Friday, August 22, 2014

Dog Days and Nights...

We’ve taken care of the grand-dogs a few times this summer. Olive and Angus were over for 2 full weekends, and Macy, a five day stretch while her people were being back-up musicians in Saskatchewan.

Macy, hanging out while I browse the internets...
 Compared to the Littles, Macy is a breeze. She just likes to be with you -- even to the point that early in the morning she would sneak up the stairs and stand outside the bedroom door, moaning low to remind us that she had been alone for a long, long time.

Of course, Daisie was aghast that Macy would have the audacity to travel up the stairs. The noive!

But that’s about as bad as it gets with Macy. Well, except for the drooling that occurs when she is excessively excited. And her beautiful long black hair…which isn’t quite as beautiful when it isn’t on her…But attitude wise, she’s a good old sock and loves her people!

Extortion, Littles style. This is what happens when demands are not met.
The Littles, however, are a whole bunch of demand. Olive’s love must be earned, and Angus’ love must be endured. His expressiveness is unceasing when it comes to jumping his hellos and kissing your face. Don’t turn away and try to be shy! He’ll make sure that you don’t doubt his enthusiasm for your attention. He is only briefly confused when you finally yell at him to stop. He’s sure you don’t mean it.

Olive, on the other hand, needs to be coaxed, cajoled, and sometimes threatened to hold still long enough for you to touch her, much less to pet her. Only her Girl (Caitlin) and The Boss (Randy) are allowed special dispensations for affection. The rest of us are at her mercy.

And mercy is not her gift.

Another interesting facet of sitting the Littles is that they are accustomed to sleeping on Caitlin’s bed…and their expectations are high when it comes to staying with Gram and The Boss. We decided early on that they would be granted the special privilege of going upstairs. Daisie has never been allowed all the way up the stairs, and now has a phobia about doing so. We actually can’t get her to do it. By contrast, we could never get the Littles to stop doing it…so we just gave up and called it a privilege. Sorry, Daisie.

We situated the crates at the foot of the bed but, of course, the Littles ignored them and leapt onto the bed and after a few wrestles of joy, they cozied up while I watched TV.

But when The Boss came to bed, I put them in the crates. They did well until 3 am, when I heard Olive scratching, and crying just a little. I decided to ignore this, as I know that Olive can make it the whole night without a potty break. I played dead…even after Angus began to join in.

However, The Boss responded to their call…which came as a shock to me! This never happened when we had children…and that’s all I’m going to say about that because NOW?? FOR DOGS??

Ok…moving on…The dogs dutifully went potty outside, and then raced pell-mell for our bedroom, making flying leaps onto the bed, and had a round of joy wrestling.

It was as if they were saying, “We did it! We did it!”

And to my continued shock, The Boss got into bed – and left them there. Whereupon, they snuggled right down; Angus in the crook of my knees, head resting on my legs; Olive sprawled out between The Boss and I. They knew a good thing when they saw it…And we all went back to sleep.

For a while…

An hour or two later, I felt a polite poke on my arm…and then another, more insistent. It was Olive. What could she want? She’d already been out; she was already on my bed…And then I remembered that she’s a burrower…Before I got poked again, I lifted the blankets, and she dove in, wriggling down to my feet. In minutes, she was asleep again.

I have to say I now understand why the Kings and Queens of yesteryear always had a little companion dog. They certainly help keep you warm – and when you consider the damp, cold, drafty stone edifices in which they resided, it makes a lot of sense. It was the equivalent of an electric blanket…

If you could find an electric blanket that also farts.

I would have thought I was accustomed to this…uh…happening? Eventuality? Atmospheric condition? Whatever…But in this case, I was severely outgunned by the number, and in a couple of cases, the power of emitters in the bed.

Severely…We need to find those Littles a different kind of food!!

Anyway, as the sun began to come up I looked across the bed to see The Boss’ head on the pillow, and in between us was Olive, still snoozing comfortably with the blankets up to her shoulders and her head by the pillow – just like us people. My legs were terribly stiff from not daring to move and wake up Angus, who was so comfortably ensconced with his head on my knees.

As soon as the room was light, it was wake up time, and any thought of waking slowly was gone as soon as the Littles roused. They prefer to start the day with calisthenics that are accomplished by wrestling each other as if the bed were a ring…And believe me, they use all the corners, and cross it often. It is quite invigorating in a very irritating sort of way…

The worst of it is that they – and this does remind me of the days of young children – awoke completely refreshed, and ready to take on the world. I, on the other hand, felt as if I had been used as a piece of furniture…Which, in fact, I had been.

The next night, The Boss dispensed with the crates, and the Littles spent the night cozying up to their favorite piece of furniture – me. The Boss slept well, as did they, and that is truly like the old days – and nights.

Friday, August 8, 2014


In our corner of the Pacific Northwest, it’s been a season that can truly be called summer! Oftentimes, our summer is a week long, and is over before we recognized it. Not this year! We’ve enjoyed summer weather day after day…and that means the ground is very dry, and my flowers and garden are in need of serious watering.

I’ve been very faithful about doing that…and then one day, this showed up in a box on our porch!


The Farmer had watched me drag around my plastic hose cart as much as he could stand, and purchased, put together, and enhanced with special features this new wonder. (During harvest, no less! That is love…)

I already had a hose cart that I had purchased myself. However, I have this…thing…about buying equipment for outdoor endeavors.

I don’t like to pay much for that stuff. My conviction was that I would spend no more than $40 on a hose cart, and if that meant the wheels didn’t turn very well, and the cart would drag along sometimes when I pulled out the hose, so be it. I’d rather pay $40 for a hose cart and drag it around, than pay $140 for one and not be able to buy an extra top and a few thrift store treasures.

The Farmer doesn’t get this…thing…that I have.

And watching me wrestle the hose cart (which to me is still better than wrestling 100ft of hose), was getting to him.

So now I have a hose cart with all the bells and whistles!

The wheels are perpendicular to the direction the reel turns: no more dragging cart.

The tires are big and bouncy and roll so easily on the grass.

The reel locks in position, and can be left unlocked as well.

The Farmer attached a little storage bin for my sprinklers and nozzles.

The Farmer permanently plumbed in a valve so that I can regulate the flow to the sprinkler with just a twist, or 1/8 of one. This is a quantum leap in quality over my previous cart, whose plastic fitting regularly shot out the side of the cart as the water flow began with its fits and starts. I always had to hold it in until the spitting was over, and hope that nothing happened while I was away from the cart.

And The Farmer didn’t plan this one, but it also serves as an exercise machine. Due to my lack of acumen on which direction is left-loosy or righty-tighty on said valve, and the length of the hose on said cart, I do quite a bit of walking back and forth before I get the water flow right.

It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

Watering is SO easy now…and I have to admit that those extra dollars have everything to do with it. Sure – you can buy a hose cart for $40, but now I see that, even though it’s quite a few dollars more, convenience isn’t a bad purchase either. Right now, it’s making me happy every day.

Sometimes this Dutch girl just needs to suck it up, and pay for the intangibles.

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life ( and one where I can vent. (