Monday, June 27, 2011

Halving your Great Dane

I guess the animals in my life have been monopolizing my blogging lately, but they seem to take up a lot of time in my life so I guess it's fitting. I have learned (the hard way) that when choosing a dog with short hair on the presumption that you have just saved yourself a lot of grooming expense for this dog's lifetime, that presumption was made in error. Case in point: Boris. I may not need a groomer to trim his locks, but I do need a vacuum with the sucking capabilities of a black hole.
He leaves piles of hair where ever he lays.
And piles.
And piles.
Numerous times I have had my vacuum completely clogged and require me to disassemble it to clear it all due to dog hair. It's unreal.
Today I documented the disaster I'm dealing with.
This is Boris during a brushing.

And this is only some of the hair he left behind. I'm pretty sure I just halved my great dane!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adventures in Dogsitting -- The End

Well, our doggy guests have gone back home. I was a successful doggy sitter, having returned them to their rightful owners alive and healthy. It was a little disappointing that the most entertaining trick done by one of our house guests wasn't discovered until the day she was scheduled to leave. Here is Ellie singing the blues:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Adventures in Dogsitting -- Day Three & Four

I'm combining 2 days here. We've been very busy with baseball and it's been difficult to chronicle all the excitement.
Yesterday with the dogs was pretty uneventful. Our most exciting moment was during Myles's baseball game when we learned that there was a tornado very close to Arlington. Yikes! We were about 30 minutes away from home at the game, but we had our doggy house guests to worry about. Luckily, the storm died down quickly and everything was fine at home.

This morning I woke up to a horrible stench in the house and a banging sound. Hmmm. Boris had pooped all over the hallway and was attempting to knock down the baby gate to flee the area. So, the morning wasn't great. Then, tonight we had another baseball game to go to. When we arrived home, Boris had completely demolished the baby gate that blocks him in. I angrily took him and Fillmore outside.
Savannah was asking me if Ellie was supposed to have a bar of soap in her cage.
"Does Stacey put that in there to keep it smelling fresh?" she wondered.
"I doubt it. Does it look like your soap from the tub?"
We got Ellie and Sophie outside and Savannah pulled out the bar of soap.

Maybe she said some bad words when she was barking at the neighbors earlier? And had to punish herself?

So my tally is:
Number of dogs: 4
Number of poops in the house: 4
Number of pees in the house: 1
Number of barfs in the house: 1
Number of possible potty mouths: 1

Friday, June 17, 2011

Adventures in Doggysitting -- Day Two

Number of dogs in my house: 4
Number of poops in my house: 3

We are starting to get a good routine going and the dogs have all made themselves at home. Ellie might be part mountain goat since I keep finding her perched on places I didn't think she could jump up onto, or at least places my own dogs have never ventured.

I had to venture upstairs to tend to our rodent pets and when I returned to the main level, there was a surprise poop on the middle of the living room floor. It was small, so Boris was in the clear. However, he wasn't certain it didn't belong to him, so he hung his head in shame and headed to his bed. I pointed my finger at Fillmore and said, "Did you do this pooper?" He put his ears back and looked guilty. I pointed my finger at Ellie and said, "Did you do this pooper?" She also put her ears down and looked guilty. Then, I turned to Sophie and asked the same question. She wagged her tail at me. The most senior dog of the group is definitely the wisest. She knew I didn't see it happen, so it could have been anybody. "I admit nothing." She strutted out of the room leaving me to my poop picking up duties.


On another subject, I went to Walmart last night to grab some things for dinner. And I also grabbed myself a margarita mix. When I got up to check out, I pulled out my wallet knowing that I would be asked for my ID. I always am. Cursed with looking younger than my actual age. I am always told, "I would never have guessed you to be this old!" after a cashier looks at my drivers license. This used to be highly annoying, but I have reached the age where I relish it.
But, yesterday, when the Walmart cashier rang up my alcohol, the register prompts her with a question: Does customer appear over the age of 40? The cashier looks up at me and says, "Oh, you're DEFINITELY over the age of 40!"
"No, I'm not." I said to her.
"Well, I'd guess you to be. So, we'll go with it." She smiles at me.

I went home and drank my sorrows away. Sensing my depression, the dogs refrained from pooping in the house any more that night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adventures in Dogsitting -- Day One

We have a couple of house guests for about a week or so.

and Ellie
I was worried that my own 2 furry monsters would be less than gracious hosts, but everyone is getting along famously.
Our guests arrived yesterday afternoon and the dogs all came in the house like they were old friends. I was worried that the 2 house guests might get homesick at night and bark or whine all night long. Nope. They slept happily.

I'm still working out the logistics of getting 4 dogs out in the morning (or any other time of day) since we don't have a fence.

I have been taking the guests out first and coming back for my 2 mongrels. So far so good, until this morning. Apparently the 20 second wait was too much for Boris, who deposited his morning poop in the back porch.


After everyone came back in, I had to feed Ellie. (Ellie in the morning, Boris and Fillmore in the afternoon, and Sophie in the evening. We have a strict schedule to adhere to.) Ellie followed Boris's cue and left me a present in the kitchen, too. OOPS.

This afternoon, I got home from work and the kids had kept the dogs alive and well all day long. And no doggie presents were left for me anywhere in the house. Yay!

Ellie has made herself so at home, that when she needs a treat, she just helps herself. I thought if I put them up on the kitchen table, they'd be safe. But, someone thinks she can outsmart me.
Hmmm. Perhaps the staircase of garage sale stuff placed next to the table needs to be re-stacked.
Here is Boris after seeing Ellie on the table. His look is telling me that he told her not to go up there. (And, yes, that is Fillmore in the background being impolite. Many butts have been sniffed in the past 24 hours.)
Tonight, Myles had a baseball game and we thought we'd take Ellie along. She was very fun. She sat on an Arlington Eagles seat and cheered on the boys.

All that baseball watching sure does take a toll on a girl.

Dogsitting Day One = a success!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strawberry Jammin'

I've been reading The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure and it has really gotten me in the Little House on the Prairie mood. The book chronicles the authors love of the Little House books and her experiences traveling to the different Laura Ingalls homesteads. She also shares her desire to churn butter. With an actual butter churn. I have to admit, I sort of want to do it too.
But instead, I made homemade jam for the first time in my life. And I think it was a success. A sort of expensive success, but a success none the less.
This whole adventure was inspired when my local grocery store had a humungous package of strawberries on sale. A one day only sale. So I bought some, asked my mom to borrow her canner, and went shopping for some cans. That's when I discovered the cost of cans. Holy cow! I was only making jam, but I was imagining myself canning tomatoes and whatever else I could grow in the garden this summer. But, yikes! The initial investment to get going would be a bit large.
So, I settled for a small 4 pack of squat little jars for my jam. I found the jars the day after I bought my strawberries. That afternoon after arriving home from work with my new jars in hand, I found a strawberry right in the middle of the strawberries completely covered in furry mold.
I plucked that one out and a few of it's neighbors and went in search of a jam recipe. I had forgotten to get the pectin. So, on day 3 of the strawberries life in my house, I was finally prepared to make some jam.
But, I learned that day, that it's best to store your strawberries in the refrigerator. My recipe told me I needed 5 cups of mashed fruit. I opened my strawberry package to discover that yesterday's mold had somehow taken over the entire pack of strawberries. I couldn't salvage even one little berry.
Figuring I was going to have to go out and purchase more strawberries, I called my mom to whine. She took pity on me and offered up one of her packages of strawberries.
Thanks mom!
Jam was back on.
So, here's the process:
Clutter up your stove with all your needed pots and tools.

Enjoy the aroma of the strawberries.Cut up the strawberries on your new cutting board made by your dad.
Here is the boiling of the mashed up fruit and sugar and pectin. Starting to look like jam.
And here is an example of the steam facial you will enjoy if you attempt this. The humidity I had created in the kitchen during this process gave my hair a crazy frizziness. Savannah and I headed out to the library after I was done and I had asked her if my hair was ok. "Sure," she told me, eager to get out the door before the library closed. Upon my return to our house, I caught my reflection in the glass front door. Medusa is the only way I can describe what was happening on my head.
And the jam: