Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The New Fainting Couch

Before we left for Louisiana, our beloved fainting couch started falling apart! Mabel and I were both afraid of it! The day we got home, Hank and Sue's Mom, the thrift store aficionado, told us there were several fainting couches at our amazing magical thrift store (another blog post I need to write!). I found one that would suit us...very sturdy, well made. The down side it was peach...not the best for a black dog that rolls in mud daily! (The pillow behind Mabel is the color of the new couch.) was part of a set...dirt cheap but still a set of two. Since the redneck in me has always wanted a sofa on the back porch, and the fainting couches I had prices were more than double the price of these two... I did it!

And I LOVE them both! The new fainting couch is wider and I don't need to pull another chair over when Mabel starts stealing my space. And it's longer... we both have spots to curl up in! The porch sofa??? It's the bomb! I curl up on it after swimming and watch the stars! And the other night when Mabel had a tummy ache and wanted to be outside at 2 a.m... I fell asleep on it! 

So, we've joined the "blanket over the sofa club!" 

Monday, July 22, 2013


We don't get to see Barticus as often now that they've moved down the mountain a bit...but he and Mabel still adore each other. We took them out for coffee dog cookies on Sunday and they curled up together.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lost and Found

We've been hiking at our spring fed ponds out of necessity. Our little creek is bone dry!  And a dang skunk has taken up residence at Dirty Creek in the early evening when most of us can hike.  Still, the humans (females) of our pack don't seem to feel safe at the ponds alone. As a country girl who loved nothing more to walk in the wooded area of my grandfather's farm or to wander the woods around the rivers I loved the swim in, I only share their trepidations to a certain degree. I have a dog that NEEDS to roll in a river every day or she's not happy. In this house, if Mabel ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!!!

So Mabel and I found ourselves without hiking buddies on Saturday night and decided to take the opportunity to find another entrance to our ponds. We've been there before with Bart's mom. As there are only three parking spaces to our regular entry and our pack needs 4 - 6, I thought it would be a good find!

This other entrance provides much more parking but is "hilly." We shimmied down the hillside beside the golf course, under the busy street and in another 50 yards were under the freeway. And that's where it all went wrong.  I knew the ponds sat near the freeway so we turned and climbed a steep hill. I realized this was probably wrong...but was thrilled to see a sign on the top of the trail that read "trail to the ponds."  And that's when we found something... a big something!

Last year, all the news in town was about  a homeless camp that was found by the police. Three men had actually built some sort of house and even used rocks to "lay a tile floor."  The only description as to location was "by the ponds."  Nice and vague! All of us hikers  who know many of the wooded trails over there - and I know more of the back woodsy trails than others -  were dumbfounded! No wonder this camp had become so elaborate! Even the regular hikers couldn't find it!
Those are bunk beds behind the picnic table... I was shaking taking these! 

 As Mabel and I rounded the bushes by the trail sign, I couldn't help but think we had stumbled onto the camp! It had three rooms... a dining room, a bedroom and a library / pantry / supply room. It was disguised by camo cover and old plastic Christmas tree branches! I gave a shout out before exploring it and taking a few photos. I'm still not certain we found the house from last summer as there was no "rock tile patio" and... I thought the police destroyed that one! But still... the ingenuity!

Mabel and I shimmied down another mountainside, me guarding my bad knees and clinging to the freeway fence,  and finally were near the ponds... except there was a downed fence and lots of briars and a steep hillside to go down. Sensing we were close, Mabel tried to run ahead but was slowed by the over growth. I knew we had to turn back. We were too close to the freeway and too far from the ponds! I had to climb that mountain again...grrr. And then I realized Mabel was not with me! I called, I yelled... and I finally realized she had gone into the homeless camp..."There might be foodables Mom!"

By the time we found the right trail, my knees were too shot to scale another hillside...this one had nothing to hang on to. Realizing we were too hot, too tired and too lost to continue, we gave up, returned to the car and drove the 1/3 mile to our regular spot. And finally, we found our little slice of heaven!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cruel Momma

Mabel Lou here. I thought I would show you just how mean my Momma is to me.

These photos are of me but do you know what Momma is doing? OK, yes she's taking photos but do you know what else she's doing??? Keeping a stick in need of rescue from me! Oh the cruelty!
What on earth must she be thinking to prevent me from saving that stick?
Can you believe what I have to put up with???

Monday, July 15, 2013

Where's Otto?

Kinda like Where's Waldo but we're looking for a rottenweiler:

There he is!
Here's a blow up version:

 He likes to swim FAR!

We're gonna have to quit sharing his pics here or Miss RottRover's gonna send him to live with us! Seriously, he is such a source of amusement on our walks and swimmies! He's such a nice boy too! We are very much in love with him! He even gives kisses if you can get him to slow down!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Coming At You

This post* guest stars Otto the Rotto from Rottrover fame.

No sticks were gravely injured in the making of this post

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Baby Lou Highlights from Louisiana

Many of you know we have a special stuffie that shares one of Mabel Lou's nicknames: Baby Lou. I thought I would share two of the cuter Baby Lou adventures from Louisiana.

When Mom had surgery, I expected to stay with her one night and that Mabel would spend one night with my brother in law and Bailey. It quickly became clear that I needed to be with Mom 24/7 for the full three nights and four days, thus making Mabel spend more time at her cousin's.

My brother in law drove Mabel to Mom's as soon as I got there. There were hugs and kisses and Mabel proceeded to sniff the house. The humans went into Mom's bedroom - where Mabel, Baby Lou and I sleep - to discuss the best placement of the new shower chair.

A few moments later Mabel entered, ignored us and leaped on the bed. She nosed around the covers and... found her Baby Lou and let out the biggest sigh of relief! I didn't send Baby with Mabel as I knew Bailey would not be nice to her! My girl was SO happy to see her Baby!!!


The morning we were to fly home, I stripped our bed and started laundry. Mabel wandered in the bedroom to supervise the packing.

"Mabel, we have to pack Baby Lou! Go get her!!!"

Mabel goes to our bed. She sees it is stripped, so she sniffs the floor at the foot of the bed and comes to me, concern on her face.

I knew Baby was on the side of the bed. I walked over and said, "BABY!!! WHAT are you doing HERE??? We have to go home!!!"

Mabel went to Baby and picked her up. As my suitcases were in three different rooms, I was curious what was next. Mabel proceeded to the room where my carry on was and only then did she give me Baby Lou!

For the two of you are not familiar with the Baby Lou Game... Here's the back stories:

The Beginning

Baby Takes a Sunbake

Baby Is Lost

Baby Found

The Games We Play

Monday, July 08, 2013

I Think Her Head's Gonna Explode!

I have done nothing to this photo except lighten it a little! I often find blurry photos way more interesting than perfect ones as is the case with this one:

Mabel is yelling at her good buddy Otto. I don't know why on earth he's so kind and patient with her! But her nickname is Queen Bitch of Everything!  She usually yells at him a bit until they work things out and just play.

The low, early evening light and Mabel's greyed eyebrows make it look like her eyes are bugging out of her head!

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Thoughts on the Trip

The three of us are Home! Mabel Lou, Baby and I made it home. We are thrilled and happy despite a rude little flight attendant that didn't like big dogs and the fact that our flight was originally headed to San Francisco and we had some unhappy co-passengers!

This is Mabel Lou's first creek hike last night. I was pointing the camera at her and asked, "Mabel, are you HAPPY?" and this is what I got:

It was such a lovely night with friends... until Hank and Sue took off and met a skunk! I spent the evening taking supplies to their Mom. Poor babies!


I haven't spent much time in Louisiana in the summer in such a long time and I was struck by so many contrasts between my two homes...

Ripoff Report:
It's odd to me what items are expensive in one place vs. the other. In Louisiana, milk and produce are much more expensive... and there's a dairy just outside Baton Rouge. But milk is about a $1.25 more in most stores! And produce prices are terribly high it because more people garden and there is less demand?

I had to buy some of these for a friend in CA recently.
They were a buck a piece! Really??? What mom would buy pre-made frozen sandwiches for a buck each! That tag is from Louisiana and that price would make them .598 cents each! Why such a big price difference???

Gasoline is nearly a buck more a gallon here. Our government claims it's the "expensive" detergents required to meet California summer emissions...  Excuse me while I laugh.

I know housing is so pricey here but many other things are the same or even less...

DUCK Goose!

The first day I visited my Mom at rehab, I was over the moon to see this goose family a few feet from my car:

I'm kinda terrified of geese...I was attacked by them once on a film location!  But the bird babies got me. By the time Mom left, one of the babies was MIA. One evening as I was driving home, I stopped my car in the middle of the street because the family was passing. I was honked at and given the middle finger salute and not one vehicle stopped for the family! OK, we're talking a grand total of three cars on this remote street but still!

Cut to my trip to the thrift store this morning: I see a local peacock family crossing my street. I stopped. Mom looked beat to a coyote got a hold of her. I was most surprised to see a big male helping her tend the two chicks.

And the three other cars that I encountered??? They all stopped and watched! There's something to be said for us nutty Californians!

God is Everywhere
Funny but that sort of sums up my religious philosophy but, in the case of the South, I mean it literally! It was to the point where it was starting to offend me and I'm a very spiritual person who also believes in leaving others to make their own dang minds up. If you ask me, I'll tell you what I believe and why but I don't go around trying to lead a flock anywhere. Heck, there as days I feel I've done a good job and if me and dog are still alive at the end of it!

But there are NUMEROUS religious television channels on 24/7! My personal favorite was a charlatan who insisted God would bless me if I only sowed a "thousand dollar favor" to plant a "triple favor seed" with the Lord....(That's ONLY 84 dollar a month!)  By "the Lord" he meant his ministry.   When I think of some of the dim witted, but kind-hearted folks I know that would fall for this crap, it gives me greater understanding of the old Southern phrase "he needed killin!" I really don't understand how the FCC can allow such cons on the air!

And then with the 4th of July even the local yokel news anchors were throwing around "God Bless America and God Bless YOU" at the end of their commercials advertising their fireworks spectacular. I only ate out in a restaurant a total of three times but one of them was selling little crosses and stitched pillows reminding me that Jesus is Lord. If you want to find the Lord, I'm certain He's in the South. Or you could at least find a replica to purchase!

But all of this made me wonder... WHY go to church? You can preached at endlessly, tithe and order religious ephemera all from the comfort of your air conditioned home!

Patience for Patients

Taking care of my strong and willful mom was an eye opening experience. So many issues of my own inadequacy from the constant criticism are way too near the surface. I couldn't help but think of taking care of my sister just six months before.

No matter what I did for my sis, there was that kind, sweet little voice ALWAYS... "Thank youuuu! Thank YOU!" for everything. She knew she was hard to please but she always said it. I remember trying to move her. I couldn't lift her but I knew she could hold onto my neck. I would tell her we were dancing. "Take a step right, take a step back." She listened and I could maneuver her where I needed her to go, cheek to cheek. She would kiss me and thank me.

I would change her diapers and she would look up at me and apologize over and over. My response was always the same, "Hey, you changed mine! Now it's my turn!"

And while it's natural for my mother to long for her lost child gazing through the perfection colored glasses of loss, I wish, just once, I could feel like the good daughter I know I am. One who is not always wrong in everything she does.

Friday, July 05, 2013


Mabel Lou here. I'm waiting for Bailey to get in Granny's car. Mom had the suitcases out! And I only have ONE toothbrush treat left... Hmmmm

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Mississippi Sunset

These were taken from the deck of the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino while I was waiting (and waiting and waiting) for Mom