Tag Archives: pets

Significant Bother

When the dog is here for holidays with me I do very little except take care of her. She seems to be less demanding these days which is a good thing. In March she will be two years old. In dog years , a teenager.

I still have to plan my day around her but it seems less hectic. She eats twice a day ,sleeps in her crate for part of the day , enjoys our little walks to the side of the house, usually leaves my plants alone now, responds fairly well to direction, chews fewer shoes and has almost learned to give the old cat alone time. She would love a longer walk outside but I find she is too rambunctious for my liking and I find it difficult to hang on to her, so we cut the walks short.

Given a big bone to chew on fresh from the pet store she will be a good dog for hours and exhaust herself enjoying it with gnawing and snuffling it all over the house. Almost everything about her has improved with her developing maturity except for the night time sleeping arrangement.

At night, she whines and carries on like a frantic newborn if she is in her crate. She is not going to get bed cosy with me if I can help it so the alternative is to stay up with her and we each take a recliner. Well into the night we watch television and read. She finds it quite soothing to be read to and seems to prefer the classics.

 Side by side we get through the night. She gets her ears petted and back scratched and likes to look bleary eyed into my face several times during the night. Sometimes  I even cover her up with my extra sweater or a handy blanket. My night gets painfully cramped and cold on the recliner and my sense of day and night is blurred. However, it is quieter. There is no whining. Only loud snoring coming from the other recliner. It’s almost like….

She goes home tomorrow. Holidays are over.


Filed under family relationships, health and wellness, humor, humour, pets, retirement, Uncategorized, writing


It may strike some of you as odd that my printer is in a black shopping bag in the backseat of my car. It has been there now for over a month….uh, make that…two months. Thinking it was in need of repair I took it to my tech savy nephew to check over and advise me on it’s glitches. Although it was given a clean bill of health I just left it, abandoned and bagged. If I didn’t bring it into my study I couldn’t hardly use it, could I?

With no printer in the house my excuse for not working on my writing stockpile convinced me to just let it stay there for the time when it would be needed and work would then commence. It is not totally alone out there as I tend to keep things from garage sales and various projects awhile in my car until can deal with them.

With the chaos caused by my son’s belongings returning home for storage in the so called empty nest and then being claimed again in several carloads going in another direction I felt the need to sit in my  recliner, drink hot milky tea and eat fig newtons ( my favourite)  while reading Graham Greene, Mary Stewart, Katherine Webb and Laurie King . Visits from his bulldog also occupied my concentration and composure. Coping as best as I can with the commotion my printer and garage sale stuff faded into the background.

Any theories on this behaviour might reveal my underlying procrastination problems. Tomorrow, if not later tonight after I finish this blog , I will get the printer out of the car and place it on the desk beside the computer and hook it up like a normal person trying to develop a writing stockpile. I believe I have been cured or maybe I have just seen the light.

Once that simple act is done, the next step will be to use the new writing program purchased with my laptop…over two months ago. Ignoring the unfamiliar features and widgets on the program that intimidate me I will forge ahead and make use of the parts of it I understand. Most of the program is fluff stuff and I will never need it and despite my buyer’s remorse I will carry on with writing, filing, editing, saving and printing.

Time to make hay after the drought and being lost in the wilderness .


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Night Movements

Immediately upon arriving I grab whatever has been left out handy to eat and drink as much as I can. Looking around, lights are on in every room but only the soft glowing ones in the silk leaves get my attention. There are no rules right now because she is happy to see us and wants to know about new buildings, beds, Kate and the elevator as well as the stairs. The attack that happened wasn’t my fault but made my eye twitch. I was grabbed by the neck anyway but she was my defender having seen the first strike against me. Once more, watching at the big window for night movements and listening to housekeeping duties, sleeping rough. Finally, our own time together and I can lean on her or move away whenever I like. The threat of attack remains down the hall perched in wicker and wool. She seems to prefer me but my stay is only overnight. Understanding is difficult and we leave again when the night is dark and the lights outside are turned on brightly to help us say goodbye.

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Walk On, Walk On

Weather cooler and  shod in proper footwear, edging slowly onto newly paved village lane and managing better than the first time out. Many quick hellos, a community breakfast on picnic tables trapping legs. Coffee in Styrofoam while exiting, an excuse to sit down. Squirrels thinking ,lost cause. Remainder a limping walk and visit with brindle coloured boxer pup, licking maple syrup from my hand. Second day out, slightly longer distance, meal included. Calendar circled, journal noted, goal forming.

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Brewed For Blackout

Anticipating the storms to arrive eventually , doors still closed to the heat, curtains backing out the glare  ,measures taken and fans directed. Cooled, refreshed , dressed to remain indoors in a waiting rest. Rumbling storms arrive and darken outlines of houses, trees and withered ferns. Too late to bring in cushions on the porch, so coffee brewed for blackout. Wind, rain, lightning, thunder combine repeatedly through the late day and create an exhausted night. Sirens heard with each new surge, subsiding before a chance to recover and no one knows what has gone so terribly wrong except the ones who have to go into the wild night. Cat behind curtain, frightened search for duvet ,instinctively moving. 


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Dog Gone. Tired.

Three days ago the bulldog left the building. After five weeks of baby bulldog care and cleanup I was ready for her to go to her new home in the big city. The first day of freedom I just took off…. did errands…. honestly I can’t remember what I did exactly…. but it was good to get out of the house and not have to be back within a few hours for puppy parenting. The second day I spent mostly at my sister’s having a good visit and a nice meal. The third day I crashed from exhaustion and couldn’t rest because I had to clean but I couldn’t clean because I was too tired. Trying to visit with a friend who I’d met for lunch, I declined food and only sipped on soul restoring hot tea.

 By the end of that day I had swept up dog hairs, vacuumed, washed down surfaces but only in a haphazard way. The vacuum still sits in the livingroom as I need to really go over things again. Window cleaning materials are at hand and floor mopping equipment is waiting in the wings.

From the emails received I hear she is nervous of the big city and still adjusting to her new apartment. As much as I would like to help with things and this adjustment I will stay out of the picture and just give advice from afar. Just yesterday ,I sent cleaning advice by email to my very adult son on how to clean dog pee from a mattress.  Oh, they grow up so fast.


Filed under family relationships, friends, health and wellness, humour, pets, retirement, storytelling, Uncategorized, writing

Aunt Mabel’s Sewing Basket

Three weeks have passed since I was presented with the two dress shirts to repair. They have been left draped on a chair with the sewing basket close at hand, untouched. All that was required was some very simple button sewing but it seemed to be a job I would rather postpone. Today, I sewed on the buttons. It took about an hour because the buttons had been chewed off by the little bulldog character I’ve mentioned in some previous posts. Delicate chewing had crushed about six buttons and they had to be replaced with the extra ones sewn on the bottom of the shirts. It was good of her to leave some spares. It was also good of her to leave the shirt fabric in one piece. I am trying to be positive about her best qualities.

 The biggest pain was just threading the needle but eventually with a great deal of winking and aiming I got the thread through the needle and with tiny scissors I clipped away the tattered threads hanging on the chewed spots. After completing this simple task I felt some satisfaction and put the shirts away for my son when he breezes in to get them later this weekend.

The next thing I did was tidy up the sewing basket. For several years it has been in a bit of a jumble and I couldn’t quite close the lid properly. Obviously, this sewing thing is not a priority with me so a jumbled sewing box with it’s lid askew isn’t surprising. However, having finished the simple button repairs and feeling somewhat pleased with myself I decided to take a few minutes and just organize the kit so I could put it away neatly for the next sewing session.

Many spools of thread of intriguing muted colours filled the top layer of the box. Under this tray were all kinds of tiny clever travel sewing kits. Some were in little square cases, some were wrapped in brown paper and one was in a small metal capsule with a cute little thimble as a cap on the end. More mysterious paper packages revealed sets of hooks, buttons and what nots used for sewing emergencies. I found several threading devices also but could only figure out how to use one of them successfully.  Ribbons, elastic tape and seam binding laid in the bottom layer of the basket. I doubt I’ll ever use them but I don’t feel the authority to remove them. They stay.

An hour or so passed sorting through all this stuff and I found myself thinking of many different things in the process. Marvelling at the common sense practicality of all the items brought back memories of my aunt. This was her workbasket and had been handed down. The careless mess of the items was my doing during the years when all I could do was dash through tasks like repairing a fallen hem or lost button.  ( In my glory days as a very busy teacher I was more inclined to use a stapler to temporarily fix a dangling hem!) She had kept all these things in top order ready for action and I had pawed through them creating havoc.

In the whole scheme of things it sometimes takes time to face what needs to be done and sort through the things that don’t sit well. It takes time to really look at things, put aside the frustrations and try to use what is practical. Several years and three weeks later, some of my aunt’s common sense and practicality rubbed off on me. However, it is the thread of thought between us that I found so binding. Honestly, I enjoyed the visit.

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Pacing Myself Accordingly

Grinding to a standstill almost here in a small rural Ontario heritage village, I wonder what the rest of the Zoomers are up to in their “FREE TIME” . The weather is warm, the atmosphere is becoming late summer, the fruits and vegetables are abundant and the bees are fortunately still buzzing in my flower patch.

Nothing much is really going on and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Once in awhile I venture out to the store, visit the library, attend a bridal shower at church (OOPS,must get back to regularly attending services in the fall) sit on the neighbour’s deck and drink coffee and eat her cookies, take little walks, support the local farmer’s market, cook and bake for myself, visit family and have lunch with a friend.

Mostly, I read while I’m relatively stuck at home with my son’s dog ( who I just caught chewing an electrical cord under my desk as I write this blog!) while he gets established in a new job in the big city. Reading is just about the most perfect thing for this lifestyle.

My writing “HOBBY” has almost dwindled like a dried creek. The drain of having my son take up his roots, start a new job elsewhere, deal with all the assorted details of the move, store all his stuff here thereby cluttering up my tiny home and assign his year old bulldog to my care for a couple of months has nipped my writing off at the bud.

  I’ve become quieter, almost borderline stick-in-the mud and viewer of a few television shows. So far, the allure of soap operas has escaped me so I know I’m still relatively sane.

So all in all, no complaints other than some occasional moments of wondering if I’m using my time wisely. It is time spent resting, reading, puttering and reflecting. I have a furry guest to entertain but I can stick her in a crate a couple of times a day whenever I need to do errands or other tasks. 

There will be time to go a little further afield in a month or so, once in awhile and I may even find something more exciting to write about than this. It really isn’t so bad. In fact, it is just a change of pace.


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Cute, Hilarious And Adorable Wears Thin After Awhile

When I get my life back from being a dog nanny in the next month or so I plan to do something. I don’t know what I will do but it will be something nice. Maybe a little drive to an antique store or to town to see a friend or maybe even to see a matinee at my favourite theatre in Stratford. Such freedom will be mine. Only a month or so to go.

The bulldog is now over a year old and weighs sixty five pounds. She is muscular, like Arnold. Bulldog snorts at me when I say her name, Penny and flips her head as if to say”you are not the boss of me”.  Despite much more suitable accommodation,she sits ( like a huge Winnie- The- Pooh) in the front bay window, sleeps in the bay window and catches the occasional fly there in the bay window. The window has slobbers on it. I’m at the point where I still care that there are slobbers on it but not quite enough to deal with it. I will deal with it in turn. Dog hair isn’t the only thing I have to clean up, I’m just sayin’.

It is the quiet time of night and bulldog is sleeping in her crate. She has a soft blanket in there but has ripped it up a bit. Her crate pad was chewed last week so it got tossed out. As I pick up her toy lion and rhino, rope, rubber tire and chew bones for the night I try to make things as tidy as I can so that I won’t trip over things.

Late night television and off peak laundry (off peak means a cheaper electricity rate) keep me occupied until I can find the poor old cat  and bring her in for the night. She hates the dog and stays outside as long as possible.  At this point, she just sleeps in the driveway, socializes with the neighbours walking by and eats out of a cardboard box that I have rigged up to try to keep her food fresh. She has given up her bay window, her soft blanket, her food dish and her significant person since the dog arrived.

It’s been a long three weeks. Only four or five weeks to go. It better be ….I’m just sayin’.


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