Monday, August 16, 2010

Still A Problem

Well, I see that two months later, I still can't access the new post editor. And, after checking the Help (HA!)forums/posts, I see that is still an "outstanding" issue. GRRRRRRRRR............ What to do, what to do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

SO Disappointed

I was happy here. I really was. I was chugging right along, using that "new and improved" post editor.....really getting the hang of it I thought. About 3 weeks ago, it suddenly disappeared from my blog. I could only use the "old and unimproved" post editor. Which would be fine I guess except that it's missing some stuff. Like the icon to allow me to post pictures. And try though I might, I have been unable to get my "new and improved" tools back. Sigh. I think I'm going to have to move myself somewhere else. One more learning curve coming up.

You Can Quote Me

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

~~~~ Diane Ackerman ~~~~~

Friday, June 4, 2010

You Can Quote Me

If man is pushing the planet toward extinction, then we should stop doing what we're doing, and if we cannot stop ourselves or tolerate government making us stop or slow down, then I suppose we should enjoy the ride. The condemned man ate a hearty breakfast. I can't think of anything better to do right now than to sit in my backyard and look at the Mississippi and listen to Bach cello suites and enjoy a dish of ice cream with fresh raspberries. As the Gulf turns dark and the polar icecap melts, I intend to listen to Bach more and listen to the news less. It's good to know that, in the midst of vast indifference and mediocrity and narcissism, mankind did manage to produce the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor.

~~~~ Garrison Keillor, writing in The Baltimore Sun ~~~~

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Musing: Good Advice from a Soldier

Since today is Memorial Day, I wanted to share something that I've had for the last 10 years on my bulletin board. Sometimes it gets so covered up by other things that I don't see it for weeks -- maybe months -- at a time. But eventually it always surfaces. These are General Colin Powell's 13 rules to live by. It's reported that he kept these written on a small white card. These rules seem to have worked remarkably well for General Powell. You might want to make up your own card and carry it or post it where you can see it every once in a while.

1. It ain't as bad as you think it is. It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad, then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that, when your
position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else
make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
12. Don't take counsel of your fears or nay sayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Thank you to all the soldiers who have fought and continue to fight for the American way.

Friday, May 28, 2010

You Can Quote Me

You've reached middle age when all you exercise is caution.

~~~~ Author Unknown ~~~~

(I haven't yet reached this and neither have many others I know! "Cautious" would not be a word I would use to describe my "tribe".)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Musing: To Facebook or Not - What a Question

Over the weekend I read an article out of Newsweek about the "high price of Facebook"; namely, that you pay for it through your loss of privacy. It reported that last year when Facebook changed their rules (yet again), the company made it so that your city and profile picture and the names of all your friends were shared with anybody and everybody on the Internet. But (big but), you had the option to change it all back and make it all private again. Now, Newsweek reports that "Facebook is going even further by insisting that unless you agree to make things like your hometown, interests, and friends' names public, then you can't list them at all."

Facebook is fun and I'm glad I signed up for it last year. Although truth to tell, my sister had to talk me in to it. I stay in touch with friends and family and get to see pictures of everybody's kids, etc. etc. But on the other hand, Facebook is the biggest time waster in the universe......much worse than TV. All those little games you get addicted to and the constant checking to see who's doing what and where and with's nuts. And not only does it waste time, but I also think it kills any spark of creativity you might have flickering. The whole Facebook exercise is don't have to really think or do much of anything at all to be wrapped up in its very addictive world.

Newsweek reports that many techie-types are jumping the Facebook ship. Of course, there are more than 400 million Facebookers, so I guess it would have to be a LOT of them to make a blip on the FB screen. It does make one stop and think though. I don't know what Facebook knows about me or what it does with the information. I'm not savvy enough to be able to stop them even if I knew. But for right now, I think I'll hang around. Putting myself on a Facebook diet though probably wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Friday, May 21, 2010

You Can Quote Me

You would not exit if you did not have something to bring to the table of life.

~~~~ Herbie Hancock ~~~~

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Musing: And the Winner Is....

Okay, I have to admit:  I have a soft spot for beauty pageants.  I know that's not P.C. these days.  So, sue me.  Yes, in my (much) younger years, I was a beauty pageant contestant, so I kind of understand the landscape.  And, I had family members who were beauty queens.  I think maybe it's a Southern thing.

On Sunday night for the first time in a very long time, I watched a pageant:  the Miss USA pageant.  To say that these things have changed since my day would be a vast understatement.  But I guess they are still good entertainment.  (Although I can remember watching a Miss America pageant one year when I was in the 9th or 10th grade and writing a short story for English while I eye on the swimsuits and one on how many more pages I had to come up with.  As I recall, I got an A for that paper.  So, I guess I wasn't as "entertained" as I thought....just had my imagination fired up!)

I was happy to see the South well-represented..... as usual.  Hey, say what you will.  Down here, we know how to turn out a queen.  Miss Alabama came up with the Miss Photogenic trophy.  My pick for the win didn't even make the top 10:  Miss Mississippi.  What a knockout she was!  And Miss Maine..... wow... all 6 feet of her.  The judges I wasn't so enthralled with.  What in the world could Paula Deen have to offer as a judge?  Except, of course, she's Southern.........LOL.  Mrs. Donald Trump?  Johnny Weir?  Come on, y'all.  If you're going to have a pageant, have a PAGEANT....get some folks who know what to look for.  Not Donald Trump's ex-employees.

It strikes me that the Miss USA pageant has become a venue for "professionals"....girls who are looking for a job.  At least, the Miss America and America's Junior Miss pageants have been holding on to their scholarship base as a reason for being.  Lots of the girls last night looked a trifle "shopworn" to me -- kind of that "rode hard, put up wet" look.  Miss Colorado was the most fresh-faced.  Every other contestant had the same sprayed-on tan, the same Barbie-doll hair-do and the same set of implants.  Ladies, could you not be just a little bit more individual?  Although,there were a couple of fairly good answers to the questions presented to the Top 5 contestants.  (Shout out to Miss Oklahoma and Miss Virginia!)

I know..........times have changed and I need to change with them. (I'm not even going to bring up the Victoria Secret-type photo shoots.) Guess that's why I haven't watched many pageants in the last 20 years.  I knew they'd be a disappointment.  Boy, I'd hate to think I had to be in one now.

Friday, May 14, 2010

You Can Quote Me

Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.

                        ~~~~ Arthur Ashe ~~~~

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Musing: A Long Mother's Day Weekend

Talk about peaks and valleys.  It's Sunday afternoon and I'm pretty much exhausted.

Friday delivered the kick in the head with Dosi's passing.  And even though she wasn't a human child, I "mothered" her for almost 14 years nonetheless.  So, in a sense, I lost a child of the fur variety.  I don't think that's really sunk in yet.

On Saturday, my wonderful neice graduated from college.  It was a full day of celebration.  She looked lovely and has a grand future ahead of her.  I couldn't help but think about what my future might hold in the coming years.  New beginnings and all that...........  Her life is changing and I think so is mine.  She has no idea what she's going to be doing (like all new grads) and basically, neither do I.  I just have this feeling.

Today, we celebrated Mother's Day with the MOTH's family which was nice as we just don't do it that often.  On the drive home, I catnapped.  The rollercoaster of emotions has caught up with me and I feel a hundred years old.

I think I feel a reassessment coming on..............

Friday, May 7, 2010

Requiem for an Airedale Queen of Hearts

Today, for the first time in almost 16 years, there is no Airedale in my house.  It's a very odd and sad feeling.  Somehow I just thought this day would never come.  DJ's Highland Dosido Girl was helped to the Bridge today.  She would have been 14 on July 19th.  She had a long, wonderful life -- full of adventures -- and I am thankful to have had her be such a major part of mine.

Dosi is the last of the Dosido Farm Triumvirate:  Walker and Lola were the other two.  All were distinctly different; all completely and absolutely loved.  But Dosi was the hub of the wheel, the heart that pumped Airedaleness throughout our days.  She came to us with a sweet and loving personality (thank you, Lawrence) and she left us in the same way.  Mischievous, fun-loving, smart ... she had all the best Airedale characteristics and very few of the worst ones.  She loved every person she ever met and almost every dog.  And for the ones she didn't "like", she tolerated with Dosi grace.  We often referred to her as the Social Secretary for her charming ways.  She was a superior Airedale Ambassadoress, as every person she met wanted "one just like her".

Dosi and I learned dog showing together.  We dabbled in agility.  We fooled around with a little obedience.  We worked as a therapy dog team.  She helped to raise Lola.  In her older years, she brought up both Scotties to be proper little black Airedales.  She was a wonderful mother and nanny even though she never had a litter of her own.  Dosi was also an Airedale Amazon.  Her hunting instincts made certain that no mole, chipmunk, squirrel or bird was safe while in her immediate vicinity.  (And she even managed to catch a few over the years.)  We enjoyed life together.  She learned a lot; she taught me more.

It is the end of an era.  Dosi will be missed dreadfully but memories of her will live on in my heart till the day I die.  The kennel name we chose was hers; we named our property for her.  There are pictures of her scattered throughout the house.  I asked her to carry many hopes and dreams for me and she did with utter cheerfulness.  In the words of my mother, "Dosi's the best dog you ever had.  She was just a good ole dog."  I don't think you can get any better than that.

Dosi babysits the new weird Airedale puppy:  all black and those short legs!

Donna , Dosi & Blue from 2008

July 2009.......she looks rather put out.  Must have been the fact she had to have a hair cut and "sprucing up".

Out and about greeting her adoring public.  June 2007

The most typical of Dosi pictures.  The girl sure knew how to nap.

You Can Quote Me

An Airedale, erect beside the chauffeur of a Rolls-Royce, often gives you the impression she's there from choice.

             ~~~~~  E. B. White   ~~~~

Friday, April 30, 2010

You Can Quote Me

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly ... to listen to stars and buds, to babes and sages, with open heart; await occasions, hurry never ... this is my symphony.

                  ~~~  William Henry Channing  ~~~

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Clutter: The Movie

Y'all need to run right over to and watch this very cool 20-minute video on how all of our "stuff" is effecting us and our world.  It's been watched by over 8 million people since December 2007 if that tells you anything.

The woman behind it is Annie Leonard, the author of the book The Story of Stuff:  How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities and Our Health -- and a Vision for Change.  (Whew......long title for a big subject.)  Miss Leonard is definitely a dyed-in-the-wool environmentalist, but she also isn't anti-stuff.  She just wishes everybody would acquire MINDFULLY.  You know the question:  do I really need this?  In other words, don't let those Mad Men ad men control your buying:  you control it.

One of Annie's main tips for corralling your "work-watch-spend" treadmill (as she calls it) is to watch less TV.  I would add to that to stop buying and reading lifestyle magazines.  Not that I am able to do that you understand.  But it is good advice and maybe I will give it a stab.  Sometime.  In the future.  Maybe.

I better go look at this video again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Musing: The Country Life

Sometimes I get really caught up in bitching, moaning and complaining about where I live.  It's "out in the country", but not so far that it takes half a day to get to anywhere else.  It just seems that way quite often.  It's inconvenient if you want to just "dash out", "run by" or "run down to ___".  Planning is much more meaningful -- and necessary -- when you live "out in the country". And there's WAY too much yard work.  I could keep a yard crew busy with no problems at all.  Alas, I AM the yard crew (with help from the MOTH).

Yesterday morning though was one of those times that I remember why "city people" yearn to be where I am.  I was kind of glad I was here, too.  I took a nice walk.  The sky was blue, blue, blue.  The breeze was fresh, fresh, fresh.  And I was smilin', smilin', smilin'.  I was on my way back towards the house when about 100 feet in front of me, a momma 'possum walked across the road.  She was waddling for all she was worth and for a second I couldn't figure out why or why she looked so odd.  Then it dawned on me:  she had a back full of babies!  She walked parallel to the road along a hedgerow, so I crossed the road and walked with her about 30 feet out.  She didn't seem too concerned that I was there.  I got a really good look at all these 5 pairs of beady black eyes looking at me from her back.  It was just way cool, I have to say.  After a few minutes, she disappeared into the underbrush headed out across a pasture.  That's the first time in my life I've seen a live 'possum (not even counting the baby thing) that wasn't in a zoo.  Usually, I see the aftermath of run-ins with cars on the road.

So, today I'm celebrating being "out in the country" where you never know what fun surprise might be right around the corner.  From now on, I think I better remember to take a camera.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You Can Quote Me

We lovers of dogs are a tolerant lot, finding greater value in the unabashed affection of our friend than immaculate sofas.

                                ~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Report: Bookswim

This isn't exactly a book report.  It's more a "WOW.....look at this site related to books" report.  Check out if you love to read.  It works just like Netflix does for movies.  You create your to-read list and sign up for one of the plans they offer.  For $24 per month, you can get 3 books at a time with no late fees, no due dates and no shipping charges.  Pretty nifty, huh?  If you can spring for $30 a month, you can get 5 books at a time.  A prepaid return bag is supplied for you, too.  No more trying to find shelf space for all the tomes you buy and lug home.

I browsed their offerings a little bit and found that they offer lots of the newest titles.  They have a listing of the NY Times bestsellers and an "Oprah's List".  You can choose from biographies, cooking, mystery, children's, fiction (of course).......... all the usual suspects.

I love my Nook e-reader, so I'm not sure that I would use this service much.  But I like having it as a choice.  You might, too.  I'll never give up actually buying books.  There are too many I need to actually touch, savor and make notes in the margins.  But this could definitely whittle down my stash.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Musing: It's All Good

That's what I keep telling myself anyway.  Today, I'm tired and the mullygrubbies have me in their grip.  You know how it is: a day that you just can't get enthused about nuthin'.  So, what to do?  Nothing came to mind that sounded like it would pull me out of the doldrums, so I just cleaned house.  (I was sort of hoping that those pesky mullygrubbies would be whisked down the toilet bowl during the cleaning process, but they stubbornly refused to go.)

When the world seems to take on a rather gray tint, I just put my head down and watch my feet take one step and then another.  Right now I believe they are attempting to pilot me to the ironing board.  Sigh.

In the words of that brilliant Southern lady, Miss Scarlett, "Tomorrow IS another day."

See y'all then............

Friday, April 16, 2010

You Can Quote Me

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.

                                   ~~~ Jane Austen ~~~

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Snaps

The marvel that is spring defies word descriptions.   So, today I'm not even going to try.  I'm just going to share a few pictures I've taken around the farm lately as buds and leaves and bees and birds begin the rites of Spring.

Hope everyone's spring is starting out in a delightful way.  Get out and get some dirt under your's good for what ails you!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musing: Busy as a Bee

The past ten days or so has been chock full of "doings".  I had a birthday.  It was Easter.  But most importantly, it's just SPRING.  There is so much that has to be done at this time of year.  At least there is if you live where yards and growing things are important.  The grass starts growing about an inch a day.  The lawn mower needs to be tuned up.  All the pots that didn't get emptied in the fall require that now.  Bedding plants start calling your name at Lowe's and Home Depot and other nurseries.  And the pollen starts clogging up the air -- not to mention your lungs -- and making everything golden yellow.  It's at this time of the year that I just start turning circles in the floor, not knowing where in the hell to start first.  So, here I am; this is where I started:

Another Lowe's visit.

Aren't I just the picture of garden chic?  I swear, just once I'd like to look like those ladies who do yard work looking like they stepped out of the latest Better Homes & Gardens instead of something the dogs dragged in.  Never mind.  I got a couple of Knock Out roses which I"m hoping will bloom like crazy all advertised!

Friday, April 2, 2010

You Can Quote Me

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.

                  ~~~   Eleanor Roosevelt  ~~~

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In the Library: Dog Days - Dispatches from Bedlam Farm

I got finished with this book by Jon Katz a few days ago.  Just wanted to share that it's a nice, mellow read.  You may be familiar with Katz's other books, among them A Good Dog and The Dogs of Bedlam Farm.  I haven't read those, but I have read his New Work of Dogs which I thought was really good.

Bedlam Farm is in upstate New York and Katz tells little stories about the foibles and adventures of his relationships with all his animals, including a couple of Border Collies, a Lab, his four donkeys, Elvis the steer and his rooster, Winston......oh, and the barn cat, Mother.

It's very entertaining.  One of the most intriguing things to me is the fact that he lives at the farm almost all the time and his wife still maintains and lives in their home in New Jersey.  She drops in for occasional visits, but apparently isn't much of a "farm girl".  That arrangement seems to work out well for everybody concerned.  Maybe more marriages should try it out :))

If you like dogs, you'll like Dog Days.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Musing - Facebook Games

Hello, my name is Donna and I'm a Facebook games addict.  I really don't know how it happened.  A friend invited me to play Farm Town and that was kind of neat.  A few weeks later I got an invitation (from the same "friend" whose neck I would cheerfully wring right about now) to participate in FarmVille.  Okay, why not?  The merry-go-round got faster.  YoVille.  PetVille.  Country Life.  Zoo Something.  All of those invitations I managed to turn down.

Then, I discovered My Town on my own.  I was simply lost.

What makes reasonably intelligent people sit down in front of a computer and spend HOURS farming virtual fields and building little cities?  It's crazy.  I've been late for appointments because I just had to do "one more thing" on my farm.  Is it the control factor?  Is it some latent autistic bent.....mindlessly clicking that mouse?  I have no idea.  Surely my life can't be THAT boring, can it?

What I do know is this:  I have a REAL house with a REAL yard that REAL people live in with our REAL animals.  And all of that requires REAL work to maintain.  True, it's a lot more messy to manage than anything on Facebook.  Real things tend to be sort of messy in my experience.  But I think I should remember that it's a lot more satisfying to go smell a REAL flower growing in REAL dirt, even if I can't control how well it grows or how much it blooms.

There's a place and time for games, just not every day.  And maybe not even on a computer.  Anyone for a game of Hearts?

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Can Quote Me

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.

                                  ~~~  Annie Dillard ~~~

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Eating Quesadilla Casserole

YUM.  YUM.  YUM.  I am smacking my lips.  Do ya hear 'em?

Found this really great receipe.  It's a Rachael Ray concoction.  No meat, so it's cheap.  But VERY filling.  And, it only takes about 30 minutes to put together and another 30 in the oven to heat through.  Not bad, huh?  Feeds 4.  And yes, it really feeds 4.....we had plenty of leftovers.  Which will be eaten.  So here it is.  Hope you like it.

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
5 10-inch flour tortillas
8 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
1 cup store-bought green enchilada sauce (I couldn't find any, so used regular)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and then add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups of the beans and mash into a chunky paste.  Stir in the reserved bean liquid.
2.  Grease a heavy, ovenproof skillet (or use Corningware like I did).  In a bowl, combine the corn, parsley and remaining black beans.  Place a tortilla in the skillet and spread with 1/3 cup mashed black bean mixture.  Top with 2/3 cup corn-bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese.  Press to compress the layers.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture and cheese.  Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to the broiler and cook for 1 minute.  Serve with enchilada sauce.

I have to tell you.....I ate mine with salsa verde and it was scrumptious.  So, if you like your food on the spicy side, try that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rover Ramble: Paws in the Garden

The Little Black Dogs, I and the MOTH (Man of the House) decided to get out for a breath of fresh spring air and a little sunshine this past weekend.  One of the botanical gardens opened to dog people -- and dogs -- as a fundraiser for a local shelter.  We got there about noon and had to wait in the parking lot for a space to come open so we could park.  People certainly love getting out with their dogs.

Blue & Vivi did me proud.  They didn't go nuts.  They didn't bark their fool heads off.  Vivi didn't play-growl at any other dog.  Blue didn't snap at impertinent puppies that got too much in his face. They were on best Scottie behavior.  This made me happy for two reasons.  One, they didn't embarrass me to death by acting like some rabid dogs I had picked up off the street.  Two, they comported themselves in a wonderful "ambassadorial" style, letting strangers know that Scotties can be very mannerly and wonderful little dogs.  I know there are many people who have a poor opinion of Scotties because the ones they've seen in the past acted like lunatics.  I blame this primarily on the owners for not teaching appropriate manners to their dogs.  It's kind of like people who let their small children run up and down the aisles and crawl under the tables at restaurants.  Nobody blames the kid.  Nope; those nasty looks are reserved for the parents.  Same thing with dogs and owners.  Dogs can learn if owners will teach.

Now that the weather is getting better, we'll be getting out and about more and more.  All will be excellent learning opportunities for them.... and for me.

Blue & Vivi

Vivi did have to throw a little growly fit about all these turtles.  But it was mainly under her breath.  Good thing she was leashed; she would have been swimming out to get them.

Team Dosido:  Donna, Blue & Vivi

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Musing - New Year's First Report

So, it's almost the end of March.  How am I doing on those hopeful New Year's Resolutions from January?  I thought I'd better check in with myself to see.

More Adventures:  hmmmm.....I guess walking the dogs through the pastures a few times doesn't qualify.  I hate to be whiney about the whole thing, but damn.....the weather just hasn't been conducive to many outings.  That's going to get better though soon.  So, I better have a couple of places in mind.  And no; I don't have my "See Alabama First" list on the refrigerator yet.  Oh dear....guess that should be the first thing I get done.

No More Recipes:  can I just say that I've been BETTER?  It's hard to resist those yummy looking magazine layouts.  But I have cut back.  Really, truly.

Becoming More Techie:  boy, I'm thinking I'm about to get a failing grade on Resolutions 101.  I have gotten the computer and it works (and the printer, too, finally).  I am working on figuring out how to get the pictures from the camera (that I really don't know how to use yet) to the computer.  I've put Windows 7 on the back burner for now--way too much information to take in all at once.  Haven't done one damn thing with this blog.  BAD BLOGGER.

National Park Visit:  I've identified the one I want to go to first.  That would be Hot Springs, Arkansas.  It's fairly close and I've never been to Arkansas before.  Now to research the whens, hows, wheres.

Support for Responsible Dog Owners:  AH I see where the bulk of the time has gone.  These first 3 months have been filled with writing letters, runs to the state capitol, the day-to-day details of being an officer of the state federation, web research.  More balance, Donna.  More balance.

Okay.  So maybe the first quarter report ain't so hot.  Let's see what April, May & June hold.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Friday Addendum

Glory Halleluiah!!  The sun is shining.  It's supposed to be 70 degrees today. And the ##!!?*#! flagstone patio is DONE.  Well, he does have to come back and do the final cleaning of the stone on Monday.  But that's it.  And I've turned the adding machine in my head off.

There is a God...........  Am I shining brightly (see today's quote)?  Yes ma'am, I am.  Do you see this big smile on my face?

Crowing with delight!

You Can Quote Me

The gem is not polished without grit, nor man perfected without trial.

                                  ~~~Author Unknown~~~

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Life Lessons

I know that I'm supposed to be learning something from all this aggravation over the backyard redo.  But I'll be damned if I can figure out exactly what it is.  My guess is probably more "patience" lessons.  Or, maybe how to not cuss under duress.  Possibly it could be to smile in the face of adversity.  Whatever.  All I know is that the weather has been gray, gloomy and cold to match my mood.  So untypical of mid-March here.  We usually get at least a few days that hint at the April spring days to come.

So, with hope in my heart I am looking forward to the weekend, believing that the majority of construction will be over and the great cleanup can begin.  Oh....and that the clouds will clear and the sun will shine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Musing - Remodeling Blues

I stayed angry pretty much the whole entire week last week.  I'm trying to get over it, but it's taking a whole lot of effort......and I'm not there yet.

I contracted with a man -- supposedly a professional landscape architect, but now I'm wondering -- to lay a flagstone patio for me.  In my mind, it started out as a smallish job, but sort of grew.  I agreed to that based on the estimate he gave me.  He started on Monday.  The weather has been uncooperative which hasn't helped.  It still isn't finished and the cost is now double his estimate.  Plus, my yard has sand piles where we usually walk and ruts where some imbecile tried to drive their truck out of the "big" backyard, forgetting that it has rained off and on for days and the ground is SOFT.  To their credit, they did attempt to fill the ruts with MORE SAND.

As you might imagine, I am fed up with the whole process and cannot wait for them to finish and leave.  All week I've wondered one thing:  do I just attract incompetent help or are there really no workman left who can be trusted to do a good job and stand by their word?

There were a couple of bright spots to the week.  I managed to have lunch with two friends on two different days..... one I hadn't seen in quite a while.  I am hoping for a much more peaceful week; in my heart, anyway.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Musing - Scottie Kisses

Last week was pretty busy, so no notes from me.  I'm not exactly sure WHY it was so busy except for two things:  one was a lot of emailing/phoning/conversation back and forth for the Alabama Canine Coalition and the other was Jake.

At the beginning of the week, I was notified by a friend that there was a Scottie boy still in our county shelter for the second week.  I didn't know who the Alabama Scottie rescue person was, but I quickly found out. After a flurry of phone calls from her to me to the shelter to my vet's office, I pulled the poor boy on Thursday and took him for vetting.  And what a wonderful little guy he is!  He, along with 2 or 3 other dog sidekicks, were abandoned by their family -- another foreclosure casualty.  I'm not pointing fingers, because I don't know the particulars.  All I know is that I would be very hardpressed to just walk off and leave my dogs in the backyard.  Especially if they were all like Jake.  We found out he's full of worms (but heartworm negative, thank goodness) but actually in pretty good shape.  We also found out that he loves, other dogs, people of all shapes and sizes.  Thankfully, he already has a home eagerly waiting for his release from the vet's.

I like busy weeks like this past one.  Especially when they are accompanied by lots of very sweet Scottie boy kisses.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Musing - Just a Small Tremor

Earthquakes seem to be going on everywhere.  First, Haiti; now Chile.  And  Obviously, my measly little shake-rattle-and-rolls aren't a drop in the bucket to the utter devastation and misery in those countries.  I can't even imagine....words fail to do those tragedies justice.

But yes, the earth under my feet is perceptibly shifting.  Last week was a busy one.  This week looks to be similar in activity level.  But the focus is changing.  Things that were once so terribly important seem to be losing their immediacy in my life.

Over the weekend, I attended a function with a group that I have been a part of for quite some time.  I always felt comfortable there up until now.  A part of me is saddened by the alteration in ambiance; a part of me feels a lifting of a burden that I really didn't know I was carrying.

Spring in the world is around the corner.....evidence of new beginnings will be appearing all around.  Spring in my heart is pushing toward the sun.   

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Musing - The Disappearance of Days

What happened to last week?  Somehow, I lost it.  It's always a mystery to me that chunks of days can somehow just evaporate, or at least seem to.

Thursday before last, all was well.  There were some political dog issues on the horizon and some work to do with the Alabama Canine Coalition with those.  By Friday afternoon, that had blown up in to a major "event".  Phone calls flying back and forth all day Friday.....Monday.... Tuesday I was on my way to the state capitol for a meeting.  Wednesday I was back.  Friday I left for a grooming seminar in Nashville for the weekend.  Home yesterday afternoon.

It sounds so simple when you just type it out.  But nothing is ever simple, is it?  All the phone calls, writing, emailing, research paperwork that went into the ACC meeting isn't reflected in that little laundry list.  Having to do the housewifely chores on Thursday before leaving on Friday, plus getting together all the grooming paraphanalia and begin loading up the car doesn't show up.  Nor does making sure the dog that went to the seminar with me was bathed and clean and fluffed on Friday morning before leaving Friday afternoon.

I'm hoping for a much slower paced week this week...... no surprises.  I still have to get my technology running up to speed, for heaven's sakes.  Sometimes boring is good.

Friday, February 19, 2010

You Can Quote Me

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.

                                              ~~~E.B. White ~~~

Friday, February 12, 2010

You Can Quote Me

The world is governed by those who show up.

                                   ~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Treading Water

Well, let's see.  What have I learned over the weekend?  I guess mainly that I wish I was 14 again so all this "advanced technology" would truly be child's play for me.  But I'm not, and it's not.

I have managed to buy and download my first book to my Nook.  Haven't had a chance to start reading it.....must make sure I know what all the buttons do.  And gosh...there's only about 5 to know.  So right now I know 3.  Good.  That's progress.

The laptop is up and running.  I'm using it now.  But none of my "stuff" from the old computer is on there......had to buy a Windows 7 book to try to learn from for all that.  Today, I feel like the Oz Scarecrow...........straw stuffing and all.

Friday, February 5, 2010

You Can Quote Me

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.  It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.  The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

                                         ~~~ C.S. Lewis ~~~

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Electronic Toy Overload

Oh my.  I have Swiss cheese brain this afternoon.  And I think the holes will only get larger.

I got my new B&N Nook e-reader late yesterday afternoon.  YEA!  It was my Christmas present.  Of course, I can't really use it yet because I have to wait for the the nice Geek Squad guy to get here Friday with the wireless router and all the other whatevers it will take to get the new laptop up and running.  I'm hoping it's going to be as simple for me as it was when the B&N guy demonstrated it for me way back in December.

So, I got out the new HP this afternoon and set it up, ready and waiting for Friday.  Took a quick tour of Microsoft Works..........oh my dear.  This is going to be like learning "how to computer" all over again.  Fifteen minutes and my head was in a twirl.  I had to shut down and go get a drink.  I know I'll get it.  The question is, WHEN? 

Deep breaths, Donna........DEEP BREATHS.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Musing - Electronic Upgrade

Well, I finally did it.  After agonizing for weeks over what kind of computer to get for myself, I just bought one.  It's an HP Pavilion laptop.....don't ask me what's on it or any of that stuff.  Mr. Head Geek Man at Best Buy helped me when I took the configuration I had made up for one on the HP website to his store. 

Bless him.......he was so very patient and kind.  He got me all "fixed" and scheduled Mr. Second-in-Command Geek Man to come put it all together for me the end of this week.  I even sprung for a new wireless printer. 

One of my new year's resolutions -- the one to become more electronically literate -- is on the road to reality.  I just hope Windows 7 is simple to learn and navigate.  And that all the 1001 things that can go wrong with new equipment of any kind -- but especially computers -- skips by me.  Otherwise, I will certainly be bald from pulling my hair out in frustration.

My bank account is in cardiac arrest..........

Friday, January 29, 2010

You Can Quote Me

"To ask how little, not how much, can I get along with.  To say -- is it necessary?  -- when I am tempted to add one more accumulation to my life."

                                             ~~~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~~~

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Coming Up for Air

The office area is a shambles.  I'm sure it's going to stay that way much longer than I'd like.  Of course, it's my own fault.  I'm re-arranging, throwing out, filing, scratching my head and sneezing every few minutes.  Dust, you know.  And LOTS of it.

I dreaded doing this.  Talked about it all last year and never touched a thing.  Finally, I just couldn't stand it anymore.  Plus, I think the idea of getting my own computer galvanized me to consider just where in the hell I was going to actually put one.  I have a paper sickness:  just can't throw information-laden pieces of it away.  It's nuts.  Today, I feel just like one of those hoarders Oprah helps periodically.  Little slips of paper EVERYWHERE along with stacks of files and magazines.  My mother says it's genetic; I got it from my father who was notorious for jotting down "notes" and tearing things out of magazines.  Me, too.  And it's crazy-making.

This Friday's quote should be tattooed on my forehead.  Or, at the very least painted on the wall in big, big letters.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Musing - Mad Men Mania

Yes, it's true.  I'm just a born-again Mad Men Minx.  I didn't discover this TV show till just a couple of months ago.  Why didn't somebody tell me sooner that it's SO GOOD???  Don Draper:  bad boy you can't help but be crazy for.

I sure hope they show the 3rd season before the new season starts this summer.  It's not out on DVD yet and I'm dying to know what happened.  They have some little recaps at the AMC-TV site, but I want it ALL.  Every once in a while I fall in love with a TV show.  This is it for now.  I speculate it's not only because it's fabulously written and acted that I am enamored.  Having been a teenager in the Fab 60s, I can remember the decade in spades.  All the adults always having or going to cocktail parties, smoking, the fashions, etc. etc.  The weekly hairdresser appointment.  It's like revisiting a little teensy part of my past.  I was too young to indulge in most of the goings-on, but I was a VERY OBSERVANT student.  Teehee........

Friday, January 22, 2010

You Can Quote Me

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.

                                                 ~~~ Thomas Paine

This has been a busy week.  I've spent quite a couple of days at the state's seat of power with all the legislators.  What an eye-opening experience!  Because of some pieces of dog legislation on the upcoming calendar, I'll probably be going back.  I think it would help everyone to have to follow a bill one time through the process.  It would make the political process more real and understandable.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Musing: The Organizing Month

Organizing: I'm such a sucker for "getting organized".  And truth to tell, I hardly ever am no matter how many Rubbermaid bins I buy.  Junk sticks to me like stink on a skunk.  But I keep trying.  It doesn't help that EVERY magazine in the month of January ballyhoos organization.

But I've run across an organizer -- AND full-time RV'er -- with attitude to spare.  Visit her over at and dive in to spunkier straightening up.  If you get tired of contemplating how to clean out your junk drawer, you can read about her RV travels.

This week I have an office area to tackle.....again.  I'm always tackling it and it's always throwing me for a loss.

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Can Quote Me

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.

                           ~~~ Ferdinand Foch, Commander-in-Chief
                                   Alllied Armies, WWI

Thursday, January 14, 2010

To Sterilize or Not

In yesterday's edition of the USA Today, there was an article written by Sharon L. Peters entitled "Sterilizing pets isn't a priority for new owners" (  As I was reading it this morning, I couldn't help but be conflicted.

On the one hand, I understand the need for voluntary spay/neuter programs, especially in certain areas of the country.  As Ms. Peters stated "Southerners and the under-35 set are the least likely to sterilize their pets."  As much as I hate to admit it -- dyed-in-the-wool Southerner that I am -- this is true.  Responsibility for one's animals here hasn't always been a very high priority.  Slowly but surely that is changing though.  More and more often I see and hear of pet owners buying a ticket on the Spay Train for their dogs and cats.  This is a good thing because it shows a certain level of caring and commitment to responsible ownership of pets.  People are becoming more educated about the role of responsibility and exactly what that entails  in having animals in their lives.  All I can say to that is "HURRAY!"  More responsibility is directly related to less restrictive animal ordinances and laws for everyone.  More responsibility is also directly related to lower shelter figures.

But embedded in this article are some things that just grate on my nerves and make the fillings in my teeth sing.  For example, there is a pie chart showing where owners get their pets.  According to it, 68% of owners acquire animals from family members, adoption organizations & shelters and pickup of strays.  12% are acquired by purebred breeders.  TWELVE PERCENT.  Yet, purebred breeders are always the ones fingered and catching hell for swelling the numbers of the homeless/abandoned/callously bred THOUSANDS of animals entering the shelter system.  I'm sorry.  Something just doesn't add up here.  Purebred breeders are the ones used as the scapegoat to push mandatory spay/neuter laws on to an animal-loving population (that is already well on its way to "doing the right thing" without the big stick) when proportionately they contribute hardly a thimbleful to the gallon bucket called "overpopulation".

The second thing that makes my eyebrows get that quizzical look is this statement:  "PetSmart Charities commissioned the survey by Ipsos Marketing, released today, in an effort to understand factors contributing to continued pet overpopulation, which results in an estimated 4 millon to 6 million shelter animals being euthanized each year."  Ms. Peters needs to get her facts straight.  According to the latest statistics, there are 74.8 million owned dogs in the United States (the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association).  In 2009, shelter statistics were widely quoted as 6-8 million dogs and cats entering the shelter system, with 3-4 million being euthanized and the same number being adopted.  Roughly, half are dogs and half are cats, although in some areas there are many more cats than dogs entering the shelter system.  This is still way too high a figure, but remember that these are national figures.  Nationally, of the estimated total number of dogs (owned and sheltered added together,the figure would be estimated at 78.8 million), only .05 percent are in shelter environments at any point in time.  Not only that, but experts tell us that shelter numbers have been dropping for the last several years.  All of this just doesn't seem to add up to a true "overpopulation crisis" scenario to me.  Although I can understand that when you're the one doing the hands-on rescuing (as I did at one time), it can certainly seem like billions.

Other tidbits of information in the article, such as "17% said they have no idea of the proper age to spay/neuter" and "42% of people who recently got a pet did no prior research, formal or informal" tell me that the crux of the matter is still education.  Teaching people how to responsibly acquire and own their animals is the answer to today's animal issues.  I say if we're going to throw money and resources at the problem, let's throw it there where it will have the most longlasting positive impact for both animals and people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do You Smell That?

I love things that smell good.  I'm a sucker for food cooking, roses growing, clean dogs (sometimes not-so-clean ones, too)....all kinds of stuff.  I can't live without perfume.  I'm probably one of a handful that wears it 360 days a year.  Unfortunately, I'm not too partial to the cheaper scents.  So, I have to hoard my stash and make it last as long as possible.  I figure I'm pretty much a pro at what smells good.

I think I have discovered a new source of good smells.  Check out  South Carolina girl is putting together all kinds of interesting products to sniff.  She's got a whole line of bodycare products, but I'm actually more interested in her reed diffusers.  With scent names like "Lemon Razz" and "Cranberry Fig", how could you go wrong?  And ESPECIALLY notable is something she calls "Natural Buzz Off Horse Care" to keep the little critters away, particularly in the warmer months.  I'm figuring it might also be pretty good for dogs.  And, all her stuff is natural -- no synthetics.

No, I haven't tried anything......yet.  So I can't really rate anything or give you the skinny.  But I'll definitely be buying a couple of things.  With the house being all closed up against this unnatural cold we're having right now, I could use some uplifting smells wafting through the house.  Will report back.........

Friday, January 8, 2010

You Can Quote Me

To begin living like you've never lived before, begin living like you've never lived before.

Today is good..............

                                         ~~~Author Unknown

Monday, January 4, 2010

The 2010 Bucket List

Once more into the fray of a brand new year.  I spent the first weekend of this year considering the question of "resolutions" among other things.  I reviewed the ones I set out for 2009.  It was the same background music of my life that continues to play all the time, regardless of what year it is or what else is going on:  more training time with the dogs, more exercising, less eating, more being "happy" and less being "angry", getting organized, cutting the clutter, etc. etc.  All things that serve to make me feel more guilty and less productive when I don't hit them with all cylinders firing.  So this year I'm trying something a little different -- a bucket list of things I want to do whether they are "good" for me or not.

First up is MORE ADVENTURES.  Alone, with others, with the dogs.  Just getting out and about, seeing and experiencing, getting involved in the living part of life rather than the thinking part.  I'm making a list to put on the refrigerator of "See Alabama First" things to do over the next months.  If I run out of those things, I might sneak in some other Southeastern destinations and experiences.

Second would be NO MORE RECIPES CUT OUT OF MAGAZINES.  I swear, I have enough cookbooks for a whole neighborhood and hundreds more clipped out ones in 3 ring binders.  From the looks of things, you'd think all I did was cook.  I don't even like to cook.  So, I'm limiting myself to TWO new recipes per month.  Simple Southern recipes.  If I want exotic and/or foreign, I'll go out.

Third, and related to #2, is not stockpiling food.  It's shameful what gets thrown out in this house.  There's only two of us here, not Cox's army.  (No, I don't know who Cox's just something I've heard all my life from my grandmother, mother and any other female relative when discussing amounts of food.  As in "we've got enough here to feed Cox's army!")  While cooking for Christmas, I threw away several cans of food from the back of the pantry  that were older than a kindergartener.  Ridiculous!

Fourth is BECOMING MORE TECHNOLOGICALLY EDUCATED.  For example, stuff to spiff up this blog.  I want to be able to know stuff that 10-year olds take for granted:  how to burn a CD, download music.  Just things that I've never taken the time to do because basically, I didn't have to.  I don't want to be a clueless little old bluehaired lady.  Not yet anyway.

Fifth, is to VISIT ONE NATIONAL PARK I'VE NEVER BEEN TO.  After watching Ken Burns' PBS special on our national park system a few months ago, I can see that I've been missing out on some spectacular places.  Why go to Europe when what we've got right here is so amazing?


And then pretty much all that other stuff held over from last year.  2010 could prove to be a very full, but lighter, year.  After all, I've still got to lose 15 pounds!

Friday, January 1, 2010

You Can Quote Me

365 fresh new days; 365 fresh new opportunities...........