Monday, March 28, 2011

From Fashionista to Raganista

Beautifully creased white shirts

            I used to be a fashionista, now I’m just a raganista. It is a sad, but oh so true story. I used to wear nice clothes. I had matching belts, high heel shoes, and handbags. I wore suits and sweater sets. I had skirts in every length and every color. I had slacks with professional creases. I had baubles and trinkets in every size and shape. Being a fashionista was serious business.
            Then, I retired to life in the country. Jeans and cutoffs replaced my skirts and slacks. T-shirts replaced my button-downs. Tennis shoes and crocs replaced high heels. A serviceable watch replaced the baubles, while gardening gloves replaced rings. Huge functional totes replaced smart colorful purses.
Coordinating belts and shoes
            I still have nice clothes; they just rarely make their way off the padded hangers. Makeup, a thing of the past; has long since replaced by a huge straw hat and moisturizer. And, it's not at all unusual to let a week go by without putting my feet into shoes.
            Magazines with beautiful clothes fill my mailbox. The UPS truck whizzes by on the highway, my hopes and dreams of a new dress dashed by the turning wheels. Just when I think I might put on a pair of nice jeans, my puppy reminds me that she does not distinguish between old and new when she sinks her teeth into the fabric and rips.
Basket of tennis shoes
            Wearing a pretty sundress while out mowing the grass might garner a few strange looks, even if I wear a pair of pretty sandals. And, can you imagine the whispering if I was caught weed eating in a suit? Oh my!
Folded t-shirts

             My closet used to be my “happy place.” I am sure it will be again one day soon, but for now; the grass needs mowing and the puppy must learn not to use her Jaws of Life grip on my pants leg (and my skin.) When that happens, I will once again throw open the doors to my “happy place” and become the fashionista I once was. What a glorious day it will be!
            Does this describe your life? 
Buttondowns (I like white)




Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jubilee Jambalaya Writers Conference

Writers share stories, advice

Julia Rendleman//Staff
Jessica Plaisance (left) and Donna McBroom-Theriot listen to Rochelle Frazier talk about her book, “Sweeteas” Saturday during the Jubilee Jambalaya Writers Conference and Book Fair at the Terrebonne Parish Main Library in Houma.
Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 10:40 p.m.
HOUMA — Speaking Saturday at the Jubilee Writer’s Conference, author Lisa Jackson wanted to show her audience how she works. So she put on her “jammies” — a loose white dress and pair of slippers.
“This is Lisa Jackson,” she told her audience in the Terrebonne Library. “Jammies may not be the answer for you, but they’re definitely the answer for me.”
Jackson, a New York Times-bestselling author, was the keynote speaker at the eighth annual conference, part of Nicholls State University’s Jubilee arts and culture festival.
Jackson discussed her three-decade career as a writer of mostly crime and detective novels and answered audience questions about breaking into the publishing market. That can be difficult because of the consolidation among publishing companies. Publishers may also be seeking only certain types of books, such as vampire-themed romance novels, to cash in on current trends.
“Let’s talk about the vampires,” Jackson said. She then frowned, poked two fingers into her neck and grimaced. Vampire books, Jackson said, are not for her.
Ultimately, she said, good novels are written from the heart. And if aspiring writers are unable to break into the traditional publishing market, then electronically publishing so-called “e-books” is gaining in popularity.
Electronic publishing was the theme at two of the conference’s seminars. Deborah LeBlanc, a Lafayette author who has written many novels featuring the supernatural, gave some “straight talk” about getting into e-publishing. Publishing electronically may mean that books sell for less money, but writers typically get a higher percentage of the revenue, she said.
Other workshops covered topics such as meeting and working with literary agents or writing a good cookbook. Five or six dozen aspiring writers were able to participate in one-on-one sessions with more-experienced authors.
The conference also included a contest that ranked poetry and fictional short-story submissions. First-time conference attendee Jodie Boudreaux entered a poem and a short story. She began shaking, she said, when she found out the short story was selected as the top fiction entry.
“I was not expecting it,” said the Houma nurse. Her story, “The City,” is about a future where there are no natural energy resources and the struggle of a woman in that society whose husband is unable to walk.

Friday, March 25, 2011

So…what’s in your bag?

            On Hoda and Kathy Lee there was a segment (many segments) about what’s in Hoda’s wallet. There was one day when she actually emptied her purse and let’s face it ladies, we are all curious about what someone else has in their purse (don’t bother denying it!)
            I was reading a couple of blogs that I follow on a regular basis, and I could not believe the topic! Everyone seemed to be posting pictures of their bags and all of its contents. They all have the same curiosity that I do (girls will always be girls.) I was thinking it would be a fun post and I was hoping to get others to play along and post some of the things they couldn’t possibly leave out when packing a purse.

            Here goes:
My favorite RED bag. It has oodles of room.
         "...He reached past Cameron and tossed her purse over the seat. "See if you can find her keys," he told Wilkins. 
        "Are you kidding? What if she wakes up and sees me rummaging around in there? You don't touch the purse. The purse is sacrosanct...."."
            
The contents (which also contain contents!)

1.   My pink polka dot monogrammed notebook cover (I like pretty)

2.   My catch-all pouch that contains a lipstick pencil and lipstick, tape measure (never know when it will come in handy,) rosary, bandaids, wipes, tissue and some other odds and ends (I am an organization    fanatic so remember everything has a place and everything in its place)

3.   My ziplock with my memory sticks and the card that my phone picture card fits in if I want to develop pictures

4.   My keys (that's my TEC cross from high school)

5.   My wallet (the green thing - I like to be different and I have never met a wallet that I liked)

6.   My business cards

7.   My silver monogrammed pill holder (remember - I like pretty)

8.   Hand lotion (Moonlight Path from Bath and Bodyworks)

9.   Eyeglass case

10. Extra little notebook with an extra pen (in case someone wants to borrow a pen - I don't lend very well so I also have an extra to loan)

11. My little container of crackers (I forget to eat and usually end up with a headache)

12. My water bottle (it has a pink top and princesses on the side - remember - pretty)

13. Not pictured is my phone which I am taking the picture with. I also use it for recording voice memos, to do's, and my grocery list which eliminates more clutter

14.  Almost forgot! My Kindle

15.  Also missing is my To Be Read file that I grab before heading out of the door

So - how many of you are going to be brave and list what's in your bag? If you don't have a blog - do it on Face book (if you are brave enough!!!)

     

Thursday, March 24, 2011

And then there was the time...Part 2

             I was mowing the yard with the tractor. While the task may not sound like all that daunting, add the mower attachment to the back of the tractor, and, well, you begin to get the picture; especially if you are me, Donna, better known as “Lucy.”
            In case you have never ridden a tractor, much less cut grass using a tractor with a mowing attachment let me explain a few crucial points of interest. First, ALWAYS begin your turn a long way from the point where you think you need to turn. The mower attachment swings wide, VERY WIDE; imagine a tractor-trailer truck. Secondly, ALWAYS begin your turn early. Thirdly, ALWAYS begin your turn early.
            It seems I never did get the hang of those pointers. I tried, really I did. One of the last times my husband allowed me to cut grass I snagged the chain-linked fence. After my initial panic attack, I managed to free the mower from the jaws of the fence to continue mowing the yard. As I finished mowing the yard, my mind was trying to figure out just how I was going to repair the fence so my husband would be none the wiser. Being the creative seamstress I am, I quickly decided it would be a cinch to sew up the fence. It would as good as new and he would be none the wiser. That was probably my second mistake.
BewitchedImage via Wikipedia
            The first mistake was thinking I could “sew” the fence. I found some extra wire in the barn and knelt down to begin my magic (wishing at this point that I had Samantha’s wiggling nose in Bewitched.) Mending the fence turned out to be a harder task than I originally thought but I managed to wire the fence back in place better than I originally anticipated. I thought my husband would be none the wiser. I was actually confident (BIG MISTAKE!) It took a few weeks; but, the first time he got on the tractor and made one round of the yard, he found it.
            I wasn’t feeling quite so confident at this point, but I was still proud of the job I did.

            Then there was the time…

            I was mowing and hit the side of the barn. Once again, I thought I did a good job hammering out the dent and hiding it with a barrel (hedging my bets) and thought it my husband would never notice the slight dent (and missing paint.) Yeah, I was wrong again. Shortly after that discovery, I had my tractor license permanently revoked and I was presented with a riding mower. And, just so you know, there are some stories that involve a riding mower as well. 
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Lucy’s Back……


Lucille Ball's signatureImage via Wikipedia



            The reason I decided to write this particular story, or maybe a series of tales would more aptly describe them, is because one of my sisters brought to mind another of my “tales” as she was incorrectly guessing the origin of one of my blog stories.
            I used to say that I was a klutz or that I was not very graceful. I decided that those particular descriptions did not adequately describe me at all. I am not really a klutz (I am REALLY not-bull in a china store comes to mind) and I DO TRY to be graceful, most of the time falling far short of the mark, but I do try. I finally came to conclusion of claiming it and naming it for what it is - things just happen to me, I am Lucille Ball personified.
           
                   Just in case you are having doubts, there was the time……………..
            My husband, Jeffery built a wagon to haul things around our huge yard. Unbeknownst to me, he completed it. He hooked it to the tractor and came to the door to show me his new “prized” possession. Imagine my surprise when he showed me the chair he had thoughfully place in it. My husband then drove me around the yard and I pretended that I was a princess and waving to all of my subjects.
            In my world, no one was watching so it was all fun and games, UNTIL I saw the old man next door who was observing the goings on in our yard and by the look on his face had decided his new neighbors were nuts.
            Why this surprises me, I don’t have a clue. Every time I rode the tractor I could be heard for miles around (I am quite sure) singing, “Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me…) Isn’t that what normal people do?

                              Then, there was the time……………..
            I skipped a step going down into the garage and careened into a four x four post, ending up in a heap on the floor. In between, I messed up my rotor cup, bruised the side of my rib cage, and knocked the breath out of myself. I finally got my husband’s attention by banging on the dryer door. He told me he heard a noise but because I had not yelled, he thought everything was fine. His comment, “You shouldn’t prance down the steps.” (Uh! Hello? That is not what I do.) He then asked me if I wanted to sit in a chair. At that point, I could breathe again and just retorted that I could not fall any further than the floor and I thought I would just stay there for a while.
            I often tell my husband (usually after I’ve “done” something,) “Ya gotta love me. What else ya gonna do with me?” My wonderful husband has learned from experience that I can be a handful and should be watched at all times! If he is working on a project, especially if it is one for me, I am stuck right there in the middle of it with him – usually in the way. My Guardian Angel has her hands full with me; just keeping me safe is a full-time job.
      
                           There was also the time…
            Jeffery was building a set of bookcases for me. He was hammering the shelves in and, of course, I was there watching every nail being nailed in. I love designing furniture and my carpenter husband brings it to fruition, so I get excited and usually get in the way. As I normally do, I got a little too close and when he swung the hammer back, it connected with my knee. Fortunately, I did not sustain any major injury. The accident was his fault. I even told him so. I told him that he had been married to me long enough to know that he should always be watching for me to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You would think that he would remember.
            Then, there was the time…...and you will have to come back to read all about it.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It takes two baby….

            I am going to venture out there and say that only in a southern Louisiana parish are you going to find two deputies directing traffic. That doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary to you. Well, it might, if you witnessed what I witnessed while driving the children to school this bright, sunny, average school morning.
            There is an inordinate amount of traffic in a small area these days due to construction. There is an old bridge (which has closed down a major artery for the bayou region), that practically fell apart and is now in the process of being repaired. This bridge just happens to be located across the bayou from my house. Every morning, seven days a week, the pounding of pilings can be heard along with the birds singing in the trees and on the utility wires (which, by the way, why doesn’t the wire electrocute them?)
Aerial view of the intersection of Bayou Lafou...Image via Wikipedia
Intracoastal Waterway
            Then, south of the Intracoastal Waterway, traffic is hampered by the construction on a new bridge (it hopes to alleviate the chaos being created by the construction). The re-routing of the traffic (tractor-trailers heading to Port Fourchon, people who work in Port Fourchon and up and down the Bayou Lafourche, and normal school traffic) that normally flows on two highways is being routed to one very small two-lane highway, otherwise known as Louisiana 1.
            And, if that hasn't created enough headaches, you have to deal with boat traffic closing the bridges on the one highway. It is common for me to sit in my driveway in the morning waiting for a Good Samaritan to let me pull out and join the three miles of traffic to the bridge.
            As I headed down Louisiana 1 toward the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge, I approached one of the bridges crossing the bayou. At this bridge was a deputy in the middle of the highway directing traffic. It’s not as if this were unexpected, because without someone directing traffic, no one would make it through the traffic light. What was unexpected was the deputy on the side of the highway (to the back of the deputy) also directing traffic. To further explain he was directing traffic behind the other deputy’s back.
            Had this not been a serious catastrophe waiting to happen, it would have made a great “Funniest Video.” You really had to be there to appreciate the comedy. It truly was beyond funny. The cartoon phrase “which way did they go?” with a slight change to “which way do we go?” comes to mind.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

There's a New Game in Town

and it's called "Scoop the Poop," and there doesn't seem to be any rules; and for some unknown (maybe it is known) reason, I am the first one picked!


I also promise this WILL NOT become a recurring theme on my blog! In my life, yes; but, not on my blog.

The Jail Break-March 11, 2011

...or should I say The Great Escape....
            It all began sometime around dusk yesterday afternoon. As we left for church, my instincts were telling me to kennel the dogs in the garage; the other conscience (my husband) was telling me to leave them in the outside play yard. That is where they were, their outside pen. That was not where they were when we got back.
My Garden House, Ryka on the stoop.
            I have a little Garden House out back with a little white picket fence yard. The yard also serves as a play yard (pen) for our dogs. No dog has ever attempted a jailbreak – until now. (In the picture - Ryka on her side and Calypso is the little dark speck to the right of Ryka's date. Calypso's gate, the scene of the break-out, is to the right and at the back.)
            In order to acclimate Ryka (my three year old German Shepherd) to our yard and her new surroundings, I would put her in the play yard so she could spend longer and longer amounts of time outside alone and semi-supervised until I felt I could trust her.
            Once I thought Calypso was big enough in size (she is 8 weeks old) to put in the play yard to have outside time, we divided the yard in half. Calypso is growing and getting very active, so she has been enjoying being outside all day long the last few days.
            The two dogs love playing through the fence slats and have been happy and content with the limited interaction, or so we thought (that is what we get for thinking like humans!)
Hopefully this will work. 
            Lately, Ryka has been sitting on the stoop to the Garden House and playing with Calypso even when her gate is open and she is free to explore the big yard. She has developed quite a mothering instinct towards Calypso. She hopped over the little makeshift wall once (Calypso was not in her side), so we raised it a little higher (obviously not high enough.)
The Re-constructionist
            My husband (who was an Accident Re-constructionist for the LSP) came up with the following scenario of what transpired last night. Last night was the first time we left them outside when we left the house and this was Calypso’s first time outside at dusk. He thinks that Calypso was probably calling to Ryka (in doggy talk – my husband’s words – yeah, I am still processing that one) and Ryka, wanting to mother her, chewed through two of the barriers (after first attempting to dig under) to jump over into Calypso’s side.
            Then, he thinks there was some sort of activity next door that got Ryka excited, and she hopped up on the back gate (paws up like dogs do) and was surprised when the action caused two slats to break loose (I learned that treated wood rusts nails – the entire fence is getting an overhaul today.) Jeffery thinks that Calypso saw the opportunity (freedom at last, freedom at last) and made the initial escape with Ryka following to protect and watch over her (which was what was going on when we found them.)
            We arrived home from church (thank goodness they were not waiting at the front gate) and drove down the driveway. I still do not know exactly where they were, and the angels must have kept them from crossing in front of the car.
The crime scene.
            As I got out of the car and walking towards the little yard, started talking to Calypso (before the break out was discovered.) I walked around to her gate and looking in to the darkened pen did not detect any sign of movement. Then, I heard a jingle (thank goodness for the rabies tags on dog collars) and looked up to see Ryka and Calypso walking across the driveway! I screamed (come on – you should know me by now!) Then, when I looked around, trying to process what was playing out in front of my eyes, I noticed that two slats were missing from the back gate and on the ground. That was the exact moment I learned about treated wood rusting out nails.
            I do not know which was racing faster – my heart or my mind! Ryka and Calypso had been in the big yard together; and Ryka was taking care of the munchkin, and she was still alive (Ryka plays a little too rough yet to be unsupervised with Calypso.) Calypso was alive! And, perfectly fine! That phrase kept playing loudly in my mind for about sixty seconds while I desperately tried to process what was going on.
            Ryka’s behavior was indicative of someone who knew something was not quite right, and she had done something a little wrong. She actually went into her kennel when we raised the garage door. She would not look at me for a while. She kept her head down and I had not even fussed her. I had to coax her out of her kennel to eat, and then I spent a little time with her so she would relax.
            On the other hand, Calypso was perfectly fine to be free and could not understand why she had to go into her kennel.
            I sat down to dinner a short time later and did not know if I should be laughing or crying. The scene kept playing in mind like a cartoon. Two dogs breaking out of the pen and yelping, “Free at last! Free at last!”
            The moral of this story is I do not know what to do. I am still freaking out. One thing is certain, and that is, every fence board is getting re-nailed today. We’ll start with that and see what happens (hopefully nothing!) Oh! I will be listening to my own instincts from now on.
            And, so ends the story of the jailbreak. I think I will go and check on the jailbirds. They are outside, and today is the day they will start having supervised play dates with each other.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Must Love Dogs

Who knew you could have an entire conversation....about doggie doodo? Three old friends from high school now know you can (another episode of "Lucy" and friends.)


And we did.....and, somehow I do not think they will mind me immortalizing the conversation.....it sorta went like this.....


I posted: My sweet husband did the poopee bag for the vet so I didn't have to! He even put the zip lock in a brown paper bag because he knew it would gross me out!


Then I posted: Just what everyone wanted to read I'm sure! lol


Friend Dianne: Oh, T*M*I!! LOL


Friend Dianne: It takes a lot to gross me out. My little puggle leaves surprises for me on a daily basis. I probably could have done it with a sandwich in the other hand. There really is such a thing as getting "immuned" to things.


Friend Marlene chimed in: Yeah, Bob is the "official poopie picker upper" because he takes Elmeaux out front every morning and when he comes home from work. My job is to make sure that he has bag on hand. I will, however, do it when necessary. I must brag that I can actually pick up two poops in one bag, and Bob is a "one poop per bag" kinda guy. Yeah, WAY T.M.I. I know.


Friend Marlene: What is wrong with us? Is this the "poopie post"?


Friend Marlene:  BTW, YOU started it, Donna! lol


Me:  I wonder if I should apologize?! rotfl I am truly impressed Marlene - 2 per bag?! And you, Dianne, with a sandwich in hand? My sandwich in hand would be the sandwich I just spit up because of what the other hand was doing! I am in awe of both of you!


(I must add here that Marlene has a small dog. I have a German Shepherd. I'd need a GALLON size ziplock where she probably uses a pint size!)


Me:  To my credit - I do scoop the stuff out of the outdoor pen and fling it over the little fence into the flower bed! I will NOT tell you the length of the handle of the scooper I use though.


Friend Marlene:  Well, Donna, you know it's like this....sometimes when I take Elmeaux for a walk, I only have one bag, and he goes twice! It's not because I'm trying to get in the world record book, or anything like that! lol


Me:  I'm glad we live in the country. They can mess all over the yard (and they do) and I just have to scoop it up every couple of days and throw it in the nearest flower bed! Jeffery made me the funniest pooper scooper to use. I laugh the entire time. I'll have to post a picture one day! Then you will really laugh!


Me:  Time to start loading the kennel and transferring dogs to go to the vet.


Friend Dianne:  Well thanks Donna and Marlene! I had my "belly laugh" for the day. Love you both!


......And now our conversation will be forever in print! Thanks guys!......

Monday, March 7, 2011

Has Something Scarred You for Life?


            I think we all have those moments in which we claim our parents scarred us for life; I know I have a few. I was having a conversation with a friend on Face Book and the conversation worked its way around to food (don’t all our conversations do this?)
            Friends were making comments after reading my blog on eating oysters for breakfast and chasing them down with hot cocoa. This led to discussions on the general eating habits of our younger years where I admitted to being a finicky eater and feasting on mayonnaise sandwiches. I also remember spending hours at the dinner table hoping to outlast the admonitions of my mother and finally have her excuse me from the table for not liking what she had cooked that night.
            To this day, I cannot look at or smell a can of Trappey’s Red Beans. My mother had a dish she liked to cook called Western Beans. As far as I was concerned, those beans should have stayed in the west where I am certain the cowboys were missing them. It consisted of ground beef, stewed tomatoes, and the red beans. As detested, as those stewed tomatoes were, one of those little chunks was inevitably going to end up on MY plate. At that point, I knew dinner was going to last an eternity. There would be no television that night. My nose would not be buried in a good book that night. My time would be spent sitting at the table, hoping and praying that meal would somehow vanish into thin air (just so you know, it never did.)
            I spent an afternoon organizing my youngest sister’s pantry, and when I came across a huge can of those same red beans, I could not even touch them. I made her take them out and later put them back into the pantry!
            What would eventually scar me for life was the day I got off the school bus only to find the air permeated with a horrid smell. All sorts of ghastly thoughts were going through my young mind, all of which seemed tame once I figured out the smell was coming from my house.
            The closer my steps brought me to the kitchen door, the more frightened I became. It was worse than any horror show I might ever see in the future. I still remember the dread emanating through my little body as I reached for the doorknob and entered my house. My mother had decided to cook turnips and cabbage! I had never seen these two vegetable close up, much less smelled them; and now I had to eat them. If I could have run to church at that moment and confessed every sin my little heart thought it committed in the hope of returning home and having it all be a bad dream, my little legs could not have carried me fast enough.
Turnips (Brassica rapa)Image via Wikipedia
Turnips

            My mom was standing at the stove and I could tell that she was anticipating dinnertime and the wonderful meal she thought she was cooking. How my little innocent soul longed for a mayonnaise sandwich. Dinnertime lasted a long time that night. There was not enough ice tea in all of China to wash down those turnips and cabbage.
            It is funny how some memories stick with you. 


**I was reminded by my younger sister that she was also traumatized by the cabbage/turnip debacle, and that she was sitting there right along side me, praying just as hard as I was. Her comment is on the comments page. Don't miss it! 

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oysters and Hot Chocolate?


            You would not have that questionable look on your face if your day has been like my day so far; and it is only 9am.
            We were late getting home from church this morning because my husband was helping with the burning of the palms. It stormed yesterday and the rain delayed the burning ceremony. I had to ride home with a horrid smoke smelling person (and now the arduous task of getting the smoke smell out of his sport coat begins!) That was bad enough!
            Upon entering the garage, both of the dogs were doing the potty dance. I was afraid if either of them sneezed, they would pee out of their ears (sorry, no nice way to say it.) Of course, the munchkin has to go first since she is the puppy. It is like the starting of a dog race when you open her kennel door. There is a country song that comes to mind that has something about the race is on and something in the backstretch, (I think.) She flies out of the kennel, scampers around the laundry bin and table at break-neck speed, and if the back door is not open, she will run into the door.
            She races around in the cool brisk air, almost too excited to potty. Finally, after enough coaxing, she pottied and then raced for the door. Now, it is time for dinner, only dinner isn’t ready because I have been outside watching her run around! She knows the routine already. First, I get her bowl and scoop her food out of her bucket (she knows which bucket is hers) and then I head to the sink to add a little gravy and meat from the can of dog food. By this time, she is hoping first on one paw and then the other. As soon as I put her bowl down, she attacked it. This led me to believe it was okay to get poor Ryka from her kennel and hustle her out of the door.
            Not so! Calypso grabbed a mouth full of food and immediately chased after Ryka. Rkya, knowing from routine that either she or the puppy is out at one time, headed back to her kennel. Meanwhile, I am hanging on to a squirming puppy and trying to coax Ryka to the door. Thank goodness Jeffery showed up about that time. He grabbed Calypso and herded her back towards her dinner, and I finally got Ryka out the back door.
Amelia Bedelia (1963)Image via Wikipedia
            Then, the second race was on. I have to keep Ryka on a leash right now due to her recent surgery. When it is time to potty, I put the long leash on so she has some lead way to choose just the right spot (not just any spot will do.) She had me almost running to keep up with her down the grassy road to the back of the property and then she abruptly stopped to potty. No sooner is she finished, we were off at a clip again. I was flying through the yard, still dressed in church clothes and my red raincoat, splashing through a ditch with water to another part of the yard where she suddenly found just the right place to finish her business. Amelia Bedelia or Lucille Ball – either scenario you would happen to be picturing in your head would work in this case.
            Therefore, this morning when I opened up the refrigerator and saw a little bag with four fried oysters from yesterday, I thought one word – perfect. I took a much-needed break and had fried oysters and hot chocolate for breakfast (you read correctly.) I saw a commercial yesterday for I-Hop featuring fried chicken and waffles and I thought that was odd………
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is it fixed or did we just break it?


            We humans have such strange ways of describing things that happen sometimes.
            I have been sitting here trying to figure out if I wanted to write about this or not, I sort of felt the need to write about some of the things that have been going through my mind (strange as they are) lately.
            Thursday, I dropped Ryka off at the veterinarian hospital to have surgery. Being so attached to her, even after such a short time (one and a half weeks) led my mind to Crazyville.
            Why do people refer to having a pet spayed or neutered as having them fixed? We do not “fix” our pets; we actually break them (told you I’ve been on a short trip to Crazyville.) Where in the world did that phrase come from? It is ridiculous. Just think about it (join me in Crazyville for a while.) “I am having my dog fixed” implies that I broke the dog. I did not break the dog so why am I having it fixed? Let’s just call it what it is. My dog is not broken; but she has been spayed.
            Even though I had Calypso at home, I was lonesome. Ryka and I have become attached at the hip and all I could do was watch the clock until it was time to pick her up. The vet brought her out to the car and she hopped in, more than a little anxious to be going home. She is finally acting more like herself and she and I took several long walks today and spent our usual time on the front porch together.
            I sometimes wonder if I put too much of a burden on her or if we fill a void in each of our hearts. That thought will eventually require another trip to Crazyville and I have been there long enough for one week.
A gloomy day today on Bayou Lafourche.
            The other little munchkin, Calypso, is growing rapidly. She loves to play. She is learning to fetch the ball and even pawed my leg today when I did not reach down to take the ball out of her mouth fast enough. It was not a happy time for either dog today as it rained (actually stormed) most of the day. Maybe there will be sunshine tomorrow.
            Not much of a story tonight, just a lot of thought provoking thoughts on what has been happening the last few days. I posted a few more pictures of the dogs and my husband (maybe I should have given Jeffery first billing) on my picture page if anyone is interested in viewing them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

             Well, Calypso now has her own swimming pool, miniature as it may be. It is a dishpan to be exact. After filling her little water bowl five times yesterday only to have her climb in to drink and then proceed to splash all of the water out, I realized there had to be a better solution.
This is the way we drink our water.
            As I sat there thinking (in between filling the bowl up) and doing a running list in my mind of what I had on had that would suffice for a splash bowl, I came up with the idea of a dishpan. She has started trying to climb in to drink with all four paws and the dishpan could accommodate her latest endeavor. Although providing her with her own little pool might be a solution to this problem, I will miss watching her try to get all four of her little legs into the water bowl at the same time she is trying to drink. It is very entertaining to watch her try new things.
All of me or none of me. 
            Ryka, on the other hand, just sits and takes it all in. She is such a happy, content little lady. This morning while I was walking she picked up an orange that she has been playing with and started running with it. She is a magnificent animal in her own right and watching her run is a beautiful sight. She loves when I cheer her onward. Our back yard is huge and she loves running circles, especially with something in her mouth. I assume she is playing keep away in doggie world.
Mom's fingers are better!
            I have re-nicknamed Little Calypso from Monkey to Countess Dracula. That little stinker has a set of fangs that would make Count Dracula envious. The breeder (Johnny McCollum @ www.cagenkennels.com ) gave me some pointers on taming the bite. I will be working with Calypso on this as soon as I can purchase a puppy appropriate tug toy. For the moment, a towel seems to be doing the trick; it serves to distract her from the meat on my leg (and my arms and my fingers.) I am beginning to look like I have hike through a war torn country.
            For those of you reading my blog who have canines of your own I will impart Johnny’s bit of wisdom (and just so you know, he has yet to steer me wrong!) Johnny suggested that I get a tug toy to play with her. When Calypso has a bite on the tug and I want her to release it, I should use the short, firm command of “out”. The minute Calypso releases the tug toy, put it behind me, and mark the release with a kind, firm “yes” and give her a small treat.
            The treats that we reward our dogs with should be very small so that they are concentrating on our commands and not chomping down for a few minutes on the treat (small bites of hot dogs work well.) By rewarding Calypso with a treat once she releases the tug, I will be teaching her a new game.
            I am also teaching Calypso eye contact, which is crucial in getting your dog to obey your commands and to hold their attention. Once she potties, her habit is to come back, sit down in front of me, and look up at me so she already has some concept of eye contact. The trick is getting her to sit there longer and longer and to maintain constant eye contact.
How's this for eye contact?
            Ryka's previous training is already evident with her eye contact. She has very good eye contact. In this case, I am the one working on maintaining the eye contact. Maybe you can teach an old dog a new trick after all (I will keep you posted.)
            One last suggestion is to have your dog always walk on your left side. They will become used to being on your left side and when you begin teaching your dog to heel, you will be one-step ahead in the game. I have been working on slapping the side of my left leg when I tell Ryka “come”. My goal is to tap my left leg and Ryka (and eventually Calypso) will come and sit on my left. We are very close to reaching that goal.
            The most important piece of information to take away from this story is animals, like humans, need consistency; and it is our job as their owners to provide that uniformity.