Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Crazy Life – September 19, 2011 – So, I ran over a pecan tree…

            As I posted last week, Calypso and I began Obedience Training on Saturday at Pet Smart. My little rambunctious dog was the biggest dog and the most well behaved in class. We arrived a little early and toured the store. She loved sniffing at everything but surprisingly, she did not pick up one item. 
            The manager tried to give her a treat – flavored popcorn – and Calypso turned her nose up at it. She also turned up her nose at a second treat. I took pity on the manager and gave her one of the treats I brought along for training class. Calypso gobbled it up, no questions asked.

            We then went to the training room to wait for the other dogs and the instructor. I dropped Calypso’s leash and let her walk around to explore since we were alone. A couple of minutes later, another dog and owner arrived. The minute the woman opened the door and her dog (a Boxer) came face to face with Calypso he peed on the floor. She cleaned the mess only for the dog to look at Calypso a second time with the same reaction. I was like “Go Calypso” –not aloud -  I know, totally rude and inappropriate even it was only in my head. Calypso didn’t do anything; she was standing there being good.

            In our class, we have five dogs, some kind of yip-yapping terrier looking dog, an English bulldog, an Alaskan Husky, a Boxer, and Calypso, a German shepherd. Calypso did not care for so many dogs and all of the noise that accompany them. She sat down as close to my chair as she could and periodically tried to climb in my lap. She eventually ventured out on her own and growled at the other dogs. I was curious before we went about how she might react to other dogs, but she really did not want anything to do with them. Of course, we were not on her territory. That would probably have created an entirely different scenario.

            The instructor was very good and her instruction techniques were easy to understand and implement. Calypso was a willing participant and did very well. She is learning the hand signal for sit and is actually listening better. The woman sitting next to me was a trip. She would tell her dog to sit and give him a treat and then the dog stopped listening and lay down. She told him, “oh well, just lay there and be good.” I was wondering what in the world was she doing. We were clearly in obedience class and she was telling the dog it was okay not to listen. This class should prove very interesting, although we may not be there much longer. Pet Smart also offers private lessons and I am considering switching over. It is a four-week class as opposed to six weeks and Calypso is not fond of the noise and chaos of the other dogs. I have to admit also that the chaos and lack of space aren’t working well for me either. Another plus would be the individual attention for an hour and the chance to work more intensely with Calypso on learning the commands. That actually appeals to me more than the socialization of so many animals.

            I am having so much fun now with the “sit” command and sign language. I make them sit for everything. I am really being bad about it (laughing.) They come to the door and they sit. I let them in. They follow me around as I fill their bowls with their food (and make them sit). Then they race to the door to go out and I make them sit. I open the door and we go outside like ladies.

            On Sunday, Hubby decided to plow his garden and plant a few potatoes. Of course, he wanted help, so I loaded up the dogs in their wagon and we rode to the garden to watch. Yes! Watch! He really didn’t plant that much so my help – other than company – wasn’t really needed. I was the “dog’s driver”. I hooked up their wagon to the lawn mower and we made several trips from the house (front) to the garden (back) and back; and then several more trips around the garden (just for fun.) Don’t they look like they were enjoying themselves? I cannot let them out of the wagon because of all the tall grass. We’ve had an issue with ticks before and I am more than a little paranoid about them. Therefore, for their protection – and my delicateness – they stay in the wagon.

Hubby heading to the 'back' with the choppers to the garden.

A couple of rows after being chopped. That's our house in the 'front'.

Ryka (left) and Calypso in their wagon. They are nearly the same size now.

Calypso - 7 months

Ryka (front) and Calypso (back)

            Ryka likes to hang over the side and watch the tall grass go by. It is the funniest thing to watch. Calypso just stands there. She is beginning to get comfortable with riding. She is not crazy about lawn mowers or noise.

            On Monday night, I went to book club. We read a wonderful book, Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. It was a fabulous book. The story traveled back and forth between the United States and India. A couple (American and Indian) adopt a baby from India and the life they led. It was a very touching story. I am going to be writing a review on it this week. Our club host fixed authentic Indian food that was to die for. I will have to include a recipe for the chicken dish at the end of this post.

            Being the “duh” I sometimes am, I walked into her house and saw the dishes and was wondering why she was cooking Indian food. If you had read five books last week, you might have been confused as well. The dishes looked more festive because she cooked them in the different colors of Le Cruset pottery. I am always thinking that I need to “matchy match” my cookware and it was so Indian looking with the different colors. It made me re-think my decision. Why stick to one color when all of the colors are so vibrant, you can’t choose just one color. My decision – when I start buying new pots, I will not limit myself to just one color.

            And, the gossip (therapy)? Just as colorful and spicy as the food. You already know the code – “What happens at book club STAYS at book club!”

            That is about all that been going on this week. It is nice to have a calm week. OH! I almost forgot – Hubby and I had a date on Saturday night. We went with friends to a dinner theater. It was “Gone with the Hurricane.” I’ll be blogging on that later. It was so much fun that I cannot wait to go again.

Indian Chicken

Prep time: 10 minutes     Cook Time: 20 minutes

1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-tablespoon curry powder
1-teaspoon ground ginger
1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk
½ cup lower-sodium chicken broth or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to:
Season chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion, garlic, curry powder, and ginger to the same skillet. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. add coconut milk and broth; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. add chicken back to the pan and cook until sauce is thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes. serve hot.
Makes 4 (2-cup) servings.

Donna “Lucy”

P.S. I just realized I didn’t include the story mentioned in my title. I’ll have to include it in my next post. 

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  1. Secret Daughter was one of my "Borders Closing Sale" books. Looking forward to it. As always, love to see pictures of your beautiful dogs (from another Shepherd owner....)

  2. I so wish I could garden. I hear it's very relaxing. But I can barely keep my plants alive in the house.

    That indian chicken recipe sounds delicious. I'm coming back when I have pen and paper so I can write it down. I am definitely going to try it.

    Thanks for sharing your week with us.

  3. Hi Donna!!!
    Yes!! Watch out for those ticks, especially on YOU!!! I was sitting outside a little over 4 years ago, just sitting there in my wheelchair reading a book. "9" of them got down the back of my shirt!!! YES, 9!!!!! The first one made my entire back swell up. I went to take a bath, and my entire back was swollen and red with a black dot in the middle. My hubby flicked it out of my back, and AFTER my bath, I found 8 MORE UNDER THE SWELLING!!! I was POSITIVE FOR LYME DISEASE!!!! HAVE BEEN EVER SINCE! I have suffered now EVER SINCE!!! Right now I have been going through a 'can't stay awake no matter what I do' phase. This happens EVERY Spring and Fall!!! My skin breaks out in ulcers, and so do my fingertips. OW!!!! I was treated with antibiotic for ONE WHOLE YEAR, and it didn't work, or else I would NOT have this problem today! Anyway, just got back from the doctor the other day, and am on ANOTHER round of antibiotics AGAIN!!! My fingers got it BAD this time! They hurt SOOOOOOO bad!! This Lyme Disease is MORPHING into something WORSE that the doctors and the CDC IS IGNORING!!! It is leaving those of us afflicted with NO treatment available, except for them to tell us "It's ALL in our heads, and to go see a Psychiatrist"!!! Can you believe that??
    The other day when I went to the doctor, there was ABSOLUTELY OBVIOUS THERE IS SOMETHING TERRIBLY WRONG WITH MY HANDS. The Dr had me go to U of M about 1 year ago for treatment. THEY REFUSED TO CALL IT LYME DISEASE, ACCUSED "ME" OF DIGGING INTO MY SKIN, AND SAID IT'S 'ALL' IN MY HEAD!!!!
    After ALL the research I have done online about Lyme Disease, there IS another disease that it is morphing into and IS being ignored by the CDC. The ONLY treatment available to us is Homeopathic treatment, such as Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Oil, and supplements. I must spend a FORTUNE at Lucky Vitamin to TRY to stay healthy.
    This time the bacteria count is SO HIGH in my blood, I have been SOOOO sick. Can't stay awake no matter what. The antibiotic IS helping.
    PLEASE BE SOOOOOO VERY CAREFUL!!!!! This does NOT seem to affect the pets, just people. It is NOT fun. After 4 pills of the antibiotic, I am starting to feel better today, FINALLY!!!!
    Ticks are NO laughing matter. I feel they are DEADLY now. Fleas and ticks from RATS caused The Plague!!!! Now there is a NEW disease it is causing.
    I don't know WHY the CDC is REFUSING to cooperate with the public and tells doctors to IGNORE US who are afflicted!!
    If MORE of the general public knew about this, there WOULD BE AN UPROAR!!!!
    I generally don't tell people about this, but, I want YOU to know PLEASE DON'T GET BIT!!!
    I have the one Neurological Muscle disease, and ONE is enough!! Now I have been fighting AGAIN with the Lyme!
    NOT FUN!!
    Keep doing what you are doing!!! DON'T let those little buggers get you!!! PLEASE BE CAREFUL!! YOU AND THE DOGS!!!

  4. Beautiful dogs!
    Yes, do be careful of the ticks for yourself as much as for your dogs. My mom contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever once by being bit by a tick.
    Just thought I'd drop by one of my blogfrog followers. :) Elizabeth at

  5. Visiting you back from GFC Get Connected. I see I am already a follower!! Love your dogs!

  6. Reading about the dog training totally cracked me up! It reminds me of open house at my kids' school - how all of us parents size each other up and secretly believe we have the best child in the group. LOL!

    Ticks. Ugh. We live on a heavily wooded lot, and I'm constantly checking the kids and animals for ticks. Last year was particularly bad, and I nearly had a nervous breakdown because of it. One thing I hope for you is that you never accidentally step on a bloated tick, barefoot or otherwise. It's not good for one's mental health.

  7. I'm very happily returning the follow to your blog and so glad I did. I just love the pictures so I could see what your dog looks like!
    I've heard that about PetSmart, that their 'classrooms' are too small and not enough individual attention.


  8. What beautiful dogs! We recently had to put our family dog to sleep and we're all still making the adjustment! Thanks for stopping by! ~Tina @ Mamas Like Me

  9. I love your site! You just got yourself a new fan. Following you via GFC. Playing Blog hop tag, YOU'RE IT! Tag me back at: and on facebook

  10. I'm just about to tuck into some Indian food - love it!

    I'm in the process of clearing out my wardrobe this week - hurray for jeans and white shirts!! :D

  11. Thanks for the follow following you back from Bloggity blog

  12. Thanks for visiting! Following back!

  13. Thanks for commenting on my blog post and entering the contest for the Fourth Stall. I'm following your blog now and I can't wait to try the recipe.

  14. Great post and beautiful dogs. I followed your blog with GFC and I subscribed via email. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  15. Your dogs are so cute. Can I use that term with dogs? Fun to learn all about Calypso's obedience lessons and what dogs learn there. Thanks also for the recipe, it sounds delicious.

    Following from the blog hop and would appreciate a follow and a comment on the post below!

  16. Thank you for following Blog Hops Everyday. I am now following you back. Please spread the word to help us grow. Thank you in advance.

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