Thursday, May 30, 2019

I've been gardening

Today I weeded and used the tiller on the garden where I could, then spread the straw around.  You can't really see the plants too well since I put the straw down, but in a week everything will be showing and growing well.  I have three Celebrity tomato plants, one Jet Star, one Better Bush, one Cherokee Purple, and two Defiant.  That adds up to eight plants, when I only intended  to have three.  I've planted cucumber seeds in a corner, to grow its vine up the fence like last year.  I also have a variety of herbs:  I love having fresh parsley, basil, and oregano.  The plants in the foreground against the fence are Gladiolas:  I saw some bulbs really cheap and bought them, thinking how nice it would be to see flowers in the garden when I walk out the back door.

This morning I told Cliff, "Even though I know blight will probably ruin my tomato crop, there were times it wasn't so bad.”  So I still have hope.  I love the feeling of hope fluttering in my chest (or maybe that's my irregular heartbeat), watching the tomatoes grow and bloom, each bloom soon replaced by a tiny green tomato.  I'm always thinking "this year might be different".  And I think of the Emily Dickinson poem:

 Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

Then I think of an old hymn:

I've lost a lot of enthusiasm as I age, but I thank God I haven't lost my ability to hope.

Five baby bluebirds hatched in the birdhouse a couple of days ago, and they are already covered with blue fuzz.  We have more orioles around this year than I usually see, and they are sticking around longer, which makes me happy even though they demand jelly every day, not to mention oranges.  I have the usual hummingbirds; I'm fighting ants, of course.  They think the nectar is for them and they will climb high in order to get to it.  They like the oranges too.  I guess nothing comes without problems, even hummingbird-feeding.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of Gabe this morning, sitting on the tractor with Cliff.  When Cliff got off the tractor, Gabe followed him.  Next time I glanced at the tractor, Gabe was waiting on the seat for Cliff.  Apparently he wanted to ride some more.  

I cooked some sirloin steak in the Instant Pot, cooking some potatoes in aluminum foil with them.  It only took about half an hour, even counting the time the pressure cooker took getting up to pressure.  If you want to try it, you'll find the recipe HERE; it can also be done in a slow-cooker.  It was a luscious meal:  We had some broccoli, as well as corn-on-the-cob, or roasting ears, as many relatives used to call them; I heard it as one word, "roastineers" when I was a kid, and didn't know what it really was called until probably sixth grade.  

Gabe is staying with me so much better outside, so I don't have to worry all the time about him wandering off.  I understand why people are always saying a dog is good for older folks.  He brightens up my day in so many ways.  Cliff likes him too.

Our holiday weekend was nice, with relatives coming to eat with us.  We've had a couple of tornado watches nearby and even one warning, and there is a lot of flooding in Missouri.  None of this affects us personally, since the tornado missed us and we are on a hill high above the water; but the flooding is bad for farmers.  The river bottom land won't even get planted this year; it looks like an ocean down there.

I hope life is treating you kindly.  

Yours truly


Friday, May 24, 2019

What Memorial Day means to me

I realize Memorial Day is meant to be a day to honor and remember the people in the armed forces who never came home from the wars, although I only learned it after I joined Facebook, I think, when someone shared a meme telling the difference between Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and... some other day.  Yeah, I'm too lazy to look it up.  But when I was a kid, Memorial Day simply meant a day when we met up with relatives, went to some cemeteries and put flowers on the graves.  The grownups talked about the relatives who had gone on before; they all called it Decoration Day.  Maybe that's how I got my love of graveyards, because it just seemed like a happy holiday to me.  I liked walking through the tombstones, reading inscriptions and imagining what life might have been like for the people who died long ago.  Sometimes I'd make up stories in my mind about the little girl who died at the age of two, or the wife who died giving birth. 

I'd like to visit some relatives' graves on Memorial Day weekend, but I know how Cliff hates driving.  My family mostly lies buried in or near Harrison County in North Missouri, a two-hour drive.  Cliff's mom, dad, brother, and other relatives are in the graveyard at Versailles, Missouri.  That's a hundred miles to the southeast.  He'd take me because he loves me, but I hate to make him do it:  I realize the people who lie buried in those graves don't know the difference, whether we go or not.  I'm thinking I will ask him to take me to Kansas City, North, where my sister's husband is buried, taking some flowers to lay on the grave.  My sister Maxine has moved yet again, even further away.  When she was in her 80's, she decided she ought to move nearer her only son and his wife, so she moved to McPherson, Kansas.  Now her son and his wife are both retired; their two sons and their families live near Oklahoma City, and they wanted to move there to enjoy their grandchildren.  So they sold their house, my sister sold her house, and they bought houses down there.  Maxine (my sister) just moved this week.  I told her when she felt like company to let me know and we'll be there; that's a road trip Cliff will take me on any time.  Maxine recently had a heart attack, got some stints put in place, and was back to normal in a few days.  She is my only sister, the straightest arrow you'll ever find, and the best example of common sense, hard work, and a Christian woman of anyone I know except for Cliff's Aunt Gertrude, who is 93 and in a nursing home now. 

Three-day holiday weekends are no big deal to retirees, but I'm feeling sorry for the poor working stiffs who look forward to the time off, because if the weather forecast is right, it's going to rain every single day.  So far today has been a nice one, albeit rather warm and humid.  We went to the local U-pick strawberry patch up the road, Fahrmeier Farms.  We got there when they opened at 9 o'clock and picked more strawberries than we really could afford in no more than ten minutes.  It's all the berries we'll be able to eat this weekend, though.  And we can eat a LOT of strawberries!

Cliff did NOT want to be in the picture I took at the strawberry place, so he looked both peculiar and unhappy in it.  So instead, I'll share this picture from five years ago that came up on my Facebook memories of the grandson and him smoking a cigar. 

Gabe and I try to spend awhile every day in the hammock swing in the yard, with him gazing over at the neighbor's place watching for their three dogs to show themselves.

I'll leave you with a video taken in our small town's cemetery.  I made it while riding my horse, Blue, years ago.  The guy singing the song is Loudon Wainwright III, who wrote the theme song to M.A.S.H., "Suicide is Painless". 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

No clothes hanging on the line today

We're in for a few days of rain, they tell us.  So I'm back to the old dryer, which works just fine, but uses propane and costs me a few cents.
Yesterday there was an earthquake in Oklahoma, and I felt it here.  I often feel the ones from Oklahoma.  They are so tiny by the time they get to Missouri, you'd never feel them if you were up doing things, but I was sitting on the couch reading at the time.  I even went to Facebook and typed, "Did I just feel a small earthquake?"  Within five minutes people started sending me news items about the 4.4 event in Oklahoma.  I always heard animals get nervous before an earthquake, but Gabe was sound asleep on my lap both before and during the minor event.  Thunder makes him a little nervous, though.  

Yesterday I guess you could say I lost the whole day.  I have a touchy stomach, and it ruins an occasional day for me once in awhile.  I'm not deathly sick, you understand, but I don't feel like doing much, either.  The doctor told me I have gallstones a while back, and I can't help but wonder if that's what causes my occasional indigestion; I wonder why I don't just ask her about that.  But I digress.  

Cliff had planned for a long time to hook up to our big trailer, go to his brother's place, load up an ancient backhoe he had borrowed from a cousin, and haul it home.  "Home" is over 100 miles away at the Lake of the Ozarks;  Cliff didn't enjoy loading it up and bringing it home months ago, and he surely didn't look forward to returning it, but it's his only remaining brother, and he sort of likes him.  

I'm always wanting to turn something like this into a road trip, and at one point I discussed going along for the ride, taking my dog Gabe with me.  I figured that way I'd have something to amuse me while three guys messed around down there with the business of unloading the monstrosity.  However, I saw Cliff sort of stressing about the trip and really dreading it, I began to have doubts.  I told him, "I think you have enough to worry about today without having to cater to me and my dog, bathroom stops, and all that."

"You may be right," he said.  I'd had doubts about going anyway, because I knew they weren't going to have an easy time loading that thing.  Any time Cliff loads a tractor onto a trailer, I turn my eyes in the opposite direction.  He's very careful, but I've heard horror stories of people getting hurt or dying in a tractor-loading accident.  So I opted to stay home, where I still worried, but had quiet surroundings and the good sense to pray every once in awhile if I caught myself worrying.

I did want some pictures of his day, though.  He seldom remembers to use his cell phone to take photos, so I asked him to take pictures if he thought about it.  He left sometime after 8 AM.  When he returned almost 12 hours later, I said, "Well, how did it go?"

He groaned, "Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong."

Then he showed me this picture:
In trying to load the beast, this happened.  Seriously, Phil is lucky he escaped unscathed, since he was up there on it when it occurred.  There isn't a decent place to load anything at Phil's place.

See, Phil isn't bothered by the things that drive Cliff crazy.  Everybody's different, and what's important to Cliff isn't a big deal to his brother.  If he needs my husband's help working on a tractor or implement, Cliff has him bring it here.  Cliff's shop is neat, with a place for everything (unlike his clutter-bug wife, who can't usually find her shoes).  If he's going to do a lot of work on someone else's stuff, he'd rather do it here.  He knows where every tool is.  At his brother's house, it's a game of hide and seek.  

To make a long story short, it took three hours for them to get it loaded; it was after noon before they headed for the lake.

I would have been scared to death, if I'd been there.  I wouldn't have been watching, but I would have heard that thing hit the ground and maybe had a heart attack.  All I can say is, I'm glad I prayed a few times.  No, I'm not taking the credit here.  But the praying helped keep me from worrying.

All's well that ends well, right?  And Cliff told his brother he wasn't ever going to haul the backhoe again.

I will leave you with a recipe I found on my favorite recipe site,  Blueberries were 99 cents at Price Chopper, and I wanted to make some blueberry muffins.  The recipe is "To-Die-For-Blueberry Muffins".  The reviews were almost all five-star.  How could I go wrong, with that name for the recipe and so many wonderful reviews?  They have a sugary topping that I was sure would be over-the-top good, and I thought what a nice surprise Cliff would have when he got up, even though we could only have one, due to calorie content.  

Well, the topping hardened like cement, and we weren't either one impressed.  I put them in a tight-sealing, clear container, but last night I told Cliff I thought I'd just toss them.  He didn't have any objection.  This morning I got out the container to throw them away, but decided I'd take a bite first, just to make sure I was doing the right thing.  I'll swear, they were indeed "to-die-for"!  We each had one for breakfast, and they were that good.  Somehow, being enclosed in that tight container sort of softened up that hard crust from yesterday and made them perfect.  The recipe is HERE if you want to try it.  Just don't eat them right out of the oven.  At least, that's my experience.

Have a wonderful day.  


Thursday, May 16, 2019

I love this time of year

Monday is the day most women used to do their laundry.  However, I just wash whenever I have enough clothes for a load.  I have clothes on the line right now because I started a load of clothes washing at 4 AM.  Why?  Because this HD washer takes about two hours to get the clothes clean.  If I just push one button on the silly thing and let it wash, nothing comes out clean, so I've learned to push the "soak" button, which makes an incredible difference.  When this machine quits, I'm going back to an old-fashioned washing machine, and I'm not referring to a wringer washer; just a washing machine with an agitator. 

I have to try and watch what I'm feeding Cliff a little closer, because his wintertime belly is back.  I'm making meatloaf today; I warned him we'd be splitting a baked potato at noon instead of having mashed potatoes, which is what he loves with meatloaf.  I thought he was going to cry.  However, after he left to see the doctor (there's something in his eye), I decided to make a small amount of mashed potatoes with two medium-sized taters and leave out the butter and cream.  That will make him happier, I think, than a baked potato.  

He's been a lot more active lately, since his brother has a tractor they're working on.  Being active will go a long way towards losing the "preacher-belly" as I call it.  

This tractor is presenting Cliff and his brother with some new challenges.
Our A/C is running right now, and I'm thinking it's pretty silly to cook something in the oven when you are trying to cool the house, but I'm at the point of no return now.  The meat loaf is in the refrigerator, all mixed up and in the loaf pan.  

We went to the city yesterday.  Cliff bought a $700 welder at Harbor Freight 10 months ago that quit working this week, so he returned it for a new one.  Thank goodness it was guaranteed for a year.  This time he paid for an extended warranty, just in case.  Because we were in the general vicinity anyhow, we went to Costco for the first time in awhile.  I enjoy window-shopping there, especially in certain aisles.  This one is my favorite.  
Dishes and pans and silverware.  I seldom buy anything here because I don't need much, but I love looking.  Below is the other side of the aisle:
A few months ago, I bought a box of dishes from this aisle that I didn't need, but that for some reason fascinated me; I couldn't stop looking at those Ceramic glazed dishes with lock-tight plastic lids.  No one dish was the same pattern.  So I bought them; I love looking at them so much, I leave them stacked on the counter.

I use them mostly for leftovers.

Once when I was living in my first apartment in Kansas City, I had to get on one bus, then transfer to another downtown to get home from work.  Near the corner where I was waiting for the bus was a small shop with knick-knacks in it and I saw the cutest little bookends ever.  I was making minimum wage, bringing home $36 a week; by the time I paid my rent and a few groceries, and paid for bus fare, there was nothing left.  But I wanted those bookends so badly, the next payday I squeezed out however much I needed to buy them.  They somehow were lost during a move.  I had not lost my love for the bookends, so about 15 years ago I searched on Ebay and found the same exact Chinese bookends.  For all I know, they could be mine, right out of the past.

They aren't very heavy, so I can't expect them to hold up many books.

(continuing after dinner)

Boy, with interruptions here and there plus waiting for photos to load, I've been at this entry awhile.  I began it about 10 AM.  Since then I've cooked dinner (lunch to you city folks), had a decent meal, and read a little.  Oh, another one of my favorite buys at Costco...
2.5 pounds of spinach for... I forget, $4 or $5.  No more than that.  Cliff and I really like spinach, whether canned, frozen, or cooked from fresh.  But we like cooked-from-fresh the best.  There's enough spinach here for four or five generous meals for the two of us.  Of course we have to eat it within a week to ten days, but we have no problem with that; all I have to do is remember it's there, and so far I haven't forgotten any.  I never tasted spinach until I was grown and married.  I assume Mother didn't care for spinach, since I'm sure she never grew it in her garden or cooked it.  Another vegetable she never cooked that I discovered as an adult is broccoli.  I wish I'd thought to ask her while she was living whether she didn't like these two vegetables, or perhaps she just was never introduced to them.  My mother was NOT a picky eater, but she didn't like okra and tomatoes, and would make a face when she mentioned the dish, saying it was slimy.  She only liked okra fried.

I've been puttering in my tiny garden since it stopped raining the last few days.  I started it with the intention of having only two tomato plants.  Then the two became four, then six... yes, I'm a mess.  Although if my tomato crop is as much a failure as last year, I'll need a dozen plants just to get a few for the table.  Hope springs eternal in the human breast, though.  Maybe this is the year I'll have a great crop and will have to can some tomatoes to get rid of them.  Yeah, and maybe I'll win the lottery while I'm at it.

I've noticed my readership has slipped a lot since I don't post the blog link on Facebook.  That's exactly what I had in mind.  Now I have quality readership rather than a bunch of unknown stalkers.  

I hope everyone is enjoying springtime as much as I.  I believe I will go outside and sit in the hammock swing.  Gabe will have fun sniffing around the yard while I read.  Oh, I'm on the last chapter of "Just Mercy", which I think every American should read.  Meanwhile, both of the latest John Sandford books are waiting on the iPad for me to read; if I'd wanted to spend twenty bucks buying each of the books I'd have been able to read them six weeks ago, but I'd rather wait for my turn at the library and save my money for other things.  


Thursday, May 09, 2019


Most years it's the same thing:  After a bitter winter, all of us long for spring, and usually, at some point in March, there might be a day or two with highs in the 60's.  Or it may get up to 80 in February.  See, that's the thing; almost anything can happen, weather-wise, in Missouri.  We do have four seasons that are usually well-defined, but those seasons are never quite the same.  But we like to complain, don't we?  So every year we all forget that there is no "same" weather pattern in the midwest and whine about it.  It might snow a lot in winter, but maybe not.  Last year we hardly had any spring; we went right into 90 degree temperatures in May, with little rain.  This year, typical for Missouri springtime, it'll be warm for awhile, then cold... sometimes all that in one day.

So I wash a lot of clothes when it's like this.  It's been up to 80 a few times already this year:  I will get out of bed, keep my flannel pajamas on, slip on a fluffy housecoat, and enjoy my "me time" with the dog until Cliff gets up at 7.  At some point I get dressed, and maybe it's 60 degrees by then, so I put on appropriate-for-the-weather sweatshirt and jeans.  By noon I have the windows open and have changed into shorts and a t-shirt because it's 75.  If it's still warm at bedtime, I dig out a light summer nightgown for bed and toss the flannel pajamas in the dirty clothes.  I have now changed clothes three times, but wait!  If we go anywhere during the day that requires my getting out of the car and going inside a place where I'll see people, that's another change, because I only wear shorts at home these days.  My legs look like a road map of Georgia with all the veins showing.  Unless I've been outside gardening, none of these clothes really gets all that dirty.  But I can't keep piling them in the floor for use the next day.  So eventually I do laundry, even though half of the articles of clothing were only worn two to four hours.  I don't like to hang clothes I've worn back in the closet, and there aren't that many other places to put lightly-worn clothes.  

We did have a nice weekend before the rain started again this week.  It has rained a little every day, with us receiving over an inch in three days.  Today there was only a morning sprinkle, but it is cold.  The furnace has been kicking on from time to time.  It's 50 now at 4 PM, and heading down to around 40 tonight.  What a roller coaster!  I'll tell you, though, it's great for the morel mushrooms!  They like things cool and damp.    

Since this appeared to be the first day we've had without rain for awhile... and since I had four loads of clothes to wash... I decided to hang some clothes on the line.  Yes, even with the temperature at 50.  Since there's a brisk wind, the clothes are almost all dry already.  

While I was at the clothesline, I took a trip down memory lane, remembering how women of my mother's generation took great pride in their clean clothes hanging on the line.  They wanted their whites to be almost blinding, no matter what it took, and their colored clothes had to be bright and lovely.  They didn't just hang the clothes up willy-nilly; all whites hung together, towels together, jeans and overalls together.  You get the picture.  I don't really make an effort to hang anything a certain way; I just pick up whatever my hand touches.  I'm not creating art here, I'm just trying to get my clothes dried in a frugal manner.  Besides, the clothesline is in my back yard, which faces the pasture.  It's a very rare occasion when anybody is there to see anything; I like that about my back yard.  But when I was a kid, women liked to admire the neighbor's wash and comment on the bright whites (and perhaps judge people by their laundry).  I remember Cliff's mom saying, as we were together going someplace in the car, "Oh, look at that pretty wash!"  When my sister and her husband used to be winter Texans she told about riding down into Mexico on a train, seeing lots of poor people living in shacks.  She said some of them had laundry hanging out on a line, and even in their poverty, their white clothes were practically blinding, they were so clean.  

If you drive through Amish country on a Monday you will see clothes on lines everywhere, weather permitting, hung more or less the way my mom and her friends did them.  Orderly,  bright, neat, and sorted according to kind.  

Here's a picture of my two children playing in the soapy water of my wringer washer.  Before my daughter was born we invested in a dryer, which was kept in the basement of that old house.  I was SO happy, knowing I wouldn't be freezing my hands off hanging out diapers in winter again.  

We could have gotten an automatic washer at the same time, but I was stubborn and really hated to get rid of my old wringer washer.  I don't know why it's hard for me to let go of old things.  I get so attached to them.  It's a trait my mother passed on to me.  

Enough musings for today.

Yours truly, 

Monday, May 06, 2019

Such lovely weather

Because the moles, and all the freezing/thawing over the past year, completely ruined our yard, we decided to tear it up and reseed it.  (I just went to flush a tick that was crawling up my neck... I'm back now.)  Anyhow, the reseeding did not turn out well.  We know spring isn't the proper time to plant grass, but it was such a mess!  Well, we should have saved our money and Cliff's efforts and done it this fall.  There were several factors involved in the failure including poor equipment, weather, and other factors; but what we have now is a yard that's about one-third grass and two-thirds weeds.  We shall plant again in the fall and hope for the best.  I'm sure it will do fine then; we'll be using a different method, too.

I try never to complain about rainfall, especially in spring when you expect plenty of rain.  I will say, though, that when it's been raining for several days straight, a few sunny days sure make me happy.  Our weekend was glorious.

This morning after breakfast I asked Alexa the temperature; she said it was 56.  I stepped onto the porch and knew it wasn't that cold, but I grabbed a jean jacket and put it on; then Gabe and I went and got Apollo the Great Dane and headed out toward the pasture and I was shedding the jacket almost as soon as we got started.  Cliff and the grandson mowed a lot of the pasture yesterday, for which Gabe and I are grateful.  Apollo, however, seems to prefer the tall grass.  When we got to the un-mowed patch where Arick planted a wildlife plot, Titan dived in and had a blast.  You will notice Gabe growling at him at some point, and I will address that after you watch the video.

My little dog has almost totally stopped barking like an idiot at people he sees out the window.  He will still let out a growl and sometimes a little bark or two, but I say "no" and he's done.  I don't use the stinger much now.  It isn't necessary.  The big surprise with using this little training tool is how many bad behaviors it is fixing in my dog.  "Come" means something to Gabe now, and if he's running away from me, he turns and comes back on command.  I try not to over-use the thing, because even though it doesn't shock, it makes a sound that hurts a dog's ears.  We don't hear a thing when I use it, although the grandson does... which makes me wonder about him.  I guess I should google "people who hear dog whistles" and see if he has a problem.  

There is another behavior of Gabe's I thought needed correcting:  When I turn Apollo loose, or if we take Gabe with us to the grandson's house, Apollo tries to play with him;  then Gabe growls and grabs the big dog's jowls viciously.  So yesterday I tried zapping Gabe when he attacked Apollo.  The poor boy came cowering to me and got to a place where I was between the two, even trying to climb up my leg at one point.  That's when I realized he wasn't being mean:  He was terrified of being hurt.  I have that feeling every time I'm outside when Apollo comes running toward me, because Great Danes are clumsy.  If they come running at you from behind, it sounds like a horse coming at you.  I usually stand completely still if he's running toward me, in hopes he won't end up running into my artificial knee... or my other one, for that matter, because I don't like pain.  Titan, the grandson's Great Dane that died, ran into my artificial knee about two weeks after the surgery and it worried me to death, it hurt so much.  Evidently no permanent damage was done.  Anyhow, back to Gabe:  I thought he was fighting Apollo out of jealousy.  I was wrong.  He was afraid he was going to get hurt.  Apollo has no ill will toward any dogs, as far as I know, and he is very sweet to me.  Still, he's big and clumsy and plays rough, not realizing his own strength.  So I'm letting Gabe growl at him now, if that's what he needs to do.   

I ordered two tomato plants from Gurney's.  Plants, not seeds.  Nobody had a particular variety I wanted to try (Defiant), and I've ordered various flowers before as plants; they did fine.  However, I received notice these tomato plants were shipped a week ago and I still don't have them.  They sent it FedEx, and FedEx was to deliver it to the post office.  Well, I think it arrived at the post office Friday.  I'll probably receive it today.  Those plants had better be alive, or the company is going to hear from me.  Costs a fortune to buy and ship live plants in that manner.

I had better start dinner.  It always takes longer to do a blog entry than I expect it to, and then I'm behind in my meal preparation.  


Here are the boys after one of their big bursts of speed:

Saturday, May 04, 2019

birds, morel mushrooms, sunny weekend

The hummingbirds and orioles have returned, so we spend time looking out our various windows.  I've discovered something this year:  All the birds... finches, orioles, hummingbirds, and others... seem to like their feeders placed behind the house.  Possible because there isn't as much human traffic there, but I think the cats have something to do with it.  They are always stalking my sweet, lovely birds, and they don't have as much access to them along the back fence-line.  

I'm seeing more orioles at once than in other years, since I moved their feeder.  This morning there were three males sort of fighting for territory at the feeder; I got a picture of two of them, but once the third showed up, they scattered.
one on the feeder, one up above waiting his turn
The birds sure do make things interesting.  I mentioned the other day that Cliff accidentally messed up the bluebird house and broke all but one of their eggs.  I hoped they'd stay and hatch that lonely egg, but apparently they decided to find a home in some safer spot.  The old birdhouse needed to be replaced anyway.  The roof was leaking and it was about to fall apart.  So I'm looking for a new one.  

We are supposed to have sunny weather and NO RAIN today and tomorrow.  Cliff was going to a swap meet, but I decided I didn't want to go.  Cliff was debating on whether to go anyhow; last year we went and there was hardly anybody there.  I like getting out and going places, but the grandson and his wife have been so successful at hunting morel mushrooms that they needed help getting rid of them, so I took a whole bunch of the older ones that might soon go bad.  Cliff and I can eat a lot of mushrooms, but believe me, we will get our fill for today!
That's a one-gallon ice-cream bucket, about 2/3 full.  Now folks, you might think of mushrooms as a healthy food; after all, they grow out of the ground.  But any good nutrient that MIGHT be in them is pretty well cancelled out by the eggs, cracker crumbs, and flour I roll them in, magnified by the fact they are fried in shortening of some type.  So this morning I figured we'd better have some fruit and cereal for breakfast.  

Some strawberries (from the store) with a little sugar added, plus half a banana cut up for each of us, made our Cheerios a taste treat.  

Enjoy your day, won't you?

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Me again, telling a story about my dog

Gabe was the most difficult dog to house-break I’ve ever had, perhaps because he’s male.  Most of the house dogs I’ve had before were females, so it really isn’t fair to blame Gabe’s slow journey to “good dog” on his sex.  But it’s all I’ve got for an excuse.

With that said, he’s done great for months.  About a month ago I finally got brave enough to leave his kennel door open all night, and there have been no incidents.  Until last night.

In the evenings, I carry his warm, snuggly bed to the bedroom and allowed him to choose where he sleeps... either in the cage/kennel, or in his soft bed.  He is liable to start out in the kennel, then switch to the soft bed; both beds are side by side.  A dog isn’t allowed to have many choices in life, but I let him have this one.  

This morning I got up and made coffee before Gabe got up, then took him out.  Because it’s been raining all week, I’m back to leashing him when we go outside to prevent his walking through the mud.  I’ve had house dogs that absolutely refused to do their business in rain-soaked ground and would go for an incredible length of time before they’d perform.  Gabe takes a little longer when it’s wet outside, but he gets the job done eventually.

When we came back inside this morning, he went to the couch and walked behind it, which isn’t normal for him, but I thought maybe he was looking for crumbs or something.  When I called him out he got beside me in the recliner like always and lay down.  At 4:30 I fed him as usual.  When he was done he went behind the couch again for about the fourth time.  I wondered if maybe there was a dead mouse back there, and finally got up to look.

Dog poop!  I began telling Gabe he was a bad dog, and lectured him the whole time I was picking up, and then flushing, his “mistake”.  He didn’t look very sorry.  Since he’d just had breakfast, I took him outside again, where he made a huge deposit.  When we came back in, I noticed he did not go behind the couch, nor had he done so at any time, after I picked up his poop.

Now, Cliff will tell me I’m making excuses for Gabe, but here’s my theory:  it is definitely difficult for him to potty outside when it’s wet and rainy.  And I tend to hurry him with his business when I’m getting rained on, when I should give him more time, not less.  He did not poop on his last walk of the day, which he usually does.  Therefore, I accept the blame.  He probably did the unspeakable after I’d gone to sleep last night.

At this point, Cliff will say I’m giving a dog far too much credit for brains, but I think Gabe was trying to bring that poop to my attention so I would get rid of it, because he knows that’s what I do.  He kept returning to the scene of the crime so I could take care of his mess.  Once I did that, he had no more interest in going behind the couch.

That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.  Dog-lovers, UNITE!