Happy Halloween

Me after Karate

actually, this kind of looks like me during karate class.

We had our second really good hard frost of the year just a few days ago. My whole flower bed is just about gone and my pumpkin vine has had it. It was really beautiful out side with the sun hitting the frost covered fields so I ran out and took pictures.
I participated in a craft show at church with a disappointing turn out. I had a lot of fun chatting with people I hadn't seen in a while,
still... anybody wanna buy a wreath?

My hubby, my hero.

Our cat got a mouse a couple of nights ago and my beloved hubby ended up chasing the poor terrified thing all over the basement including straight up the wall toward the living room. It was actually kind of cute --- only about an inch long. I got many dirty looks for laughing as he tried to prevent it from running up into the living room without actually touching it while simultaneously trying not to step on the three big hunter cats standing at his feet. Every time he impeded the mouse's upward progress, it ran down to where the cats were jumping up to try and catch it. I got him a coffee can and we put a hole in the lid for some air and returned him into the wild the next day.. to be more specific, it was my beloved hubby who traipsed out into the back forty thru the wet tall grass to find a suitible home for Mousie. And, because he has been married to me for nearly 20 years didn't even laugh or roll his eyes when I pointed out we have an old hamster cage and that by releasing him out into the woods, we were taking him away from his winter storage rather late in the year. (although, I didn't get to keep the mouse.. he was rather insistant on that). When he and I were first getting married, I warned him that I take in strays of all kinds and he said then that he loved me for my compassionate and caring nature. Now, that's all well and good when you're young and in love and looking thru rose colored glasses with your starry eyes but 20 years later after 9 cats, 7 dogs, a frog, 4 turtles, 2 injured rabbits, 2 bats, 3 snakes, 2 mice, 4 wild birds, a turkey, and umteen dozen spiders that either have become permanent pets or were gently released to the wild --- not to mention 4 room mates, 2 siblings, 3 small children and several relatives later who have stayed with us or whom we have helped--- that he's STILL saying that he loves me for my soft heart is probably nothing short of a miracle. For which I am eternally grateful.

Update on the 'new' pooch

I realize that this will come as an enormous shock to everyone but he's staying. We were at the vets today. Dr. P checked and didn't find any micro chip or anything that indicates an owner. Blue ticks can be a pretty expensive dog so finding one stray in such bad shape is kind of rare. We found out that he has:

hookworm -------- pretty ferocious case
fibroid tumors-----harmless
infected gums------not bad
a heart murmur----never harmless but not bad
Heartworm--------dun dun duuunnnnnn (dramatic scary music)

He's also nearly deaf and about 10 years old which is getting to be an old man for this breed. I don't feel right taking him to a shelter so sick and so contagious. Fortunately, the heartworm is a "light" case. We could put him on the aggressive arsenic treatment but it's dangerous and expensive. We lost one dog that way already. Fortunately, the vet said that if we just keep on the tri-heart brand preventative heartworm pills for a year, it'll prevent adult heartworm from developing and eventually, the young and eggs may die off completely He recommended this way to go because of how light the case is and the dog's heart murmur/general health. Easier on the dog Easier on the wallet. The hookworm is highly contagious and it's the reason he poops so much and it smells so bad but we've done the right things to contain the problem and the medication we have to mix into his feed will do the rest. The heart murmur may go away with the heartworm but it's a 'we'll see' kind of thing. I'm going to change his food to something good for his teeth or at least involve treats for that but we may need to have treatment for the teeth. The tumors are harmless but Dr. P does want to take off the one that hangs funny under his chest because he's afraid it'll catch on something. The vet said to sit on the lesser things for about a month to make sure we can get the parasites under control safely first. In about two weeks, he stops being contagious and we can begin to see how he does with the rest of the pack inside. I see him as kind of an indoor/outdoor type of dog but I want to know if he can be friendly with the rest now just in case we need to bring him in because of nasty weather or hostile wild animals in the area. If he's going to be cranky or poop in the house, I want to know how to be prepared for that before something happens and we HAVE to have him in.

We've got three possible names:
Ludo... because he "smmmeellllllssss baaaaaddd" you have to see the movie "the Labyrinth" to understand that one. (or watch the clip below)
Rufus... My sister and her kids are campaigning for this one because it would mean he's introduced himself in barking ... "ROOOOOOFFFF"
Preacher... because of the way he stands with his paws on the porch railing, barking at the birds and waving a paw like he's preaching at them.

so far I think Rufus is winning the general consensus but I like Ludo.

Joel doesn't care. All he knows is that we have another freakin' dog.

Deuce's quiz link

Ok, so maybe I do watch way too many movies. . . .

Name That Movie Villain

But I didn't even get fifty percent on the dog one.

Tim Stone

Tuesday, we went to calling hours for a cousin of Joel's. Being Christian myself, I was happy to find out that he was also and actively so. It takes some of the sting out of losing someone to feel that their presence exists even if they are not present. I am always very touched to see family at a funeral. I wonder if we make ourselves go to funerals of people we sometimes barely know.... to be seen more than to see. To let the family know that we're 'there' for them. There was a term that I heard several times growing up... it was " a show of numbers" or "make a presence". It was something insisted on at weddings and funerals and graduations. It was important to my grandmother as she faced heart surgery just a day before a cousin's wedding that the rest of us all go to the wedding. She didn't want my cousin to turn around on her wedding day to see an empty church. I remember as a teenager taking comfort in the number of people in the guest book at my other grandmother's funeral.. I didn't know most of the names in it but knowing that so many people took time to be present was a comfort in itself. I think that we make a presence to mark the passing of a presence in our own lives. We stand like an informal honor guard to line the doorway giving dignity to an exit and a mass of support to those who feel an emptiness. I always thought it was odd, when I was a child, that people who barely saw each other or knew what to say to one another came to rites of passage.. baptisms and graduations and weddings and funerals. We don't always know how to gather socially but at least we make sure we're there to line the passageways for each other.

I've lost many people in my life that I cared about without really realizing how much they meant to me just because they had presence in my life. 'She' told me stories of my grandmother as a girl. 'He' let me put a piece of wood at one edge of the fire that was boiling sap into syrup and let me think that no one else would have been able to reach that spot. I didn't spend a lot of time with these people but the moments I had with them gave great value to my life. They were people who lived in the periphery of my life's focus and yet formed a part of the numbers that made me feel safe. It was surprisingly important to me to be a presence at their passings.

I will miss chatting with this cousin at family gatherings and I will miss the way he made a point of saying hello. I will miss seeing him and thinking of the way he teased an older family member out of being upset with me when I inadvertantly hurt her feelings as a new member of the family. I will miss a comfortable and pleasant presence in our lives. Even as I say all of this, I know that the way I will miss him is nothing compared to the way he will be missed by the people who felt his presence every day -- the people who stood next to him and were shaped by him. I think of us all at the calling hours standing around talking without knowing what to say. All of us a little stiff, all dressed alike, all rustling in whispers and I couldn't help thinking that we looked like a forest of trees after a storm. I think maybe part of the purpose of our lives... a purpose we all share... is to be present as a tree in the forest, each tree standing on it's own and yet all standing together lending ourselves to shelter and strength given by the sheer force of our numbers.

The following links are, respectively:
Tim's own page with his music, his obituary, and a really cool link with the Bible verse "to everything there is a season. . . " set to music.




Another Paintball Saturday.

What a great day! Great weather and great people. I have the most fun afterward.. I get to cook lots and BS lots. It's always amazing to me how late it's gotten when we're alone after everyone else has gone home.

Thanks so much to all who came.

Here's the Mac and cheese recipe


A New Dog!!

actually, not so much a 'new' dog as an old starving, ailing smelly stray dog. He looks like he is a purebred blue tick hunting dog but he's soo emaciated it's scary. He seems gentle and he has been doing ok with our dogs but we'll see.

We went out earlier to put our dogs out and he was standing on the porch. I took one look at how skinny he was and said "well, I can't have that" and got him food.. Joel gave one of those sighs that hubby's get when they realize that they're directly in the path of the crap coming out of the fan and there's no way to duck and said "I'll get him some water". I had to promise to start looking in the paper and print up flyers to take around. The deal is if no one claims him in a timely fashion, we take him to a shelter where they won't kill him. I asked my beloved what would happen if, when the time comes to take the animal away, I start to cry and get all clingy and decide I can't part with the pooch and he said "well, then I guess we have three dogs but I want you to really TRY to find this dogs owner and really commit to the shelter' Which I agreed to. I was also told it would be a bad idea to name the dog and I can see why but I guess I don't see the harm in finding something to call him for the time being. ;-) We have a bed fixed up for him now in Jasmine's old cage with some blankets and a plastic tablecloth to keep the rain off.

Dog Health Tips of The Day