Tag Archives: animals

Animal House


So, I am an insomniac.    Have been since I was forced into menopause after testing positive for BRCA2 gene mutation, and had my ovaries out.   It’s NOT enjoyable.   I go through periods that I can get a couple weeks of regular sleep, but haven’t been in that mode for probably three weeks now.      My point, after this long sorted tail of woe?   I am all over the place.   After the third day of no sleep, I am very forgetful, I end up with bruises that I don’t even remember how I got.     Last Friday I went to pick up my dog at a friends house, and before leaving I shut all the windows EXCEPT the kitchen window which the screen was out.  (To add further example of my bounciness, today my new kitchen window is getting installed).  But I digress. I should’ve stopped at “I am an insomniac”.   Oyyy

I didn’t leave the house intending to leave the window open, I had only intended to have it open for a few minutes while I was cleaning  (which is a miracle within itself). Ohhhh, but let me tell you why I had the windows open on that chilly day… I accidentally dumped half a bottle of ammonia in my laundry nook.  I thought I was going to die, I couldn’t breath!    Accident prone?   Ask my family!    But I digress…again!

So, I remembered this as I drove into my friends driveway.  Now 30 minutes unattended.   I tried getting in touch with a neighbor to see if she could run down and close it, that didn’t pan out.   So I cut my visit short and came home an hour later.

Over the course of the last few days I’ve heard something ruffling, shuffling, whatever.   I looked to see if it was one of my cats that I heard upstairs… NOPE, They were being their geriatric selves, sleeping and sunning themselves in the living room.    I walked upstairs, it was quiet.   Strange.     But I know you are getting a visual here, yes?

Yesterday I was working upstairs, repairing plaster, prepping the front room for paint.  When I took a break I heard something scurry across the floor above me.   Oh joy!

I have had problems with squirrels in past and most recently in my shed.   Upon inspection, again, nothing.   I crawl into bed about 1am to watch tv because I know sleep isn’t happening, at 330 I shut it off in hopes it might spark some z’s.   At 4:00am I am resting (not sleeping) quietly, allowing my body to just relax and stretch out when I heard scurrying and a thump ABOUT FOUR FEET from where I was laying.  As quick as lightning I was up with the light on.  In my closet (that at the moment, does not have doors but is packed with clothes and things in preparation for the renovation/repairs, a large and very heavy ginger jar lamp was on it’s side.   Whatever critter I have been hearing is now sleeping in my bedroom.   I should spice it up by saying “I had an animal in my bedroom last night!”

So, my mother is on her way over with traps…  Sorry animal lovers.  I am one too, but I’m done with these red squirrels.   They are nuisances.   I’m thinking it popped in when I accidentally left my window wide open.    At least I hope it’s a red squirrel and not a rat!  Oh how the imagination can get going when alone and unattended in the dark!

Now, the other thing that happened over the course of these few days is I blocked off the hole I had made in the cellar door for the cats to go down and use the kitty litter.  I’ve had flooding for over a week, so this critter may very well have been going up and down the stairs, all levels, but is now cornered on the second floor.

Wish me luck.  Animal House, to be continued.   Home ownership can be such a blast!





Sophie (Loren)


It’s not always easy doing “the right thing”.   The past week I have been thinking about a german shepherd that I rescued, and eight months later placed into gsd rescue program.   The past couple of days I’ve been thinking of her non stop.  When I went on facebook tonight, I realized why.  It was one year ago today that I placed her.

I didn’t want another dog, but she needed help, so I took her in.   She was just 14 months old, missing half of her fur, her ears were angry red, she cried if you touched them.   She scratched herself ALL THE TIME.   Sophie had major allergies and did so well on GOOD dog food ($50 a bag).  But I didn’t have the means to give her this.

The morning she left we laid on the couch together.  She rested her head in my chest and just looked up at me with those big brown eyes.   I couldn’t hold back the tears.  Goodbyes are so hard.    In my life I have learned, even goodbyes that bring relief are not easy, and for me, not painless.  I’ve had a few.

I’m trying to hold onto gratitude.   How well she looked, last time I saw pictures of her, and how happy she looked.  She was one smart dog.   She was just so big and strong, and at the time I was having physical problems, well still do, but I remember how bruised I got a couple of times with her.  She didn’t even know her size, her strength.   The fastest dog I’ve ever seen, and my aussie was a tennis ball and Frisbee chaser.  Sophie had it all over him, hands down.

So I’ve shed a few tears tonight, thinking about her, I do miss her.  I never thought I would give up an animal, ever, always had them.   Last year at this time I had two dogs and three cats.  Every woman needs this much responsibility!   Now I have one dog and two cats, and my cats are geriatric.  In fact, my Maine Coon who spends summers outside, hasn’t shown her face in the past couple days.  I am concerned.  But I remember being concerned one time when I hadn’t seen her for a week (We are talking probably 12-14 years ago now), and she came crawling back.  I think she got locked into a building across the road, and finally found her escape.   I am thinking back on the tears I shed that day when she came home, tears of joy.

My little terrier was groomed the other day.  I typically do it.   Can’t say as I like the looks of her head the way it is, I prefer the ragdoll look, but she sure does smell good, and her fur is so soft.   Unlike my aussie who pranced around and thought he was the cats meow after he was groomed, she ran under the ottoman and stayed there for the day.

I know I did right by Sophie.  I know because it was one very hard decision to make and follow through with.  I’ve found that doing “the right thing” is typically the hardest choice, and the most difficult to do!

Time to go to bed, and hopefully sleep will come.   I hope! I hope! I hope!   And I hope you have a great day!

I KNEW I had butter!


Yesterday, with intentions of making some roni and cheese I couldn’t find the stick of butter I had.   Hmmm, I remember using it yesterday, perhaps I put it in the microwave?  Nope.  My cats love butter and I dislike butter dishes.    I rummaged through the refrigerator…Nope!    What the heck?   I put the roni back and grabbed some soup.

This morning, still perplexed as to where I had put the stick of butter.  I hope I am not eating unconsciously in the middle of the night while on this ambien… but what would I put a quarter pound of butter on?    Seeing’s how I put the bleach in the fridge and the milk in the bathroom a day or two before, I checked once again, this time in cupboards.   Nope.    Oh well, write it off.  It’s only purpose now is to drive me nuts.

I bought the cats “Temptations”.  They love them.   It’s their “midnight snack” when we all go to bed and I keep them in the nightstand beside my bed.   I have been thrilled to find the “MEGA mega packs” because I can save a few bucks.   The dogs get their own midnight treat, as I tuck everyone in, and I will admit at times I have given the dogs a couple temptations also.    The dogs, however, are not lacking for treats.

My living room  began to look like a cow cemetary.   I have been buying marrow bones for the dogs, it keeps them busy, allowing me to focus on working without any interruptions – Well, at least from the dogs.    I have one cat, Chloe, she is beautiful but she isn’t wrapped too tightly.  When I am busy painting, writing, beading, sketching she jumps up on my lap.  It’s fine with some things, others not so much.  So I put her down.  She jumps back up.   We go through this process about 20 times in one sitting.  (Rolling my eyes).  But I digress…   So there are empty marrow bones scattered here and there in the living room.   It’s time to gather up the bones and toss them.  In doing this, the dogs watch me closely.

Sophie has an obnoxious habit of getting into the rubbish.  (Sophie is the 14-15 month old german shepherd I adopted a couple of months ago).   She is fairly adept at doing so, chewing holes in bags only where there is something she wants, which is typically empty cat food cans.   I have tried to discourage and prevent this by putting the garbage up high at night, or on the porch when I leave.

Because I have three geriatric cats and two cat food loving dogs, I have been putting the cat food on a place mat on an island.  They seem to like it and for the most part it keeps their dishes full.  Well, Sophie has learned to pull the place mat towards her, and she eats all the wet and dry food.   She has never dropped a dish on the tile floor, much to my surprise.  So I thought I would outsmart her and took away the place mat.   For a day or two she was good, the cat food was still there in the morning.   Well, she now moves the stools, and gets to it this way.  We are talking a seasoned thief!

A few minutes ago I went upstairs to set up the vaporizer.  My cat, Zoe was laying on the bed, excited to see me as I will slip her a few temptations when the dogs aren’t there.   My nightstand was open, and empty.   What the heck?  I go investigate.   The Mega Mega pack of temptations is nowhere to be found.  $5.   Okay, now it’s time to investigate.   I went shopping with my mom today and didn’t get any because I knew I had that large bag full.    I look under the bed, all around upstairs…Nope.   Hmmm.  I walk downstairs and start searching down there.   Much to my surprise behind the couch I found 4 empty cat food cans, licked dry, the now empty bag of temptations, and guess what else?  The wrapper to the stick of butter!  Mind you, my living room is not set up to get behind the couch.  She HID them there!

As I lift my head to look at her, she lowers her head and runs upstairs.    I can’t help but laugh.   She knows right from wrong, she’s a smart girl.  She is also a thief.    Now I know that I didn’t eat the entire sandwich a few days prior which was on my kitchen counter.  The little shit!

Fortunately for her this comes AFTER an unexpected incident where she saw her past owner.  I was concerned that it would mess her up, or she wouldn’t want to go home with me.  Well, guess what?   She was the first in the jeep!    She knows where her cat food is buttered!    Upon arrival home I let down my guard.  I made the decision that I am keeping her.  I let her deeper into my heart.

Every single woman needs five animals.  Don’t you think?    The Pied Piperette.  I’m the Pied Piperette!   ♥

Tea? Chai yes!


My furry kids have been ANGELS the past couple of days.  I think they were aware of how overwhelmed I was feeling.   Yup, both little and big angels.  Nice break!   Thank you for the suggestions guys… I made notes and am heading to youtube!  ♥

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t socked in the mouth or face, therefore I am afraid I have a sinus infection.  My upper teeth hurt, my cheek feels like it was punched and I am tired…tired…tired.   Knowing that my thyroid is also out of whack, I am actually looking forward to seeing my doctor.  Okay, well not looking forward to, but certainly not dreading it.   I was going to go have bloodwork done today, but because of the snow, stayed home.  I have spent far too much time the past couple of days, sleeping.   You will know when I am feeling better as I will start to post today’s lesson, gratitude and artwork.  At the moment it just seems like too much work!

Yah, we got 4-6″ of snow today, and more is coming tomorrow.  Yep, February.   I don’t want to think about how many weeks we have left.  I am trying hard to stay positive and remind myself how beautiful it is.   That is fairly easy to do, just look out the window, but when I see the piles of snow, a couple feet of snow blanketed over my flower beds I wonder… will we ever see ground again?  Seriously sick of it.  Ready for mud!

I am off to go enjoy my cup of chai tea…ultra spice!   I foresee tomato soup in the near future [dinner]…  Have a good one!




The can of commitment


Today’s lesson:  Find a better place for the bag of dog food!

Today’s gratitude:   A wonderful, peaceful, restful night of sleep.

Ahhh, a fairly uneventful evening/morning which granted me the gift of rem sleep.   The longing for a warm loving body touching mine has now been filled with this german shepherd!   She is cuddly and is rather generous when it comes to space, unlike Brody who would growl if I tried to move him.   40937_1615461026058_1446443_nWhat a grumpy old dog he was but oh how I loved him.  He carried this stick back from a 20 minute hike.  He was so proud of himself and it.  I still have that stick, it rests against the back of my house.  I am planning on doing something with it, I just haven’t decided what.   A stake for flowers?  The answer will come eventually.  Each time I look at that stick I think of him and smile.  Our hike that day was short, but the memory will long stay with me.

I have been thinking about Sophie, will I will keep her?   This is a 14-15 year commitment and I’m not really good at commitments, though I know, without doubt, if I take this on I will stand by my choice.   I will have her (god willing) when I’m in my 60’s but by then she, too, will be slowing down.   I heard the other day that the 40’s are the new 30’s, 50’s are the new 40’s…..I think that is true.  I hardly feel like I’m in my 50’s and I don’t mind with the exception of my parents aging.  The thought of losing them is unbearable.

I have decided to enroll her in an obedience class.  Even if I place her elsewhere, this will be a positive thing.   This will also force me out of my womb,(abode) back socializing with people.   Someone called me a hermit the other day.   I don’t think I am that bad though I must admit, I find solace in single small digits.  I so like my solitude.  The extrovert scale has clearly slid over to introvert.  Whether this be a natural change with maturity, or my isolation from depression, I don’t know and it doesn’t matter.  What is, is.  The number 2 works perfectly for me…and no, I’m not talking about kid’s #2!

I’ve been thinking about hiking again, how nice it would be if I keep Soph.  I always felt safe with Brody.  After he died I stopped because I am afraid to go in the woods alone, the consequence of a childhood experience.  I find great peace and enjoyment in the woods, and with this crazy shepherd I would again, feel protected.   Hiking with Lilly was more work than pleasure.   First of all, she walks behind me, I’m used to a dog running in front then looking back saying “What’s taking you so long?”

I know I am housing a dog who has incredible potential.  She has already added much spice to my life.  She surely is a great dog.  Time will tell.  Time will tell if I will commit to being the leader of her pack for the long run.

I struggle so much with commitment.  Through counseling I found out that what I thought was fear of intimacy has also proven to be fear of commitment.  The conundrum here is that I want to find a partner to spend my life with, time with…that doesn’t mean I will marry again.  I highly doubt I will, it’s not what I want.  I do want companionship, love however both my therapist and I believe in separate houses for two in a relationship.   I like that idea.  You can do things together, stay with each other when desired, but each one of us would have our own space.    Isn’t that a cool idea?  Being in a committed relationship and having your own space.

Back to committing to Sophie, it will largely depend on whether Miss Lilly Wonka will accept her.  As of today she still has not.  Her high pitched barking drives me bonkers.

Off to get the mail, walk the dogs and then come in to enjoy a cup of hot tea.    Surely hope you are having or had a great day! ♥

ps…. just back from taking the dogs for a 20 minute walk in the woods.   It was awesome!  My lungs filled with cold air, movement helped ease yesterdays fall, Sophie right in the front, 75 ft ahead, stopping frequently to do her visual blance ahead, and Lilly right behind me, right at my ankles, but she did wander on her own a bit…. which is excellent if she keeps close by!   I feel awesome!

Today’s artwork is a Hydrangea table.   Instructional pattern packet is available.


One, two, three, four…. The FIFTH element


Today’s Lesson: Answers to our problems come in a disguised form. 

HE has a sense of humor!

Today’s Gratitude: I am grateful for MY sense of humor!

A few days ago I took in a 16 month old German Shepherd.  The owner relinquished her for the benefit of the dog, who spent too many hours alone each day and the inability to provide the medical care she needs.  She IS in need of medical care and love.    Her name is Sophie, and she is one ambitious, mischievous sweet dog.

61464_10203157101828042_1375821997_n (2)After my Australian Shepherd died I swore I would never get another dog that required a lot of exercise and was demanding of my time.  My little terrier that I rescued, Lilly, she just  goes with the flow.   I took Sophie in out of the goodness of my heart, knowing I could place her if it didn’t work out.  Knowing little but the intelligence of the breed, and after owning an Australian shepherd, I know their only limitation is with their owners lack of training.   I know she  “needs a job”.  Brody’s job was to catch Frisbees and tennis balls.  At the moment, Sophie’s appears to be the cats, which obviously must change, but quick.   I either need to get her into obedience school quickly, and start exercising her, or give her to someone who will do so and who knows and loves the breed.  I do not believe in giving highly intelligent breeds to those who are not familiar with them, nor know how to handle them.  It isn’t fair to them to do anything other.  It’s very hard to give her outdoor exercise right now, and will be through winter, but I managed to find a way with Brody, so I will with Sophie, if she stays.

I have been pondering the arrival, the timing of this beautiful dogs arrival.   Needing myself, to exercise to help me rid the consequences of my latest addiction,  I know she would make the perfect hiking companion.    I loved this with my Aussie.  Has she come to me to help get me back into shape, back into participating in life again, or for me to place her with someone else?  Her boundless energy entertains me.

She is already tugging at my heart strings, and also various things on the counter and my hands.     The three cats, now doubled in size (I have never seen their fur stand up so much) are constantly humming the tune of displeasure.    Sophie, however, is no longer afraid of them because in all their “swats” she has learned they have no front claws!  Lilly is being a bitch even taking on the role of protecting the cats, which she found great entertainment with chasing before Sophie joined us.

Sophie is no longer afraid of Lilly, though her squeaky high tone voice I cringe when I hear it, it’s very loud, intimidating.  This 20 lb dog thinks she is the size of a school bus.    I started out yelling “NO” at Lilly, moved down to pointing at her and in a stern voice “NO”… but today I have no energy for either.   I know they will work it out, but it will not be without trial and error.     1017333_10203157077227427_2076609207_nWhen I try to get the two of them together while I pat them both, Lilly is well behaved.  Sophie, clearly in need of obedience school, gets excited, her tail gets wagging which swats Lilly.  Lilly, who isn’t familiar with tails (both her and Brody had nubs…. and when I would ask them what they were doing they would reply “nubbing”….   then gets defensive because this dog swatted her.  Also, while I am patting them both and telling them how good they are, it doesn’t help that Sophie very gently opens her mouth and puts Lilly’s entire nose in it.    She has been doing this with my hands.  I correct her, but I know, training will correct this.

Sophie has been pooping in the house.  Good God it’s awful.    I also have a very weak stomach so the first time I cleaned it up I vomited and then subsequently ran outdoors every few seconds for fresh air to prevent myself from vomiting AGAIN.  Dry heaving…..  nature’s way of telling you not to eat! 🙂   She needs a crate, which my girlfriend, Kelly, has already offered, we need to find a time that works with both our schedules because she lives an hour away.

Last night, while designing jewelry, or should I say “attempting to”, my dear sweet cat Chloe, who is not wrapped too tightly (seriously, she watches a fly with her whole head, not her eyes!) ran across my jewelry work area, spilling a large glass of grapefruit juice and water on two bins of beads.   Instead of rinsing out pasta in my colander, I was rinsing out beads which are still wrapped in towels on the kitchen counter, drying.

I live on a busy road.   I can let Lilly out and know she would not veer towards the road but up back, I do not trust Sophie yet nor do I want to put her in harms way, so I take them out together and walk them up on the hill.   With great excitement Sophie runs to Lilly hopping like a rabbit and with movement like Scooby Doo’s… Lilly runs to me.

It’s winter, there are patches of ice everywhere though todays sunshine and yesterday’s rain eliminated some and most of the snow (into my cellar… Thank you very much).   I have to wear my 5 lbs each LLBean Sorrell boots out because in some areas there is easily 4-5″ of water.   Last night, in sweats, sorrels and barn coat I walked them out, and when we got back to the porch I realized I had locked us out of the house.    After smashing a window with my flashlight, and sweeping up what I could, I realized the filter to the vacuum cleaner was still wet so I didn’t dare use it.   I was planning to do this this morning.  However, this morning, when I went out with them, I slid on a patch of ice.   It wasn’t the fall as much as the “trying not to fall” movement that hurt my back.  I landed in 3″ of water, my pants were soaked, obviously heavy and the tears coming down my face running into my mouth fit right into the scenario.     I spent the large part of today in bed with heat on my back and that smelly stuff that the cats love and won’t leave me alone, they want to lick it, or bite me wherever it is on my body.

I make my way out of bed, the animals must eat, I couldn’t care less if I do…. am welcomed downstairs by another untitled (3)big bee hive shaped pile of crap (I know, too much info) to pick up, this time with a sore back.   The cheap area rug which was given to me by a friend, will end up getting tossed as Lilly has felt the need to pee there whenever Sophie poops there, assuming, since this is new for Lilly, a territorial thing?  Alas, I am grateful that it’s on this rug in my art room, and not the wool rugs which blanket the hardwood floors in my livingroom.    Both the tile and hardwood floors are covered with Sophie’s foot prints because when I was sleeping, she  figured out how to open the cellar door, giving her full rein to run in the water now flooding the basement.    I shake my head.   I just mopped them three days ago.   I’m not as vigilant as I should be in doing this.  I vacuum, sweep, swift mop, but not seriously mop…which I will get to master this evening!

As I sit on the throne and slide from the wetness (apparently I forgot to put water out that hour and Sophie made “doo”) with my head in my hands and both Lilly and Sophie licking my face…in competition with which one I will lower my hand to pat, I thought to myself…. The fifth element.     This is the result of the fifth element.     Should  I stick with four??????   Have I met my match?  Is this dog smarter than me?    As chaotic as my humble home is right now, I can’t help but smile and laugh at her antics.   She is a great dog!

Thank god tomorrow is rubbish day.   I will be able to get rid of the many wrapped up bags of poop from my porch that have accumulated from the past few days.  I learned quickly, (without thinking) not to flush the heft paper towel bunch down the toilet, it only rears me the need to find and plunge my toilet!

In search of the can of cat food that I know I had put on the counter, half full, for their dinner I could not find it.    Typically and not disappointing myself without questioning my own sanity… I must have fed them and forgotten.  Only to find the now empty can in the corner of the laundry visiting the near empty $15 bag of organic chicken jerky treats from the third shelf of the pantry!   I am asking myself the similarly  regular question,  Why do I like pure breds?  Probably the same reason why I can’t fall in love with an uncomplicated man!  Why didn’t I adopt a mutt?

I just turned around to see why there was sudden quiet on the home front.  Lilly has acquired Sophie’s large raw hyde bone I bought her to help keep her busy.   Looking at Lilly carrying this around is reminiscent of “The Grinch’s” dog when he tied the antlers to its head.   She can barely lift hers!      As I sit here laughing, reminding myself to take this one day at a time, I can’t help but think this would be a scene out of Jerry Springer if he hosted a dog show!

Now please excuse me for not having the time to edit this blog, I have a whirlwind of chaos behind me, which is why I haven’t written since Sophie’s arrival….  Off to try to keep up with five animals and I just realized the kitty litter pans are floating around the basement like the Tidy Bowl Man used in television commercials in the 70’s?  I hope you found this blog funny, as that is what it was meant to be…..♥

Today’s artwork….Alice’s Snow FamilyAliceswoce

Morning has broken!


A couple of hours ago I rolled over in bed and unexpectedly found THE most comfortable position.  It was such a pleasant surprise, as I really wasn’t “uncomfortable”, I just sort of rolled over to stretch, change positions or something, when I fell into the heavenly abyss of bedtime delight.  Well, one that could be achieved without the help of a loving partner!

I lay there basking in this solace, determined that I was never going to move again.  How would I live my life from this position?  Feed my cats?  Personal hygiene?  Teach?   Could all my students fit around my bed, and one place a brush in one of my hands and a canvas in the other?   Ahh, heaven, seventh heaven, paradise…

Just as I had slipped back to sleep I hear the distinctively strong and undeniable cries of my Maine coon cat, Jenny.   She hasn’t woken me up in the morning in a long time, I wonder what’s up with that?    Okay, I’ll talk to her for a few minutes, rub her head, being ever so careful not to move another muscle.   She seemed content with this for a couple seconds until the white girls (cats) came flying up the stairs, ran into my bedroom and jumped on my bed in a timely manner that had to have been rehearsed.  As Chloe jumped up, Jenny took two pounces, one on top of me, the other to the floor, followed by Chloe, followed by Zoey.  Of course, Brody the Australian Shepherd, asleep on the floor at the foot of the bed, joined in, traipsing up on the bed, over me, and then downstairs they all went in the order I named!  Seriously, how could this have played out so perfectly, in timing, without being rehearsed like a broadway musical?  I ask you?

I guess it’s time to get up, let the dog out and feed the cats, eh?  So much for that perfect resting position that I was planning on living my life around, but hey, it gives me hope.   Just like the 3 times a year I actually wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go!

Aftermath:  Here I sit putting the finishing touches on this post while the all the little angels have full tummies and are asleep in their spots.  Hmmm, whats wrong with this picture???