Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It must be genetic?

Last week my mom fell and broke her wrist.  Yep, the old distal radial fracture strikes again!  It was her left wrist, which is her dominate hand.  I won't go into all the things she'll need to learn to do!  Been there, done that!  Right Barb!!

I told her prior to the accident, you do not need to be putting Santa and the reindeer up on the roof of the house this year!  Honestly, the neighbors will understand!  You're 70 years old!  Do you think she'd listen to me?  Oh no!  So looks what happens!  Kids these days, they just don't listen!

Off to the radiologist and surgeon's office today.  For whatever reason, she go lucky, only needed a cast.  Of course that will be followed up with another visit in 4 weeks, then physical therapy!  Hopefully all goes well. 

While I was in the waiting area, I came across an article on the Neanderthals.  This got me to thinking about the whole 'evolution' business.  With all the wrist fractures going on these days, was it such a good idea for us to be walking on 2 legs?  Maybe someone needs to take another look at this!  We might be much safer on all 4s!  I suppose it could make pushing those grocery carts a bit more challenging.

By the way, if you've gotten this far, mom really fell on a patch of ice while putting her recycle bin away.  I just thought my story sounded more exciting!  

Be careful out there!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Where are my SNOW BOOTS!!!

Oh, that's right, I tossed them last spring!
I wonder why?

I could use them now...it's cold out!
(so they leaked a bit in the spring)

They got me through last winter just fine.
(this picture was taken January 2010)

The coveralls need a new zipper, 3rd one!
(Where's my seam ripper?)
I've had these coveralls since 1987.
I guess I can't be accused of not getting
the most out of things. 

I'll have to see what Gander Mountain has today.

Anyone have any boot suggestions?
I like the pull on type best.

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Missouri They Sell Deer Food.......

In Iowa, Deer ARE FOOD!!!

In Lake St. Louis, MO last weekend, 
we had a bit of a laugh at this sign. 

Who in their right mind would FEED THE DEER?
I'm sure their gardening neighbors are happy!
Deer Chow anyone?

Ron, if you read this!
Good luck hunting this weekend!
Dogs are hungry!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Norbert says, "EAT MORE BEEF!!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Old Mother Hubbard???

We must be related!!

Check our our very SAD refrigerator! 


The top left is chicken hindquarters for the dogs.
Next is a couple slices of the Pioneer Women's meat loaf

Some lunch meat.  
The yogurt is expired!
A slab of cheese.
One lonely bottle of Diet Pepsi.

The good news!  
That's a NEW container of COFFEE!!!! 

Finally, some grapes in the bin below.

Pretty sad!
Someone needs to go to the STORE!
With it being the day before the Holiday, 
it's NOT going to be me!!!  

Have fun Bill!
Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


After 40 hours of class.

40+ hours of Volunteer Time.

One trip to ISU for a Garden Tour.

I'm officially a Master Gardener!!

I have a even have a badge!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cute Movie

If you are stuck inside due to early darkness, rain, cold weather, or are just don't feel like doing anything.  Pop this movie into your computer or DVD player.  If you like cooking, and especially if you remember Julia Child, it's adorable!  There are several LOL scenes.  

Thanks Michele for letting me borrow it!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Colors....Some Annual Hold-outs!!

 You have to LOVE Re-Bloomers!!
Iris that bloom both Spring and Fall are great!

The Ornamental Grass that Barb and Terry gave to me a couple years ago is finally starting to look like Ornamental grass.  Somehow, I've avoided hitting it with the round up! 

The Morning Glory is going crazy with this cooler weather!
If you need seeds, let me know!

A few Dahlia Hold outs!
They did okay in pots this year, 
but next year I'll put them into the ground.

There's just NOT enough round up to get
rid of the Fish-Tunias!!  

 I still have some Elephant ears hanging on!
I might need to get another bag of cement to make a few more casts.

 Still have some tomatoes and squash holding on!

The Nasturtium LOVES the cool weather too!
The Zinnias, not so much.
We collected some seeds for next year.

I'll miss all the color over the winter.
I guess it just makes you appreciate Spring all that much more.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs!!!

Exhibit A        

Exhibit B
Which animal would you rather sleep with?  
The Black and White Border Collie with fresh green bird poop on his face? 
Or the happy CLEAN little Yellow cat on the right?  HANDS DOWN!!  
Give me COUGAR!!  

What is it about dogs anyway?  
Why do they have to roll in things that are dirty, smelly, and often times dead?  
What is the appeal in that?  

Cats on the other hand, like things soft, warm, and clean.  
Okay, an occasional dust roll, but that's just for coat cleaning purposes!  
They aren't doing in order to SMELL!!  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Now (2010) and Before (1913) - or so?

Joann (husband Gorden) and Genvieve, pictured in the first photo, are sisters, and were born in our house.  Actually, the house was then owned by their Grandmother, not by us.  The sisters now live in CA, but stop by every year when they come to Iowa to visit family.  This time when they stopped by, I suggested we park their car in approximately the same location and take another picture.  They thought that was a grand idea.  

We decided that a convertible would have been better, but since the vehicle was borrowed from family in IL, we didn't think we should take the top off.  They weren't necessarily excited about saddling up the two ponies either.  Oh well, it turned out rather nice, especially since we were battling the sun in the West!  

 I enjoy hearing the stories of who slept in which rooms and where the heat came from.  How they had to sleep downstairs in the winter because there wasn't any heat upstairs.  The heat came from a wood stove in the living room and the kitchen stove.  Our bathroom was the pantry, and also had open selves for the everyday dishes and closed cupboards for the good china. It was NOT a bathroom.  When I asked where the outhouse was, Joanne laughed and said, "You went West, under the clothesline and kept on walking!"  Apparently it wasn't very close! 

The upper porch that was on the front would hold about 2 people, Genevieve told me. She said she remembered that there was a barn fire at one of the neighbors and the girls weren't allowed to go.  So, they ran up to the porch and watched from there.  Funny how things in the country don't change!  

The wind break that we started West of the house was their garden.  They had a very large garden that feed the family of 8.  There used to be a lot of large trees out in front of the house.  That sure explains on the dips in the ground as those trunks have rotted over the years. 

It was fun to see them again and I sure hope they stop by again next year!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Camping and Geo Caching

It was the DMOTC AKC agility trial this weekend, which meant camping, running dogs, and eating.  Not necessarily in that order! 

We had beautiful weather on Friday night, a small camp fire and Carrie brought her grill for cooking!  Liz and Tracy, both had a camper and RV up the lane a ways.  Martha was in a tent, Carrie, Meme and I were sleeping in our 'red neck RVs'.  "AKA - our vans!"   It was awesome.  Okay, for most of us it was awesome!  Melinda whined quite a bit on Saturday about the beagle and the FULL MOON from the neighboring tent.  Since Carrie, Meme and I were sleeping in our vans, it didn't bother us at all.  We didn't hear a thing!

Saturday it rained ALL DAY!! It was pretty miserable outside.  Luckily it was suppose to stop in the late afternoon.  Amazingly enough, it did!  The weatherman finally got it right for once!  About 3:30, no more rain!  So, off to the camp site and a trip to 'town' for pizza!!!  As we were waiting for the pizza joint to open, Michele found a Geo Cache for us to look for.  Unfortunately, we never found it, but we were interesting in trying again.

The pizza doors opened and Liz, Betsy, Michele P, Martha, Bill, Meme, Carrie and Jill FINALLY decided what kind of pizza to order.  As were waiting for our food, the conversation came back to GEO Caching.  Michele had tracked down a 'night time' one the evening before and asked if we'd be interested in going.  OF COURSE WE WERE!!  Michele told us to call her around 7:30 and we'd go find it.

We finished our pizza and headed back to camp.  Melinda had a tent malfunction and decided to head into the city to get a hotel.  Tracy was in town now as well.  Jill was now in a tent, Bill had joined us with his own 'red neck RV' and we started a wonderful fire.  It was rather chilly and we all had sweatshirts and coats. Jill decided it would be nice to toast her foot over the fire since they were a bit chilled.  We were fine with that since we didn't have any marshmallows (Tracy had them) or pokers...(they were locked in Tracy's trailer).

It was finally time to call Michele!  Carrie, Michele and Meme had flashlights and Jill had a head lamp!  I had my flip. Michele having found this cache the night before, lead us to the starting stop and turned us loose in the woods.  LITERALLY!!  You begin by scanning the area with your flashlight, looking for a reflector on a tree.  They are little reflector tacks.  You follow these tacks to the treasure!  Into the woods we went.

Apparently the conditions had changed in 24 hrs!  With all the rain during the day, we now had streams of water and a running creek to cross.  We made it into a clearing and spotted more reflectors in another wooded area.  It was just a few feet in and the "X" was located!!  Looking at the base of a tree, Carrie located the Cache box. After playing with the latch, she showed us the prizes inside!  We were leaving a quarter that we'd found at the camp site, so, we could have taken something.  I was eyeballing the plastic Mammoth, but honestly...what would I do with that!  So, we decided to just sign the log, (Everyone that locates the Cache is suppose to sign it) and left it intact, plus one quarter.  Carrie signed it SmoothSailin.

See our Video below!


As luck would have it, we ended up by the restrooms.
The perfect location before heading back to camp!  

Caching was fun, and I'm sure I'll be looking for more in the future.  

Interested?  Go to.....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2nd Provisional Judging Assignment

My friend Kristi, along with her PWD, Moby, picked me up at work Friday Morning.  We were heading to a Portuguese Water Dog ‘Water Trial’, in Indianapolis, MN.  Indianapolis is about 400 miles away, so it’s nice to have some company along the way.  Kristi has an extra 250 miles to travel, as she was coming from Lakeville, MN.  It was HER idea, NOT MINE!!

The plan was for her to pick me up about 9 am and arrive at about 4:30 pm in order to get a little ‘practice’ time for Moby.  I was going to complete my second required ‘Provisional Judging’ assignment, needed to become an ‘Official’ Portuguese Water Dog – Water Trial Judge. 

I packed as light as possible.  I had one clothes bag, one water trial tote bag – with water trial manual, and one crafty tote bag.  It’s impossible for me to ride in a car without something to keep me busy, unless I’m driving of course.  I also took along a small cooler.  I’d felt like I’d over packed, and hindsight, there were a couple things I could have left behind.  Bill thought I should take a chair, but I told him we only had Kristi’s Ford Escape, so I didn’t want to take too much stuff.  I could borrow a chair at the trial.

Well, when Kristi picked me up, it was worse than I thought.  I’d forgotten they had traded their Ford Escape for a compact car!!!  Escort maybe??? Moby rides loose in the back seat; he of course has a harness on and is belted in.  Poor guy, we could ‘almost’ see him under all that stuff!!  We somehow crammed my clothes bag into the truck and off we went.  

It was a fun trip over; we caught up on a lot of the summer’s events.  Kristi told me of her adventures at their cabin up in Northern MN and I told her of my adventures of the summer being a ‘stay at home mom’.  Before we knew it, we were arriving at the water site. 

The site is actually in Noblesville, IN, and it’s at a swimming beach.  They have to have it after the summer swimming season is over, so generally it’s the weekend after Labor Day.  It has a large sandy beach and a nice large grassy area for your tents, screens, and crates.  I wish I’d brought my swimsuit, but alas, that was one more thing to pack. 

Our friend, Judy was excited to see us.  She lives about 30 minutes from the trial site, and had graciously invited us to stay.  Judy (Porter), Kristi (Neptune) and I (Nina), all had PWDs from Kalista’s first ever litter.  They were the “A” litter and totally fabulous dogs!  Another great thing that came out of that litter was our friendship.  Aren’t dogs great!

Kristi and Moby got their practice in; we set up the tent, and headed to Judy’s.  John, Judy’s husband was awaiting our arrival.  He makes the BEST margaritas around.  WOW!!!  Kristi and I were somewhat prepared ‘this time’.  Two years ago, we’d made a similar trip and knew how strong they were.  So, we showed some restraint this time.  Not that it helped much!! After one, you can NOT stand up from the table.  Luckily, the food started to arrive. 

Saturday morning arrived sooner than expected, and we all piled into Judy’s RAV-4 and headed to the trial.  We did make a “MUST STOP” at Starbucks along the way.  A ‘Flat Liner’ for me, (aka – strong black – nothing added), and a Latte of some kind for Judy.  Kristi was happy with her tea 

We helped the club set up for the trial.  We helped set markers and buoy lines, build the course and pretty much just had a good time.  The judging judge, ‘Charlie’, has spent the night with Chuck, another judge.  They had a few people over Friday night, 7, I think??  They managed to finish off 11 bottles of wine between them.  Those were the bottles they found anyway.  OH DEAR!!  Charlie didn’t seem any worse for wear.  That was good, because he has a full day of judging ahead of him. 

Portuguese Water Dog Trials consist of 3 titling classes and 2 non-titling or ‘Certificate’ classes.  The first certificate level is Junior.  The titling classes are Apprentice, Working and finally Courier.  The last certificate level is Versatility, in which you can keep trialing your dog once you’ve achieved the Courier Excellent Title.  For more information you can see the PWDCA.ORG web site.

For me, Saturday was just a ‘hang out day’.  I could just watch the dogs and visit with friends.  Just a relaxing day in the cold, wind and rain!!!  Okay, it only rained off and on, but it was chilly.  Unfortunately, neither Moby (Apprentice) nor Ziva (Junior Cert) passed their respective tests.  Luckily, by afternoon, the rain cleared and we had a nice evening for the group dinner at the park. 

Saturday evening, I skipped the Margaritas.  I felt that I needed a clear head for the full day of judging ahead of me on Sunday. 

Judging Day!  I had PERFECT weather!  It was sunny, warm, and okay, a bit breezy at times, but over all, PERFECT!  I think I had 9 Couriers, 4 Working, 3 Versatility, 9 Apprentice, and 3 Junior certs.  I might be off a few here and there, but I had a nice mix of every class available. 

It was a great experience.  Everyone gave it their best effort, but sometimes things are just not meant to be.  We had our share of refuse retrieves, short go-outs, and rips around the sandy beach.  Apparently there’s nothing more fun than running on the beach.  I guess, I’d have to agree with that. 

When you look at distractions in your normal obedience, and agility competitions, they are nothing compared to water trials.  You have your rouge swans and ducks, large and small ski boats, boats pulling tubes with screaming kids, kayaks, scuba divers, people with their dogs swimming in the water; we even had a snorkeler come through a water site before.  The waves made by some of those boats are huge!  These are probably more distractions than any Portuguese Fisherman ever faced, but then again, we don’t have sharks.  I guess everything’s a trade off. 

I’ve heard Water Work described as ‘Obedience in the Water’.   In a sense, I guess it is.  It requires that the dog work with you, pick things up for you, wait to be sent, mark (not THAT way), and be willing to swim along side you for 2 minutes (my personal favorite exercise).  The dog needs to have drive to retrieve, yet impulse control.  He needs to have great swimming endurance, as well as be able to make direction changes in the water.  Overall, it’s a total blast!!

My pass rate on Sunday was rather disappointing.  Other judges that were there stated that this is not uncommon.  I still felt bad, even though I know it was not my fault.  I did have two Versatility passes, one Apprentice and one Junior.  GREAT JOB JUDY AND ZIVA!!!  Moby was so close in Apprentice, but couldn’t control the sand zoomies!  SO CLOSE!! 

At lunch time my wonderful Table Steward, Jeanie, asked me, ‘Why would you want to do this?  It doesn’t pay anything, and sometimes people are not nice.’  That was a great question.

I think water work is a very important part of the Portuguese Water Dogs heritage.  With every performance event you participate in, if there are not judges, then there’s not going to be an event.  We can not expect our current judges to be available multiple weekends out of the year, especially when we have limited months we can have trials.  If there are more judges, then everyone can have a much deserved break, and our trials can continue. 

For now, I need to wait a couple weeks to see if I ‘passed’.  Overall, I think it went well.  I was so fortunate to have a great bunch of people to judge and to work with.  Thank you to the OVERBOARD Portuguese Water Dog club for giving me the opportunity to complete my 2nd provisional judgeship.  Also, a HUGE thanks to the Portuguese Water Dog Club of the Twin Cities for allowing me to complete my Observe, and 1st Provisional at their trial in August 2008 & 2009 respectively.  This as been a LONG process!  THANK YOU!

As Kristi and I packed up the car and headed home.  Our packing was slightly better and Moby had a bit more room.  It was 3:30 and we were on the road, a good 90 minutes ahead of our goal time.  Life was Good.  A pass with Moby in Apprentice would have been better, but she has one more shot at it this weekend.  They can SO DO IT!!! 

We managed to stay on 74 and avoid 57 and Effingham, IL.  That alone was worth mentioning!!  We laughed most the way home.  It was fun. 

Somehow we got on the topic of hairy legs.  Women in general, not Moby’s.  Moby is supposed to have hairy legs.  I was telling the story about a ‘friend’ who had gone the whole winter without shaving.  We were at an agility trial in MN over Memorial Day weekend and those are either 40 degrees and freezing, or 95 degrees and you’re dying from heat.  This weekend happened to be the latter.  Everyone was in shorts, but this friend.  When we asked, she explained she hadn’t shaved all winter and proceeded to show us.  OMG!  We were roaring! 

So, Kristi had to share a story of a dance friend.  They were in ballet and her friend wanted to see how long the hair on her legs would get.  Kristi said, this gal was not the type you would think would do that.  So, they are at the dance bar stretching and this gal had pink tights on.  She said you could really see the shadows.  I almost blew pop out my nose.  Some things you were should NOT discuss while you’re taking a drink of soda. 

Happy Swimming!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Plastic Ice Cream Pails....

Can you ever have enough?

I don't know about you, but I use them for EVERYTHING!!  We use them to do chores; taking food trimmings to the birds, at times they are water buckets, and they can even help collect eggs.  They are used for organizing craft projects, hold assorted nails, or even help with household cleaning!  So, yesterday when I was looking for a container to hold paint, I decided I needed another ice cream pail!!

I checked under the sink.  That's where our extra pails are stored.  All I found was about 7 lids, but no bucket!  How does that happen?  (Please see above.) Apparently the general use of ice cream pails favors activities WITHOUT lids.  Since I knew my painted would live a rather extended life in this pail, I needed a lid.  So, I'd need to search a bit further for a bucket.

Luckily, the freezer is right next to the sink!  My search area of choice.  I knew we were out of ice cream.  Trust me, I've CHECKED!!  I guess I should say, we're out of 'eatable' ice cream.   Somehow a bucket of 'Cookie N Cream" ice cream was forgotten.  Alas, that delicious mixture of vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookies was totally freezer burnt.  NASTY!!!  Regardless, I still wanted that bucket!

So, a little hot water around the edges loosened it right up.  I was about to put it in the trash, when I spotted one of the birds walking by.  Hum.......  So, I grabbed my flip video camera, (LOVE THAT THING!!!), and out the door I went!

I had no doubt they'd eat it.  They will eat almost everything, except had rooted vegetables, unless they are cooked to soften them up.  I'll leave out all the things they will eat, but trust me, NOTHING is off their menu.  It doesn't have to be vegetable or fruit matter either!

Note Tom can actually 'tighten up' his snoodle when he wants too!!  No strutting when there's ice cream around!!!    Too bad the ducks were out in the pasture.  I would have liked to see what they thought of it. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bud Grafting Apple Trees

We have a Red Delicious Apple tree at the top of our lane. I'll admit I'm not being a huge fan of Red Delicious apples, but these apples are quite good. Good enough that when it became apparent that the tree was having some 'age' issues, aren't we all, something needed to be done.

As you can see, it's suffered some wind damage, resulting in the loss of some significant branches. Somehow it seems to make it year after year. Like most of our trees, it leans in an Easterly direction. I guess that's what happens when you live on the top of a "Mountain" in Iowa, and get hit relentless strong North West winds 6+ months out of the year.

So, a few years ago I started checking into grafting. There were spring grafting workshops, but I was always 'too late' to get enrolled, and they were using 'their' apple trees. I wanted to use 'our' apple tree. I finally decided that maybe I could just do it myself. Finding rootstock was my next challenge. You see, in order to get 'exactly' the tree you have, you need to 'graft' it onto another tree. Seeds will NOT give you an exact replica. Crazy huh!!

After three years, yesterday I finally acquired two M26 rootstock trees. This rootstock will give me mid sized apple trees, approximately 10' in height. If all goes to plan that is!

The first step is to cut off a newer branch from the apple tree and trim off the leaves. Like this!

From this branch you need to remove a bud. You do this with a Knife! Yes Rilda, I used your nice little orange one! The blade that can do it all! You simply make a cut across the top of the stem, then coming under the bark with the knife, you shave it off. You end up with a bud like this!

All the information needed to make a 'new tree' is in that little bud under the bark. Is that amazing or what! You leave the little stem on so you have something to hang onto. It will dry up and fall off as the bud is absorbed into the rootstock.

Next you need your rootstock and a turkey. Oh wait, just the rootstock! Turkey's LOVE APPLES and this one is a little early! She really just wants to be sure there's nothing to eat NOW!!

Next you take your knife again, and make a "T" cut in your rootstock.
You carefully open up the bark to allow the bud to be inserted.

Next, you insert the bud.

Carefully wrap the bud in tight to the rootstock.
I used a strip of plastic garbage bag and scotch tape.

Now you wait.
In a couple weeks the stem should fall off.
If all goes well the bud will be absorbed into the rootstock and in 3-4
years you'll have a fruit bearing tree!!!

With apples exactly like the ones we get now.
Apples like THIS!

Want more information?

Here's an interesting clip from You Tube.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fried Chicken - joke

Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, "Fried
chicken." She said I wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right,
everyone else in the class laughed

My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried
chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and
he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love
animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal's office. I told him what
happened, and he laughed too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal
was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, just like she'd
asked the other children. So I told her it was because you could make
them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal's office
again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

I don't understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher
doesn't like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what
famous person we admire most.

I told her, "Colonel Sanders".

Guess where I am now...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Rain Garden

When we moved to our acreage a little over 10 years ago, we didn't realized that Farmers loved to bury things! So, when we started to see some major indentations in our lawn, we asked around. Sure enough, some old grain bins and shed foundations had been disassembled and buried. We were left with the decision, so we leave them alone or fill them in.

The 'sink hole' closest to our house, and right out our South door seemed to be the worst. When it rained, which has been more often than not this year, we ended up with standing water. This really HAD to stop! Not that the ducks cared! They liked having a little pond for a day or so.

A few weeks ago, Bill went with me to a Master Garden 'work shop' in which a rain garden was constructed. Rain gardens are used to stop erosion, prevent unnecessary water run off and filter water naturally. The project was located in Cedar Rapids, at a home that had suffered some flood damage in 2008. The owner wanted a pretty garden, with native plants and that would help prevent excess rain water from entering the sewer system.

This project lead to a discussion about fixing our own 'standing water problem', and thoughts of adding our own rain garden. When I came upon some Native Iowa Plants on sale, it was "GAME ON"!!

When selecting plant for a rain garden, you would like them to have a deep fibrous root system. This will help filter more water. Since we used plants Native to our area, they should be able to handle our normal 'living' conditions.

The first step in our project was to haul in some soil, aka = dirt! In stepped the world's best neighbor, Alan!! He brought over his tractor and bucket and took soil from our cattle yard and filled in the 'hole'. It took 10 buckets loads to get it level.

Then we used Jeff's tiller to work up the soil. Okay, Bill used Jeff's tiller. I just pointed and directed a lot! Here's the first plants that went in. 4 - Great St. John's Wort (yellow flowers) and 4 - Anise Hyssop (purple flowers). I LOVE Anise Candy, so thought this would be a great addition to the garden.

Other plants added - Indian Paintbrush, Silky Aster, Rattlesnake Master, Purple Cone Flower (along with Sundown - red - and Sunrise - yellow - cone flowers), Swamp Milkweed, Blazing Star, Wild Lupine, Mist Flower, False Blue Indigo, and Sweet Black-Eyed Susan.

These poor plants were so root bound.
I did several cross cuttings in order to open their root balls up.
I'm hoping they will be able to spread naturally and overcome
there tight conditions. Time will tell!
Being Natives, they should be hardy enough.


Ugh, the False Blue Indigo had mites!
No wonder it looked so sad.
I hand picked them off and I'll watch for more.

Kruz is a GREAT HELPER!!
He made sure Bill dug the holes deep enough.

We had butterflies before the plants were even in the ground!

Some mulch was added, along grass seed and straw.
The fence is required to keep the birds out!
Cougar was walking the fence line and gave
chase to a couple of hens.

It's going to take a year or two for it to fill in.

Birds at the perimeter!
They ALWAYS know when food is available.
We did have a few 'fence breaches', we'll need to keep an
eye out for bird invasions.

At least the ducks seemed to be sober!
Jeff thought it would be funny to bring out some
fermented fruit trimming.
The ducks were a little 'sauced' on Saturday.

Friday, July 30, 2010

MAD DOG wants her OWN RIDE!!!

This van is actually AVAILABLE in Wisconsin!!

A friend and fellow Portuguese Water Dog Owner happened
upon it at a Dealership!!! THANKS NICOLE!!

What she failed to tell me was....
1) How much it is....and..

2) What it's pulling! It's obviously hooked up to something!!

Mad is pretty sure it's a BOAT and
is hoping there's a lot of uneaten food inside!

Monday, July 26, 2010

ORIF - Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy continues, for my wrist. I haven't brought up my ankle, for OBVIOUS REASONS!! It seems that every time I go, they send me home with something 'fun' to work with. A couple weeks ago, I got my very own container of putty!! I asked if it picked up comics out of the newspaper, he just looked at me funny. I asked if it was okay if it got full of dog hair, he said, I didn't need to bring it back. I asked if I could get orange? He gave me red instead. I don't think he really listens to me anymore! G

My first visit, 10 days post surgery, the PT people were concerned about my ability to rotate my wrist. So, I was sent home with some exercises to work on until my next visit a month later. I had to promise to do them, or they were going to make me come in a couple times a week. What a waste of time!! I did them! Yes, I know you'd think I'd slack, but I do NOT want to have problems! I'm happy to report that I was ahead of where they'd expected me to be in this department. I can now even turn the ignition of the van with my right hand. The truck, not so much! G. I opened the cap of my first new jug of milk this am! Yes, it's the little things you take for granted!

The visits all start out the same, 10 minutes under a heating pad! Just my wrist, although I sneak my left hand in there too, it's COLD in there! I really want one of those heating pads, they are AWESOME!! Followed by 8 minutes of ultrasound. They use to focus the ultrasound on the incision to help break up the scarring, but now they are working on my flexor/extension, (the ability to move your hand forward and back). This is important for such things as, getting a beverage out of a cooler, pushing a door open, or helping yourself out of a pool. I'm not doing so well in this area. Time to buckle down I guess.

I don't complain, too much, at therapy. I know they have to push the joint in order to get the motion back to as near normal as possible. Whenever I ask if it will be as 'good as new', they will only say, "that is the goal". Gee, now there's a disclaimer! Also, you learn with the general population's 'normal' is and what 'your normal' is are two different things. They use your 'healthy wrist' to determine what your normal range is.

I can't remember where I'm at for Flexion right now, but I'm not very close. Extension, I'm at 60 degrees in my right, my left is at 75. So, I need about 15 degrees of improvement there yet.
Flexion: 80-90 degrees
Bend wrist so palm nears lower arm.

Extension: 70 degrees
Bend wrist in opposite direction.
Last Monday, Brad, my PT guy, really did some stretching on it and it hurt for two days after. I did mention it to him last Thursday, so he gave me an easy day. Today I told him, I'd rather have it hurt for a few days and get back to 'normal', then not. So, back to major stretching we went. I also got to do an arm bicycle, which is really a waste of energy!! Last Thursday I only burt 20 calories in 5 minutes of pedaling. That was DISTURBING!!! Today, however, I burned 23, so that's more like it! JL!! I'd really like to avoid that machine in the future.

Today I also got a round elastic band! When I mentioned that it looked rather dangerous, he gave me that "look" again. I explained that I had a friend that has had a LOT of bad experiences with bungee cords and that this did NOT look safe! He advised that I keep said 'friend' away from it. SORRY MARTHA!! Then I told him, on the bright side, I could always use it as a tourniquet in case of emergency. That got me another one of those "looks". G

I do weight lifting while I'm there! Yep, BUFF ME UP!!! Okay, so it's just wrist weight lifting. I started out with a one pounder, then moved up to 2 lbs. The 2lb weight was purple, I explained that I wasn't really a purple fan, so could we just use the orange one? Since Orange was 8 lbs, he said no, but he did move me up to 3 lbs. It's green, which is better than purple.

Writing is still the most painful thing for me to do. Well, that's not necessarily true, pushing myself up with the palm of my hand is, but I can avoid that. Bill has pointed out that I'm still able to sign my VISA receipts. To be honest, that's about as much as I can write. That has something to do with one of those bones that either had to be removed or is pinned somewhere. Let's face it, I'm screwed!! (pun intended)

You really don't think about what you do everyday that involves your wrist. You brush your teeth, open doors, turn handles, shake hands (or not!), reach in a cooler, pull a chair from under the table, pick things up, pull weeds, open a bottle of soda/water, write, type, drive, shift, knit, crochet, and I won't mention bathroom duties. Too late, I guess I already did. Try it sometime, go without using your dominate hand. UGH! What a pain!

Brad said I was really lucky to get the surgeon I did. Apparently he thinks very highly of him, so that's nice. Dr. P didn't even flinch when I asked him if I was murdered if they could ID my body with the plate. He said, "Why yes they can!" Apparently he doesn't get asked that very often. G

As proof that you can find almost ANYTHING on You Tube....here's an ORIF. There are several of them out there. ENJOY!! Or not????

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crop Dusting!!

Riding in a Crop Duster is on my "Bucket List". Since adding it to my list I've learned that in order for me to do this I'll either: 1) Learn to fly a plane and have someone hire me. 2) Literally sit in the pilot's lap, as they are ONE SEATERS!! It appears that this item might not be obtainable, so in the mean time, I sure enjoy the show they put on!

Early this morning, the crop dusters were out in force! Unfortunately for the dogs, that means they have to stay inside.

These pilots are amazing, they head straight for your house, barn or power lines and then at the last possible minute, lift out of danger. Well, most of them do anyway. Every year there are accidents and it's not hard to understand why or how. It's truly incredible to watch.

After several passes by our place, I went in to get the 'flip'. I'm all ready to record and I'm apparently standing too close to the electric fence. ZAP!!! VBG So, if you listen closely at the very beginning of this clip, you'll hear me say, "ouch". It wasn't really that big of a zap, especially compared to Julie's fence that zapped me a few weeks ago! It was more of a 'wake up' call. G

I also found a little clip on You Tube!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Cedar Rapids - Pet Ordinance Revision - Dogs left in cars!

Cedar Rapids is suggesting some changes in the Pet Ordinance laws.

Why do they always wait until the day before the meeting to make this stuff known? Is is so people have plans and can not attend? It sure seems that way to me.

The meeting is tonight Friday in the community room of Cedar Rapids police headquarters, 505 First St. SW, beginning at 6:30. It's a two hour meeting. There is also one scheduled for Tuesday 7/27 - Location and time isn't available at this time.

For many of us outside the Cedar Rapids area, this may not seem like it impacts us. IT DOES!! Please read the BLUE Section 4 - 23.05.

Many of us leave our dogs in our vehicles when we go to train or show our dogs. We provide sun screens, fans and anything else our dogs may require to keep them comfortable. So, if you train or show in Cedar Rapids, this impacts YOU!!!

The way this reads, you can not take your pet along for any trip if you will be leaving it alone in the vehicle. I'm pretty sure this does NOT mean we will now be able to take our dogs into the "Road Ranger" with us to get a soda! G


Chapter 23 Ordinance Revision - Summary of Changes

A public hearing has been scheduled for the July 27, 2010 City Council meeting to adopt revisions to Chapter
23, Cats, Dogs and Other Animals. In anticipation of that public hearing, the following is provided as a
summary of the changes proposed within the Ordinance revision.


Most municipalities and counties require that its citizens pay a licensing fee for their pets. Some reasons for animal
licensing include Public Health and Safety concerns (licensing requires proof of a valid rabies vaccination), a greater
likelihood of reuniting lost pets with their owners, and a reduction in pet overpopulation through the use of a differential
licensing fee structure.

Outsourcing administration of the licensing program will provide a turnkey solution to managing all functions of an animal
licensing program, thus freeing up animal control personnel to spend time serving citizens and increasing the services
provided to citizens while saving the agency valuable time and money.
Licensing administration services typically consist of the following:

Processing licensing mail

Depositing licensing revenue

Entering licensing and vaccination data

Mailing license tags

Providing customer service to citizens, veterinarians, and agency staff

Collecting and processing tag sales reports from authorized registrars

Maintaining privacy of data according to applicable laws

In order to increase animal licensing and compliance, a licensing administrator can also provide the following services:

Mailing licensing notices and follow-up notices to citizens

Offering online licensing with credit card payment, provided that all documentation requirements can be met

Customizing a website with licensing information and customer service for the citizens of the municipality

Proper licensing results in a reduction in the number of animals which enter animals shelters, and therefore eliminates the expense that would have been associated with the care, feeding, and disposition of these licensed animals. Enforcement of licensing helps to ensure compliance with rabies vaccination requirements, which in turn reduces the probability of an
outbreak of rabies in the local animal population.
Finally, proper education on the benefits of licensing and vaccination generally promotes more responsible pet ownership, resulting in a safer, more informed community.

Recommended licensing fees for both dogs and cats 4 months of age and over are:

$10 annually for altered dogs and cats

$35 annually for unaltered dogs and cats

Exception:Persons sixty-five or older may obtain permanent licenses for spayed or neutered cats or dogs which are valid for the lifetime of the cat or dog; provided, such cat or dog must permanently reside with the license applicant; provided further, no person or persons residing in the same household may obtain more than three such senior citizen pet licenses.

Licenses not renewed by the designated renewal date shall be assessed an additional license fee of $10.00.

Handling fee. Where license application is made to the authorized pet licensing agent, such agent may charge a handling fee, not to exceed $5.00 per license. Where written application is made to the authority's designees, such designees may charge a handling fee, not to exceed $5.00 per license. Provided, however, that such fees shall not apply to a blind owner, keeper or harborer of any dog or cat of a hearing-impaired owner, keeper or harborer of a hearing-aid dog or other service dog.


Some of Chapter 23 definitions needed updating:

1. Use of "dangerous´ or 'vicious´ was often confusing. Not all dogs that bite are 'dangerous´ or 'vicious´. Some bite incidents are accidents. Redefining and clarifying bites into either 'Potentially Dangerous´ or 'Dangerous´ allows officers the latitude to make the appropriate call based on individual situations. It also allows officers to impose certain restrictions on dogs declared 'potentially´ dangerous, such as requiring the animal to where a muzzle when off
the owner¶s property, microchip implantation and registration, or requiring animal behavior or obedience training.

2. The use and reference to Wild and/or Exotic is also clarified, and referenced only in terms of wild animals. While the current ordinance defines Wild/Exotic, it did not prohibit them or provide for a disposition of wild/exotic, thereby defining what a lion, tiger or bear was, but not disallowing the ownership of them within city limits. This has been corrected.

3. Includes definition of Urban Chicken to correspond with new Chapter 23A.
Miscellaneous Updates include:

1. Edits ordinance to 'Manager´ vs. 'Director´

2. Includes 'venomous and constricting snakes´ to list of Wild and Exotic. We currently ban crocodilians, but do not include venomous and constricting snakes, which are often more of a problem than the crocodilians. Iowa Code 717F bans most venomous and constricting snakes.

3. Updates of 23.02 Rabies Vaccination and 23.04 Veterinarian Requirements to include that licensed veterinarians shall provide copy of vaccination certificates to animal control division. This will aid in licensing compliance.

4. Section 23.05 Duty of Owner. (i) Prohibits unattended animals left in cars. Animal Control receives dozens of these calls regularly, especially during the summer months. It takes only minutes for a pet left in a vehicle on a warm day to succumb to heatstroke and suffocation. On a 78 degree day, temperatures in a car parked in the shade can exceed 90 degrees -- and hit a scorching 160 degrees if parked in the sun!

(j) addresses abandonment.

(k) prohibits ownership of fowl within the city limits without first obtaining a permit.

5. New Section 23.07 Animal Noise. Clarifies what is considered a disturbance, limitation on time and frequency of noise, and how it will be enforced.

6. Section 23.12 Updates 'Manager´ and enforcement of power to include Animal Control Officers and Police


7. Sections 23.20 and 23.21 updates Wild or Exotic and Dangerous language, and provides for a disposition.

8. Section 23.22 is amended by removing 23.22(b)(2) there from. City Attorney¶s office recommends that if alternative relief is sought, such as prohibiting a person from owning animals or putting an animal up for adoption,a municipal infraction should be considered.

9. Section 23.33 Citations for Violations. Authorizes Animal Control Officers to issue citations for violations of

Chapter 23.

10. Sections 23.34 and 23.35 Schedule of Offenses and Fines, and Fees. Per recommendation by City Attorney and City Clerk, removes table of fees from the ordinance, and provides for updates to be passed by resolution.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Please Save my MARRIAGE!!

This little 5-6 week old kitten lives up the road. She REALLY needs a home, and Bill said, "NOT OURS!" She is so darn cute and really hard to get pictures of, as she's in motion all the time!

If you know anyone looking for an adorable "Border Collie" Kitten, please have them contact me. There are several others to chose from, but this one is the cutest!

I'd really like to bring it home, but 4 'farm' cats is enough for us.
I'm not sure if Bill would really put up a huge fuss, or he is just 'thinking' he would.

At least he hasn't said, "that Kitten or me!", cuz I sure would MISS HIM!! G

Monday, July 12, 2010

Native Plants!! Rattlesnake Master!

Bill took me out Saturday afternoon to see the Shellsburg Native Plants & Prairie. We haven't been there in over 6 weeks and WOW has it grown!!! I might point out here, that Bill had a motive in driving me 15 miles to look at plants. It was FOOD!!! Roy's Grocery is in Shellsburg, he has the BEST BRATS around! NO QUESTION!

Here are some of the Purple cone flowers.

Remember the "Cup Plant" from my May blog?
It's now HUGE!!
It's starting to get yellow flowers.

The 'Compass Plant' has these cool 'lace' type leaves.
At a glance, you might think it's a thistle.

As it grows, over 9' tall, it develops yellow flowers that 'follow the sun'.
(Or not??)

The story is that the pioneers would look to this plant
for direction. In the open prairie, you could easily get
going in circles.

I think Martha and I must have used
THIS Compass Plant when we ended
up in Effingham, IL!!!
It's not pointing in a clear direction.

One of my favorites is the "Rattlesnake Master".
It's leaves resemble a Yucca type plant.
Native Indians used the root as a antidote
to rattlesnake bites.

Pretty neat looking...huh?

Here's what you might have seen crossing Iowa 200 years ago.
I'm pretty sure Roy's wasn't established then. G

Later in the evening, Bill was going to do some mowing with the push mower.


The bagger was already in use!!
That darn Cougar!!

July has been a good month so far.

My wrist is healing well,
and my ankle is feeling much better!
My ankles really are

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Do You Make It Through The Day????

Bill asks me this all the time!

To be honest, I'm not sure myself sometimes.

Case in point; Our new enclosed porch is really nice to sit on and eat,
read a book or just hang out. I've left the door open for the
dogs to come in and out from the yard whenever they'd like.
Apparently the flies too this as an invitation to come in.
UGH!! They are so ANNOYING!

I don't like to use a fly swatter as it requires that I stop reading
in order to dispatch the said fly. Not only that, Seeker has decided
that the fly swatter is a really fun tug toy!

So, plan B! I did a classical 'Red Neck' thing and hung one of
those sticky fly strips above one of the windows!

Later it was getting rather stuffy, so I opened the window.
It was windy that day, guess what happened?
Yep, that darn strip, along with any stuck flies got
attached to my face! YIKES!! That stuff is sticky!!

So last night, I'm standing on something that, NO one armed,
or otherwise intelligent person would be standing on, and
fell off! I was of course on the hallway stairs. THUD!!

Bill came running, "WHAT THE %$#&#@ did you DO!!!
Did you hurt your arm again!"
"NO, it's my ankle." I replied.
"What the #&^%@ were you doing?" he asked.

I blew off that question and examined my ankle.
"Wow, it's NOT suppose to look like this!!" I said,
showing him my ankle.
An EMT, Bill would NOT MAKE!
He couldn't look. "Is it broken?" he asked.
"No, I don't think so." I replied.
"Can you get me a bag of ice with water in it?"

He returned with the ice. I have a couple wraps from
my wrist and used those to wrap up my ankle.
Then I did what any sane person would do.....
I took two pain meds and ...
"Googled" treating a sprained ankle.

It was amazing, my wrist didn't hurt anymore!
Luckily I didn't try to catch myself with my
right hand. I just dropped, apparently onto my ankle.

I deduced I have a 1st degree ankle sprain.
Treatment; ice, elevation and wrapping.
Those will be easy!
I took a couple pictures, but they don't do
it justice. It's nicely swollen with some purple shading.
Okay, a lot of purple shading.

What could possibly happen next?

This morning Julie, the gal I ride with, to see if
I'd walk down and let her horses out on the grass.
She still lives in town and I'm only 1/4 mile from them.

So, open the first gate and am having some difficulty
with the second when ZAP!!
Right on my ARSE!!
I called Julie to let her know her electric fence is working!

I think I'll stay inside the rest of the day!
In a chair, with a very safe book!