Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve!

Got another round of snow today - 10 inches. Five more on the way tomorrow. What a winter. Why do all the storms fall on weekends or holidays? I sure am getting gyped out of some good snow days! So unfair.

I shoveled a path around my garden - so the dogs can run circles around the yard. They were thrilled and spent most of the morning running at top speed. I also put a couple poles across the snow banks for some "winter agility".

Watching their Daddy plow the driveway.

Here is a video of Oreo running from Misty. It's hard to see Misty, as Oreo is way ahead of her for most of the time! He's got that youth thing going for him. Have to give kudos to Misty for even trying to keep up with him. Warning: video may cause dizziness.
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Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year's eve. Jeff and I will be eating lobster and staying in. I'll probably be sound asleep by 9:30.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

move over choppers...

On Christmas day, my Dad showed Jeff his childhood Lionel train set. What is it with men and train sets? Just being near a train set, instantly transforms grown men into kids in a candy shop.

OK, I'll admit, my Dad's trains are really cool. I loved playing with them when I was a kid. He has some cars that actually do things - like the milk man who puts the bottles of milk on the platform. My favorite.

Jeff was impressed by the heft of the control box. He loves how all the cars are made of metal, not plastic. Nothing is made in China. In fact, it is made in NY. Jeff loves the history of the train set, and could picture my Dad setting it up with my Paki in their dining room. Jeff wants to get it up and running, so that he can pass it on to Theo and Miles when they are old enough to appreciate the trains and their history.

Jeff brought the boxes of trains to our house, to see if he could get them up and running. He set up a small circle of track, put the engine on the track, and it was off and running. He called me down to the basement to check it out. I had to get down on the ground to take in a good whiff of the train. The smell brought me right back to being ten years old. There was a button on the controller that Jeff didn't know what it was for. To my own amazement, I remembered that if you pressed it once, the train stops, press it again and the train goes backward. I knew the big button was the train's whistle.

Since then, Jeff has done nothing but search ebay for tracks, and other train accessories.

At first, he was going to set up a track near the ceiling of his room, and have the train go around the room. After seeing the train, he now has bigger ambitions, involving several sheets of plywood.

Where to put it? Move over choppers, there's a new obsession in the basement.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ghetto Agility 101 - part 2

Oreo and I have been practicing our hallway agility course for a week now. He is a really fast learner. When I say, "Let's go do 'gility", Oreo runs to the hallway. Oreo will now jump 7 inches high, go thru the tunnel, follow me to a bedroom, "look at me", sit and stay for five seconds and then we reverse. He does this sequence with about 80% accuracy, without treats. It is amazing!

Getting Oreo to sit for five seconds, the legal requirement in agility competitions, without feeding him treats has been our greatest accomplishment. He just learned that today, and has already mastered it. Jeff was very impressed when I showed him. Oreo has never been very obedient about sitting unless I had food in my hand. So, to see him sit and stay while I counted to five is huge!

I often find Oreo "practicing" on his own, by going in and out of the tunnel. He loves it.

Still waiting for the agility kit to arrive - where is it already? I am very anxious to start training Oreo on the weave poles. The snow is almost melted, and will probably be all gone by the end of the weekend. If the yard wasn't a giant mud pit, we could set it up outside.
All the research says that shelties need a job, due to their high intelligence and history of being herding dogs . Only the border collie is smarter than the sheltie. Hopefully, agility will become Oreo's new job, and he will finally retire from chewing furniture.

Here is a video of our hallway agility. Unfortunately, there is no sound - so pretend you can hear me saying, "jump, tunnel, over here, look at me, sit, stay, tunnel, etc..." Oreo usually runs this course much faster, but I was trying to slow him down so the camera could keep up. The faster he goes, the more excited he gets, which results in a lot of jumping up and down at the end.

I love how Misty kind of follows along, as long as she can avoid the tunnel!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Old memories lead to new ones

It was a year ago today, that we had Munchkin put to sleep. It seems as though so much time has passed, but the memories of those last days are still fresh. The pain can resurface when I least expect it. Choosing to put your dog to sleep can be the best gift you ever give to a pet, especially when they are suffering from chronic pain. Doing so, however, toys with your emotions. How can we ever know it was the right time? For a long time, my heart doubted my decision, even though my brain told me it was the right thing to do.

Every Christmas, Munchkin would plop himself down in my mom's kitchen, right in front of the oven. He could smell the beef cooking, and knew "the food lady" would soon be sneaking him meat and filling up his bowl with beef and buttered toast. That was Munchkin's last meal.

This year, my shy Misty, took Munchkin's spot in the kitchen. You can see where dogs' true loyalties lie - in their bellies.

Munchkin watching the "food lady"

Munchkin would always sleep on my pillow, or curled up next to me under the covers. Recently, Oreo has taken over that spot at night. Oreo curls himself up in a ball, snuggles up, and lets out a big sigh. Heaven.

During the last few weeks of Munchkin's life, he had difficulty walking on our vinyl and wood floors. He was in too much pain to hold his legs up on the slippery surfaces. He would fall and then couldn't get up. Jeff went out and bought lots of carpet runners, so Munchkin wouldn't fall so much. Now, I will be using those runners to help Oreo get better traction while using our indoor agility course. Oreo is learning so quickly, and I feel like our bond has grown so much since we started agility just a few days ago.

I hope someday my bond with Oreo will be as strong as the one I had with Munchkin. Munchkin was so in tune with my emotions. He watched and studied me. There was so much trust between us. He always knew when I was coming home, even if I had been gone for a few days. I gave Munchkin the best life that I could, and he enriched my life in so many ways. Munchkin was great with kids, the elderly, and everyone in between. Munchkin would sit at my Babci's feet while she crocheted, and Babci would sneak him crackers. Munchkin let kids grab his ears and yank on his fur. Munchkin made me the crazy "dog person" that I am. He was the best.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!

Here's to a safe, peaceful and fun Christmas!

Oreo has lots of presents, on top of his crate. No tree this year, as I am sure Oreo would have eaten all the ornaments! His best present will be arriving late this year. Check out what I just ordered for him (me):

I'm sure when it gets here, Jeff will say, "I could have made that". Then, he will get to work making me more jumps and inevitably start selling them on Ebay.

I also ordered a 9 foot long tunnel. Oreo loves his 3 foot cardboard tunnel, so I am anxious to see how he feels about a really long one, which is also bendable.

Today, Oreo's sole obsession will be all the kielbasa and golumbki smells in the kitchen. I almost lost the kielbasa to Oreo's high jumping ability when I had my back turned for 2 seconds. I heard the leap up, and Oreo was almost able to grab it off the counter, before I yelled, "No". Considering the fact that I had to try 3 stores before I was able to find the kielbasa, it could have been disastrous.

Right now, Oreo is barking at the stationary broom in the bathroom - just waiting for it to move. Do you think this dog needs an outlet for his energy? That agility kit can't come soon enough!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Oreo!

Happy 1st Birthday Oreo!!!

Can't believe how much you've grown!
Here's to many healthy, happy years of balls, jerky, chases, running, jumping, attacking the vacumm, singing, digging, hiding, etc.

Ghetto Agility 101

Since the dog walking thing has become a thing of the past, due to weather and killer dogs, I have begun looking for other means to exercise my dogs. Oreo has learned to jump, so I decided to try training him for agility.

For the past two days, I have set up what my students would call a "ghetto" agility course in my hallway. Instead of a fancy, retractable tunnel, I have an opened up cardboard box. Instead of a sturdy PVC jump, I have some cardboard boxes holding up a swiffer broom. Thank goodness we order everything on line, which provides an endless supply of cardboard in all shapes and sizes.

I set the jump up across the whole hallway, so that the dogs have no choice but to jump if they want to get down the hall. I have it low enough so they can't crawl under it. This seems to be working. Both Oreo and Misty have done countless "jumps". Whether they are doing it because I am telling them to is highly questionable. The fact that I have jerky in my pocket may also be a motivator. Regardless, I get excited when I say "jump" and they do.

The tunnel is a little trickier. I couldn't get a box as wide as the hallway, so I have to be a little more diligent about my commands. It took about ten times, and Oreo will now "tunnel" on command about 50% of the time. 100% of the time if I put a treat in the tunnel. I am so proud when I say "tunnel" and Oreo goes right to the box and walks through.

Misty, on the other hand, is terrified of the tunnel, and will only go through if I push her. Oreo waits on the other side of the box with his head peeking in, like "Come on Misty, it's fun, go through the box."

When Oreo jumps on command, and then follows with an immediate "tunnel", I get really excited. This is the dogs' favorite part. I jump up and down, and sing their praises in a really high voice (which I am sure would be highly annoying to all of you). They lavish in my love and jump all over me.

We may never be ready for competition, but it sure is fun. Can't wait to start on the weave poles...hmmm...maybe some ski poles would work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

good news

Woke up to some pretty snow this morning. I love it when it sticks to the tree branches. It always makes everything seem so peaceful and quiet.

I brought Oreo to the vet today for his recheck. Oreo now has a clean bill of health. His wounds are healing nicely, and we just have to finish another week of antibiotics. Getting him to take that is a challenge. I try hiding it in food, but he is on to me. He eats the food and leaves the pill behind. Even the ol' standby of peanut butter isn't working for him.

There were tons of dogs, of all sizes, at the vet, because all the employees were having a group photo taken, with all their pets. Oreo did a little low growling at the big dogs, but no barking. So, I saw that as a positive sign. Misty went nose to nose with the dogs, but made sure to keep the rest of her body as far away as possible for a quick escape. She does the same thing with people, so I think she is fine.

Now, I just wait for a check from the owners of the attack dogs....

Today, would have been Munchie's 15th birthday! Happy birthday Munch!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

instinct or brilliance?

It was warm enough today to actually stay outside for more than 60 seconds. When I got home from school, I brought Oreo's ball outside and started throwing it for him out in the snow. I have a large area of the yard shoveled, to make it easier for the dogs to get around.

Now, I have never been good at any sport involving throwing, catching, or hitting balls. In gym class, I would always set myself as far away from any flying objects as possible. Even then, I almost always ended up getting hit by the ball while trying to avoid having to catch it.

Today, I tried to keep Oreo's ball in the shoveled part of the yard, but of course some throws went astray into the thick snow. When that happened, Oreo would run for the ball, hit the big snow bank, and then look at me, as if to say, "Do I really want the ball bad enough to plow through this snow bank?" Then, I saw him do something amazing (at least to me, being the proud mother).

Instead of jumping into the snow, Oreo would get his belly on top of the snow bank, and then crawl across the top of the snow. He is light enough, that with his body weight evenly dispersed, he didn't sink into the snow at all. Now, as far as I know, Oreo has never taken a physics course. How did he know to use his whole body to scoot across the top of the snow? Other, dumber, dogs (and most people) would simply jump through the snow. My dog found a better way. Is it instinct, or brilliance?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

my good girl

Misty is my "good child". Misty does whatever I ask, never gives me any back talk, eats whatever I give her, has never been seriously ill or injured, and gives me hugs and cuddles whenever I need one. I tell Oreo to sit, he ignores me, but Misty sits obediently. I call Oreo, he ignores me, but Misty comes promptly. She doesn't chew anything but her toys. I can leave her off a leash, and know she will not stray too far from my side. Misty is a perfect dog. Loyal, sweet, docile, beautiful, tolerant, yet she knows how to have a good time.

I got Misty a few months after Munchkin was attacked. I had spent so much time at our vet, that when a woman was looking for a good home for her shelties, the vet knew I would be a good person to call. The minute I saw Misty prancing around our yard, I knew I had to have her. It was a little rocky for the first few days, but Munchkin took to her, or at least tolerated her presence. Misty adored Munchkin, although she was jealous of him at times. She was always pushing Munchkin to the side whenever I would pay attention to him. This earned her the nickname, "tank".

When Munchkin died, I don't know how I could have gotten through that sad time without Misty. She was hurting too, but her cuddles and enthusiasm when I came home each day made the pain a little easier. I didn't have to come home to a dogless house. That would have been heart wrenching for me. I am lost at home without a dog. It doesn't happen often, but when both dogs are at the vet I don't know what to do with myself. I guess that's how Misty felt when Munchkin died. Misty would wail and cry when we would go to work. She was so lonely without her brother.

Bringing Oreo into the house was a huge adjustment for Misty. She had a meltdown, and had to spend the day at the vet. That was the only big vet bill she has had, so far. After a couple weeks, she settled down, and learned to love her new brother. Misty plays with him and doesn't cry when we go to work anymore. She also keeps Oreo in line. My little babysitter.

Oreo is in love with Misty, just like Misty loved Munchkin. I often think Oreo loves Misty more than he loves me. I worry about how he will react when she dies. I worry about me too. How will I cope without my reliable, velcro dog?

Although Misty is my "good child", she has always played second fiddle to her brothers. Forever the middle child, never getting as much attention as her older or younger brother. She never got the good spot on the couch or bed when Munchkin was around. Oreo is so demanding of my time, that I sometimes feel I am neglecting Misty.

Munchkin was my heart dog. Oreo is my baby. Misty is my good girl, and she is probably the best dog I will ever have.

more snow

Here is a photo of the dogs first things this morning, during the snow/sleet part of the storm:

We didn't get as much snow as originally forecast - which is good for me since Jeff isn't here to snow blow for me.

Here is a video of the pups playing in the snow. As you can see Oreo isn't letting his injuries slow him down at all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

calm before the next storm

Really cold today. The dogs could only stay outside for a few minutes, before their paws started to hurt from the cold. They need to put their boots on in this weather. More snow on the way for tomorrow, and ice too.

Here are some photos of the dogs in the snow:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

one last walk

How could this happen again? I take my dogs for what I knew would be their last walk for several days, with two snow storms on the way. We walk less than half a mile, when a huge St. Bernard comes charging across a very busy road and immediately takes Oreo in his mouth. I screamed at the top of my lungs, hoping the owner would rush out and control his dog. Then, another St. Bernard comes charging out. I kick and hit the dogs, desperately trying to free my precious baby from this dog's mouth. The whole thing was surreal. I feared the worst. I was terrified that if I let go of Oreo's leash, he would take off and I might never see him again. In hind sight, maybe I should have let him go to give him half a chance against this huge beast. At one point, Oreo did break free from my grip, and took off, only to have the big dog catch up to him again.

Finally, the owner of the two dogs came out, and several cars stopped to help me. I started screaming numerous expletives at the owner, and explained to the bystanders that this has happened to me before. Oreo looked OK, but he was shaking and growling. A woman looked him over and didn't see any wounds, nor did I, but it was still dark out and hard to see much. I just wanted to get back home. So, I started walking the dogs and noticed Oreo was limping. I yelled to the owner that I would be coming to him if I had any vet bills.

I picked Oreo up and carried him all the way home.

I walked into the bedroom and told Jeff what happened. His first comment was, "I'll kill those dogs." His second comment, "Oh my God, you're covered in blood."

I looked down, and the entire front of my white jacket was now red.

We checked Oreo out in the light and saw he had a few puncture wounds under his hind leg. I put some gauze on it and we brought him to the vet.

The good news is, Oreo will be OK physically. Mentally, I'm not sure yet. I hope this attack doesn't break Oreo's carefree, happy spirit. At the vet, he was growling at the receptionist's sweet collie, which Oreo has never done before. The same thing happened with Munchie after his attack. Every time we went to the vet, Munchkin would bark his head off at the big dogs. I hope Oreo doesn't carry this with him for the rest of his life.

As for me, I'm not sure I will ever be able to walk my dogs again. Happens once, you consider it a fluke, twice, and I just can't trust anyone's dog.

Walking my dogs has always been one of the best parts of my day, and now it's been ruined because of a couple irresponsible dog owners.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a grain of salt

We woke up to an ice covered driveway yesterday. It was at least 1/4 inch thick. I had a two hour delay, but Jeff still had to get to work on time.
Jeff threw down all the bags of salt we had on our driveway, and hoped it would melt the ice before he had to leave.

No such luck. It didn't even make a dent.

Jeff ended up going out there with a garden shovel, and was able to pound away a few patches so we could at least get a few feet of traction as we made the slick ride down the hill into the road.

We both made it out without running into traffic. Jeff had a close call with the county snow plow. That could have been bad.

The temperatures didn't rise much during the day, so when I got home there was still a lot of ice on the driveway. Jeff decided to buy some more salt on his way home from work.

Jeff stopped at the hardware store near our house; a store we try to avoid. We sued the owner years ago when his dog bit me and practically killed my dog as we walked past his house. I hate to give him any of our money, but sometimes it's just easier to stop there, than drive the extra few miles to the Depot. It's also the only local place that sells chrome screws, which Jeff uses for his choppers. Jeff has literally bought over a thousand dollars worth of screws at the store. You pay big bucks for extra pretty screws and bolts.

To buy salt, you go inside and tell the cashier what size bags you want and how many. You pay, then bring your receipt outside where young, strapping boys load the bags in your car for you.

Jeff told the cashier he wanted five 50 pound bags of salt. He brought his receipt outside, and helped the boys load the bags in his truck. Jeff got inside his truck, and noticed the owner coming outside. The owner began yelling at the boys, and scolding them for not looking at the receipt and kept pointing at the cashier inside. Jeff could have driven away, but instead he rolled down his window and yelled to the owner, "Do you want to see my receipt?" The owner came over, looked at the receipt, which clearly stated that Jeff had purchased five 50 pound bags. The owner then said, "Oh, she told me you bought five 25 pound bags." Jeff said, "Can I go home now?"

What made the owner question the cashier about Jeff's purchase? I doubt he does that for every customer. He clearly thought Jeff was trying to get away with taking home more salt than what he paid for. I felt bad for the young boys, who got yelled at for doing nothing wrong. I hope the owner apologized to them, because he certainly didn't apologize to Jeff.

Ho, ho, ho.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Some years, it's just hard for me to get in the "holiday spirit", and I don't think I'm alone. Often, Christmas becomes "Stressmas."

One of my co-workers hands out new desk calendars every year to a bunch of teachers. As she hands each one out, she says, "There, you're done." She can't wait to get all the various presents out of her house and off to the receiver.

While, she may come across as being a Scrooge, I think we all kind of feel the same way at times. Buying Christmas gifts is just another thing added to our every growing To Do list. We want to find the perfect gift for everyone, and that's not always easy. Advertisements are constantly bombarding us with "perfect gifts" for those fantasy people with perfect lives.

Another co-worker asked me not to buy her a Christmas gift this year, because she can't afford to buy me one. She is certainly feeling like it's "stressmas". I never bought her a gift with the expectation of getting something in return, but I'm not going to give her one this year if it will make her feel bad that she couldn't reciprocate.

I see students wearing the same clothes everyday, and know there won't be lots of presents under their trees. How stressful for them to see their classmates return after the new year sporting all their new clothes, latest cell phones, and mp3 players. Even in my affluent high school, it was like a competition to see who had the most new outfits after Christmas.

The two weeks before Christmas break are often the worst two weeks of the school year. Expectations are running high. Kids see commercials and Christmas specials depicting perfect family holidays, when their family doesn't even come close. Many have absent fathers, parents addicted to drugs, little food, no heat, and health problems. The stress of it all leads to fights, defiance, and sadness. I try to keep their home lives in mind when the kids start acting out. It makes me feel a little less stressed about my life, when I put myself in their shoes for a moment. Many of them experience far more "Stressmas" than Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

how to sanitize a spoon

Someone hit my blog today by googling, "my spoon fell in the toilet how to sanitize it?"

They hit my site due to my blog about Oreo's orbee falling in the toilet, which I contemplated fishing out with a spoon.

I laughed when I saw what this person googled, but also felt kind of sorry for him/her. I wonder how the spoon fell in the toilet and how he/she fished it out.

My advice - throw the spoon out, or save it for guests you don't really like.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

scratch scratch

A few weeks ago, we began being awakened in the middle of the night. The bed was shaking, metal was clanging. No, it wasn't a train going by, it was our dogs scratching non stop. Their tags were clinking, their legs scratching furiously, and their teeth gnawing on their own skin. I would come home from work, and the living room would be covered with fur that had been removed by their toe nails from scratching so much.

Why were they scratching? I ruled out bugs, being it's November and freezing. No bug could survive. Misty has seasonal allergies in late summer, but all pollens are pretty much gone after a few hard frosts. Dry skin? Food allergy?

Off to google I go. Everything I read, said the primary culprit of dogs scratching is fleas. Well, I haven't had a dog with fleas since my first year with Munchkin. Plus, flea season is long gone. So, on to the second cause - allergies. Can't be seasonal allergies, but it could be food allergies. Dogs are allergic to all sorts of food, including wheat, corn, and even different types of meat.

I analyzed what new foods and treats I had been giving the dogs. I couldn't come up with any new ingredient that might be making both dogs scratch. Plus, most articles indicated that it would be very rare for two dogs in the same household to be allergic to the same thing.

I decided it had to be just dry skin, from the change in weather and the fact that we had finally decided to turn the heat on in the house.

I went to one of my favorite dog catalogs, and ordered some "skin and coat" vitamins and fresh salmon oil from Iceland. Both contain omega fatty acids, and are known to help dogs with allergies and skin problems. Unfortunately, they can take a month or so to become effective.

I resorted to giving Oreo Benadryl at night. This seemed to help a little, but it may have just been knocking him out, not helping his allergies. He still woke up at 4AM scratching. I've started calling Oreo, "Sas-scratch-iwan".

After a week on the fish oil, the dogs' coats were so shiny. I have never seen them looking so good. They loved the vitamins and fish oil on their food. I know the supplements are good for their overall health, but they didn't seem to be doing anything for their scratching.

Jeff was rubbing Oreo's belly one day, and found what he said was a flea. I was in disbelief. How could a flea survive this bitter cold? Had to be a fluke.

The next day, I was checking out Oreo's skin, and came across another creepy crawly. Then, I found one on Misty.

Yep, my dogs have fleas. In December. In Upstate New York.

Off to the cabinet for some flea control.

Another week has gone by, and the scratching has been greatly reduced as the fleas are slowly killed off. I've been vacuuming everything everyday and washing all the dogs' coats and bedding. I'm sure within a couple more weeks, we will have two scratch free dogs, and our vibrating bed will become stationary again.

Since I spent all that money on the fish oil and vitamins, I have continued giving it to the dogs. They like the taste and it's good for them.

Unfortunately, it seems to make their poop smell really good. Good enough for dogs to want to eat, especially when it's sat outside long enough to be frozen like a popsicle. Gross.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

vaseline, tabasco and toilet paper

I've been trying to give Oreo some more freedom, and time out of his crate when no one is home. Some days, he behaves like an angel. Some days, more like a devil.

Before I go to work, I exercise Oreo and play some games. I shut all the bedroom doors, and limit him to the living room and kitchen, which I try to dog proof as much as possible. I leave him plenty of dog friendly toys, many stuffed with yummy food. He eats those, but unfortunately Oreo seems to enjoy chewing on wood and electrical cords.

I have tried spraying the chew deterrents they sell in pet stores, such as bitter apple, on the furniture. Dogs are supposed to hate the taste. Unfortunately, Oreo likes the taste. I spray it, and he runs over to lick it all up. Yummy.

I did some googling for help. The sites said to find something the dog doesn't like and then apply that to the furniture. I know Oreo doesn't like green beans, but how could I adhere beans to wood and cords? Also, how would I keep Misty from eating the green beans - she likes them.

So, I put some cayenne pepper on a piece of cheese to see if Oreo would like it. He lapped it right up and came back for more. I needed something hotter. I squirted some Tabasco sauce on the cheese. He sniffed it, licked it, looked at me in horror, and then backed away. Yes! I found something he doesn't like.

Now, how to apply Tabasco sauce? I couldn't just pour it over everything in the living room.

I resorted to mixing it with Vaseline and then spreading it on all the furniture he has been chewing on. This is really kind of icky, and dog fur sticks to it readily. The room now has a tex-mex aroma whenever you walk in. Too bad it's Christmas time, rather than Cinqo de Maya.

The day after I applied the vaseline, I came home from work, inspected all the furniture, and found no bite marks! I lavished Oreo with praise and treats. Later as it began getting darker, I went to turn on the one living room light that hasn't had its cord chewed through, and nothing. Oreo had chewed right through the cord.

Jeff came home, and rewired all the lights. I spread my Vaseline concoction all over the cords.

I still wasn't convinced this would keep Oreo from chewing. So, when we went to work today, we left a roll of toilet paper on the floor. Dogs love toilet paper. Now, I'm sure no dog expert would recommend doing this. They would say we are teaching Oreo that chewing toilet paper is OK. Too bad. What do they know? I'd rather my dog eat toilet paper, than my lamp.

Well, I came home from work today. The lights are working, furniture is intact, and there was shredded toilet paper all over the living room. Mission accomplished.

For all you environmentalists reading, the toilet paper is made from recycled paper. Jeff and I tried to use it, but it was just too scratchy. I think we found a fabulous way to reuse it, rather than sending it to a landfill.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

don't be alarmed

Jeff came home from work the other day, stopped for a bit in the garage, and then came upstairs. The minute he stepped in the door, he said to me, "Don't be alarmed when you go in the basement."

Oh no, I thought, another dead mouse. Seeing one of those can give me nightmares for months. Even if I don't see it, just knowing Jeff put a carcass in the garbage can outside is enough to freak me out. The little critters dodge in when the garage door is open, and then can't get out. We have every nook and cranny filled with insulation to keep them from coming in. Unfortunately, they can't leave either. There are bite marks all over the seal on the bottom of the garage doors from them trying to gnaw their way out. Eventually they must conk out from starvation or dehydration.

I asked Jeff warily, "Why would I be alarmed?"

Jeff says, "Oh, there's another bike down there."

Doesn't he realize that I would never have even noticed another bike, let alone be "alarmed"? If he had only one bike, and then brought home another, I might notice. However, adding another to a collection makes it really easy to miss a newcomer. Hell, I came home from work the other day, parked my car in the garage, went upstairs and didn't even notice that Jeff was in the garage himself! He came upstairs an hour later wondering why I hadn't stopped to say hello. Honestly, I am so used to watching where I'm walking so I don't knock a bike over, that I had no idea he was even there.

snow dance

Oreo is doing his snow dance, in hopes of a snow day tomorrow, which means more "mommy time" for Oreo.
He'll be wearing his pj's inside out tonight.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

look ma, snow!

We had a dusting of snow overnight. I heard the plows going by, and was anxious to let Oreo out to see his reaction. It would be his first encounter with snow as a "real dog".

I did bring him out in the snow when he was a baby, but I don't think he remembers that. He was so scared of being outside' everything was just too new. Now that Oreo has made the backyard his territory, I knew this would be a special moment.

Usually, in the morning, Oreo runs right to his "pee spot", goes, and then comes charging back in the house for breakfast. Today, I opened the back door, and Oreo peered out. He noticed the snow right away. He ran down the ramp and began circling the yard with his nose to the ground. He either couldn't stand still long enough to pee, or forgot why he went out there in the first place. I think he has a little ADHD. Oreo ran over to poor Misty, who was trying to pee in privacy, and kept nudging her, as if to say "Look, there is cold, wet stuff all over the yard." He did a few more circles, and finally realized his bladder was calling. He peed. Did some more circles, then stopped to pee some more. Finally, he came charging back in the house to tell me all about it.

Can't wait to see him when we get some real snow tomorrow!

Friday, November 30, 2007

dog couch

Oreo has really learned to love the "dog couch". Notice dog slobber all over window from barking at UPS guy and his big brown truck. Also notice only one lamp functioning - cord is chewed through on its match.

Oreo has assumed Munchkin's favorite position. Best view in the house - Oreo can keep an eye on outsiders and insiders. The torch has been passed.

Although, Oreo still uses his dog bed for play breaks and bone chewing.

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Twenty three days until Oreo's first birthday!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

slice it thin please

Have you ever noticed that food tastes better when someone else cooks it for you?

Jeff made me some microwave popcorn the other day, and I swear it tasted so much better than when I make it for myself. How can this be? He cooked it in the same microwave, for the same amount of time. Is the taste really different, or is it the fact that I didn't have to get off the couch? Well, the microwave may have been warmer than usual, because Jeff forgot to take the plastic wrap off the first bag, so he had to cook another.

My Nannie would cut a peach up into lovely slices and serve it to me in a pretty bowl. Those peaches tasted better than any other peach I have ever had. Was it the peach, or the presentation that made the difference?

My Dad would always take all the seeds out of the watermelon, and cut it into bite-sized chunks for me. I don't eat watermelon anymore. Too much work to eat around those pesky seeds.

My mom (and I suspect my Nannie) insists that Stock's pound cake must be sliced very thin in order to get the optimum taste. I always feel I'm getting gypped out of some good frosting, but am glad I don't have to eat a big hunk of cake just to get to the frosting. Luckily, Jeff prefers the cake to the frosting, so I get to eat his. I've never had a thick piece of Stock's pound cake, but I'm sure it's not as good as a thin slice.

I remember my Mom always asking for lunch meat to be sliced "thin please" at the deli counter. When I first started buying lunch meat for myself I ordered it that way too, although I had no idea why it needed to be thin. Still not quite sure. Mom also insists that each piece of lunch meat be put on a sandwich individually. You can't just slap a pile of meat on the bread. Jeff agrees that it does taste better that way. He pretty much agrees with anything my mom says, when it comes to food. Any sandwich that I don't have to make tastes better to me.

Friday, November 23, 2007

lesson from the dogs

Woke up a little later than usual today, must have been all that yummy food I ate last night.

The dogs were raring to go as soon as I sat up in bed. Oreo was jumping up in the air to go outside to go potty, more jumping for his breakfast, and even more jumping when I put his leash on to take him for a walk.

After our walk, the dogs always run straight to our closed bedroom door, plow it open, and put their paws on the bed to wake Jeff. It's as if they want to tell him about their fabulous morning, and say "You're missing out on all the fun, get up!" Then, more jumping ensues until Jeff gets to the kitchen and gives both dogs a handful of cheerios. After their cheerios, Jeff sings a song with Oreo, and Misty barks along. Finally, off to the yard for some playtime.

Double click to see the chase:

At this crazy pre-holiday time, we are inundated with advertisements and commercialism. I receive at last 8 catalogs a day at this time of year. It always amazes me how many different products we can choose from. Today, people went shopping at 4 AM just to save a few dollars on some object that won't really make a difference in their life. It seems as though we are just adding more stress, to our already stressful lives, in the search for the perfect gift at the perfect price.

This morning, I looked down at my dogs' smiling up me, tails wagging with happiness. All I had given them was an open door, some food, a little exercise, a quick belly rub and they were absolutely thrilled. What's even more amazing is that we do the same routine everyday, and the dogs' excitement never wanes. Simple creatures, simple lives. As the Shakers said, "tis a gift to be simple..."

We could all learn a thing or two from dogs. Although, I think we should skip that whole butt smelling thing.

Double click to see the catch:

Thursday, November 22, 2007


It's Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for all the good things in your life. Yes, I'm thankful for all the things I should be thankful for - family, friends, health, etc. That's a given.

I am also thankful for:

  • my blog "regulars" , who read what I write on a semi daily basis

  • people sending me emails saying you liked what I wrote, how it made you laugh, or how you could relate to my story; those emails mean a lot

  • all you complete strangers who google, "why cant my dog jump", it makes me feel good to know I'm not the only person with dog jumping issues; sorry I couldn't help the person googling "what animal can jump over a house"

  • all the googlers with mole issues, glad to know I'm not alone in my quest to conquer the mole; I'm wondering if the person who googled "pictures of laughing lawn moles" ever found one, I'd like to see it

  • my dogs, students, and poor Jeff who provide endless material and help keep writer's block at bay

  • complete strangers who annoy me (it doesn't take much), thus providing me with additional material

  • my editor in chief, you know who you are, it's impossible to write well without your help; no one would guess I was an English major

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanks Mom, for cooking the turkey and all the fixings! I wouldn't know where to begin, and I'm sure I would need several glasses of wine to get through the process without having a nervous breakdown (aka temper tantrum).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the hunt is on

I've woken up to the sound of gun shots the past few mornings, a sure sign that deer hunting season has begun. Jeff told me not to wear tan clothes when I took the dogs out for a walk. Some people, on "the hunt", will shoot at almost anything that moves.

My first public school teaching job was in a rural community. On the first day of hunting season, the school was a virtual ghost town. Many students took the day off to go hunting. They didn't understand why school wasn't actually closed for the "holiday". Driving to work was a little scary during the first few days. Men would park their pick ups on the side of the road, sit in their truck with their gun pointed out the window, waiting to shoot a deer in the fields by the road. I'm sure this is illegal, but the cops either looked the other way or they were the ones doing the "hunting".

People who hunt are excited when they "get their deer", especially if it is a big one with antlers. This is a concept I just don't understand. I could fathom people killing an animal, if the person was starving and there was no other food source available. All the people I know who hunt have access to numerous grocery stores, so why hunt? An argument, I often hear, is the need to keep the deer population down.

Is deer overpopulation really causing us more problems than human overpopulation? I don't think so. Deer aren't contributing to global warming. If we stopped tearing down forests to build our mcmansions, the deer wouldn't be invading "our neighborhoods."

Some hunters say it's a "sport". Aiming a rifle at a huge animal, who has no defence, besides its 4 legs, doesn't seem like much of a sport to me. Deer are some of the most passive creatures on earth. I see deer up close all the time, and they just look at me for a while and then go back to what they were doing. I could kill all of them very easily, if I knew how to fire a gun. The only real threat to us is a good deal of damage to our car if we run into one on the road. Yes they eat our plants, but is that a reason to kill them?

My favorite hunting stories are the ones where a deer gets angry and charges at the hunter. I say, good for the deer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

christmas presents

If anyone is still looking for a christmas present for me, I'd like two of these:

And one of these:

They are all Oreo's half siblings, so it's only fair that they all be together. They're family!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

if you're a dog

This is what happens when you leave a puppy unattended in the backyard for 10 minutes:

I'm not sure how this happened. I know he dug a hole, so maybe he tried to bury his head?

The mud didn't seem to faze Oreo. I think he prefers to stay dirty and play chase with Misty.

Here is Misty trying to shave off some time by going in front of the garden, while Oreo takes off behind the garden:
My old girl Misty is still able to catch the youngster, and bring him down for the tackle:

It doesn't get any better than this, if you're a dog that is.

Monday, November 12, 2007

oops, I forgot...

I went to Target this morning with a bunch of coupons. At the checkout, I made sure to put the coupons right near the register, so the cashier would see them. I also pointed them out to her.

I learned to do this from past experiences. Once the cashier hits "total" and it is sent off into cyber space for credit card approval, there is no changing anything. I once spent 10 minutes at the register, while the girl tried, unsuccessfully, to enter my gift card after hitting "total". Apparently, there is no "escape" or "undo" or "back" button. I had to wait until my next trip to Target to use the gift card. That time, I made sure to hand it to the cashier before she began ringing up my stuff.

There really should be a sign hanging to explain this. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has had this happen.

I thought I was ready this time and took all the necessary steps to make sure I got my discount.

After scanning all my items, the cashier hit "total", and then said, "Oops, I forgot your coupons." She began hitting buttons, to no avail. She called over the manager, who told her what to do to get the machine to give me my money back. The cashier said, "Oh, that's easy." The manager walked away.

Not so easy. She just couldn't figure it out. The cashier told me I would have to go to customer service, and they would give me cash for the coupons.

I glanced over at customer service, and saw a line. I told the cashier, "I'm not going over there to wait in a line, I already waited here."

Her response, "It will take the same amount of time for me to figure this out, as it will for you to walk over there and wait."

Hmmm. She may be right, but that's not the response I expected.

Frustrated, I walked over to customer service. After a short wait, I met with the manager again. She said, "Oh, she wasn't able to figure it out?" No, that's why I'm here. She asked,"Did she give you any cash back?" No, that's why I'm here.

After she pushed a bunch of buttons, I finally got my $5.05, but no apology, no "sorry for the mix up."

I try and be patient. There's a reason why these people work at Target. Its better for them to mess up at Target, than at a hospital. However, it shouldn't be this complicated to use a coupon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'll take it

Yesterday, a guy, "Jim", came over to look at Jeff's "just in case motorcycle". The bike is 10 years old, but has only 600 miles and is in showroom condition.

I could hear Jeff describing the bike to Jim. Jeff had his "salesman voice" on, which is a really amazing talent. Jim said he didn't really like the color scheme of the bike, a complaint I had shared. The colors are real "girly" - purple, yellow and even some pink. Jeff had already formulated a way around that hurdle. Jeff sold it as being the "in colors" of the early nineties, so it's practically vintage. Plus, the colors are really easy to change. Jeff went on and on, "selling" the bike. Jeff sold so hard, that Jim said, "Why would you sell such a great bike?"

Luckily, Jeff always has a way around that question - just look around the garage. All he has to say is "my wife says I need to get rid of some bikes." Not that I've ever said that, but I don't mind him using me as an excuse. It always makes the buyer feel like he is getting a great deal.

Jeff suggested that Jim take the bike on a test drive up the road. Jeff gave instructions to just go to the end of the road, and come back, otherwise he might end up lost. It gets rural real fast around here. Go half a mile up the road and there are cows, sheep and horses and not much else in the way of landmarks.

Jim drove off, beeping along the way. He was clearly excited to be on this great, showroom condition, nineties vintage bike.

Jeff had me come outside and sit in Jim's car - a Mini Cooper. I've been thinking about my next car and the mini is on my list. He said Jim would take me for a ride when he gets back from his test drive.

It was getting cold, so I went back in the house. I wrapped some Christmas presents. Sorted some laundry. Started making dinner.

Jim still wasn't back. I went down to the basement to suggest Jeff go look for him, but saw Jeff had already thought the same thing.

Eventually, Jeff came back. He too thought Jim had gotten lost, but had had no luck finding him. Jim didn't know our phone number, address, or even our last name to look it up in the phone book. It was getting dark and cold real fast. Jeff said, "Well, at least we have the Mini."

Finally, about an hour later, Jeff sees a bike coming up the road and it turned into our driveway. Jim takes his helmet off and says, "I'll take it!"

I could hear Jim describing how he got lost, and had to ask a cop for directions. He couldn't believe how desolate it was out here. Jeff noticed Jim leaning against the side of the bike in a strange way. Jeff gave the bike a second glance and noticed there was some damage. Jeff asked him, "Did you put the bike down?" He had. Luckily, he was not hurt, or at least didn't admit it.

Once Jim left, Jeff came up for dinner, and said, "He's buying it, whether he wants to or not. So much for my showroom condition bike."

After dinner, Jeff said that he was going to the basement for a few minutes. I know this usually means an hour or two. I heard lots of power tools turning on and off, and it didn't take me long to figure out what he was doing.

Jeff was fixing the damage on the bike. When he finally came back upstairs, I told him he shouldn't have done that. It's not his fault the guy put the bike down. No dealership would have done that. I thought he was being much too nice.

I must have forgotten who I was talking to. Jeff had called Jim, and told him he fixed the damage, but for a price. Of course Jim agreed to pay, and thanked him for making the bike look like new again.

So, Jeff ended up making a few extra bucks on the deal.


I never did get my ride in the mini.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

glove abyss

Gloves and mittens are much like socks, you often can find only one out of a pair.

Its getting cooler now, and I need gloves to wear on my morning walks. I have several pairs of gloves. Gloves for cool weather, gloves for wet weather, leather gloves, etc. I am missing one of my dog walking gloves and one of my shoveling gloves. I looked everywhere, and decided they are gone for good. Gone into the missing glove and sock abyss, only to be found when you have finally thrown out its match.

Instead of throwing out the single gloves, I gave one to Oreo - lover of all things made of fabric.

Oreo was very excited about his new "toy". He carried the glove around in his mouth for about 2 hours. I tried to get Oreo to play with his orbee outside, but he refused to put down the glove. Instead, he began roaming the yard with glove in mouth, and started digging some holes.

Since Oreo didn't want to play, I decided to pick up some leaves out of my gardens.

At one point, I was coming into the backyard and saw Oreo filling a hole. He was using his nose and paws to push dirt around. I noticed the glove was no where to be found. Oreo had buried it.

I have seen dogs bury bones in cartoons, but have never had a dog do it in real life. Oreo has put things in his holes, but I never witnessed him filling the hole back up with dirt.

Was the glove so special that he had to hide it? Will he ever dig it back up? Are my other gloves also in the dirt outside?

I am going to remember where Oreo hid this one. Just in case, when I'm planting some flowers next spring, I happen to dig up its match.

naptime on the "dog couch"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

who does that?

I was driving home from work today and saw a couple walking a golden retriever and a tiny chocolate lab puppy. The golden retriever kept looking at the puppy with a smile on his face, as if to say "Where have you been all my life? It is so great to have a buddy to walk with." The puppy was bouncing along, with typical Lab curiosity and dumbness. My heart just swelled up seeing two, completely happy dogs.

On an impulse, I stopped my car in the middle of the road, got out and went gaga over all that chocolaty sweetness. I just had to get my hands on the puppy. The dog walking couple just kept laughing. Either they thought it was funny, or I completely freaked them out and they were laughing out of nervousness.

Then, I began to notice there were some cars waiting behind my car. It's a narrow road, and between my car, myself, the couple and their 2 sweet dogs, I was causing a traffic jam. No one beeped their horn or did any rude hand gestures, they just waited patiently. All these people must have thought I was completely nuts.

I quickly got back in my car, and giggled the rest of the way home; thinking to myself what a weirdo I am. Who stops their car to interact with strangers' dogs?

I do.

I wonder if there is treatment available for the inability to control oneself in the presence of a puppy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

puppy milestones

A big milestone occurred for Oreo yesterday. He finally was able to jump on the bed! Twice! He had to get a running start, but he did it all on his own. His parents are so proud.

Perhaps an even bigger milestone happened today. Oreo was left home alone, out of his crate for a few hours. We try and keep most valuables out of reach, like remote controls and shoes. Dogs love to eat those, because our scent is all over them. Accidentally, a pair of Jeff's sneakers were left out on the floor, but there is not one chew mark! That is a huge milestone for a puppy.

Oreo is slowly maturing into a real dog, although he is still a bundle of energy.

After walking two miles, and running around the yard (and house) at top speed for half an hour, Oreo finally stopped to take a drink. He was so spent, he had to lay down to drink.

A tired dog, is a well behaved dog.

Monday, November 5, 2007

young whippersnapper

Today is Jeff's birthday. From now until March 29, he and I are one numerical year apart.

You see, he was born in 1971 and I was born in 1970. Jeff will always be a year younger than me. From March through November, we are 2 numerical years apart. For some reason, that 2 year difference really bothers me.

For example, right now, I am 37 and Jeff is 36. Not so bad. Once my birthday arrives, I will be 38, but Jeff will still be 36 until November. On paper it looks like I am 2 years older, but for the record it's really only 1 year and 7 months.

A few years ago, I was able to convince Jeff that he was actually a year older than he really was, so we were the same age for awhile. This was done through simple math and fast talking. Unfortunately, he eventually caught on and now pays more attention when I try and fool him into believing he's older than he is.

It is so frustrating to me that he will never catch up to my age. I will always be older.

My Babci once told me that I should marry a younger man. Her theory was women live longer, so if you want your husband around in your old age, you need a young whippersnapper.

Good advice, though hard for me to stomach sometimes.

Babci also said to marry someone who loves you more than you love him. Unfortunately, that's not as easy to gauge as the age factor.

I guess, when in doubt, go for the younger man.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

bathroom woes

Jeff and I were walking into Target today, and I decided to use their restroom before downing my Starbuck's latte. I walked in and was immediately struck by the sound of very loud, annoying music coming out of the speakers. First, is music really necessary in the bathroom? Second, why does it have to be so loud?

I actually asked these questions aloud, just in case someone from Target security was listening. Not that they'd be able to hear me over the obnoxious music.

I couldn't wait to get out of there, the noise level made me so uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, it was not a quick trip. The stall I chose had plenty of toilet paper. Two brand new, 12 inch diameter rolls. The two rolls were jammed so tightly in the dispenser that neither of them would move. I tried to tear away at both rolls to get them started, but ended up with a handful of shredded tissue. Neither roll would move a centimeter. It made me think of the Seinfeld episode with Elaine saying to the person in the stall next to her, "Could you spare a square?" Here, I had two warehouse sized rolls, and couldn't get one lousy square. I gave up and left.

I walked out and Jeff asked, "What is up with that loud music?" I told him it was the worst bathroom experience of my life.

OK, that was an exaggeration. I've had worse. In Russia, I had to go in a hole on a tile floor. The floor was wet, and I don't think it had been freshly washed. That was the worst.

At school, we have brand new bathrooms. Everything in them is automated. You don't have to flush. Theoretically, the toilet is supposed to sense when you are done, and then flush itself. The problem with the automatic flush system, is that it doesn't always flush at the right time. Almost every time, the toilet flushes prematurely, and there is no way to manually flush. Every time I walk into the bathroom, I have to check the stalls. There are always some surprises left in the bowl by previous bathroom users. I feel like I know a lot more than I want to know about my co-workers bodily functions.

If the toilet flushes prematurely, and you want to leave a clean toilet behind, you must pretend to "go" again to initiate a second flush. To do this, I hover over the toilet, wait, and then stand up. This doesn't always work. Sometimes, I have to actually leave the stall, go back in, and pretend again. This can waste a lot of time during my precious "student free periods".

Next up, the automatic sink. You put your hands under one faucet, and no water. Go to the next one, and wave your hands around. Nothing. Next.... It is so aggravating.

Luckily, the towel dispenser is not automated. Simply yank, and a towel comes out. Heaven.

Friday, November 2, 2007

monarchy or democracy?

Election day is looming. It is a big election year for my town. Our current Town supervisor is running on all the 4 major parties' ballots. He is endorsed by the democrats, republicans, liberals, and conservatives. Until a few weeks ago, he and a few friends have been running completely unopposed. In a time when huge rifts exist between the two major parties, how could 4 parties agree on the same candidate?

Simple. Money and pay offs. Its all about bringing big business (lots of ugly box stores) to our small, semi-rural town, and making sure certain people (including the chair of the conservative party) make lots of money. Millions.

They have the gall to call themselves a "bi-partisan" team.

It's a virtual monarchy. I feel like I'm living in the former Soviet Union where people got to vote, but only had one choice.

Fortunately, some brave people have formed a new party. So, I will vote for them. I really don't know much about them, except for the fact that they oppose the current office holders. That is a good enough reason for me.

How sad it is to have to vote for someone, simply to try and get rid of the bad guy. I just hope enough people feel the same way I do.

Read all about it here:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jeff's photos

Its been a busy week - not much time for writing.

Jeff had his photo shoot yesterday - it was warm enough to ride the bike to the shoot! Crazy temperatures for Halloween. I remember always having to wear my winter coat over my costume. Plus, the kids had an extra hour of daylight to trick or treat since we have put off going back to standard time for an extra week. Good for the young kids, not sure how the older ones felt about it. We had no trick or treaters at our house. My mom had given us some chocolate she had bought as a fundraiser for us to hand out - just in case anyone made the trek up our driveway. Jeff had already eaten it all, so I guess it's (how's my grammar, editor in chief?) good no kids showed up.

I am anxious to change the clocks back, so I don't have to walk the dogs in the dark every morning. Oreo has a coat that lights up, but it was too warm this morning to put a coat on him!

Here's a photo from Jeff's latest shoot:

As usual, Dino did a fantastic job of showing the bike (and Jeff) off in all that perfect lighting. I think black bikes are probably the hardest to photograph. There's another photo on Jeff's site - just scroll down to the bottom part:

Dino submitted the photos to the magazine, so hopefully they get accepted. The other bike should be in next month's issue or the month after.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

just in case...

Jeff bought two motorcycles in one week. Even for him, this is unusual. The first purchase was a donor bike for a chopper. I was expecting that.

The second one, he bought because it was a "great deal". A deal so good, he can't lose money on it. This is typical "Jeff philosophy" ~ make sure you can either make money or break even before making any purchases.

As Jeff was explaining the bike to me, he said that he had to buy the bike, "Just in case."

"Just in case what?" I asked.

"Just in case I decide to keep it, or in case I decide to sell it," he replied.

Yes, it never hurts to have an extra bike lying around, just in case you need some extra cash, or the 3 or 4 (I can't keep track) other bikes in your garage won't start.

I think what Jeff really meant was - just in case someone else decides to buy it before him. Can't let someone else steal a deal out from under him.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

rainy day

Ok, I'm not one to dress my dogs up in clothes. However, some days you really need to put a coat on your dog. Oreo has three coats - an LLBean field coat for cool fall and spring days (complete with flannel lining and corduroy collar), a Lands End squall jacket that lights up for our cold, dark early morning walks, and a hand me down, red rain coat from Munchkin.

It has been raining here all day, and a dog still has to go out to pee. Poor Oreo looks like he's dressed up as little red riding hood for Halloween:

Oreo says,"Hey Daddy, looks like you need a rain coat!"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

kudos to kellogg's

Just wanted to let all my regular readers know that I received my $10 rebate check from Kellogg's today.

see my older post titled "Coupon Confusion"

Therefore, I will continue to buy their cereal, since they don't only reward people who buy in bulk. Maybe next time, Kellogg's will eliminate all that crazy fine print.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Jeff took these shots this morning. There are even more leaves on the ground now. Its hard for Oreo to find his orbee if he doesn't catch it in mid air. Its also hard for me to find their poop!

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