liked one of the internet fabric choices. I just crossed my fingers that it was a good fabric once in hand. There was no sending it back, the shipping cost as much as the fabric did.

When the chair was ready, off it went to the upholsterer's. That is something I leave to the real professionals. Upon it's return, the upholsterer (Mary) commented on how nice the fabric was. Whew! Mary has been doing this work for 25+ years, so she's a pretty good judge of such things.

I delivered the chair, crossing fingers that I did not bang it, get dirt on it, etc. Crossing more fingers that Donna would be happy with the results. She loved it. Yayyy. Another satisfied customer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Elisabeth Sabala

This morning I was finally able to go into a store that I was only seeing the window displays of. Very cool, colorful, clothing. I knew any of it, even on sale, would be way out of my price range. But, I'm glad I went in because the interior was nothing I expected. It was gallery like with lofts and high ceilings. Large open spaces. The clothes had the flavor of Commes De Garcon and Ed Hardy without the skulls. I was very pleased to also see it was a gallery of art intermixed. Large paintings by a few artists, not many paintings by many artists. One artist's work that I fell for was Elisabeth Sabala. (I'd link her name but my ipad isn't giving me a proper link.)

Landscape and Flowering Trees

The expanse of space between where I was standing and the mountains just cannot be conveyed in a photo, but looking at this picture I took takes me back to my walk and the peace and the quiet that was in the 'hood.

As I was rounding a bend, I was receiving a soft floral scent in my nose. As I got closer, this tree had these blooms that were a beautiful deep pink color and the scent was so yummy, I stood there for a few minutes and took deep breaths, hoping I could embed the scent in my nostrils and my brain. 

I am not only a lover of flowers, especially scented ones, I am a big fan of plants that have interesting leaves to them, even if they never produce flowers. This tree not only had the gorgeous scent but also had these interesting leaves. 

I also met on my walk a black Mini Schnauzer named Jorgenson. I wish I had snapped a photo. He was friendly and interested in some love from me, until another walker came by that he apparently knew and then I was not thought of again as he went to that guy for some love. 

Tonight I sat outside on the patio with Chuck and enjoyed the warm breeze and setting sun. Although the mountains hide the sunset, the sky turned a silvery grey as the sun went down. 

Unfortunately, my days are numbered here and I will be returning home where I understand it is still near freezing temps, although they will have a heat wave at 40 degrees for a couple of the next coming days. Wooo Hoooo. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'ma Leavin' On a Jet Plane

OK, I've already left. I'm enjoying some warm weather and sunshine in the Southern California Desert. My friends Chuck and Carol invited me over for a week. It does feel nice to be away from the cold for awhile. It is about 80 degrees. I understand it's been around 20 degrees back at home. I certainly am not missing that.

As we lounge out on the covered patio, a ducky pair come to visit between 4-4:30pm daily. It's always nice to see them. She is more adventuresome as she'll come a little closer, but he stands back and watches. They get pieces of bread (I know, not good for wild birds, but no one listens to my soapbox) and she gobbles it all up. Even when thrown to him, he'll not go too many steps to get it, she'll scoop right in and eat it all. 

...and to see colorful blooms? yes, please.

There's also a few hummingbirds hovering now and again, and it's always a pleasure to see them. 

So, I'm enjoying all that is here, and am also getting a bit spoiled by host and hostess. How can I not love that? Unfortunately, R. had to stay behind and mind the house. No, really, his job pretty much requires him to be present through all the days that snow or ice might come to our neck of the woods. Although he is missed...well, it's just nice being the one doted on. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hats On To Otis!

Derek texted me this photo of the cutie boy the other day.

Hey, a guy's gotta keep warm if he wants to hang out with daddy, right?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Oh, Hey! I Wanna Tell Ya

Remember that whole Twitter thing? Well, I couldn't get into it as far as tweeting goes but I joined as a know, to keep an eye on things.

BUT! I did join Instagram. Something I said out loud at one time, that I would never do. Well, I did. I really did. Not only that, I'm having fun with it. It's what I thought I wanted with Twitter and didn't get. I have it under my blog name, and the badge thingy is in the sidebar if you want to check it out. There will be some repeat photos from here, but also stuff that just comes to me, or I see in a thrift store, etc. That quirky stuff that's in my head I can now release to the world. Hmmmm, I think that's a good thing, the world may not. LOL

Retro Salt and Pepper

I've been keeping and eye out for a set of salt and peppers and nothing has said, "yes, these are the ones!" Until I saw these cuties.

Perfect in many ways. The colors coordinate with my kitchen, a shine of chrome, graphic leaf design, fill from the top instead of struggling with a plug in the bottom...and best of all, they fit inside the lip of my vintage stove. Oh wait...the REAL best of all? 50 cents for the set. Woot Woot. 

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

This is a photo sent to me awhile back by a friend, it's her daughter's dog...

Then she got another dog, I think initially she wasn't sure they would bond...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Otis Update

Look at this happy boy...

I spoke with Otis's new dad recently to see how it was going with the new boy. They, of course, LOVE him, and Otis is acclimating well. Derek takes Otis to work with him, which is essentially his truck, as he does a lot of driving for his job. How great is that?

Derek told me Otis does loves to run around in the backyard -- which is a lot of yard we're talkin' here. They live with 14 acres behind them. Otis is kept within a certain range but I can just see him running around with that smile on his face.

I miss that guy. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


When I walked out the door this morning these greeted me. 

I think it might have been around 9 degrees by then. 


If you looked at a bag of yams you'd never think you could eat all 8.

Cut them up and roast them and you think, "dang! I could eat them all!"

ps: I've already eaten a bunch.


Because I buy things with the letter D, R or M on them.