Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby Fritzy and the Christmas Slippers

I gave my husband a new pair of slippers for Christmas to replace the warm wonderful sheepskin slippers my sister's family had given him on a previous Christmas.  Those slippers had cocooned and warmed his cold feet until Baby Fritzy had chewed them to smithereens, hence the need for new slippers.

My dearly beloved whined about his cold feet.  At which time I lovingly reminded him that had he put his slippers up out of "Her" reach he would still be enjoying the warmth and comfort of his slippers.  He would give me wonderful impersonations of the warm and heartfelt emotions that grace basset hounds and their more jubilant cousins the blood hounds.

So I set about choosing a new pair of slippers to warm his "tootsies".  Since Fritzy has a leather fetish, I rejected all slippers made with this material.  I selected a pair of isotoner slippers made with black corduroy fabric, plush cushioning, and fuzzy fake fur lining.  I chose slip-ons for added comfort.

I had hid the present until Christmas Eve – because he tends to sniff out the contents much too easily.  On our way out to spend Christmas Eve with family I handed him his package. He held it, examined it, shook the box. Then cheerily announced they were slippers. I harrumphed and put the package up after securing Fritzy in the crate.

When we returned home Dan opened his package and donned his pair of slippers.  They warmed his toes and gave him great delight.  He took off his slippers before heading for a soak in the tub.  I was busy in another room.  Looking over my shoulder Sammi was on the love seat, Max was lying by the heat vent, Lady was at my side and Fritzy was laying in his recliner.

A short term later Dan emerged from the bathroom and we visited in the dining room.  He saucily asked where I was going to put “his” slippers to keep Baby Fritzy from eating them.  I lovingly explained that was “his” responsibility!  I went into the living room – Baby Fritzy was still in the recliner the slippers were still on the floor.  As I picked up the slippers I noticed the heel was wet and missing a small chunk of the fabric.  I looked at my husband and said “To late. She already got them.”

I turned to the dog and in my sternest teacher voice held the slippers up and told Fritzy she was a “Bad Dog”.  I then turned my sites on my husband as the dog jumped down and headed to my husband for protection.  Both she and my husband looked at me with “sad contrite eyes”.

I informed Dan that he needed to scold her for chewing on his slippers.  What I hear was a soft gentle voice say. “Baby if you chew your Momma’s going to get after you.”  

“Ahhgh” I tried explaining that he needed to set boundaries or she will continue to “chew”.  He looked at me with big eyes and responded – “She didn’t mean to r-u-i-n them.  Did you Baby? I just can’t get after her.” 

Fritzy looked up beseechingly next to Dan’s legs.  Seemingly asking “Are we still in the dog house?” 

Dan smiled sheepishly, “She really couldn’t help herself.  She knew it was wrong – but she only nibbled a small piece.  She had time to totally demolish it.”

I do not know which is harder to train - my big teddy bear of a husband – who turns to mush when he is faced with disciplining her or Baby Fritzy our charming rogue with a penchant for chewing?  Do they offer husband training classes?

This morning I looked through the sale ads – there are some great buys on slippers.  I guess I better stock up!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby Fritzy - What did you do with the Glove?

There are days when Fritzy does not chew.  Then there was last week.  I came home to find the remains of my hair brush decorating the floor.  I looked at the chunks of plastic pieces and asked Dan, "What did she chew up today?"
"It was only your hair brush."
I explained calmly that if he's not going to supervise her, he'd have to start cleaning up after her.  At this point I'm not sure which one of the juvenile delinquents I most want to throttle.
When I went out on the back porch I found one of Dan's gloves lying on the floor.  It was still intact - just missing it's mate.  I asked Dan, "Where's your gloves?"  He answered that they were in the living room by his chair."  I just smiled and handed him the one I found.
Later I caught her playing with matches. Can arson be far behind?  She had hit Tom's tobacco stash and stolen a book of matches. My little thief didn't stop there.  She took two of his caps.  Moved her plunder outside under a bush in the farthest part of the back yard.  
Yes she has a designated site where she stashes her ill gotten plunder.  I found the remains of the two caps and a dissected box of Almond Roca Cookie Mix, previously sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be made.  Interestingly she didn't open the individual packages, just the outside box.  Did I say she might be ADHD?  She is very easily distracted - thank goodness.  But I did not find the missing glove.
I asked Tom if he had seen the glove in the basement.  He hadn't.  What he did show me was very upsetting.   She had eaten the corners off his pocket bible.  And chewed up his reading glasses.  Leather seems to be her flavor of choice.
For the next day and a half Dan would show Baby Fritzy the glove and asked her what she had done with the other one.  I see you shaking your head - I know you think our household has gone to the dogs.  On second thought you may be right.
Amazingly I found the glove on the back porch by the outside door.  She must have finally remembered where she hid it.  I was glad she returned it no worse for wear. 
I don't know why but it's really hard to stay mad at her.  There's just something about that dog.    

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fragmented Thoughts

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where's Sammi

Sammi is a mouser.  She sits and waits, sometimes for hours. Then she pounces.  Sometimes she will hear and see the mouse run behind the boxes and cans in the pantry.  She shoves her head between the cans.  Other times she takes her paw and moves the cans.  They often find their way to the floor.

I often find her laying at the pantry door eyes focused, waiting, waiting, waiting.  Then there's a flash and the race is on.  The grey missile makes a break for freedom.  Sometimes its his last run.

My pantry is smaller than most walk in closets.  Recently it looks like a war zone.  Cans and boxes litter the floor where Sammi has knocked them over trying to catch her mouse.  You see Sammi is our Great Dane - Lab cross.  She is a very small Great Dane standing 26 inches tall from her toes to her shoulder.

I've often told Dan, "That dog is a cat."
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Monday, November 1, 2010

I Have A Secret

My cupboards runneth over with cookbooks.  A neighbor recently asked Dan if I did a lot of cooking. He said, only if she has to.  I know you are asking, "Why so many cook books then?"

That is a very good question.  I once met a lady in the back of a fabric store; they had a selection of Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks.  I was reading one of the books, this delightful lady said "Oh you read cook books like novels, then laughed looked around and in a conspiratorial whisper revealed a dark secret. "So do I!"

I think secretly I would like to be able to cook like my mother.  She was a fabulous cook.  The only thing preventing me is 1.  I don't have her passion for cooking 2.  I hate cleaning up my messes  3.  It takes time to do it right.  When I was young and Mom tried to teach me to cook she became exasperated and said, "Child you had better marry a man who can cook otherwise you will either starve or have to eat out of cans."

Most of the men I dated were great cooks.  The microwave was invented and a host of food that can be quickly prepared in it. The down side - "Its not home cooking." They also invented the "Slow cooker".  Food prepared in it has lots more flavor. So I didn't starve.

I know you are wondering if Dan cooks. He doesn't!

Getting back to my cook books.  My all time favorites are the Gooseberry Patch books and Taste of Home books.  I like easy and flavorful.  Easy is the operative word.  I also like these books for the short memories the writer shares.  Its like getting a peek into the cook's life.  I have often been touched from the memories they share and sometimes have been inspired to try the recipe.

In 1983 I bought a Keepsake cookbook from Current Catalog.  Each page had a place to write the recipe where it was from and a memory connected to it.  Most of the pages are now full of wonderful recipes.  It is one of my most cherished possessions.  And you thought all I did was read them.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby Fritzy - She's Busted

Cross Posted

It was late evening, I was grading papers, Dan was watching TV. No one was paying Baby Fritzy any mind.  She came into the living room sporting white powder all over her face. Her whiskers looked like they had been dipped in glue then dusted again with white powder.  She bounced in licking her chops and wagging her tail.  Her eyes pleaded nolo contendere.
Dan called to me and I took one look.  I wondered what she had got into and if it was dangerous.  I reached down and held her while I sniffed her muzzle.  "Garlic" was the most noticeable scent.  I knew what she had gotten into.
For supper I had taken a package of venison steaks out of the freezer.  In a zip lock bag I had put flour, garlic, and seasoning, then dredged the meat in the coating.  Then I took the meat and fried it.  Supper consisted of venison steaks, boiled potatoes, homemade gravy and string beans.  I had left the zip-lock bag on the kitchen counter.
The flour mixture contained the echoes and scent of venison steaks.  One of the great things about zip-lock bags is their portability.  Baby Fritzy can testify to that fact.  She often carries zip-lock bags outside to dine on their contents in privacy.
We surmised that this time she must have packed off the bag eaten her fill, became thirsty, and returned for a second helping of flour seasoned with the essence of deer steak.  When she came into the house she knew that she had left some evidence that would convict her of being responsible for wrongdoing.  She knew she was busted.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Bumps in the Road

My husband examines the prescription box.  He queries, "Did you see the name on the box?  They gave her a middle initial - Lady K Ferris"

"The "K" - stands for K-9."

Lady has lost approximately 25 pounds since early June.  We took her to the vet and he drew blood for tests.  They came back - she has diabetes.  It worries me for a number of reasons.  It has been a little over 8 years since I last gave a shot.  My dog, Corduroy developed diabetes.  Her last three years were very difficult.  I still miss her.  

The financial aspect of this disease adds to our financial difficulties.  Like many families we are struggling financially.  Dan has had medical problems that have kept him from working  or the last year and a half as a truck driver.  So we have been living on my salary.  Ah we must move forward and meet the challenges that come are way.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Mom, this is Mrs Ferris Wheel"

School has been in session here in Billings, MT for several weeks.  Last week we had open house.  The kids and their parents come in and say hi.  Many of my former students drop by to see their old stomping grounds.  When they come back they are tall and handsome young women and young men.  They change so much from 6th grade to high school.

Three things made this open house memorable for me.  (1) One of our new Kindergarten students brought her Mom in and introduced us. "Mom, this is Mrs Ferris Wheel, the librarian."  Mom looked a little puzzled with that introduction.  I smiled as I explained that my name is Mrs. Ferris.  I had told the kids to think of the ferris wheel at the fair, then they would remember my name.  The Mom smiled and told her daughter that she didn't have to say the wheel part next time.

The second memorable conversation came from one of my 2nd graders and one of his younger siblings.  I was eaves dropping on their conversation.

 "Is she the princess?"

Older brother, "No she is the Queen of the Library."  As they left he turned and waved and said, "Good by Queen."

Sometimes I really wish I had a window into their thoughts.  It certainly made my day.

The third memorable experience was from a previous student accompanying his Mom and younger sister.  This handsome strapping young man is now in high school.  He shared with me, "Because of you I became a reader.  When I was in 7th and 8th grade I read constantly I read the Harry Potter series in three weeks.  All of the books.  I read another series in two weeks, all I wanted to do was read."

His Mom looked at me with pride shining in her eyes and said she had to threaten to take away his books to get him to do anything else.

He chimed in, "ya, I lost my books when I got in trouble."

I thanked him for sharing his story with me.  He seemed puzzled as he commented, "You were really excited when I told you about loving reading."

I told him I was and that I was very proud that he had become a life long reader.  I think this year will be memorable.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baby Fritzy and the Varmint

Last year my granddaughter was given 2 guinea pigs.  Recently one died and so we were going to bring another one to her when we made the trip to Miles City.  Since I was getting my classroom ready for the start of the new year I gave my husband the task of finding a guinea pig.
He checked at one of the pet shops they wanted $35.00 and had the gender we were looking for.  Then he noticed that our local animal shelter had two guinea pigs. They had been brought in by different families.  We adopted one for $10.00 and proceeded to bring him home.
I took him out when we got home.  Sammi immediately went into staring mode.  Max and Lady were "Ho Hum" now what? Baby Fritzy immediately started licking her chops.  She came towards me and the guinea pig immediately started fearful chatting.  I responded with a firm "No".
Baby just looked at me with puzzlement and confusion.  She was sure she had misunderstood. Surely we meant for her to have the varmint for dinner.  Deciding she had misunderstood me she came back and tried to take a bite, she connected with my hand.  The fearful chirping was fast as the guinea pig seemed to be saying"Grandma what big teeth you have", as she looked into the open mouth of Baby.  I pushed Baby away with my foot and said "No".  
Baby Fritzy looked at me with incredulity.  She couldn't believe I was serious about denying her this tantalizing morsel.  Dan told Baby that she couldn't eat the "little fellow".  She could sniff it and give it a lick but couldn't eat it.  She gave him a disgusted look and came up to me sniffed the critter and gave him a gentle lick.  Then sat down on her haunches and licked her chops in anticipation.
I put the guinea pig into a crate.  Sammi and Baby Fritzy stared at the guinea pig for hours.  The next morning I loaded the crate in our vehicle and came back into the house.  Baby was sniffing furiously - searching for the missing varmint.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

International Homeless Animal Day

I was reading Bocci's Beefs about the International Homeless Animal Day.  Part of the focus was to encourage people to contact their local shelters to see what they are in need of and have every one who reads these blogs to provide one thing on the list.  This would be one way to try and help with the animal overpopulation and help find homes for the yet to be adopted fur-friends.

Our community has 2 spray and neuter clinics each year.  They ask for a donation of $40.00 per animal to help cover supplies and facilities.  Many of our veterinarians donate time to work at the clinic.  There are also some shot clinics that are held around town.  Both of these programs are well supported and seem to have great turn out.  We have taken 2 of our dogs to the spay and neuter clinic.  Our local animal shelter usually has information about upcoming clinics.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Have you ever seen such beautiful chompers?

Baby Fritzy has been in rare form this week. It was not a gold star week.  Right after we got her and discovered her penchant for chewing, Terri suggested keeping a calendar and putting a gold star up each day that was free of unwanted chewing. I should have started the calendar then.  But the image stayed in my mind and at times I refer to it.

She grabbed the roll of paper towels from the dining room table.  Took it outside.  Chewed the roll up as she papered the yard.  I found her eating a piece of wood.  I grew nervous when I realized it had been stained and had nail holes in it.  Finally discovered that she had chewed a piece off the bench that the dogs sit on to look out the window.

Tom our renter brought in a pair of my shoes from outside.  She ate part of one side.  I guess I should have left them on top of the TV.

Tom was using the drill and came inside to charge it.  He told me he had just plugged the battery in when he heard a loud thump.  He went out to investigate and the drill already sported teeth marks.  He said he yelled at her and she took off.  Later she tried to make up to him.  Laying at his feet and looking so contrite with her big puppy eyes.

I bought a loaf of banana bread and we had eaten most of it.  I had left it in a zip lock bag on top of the stove.  I made sure I had pushed it way back.  I found an empty zip lock bag in the yard.  I realized what had been in it when I went to cut a piece of banana bread for Dan and it wasn't there.  The banana bread was really good.

Wednesday evening there was an outdoor concert downtown. The dogs all wanted to go for a ride so we loaded them all up. Parked and listened to the music for awhile.  When we got home Dan backed into the drive way. Tom heard us and opened the front door. Dan and I stood on either side of the end gate opened the back up and stood out of the way of the stampeding herd.  Our traveling circus was home.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Li-Bear-y Corner: It's About Connecting With People

Li-Bear-y Corner: It's About Connecting With People

Who Influences You?

I recently received a blogger award for my Libeary Corner blog, I was thrilled.  Part of the procedure was to nominate 15 other bloggers that I thought were versatile.  Wow, one of the people I wanted to nominate is a friend who has really encouraged and supported my efforts at blogging.  We played phone tag.  I couldn't find her blogs that I had bookmarked and usually read.  FRUSTRATION!

This morning through happenstance I reconnected with both her blogs. To Craft A Fine Line and First One and Then the Other.  Melissa has a strong voice and a great sense of the absurd.  The first time we met was in an education book store that she was managing.  Imagine me in a book store.  I know you are LOL!  From their we developed a friendship.  One I treasure very much.

She has the rare knack for listening when you are feeling most confused, celebrating your victories and sneakily suggesting the next step that I have been running from or maybe its to. As a teacher I have tried to analyze this practice because I would like to duplicate this quiet influence with my students.  I believe the best learning is inquiry driven. Questions the individual wants answered.

This morning I was reading Two Writing Teachers -  I was moved by the post "Ruth's Slice of Life - Listening to Photograph by Nickelback . I was also influenced to listen to this piece of music.  Then I thought about using music and photos in my own class.  How will those things combine to influence my writing?

What is it I want to know? I want to know how to make my writing better.  From a conventions stand points my commas and dangling participles along with fragments are the boon of my literary existence.  But now as I try my hand in the free lance writing ring I realize I am probably going to have to learn to master them.  For nearly half a century they weren't even on my radar.  Now they seem to be in my headlights.  As I ponder my own personal learning net work I have two questions for you?  What do you want to know?  And who influences you?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Project - Please Vote


I was reading A Walk Through My Little World.  She had a link about voting on the Pepsi Refresh Project.
There are a number of great and valuable projects to vote on.  The one featured is about a shelter for animals whose humans have lost their homes due to the oil spill.

This seems like a great way many of us and help make a difference for people in the
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Pet Blogger Hop

I just found the Pet Blogger Hop yesterday.  This looks like great fun.  Thought I would introduce my family to everyone.  Dan and I just celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary but we have been dating since 2001.

Dan has two adult kids - Joe and Peggy, one granddaughter Hailey. We are pet parents to 4 dogs - Max, Lady, Sammi, and Baby Fritzzy - and 1 duck.
From Left to Right "Baby Fritzzy"- Black Lab Pup; Sammi Great Dane Black Lab Cross (probably); Lady Chocolate Lab; Max Boxer Cross

They are a handful.  They keep us well entertained especially the pup.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby Attacking Water

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:Baby Fritzy". loves the water.  She bites the water and then gets a drink. It is so entertaining to watch her play with the water.  I am learning a little about video.

We have added the name Fritzy, because she is growing up.  Dan's "Cubs" cap finally bit the dust after being rescued 10 times.  The last time it wasn't in such good shape.  She also ate the wooden handle from the barbeque fork.

We talked to a fellow about our dogs.  We told him about Baby's chewing.  Jim laughed and said one of his previous dogs was like that.  They called him "Buzz" for buzz saw.  Jim's eyes had a far away look as he said and that was his only bad habit, that chewing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quinoa 100% Gluten Free

I picked up June 2010 edition of The Costco Connection and read "A Pain in the Gut" by Jacqueline Duda.  She said many people who eat a gluten free diet may need to make sure they are getting enough B and D vitamins.  She stressed being careful because many vitamins contain gluten and can be toxic if to much is consumed.  Duda provided three great online links: (1)   and (2) (3) . I wrote a post about  Lisa's Gluten-Free Advise, the post was titled Resources for Living Gluten Free.

One grain people might want to explore is an ancient grain called Quinoa.  It is 100% gluten free and is a complete source of protein.  It is now available in many grocery stores.  Bob's Red Mill is one brand that carries Quinoa, Quinoa Corporation is another.  A quick search on the internet showed many recipes for using this nutty flavored grain. There is an excellent background article from Living in Peru about this grain.

There was a news article about a Quinoa cookbook written by Patricia Greene and her sister Carolyn Hemming.  I have a sweet tooth so I was immediately drawn to their description of a moist chocolate cake recipe.  Looks like I may be adding to my cookbook collection.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tempting Treats

 I was reading the Friday prompt for the - writing group.  The challenge:

PROMPT: 16 July
Shop 'til you drop:
 This week, tell FWE what sensual stimuli make, you want to buy. 

I wrote this paragraph then went and re-read the instructions again.  It said a poem.  I rewrote and submitted the poem that follows.  After writing these pieces I so want a caramel roll.

In the center of our mall there is a little kiosk that sells Cinnabon cinnamon rolls.  The smell of freshly baked bread spiced with cinnamon wafts through the air.  The scent tantalizes and teases me, taunting that it is within reach.  As the enticing aroma tickles my pleasure centers, my brain goes on full alert.  I reconnoiter the kiosk, surveying the display case.  Scouting out calorie laden pleasure bombs, knowing that one bite will detonate my greed for more.  I set about capturing the enemy, a choice roll that has both rich caramel flowing over the sides and thick luscious frosting standing guard on top.  After capturing this sinful delicacy, I savor it with a frosty chilled latte.  Mission accomplished.

All I want is something to eat
                Cinnamon rolls to savor
All I want is something to eat
               Cinnamon rolls – aromas that tease and taunt, floating in the air
               Cinnamon rolls with caramel dripping down the sides
All I want is something to eat
               Cinnamon rolls – with hot melting butter, drizzling down the sides
               Cinnamon rolls with sweet luscious frosting
               Cinnamon rolls that beckon me to indulge
All I want is something to eat
               Cinnamon rolls with crunchy pieces of nuts
               Cinnamon rolls – sticky, gooey caramel escaping
               Cinnamon rolls that tickle my tongue
               Cinnamon rolls savored with a frosty chilled latte
All I want is something to eat

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Could Scream

"Baby" just ate my C-Pac mask.  Earlier this morning I heard my shoe drop.  Went to investigate.  Baby had been heading out the door packing it off.  I retrieved the shoe and put its mate up on top of the TV.

Isn't that where everyone stores their shoes?

I went back to working on the computer.  It was quiet in the living room so I went to see what she was into.  She was out in the back yard merrily munching on my C-Pac mask.  The hose was missing the end piece, the rubber piece that fits around the nose had multiple bites out of it.  I was livid both at her and myself.
Since getting Baby and the first time she ate my mask I have put the hose and things out of Baby's reach when I get up.  This morning I forgot.  I woke up coughing, decided to get dressed and forgot to put my mask in a safe place.  I didn't close the bedroom door because my husband was still sleeping. 
She has plenty of her own chew toys, she really doesn't need my things.
Last week Dan went out for a ride on the 4-wheeler.  Pretty soon the phone rang. "Where are your shoes?"
"They were right here."
"Go look outside by the shed, I can see one from the alley."  I did.  Sure enough one of my shoes was in the backyard.  I came back in and looked for its mate.  Went back outside and found it around the side of the house.
The irritating part was Sammi came in and was talking and I wasn't listening. I told Sammi to go play as I was working on the computer.  I can hear you saying, "What is she talking about?"
Well Sammi sometimes tells on Baby.  Yesterday my shoes went walking.  Sammi came in and got my attention. I followed her outside.  There on the outside deck was one of my shoes and the remains of the bathroom garbage.  I picked up the mess and put on my shoes.
Today I didn't listen.  As soon as Baby saw me she knew she was busted.  She tried her cute routine and that just didn't cut it. Today she is in big trouble.  She is currently in the crate until I calm down. 
I guess I should have put the C-PAC mask on the TV instead of the shoes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Missed an Important Deadline

I have missed another deadline.  Sometimes my brain is just foggy and it doesn't think as clearly as it used to.  I missed putting Meet Me on Monday on Monday.  I also missed an important payment.  Financially my family is going through some challenges.  We are not so different than many other families facing similar challenges.

So I have been praying, looking for other work, writing, and trying to figure out how to make money from home.  I have been trying to avoid the scams.  I have been reading business oriented blogs to stay at home Mom's who are working from home.  I think I'm missing some important steps along the way.

I am open to some suggestions about ways to make money using the computer if not earn a living from home at least to supplement our income.  We have a little rental house that needs lots of work.  We had been renting it really low to a relative.  He moved out and it cost us quite a bit to put things right.  Unfortunately it was money we didn't have.

I just learned that my sister is also going through some challenges.  Thanks for listening to my tales of woe.  Pray for us as we seek financial and physical health.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bringing Generations Together Through the Power of Old Photos

We are living longer and for some of us we will be healthier.  But many people live in social exclusion from other generations.  In the 1950's - 1960s 7 out of 10 families 3 generations or more lived together.  Today that statistic has dropped to 1 in 10.  Social Exclusion - this loss of culture and history is having a big impact on our society.  So how do we reconnect in this digital age?

One organization We are What We Do has a belief that small actions multiplied by lots of people will equal big changes.  I believe they are correct.  One of the laments I have heard often is I don't know what to talk to my grandparents about.  "Action 132: Share a Piece of Your History.  Part of the campaign for getting generations to hang out."

We are What We Do developed Historypin in partnership with Google.  Historypin lets you upload your pictures and the stories behind them onto a digital map.  For alll intents and purposes - making a digital time machine.

Lets have a get together: bring photos, family, computer and memories.  Go through the stories and retell the events pick some you would like to share and put it on the web.  There are different privacy settings - private to public.  I think it is a powerful tool to get generations talking about old photos.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Riding into the Wind –

Our AV machines are street legal here in Montana.  I like my little red 4-wheeler, but, my husband is passionate about riding his.  I often choose to ride with him. 

Riding through the neighborhood, I like the alleys best.  They aren’t so busy.  As we go through there is always a cacophony from the neighborhood dogs.  The little rocks sputter and ping as the wide tires crunch through gravel.  Up ahead my husband scans for mud puddles. I hear the machine splish and splash. Brown mud plops.

He teases, and tells me I finally got to 25 mph.  He tells me he worries that someone will run over me.  He shakes his head and says; “Just give it the onion and go.”

I’m content putt-zing along.  The breeze kisses my cheeks.   Watching the cottontails scamper away.  The neighbors wave.  My students live in the area.  They wave and yell as we go by.  Sometimes I hear them call, “Hello, Mrs. Ferris” other times I hear them turn to adults and yell “She’s my librarian.”

Often we travel to a small park and watch the ducks.  They scurry from the water listing back and forth as they make their way to the top of the hill.  The adventurous ones come within a couple of feet.  All are honking and quacking loudly.  The brave determined ones peck at anyone in their way.  Pushing them aside, occasionally pulling out feathers as they try to reach us first. 

There are babies already half grown, others just starting out.  All are quick and move away from outstretched hands.  They are masters at quick deployments.  I’ve watched children run hoping to catch a duck to pet. 
The other day we watched a toddler in the center of a gaggle of ducks.   They were waddling, around her, concentrating on the manna falling from the sky.  Maybe she will grow up to be a duck wrangler. Mallards and hens tumble over each other as they again head for the diitch.   Ripples move outward, lapping against the rocks as the ducks float by.  The wind picks up my long hair and plays with it like a lover, as we ride.  I laugh as I hurry to catch up.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where I'm From

This poem was inspired by George Ella Lyon's "Where I'm From"

Where I’m From
I am from double boilers, from Hershey’s chocolate and homemade bread.
I am from cheap apartments that allowed kids, crowded, chaotic, and cramped.
I am from the prickly pear cactus, and Lodge Pole Pine
I am from Christmas Eve presents and hammer toes, from Elizabeth and Melvin and Grandma Boice).
I am from stubbornness and hot tempers.
From “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “when God closes a door he will always open a window”.
I am from rosaries and holy water, and grandma’s boarding school memories.
I'm from Idaho- Irish peasants and laying railroad track; bread pudding and red eyed gravy.
From Katie Mulligan Boice who was 18 when she bought her 1905 Indian Motorcycle right off the line, the woman my grandfather never let drive, my mother who graduated college in her forties and started teaching in one room schools.
I am from black and white pictures most long gone, berry pickers, and pump organs – music that plays now in my memories.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ticklish Toes

When we went to "Puppy School" the trainer told us to play with our puppy's feet so as she gets older she is comfortable with people handling her feet.  Making it easier to clip her nails.  We have been playing with her feet that is how we learned that her toes are ticklish.

I gently brush my fingers over the pads and she will kind of shiver.  I wonder if she will always have ticklish toes?
I don't remember the other dogs being ticklish.  They are not thrilled with people touching their feet.  I just love watching this puppy.  She will get up in one of the chairs, lay there for awhile.  Then put her front feet on the floor and slide down ending with a thump. 

She is a loving creature and very playful.  She plays hard all day and is just tuckered out and flops on the floor and falls asleep.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tornado Watch

Father's Day, June 20th,  Billings had its first tornado in 52 years.  Last night, June 21st, Dan and I were riding around on our 4 wheelers.  He was looking for mud to play in.  We topped a favorite hill and watched this cloud formation turn like it was deciding what it was going to do next.  

We watched it for about 15 minutes as it moved away from Billings.  In the 2nd picture you can see a tail that could be the start of something.  The cloud formation was incredible.  I took the pictures with my cell phone.

Thunderstorm Equals a Four Dog Night

There had been many an early morning when Baby fussed and Sammi or Max would come get me up to go take care of her.  I often wondered if they did it because they couldn't sleep or if they were worried about her.  I had my answer when Sammi, scared from the thunder insisted on me getting Baby from her crate before she settled down between us.
Sammi, our Great Dane/Lab cross, is afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks.  Monday night we had the first thunderstorm of the year.  I heard Baby fussing in her crate, but didn’t quite wake all the way up.  Sammi came into the bedroom all upset.  She nudged me and whimpered, jumped on the bed and kept trying to get me up.  As I got up she jumped around and barked her deep throaty barks.  She barked because I wasn't moving fast enough.  She wanted me to get Baby out of the crate now.
Once I released Baby from the crate, Sammi and Baby headed for the bedroom and jumped up on the bed.  Sammi settled down between Dan and me on our shrinking king size bed.  Baby lay below Sammi; Lady lay at my feet and Max was curled up by Dan.
The thunderstorm continued to rumble outside, punctuated by Sammi’s occasional whimpers. As the storm receded we could hear the thunder going from pounding, pulsing percussion to a quiet so smooth that you hardly noticed it happen.

Wrote this on April 18, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet Me On Monday

I recently found Never Growing Old blog.  Java makes getting to know people long distance as easy as going for coffee at the local diner.  I thought I would give it a whirl.  She posts 5 questions each blogger is asked to write about. This week the 5 questions are:

1.  How many brothers and sisters do you have?

2. What is your favorite thing to do?

3. What countries have you visited?

4. Are you a morning or a night person?

5. What's your favorite cereal?

My answers.

1.  3 sisters no brothers.
2.  Read & eat chocolate
3.  Canada, Mexico, Germany, Luxmburg (sp), Austria, Switzerland
4. Night Owl
5.  Cream of Wheat

Questions are powerful.  You do get to know people by asking questions.

The Storm Made the News

This last weekend my husband and I were in Miles City, trying to get our rental home cleaned up as it was left a mess.  I have been very angry.  Unfortunately our recent weather reflects my inner feelings. Billings tornado yesterday, F-2 Rating. The Billings tornado touched down at 4:30 yesterday.  Thankfully no casualties.  Unusual news the last tornado to touch down here in Billings was about 50 years ago. Q2 has some amazing pictures from viewers.

We were driving home we hit some patches of rain between Forsyth, MT and Hysham, MT.  There was very little visibility and the wind just howled as it blew the rain at us.  Miles City is about 138 miles from Billings where we live.  As we came into town there were chunks of insulation everywhere.  I have seen many incredable pictures that were taken of the tornado as it hovered over the metra (sports arena).

As I watched the storm I thought about many things: the strong work ethic of my step daughter.  She is a very hard working ethical person.  I also thought of the many young people I know who do not have a good work ethic or integrity.  As parents, teachers and community members we need to give our children strong boundaries and teach them to be accountable for their behavior. The young people who have these tools seem to be better all round citizens have healthier relationships and better feelings of self worth .  We do them lots of harm when they don't learn these lessons young when the cost is cheaper.  At school I see young people who do not have this core sense of self worth.  They struggle with problems at school often lying and choosing self sabotaging behavior. We leave them to struggle to learn these lessons as adults.

If they are still acting irresponsible - not paying bills, leaving rentals a mess they soon destroy their own credit and that of  family members who try to make things right.  Sometimes like big storms there are minor casualties in their relationships with us, but over time there are bound to experience fatalities in their relationships, as the storms of life become bigger.  It saddens me that so many children grow up without these important foundations.  I do not know the answer, I can only hope and pray that they eventually become people with integrity.

We had taken Baby with us and our neighbor took care of the other three dogs.  Baby was not concerned by the weather and slept quietly in the back seat.  The other three dogs were very happy to see us.  It is good to be home and know that friends, family, and neighbors are safe and sound.  Lots of clean-up but no fatalities.

Friday, June 18, 2010

March 23 - Baby's First Cap

I came home from school and found Baby munching on her first cap.  I looked at Dan, "Your Cap?"
Sheepishly grinning, "Yah." he said.
It seems he had gone looking for his cap when it was nowhere to be found.  He looked at the puppy and said, "What did you do with it Baby?"
It took about 10 minutes, but Baby brought the cap in from outside and dropped it at Dan's feet.  He told me, "She looked up at me with those big eyes and sweet face.  She was just so tickled!"
She seemed to say, "See Dad, aren't you proud of me! I brought it back to you!  Then she wagged her tail and gave me a doggy grin, as she waited to be praised for her efforts."
I asked Dan "Well what did  you do?"
He shrugged his shoulders, "What could I do?  She looked at me with that sweet face, I couldn't stay mad at her?"
I questioned Dan further, "What's with the cap?"
Dan's eyes twinkled when he retold his conversation: " I told her she could have it. But, it was the only one she could have. No more."
Dan and I talked about the fact that by bringing the hat back to him seemed to suggest she really did understand what he had asked her.  This was the second time she had brought something back that she had taken.
When I watch Baby look sweetly up at my husband's grinning face.  I see her love reflecting back in his eyes.  I think they do understand each other.