Friday, December 14, 2012

We're Just Waiting on A Ride... the creek.  Hey Bart, if you can reach the pedals, I think I can steer...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Daylights Saving Wha?

Ever since the time change, Miss Lou has been more than a little confused! She starts really nagging me for a creek trip around 2... still the middle of the workday. She acts all hurtified as if I forgot to take her and she won't get there at all. There is much drama and heavy sighing, pouting and big droopy sad eyes that I have to look at! 

Afterward, the begging for dinner begins! It's dark. You need to feed me. FEED ME NOW!  But it's 5 p.m.- still time to get some work done. And she was eating dinner at 8:30 just months ago! It makes matters all the worse if I reach in the fridge for a snackie to take to the shop with me. You're eating. Don't I get to eat too???

I try to hold off until at least 6...otherwise I pay the price at 4 a.m. That's when her hungry tummy starts to growl...loud enough to wake me!

So last night, I decided to stay in the house as we had a rather chilly fog move in and I had a scratchy throat. I thought it would be better to work on some new listings and a few computer projects in the warm house instead of the cold, damp shop. I fed her about 6 ish and for once, remembered her toothbrush so she wouldn't have to come begging for it. I went into the office and worked until about 7:45. I went down the hall... no girl. I checked the guest bedroom - she loves to nap in there while I'm on the computer - no Mabel!

I finally switched on the bedroom light and what did I find?
Mabel Lou had put herself to bed! From the look on her face, I know she had been sleeping soundly for some time!

I'm not much on holidays. Too much work to decorate and cook. No money for gifts. But... the one day I do celebrate with a big old happy dance every year is the winter solstice. That's the day the days officially start getting longer! Of course, this year is the year the Mayan calendar ends on 12/21 and some say the world as we know it will end. I don't know much about that, but come 12/21, if you see a woman with curly hair dancing a jig along the Tujunga river banks, now you'll know why.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

About a month ago, I was feeling so lucky, I thought about going to Vegas! Not seriously, because I hate the noise and gambling... but it sure did feel good around here.

First, I entered a photo contest called Who Do You Support sponsored by Archipelago Botanicals on Facebook. I entered this photo of my sister:

This photo is magic to me for so many reasons. It was taken at Laguna Beach the day she finished radiation back in 2003. Knowing my sister as I do, I can see the relief in her body. I just love her rolled up jeans, her perpetual sweater over her arm and the flip flops as sunshades in her hand. And I can feel the hope coming off of her.  As luck would have it, we wandered into Laguna Drug - THE most amazing drug store (gift store would be more accurate) on the planet! There we purchased some lip balms and lotions made by Archipelago and I've been a fan of their products ever since. 

Much to my surprise, I won the contest. The prize was two gift baskets of products. One for the photographer and one for the subject of the photo. When I saw the breast cancer survivor with her baby daughter in the 2nd place photo, I requested my basket go to them. My sister LOVED her basket and I was pleasantly surprised when the nice folks at Archipelago sent me a lovely prize box anyway! And it was full of my favorite lip balm!

And then the week kept getting better! I won a bead by one of my favorite artists. Judith Billig makes stunningly elegant glass beads and jewelry. She had made a necklace she was having a hard time naming using her float beads. She called out to her friends to suggest names. I made several suggestions including Mumbai Magic. Unbeknownst to me (I was terribly busy with classes that week!), Mumbai Magic won the poll on her fan page! And I won one of her float beads!

And finally, that chicken dinner! The bestie and I were headed to the community center where we both teach. Since she was staying extra late after her class to clean up after MY class, I bought her dinner at our local Panera. We both ordered the black bean soup... I written about my passion for that soup here before! When they went to fill our order, they discovered they had sold the last black bean soups they had! My bestie, the I-love-all-soups girl, happily substituted. But I was flummoxed... I tend to get locked in on what I want to eat and no substitutions really make me happy.  I finally ordered the much more pricey chicken sandwich. To my surprise, Panera wouldn't take my money for the upgrade! They simply apologized for disappointing me and told me they hoped I would come back for soup another day.... as IF they could keep me from that black bean soup!

It was a nice, fun winning streak while it lasted!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Disturbing Her Peace

It's hard to get a good sunbake going....

when the paparazzi won't leave you alone!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope this post finds you all well. Today is about gratitude and we have much to be grateful for!

I am grateful my sister is still here to see another Thanksgiving, even though I can't be with her. I am so grateful for my home in this beautiful place; for it's odd design that gives me lots of workspaces; for it's proximity to our creek which brings me and my girl so much joy! 

And I'm so grateful for the little Baconhead herself. You may remember this photo from last fall. This past winter, as my niece was getting married, I found a great deal on a 20 x 30 print. I bought one for the niece and one for me. I took out the ugly shop yard background and dropped in a pink one to match the color in Mabel's collar. 

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this print. I hangs on the living room wall, right over the spot Mabel gets her nightly cuddles. She will often sit back and admire herself!  You can see it from the back yard! It makes me happy and is one of my favorite possessions!

I'm also truly grateful to be in a place where I don't feel the need to hit the mall for more possessions! Especially on a family holiday! 

And I'm grateful for such wonderful friends... Ones in real life and online! 

Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why Does It Take So Long To Train Humans?

Mabel Lou here. My mom took this photo of me for a blog post she intended to write and call "Old Dog Issues."  Well, let this old dog tell you that the ONLY issue around here is dumb humans that take forever to train!

You see, my mom took that picture because she is an idiot thought something was wrong with me. For several days in a row, I woke her in the wee hours of the morning...not to go outside ( I can hold it for 12 hours!) . No, I got up and balled up in my own bed for one simple reason: I was COLD! Of course, I would wake her up again around 5 a.m. when I got lonely even colder and wanted back in the big bed. I always ask permission to get in the big bed... I never take "NO" for an answer but I do always ask!

This seemed to disturb my mom but did she break out the nice fluffy blankies??? NO! Did she turn on the heated  mattress pad??? NO!  So every morning, I jumped off that cold brick of a bed to let Momma know but... it took her almost a week for figure it out!

It's like my toothbrush... every night after dinner, I get a toothbrush treat. But most nights, I finish my paltry vittles and come into the kitchen. Mom continues with her dinner or cleaning. I go and stand right next to her. She shoos me out of the kitchen. I retreat and give her the stink eye and she screams at me! "WHAT?"

I give her the sweet puppy face and again she screams, "WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???"

Seeing that I'm apparently not going to be able to get proper dental hygiene from the crazy witch, I curl up in my bed. Much later, it dawns on her!

"Mabel, my sweet girl! I forgot to get your toothbrush out! I'm so sorry!!!"

And yet, tonight, it will be the same thing again. What's a pup to do with such dense humans in our midst? Some days, I just don't think I can teach her another thing!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hard Working Woman

My mother has never been called lazy. She has a hard time sitting still even now at 89 with severe hip pain. When she visits me, if I don't give her something to do, she will make work for herself. Once while I was away at work, I came home to find she had cleaned all the cracks in my sidewalks surrounding and on my property... with a knife!

I don't remember what project my mother had busied herself with that caused her to wear the soles clean off her work shoes. I hung the worst one on a plant hanger where it's been for a few years.

With my sister's illness, we all seem to be re-evaluating the things we hang on to. I was ready to finally throw these away and remember with a photo.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hey Mom???

That brown grass feels so good on my back....

So I rolled in it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Sleepover

Bart's people were out of town cause his dad got a big award. Bart's big brother was supposed to take care of him, but as a DJ, he's prone to last minute gigs.  Which meant, Bart had to sleepover at our house twice in 10 days!

The first time, Bart was up and at 'em at 3:30 am. I think he was simply ready to go home. Plus Bart has a doggy door and unlimited water at his house. We have no water in the bedroom and we keep the door closed (cause Mabel used to wake me up every night, practically knocking down the back door to get to critters. When I finally tried shutting the bedroom more chasing critters!) I did put a small bowl of water in the bathroom for him but both nights, but he needed a potty break at 3:30.

The 2nd time we kept him was the last night his pawrents were away so we kept him most of the next day. I was impressed with Mabel's generosity toward him. She had NO issues which actually surprised me! Mabel is the jealous sort! She allowed him on our bed when he needed cuddles after that 3 am potty break. She shared her toys and she showed no concern when I fed him her kibble stew in the kitchen while she was fed on the porch. I'm very proud of my girl!

Bart, Mom's kinda funny about leg room... You might wanna move a bit! 

Bart slept most of the night in Mabel's bed on the floor. Sometimes he would come over to my side of the bed, check on me and go to sleep there.

Mabel took it all in stride... 

The next day, they sunbaked side by side. Bart was beside Mabel before I showed up with the camera! 

They hunted...

And this toy was in a different place every time I walked to the shop!

By the afternoon, Bart seemed kinda sad. We took him home just before his pawrents arrived.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Frosty Paws Winners

The Winners for my National Adopt a Shelter Dog Contest sponsor by Frosty Paws are:

Mabel and I are so happy that some of our pup friends new and old from Blogville will get to try her favorite treat!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last Day to Enter Frosty Paws Contest

Mabel Lou here. Mom's crazy busy. She wrote about how crazy her last week was over on her glass bead blog. Me? I'm just ticked that because of poor planning on her part, I got no creek walk yesterday! Good thing I sneaked into the car while she was unloading her class supplies... at least I got to run errands with her. She keeps promising me that I'll get a long creek walk tonight but by the looks of all those packages around her desk, I ain't holding my breath!

Since I'm sure Mom has forgotten all about  the Frosty Paws contest, I thought I would mention that today is the last day to enter.

Hope your day is better than mine... Supervising humans is hard work!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Adoption Matters

Found this on Facebook and I'm hoping no one will object since it's for a good cause. I have so few entries in my Raffle for the Frosty Paws! Please help me spread the word about Shelter Adoptions.
I can't even think of how empty my life would feel without my girl!

Be sure to enter the drawing in the Rafflecopter widget here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Frosty Paws National Adopt a Shelter Dog Giveaway

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Miss Mabel Lou was adopted from our local East Valley Shelter 10 1/2 years ago! Bart and my previous baby, Maggie May did time there too and Milly did time in a Ventura County Shelter. I often go to the shelter to pay registration fees and I'm always dumbstruck by how many pups and kittehs need homes.

I was just thrilled to be asked to help Frosty Paws help promote National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month! Mabel Lou did her part to help "snoopervise."

Our box of goodies arrived today in the mail and Mabel had to know what was in there! I think I'll just let her take over:

Mabel Lou here. I just love when good stuff comes in the mail! 


I couldn't wait for Mom to open it and let me see what's inside...My GOODNESS! L@@k at all those stuffies!!! And coupons for FREE FROSTY PAWS!! OH MY DOG!!!!

 Mom says they aren't all for me... but that we get to keep a stuffie and a couple of coupons! Since mom buys me Frosty Paws all the time, I'm sure she appreciates it!! I know I do!!! 

But Mom? What are we gonna do with all the rest?

We get to give them away??? OMD!!!

The nice folks at Frosty Paws sent along prepaid mailer boxes for all those stuffies and coupons - enough for 10 winners!!! Isn't that nice! 

Momma has put a rafflercopter thingy below with all the ways you can win. Be sure to leave a comment here telling us about your passion for Frosty Paws or about your beloved shelter pet. And Momma says you can tweet every day for more entries!!! Whooo Hoo...

But Mom??? All this talk of Frosty Paws is making me want a little snacky. And it IS over 80 degrees today... hint hint????

Allrighty Miss Mabel! Good job on telling the folks about the giveaway! Here's your reward:

See??? I really do love my Frosty Paws! 

Momma just HAD to get a picture of me with that stuffie which I'm supposed to tell you is for the humans. It is NOT for the animals! Geesh! Now Momma will you put away that flashy beast and let me eat my Frosty Paws in peace???

 Mabel and I both want to remind you, if you have room in your home, your heart will not regret the love you find at a shelter! Please adopt!

Please click the rafflecopter widget to comment to enter the drawing!!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Baby Takes a Sun Bake

I stepped out on the back porch the other day and much to my surprise, Baby had decided she needed a little sun! I can't blame's so dark and lonely in our bedroom during the day.

Mabel saw me taking a photo of Baby enjoying the sun and got a bit jealous. Either that or she was worried about Baby's reaction to flashy beast. Mabel Lou picked up Baby and took her to a sunnier spot:

I just love that my old girl still needs to play a bit! Later in the week, I would find Baby sunbaking by the shop all by her lonesome!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Last Week: Just the Facts

Number of blog posts I wanted to write (for Creekhiker and my Glass Bead Blog): 9
Number actually written: 2
Days I had a fever this past week: 3
Days I had a tummy ache from eating recalled Almond butter: 4
Days I got to swim: 6
Days I HAD to nap: 6
Days Mabel got "the short hike" because I wasn't up to par: 2
Days Mabel distracted me into taking the "long way" home: 2
Parties I attended where I knew no one save for my bestie: 1
Number of beads I sold in a random order that made my spirits soar: 3
Nights I laid awake sneezing: 7
Nights my dog tired of playing with me and gave me "the look" when I tried to continue our game: 2
 Baby is always ready to play; Mabel, not so much!

Weirdest question of the week: Do you play the ukelele?
Number of strange critters behind my house heard in the night: 3
Number of times I'm certain I had a Mallory flyover: 2
The last time I heard Mallory: 5:30 a.m.
Days notice I had to ship 8 last minute packages to my restaurant chain customer: 1/24
Hours early that I finished said order because my brain fog told me that overnights left my town at 2 pm: 1.5
Gratitude for that extra time on a scale of 1 - 10: 11

Monday, October 01, 2012

Relentless Sadness

It would seem I missed my usual July funk but it hit with a vengeance in September. It's not one thing and it's not my mother... It's just a lot of things... I'm hoping by purging my list, I can purge my mind and move on...

  1. I miss Mango. I'm sobbing just writing his name. I know I didn't know him for reals, but my heart hurts just the same. He, his mom and his labradork brother, Dexter, brought much joy to many and especially to me. His sudden death while I had no phone or internets last week was shocking and painful.    The big guys is sorely missed!
  2.  I'm very sad about the state of sales of lampwork glass beads and the first world women that don't think their time is worth even Chinese wages. It's only served to reinforce how bad I need gainful employment... which makes me even sadder.
  3. The people who read that blog post in #2 and couldn't see past my sassy attitude to the point that I was actually trying to make tire me. Oh the tediousness of trying to explain that I would rather punch someone who hurts me and hurts my business instead of giving them a hug!
  4. It saddens me that, at the age of 48, I still feel the need to explain and apologize for being direct. I have  been chastised my whole life for my tone and my direct nature. Everyone in my family speaks this way. NO ONE means to offend...certainly not me... yet we are all offended by each other. And the world is certainly offended by us. That has to be one of the top reasons I never wanted to marry. I simply didn't feel like apologizing any more and certainly not in the privacy of my own home. If a man is direct, no one says a word... but let a woman be direct and the world doesn't know what to do with her...especially since we don't burn them at the stake any more... 
  5. We learned last week that my sister's tumors in her lungs are growing again, the first setback since stopping chemo seven months ago. We were told that people in this advanced stage of lung cancer usually only make it six months... so we've made another hurdle but it's so difficult being so far away. And dealing with a mother who is in denial and how that hurts my sister makes me even sadder.
  6. The relatives on Facebook who always ask me how she is but never take the time to pick up the phone or send her a card make me sad and angry.
  7. Add in that I have a sinus infection, no funds for the doc or antibiotics and it's a hundred and freaking six outside and you'll understand why I'm taking to my bed at 11 am on a Monday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mischief on the Back Porch

A few years ago, I awoke  from a lovely spring or fall nap in time to feed Miss Mabel. I went to the back porch and was shocked to find that something had eaten through the handle in the lid of the trashcan where her food was stored! It was even more disturbing to me that the can was stored under a bathroom window mere feet from my bed. The gnawing never woke either one of us!

I repaired the handle with lots of duct tape and moved the can across the porch and rarely thought about it. When I did, I often wondered what type of creature could do that. I knew it wasn't a coon... they actually try to open the lid and even turn the can over. I finally decided it must be a rat but I thought it odd that with all the rats that can come in off the canal, none had tried it again.

And then yesterday, I got my answer! About 5:30, I went out to get Mabel's bowl and found a mess on the porch! The duct tape had been eaten away and an even larger hole was now in the can! Knowing that I had a hungry pooch waiting, I reached in the bag to scoop out some food and... IT MOVED!  I looked down into the trash can and found a squirrel! I had seen a squirrel earlier in the week at the fountain by the shop. Now that I have that working again... the fences being fixed have inspired me a bit...I guess the water sound is attracting critters.

Since the squirrel was behind the food bag, I quickly scooped some kibble and placed the lid back on the can. I just love that the little guy didn't really plan his meal out; he got a way in but with the slick, straight sides, he couldn't get out. I occupied Mabel by feeding her dinner inside the house. I took the lid off the can and tilted it over. Even though I had my camera at the ready... he was gone in a flash.

I taped an old credit card over the opening and decided to add a layer of aluminum foil. As cute as he is, I hope he finds another buffet!

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Didn't Get My Memory From Her

As I was paying a bill online for my mother this morning and giving her the confirmation number, she asked the date. When I told her "September 14th," her laser sharp memory kicked into gear.

"65 years ago today, I started working for the phone company in New Orleans. 820 Poydras Street...Yep... 4 p.m."

I laughed and made a crack about her memory. She would work for Ma Bell for 42 years.

Just now, I was cleaning off a bookshelf and noticed a photo album my mother had given me after her retirement. Normally, I just dust the album and move on... but the cover was coming off and I noticed that mother had some papers tucked behind the cover photo. I found her birth certificate... which could be a whole other blog post... and her graduation announcement. Which made me wonder what was inside.  As I moved on through all of Mother's favorite photos of herself across her lifetime, I found this:

This is the scrap of paper she wrote her report to work instructions on 65 years ago. And the salary of $29.00 a week? That was considered good pay back then.

Mom is 89, healthy and clearly sharp as a tack! It's days like this, I wish I were more like her.

Monday, September 10, 2012

These Kids Today Don't Know What They're Missing

This is the breakfast of my childhood (and frequently my adulthood). Pop-Tart - PLAIN please...none of that nasty royal icing that Kelloggs insists on putting on every freaking flavor! When I was a kid, the icky frosting was but a novelty, only on certain flavors. But now, in our overfed, overly sweetened America, you are lucky if you can find the strawberry unfrosted.... Although their website claims they still make the blueberry and cinnamon brown sugar unfrosted.

As a kid, there was also cherry and raspberry...

I loved these, much to the delight of my married, not-such-a-great-cook sister. Once when discussing what week all the kids-in-law could visit (my brother-in-law has younger brothers in my age range), my sister made her case for having me a week longer, "As long as there are Pop-Tarts in the house, Holly is happy. With the boys, I have to cook!"

And while my flavor choices have decreased over time, I still love them the same way: hot from the toaster with a pat of butter melting into all the little holes! HEAVEN!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Stop the Presses! Baby Has Been Found!

Mabel Lou here. I was absolutely shocked, SHOCKED I tell you to find that  Momma had accused me of burying Baby! I have not committed such a heinous crime since puppy-hood my teen years a really long time ago.

 Me and Baby

And even more shocking than my own Momma's allegations against me, was just WHERE my precious Baby was actually found! I'm not pointing any paws at any one human in particular (but as I live with only one human, you can draw your own conclusions!), but someone in my household sleeps with like a dozen pillows. She's got like three for her sore neck and two for her knees and three for her elbows. Three for her elbows... Tee hee... she says she needs three cause a certain poopy dog rests her head on one of them! Anyway, with so many pillows in my our bed, there's hardly any room at all for a good size rotten girl like me! And apparently not enough for my precious Baby!

Baby - (Mom says I have to tell you that our carpets are a mess because the men who claim to condition our hot air were going in and out of the attic. I was waiting at the bottom of the steps to see if they wanted to play tug with me and Baby!)

So WHERE did we find our Baby? Jammed under "someone's" mountain of pillows and worked clear down between the mattress and the headboard! My poor precious Baby! It's a wonder she didn't suffocate! We only found her cause Mom decided to flip the mattress!

I have been SO happy now that my beloved is back. I've even taken to tossing Baby about while the witch Mom is sleeping!

 Baby - Where have you been? You taste strange!

All is now right in my world! Now if you'll excuse me, Baby's ears need chewing!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Doggie Style S&M

I have a feeling I'm going to regret the title of this post as my most often searched post is titled Doggie Porn. So FREAKAZOIDS please pass on by! This is a sweet dog blog. Now before you can say "fifty shades of black and mahogany"....

By continuing to read this post, you are certifying that you are over 18 in dog years!

 After reading a post wherein the ever handsome Mango has a chat with his Momma, I was amused thinking about the way our beloved creatures communicate with us. Anyone who doesn't believe animals communicate has never lived with one! As luck would have it, I had a hilarious exchange with Mabel and just had to share it!

Our yard is a MESS! All the lumber from our old fences are in various piles and Mabel Lou is down to two 10 square foot areas, one of which I don't water to save money.  There is lumber and nails EVERYWHERE. Every morning, I get out there before it gets too hot and rip nails out of lumber and move what I can to the front yard, trying to free up some backyard area for Mabel.

I have to prop open two self locking gates on the side of the house to do this. As Miss Mabel has not made a run for it since her puppy days, I wasn't really worried about her. I was nearing the end of a pile of lumber and trash  when I realized there were some recyclables in the pile. It was trash day and my trash bins were on the street on the other end of my weird, triangular property.  On the way back from the trash barrels, I was shocked to see Mabel in the front yard!

I yelled at her so loud, neighbors a block away noticed! "GET IN THE BACK YARD!"

She stood there, watching me, unfazed.


Again, no reaction. I was walking quickly toward her and only when I was in touching distance, did she make any effort to go back through the gates.

With a stern voice I said, "Does somebody want a butt spank this early in the morning???"

Mabel continue walking but wagged her tail!

"Oh, clearly someone does want her butt spanked!"

She shoots me what I can only describe as a come hither glance and the tail goes higher and wags even more!

I grabbed her under her belly with my left hand, rear back with my right and place it oh so gently on her right flank followed by lots of playful pats and belly rubs (This is a "game" we have played her whole life.)

I hugged and kissed her and told what a naughty girl she was.

When she was satiated, I had to laugh... someone in this household clearly has a skewed idea of crime and punishment!