Friday, March 31, 2006

The shop project

We went and got the 4X4 poles for the shop addition, so the project is well under way.  Now I can picture how big it will be!  We spent $90 for poles, some metal thingies to attach the new structure to the existing building, and concrete that Cliff put in the holes after the poles were set.

Cliff's latest project

Our son-in-law works for a lumber company.  Recently one of their suppliers double-shipped an order of custom-cut metal the same type and color as Cliff's shop.  The stack of barn tin laid around the lumber yard in the way for a long time, until finally Kevin talked them into letting him get it out of their way.  It would have been over $800, if we'd had to buy it.  But we got it free, thanks to our son-in-law!

Since it matches the shop, Cliff is going to add a wing onto the north side of his shop where he can store the steel he's saved up for projects, and also park a couple of tractors.  This will give us more room in the barn for hay, and free up some space in the shop.

After checking his stores of lumber, Cliff found out there isn't much he'll have to buy, except the poles.  I imagine we'll get those this weekend, since he already has the holes dug for them.

Can you see those little metal rods sticking in the holes?  That's where the poles will go.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Weekend assignment #105 Poetry In Motion

Weekend Assignment #105: Share a favorite poem.

Oh John, how can I choose?  I have so many favorites!  Can't I cheat and share two?  Hey, it's my journal.  Of COURSE I can!

"LEISURE" By Wm. Henry Davies.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

I like this one so well because I've lived most of my life according to it.  And I still do.

Now, my second choice:

WAITING by John Burroughs
Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
    Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst Time or Fate,
    For lo! My own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
    For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways
    And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
    The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
    Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
    I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
    And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own, and draw
    The brook that springs in yonder heights;
So flows the good with equal law
    Unto the soul of pure delights.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
    The tidal wave comes to the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
    Can keep my own away from me.

Extra Credit: Ever write poetry yourself?

I am writing a poem every day this year.  Mostly mediocre ones, but it's good therapy for me, and also good discipline. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Taking walks

Cliff and I walk every morning for exercise, and we take Sadie along.  However, she has to stay right at my side, and she isn't allowed to sniff the grass or romp.  We tried turning her loose, but she doesn't come too well when she's excited or busy, and I was afraid I'd lose her.  We like to make our walk as physically demanding as possible and get the most aerobic benefit we can in a half-hour.  I'm sure the discipline is good for Sadie, having to walk beside us like that.  But it can't be too much fun.

So after Cliff goes to work in the afternoon, I end up taking Sadie for a walk that is just for her.  I put the twenty-foot leash on her and allow her to run ahead or lag behind as she pleases.  I stop and wait while she sniffs and digs.  This gives me a chance to look around and see spring coming to the woods.  If Sadie brings me a stick to throw, I throw it.  In the woods and brush, sometimes the leash gets wrapped around a tree or caught on a root, but it isn't too big a problem. 

So, Sadie takes a walk with me in the morning; and I take a walk with Sadie in the afternoon.

Wednesday diet report

We've had more successful weight-loss weeks.  I do feel sorry for Cliff, since he showed a two-pound loss Monday.  But Mondays don't count.  So, he gained one pound, according to the evil scales today.  His blood pressure readings are staying pretty much the same:  132/78.

I have lost one whole pound in two weeks, but now that I'm in all of my size 12 jeans, I don't care how slowly the weight comes off... just so it continues to drop until I'm below 150.

We eat two meals from Subway every Tuesday because of their Tuesday special.  We get one 12-inch meatball sub and split that for lunch; and we buy a 12-inch cold-cut combo and divide that for our supper.  The cost?  $6 feeds both of us two meals!  And the calories are within our diet budget.

Check out the subway website HERE.  One of the few fast-food places that's proud to post their nutrition information on their website.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Morning Question

Its Monday (already). Time for the Monday Morning Question:

In "honor" of April Fool's Day coming up this week, what was the best April Fool's joke played on you or that you played on someone else?

You can either answer in Betty's comment section or in your journal and leave a link in Betty's comment section:  Her journal is Of mini-paws and menopause.   Have Fun!

I'm not much of a jokester, but one thing came to mind.

Sometimes I make a resolution, on New Years Day, to write a poem every day of the coming year.  I was doing this in 2003 and decided to have some fun on April Fool's Day.  Here's the poem I wrote before going to work that morning, and sent to the friends on my "daily poem list".  Needless to say, I had quite a bit of e-mail that evening when I got home from work.


                                                                I QUIT
                                    (c) copyright April 1, 2003
                                            Donna Wood

There'll be no more poetry heading your way.
I'm tired of thinking so hard every day.
I won't be constantly making things rhyme:
I've better things I can do with my time.

I have decided no one really cares
To hear my opinions and problems and prayers.
I have found much better things I can do
Than write all this garbage and wish it on you.

Yes, you will miss it at first, I am sure.
Even bad poetry has its allure,
But later I think you will sigh with relief
And thank the good Lord my career has been brief.

Now, with that said, I will drop out of sight
Never again to sweat bullets and write.
My poems are wasted attempts, as a rule:
Now that I've said this...

                                    WAKE UP!!!  April fool!!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Signs of spring

There are lots of springtime things going on here.  Blue is scheduled to be shod Friday, and then my horseback rides through the countryside can commence.

I knew we had kittens in the barn, but until today I had never heard them mewing or been able to find them.  Fudge suddenly got skinny about a week-and-a-half ago, and I could see she was being nursed.  We've never been sure whether Snowbelle was pregnant or not; she's long-haired, and tends to be chubby anyhow.

So when I traced the mewing to the space under the stanchion where I used to milk my cow, of course I assumed all these kittens belonged to Fudge:  Their eyes were open and all.  But every time I'd try to get close enough to take a picture, Snowbelle would squeeze in, acting worried. 

"How sweet," I thought.  "She's helping Fudge take care of her babies."

About the third time I peeked in, I realized we had two sizes of kittens... and that some did not have their eyes open.  Snowbelle must have figured if that spot was good enough for Fudge, it was good enough for her.

There might be problems with this:  It's possible the older kittens might take all the milk from both mothers, to the detriment of the newborns.  But in the country life scheme of things, we let these situations take care of themselves.

Time will tell.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Patrick's Saturday Six

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. How confrontational are you in real life, and how does your real-life persona compare with your blogging persona?  In real life and on the Internet, I am pretty much non-confrontational.  I avoid situations where I think there might be a disagreement.  I was an only child; perhaps that's why I avoid fights.

2. Other than the food itself, what makes your favorite restaurant your favorite?  I like the atmosphere at Olive Garden.

3. You buy an iPod: what's the first tune you're likely to put on it?  "Our Town" by Iris Dement

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What's the most important quality of your (ideal) significant other?

Kindness is most important in a boyfriend/girlfriend.  You want someone who will go through everything with you - the best moments and the worst, and all of those other moments in between.  You love to be able to say anything to your partner, and have them say anything to you.  You are able to be extremely close with your partner for that reason.

5. If you had to choose one or the other, which would you rather do: hear gossip or be the first to reveal some juicy piece of gossip?  What's the use of hearing juicy gossip if you can't pass it on?  I choose the latter.  (Yes, my Christian friends:  I know gossip is a sin.  But I was given a choice here, and I chose my favorite.)

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #85 from Barb: If you had a magic feather (my Daddy Do carries several in his pocket) and this magic feather could make you unbelievably attractive OR unbelievably intelligent, which would you choose, and why?  Appearances have never meant all that much to me.  I'd rather be unbelievably intelligent, because then I'd be rich and make all the right choices.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ten things I love

1.  Ranch dressing:  It's great on salad, and when I'm dieting, I like to dip carrot sticks and celery in it.  It's a lifesaver.
2.  The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan:  I don't enjoy many television programs, but I LOVE this one.  If you have a dog, be sure and watch the show on Friday nights; or even if you don't.
3.  Rhymezone:  Without this one, I wouldn't be able to come up with a poem every day.
4.  my cabin
5.  John Prine and Iris DeMent singing... together or seperately
6.  good preaching
7.  babies
8.  Jersey cows
9.  Pizza Hut pan pizza

Thursday, March 23, 2006

She's not so uncomfortable

Here's how Sadie usually sleeps, when she isn't stretched out on a rug.  I took this picture just now.  Eventually I'll get her one of those big cushions, but she'll make do with this bed until my ship comes in.  OK, until my rowboat comes in.

I MUST get Sadie a bigger bed!

Don't you agree?  Poor little thing, but she uses the bed anyhow.  Probably doesn't want to hurt my feelings.

Weekend Assignment #104: Color My World

Weekend Assignment #104: Tell us your favorite color. Give no less than three reasons why it is so.

A certain shade of blue.  But I don't know why I like it so well, so I can't give 3 reasons, but it affects me like catnip affects a cat, when I see it.  I even wrote a poem about it once:

                                     WHY DO I LIKE BLUE?
                                               Donna Wood
                                     (c) February 15, 2003

The world has shades of every hue
Eye-catching reds, and grays...
I wonder why I so love blue,
And why it takes my gaze.

There's lovely dandelion yellow...
Rose- and apple-red.
Pinks and purples soft and mellow:
Why not them, instead?

At my workplace yesterday
New sweaters caught my eye.
Their color took my breath away:
The blue of summer's sky.

I'd go back to my work and then
Forget them for awhile.
That blue would catch my eye again
And give me cause to smile.

I wonder if it's born in me
To love a certain hue?
Or maybe some lost memory
Attracts me thus to blue.

Some preferences, we're born to hold.
We gain some, as we grow.
I'd love to learn, before I'm old,
Why blue attracts me so.

Extra credit: A picture that is primarily of your favorite color.

This link will take you to an entry of Judith Heartsong's, where she shares a lovely painting of hers which has shades of blue I like.  Click HERE and enjoy.

If you want to do this weekend assignment, be sure and leave the link to your entry at John Scalzi's blog.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Photo Scavenger Hunt #67

The entries for photo scavenger hunt #67 will be due Sunday, March 26, 2006 at 11:00 P.M. E.S.T.

Category: View from a Window (suggested by Linda over at Footprints in the Sand - thanks Linda

I've never participated in this one before, but after seeing a couple of other people's entries today, I realized I had the perfect picture:  It's the shot I took through my living room window about 2 AM on a pre-Christmas morning last December, of my neighbor's house burning and the firefighters at work.

If you want to play, please leave the link to your entry at Betty's.

Wednesday Diet report

I weigh the same today as last week, 163 1/2.  I'm not too concerned, because usually when that happens I show a respectable loss the next week.  It'll be great when I can get down to the 150's.  It's been forever since I've been under 160!

Cliff lost two pounds, so he's 244 now.  His blood pressure is staying pretty much the same the last few times we've checked it... right around 140 over 78.

Last week at the store, Cliff asked me to buy some cookies he loves:  chocolate-covered graham crackers.  We get the cheap brand.  I bought them because, you know, nothing is off-limits to us on this diet; we just have to watch portions.

A few days ago, after having already had dessert, I saw Cliff go by the cookie jar and get two of those cookies.  OK, it's a one-time slip, I figured.  Let it go.

Then Monday he told one of the granddaughters to bring him two cookies.

"Cliff, do you realize those cookies are over 100 calories each?" I ventured.

"WHAT?  No way!  They're graham crackers!"

"Yeah, covered in fake chocolate." 

I checked the package.  120 calories for one cookie.  I made sure Cliff read it for himself, because he was absolutely floored by the information, and I had a feeling he thought I was making it up.

If anything happens to me, I have a feeling Cliff will be gaining weight.

How much is a good dietician/trainer worth these days, anyhow?

A cracked Frisbee

I bought my Aerobie Super Disc year before last at the Missouri State Fair for my puppy, Mandy.  There was a wonderful act where the dogs jump high in the air to catch Frisbees and go through tunnels, run an obstacle course, and so forth.  The folks with the dogs were selling these special Frisbees for around $10, I believe; they said this was the best kind of Frisbee for dogs.

Mandy never was much for frisbees, it turned out.  After the fair, Cliff gave me the cold shoulder for a month every time he thought of me paying that much for a frisbee:  "You can buy them at Walmart for a buck," he said.

I tucked the frisbee away in a cabinet in the bathroom and forgot about it.

Then Sadie came into my life, and after watching her fetch balls and other toys, I remembered the Aerobie Super Disc.  It was as though it were made for her; she'd probably play to the point of exhaustion if I'd let her.

In a recent entry I shared how I bought a second frisbee so Sadie would return to me with her prize.  This works great, but I found out I can't throw a regular frisbee.  Cliff tries to show me the proper way, then cracks up because, usually, the thing ends up rolling along the ground (Sadie, by the way, doesn't care how I throw it).  When I throw the Super Disc, you'd think I was a pro!  It sails through the air as far as I want it to go, and often, Sadie catches it in mid-air.

Today, it cracked.  And I panicked.  Neither PetSmart or Petco had them listed online.

Thank goodness for Ebay; I have my bid in for one there.  I just hope the price doesn't go up too high, because shipping is $5.99.  This man has an Ebay store with lots of them, so I may get two.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Wind out of the east

As Cliff and I were coming out of the pasture from our morning walk, I happened to look at this shed just as a gust of wind caught it and picked up the front of it; the only reason it didn't go all the way over on its back was that there's a fence right behind it!  That shed has been there for years, and this has never happened.  Normally we don't get wind out of the east.  So as you can see, Cliff is out there in the wind, securing the shed.

The horse behind the shed is across the fence, and belongs to Marvin.

I just wish I'd thought to get a picture of the shed when it was leaning against Marvin's fence; it was rather scary!

They are forecasting all sorts of bad weather here, but it looks to me as though the worst of it is going to go north of us.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A quiet day

I seldom watch television.  I find the Internet much more interesting, so between keeping up with about three dozen journals, surfing, three Yahoo groups, five or six message boards, and chatting with old friends in a private chat room, that's my entertainment.  Oh, and I do read an occasional book.

I was a bit sad this morning because I had planned to attend a special Church service a few miles away:  A former pastor of mine was speaking (from fifteen years ago) and one of my favorite singers was going to do a couple of numbers.  Cliff's brother decided to stay until noon today, so I missed out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  No folks, I did NOT pout or fume.  I cooked a nice breakfast for our guest and then went to the woods with Sadie for about an hour and a half.

Feeling sorry for myself, when I returned to the house I turned on the television just as "Because Of Winn-Dixie" was on.  I'm a sucker for dog-and-kid movies, and of course I had to cry when Winn-Dixie went missing in a thunderstorm.  The pain of losing Mandy is still fresh. 

Following that was "White Noise".  I don't do scary movies well, but Cliff was in here watching with me, so I was doing OK.  And then he left.  I had to have some relief from the terror, so I turned off the television, waited ten minutes, and turned it back on.  And watched the rest of the movie from the safety of my kitchen; somehow I feel safer if I'm in a different room.  Of course, I don't quite understand all that happened at the end because I missed out on the middle of the thing.

Then I figured "Fatal Trust", on the Lifetime channel, looked interesting.  Cliff came back in to watch that one with me, but it was so predictable that we switched to the news.

Oh, and yesterday my son-in-law and I watched "Where Is Danny Deckchair" together.  It was silly, but it kept us entertained. Gee, I haven't watched this much television in years! 

I think I'm ready for spring. 

Friday, March 17, 2006

Do you like rainbows?

On a private message board, I found a link to some amazing pictures of rainbows.  Check it out here.

to teach a dog better Frisbee skills

In this entry where I showed off Sadie's Frisbee skills, I mentioned that she isn't doing so well with bringing the Frisbee back to me; she preferred to take the evil disc off somewhere to a corner of the yard where she could shake the devil out of it and, hopefully, kill it.

Well, Betty left this comment on that particular entry:  "She has the makings of a frisbee catching champion! Use two frisbees. That's what I do with Koda. He will keep one, but if I have one, he wants the one I have so he'll come back and drop the one in his mouth so I can throw the other one."

Today we were out and about, and I bought a cheap Frisbee at Walmart.

It works!  Sadie brings the Frisbee back to me every time now.  If she drops it a little to early, she will even go back, pick it up, and drop it at my feet.  Thanks, Betty!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sadie at her best

Finally I got a picture of the real Sadie.  This is how we see her here at home.  She's happy, relaxed, and yet alert.

It's that time again.....

Oh yeah, it's time for the annual punk rock festival, Van's Warped Tour.  The tickets went on sale yesterday.  My granddaughter Amber even said she'd pay my way.  She and I have been there together the past two years, and she considers it a tradition.  We actually got caught in a mosh pit the first time we went (that will not happen again).

I'd like to buy tickets for Amber, myself, and my grandson Brett.  But I'm not employed like I was in recent years.  Do you think my husband will foot the bill for three of us?

I'll likely be spending more time in the air-conditioned tent for old folks this year, because my knees don't like to stand in one spot for long.  But honestly, I love the Warped Tour.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

weekend assignment #103

Weekend Assignment #103: List the songs you'd play to kick a party into gear. You can choose up to five. And if you want to explain why those five, that's good too. It can of course, be any kind of music from any era -- and it can be any kind of party, too. Hey, it's your party. You're in charge of the jukebox, my friend.

1.  Old Time Rock And Roll - Bob Seger

2.  Wipeout - The Ventures

3.  T-R-O-U-B-L-E - Travis Tritt

4.  Mercedes Benz - Janis Joplin

5.  Burnout - Green Day

Let nobody ever say I'm stuck in one era.  I think I've covered everything from the 50's to the present century.  I chose them all because THEY ROCK!

*the following is edited in because I missed seeing the extra credit part

Extra Credit: Name the song to play to start winding down the party.

"I Hate Goodbyes" - Bobby Bare; here are the lyrics:

Softly close the door behind you
How it hurts me to see you go
Gently break the tie that binds you
And this heart that loves you so

If you're sure you won't be staying
Then just walk on out of my life
There's just two words left for saying
And the Lord knows how I hate goodbyes

And nothing's born to live forever
But oh how it hurts to see it die
First it's always then it's never
And the Lord knows how I hate goodbyes

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wednesday diet report

Cliff lost five pounds this past week!  Woooo hooooo!!!!  He's now 246.  (He was 277 in December when we started this.)  And I didn't do so bad either.  I lost three pounds, which puts me at 163 1/2 pounds now; I started at 188.

Every once in a while someone will ask what sort of diet we're on.  It's a combination of portion control and lower-fat foods.  No food is off-limits to us, so if I have a craving for Mexican food, we go to our favorite Mexican place and split one meal between the two of us.  And I've noticed we leave the place quite satisfied.  I've also learned to order water instead of tea or cola, and we save a fortune when we eat out:  one meal instead of two, and no charge for my drink.

All week long, I try to stick to relatively low-fat recipes and meals, still using portion control.  On weekends I often cook for company at least one meal, and often two; and that's usually high-fat, high-carb farm-style cooking.  I remind Cliff ahead of time that he'll be on his own, and he's been doing great at stopping with one serving.  But if he weakens, I do my best to keep my mouth shut about it.

There is one food I personally am avoiding because it is such a huge weakness of mine.  My favorite place to have lunch is Pizza Hut, when they have the all-you-can-eat buffet.  I've promised myself not to do buffets any more, unless I'm with a group, and have no choice... in which case I'll limit myself to one plate.  I think I'll have a personal pan pizza before too long, when the craving for pizza gets so strong I can't resist it.  In other words, I plan ahead, because I know my own weaknesses.

I aim for eight glasses of water a day, but I don't always make it.  We still take our half-hour walk in the pasture together.  My recently-acquired dog, Sadie, gets me out of my computer chair and outside, too.  She burns energy, I burn calories.

Cliff and I agree, we can do this forever. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

About Buddy

Robin asked in the comment section of my last entry where Buddy lives:  Well, he belongs to the next-door neighbors whose house burned in December.  They are temporarily living in our little town two miles away, waiting to rebuild.

Buddy has always run free, just like my Mandy did.  They were puppies together, and were practically inseparable.  In fact, I heard second-hand that a witness said they were frolicking on the road together when Mandy was hit and killed.

The neighbors sometimes take Buddy to their house in town for the night, but he gets in trouble there; the leash law is poorly enforced, but town folk don't take too kindly to his chasing their cats, tearing up their garbage, and pooping in their yards.  He's a high-energy creature, used to hunting in the woods here.    So he is with us more than he is with his family.

I keep dog food out for him.  He does create a problem, since he tries his best to get Sadie to run away with him like Mandy did.  We could turn Sadie loose in the pasture when we take our daily walk, if it weren't for him.  She is as hyper and as fast as Buddy is, so once they disappear into the woods, it's a while before they return.  And my heart stops until I find her again.

Anyhow, Buddy can play a little with Sadie when she's on the 20-foot leash.  And maybe that way he won't miss his old buddy Mandy quite as much.  It's interesting that there are lots of free-roaming dogs in the neighborhood he could be chums with.  I guess they just don't fill Mandy's shoes.     

Thou shalt not covet...

I've had Sadie outside on her long leash quite a bit today, which allows her and Mandy's old sidekick, Buddy, to interact.  I took a half-eaten Cheweeze out for her to enjoy, and Buddy ran up, grabbed it, and headed for the hills.  So I got her a brand new one.  This time I sat closer, to head off any hostile takeovers.  Poor Buddy; to look at this picture you'd never know that he'd already stolen one Cheweeze today.

Monday Photo Shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Get a shot of your pets at play. A new shot is good, or if you have an older shot (that you haven't already used for an earlier photo shoot), that's good too. Humans can be in the picture, but it can also be of your pet (or pets) by themselves. The important thing is to catch them at play.

Well now, when did I EVER pass up a chance for my dogs to show off?  Sadie, we have discovered, is obsessed with Frisbees.  In fact, I have to watch out or I'd get hurt, because she'd bite her own grandmother for fooling with her Frisbee.  I'm trying to train that vicious streak out of her, and after the first few tosses, she calms down somewhat. 

Because of her obsession with the Frisbee, she's not good at retrieving, so I keep a 20-foot leash on her.  She prefers to keep the thing and try to kill it, growling viciously and shaking it.

There have been some comical Candid Camera moments with that leash, by the way:  Until I learned to check first, I'd sometimes toss the Frisbee without realizing the leash was wrapped around one or both of my legs.

If you'd like to join us in the Monday Photo Shoot, be sure and leave a link to your entry over at John Scalzi's blog.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Manchester Terrier? I think not

Buddy wasn't around today, so I was able to let Sadie off the leash.  Without him to lead her astray, she stays close to us, running circles around us, but coming when called.  Such amazing energy she has!  Relating a story to Cliff that my granddaughter had told me, I mentioned a Jack Russell terrier, and something clicked.

When we chose to adopt Sadie, I wasn't concerned about her heritage, but the lady at Wayside Waifs told us their considered opinion:  She was, they felt, a Manchester Terrier and Basset cross.  She warned us that this dog had a tendency to bounce off the walls, and would need exercise.

Come on, how many Manchester terriers do you see running around?  I've never once seen one in my life, as far as I know; and if they're that uncommon, how many of them do you suppose are on the streets mating with mongrels?  But Jack Russell terriers are very popular, and there are lots of them around these days.

What I didn't realize was that the breed can be short-haired.  I thought they all looked like the one on Frasier.  Otherwise I might have put two and two together sooner.

I found a website describing the nature of a Jack Russell Terrier, and copied and pasted some things that describe Sadie to a "T".

"These are considered an intelligent, high-energy breed. Their compact size, friendly and inquisitive nature, and intelligence make them popular as pets. Built for speed and strength, they will always be ready to play. However, they require consistent training and a good deal of attention and exercise to maintain their temperament and to occupy their minds. JRT's who are not trained on a consistent basis, or are not exercised regularly, may occasionally exhibit aggressive or unmanageable behaviour, including excessive barking, escaping from the yard, or digging in unwanted places inside and outside the house."

"The old terriermen wanted terriers that would bark incessently at their prey. The dog could then be located underground, and dug out if necessary. As a result, JRT's are most definitely vocal dogs. They lackthe nervousness that makes so many small dogs "yappy".  JRT's rarely bark at nothing."

"Most JRT's easily mingle with children, though they don't tolerate even unintentional abuse. Most are outgoing, and very friendly towards other dogs.  JRT's do tend to exhibit a "Napoleon Complex" regarding larger canines that can get them into dangerous situations. Their fearlessness can scare off a larger animal, but their apparent unawareness of their small size can lead to a lopsided fight if not kept in check."

That last paragraph covers a topic I've mentioned to Cliff and others several times.  Sadie will not back down.  She's friendly, but if a dog displays aggression toward her, she insists on being aggressive back to them.  And she doesn't care if it's a St. Bernard!

I don't know what other breeds of dogs Sadie has in her little mongrel body, but it looks to me like she's at least HALF Jack Russell Terrier.

And that's a breed I always said I would NOT own, because I've heard so many negative things about them.

Life can play some strange jokes on us.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

an "expert" opinion on Sadie

There's a local "horse expert" in my town who has no computer skills, nor does his wife.  So if he wants a photo of one of his show horses scanned, emailed, or printed, he comes here.  I really don't mind, except he's so demanding.  "Please" would be a nice word for him to use, but it isn't in his vocabulary. 

He shouts orders that start with, "I want it this way", and then he acts angry if the photo doesn't turn out to suit him, and that rubs me the wrong way.  So far, though, I've accommodated him (much to my daughter's chagrin).

Last weekend he had me scan a couple of pictures.  He wasn't pleased with the results, but I more or less told him, "What you see is what you get."

Somehow those got lost in the mail, and were never received by the intended recipient.

Guess who showed up at my door tonight with the same pictures to scan again.

I ran out of color ink, thanks to him.  And replaced the cartridge.  And we finally got his pictures scanned and printed again.

While he was here, though, he fell in love with Sadie.  "I like her lots better than the one that got killed," he said.

Don't even ASK me what I thought about that; how would you like it if you'd had a child die, then had a new baby, and somebody said, "Oh, I like this one MUCH better". 

I have to say that Sadie was on her best behavior.  She sat when I said "sit", and she laid down when I said "Down".  She stood nicely while I demonstrated to this man how her halti works.

He approves of her.

Pardon me while I roll my eyes.  And ask me if I need HIS approval. 

A little money for some new color ink cartidges would be nice, though.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Nice day for a motorcycle ride

Cliff did some more painting on the Ford 9-N tractor this morning.  When he came to a stopping-place, he decided we'd better do some riding, since the temperature had already hit 70 degrees.

There's a barbecue place in Warrensburg, about forty miles from here, that is practically famous.  Cliff's boss at work has praised it no end, and also Tony, with whom Cliff rides to work.  My daughter said she had heard good things about the place, too... although she'd never been there.

Well folks, this was the filthiest place Cliff and I ever patronized.  Don't ask me why we didn't turn around and leave, because we should have.  The floor was black with grease, and the people who worked there looked as though they hadn't washed their clothes in days.

The sandwich, which we split, would have been good in other circumstances.  But I couldn't finish my half, thinking of what the kitchen must look like.  One thing for sure, a place like this is good for my diet!

Then we rode to Harrisonville, just because we like to browse the aisle of The Family Center there.  Everything is overpriced, so we seldom buy.  We just look.

We went by Tom's house (he used to be Cliff's boss, years ago) but he wasn't there.  We told his wife to tell him we'd been there.

Then past the first home we owned, our "twenty acres"; the place where we lived when my daughter was born.

141 miles later, we returned home, exhausted but happy.

one dog problem solved

There'll be no more problems with Sadie pulling on the leash so hard she chokes herself and wrenches my shoulder out of place, and this involves no pain for the doggy.

I kept seeing "Halti" mentioned in books, and on websites about dog training.

If you'd like to read something about it, click HERE.

Sadie does look woebegone here, but it's only because she knows she can't run away from me any more.  She trotted alongside me on our morning walk as though she'd had an encounter with Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer.  Except I wasn't doing a thing besides walking along with her on a loose lead.  There's a snap to attach onto her regular collar in case she should struggle free from the Halti, but she's almost quit struggling now.

I just got this thing yesterday, but I'm sold on it.  If you're tired of struggling with a dog who insists on taking YOU for a walk, rather than allowing you to set the pace, this is for you.

PetSmart has it online for $9.99.  Or you can go directly to your nearest PetSmart store and pay $18.99.  Crazy, huh?  I ordered one online, but I had ordered the wrong size.  So I went to the store to trade it for the proper size and noticed the difference in prices.

You can also find lots of Haltis on Ebay, but of course if you get the wrong size, you're stuck with it. 

The 5'er

If you want to play all you do is cut and paste these questions into your journal. (there is no deadline as to when you can do "The 5'er) When you have answered them go leave a link in Robin's comment section.  On the following Friday I will have a new set of questions! Have fun!


This week's theme is Green! Ya know...for St. Patrick's day and all.



1. What is your least favorite GREEN vegetable?

I can't think offhand of a green veggie I really dislike, but I suppose least favorite would be turnip greens.


2.  Did you ever wear GREEN on St.Patty's day so you wouldn't get pinched?

Yes, in my younger years. 


3. If you have grass in your yard is it GREEN in the winter or brown?

Our crabgrass is brown in winter.


4. Ever have GREEN beer?


5. Have you ever been told you had something caught in your teeth that was GREEN?

I'm sure I have, given the fact that I love green veggies.  But I've always been such a slob, I'm numb to Cliff's telling me about such things.


*Bonus question*

Do you know who GREEN Day is?

Yes indeed; my grandchildren introduced me to the group, and I even have some of their songs here to listen to.  I especially like "Wake Me Up When September Ends".

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sadie playing

It's time for more Sadie pictures.

We're having a slight problem with turning her loose in the pasture when we go on our daily walks.  Our neighbor dog, Buddy, always had a morning run with Mandy when she was alive, and if we turn Sadie loose, he takes her for a run.  I allowed her to go with him a couple of times, since they are back in the woods and, hopefully, safe from any traffic.  However, Buddy runs SO far, we have no idea where they are when they're out of sight.  Eventually they split up and, after much frantic calling, Sadie returns to us. 

The other day we were finished with our walk, but still no Sadie.  We came back to the house and Buddy was here, but not Sadie.  That scared me.  I returned to the pasture where my dog came running up to me, panting.  But that was the last straw.

One day I locked Buddy in Mandy's old pen before we walked, which worked out beautifully.  But Buddy's no fool, and he's not about to let me put him in there again.  If I'm in the vicinity of the pen, he won't come near me.

Sadie is so hyper, she really needs the outdoor exercise.  But right now, I don't know what else to do except keep her on a leash when we walk (she hates that) or just leave her behind.

The reason I'm so terrified at the two dogs running together is that, according to a witness to Mandy's accident, she and Buddy were wrestling and chasing one another across the highway when the car hit her.

I can't stand to go through that again, especially so soon.

On a side note:  Wouldn't you know it?  Now that my diet report day is past, I'm three pounds lighter.  Geesh.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

About seeing stars in person

That's my current favorite singer, Iris DeMent.  Her songs stir my soul.

So, what is it about a singer/song writer that makes me want to meet them after I've heard them sing?

Cliff doesn't understand it; he says he wouldn't walk across the street to see any of them.

I will admit I was disillusioned by George Jones... not just once, but twice.  Back when he was "no-show Jones", we went to see him at the Missouri State Fair.  You could tell he was only going through the motions.  I wanted to give him one more chance, so we went to see him at a local casino a couple of years ago.  He was STILL only going through the motions.  Not only that, but he really can't sing that well these days.

Not all the singers I love are like that.  Cliff and I have seen Moe Bandy at Branson, and he seems to appreciate his fans.

Travis Tritt put on a good show in Kansas City, and I felt the money we spent to see him, live, was well spent (don't ask Cliff about it, though).

So why do I want to see them all in person?

I wish I knew.

Lately I've been listening to the music of Iris DeMent.  She lives in Kansas City, part of the time.

Why do I want to meet her?  What on earth would I have to say to her anyhow, if we met?

"I love your music"?  "I listen to your singing every day."

Somehow I don't think she'd care.  Don't all of her fans say the same thing?

When I hear a song that touches my soul, why do I feel I need to meet the singer?

Can someone tell me?


Fertilizer day

It was time to fertilize the pasture, so Cliff and I went in the pickup to get the buggy with the goodies in it.  Now, you city folks might think manure is used as fertilizer in the country; on big farm operations, sometimes it is utilized.  But this is the white granular stuff, just like you'd use to fertilize your yard. I'm praying we get rain soon, so all this won't be wasted.

Yesterday I had a scratchy throat and felt a little "peaked", as my mom used to say.  I figured I was getting a cold; since I've only had one this winter, I'm due one more.  This morning I woke up at 4 AM with the worst sore throat I've had in years.  I had a cup of orange juice and two aspirins, and then happened to remember that we had some Chloraseptic in the bathroom.  Ah, instant relief.

When my daughter arrived with the girls, I told her about using the Chloraseptic, although I was sure it was four or five years old.  She mentioned an expiration date being on some meds, so I checked.  Good grief!  The stuff is over seven years old!  Hey, it still works fine, and doesn't taste any nastier than it ever did.

That goes to show how seldom we get sick around here.

I wouldn't say I'm "sick" today:  My definition of sick is that you have to have a fever or be vomiting, or both.  If I had a job right now, this sore throat wouldn't have kept me home.

I believe I'll be feeling much better tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Wednesday diet report

I weighed the same today as last Wednesday... no weight loss this week.  The good news is, I found out I'm back into my size 12 Lee jeans.  Yes, they're loose-cut.  I wouldn't be able to wear size 12 Levis.  But I've had those babies put away upstairs for a long time, and I'm glad to be able to wear them again.  Another ten-pound loss and I'll throw away the size 14's.

Cliff weighed in at 251 pounds, a loss of two pounds this week.  His blood pressure is 136/70 today.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

tagged again

I've been tagged by Toonguy! 

1. I need:  time to myself

2. Sex:  I could live without it, but would rather not

3. Relationships:  close ones are few and far between

4. Your Last Ex:  don't have any ex-husband.  last ex-boyfriend?  Thank GOD I didn't marry him!

5. Power:  Rangers

7. Crack:  doesn't everybody have one?

8. Food: one of life's great pleasures

9. The President: a disappointment

10. War:  never-ending

11. Cars: gotta have 'em

12.  Gas Prices: just like all other prices... too high

13.Halloween:  not as much fun as it was in the fifties

14. Politics: stupid

15. Religion:  I hate "religion".  I love Jesus.

17. MySpace:  I don't go there

19. Marriage:  next-best thing that ever happened to me

20. Fashion:  don't have a clue about it

21. Brunettes:   are me

22. Redheads:  seem to attract men

23: Work:  I'd rather play

24: Football:   makes Cliff happy

25. One night stands:  never had one

26: Pet Peeve:  people who think they couldn't possibly be wrong

27. Pixie Stix:  I'm not even sure what they are, but it sounds familiar

28: Vanilla Ice:  what's that?

29: Porta Pottie:  the camper

30: High school  lonely

32. Pajamas:  flannel

33.  Wood:  My name

 34. Surfers:  Jan and Dean

Monday, March 6, 2006

Monday Photo Assignment

So, what are you reading? I want the visual evidence:

Your Monday Photo Assignment: Show us what's in your bookshelf right now.
That's right, right this very second!

Well now, what's in my bookshelf isn't exactly what I'm reading.  Oh, and I have two bookcases.  So that makes three pictures for this photo assignment.  (You'll notice Flylady hasn't been around much lately.)

Here's the downstairs bookcase, which mainly houses my cookbook collection:

Next, the upstairs bookcase, which holds mostly Bibles and Bible-related books:

As for what I'm reading right now:

Good enough?

I wish I could say those dog-training books were a success, but Sadie still doesn't come to me when we're outside and she's distracted.  I guess just reading the books doesn't help, if you don't DO the stuff, huh?

Cliff's current project

Cliff wanted me to send these pictures in e-mail to our son, but I decided to make an entry with them.

His brother brought this Ford 9-N tractor here from Kansas; it belongs to a neighbor of his.  The plan was to get the job done over the weekend, but it rained on Saturday, and the sand-blaster doesn't work well in wet, humid weather.  So Don have to make another trip to take it back home.

Buddy still spends most of his time here; his owners (the ones whose house next door burned) take him to town a couple days a week, but he is not a dog well-suited for town.  He's still skinny, but that is due, I think, to all the running and hunting he does.  It's purely amazing how fast and far he can go.  He's an athlete.  His owners plan to start rebuilding this week, I believe.

When buddy's here for our morning walk, he hangs around the back door until Cliff, Sadie and I come outside, knowing what's next.  Once we're in the pasture, I turn Sadie loose and let the dogs run together, although it's hard for me to do, because they disappear for twenty minutes or more at a time, running hard... and I'm always scared I'll never see Sadie again.  But Buddy's joy is restored now that he has a sidekick, even if it's only for a half-hour.

Sadie still doesn't listen very well when I call her, so I don't let her off the leash in the yard except to play Frisbee, which she absolutely loves.


Sunday, March 5, 2006

Patrick's Saturday Six

1. Have you given up anything for Lent? If so, what did you give up?  The church in which I grew up, and most of the churches I've attended in my life, didn't do Lent.  So, although my present Church does have it, I don't give anything up.

2. How prepared is your bathroom? Not counting the one you currently have open, how many unopened units of the following do you have waiting in your cabinets?
A. Tubes of Toothpaste    We just opened our spare tube.  Which means I'll be buying a backup tube my next shopping trip.  We do have a bunch of those little travel-sized ones in a travel bag.
B. Sticks of Deodorant  1 spare
C. Packs of Toilet Paper  seven rolls
D. Bars of Soap      5.  I buy Zest in the 8-pack

3. Has a commercial for any specific medication ever prompted you to visit your doctor to discuss either the illness or symptoms the advertised product treats? If so, did you ask the doctor to prescribe that specific medication?  When they were advertising a pill for toenail fungus on TV, I saw my doctor about that.  But when I found out it's a health risk, and that although the stuff would clear up the problem, eventually the fungus would probably return, I opted to have my toenails permanently removed.

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What part of fall  are you? (Hey, since Spring is almost here, why not!)

 I'm apple cider, smooth and comforting, but downright nasty when cold.

5. Which is more full right now at your home: your kitchen trash bag, your vacuum cleaner bag, your wallet, your stomach, or your car's fuel tank?  probably my vacuum cleaner bag.  It definitely isn't my wallet, and I just emptied my kitchen trash yesterday.

6. If the blog gods imposed some new law that says you could only participate in one regularly-scheduled meme per week, other than the Saturday Six, Sunday Seven or Tuesday Two, which one would you choose? (Leave a link to the most recent edition if you wish!)  Since you left your own memes out of this, I'd say John Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot.  I've had lots of fun with that one along the way. 

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment

Weekend Assignment #101: Very Hidden Talents

Here's a fun and simple topic for this week's Weekend Assignment:

Weekend Assignment #101: Name a talent that you don't have that you wish you did. This can also include talents you have a little bit of, but wish you had more.

I'd love to play piano (although I wouldn't be willing to devote the time it takes to learn).  I wasn't going to do this assignment, simply because I don't do anything really well.  I've never been motivated to try to excel, which is probably why I sit here doing a weekend assignment instead of something that might change the world.  I wish I had more of EVERY talent I have.  I wish I cared enough about something to go ahead and try to do it well.  Alas, I'm lazy.  So I simply make do.

Extra credit: Do you have any completely useless talents?

Yes... I still chat occasionally in a chat room or two and know all the smilies and LOL's and such.  Totally a useless talent.

If you want to play, be sure and leave a link to your entry at "By The Way".

Saturday, March 4, 2006

While we're on the subject of dogs....

I saw a journal entry a few days ago that was truly worthy of publication.  But since it's free for everyone to read online, I'd love for you to go to Penny's journal and have your heart warmed.  All animal-lovers will appreciate this one.  Click HERE.

You might want to check out some of her other entries while you're there.

received in e-mail

   My friend Ora sent me this.  She said it reminded her of me and Mandy.  It made me teary-eyed, but I still need to shed some tears for Mandy.  Yes, it's corny.  But today it was just what I needed.                       

                                         DOGGIE MEMORIES

I stood by your bed last night,
I came to have a peep
I could see that you were crying,
you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as
you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left,
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here"

I was close to you at breakfast,
I watched you pour the tea
You were thinking of the many times,
Your hands reached down to me
I was with you at the shops today,
Your arms were getting sore
I longed to take your parcels,
I wish I could do more

I was with you at my grave today,
You tend it with such care
I want to reassure you,
That I'm not lying there
I walked with you towards the house,
As you fumbled for your key
I gently put my paw on you,
I smiled and said "it's me"

You looked so very tired, 
As you sank into a chair
I tried so hard to let you know,
that I was standing there.
It's possible for me,
To be so near you everyday
To say to you with certainty,
"I never went away"

You sat there very quietly,
Then smiled.  I think you knew
In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you
The day is almost over,
I smile and watch you yawning
And say "goodnight, God bless,
I'll see you in the morning"

And when the time is right for you
To cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you
And we'll stand, side by side
I have so many things to show you,
There is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out,
then come home to be with me.

- Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Another motorcycle ride

This is the third day in a row we've ridden the motorcycle.  I packed a picnic lunch in one of the new thermal lunch boxes we bought, put some Diet Cokes on ice in the bottom of it, and we were off.

It's about an hours drive to Knob Noster State Park, which is where we had our lunch.   It was a perfect day for a ride, and we saw dozens of motorcycles out and about.

As you can see by the pictures, the state park is lovely, even this time of year.

And now, poor Cliff has to go to work.  Flylady has probably disowned me this week.  I'm a morning person, so by the time we get back from riding, I'm ready for the couch.  Today the bed didn't even get made, which is unusual.

We got home and had a scare:  Cliff took off his helmet, felt for his hearing aid, and discovered it was gone.  As I remember, there is a guarantee on it, even against loss; but we'd have to pay around $300 deductable.  Not bad, I suppose, considering it cost $1,800.  But we were both just sick about it, figuring he'd lost it when taking off his helmet at the state park.  We came inside ready to call the Hearing Center to see about the insurance, only to find he'd taken the hearing aid out to clean it this morning and had neglected to put it back in his ear.  Normally I'd have noticed he wasn't hearing well, but with the microphone/speaker system in our helmets, he hears me just fine without any help; and we did most of our talking while riding.

So, our day wasn't ruined after all.

Wednesday diet report

I lost 1 1/2 pounds this week:  I'm 166.5 pounds.  I can't wait to get below 160, but something tells me it'll be at least six weeks before that happens.  I didn't gain all this weight in a week, and I can't expect to lose it that fast.

Cliff gained 1 pound, and is pretty down-in-the-dumps about it.  Two days ago he hopped on the scales and weighed 248; today, the scales registered 253.  Hmmm, must be the cheap scales.  Anyway, he's wearing two sizes smaller clothes (he's gone from size 48 overalls to size 44, and they're loose now), his cholesterol is great, and today his blood pressure reading was 131 over 70.