Monday, May 30, 2011

Mabel's Shakeshakeshimmy

Ready? OK!

Ahhh... That's better!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Yeah...It's THAT Time of Year!

One only has to look at my hands to see the tell tale purple sign that indicates I've eaten breakfast in the creek! It's May and May is Mulberry season!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mabel + Boys??? Still = Fun!

In case you missed the video I posted earlier this month of Mabel Lou's antics when she meets young boys, I have another tale to share!

Yesterday, our Rottie pack friends phoned and asked us to join them for a rare Friday afternoon hike! Mabel, Bart  (the shepherd / elkhound) & I dashed down to the creek to meet Bart and Ruby and their mom. As soon as we rounded the levee, I spied trouble. Four boys, just under 12 (Mabel's optimum age preference for young boys!), were body surfing down the river.
The red arrows indicate the boys... Note Bart on shore and confused by Mabel's antics! 

It was a hot afternoon and  some part of me would have loved to join them! But I knew the outing would be hard enough just dealing with Mabel. She immediately dashed into the water to play with them. Her size often catches people off guard. After a bit of hesitation, they accepted her into their pack, while the rest of our hiking pack wondered what the heck was wrong with her.
Check out her tail... that wiggle is reserved for one thing! BOYS!

Mabel, the dog who prefers water shallow enough to touch bottom, swam with the best of them. She body surfed, she hovered, she chased. The boys and Mabel managed to keep up with us all the way down to the falls! By that point, Mabel was nipping at them. I explained it was puppy play behavior... she was trying to pull their tails to get them to chase her!

Mabel hovering and surfing; Bart - still confused!

But I knew that the heavy boulders that create the water falls were coming up... I didn't want her in the water with the boys any more. I implored all the boys to come ashore...knowing Mabel would follow her bestest friends in the world ever! She did and we leashed her.

You would have thought we were killing her! Well, in reality, it WAS torture - for both of us! She dragged me down the rocky embankment to get closer to the boys more than once! At times, she would freeze in place and not budge. She begged, pleaded, implored with all her might!

Finally, the boys took the trailhead back up and we opted to hike back up beside the water to put as much distance between them and us as possible. Periodically, Mabel would freeze and stare intently at the trail...telling me that she HAD to stay on leash!

It really breaks my heart to know my dog prefers their company to mine!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

She's Lost It

Mabel Lou here. I'm telling you, my mom has lost it! Yep! She's slipped over the edge into permanent mental fit status! You won't believe what she did to me today!

I was doing my usual early morning sun baking when Momma asked me if I was hungry. I licked my lips in affirmation.
Don't EVEN get me started on the placement of my rug in the sun...just MORE evidence of my Mom's diminished mentals! 

She gets my bowl and fills it up with my kibble and did her usual routine of placing three pieces of kibble on three of my beds. And she went into the kitchen... and this is where something happened to her.

Did I hear her fill my mug with water and place it in the microwave? No. Did I hear her use the grumbly / whiney thingy to open my canned foodables? NO! Did I hear her get my foodables in the cold box? NO! NO! NO!

Well what did I hear??? She started loading the plate licker!!! She rinsed and she loaded and dumped stuff in the trash and just kept loading that plate licker... (BTW... I volunteered for that job but Mom says I don't do a good enough job...Hrumph!) I waited at least 20 minutes before I went in to see what the heck had happened. She saw me and looked all surprised! She finally got it together and fixed breakfast. But I tell you, 25 minutes to wait for my feast to be properly laid before me! That's just torture!

My mom needs her head examined and QUICK! Next thing you know, she'll forget dinner! Grrrrr!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

She's Such a Character

I've always thought every dog I've been blessed with had such a personality. But Mabel... this girl has me giggling and shaking my head every single day!

Every morning, I get up and head to the computer to check on orders or class enrollments. And some days, I take too long. This morning, Mabel was impatiently tapping on the back door with her nose. Thinking she had an urgent bathroom emergency, I went flying down the hall to let her out. That was not her problem... No, it seems her urgent need was that the sun was "just right" on her rug. 

It was an urgent sunbathing emergency!

Last night, I was baking cookies for a demo on cookie bouquet class when I realized I would need another 10# of flour.  I dashed out the back door telling Mabel to "Come on. Let's go!"
I got into the Mabel. I opened the gate, checked my wallet and was just about to leave when she came running around the house. Not wanting to get out of the car, I opened the rear door behind me as I've done a thousand times before. Normally, she would just jump right in. 

But Mabel is getting older. While I think she would like the rear door better - to me, the lower part could be a lower step for her - Mabel clearly has her own ideas. She looked at the open door. Then she walked to the rear of the jeep and waited. I put the car in park and got out and let her in.

Sometimes, I marvel at how many homes she had before I got her. And I'm certain we stuck because, clearly, I speak Mabel Lou.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

No Matter What Ails Me

No matter what gets me down; No matter what pisses me off; No matter what makes me sad...

This takes it all away.

My cure all / pick me up / get happy fix for everything. 

(For those that keep track of my hiking buddies: Gizmo, Mabel, Bart. Ruby Roo is in the bushes somewhere...)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Advice for Mr. Trump

I can't say I was surprised that Donald Trump dropped out of the presidential race. He seemed to get off on the wrong foot right away and he lost the race before his name could ever appear on a ballot.  This is sad to me because I feel that someone with his business knowledge could make a great president under the right circumstances.

But Trump got hung up on things that don't whether or not Hawaii is part of these United States...instead of talking about something that does. It's the economy, stupid! If the whole birther mess didn't hang him, his ability to NOT laugh at himself at the White House Correspondent's Dinner certainly did.

Here's a clip of Seth Meyers ... check out Trump never cracking a smile

But the fact of the matter is... we are a vain and petty country. And unless Mr. Trump has a successful hair transplant before his next attempt at the presidency, he has about a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected.What's his hair got to do with it??? We always elect the guy with the better hair. Don't believe me???
Take a look:
Good Hair / Bad Hair

OK Hair / Better Hair (I think the eyebrows hurt Gore too)

Good Hair / Strange Hair

Good Hair / Excellent Hair

Again: Good Hair / Excellent Hair
Now I ask you, is this presidential hair???
I think not.Almost any man in America could out do this head.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Love a Parade

Title courtesy of the Rottrover.

For those keeping track: That's Gizmo in the lead, then Ruby, Barticus (wandering off yet again) and Mabel Lou in the rear. Bart the rottweiler still wasn't feeling up to a long hike.

Sigh.... I just love hiking with off leash dogs!!!

And in other news.... I've moved my fan page on Facebook. The whole explanation is here  but if you were my fan before... please click LIKE on the new linky over there>>>>>>>>>>>>>

A number of friends and family have asked about my name change on Facebook. That story is here. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Momma's So Mean!

Mabel Lou here. The other night, I jumped on the bed and sometimes I just like to be on Momma's side of the bed. It smells like her. And sometimes it gets her to play with me to get me on the other side.

I had done this the night before and we played a bit and then Momma spins me to my side. She places both her hands underneath me and spins me where she wants me to be... I pretend I don't like it and grouse about it.

So I'm all cute on her side and the bed and I know she likes it cause we play kissy face and she gets that stupid flashy beast out so I have evidence of how cute I am.

Me, on Momma's side of the bed

We played and she took lots of pictures.

Not happy with the flashy thing!

 Still flashing MOM!

Then she asked me to move. And I thought we were still playing. So she got in bed and put her legs on top of me. I thought it was a game so I didn't move. She started wiggling so I thought it was still funballs time! But noooo... Momma got really mad at me! And She couldn't spin me around cause I was so far on her side of the bed! So... you won't believe what my mean momma did to me!
Look at that sweet face!

She went and got her loud moving toothbrush thingy and chased me across the bed with it! I was scared brave and tried to attack it!

Once I moved, Momma just went to sleep! She chases me across the bed with a loud moving toothbrush that sprays little wet bits all over me and she just goes to sleep! WHAT THE PAW???  She was clearly having a case of the mental fits!

I ask you, can you believe my Mom was that mean??? Could you be mean to this face???

Me, Mabel Lou...the epitome of cuteness!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's Always the Food!

I hate most reality shows but I do admit a penchant for a few. One of them is Chef Gordon Ramsay's show on Fox, Kitchen Nightmares. The chef goes around and helps failing restaurants figure out why customers leave and don't come back. Many watch for Ramsay's abrasive personality and bleepable language. I watch because I'm amazed that someone who owns a restaurant can be that oblivious to what's going on under their own noses.

The chef helps them with food and marketing and decor but just in case any failing restaurant owner stumbles across this blog and they can't get on the busy chef's to do list...allow me to save you some trouble. IT'S THE FOOD! IT'S ALWAYS THE FOOD!

The one that really had me laughing recently was a restaurant in a nearby neighborhood that made Italian food and thought it might be the decor or... something else... but surely not the food. But it's wasn't fresh, and the chef / owner didn't care.

And as a case in point, I offer up one of the most amazing restaurants in the same neighborhood: Casa Bianca is less than a mile from the restaurant that was failing on the show. The decor looks much like I'm certain it did in the 1950's when the place opened. It's not fancy. But there is a line down the block to get in. I often try to get there by 4:30 when they open to not have to wait. But if I don't, I really don't mind because I know a little slice of heaven awaits!

Their lasagne is a religious experience! It melts in your mouth! It's so fresh and the sauce is so perfect and the cheese... oh the cheese!  The Caprese salad with the reduced balsamic over the freshest mozzarella and tomatoes and basil is breathtaking. And Casa Bianca is one of only two restaurants the understand the amazing flavor of green olives and pepperoni on a pizza!

I don't go for the decor... I go for amazing fresh food!

And just like some the incredible hole in the wall restaurants I grew up going to... look for a line or a full parking lot! Heck I've eaten as some dives where I wonder if the building is going to fall in the bayou any minute.... but the food is always fresh and good!

So if your restaurant is failing... taste your food. Then go around the block to your closest competitor that's doing well and eat there. Surely, you'll notice the difference. If not, do us all a favor and sell your place to someone who cares!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why's Mabel So Upset?

What's the matter girl???

You see something in the date palm???

What IS it??? I don't see anything....

But I HEAR something teasing you! There he is! 

Just look at that little rat with a fuzzy tail calling out to you!!! What a stinker!

I think he's making fun of you Mabel... I wouldn't put up with that at all!

(To be Continued....)

Mabel Argues with a Squirrel

A bit after I took the pictures for yesterday's post, that sneaky squirrel jumped from the date palm to the fence edge and climbed the giant bird of paradise outside my office window...which drove Mabel nuts!

Mabel started crying and the squirrel started fussing.

So I did egg her on a bit and I found it so funny to hear the squirrel carrying on. You would think he would be a bit quieter around such a big dog.

It's an ongoing argument that I'm certain won't end any time soon!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mabel + Boys = FUN!

I know I've mentioned before that the one thing Mabel most covets would be a boy of her very own. Preferrably in the 8 - 12 range. She has an unreal fascination with boys this age.

I blame this on my Godson. When Mabel was a pup, my Godson was about that age and he would stop by every day after school. He usually brought a few friends with him. I'm certain this was the seed of my girl's obsession.

It grew even more when my childhood best friend came to visit for a month with her husband and three kids. The two boys were 8 and 12. The younger one was Mabel's constant pal. And she made a big impression on him...he named his dog Mabel Lou (or Mabel Too or Mabel Lite as the grownups call her)!

It was a couple of boys that taught Mabel how to enjoy the ocean.

But I've mostly marveled at her boy behavior alone...I've never had a witness...until this week. Two boys were swimming in the creek and Mabel was instantly in love! And the BFF was there to catch it all on video.

I had oral surgery that day and wanted a short and easy walk. That was not to be! Mabel played and ran and nipped at her boys and so I did what I always do when I want her to come on. I left her. Now this will make her stop chasing a deer or a coyote but leave boys??? NO. FREAKING. WAY!

I walked all the way to the car with Bart and Barb before I realized I was going back in for Mabel! So much for easy! Only I got to the end of the levee where I left her and there were no boys and NO MABEL! I heard them down river and took off downstream.

I finally caught up to them about a quarter mile down where I found them and Mabel, their mom and TWO MORE BOYS! No wonder she wouldn't come!

I caught her and started to the car. We made it three steps before she froze and looked longingly at her boys. It was the LONGEST hike to the car EVER! Every three steps, Mabel stopped. She would hear them and stop. Finally I got her to take 10 steps before stopping. The whole way back, I know she was trying to figure out how to get back to them!

I plead my case to her:
  • I bet they have a dog tied up in the yard.
  • I bet they don't give their dogs marrow bones. 
  • They don't come to the creek every day.
  • They don't have a queen sized bed. 
  • They don't know the recipe to Mabel Lou stew.
  • They certainly don't drive a Jeep (perfect vehicle for Mabel's weird greyhound legs!).
No matter what I said...she just kept crying for them. It's hard to know the dog you love and adore would ditch you in a second for a 12 year old boy!

Here's the video the BFF made... I just adore how Mabel's tail will catch the water and create water lassos all around her (2:41).

The BFF likes to set her videos to music. The song "She" is one of my favorites. (Elvis Costello Knotting Hill Soundtrack)

Sunday, May 08, 2011


I thought I would update the duck story.

They stayed so long in the pool on Friday I was really afraid they had moved in. I took this pic from my office window Friday afternoon. See Mr. Duck marching around like he owns the joint??

I went outside later and they were gone. I checked again for eggs and found none.

After reading Snow's comments about duck poop and starting to find some really big piles... I decided to not be such a hospitable hostess. Yesterday morning when they landed in the pool, I went out and shooed them which did nothing. So I got the pool brush. Mrs. Duck flew into my neighbor's tree. Mr. Duck flew to my roof and marched around up there, fussing at me the whole time. Mrs. Duck got mad at him and flew over him circling and calling to him and he finally flew off with her. 

After telling my pool guy ('tilla's dad) about this, he reassured me I'm doing the right thing. He says that baby ducks cannot survive in a pool. The chemicals will kill them. He regularly fishes out entire families of duckings from his clients pools. 

Still, I'm betting this is going to be a daily process for a while.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Unexpected Tenants

OK, Times are hard. I confess I have considered taking on boarders. But imagine my surprise at finding out someone had moved in already!

I was downright shocked to find this guy swimming in the pool  this morning!

I confess I've let my pool go over the winter. It cut my electric bill in half and it was too cold to allow algae to grow. But as our spring winds have started up...blowing ash off the mountain, I realized I had holes in my filters. The pool has been off for a week waiting for the new filters to arrive....hence the "swamp look."

I took a few pictures getting closer and closer and finally, I couldn't keep Miss Mabel out of her yard any longer. She was quite anxious to see what had me so excited.

As Mabel and I both got closer, I was certain Mr. Duck would leave. As I navigated the edge of the pool, I heard flapping and started fussing at myself for missing his departure. I was even more shocked to find Mrs. Duck flying out of the brush near the pool to protect her mate from Mabel!

She landed with quite a splash and swam straight to Mister! Both kept a wary eye on Mabel. (They don't know how much she hates the deep pool!)

We checked the brush for eggs...none. Then we left them to enjoy their swim. They are still there now!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Red Tennis Balls!

Mabel Lou here. Back  when Mom was working the crazy hours on the sporting good m'cercial, I told you she promised she'd be coming home for good with tennis balls... My most favorite thing in the world is tennis balls! Well, she came home with a purse full!!! I got to dig through her purse and pick my favorite and I picked red!

These were taken her first night home!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bart's New Do

My bestie's best boy, Barticus Farticus, gets dog allergies something awful in the spring.

Bart attacking the evil itch monster!

So his mom took him to get a new do. But his back was so sensitive, he ended up with a slightly crooked mohawk - which makes him think he's one cool dude.

I like it because he no longer blends in with all the shrub in the creek! 
He feels much better but - the evil itch monster still lurks: