Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Every year my sister and I "treat" each other.
Or maybe a "trick".
Last year I left CLOWNS in her flowers and on her front steps.
She left me a scary armless baby, standing at my door in the dark.
This year I received a very cool framed picture of a black cat laying on a ledge with the moon in the background, watching a mouse on a wire.
My niece left a book about PYEWACKET in my mailbox.
So I left my sister a gift in the front seat of her car
a black cat that I made, holding flowers.
I hope she likes it.
She works third shift at the hospital tonight.
I feel bad for her, having to leave on Halloween night and driving all that way by herself.
So I decided to give her some company.
I left these guys in the backseat of her car.
Little 88 cent baby dolls from Goodwill. (I repainted their faces.)
I wish I could see her face when she looks in the rearview mirror.

A Halloween Reminder...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012


In keeping with my Black Cat theme,
I've finished a mixed media painting and listed it on eBay - HERE.
I know some people who have so much to be thankful for and are still not HAPPY and then I know others who are have much less but always see the positive side of things.
Yep, the power of positive thought can make a big difference. When I get down in the dumps, I only have to stop and think about all good things in my life and be grateful...and be HAPPY!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I went with my sister and her family to a farm where they sell pumpkins
and gourds and apparently goats. But I won't talk about THAT today or the CAT they wanted to give us for free...
Everyone I  was with bought big HUGE pumpkins. They always do very detailed carving and it looks spooky and very cool lighting up their front steps in the dark.
I had thought about buying a huge lopsided one so that I could paint it like Blue lounging.
But I on a strict budget so I just got some little ones.
I'm glad I did. I don't think big ones would look right on my steps.
The Begonias are the only flowers still going strong, so I moved them all to the steps.
Everything else in the containers have died. It was in the low 80's today but this weekend it's supposed to drop to the low 40's for day time highs.
Sigh... the last Hurrah for the flowers.

(and next year I WILL get those steps painted!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

What are ACEO's?

ACEOs are miniature pieces of art that measure 2-1/2" x 3-1/2".
If a small piece of art has different measurements than this, it does not qualify as an ACEO.
The acronym "ACEO" stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals.They can be original art, print editions or photographs. The majority of ACEOs are two dimensional, but three dimensional elements may also be incorporated.
Pop-ups, books, collages, and sculpture can all be ACEOs as long as they measure 2-1/2" x 3-1/2".
So I've decided to create some ACEO's.
I've done 3, in acrylics and ink on watercolor paper.
Mounted on 3/4"  thick blocks of wood as a "set".
Currently listed on Ebay - HERE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Update on Momma Dog

First before I give the update about Momma dog I must thank Anne for emailing me and offering to adopt her.
She helped renew my faith that there are still good people out there.
People who care and love animals and are willing to go the extra mile.
She and I exchanged several emails and while I know Anne's would be a wonderful home, I had become very attached to Nora. I emailed my thoughts to Anne and she felt like I was the perfect home for her.
Nora? well, Momma dog's name was actually Mya. But I started calling her Nora.
It might sound silly but I wanted her to feel like she got a new life, so I gave her new name.
I call her "Nora" now and she comes racing to me. I think she really likes her new name.

Ok, at first I wasn't sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that all of this happened at the start of my vacation.
But during that time we really bonded.
Blue sleeps on the sofa ALL day. I know he's a senior but he just loves sleeping.
He turns 7 this November. I had someone tell me recently that a lot of Danes only live to 7.
I listened and then talked with the vets about that and they see no reason for him not to have many years ahead of him. Although they did say that Giant breeds don't general live as long as smaller ones.
I secretly dislike people who feel the need to always point out the possibility of something awful happening.

Anyway, Blue likes to nap a lot and my little ones like to run after each other and play.
In the past if Jimmy would jump in, they would scatter.
He's just too rowdy for them and too big even though he's not even 20 lbs.
So now with Nora, Jimmy has someone to chase and take toys away from.
Nora likes to run and retrieve non-stop.
I will sit at the computer or be cleaning a room and throw and throw and throw her rope toy.
I've even pushed back the kitchen table so that she has a clear shot through the house.
And Jimmy sits and watches.
Every now and then he leaps forward and grabs the rope-toy or whatever.
So the other night I was throwing the toys over and over and over again and Jimmy started taking them ALL from her.
She would let him take the toys and then go search for another.
Finally Jimmy had himself quite a pile.
Then Nora figured it out and when he went to get the latest thrown toy, she ran over and grabbed one from the pile.

I didn't mean for this to happen but it's working out awfully well although it was never my original plan.
I know this sounds insane.
But when I think about the fact that several of my pets are elderly....
Then there's the thing she did the other night.
She doesn't bark, or so I thought.
But in the middle of the night I woke up with a start.
She was barking like crazy and had pulled the bedroom door open and I could hear her racing down the steps.
I sat up and of course Blue was still sound asleep, but given the fact that he's deaf, that's pretty understandable.
But everyone else was sound asleep too.
As I sat up Jimmy jumped up and looked at me like "What's going on?"
So he and I ran down the stairs and found Nora in the kitchen.
My cats stay downstairs during the night (and when I'm not home) but I guess I didn't "click" the door completely shut when I came up from doing my nightly "scooping". One of them had pushed the door open and everyone was in the kitchen munching on the plants.
Wow. How had she heard that?
So I got out the kitty treats, made sure everyone was back downstairs and went back upstairs.
Blue was still asleep and the little ones blinked at me and as if to say - "Turn off that damn light!"
I've always felt pretty safe in my house, mainly because I think it's kind of obvious that there's not much to steal and also because I'm surrounded by much bigger nicer homes probably filled with "good" stuff.

And also anyone casing the joint would see the HUGE dog.
and Blue would take someone DOWN....
if he was awake.
I don't know but Nora really did make me feel more secure.
She's been so sweet and mellow. She paces in the kitchen when she has to go potty and she runs out and does her business even in the pouring rain. I must admit that some of my little ones have to be shoved out the door into the rain and then there's Poppy who just refuses and instead goes to her "pad" and squeezes out a tootsie roll.

Nora sleeps under my chair while I'm at the computer unless I'm throwing her toy.
But if I tell her "Enough. Go lay down" she does.
She gives me kisses while I bathe her and she let me cradle her in my arms as I trimmed hair on her belly where there were some mats.
She doesn't bother the little dogs and tiptoes around Blue. If the cats walk past her she backs up and if they approach her, she turns her head and looks away.

So I was surprised Friday morning.
I arrived at work and was walking up to the clinic in the drizzling rain with my boys and Nora when one of my co-workers who had just gotten out of her car, came walking up to us. It wasn't really light out yet and my co-worker had her shoulders hunched in the rain and wore a big coat. She started calling a greeting to Blue (even though he can't hear... but everyone always does that) and Blue did what he usually does. He took a firm stance and I braced myself in case he decided to leap forward. He looked at her and then at me, still undecided. Meanwhile Jimmy was bouncing at the end of his lead "Hey! look at me! look at me! look at me!" and she started to laugh when all of a sudden Nora raced forward and I had to pull back on her lead. All the hair on her back was UP and she was barking with all her might and she meant BUSINESS.
My co-worker backed away and went in her door.
I took my gang inside my boarding door and told Nora what a good girl she was. She ran around my office in happiness. I went up and apologized to my co-worker, who replied "Boy! She REALLY wanted to get me!" I told her it was probably the coat and the fact that she didn't know who she was.

Later in the day when it stopped raining, Nora and Jimmy raced in circles around the big play area. I had to wake up Blue and he just followed me around. Maybe I will start leaving him at home, since he sleeps all day and my bed is most definitely cushier than his bed in the kennel run.

So there you have it. I'm insane.
I always adored her when she boarded with me and now after spending all of my vacation time with her...
and she's so good. Only barking those 2 times. Both times as protection.
At night she sleeps at the end of my bed, but when I wake up, she's next to me.
How stupid were all those other people?
and how lucky am I?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


(this is NOT Rags but it does look just like him, sadly I don't have a photo of him.)

I got a call today from work.
Actually I missed it because I was plastering my bathroom walls.
It went to voicemail but when I realized it was work I didn't listen to it but instead I just called back to see what was up.
Apparently they have been waiting for me to get back from vacation before putting down Rags, the clinic cat elder.
When I had left, I had made the statement that I didn't want anyone jumping the gun and putting him to sleep while I was gone.
I wanted to be included in the decision.
We all knew that he was in kidney failure but he was still eating and going outside and "hunting" around the clinic.
He still liked to lay on top of the reception desk counter where it's warm from the lights and he would get belly rubs from almost everyone that came in the door.
It was obvious that he had lost weight but he still seemed to be enjoying life.
But I didn't know that he had taken a turn for the worse on Monday while I was gone and that no one wanted to ruin my vacation by calling me.
Then today one of the vet techs said that she couldn't believe that I would want him to suffer while waiting for me to return. So she called me and she's the one that left the voicemail. When I called back I got the office manager on the phone and she said that Rags had gotten much worse.
She said that today he had slipped outside and went down to the creek.
He had gone way down into the creek bed and they feared he might have been trying to end his life.
Do cats do that sort of thing? I've always heard how they will go off by themselves when the end is near.
Luckily a client saw him from their truck as they were leaving and went down and got him and carried him into the clinic.
But they were waiting for me to get back.
When this particular vet tech realized why they were hesitating, she called me. And she was right to do so.
I told them to let him go. They asked if I wanted to come and say good bye and I tearfully said no, not to make him wait any longer but asked them to give him a kiss from me.
I went back upstairs and continued working on the walls. Tears flowing.
That darn cat.
I remember when I started working at the clinic over 10 years ago and how he was the King of the Clinic. He wasn't my kind of cat really. I'm not drawn to the fancy purebreds. Everyone commented on his beauty and sometimes he would let them pet him and other times he would be too aloof and give a warning grumble to get away. He belonged to the vet's wife who also ran the clinic and we were instructed to "work around him". He mostly stayed on the counter, in front of the computer and always giving a snotty attitude to the clients.
Sometimes he would go outside and kill things and leave half of their bodies on the front porch.
Then a lot of things happened.
A new clinic was built.
He was moved to that new location.
The vet and his wife divorced.
And he was left behind.
Lots of different employees came and went and finally there were only a couple of us who remembered that he was King.
I started to feel bad for him.
He was like an old man surrounded by people who didn't remember the war much less want to hear his stories about it.
So his disposition changed.
He mellowed.
He would go outside, walk around the building, sometimes only as far as the side door and want back in.
And then he became sick.
He let himself be held and would purr and drowse off and I'm sure he dreamed of his glory days.
Different medicines and food were tried but he was old and now the quality of his life was the most important thing.
and, his reign has ended and that darn cat has taken a piece of my heart with him.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Alright. Here's the post I tried to write before but was too upset.
I've waited several days to cool down and being on vacation has definitely helped.
I wrote many drafts but reading them over I could tell that I still needed more time.
I was still ranting and raving.
But this is what the problem is in a nutshell.
Kind of a long story even though I tried to condense it down.
So grab a cup of coffee or maybe just skip over this one.
But I'm posting it so that I can get the frustration out of my head.
I used to board this Border Collie
and her mate years ago.
The most beautiful Border Collies ever.
Then they had puppies. I called "S" who I knew always wanted a Border Collie and said that one of these pups would be the one to get.
That the Mom dog had the best disposition, that you could look at her eyes and see a sweet gentle soul
  and her mate? Well breathtaking is the best description.
White on one side of his face, black on the other,the softest coat ever.
You just had to see him to appreciate him.
If I were to get a puppy, one of those pups would have been it. But I don't adopt puppies.
Even if I wanted to, there is always an adult dog that pops up and REALLY needs a home.
So I told "S" that except for the Momma dog herself, you couldn't find a better Border Collie.
But "S" said that the timing wasn't right for them.
Not too long afterwards, the boy dog was tragically hit by a car and died. I told "S" that there would be no more litters from these two.
Fast forward to this summer.
The girl who owned these dogs has gotten married and had a baby in the last few years and now they are moving...and they need a home for the Momma dog. So she posted a sign "Free to Good Home" at the clinic.
I call "S" and tell her that she now has the chance to have THE perfect dog.
But the timing STILL isn't right. A lot of things are going on within their family..she says if it was later in the year or maybe the Fall. But not now.
So the sign stays up, but no takers.
The owner calls me, she knows how much I adored the Mom dog and I tell her I have tried but could find no one.
Weeks go by and finally the day before the move arrives and the owner calls again. I tell her she will have to take her to the shelter.
I tell her who to ask for and to tell them I sent her.
Then I call the shelter and talk to my contact there.
They are OVER capacity. No room for another dog.
and if they did me a favor, well, I can't have that happen. It would mean a dog losing their life to make a space.
No. That is something I could never live with.
I call the owner and tell her to bring her to me.
I take care of her for a week and suddenly a friend of mine calls to tell me that a relative is desperately hunting for a Border Collie for her husband.
His Border Collie had died suddenly a while back and he was missing him terribly and they have been looking for a nice dog forever.
So I arrange for them to meet with Momma dog and she is all over the family.
There's a toddler and a little kid and she's dancing around in happiness.
She brings them the Frisbee and the woman throws it. We stand there talking as she throws it again and again.
Finally everyone agrees that it's a match.
We go to load her in the back of the SUV but she leaps in between the kids and sits nicely looking straight ahead , like "Let's go Home!"
I'm so happy I could cry.
A week goes by and they call. She's scratching.
They've been added milk to her food and I tell them to stop and see if that's it.
A week later, they call again, still scratching.
I had treated her with a flea preventative, so I know that's not it. But she's about due for a treatment soon so I tell them to apply it again. Then the next week I get a text. They need to return her, they are downsizing and could I help them also find a home for their other dog?
(which I actually did have someone who would take their other dog, a boxer, but they wanted money for her and she still needed to be spayed, so the adoption fell through.)
so back to Mom dog.
I take her back. When the wife drops her off, she tells me that her husband was actually upset because she wouldn't help him with the cows.
I don't even try to explain that she doesn't even know what a cow is, she's been a city dog her whole life.
I call "S" again. It's Fall now, is the timing better?
Maybe in a week.
Finally she goes to their home early one morning. "S" works 3rd shift so apparently after introducing Momma to their dog and her husband (who Momma dog greeted with kisses right away), she lies down to sleep. Then her husband does the same. Leaving Momma loose in a strange house.
They get up in late afternoon and "discuss" the new addition.
At 5:00 pm that night, "S" and Momma are standing outside my work door.
It's not going to work out.
She tells me how they slept most the day and I ask how she did.
"Oh fine! She didn't bother a thing." But the timing isn't good right now.
I take her back and give her some dinner.
I take her outside and throw the rope toy to her.
I look at her soft eyes and I wish I could explain to her why all these people have let her down.
Over and Over and Over.
and she's such a good girl.
So she's with me now. She will be 6 soon and the shelters are full of young dogs.
Just the other night there were TV News stories about how the shelters are discounting adoption fees because they are so overwhelmed with dogs who desperately need homes.
and....I can't let her down too.
I hope that someone good will cross our path soon.
and that brings me to something else.
I'm thinking of maybe adding a button to my blog. A donation button for my rescues.
I've seen it on a couple of other blogs. There's an artist that I follow that rescues farm animals.
She has a donation button and uses the money for vet care and food.
So I might put up a button, I don't know,,,still thinking but it makes me feel weird. I get discounted vet care but my bill has been really climbing.
I don't want any donations from my Followers (unless you are a secret millionaire!)
No, I'm hoping some movie star, famous singer or talk show host, someone like that will Google Border Collie or something and stumble onto my blog and feel like throwing some cash our way.
In the mean time, I searching for a forever home for her.
and I mean FOREVER.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


...thinking a lot.
cleaning, sorting and rediscovering "treasures".
I've been reading a lot about happiness
and how clearing the clutter, minimalism, simplicity....
can make you happy.
I've decided that while it could indeed make some people happy, it's not for me.
I had an Ah-Ha moment.
It's a very cool rainy October day today and while going through some boxes of things and also thinking about all that I've read, it dawned on me that I used to live a totally minimal life.

Very simple. One room, with a Murphy bed that pulled down out of the wall, a tiny 2 burner stove and a mini fridge.
(I've written about this place before, in fact I think it's one of my most favorite posts.
at the time, even though I didn't count my clothing, I know I had LESS than 33 items at the time.
So much for the 333 project.
and I was very SAD and miserable.
Now, some people might have been in paradise, knowing that they could pack up all their STUFF in a bag within minutes and be on their way to adventure.
But I didn't feel like that. I feel alone and ungrounded.
Just twisting in the wind.
Of course back then, there was no Internet.
No links to all the great ideas and images.
No way to type out and share my thoughts and feelings without leaving my room.
and of course. I wasn't allowed to have a dog.
Actually I wasn't allowed any pets at all but I smuggled in a cat.
Just me and my cat...
and now today as I find things that I forgotten I had, I feel happy and motivated.
I have new ideas about things to create.
Which is probably why I accumulated these things in the first place.
Now, I'm not saying that I haven't held up some items and turned it over and over and thought "WTH?"
and then tossed it.
I've have cleaned out my china hutch in the kitchen, next to the table that I paint at and filled it with bins of paint and jars of paintbrushes. On top of the hutch are my decorative shoes boxes filled with papers. pens. pencils, shiny things.
Above my white kitchen cabinets, I have white shoe boxes with others supplies. (dog brushes, heart-worm pills, etc.)
All very neat and tidy...
I'm keeping what I need and really want. I just probably have more STUFF that I NEED than most people.
Kinda like my pets.
Yes, I have more than most people but THEY make me happy.
To some people, they would seem like a lot of work but they give me a purpose.
Some people like to manicure theirs nails while watching TV, I trim dog/cat nails.
While some people like to go window shopping, I'm home bathing my dogs.
Some people go to sports events, I throw a ball or Frisbee.
I know there are people who feel like just ONE dog is overwhelming.
I know that TOO well because that IS why I have some of my dogs.
So, I'm organizing and cleaning
and vacuuming up pet hair but basically I'm a lot Happier and I NEED to remember this day,
even if it means that I sometimes I feel like an indentured servant to the clinic I work at.
and Yes, I do have a BIG vet bill that seems to almost get paid and then something happens to pump it back up.
But at least I have that safety net.
Lots of reflection today.
But in a good way,
to realize, that I AM happy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I start my vacation.
I'm using up the last of my vacation hours.
Of course I have lists and lists of things to accomplish.
I always have a list.
But first I will sleep in.
Wake up when I wake up.
That's the best part of vacation!
I hope to stay off the computer as much as I can.
That's hard for me to do, I'm addicted.
I do have a few posts half done. Maybe I will finish one.
Maybe not.
I have one that I've written over and over but never posted because I sound like a raving lunatic.
I've had some stuff going on that's made me "angry"....
I need to cool off before I write about it.
I'm not trying to be mysterious, it's actually the same old stuff...
people behaving badly, again.
It just leaves me mentally exhausted.
BUT, I will push that out of my mind and get to my lists and hopefully have something FUN to post about
But first, some rest.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I love it!
Perfect Fall weather.
A slight nip in the air that whips you fully awake.
Cool blasts of wind send the leaves dancing in circles in the yard.
The crunch of twigs beneath my feet as the tree limbs bend, sway and creak.
It feels like there is Magic in the air.
Ghosts and Goblins are about to appear
and Halloween will soon be here!
A perfect Fall day for a walk,
a trip to the park or just stay home and hang laundry on the line in the fresh autumn breeze.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

F stands for.....

I said that I wouldn't complain about cooler weather.
I was SO sick of all the HEAT.
But right now it's 57° INSIDE my house.
I've been working some overtime and I finally have the weekend off.
I have BIG plans.
Yard work plans.
Taking all the air-conditioners out of the windows plans.
Spray painting some things outside.
Maybe even painting the front steps.
and the storm door.....
and here it is, 33°F° outside right now! at 7:15 am.
high for today?