Archive | September, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

29 Sep

Poor Ruthie er . . . Ruby had a bad old week for bathing.  After the two anti-skunk-stink baths, she was so pristinely clean that I didn’t think she’d need a bath for quite awhile.  But, I hadn’t counted on camping.

Our camping trip was very fun but my goodness the campsite was incrediably dusty.  By the end of the first day, she was no longer pristinely white on her white bits.  She was beige.  It was lovely.  Since the rest of us were also becoming beige, we didn’t worry about it too much.

Still, on the way home, I realized that everytime I pet Ruby, my hand was getting dusty again.  Didn’t stop me from petting her but still . . . I did slow down a little bit when I saw a big ol’ flea on her.

So, first thing I did when we got home was give the poor girl a bath again.  She was really good about it.  I wonder if she’s starting to think that a bath every couple of days is just how we do things here.

Poor little ol’ girl.

Color me amazed.

28 Sep

You have 5,004 total comments.

Somehow, this blog has encouraged more than 5,000 comments.  I find it very difficult to believe that my words have generated that sort of response.  But, thank you.  Thank you very much . . . times 5,000.

Life . . . it’s what happens when you are trying to sleep . . .

25 Sep

So, most people know that being a teacher is a butt-kicking job.  I come home most days absolutely REELING.  Then I have to run my household — cook dinner, check homework, clean something (ha!), keep up with laundry, and all that.  So anything that throws my routine (if you can call it that) off is a serious annoyance.

Yesterday, was an early-out day at our school.  The kids go home around 1pm but we teachers stay and work all afternoon.  These are days when I am very glad my husband works at home (although our on-campus afterschool care program totally steps up and watches my kids for me on those days when he’s otherwise occupied).  Still I honestly thought that I’d be getting home and washing Ruby with the chemical mix I mentioned yesterday before I could cook dinner and all that jazz.

Instead, I came home to excited children tripping over one another to tell me that they had washed the dog.  “We knew you’d be tired after all those meetings, Mom, so we did this for you!”

Talk about a burst of energy.  I’ll say it now — to make it official — I have an awesome husband, an awesome daughter, and an awesome son.

I also still have a stinky dog.  Only a little stinky though so I think I’ll give her one more bath tonight and hopefully we’ll be done with it.  Fingers crossed!

The cold that’s stalking me is waiting for the weekend.  I feel the symptoms coming on a little bit more each day.  Yesterday, it was a sore throat.  The day before, sinus pressure.  We’ll see.  I have decided that if I get really sick, I’m not going camping.  So, I figure it won’t hit until I’m halfway to our campground.  That’s the way life works, right?

PU

24 Sep

What’s that smell? That rancid, stomach-churning stench.   Oh, that would be the smell of Ruby.  Stinky, stinky skunk chasing dog.  Sigh.

I was all snuggled in and half asleep at midnight last night.  Greg came to bed and slumber sank in deeper.  I smelled skunk smell but it often wafts through the neighborhood so I ignored it.  Greg wasn’t as deeply asleep so he did not ignore it.  He got me up and sure enough . . . Ruby STANK.  She was in my daughter’s bedroom, curled up on her beanbag chair (a truly luxurious beanbag chair that was given to us by a designer who works with my husband).  I took Stinky McStinkerson and gave her a bath.  Greg took the beanbag chair out to the deck.

I am a firm believer in the de-skunk solution you can find on the Internet [click].  It really works.  But, I did not have the supplies on hand.  Ruby still stank after the bath but I couldn’t tell that as I crawled back into bed because the entire house stank so badly.  Greg realized it before he came back to bed and locked Ruby into the kids’ bathroom.

When I crawled out of bed at 6:00, he told me that’s where she was.  Only, she wasn’t.  Nope.  Bathroom empty.  Seems my daughter got up to use the bathroom in the wee hours (get it?) and felt badly for Ruby and took her back to her bedroom and closed her in there.  Ruby spent the rest of the night sleeping on my daughter’s bed.  You can’t imagine how much that room stank when I opened it up to get Ruby out this morning. I hope that I can clean her comforter . . . and the 43 million stuffed animals that she sleeps with every night.

Right now, Ruby’s closed into my laundry room which gives her access to the outside (dog door).  When I get home from school today, I will stop at the store and buy some hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  If I were smart, I’d buy 47 bottles of peroxide and a dozen boxes of baking soda to keep on hand.  Maybe I’ll just get a couple extra so that next time, the house won’t stink so badly.

What a stinky way to start the day.  Aren’t you glad the Interwebs don’t have a smell-o-vision feature?

On being stalked . . .

23 Sep

At school yesterday, I realized that I was being stalked.  In the copy room in the morning, I could feel the unwelcome presence.  In my classroom, later that day, I sensed something in the room with me.  Everytime I turn around, I get the feeling that something just ducked out of sight.  Behind that pillar, around the corner, but always, always following me.  The footsteps get closer.  Everyone around me has succombed to this stalker . . . do I stand alone?  Am I the last survivor?

Stay tuned to see if I, too, surrender to the first cold of the school year.

Weekends . . .

22 Sep

As a teacher and a parent, I have a love/hate relationship with weekends.  On the one hand, they are a break.  On the other hand, we tend to overfill our weekends to the point of crazy-making-ness.  This last weekend was one of those.  Greg was out of town (whine, whine, whine).  It was our bi-monthly Crafty Chix weekend.  Several friends wanted us to do activities.  I had to pick Greg up and the airport.  And, I needed to spend a good 2 hours in my classroom preparing for this week.  Somehow, all those things happened.  In the middle, we also dealt with changes in plans, sick friends, infected earring holes, organizing Halloween costumes, and a myriad of other little “life happens” stuff.

I’d say that going back to work would be a relief after such an impacted weekend but then I’d be lying.  Being a teacher makes a hectic weekend like that seem like nothing.

The good news is that we’re going camping next weekend.  That’ll be fun and I’m sure I’ll have no trouble fitting in a thorough cleaning of the motorhome and stocking up on camping food into THIS week!

Life.

A worthy cause

18 Sep

Sometimes a story just touches your heart.  This is one of those stories.  Lori is a writer and a single mom to a 7 year old son.  She has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and is confined to a hospital bed unable to move or breath on her own.  Meanwhile, her house is in foreclosure because she is unable to work.  And, the Internets are helping her family . . .

Save Lori's House

Ruby Toesday — the bath edition

16 Sep

KGMom asked about Ruby’s post-bath-ritual.  After years of bathing Labradors, bathing a 15 lb dog is a delight.  She does not like baths but it’s much easier to deal with 15 lbs of unhappiness than with 70-90 lbs of unhappiness.  Also, bathing a 15 lb dog is much, much faster than those large behemouths with the very thick coats that hold onto soap rather firmly.  So, I don’t mind it at all.

I bathe Ruby in the bathtub — she’s small enough to do it in the kitchen sink but she feels safer with a little room around her.  I think it’s the illusion that she could escape at any time.  🙂  I use the sprayer from the shower.  I get her wet, soap her up with a nice tea tree oil doggy shampoo, and rinse her thoroughly.

All my dogs have been trained to “shake off” when I am finished bathing them.  With the labs, gallons of water would come out of the their coats so teaching them to not shake until they had permission was essential.  Teaching a dog to shake is pretty easy.  When they are soaking wet, you blow in their ears.  I am not making this up!  Seriously, blow a good, firm blast of air in their ear.  It makes them want to shake their head and then well the body follows.  The key is to hold up a towel, blow in their ear, and say, “Shake off!” all at the same time.  Once they shake, remember to praise them up oneside and down the other.  Ruby gives one or two shakes for me and then she’s pretty much dry — there’s not much too her.  🙂

I scoop her up in a towel and carry her to the living room steps.  I then clip her toenails with my own fingernail clipper.  Her nails are teeny-tiny and her toes are impossibly small and delicate.  Most of her toenails are easy to clip — white nails let you see where the quick is so you can’t mess it up.  She has one black toenail however and that’s more touchy.  Thankfully, I had black labs and have a pretty good idea of where you can and can’t clip a dog’s nails.  I’ve never quicked Ruby, thank goodness, so she is pretty calm and trusting about it all.

Once I release her from the towel, she is a wild woman.  She tears around the house and rubs herself on the rug.  “Ick,” she is clearly thinking, “get this bath stink off me!”  Still for the rest of us, it’s a true joy to have her smelling sweet and looking shiny and beautiful again.

Needlepaws

Monday Morning Update

15 Sep

Still can’t get my rhythm to include regular blog posts or even carrying my camera around and charging it up regularly.  Sigh.  So, this is a sad, little attempt to get back into blogging.

  • Ruth’s arm.  Thankfully, it’s better.  Not well, but better.  With Advil now, she’s fine.  Once it wears off, she’s hurting again.  We think it’s probably just sprained.  If it were a hidden break, I think it would still be hurting as much, if not more than it did early on.  So, we’re waiting it out.
  • Ruby.  Yes, I still have a cute little dog named Ruby.  In fact, she had a bath last night.  Imagine that I took pictures of her post-bath antics.  Imagine that I took pictures of her during the bath feeling very sorry for herself.  Imagine I wrote up a witty post on all that and posted it tomorrow.  🙂
  • The house.  We’ve done a TON of work.  I actually have taken pictures of this aspect of my life but they are still in the camera.  I promise that I will post on that at some point.
  • School.  Life goes on.  Routines are getting settled.  Education is happening.  I still feel frazzled and out-of-sorts most of the time.  I think that will be better in a couple of weeks.  We’re starting a new program today at school and until that is going well, I doubt I’ll be feeling particularly organized in any area of my classroom.  Still and all, I think I am more PROACTIVE than REACTIVE this year so that’s a good thing.

I’m reading all your blogs daily but not always leaving comments.  Know I’m there though!  Promise!  🙂

Something completely different

13 Sep

(found at Very Good Taste)

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (Well, alligator . . . close enough)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue (don’t like it much — I prefer chocolate fondue!)
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari (One of my favorite foods!)
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (A favorite — even got my son hooked on them!)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries (Many times but lately local blackberries and my own wild strawberries)
23. Foie gras (Blech!  Despise this stuff!)
24. Rice and beans (Mexican food is a favorite as is Cajun red beans and rice)
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (But I am a fan of eating jalapenos and habaneros!  YUM!)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (Blech!  Hate root beer — young son adores it though!)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail (in soup form!)
41. Curried goat (Curry and I don’t get along!)
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala (Again with the curry!)
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear (in jelly!)
52. Umeboshi (didn’t work for me!)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini (The only kind I’ll drink, thank you!)
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (All of them!)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini (Best part of having Russian grandparents!)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (Secret vice)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.  (Close a 2 star!)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers (Who hasn’t had a salad with nasturtiums in it?)
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (But, only in Tia Maria)
100. Snake

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.