Helen on April 14th, 2012

This morning it was still raining slightly after quite a stormy night.  I was glad for the Anxiety Wrap I had on hand for Mimi.  She needed it and so did I.  Her angst over thunder and lightning is unsurpassed.  Though my Aussie is a close sceond, and I realize I need to purchase one for her after waking up three times with her on my face.

But for this morning, Raven did the funniest thing.  She jumped into the bathtub I’d set up for bath taking.  I’d planned on doing them over three days; otherwise, I generally pack it in and cover it up.  It’s been three days, and my plan is still incomplete.  However Raven looked like she was in a fantasy world this morning sitting in that tub for well over ten minutes.  She seemed to be the captain of her own ship.

Helen on March 8th, 2012

Today, while training, we had a visit from a butterfly.  What a magical beauty she is!

I visited a local nursery last weekend.  They have bi-annual sales where during those weekends, they have bar-be-ques and drinks, and all their plants are out for easy access and purchase.  I had been eyeing a bat flower for several years, and so this year, I finally bought the only one they had.  It was a $15 plant, but I like Halloween, and think this will fit in nicely with that holiday.  If you look closely, you can see the plant has a bat flower on it.  I found that there are seed pods in that flower, so I have to keep an eye out for them to drop as it dries out.  The smell is not supposed to be pleasant, so I will pass on sniffing it.  I think it counts on flies to pollinate it.

As far as holidays go, I also like Christmas, and I saw this Jungle Fire plant in red, green, and white and had to have it.  These plants were beyond the perimeter of the sale, and I went under the “caution tape” to fish it out.  Ten dollars.  Three other women saw it in my basket, and followed suit and bought some, too.

Then there is this.  I planted these two podicarpus plants together a year ago.  The one on the right is a bunch of dead sticks now, while the one on the left is thriving.  What gives?  How can two similar plants, side-by-side, end up in such different states?

This sort of thing happens often at my house because I live near the highway, I guess.  But here’s another helicopter scoping something out.  It gets a little annoying because I wonder if they are ever peeping into my backyard with their high-powered lenses.  It isn’t a warm and fuzzy feeling having them hover around.

This is a Turkey Vulture, and they circle my neighborhood everyday.  I feel more content with them up there in the skies of blue than the helicopters.

While I was entering the highway, I saw my crows.  They fly over my house back and forth everyday.  I don’t know where they hang out during the day or night, but they are just the coolest characters.

Here they are overhead at my house on another day.

They are brilliant feathered friends.

Helen on February 20th, 2012

What can I say?  Mimi’s patriotic!

Helen on February 20th, 2012

Helen on January 25th, 2012

This is such an awesome video on a magnificent creature, the Humpback Whale.

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Helen on January 23rd, 2012

Kiss me!

I just ate poop!

Helen on January 15th, 2012

Raven had her 5th birthday this week on the 11th.  Happy birthday Little Big Pants!

Today was a good day for learning about tug and toys.  I watched a very good video on teaching a dog to tug earlier today and picked up a lot of good tips on that.  I have found out why I’ve stumbled along with one of my dogs and am ready to pick up the pieces and move ahead with fixing that tug deficit.

Then tonight I watched a very good video on motivation and toys, and learned how to use a food toy to train play properly.  There are so many toys out there, and honestly, I have never seen instructions on one of the food tug toys I’ve purchased.  You’d think maybe they’d add that important part of the toy – instructions on how to use it!

Teaching a dog to play is not as easy as one would think.  It’s much like having cake for dessert.  You have to gather the ingredients, mix them together, and bake it at the right temp for the right amount of time, before the cake’s complete.  Recipes are not only for baking.  🙂  They’re for dog training, too.

Raven got a nice new red toy for her birthday.  We used it for her weaving practice then found out it was a bit too slippery for that, so we’ll use it for something else.  Slobber changes the texture of some toys!

Here’s my girl weaving.  I’m proud of her progress and I’m looking forward to the year we have ahead of us.

Helen on January 9th, 2012

I finished making my dog walk on Jan 2. I found two yellow slats from the last dog walk I’d made, so I used them for the contact zones.  I thought I was done. Then I let Raven and her toy take a walk across my master piece and found out I wasn’t.

When Raven got to the top and slipped around till she fell on the ground, ugh!  It was one of those slap my forehead moments.  I’d forgotten to put sand in the last coat of paint, and I also think that I used slick gloss paint instead of flat, which makes for a very slippery type of surface. Double whammy!

So my dog walk has been sitting outside, should have been done but ain’t, since the 2nd day in January. There are big buckets on both ends so no one goes up on either end.


Helen on January 1st, 2012

Some where around 19 minutes after 4 pm on new years day, 2012, my patience and I parted ways.  A Ryobi drill got between us and ruined resolution #1.  Do not loose patience in 2012.  The damnation battery in the drill had to be charged for 30 to 90 minutes every time I drilled 3 holes in the dog walk I was assembling.  This is why I had been procrastinating the finale of this project since some time in August.  I hate my power drill.  Actually, it’s the battery I hate.  These companies make so much money off of their lousy batteries.  I’d charged the #$#*@!!!! battery in my Ryobi drill about 40 times already, and I was 3/4 off of finishing the last freaking hole in the last freaking plank and the damn thign waaaaa waaaa waaaa died again.  Gerdemmit!  I meant it too.  I yanked the battery pack off the drill and marched back into the house and shoved it in the charger while I searched for a hammer and nail.  I was so close to being done, I hammered a hole to the end, and took the 5 minute warm battery out to finish the hole.  Geeeezus!

Now listen, this is why I don’t believe in these resolution things.  I’m going to go out now to buy a jug of sangria.  A jug ’cause tomorrow I have to screw in the slats, and don’t get me started at how pissed I am at myself for painting them all green!  What happened to the yellow?  And even though this dog walk is smaller than the last one, and that one was smaller than regulation, so I’m missing 2 feet on each end.  I decided to teach my dogs to run in place so they can feel as if they’re on a 12-foot dog walk instead of an 8-footer.  <kidding>  It’s day one of this new year and I think I made some stupid resoluion about not drinking in the case that I do lose my patience and need to calm down.  What was I thinking making such silly resolutions?


Helen on December 25th, 2011