Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Grandson-less Tuesday

The kids are on vacation down in San Diego this week. I have had Grand Greyhound Ruby with me since last Friday. She is a good little girl, no problem to have. The boys may feel a little put out about having a bossy female around. Ruby runs the show when she is here, is an only greyhound at her house and thinks everything should be her way and for the most part the boys do give way to her. I am also caring for their kitties (3) and their house as well. They will be back soon and we will go pick them up at the airport. Meanwhile I need to get my kitties and doggies all into the vet in the next couple of weeks. Everyone is due for everything. Gonna' be an expensive March!

Meanwhile, I thought I would get a lot more done on my school work from not having my Grandbaby here with me today, but it is funny how life always finds a way to ‘fill in’ any extra time you may suddenly find on your hands. I was working on my notes for Excel, which I am already behind on due to a class communication issue the professor seemed to have with the entire class. I left to go check my daughter’s houRubyse and kitties, get some more dog food, and mail a birthday card…just a few errands, wasn’t gone all that long. Came back and Ruby had made herself pretty comfortable on the couch, found my notes on the back of the couch…hidden up there so nothing would happen to them, and decided to do a little work on them herself. Let’s just say the Excel notes are even more of a puzzle than they were. You know, I really didn’t want to do them anyway! ;)


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meemaw Is Tired Of Being Sick!


I think the title just about says it all. I keep getting sick, I do believe my little grandson brings more than his greyhound with him on his days with Meemaw. What’s a Meemaw? Oh yes, once my little grandson could talk, he began by calling both me and his Momma, ‘Momma’. It was all a bit confusing for him I think at about 6 months old or so and he also had another Gramma to address as well. He had a lot of concepts to grasp for a little guy. Very smart he is indeed, and I'm not saying it just because I am his Granny. He started talking in full sentences early enough to even surprise his own doctor. But then sometimes in order to understand him you have to speak 'his' language. Somewhere along the way, Momma stayed Momma (and rightfully so) but I turned in to Meemaw. I will pause here to mention that actually his first name here was given out to his very well loved Bampa. Yes, the first thing he asks as he walks in the door is Where's Bampa? Bampa still in the shower? Once Bampa enters the room it is all about Bampa. Anyway, getting back onto the subject of 'Meemaw'. I thought it was cute (I think everything he does is cute!) that he was calling me Meemaw and still tried to keep saying Grammy so that eventually he would get around to calling me what *I* thought I should be called. But found myself many times saying Meemaw back to him, when speaking grandson-ese, rather absent mindedly, instead of consistently supporting the Grams thing.

So the other night we were all together for his 2nd Birthday party, Meemaw, Bampa, his folks, and his other set of grandparents (my SIL's folks). He's all 'hi Meemaw, hi Bampa!) and then he turns to his other grandmother and says 'hi Grandma'. I am like whoa!!!! Did I actually hear ‘Grandma’.... he said 'Grandma' to her, Wow!!! So I commented to my daughter about what I had heard. She explains to me that he's been saying Grandma for quite some time to the other Grandma, and just refuses to call me anything but Meemaw. That is who I am to him, and quite possibly, that is who I will stay. I wasn't sure how to feel, because I am the Grams who has seen him (and my daughter's family) through most everything regarding Grandson....I was graced by being able to be there for his ultrasound (when we found out it was a boy) right on through his birth (push...Push..just a little more Sweetie, you can do it). My word, I think I was nearly as tired as she was because I was pushing in a standing position and at least she was laying down. ;) I have cleaned a ton of the poopiest of butts, rocked, held, played, read, worried....well, I figured it was high time I deserved that name 'Gramma'!! And you know, who ever heard of being called 'Meemaw' sounds a bit like a donkey's bray don't you think? Okay - well except when my Grandson says it, then it makes me feel very happy and proud that I am his Meemaw. Obviously he has bestowed upon me his own version of identity for someone who he knows loves him very much and he feels safe with. I'm good with that, in fact I am more than good with that, I feel honored. However, I just have to ponder occasionally how it is going to sound in 20 years (if I am still around) when he walks to me with his girl and says, "Hi Meemaw, meet my girl friend." His girlfriend will probably ask 'Meemaw' where did you get that name?" I'm thinking he might answer, "Well it is what she wanted to be called so that is what I call her, makes the old lady happy." Now my question at this juncture is...how did he know I wanted to be called that when he was only six months old... before I even knew? See, I told you, he is a smart little guy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Note To Self


Keep mouth closed tight while chipping  poopsicles from ice in potty area!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sunny Spots


 In this house the most important spot is any area that has even  the slightest amount of sun hitting the surface. Scooter takes this very seriously. If there is no bed on the sunny spot he tries very hard to 'think' one over into the area. If that doesn't work then he stares at the person in the room trying to 'think' them into moving the bed into the sunny area. And if *that* doesn't work, then he claws, pushes and shoves the bed in the direction of the sunny area. By the time he has tried everything that hasn't worked, and IF the sunny spot is still there, he walks over and throws himself down in the sunny spot stretching his very long body as far and wide as possible. Making sure everyone must now walk over him to get from point 'A' to point 'B' while looking at you like, ‘seeee – you should have just moved the bed!’


Lite Snow


PICT0074freshsnowcrop Yep...the skinny stuff, no calories....just a little fluff. It has been good to make things look clean, no yellow snow at the moment because it is currently snowing, but the hounds always make it their business to have their business be everyone's business...so it goes that by the time they are out a couple times it is pretty clear where the dogs live. Look for the yellow snow and you will find a dog (or in our case the dogs!) Dogs are pretty 'out there' where bodily functions go, whereas cats are.....shhhhhh, 'scuse me' shhhhh....going in to a little covered box where I will have my privacy, and then....shhhhh (quietly now)....cover it up so no one sees it...I will tip toe back to where I was and get in the exact same position I was in before I did my ....shhhh.... business. No one will even know I did my business, because I am a cat. No body's business is my business and my business is no one else's business.

Really quite the big difference between the two!

Dogs are all 'yeah, yeah....right here...I got your business right here! And I advertise!'

Unless of course your cat has gas...then it is a little more everyone's business but still not as bad as several Greyhounds with gas, and for those moments we stock Federally approved gas masks or, if it is your choice, we can just let it render you unconscious and drag you out into the fresh air to recover. (Not recommended when the temps are -zero outside).

Monday, February 16, 2009

By The Pond


DSC00028cropped I guess I really never thought much about this until this morning. We have a lot of owls around our property, which I think is good. However, this morning I noticed a very large Barred Owl, I'd say about 18 inches or so in height, sitting on a wing of a fountain fairy (spouts water into our pond when temps are not freezing) looking for something. I went to take a photo and it flew into a nearby tree, still keeping an eye on something. That something turned out to be a small squirrel. *This* is the part that I really hadn't thought much about before, the squirrel was about to become a part of the owl's diet. We also have a lot of squirrels (who doesn’t) around the pond and have a bird feeder too which attracts them. No birds were in sight due to the owl's presence. It just never really occurred to me that owls eat squirrels too. Mice and other small rodents, but it never clicked that if the owl was of a larger variety it also gnaws on a little larger animals like fox, Opossums, and squirrels. We hear them in the night hooting away outside, I love listening to them, don't see them then though. I have never really seen them hunt in the daylight, actually I thought they reserved that behavior for the evening hours. Guess it all depends on how hungry they are, this one was definitely hunting in the day. I was then looking for the movie camera and caught a tiny bit of footage of the owl sitting in the tree looking around, but suddenly he took off. I missed it with the camera of course, it all happened to fast, so I am unclear whether the owl actually ended up with the squirrel or not. Not a very smart little squirrel to be the only creature at the pond with a big owl looming over head, I must say. The owl suddenly swooped out of the view finder and then both owl and squirrel were gone.

Hey, It’s Warm, Boots? Naw We’re Tough

Warm...well considering (28 degrees) how the weather goes in MN this time of year, a lot of times it is the most exciting thing going on. When it gets around this temp snow is never far away and stands to reason it has found its way into the forecast for the next few days. Quite a bit of it melted in the last couple of weeks with our warm spells and all. On the other hand the water that has formed from the melting snow is now a crunchy ice pack and makes for a poor running environment for my greyhounds who often feel the need for speed. Needless to say they have suffered some minor nicks when making the rounds. Two of my hounds have real issues with boots, another one is a total spaz when you put boots on him. I have several pair of expensive boots in their closet that I'd love to put on them when they go outside during times when the terrain is rough for paws. I gave it up when we were outside one day and one of them threw one boot, had the others loosened...and was just generally not happy with the situation. Still I was determined these guys were wearing their nice boots! I bent over to put this one hound's (okay...it was Blew!) boots on right and just as I was getting the last one on he decided to bolt. My glasses went one way, I flew another...I think it would be safe to say 'I had my bell rung' big time. When I found my glasses, I noted that now Blew was running around with two boots on right, one missing and the other ‘tread’ side up. Renner only had one boot on. Blew was standing on a patch of ice doing his best 'Bambi' impression (if you have seen that movie, where Bambi first stands on ice). Renner was running around on three legs because he still had a boot attacking one foot! Yeah....gave up on the boots after that. Now, days when the terrain is ultra rough just becomes a 'no run' day.

‘Blew and Renner Share A Little Sunshine’



Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quiet Day


So far it has been really quiet here. Sundays usually start out that way. It has turned cold again, 3 degrees right now. But the sun is out and that is something we have been missing, so it is good that it finally blessed us with it's light yesterday.  A lot of the snow cover has gone due to the warmer than normal temps earlier in the week. Very nice, but gray the entire time. Seems we just can't get both things to happen at once, sun and warmth. Eventually it will come...here in MN that is called Summer!

Spring?  Oh that must be the couple of weeks that happen about mid-May, passes right by us pretty quickly and on occasion even with a slight dusting of snow. We have the same problem with Fall, which is my favorite season, but is here only 2 or 3 weeks then gives way to winter all too quickly many times.  Actually if you live in Minnesota then you know the saying 'we have two seasons - Winter and Road Construction'. It is a lovely place.


Fall Hike, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, MN

Long Night


But we were having a good time. My kids brought over Rockband 2 for the PS3 and we played it....until 2am this morning. Who'da thunk it? I do believe Scooter even joined it a couple of times (my singing). ;) Pretty bad. I do believe the animals were thinking, 'looonnnggg night, will it ever end'?



“I Just Can’t Take Any More!”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The dogs went out this morning, still dark outside and found it was pouring rain. ThePICT0010 water was standing on top of what was still left of the snow, which is now a sheet of ice. I had sanded it (have more than once in the last few weeks) and even still there was an awful lot of slipping and sliding out there. I was concerned especially for Blew, the old man, because he has a weak rear end going on, and I thought he'd be doing the splits out there. But he didn't go out far, and did pretty well. Scooter it didn't really bother in the slightest (he's the youngster here at about 5 years old). Renner was not amused and walked slowly, I think he slid around more than the rest. He is the middle man at about 7. But the warmer temps are nice. It is 42 right now. This is going to freeze most likely in the next few days and wow, won't that be good fun. For now we are going to just enjoy the warmth though.

Monday, February 09, 2009

……A Little Rain Must Fall

PICT0004flowers cropped

Feeling on the sad side today. A new friend of mine lost one of her greyhounds about 5 or 6 weeks ago, was a lovely greygirl named for royalty, and rightfully so.  She also had been having problems with their older greyboy, and after so much effort to help him, he suffered pulmonary embolism and passed away last night. She is now pet-less and I could just feel the anguish in her words. She and her OH seem such lovely people and mentioned how terribly quiet the house was without him. (what heartbreak!) Having gone through losing my pets so many times, instead of hardening, I seem to feel other's pain ever more severely when they lose their animals. We had a very bad year a couple of years ago where we had many, many elder and special needs greyhounds and for a while we were losing them one a month or so. It hurt so much, so often, for a while I became a bit numb from all of the tears and anxiety. It is so very hard to lose a pet, but something I have not yet experienced is becoming pet-less through loss. I have always gone and brought in another. My Mom has asked me several times why I keep doing it. I mean....setting myself up to continually go through heartbreak after heartbreak. As I get older I keep thinking, ok I just can't keep taking this. And then I do it again. I am addicted to these beautiful animals, and I love having them around me. The love and memories they impart upon me must be worth all of the pain I feel when I lose them. I really can think of no other excuse. They make me feel good...a Greyhound high.

***My heart goes out to you Jay and your OH. God Bless. God Speed Pirate. :(

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Minnesota Weather Report: By Scooter

DSC01339scooter cropped The weather today is bug everyone to go out every 20 minutes good! The white cold stuff is frozen to the ground in some spots, and nice and soggy in others. It is hold your pee to stand and sniff into the wind wonderful. Unfortunately there are no bright spots to lay in, inside the house and little wet sprinkles hit my back when I sniff outside, but that's okay because my feet aren't getting nearly as cold as they were. They are however wet...and I get some grief at for bringing in mud, but it is allll worth it to not have to hear 'Hurry Hurry' being yelled at me all the time. I don't know if this will last but while it is here I am going out as much as I can no matter who it annoys. ;)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Little Dipper


Monty, doer of all strangeness within our walls, Bestower of many things for me to conversate about, would like me to convey his annoyance with me for laughing at him when he drinks water from a bowl. A lover of water, he really enjoys getting a drink in many different ways. Actually a lot of his ways could fit into the ‘Slob’ category but sometimes they are actually very dainty looking. However, I’m pretty sure he would take offense as being labeled as dainty as well, so I will skip the labels and cut to the chase. He just can’t drink like a normal cat, (if there is such a thing). He often sits beside the water bowl dipping his paw in to scoop up a little water and then licks it off his paw ‘…ahhh pure heaven’. He will sit and do this for half an hour at a time. There are times when he has to go to the dish and slap the surface of the water many times, occasionally with both paws… ‘submit oh fluid of life, submit I say….!’ Once he has beaten it into submission he can then masterfully lap it up. Though the most annoying (and often occurs when he is most annoyed at me) is the ‘Move The Entire Bowl’ method. ‘Move The Entire Bowl’ really didn’t take him that long to master. He simply plops himself down by the bowl and proceeds to push the bowl around in quick small jerks so the water spills over the sides in waves. When he feels a large enough puddle has been created, he drinks. He has emptied large bowls this way, because obviously the ‘best’ water is at the bottom.

Once when my OH was working close by, a good 3 times in about a 30 minute span, the bowl was emptied by Monty and again filled by either my OH or myself (the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing). When I saw it, I just thought, ‘oh Monty’s done now’ wiped up the water and031403_monty 2 refilled the bowl. Many wet towels later my OH caught on and put the bowl up on the counter putting an end to it. A necessary step to break the cycle. It was for Monty’s own good. He was suffering from a very severe bowl moving funk, it just wouldn’t release him. Either that or he was getting back at me for getting him a food shaped so he couldn’t bite the ends off of to leave all over the house.

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Seasonal Preoccupation

I don’t know why so many Minnesotans are totally preoccupied with the weather, but a lot of them seem to be this time of year. When warmer winds prevail you hear a lot less about weather coming out of our mouths. But in the days during winter and prior to spring ‘springing’ there is nothing more we like talking about than wind chills, snow, ice and what we are going to do for a vacation to break up the winter. So to stay true to form I am going to talk about what we are going to do this winter to get away from the cold. We are packing up the hounds and taking Needs to be shoveled it out first!our RV down to Florida to visit my parents, which will include a stop at a  campground at Disney World. We did the same thing last year, sans the Disney World stop, in the middle of an vicious snow and ice storm and let me tell you the trip down would top the ‘Tower of Terror’ ride at Disney World (which no one has been able to get me on yet, but I learn from others experiences pretty well). On the way down, I would have questioned our sanity, but really was too stressed to do so at the time. However, after having ‘made it’ through the last trip down I do have the time to question it now. Why in the world would we turn around and do the same thing again if it didn’t go too swimmingly last time?

The only excuse I can come up with that it gets so cold here, it actually freeze some of the ‘reasoning cells’ of the brain. The cells don’t thaw until the temp. stays consistently above 32 degrees Fahrenheit for at least a week. We will stay in Florida for about that long and start to regain our sanity right about the time we need to drive back. It is on the drive back that the cells begin to refreeze due to the lower temps we start to encounter on the trip north, and by the time we get back we are telling people how great it all was, because we really just don’t remember the drive until the summer months when we really aren’t that into talking about the weather or winter vacations. By the time the subject comes up again we are well into the winter once more and the cells freeze once again, just a vicious cycle that keeps a lot of us in an unconscious repetitive pattern. Not a pretty excuse but it is all I’ve got at –14.  However, it is supposed to reach nearly 34 ABOVE zero today and if the weather holds long enough, it is possible this winters trip could be canceled.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

My Cat Is A Slob

Monty has some unusual habits. None of my other cats has done some of the things he does. They can be a little irritating sometimes, depending on my mood, but I also findDSC00051 them humorous. I am pretty picky about keeping the house clean. I consider it really important when you have as many pets as we always seem to have. Blew, one of my greyhounds, has a *very* touchy stomach and just can not eat anything out of the ordinary or it sets off some terrible gas and runny stools. So I always make sure there is nothing on the floor that he will eat, else we both pay the price. (yep getting back to Monty now) Anyway, Monty is always challenging me in the clean floor department due to the  fact that he likes to walk around while he eats. He eats very loudly, and I don't he even has it in him to just stand over his dish and eat. He also doesn't eat the 'ends' of his food, only the middles, so that leaves all of the 'ends' all over the floor as he strolls around chomping. I have an island in my kitchen and when Monty is finished I take my DustBuster vac and whip all around there getting  up all the 'ends' of Monty's food. By 'ends' I mean his food is little x's and he eats the centers of the x's and leaves the rest all over the place. He is very old, though healthy, and needs to eat several times a day so it is ongoing though out the day. Blew, on the other hand, knows that Monty does this and will go out there looking for Monty's 'ends' and if I don't get to them all before Blew finds them it is 24 hours in a gas mask for me!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Short Films I Have Made: Camping With Retired Racing Greyhounds

Short Films I Have Made: Kee And The Cookie

Short Films I Have Made: Retired Racing Greyhound Adoption.

S-s-s-soooo C-c-cold Ag-g-gain!

Yep, right now the thermometer says -14. We are house bound once again. The hounds are not amused. You just have to love weather where the pee is nearly frozen before it has had a chance to trickle down the hill. I mean really, there has to be some comedy in that somehow. Sometimes I swear they look at me like it is all my fault, 'Why do you make it so cold out here Mom?'. My only answer is 'hurry, hurry!' Poor guys...have you ever tried to 'hurry' your business? And how has that worked out for you? ;)
Also, just a quick update on Scooter. Another good day for him. Seems perfectly normal, no more disorientation. I know when ever something like this goes on it takes me quite a while to unwind about it. I keep looking for something, thinking any minute the problem will return. I sure do hope we have figured it all out correctly, but I am guessing only time will tell. Fingers and toes all crossed!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Scooter Again, Again

Good news! Scooter is doing fine now. No further seizures. I couldn't be happier! What looks like is happening to Scooter, is a reaction to the treats he was getting just before bed. All of his dog food is free of grain, or gluten. I ran out of the regular dehydrated sweet potato treat I normally give them before bedtime and gave him a 'dog pretzel' type of treat that I had stashed in reserve. This treat, we feel, is the culprit and I have tossed those. After looking a couple of places for the ‘right stuff’, I picked up new treats (no grains or gluten) and he has done fine since. He is back to his old self and we are keeping an eye on him. I am a Celiac so usually I don’t have things around that contain gluten anyway. I also had very mild seizures (among other things) until they figured out I was a celiac and I removed gluten from my diet. We are hoping this will conclude Scooter’s issues. Fingers Crossed.

A Whirlwind Just Blew Through

Today was a taking care of 2 year old grandson day. It is quiet at 6am, and total chaos at 6:30 through 4:30. Those are the hours he is here and everything is his playground. The dogs are amazingly tolerant, though they really have no choice in the matter. The kitties just stay out of the way...out of sight, out of mind pretty well works for them so they use it whenever Kee is over. He loves the animals and has been taught nearly from day one how animals need to be treated with gentleness and respect. He is really pretty good with it most of the time. He does have a Greyhound and 3 kitties of his own and he loves his Ruby (the GrandGreyhound) totally. When ever Kee is here, Ruby comes too. She is a sweet girl and is very good when she is over here as well. The whole gang does keep me hopping the whole day through though, with not much time for any thing else. So the school work and other things all wait until he is gone. He gives the dogs their food in the morning, and then picks up the bowls for me. He also feels it is very important to accompany me in taking the dogs outside each time. When he leaves within about 25 minutes or so I have all the toys put back away and messes cleaned up and suddenly it seems that sanity is restored. Things are all back to normal and the cats can tell that coast is clear and reappear. One is laying on my arm right now as I type. It seems as though the craziness blows out of the door just as quickly as it blows in.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Scooter Again

So early this morning Scooter was at odds once again. My husband took him down stairs to take him out because of his being so out of sorts and then Scooter would not come back up the stairs. I went down and tried to help, even tried the leash but it was just freaking him out, and normally he is still calm when he is going through this sort of thing. But the more we tried to get him up the stairs, the more upset he was getting, now starting to pant. So I just slept down stairs with him last night. I did end up putting him in his crate, which seems to be about the only way to get him to lay down and though he is wrestless, he does finally lay down and a couple of hours later he is fine. I was watching him much of the time because I keep thinking there is a possibility of it escalating into a more violent seizure or something. On top of this yesterday (after his issue in the early morning hours) Scooter had another small episode which did not last very long, kind of came and went in a matter of 30 mintues or less. Don't know why this would be happening with him. So, I do believe we are going to go into the vet again about this and maybe do some chemistries to make sure things are okay there. Further discussing this with the vet as well.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Scooter's Seizure

Scooter has been with us for, well it will be a year toward the end of March. During that time he has had two seizures, early this morning marking the second one. It was pretty much the same as the first one. Both of them occured in the very early morning hours and on the weekend (the ones I know about, but I'm with him a lot, so hopefully those are the only ones) he starts to pace and then it wakes me up. I try to get him to lay down but he just can't get comfortable and paces some more. All the while his head is looking all around quickly, his neck is extended more than usual and his walking is not as coordinated has usual either. All in all he seems disoriented. I figure out what was going one (took me longer the first time than the second) and got him downstairs, he goes outside and still manages to go potty and kind of slowly walks in almost like he can't see very well. The foot movement is almost highstepping, like he is walking through muck pulling his feet up out of it to step again. Offer water - he sniffs it and walks away. Still he cannot lay down for more than a second and continues to walk with his neck extended fully, head looking around like he can hear something coming but doesn't know from where...sniffing everything, so I am thinking he is trying to get his bearings or his senses are heightened.?? I then go ahead and put him in his crate because he just seems to be safer there, maybe even a little more secure feeling, though he still likes me to love on him when all this is going on. He has trouble settling in his crate, I put in more padding and I stay there watching him. He finally lays down a couple of more times, then stays down. I would say the whole thing probably takes maybe 2.5 hours or so (I am never sure because I am asleep and he wakes me up already in progress). I am not a heavy sleeper, so I am pretty sure no violent shaking or anything goes on prior to this. As I watch him, eventually he will get up turn around and lay down...like he normally lays down, not in the way he does when this is happening, and I know it is over. He comes out no worse for wear.
I have had many many dogs with seizures and all of the seizures have pretty much been different dog to dog. I have had many special needs animals in my life and this was one that we took in thinking it was time to shy away from all the special needs for once, so we would not have to worry so much. I guess it was just not meant to be. Hopefully his seizures will remain very mild and many months apart. We love Scooter very much and if this is only as bad as it gets he is really a piece of cake compared to some of the others we have loved and had as part of our family. Regardless of what his future holds for him healthwise, he has us as his forever home and nothing could change that.


Yesterday was beautiful out, and was just shy of 50 degrees here in MN. Very odd this time of year. I joked that Mother Nature was just trying to get the January Thaw into January real quick, being it was the last day of the month. The good news there is that I still see water dripping from the roof which means we are still doing a little more of the thawing that comes with a little warmer weather. Yesterday the dogs spent a lot of time (Comparatively) outside running around and being super silly...rolling in the snow and what-have-you. They are certainly enjoying the warm up. And yes...sunshine - all animals spend some time hunting down that perfect sunny spot!



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