No food aggression here!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

One thing we have always done, both with Sadie and now with the #2Doods, is be sure there is no food aggression. This means no growling or any kind of reaction if we take food/treats away. You've seen photos of them waiting for the OK to eat their treats, the same thing happens when we feed them. They sit and wait in front of their food bowls, waiting for the OK.

We also don't give them people food. Well, most of the time. I've been known to let them lick the empty yogurt container. It's really funny to see them both licking it clean - at the same time! But I've never been in a position to get a photo of this.

Today, once Stu finished up some tuna salad, he let them lick the bowl clean. I managed to snap a few photos. Both were happily licking away - at the same time. So funny!

Murphy asks, "Daddy, are you done yet?"



Ciao for now!

Still blooming.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Thought I'd share a few more blooming photos...some may be repeats of the same type of flower but hey, they're still blooming! LOL!



Pretty, even while wilting...




And then there is this...seen in the back of a truck at a traffic light. LOL! I think he was parked for too long...


I don't think I ever posted a photo of the back of the house...unfortunately, all three of our gorgeous Butterfly Bushes were winter killed and had to be pulled out. Not sure what we will do with that bed under the edge of the deck. I do have to say, we are loving the canopy over the deck. Really helps the temperature so we can sit out there more often.


Ciao for now!

A little weekend excitement!

Monday, July 16, 2018


Here's Stu's version:

Well, just another side effect of losing weight. Over medication! Seems the dosage for my previous weight was too much for my slimmer self. That and a full day wrestling with a trenching machine, I decided some chest pains were in order.

Long story short, a late night trip to the ER and an overnight in the hospital, 4 blood draws over time showed I was not having any kind of heart issue. Pulse rate in the 40s kinda freaked everyone out. Drop one of my meds and the problem has resolved itself....follow up tomorrow with my PHP and we adjust my meds accordingly. Most likely a stress test to rule out any issues.

Here's my version:

Well, this has been a fun weekend - not! Stu woke me at 1am Sunday and asked me to take him to the ER due to a pain in his chest that wouldn't go away. Started about 11pm.

Got up, dressed and drove the 30 miles to the closest hospital. They were terrific. Over the next four hours he saw 4 RN's, an x-ray tech and two doctors before he was admitted for observation. Nitroglycerin under the tongue, a shot of Plavix in his stomach, multiple blood tests, a chest x-ray, multiple EKGs and then a nitroglycerin patch on his chest.

I drove home around 5:30-6am, slept a couple hours, got up to let the dogs out and feed them. Texted with him and he said if his heart rate came up (was running in the 40's), he was probably coming home.

Went back to bed for another hour or so. Got up, spent some time on the computer before heading to the hospital. They discharged him at 5pm, new drug orders, see cardiologist for a stress test and see primary care physician.

End result, his 30# weight loss meant the meds he has been taking were driving him B/P and pulse too low. They don't suspect any major heart issues but want the stress test to be sure. Took him off one medication, added an old one back into the mix but at a lowered dosage. He may still need one more taken away. We'll see. He has an appointment with our primary care physician tomorrow, will see what she wants him to do next. 

Ciao for now!

A little organization

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Everyone knows how much we buy via Amazon Prime but it's not always the best price. For example, I wanted some mesh metal magazine organizers for the pantry. We keep several flavors and strengths of K-cups on hand for our coffee maker. Multiple boxes stacked haphazardly was not the best solution. I thought this might work out better.

I started looking for them and discovered Target had them at half the price of anywhere else, including the office supply stores. I ordered four and loved them once I got them set up. They worked out well!


In fact, so well, when I found a perfume I was looking for cheaper at Target than anywhere else online, I ordered two more. When they arrived, I reorganized the pantry, pulling out multiple items to take to a local shelter, things no longer on our diets.


Then I added the two additional organizers which let me load one with DECAF coffee on the lower shelf. I love it!


So, what do you think of my new shirt? LOL! Kind of fits, doesn't it.


Speaking of diets....I'm happy. Now within 2.5# of my next goal. Of course once that's met, I set a new goal of 5# less. All in all, my final goal by the end of this year is 12.5# less than where I am now. I think that's quite doable! My bust has lost size so the comparison isn't as dramatic, but I'm happy! I've gone from tight size 14 pants to loose size 12 and sometimes even a size 10 pant.


Ciao for now!

Ramping Up (and down)

Saturday, July 14, 2018

There are a lot of ramps/steps out there for pets. We had already tried to use stairs with Murphy and he was really reticent. When asked, the vet said a ramp would be a much better long term solution. We had specific needs, knowing that we would need this for the rest of his life.

Let the research begin...and this is what we decided on after reading many, many reviews and specs for the various options.
Solvit Smart Ramp

  • Shur-Foot tread material is the same material for indoor/outdoor pedestrian safety.
  • Rigid-Rail frame provides support just like today’s tough fiberglass ladders.
  • High profile rails in contrasting color keep unsteady pets securely on track.
  • Non-slip feet at both ends keep ramp in place.
  • Telescopes anywhere from 42” to 70”.
  • Great for small breeds with delicate backs and joints, too.
  • Smooth edges and rounded corners protect pets, people and car surfaces.
  • Dual pinch-free grip areas for easy transport, whether collapsed or extended.

Unboxed the ramp for Murphy and let him walk on it last night. No problem, in fact, both dogs walked across it multiple times. This morning we put a wooden box under one end for a little lift. No problem. Then we made it a little higher. Still no problem.

Time for a trial run in the back of the car. With a little persuasion, he went up. Then he went down just fine. Repeated several times, each one easier than the last. Yay!

Will repeat tomorrow and on Monday we use it to head to doggy day care. Should make things much easier. Only down side is it's fairly heavy and there is no latch to keep it from telescoping out when you're carrying it.
Ciao for now!

July 13 2018: Enjoy the Simple Things

Friday, July 13, 2018

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
Bruce Lee

Till next month...

#2Doods Visit the Vet

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Cooper was due for his annual shots and Murphy was due for a one year checkup. We had both good news and not so good news.

First, Cooper. His ears are both clear! Yay!!! Hoping we can keep them healthy. His weight was good at 58.5# and he took all his shot updates like a Trooper. Okay, so there was a little stress pee at one point...LOL! He laid down and slept, one foot on Stu's leg while it was Murphy's turn.


Murphy keeps growing by leaps and bounds, topping out at 73#. Yikes! Remember, he's younger at 12 months than Cooper at 15 months. And they are both still growing! (Note to self, order next weight class flea/tick meds for Murphy next time).

In general he was healthy but we had concerns about his hips. Since he is 1/2 Rough Collie and 1/4 Golden Retriever - both known for hip dysplasia - we thought he should be examined (thus the one year checkup). He never jumps up or down anywhere/anytime, he is slow to get up from a sit and prefers to stand rather than sit, won't go into a down position on command (not even for his favorite treat on the floor, but will lay down if you force him) and we can feel his hip bones crunching &/or cracking if we press lightly on his hind quarters when asking for a sit.

The arrow points to the socket where the joint should sit. His joint is only 35% in, whereas 65% is point where they diagnose hip dysplasia.
So the bad news is he does have severe hip dysplasia. The good news is it isn't hurting him now, but he will most certainly develop arthritis over time. We are starting him on Synovi Soft Chews (double dose for 30 days) and hope it will delay the onset of the arthritis and bone deterioration.

Our vet offered us a referral to an orthopedic specialist but we passed on that for now. I doubt we would do a full hip replacement (x2) for many reasons. We will do all we can do keep him happy and playing (the playing and running are good for him).

He was pretty relaxed during all the discussions, too. LOL! (Yes, they both wear gentle leaders when on a leash and they still tug, too much. More training needed....)


We have been trying to get Murphy to use a two step stool to get in and out of the back of the Jeep but now we will be moving to an aluminum, portable, folding/telescoping ramp. He will always need this and since he is already well over 70#, lifting him in and out is hard on Stu and impossible for me.



Ciao for now!

Do you follow Blogger blogs?

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Recently I posted about the comment issue with Blogger blogs due to GDPR and how to fix it. That left me wondering if folks who subscribed to following a blog via email were no longer getting notification. Since I don't follow that way, I use Inoreader.com on my laptop and Feeddler Pro on my iPad, I don't know what's happening.

So, if you followed a Blogger blog via email and aren't getting notifications, go to the blog and sign up again. I did it as a test on this blog and it let me subscribe three times without telling me I already was subscribed. But I did get the email with the link to confirm the subscription each time. Then you should start receiving your email notifications!

Again, if you post via Blogger, you might want to let folks know about this issue as well. Good luck...and tell your friends!

Ciao for now!

A little company for us and the #2Doods

I got a Facebook message from a long-time friend who was traveling home to Missouri from a job in South Carolina and wondered how far off I-40 we were. Easy-peasy, we're less than thirty minutes from I-40. She was pulling her little Scamp trailer and bringing along her Carolina Dog pup she had rescued recently.

Not knowing how the #2Doods would react to another dog on their turf, we kept them inside and let El run in the back yard for a bit. Well, as soon as we let the #2Doods out, it was play time for the three of them. They immediately accepted El and our friend, Kay, as part and parcel of our household.

They romped and raced in and around the backyard. El loved digging in the "sandbox" and the #2Doods joined in the fun. Here are a couple of photos that Kay took on Friday morning.



Inside the house, it was a free-for-all for several hours. Finally, Miss El settled in to rest and soon was totally relaxed. It was hard to get a good play photo, El was a blur!














They all enjoyed a Buffalo Jerky Braided Chew together, too.


Ciao for now!

Around the house & yard....

Saturday, July 7, 2018


It's been hot here, but not as HOT as some other parts of the country. I mean, it is summer - NOT my favorite season. Stu has stayed busy working in the yard. One day was devoted to pruning back the rose bushes of the front of the house. They were way too overgrown and since we have aluminum awnings for the two front bedroom windows arriving soon, we needed to gain access. If the bushes don't recover from a late in the season trim, we'll plan evergreens next year. I helped one morning, working until my arms just couldn't lop anymore. Above are the bushes before trimming, below is the after. Gulp!


One advantage, besides being able to install the awnings when they arrive, is being able to use the pressure washer to clean what was behind the bushes! Stu then continued on and used it clean the sidewalk, too. Said it worked great. I will be trying it on the back deck and outdoor furniture soon.

The lawn mowing has been constant with the little bit of rain we received giving it a jumpstart. Stu loves his zero-turn, even mowing the pasture with it. He still uses the small hand mower and weed-wacker for trim work. We decided to keep the lawn tractor after we bought the zero-turn mower. It gets used a lot to pull around the yard wagon as well as a way to move our Blue Boy (for dumping the waste water in the RV) around to the side of the house where we have a septic tank connection.

This time around, he was using it to pull the large pipe that we had replaced with a smaller dimension in the culvert for the Backend of Nowhere Garage driveway. He is planning on constructing a French Drain system to get the water further down towards our pond and away from the buildings. Next week, he hopes to rent a trencher for a day and start the process.



When I walked out to get a few photos, the temperature had dropped to a comfortable level and the #2Doods were in a playful mood. I shot this little VIDEO - just before they slammed into me and knocked me to the ground. No permanent damage, fortunately. LOL!

The yard is looking much better overall, thanks to Stu's hard work. We've got Japanese Beetle traps back out. First trip out afterwards and the #2Doods weren't sure about them. Cooper barked and circled while Murphy stayed back till Coop got close enough to sniff. A couple shouts of "not yours" and "leave it" and from that point on, they just ignored them. They are collecting a lot, but the infestation was so bad, Stu also sprayed the trees.


Not sure when we will take down our Independence Day buntings and sidelight window covers. The window covers are giving us much needed shade from the afternoon sun. Going to find some heavy fabric we like, get seams sewed, add grommets and make it a summer covering for the windows. For now, we'll just continue to be patriotic.


After the last heavy rains, I noticed these unusual mushrooms growing through the mulch in the flower bed outside the garage. Dainty and pretty, I took a few photos and nicknamed them "gohost mushrooms. Later I researched what they actually were called: Inky Cap Mushrooms.


"Most of the species have black spore prints and gills that liquefy, at least partially, as the mushroom matures. The resulting "ink" provides the common name for the inky caps, and can actually be used as writing ink. ~ http://www.mushroomexpert.com/coprinoid.html"
Ciao for now!