Monday, November 30, 2009

Cats and Dogs and Daylight Savings Time

They don't get it.
They don't like it.
That much is apparent to me.
Pet supper time at my house is at 5:00, and it's usually on schedule.
It has been a month since we set our clocks back an hour for daylight savings, but that makes no nevermind to them.
The cat now goes and sits by her food dish at 4:00, and the dog takes her que from that and goes and sprawls in her place in the kitchen doorway, waiting for me to serve them.
The cat glares at me, and lets forth bone chilling meows, and the dog gives me pitiful "you better feed me or I'll fade away, really I will" eyes.
The cat of course is the ringleader. A dog you can distract with words and games, but a cat has a mission and there is no distracting them from that.
Funny how I noticed they have adjusted to the time change when they are allowed to sleep in for that extra time in the mornings, even though that is how they spend most of their days, but fool around with dinner time and someone has to pay.
I think they're just messing with me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bye Dad

You have been my dad or almost 97 years.
You've taken good care of your family.
You've been there for all of us, through all our troubles.
Shared our joy over new spouses, new babies, and our babies babies.
I know mom loves you.
Your children love you.
Your grandchildren love you.
Your great granchildren love you.
You will continue to be loved and respected forever.
Thanks for being my dad.
You will be missed more than you can know.

I am going to add a bit of the eulogy that my brother wrote, because I think it's interesting, and just makes me feel good to read it. I have left out some bits that are a little more personal and some that you don't need to see.

"We should not have known him, Fredrick (dad), and most of us should not be here. Sailing to Canada from Avonmouth, his parents were all excited to board the greatest ship ever built... but they could not, and had to settle for the next ship, an old steamer named the Royal George, sailing just 2 days behind the mighty RMS Titanic. His mother was terribly ill, both with morning sickness and sea sickness, and welcomed to Canada by the bitter cold of the Eastern Canadian winters.Some months later at Batt’s farm at the top of a hill on Beckett Road on the outskirts of Sherbrooke, a tiny child was born. At only 3 or 4 pounds the country doctor said he was too small to survive, but the midwife decided otherwise. She rubbed him in goose grease and laid him in a shoebox. Day and night she sat by the old wood stove to keep him warm, feeding him with an eye dropper. And that is how Dad came into this world, ninety seven years ago today,
As a child, Dad’s job was to go down to the lumber mills around False Creek to fill his wagon with scraps for the old wood stove. If the lumberman spotted him he would be charged a penny or two per load.One day at about 14 years of age he came home from school to be told that he had a job as a printer’s helper. Having a good eye for matching colours and being a bit of a perfectionist, he became a very skilled lithographer and was usually given the toughest jobs and pickiest customers. He was in fact, skipped over for promotions several times because he was too good to lose as a pressman. But after 51 years working as a printer, he retired, and that was almost 32 years ago!
In 1945 Dad’s sister Winnie brought home a distraught young lady from work who had just left home and had nowhere to live. Being a kindly family, she was taken in... and so was Dad. In due time he proposed to her at Spanish Banks and they were married in June of the following year. Together they built a home and raised four wonderful children, watched their families grow through weddings and births, and lived to see their Great-Grandchildren.
Though not outwardly religious, Dad exemplified many of those old time virtues like faithfulness, hard work, honesty, integrity, and personal sacrifice.His word meaning something and promises were kept. He was outraged by injustice and a champion of fairness, and underdogs. He treated others with courtesy and respect and was a steadfast provider for the family. If he had shortcomings, it was that he had more than a little trouble with patience and didn’t easily express his feelings and affirmation.
Personally, dad could be quite charming with the ladies. A little while ago in the hospital we heard more than one nurse remark “Oh, he’s so cute”. Still, he was not much of a socialite and had little use for parties, dressing up or going out. He would much rather eat at home than at the finest restaurants. Nor was he a man of impulse, a thing as simple as a drive to the beach was something to be planned and scheduled days in advance.
Like a fine wine however some things did improve with age. With the coming of Grandchildren Dad seemed to loosen up.Grandad would read to them as much as they wanted and the same story as many times as they wanted. He gave them the gift of his time, his attention, and would talk to them about anything. Even in his 90’s with the Great-Grandchildren it was not unusual to find him on the floor playing with them."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to Work

Well, I am back to work at school.

As much as I love summer vacation, winter vacation, spring break, every pro d day, extra days off work, I have to admit that there is something I like about having a more structured day. I think it's the rabid list maker and checker offer in me that it appeals to. Also without a real schedule, I tend to get unruly and get distracted from tasks by sparkly things and start projects on a whim and don't finish. Bad me.
I can even feel my cockles getting warm seeing some of my favourite kids again, just a little taller than the last time I saw them.
A bonus for me this year, is my new high tech, cushy chair...with wheels. It replaced my basic, plain wooden chair. I feel like a queen. Maybe even better. I don't think her throne can go 30 mph down the school hallway. No, I haven't tested this baby out in the corridor, but I can get a feel for it while rolling around my room, from desk to counter, to door, to desk, to counter, to cupboard, to get the idea.
This promises to be a bright shiny new year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Golden Love

I was going through my old pictures recently and came across some pictures of my previous dog, Monty. Monty was a purebred golden retriever, one of my favourite kinds of dogs. He was smart, loyal, excitable and a great family pet.
As with pretty much every dog, there are some issues. With him it was hot spots. This time of the year, about 11 years ago, we were pulling our hair out, dealing with this.
Hots spots are areas where it gets very itchy and the dog has a mad compulsion to lick and chew it until it is bald, raw and icky. I'm not sure why our dog had them. He was groomed properly, and we were careful not to dry his skin out. We tried changing his diet because too much grain, corn or soy (in so much dog food) can affect some dogs with didn't really help. We were told that he was probably sensitive to flea bites....but he was on flea control pills and he didn't have fleas. We tried some creams, and some thing that tasted nasty, supposedly that would prevent any unsavoury behavior involving his mouth and his rear end.(the area where he usually chewed) but once a spot was started, it was almost impossible to stop.
We tried bandaging up the sore areas, but would always find them in a pile when we got home from work, as well as a grumpy and kind of gooey dog. Occasionally we would put the cone of dread on him, when we went out.
It was a little late in the game when he had his first cortisone shot. I think there may have also been a little sorcery involved. That pretty much put a halt to it. I don't know why we were not told about it by our vet at the beginning, but it worked. Having that break in the itching gave the wounds time to heal, and we made sure to keep his diet and flea control on track. Once summer was over, it seemed to go away until the battle began the next summer.

In conclusion, Goldens are almost perfect, except for hot spots....
and the lawn sausages (but all dogs leave those).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dog Quirks


This is the sound of my dog backing out of the kitchen.
The lure of any kind of food will bring my dog into the kitchen like a lightening bolt. Once she has managed to puppy-dog-eye her way into getting a little piece of whatever I am making, she leaves the room. Backwards. She will not walk right through, but willl turn around and go butt first out the door. She will not walk out face first and starts to panic if you try to make her. I think it's because the floor is tile. Maybe she had a Bambi-on-ice moment when she was a pup.

Possibly related, is her longish toenails. You see, she is a rotti cross, and rotti's are know to have issues with people touching their feet. Sure when she was a pup, we used to purposely touch her feet and trim her nails, in an effort to get her used to it, but one day (no she wasn't hurt) she just decided not to allow it anymore. She pulls her paws away, snarls, cowers, and gives us the evil eye, and I think she also uses the ultimate weapon, passing gas to keep us away. We can try by holding her, or nicely coax her with lots of treats, but no go.

The last time she had them trimmed well, was when she was knocked out getting x rays, after getting her knee surgery last fall. Otherwise, it is just the ends of the longest nails that get trimmed, usually a couple at a time. Our middle daughter has the most success with her.
If you have a rotti, be aware that this is one of their little quirks, they often hate having their feet touched, but if you do it gently and often when they are young, you may have a chance at having less problems when they are older. Didn't work for us, but that's kind of the norm around here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Martha

Just saying happy birthday because Martha is an Etsy lover ...yay!!!!! Not going to say how old she is. She's older than me and that's all I care about.
I am going to reprise an earlier post about her, that I wrote.

How Martha Makes a Peanut Butter Sandwich:

1. Grind wheat, make bread dough and bake bread.
2. Get top quality, hard to find, no preservative, hand made by nuns or monks using peanuts too good even for squirrels, peanut buerre.
3. Get jar of last summer's home made strawberry preserves that you slaved over and gave to all your friends instead of gifts at last Christmas.
4. Cut cooled bread into nice thick slices.
5. Generously spread peanut buerre on one piece of bread. Sprinkle nutmeg on top.
6. Spread jam on the other slice of bread. Top with fresh strawberries cut into rose florettes.
7. Arrange bread on an attractive plate, side by side. Top with melted Ghirardeli chocolate and add a sprig of mint on the side of the plate.
8. Enjoy with a friend.

...and a couple of new ones

If Martha Stewart was a zombie:

The Martha Stewart zombie would remove her victims brains (going after only the best quality brains) with her well oiled garden shears, and transport the aquired brains in a hande made brain carrying tote (from Etsy)to her well appointed, beautiful kitchen, and eat them out of custom earthenware brain bowls (from Etsy). They would be delicately seasoned with nutmeg and a touch of lemon for a little extra tang.

The Martha Stewart Computer Virus:

A self made virus, and entrepeneur of a virus. Very curious, and inquisitive. Seeks out files and finds ways to make them more efficient and appealing. Co-ordinates colors of the fonts and images on your screen so that it matches your decor. If found by your anti virus program and put into the vault, it only stays there a short time, and comes back stronger than ever.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Don't Think Moths Have Any Brains

First of all, when did they start making moths the size of weiner dogs with wings?

At night I'm sitting peacefully watching TV, and then this giant freak of nature comes flying in through the patio doors, and heads straight up to the swirling ceiling fan of death. It ignores the swiftly turning fan blades, somehow mesmerized by the irresistable bright lights attached to the fan. I hear a whhhhthump, turn my head to see what made that loud sound, and see a a torpedo like object come hurling toward my open, gaping mouth. I shut my mouth and get hit on the top of the head by this now un-moth.
I mean really, what are they thinking? If they like the light that much, why don't they come out in the daytime and sleep at night like everyone else? They could be in the sunlight and flit around, fly straight to the sun, and nobody would be the wiser.

Also I had another weird experience a short time later. Well, I didn't know what hit the fan, but I did hear a thump. I walked over to the area didn't see any moth parts. but did see what I thought was one of those candies...a hard striped one called a Humbug, on the floor. I just about picked it up, then thought, "it's probably sticky" so I got a ruler that was nearby and was going to scoop it up. It stuck to the carpet, so I thought, eww somebody had this in their mouth. I got under it a bit more and as I dislodged it, it hissed at me. sssssss ssssssss., and then moved a bit. Serionsly freaking me out. If you ever saw the movie The Mist, well those were the kind of thoughts that started going through my mind. I was hoping it wouldn't suddenly fly at my neck and grab on. It took about 5 flick/scoops to get that thing out of the house. Each time it hissed.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lesser Known Computer Viruses

These may not be well known, but beware of these!

Old Geezer Virus (in our home it's also known as the "Hey That Sounds Like Me Virus")
-creates faulty memory, and when the computer is asked to retrieve recently input data, the screen goes blank.

Adam Lambert Virus
-your computer creates and ouputs it's own audio files and is always reformatting. Has certain magnetic properties.

- Johnny Depp Virus
- a quirky virus that reacts differently in different applications. Could make your computer moody and dark, or it could attempt to pirate other computers and steal their bandwidth.

- Gordon Ramsey Virus
- a virus that scans files you have created, taking bytes from them and then disables them with harsh HTML.

Tom Cruise Virus
- was a powerhouse virus, but has been self destructive and downgraded to a simple worm, which tries to get other worms to follow it's path. Occasionally makes your screen jump up and down.

- The Sasquatch Virus
-a virus that hides deep in the recesses of your computer and take up lots of disc space, leaving a data trail. Some have said that it can be seen at night, through Windows, but most believe it is a virtual blip.

Message Board Virus
- sends subliminal messages through your computer screen, compelling you to pend unreasonable hours online.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cat's ear hematoma and more lovely stuff

In my quest to bring you both good and bad things about pet owning, I give you a small tale about our cat, and a couple of her issues.
Skittles, was give to us by our daughter's friend in the fall 11 years ago.

First adventure at the vets: We had her about a month, when we noticed that she wasn't eating, or peeing (sorry about mentioning the p word again in my blog, but it's just something everyone does and has to do...a lot). We took her to the vet, and he felt her stomach and said it appeared she had something in here and it felt "crunchy". She was new, and small, but we had no choice but to get her into surgery. It turned out that she had eaten a candy cane, wrapper and all. The candy had gone through, but the cellophane wrapper had balled up and stuck in there. Once it was removed she was stitched up and just fine. Shows you that your pets will try and eat anything. Little cat. Big bill.

Second adventure at the vets: This was about two years ago. One day she seemed fine and the next, her ear had ballooned up. Off to the vet. We were told that it was an ear hematoma. She must have been shaking her head and ruptured some vessels in her ear. No ear mites or fleas, so we are not sure why. Once again...into surgery. The ear is drained, and because it had filled with fluid, the layers of her ear had separated and it had filled up like a hot water bottle. They cut the skin, and fit it back together and stitch it up, kind of like a quilt so the ear can heal and glue back together. The stitches stay for about 10 days. Then they take the stitches out. This may work in some cases, but in The ear started to get fat again and in the end our cat's ear just wouldn't heal nicely. We could have tried again, but had no more money and our cat was just not a good patient. It's wrinkled and thick and she looks like an old alley cat, I don't think she cares.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sink Cats & Tub Dogs

Just about everyone knows a cat that likes to sleep in the sink.
If you think not, look for telltale signs. Are there strange hairs on your bar of soap....I don't mean the curly ones that you may blame (curse) others for leaving behind, in your home. I mean long silky ones? Is your toothbrush hairier than usual. If you say yes, you may have a secret night-sink sleeper.
I have had 3 sink sleepers. This one is Claw'd (named because that's what you got when you went near him).
This particular cat used to sit on top of the fridge and bat the top of your head when you opened the fridge door, and also hide behind doors, attacking your ankles when you walked past. Sadly this little fuzzy monster is no longer with us.

Slightly less well known...but they are out there for sure, because I have had 2 of them, are the dog tub sleepers. This is Monty, our first tub sleeper (again, no longer with us).

Our current dog will do this as well. She did it a lot as a young dog (as well as dragging out the wet towels and rolling in them). She is getting older now, and it's harder for her to pick her legs up climb in, so we don't see her there as often. I suppose this is a big dog thing, that's what we have always had.
Anyways, cats in sinks, dogs in tubs, just part of the strange goings on in your home when you own pets. Nothing weirder than walking into your bathroom on a warm summer day , and having your sink and tub full of furry animals.
Gotta love 'em, they have their own personalities.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh where, oh where have my little links gone.....

I seem to have lost a bunch of my links. Can't find them anywhere. If you remember being linked to my blog before, please let me know and I will re-add you. Thanks.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dinosaur Eggs

I put a new listing in my shop, of a set of dinosaur nesting eggs. While I was painting them, I was reminded of a gift I made for one of my children's teachers one year, eons ago, and thought it might be nice to share this idea for others...maybe you could use it as a father's day gift (make with your kids) or really for anyone, anytime.

  1. Find a nice egg shaped, oval or round rock. The smoother the better. Can be whatever size you like (think paperweight, doorstopper, or ornaments as possible uses.) Make sure it is clean and dry.
  2. Draw a hole, use lots of angles and draw some crack lines
  3. Draw your dinosaur, just the head, neck and maybe an arm or tail sticking out of the hole. Keep in mind who you are giving this to...somebody with a big head? big nose? Try and make it fun. You don't need to do any special type, make up your own
  4. I use acrylic craft paint, use whatever colours that you think your giftee might like. Make sure the "hole" that is showing is painted in a dark colour. Paint the cracks with a thin brush, in black. You don't need to paint the whole rock, just keep it natural.
  5. Put a coat of varnish on. I use a wasterbase varnish from the craft store and it dries quickly. Paint one side, let it dry and then coat the other. You may need a couple of coats.

Now for some fun. You have to come up with a fact sheet for your dinosaur. Maybe you could print it out as a card. The things you might want to put on the fact sheet are: (my example)

  • Type of dinosaur : Remediosaurus (named after the teacher Mr Remedious)
  • Era: The old days (could be disco era or anything you like, based on the age or the time you give the gift)
  • Size: Started small and got bigger (really you can be as nice or cheeky as you want)
  • Physical Characteristics: Large feet, balding, long nose, tiny head (don't be tooooo rude)
  • Attributes: More intelligent than he seems, very kind, likes to giggle, burps at inappropriate times (here is your chance to really make the gift special by listing the funny things and things you love about your giftee.
You may have some ideas of your own, so just have some fun. This can be something special because it shows you took some time and put thought into your gift.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just some updates

My dog appears to have stopped leaking. Maybe she did have an infection after all.
Now if we could just get her to stop barking at family friends every time she sees them walking in our house, life would be peachy.

There is only one more month of school, thank god. The kids are starting to get all squirrely, and I think teachers are wearing down. I will just be happy to be home and able to work on the house, organize my art space and create, for 2 months.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Dog Leaks

Behind this sweet face, is an aging, spayed dog, that is leaking.

This has been going on for a little while.
At first we thought she was licking/chewing herself, sometimes she licks the floor or the couch and makes it wet. When we are falling asleep in our cozy bed, we can be lulled to wait...scrap that..............driven crazy, by the sound of the dog having a good slurp of her hind quarters. I know we all looove that sound.
This didn't turn out to be the cause of the mystery puddles. Not an infection either. What it is, is her age, being spayed, hormones, and all that there stuff. Apparently it's not uncommon. (Oh, my, I'm "spayed", and getting old, is this peeing when I laugh too hard just the beginning? Say it ain't so.)
She can be given meds (hormones I think) that will help her get better control, but for now we have opted to just make sure she is "empty" more often. With all her issues over the years, she hasn't made caring for her, a picnic, and it doesn't look like it's going to change now. But who can help but love a dog that does stuff like sleep behind our curtains, so she can give us a laugh with her Mother Teresa impression.

Nov 30...
just an update.
Our dog hasn't leaked in a few months now. What we thought it was...age, apparently wasn't the reason. We are back to thinking it must have been an infection after all.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

White Rabbit

Across the street from us is a grass field. At the back of the field is a row of low bushes, and at the other side of the field is a forest.
Living in the cover of the bushes are rabbits. Living in the forest are coyotes.
Every summer we find the "leftovers" of a rabbit or two. I hate that. I know it's the circle of life, know...ick.
This year there are a lot of brown rabbits that camouflage very well, and one nice bright white one that you can see easily from across the field. My husband has cleverly nicknamed it "Whitey".
I have been wondering of what the other rabbits think about Whitey. Is it like "Holy crap!! Whitey is out in the field again, we'll be spotted...we're doomed...get back in here Whitey you big dope!" or maybe they figure he is a good distraction, and they are quite willing to sacrifice him, so they can make their getaway while the coyotes make a beeline straight for him.
Either way, I know the coyotes are in the forest, sitting their with their evil little grins, eyes trained keenly on their pretty but unwitting quarry, and I know what they are thinking.

Can you spray paint bunnies?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

There's No "Spur of the Moment" in Buisiness

I learned this the hard way.
I have had a shop on Etsy for over a year, and it's doing very well....I'm happy.
However there's always that little thing inside you that wants you to do something different than you normally do. For me, it's these little drawings of girls with kind of big ears (inspired by myself and my daughters that all live proudly with this trait). I wasn't, and still am not sure what to do with them, but I've been fiddling around with the idea of opening a second, completely different shop to put them in....whatever form I end up trying to sell them as.
On Saturday I had a bunch of time to myself and on the "spur of the moment" I went ahead and opened a second store. I had come up with a name, checked Etsy and it was available. While I was registering it, I decided on "the spur of the moment", to change the last letter from an s to a z. Much cooler (probably not cool anymore actually) that way, and I figured it would be uncommon that way.
I went to photoshop, made a banner, and even listed my first 3 I felt accomplished.
For about 5 minutes.
I don't know what made me do it, but I googled my cool new shop name with a z, and .....HOLY CRAP!!! There was a boatload of listings....books...and other things. I guess this was the name of a character I had never heard about before.
Nothing to do about it, but empty my new Etsy shop and ask to have it closed. Which I did.
Lesson learned..research first. Spent the rest of the day eating chips.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Really it is so fun. Look a these ducky shoes.

I think they would make great little kids boots for spring too, unfortunately that isn`t an option.
Anyways, after having an incredibly cold and snowy winter, (I still have a lot of snow in my yard and piles by my driveway), which is very unusual for this area, and having had an awful cold come and go 4 times over the past 2 months, I just wanted to create something pretty, and springy.