Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sleeping Alone

Yoshi and Aiko sleep in their own beds, so I did not have any warm furry bodies with me last night, but I will sleep with Lovey and Banichi tonight and be very happy. I also need to put out more nuts for Gimpy and his pals when I return. The red kids were super during their walk and play session yesterday - but I stopped by the house last night to drop off a few scones, and Nancy and I couldn't talk because the kids were so excited to see me at an unusual hour. It was weird. I did enjoy standing in the kitchen while making the scones yesterday afternoon... Mary has six bird feeders hanging under the eaves in front of the main kitchen window, so I was able to enjoy the birds' antics while I was making up and baking the scones. Yesterday, I made a batch that contained strawberries and blueberries. And, even though I say so myself, they were good!
I'm still coughing from my bronchitis, but not as badly as I was last week; and my knee seems to be a little improved. After wearing the brace for several days, I actually went up and down a set of stairs yesterday and never gave it a thought... It does hurt, but not as much, so it must be getting better - though I will admit I take Aleve every night about an hour before I go to bed.
Besides the birds yesterday, I've been able to see several mule deer, two different fox, a large number of both grey and red squirrels, and a couple of coyotes during this past week. And it was nice to see (and hear) the the Ritters have replaced some of the chickens that "went missing" from the Chandler house while the South African couple were there last summer. I am really, completely and totally booked up until the first of August right now. It's nice to know I'm wanted and appreciated, but at the same time it's a little daunting. But - I guess it goes to show that I really am happier with critters than with a group of people!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Critters, Reading

My visit with my kits was short but sweet yesterday - Lovey preferred sitting in my lap to eating fresh food in gravy. The Rs had a great time running around with Suki and Boo for 15 minutes at the end of their walk; and little Yoshi was exhausted by the time he and Aiko had finished their one block loop. I wore my knee brace most of yesterday - but was disgusted to find that it was still wet and sweaty this morning... Any one have any ideas about getting it dry? With the neoprene and metal, I can't really toss it in a dryer. I just hung it up on a hook this morning (hoping it will dry) and will try walking the canines without a brace today.
I read Clarissa Dickson Wright's Spilling The Beans yesterday. It's an autobiography - very candid and quite interesting. Clarissa is one half of the Two Fat Ladies BBC cooking show. Her Mom was an Australian heiress, her Dad a brilliant surgeon; she was 21 when she passed her Bar exam. Her mother died, she became an alcoholic, and ran through her entire fortune. Then she started her rise back up through all of her problems. It is really a super book!
It was 17 at sunrise this morning; it's partly cloudy out, but the sun is visible. We're supposed to reach 42 today, and then another storm will blow in and we're expecting snow Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. My current list of heroes includes Bernie and her husband Jim, their daughter Allison, Antonio, and a real estate broker named Delaney. They spent two days using pipes , and finally a jack-hammer, to break up the ice at the barricade between Topaz and Garnet, which they then shoveled away. They broke up a swath of ice that was at least 150 feet square, and, in places, 6 inches thick. Having fallen on the ice earlier, I am extremely indebted to them!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kits, Joel McCrae, and Scones

I've seen days that were windier, but yesterday is the coldest windy day that I can recall. My kits ran out and then ran back inside, where we snuggled contentedly. Shady decided that besides sleeping with me, it was OK to walk upon my body; Cloudy still rubs all over me and then hisses. She's such a poor child! I'll shortly be on my way to visit Aiko and Yoshi and then walk the Rs; afterwards, I'll need to hop the bus to go see my kits and grab a few groceries. I do wish that the Vikings had won yesterday, but Bret Favre certainly took an awful lot of punishment and was still grinning at the end. So now it's definitely "Go Colts!" all the way.
Late yesterday morning, I was flipping channels and ended up seeing the 1957 feature Trooper Hook, starring all sorts of very familiar people... I missed the first five minutes (which had all of the credits) and only knew that Joel McCrae and Barbara Stanwyck were in it. I was delighted to see Royal Dano made up as an older Buffalo Bill-look-alike (he actually was portraying the stage coach driver); a very young and tender Earl Holliman; the wonderful Celia Lovesky as the Mexican abuela; John Dehner as the bigot husband; and Rudolfo Acosta as Chief Natchez. I was entranced by the music, photography and direction - they sure don't make Westerns like they used to! I finished reading Lucifer's Crown last night (after the games) and am about to start on a series of books set in the Mississippi Delta... And I plan on making scones tomorrow for Alexy's welcome home gift, after which, I'll move over to Aiko and Yoshi's house. Have a good week....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Wind....

We are cloudy and grey again today here in Boulder. Our high is supposed to reach 32 degrees, but we have a constant wind at 15 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50+ mph. With the humidity at 88%, it was like stepping out into a freezer with a giant fan blowing on me when I went out to grab the newspaper the morning. With the wind picking up last night, Shady found it nice to sleep with me, so I had a warm, furry companion for most of the time. I spent 4 hours with my kits yesterday - I fed and loved them, played with their favorite toys with them, spent an hour lying in bed with them sprawled on top of me, and then I gave them each a pinch of catnip before I returned to Alexy's. Cloudy has been in and out several times this morning, but Shady took one sniff of the wind and retired to his pillowed bed beside the dining room window. (I don't blame him one bit!)
I started reading Lucifer's Crown last night around 6:30 - this book engendered a lot of research, as well as a heck of an imagination on the author's part. It's 457 pages long, and I'm almost half-way through it. I had to quit reading after the book fell on my face for the fifth time early this morning... I'm rooting for the Colts and the Vikings today in the playoff series; that way I can root for both teams during the Superbowl. If the Saints beat the Vikings, then I'll be rooting for the Colts in the big game. Which reminds me, I had to giggle a couple of times during the playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens. For me, the Colts will always be "Baltimore", and it seemed the same way for one of the older announcers during the game - he was fine using the Colts and Ravens terminology - but several times he spoke of Baltimore when he was actually talking about the Colts and not the Ravens. One of the younger announcers kept correcting the older guy - but I knew what the older guy was talking about. Now I know I'm getting old..... That, and the fact that I turned on the Western Channel yesterday, and saw a shot of a man from the rear, mounting a horse at the hitching post - and I immediately knew which actor it was from his build and posture and the way that he lit in the saddle. (The actor was Jimmy Stewart.) If only I could remember things like where I put my keys as well!!! Happy Sunday!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reading, Reading

The sun is trying to shine through a heavy cloud cover, and in the backyard, Cloudy is hunting squirrels, while Shady is stalking birds. I started reading a 200+ page book by Lillian Stewart Carl last night, a stand alone novel titled Shadows in Scarlet - bad idea. I couldn't put the book down until I was finished with it around 2 this morning, which leaves me only with her novel Lucifer's Crown, until my books on order from Barnes and Noble arrive. It's wonderful and awful when you find an author and/or series that you can't put down or away! - Last night I watched the auction of the stock that the youngsters had raised for the Stock Show; some of the youngsters were smiling, but quite a few had tears in their eyes as their stock was handed over to the highest bidder. A thirteen-year-old girl had the Grand Champion Hog (named Bruno), and the winning bid on him was $65,000. A 14-year-old girl had the winning Grand Champion Simmental, a two-year-old steer, and she got $142,000 for him. I haven't yet heard if any of the auctioned stock will be saved, or if they're all headed for the butcher shop. My favorite was a 2-year-old hog named Tigger - he had personality plus, and strutted around the auction ring, posing for photos, and sniffing anyone close to the ring. I know that there is absolutely no way I could raise a critter for my own consumption - I like meat, but I don't want to know it.
I have somehow lost a red wool sock. I swear I put both of them in the washer last night; I swear I put everything from the washer into the dryer last night. I have checked both the washer and the dryer this morning, as well as the entire house, but that one red sock is AWOL. I guess there's a possibility that Cloudy or Shady stole it and carried it under the bed - that's the only place I haven't looked for it yet. I'm looking forward to going home and seeing my kits in a few minutes - Shady likes to be petted, but is not a cuddler; Cloudy wants to rub against you, but will attack any had placed near her in friendship. I need a visit with my kits to reaffirm our mutual regard for each other. (Even if I am only the food provider.)
Late last night, the weatherman said that we might have a few snow flurries here in the foothills today and tomorrow - but they are definitely predicting measurable snow fall on Wednesday - and Wednesday I'll be at Mary's with Yoshi and Aiko, the Shih Tzus... we'll see what happens. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Too Busy For My ... Whatever...

I couldn't connect to Google earlier today, so this post is a little later than I had planned. The sunrise this morning looked like layers of molten magma spread across the sky; it was 27 degrees, with a wind chill of 17, and the humidity was 96% - it actually felt cold! We even had a few flakes of really frozen snow fall. The sun has been able to shine fitfully through various clouds carried by the south-westerly winds, and it's very bright out right now. The kits were ecstatic when I returned home this morning, and were upset when I left to return to Alexy's. In between, we had a good snuggle and nap together, as well as food, loving, and catnip. I stopped by Barnes and Noble today and used my gift card from Christmas - I was amazed to find that they do not carry any of Lillian Stewart Carl's books in the stores, and that one must always pre-pay for any of her books. Pre-paying was fine with me, as I plan on keeping the books for the rest of my life, but it made me wonder why they don't have any in the stores and why one must pre-pay for all of her titles. - Do the books have a tendency to "walk?" Do people order and then return them? Are other readers unhappy with with her slow romance story? Or are they so popular they are frequently stolen from the shelves? - I ordered the fourth Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron book, as well as the three books that deal with Michael and Rebecca Campbell-Reid (who are minor characters in the JF/AC novels).
A friend's niece has just been diagnosed with leukemia (the girl and her family live on the West coast), and I've agreed to move from Alexy's house over to take care of Yoshi and Aiko upon Alexy's return. Mary says she has someone else she can call, but she just doesn't trust him with the little guys like she trusts me, so, of course, I said yes. I am now solidly booked through mid-July for pet-sitting; and unless it's a family emergency, like Mary's, I'll not be scheduling any more dates until August. All of the "kids" I take care of are continuing in good health - Ooch just lost his last tooth, so he gets canned food at all times now. Smiley has been found a new home with people in their 20s, who have time and energy to play and fuss with her. Suki was favoring her left foreleg all last weekend - she is 12, but I don't know if it's just the aches and pains of old age, or if she pulled something in her last run with Kathy and Jim. All the other cats, dogs, frogs, lizards, tortoises, horses, chickens, goats and sheep I take care of are doing well. It's hard to realize that Mike, the African clawed frog is going to be 21 in a couple of months. - And today I met two other families in the neighborhood that are interested in my services as a pet-sitter - one family has German Shepherds, the other has two rescue dogs from southern reservations... so it looks like I'm gonna stay in business (at least for a while).....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dr. Repine Said...

I'm settled down at Alexy's until Tuesday evening - Cloudy is wandering on the rear patio, keeping an eye out for squirrels, while Shady just disappeared into the juniper bushes along the north side of the yard. Lovey and Banichi were not happy to see me pack up my meds and alarm clock this morning, and both had an "Awwww, Mom, we love you!" spell in my lap, trying to convince me not to leave them. And so I am once again at Alexy's computer and am surrounded by her magical water colors on the wall.
I met and spoke with Dr. Michael Repine yesterday - and we looked at all the views of my left knee from the three MRI series. As usual, it's a good news/bad news thing. The good news (which made me want to jump for joy) is that the PA was wrong; my MCL is torn, but not "gone"; and I will not need any surgery! (Yahoo!) The bad news part of it is that it will continue to hurt for the next 4 to 6 months, by which time it will have repaired itself. I told him about house-sitting and walking the dogs, and he said, "Good! The best thing you can do is walk!" I was then fitted with a smaller knee brace - black neoprene with a bright blue interior, a knee cap hole, and metal braces with hinges on both sides of the knee (it also has two velcro straps at top and bottom for good measure). This brace actually fits under my two favorite pairs of jeans, and I can move my knee when I walk. I'm still a little clumsy in the new brace, and Dr. Repine suggested I wait until Monday, when I'm more accustomed to it, before I walk the Rs again. So I'm practicing walking with this new mechanical knee, and am reading like mad, and I'll try to get my PC in to the repair shop within the next few days. I am now booked for pet- and house-sitting up until June 1st. I have a couple of open weekends, but that's about all that's left; and the Rs parents were just asking about a couple of weeks in June and/or July...
The National Western Stock Show ends this Sunday, and I regret having missed all of it this year - but there's always 2011 to look forward to. Gimpy and his buddies came by yesterday and ate all of the nuts that I had placed out for them, and they were back again early this morning. The kits had a ball running around outside at home yesterday and this morning - I'll let them out in the afternoon the rest of this job. And I'll be back out in Brighton with Kohlbi, Nikki, Abbie, Shadow, and Boris and Natasha in both February and April - and with the Prius to drive, too! More than half of Alexy's yard is still covered with snow, and the weather folks are forecasting more snow this weekend - we'll see! Take care of yourselves!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

...And a Gracious Good Morning to You!

I have a blueberry, huckleberry and strawberry pie in the oven; once it's done, I'll head around the corner and walk the Rs. If you find a lot of typos today, please blame Banichi, who thinks Jim's keyboard is the only possible place to sit. I'll take the kits home this afternoon on my way to DIA to pick up Kathy and Jim - they've been in Phoenix, running in a marathon. Brought the kits with me so I wouldn't have to run back and forth every day while I was here; the kits have had a ball running up and down the staircase, and attacking the dogs (Suki and Boo) from above like kamikaze pilots. The Rs have been super in behavior - they even ignored their arch-enemy, Brio, while he was in their yard! They listen and do their best to follow the guidelines you lay down for them.
I see Dr. Repine about my knee tomorrow just before noon. I'll have to see what exactly he says, as it's been very painful recently. And I have my usual sinusitis and bronchitis fling going on - I cough and cough and cough, and have blown my nose 'til it's raw. Yuck. - But, while baking yesterday and today, I wore a surgical mask, ate tons of throat lozenges, and washed my hands frequently. Once I had the brownies and scones cooled off and packaged is when I finally uncovered my face - don't want to give anyone anything nasty. Thursday I hope to start daily postings once again... I'll be at Alexy's with Cloudy and Shady for the up-coming week. And on Thursday, I'll let you know what the ortho-Doc says about my knee. I put a huge pile of peanuts out for Gimpy before I brought the kits over here on Friday - I hope that he's still got a few in reserve for today.
It's a nasty, grey overcast day with the possibility of snow falling. They are predicting snow again on Saturday - and I've read the BF Oliphant mysteries, and am about to begin the third Jean Fairbairn/Alaisdair Cameron by Lillian Stewart Carl. I'm looking forward to it! Enjoy your week!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lovey & Banichi "Look-a-likes"

Sleeping with my sis

Sisters for life

Bad kitty breath

Haha You SOOO Funny

The above kitties are from a search and rescue group in California...

Belated New Year Greetings!!

I have my PC at home back up, but none of the exe.whatever files will execute or perform, so I guess I'll have to get professional assistance. It's been an interesting time - I've had my MRI done, and have the results on a CD at home, awaiting my January 20th appointment with the orthopedic specialist, Dr. Repine. It hurts quite a bit. I'm supposed to continue to follow my RICE directions (rest, ice, compress, elevate) until then, but I also need to walk critters. I took the Irish Setters out this morning, and we had quite an enjoyable romp - 40 minutes of walking and 20 minutes playing in Kathy and Jim's backyard. The Rs were excited and happy to see me, as I was them. Rosie barked four times, getting my attention to throw her bone - and I was positively ecstatic when the older yellow lab went by just as we were going inside, and while the Rs looked at him, they didn't make a sound or a move towards him. (In the past, they have just about gone through the door to get at him, especially when he piddles in the front yard, which he did today.)
Since I've returned home from pet sitting, Lovey and Banichi are sticking to me like glue. The past two mornings, however, the temps have gotten up into the 40s and the kits have been sunning themselves on the patio. Saturday, Lovey chased a dog I had never seen before down the backyard. It was an interesting-looking dog, and when Lovey turned to return at my call, the dog started chasing her back. The dog was so fixated on Lovey that he ran into my legs and then was totally freaked out. If you picture in your mind a 20-to-25-pound wire coated red Dachshund, and then triple it's leg length, that's what the dog looked like. I'll start taking care of Suki and Boo on Friday, be home Tuesday, and start at Alexy's on Wednesday. If my friend Laura's mother gets an OK from her doctor to travel, then I'm booked up (pet-sitting) until June 1st. Laura's Mom wants to take her kids on a 2 week tour of western Russia in late May - for her sake, and the kids', I hope her MDs approve.
The 104th National Western Stock Show began this weekend. As my leg won't take it, I can't go this year. ... The movie Avatar has made about $1.34 billion since its release. All I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed it - but, if you have someone in the family who gets motion-sick, do not see the 3D version (I'm a true example). ... Since the trouble began with my PC on Christmas Eve, I've been reading like mad; which has made my lap very convenient for the kits. Once I've got my home PC back up, I'll be blogging almost every day - don't know how long it'll be before then, though... Take care!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


3193Horse in snow at Sherwood Jayne farm

The Sherwood Jayne Farm in East Setauket, New York

Runic Stone replica

Runic stone replica at Jelling, Jutland, Denmark


Farmhouse in rural Jutland, Denmark

Sea otter and friend..

Vancouver sea otters taking a nap

'Ello! - My PC is still down...

I'm posting this from the public library; where I hope to check out some more books to read for this week. It's already in the upper 30s at the moment, and seems quite balmy. But it will (according to the weather folks) start snowing tonight, and we'll have a high tomorrow of 25 and a high Thursday of 11. Normal Boulder weather. Of course, besides working on getting my computer back up, in working order, and on-line, I will want good books to read, besides my old faithfuls. I hope to be able to at least use my e-mail by tomorrow morning. I've seen my psychiatrist this morning, gotten a refill of my "happy meds", and have a follow-up appointment in two months. This afternoon I have an appointment to have an MRI of my left knee done... I've been told that the MCL is ripped/blown/totally not working, and they need to see if there is any other damage before deciding how to fix what... I'll let you know when I know.
I took care of the Irish Setters this past week - Rosie and Remy were quite miffed with me because I didn't let them steal items off the counter tops while I was working in the kitchen. I made two peach cobblers, a dozen banana-nut muffins, a dozen blueberry muffins, a dozen raspberry muffins, four dozen cherry-strawberry-raspberry-blueberry scones, and a triple batch of brownies on Saturday. The Snow family gathering was on Sunday, and I cooked so much the day before for that meeting - to which less than 20 people showed. The cobblers were devoured, and half of the scones, muffins and brownies were consumed, as well. I distributed the remainder to my favorite bus drivers and co-workers (and kept a few scones for myself!). I've changed my basic scone recipe a bit, and folks really seem to enjoy it, so I'm happy and pleased.
The kits and I slept together in a big knot last night, and Lovey and Banichi did not want me to leave this morning. I'll head back as soon as I have books to read, settle in until it's time for the MRI, and do my grocery shopping before going home. That way I won't need to go outside for at least three days, if necessary. (I do have to remember to get more nuts for Gimpy and his gang.) Lovey marked me with her chin and toes this morning before I left, and Banichi washed my face, hands, and groomed my hair - who says your critters don't care how you look or smell? - Mine definitely care! I don't plan on walking the Rs again until Friday, due to the snow and cold of the next few days. Then we'll be out and going again, sticking to clear sidewalks, paths and streets. At least the Rs know that if I squeak, they need to stop and stand still - even if I keep on sliding down the way....
And... Happy New Year, everyone!