Tuesday, July 31

See What Ah Mean, Jellybean?

These are pictures that prove points made in my last few posts.

Here is Little Chic already looking homesick from me banishing her to summer camp for a week.


Then we have DogSpot who heard the ever-so-slight tinkle of keys moving and she dashed over to the door to insist that Mama was not going to get her hair done without company. It takes her but a micro-second to get her furry butt to the rug and parked in front of the door. You have to actually pick her up and move her to get out. There is no luring or tempting with treats. It's nice to know that somebody wants to be under my feet no matter where I'm going. I suppose I could look at it that way if I wanted to. I'm considering jingling those keys whenever I want her to come, because she certainly isn't responding to the verbal command.

Monday, July 30

Eternal Passenger

Ever since the day we brought DogSpot home, we noticed what a good passenger she was in the car. She rode nicely, sitting still with the kids in the backseat so we decided to keep her used riding by taking her with us frequently for short errands around town. We did have one slight issue with the windshield wipers, but getting lots of treats while they whisk back and forth changed her mind to believe they are her friends after all.

Since we've been camping twice and she's driven over three hours one way several times, she has gotten used to the idea that whenever we are going someplace, she IS going along. I am noticing since our return last Wednesday, that every time the keys jingle, DogSpot comes running. If she is inside the house, she sits under the doorknob so it is impossible to get past her. If she is outside, she runs and sits on the front doormat so you trip over her as you are going out. She dashes to the car so you can't catch her and she tries to maneuver her way in so she can go along.

Most of the time I let her go if I'm not going to be gone too long. Once in a while I have to run inside the store, and I've been known to keep the car running (and also locked) so she doesn't get hot. She waits patiently in her own seat, looking at all the people coming and going and she sits nicely while I get back in the car. But a lot of times, it's just impossible to take her along. When she has to stay home, I give her a treat as she gets in her crate, but she just shoves it aside as if to say that she's really insulted and don't try bribing her with any ol' stinkin' treat!

I am going to get one of those corny seat covers for my passenger seat though. All that white hair is getting all over everything. And the beach towel I've been using just isn't cutting it! It's as bad as when I had babies barfing and pooping all over their car seats!! Well, okay, not quite as bad, but almost.

Friday, July 27

Ready for the Big Leagues

Little Chic is getting ready to go to sleep-away camp on Sunday. This is something that I didn't do until I was around 12 or so, but she has been chomping at the bit since she was at least five or six. Finally this year she is old enough to go but I encouraged her to try the day camp first. She resolutely refused saying that she has been waiting for this for way too long to have to come home every night! I even suggested that we try to find a friend to go the same week along with her, but she said she would really rather meet a cabin full of new friends.

The camp she is going to is actually local, about 15 minutes from our house. It is a Christian camp with a great reputation in the community, so I'm sure she'll be in good hands as Muh Main Man and I stay up fretting night after night. In true summer camp fashion, you can't visit or call until pick up time on Saturday, but mail call comes every day, so we have our stationery and stamps all ready to go.

We've spent the day reviewing clothing options, making a run to the store for an extra pair of PJ's, shorts and all that jazz, and we've inscribed her initials on endless tags, bottles and flashlights. I'm dreading the moment more as it gets closer, and of course, she's looking more forward to it every minute! Only Brainy Boy seems as excited as she is because he's really looking forward to "having the house to himself." Just wait till I tell him who gets to pick up all the extra chores.

Thursday, July 26

More Forest Adventures

We are back from camping again, loving our new camper that we acquired just a day or two before we left. DogSpot seemed to like sleeping under the stars in her crate as we didn't want her furriness inside with us and she is used to a crate even at home. She kept guard for any and all critters, notifying us each and every time a squirrel or chipmunk encroached upon our living space.

One of the more notable adventures we had was petting a live bobcat at Bobcat's Bait & Tackle shop where we stopped for some minnows. The owner keeps a male & a female as pets in his teeny back room apartment. That explained the overwhelming scent of cat pee when we entered.
We even used our fishing boat with its 9.8 horsepower motor to pull the kids on a little tube. That was a funny sight to see and we got lots of comments on how the boat buzzed around with them hanging off the back. DogSpot loves the boat probably more than any of the rest of us and she quickly hopped on whenever she saw we were going for a ride.
On the way home, we stopped at Natural Rock Bridge & Caves for a walk through some cool water and rock formations. Now we're home and I've got lots to do to like clean out the little refrigerator, wipe down the counters and floor....tents don't have that stuff. But I'm not complaining. I'm just getting things in order for our next trip on August 11. That's the adventure in a nutshell, so until next time...

Wednesday, July 18

Muh Big Boy

Brainy Boy was insistent that he is way too mature for such juvenile shenanigans as VBS so I "recruited" him to be an assistant rather than an attendee. The problem was, it was an unofficial recruitment and we have been looking for just the right job for him for the first two nights. Tagging along with mom was just not the fulfilling job he had anticipated.

Luckily, my photo-savvy friend was needing help taking pix of the little kids and she needed an extra pair of 11-year-old hands. Brainy Boy rose to the occasion, was a big help and for the first time this week, felt really needed. That's important to a boy who is trying to prove that he's not a little kid.

As a bonus for Mom, Picture Friend snapped a cute photo of her assistant.

Sunday, July 15

Instant Gratification

Although Muh Main Man has been a hardcore backpack camper for years, the fam took up the milder form of tent camping a few years ago. We trek into the wild Adirondack forest several times each summer and now our nice three-room tent is about ready to be replaced. I made an offhand comment that rather than purchasing a new tent, we might want to upgrade to a pop-up camper next spring when people are trading in for bigger models.

I think I made that comment yesterday morning about 11am as we were drying out the tents from our trip last week. By 3pm, we were down at the local RV center "just to look." By 8pm we were on a country road not too far away looking at a camper with a "For Sale" sign on the canvas. By 9pm Ebay was searching and Muh Main Man was bidding and I had a knot in my stomach. There was a list of available campers sitting on the counter from Craig's List. He would have called the owners on the spot but it was midnight. Sellers don't take kindly to being awakened in the middle of the night about their classifieds, you know?

Now I like to shop. I do. I even make an impulse purchase or two--but I limit it to a $12 bottle of new make-up or new kitchen gadget that I see on the rack - something like a silicone spatula. But when it comes to bigger purchases, I like to look first. I want to see everything that is available and get exactly the one I want. I hate buyers remorse and I get especially when I see Joe Blow with exactly what I wanted but didn't get because I didn't know it existed because I didn't look long enough....know what I mean?!

If Muh Main Man has his way, we'll be popping up this weekend instead of tenting it. I'm counting on some other husbands impulse buying the suitable campers out from under us so I can look a little longer.

Saturday, July 14

Tragedies of the Fixable Kind....Sort Of

DogSpot is not in good graces with the Short People. Last night, when Muh Main Man and I were out, the babysitter and Short People were apparently too engrossed in the TV to pay enough attention to the furry one. So she decided to be a good girl and entertain herself with the most beloved of possessions--Little Chic's precious Silver. The net result was a detached arm, a few lost beads and bleeding stuffing. Brainy Boy, lover of justice, rose to the occasion with righteous indignation and sentenced DogSpot to her crate until Dad came home. He also reflected on how 2007 was the worst year yet since it was the year we adopted DogSpot in the first place.

It took some real discussion about how to best reattach the arm as part of it is now mid-digestion. In true handyman do-it-yourselfer style, Muh Main Man decided to tackle the job and did a pretty swell surgical procedure if he does say so himself.

I had to assure Little Chic that Silver is still happy indeed as long as we all love her the same as we did before. After all, did our affection diminish even one teeny-tiny bit when HyperDog ate one of her eyes out way back when? Of course not! So in the scope of a stuffed lifetime, a shorter arm is simply one more adventure to log in the journal. And it makes for a lot more character in my opinion. That's what we tell people anyway.

Friday, July 13

100,000 Hits

I know I'm a good faker and all, but frankly, I'm not all that technically savvy. But I figured you all would be just as interested as I was to see that apparently I've had 100,000 hits on my blog! I don't think it's as impressive as it sounds since I believe a 'hit' is a visit to a page--so if you click on two or three of my posts in a day, those are all separate hits...but anyway, it's a big number and it let's me fool myself into thinking that I'm not only entertaining myself ;)

Lost & Found!

I am diligently unpacking from our camping trip, almost down to the bottom of the barrel of all the clothing bags when WA-LA, out pops Muh Main Man's long lost wedding ring. This would be the one that is part of a set, matching mine. He lost it TWO summers ago when we were at a family reunion in Florida. He was proving to his younger cousins that he was too old to dare-devil on a motor bike and he crashed, breaking his hand. He had to remove the ring and in his care to pack it safely away, he put it somewhere that nobody would find it....apparently even himself.

We were sick because it matched mine and we really liked it. But after combing every nook & cranny we could think of, we resorted to buying him a cheap replacement since this he has had 2 nice watches go the same route.

Imagine my surprise when out of the book pile I took along to the fireside, rolled this piece of gold I figured we'd never see again! I always had a weird feeling that it would turn it up some day unexpectedly since Muh Main Main knew for sure he had packed the ring carefully away rather than just leaving it laying around somewhere.

Wednesday, July 11

The Wild, Wild Outdoors

We have returned from our foray into the Adirondack forest, one of our favorite places to chill out. We headed into the deep woods on Saturday morning and poked our heads back into the real world this afternoon. It's always a good sign when the camping trip is over and the Short People are begging to stay for another day or two. We were especially happy that the wee ones enjoyed themselves on this trip since we have always taken chums along with us. This time, it was just us four and no more. We have two more trips to different areas of this biggest state park in the U.S. with one more just us and the last with camping buddies.

This was also our first pet-accompanied camping trip and we feared it might be too much trouble and extra work to make a habit. Lucky for us, DogSpot found that she loves the great outdoors, loves digging in vast amounts of dirt and loves critters that move. Fortunately the camping grounds are full of these things so she did just great. She is also a champion traveler and dog-napped pretty much the whole way up and back.

She even got into the neighborly camper role and decided to share her vittles in turn for a little entertainment. This little chipmunk visited her bowl over and over and it is the only one out of dozens that she didn't chase. Go figure!!

Friday, July 6

Wild Outdoors

We are headed into the wilds for a bit of camping action. This will be our first trip with an animal as we are taking DogSpot. We are wondering how it will all turn out, so we'll report when we get back!

Wednesday, July 4

You Dirty Dawg, You!

We are adjusting to life with a dog who likes to dig. We have not experienced this little habit before and it makes for quite a mess, especially when it is raining outside. That doesn't even take into account the various places we find her holes - that's a whole other subject. At least her white color doesn't leave a lot of question about when she needs a bath before she comes inside!

Tuesday, July 3

Immunizations....A Modern Dread for a 11-year-old

Brainy Boy is entering sixth grade and in New York at least, you have to get a booster of the Tdap shot before you can start school in the fall. The home school option was looking good to him this morning. Now generally, Brainy Boy is a tough cookie, has a high tolerance of pain and doesn't make too much fuss about injuries and such. But some vague memories of our rabies shots a few years back (they were not fun) and a bad experience with an inept phlebotomist a couple of months ago (I could have done better myself) caused him to have a case of the heebie-jeebies this morning. I have to say that he didn't do more than make a few of his classic dry humor quips, but I could tell he was dreading the poke.

Luckily it turned out to be much less traumatic than he anticipated and he is curiously waiting to see if the nurse was right when she said his arm would be sore tomorrow. It just so happened that we met our neighbor girl this afternoon and she just got her shot yesterday. She mentioned that it feels like her arm got punched and Brainy Boy asked if he could really punch her arm to see if it hurt. Needless to say, she declined.

Next year is going to be a real thrill because Little Chic has never recovered from the trauma of the rabies shots we got way back when, and getting shots and/or blood drawn is a serious exercise in preventing escape tactics with her. I'm thinking of saving that particular trip for Muh Main Man and he maybe he can talk the nurse into letting him do the honors. He's a wheeler & dealer like that.

Sunday, July 1

Accentuated

We hosted a visiting minister for dinner today. He is filling in for about 10 weeks during our pastor's sabbatical. Brainy Boy was particularly interested in these guests because the minister and his wife had their eight-year-old grandson along. The point of interest was that the boy was from Canada. Upon learning this juicy tidbit, Brainy Boy said that he had always wanted to hear how a Canadian talks. I pointed out that since Canada borders the US (and particularly our state) that he probably wouldn't speak that differently from us. Well, Mr. Know-It-All would have none of it. He filled me in on what EVERYBODY knows -"Well, everybody knows that foreigners have an accent. Even Japanese people have a really unusual accent."