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Monday, March 19, 2012

Dog and Tea

Little Zoe is really fitting right in, she is starting to learn that potty means outside, not inside, I thought that overnight would be the hardest, but it seems that now she comes in and wakes me up, just at day break (!) and squeaks at me, I get up, she helps me put on my shoes and robe then waits for me to open the door. She goes right out and does her business, and seems happy enough to come back in when she is done... at that point I promptly remove my shoes and robe and hop right back into bed. I suppose it isn't going to kill me to get up early from now on... sigh...

Now if I could only get her to understand that her bed isn't the alternate potty spot... we are still working on that. PB takes her bed outside in the morning so she doesn't have access to it, she only gets it at night, hopefully late enough to not have any accidents...

Tonight it's pretty windy, she doesn't understand wind caused noises, fortunately she isn't a barky dog, unless she hears something outside, then for a short period, she barks. I don't mind her barking if she thinks someone or something is outside, so I don't get on to her very much... she will just have to learn which noises are normal and which ones need barking at. :)

Yes, there are over 20 boxes of tea in that drawer...
Today, well yesterday now, I decided my tea stash wasn't much of a stash if it was stacked up on a shelf at eye level where everyone could see it, so I decided to stash it in a drawer. I had to rearrange the contents of a few drawers, but I finally got one of the bigger drawers cleared out, the tea fit perfectly inside, I can see what I have and what I'm out of.
Oh yeah, I had a helper too, Zoe inspected the job to make sure the tea stash was up to snuff, or should I say sniff? She gave it one and a half paws up, it would have been more but she decided that when I close the drawer, she can't get to it anymore, so that was the best she could give me.







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Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RIP Boxman

I just found out a little while ago that a dear friend passed in his sleep late last night/early this morning...

When we first moved out here, we didn't know very many people, but we met a lot of the residents out here, or at least saw them, not knowing many of their names, we gave some of them nicknames so we would know who we were talking about in later conversations. There was a house we passed when we left and came home, there were stacks of boxes in one of the bedroom windows, so we named the man who lived there Boxman, it stuck and a few other residents out here also called him Boxman, later when I genuinely met him, I learned his name was Jim (no last names here without permission).

We really got to know him when we started going to church, he was a regular there. Boxman turned out to be a really good friend, he would do anything to help, he was very generous with his time and energy. Another thing he was really known for was his appetite, that man could eat like no other. :)

A couple of years later, he was diagnosed with cancer, I have to say that didn't slow him down a bit, even though chemo treatments and other medicines that made him so sick, he still participated in church and with the community. A few weeks ago when we had the fire near another neighbor, I had gone to his house to let him know that they might have to get out, to be ready, when PB and I got back to the fire to help, Boxman showed up and helped work on the hotspots, no matter how many people told him to go home, he refused, staying, moving brush, stomping hotspots, lugging buckets of water...

The last couple of months has been particularly hard on him and his wife, he really began to feel the effects of the cancer and the treatments, he finally lost his appetite, and last night he lost the struggle with life on this earth. Fortunately he had a really strong relationship with the Lord, there is no doubt in anyone's mind where he is right now, we miss you Boxman, but we know we will see you again on the other side.




All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

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Possible Puppy Name

 Quickie update, last night I took her out 3X after it got dark, she went potty each time, pooing 2 of the 3 times, this morning when PB got up (he always gets up before I do) he took her out and it would seem that she didn't potty inside the house overnight at all. I am so happy about that, it seems like she is getting it, I expect there will be a few mistakes every now and again, but I also expect those to become less and less.


This week, when I go to town, I have a list of things I need to get for her, toys, a proper pet bed, I'll look for one with cedar shavings, a brush and comb. I've seen those anti-shedding combs in our local store, they seem to work pretty well, I need to do something for her long hair... I might buy a dog grooming kit to clip her fur shorter for the summer. She also has fleas, she came with them though I didn't recognize it at first. We have been bathing her a lot more often than normal, she was extremely stinky when we first got her, now I'm trying to combat the fleas before they become a major problem, she also had a couple of ticks, not sure if those came with her or if she picked them up outside.

I'm researching natural flea remedies, I have a couple of the things I've read about, namely rosemary and orange oil. I'll try making a tea from a handful of rosemary needles, and adding a dash of orange oil, I'll put this in a spray bottle and treat the dog, and spray the area where she sleeps, it's the only carpeted place in the house too. I have some tea tree oil too, but that is so strong smelling, I'll not add that right away, I'll reserve it for a later addition.

She just peed on her bed, it's something that she has been "taught" not to do by keeping her in a cage for too long of a time. But, as soon as she did it, she looked up at me with the most pitiful look in her eyes, she knew it didn't please me, her head was down and her eyes were sad. So that is a step in the right direction, and it's entirely my fault for not keeping a good enough eye on her, I thought she might be looking for a spot, I asked her if she wanted to go outside, that was seconds after she cut loose on her bed. I wiped her bed with vinegar, I have noticed that she doesn't go back to the spots where I have wiped with vinegar, so for now I'll keep that up.

I just got the OK for the name Zoe from PB, so Zoe it is.



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

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She's Staying

It would seem that our addition to the family has become permanent, we still don't have a name for her yet, nothing has popped up that seemed right for her, so for now we have been calling her dog or puppy. I have been trying very hard to not call her "baby girl", that is the name of my dad's dog, I used to call Pekoe baby girl, made it interesting when my dad and his dog came to visit, so I'll have to come up with another "pet name" for my new baby.

Our challenge for now is potty training, the poor thing spent so many months in a small kennel/cage with another dog, they stayed in this cage for most of the day, and probably overnight too, the previous owner worked and had to keep them caged up, that caused them to overcome the natural tendency to not potty in the place where they sleep. This dog will pee on the bed we have for her, then go right back and lay in it, that isn't even counting her peeing on anything that is laying on the floor, my dirty clothes, rugs, the socks I just took off, anything that is on the floor seems to be fair game to her. We have gone through 3 loads of towels because of having to mop up after her. We have been taking her outside 2-3 times an hour and really REALLY praising her when she "goes" outside.

Today I caught her in the process of peeing on the floor, I tapped her backside with my fingers just hard enough push/move her a bit, not hard enough to hurt her, just enough to surprise her and disrupt what she was doing right then, and said "NO", she stopped and I immediately took her outside, she finished out there, looking sheepishly at me, I praised her so much for "going" outside. It's getting better, but we still have a long way to go. I have started removing free access to water in the evening, that makes it easier to keep her from peeing on the floor overnight when we are in bed asleep.

We are also practicing a few commands, mainly "come here", that one is so important out here, I need her to stop whatever she is doing and come directly to me when I call her, and she needs to come close enough that I touch her, no use in her staying just out of reach, I need to be able to put my hands on her. The other command is "in the house", anytime we are outside, and it's time to go inside, I say "in the house" and that means just what it is, the idea is to get her going in the right direction when it's time to go inside.

She is a smart dog, and I think she is catching on pretty quickly. Now to figure out a name...

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oh Know, What Now...

Well it seems that we have a new member of the family. This wasn't what either of us wanted but life had other ideas... I wanted to get a female long hair chihuahua later this spring or summer, and I still might do it.

This afternoon, PB went to one of our friend's house up the street to help him with some tires. I stayed home in anticipation of going over to my friend's house, the lady I am a caretaker for. I was talking to my friend on the phone when PB got back, as he was coming up the stairs to the front door, he was talking baby/puppy talk to something at the bottom of the steps, he was trying to get whatever this was to come up the steps into the sky castle. I hung up and went to the door to see what was going on. There were two small dogs running around at the bottom of the steps.

It turned out that the friend PB went to help had some dogs from a family member who was moving and couldn't take the dogs, they were at risk of going to a shelter and being euthanized (in another town). PB decided he would take them instead. We were told that they were both puppies, well, one of them is definitely a puppy, white with black spots and rambunctious as they come, she peed on the floor at least 5-6 times in the first hour. The other dog is supposed to be a puppy too, but I suspect she is quite a bit older than a puppy, perhaps 3-5 years old, though I could be entirely wrong, she might be younger but I doubt it, she is a lot calmer, didn't pee all over the place, I called our friend and told him we MIGHT keep the calm one, but the other one had to go. We did wash both of them, they needed it so bad, they stunk very badly, mostly of urine and dirt. I had to wash both of them 2X, and even though I've washed them and they smell so much better, they still have an odor, I'll have to wash the one we kept again in a day or two.

So now it's just the one dog, she appears to be a maltese-terrier mix, white with ginger/cinnamon on her rump and ears and a little dark area around one eye, her ears are half erect, docked tail and longish hair. She seems to be in pretty good shape, she does need to put on a little weight, but her stance is good, she walks good, has good teeth and best of all, she doesn't seem to be a barker, in fact I have only heard her growl once, and squeak a couple of times.

Both of these dogs have been kept in a kennel/cage most of their lives, they clearly have never worn a collar or used a leash, never mind being potty trained... I think this dog is a pretty good match for us, we will keep her at least until Monday and see how things go. I'm sure the white and black puppy will most likely end up in our local animal shelter, fortunately that one is a no-kill shelter. If the one we kept turns out to not be a good match, (and so far it looks like it might be), then she will have to go to the shelter with the other dog. But for now, she seems to be a pretty good fit for us, very calm, no barking, and I'm sure we can potty train her.










She has really attached herself to PB, he is taking her out with him each time he goes out, and she is already figuring out when he is about to go out. We worried that we would have to keep her on a leash, at least for a while when we take her out, she wanted to leave the first two times she was outside without a leash. When I took her out on a leash, she clearly hadn't used one before, but was much better with it than the other dog. She is a lot more calm now that the other dog is gone too. She is still a bit apprehensive, her life has taken a big turn and she still isn't sure what is going on, but she has eaten, and is drinking from a water bowl just fine, while she isn't exactly what I wanted in a dog, being a calm dog is going a long way toward making me want to keep her.

We haven't named her yet, I was thinking something like Ginger or Cinnamon because of her coloring, I even thought of Cinnabun (or Cinnabutt, or Cinnabum) because of the cinnamon color of her hind end. :)

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lots-o-stuff goin' on

Life's been keeping me pretty busy, here's an update on what's been going on....

The Bug (Bug#1) has been having brake problems, I've gotten pretty good at driving around with very little brakes, the tricks are keep it slow, use first gear to go down hills and the emergency brake still works, oh and always keep an eye out for a place where I can drive the bug off the road if I can't stop in time to prevent a collision. PB has been tirelessly working on the brakes, first he took them apart to see what the problem was, we ended up having to order a master cylinder, those sure look funny on a Bug, not like any other master cylinder I've ever seen before. They ranged from $25 to $100+, as you can probably guess, we ordered the cheapest one, we received it in about a week. Once we had that, then PB discovered other issues, had to order brake lines, fortunately all of this ordering I was able to do through Amazon.com and since I have an affiliate account with them, and many of you, my wonderful readers click on my Amazon.com links and make purchases, I have enough credit to be able to order these things without it coming out of my pocket. I have another way I earn Amazon.com credits, if you are interested, check this out, it's free and it works, click here to learn more.

I have back brakes but no front brakes right now, just waiting for the other parts to come in, should be sometimes in the next day or two, for now PB just put everything back together so I can drive where I need to go, it's a little challenging, I let everyone know that I essentially have no brakes so don't stop in front of me :)

Next item, I'm still using the Periogen and the other calcium therapy products in my mouth, so far so good, I'm still happy with the results, the tartar is dissolving, even between my molars where I can't get at them to scrape them, so I KNOW it's the Periogen doing the work. I'm averaging using the Periogen about 4 times a week, I know if I would just remember to use it everyday, the tartar would be coming off even faster... I also feel like my teeth and gums are getting healthier.

Next item, I'm going to be in the Easter music program at church, they didn't ask me to head this one, and for that I'm grateful, I would have had to say no, I just don't have the time any more to be in charge of those things. A friend of mine is heading it and I'm helping, she picked out the music we are going to sing, I found the music on line so we can practice, I'm also burning copies of the music onto CDs for everyone so they can practice at home if they want to. I'm really having to work to make time to go to the practices, but I didn't want to let my friend or my church down, and it's fun too, can't complain about that. :)

Dinner, tonight I'm making something I haven't made in a long time, I don't have a name for it, I take those little red potatoes, I cook them whole, I'm cooing them in my pressure cooker, I don't cook them all the way done, just most of the way done, then I cut them in half, scoop out most of the insides, mash the part I took out, add butter, milk, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese salt, pepper and an egg, then I refill the potato shells with the filling, pop them in the oven to heat through and brown. They are really good and pretty easy to do.

I had a stroke of good luck, or something like that. Last October, toward the end of the month, I had ordered a replacement MP3 player, my old one had developed a problem with the headphone jack, it had a short in it, if I held the jack just right I could hear, but if I let it go, the sound was horrible if any sound came through at all. So my new player, just a few months old suddenly developed this same problem a couple of nights ago. I think I know why it's happening, I listen to it when I go to bed at night, I put it under my pillow, I think I'm putting pressure on it when I turn over, and that must be what's causing this problem. I checked the warranty and it's just slightly out of warranty, they have a 90 day warranty on MP3 players. I checked and they don't sell this model any more, and I REALLY like this one, I didn't want to change to a different model or brand.

I took a chance and called the customer service number anyhow, I hoped that maybe they would fix it even if I had to pay a little for it. I talked to a very nice gentleman whom I could understand, that is very important to me, you can have an accent but I want to be able to hear and understand you. He told me that since it was purchased close to the Christmas holidays, they extended the warranty period and I fell in that period. YEAH, all I have to do is mail it back to them with a $6.00 money order to cover shipping, and I'll get another MP3 player, they don't repair them, they just send out another one. I asked about the older model I had with the same problem, I was hoping they could do something about that one, but since they don't repair them, and this one is so far out of warranty, there was nothing they could do. Oh well, I might try to figure out how to take that one apart and see if I can fix it myself. I spent a little time deleting everything off of my player, mostly audiobooks, podcasts and a little music.

Oh and speaking of ordering from Amazon.com, I finally had to replace the filter elements on my Berkey Light water purifier, I have had them in use for a LOT longer than they say you can, I have kept them clean though the last 6 months, I've been almost afraid to take it apart to clean them, I was worried that they might begin to fail and I wouldn't have anything to replace them with at that point. I know that there have been issues with the black elements, failing on the first use right out of the package, there have been multiple complaints about that, I had a problem with my first set, it appeared that one of the elements had been dropped, it worked at first, then failed later. A set my dad purchased for himself failed right out of the box too. I had contacted the company about it and they assured me that the issue had been addressed, it had to do with how they were glued to the base. I still had doubts though, I knew they probably fixed the problem but I didn't know how many potentially problem units were still sitting in warehouses waiting to be sent out to customers.

I decided to purchase the (2) British Berkefeld 9" Replacement Ceramic Water Filters for Big Berkey, I checked and it turned out they would fit in my Berkey Light unit, they are almost too tall, the top of the filter comes right to the top of the water level in the unit. They don't require priming like the black elements do, and you have to pour off the first 2 runs of water, that's OK, I did it overnight after pouring the clean water into a clean pitcher for use the next morning.

When I had contacted the Berkey people about the problem, I asked if the other filter unit would work in the Berkey, they didn't recommend it only because it doesn't last as long, but I figured at half the price, I didn't mind if it didn't last as long, my water is very clean going in, the only reason I filter it in the first place is because I store my water in a big plastic tank, I don't want to drink or cook with that water straight from the tank.

So, that's all that has been going on for now. Hope everyone is doing well, it's almost garden time, woohoo!

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!