Thursday, July 21, 2016

Life with the new dog is going well.  Each day she surprises me with her cute antics.  Yesterday I had to go to the grocery store.  When I got home Emily met me at the door with one of my house shoes in her mouth.  Her foster father emailed me to find out how she was doing and he said she normally took one of his shoes to bed with her.  Not to chew on but to lie with.

She has brought me one of my shoes several times.  She even picked up one of the hubster’s croks but he admonished her for it.  I think he should have let her have it and maybe she would take to him easier.  She still cringes when he comes near, although he has petted her several times.

I’ve already started nicknaming her.  I have this thing about nicknames and apply them frequently to those around me.  I have called her Emmie Dot Spotty Spot.  She has little brown spots all over her little body.  And she has the big dot on her head like my little Jessie had.

I have been calling her Emmie most of the time.  I do the motherly thing and call her Emily if she is being naughty, which she really isn’t naughty -- like if she wants to play tug with Mr. Squeaky Toy instead of retrieving it or if she doesn’t want to let go of the Frisbee.  The Frisbee has a hole in the center and if she gets it just right it is hard to get it out of her mouth.  I just say, “Emily, drop it,” and she does.

Funny thing about her is that she hasn’t pooped in her own yard.  She only poops when we go on walks.  We have been able to walk twice a day so far except for one morning when it rained.  I walked her in the yard a bit but she didn’t go.  She held it until it was dry later.

So I am using two poop bags a day.  Each week amounts to fourteen bags.  I feel environmentally guilty.  We did order eco-friendly dog poop bags.  I’m not sure how biodegradable they are.

After she poops and I tie up the bag, I put it in the pocket of my shorts.  Then I start singing in my head, “I’ve got a pocket full of dog poop,” to the tune of I’m Getting Married in the Morning.  So far the lyrics go:  I’ve got a pocket full of dog poop, I’ve got the best dog in the world.  We walk together, in all kinds of weather, but I have to carry the dog poop home.  Needless to say, I’m driving myself nuts with this brain worm.

I am also referring to her as Emily Dickenwoof.  I thought of Emmie Lou Bark Bark but that didn’t get it.  I’m sure I will come up with more nicknames as we progress in our mommy, doggie daughter relationship.

The cutest thing she does is she wants to hug me.  When I sit down to put on my shoes she raises one paw to me knee.  Then slowly brings the other one up.  Then she climbs up to my shoulders.  It is so sweet!

I feel the hubster is getting anxious with her.  He is the one who chose her and she doesn’t want much to do with him.  I know it is eating away at him.  He is feeding her and giving her any treats that she gets.  I told him we should make some bacon and he carry it around in his pocket.  Hell, I’d let him pet me with bacon in his pocket.

Yesterday was hot as Hades and so I was a little laid back.  I decided to finish reading the book I was on as I had only a few pages to go.  I lay down in bed and Emily jumped up at my feet.  The hubster decided to read also and came to bed.  I told Emmie she could come up closer between us and she came right up to the headboard and lay between us.  I finished my book and decided to doze, and she snuggled up and spooned with me.

Life with the new dog is ever changing but we are getting down to our little routine.  Walk in the morning, pick up poop and carry it home.  Breakfast from Dad and try to let him pet her.  Outside for some Frisbee or fetch the ball, back inside for a little brushing.  (I think she likes to be brushed.) Play Mr. Squeaky Toy a couple of times and then walk again at 4 or 4:30.  Then dinner from dad and some treats to try and learn how to sit, lay down and shake.  She is doing quite well and every day she brings us a new surprise.

What can I say?  I adore her.

Oh and I got my first cucumbers.  Isn't that one white?  It was still delicious.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Today I worked at the extension office’s information table at the Freeport Garden Tour.  It was pretty slow but we talked to a bunch of gardeners and I even met a lady who wanted to go into the Master Gardener Program.  Another recruitee for my extension office!

I paid my $10.00 and got my ticket after my two hour tour of volunteerism.  Off I went to discover new local gardens.  The first garden I hit was at the local Catholic school.  The garden was a shambles and filled with weeds.  I could hardly contain myself and had to pull a couple of ragweed, as I hate them.  I realized that the garden is maintained by the students and since school was out for the summer the weeds had taken over.

I ran into a Master Gardening buddy of mine and we chatted for a bit.  I saw some dill growing and asked if I could buy one.  She told me just to take it. I brought it home and cut it up and put it into the dehydrator.  The house smells of dill.

The next garden I went to was a Master Gardener’s garden and I purchased a plant, Scabiosa, for my west garden.  I haven’t put it in yet.  Maybe tomorrow I will do that.  John’s Garden was wonderful.  He had a whole yard full of flower beds and vegetables.  His tomato plants were taller than me.  He had a whole field of zinnias which are one of my favorites.

The next garden was on a back street and was a recycling garden.   They had all kinds of beautiful structures that they had put together from recycled materials such as plates, old garden hoses, the tops of two liter bottles, old wooden chairs and other such items.  A lot of the things were for sale.  There wasn’t much of a garden but I got a couple of ideas for my own gardens.  We also got a free sack lunch which was a smashed fake turkey and fake cheese sandwich, some chips, a pickle slice and a cookie.  It was pretty lame but I ate it anyhow.  Got to get my preservative fix for the day.

The next garden was also pretty lame.  They had a bunch of raised beds that they hadn’t really filled in very well.  I think I identified one plant as a zucchini and I believe that is what is growing in my compost bin.  Prepare to get some zucchini if you are a friend of mine.

This garden did have bunny pens and I visited the rabbits.  I just love rabbits but am allergic and can’t own one.

I decided I had seen enough gardens since I had already seen the next one on the list, and the last one was in Forreston and I was going the opposite direction.

I traveled to Davis and checked out a farm on Best Road that sells fresh eggs and grass fed beef.  I bought a dozen eggs for $3.00 and got the info about the beef.  I am so glad to find someone close to me to get these things.  It is only about four miles away from my place.

I got home around 1:30 and Emmie dog was certainly glad to see me.  We played with Mr. Squeaky for a bit and then went out to garden for a while.  She is really a good dog.  She stays close to me while I weed and hoe.  I think she is a keeper.

After visiting four gardens today I came home thinking that my yard and garden weren’t all that bad after all.  I do plan to spiffy up the west side of the house.  Daughter, Jess, planted a white pine when she was in third grade and I plan to put hostas around it.  I got four started this spring and hope to get four more started next year.  I just need to get up some weeds.  I also noticed that there are numerous tomato plants growing out there.  I doubt they will produce anything but I’m letting them grow anyhow.

The vegetable garden is growing nicely.  I replanted snow peas (wishful thinking) and some beets and lettuces.  I have green beans and wax beans coming in now.  Last night we had jalapeno poppers made fresh from the peppers in the garden.  I now have to go out to pick red raspberries.  Life is good!

Friday, July 8, 2016

I had my monthly Master Gardener’s Book Club meeting yesterday.  I felt like the kid going to school for a test knowing he hasn’t studied.  I waited too late to order the book and I didn’t read it.  We were supposed to read Down the Garden Path by Beverly Nichols.  Beverly is a man and famous journalist who has written dozens of books about gardening.

It had rained and was still sprinkling and so we had our meeting at the shelter house at Krape Park in Freeport, Illinois.  If you haven’t been to Krape Park you must go.  They have duck boat rides, a carousel, miniature golf and a huge playground.  It is lovely.

I didn’t recognize the group at first because Shirlee is growing her hair out and had it pulled into a bun thingy.  Her hair is quite white and you can see her from a mile away.  She and Shey were already there and chatting.  The rest of the group arrived one by one and we ate our lunch and shared some cheese chunks I had brought and some mini-doughnuts that Jill brought.  Yes, I ate the cheese and ignored the doughnuts.

We began our discussion of the book and I apologized that I had not read it but I had done some research on the book, the author and had read one passage from the book.  I also had two favorite quotes, so I was still in the game.

This group of ladies is so much fun.  They are all so very smart and witty.  We digress occasionally (often, in fact) and talk about just everything.  We learned about Door County and how it contributed to the making of Lake Michigan.  We learned what encompasses a savannah.  (Grassy area with few trees.)  We learned that there are three types of dandelions.  And we learned a little bit about female anatomy.  (Don’t ask.)

As usual I took my camera with me and got a group photo.  I climbed upon the picnic table to take the photo.  If you know me you know I hate it when people sit on picnic tables, because we don’t want our food to taste like their butt; let alone climb onto one with their dirty shoes.  Oh well, I don’t know the people who will eat here next but their food is going to taste like my dirty shoes.

Next month’s book is Go Native – Gardening with Native Plants and Flowers in the Lower Midwest.  I must order it today.

I forgot to mention that while sitting there in Krape Park I got two mosquito bites.  No one else was touched.  They just love me, what can I say?  Anyhow the one on my arm swelled up into about an inch circle.  When I got home I made a paste of Aldolph’s Meat Tenderizer and water and rubbed the bites until they stung.  This morning, no mosquito bite is evident.  It really works, believe me.  My middle name should have been mosquito food.

PS.  I lightened this photo up but it didn't take.  Sometimes I hate technology!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This weekend has been pretty hectic for us.  The hubster and I are used to our little routine of going to bed around 8 and getting up early.  We rarely have company, and we are getting used to a new dog.

Our friends, The Webbs, or the Webbarooskis, came to visit from Arizona.  They lived three doors down for quite a few years and were our closest friends.  When they visit Illinois they come to the Faerber Arms, as they call our upstairs.  This time, however, with the new very shy dog, the Webbs stayed across the street at another friend’s home.  Their son and his wife came along for the trip.

The four Webbs and Joe Clark came to the house at about the same time.  Little Emmie dog was scared to death.  Everyone, especially Ellie and Katie, wanted to pet the dog but she growled and hid beside me.  She finally calmed down but no one got to pet her.  We visited for a while and then decided to go to the beach for a while.  We all left Emmie and the hubster alone.

When we got back from the beach, the hubster said Emmie came right to him for pets and laid down at his feet to sleep.  I guess after all the strangers, he was at least familiar to the new dog and, after a week, she finally took to him.

We had dinner at the new restaurant in Durand and it was delicious.  There were twelve of us friends there at the table and I was in friend heaven.  I’ve got some photos on my phone, I should try and retrieve them.

We all went to breakfast the mornings of Sunday and Monday.  We used to go to breakfast every Sunday with these folks.  We called it our church time since we discussed everything from politics to religion to child rearing.

We held our White Family Reunion on the 4th of July this year.  We usually do our reunion when the Webbs are here and we are all together, and it is time to get together and catch up.  We held our first reunion many, many years ago when Rockford had its first Black Family Reunion.  We figured, they can do it, we can do it.  It’s not that we are prejudiced or anything, it’s just that most of us are Caucasian and not really ashamed that we are.

We are just a group of friends that have been very close for over twenty five years and we do like getting together and enjoying some jocularity.  We have played in a band together, had an organized social club twice, been through some very hard times, and most of us have survived and feel like celebrating that fact.  We have seen each other’s children grown up, known death up close and personal, watched heartbreaking divorces and came through still loving each other.  These folks are my family and I dearly love them all.

Naomi opened the celebration with a lovely flag themed seven layer dip that kicked ass.  I got the remains in my fridge and plan to have a bite later before I wash her bowl and take it back to her.  She and Mark stayed a while but decided their Harleys were calling too loudly not to answer and off they rode.

The four Webbs played a round of corn hole.  What is that game really called?  Well Jeff and his partner, I’m not sure which, won and, being Jeff, he had to rub it in and stroll around the crowd making sure everyone knew he won.

I had to run home and gather my casserole from the oven and pick up the hubster who had to take a shower before the party.  He didn’t even wear his swim trunks.  I’m not sure anyone went swimming in the lake.  It was cloudy and actually kind of cool that day.  I picked up a photo album that I had put together of a bunch of old pictures of the White family.  We all got a kick out of looking at old pictures of each other.

Mike Kelly arrived on his bicycle and we all thought he had ridden from Freeport but he had parked at the swimming pool up the hill and cruised his bike to the beach to avoid the parking.  (The parking was ridiculous!  We need a parking lot at beach two.)

Kevin and Laurie made it and we were all so glad.  Kevin is doing chemo right now and looks very fragile.  He is such a trooper though and said he wanted to see all of us.  Laurie made banana pudding and it was eaten up in a rush.  Mike Kelly and Nancy even ate it off the serving spoon.  That is how close we are.

I got my White Family Reunion group photo and afterwards notice the Webbs weren’t in it.  I had to do a retake later when they returned.

Mike and Mike played a little guitar and Joe Clark had to leave early.  Jeff cooked brats and hot dogs.  The hubster showed him a little trick of cutting the dogs in a spiral and they cooked up a lot nicer.  The hubster had swollen ankles and did not stand a lot.   He is usually the grill master.

I had to go home and check on the new dog and she was just fine.  The beach is only five minutes away from the house.

The beach was crowded with people cooking, playing, swimming and generally having a very good time.  The air was static with happiness and most of it was mine.  I looked within my gaze and most of my favorite people in the world were right here by me.  I am so very blessed.

I will explain.  I really am not a people person any more.  I like possibly 10 percent of the people I have met and have known.  And for me to be so very blessed with most of that 10 percent in front of me was euphoric to me.

We were winding down and I started cleaning up stuff so I could pack my things into the truck as I went.  We wanted to get home to Emmie just in case she didn’t like fireworks and would be afraid.  I had to take most of the leftovers and any left casserole dishes.  I will probably gain two pounds today getting rid of this little tidbit and that little leftover bite.

Another reunion has passed and all is well.  I have had my friend fix for the next while.  I just pray the next time we meet is just as happy as the fourth of July White Family Reunion had been.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Today I have some gripes.  I have been listening to NPR more recently for some unexplained reason.  I guess since I don’t get the newspaper any long and really don’t surf the internet for news updates, I thought maybe NPR would keep me more informed on what is happening in the world.

I heard the other day that Puerto Rico is in debt to the tune of 70 billion dollars.  Seventy billion f…ing dollars.  Do you think that maybe when they made it to one billion, someone should have said, “Maybe we should rethink this strategy?”  No, seventy more and their asses are way in debt.

My brother was stationed in Puerto Rico when he was in the service and said it was one of the most beautiful places ever.  Why don’t they work with that – tourism?  I’d go scuba diving in Puerto Rico.  Shoot I’d go just to snorkel.  I just want to be on a beach, what can I say?

Seventy billion dollars for Puerto Rico and last night on Chelsea I heard that the good ole US of A is in debt in the trillions.  (I just love her show, don’t you?)  I could just puke.  I still have a payment on my house and it makes my stomach hurt.

Puerto Rico, I say, “let it sink back in the ocean.”

And the other thing is about PMS.  My hubster admits last night that he is glad Hillary Clinton is beyond menopause because he could just picture some diplomat pissing her off while she is “OTR” or menopausal and she thinks, “I’m pushing this button.”

I get so sick of men who have absolutely no idea of what being OTR is.  I had PMS from Hell, Hades, eternal damnation and so much more.  One week a month I was a complete monster.  I screamed and hollered and blew up at everyone over the biggest nothings you can imagine.  I was in pain during the first ten years of this roller coaster ride.  My mom took me to the doctor more than once to get a shot so I would be out of pain and out of her hearing.  A look could set me off into a hell storm of emotions.  I could flip that switch so quick it would make your butt dangle.

When I turned 19 I went to Planned Parenthood and got on the pill.  I wanted to have sex and I sure as hell didn’t want to have a baby.  The pill made most of my pain go away but not the emotional explosions.  And I started having migraine headaches.  That will be saved for another blog.

I went into menopause in my fifties and the heat was intense.  I started a job in an office without air conditioning that was in the room next to the boiler room.  People would come into the office and ask how I could stand the heat.  (I needed the job, for heaven’s sake.)

I remember getting up in the middle of the night and walking outside in the winter cold just so I could breathe properly again.  I have made a bucket of ice water just to soak my feet and hands to cool down.

But the part about menopause for me was that I became a human being again.  I got off that emotional roller coaster.  Gone were the tampax, pads, pain, bloating, backache, head stress, and I was just hot.  My emotions began to simmer down.  I didn’t get upset over the least little thing any longer.

I heard someone once say that if men had periods, tampons would be free.  We women should start a campaign that tampons should be free.  The Kotex Company would hate us.