Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Making this really quick

Satellite internet is really a poor excuse for internet service, but when you are at the edge of the world, if you don't want dial up (and who does anymore?) it is the only game in town.

I discovered it does not like cloudy, cold weather.  I had no internet yesterday, nor last night.  The sun has finally come out, and so did the internet.  Don't know how long it will last, and I am afraid I will use my measured bytes, and it will once again slow to a dribble. 

I have so much to tell, but it will have to wait.  The weather is supposed to be normal in a couple of days, so "I'll be back!"

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Yesterday the Clyde training turned to owner training.  I was very apprehensive about this step.   When I am not really sure of things, I don't like to "perform"  in front of someone.  I had told Cat about being nervous at the last training.

She had G start first.  He has NO spacial reasoning.  None. At. All.  It is really serious.  He was having trouble getting the training leash in the correct position.  Well I found out that it is difficult .  It doesn't feel natural to me.

Cat keep saying that someone in Clyde's past had done some training, but they didn't make him actually DO the things they asked, so he has it in his mind that he really doesn't have to do it.  Guess what - my previous dogs have trained me to treat dogs differently.  I thought I could make him mind.  My subconscious takes over, and I find myself not really making him heel.

It was a lot tougher than I even thought!  I felt like such a failure.  But Cat did understand.  She patiently worked with me.  I still don't feel like I was really successful, but I will keep working at it.

Today when I looked at the national weather map, I saw that we are colder than Alaska!  That really amazed me.  Fairbanks isn't much colder than us.  I feel for our Worship Leader/Seminarian.  He has to be on campus of the Theology school these two weeks - in the Lutheran Mecca - Minneapolis.  That is no place for a Texas boy!

We are headed to the SSB tomorrow .  We have more unseasonably cold weather coming.  By that I mean more temps in the 20's.  I know that isn't really cold for most of the country, but we areGulf Coast for Pete's sake!  We will have to turn off our water, run the pool equipment a lot more, and will probabnly lose our citrus trees that we have in pots on the patio.  These are things that wouldn't be happening if we were here. 

But then, I don't know what the status of the SSB house will be.  I know it's been cold there.  When we had a problem with the water coming out of the pump - like not shutting off - he had the plumber fix the line going to the hunter's cabin.  He didn't have them fix the one going to the house.  We turn the water off, but it doesn't really turn it all the way off.  Water in the lines!!

Because of the laminate flooring, we keep the heat/ac on the highest setting for the service, so that should help keep the pipes somewhat warm.  I am just hoping...


While I am thinking about it - having a mouse in the middle of where I type on this laptop, my mouse will suddenly make the curser jump around.  I try to change these mistakes that are made with gibberish in the middle of words, sentences, but I don't always catch them.  I KNOW I am a lousy typist (thank you Mom), but this situation makes the typing so much worse.  Please understand what is going on here!!

I will try to keep up here next week.  Depends on how that internet wants to behave!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Relatively uneventful

The day was calm in that there were no more seizures.  Needless to say, everytime he moves I am watching closely.  All his blood work came out normal.  I guess that is good for a dog that is not normal!!  He is such a clown, and keeps us laughing all the time  We have had him about six months now, and we are still trying to really get to know him.  When you adopt an older animal, there is often this period of getting to know one another - like a marriage I guess!

Yesterday, I worked with him and the kennel a bit.  I got him in - with a treat of course - and closed the door.  I walked away, and he actually stayed in it for five minutes, which Cat will love, without freaking out.

Later in the day, he actually walked into the kennel himself and laid down.  To top it all off, he stayed 20 minutes the last time.  I know the door was open, but what a big step!  I put the bed I had bought with the (destroyed) wire crate, and it must have made a comfy bed, so today I am going to make a pad for him.  I have an old egg crate matress pad upstairs. so I am going to take an old sheet and cover a piece of that egg crate.   Perfect pad without bleeding more from my bank account!

Clyde and Shadow met last night - on their own.  Clyde was in his usual place - asleep on the couch.  Shadow strolled through the den.  Clyde awoke and saw the cat.  Then Shadow snapped to the fact that there was a dog in the room.  He ran - Clyde followed. 

All of my plants from the front porch are in the entry hall, so Shadow had no easy access to the dining room (and china cabinet).  He stood his ground, fluffed up to twice his size and spit like a Cobra!  Clyde turned sideways and did his "play with me dance!"  Clyde eventually got bored with it all and walked back to the couch.  When Shadow came back through, there was no interest from the dog!

Pretty amazing day!  Gosh, my life is really dull if this is the highlights!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I will get an "F" on my homework.

When Cat left last week, our homework was to put Clyde in the kennel, and try to work up to five minutes of leaving him in there.  Well - weekends are busy - I know a good excuse.  I planned to work him yesterday.  You know how that was changed.  So I did work him a little.  I did get him to stay in the kennel without freaking out for about a minute, but getting him to go in initially still isn't happenng.  He needs to be tempted with a treat.  I guess that this is part of the frustration that Cat has with him - he just doesn't want to do things on command the first time - that isn't his desire.

After the excitement yesterday, things were quite calm.  We are still awaiting blood test results.  I hope this was a one time event.  I hope there was something unusual, and it will never happen again.  I really don't want an epileptic dog, but...  These things happen with rescue animals, and you take what comes with them.  Not to sound like a martyr, but I am proud of the lives I have saved by having rescue animals.

In brighter news, my mobile mouse arrived yesterday.  I have been using laptops for many years now, and the first time using the mouse were amusing to say the least.  But it soon came back.  I had emailed the facilitator of the digitizing class telling her that I learned (the hard way) during the class that I had to have the mobile mouse.  She said that she has heard that before.  I believe I can draw lines now!!

Today is another training day.  We shall see what comes of it.   Soon we will be turned loose to be the trainers.  Oh my!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Not normal Monday

First - to answer a question - a "puppy grenade" is the term Cat uses for the aluminum can with coins in it and tape over the opening that makes an awful racket when dropped (thown).  It is to stop unwanted behaviors.  It does work!

Now for the news of the day.  No this has not been a normal Monday nor any day so far, and it's only 1:19.

G was working in the study.  There is a bed in there, and Clyde loves to get on it.  G was teasing him about messing up the papers that were up there since he was cleaning out his (one of two - remember) desk.  I was sitting here at my desk (otherwise known as the breakfast table).  Suddenly I heard a loud thump.  I thought Clyde had brought down the house somehow.  When I looked up - he was falling against the wall in the hall.

By the time I got up, he had lost bladder control.  Of course, I was my usual lazy self in my PJs.  I ran to him, and he was really limp.  I ran to get dressed because this was going to be an emergency trip to the vet.  He was still in the same position, but he was beginning to lose control of his bowel. 

I pulled him into the den, and he stayed down.  I tried to lift him, but there is no lifting a (today's recent weight) 70 poind dog for me.  He did get up, and he did walk out to the car.  He was able to get in.

On the way, he laid down completely on the floor board.  Not usual for him. I really was afraid he was dead.  He perked up when he realized he was at the vet clinic.  He loves it there.

He was seen.  To cut to the chase - they believe it was a seizure.  That is good news, and bad  news.  It wasn't a stroke or heart attack.  But if it was a seizure, there will probably be more.

So he it at home.  His heartworm treatment has been changed.  We are hoping he will be fine now. 

No, not a normal Monday.  Hope  there isn't anything like it again.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Got put in my place!

I thought I was being pretty successful with my part of training Clyde.  Notice I said "my part?"  That seems to be the only part of the homework that gets done.

Last night I tried to get him into the kennel without throwing the treat in first.  You guessed it.  He stood there with a really cute expression on his face - waiting for me to just give him the treat.  So it was back to the drawing board.  Throwing the treat, in this case cheese that seems to  be favored over the beloved weiner, all the way to the back.  I don't get away with just a small bit either. 

When we came home from church, he looked like an overgrown (yes, at 65 poinds!) puppy.  It was the most amusing gate he used to greet us!.  It is going to be to hard to get him to consistently sit before affection when he does this.  Guess Cat is going to have to train all three of us!

Family dinner tonight.   Glad it isn't at my house, and perhaps there won't be the long lasting talk about dieting, diet coaches, meals and so on.  Youngest granddaughter is running a fever.  So we will see.  Meal still will be at Daughters!  Wonder what low-cal we are having!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Cat" the dog trainer

Seriously, that is her name - well nickname.  Her real name is Catherine.  She and my daughter went through school together - kindergarten to seniors in high school.  She was always a little different - she had not found her place yet.  But she has now!

She was here to work with Clyde today.  He always gives her a run for the money each time.  She tries to get him to do his commands, and he always will not do them the first time.  So then comes the correction, and he will be good for most of the remainder of the session.

Yesterday he was really off.  I don't know why.  The problem comes with the "down" command.  A couple of lessons ago, he was ready to bite - which I never thought would be something he would do.  But he just wanted to be down on his terms, not hers.  Yesterday was almost the same thing. 

They worked on the crate thing a lot yesterday.  He is doing really well on that one.  Now I have to get him where he will stay in it for five minutes with the door shut.  I think I can accomplish that.  At least I will give it a good try.

She is going to really have to train G. She specifically told us yesterday that when we are given the time to work him, don't ever let him get away with not doing the requested command.  First crack out of the box after she left - G told Clyde to sit.  Of course, Clyde looked at him like he was from outer space.  I had to remind him of Cat's words to us.  I thought that was going to precipitate an argument right there.  And I used to wonder why people would get divorces after 30 or 40 or more years of marriage.  

We also brought Shadow into the mix.  As long as Cat had control of Clyde, things were fairly cool.  As soon as she left, Clyde went on a search and seizure mission, more hoping to play.  He really doesn't seem to want to hurt the cat, but...

So I made up four "puppy grenades" as she requested.  They are to help startle him, and stop the bad behavior.  We used one yesterday when he was barking at Shadow.

I don't think Cat really knows the obstacle she is up against with this dog!  Or should I say a particular owner.

Friday, January 17, 2014

More than one lesson learned.

I am going to try to leave all the moaning and groaning behind  - at least for a while.  So here goes!

Yesterday, the sewing machine place had a class on digitizing embroidery designs using the soft ware for our machines.  That software was expensive, so I wanted to learn a little about how to use it.  I was very excited about this class.

This was going to be a webinar.  So that requires a computer, a TV, the internet and a hook up for the TV.  Poor Glenda - the one doing the class. Something wasn't working correctly.  The program would run a bit, then dump the screen.  To say the least - that was a little distracting, but we forged ahead.

She had printed out the directions, but they were collated incorrectly.  Once I found the correct order, all was good.  I was finding the correct icons in the tray, and I was progressing very nicely.

When doing machine embroidery, especially when making your own desigs, you must draw straight lines that can be changed into curves and the like.  When we got to this part, we were making the pattern for a pocket to be put on a blouse.  I could draw the horizontal line with my computer.  I could draw the vertical line.  BUT when I was to come over one grid square with just a line, I was getting a filled in square.  I was so frustrated!  I couldn't figure out why even the little lady next to me had it done.

After restarting my design about 12 times, I finally figured it out.  Using the mouse that is in the laptop, everyone else had the free standing mouse.  I watched carefully as I was trying to draw that line.  I couldn't do it in one complete motion.  I had to change the position of my hand.  That meant leaving the grid line, and that meant I was actually drawing little boxes all the way that I went.

Needless to say, I missed the second half of the lesson!  I went from total frustration to laughing at my inability to draw a line on this computer. 

Will I go back?  I would love to.  In fact, I am going to order a mouse today.  Will I be able to go back?  Probably not.  G has decreed that we will go to the SSB that day.  In fact, we will probably miss all the remaining lessons.  Sad.

Last month, I was shocked when I became the mother of a 40 year old.   OMG - that means I am really old.  Yesterday I became the mother of a teenager.  Lady Bug turned 13.  I remember how upset I was when I learned she was on the way.  The reason - I felt I was too young to be a grandmother (remember - I was teaching middle school -you have to appear young or else!).  Her birth was probably one of the greatest things in my life.  I love you Katherine Yvonne!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I don't know when it came.  You see, my desk is one half of the kitchen table while someone else in this house has the other TWO desks.  My kitchen table is usually a mess therefore!  Anyway, G has decided that putting my mail on the stack of calendars, bill paying reminder book, et. al. is a cute thing to do.

I was going through what I thought was junk mail (you do know what that is don't you, lol) I found my Family Tree Maker CD.  And this is right after my scathing email  to Ancestry because their software company is terrible.  It is installed and working well.  I was able to open my files!  Yea!

I also got a package from a Texas group that airs a TV program we get when we are at the SSB.  They showcase Texas songwriters.  My son is a music fanatic - since he has his band and is Worship Leader at a church (paid!!!).  I ordered him a CD of their music.  It was supposed to be here for Christmas.  An email said it would be here about December 12.  Well - need I say more.  The package included two CDs, a tote bag, and an invitation to attend a taping of the show in late March.  Wow - now that's customer service!

The necklace I ordered for Daughter also came this week.  I had gotten an email with a request for answering a survey.  I did!  I couldn't help but give them very high marks for craftsmanship.  These are individually done since they are  monograms  done in silver (or gold - my pockets aren't that deep).  I also said that this was my second order, and both were excruciatingly slow.  I said they could send me all the offers with discounts they wanted, this was my last order since delivery was way later than the occasion   I wonder when I would have gotten Daughter's necklace if I hadn't paid for expediting the order?  Probably Easter.  Her bd was Dec. 18!

Everything I ordered this year was late.  The crock-pot for SIL barely made it for Christmas when it was promised at least a week before that.  Even the printer I ordered (since G has worn my other one out - he still thinks he is at work and can print whatever strikes his fancy - don't worry about the ink - don't worry that these are HOME printers, not heavy duty work ones) was delayed.  Usually, I get things like that from the office supply places the next day.  This one was over a week.

But everything is here.  Time to take a deep breath - and hit the ordering again!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Perhaps I should just stay home - alone

Sunday night was the infamous "Family Dinner" night.  DIL was going to fix chicken chili.  Now if you are a true Texan, that just isn't chili. But her reasoning was that she, SIL, and Daughter are all "dieting."  So she would fix the food, and we would eat at Daughter's.

The meal was good.  It was filling, but I still wouldn't call it chili.  I was really amazed.

BUT, then the war stories about the previous week's dieting began.  I am fully aware that I should be on a very strict diet.  I am on a diet, but I will never say a word to anyone about it.  I am just trying to be very careful about what I eat, and I am trying to  move a little more.

Their talk got to be soooooo boring.  "well, Astrid (their diet coach and very naturally bean pole body type) said that ..."   Geesh! They have bought all these work out DVDs, they eat just chicken and fish. I think I would rather die - I know there are lots of people who do eat nothing but chicken and fish .  And I know they are healthy for it, but I really dislike the taste and texture of most fish, and since I have been forced to watch my weight (go up??), I have eaten enough boneless, skinless chicken breasts to carry over to 25 lives - if I had them.  My child and in-laws even got out the measuring cups to measure out their chili. 

But on to better things.  Monday I had several errands to run.  I went to get new curtains for the master, bathmats for the dressing area,then I was going to check out ATT giving me a better cell phone rate, and on to the pet store for a new kennel for Clyde. 

At the linen shop, I found the black-out curtains that I think will over lap enough that Shadow won't cause them to separate when he has to get in the window, thought I bought two little rugs, and a new shower curtain liner, since I cut the last one too short.  Got home and found that the mats were a single mat.  Stupid!

Went to ATT - got my rate lowered, a new top of the line phone since mine was acting like a fool!  If I used an app, it would say the battery was dead!  Anyway - because I got that phone, I also could buy a tablet for $100.  Cool!

Then I went to get Clyde's  kennel.  The trainer is working with him to get in the kennel, and she wants him to be able to turn around.  Now - Simone was the same size as Clyde, and she could turn around.  In fact, she could make herself so small that you couldn't even see her in the back of the kennel.  So I measured the one I had.  I went and thought that the next size up was the one that was an inch bigger in most places.  I. WAS. WRONG!

So, yesterday I had to go back.  There is a bigger one.  It is the X-Large,  It looks like it should be another room on the house.   It barely fit in the Highlander.  It wouldn't go through the door.  We had to dismantle it.  We will see what the trainer says about that today!!  It will take up half of my entry hall, moving furniture to give her room to work along with access to the kennel - I don't know how that is going to happen!t

Last night I went to  Lady Bug's first basketball game.  What a game.  He was her first because she finally got out of the cast.  She was quite good, but she has a set of Viet Namese twins that  play all year around on a league team.  They were amazing.  The team has won every game so far by at least 20 points.  I will bet the they win district!

Today we worked the little  store at the elementary school.  After the last one where the staff had to help out, there were a lot of changes today.  I think there will be more after today.  The kiddos get these little "bucks" for doing good things.  Then this store lets them buy crap or if they have enough coupons for neat things (extra recess and the like).  Some of the kiddos have over 150 of these little bucks (whereas, some have only 5).  A lot aren't counted out.  I think the teachers will be told to put them in stacks of 5 from now on.  The teachers I personally would love to kiss are the ones who have gone over the items, gotten the kids to choose, and write it down so we can fill the order.  Some of the kids will stand there for over 5 minutes fooling around.  We see too many kids for that to be happening.  The first grade team was wonderful.  They had their act totally together!

So you have been caught up on my really exciting life.  Oh well - I AM alive, and I am grateful - honest!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Another gripe

It seems as though there is always something, usually computer related, that gets to me.  This one is no exception.

I have talked about being a genealogy nut.   I tried to swear off this addiction.  I really did.  Then something moved me.  It probably was re-loading the old Family Tree Maker on this computer - BTW (that's "before the wipe"), and I got a message there was FTM 2014.  I was hooked once again.  I bought the M, but, of course, I didn't spend the extra $10 for the disc.  Nor did I take note of the associated information.  I wasn't going to lose the program.  No,  not me.

Well - when I was wiped clean, FTM disappeared.  So that means since it was a new version, all my family files are locked.

So, I sent an email to support.  That was before Christmas.  Not. A. Word.  Nada. Nothing.  I was hoping they could find something.  Well, if that were possible, I will never know.

Sooooo.  After Christmas, I decided I would purchase a new copy, but this time I would also buy the disc.  I tried to download while at the SSB.  I have talked about how slow that internet is.  It corrupted the file.  I tried a second time - was disconnected.  I tried a third time, and it said I had used all my downloads. 

So, OK, got home expecting to have the CD.  Let's face it, one week had passed.  No CD.  STILL no CD.  So I wrote the company on the support site that was listed.  This is a portion of what I got in return:

Cher(e) client(e),
Nous vous présentons nos excuses pour le retard de cette réponse, du fait d'un problème technique indépendant de notre volonté.

À la suite de votre demande, nous vous informons que nous venons de prolonger votre lien de 28 jours. Pour réinstaller votre logiciel, merci de suivre la procédure que nous vous envoyons en pièce jointe.

Oh great!  I still don't have an increase in my downloads, I did get an email yesterday that the CD has finally shipped, but in the end - I still cannot get to my family trees that I have hours and hours in researching. 

Am I an unhappy camper.  You bet.  I would contact Ancestry, but when I did before, I got a phone number for help.  I have found that usually a phone number for help isn't any help at all.  An email does far better.  


Thursday, January 09, 2014


I am having pain around the incision sites and in the right breast where I had reconstruction post my mastectomy.  The last oncology visit showed the blood marker to be well within its limits, and I have had pain in this right breast area since the reconstructions  So, I called the plastic surgeon today for an appointment.

It really began to hurt just before Christmas, and the only thing that abates the pain is to wear a sports bra or regular one 24/7.  The pain set in the other night so badly that I couldn't sleep. I have an implant and that seems to be one of the main places that I have always hurt.

Other breaking news is that I have finally gotten my Costco membership.  Supposedly their dog food is supposed to be a very good one, and Cat - our dog trainer - suggested them as a place to get a good dog bed since we are wanting to keep Clyde off the couch - at least most of the time.

He is back on steroids, at least as needed.  He seems to be having heart worms breaking up that cause him to have a dry cough.

I will tell you - my life is so interesting.  I don't know how I stand it!  I just know you are jealous of such a full, active life!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Guess I am just an old coot

Last night was the infamous Family  Dinner which is always wrought with some type of drama, and last night's was no different.

The kids were the usual kids - screaming if Clyde got too close, or poking out his eyeballs if he were restrained and we weren't watching closely.  Same old s*it!  Leaving toys everywhere, but they hit a new low last night in tha  they ripped the top off the old toy chest to put the rocking car on.  Geesh!

But the parents were the amazing ones last night.  G wanted to have venison gumbo.  Ok.  I will do it. BIG batch.  DIL is from a part of  Louisiana  that eats potato salad with their gumbo - as well as rice.  I forgot about that when G went to the store to buy the vegetables that I needed mayo.  So I did about a half bowl (medium mixing bowl) of potato salad and 6 cups of rice.

Here's where I sound like an old crone I guess.  While Daughter, SIL and DIL were parked around the table discussing this new passion hitting around here where they sign up with a resident for a "weight loss challenge" that seems to smack of "Biggest Loser" they were consuming seconds of gumbo, rice AND potato salad.  "Yep - gonna have to watch the carbs, yada, yada, yada."

By the time Son and I got to eat,  we split about 3/4 cup of potato salad, a cup of rice, but as much gumbo as we wanted.  My problem - I don't like dark roux gumbo.  Son was a bit - well - pissed.  He certainly didn't appreciate them going for seconds while some of hadn't eaten at all.

I do love being surrounded by my family.  I just hate hosting.  Just becoming an old coot!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Getting up to speed

I hardly know what to do with a computer that isn't slow as a turtle when it's 30 below!  I can move about the internet with lightening speed

lI thought I would post a picture of Christmas Eve.  All are there except Monkey Boy and the youngest one.  I found these silly animal hats on one of those internet stores that have reduced items (supposedly).  I thought the kids would like them - all except Monkey Boy who is 9!

Of course the girls would pose, but Son's eldest got pulled in if he liked it or not.  Sorry this is cut by the side pitcures!

Then I thought I would add an old picture from Thanksgiving  where it was wall to wall Boxers.  Clyde was in heaven!!!

Clyde is closest to the camera.  Angelica (the cat terror) is in the middle, and Princess is looking at the camera.  It's amazing how much room 3 Boxers can occupy.


Friday, January 03, 2014


Yes - it's really me.  I AM alive and kicking.   I just had reaaaaalllllllllly slow internet for the last week, plus I was trying a new (to me) password saving program.  When your connection is already slow, gets slower with use (that is measured daily rather than weekly or monthly), and a program that makes getting on-line slower, one becomes very frustrated.  The best I could do was surf.  Couldn't even think about posting anything.

I did try to post two times.  The first, my "repaired" Dell gave me the message that it couldn't find the hard drive.  Great.  I was assured that computer would work just fine.  Not so much after all.
Anyway - Daughter's birthday was the 18th.  That was a fun time - after I got over the fact that I have a 40 year old child.  Christmas was very nice.  Son and his family joined us at church (he told his pastor that he was not doing a 6 pm service - he had a long way to go to get there and ATT doesn't close because it is Christmas Eve).  We had a nice dinner, and opened presents.  What a great time.  Then Christmas Day we went back to Daughter's for those kiddos opening their presents (another tradition).  The 26th we were off to the never-never land of the SSB to get the last hunts in.

But pictures of the bathrooms!! I will try to get them here is a progression that makes sense. Begin  

with this post.  This is the original, but I realize it is only the master, and the other pictures are lost - forever.  The mid point ones are between that post and this one - somewhere.

So here goes.

 This is the hall bath.  Didn't get before pictures, but this is the new.  I don't think it needs any more descriptions.
 Again hall - notice I did have the bars added.  I REALLY wanted one of those neat walk in tubs, but too much $$$, and after a while I am told (by the plumber) the seals leak.  So same old tub
 Hall vanity area,  I wish the color came out more true.   It's a light moss green.
 Master vanity area.  Again wish the color was more true.  It is a dark camel.  Beautiful.
 The wonderful shower stall -  with the seat.  Heavenly.
Both bathrooms have these shower heads.  The middle is hand held.  You can have only the outside spray, only the center hand held or all of it.  Very nice.

So this is the work of our wonderful contractor,  It was such a joy to come home to this after being away for Thanksgiving for two weeks.  That allowed him to finish much more quickly.