The dog ate my Christmas

No, really! She did it, Mom!

This old girl’s name is Eva. Sometimes I think it is a misspelling if you get my gist. But most of the time she really is an angel. I suppose it’s our fault. We didn’t put a water in the kennel, so to lock her, there will have to a lot of cord juggling and such so that her water would stay thawed out and the bucket not get cracked.

Meanwhile, we decided to use an automatic food service delivery and she learned that the packages contain food. Well, that started the whole ball rolling and even though we do not have snow right now, there was a mighty large snow mountain in the yard and the mess nor our attitudes towards her could handle the ice and snow!

So this particular day, we tied the box to her collar and made her drag around “Christmas” all day so that she would stop eating it. I honestly do not think it will work, so we will just lock her up if a package should come when we are gone. Which by the way it did several times this past week. And I am not gone from home much these days.

This one day I decided to crochet another remake. The hat was so thin and not very warm. Also the mittens were a pair of fingerless mitts that I wore on the motorcycle some. The job took me a couple of days but it was just in time for an outing on a warmer day.

Honey must have felt a little bad that Eva got in so much trouble for the package thievery. She has taken up one of her toys to tell me that “Somebody in a car is here!” I was both pleasantly surprised and a little bit in awe when it was the mail-lady with a parcel delivery. Yeah, Honey kept Eva out of the dog house! Haha!

The tethered box, got me to thinking about solving one of my walking problems. The dog’s compete so much to be first while on separate leashes, that we often get tangled up or my shoulders hurt really bad after the exercise.

So I tried the tethered walk with the two dogs one day. Amazing! Eva gets the harness latch on her collar and I run the leash through a slip hook on Honey’s collar. Wow! Solved my problem of sore shoulders all by myself. Neither one of them pulls on the leash anymore. And Honey has to be the dog-in-charge like she really is supposed to be. No more pulling! the double sided tug on Honey works like the harness. Yay! And I have my hands more free to swing my arms as is natural to walking.

We finally found someone to reupholster the old day bed from Gavin’s folks. She did such a beautiful job. I had a picture of the whole day bed, but don’t want to spoil the beauty by giving away the picture! So Here’s the little story. We cleaned up the wood a couple of summer’s ago and it sat in the old house next door for two years. Then we ought the fabric pre-Covid. I had one lady lined up and she canceled on me with the “mask shortage.” She was busy sewing masks for the healthcare etc.

This fall I got on the phone and made a few calls to find a new person. I forgot that my husband was buying the fabric based on touch. The feel of the daybed is both luxurious and simple. This little pillow was another one of my mosaic crochet studies. Now that I know how to make the continuous crochet tapestry fabric, more pillows may find their way into my loved ones lives. It was so much fun to do, I could not put it down until it was finished.

Meanwhile, out on the ranch… haha. My husband pampered me by trying this mulberry stump rocket stove. We burned it three weekends in a row, putting the fire out with water each time. The third time it began to fall apart. It was a fun way to warm up while the forty degree weather tempted us to stay outside awhile longer. Don’t judge us for using up good firewood. The stack by the woodshed/chicken coup would supply someone for at least two winters. If the racoon’s don’t destroy the stack too many times.

Only two weeks until Christmas and I have not done any of the usual things. My gift making still seems to be far delayed and not near enough time. Letter writing is still on the back burner, and the thought of trying to do a Christmas card seems overwhelming. The gatherings so few, there really are not very many pictures to use.

Looking forward to the Holiday holds a hint of apprehension. Some have already had the virus, but others have not. So caution will probably hold a great big yellow yield sign over every thing that we do.

Hopefully, I can get you another update on all the happenings around here sometime soon. Trying not to get overly “busy.” It seems like focus on the true gift of Christmas is far more important than on all the trappings of the holiday.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)

For bitter or for sweet

The long and short of it all…

This blog was suppose to be published in June, as we celebrated 29 years of marriage.I should not be so bold to say celebrate. Actually we spent the week waiting for the arrival of our second grand baby. At the time we were still guessing wether he would be a boy or a girl. Boy, some of us were wrong!

Twenty nine years is significant in some ways. Many people don’t make it through the adulting of their children. Either by illness or divorce. This year the month concluded with news that indeed was the case for some people we knew. Divorce. Our hearts were broken for the friend. And especially because the news took two years to reach us.

“For better or for worse, for bitter or for sweet, in sickness and in health, until death do we part…”. Does anyone even make this kind of a vow anymore? It seems the whole of world thinks the rose bushes no longer have thorns. I am glad that my daughter has such a bush right out her kitchen entrance. Every time they leave and come back to the house, it is visible and during the summer on full display.

Marriage is work. And it takes two. So many are disillusioned by the pursuit of happiness they forget the true purpose of marriage. Here is the jist of what we believe: marriage is a reflection of Christ and the Church. Marriage is so that the onlookers will know that the Lord is God. Marriage is so that each partner has an opportunity to learn the value of unconditional love.

Unconditional.

For bitter or sweet, I love and serve the needs of another. It’s up to me to make the bitter sweet. Like making chokecherry jelly. Those little berries have got to be the most bitter things (buffalo berries are pretty bad too). When we are handed a pail of these cherries, it might take the whole bag of sugar to make them sweet. Roll up you shirt sleeves, gather up your best character values and make some jelly. Be the sugar if the other partner is the berries.

Does anyone know how to become better or is the whole world just becoming more and more bitter every time things get a little difficult. Learning to do things that are hard becuase of the value of doing it. Like a marathon, life can be hard sometimes.

Marriage in the evening years.

Maybe I should not classify us in the twilight of life. But some grandparents really do see this time of life as a sunset

Last week, I made a phone call. Perhaps it was a bad decision. But we adopted a ten year old retired breeding labrador retriever. Young families with children in the house don’t want to watch a puppy grow old. Let alone, an old dog get older.

The twilight of life for a breeding dog is the pleasant years. No more working for this sweet little girl. She can laze away her days on the porch swing if she chooses to. But don’t be deceived, Eva has a lot of energy yet. The first twenty four hours her little feet did not stop once! I think she tried to smell the whole acreage.

Adopting an elderly dog has both it’s sweet parts and its bitter parts. Of course learning all of her quirks will take at least a year. The sweet part is that she is already trained to heel, follow, retrieve, and does not nip or step on your toes. She really is a good oe’ girl.

Why in the world would we get another chore? Well, doing for another is not so bad when the another is so sweet. Serving the person with an applesauce attitude is much better than serving a person with the attitude of a rotten banna. You know what I am talking about don’t you? Please don’t make me spell it all out.

Honey was absolutely sure there was no room for another dog. She has tried to be the boss of everyone since we’ve known her. She snarls at nearly every dog she meets. Even with socialization, she is not real friendly towards other dogs. To other people she is on the top of the friendliness chart. She would go home with anyone. That’s why her collar has her name and phone number on it.

Eva… our evening doggie is so subservient, it makes Honey look like shoe leather. How one dog can be soft an another like shoe leather is pretty visible quite quickly. Of course this little bulldozer does know how to crash through the thicket that has been a stand alone for over twenty years. The only think I have ever seen come out of the thicket was a cat we had once that would eat the baby bunnies. Eva went right through like a bulldozer. she is pretty thick skinned actually. And so now the lily garden has a fence around it. And she gets tied up when I am in the garden. Or there won’t be any lettuce to eat.

So when things get a little too rough for this grandma, it’s time for an iced coffee and a lazy cat on the bench. This cat is Tabitha, or Tabby for short. She is last years kitten from a neighbor. Only two of the five stayed off the road. Our house is less than 100 feet from the pavement. Some of the cats are truly suicidal. I have to feed them before taking Honey fo a run or bike ride. But now the old mama cat had six kittens this spring and four of them are orange. Might have to come up with some new names that mean orange or maybe just the names of the oranges, like tangelos, nectarines, cuties, and mandarins? Do we have the right lifestyle to adopt another dog? We had all of the accommodations. Our kennel outside sat empty and there were plenty of leashes around here to hook up another walker. Right lifestyle or not, there are some things that change. For instance who is feeding who when? And perhaps we could use another walk at the state park nearby.
Affording the change? Well, she’s pretty small and there’s not much hopefully to anticipate for her needs. But just a week or so ago, at my annual physical, my doctor told me that I could afford a lifestyle change.

Really she said just that. Okay, maybe it was “your cholesterol ranks a little high and you could get those numbers down with diet and exercise.” I heard, “you are getting a little fat, this weight gan cna be reversed by taking up rowing,m running, weightlifting and it would be best to remove all the seet tasty treats in your life and eat just rabbit food. You know at your age you could afford to make a lifestyle change!”

Doctors never make those calls. It is always the nurse. She was mean. I knew all that just by lookin in the mirror. That’s wjy I avoid looking!

Twisting the facts a bit is not really telling a fib now is it? i just turned her bitteersweet news into a more audible warning. Twisting my nose would have been just as effective.

Eva and I have a lot in common actually. I’m pretty set in my ways at this point in life also. I can relate to the few extra pounds that one puts on after going into menopause. I know what it’s like to have habits that drive me to do things a certain way. But I refuse to a be a bulldozer into other peoples thoughts or lives. Hopefully, we can be sweet enough that the chokecherry jelly will turn out to be great syrup for pancakes. Just have to use more sugar I guess.

Distant Social Zing

Honey bear style

Social distancing is not something our honey bear understands. Golden doodles are bred for their friendliness and their adaptability with others. So when this whole covid 19 thing showed up, our sticky mutt decided if people were not coming to see her, then she would go see them.

My theory is actually much more complicated about why I am chose to run. Most dogs do run. But only a few will chose to run away from the immediate in search of what ever the nose might find.

Everyone knows the dog’s nose is number one in the scheme of reasons, I vote for that one. Some smells are intoxicating. Like a thirst for water after a good frisbee session, my nose gets a scent and it seems like a strong rope to the rest of me. No one can leave bacon alone, right? Well, that’s what some aromas do. They draw me. It’s hard to explain.

However, shortly before the stay at home order, I found out that one of our substitue mail carriers feeds us treats from her car. That mail carrier fed me right there on the road! Of course, I am thinking, how dangerous. But oh well, everyone slows down for me and the mail. Who would encourage a dog to jump up on the car for a treat? It’s so confusing. Some people use angry voice when I try to jump and she gives me a treat. I don’t know which is the right way.

Besides, the package guy always gives me a treat. But he comes into the driveway so that is probably safe. I love to circle his truck and smell all of the other places he stops at. Sometimes another canine leaves me a message on the tires. His truck is full of nose treats and cookie treats.

(Remember that sign we use to see at the zoo, or in the national park out at Yellowstone: DO NOT FEED THE BEARS ?). Well, I am about to post that sign on my lawn near our 911 address. Do not feed my HONEY BEAR! She’s rather sticky, and it will get messy and difficult in the future. It just encourages the friendly dogs, to chase cars and play on the road.)

This morning after a leash walk with my mom, to the corner and back, I found a juicy one. Smell, that is. It took me north a long ways. Suddenly, another scent interrupted me. I tried to find the first one, but I lost it. My one mile walk with mom was nothing compared to the five miles my nose took me. That plum bush that mom thought was worth stopping for and letting me go was nothing compared to my trail. After the hour and a half of tracking, I was a little thirsty. Maybe a drink would help me pick up the scent again. So I turned to go home. Up to the road I went.

Then, the nice lady slowed down and picked me up. She read my collar. She called me Honey and everything. I heard her use the box to call mom. Then she dropped me off at the end of the driveway, and said “Honey go home.” I was glad. All that tracking had me ready for a drink. I jumped right up on the deck with a thud so mom could hear me.

I was happy to be home. I don’t think mom sounded very happy.

(Of course it does not help that I am blind. Nor that she did not have her guide harness on at the moment. I do not harness her every time that we go out. She is still in training to help me and some days we take a break. So after five minutes of calling for the “nose to ground” hound dog, I gave up. It was useless to waste my breath on the four legged creature that can run nearly 35 mph in a short spurt and 15-20 mph for longer distances. She was no where to be seen in just a matter of seconds.)

Two hours later a friendly lady gave her a lift home. There is a reason we put her name and home phone number on her collar. Though I had hoped it would only get used during a grooming session, or at dog camp. Or perhaps emergencies unforeseen. Honey thinks it is so that she can go distant social zing!

Distant Social Zing!

Yeah, I said that exactly the way that that she would. Zing is her favorite thing. Just toss a frisbee sometime and you will witness how fast her zing really is. Zing is what a golden doodle does bed.

Zing is the thing that drives our Honey bear to fly through the air after the disc. Zing is the thing that makes our Honey seem so sweet to everyone outside of the family. Zing is the thing that this sticky girl does when she meets someone new. Zing is the thing that happens when I turn my head for two seconds.

Zing.

Distant social zing is what she has taken up now that no one ever comes over for coffee.

Zing.

And that is nothing like zoom!!

Epilogue”My mom is the best ever. This morning she got me a date with a runner. A real runner, not just for twenty paces. My runner can run a mile or longer in one breath. I think. And she’s a girl. Like me. Girls rock! My runner listens to music. And she tastes great too. She had lotion, hot dogs, and sweat all at once. My runner is my best friend. I hope she comes again. Mom just handed her the leash and we left. My runner is the best. I tried to tell her so. I licked her and jumped like crazy. I hope she comes back.”

Yep, we hired a runner. And we are trying to throw the frisbee at consecutive moments to keep Honey on the go for at least twenty minutes. She’s still not tired. Just very exuberant and very fit.

Post Script to the epilogue

We decided to build Honey a fort. Here begins the agility challenges. Quaratine has made us think of all sorts of things to improve our staying at home. Hopefully this will help improve Honey’s staying home also. She actually began the weekend by running off on Gain while he was outside with her. So by Sunday we made the decision start building more”listen” into her. The agility and cofidence course for the canine is all about building relationship with your dog. I hope it works for my dog. The fort has two platforms, a tunnel, and a ladder or stepping bridge. We have the items for a hurdle, but will make that this later. She is learning to slow down and listen. Hopefully there will be no injuries (to me or her).

This morning after just one day with the fort, she gave up chasing the cats for a romp on the fort while I fed the feline’s. I would say success. And she learned about slowing down for the stepping bridge. She tends to just barrell through every thing as if exuberance were the answer to the whole of life. Her middle name is zealous!

Operator error

Follies and fortunes with Honey

The follies and fortunes of owning a mixed breed dog have been part of our co-existence for three years now. It was of course my foolishness that requested a “hypo-allergenic” dog as a guide dog companion. Having no previous experience with either a poodle, or a golden retriever should have been a warning signal. Choosing this breed mix was a new challenge altogether. The misfortune of owning such a hyper energetic dog is that I do not run marathons for a living. Frisbee has become our mode of energy draining!

In this day and age of technology driven work and social lives this is one sign that we hope not to see. However in-frequently it’s message interrupts our screen this message clearly points fault. Today while blind guide training my dog the message spoke loud and clear. Operator Error was flashing a message loud and clear. Let me explain myself.

For the past month Honey and I have been training independently on guide dog behavior. Most days we work together-that’s a joke. The independence that I mention is without the aid of a certified guide dog therapist or trainer. Together, I have learned that she still backs away whenever the harness comes out. High value treats help some. Together, we have been learning the words or commands associated with the use of the harness. Together, we are learning some completely new skills.

HOWEVER

Yeah, you knew that one was coming. Because of her her hyper energy and sensitive nature, communication between the operator and the wearer has been rather botched. For starters, we have had three years without the use of the tool. The harness acquired less than a month ago is new to Honey. Most guide dogs get the harness fitted at full growth spurt completed. Approximately one and a half years.

Day One had my sensitive hyper bee jumping kangaroo style every time the handle found contact with anything. She has always gotten more agitated every time we get ready to go somewhere. We would try to put her in a stay mode, and it never worked. The more I move around, the more she moves around. Getting ready to go anywhere, meant there is a sixty pound banana following you. We were sure to run into her frequently in the search for shoes, coat, hat, purse, backpack or anything else needed for the “going.” Needless to say, it has taken her three weeks to learn STATUE. Learning that the harness handle bumps into chairs, doors, walls or other items if she does not stand still, took a little bit of patience. So week three has arrived and Honey now stands still in statue after the harness is on. Yep, she’s smart. (Three weeks seemed like a long time to me.)

Okay, next lesson.

With the harness on our roles are completely reversed. She is no longer a sixty pound banana behind me. Now, I am the drag weight in the tractor pull. Wherever she goes, I follow. This is hard to do. TRUST. That’s not very easy to do when this jumping jelly bean has broken my nose in the past. Her excitement has to be toned down somehow. So the other day while going for a walk, I actually followed her. Into the ditch we trailed the scent she had just discovered. However, because free-time is not while she is on the harness, it did the kangaroo hop that she does when she is excited and does not know what is next. “Oh, no, where are we? What are we doing here? What happened to the road we were walking on? Why do feel like sliding down a slippery slope into the abyss? Where’s the road? Where is my walk?” It worked. She got us back on the road and towing the white line on the edge.

On to the blind guide training and the operator erro. So today we took the harness for a five minute waltz. Just the the green house and a few other frequented places on the acreage. At first I said, “Go to…”. Each time I began with that phrasing she turned to go for a walk. Ergh. My frustration was setting in. Doing this trust thing is not going very well, I told myself. Try again. “Find…”. YAY! We have success.

Finding OUR way

Find is her favorite game. We have spend many rainy days playing find tug, or find car, or find ball, or find cookie. I show her the toy we are using, ask her to sit-stay or place. Then I go throughout the house pretending to hide the item until I choose a spot. Sometimes I continue pretend for more than the actual placing of said object. Then I return to Honey and praise her for stay and say FIND.

So, operator error flashing, I began to ask my harnessed guide dog to “find” various places around the acreage. Wahlah! We had success. Apparently GO means a walk, or the car, or go with. Communication to a dog has always been a challenge for this family. We had a little dog for ten years that refused to COME. But if you said “Go” follwed by your own name, he came right to you. Somehow in the training years come meant bad things to the little furball. I hope it does not take me ten years to figure out this girl.

The Honey-moon is over

Not so serviceable

So after all that training-ha! This highly alert jumping bean tries to turn everyone into fainting goats with her not so delicate response to most noises. We decided the best dogs grow u.p around little kids. Or come from the rescue shelter with a second chance lease on life.

Today, I just carried my good girl down three steps to go potty. They I promised to dispose of the bad stuff just to get her to go in an area that she finally-after two years of yelling- has learned is off limits potty area. Well, she felt bad enough. So I did it. Carried her back up the three steps and let her in the house. Today we have a couch bum.

I know country living is the quiet life, but if I don’t respond with exuberant energy, why does she? Should have named her Kangaroo or springboard or trampoline. Recently met someone else that named their dog Honey an they had the same bee in the bonnet attitude in their dog. That would have been nice to know two years earlier. .

So we are trying the underwhelming approach. Never be excised at much of any thing. Ignoring her when company comes over. That really has not works either. She still annoys to the point of exasperation. Fixation on attention makes me wonder how she developed ADHD. Then I remember that she has never chewed anything up-ever. Hmmm.

No matter what excitement there might be, we are all dull drum when it comes to handling this pickle. Taking her with should be easier. But I think we will have to get another no tug harness. The band at the park outing the other day was difficult. We just have to mny memories if our perfect “Lady” – forgetting age as ten years old at perfection.

So we left her home the other night while we went for a quick ride to gas up the goldwing. She has never followed us before, so what happened in the 45 minutes timelapse,who knows? But when we got home she was obviously distressed. So the yearly trip to the vet for vaccines go moved up a week or two. This morning her paw needed some attention as the pad’s one inch gape needed fixed.

No one has ever pickled honey but some people do add apple aodar vinegar to their tea with honey. I have yet to figure out if this thing is jut the boiling hot water There is no taste to th tea if you burn your tongue first. And there are times, when I feel at my age, my tongue is just burned too frequently with the antics of a young puppy. This morning we met another doodle at 5 years old and they told us ours would get better soon.

Sweet and sour barbecue sauce usually has both those ingredients (Honey and vinegar). Honey, vinegar, ketchup and a whole lot of turmeric makes some really great rib sauce. But this girl does not even tickle the ribs funny. Calm down pickles! Well, today she is definitely down. Just look at her giving up on life with her injuries. Two pads have obvious woulds, and another she licks at, but I cannot sense the would with my probing. We are not being lazy… just resting through the healing process.

Words sweeter than honeycomb cannot be peppered with garlic and jalapeño dills. Yet this mutt gives the same effect when she greets strangers. Should have named her Cookies, like the hot spicey barbecue sauce!

While whispering to a hyped up dog does not always work, adding a cookie or cheese stick to the senses surely does. Not long ago she actually pleased us all day and we rewarded her with a McD’s burger. That’s when we found our that she was smart enough to spit the onion and pickle out. So now we know she’ll never get poisoned. She would not even take a treat from the vet this morning. It’s like she said. “Yeah, right, I did not see those two needles, and the scissor, and the iodine. You’re a stranger, I’m not pleasing you.”

Having a not so serviceable dog makes me wonder if this energy can ever be harnessed. Her idea of anything is full bore ahead. So getting her to walk the steps WITH me has been challenging. The service harness that I put on her is something she “puts up with.” It’s not a love, like Seymour considered it. But then maybe loving her through this injury and carrying her up and down these exact stairs will get her to love being with me.

Whatever was I thinking?

And how did she ever begin to choose Pickles for a nickname? I have taken up it’s use for when she is naughty. That way I never use her name “in vain”– the trainer said only use a happy tone of vice with the dog’s real name. So Pickles is the discipline name. So far, she does not care. Either one is good for her.

I haven’t decided yet what kind of pollen our bee used for making our Honey. I am thinking hay or alfalfa because they are my wort allergy. Sweet clover honey often gets too biter. So I prefer garden flower Honey. Just the other day upon arrival home, I was playing tug of war with her upon arrival home, and a bee stung me. That’s what got me thinking about all of this.

One last story about the starts before I carry her out again for another potty break. One time when she was just a wee puppy, we went to visit our daughter at the retreat center. The stairways are long, and at that time dark. Gavin was leading the way, followed by Honey and then me, and then our daughter. Two steps into the dark and this sound greeted us, “thud, thud, thud, thump, UFF!” Honey fell down the dark stairwell. So much for her being a sight dog to help me in the dark and down stairs.

Well, these next two weeks are dedicated to healing pads. We took this opportunity to put all of the frisbees into the deck box. She will not be playing for a while. I will get some muscles carrying up and down the stairs. At least the back deck only has three steps for us to fall down or trip over cats on.

In service day 5

Weather or not

Whether or not she wants to work has been the challenge all week. There is always the tug of the frisbee play that seems to call her heart away from focus. But even that word has taken on direct meaning for the flighty little girl that seems to have nothing but noodles in her body.

Day five of Honey in service: slip on my helper collar only took two teasing nods, the walk to feed cats only distracted by dad getting something out of car, quick response for return to duty at the greenhouse, and found dad at garage in one sniff. She returned me to the house where I slipped off the service collar and away she ran. I would say this is success!

Whether or not she really has to go out, this silly “pickle” always wants to go out to play frisbee. The rain or shine of the weather means nothing to her until she is wet to the bone. She hates wet, except when it means chasing frisbee. Even in the 30 mph driving snow, Honey will still focus on the frisbee to catch it ten feet in the breeze. Harnessing that energy to have her help me get around the acreage seems almost hopeless.

But we send away for a service harness and got busy on the training this week inspite of the weather. Day one was a trick to even get the harness on. She doesn’t like sticking her head into anything that might mean trapped. Learning that the harness comes off in just a short while is the key to quick buckle ups.

Day two and three went by swiftly with only two or three attempts at use. Morning chores mostly since hubby was not here. Day four also was a good service step practice day. She seemed to pick a up on the garbage duty, the chore duty, and the mail route quickly. These things she has observed for two years and not helped me at all. Her choice to prance around in circles with a frisbee has been very distracting to my straight line walking.

So today was day five. Weather or not, she was going to help with chores whether she wanted to or not. I expected the slip collar teasing. She jumps backwards two or three times telling me she does not prefer confinement. “Be Still!” Is more to calm my tongue than to calm her nerves.

I also expected distraction to give her the giggles. And right on cue to the car door opening, she began to jump around. The “focus” command did not work this time. So I repeated the task, “feed cats.” The journey to the greenhouse did require the word “focus” as she wanted to watch what dad was doing behind us.

The nice surprise was how attentive she was after my greenhouse check. With the sun shining and the warmer weather, the heaters all needed shut off for the day. Watering has finally produced some results and there are quite a few seedlings up. When I stepped out the door and considered calling her name, Surprise! Honey was right at my side when the door clicked shut. I praised her much.

Her quick leaning has been a nice touch to the struggles of the week as my mood crashes have been miserable. These is a head ache right under the volcano’s surface today. She returned me to the house without any confusion and I released her to go play with dad.

Yay, Honey! You aren’t such a silly pickle after all!

Two peas in a pod

Or maybe just add one

Why do they call it a pod of whales?

And a pea pod?

They have absolutely nothing in common. Or do they?

Having too much time to think is probably the worst part of not having a demanding occupation. So while writing requires a lot of thinking, it’s that dull, dead space in between inspiration that I’m writing about now. Like when there is no grand thought and the world seems to going around without me. Many times I feel like Rip Van Wrinkle in a slow motion film while the rest of the people buzz about like bees collections pollen and food for the queen. What purpose is there is simple living?

Then, just like a wild flower, some great idea rises out of the wilderness to meet me. Here’s a sample.

We recently bought a gold wing motorcycle and a small trailer. The trailer will be a dog carrier, but right now it is just a flatbed. We have looked at modifications of dog-huts and pictures until we were bored with looking. Then all of sudden after an unusually warm day when the asthma kept me from physical activity, a thought popped into my brain. Our dog’s name is Honey. We should build a Honey-Wagon for the little “poopy” pup to ride in. A Honey Wagon! It was so funny. Then we began looking at barrel built trailers and found one painted like a bee. Oh girl! That was really funny.

So a Honey Wagon it is.

Today’s snow storm has the mutt and I stuck indoors. We have done the dishes, the chores, the laundry and decided upon a baby blanket pattern to crochet. Maybe. Now what?

My thoughts returned to the pod thing.

A pod cast. We should listen to a podcast. What does that have to do with a little pink whale on a blanket and a greenhouse with pea pods (never mind that the aphid spray killed the pea plant). So I’ll just have to find some hilarious comedian on pod-cast to occupy my thoughts!

We opted for a book on my Talking Book Library about rescue dogs. This one is about Greg, the transport trucker. And then I am back to surfing the web for a fur baby rescue or something. What a waste of time. Maybe I should go slide down the snow pile with Honey. Or make coffee. Yeah, make coffee.

So two peas in a pod, my husband and I sit buried in our screen time: he doing his work from home, me typing endless nothingnesses. The little skeins of yarn sit in expectation of an adorable whale blanket no pod visible yet, and the podcast goes unheard.

Today is a snow day in South Dakota. Perhaps we’ll eat those snow peas from the freezer for supper.

Dear Santa

Letter from Honey

Dear Santa,

This is me-Honey I’ve been a very good gurl this year. Mom says only very good girls get a visit from Santa. I love visits. Can you stop by to play frisbee? It’s my favorite.

This is my first Christmas. Well, this is my first year! Tongue wag- that’s a funny in case you missed it. Mom says I don’t know Christmas. Well-she’s wring. I know all about Christmas.

Let me tell you everything I already know. Christmas is “be careful of the nativity.” The Nativity is on the coffee table. It is figures of the first nativity. The first nativity was real. A real barn with real smells. A real baby with real cries. It is “be careful” and use a soft tail. “Be careful” is like “be nice.” Be nice is don’t bite. Be careful is kind of watch out. I don’t touch the nativity. I don’t bounce soft frisbee on the “be careful of the nativity.” It is what Christmas is all about. That first real one.

Christmas is also about the memory tree. Mom calls it a “Christmas tree be nice.” It’s not real. It has old smells. Smells of dust and cinnamon. I think it is a memory tree. There are smells of lots of different people on the tree. People that I have never visited. But they are they are on and in the tree. Mom calls them ornaments-pretties. Christmas is all about the memory tree and the people that visit. They send mail. I smell some of the same people in the cards that come.

One day I wanted to visit the people that I smelled on the tree and in the cards. So I got the postage stamps that mom gave me and tried them. They tasted bad. I wanted to help them come. I ate the stamps. I’m sorry Santa that I didn’t help the visitors with the cards and the smells from the tree get together. (The roll of stamps fell while I-mom was cleaning. I did NOT give them to her!)

Dad says I’m a very good girl too. So can I give you my wish list, Danta?

I wish I could help mom go visit more people. I like people. I like visits.

I wish I could have more frisbees. I love frisbees. Then I could leave them more places and me and Dad and me and mom and me and people that visit could always play frisbee.

Oh, and Santa? Could you please give me a new light up Christmas ball? This one broke. I think it broke back when the other dog had it. I know there were other dogs here. I smelled them too. Anyways? Could I have a new Chrisss ball? It’s my favorite. Cause Christmas is coming soon. I cam feel it.

You can share my cookies with Rudolph. He’s the one with the light up ball on his nose. He’s my favorite!

Thanks Santa. I’m glad you give us all a Neery Christmas. And “Be Careful of the Natuvuty- it’s what Vhrstmas is all about!”

Love,

Honey

(Yes, I know. We never celebrated Santa Claus with my girls. But recently the girls got to play a wedding with the real Santa Claus. He is the one that visits with all the kids before the holiday. Our local Santa is actually quite talented and plays piano beautifully. Yolanda played violin and Lennea played cello with him. They enjoyed their musical experience with him and are pretty sure that Honey would enjoy getting to play with Santa also!(

Those eyes 

I am amazed at how those eyes look at me with such expectation and hope. 


The  goal this week was trying to get Honey to loook me in the eye instead of watching my hands all the time. When we are outside and she wants frisbee to fly, it seems all she cares to do is watch hands. So after three  days of seeking eye contact, I was pleasantly rewarded with  this face as I took a sit down on the sofa. 

Those eyes are the window to a different World. 

We have always put human words into the mouths or actions of our pets. The most vocal per we had was a collie named Dolly. I’ll never forget one Saturday a few years back. We came home late in the afternoon after spending the day with the in-laws. Dolly came out from her hiding space greeted us on the front porch. When I asked her if Lennea had stopped by that day,  her response was a very audible,  I don’t know. Then she growled or grumbled something else I didn’t quite get. We thought it was something like you didn’t tell me she was coming. She seem to stock off like a teenager she left.  Darly always had stories to tell us if we left and came back and someone had been there to visit. Some people that didn’t know her thought she was growling at them. 

Figuring out what is on Honeys mind hasn’t quite come easy yet. Most of our thinking lately is guessing her potty needs. Until we trust her “ask” which we hope is ringing the bells, we keep jumping to a wrong conclusion about her speak. Eventually we’ll know her language as well as she knows ours. Eventually…

Those eyes are deep reflective pools of devotion. 

We have had free puppies, cheap puppies, a rescue dog and expensive badly bred mitts, but this is the first puppy that chose me. That doesn’t mean devotion cannot be bought. It took us nearly two years to earn the devotion of a rescue dog. We found out he loved bacon. He would do any trick in the books for bacon. Now isn’t that devotion too? 

I am amazed at how those eyes look at me with such expectation and hope. 

This little girl however just seems to anticipate learning something new. I am patiently awaiting my hearing ribs so that we can get back into a more vigorous training routine. I tire much to quickly and the simple commands are getting somewhat old. But puppy-hood requires mastering the basics. So for now Homey will just have to keep looking deeply into my eyes and await the next new game!