Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve 2014

Fun with pets.

I came home with every intention of taking the dog downtown to checkout the preparation for Raleigh's First Night celebration - Its way too Fun For The Whole Family to be any real fun for anyone in the family, but you know, but for a  Wednesday night in Raleigh, its better than average.  Oriental has a truly Fun for The Whole Family New Years that is actually fun for the whole family, but they rock.

Instead  of  getting a nice walk I spent the time cleaning this up:

Yes, that is blood. And it was splattered all over the room! Very festive. He pulled down the whole mechanism, in a single piece. It must have taken him some time to do it and I hope the cut mouth was worth it for him. I called the vet and described the scene to them and his condition. I cleaned and peroxided his feet and checked his mouth for wounds and all his parts were just fine. Bloody but unbowed.

And yes, I did send it to dogshaming.com because I want him to go from Cuteoverload.com to dogshaming.com in a single twelve month period. I want him to be internet famous.

His punishment for being so Rocket was to have to watch Ace eat nummy, nummy (earned!) wet cat food and then for dessert? Tuna water!. Ace  didn't fill up on Venetian blinds like some creatures.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Ace looks forward to Spring.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Week

Some Christmas pictures for you

The outdoor decos

The big, bright blob in front of the door  is actually quite charming

So is this one.

There seemed to be a whole lot more of these before I started.

I wasn't sure if the video made it clear how far up he was.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

"I said: Back up"


Rocket and I went to The London Bridge Bar and had another really fun evening benefiting Cause for Paws. Rocket met many new friends and greeted his old friends and a good time was had by all. This week we won the drawing for a $25 gift certificate from Unleashed, The Dog and Cat Store .

Rocket is so comfortable at  the bar that he spent the last hour  sprawled spread eagle wherever he felt would be the most in the way. And then we came home and we both went to bed.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

List - Shortened.

Yesterday I featured a carol from  Somewhere and asked which carol it was and what langage was it in.

And we have a winner! Edie is our winner! She guessed Jingle Bells and Russian! She wins a free (to me) trip to next spring to Russia!  Congratulations to her!

Today I finished up my Christmas cards, I sent out the ones that needed sending and now I have the cards that can be delivered myself. Yay me! I still haven't wrapped anything but I may have one more gift to buy, so yeah.

Today's carol quiz. A language spoken in the US.

1. Pavetaa'eva nehe'xoveva Tsexho'ehnese ho'eva,
Jesus Vo'estanevestomanehe. Ehvo'estanetsehestaotsehoo'o
Tsexho'eotsestomotahaetse Vo'estanevehahtsestotse.

2. Ahaa esheeva nehe'xoveva Tsexho'ehnese ho'eva,
Jesus Vo'estanevestomanehe, Tsehvo'estanevehatano'toetse
Netao'o haveseveva, Tsehveno'ohaetse

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Say it with me...

Two things I've learned today : Rocket doesn't mind that I throw like a girl


A counter surfing dog is the worlds largest cockroach. It is not the dogs fault it is behaving like this, this is your MY fault. This is I learned in my crash course called "How to stop your dog from counter surfing in one easy lesson" - Your dog isn't a bad dog, You (I am a) are a lousy housekeeper. If you don't leave food/dirty dishes/scraps out where your dog can easily access them, your dog WON'T BE ABLE TO ACCSESS THEM AT ALL.  No mess= No Surfing. A clean kitchen is a room with no clear purpose and thus of no interest to a dog.

You get 1) Your voice back, since you lost it repetedly screaming at your dog for doing what comes naturally to it - following its nose and  2) A cleaner, nicer kitchen . 

The next in my wildly unpopular series: Common Christmas Carols with foreign lyrics! Guess the language and the song! The language should be easy, but what song is it?



Мчится сквозь снег в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью,
Над полями, где ходим мы,
И смеется во весь голос.
На хвосте у лошади звенят бубенцы,
Воодушевляя людей!
Как же весело смеяться и петь,
Песни, сидя в санях, в эту ночь!
Колокольчики, колокольчики!
Колокольчики - повсюду!
О, как же весело мчаться в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью!
О, колокольчики, колокольчики!
Колокольчики - повсюду!
О, как же весело мчаться в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью!
Пару дней тому назад я подумывал
О том, чтобы прокатиться...
И вот Мисс Фанни Брайт
Сидит рядышком со мной.
Лошадь очень устала,
Кажется, нас ждет неудача...
Мы провалились в сугроб,
А потом нас опрокинуло...
Колокольчики, колокольчики!
Колокольчики - повсюду!
О, как же весело мчаться в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью!
О, колокольчики, колокольчики!
Колокольчики - повсюду!
О, как же весело мчаться в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью!
Мчится сквозь снег в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью,
Над полями, где ходим мы,
И смеется во весь голос.
На хвосте у лошади звенят бубенцы,
Воодушевляя людей!
Как же весело смеяться и петь,
Песни, сидя в санях, в эту ночь!
Колокольчики, колокольчики!
Колокольчики - повсюду!
О, как же весело мчаться в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью!
О, колокольчики, колокольчики!
Колокольчики - повсюду!
О, как же весело мчаться в открытых
Санях, запряженных одной лошадью!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wrap it up.

I was going to wrap gifts. I walked into the room where I moved the gifts,I stood there looking at them spread out before me and I put one into  a waiting box. And then I left, the room was too cold and I didn't think that I wanted to wrap anything in there.

I hadn't thought about the room temperature being a factor in my many reasons for not wanting to wrap gifts. I thought I had  all of my avenues blocked. The "I hate my paper, its old and now it makes me sad"- Wrapping paper makes you sad? You make me "sad"! What kind of paper did you buy 75%  off after Christmas at Big Lots  that comes with an expiration date?  They don't sell anything with an expiration date. If they sold eggs, they would be eggs that can stay on the shelf forever. Don't talk to me about wrapping paper that is "too old".

I bought new discounted  Big Lots wrapping paper. But not very much, I don't want it to still be hanging around next Christmas making me sad.

The "Oops, I don't have any tape! Well, I'm going to have to not do this now. I know that no where in this house are tape bundles,I never buy tape bundles every year and then forget about it and buy more. I couldn't patch the roof with the shear amount of tape I have in this house" . LIAR.  Sure, you can't buy tape everywhere, they are selling it in bakeries, the Church wants you to buy tape as a fund raiser.This is not a viable excuse.

I bought another bundle of tape.

The "I'm not really through shopping/ still waiting delivery as yet. I don't want to have to get all the stuff out again in a few days for just a couple of things. I am trying to be efficient here!

The "some of these are oddly shaped and  it will be "fun" to search for the right box/solution
        "I'm not sure I'm ready emotionally for this step"
         "If I get everything wrapped, Christmas is over"


Monday, December 16, 2013

Art Walking

It was cold and nasty and gross and just perfect for a thick potato soup! I saw the opportunity to use a recipe that 1) uses potatoes, I'm always on the look-out for potato recipes and 2) I love garlic! This uses as much of it as you can tolerate -  and ran with it. Its called Lazy Roasted Potato and Garlic soup, but I worked harder than I usually do to make food and dirtied more dishes than I would have thought. But, the soup is divine and perfect for the winter! Its made with potato, onion, garlic and bacon and chicken stock. You roast the whole mess ( sans stock) in the oven and then dump it into your blender. Please note, if it suggests that you use a blender, use a blender. Save yourself some work.

I tweaked the recipe a little by not discarding the bacon, I cut it into pieces and blendered it with the rest, I think its a good addition.

This weekend was the Boylen Heights Artwalk - it was reschedudled from last weekend when it was miserable and unwalkable. This was a glorious weekend and next year I want to do my Christmas shopping there, this year I shopped ahead and while that's not a bad thing, I saw so many beautiful things that I would have bought had I not all ready bought other things. Sad making.

Next year folks, I hope you like art.

These were some of my favorites : Origami2go , Andie Freeman , Preston Montague , Stacy Lewis , and others that did some amazing work but who don't have it together enough to have a web presence.

All in all, a good weekend was had by all.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

You must love the baby kitty!


All week I was excited about this Shop Local Bazaar, I thought How cool! I've been to church bazaars and they are kind of all right, this should be fun. I can finish up my Christmas list!

I could have finished up my list if I had anyone on my list asked for $20 paper thin tee shirts or multiple sizes of  hula hoops . Sadly, no one on my list is going to get paper thin tee shirts or hula hoops. I had such high hopes! I might have been slightly more successful if I could see what I was not buying, The event was held at a downtown club - I should have known to bring my own light, perhaps I didn't feel that there was much there because I couldn't see half of what was in front of me. I know clubs are not exactly well lit by nature, but the organizers could have brought in some of their own lighting to make their products more attractive to buyers.

 This was allegedly the third year they have held this but it was so haphazard and poorly executed that you could have mistaken it for a first annual spur of the moment thing, notsomething I've been getting emails about for weeks. I was so annoyed when I left that I fogot about a quilt show at Deco! I really wanted to go to that, but to be honest,quilts are always more than I can afford and I don't think any one on my list really needs quilted objects in their lives.

Where I also didn't buy anything. I'm now trying not to get too excited about the Boylin Heights Art Walk this weekend.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hand made by me!

I made it a priority to get my Christmas cards out, I had started to receive them so I thought it might be nice if I was able to return the favor. I scoured my computers both at home and at work and  found my card list and updated it and remember to put both pages I found and updated on a flash drive and then remembered to take the flash drive to work and then remembered to ask how to print them out and when I looked at them at ten minutes before I was scheduled to leave for the day, they looked great.

"Looked great" being  the operative theme, "not great" was what they turned out to be.  They were not great for two reasons : Reason the first being that the last line of the address was on a separate label and Reason the  second being that I have a lot more people on my list than I had labels for.  Lot more.  Not that it mattered because I ended up writing almost all the address by hand because I wound up being only  able to use a total of six of my pre-printed labels at the the end. Which I did so I could avoid having to hand write any of them.

My hand writing which has always been bad, gets worse when I do a lot of it and I have a long list. I know people object to pre-printed address on holiday cards and I do understand this because it just looks</> so much  more homey and it just sends the "By Hand Because I Care" message that is so popular around the holidays. That's all well and good if your hands make pretty things! My handwriting is terrible" and is only borderline legible under the best of circumstances - which is not the set of circumstances I find myself when I am putting out cards. Enter the pre-printed label. I think I deserve some DIY points for not buying fancy store bought  labels but instead stealing state property with my very own hands! A much better use for them then trying to write out  homey, personal sure-to-be-returned-addresses because my hand writing is just that bad. The printed labels are kind of like a ramp for people with bad handwriting...

Labels are our friends! They are neat, legible and there is a better than average chance they will make it to you by Christmas! I also supply the image on my cards every year so I think I get adequate DIY points from that alone. The day after I sent off my sloppy addressed cards, I found the correct thumb drive with the correct list. Perfect.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Carol Trivia!


Veniţi, credincioşi, bucuroşi şi triumfători,
Veniţi, veniţi in Betleem,
Să-L vedeţi pe regele îngerilor,
Veniţi să-L preamărim
Pe Domnul!
Dumnezeu adevărat din Dumnezeu adevărat, lumină din lumină,
Întrupat din Maria, Fecioara,
Dumnezeu adevărat, născut nu făcut,
Veniţi să-l preamărim
Pe Domnul!
Cântaţi, coruri îngereşti,
Cântaţi în slava Cerului,
Slavă! Slavă întru Cel de Sus!
Veniţi să-L preamărim
Pe Domnul!
Celui care s-a născut astăzi,
Slavă Lui Iisus,
Întrupat din cuvântul Tatălui celor veşnice,
Veniţi să-L preamărim
Pe Domnul!

What language are the lyrics? And which carol is it?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Before and After Pictures

Did much this weekend! The best part though was taking the dog for his second annual picture with Santa.

This was one of last years pictures

He was a little exuberant... and  Santa ended up having to restrain him, this is not the way to make it on to the "nice" list.

This is one of this years pictures

What a difference a year a couple of obedience classes make! This year Rocket practiced self restraint and was happily added to the "nice" list!

Speaking of before and afters, this is tree before I tarted it up. There is nothing really "wrong" with it. but it wasn't finished.

And After. I picked and chose what went on, the boxes are not empty, but I decided that I don't need to put them on the tree if I don't want to. I stuck to pieces that mean something to me. I am proud that are very, very few balls on the tree. There are some, but they are there with permission. All in all, it looks great.

Monday evening I'm dedicating to getting my cards out.\, I spent part of Saturday getting my address sorted out and so once I have my labels made I can really get to work on them and get them out ASAP. I changed my mind and also got cards for Rocket this year to send to his friends after all. They were cheap and they turned out well and we are both happy.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

The dog has his own house. Yeah well, I'm allowed on the bed.

Santa Inc.

I am thinking up ways of tidying up bath-phobic Rocket before I take him for his 2nd Annual Photo With Santa. The 1st Annual Photo With Santa was a bit of an adventure/ordeal owing to his lack of age and experience and obedience, and I am hoping that this year I can get a picture in less than forty takes.

I could in theory take him to the mall for Doggy and Santa day but I think it would end up being 1) More expensive than Petco and 2) A complete nightmare. He does do really well in crowds and around other dogs and with strangers so it might be okay, but I have a bad feeling about the lights and the people and the whole Mall Environment - it could get ugly and  I'malso afraid it won't and  once we have experienced Picture With Genuine Real Mall Santa in his gorgeous suit and beautiful beard, we won't be able to go back to the Petco Ernest Volunteer Santa in his/her red scrubs and Duck Dynasty (tm) wig beard.

And I'm not sure taking the dog to the Mall Santa doesn't send a bad message about me. My human neice and nephew have never been to the mall to see Santa and my dog has? No, I don't think that would be a good thing.

It had been my practice with Daisy and now with Rocker, that we go to both Petco and Petsmart  for pictures with Santa. It usually took at least two different photo shoots to get the right picture and I never knew which place was going to have the really good frame. Its all about the frame!. Also it was nice to spread the charity money around and most years after the first picture debacle, Daisy was much calmer and easier to direct at the second stop and Rocket is turned out to be about the same. The first Santa actually left in tears after five month old  Rocket ended up sitting on his head! By the second Santa, Rocket was much less combative and only needed to be held down by Santa and an out of frame elf. He's older now and been through several obedience classes so I am hoping it is less of an ordeal for everyone involved.

This year we go to Petco. Petsmart has decided to forgo the picture taking and the frames and instead  are providing a Santa and the opportunity to DIY the picture.Super. The idea being that he $5 donation can go straight to worthy causes! Yay! (according to the Petsmart press release I saw on Facebook). The general feeling from the commenters was Boo! I would rather pay the $8 and not have to take my own picture and score a cute frame! Cheap Bastards! You Suck!  Petsmart claims we can then upload our pictures to out family and friends immediately! - So we will take these shots with out phones? Super High Quality Petsmartman! Wow! I can't wait!

So Saturday, we are going to Petco.  maybe I'll just give Rocket a quick  polish before we go  and maybe some tranqs.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bow Ties for your Dog, for MY dog.

Wednesday after work., after picking up the dog from daycareI went to a holiday party that a store downtown was throwing for itself. It wasn't so much a "party" as it was "Hey. COme downtown on a Wednesday and brouse our store because we were closed at Thanksgiving because we are run by a committee" . I could have gone there this Friday for First Friday, but its just far enough away from my regualr stimping grounds that I would have to drive there and I drove around last First Friday and, well, it gets dark now.

Anyway. At the store while I was browsing and wishing I had lots of money to spend on my family and friends - because of course I saw things that would be perfect  but perfection comes at a price and if that price is not "clearence", its not going to happen.

Wouldn't it be cool to have enough money to randomly buy art? Instead of trying take covert pictures of it? Here, if I had money, you would so have this for real! Isn't it perfect? Its $75, the artist is local.

Anyway, one of the many things I wanted but could not buy were Doggy Bow Ties . The store wanted $18.50 a pop,so it was a no go for Rocket, but  other stores sell dog bow ties! Target sells doggy bow ties! They aren't as cute as the artisanal/made from locally sourced organic cotton and natural dyes/locally made ties I wanted but couldn't have.

Holding Target in my back pocket I went online.

Shockingly, I am not the first person to be shocked at the prices for retail dog ties! I searched  Dog Bow Ties . A couple of hounded thousand hits, I decided to narrow my search, I went for Slide on Dog Bow Ties, another hundred thousand hits to peruse  - Oddly, out in the world, they are also out of my price range.

Enter DIY. Keeping in mind that  I do not sew :How To Make Dog Bow Ties. This was fine but how about free patterns?  An additional 200,000 + sites to checkout. A quick peak for  How To Knit a Dog Bow Tie  ( Hi Mom!) and then I found  a pictorial on how to make a dog bow tie! Shazaam!

If I could sew or follow instructions I would be a real danger to myself and others. I would also have the best dressed pets in the world.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I am going to decorate the tree. I decided I would be just so depressed if I didn't that it will save time if I just do it and get it over with. Otherwise I have this bad vision of myself finally getting the ornaments on the tree and then having to take it down a week later.

I'm going to do, but not tonight. Tonight I'm basking in my efficiency and time management! Due to having to leave with the dog to take out walk within minutes of coming home, I am now back home at such a time that I can feed both of us, watch a little teevee and still have time to run to Wallyworld to pick lunch stuff  and still be back before 7pm. I could do this same errand before lunch but I would have to pass many, many not-bagged-lunch options along the way so its safer to do this after dinner.

Over the summer we might not even get back from our walk until after seven. Over the summer I can come home from work and relax before going on a forced march. I will admit though, that the forced march is much nicer in the cold than in the heat.When it is cooler we go further and stay out longer.

I look forward to Christmas not because Yay Christmas! but because its after the solstice and it has started to stay a little lighter a little longer all ready. This pre-solstice period sucks for evening walks - but oddly, Rocket gets more walks in the winter because since we finish our walk so early, I sometimes take him out for an additional walk in the evening. Tonight I do not think we'll be walking as Rocket and Ace tired themselves out playing chase and then barking at each other until they both fell asleep. They only stopped because I got tired of the barking and put Rockets bark collar on. This broke the spell and the vibe: Its only fun if you can bark really loud and if you aren't getting bark at at full volume it just isn't worth it.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To do or not to do

I have made progress on the Christmas decorations.  Some progress. I got my creche set out and set up

This made me feel pretty good and so I moved on to the mantel. This is not finished because its missing the stockings, but it looks pretty good to me and I'm sitting there looking at it and thinking it looks really pretty  as it is and I start seriously wondering if I really need to hangup the stockings at all.

Isn't  that pretty?Look at that mantel being all shiny and bright and festive. I'm not sure it "needs" stockings.

Now, we move on to the tree. I put the garland on it and took a step back.

I think that looks great. Its pretty and glittery and just about everything you could ask for from a treet.


Eventuially, the lights have to go up

Oh God! Kill it with fire! How awful! But then I started thinking, How often will I be around to see it being ugly? Does it bother me that it's not pretty? Yes and no.  Yes, it would look better in the harsh light of day if it were fully dressed but... I am too lazy to do the job and then I think about the job of stripping it and suddenly I am really wondering Can I not put the ornaments on the tree? Can I do that?


Will it make me look sad and pathetic? I am going to bring out the Santas!... But then I think, why bring them out if you aren't going to decorate the tree? And then I wonder? Why do any og it? Who is going to see any of it? Why bother doing anything I don't want to deal with? I mean really? What if I don't decorate? Whatif I am happy with the more moderate decorations? I'll have to put some thought into this.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Work to be done.

One of my few Must Gets this weekend was Weimaraner  or Rocket themed ornaments or if I got really lucky, a weim riding on a rocket. I was not successful at the mall. Leave it to freaking Wallyworld to come through

I know the gray things are supposed to be robots but in my world and on my tree, those are weims until  I score the ones I really want - because I need more than one on the tree representing young dog, as it is the tree is just about covered with Daisy dogs , which is great and I'm glad to have them and its always nice to see Daisy, but I also want to see Rocket represented as well.

I gt my trees up and the outdoor stuff taken care of but I still haven't decorated the tree or the mantel piece or brought out the Santas. I have a lot of work to do but it doesn't all have to be done today. I bought a new tree for the office room last year after Christmas but I'm afraid it was not the best choice - it is the saddest little tree ever and I'm not sure if I want it anymore, it may not last the week.

This is it without the cover of darkness

This is it in its Christmas drag. I think it just looks too thin and peaky for a display tree.

When I wasn't looking for Dr. Strangweim ornaments, I was able to get the rest of my shopping done - online, but I got what I needed and if I was smart, I would be wrapping things now instead of waiting until the last minute or asking Broskey to wrap his own gifts for me because he enjoys wrapping gifts and can even do a good job with his eyes closed.

Speaking of things I should be doing now I should be putting my energy to getting my cards out too, I need to get busy with my addresses and make sure that I have new addresses for my people who have moved in the last year.

Things I should be doing right now

- Tree decoration
- Mantel decoration
- Cards mailed
- presents wrapped
- Christmas dog treats for Rocket and Valentine

I don't really need to spend all day at the office do I?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I almost didn't get this done. I came back from a bitter cold walk with Rocket, made myself some mac and cheese and bbq  pulled chicken, fed Rocket and then settled into my electric blanket and the TV.

Rocket not beign a stuiped animal, has learned that the best place to be is not on the quilt but under the quilt and he will burrow under if forced, it allows him to be surrounded by warmth and he and I like it better that way. I get all the benefits of electric blanket warmth as well as warm dog comfort. The dog figured out the wonder of being under the covers his first winter, I have been trying to convince the cat of that for six years to no avail.

I don't know if the cat is just that dim or his fur is just that thick.

Today on the Dog Spy 2000, I saw that the reason Rocket is so good beteeen six and noon is because Rocket is asleep between six and noon. He doesn't start passing and fussing and  peeing until at least a quarter to two. And then he's bouncing off the walls. The Prozac is  working but I need something with a slower release,something that might cover him for longer than six hours.

Today he peed on the bedding I left for him in the crate and then he pulled the sodden fabric onto the floor, ostensibly to steep, the plastic  floor of the crate being impenetrable and lacks the capacity to become as satisfyingly saturated as the hardwood floor.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Leaf Me Alone

A better weekend than last.

I went to the Raleigh Christmas parade, found it very similar to the one from last year, except this year instead of one or two helium balloons there were no helium balloons! Due to a worldwide shortage of helium. Instead we had an air blown  beaver. Merry Damchristmas!

I also raked the yard the old fashioned way - I would have vacuumed it but the leave coverage was too deep and I don't want to burn out my mower motor doing something stupid I could do by hand. The mower is pretty green but nothing is as green as a rake. It should be about reducing our carbon footprint, not making our lives easier. At least until we can vacuum the yard without putting the mower at risk.

I on purpose didn't get all the leaves up because the canopy is still pretty full on it and there is no point to expending  the time and energy and the creation of blisters, of getting the leaves all up, only to have more fall. I'll be more careful when the leaves have all fallen and then I pull out the mower and really clean everything up.  Until then, I'm not going to put the effort into it.

My plan proved its worth in a few hours

I mean, whats the point?  The city will come along and take the leaves but I don't know when that will be done next.I guess it gives me time to get this layer up and to the curb. The backyard is on its own, the leaf coverage will make for very nice mulch.  I bet the weeds that make up my front yard would also appreciate the layer of mulch but sadly, they don't rate the same care as my vegetables. Sorry weeds. And also, the neighbors don't have to deal at my mulchy back yard the same way as they have to deal with the leaves that escape from my front yard and colonize their yards. I'm just as much of  a leafe blown victim as they are - The hipsters haven't raked any of their hateful eaves from their hateful tree at all BECAUSE ALL THEIR LEAVES ARE IN MY YARD, ON MY DRIVEWAY AND ON MY PATIO.

I think I'lltake the dog out to pee. IN THEIR YARD.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Made with #Pixlr # - http://pixlr.com/mobile

Friday, November 22, 2013

Made with #Pixlr # - http://pixlr.com/mobile

Friday Cat Blogging

Bar Dog II

Rocket and I went to our second Cause for Paws fund raiser at The London Bridge Pub and Rocket tied with two other dogs for third place for Cutest Dog! He got the adulation of dozens and I got a neat tee-shirt!

Poor dog, by the end of the evening he was  just about zonked out! He spent the day at Daycare and so he hasn't really slept all day - he needs his beauty rest if he is going to be at the best at da club into the evening hours.

Such a good boy though and we had a great time.

Here he is checking out the competition

He took this "selfy" after I became suspicious that someone had spiked the water bowls!

Here he is at the end of the evening, totally chill waiting for the announcement of the winners. No stress here, note his total confidence in himself.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Got 'er done

The sum total of my accomplishments for the day:

Ta Da!

whispered as to not tempt fate: thedogwasdryallday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

He makes up his own challenges.

My new project is going to be getting the Spring tablecloth off the dining room table and getting the Autumn tablecloth on. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in this. I plan on getting this done before I put on the  Christmas tablecloth. I am ever hopeful.

Over the weekend I tilled up the gardens and winterized the outside of the house. I even took the hoses to the basement and stored them more or less neatly, better than last year when they spent the winter on the floor.

Monday I vacuumed/raked the living-room floor and swept and vacuumed the dogs room. I have made the executive decision hat he isn't going to be shredding anything else. It's messy and makes trash and I think he can play with his toys just has energetically and not make such a mess. But on the other hand, he doesn't play with his toys unless directed to do so and according to Dog Spy, sometimes the only thing he will voluntarily interact with during the day is cardboard.

Maybe instead of completely removing the boxes, I could limit his toy boxes in the future to only larger, hardier boxes that don't fall apart as quickly; additionally, boxes don't roll under the futon and disappear  into the land of the gone-and-forgotten-toys

In today's Dog Spy it was reiterated that Rocket Loves the Window. A Lot. Perhaps more than he loves me. He also wants his futon back, badly. Which is unhappy making for me.  Today, I watched him clearly spending time investigating chairs and how they are arranged there, and I  know that he will move on to more active experiments with them and that way lies educational destruction of private property and him getting himself back on the futon without my input.

My plan was to tart up the bedding in the crate, but I don't think its going to soft and cushy and up off the ground enough to make it as attractive an option as the futon. I fear if I don't physically remove the futon from the room ( really not an attractive option for me) I do not see him him ignoring it to spend the majority of his day in the crate.

On the futon he gets access to 1. Light,  2. Warmth, 3. A Good View Out The Window.  He's spends more time looking out his window than an old lady in a New York based sitcom. I can't deny him what little pleasure he makes for himself. Also,  my chairs work better when they not broken.

Today he peed once, but with great vigor.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Day for Doggy

Going into Day 6 of Operation Dog Spy, I made some changes to Rockets environment. I removed his beloved ottoman, covered the futon with chairs and moved the crate from one side of the room to directly under the window.

So instead of spending his day like this

He spent his day like this

He also had quite a few spells where he found himself inside the crate but didn't seem to understand why he was there.

He spent much more of the day in motion, I ended up with many, many more shots on Monday than I had the previous days. He didn't sleep as much and seemed to spend much of his day trying to figure out ways of getting a better view out the window. Challenge is good, keeping moving is good but I am a little afraid he was pacing, which is not good.

For Tuesday, I am taking some pity on the poor guy and I moved the crate back to its original location so that he can access the window easier. He really, really seems to need to get to it easily  for his doggy happiness and I do not want to take that away from him. I am already keeping him off his futon and the couch (only with permission and a 10 count wait) and the my chair (without me)  so he is feeling the pinch of  New Rules as it is. I don't want to overwhelm him.

Monday evening I took some of the behaviorists advice and started to teach him the names of his toys. I am sure he all ready has named these toys but I am teaching him the English names of them as well so he can be multilingual and get into a really good doggy secondary school. Today we started with Squeaky Toy

Squeaky is  sturdy rubber and shaped like a football and so far has held off being destroyed .We like Squeaky. Today I named it officially and showed it to Rocket. Then we played "Hide and Squeaky" and I tasked the dog to find the named toy. Every time he found or at the very least looked for it, he got a treat. I tried for "Bring me Squeaky", but this was a little outside what he was ready for so soon. I settled on him looking for and finding it with as little help as possible.Another task was having him Sit and Stay in the kitchen while I hid the toy, we were only some what successful with this but he showed improvement by the end of the game.

We spend the next week naming and playing with Squeaky until really recognizes that toy as Squeaky. Next week we name another toy and spend a week with it. Eventually we will name all the toys and he will have developed a little vocabulary.

Today he peed the floor twice.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I hate everything.

Very depressing weekend. I had to make the very painful choice to not send  out cookies this year. I really, really enjoy this project and it kills me to not be able to do it this year. I'm just too poor to be both Aunt Cookie and Santa. I just can't

I had made two batches and then got a bill and I called it quits. I don't buy "things", I feed myself and the animals and the car. I have not as much as CoL pay increase in years but at the same time, everything else has gone up in price and its not fair. Even worse, Rocket doesn't seem to like my cookies, I fed him a couple and he didn't seem to understand how to eat them. My house is filthy and the kitchen is filthy and the wasps are back and I make no progression in anything ever.

The dog won't stop wetting the floor and I'm transitioning him back to being crated all day for the first time since last summer and this is not the progress I wanted to make, its moving backwards and I do not believe that it is going to stop the peeing, its just going to change where he pees and now I'll have a dirty dog as well as a dirty crate.  I had to remove his ottoman out of the room and move the crate to the area in front of the window,I am hoping this will make him a little happier about his new lifestyle. I also made it so he can't get up on the futon while he is in the room for any reason. I put him in the crate while I went to church and he was miserable.

We are as one in our misery. At least we share that.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Did list

Things I  did instead of writing an entry:

- Took the dog on an abbreviated walk
- Made some hard choices about the annual dog cookie bake-o-rama
- Vacuumed the front yard of leaves in the near dark
- Put a lamp back together after the dog knocked it over chasing the cat, did not kill dog.
- Vacuumed up broken light bulb, cursed dog and cat.
- went to  the really nice holiday open house held at my favorite nursery, bought only one thing.
- went to Wally World, bought more than one thing
- Remembered to put out trash and recycling.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I spy

I have found an exciting new hobby. Some  people cook,some clean, some put tiny ships into bottles.I spy on my dog. I'm doing this to widen my knowledge base of dog behavior while also trying to figure out what is triggering Rocket to freakout and thus be able to make this behavior stop. And I've been curious as all hell about what he does all day.

I borrowed my fathers game camera and set it up in the office and waited to have the answers of the cosmos dropped in my lap.  What I learned:  Rocket sleeps a lot. He spends the early part of the day curled upon the futon but then he  shifts to the hassock  and spends the majority of  his day curled up there in front of the window. His day is punctuated by looking out the window and changing sleep positions.

I have not captured a freak-out or any obvious triggers. I know that possibly he is alerted by the phone ringing, but it doesn't cause behavior problems. I have also not captured when he pees - which he does one time each day or what causes a fully potty trained dog to do this

The behaviorist  came Tuesday evening and gave me a lot of good ideas, some I'll put into practice A) feeding him in the office room, B) spending more time myself in the office room with him, 3) Initiating a lot of new rules for him to remind him I am the Alpha,  C) Making sure he is always"below" me ,i.e when I am on the lounge which is somewhat shorter than the couch, he must be on the floor or on the actual dog bed in the room, D) He can be on the couch when I am on the couch or elsewhere but he must earn the privilege to be there,  E) Getting him new toys to cycle out with the old toys so he will actually have some interest in them. F) Teaching him dog tricks to bring us closer and give him more to do and make him more tired both physically and mentally.

He also had some ideas I am not going to do. 1) put him into a different environment in the house and  2) cover up his window so he can't see out of it.  I have mulled over moving the crate to block his access to the main window and moving his hassock to the other window as a possibility though.

From the images the camera has captured I know Rocket spend hours and hours either directly in front of tthe big main window or watching it from the futon and he seems fine with this. I don't want to cause waves in a calm sea by changing his whole world! I think he likes the warmth from the almost all day sun and he seems to really enjoy watching the neighborhood go by as entertainment and stimulation.

However,almostall day light and warmth is also available though the other window but there is much less to possibly over stimulate him. Although my spying has not uncovered evidence of this as yet.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Rocket rocking his new winter coat.

Rocket tries really hard.

Rocket tries to learn a new skill and ultimately,within hours, did learn to get the toy from the box.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Making the best of it.

Today was a good day! Rocket only peed on the floor! And he did it right before I got home so it was really easy to clean up! I was really heartened to come in a just clean up pee, I mean I was like over joyed that there wasn't anything torn up or in pieces or in the wrong place. I no longer have expectations, I'm just happy when I come home and I don't immediately  burst into tears or start screaming.

I also came to the conclusion that the instruction  I had been following, that when I come home in the evening that I should not immediately go to him but instead  leisurely go to the bathroom, change clothes and go about my business before I go and greet the dog. I think it works better for the both of us if I come home and rescue him right away - if only because the faster I can clean up the pee the better it is for he floor and for me. I understand the concept, but I also understand that not all rules fit all situations.

And my evening only got better when later when on my vets instructions, I went to clean out his ears -  it wasn't nearly as traumatic ( for us both) or as time consuming as it is when I try to put ear drop jell in! Yay! I haven't been sure that I am getting in any of the jell because he is such a terrible patient and I am a bad nurse.

Because I do not suffer in silence - Have you ever seen what lurks deep in your dogs' ears? Its not like what lurks in yours. We have nice, tidy,more or less clean places that get a little messy but nothing that is  too shocking. Your dogs'ears are shocking, there is no tidiness or cleanness in  a dogs ear. A dogs ears are actually tiny hellscapes. I believe now that when you area bad person and do terrible things to yourself  and others,  after you die you spend eternity deep in a dogs ears.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Weekly round up.

And how has your week been?

Monday we had our annual employee appreciation luncheon. Except there was no appreciation and the budget office cancelled our "luncheon", which which up until Friday afternoon consisted of  cold cut sandwiches and water. We usually get at least the cold sandwiches, but the budget office "reinterpreted" the standing rule and decided we really do not warrant being that appreciated.

Instead for the appreciation segment of the gathering, we were told with some pride, that the plan was to hire new people at much higher salaries then we were getting! The idea was to create inequality which would "have" to be corrected. ( Note, I am not kidding, this is a verbatim quote) Of course it will! Because the current legislature stands for even handedness and equality! They don't have a hard on at all  for creating inequalities!  They love inequality and want more of it for more people. They do not know their history and think people who do are libruls or communists or socialists or even fascists.

They do not under any circumstance want state workers to be happy. The legislature is full of ignorant teabaggers who think ( their fellow) state workers are a bunch of over paid losers who do nothing all day, they "know"we do nothing because they stripped the solitaire  off our computers -so for sure we do nothing all day. We  ( but not them) are over paid and undeserving. Of course they are going to leap to correct any problems that affect us ( and not them).

We did score two hours away from our desks for  a lecture on how great the DHSR and how those employees who were furloughed, did it for the team and it will all be worth it. We also learned that they are going to introduce a new platform that will help us stay connected. In reality, it is a very fancy phone tree. Period. Upside, the next time it snows we won't have to go to work to check our emails to see if  they sent us an email at work to tell us to stay home.

And the we had a really substantive mini-course on The Cloud. They hope to be able to use it for home based workers, or to increase the number of home based workers, but only if you want to be a home based worker -some people don't like it. Home based.

And then they handed out the service awards, which in theory we were supposed to hang around for but without the lunch bribe, I wasn't sticking around on my time to watch other people pick up their clocks or paper weights or lanterns. I  ate my own sandwich in my car.

Tuesday morning. I had the thought that whatever is upsetting the dog might be outside and if I made the outside go away, maybe the problem would go away with it. Surprise! It didn't! The dog destroyed my fifty year old blinds and  left my sheers in shreds. And he peed the floor. I need to stop having ideas, they are all wrong.

The doggy behaviorist coming next Tuesday. Today I took the Rocket to doggy daycare and for the first time in weeks didn't dread coming home.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Another experiment another failure,

If you ever want to Get In Touch with Your Feminine Side or Really Feel Like a Woman - Get a mamagram and feel every inch of your womanhood. God damn but those are"uncomfortable".

I don't remember it hurting quite so much in years past,or maybe the technician was just more through this year, she kept referring to them as "her" or "she" as  in "Can you shift her a little more to the edge?  or"How is she doing? I need to squeeze her a little more" 

The answer was every time"Do it! Do it! Do it! God this hurts! Just get your film please!

Because of my appointment, Rocket did not get his full walk. I feel bad about this, he worked so hard destroying the blinds in his window and shredding the sheer curtain, I thought he deserved a real adventure. I can't be too angry at him for this bit of terrorism, because I set him up. I had a thought that the reason he was freaking out in the afternoons was because the world of wonder out in the street was just too much for him. I decided that today was the day to free him from that over stimulation.

It turns out he really,really, really missed whatever drama goes on out there. I mean, like really, really. He was destitute without his eye on the world. The sheeris toast and while the slats on the  blind are a lot uglier then they used to be,  it still works. Sigh.

Next Tuesday a behaviorist is coming to tell me why all this is happening  and how to make him stop destroying my house and my trust.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Photoblogging Raleigh

I decided to leave Rockets crate open during the day to see if having a cave to retire to if he started to feel like he needed some safety would help with his anxiety. I took his nice bed out and instead stuffed a large pillow and blanket and an old sheet inside for padding.

He pulled stuffing out of  the pillow - it had pre-existing holes and he peed on the sheet instead of on the floor.

Tomorrow I'm going to keep the curtains shut to see if its something outside that triggers him in the afternoon.

To make myself feel better, here are some pictures I've taken over the past couple of weeks. I am working on a project , but these images are not right for it. I like them, but its not my project.

These were taking in Downtown Raleigh and along the Crabtree Creek Greenway along Capital Boulevard.