Friday, May 31, 2013

The Other Side of the Hedge

On the other side of the hedge from us, hay is being cut.  I love the sweet smell of fresh cut hay that is filling the air. I wish I could bottle the scent and use it as a home air freshener during the winter months. For me, it's kind of like the summery version of the smell of pine needles in the late fall.
In back of us, the work on the house continues.  It was supposed to be done in April.  But when I last spoke to the owners in early April, they were hoping for the middle of May.  But looking at the progress, or lack of it, my guess is the end of June.
On our side of the hedge, I'll start by thanking everyone for their healing thoughts and remedies on my latest bout with poison ivy, that by the way is really improving.  I really do appreciate your voices of experience in helping me to find the cure, because I think those remedies are always the ones that work the best!!  Many, many thanks to you for sharing them!

Speaking of cures, I have heard back from my vet about Cissy.  Her test results were returned and they showed that the last of her infections has cleared up, and she is now finally finished taking antibiotics!  She is still bothered with an ongoing rash on her stomach, and she chews her feet more than I'd like her too--But we're managing it, and there's no doubt at all that she's feeling better and feels totally at home with us. She certainly looks better.
I think her "inner spark" is fully ignited!  
The other dogs are doing well.  All of us are beating a summer heat-wave by staying inside where it's cool.  
I hope you are doing well, and I hope you enjoy your Friday!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Dreaded Leaves of Three!!

Our three day weekend was spent at home catching up on yard work while the dogs watched.
Since Carl is unable to do the trimming around the fence and trees, this meant that I had to do it.  As a result of all the trimming, yesterday I woke up with a bad poison ivy rash. I wasn't all that surprised, because I saw it as I was cutting down the weeds, and I just hoped that changing my clothes, washing afterwards with soapy water, etc., that I'd be okay.

The last couple of years I've gotten to be pretty good at identifying poison ivy.  Even when it's at a distance and mixed in with other plants, I've gotten a little fanatical about avoiding the dreaded "leaves of three" because as some of you will recall, I’m so allergic to it that I can get poison ivy almost from looking at it too closely.
But I've got a rash on my hands and face. One eye is so puffy my eyelid is drooping and I bear a slight resemblance to Quasimodo. I really, really, hate poison ivy!  Yes there are some people like Carl who are not allergic to poison ivy at all and instead have seasonal allergies to pollen. He'll go through periods where he's all stuffed up and red-eyed.  None of that affects me at all, and I just go about my life.  Carl says that allergies are worse.  I have to disagree with him because right now I'm really feeling pretty darn itchy and his allergies aren't bothering him at all and from the looks of the photo below, nothing is bothering Sheba either!  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

About 6575 days or 18 years

~One of my peonies~
This weekend marks about 6575 days or 18 years that we have lived in Virginia.  We left our very comfortable life in Alaska and came here because of Carl's job and because I wanted to at least live in the same time zone as my family did.  We arrived here with very few belongings, one car and one very stressed out 15 year old cat named Lucy and with no idea what the future would hold.

In 18 years we've had six different cars and I've worked in six different dental offices.  I even took a sabbatical from dentistry and a good friend and I worked together at Office Depot.  But "teeth are my life" and after a few months of working in retail, I returned to what I knew.
While we may have gone through cars and I've changed jobs a few times, we've also lived at 3 different addresses and had 3 cats. Our first dog came to us in 1996, a handsome Golden Retriever named Tod. And in June of 1999, we added our second dog named Wendy, who as you know, is our treasure, and is still with us. She was our first 'rescued' dog, and after her came the dogs we fostered for the rescue and placed in new homes.  I don't know exactly how many we have found new forever families for, but I know it's around 50. Carl and I have "officially adopted" 15 Goldens from the Golden Retriever Rescue, and that does not include the 11 Goldens that became "long term fosters" or Sam, Charlie and of course Todd who found their way to us.
A favorite picture from the past, our first Golden, Tod, and our second cat, Drifter
Through the ups and downs, additions and subtractions and changes in the past 18 years, we have had a busy and full life.  With Carl's nearly 2 hour long commute each way we have seriously thought of moving closer to where he works.  But each time something stops us and for now we are going to stay put and enjoy our life in this peaceful place that we call home.  Nowhere else feels right, because our lives and Golden Pines, despite our long commutes is perfect for us.
I hope you have a 'perfect' weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Flock

We arrive at the middle of the week with severe thunderstorms moving through the area this evening.  The 5 chicks that have been occupying our time left yesterday.  They joined a bigger flock that were hatched in the classroom of an elementary school and we figure they are a little more than a week older than "my chicks."  The children at their new home were excited to meet the new additions.
Taking care of the chicks was a good experience, and I am looking forward to having my own little flock when the time is right. But until that right time comes, I'm content to read about yours, and care for my flock that has 4 legs.
~Sheba, left and Annie~

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Coming Home to Roost

The old adage that goes, "all chickens come home to roost," as you may know, usually means that you have to face the consequences of your mistakes. I'm not sure if that's what has happened at Golden Pines or not.  But yesterday the owner of the five chicks that I was caring for last week (see my previous post) contacted me because she was unable to find anyone to take them after the BlogPaws conference and she asked if I would take them. Of course I agreed to take them back, and I picked them up last evening.  Living in a farming community, I easily found a new home for all of them.  They will be with us until Tuesday.
I'm thinking that Todd is okay with that.
I think Charlie is too.
And so is Josh.
I wonder if the chicks are?       

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BlogPaws and Mother Hens

My week has been consumed by the arrival of something totally different than I've ever had before--baby chicks, can you believe it?  As a favor to someone from out of town who is attending the nearby BlogPaws conference this weekend, I agreed to accept a shipment of 5 chicks for her.  The chicks arrived via the US mail on the coldest day of the week.  And I don't know about you, but when I find myself caring for something that I've not had before, I find it very, very nerve-wracking! When I said I would keep the chicks I had no idea everything that I would need to care for them.  Thankfully a vet-tech at the office where I take the dogs loaned me everything I needed and she even gave me chick-crumbles for them to eat.  The doctor I work for allowed me to keep them at the office, and the girls at work and I enjoyed being Mother-Hens to our chicks, and yes they were given names.      
But because the office is cleaned by someone who sometimes brings his children, I brought them home for a night to keep them safe.  The dogs all loved them, and Charlie couldn't take his eyes off of them as they stayed under the warming light on top of our dryer. 
But all good things have to come to an end and this afternoon they were given to their owner "Fleafor her display at BlogPaws.  So if you are attending the conference and pass by the booth for Jones Natural Chews, stop and admire the 5 chicks there, I've no doubt that you'll be as taken by them as my co-workers and I were.  The whole experience has convinced me that I need to get chicks of our very own.
But given that Todd has a feather in his mouth, I wonder if he's telling me what he thinks about that?  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Understanding Cissy

Can you believe we've had Cissy for 52 days now?  What a difference in her in such a short period of time. Terribly dry, infected black skin now looks healthy and is silky and soft to the touch.  Hair is starting to grow back everywhere, including on her tail!  As for her appetite, she is not a dog that lives to eat, but rather eats to live.  She doesn't care about treats, but has decided that "squeeze cheese" in a can is pretty good, even if it does have pills hidden in it.
I've no doubt whatsoever that Cissy feels right at home with us.  She has even claimed one of the dog beds as her very own.  And as you can see from the picture above, she is still (of course) letting us know her opinion about everything. But interesting, at least to me, is that she doesn't feel the need to really share these thoughts with Carl, who has tried to get her to 'speak' to him.  I told him it's because she doesn't think that as a man he understands her, she may be right, I don't know.  But as you can see in the video below, she thinks I understand her perfectly, and I think she's right.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why I've Hated Mother's Day

~My Mom~
Sunday is Mother's Day here in the US, and I hope you don't mind that just for today, I'm deviating from my normal posts and writing about something that's a little more personal to me.

For the past 5 years, I have hated Mother's Day. My mother passed away in 2007 and every year since then when spring rolled around and the greeting cards reared their heads, I felt the resentment start to bubble up. “Tell mom how much she really means,” the signs at Hallmark told me. It felt like a mean joke and just another reminder of all I’ve lost.

As an adult, my mother and I were very close. For many years we talked on the phone several times a day, relating the little details of our lives. I knew what she’d had for lunch, what she was watching on TV, and how she was feeling.  She knew those same things about me, right down to which book I was reading and what was upsetting me at work. We had catchphrases and inside jokes we’d repeat and laugh about and we shared very similar opinions on politics and life in general.

The first Mother's Day after she died when I passed by the greeting cards in a store, I thought about buying her one. Maybe, I thought, I could start a tradition of getting her a card every year--a kind of “taking back” of the day. But then I thought about how I’d never actually get to send the cards and how they’d just sit in a drawer somewhere.  Then I thought about how the inside jokes will never change--My mother and I are frozen in time, like the one and only picture I have of us taken together a few years before she died.  So with that, I decided not to get her any cards and just disregard the day.

This year all of that seems to have changed.  Instead what I have is the feeling I had when I would come home late as a teenager and my mother would be in bed, awake and waiting for me to get home.  She couldn’t sleep soundly until she knew my siblings and I were safely home. At the time, we teased her for it, but even then, it was very assuring and comforting.  And in thinking about it, those daily phone calls all the years after I'd left home made me feel the same way.  It's truly what my mother gave me, above everything else, the feeling that she was always there, looking out for me and cheering me on.  I'd like to think that wherever she is now, she's still doing that.  I also think that to know and remember and not doubt that on a day like today, is the best way for me to celebrate Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to my friends near and far!!  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Post Vacation


Our post vacation week has come to an end.  Even though we're all feeling a little worn out, we're back into the routine. I'm done with the unpacking, laundry and I've gone grocery shopping.  I love filling up the fridge after its been empty--This time it was easy to do because I made the mistake of going when I was hungry.
~Wegmans Bread--The best!~
This evening we're sitting here in the dark as the rains falls and the first lightning of the year streaks across the sky.  There have been a few big strikes followed by the deep rumble of the thunder.
I just love this part of Spring and so do the dogs!   
~Sheba again!~

Monday, May 6, 2013

And The Dogs Barked

We’re back from our trip to Tennessee.  It is about an eight hour drive, and so it was nice to get home.
Our trip could not have been better, for us and the dogs!!  While we relaxed, the dogs barked at the horses...
Since it was vacation, I ate what I wanted and the dogs did what they wanted...They barked at the horses....
We had a really nice time catching up with our friends who own the cabin.  The dogs had a really nice time barking at the horses....
Since Carl was limited in what he's able to do, we drove around and enjoyed the sites and scenery.
And the dogs (really!!) enjoyed barking at the horses....

Waking up in my own bed this morning and not having to go to work today was quite nice. Carl did have to work, and so I lounged around before I tackled mowing the lawn. I read awhile back that scientist claim that the sweet smell of freshly cut grass can relieve stress and make you feel good.  I'll admit that after spending the entire afternoon mowing, I'm not feeling any stress, but I am pretty tired.  Now I'm thinking how much I would enjoy 4 more days off and THAT makes me feel better!!

***I don't usually (in fact never) advertise on my blog, but this time I am because I know how hard it can be to find a great place to stay with your dogs.  So if you or someone you know is planning a trip to east Tennessee and would like a really nice cabin to stay in that is very dog-friendly and is surrounded by beauty, peace and quiet and much more, consider staying at Autumn Dancer Llama Farm

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Happier Than A Pig in Mud!

We are here in beautiful eastern Tennessee.  The dogs that we brought with us, Josh, Annie, Sheba, Charlie and of course Todd are having a great time barking at the horses in the field next to the cabin. 
And happily falling asleep, totally exhausted afterwards!

I guess you could say they are happier than a pig in mud...
 Or a Scottie rolling in the grass!
 The scenery is really gorgeous, this is really a beautiful part of Tennessee!

It's so nice to get away for a few days, and do a little local shopping.  Anybody need a new hubcap?
 Thank-you for stopping by my blog today!  I hope your week is ending on a good note too!