Thursday, November 29, 2012

New and Old Friends

Today has been a busy day off work.  I met a newer friend for lunch at the horse farm where she works and she gave me a tour.  Clairvaux Farm where my friend has worked for 3 years is a hunter/jumper show stable.  Unfortunately there weren't many horses inside because with a warm sunny day, they were all outside. But I enjoyed lunch with my friend and getting to know her a little bit better. Of course I enjoyed the tour too.
Back at home, it was all about 'old' friends.  In my last post I mentioned about taking Annie and Wendy to the vet last Saturday.  Both girls loved the car ride and getting to see new people. You may remember that Annie has liver and kidney damage (caused by being on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for more than a year without her previous vet checking blood-work to see if it was harming her). For the past 3 months she's been given a daily supplement of Denamarin and a Pepcid to try and stabilize her kidneys and liver.  The good news for Annie is that it appears to be working, and her liver value is now almost normal, and her kidneys appear to be stable too.
For Wendy, it was good news as well. Born in late January of 1997, she is rounding the corner to almost 16 years old.  I can admit that I've not taken her into the vet because she was in need of a rabies vaccine.  I've always limited the vaccines that our dogs are given--And because having a rabies vaccine is the law, it goes without saying that I've always complied with that. Because of this legal-requirement, it kept me from taking Wendy to the vet because I didn't want her to have any vaccines because of her age. But a notice from the county about it, left me with no other choice. But what I didn't know was that Virginia allows a vet to decide if an animals health could be compromised if given the rabies vaccine, so a waiver has been written for Wendy--What a relief!  Her blood work does show a few minor changes, which is to be expected at her age and she's had an exposure to a tick-borne-illness which she'll take an antibiotic for. The vet does want to see Wendy in 3 months for another check-up and that I'll comply with!
All in all, our week appears to be ending on a good note.  
I hope yours is too! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Five Days

I had so many things planned for the five days that I've had off of work...So many things.

For starters, there was a much-anticipated Saturday lunch date with a very good friend. Not to mention errands to run, a few things to organize and put away along with some cleaning to do and a lesson to prepare for church. Even with Thanksgiving, it was going to be such a productive weekend.

I did none of the above.  Instead, I took Annie and Wendy to the vet early Saturday morning, rescheduled my lunch date with my friend, and spent almost every minute at home.  I just really thought it was what I should do. And so I did.
~On the road with Wendy & Annie (background)~
We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and let all the dog's unleash their energy with long, leisurely, walks. We explored around the pond on the property adjacent to us, and played ball.
~Sheba and Joshua~
Yes, aside from the Thanksgiving Day drama with Humble, it was a perfect five days, even if I did feel a bit guilty for letting a few things slide. That is, until my friend Diane helped put things in perspective.
"Who says long weekends have to be productive?" she said in her e-mail. "Instead, have a memorable weekend like the one you're having.  You won't remember the weekends where you run errands and clean, but you will remember one where you devoted time to those precious to you."
And she's right. So what if the closets didn't get cleaned and my desk didn't get organized?  Instead, I enjoyed catching up with all my siblings, I got to know 'Humble' just a little bit better and spent time outdoors with the dogs.  It was, indeed, a really nice five days.
Productive? Okay, maybe it wasn't. But priceless? Absolutely. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Day

We had a really nice Thanksgiving day!!  I was reminded more than once about how much I have to be thankful for and I really do try to make sure that I count all those blessings often.  I personally don’t think we should include all our thankfulness on one day just because that day happens to be Thanksgiving.  However, a day set aside where everyone (at least in the U.S.) is being thankful together can be and is a special thing.

One thing I am very thankful for, is that Humble is okay following a little 'incident' yesterday.  I mentioned in my previous post that she was a counter-surfer-extraordinaire.  She showed her talent by eating *8*  yeast dinner rolls that I had rising on the stove.  I really thought I had them situated where she couldn't reach them, but unfortunately I was wrong.  (For those of you who don't know, a dog eating rolls that are rising is dangerous because the warm environment of the stomach acts as an oven and encourages the dough to continue rising and that can cause a bowel obstruction, a bloated/distended stomach, or cause it to twist--And then there is the issue of the yeast because it also ferments in the stomach, and releases alcohol which may lead to alcohol poisoning--Making it all a (possible) life-threatening situation)  
I tried to get Humble to vomit with hydrogen-peroxide but for whatever reason, it didn't work.  So I had to call the rescue and tell them what happened and that I needed to take her into the animal emergency.  While this was a mistake on my part, I had acted quickly enough that all the emergency vet had to do was get Humble to vomit, which they did and out came the 8 rolls, still intact and as the girl said to me 'you could put them right into the oven!'  ....NOT that I would ever do that, but it was a much needed bit of humor at the end of a stressful situation!  Needless to say it left Humble and I both worn out.  However we were still able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with our good friends, minus my homemade dinner rolls!
Today is Black Friday and a day that dedicated shoppers hit the stores in the early morning hours for bargains and deals.  It's a tradition for many people, but for years I haven't shopped on this day.  Instead I enjoy shopping online and spending the day at home.  However I do have to admit that for some reason this year my ignoring Macys was tougher because of a few things they had on sale. But I really do much prefer our “black Friday” at home to that of standing in line in the cold. The picture below was posted on Facebook, and is a very long line to get into a 'Toys R Us' across the street from where I work.  It was taken around 10 o'clock last night and the store wasn't going to open until midnight. The store is in the middle of the photo behind the tree.  YIKES!!  Do you shop on Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Humble Arrives at Golden Pines

Just in time for Thanksgiving, 'Humble' arrives at Goldens Pines! She's a lovely 13 year old girl, given up by her family who want to travel and don't have time for her. (Are you thinking what I'm thinking?)  Our crew meet new additions like real pros.  Even Todd after he shows some Scottie attitude is just fine!  However, as expected, Lucas is totally smitten by the fair and lovely Humble who doesn't share those same feelings for him.  One thing they do have in common is their affection and obsession with our cat, CC.  But unlike Lucas who only took a basic class in cat-stalking, Humble appears to have taken the advanced course and we are going to have to be very watchful of her interactions with CC to prevent her from being accidentally hurt.  Humble has also taken lessons in counter-surfing and has shown her talent for reaching whatever is within nose reach.
With the Thanksgiving holiday I'm glad we have several days to get everything sorted out and get Humbled settled in.  She's not been to the vet in about 3 years and is very thin and underweight.  I was supposed to take Wendy in for an exam and check-up at the vet this morning, but she has graciously given up her appointment so that Humble can be seen instead.  I'm hopeful everything for Humble is going to be okay.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Spanish Proverb

There is a Spanish proverb that speaks to my soul, that says, "How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward."  When we get especially busy like we have been the last several days, I think of that proverb because after being so busy, my favorite thing that I quite enjoy doing, is nothing--But I didn't get to do that this weekend. On the positive side, I didn't have to find time to cook because on Friday I made chicken-noodle soup for a co-workers birthday lunch and we had plenty of leftovers.
You may recall that in my last post I mentioned that the insurance adjuster was coming to look at our barn that lost part of its roof during the hurricane. I have to admit that we were concerned about the roof being covered under our policy because we don't know its age.  In the end that was never an issue, and our insurance will generously compensate us for repairs to the roof or a new one (we're not sure what the cost is for either one).  We are very grateful that we'll receive something for its repair or replacement.

The week ahead is also going to be a busy one trying to get everything done before the Thanksgiving holiday.  I am only working two days, but there's plenty to do before Thursday.  Added to everything we agreed this morning to take a 13 year old senior girl that her owners want picked up by Wednesday.  I'll tell you her story when she is safely here.  We're trying to arrange her transport to us and I'm hoping she'll be here by Tuesday evening.
Until things slow down for me, I have a feeling that the dogs will continue to embody the Spanish proverb, and I'm okay with that--I think they area too!
~Annie and Toby~
Finally, a few of you asked about the recipe for the cinnamon-sugar-bread that Todd was eyeing in my last post. He did in fact get a little taste of it as did the other dogs.  You can click HERE for the link that will take you to where I found this pretty good and very easy recipe

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Wednesday

It's finally Wednesday!  At the end of work today, the week changes gears and starts to slow down.  Our weather has suddenly turned cold and it's feeling more like November now.  Today Carl is home because the insurance adjuster is coming to look at the barn that lost part of its roof during the hurricane.  We're hoping that if the insurance doesn't cover the cost for the entire roof to be replaced, at least the repairs will be paid for.
Todd on the other hand, doesn't care about barn roofs and insurance adjusters.  He did however, care about the cinnamon bread that I made and was hoping for a little bite of it.  
I hope you're having a good week!  
I look forward to catching up with your news later today!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Feelin' Groovy

I'm wondering how many of you remember an old Simon and Garfunkle tune,  "Slow down, you move too fast?"  The lyrics of the song remind us, "You've got to make the morning last, just kickin' down the cobblestones. Lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy."

Today we didn't have to look for any fun, it found us all by itself.  This morning a couple of friends unexpectedly stopped by and we enjoyed an impromptu breakfast of my homemade biscuits, gravy and eggs.  After they left, we were feelin' really groovy rejuvenated from their visit and spent time outside in the unseasonable warm temps and sunshine.

But I was reminded that it's never a good thing when you see three dogs standing together smelling the ground and taking turns rolling on something.
 That turned their fun into impromptu baths for CarrieAnne and Sheba.  
Josh who was part of the crime didn't need one.  He doesn't really like baths, so I'm pretty sure he was 'feelin' groovy' about that!  .  
Afterwards we took all of the dogs for a walk and came in and relaxed. 
Whatever you are doing this weekend, whatever your weather, 
I hope you're 'feelin' groovy' too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who's Happier?

It may be two days after the Presidential election, but there are still some really happy people and some who are less than happy with the results. Because I have been so caught up in all the coverage of the election,  I decided months ago to take the next day off afterwards. My thought was to avoid people if the candidate I supported lost, and enjoy the news coverage if 'HE' won. Without saying who I voted for, I will just say that I enjoyed having yesterday off instead of today.
On the flip-side of the week, we've been trying something new with Todd.  During the day Todd stays in a 'golden sized' crate in the office. And at night he sleeps in a little smaller crate that is in our bedroom.  But lately he's been getting more and more reluctant about going in when I tell him 'it's time for bed.'  Instead he's decided that he'd rather sleep on our bed.  I decided that this is okay, as long as he doesn't get into any mischief while we're all sleeping.  Todd has actually been really good and has been staying in the bedroom.  However I find myself waking up several times during the night to check on him.  While Todd may be happier to not spend the night in the crate, I think I would be happier with a little more sleep.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Setting the Tone

Despite being a little worn out from the time change, our weekend ended on a really nice note!  We enjoyed time with friends and being outside in the bright sun with the dogs on Sunday.  It all set the tone for the start of the week.

Also setting the tone for the week was a really nice surprise waiting for me when I got home this evening.  A blogging-friend who lives in France saw these mugs in a shop in England and thought of us.  How very, very thoughtful and kind, don't you think?
I hope your week is off to a good start too!
And I hope you're planning on voting!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Many Thanks!

This week those of us in Hurricane Sandy's path were all humbled by nature's destructive power.  But watching the reports on TV of those who have helped those affected have been inspiring as well.  I know that our losses were really insignificant compared to those who lost everything.  But I have been grateful this week for the help we have received and the kindness and support of friends.
On Monday just before the storm really hit, I was almost home when a tree fell across the road.  Seemingly out of nowhere a couple of men showed up, jumped out of their truck with a chainsaw and made quick work cutting the tree out of the way.  (By the way, who of you carries a chainsaw?)
Today, a friend of ours came over and helped Carl cut up our pine tree that broke in half. We both really appreciated his help.
And I have appreciated your kind words and messages on the loss of our boy Sandy.  You've shared his loss with us and that has provided a great deal of comfort.
Finally throughout the stress of the week, I've been grateful for the comic relief of a little Scottie named Todd who has really, really tried to stay out of mischief.  
Something Todd does really well when he's sleeping!  
I hope you're having a good weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good-Bye to TWO Sandy's

Hurricane Sandy hit us full force on Monday night.  Not since we lived in Alaska do I remember being battered with high winds that never seemed to stop.  A lot of trees were blown down on our road knocking out our power around 8:30 in the evening on Monday.  It  was not restored until this morning.

Unfortunately, we did not get through the storm without any damage.  We lost part of the roof on our barn.
And one of our beautiful pine trees was snapped in half.  However, there was no damage to our house, and for that we are grateful.  
Through the storm, I was concerned about our foster boy Sandy.  He'd not had much of an appetite the last several days.  However, it was not that unusual, and he was up and about and was even going outside without any help from us.  Yesterday morning Sandy seemed a bit better and would wag his tail whenever I talked to him, which he always did.  I discussed everything with my contact at the rescue and together we decided that he should be seen by the vet. Tests were done and x-rays showed that cancer had metastasized throughout his lungs and his abdomen.  We decided that the kind thing to do was to send him to the Rainbow Bridge.  There wasn't much time for good-byes. As he lay there, I stroked his handsome face and as I spoke to Sandy, he wagged his tail.  I thanked him for coming to our home just 4 short months ago.  I told him that I loved getting to know the dog that ate ice like it was a meal and practically melted when his ears were rubbed.  I thanked Sandy for what he taught me, that his blindness reminded me to slow down my pace and enjoy the walk. I told him about the other dogs that we'd sent to the bridge that I was sure would be there waiting for him.  
As I held his paw and he left this world for the next, I wished that we would have had more time together.  I hope that one day, when I see him again, we'll have that time.  God speed Sandy.  You will be missed and not forgotten.