Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Been Really Rough

Creekhiker's note: I've wondered how long it would take me to start losing my mind - maintaining multiple blogs. It happened tonight. Actually, maybe I can blame that on Mabel...Yeah, that's it! SHE posted this on the Bead blog...

Mabel Lou here. Yeah. Right Mom... blame it on the dog!

Mom wanted me to let you you our big beastie computer got really sick and she had to wipe the hard drive. I know she hates wiping anything so... she's been really upset all week. She's trying to get all her programs and files reinstalled but she forgot to back up her email. So if you email her, please send her one so she has your address, k???

Mom's in classes all weekend but I hope we are back to our usual by Monday.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Midday in the Arroyo

Mabel Lou here - Momma's got a toothache and is heading to the dentist so... I'm taking over her blog! We had the mostest fun time yesterday! Momma had some kind of networking lunch near the arroyo yesterday. We haven't been there in a few weeks...Mom complains of gas prices. Not sure why. We both have lots of gas.

But it was cool and cloudy so Mom took me with her and left me in the car under a big shade tree with the windows down. I took the best nap and woke up just in time to show Mom how well I guard the jeep! Wouldn't want her to catch me napping on the job!

Then we were off to the upper arroyo. We haven't been there in many months as the trails are closed still from the fires. Right off the bat, Mom was complaining about her stupid feet! Seems she wore new shoes and no socks and got a blister right off the bat! I was really mad at her! We weren't even to the water yet! But she folded down the back of her shoe and didn't complain too much after that.

The first canyon we get to used to be a tease before the fires. You could hear the water; you could see the water. But you couldn't get to the water. But NOW... you can run right in!

We climbed up and out of that canyon to the main road and rounded the bend when we spied a new friend through the old bridge. This is Sunny. Can you see her???

We had a good romp. Mom said we moved too fast to get some real good pictures. You know how it is:  when you gotta play, YOU GOTTA PLAY!!!

Sunny runs FAST!

We moved on up the road and met two more pups: Bentley and Piper. They were chasing a tennis ball as their dad tossed it.

Just as I was about to show them how much I covet tennis balls, Mom was having a fit cause some big work trucks were rounding the bend.

Piper and Bentley made me look really bad! This is what they do when their pawrents tell them to get out of the road:

Notice me strolling toward them??? Mom was NOT happy about that at all! I was on the side of the road, really Mom! Geesh!

I hope your day is a wonderful Good Friday sniff-fest:

Me? I'm on guard duty at home til Mom gets home from the dentist but I think her and my auntie are taking the Barticus Farticus out to Starbux for some CREAM! I heard its free beverage day if you bring your own cup... Hope they take BOWLS!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Moo Cards

I have long wanted Moo cards - little mini business cards - for this blog for a long time. Why?? I'm out shooting pictures and someone always asks what I'm doing. Or I meet a nice dog to hike with (a la Mr. Freckles) and I tell the dog's human to see the pics on CreekHiker and ... the tell me point blank, "Oh, I'll never remember that!"

[You would be AMAZED at how many hikers I meet in the creek who claim they cannot remember CreekHiker!]

Once I saw the mini Moos... I knew I wanted them. But... I thought they were a bit pricey at 20 bucks for a hundred. (I buy my real business cards at GotPrint and paid around 48 bucks for 5000!)

They are finally here:

That's just a few of the images! On the back, I designed a quick little gif file with the address: 

They are pretty nifty but - I found Moo's shipping charges to be crazy high. I'm writing a Pros and Cons on the whole process on the business / bead blog today. 

I did get two 15% off coupon codes for NEW Moo customers so...if you are interested, email me. (Offer good to the first two emails ONLY.) OR... I posted another alternative to Moo on the bead blog as well which is an excellent choice for folks with some photoshop skills!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Better Late Than Never!

Today is the day to catch up on some tedious tasks from my recent past. I never posted my follow up post for the One World One Heart Winners! While I did make certain I mailed my prizes on time, by the time I finished with the ridiculous job and then lost a few weeks to the depression over my only sibling's cancer return... and then taxes... OY! It's LATE April already! Geesh!

Anyway, my prize - this lovely silvered ivory heart

went to the owner of two fantastic blogs! Kersten is from Alaska and both her blogs - Altered Gypsy and 4x4 Friday pertain to rubber stamping. (An art form I have too little time for these days - the owner of a rubber stamp shop never gets to stamp! Sigh....)

I am absolutely in LOVE with the concept behind her 4x4 Friday blog. She posts an idea and inspiration card, usually in the 4 x 4 size, every Friday. Participants work on the theme over the weekend and post a response. Isn't that cool?? I pray that one Friday, I get to participate!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meeting Mr. Freckles

The last day of physical torture Blue Crap would pay for - the last Thursday in March - turned out to be one REALLY hot day. I always take Mabel with me because the doctor is near the arroyo we love so much. Since the PT knocks the wind out of me, a slow meandering hike lifts my spirits. But by the time I arrived... I was freaking over leaving Mabel in the car. It was WAY too hot!
The divine Mr. Freckles

So I improvised...I managed to snag a shady spot right across from the receptionist's window. I opened the rear door of the jeep and rolled all the windows down. Then I tied Mabel's leash to a handle in the back of the jeep. She got a big bowl of water from the nice folks inside and the receptionist kept an eye on her. My baby girl stayed put and was not over heated. I was so proud of her!!!
Mabel likes big sticks!

After my torture was over, we headed for the arroyo and had quite the adventure! First we ran into Rhodesian Ridgeback siblings... not our good friends Hank & Sue but another set. Mabel was doing a double take! This pair had a older sister that was a "Heinz 57" mix and she was a dead ringer for my childhood dog, Ginger. We had a blast petting and sniffing and getting the low down on the rising creek.

Mabel has the stick

Turns out, the snow pack was really melting deep in the forest and the creek was on the rise. This is the same one Mabel got swept down a week before. We went over to check out that spot - carefully. The area she used to work her way back to me was now super flooded, so we decided to try our luck much further upstream.

Mr. Freckles has the stick

Just as we reached the far side of the parking lot, we met a charming young gent named Mr. Freckles and his mom. We decided to hike together and just as we were descending toward the creek, we could see it was flooded right at the base of the hill. This trail would not do.

Run Mabel Run!

We hiked back up and started down the next. We could see that the river was only about a foot wide at the base of this hill so we started down it. The humans were laughing and chatting and isn't that a strange looking stick...SNAAAAAKE! We turned and ran like crazy calling for the dogs! Yes, it was a four foot rattler! ICK! (My second of the season!)
Come Mabel Come!

 Back up the hill and down the next trail. Finally, we were nearing water! And were the pups ever glad! They were panting like crazy. But soon enough they were in the water, chasing sticks, chasing each other and having a good frolic!


A good time was had by all but I felt like I was having a heat stroke after hiking back to the car! I swear, every day with Mabel is an adventure!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ya'll Come!

I will be at the Beads of Courage fundraiser in Orange, CA tomorrow. There will be bracelet making, raffles and bead making demos (with yours truly on the torch from 12 -2). If you are in the area, do stop by and learn more about this amazing charity!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Black & Tan Meetup - Wordless Wednesday Series - More Tan

You didn't think we could have a Black & Tan Meetup with mostly black dogs, did you??? Gizmo and Mabel ran into our favorite tan dogs on the trail: Hank & Sue, the Rhodesian Ridgeback sibs.

Lots of hellos and sniffies:

The one picture I have longed to get for five years is one of Sue greeting Mabel. She always dashes to her friend, throws her front paws around Mabel's neck and gives her a kiss! It's so cute... and lightning fast! Here Sue attempts to hug Giz: 

And then opts for a kiss instead (Gizmo is sometimes stingy with his kissy goodness):

One of the things I've been proudest about when it comes to all the rottweilers I have owned... they LOVE people! Mabel always greets the dogs and then heads over to the human to say hello! The Rhodie's mom is one Mabel's very favorites!  Notice Sue using the opportunity to give Mabel another kiss. 

Still trying:
See ya on the trails!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Patience and Wisedom

This photo was emailed from a reader emphasizing the importance of both. Two of the things Mabel Lou has never had!
(Not sure where the pic came from...but oh so funny!)

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Mabel Lou here. Oh boy has it been CRAZY around here! My mom has been having a case of the mental fits again.

It alls started last week when for some reason, Mom decides it's backwards hiking day. She just does this from time to time... it's our usual hike but go in the way we usually come out. No biggie, Bart and I can adapt.
I rubbed my nose so hard, I took the skin off!

But near the end, Barticus the Farticus and I were snooping around the pond and Mom was much further down, near where we turn around. All of a sudden she comes hot footing out there. Honestly, she was moving so fast, legs flying everywhere. She was calling us to her and Bart went to see about her but I went to inspect what made her so scared. I mean...she's come out of there fast before but she's usually all baby talk and trying to get us to move on to the Big Creek but I knew, this time, Mom was scared!

I get down there and all I can see is the dumb looking black and white kitty. I tried to put her in her place for scaring my mom and she lifted her tail and sprayed some awful smelling stuff on my face! I turned around and started rubbing my face on my butt. I've never encountered a kitty quite like this one!

Just SOME of Mom's potions!

I finally caught up to Mom and Bart and suddenly Mom thinks someone has dumped a car in the creek cause all she smells is burnt rubber and metal. It took a while to make her understand...that was ME she was smelling! (Apparently Mom thinks black and white kitty spray smells like something different than it DOES!) Mom actually drove us to Bart's with her head out the window!

I heard her telling Auntie to come to the car and something about "skunked." Before Auntie came near the car, she made a stinky face and said, "Oh Mabel Lou! You did get skunked."
More of her potions! That red bottle is the Hairy Beast Professional shampoo that Mom thinks stinks so good... whatever!
Mom explained that the black and white kitty was really a creature called a skunk and that spray was telling me to back off! We later learned from our friend 'tilla's dad that the skunk kitty has SEVEN babies!!! So that's what had her so upset!

Anyway, back to Mom and her mental fits. We got home and she locked me outside and made a bunch of phone calls. The whole time she kept putting jars of all kinds of stuffs on the patio. And then, she turned on the water! Now, I love a good dip in the creek, but a bath is a whole other Oprah! I hate hate HATE them!

Mom tied me up to the arbor and she washed me. And then she did it again and again and again and AGAIN! EIGHT FREAKING TIMES she washed me. And to add insult to injury, she did again the NEXT day. EIGHT MORE BATHS!!!!!!!!! And now, daily, she washes my FACE! I think she's just gone nuts! All because I played with a skunk kitty!
Me hiding in the dirt...hoping to get some of that shampoo off me.

Mom's got some more pictures and some recipe she's determined to share so I'm signing off (and going to see if I can hide the shampoo!).

Mabel's mom here. Yes, I did bathe her eight times two days in a row. And I thought I would share what I learned.
Mabel allowing the baking soda / peroxide to soak. (It's been raining so much here, the grass and weeds are taller than Mabel!)

The skunk spray is oil based so normal shampooing does not work. Skin So Soft by Avon really seemed to help break some of the oil down, followed by a good shampoo with Dawn (no bleach!) dishwashing soap.

The other recipe I found through my dog - trainer brother in law was actually featured on Myth Busters. This actually chemically breaks down the skunk spray allowing it to be washed off:

  • 1 bottle 3% peroxide
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 -2 T Dawn

Mix into a slurry, lather and let set, then rinse.
The peroxide soda mix makes some pretty suds on the concrete!

But she still smells faintly of skunk and it reactivates when Mabel dips in the creek daily! We've tried other things to help with the smell:

  • tomato juice
  • lemon juice
  • mouthwash (I worried about the alcohol hurting her skin but she didn't seem to mind)
  • vinegar (Ditto on the skin irritation... she took it in stride)
  • Dawn (alone)
  • T-gel shampoo - blends well with skunk smell
  • Hairy Beast shampoo - covers odors fairly well
I'm still amazed this happened but...we do hike in the wild! I just wish it was not on her face. Every time I go to kiss her...SKUNK!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Black & Tan Meetup - Wordless Wednesday Series - Play

STILL working on taxes... More pics from that fun hike. There was a lot more than butt sniffing and head butting:

Gizmo did some running:

 So did Chloe: 

She tried to engage Mabel: 

 And then had a go with Gizmo:

When the girls started running around, Gizmo went exploring on his own: 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Black & Tan Meetup - Wordless Wednesday Series - Headbutt!

So, Chole's dad is giving some attention to Gizmo... when Miss Piss decides she wants in on that action!

Poor Giz! What a brat that girl is!!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Black & Tan Meetup - Wordless Wednesday Series

Yeah... I KNOW it's Tuesday... but I'm still buried under a mountain of paperwork! Latest I've ever been on my taxes! So it's Wordless Tuesday, OK???

Mabel the rottweiler and Chloe (the Dobie) playing, while hiking with dogs.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Chewing Sticks

Nothing interrupts a good game of chase like finding the perfect stick!

Sorry for just pics today but... MABEL GOT SKUNKED and we have to take ANOTHER bath!