Thursday, April 28, 2011

Creatures Golden and Small

I really enjoy sleeping with the windows open, but it can come with a price.  This morning at 4:30, the price was a crack of lightening, and the sound of rumbling thunder that woke everyone.  When a couple of the dogs started to pace and pant, I knew I had no choice but to get up.  CarrieAnne, the most nervous hid under my feet while I sat at the computer.  Outside, the storm battered us with high winds and a torrential downpour.  Tornado warnings were issued and there was a reported siting of one in an area minutes from us.  What a way to start the day!

I delayed the morning walk with the dogs until Carl got home from work and the storm passed.  In our yard we found this cow-bird.  My guess is that it was a casualty from the storm.  When we tried to catch it, it did fly some, but not much.
Carl finally caught it and we put it into the field next to us to keep it safe from the dogs until it can regain its strength.  I have to admit to not liking cow-birds.  They are actually the very reason why I've cut back on feeding the birds.  They come in flocks, gobble down everything and chase the little birds away.  But as it sometimes is with  people, you put all those feelings aside and do what you can to help.
Running errands this morning, I saw that the creeks are full and some of the fields are flooded.  Water was across the road in some places as well.
On my way home, I found this little terrapin trying to cross the road.
I don't know if this little guy wanted my help or not, but it got it, because I always stop and and pick them up. I think it knew it was safer in its shell because it never came out, but looked at us from the inside.  
Maybe a couple of the dogs thinking I had a snack for them was the reason....

When I was a kid and we would see a terrapin on the road, my Mom would stop the car and either me or one of my siblings would pick it up and either set it well across the road, or we'd take it to a place where it would be safe.  My Mom always told us when we let it go to wish it good luck...Afterwards she'd always ask us if we did that.
So, of course when I let this one go in our woods, I wished it 'good luck'
Funny what you can remember from so long ago...
I hope if any of you have been caught in these storms, that you've had 'good luck' and are safe too!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Theme For the Day

CarrieAnne disappeared to her private swimming hole this evening.  As you can see she was quite happy with herself when she returned.  However she was covered in mud and needed a bath.  So I told her:  Don't do the crime...
If you can't do the time....
Hope your week is off to a better start than CarrieAnne's evening!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

What'll They Think of Next?

If you're from the south like I am, then you know that all good things come fried. So you can imagine how my interest was peaked when I read in the paper a couple of weeks ago about a 'new' Easter tradition, deep fried Cadbury Creme Eggs--I could tell in reading about them that they are an important part of a balanced diet and are a terrific source of sugar, calories, and saturated fat.  I could also tell that they greatly reduce the chances of avoiding a heart attack. I knew I had to try them.  So, with Carl working, I decided today was the day to give this nutritional goodness a try.  They weren't too bad--I think the secret is to eat them while they're still warm.  They tasted a little soggy when cold.  But I have to wonder just what'll they think of next?

~Bubba (left) Toby (right)~
 I'd like to thank everyone for the good thoughts for Bubba. He didn't have any seizures last night. But he did have one mid morning today. If I saw the clock correctly, it lasted 6 minutes. His seizures seem to come in 3's, so I'm hoping that'll be the last of them for now. Amazing how afterwards he continues on like nothing has happened. If only I could do the same!

Sheba's eye is much better too.  The swelling on her eye as you can see is almost totally gone.  So I think our day is ending on a good note, with the help of deep-fried Cadbury Creme eggs!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Good and Bad Friday

Every time the dogs have had the chance, they have checked under Carl's car.  We've no idea what it was and continues to be so intriguing to them. We have another ground-hog that lives on the other side of our driveway and last year it managed to wedge itself into the engine of the car.  I'm wondering if it didn't find another place to hide when surprised by the dogs.
The work week ended uneventfully and I got out of the office on time.  With cold rainy weather, I just wanted to get home. A good thing since Bubba has had 2 seizures this evening.  I looked at the clock when they started and noted that they lasted 3 and 5 minutes.  When Bubba has a seizure to keep him from injuring himself, especially if he is on the wood floor, I place a folded towel under his head to cushion his thrashing and catch the drool.  He also loses control of his bladder and so I put a towel on top of him because I don't want the floor to be slippery when he tries to stand.  If there's a lot of noise or light I'll turn down the lights and turn off any music or the television.  While he is still lying there I pet and talk to him and reassure him (and me!) that everything is 'okay.'  I think it might help to give him something to focus on.  Of course I hope he doesn't have any more, he's exhausted.  Thankfully Bubba always sleeps on the floor on my side of the bed and I'll hopefully know if he does.  It may be a long night...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Dog With a Bone

 I got home early from work on Wednesday, and as our routine dictates, we go for a walk.  But the dogs had another thing in mind....  

~Rudi and Josh~
I doubt it was Carl's full tank of gas that the dogs found so interesting, but rather something with four legs.  Whatever it was, Rudi was determined.
We're getting ready to go for our morning walk, and I'm sure this scene will be repeated and repeated and repeated...The words 'a dog with a bone' keeps coming to mind!

Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Never a Dull Moment!

There's never a dull moment around here!  Last evening when I got home I noticed a little bit of swelling around Sheba's eye.  This morning she looked like she'd gone a few rounds with a prize fighter!  Carl took her to the vet who thinks Sheba lost a battle with a spider.  She was due for a yearly exam anyway, so since she was there, they popped up the hood and checked everything else.  Dogs testing positive for lyme disease isn't uncommon in this area, and for the first time Sheba tested positive for it.  She's not showing any symptoms of the illness so we'll do a round of 30 days of antibiotics and hope that'll take care of it. I hope the medications that she has for her eye will take care of that too.

I don't know that I've mentioned that Sheba is our youngest Golden at six years old.  Given up by her owners because she needed hip surgery, (that they couldn't afford) she came to us via the rescue in the fall of 2006 at almost a year old as a foster dog.  Sheba always has something in her mouth and with people she is affectionate and leans and melts into you when you pet her.  But around dogs that she doesn't know she can be bossy and wants to be top dog.  There was a time after we adopted her that I thought I was going to have to return her to the rescue because she was picking fights with the other dogs, which resulted in trips to vet for the other dogs.  However with some good outside help and the dogs figuring it all out, (and Sheba getting LOTS of exercise) she found her place within the peking order, but not at the top--Rudi is our top dog, and Sheba, I can tell has a lot of respect for her.  Sheba's favorite playmates are CarrieAnne and Charlie who thinks we got her just for him--He loved her from the minute she first came to us, and that has never changed--For either one of us--Even with a swollen eye!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last Time--I Promise!?

I know, I know, I'm sounding like a broken record with my constant and never-ending posts about my nemesis, the dreaded brown marmarated stink bug.  Tonight however, I went to a whole new level when I attended a 'stink bug lecture' given by our congressman, Frank Wolf. Two experts spoke about the ongoing research and damage (30+ million dollars to apple growers alone) they've caused to agricultural crops in the mid-Atlantic region.   

Interesting at least to me, is that the Virginia grape growers face the prospect of harvesting the bugs along with the cabernet and chardonnay and putting them through the crusher – and then the risk of stink bug aroma is in what had been a fine wine -- It takes as little as 5 stink bugs in one ton of grapes to have this occur.

~Left to right, Hamlet, Josh, Sheba & Sam~
They have no 'natural' predator in the States so there is no 'silver bullet' that will kill them.  If you think you've sprayed something on one and killed it, you may not have, it can fully recover in as much as 7 days.  Remind me to check the ones I thought were dead.

By mid September, we will have 2 more generations of them.  By mid September, I may be posting from a padded room, that hopefully is stink-bug free...

Okay, I'm done now, I won't bring them up again.  At least I'll try not too.  I hope your week is off to a good start.  Sorry I wasn't able to stop by your blogs today, but I'll make time to see what you're up to on Tuesday!
~Left to right: Toby, Sheba & Rudi~

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Picking Up The Torch

While I worked on Thursday afternoon my co-worker attended her daughters play (pictured below).  Any thoughts about what the play was about?  I think that may be Mother Nature front and center, but I've no idea who the boys in the upper left may be.     
With a slow schedule, I took Friday off and caught up on yard work.  The dogs helped.   
~Sheba left & Hamlet on the right~
Today we've had tornado warnings, thunderstorm warnings, and severe storm warnings.  Heavy rain fell off and on all day.  We have standing water in our backyard and the dogs have literally had to wade out to the grass.  There have also been periods of thunder and lightening.  Off and on throughout the years we've had dogs that have been afraid of the storms.  The last few years the one to have the most fear was Tanner.  Now that he's gone, I have to admit to looking forward to not having a dog with storm-phobias.  However that changed today when CarrieAnne (below) picked up that torch and came and sat next to me after every rumble of thunder.      
Despite all the noise outside, its been another quiet day at home. A TV show that has been on all day and I've been watching off and on is one I've never seen before called 'Parking Wars.' The show focuses on the employees of the Philadelphia and Detroit Parking Authority and their daily work: ticketing, booting (via wheel clamp) and towing cars all the while dealing with the tempers and rants that arise with the car owners who are all innocent victims.  Remind me to check to see if we have any unpaid tickets and to not to park in Philadelphia.  Actually, I don't recall ever getting a parking ticket (speeding, yes, more than once!)  Have you ever gotten a parking ticket?  Where were you and did you remember to pay it?  Another question, have you ever left your dog out in the rain...I accidentally forgot Charlie outside today, but remembered him...eventually...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Work Not Play

Another quiet and mostly uneventful week.  If you're enjoying a sunny day, you can thank me for it!  I have to work this afternoon because a co-worker of mine is attending a play at her daughter's school.  It seemed like a good idea when I agreed to work for her a couple of weeks ago.
But with the sun out, I've decided that rather than go to work, I'd much rather be hanging around the house...
Maybe playing a round of frisbee with the dogs...
Or just enjoying the sun!
I hope whatever you're doing, you're enjoying your day--Our resident groundhog seems to be!  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cautious Optimism and Secrets

I'm wondering why it is that Monday is a nicer day than the weekends?  We had really warm temperatures today with lots of sun, quite a change from the weekend.  The great weather was one reason why I hurried home this evening.  Another was to see how many stink-bugs were inside the house.  From last Monday, on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worse, I would have given it 13.  Tonight however, I give it about a 6.  There were not nearly as many, and I only spent about 45 minutes vacuuming them this evening--Much better!!  There were also not nearly as many on the outside of the house or on the screens.  A good sign!  We'll see how long it lasts.  I'm afraid I'll jinx it but I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful.

Long time readers of this blog may remember that our girl CarrieAnne on warm evenings will often disappear to take a little swim in a place that only she knows about.  She did this tonight.  After 3 years, I still have no idea where she goes to cool off....    
And Carrie is not telling her secret!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Price of My Sanity

~Josh left--Sam, on the right~
On the warmest day last week when I returned home from work, I spent (no kidding) 2 hours vacuuming up stink-bugs inside the house.  I'd left many of the windows open and they were everywhere--on the ceiling, on the floor, on the furniture, everywhere--And some were flying around!  The next morning when I came into the kitchen there were 3 together 'nose-to-nose' on the kitchen counter, like they were having a meeting--I really think there's a plot to overtake our house!  Needless to say, I admitted defeat in the battle the night before.  On the way to work that morning (I have to add that there was a stink-bug on the back window of my van) I formulated a new plan of attack.  This would require bringing in the bug-guns, I mean, the big guns...I avoid the use of pesticides and chemicals, but I felt the time had come to call a pest control company.  Two different people came yesterday, one for the bugs, the other came later to check for termites. I took part of the dogs for a car-ride while they were here.  Chemicals were not used inside the house, but hopefully the 'repellant' will work to keep them away.  They'll return again in a month to spray again.  Its been cold the last few days but warmer weather is predicted for the coming week, so we'll see.  Right now the total for this round of the battle is: 

Gas to drive the dogs around for 2 hours - $10.00
Cost of two drive-thru trips to McDonalds - $7.00
Bill from the pest control company - $165.00
My Sanity if this works - $-Priceless!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Poor Charlie...

In our house when it comes to scrappy, scruffy charm and sheer entertainment, Charlie takes the cake!  There is no question that he is the 'star' of our household.  The Goldens are laid back easy going, they like routine and go with the flow. Usually if there's a little injury, or they don't feel well, they are stoic and uncomplaining--Not Charlie, he's the total opposite.  Right now he has a small place on his leg that he's been licking (and licking) that is now sore.  I shaved the hair around it, cleaned it really well, put on an antibiotic and wrapped it up and put a 'sock and shoe' on him to keep him from being able to get to it.  While I've no doubt it's a little tender, Charlie cried and whined and tried to get away from me the whole time.  Today when I've come near him his eyes are full of suspicion and doubt.  I can only hope that my treating this at home will do the trick and he won't have to go to the vet.  If he does, I may have to find a therapist for him...And for me!

All in all, a quiet day at home--The weather is finally feeling like spring, and I'm seeing more of my  perennials every day.  I've been reading about keeping guineas.  Someone told me that they will eat stink-bugs.  Does anyone know if this is true?  The news is reporting that the number of stink-bugs is expected to be 'biblical proportions' this year.  If what we're seeing already is any indication, we'll need all the help we can get!
~We saw this guinea hen while in Tennessee in March~

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Things That Bump in the Night!

I don't make a secret out of not liking to be at home alone by myself at night.  While I actually do feel pretty safe with all the dogs here, the problem is that when I go to bed and everyone is finally settled down, my mind sometimes starts to wander and I hear noises and every creek and rattle.  So, you may be able to imagine the thoughts that were going through my mind the other night when there were high winds, thunder and lightening and I kept hearing this tapping noise that sounded like it was right outside my window.  Each time it happened, the dogs would either growl or start barking.  Add to that a couple of  phone calls from an 'unknown caller' that left no message and hung up--Needless to say, my wild imagination and my OCD trying to figure out what it was took off!  I really did try to think rationally that 'maybe' a piece of siding had come loose from the house.  So, I gathered some courage, turned on all the outside lights, grabbed a flashlight and the dogs and I went out onto the front porch to take a look--In the darkness I saw nothing--But more noises from the woods made us quickly go back inside.  Eventually I fell asleep, waking up a few times to that same tapping noise that would cause a growl from one or more of the dogs.  

It's true what the say.  Things always look better in the morning.  When it got light, I went outside to take a look and this was what I found...  
A stone wind chime that I had taken down a few days ago and put over the porch railing.  The wind must've caused it to occasionally hit the side of the house.  I'd overlooked it in the darkness.  Needless to say, I had to laugh at myself for once again letting my totally irrational fear and thoughts get the best of me!  
We're so brave here at Golden Pines, aren't we? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Forever Home for the Chub Brothers

 The call came earlier today from the rescue.  The Chub Brothers, Bubba and Toby (pictured below) will be staying at Golden Pines!! 

Carl and I will 'officially' adopt Toby and the rescue will continue to 'officially' own Bubba, paying (only) for his vet care.  There are a few caveats with this arrangement; however I'm optimistic that it's one that has only Bubba's best interest in mind and no ones personal agenda.  I'm relieved and very thankful.  I'm also thankful for all of you who sent positive thoughts while I waited and worried. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Waiting and a Lost Piece of History

I was told yesterday that the board of directors for the rescue would be meeting this morning and on the agenda will be 'The Chub Brothers.'  While I really think (and hope) that good sense and logic about their situation will ultimately win out and the boys will stay here, I still am nervous about it.  This in part is why I wasn't sure if it was that or the cookies I had for breakfast this morning that made me really antsy and I just couldn't sit still.  To rid myself of that extra energy, I packed up Rudi and Charlie and ran a couple of errands.  One of my stops was Southern States for bird food where I was taken in by another kind of bird--Lots of baby chicks!!  They are really cute, and I thought were inexpensive at about $5 each; I had $25 in cash but resisted!    
On my way home I drove past this barn. It was built in the 19th century and is the last intact barn that the town had.  It is also the spot for a new shopping center and the barn and silo as per the agreement with the town were supposed to be dismantled and incorporated within the center.  However, the construction company's version of 'dismanteling' the barn with the use of two backhoes looked more like a demolition!  Of course the town is really upset and issued a 'stop work order' and is fining the construction company $1000 per day until it's resolved.  The construction company in turn fired those responsible for the 'mistake' and vowed to 'make it right'  in a written apology to the town and its residents that appeared in the local papers.  But I think it's really sad that such a beautiful piece of the towns history and the gateway into it have apparently been destroyed. 
I'll be sure to post when I hear something from the rescue about 'The Chub Brothers.'
I hope you're enjoying your weekend!