Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Still Keeping The Faith

Since it's been such a long absence, I'll start of by saying I survived the winter of 2014 with no major disasters or anything too eventful. That, for me is just fine and I don't mind having it quiet, even on the downright boring side for a change. Must be because I'm getting older..Still it hasn't been dull, that's for sure!
Ari is still alive and kicking and will be celebrating her 12th birthday this summer. She's doing her best to keep me on my toes by being very persnickety in her eating habits. I finally figured out that it's best to just keep it simple and put out food and ignore her. The more fuss I made over her not eating, and the more worried I became the more she baulked, so I just gave up on all the fancy home cooked "balanced diets" I was trying to coax her gourmet taste buds with, and broke down and bought some high quality organic dry kibble and put that out and she nibbles when she's hungry. I bake chicken thighs and debone one for dinner time, drop that in her bowl and walk away, soon after it's disappeared. She sometimes expresses a curoisity for what I'm eating, but often times just turns her nose up when it's offered so that's that, and I don't force anything. This seems to be our new "happy place" of mutual agreement now, and obviously, she's getting her nutritional requirements met and we are at peace again. I'm all for opting out on stress these days. My fancy beloved embroidery machine had need of a vacation and decided to quit working (tension and over-heating issues) right before the holidays and I've been playing email tag with the lady who repairs it and finally now that it's April(good grief!)was able to make an appointment to see her this coming Friday, so fingers crossed. When I get it back I will be anxious to go back into production for restocking my etsy shops which have been sitting sadly neglected for way to long.
Mostly this winter I spent my time on Ravelry and enjoyed knitting to the max! Here's some of the things I've made this year: Then too I've had my first official clean-up day out in the yard, raking and pulling and cleaning up Ari's gifts left after the snow melted, and am planning on trying to actually do a small scale garden this season if all goes according to plans. Since last year was a no show because of foot and balance issues there is quite a mess to keep me occupied before planting can commence, but I'm hoping with all my therapy and exercising it will pay off and things will get organized sooner or later if I can remember "Easy Does It" and not work on the overkill and die principle this year.. we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

As anyone who has been following my blog has noticed I haven't written for many moons. This was because I had more losses to deal with and just couldn't write about them any more..about a month after Cleo crossed over Jesse went to join her having developed a large and rapidly growing inoperable tumor in his abdomen, we felt it best to help him over before he had to endure the pain of a rupture and I had a few short weeks to spend with him to say goodbye before the signs indicated it was time..he got to meet some horses and take walks and spend his last moments eating cookies before he drifted off to sleep. It was the best possible ending I could give him and I am glad I could do this for my boy who gave his unconditional love to me for so many years..I still and will always continue to miss him..
Then as many of you who know me personally knew, I had also been told that my beloved Peter had another form of cancer and I had been starting to use homeopathic remedies with some miraculous and positive results and was able to extend his life for an extra year I believe following this path. Alas, no dog can live forever no matter how badly we wish or will it, and in May of this year Peter the wonder dog went to join his pack on the other side after fighting the good fight and making rebound after rebound till that last day when I knew it was time and there would be no more reprieves.He helped me walk through this last day and was strong for the both of us, because I clearly was a basket case. He knew and understood what was happening and was accepting(way more so than I) and showed me through his spirit and courage and total lack of fear and sense of peace that it would be okay and he would always be with me no matter that his body could not stay any longer. With great dignity and sense of purpose he was with me till the end, and I will always be grateful to him for accepting me with my frailties and loving me throughout our life together as much and more than any human could be entitled to..
The animals I have been priviledged to live with and share my life with will always mean more to me than any human I have ever known,sorry's just the facts..their love is unconditional and never failing and they accept me for who I am..and love me beyond reason as I do them..I am banking on the fact that the rainbow bridge is not merely fantasy or fiction, because it is what gives me strength to go on, knowing that some day I will be reunited with them all again. Meanwhile Arielle and Foley and I continue on enjoy our days traveling on our earth path looking forward to the day when our whole pack is once again reunited on that great sled trail in the sky..

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Sad Farewell

A little over two weeks ago on June 1st, Cleo crossed over the Rainbow bridge after she had a fall and could no longer stand on her front leg. The xrays of her leg showed bone cancer and the vet said it would not get better so she would no longer be able to walk, and that this type of cancer was extremely painful so I did the best thing possible for my dear friend and that was to end her suffering as fast as I could. She went quickly and peacefully after being sedated and given the final injection.

She left us just 2 months shy of reaching her 12th birthday, and had been making a remarkable rally since her difficulties this spring since I had started her on Rimadyl and some Glucosamine/Condroitin/MSM suppliments and fish oil to help her move easier. She even got back to climbing her mountains again to nap in her favorite places and this bought her several more months of happiness. She never gave up the fight and ate her last meal with great pleasure as always.

Cleopatra "Queen of Denile" my fourth sled dog came from my best friend Vicky's kennel of beautiful Alyeska Alaskan Malamutes. Her older half sister by her mother crossed over 7 yrs earlier,they are reunited again,together waiting for the rest of us now.

I will remember her always, with a winning smile ready, she had a great sense of humor and was the trickster of our pack, who was an expert at stealing the fresh picked veggies from my basket as I carried them from the garden to the house, or pulling the vines out of the ground while not so daintily picking the peas as they ripened and wove through to her side of the fence. She was also a fierce protector of everyone she considered a family member, even our pet rabbit when one day a friend brought their dog into our house and he got curious and went to investigate the rabbit hutch in our living room. Cleo slowly backed him off with some low growls using her body as a wedge and it was amazing to see how she managed to avoid confrontation, and achieve her aim of dividing aggressor from prey.

She ran in wheel position next to Jesse in our sled team though she never really seemed to do well, struggling to keep up and after I realized this wasn't changing I stopped running her since she didn't seem to be enjoying it as much as the others.

Her greatest passion in life was her food, that, and choosing her favorite places to nap in the yard. The one thing she hated was the grooming brush... go figure, it might have had something to do with the fact that she was a wooly Mal so her coat needed constant grooming because it turned into dredlocks and picked up lots of yard junk if left for too long..she was quick to run whenever she saw this tool in my hand.

I will miss the way she also loved to croon in her sweet, soft, woo-woo tones when she was happy about life which was often, even up till the end days. Then her fierce barking when she was busy doing her guarding of the pack job as Omega, alerting me to some thing upsetting her outside the yard.

I miss her so much already, but I know she is watching over us now free from pain and happy to be reunited with her sister again. Rest well my sweetness girlie girl, till we meet again..

Friday, April 8, 2011

Many Thanks!

Jesse came through his surgery well, he is home resting and trying not to rip the bandage off..I am choosing not to have the growth biopsied because I don't want to know if it is cancerous. I wouldn't put him through the treatments anyway, so we will think positive thoughts and say our prayers..

The good news is I did find another vet and we love her! They didn't charge near as much as the first vet quoted and they were much more friendly and caring and Jesse just loved all the attention.I knew he was in good hands..I am so happy to have found her and it's not that much further than the other place I had been using but was never comfortable with, so it all worked out for good in the end..

I wanted to thank you all once more for all your contributions and kind words of support. You made this possible and the surgery is almost covered through your generosity... He will get the stitches out next week and soon he'll be running out in the yard again. I am recovering too, Cleo is hanging in, for those of you who have asked, I am hoping the warm weather will help her arthritis and make it easier for her to get around, so she can be pain free and with us for as long as possible. Thanks again!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jesse Needs A Little Help From His Friends

Jesse needs your help! He has a growth on his paw that will need to be removed as soon as possible. We went to the vet yesterday and he was given an antibiotic because he has been licking the top of the paw and caused an open sore to form and the vet wants to prevent an infection there which could enter his system and cause problems. The surgery will cost approx.$900 because while he is under the vet will also remove the facial warts that he has developed and clean his teeth, and send the growth to be biopsied. I would like to do this surgery as soon as possible but do not have the funds since I am no longer working and my situation doesn't look to improve in the forseeable future. Any donation you can make, no matter how small will be gladly appreciated, and please go over to my shops and make a purchase to help if you see anything you might want. Thanks for helping my fur boy!
Much love, Carol

Jesse update: Surgery is scheduled for April 6th, we went in today to meet our new vet and we are very happy! the surgery will cost less than the original estimate from the old vets so we will not be going back to that place again..I am hoping we will have the first half with what's been raised so far. and they will take payments so I can do it now..thanks again for all your help so far! I will post an update once the surgery has been done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Come Play in the Snow with Us

Hi Everyone, Jesse here... Got some exciting news to share with you.. SNOW!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, It's finally here again, our favoritest time of the year. It came the other night and boy were we excited.

Mom let us play long into the night, we weren't ready to come in yet, not with all this new fluffy white snow to kick up our heels in.
Arielle and I were so happy we had to explore every corner in our yard and roll in this new powder and of course I had to sing out to welcome the new season in properly.

All my pals helped me too so we had a great chorus going and the dogs down the hill at S*N*O even joined in to help spread the news to the whole country side. We sure do feel quite content in our element here in the heart of the Colville National Forest nestled among the tall Pine and Fir trees that are native to this area. Did you know that we share this forest with many other forms of wildlife? There are bears, but they are usually sleeping soundly at this time of year. The big mountian lions stick around and hunt in our back acreage. We have seen their huge pawprints in the snow when Mom has taken us out for a walk and believe me, I wouldn't want to meet any of them face to face because they are much bigger than me, and I'm the biggest guy in our pack. In fact they can average 200lbs easily and I'm in my 90's and feeling pretty fit, but I bet they could even out run me at my fastest. I'm glad we have good strong fences to keep us safe.
We also have a big pack of noisy coyotes that come regularly to ask us out to play with them. We aren't fooled by their tricks though, they'd eat us if they could, but we're much smarter than they think and are wise to their game.. We also have seen plenty of deer and wild turkeys these days, they aren't really afraid of us and come pretty close because they know we are on the inside and can't chase them even if we wanted to..well, we are dogs after all and that's what we'd do if we could.. So after a day of hard snow play what more could a dog want but a full meal and to cuddle up in our favorite spot by the warm cozy fire. Guess Mom's going to have to fight us for a seat at the fire .That's where we are right now so I'll say goodnight for now. Happy trails till next time..Jesse

Saturday, August 21, 2010

That Time Again

Yes, I know it's been a while since I've written, way too long, but that being said, I'm doing the best I can..I live alone and wear quite a number of different hats in my so called retirement..
Our growing season started late this year and now summer is winding down and the garden is coming on like gang busters and I'm picking and starting to put up vegetables and berries for the winter months ahead.

Actually the berries have been coming for some time now and are starting their second wind, so I can hopefully get more squirreled away for those delightful fruit smoothies I like to make all year long. These are the easiest of all to prepare, I just cut out the cores and trim off the bad spots or not quite ripe tips and wash, drain and freeze. No need to use any sugar or lemon juice, though if you wanted to prepare them for shortcakes later on it's possible to slice them first and add the sugar, mix and freeze together so that as they defrost the sugar will make the juice just right. I just like to put mine into a gallon Ziploc and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet, then I can take out as many as I want for each day and just re zip.

I thought I would share some of the process with you so as to encourage some of you that may be wanting to try something new out there. It's fun and super easy to grow and save and best of all, enjoy the healthy bounty, whether your garden plot is large, medium or small(even container gardening on your deck) if that's the only space you have, it's still something you can do with great reward and self satisfaction. It really does save money if you do it without all those chemicals, and it's better for you. I recommend a compost collector in the house which when full you can transfer to the one in the yard and in no time you will have your rich organic compost to feed and enliven your soil, best of all it's free, great for the planet and a good way to cut down on stinky garbage.

This week I'm working on peas, both pole and bush beans and zucchini. I've been picking peas for a while already and mostly enjoying them fresh daily eating the sugar pods in salads, or stir fry um, yummy!! But now the shell peas are ready and so my neighbor and I picked yesterday and I divided my bounty with him and his wife(they are in their 70's and no longer have a big garden, so I share) for the help with the picking.
It took the better part of the morning to get all the picking done and I spent the rest of the afternoon shelling the peas and cutting off the tips of the beans , cutting them into bite size pieces and washing it all to bag for today so I could blanch and freeze them in quart size bags.

I start by boiling the water meanwhile filling the sink with cold
water and adding some ice cubes for the cold bath. As soon as the water boils I lower in the colander of peas, wait till the water regains a full boil, stir them gently so they start to turn a slightly darker shade of green(approx. 1 minute) and then lift them out to drain and immediately stick them in the ice water. I stir them with my fingers and test to make sure they are cold, then lift them out and let them drain all the water off in another colander while I start the next batch.
In between rotations I fill the bags, label them and set them on a cookie sheet. I prefer to freeze them flat so they can stack well and don't end up all lumped together like a rock.

The beans need more time in the boiling water, but not more than another minute because you don't want them to be soggy. Just enough to turn the color darker. By the way, I don't just dump this water down the drain after I'm through, I let it cool and feed it to my house plants.
Well, I hope this helps inspire you to want to start growing next season. Even if you just start with your most favorite thing and only plant that one, you will be hooked. The taste is so much better with home grown, trust me..
Tomorrow I will tackle the zucchini, and soon the beets and other root crops will be ready to harvest, I'm sure I'll still get more beans as well. Unfortunately, my favorite crop of all, the tomatoes were planted too late and have only started flowering and are showing one or two tiny fruits, not near what I usually expect at this time of year so I doubt I'll have anything to put up this year. This was mainly due to a very late in the season frost that came so unexpected that it caught us all off guard and many gardeners in this area lost all that they had set in. I had waited, but since I don't start indoors it just took too long for the plants to mature and start setting fruit. Lesson learned, thanks, Mother year I may opt to buy some seedlings to get a jump on things.Thanks for stopping by and I wish you all a happy gardening experience..