Published in the Rains County Leader on August 1, 2017:
I met a new friend this week. Becky owns a one-operator beauty salon outside of town, and she is very popular at the Senior Center for her Senior Thursday haircuts. She’s also very interesting to talk to.
While she was working on my unruly curls, she mentioned that her son might be going to college on a scholarship, that is, if he agreed to continue training pigs for the show ring. Training pigs? I knew that pot bellied pigs could be domesticated and even trained to use a litter box, but I had trouble imagining them jumping hurdles in an agility ring or responding to commands in an obedience ring. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 18, 2017:
After reading last week’s column about our exciting first day of dog sitting with Spike, one of my readers commented that she couldn’t wait to read the next chapter. There’s good news and bad news about that. The good news is that Spike and David both behaved themselves while I was away on a weekend retreat. The bad news is that good behavior doesn’t usually make very interesting reading.
Not that he was a complete angel. David didn’t mention any nighttime barking while I was gone, but he has a tendency to sleep more soundly than I do. Spike continued to wake me every night around 3:00 or 3:30 am for no apparent reason other than that he was awake and thought everyone else should be, too. Thankfully, he quieted down pretty quickly. One morning when he waited until 5:00 to make his voice heard, I lay down on the couch – more because I was too tired to walk back to the bedroom than out of compassion for the noisy dog – but most nights I scolded him into silence and went back to bed. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 4, 2016:
I first heard the phrase “cat TV” from Jackson Galaxy on his show, “My Cat from Hell.” He was referring to the practice of providing a window seat of some kind for indoor cats so they can watch the outside world in safety. Kitty would have been more accurately described as being from Purgatory rather than from Hell, but since at that point we were in the process of socializing her, we cleared some surfaces, made a few furniture adjustments, and gave her access to all the windows in the main living area except the one over the kitchen sink. She has spent many happy hours, perched on her Kitty condo or on various pieces of furniture, watching local wildlife and passing neighbors. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 19, 2016:
Yes, Kitty’s transition is complete. Two weeks ago I wrote about her increasing but still limited freedom. We had recently been testing the concept of leaving her loose to roam the living areas during the day when we were gone. Shortly after that column, due to her excellent behavior or her uncanny ability to climb on forbidden surfaces without disturbing anything or leaving incriminating paw prints, she earned her daytime freedom. However, she was still confined to the laundry room at night. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 14, 2016:
One of the attractions of country life is the peace and quiet – being able to sit out in the yard and see only an occasional neighbor driving by or to sleep with the windows open on a cool spring night and smell the fresh air instead of pollution. Another thing I really enjoy on our little country homestead is the wildlife. We’ve sat at our dining table and watched the squirrels, rabbits, and all kinds of birds play and forage for food. One season an owl joined us for dinner every evening, and for two seasons, a pair of hawks were frequent visitors. Before we cleared the back part of the lot, we saw lots of deer grazing among the honey suckle and poison ivy, and even now a doe and her fawns will wander across occasionally. On special occasions, we’ve seen two foxes, an armadillo, a skunk, and more buzzards than people of our age need to see. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader June 7, 2016:
If I were more creative in the kitchen…
At some point during the last few weeks, Kitty celebrated her first birthday. I really shouldn’t say she celebrated since we didn’t think about it until we stopped by the vet’s office. We needed some Revolution to deal with the fleas she has been bringing into the house – at least the ones that stay on her. We’ll have to bomb the house to deal with the rest of them. The first time we took her to see the vet, he estimated her age based on her weight. Last week their records showed her as one year and one month old. That would make her birthday May 7, give or take a week.
I wrote my first column about Kitty for the June 16 edition last year. It was interesting to go back and see how much has changed since then. Here are a few then and now comparisons: (more…)
Last Wednesday was National Dog Day. David and I spent the last two weeks house and pet sitting with Spike, a Great Pyrenees mix who weighs in at close to a hundred pounds. He’s a sweet dog and fairly obedient when he wants to be, and I should have done something in honor of his special day. I didn’t, though, and maybe that’s why he gave me such a hard time Thursday morning. (more…)