Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘this and that’ edition


Piles of granny squares
Piles of granny squares

I have been neglecting my blog as of late. I want to post about all sorts of political and feminist things but I am tired. I am tired of the governmental corruption, patriarchal bullshit and our politicians thinking we are stupid. The state of affairs for women is deplorable; the dominant discourse is doing its best to keep us in check. It seems that any ground we gain in one area is lost in another. All over the world, women are being raped, beaten and subjugated and I feel powerless. I am still fighting the good fight in my tiny corner of the world but it is not enough. We need a revolution.

Instead of political commentary, I shall regale you all with tales from The Swamp!

• Jesse is awesome! He is doing so well. We have started playing fetch in the backyard and he loves it. He is getting much better about actually bringing back the ball. He actually caught some air yesterday, jumping a foot off the ground to catch a ball. The downside is that he is obsessed with playing ball. He is now barking and whining at the pail of balls on the barbecue. He is a happy, happy boy!
• Gracie has also come leaps and bounds. Her anxiety-based chewing on herself has lessened a great deal. The key is to keep her brain stimulated and lots of love and attention. Luckily she landed at The Swamp where all of this is abundantly available. She loves to cuddle with us (mostly Deb) although I do get my daily cuddles too. This dog never stops moving. She wants to play all the time. Her toilet training has improved greatly and she seems settled for the most part. She still does not like going in the car. I think she associates the car with bad things although who can really know. She whines and cries the whole time. Hopefully she will begin to realize that trips in the car mostly end at the dog park and then she comes home.
• Everyone else is doing well. Zoe still has quite the spring in her step given her age. Piper has lost a little more weight and is looking like a skinny pug these days. I have been taking her to work once a week and she really enjoys it. She gets to be the centre of attention for a whole day. Sawyer and Kiefer are also doing well. They like to cuddle together in odd positions!
• I have discovered David’s Tea. Oh my god is all I can say! The Earl Grey is to die for; it is so full of flavour. I can never see going back to Twining’s. I doubt I will ever drink coffee again!
• We have been watching some outstanding TV as of late. The Americans, a new show on FX, is about 2 embedded KGB spies raising a family and posing as Americans. It really does a great job of capturing the Cold War and the tension of the 80s. Justified is another great FX show particularly if you like hillbillies and the American south. He is an unconventional US Marshall. I am still digging the Walking Dead, Deb not so much. Deb is now watching Weeds from the beginning, which has been quite amusing.
• I am making another afghan now. For some reason, I find it very comforting to make piles and piles of granny squares. Then I turn them into an afghan. This one will take a while as I am making it for our queen-sized guest bedroom.


Finished afghan
Finished afghan


Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘little of this, a little of that’ edition

  • This week has been long and difficult. It relates back to the bullying/mobbing I went through in 2010/11. It is clear that I am still suffering the effects of PTSD. It makes me anxious and defensive. I am always on guard for an attack or snide remarks. There were a few of those yesterday but for the most part it was ok. I am really trying hard to understand that what motivates people to be mean to me has nothing to do with me and is much more a reflection of who they are and what is going on for them. I took the high road yesterday and chose to ignore the crap.
  • I am sure by now everyone has heard that cats are serial killers or mass murderers. Cats are predators who have always hunted. While cats may kill a large number of birds and rodents, larger predators like coyotes routinely kill cats. So many cats go missing if their families let them outside. The solution to all of this is for people to keep their cats indoors thereby keeping everyone safe.
  • And another rant – This week we have heard that we are not going to have enough university graduates to fill jobs in the next 7 years. What really got me was all the whining and sniveling from unemployed social sciences graduates about not getting a job and that it is the university’s responsibility to provide more focused career counselling and resume writing. Seriously people? You have completed a 4-year degree and you can’t figure out how to develop a resume? If you are going to a degree in sociology, anthropology, history or any other number of subjects you are not likely to work in the field you studied unless you are going to get a doctorate degree and stay in academia. I have a Master of Arts degree in history. It has been my job to sell my skills to potential employers. I need to convince them that they need someone who has critical thinking skills, analytical skills and that I can learn their business quickly.
  • I love Jesse. He is the sweetest dog ever! When I come home after a long day at work he is so happy to see me. His tail is going like crazy and he is talking to me loudly. Once he calms down he comes in for a head scratch. Then he presses his head into my legs as he gets his scritches. He has learned to give a ‘high-5’ with bow paws. He is so sweet!
  • We have turned a corner with Gracie. She is no longer as anxious as she used to be. We believe she did not receive very much attention during her life. She seemed so desperate for human attention. She still needs to be very close to her people. She has stopped obsessively chewing on herself. Her toilet training has also improved markedly over the last couple of weeks. She is a very happy girl who is always ready to play or relax for a long cuddle!
  • Something really great happened to me at work this week. One of our volunteers came out to me. She said she had never seen a lesbian who was out, with a partner and happy. Seeing open and me being out gave her assurance that she too could be honest about whom she is and come out. She made my day in so many ways. It was nice to know that my beliefs around being a role model for youth are realistic. We really can be part of the solution just by being visible.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘re-entry is hard’ edition

I always find going back to work after the Christmas holidays very difficult. It is just not long enough. Plus there is the spectre of a brand new year ahead that begins with my least favourite month of the year. It always seems to me that January is one long-ass month of misery. In no particular order here are updates from The Swamp:

  • I had a couple of other observations about our trip to Calgary. I was stunned to find out that I had to give personal information in order to purchase gravol at a pharmacy. Apparently they want to keep track of who is purchasing it. Is there a gravol intervention staged if one tries to buy too much?
  • Rental car companies do not put snow tires on their cars in Calgary. Seriously people, WTF is that about? It makes the fact that I didn’t get stuck or seriously injure us in a crash all the more shocking. I seriously have not lost my winter/snow driving skills.
  • We took in a new senior dog. She is a 16-year old Shih Tzu. She is a great dog. She sleeps a lot but when she is awake she is very engaged and charming. She certainly lets us know, in no uncertain terms when she is not happy with the state of her world. She loves food and snuggling. She has been getting around a lot better since we started her back on metacam. She is able to navigate our stairs in and out. She can go up the stairs to the bedroom but sometimes she just prefers to be carried and we oblige her. She is getting along with the other dogs and seems to have adjusted ok to such a big change. It is always tragic seniors lose their homes because their people have to go into care homes. Tosh was extremely well socialized and is very resilient. She set a land-speed record in terms of how quickly she settled into The Swamp.
Tosh and Piper
Tosh and Piper
  • Jesse is continuing to evolve. He is looking really good and has gained some muscle mass in his back legs. Now his ‘princess’ behaviours are emerging. He is one loud and vocal dog for sure. If he wants something he whines and carries on like he is going to die. The other day Deb heard him screaming downstairs and asked me if he was in distress or if we were playing. We were playing. He definitely loves the sound of his own voice!
  • He and Kiefer are battling out to see who can be the lowest dog in status in the house. Tosh and Zoe are really good at kicking them out of their big dog beds and making them sleep in the small ones. It really is quite hysterical to see those two trying to contort themselves into the much smaller space. Meanwhile, Tosh and Zoe are spread out on the big beds looking quite contented.
  • The new Port Mann Bridge has not gotten off to a good start. There were ice bombs after a storm and it turned into a skating rink when the temperatures dipped down below zero the other morning. Even though it has had problems it has already been successful in reducing congestion on Highway 1. This is a great boon to commuters and has already reduced my commute time. The bigger benefit though is to the economy. As a port city Vancouver has very high levels of truck traffic. Making it easier for them to move goods in and out of Vancouver. Lower levels of congestion will also be good for the environment.

Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘dog update’ edition

Well, it’s November again. The rains have begun in earnest. It is also National Blog Posting Month[1] and I am going to try to blog every day for the whole month. I am not holding out much hope this will actually happen but a woman can dream.  Hopefully you will all be treated to my unique, critical-thinking take on the world as I discuss politics (Obama good, Harper bad), feminism, music and of course, dogs. So here we go with the first post of the month on, you guessed it, dogs!

First up is Jesse. When he first arrived we thought we were going to have a challenge integrating him. He had pain issues, he had never really lived with other dogs, he had severe separation anxiety and stunk to high heaven. After a couple of months with good pain management[2] he has fit in like a dream. Things are still a little foreign to him at our house but he is learning some key lessons. He now seems to understand that we go out and we come home. He is not screaming as much when he has to go into his crate which means hopefully the neighbours won’t call the police thinking someone/something is dying or actively being killed. He seems to really enjoy the softness at our house; the soft petting and caressing, the soft beds, the soft couch and the soft touch of Sawyer’s tongue on his face. You can just see him relax and lean into it a little bit more. It does seem though that some things cannot be unlearned. He does not really like raw at all so we do have to feed him a combination of commercial dog food and some home-cooked. He will pretty much eat anything as long as it is not raw.

When Gracie first arrived we thought she had weathered the chaos of her previous lives well. We were wrong. Gracie seems to be a dog who never had much stimulation so she began to chew on herself as a way to deal with this. At our house she has lots of stimulation playing with Sawyer and getting attention from us. However, when we seem to be winding down for the day like watching tv and/or getting ready for bed she begins her self-stimulating behavior. She has been to the vet, done 2 rounds of antibiotics[3] and a medication that allowed her skin to heal and stopped her from scratching. We are now trying rescue remedy to see if that will settle her down a bit. She is truly one of the nicest dogs we have ever had.

Everyone else is doing well. Mostly. We are having some issues with the girls. Zoe, who is old and intolerant, is bitchy, Gracie wants to play and is relentless. She does not pick up on Zoe’s not so subtle cues that she doesn’t want to play. So they snarl a little and then Piper inserts herself, determined to finish whatever is going on. It has been mostly noise, however I did notice that Zoe had a little puncture above one of her eyes. Oh, and it would be useful if Zoe realized that she really doesn’t have enough teeth to be snarling at younger dogs. Meanwhile, they boys snuggle with each other and get along fine. Who knows?

[1] Or NaBloPoMo for the cool kids.

[2] His pain is controlled by tramadol. He is not needing the metacam now which is great news for his kidneys.

[3] We now have the lovely task of putting Surolan on her vulva because she is obsessed with her vulva.

Things I have learned from my dogs

Over the years, Deb and I have been fortunate to share our lives with many dogs. We have had many foster dogs who eventually went to new homes. Mostly though if we foster a dog we generally end up adopting it. We don’t generally foster young dogs, instead we focus on senior animals who need stability and security in their last years. Every dog we have had the pleasure of knowing has taught me something. Dogs are patient and wise; unlike us, they do not demand that you get their lesson immediately. Dogs have seen the very worst and the very best humankind has to offer yet no matter what they have been through, the violence and cruelty they have been subjected to most dogs still have an ability to trust us.

Tippy – unconditional love is a powerful healer

Tippy was my very first dog as an adult. She was a Maltese/Shih Tzu cross. I had just started university when Tippy came tome via a friend. This dog showed me the wonder that is unconditional love. During the first couple of years she was with me, I was going through counselling trying to deal with my fucked up childhood. Tip probably soaked up more tears than she should have. We were inseparable. She came to work with me, we went to grad school together, she was my constant companion. She was fiercely loyal and I adored her. Others were not so fond of her though. She was a little, shall we say, on the dominant side. Her place in the car was the front passenger seat and she did not like it if someone else was in that place. She would make their lives miserable![1] She also didn’t appreciate it if I had someone sleep with me – she would growl at them all night. For such a small dog,[2] she certainly had a big presence.

The Chunk – embrace life and enjoy things with abandon

The Chunk was my accidental Shih Tzu. Dog lovers know the kind, the dog and breed you never knew you wanted! The Chunk was a force to be reckoned with. Typical of her breed, she was incredibly stubborn and tenacious. The Chunk was all about doing what felt good – she was a true hedonist. We were happily her slaves. When she really enjoyed things she did so with abandon. She loved to play on the bed in a little game we used to call ‘shih tzu abuse’[3] which involved pushing her away, trying to grab her paws and body slamming her. She would never do this in front of the other dogs for some reason. She exemplified the idea that to live life to its fullest you sometimes had to do it with abandon.

Piper – loyalty to those you love is not negoitable

Piper has taught me so many things, it is hard to know where to begin. I think I will start with patience. Piper took 3 years to completely toilet train. We all spent hours upon hours outside, in the rain, the heat, the snow, telling Piper to go pee. Twenty minutes was a good morning. She would sniff, eat grass, run the fence with Diesel next door. It also seemed that just as she was getting ready to pee something would distract her and we would be starting all over again. Piper is also incredibly loyal and attuned to me. If I am sick, she is always right beside me. She does not ask for attention she is just there. If I do not go up to bed the same time as Deb she will stay with me even though she really wants to go up for treats. She tolerates all the other dogs who want to be with me because she knows that she is my #1 dog in the house. Occasionally she gets tired of the interlopers and will launch herself on me for some love and snuggles.

Zoe – it takes focus to meet your goals

I adore Zoe. She came to us from Turtle Gardens 3 years ago. She was a former breeding dog who had lived a rough life. Once she got here, she quickly put her past behind her and became the diva she was always meant to be. I have blogged before about Zoe and how she gets her own way all the time. Zoe seems to have a unique skill wherein she can punish us if we don’t give her what she wants. Most of the time it is just easier to give in so at least she will stop for a while. This dog has such single-minded focus it is scary. If it was her job to cure cancer it would be done. World peace? She was just bark until everyone put down their guns.

Jesse – embrace change to meet your needs

Jesse is the newest addition to The Swamp. We adopted him through Bully Buddies. Jesse has had a hard life, you can tell just by looking at him. He worries about everything. Losing his Dad has been very difficult for him. Yet he has been able to come here and adapt. Jesse is 8 and he has some pain issues from the botched surgery on his back legs. He has never lived with multiple dogs yet he is managing here just fine; he has great patience with Sawyer who is in love with him. He hates to be left alone and has severe separation anxiety yet he will go into his crate without much fuss. He is even bonding with us. However we know that should he ever see his Dad again he would be over the moon and then crushed even more if he couldn’t go with him. Jesse has taught us that making the best of a bad situation, being adaptable and rolling with change is what we all have to do. Jesse is trying so hard to be resilient and still enjoy life.

[1] Just ask my best friend Joe!

[2] 7.5 pounds on a good day.

[3] Don’t worry, no shih tzus were harmed in this activity.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘can’t you all go out at once?’ edition

We are back up to six canines at The Swamp. This means a lot of getting up and down to let them in and out. Obviously we try to get as many dogs out at a time to minimize the trips however they always seem to have other ideas:


Kiefer is ultimately lazy and he only does things on HIS schedule. Often we will have just let most of the dogs out and back in. Ten minutes later in Kiefer time[1] he wants out. If he deigns to go out with everyone else he won’t come back in when the door opens again. Instead he lays in the grass until I have sat back down, become comfortable again and picked up my crochet hook. It never fails.


She will go out with everyone but she won’t come back in. She likes to hang out in the yard ridding it of every possible threat. She barks and carries on particularly if the German Shepard dog is outside next door. Her other favourite pass time is barking at the coyotes who are yipping somewhere. She also takes forever to pee. Her toilet training is rock solid but man don’t try to hurry that dog up!


Or Mr. Whiny Pants as I like to call him. Sawyer is afraid of the cold. In the winter trying to get him out from underneath his heated blanket is Herculean feat. His toilet training is still suspect so he must go out or he will sneak off to have an accident in the bathroom. Pretty much with him you get to stand and watch him pee, which is quick thankfully, and he comes right back in. If you don’t wait you will just be walking back in about 30 seconds when he decides to bark and cry. Then there are the nights he wants to go out multiple times for no apparent reason. He can whine like no dog I have ever heard.


Zoe is a Shih Tzu. This breed seems to have something against getting their feet wet. The rainy season here is a nightmare. She will not go off the step and she sometimes pees right there so everyone else gets to dodge it. At least she generally responds well to the lets go out excitement and doesn’t take forever!


When Gracie arrived at The Swamp she seemed to have stellar toilet training. She would race outside, pee and whatever and come right back in. It was all a ruse. She is now in boot camp, which means she is made to get up in the morning which she hates and we are teaching her to pee on command. She is not so happy to go out and pee now. She is starting to get the command now so it is taking much less time. Of course I am comparing her to Piper who used to take 30 minutes to pee when we had her in boot camp!


Jesse is a rock star! He goes out and comes in quickly. Although, I have never seen a dog who pees for as long as he does, I swear sometimes it is 90 seconds of peeing. I am not sure what is up with that. It might be his kidney disease.

In other news I have been reading all the entries posted on the Dog Shaming blog. I have to say that I feel pretty damn good about our dogs! No one has eaten the furniture, our underwear or eaten anyone’s false teeth! Our crew are angels.

[1] Hmm, he is a Newfoundland after all…

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘new dogs’ edition (Part 1)

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that we have recently added two new dogs to the crew at The Swamp. After suddenly losing Ruby on the dikes on July 18th, our house felt very empty. I believe the best way to honour Ruby[1] would be to take in another dog in need. I had been reading about Charm, a blind Shih Tzu who had ended up at SAINTS. I contacted Carol and she said a volunteer was interested in fostering Charm but she had another dog, described as a Shih Tzu Cross, named Mustang Sally who needed a chance.

A few days later, I went out to meet Sally (who is now Gracie). She was super sweet, affectionate and despite the fact that she had ended up at the SPCA seemed remarkably issue-free. She came home with me that day. She had some medical issues: her skin was scabby and itchy from an untreated flea infestation. She had recently lost 16 teeth and was spayed. Her vulva was large and infected. She has since been to the vet for blood work[2] and antibiotics for her vulva infection. Her skin is looking better and her vulva is calming down.

Such a cutie!!!

As soon as she arrived she wormed her way into our hearts. This dog, hands down, is the happiest dog I have ever met. She runs; she play bows; she fetches like a champ; and she is always on, except when she sleeps. She does love quiet cuddles and sleeping on the bed. She is really giving young Sawyer a run for his money. She is always trying to play with him. They became besties in the first hour. Her relationship with Sawyer was completely unexpected yet so amazing.

Gracie chasing Sawyer. He loves it!

Gracie is not a Shih Tzu. She is actually mostly Lhasa Apso. The two breeds have lots in common as they were both bred to protect people: the Shih Tzus guarded palaces in China and the Lhasa Apso looked after Buddhist monks in their monasteries. The Lhasas are a bit bigger than their Chinese cousins and personality-wise they couldn’t be more different. Lhasa Apsos are fiercely loyal (as are Shih Tzus) and they have a very deep bark that you would expect to come from a much larger dog. They have excellent hearing and their job is to ‘sound a warning’. In Gracie’s case, she sounds a warning… at everything. Dogs barking outside, dogs barking inside, a fly moves in the kitchen, you get the idea. We are teaching her to be a little more discerning and she is getting the idea. We also don’t really want her to think she has to protect us. It is our job to protect her. Lhasa Apsos like to be with you all the time. It is only in the last couple of days that I can go to the bathroom without her. They also like to sit on your feet. I am not sure what this is about but I am sure it will come in handy when my feet are cold in the winter!

So beautiful!

The only real issue that Gracie seems to have is that she is a bit dominant. Luckily for us we have experience with this kind of behaviour and can effectively manage it. It really manifests with bigger dogs for some reason. She seems to be mostly leaving Kiefer alone but poor Jesse[3] he can’t move at the moment without her going after him. This will resolve as it did with Kiefer. She also likes to get up high on furniture or people and growl if other dogs come near.

Gracie has earned a couple of nicknames. I tend to call her Happy Gilmore in the morning or when I come home. She acts like you are returning from the war and she hasn’t seen you in years. She jumps, and dances and is generally exuberant. My other nickname for her is ‘itchy and scratchy’ as she loves to scratch in bed preferably whilst she is pressed into your back. I am sure Deb will pipe in with other nicknames!

Gracie and Jesse

So, this post can be summed up as follows: Gracie, the dog we never knew we wanted and who would fit so perfectly it was like she was meant to be with us.


[1] We are still hoping that somehow Ruby can come home.

[2] Her blood work was good except that her liver numbers were slightly elevated.

[3] The other new dog, featured in Part 2.

Dogs in the City

Dog trainers on TV are not a new thing. Good dog trainers on TV though are an uncommon sight. For some reason, TV seems to attract trainers who are firmly in the negative reinforcement camp. Perhaps seeing men dominate dogs until they submit makes for better ratings. Belittling the dog owners also seems to be a ratings juggernaut as many of us like to watch the train wrecks.

There is a new trainer on TV these days: Justin Silver. His show, Dogs in the City, features New Yorkers and their problem dogs. These are not the typical problems you see in other cities. New Yorkers seem to take ‘quirk’ to a whole other level. But I digress.

The show generally features the story of 4 families and their dogs. After the initial assessment, Justin returns with a plan to help the family manage their dog’s behavior. Invariably, his methods are based on positive reinforcement and leadership. For Justin, leadership seems to be one of the most important facets of his methods. As we know many negative dog behaviors stem from a lack of leadership. Basically the dog feels like it is her job to protect you from whatever is going on. In doing this the dog then becomes anxious and may develop aggression. Instead he asks people to provide leadership to their dog; let the dog know that they are not in charge and that you will manage the situation. One great example of this was a dog that was owned by 2 gay men. The dog hated other men. New men would come into their apartment and the dog was growl aggressively beside one of his humans. Clearly what needed to happen here was the dog had to know that his humans would manage this situation. At Justin’s suggestion, they determined a behavior they wanted the dog to exhibit[1] when new people came into the apartment. Once the person was in the apartment and the dog had a chance to investigate within parameters everything was fine.

Justin is also a friend to rescue. The last episode featured him with Edie Falco supporting a local New York rescue. He also assisted with some training tips for some of their more difficult dogs. Particularly a beagle named Conan who barked non-stop when he was over-stimulated. This behavior was getting in the way of him being adopting. Again with a little leadership and telling the dog what he wanted it to do, Conan was able to calm down enough. He also used clicker training and treats to work with this dog.

Some in the local rescue community seem to be quite down on this show. However, I would much rather have the public watching Dogs in the City than those other shows. If nothing else they will learn that there are positive ways to get results for their dogs. Another great point, highlighted by Deb, is who would hire a trainer after watching Brad Pattison pin a dog until it peed? Or after watching Cesar Milan pick a dog up by its collar and leash? They give trainers a bad name. Justin Silver is a positive trainer who really seems to speak dog.


[1] Most often, we are very sure what we *don’t * want our dogs to do. By giving them something to do in a certain situation they know who is in control. Dogs want to please.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘Tuber Edition’

  • Ruby (aka Tuber)[1] is doing so much better. Some of you may remember the post I wrote a couple of months ago: Fixing Ruby. Ruby had never known that human beings could give her good things in life. She has come so far. Gone is the sad little dog who wanted to hide in her crate all the time.[2] We now have a bright-eyed[3] confident little dog. Her tail is up and her ears almost stick straight out from her body. She loves life. She is following in the tracks of many dogs at The Swamp who try to kill the humans by sticking so close to their feet that we trip over them. She goes to the park and enjoys herself immensely. I would regale you with pictures but she hates the camera.
  • My health has really improved lately. Sticking to a routine has really helped my fatigue levels. I no longer sleep in on weekends. I used to sleep 12+ hours on the weekend just to be able to work all week. This morning I was awake and up at 8:30, which is early for me. Clearly all of the things I have been doing to look after myself have worked. Getting back in touch with the things that make me happy and contented was a good plan. Luckily, I will likely never run out of things to crochet for people. I have started on a new Realta afghan for my best friend Joe. I am making it queen size, which means it is roughly 4 times the size of the last one.
  • Piper has lost 2 pounds! This is ½ of the weight she needed to lose according to the vet who did her soft-palate resection last year. Her breathing is so much better even in this heat.
  • The rest of the dogs are doing well. Ruby and Zoe are hardly coughing at all now on their Lasix. Kiefer seems to surviving the heat ok. He likes to lay on the cool tile by the front door or in the living room in the shade. If it gets much warmer I will have to set up the air conditioner in the living room for him. Sawyer is still cold. He is always looking for a blanket to go under.

[1] Tuber as in potato. She is about as bright as one. But she is sweet, so very, very sweet!

[2] She still won’t sleep anywhere unless it is a dog bed.

[3] But very deaf …

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘crap, summer seems to have arrived’ edition

  • We said goodbye to Tru on Monday. She was ready to go. We thought she might have passed on her own over the weekend. She went very peacefully. I am pretty sure she lived for an extra 3 months because she liked it here. Rest in peace Tru, you were a very good dog.
  • The last 2 days have been so warm! Uggh. I dread the annual arrival of summer. I just don’t cope in the heat. We are mostly ready though. We need to buy a new air conditioner for the kitchen. I also think the house may be warmer now that the big tree is gone out front.
  • Given that summer appears to have arrived, I am trying to break my feet in to where my Birkenstocks this year. I have spoiled by the plush Naots with orthotics. I really missed wearing the Birks last year so they are on my feet today.
  • Deb and I went to a fundraiser last night. It was a dance and the music was bluegrass and swing. I thought my ears were going to bleed. We lasted a grand total of 2 hours. I donated the dragon I made in filet crochet but it didn’t even get one bid! Deb thinks it was just the wrong crowd. However, the pug umbrella we donated sparked a bidding war. Who knew?
  • All of the dogs are doing really well. We have such a nice group right now. They all get along very well. We are taking Ruby and Zoe to the vet on Monday. Ruby has a heart condition and needs a refill on meds. Zoe seems to cough a couple of times a day. It is not getting worse and it does not happen when she is active. I am thinking collapsing trachea but just want to be sure. We have had her for almost 3 years now, which means she is likely 12. Other than that she is totally fine being her princess, entitled little self.
  • I am in my new office!!! This makes me very happy. We have tons of storage space in here. I have room for all my craft stuff and furniture. Plus it is purple!!!!