Tuesday, January 26, 2010

dog people are crazy

Yes, we are quite crazy, and I have photographic proof of just one element of our craziness.

This weekend, our agility friends (Gretchen and her mom) shared the news that they were "expecting." Usually, that news gives you a few months to plan baby showers and get everything ready for the new little bundle of joy. But for us doggy people, it meant that Sunday, after the show, Gretchen and her mom were driving to who-knows-where to pick out the next best agility dog in the world. With only a few days notice, we had to assemble a proper "baby" shower. Because it was the location of the agility show, the shower was at the Douglas County (KS) fairgrounds in the arena. With metal walls. On dirt. With dog hair flying around. (Hey, nothing but the best for our friends!) Addie's mom managed to find a bakery in Lawrence that would not only bake a doggy shower cake, but be open before 6 am to pick it up before the show. While Gretchen and her mom were running their first run, we set up the party.

We had baby gifts and even an "it's a Girl!" balloon.
We still don't know what the new little dumpling's name is... though I understand that Gretchen and her mom are accepting ideas. The new baby is a black female Schnauzer so if you have any great ideas, post them and I will forward them along.

And if you are ever in Lawrence and need bakery goods, we cannot say enough nice things about Munchers Bakery (9th and Iowa) who not only took this last minute order, but managed to draw a perfect little schnauzer puppy on the top.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Long Goodbye

Well that time has come again... the day that all parents of college-aged kids love... and hate. We've shipped her off to school five times before.... why doesn't it get any easier? Her car is loaded to the ceiling, we've gone over all the "don't forget to" reminders. The car is full of gas and the tire pressure and the antifreeze have been checked several times. The laundry is done, and we've had our obligatory "last supper" (Steak and Shake). But the goodbye hug is the hardest... you know you want to send them out into the world, but you also want to hang on... for a few more minutes at least. And then, when you see the car roll away, you know that your next few hours will be consumed with praying them safely to their destination.

And to think, we used to think "it will get easier when they are older." Now I realize that it was a lot easier when they were little.

Happy journey little one! Drive carefully, study hard, be safe and don't fall for any of the boys that want to take you from me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the raccoon story

Someone posted a story on Facebook about a raccoon in their yard and it reminded me of a story that happened at our house a few years ago. It was a story I didn't want to forget, so I wrote it down. I've posted it here for you.

"Well, you damn well took your time calling me back!" This was the greeting I received from my daughter, Sarah. I saw that I had missed her call on my cell phone and called her without listening to the voice mail she had left. Her tone and her choice of words shocks me and I’m thinking, "excuse me? Do you know who you are talking to?"
She continues, yelling, "I've called your work, your cell, your pager, and your friends trying to track you down!" Okay, this must be something big, because she NEVER talks like this. "There was a raccoon in our yard; I think it bit Maggie. It was tangled in the wires behind the pool pump. Dave [her brother] and I got it untangled and it ran into the front yard." I panicked and matched her volume, yelling back "Do you have any idea how dangerous a raccoon can be! And it might carry rabies! Stay away from it!" She said she had already called the vet and he thought Maggie would be okay. Still, I worried that they had gotten so close to this potentially dangerous animal. So I reinforced the "stay away."
An hour or so later my husband calls my cell phone, "Why is there a raccoon on our porch?" For some reason this struck me as a particularly silly question, so I was tempted to reply with a silly answer like "Because I put it on a sit/stay when I left!" or, “it was on sale at Wal-Mart.” But I didn't, I just told him the story that I had heard earlier, and that I didn't know it was on our porch. I gave him the same advice I gave the kids- stay away. He said, "It growls at me when I walk past it… what should I do?" I said, "Keep your fingers away from its mouth." He said "do you think I'm stupid?" I refrained from answering that one, but I did form a few replies in my head.
I returned to my duties of the day and went to Sam's Club to buy supplies for our upcoming party. A few hours had passed, and I had forgotten all about the raccoon. I was in the liquor section and called home to have Sarah check our supplies. She is giving me the inventory when she stops mid-sentence and begins to scream and sob. Between the screams, I hear, "He's dead. Oh Mama, he's dead!... Oh no. Mama, Mama, get here quick, he's dead!" Between her screams I yell back, "Sarah, calm down” “Who's dead?" "What's wrong?" "Where is your dad?" “TALK TO ME!” But the only reply I hear is "Oh no, it's terrible, he's dead (sob, sob, scream)" I'm thinking, Daddy's dead? One of the dogs? What has happened? "SARAH, WHERE IS YOUR DAD!!?????" More sobbing "I don't know. Mama please hurry" Okay, Dad's not dead, he's just missing. Someone else is dead. “oh, no, oh NO!!” "Sarah, GO GET DARYN!" (He's our neighbor, and can be counted on to help out- like just last week when she let a scary stranger in the house to "check the gas meter" and then realized her mistake. Daryn was there in an instant to keep an eye on the guy.) Anyway, I keep trying to calm her and then I hear Daryn's voice saying "What's wrong?" Okay, good. Maybe he can calm her down and she can start to talk to me. Click. She hung up on me. But that's okay, I'm in the liquor aisle. I wonder how much trouble I'd get into for cracking open a bottle of Vodka.
It turns out that our dogs, Jake and Mopsy (one border collie, one cocker spaniel), had decided the raccoon (turns out it was a baby) was just the right size for a toy, so they played tug-of-war and catch with it's little limp body. But... it's not dead. Husband calls back, turns out he was in the backyard and could not hear the screaming. I find this really difficult to believe, since people three aisles away in Sam's heard it through my phone. He and Daryn decide to put it out of its misery and he picks up a 2x4, Daryn has a shovel. Dave and Sarah immediately stand guard- no one is going to kill this baby on their watch. Sarah's tears dry instantly and she puts on her best warrior face. "Put down the club, and step away from the baby." Greg relays all of this in my next phone call. "Now what do I do?" he says. I tell him to call animal rescue. Click. The Crown Royal looks appealing.
Animal rescue says they will wait until he arrives, but he's got to get the little guy into something secure to bring him out. They warn him against a cardboard box. Fortunately, the raccoon goes willingly into a big plastic bucket which Greg covers with a grate. He takes off for the animal rescue, a 35 minute drive. About an hour and a half later, he pulls into our drive with the bucket, from which you can hear growls and hissing. I question him.. "What did you do?" He said, "The rescue people said it is just a baby, and it isn't hurt, only frightened. We are supposed to put it back where we found it, and the mother will come back for it tonight!" I'm thinking, go ahead, ask me that "do you think I'm stupid" question again, because this time, I've got an answer ready. I'll go along with the advice, but… do we put it back in the last place we found it (inside Jake's mouth) or the previous place (tangled in the pool wires)? Instead, we place the bucket on its side, in the front yard with a pan of water and a bowl of dog food (what do raccoons eat anyway?) This morning, all that remained was an empty bucket and a 1/2 eaten bowl of dog food. But in my heart, I know this isn't the end of the story. I'm going to buy some Cuervo Gold, just to be ready.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Old photos

For any of you that do Facebook, you are aware that many people are posting old photos of themselves for their profile picture. So, I pulled out that old file of photos and looked for an appropriate photo. I found this lovely snapshot of me in all my teenage dorkiness:

In case you did not immediately appreciate all that is dorky about this, draw your attention to the fact that I am in a JON boat in a BIKINI with my hair in pig tails (I believe that we called them "dog ears" back then to differentiate from pig tails which were braided). To top it all off, I am CROCHETING. I wish I could see the yarn so I could remember what exactly I was making... I think it might have been the granny square sweater. Boy did I look snappy in that!

While I was looking I came across this picture:

A couple of things strike me immediately about this photo. First, the Tyra Banks "America's Next Top Model" pose. Though honestly, I was probably scratching a chiggar bite. Next, I am struck by how much I look latino. I don't ever remember being latino. I do remember that vinyl table cloth, though. We kept it on the table that was on our carport. We ate almost every meal on the carport from about April to October. And before this moment, it never struck me as odd. But perhaps the most interesting part of this photo (and you have to look very close) is what is on the table. Frosted Flakes, coffee cups and Falstaff. That crocheting in the Jon boat is looking more normal....

Monday, January 11, 2010

more "coloring"

I did these back in December for an agility calendar.

Seriously, I could probably spend days playing with photoshop.

okay, I'll stop and clean house now.
(ha ha ha! I made a funny!)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photoshop is my 124 pack of Crayolas

One of my favorite bloggers, Nicki at Borderblog (http://cruzanborders.blogspot.com/) got Photoshop for Christmas and has been posting examples of her "photoshopped" dogs. It reminded me of how much I loved to play with PS when I first got it, so I took some time to explore some buttons I've never used like I did when I and Photoshop first met. And that reminded me.... whoever invented layers and layer masking should be sainted. Or at least get special parking priviledges, or something.

This morning I dug out some agility pictures that I had that were okay, but a little boring and applied every tool that I could find. I don't know if you can EVER turn a mediocre photo into something great, but it sure is fun playing.

Here are some examples of Radial Blur tool:

So don't bother asking me if all my Christmas stuff has been taken down and put away. It hasn't.

: )

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dog Whispers

I like to think that I know what my dogs are thinking and even what they are talking about. There was a big conversation going on last night and I'll try to translate it into English as best as possible. It went sort of like this:

(J = Jake, M = Maggie)

J: "Hey Maggie, wake up!"

M: (yawning) "What time is it?"

J: "It's about 2"

M: "What do you want"

J: "I smell snow"

M: " WHAT!!"

J: "I can't see out, Mom shut the curtains"

M: "Well, we need to go out and see. Wake Dad up to let us out"

J: "I'm not waking Dad up. YOU wake him up"

M: "We'll wake up Sarah, she'll let us out"

[entering Sarah's room]


J: "uh oh. You woke Mopsy up. You are in BIG trouble"

M: "Sorry Mopsy, I was just checking... to... see if you were warm enough. Yeah, that's right"

J: "I guess we'll have to wake mom up"

Both: [lick, lick, wiggle, wiggle, whine, whine]

Me: "What? What time is it? I have to go to work tomorrow.... What? You need to go out?, okay"

It is at this point that both dogs go outside, not to potty, not to chase bunnies, not to protect our home, but to PLAY IN THE SNOW. Yes. A 2 am romp in the snow. But that is not the worst.... they played out this same scenario several more times during the night. Didn't want to pee or check out anything, just HAD to go out and play in the snow. And stupid me, half asleep, I fell for it over and over. By 4:30 I was awake enough to grab my camera and take pictures of their shenanigans.
Tonight, I'm wearing earplugs.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Worn Out

A few weeks ago, I struggled with the decision of going to Chicago for an AKC show or staying in town for a USDAA agility show over New Year's. I made the decision to stay in town so that I didn't need to add an out-of-town trip to the holidays and am I glad I did. Yikes, why do the holidays wear us out so? With less time at work, you would think we could work in some time for rest and relaxation but I'm just pooped. And, judging from this picture, the dogs look a little tired as well. But this week it is back to "normal" for all of us, probably for you too.
Take time to put your feet up and snuggle with your loved ones.