Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Doggy Summer School




Just because Dog school is out for the summer does not mean its time for m to neglect Rockets education or stop teaching him new things. I have a book 101 Dog Tricks To Teach Your Dog that illustrates many, many things I could teach him if I wanted him to have the skills. Many,many of the tricks feature skills I do not want him to learn! Rocket is smart enough to weaponize a skill set so I have to be careful about what I teach him.

This weekend when my father and I were taking apart the dryer I decided to keep the tub because in it I saw greatness!



Looks pretty awesome doesn't it?! You just have to see the potential. The potential for teaching the dog a new agility skill/dog trick!



Because to me it looks like a Dog Trick Opportunity! I have read my book and watched a couple of videos on dog barrel walking and I think this is something that Rocket can learn to do. He is very agile, he has excellent balance, he learns quickly and he is treat motivated. These are all pre-reqs for this trick.


Rocket meets the barrel.

We spent a few minutes letting him sniff it and play tunnel through the center. He loves tunnels! Then I started to treat him when he put his feet on it. I need to be able to lock the barrel in place better so I'm going to repourpose a couple of cinder blocks to act as stops for it. I want to get him comfortable getting on it before I introduce him to it moving. We did a little of that today but not much. he did however get a lot of treats for getting his feet and upper body on the barrel. He at one point sat on it!

He would roll it a little but he didn't under stand the whole "push it forward" part and I wasn't going to push for "climb up there and propel it" either at this point. We'll get there.


Good Boy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Working


Busy weekend.

Saturday did work, my Dad did more work but work was done and I was tried. My Dad fixed the office door so it closes (almost) again and now Rocket is going to be spending his days back in the office where he started. I am hoping that as time goes on he stops with the puppy chewing and can be a real adult dog enjoying being free in the house without turning it into his own personal buffet. We can be ever hopeful.

My Dad and I also took apart the old, extremely well built disused dryer that has been sitting in my basement for too long and sent it to Old Dryer Heaven. Dryers are one of the few consumer goods these days made of solid damn steel! This thing would have made Detroit proud. It took us a long time to disassemble it so we could get it out of the basement  and there was not one bit of plastic in it . Built Ford Tough.

I also mowed both yards and cleaned out some clutter and straightened the basement. That was Saturday.

Sunday, went to church ( I wanted to walk there, but it got very dark very fast and so I drove instead.) I did laundries and watched TV and went then shopping with Broskey and Alphagal. I also walked the dog five miles both days. One Sunday we walked in the rain, because we are just that hardcore and just that too lazy to check that the weather to see if it was going to keep raining - It Did.. Fortunately, we were downtown  when it started and found a handy awning to camp out under until the deluge passed. I had a lovely one way conversation with a crazy person across the street while we waited. I don't know who he was talking to, if it was me or the dog or the spangly unicorns only he could see, but I was very glad the rain ended when  it did.

Then I went to Walmart at 9:00pm to get butter and popcycles .  Whee.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging


Dog Bar


Tonight we made our triumphant return to Pints for Paws and then we left. We were having a good time and Rocket was running through his Best Dog Ever routine and things were going as usual, but this time we walked to the bar instead of drove and it had started to rain very hard and I started to think about how long a mile can be when you walking it in an aggressive rain and so I waited for the current deluge to stop and we went home.


Sitting on a chair visiting with the table nest to ours.



We were there for an hour and a half so I don't feel really bad about cutting out early. I have learned that if you don't arrive at the starting time that you don't get a seat and if you don't get a seat it can be a very long evening and they run out of food so you are left standing and not only standing but standing without the benefit of snacks! I get there early and find a seat and then camp out there for the rest of the evening.

I took off just in time too, it came down in buckets again about ten minutes after we got home. I think when we go next month that I will drive instead.

I'm  now waiting to get called about my victory in the raffle. This is wishful thinking, but since I won at one of the first evenings we went, I haven't won anything since and I kind of hate how they do the drawings ( the same person should not win four separate prizes, its not fair and its not the way these things work) - I am not holding my breath. Of course, unless I win four separate prizes and then its a miracle .

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bad Dog pt 34567


The damn dog is just lucky I love him and he is so cute and has such a winning personality because Gawd Damn it, I have had it with the counter surfing and the stuff eating and the general shitty behavior. He has two more days of freedom before he is locked into the office behind a closed door. He's going to hate it but not as much as he would hate the other options I have left available to remedy his behavior. Done. Done with this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

House Beautiful


I had an epiphany earlier. I am tired of my living room. Its been just about the same since 2002 and I am ready for a change... Not a huge change, but I want to paint the walls a gray and get a burgundy slip cover for the couch and scout out burgundy, white and gray curtains.Mostly white with red and gray featured. I think it will be pretty, it can be done.

Its not going to happen in the near future, its going to be a year long project I think. I am not a great wall painter and that is a huge part of the job. It also doesn't help that my couch dates from the late nineties, so its not new and not he same as what you get today or even yesterday, so there is work to do. The good news is, most of it is shopping work and I like shopping work.

The painting, that I don't want to do, will happen eventually. I hadn't thought about gray as a wall color but I watch a lot of HGTV and it has convinced me that gray is a desirable wall color. Its looks good on TV at least.

I also want a new coffee table, one that is smaller but not small and round or oval and if it could look eames-ish, more the better. It was quite an epiphany. I know I all ready announced a bedroom upgrade, but its going to come down to just cleaning the room and finding a couple of matching mirrored side tables.

I had a dog thought too. Since we have come back from vacation, Rocket has been destroying things at a rate he hasn't come close to since puppyhood, I credit this change in behavior to the fact he was always with someone for the two weeks we were gone, mostly because he was  absolutely not to be trusted in the house un-supervised. He liked it! It was wonderful for him. He was happy because he was with us and we were happy because he didn't spend the entire time barking hysterically or destroying the house.

 After comeing home from vacation and wondering why he was back to chewing my things again after months of not chewing my things, I remembered that something that gives SA dogs relief from their anxiety is to give them something to  tear and rip -  that is not  the owners. I do not want him tearing and ripping any more of my things. Before I left for work this morning I  "hid" a box, when I came home for lunch, he had found  the box and happily ripped and tore it! Instead of my things! Wheee!

I did something like this when he was a puppy and gradually he didn't need anything to rip and tear. I am hoping  that he starts to calm down from vacation and get readjusted to being alone during the day, he will grow out of it again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to make rustic home made tomato sauce


You have a vegetable garden and its been a good year for tomatoes. You are going to give a lot of these away, but what to do with the ones you keep? An entire summer of BLTs and tomato salads may be tempting or...

You can make sauce out of it and freeze it! It comes in handy many ways and it makes you feel like you have Done Something with your harvest. How many tomatoes doe you need for this? How many do you have? I used six of various sizes and got enough for three meals for one. I have planted a very nice sauce variety, but is taking longer to ripen. Any tomato will do.

1. core the tomatoes. This will make your life easier later, it won't remove all the seeds but this is a rustic sauce, seeds are okay


I think this is a juicer of some sort. It goes right through he tomoato and removes what is like the core.


2. after you have cored the fruit, turn it over and with a knife, carve a shallow X into the bottom. This will make it easy to remove the skin.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add your tomaotos.


Let the water return to a boil and leave them there for One Minute.


Remove the tomaotes from the boiling water and put them into an ice water bath. This will stop the cooking process as well as making them cool enough for you to remove the skins and squeeze the water out. When they are cool, pick them up one by one and squeeze the bejeesus out of them. You want to get as much out as possible. You will be left with a limp, pulpy mess. Nummy!


Mess. This will also get some of the seeds out.

Put the limp, pulpy messes into a blender. You can use a stick blender but I think they add too much air.


Use what ever setting you have they will "sauce". I used the wrong one and the sauce ended up more rustic that I had planned. Its still tomaoto sauce.



At this point you can freeze it. I went with making a simple spaghetti sauce. I went with chopped onions,  fresh garlic, fresh sage from the patio, dry oregano, dry basil, salt and pepper. I'm adding ground venison tomorrow and serving it over baked spaghetti squash.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Second Hand Roses


So this is what real life is like. I'm not sure I like it.

I woked all last week, I'm going to work all next week and every week after that for the foreseeable future. I should be thrilled.  I am happy about it, before I left on vacation the idea of even one more day of work was enough to me make me want to burst into tears.

Post vacation I can look ahead to  a day off at the end of August, the state fair in the fall, Halloween and the holiday season getting underway. Positive thoughts.

I have plans for my downstairs bedroom, nothing concrete yet because I didn't have anything on hand to act as inspiration for me to get moving on the project and that was fine, but now post-vaca I have more energy. I had to go into Knightdale and I saw there was a Goodwill, and still high off my extremy good trip to a Goodwill in Maruette, not thinking about the bedroom, more thinking about maybe picking up a new sweater or a interesting purse,instead I found these



I say they are heavy glass,the girl at the GWI claims they are crystal. The strip along the bottom looks like brass. They are very heavy, if you had to hit someone with one of them, the someone would stay down. They both work, and came with shades and in their day they were very nice shades. Today is a  new day and I will be in the market for  more up-to-date replacements. I think that after the lamps are polished up and they have better shades that they will be showstoppers. Now I have all kinds of ideas for that room!

Total  cost of these two lamps? $40. Win.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging


Good Dog!


I got some garden work done. I put up some more tomatoes, got my first peppers this season taken care of, picked some more beans and brought in three ears of corn!

Before I did that Rocket and I made a record walk, four whole miles! Its a personal best for us and we are both very proud and tired. But its a good tired and we never get tired of hearing what a pretty dog Rocket is and how he is so well behaved, good natured, and generally the best dog ever. Sometimes I wonder if these people have ever met any other dogs or if somehow, all the dogs they have met are vicious monsters. All Rocket has to do to seem like some sort of super obedient dog is to not bite any of the hands that want to pet him.

Sad. I wish he could behave the same way at home when he's alone and he doesn't have an audience. I do not love the stress or having to pray on the way home  twice a day every day because - Gawd forbid I be able to do something over my lunch hour that isn't All About Him - that he hasn't destroyed something that I can't replace. I would stash him in Daycare, but Doggy Day Care is pricey, so its not feasible daily solution. Today he surprised me, I came home and the only thing he had done was carefully pick up a section of the newspaper from the kitchen table and bring it into the living room, - where he didn't touch it.

Which leads me to believe that he didn't take it in there to shred or to cover up a new spot, but that he brought it in there because he wanted to sprawl out on the carpet to read the lifestyle section. I'm afraid that he is learning to read. He would do that, I really think he would.

While I was out harvesting, I had thought I was going to mow the lawn or at the very least, give it is preliminary shave before I was able to really mow it. This did not happen, I gathered up my produce and went and took care of it so I didn't get the lawn down. It will survive and it will absolutely be there Friday or Saturday or Sunday...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Grrrrr.



And that lasted about ten minutes.





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bad Dog pt 27,0000


Today the dog ate my favorite plastic cup, a very nice flower/ scrub brush and after lunch he ate my protean bars! My good protean bars! The ones I like!

Changes had to be made. I called my Dad. I was planning to take the phone and him to Home Depot and have him talk me through the lock aisle . Instead he asked about the maker of the over worked lock and if I could order a new one . I remembered when I bought the lock, it came with choices of width of open door. It came with "very narrow", "just right" and "just leave the door open"  and these were safely in a box in my basement.

I took a trip to basementland and came back with "very narrow" . The bad dog isn't going to like it, but the bad dog is a bad dog and he doesn't have to like it. I want my plastic cup back.

I am not handy.






The dog tore the hell out of this arm and really loosened it up, I had blamed the door and its aging locking mech, but the door is still firmly locked and isn't slipping. He has also torn the hell out of the door and the door jam. I'm going to experiment with wood patch and try to repaint it. There may be no point, as long as the dog has his anxiety issues.

I had blamed the door for the problem, but the problem was the arm. We had thought I was going to have to take the arm apart to replace it but as it turned out, this was not the case. I was able to make the change quickly and With No Tools Needed!






Trapped! Thwarted! Tried to get out : Couldn't! If he beats this one, I'm going to have to call out the big guns and have someone who knows how to use tools to keep his butt in his room . I would like to have him in the house loose too but he won't stop being destructive and mean.

Bad Dog

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thinking ahead


I didn't spend my enire vacation wallowing in summer joy - No, I engaged my inner squirrel and started to think about the coming winter.

While at a much nicer than in my neighborhood Goodwill, I found a  very nice, very heavy, dare I say, dressy flannel shirt, a heavy turtle neck and these boots


Look at them! Aren't they gorgeous? $6.99! practically new! These will be perfect for cold winter dog walks. In Marquette, these are classified as flip flops.

With winter in mind, I also found a decorated two Christmas trees! The first was, frankly, me grasping at straws. Time was not on my side and I needed a tree now. I had done some scoating and found a good option but when it came time for decorating it, it turned out to be too tall. This was a bummer, I was in the forest getting attacked by everything with wings and I needed a new tree now.

I found a substatue and it was okay, and if it was the only one I was able to find in the time remaining, it would have been fine. Not "great" but fine enough. Several hours later, I found The Tree. It is GREAT.

On the trip home, still making my inner squirrel work, we stopped by the hotel ajacent outlet mall and  did a quick run through. I found this for 70% off


Eddie Bauer! It is so much nicer than the boys coat I bought right after I moved here. Now, 13 years later, I have moved up the world, this is a man's coat.  It doesn't have a hood though, so my ears are going to get cold. I wonder if any of the knitters I know might be able to make me one of these?


Birthday Fairy? Santa Clause?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Home


Google illustrates my vacation


I wonder how dogs process "on vacation" and "not on vacation" . I wonder what he was thinking when we turned left out of our driveway in Marquette and miles of empty beach appeared. We turned right out of our driveway and followed really cool trails that reeked of woodland creatures. Rocket was also off leash a lot.

And then we come home and when we turn left out of the driveway we  encounter a gas station, we turn right and follow more street . Rocket is on leash all the time

On vacation, Rocket was never left alone. Now that he's home, Rocket is going to be alone, a lot. Today we had alone time experiments and he , well,  he did better as the day progressed. Monday is going to be a long day for us both. I am going to need to really anxious puppy-proof the house before I leave for the day. I will not be entirely successful but at least whatever he eats will not strike me as important enough to hide away before I leave. He does help prioritize.

I wonder if he dreams of racing up and down the beach, if he has the capacity to remember climbing on the rocks and following trails. Did he have fun? Was he happy?  Does he remember the swarms of flies and being attacked by mosquitoes?

Does he think about his adventures at the Porcupine Mountains?  Does he fondly recall his dog food commercial at Turtle Pond? Is he proud of  repeatedly climbing straight up five foot lake banks? While holding five foot long  tree limbs?

Does he remember sleeping on the couch in front of the fire? Dozing with my Dad?  Does he think about chasing sticks into the lake? Does he like swimming now? Will he chase sticks in the water if I threw them in a lake here?

Is he as sad as I am to be home?