Sunday, March 30, 2008

family photos n other stuff

We spent most of the week end packing up Mom's house and transporting some things to storage despite the fact that we never got the promised trailer from U Haul. Lot's of work yet to do and hopefully a trailer for next week end.

I unearthed some more family photos in one of the bedroom closets. The first shows myself and my mother on my wedding day way back in the 20th century. The second is my grandfather, William James Sill Miller at age 16. The next photo features his grandmother, the Eliza Miller of my 'Navajo' story The Meadow Between the Rocks, his father Dr. William Colvin Miller, and great grandmother Flora Robeson Colvin. The next photo is Eliza Miller somewhere in young middle age. The last is Dr. William C Miller in World War One in France. Just think, the folks in these photos span the 1820s to me in the present day. Cool, huh?

I also found and enjoyed some letters from my freshman year at Eckherd College in St Petersburg, Fl. While I'd long ago forgotten most of the people and events mentioned in the letters, apparently I had a much better time in my first year away from 'homeplace' than I recalled. I guess I was somewhat fixated on boys even if I can't remember names, faces, and places. Whole lotta parties and pranks went on. I musta been a fun kid.

By the way, I found "Papu" Miller's WWI metal helmet, somewhat rusted now, on a closet shelf at Mom's along with his field glasses. Also brought to my home several of the Navajo blankets and baskets carried back from Arizona by Eliza Miller in 1871 after the murder of Papu's father. I left behind an antique doll that I've always despised. One of those with real hair and a china face with scary glass eyes. I will sell her on eBay( or something like that) to a collector. She terrified me as a child. I half expected her to come alive at midnight and bite my neck. I still do. For now, she can guard Mom's house.

I continue to find such mementos, most seen by me as family treasures, in unexpected places. Last night I read a journal belonging to Papu's wife, Carrie Rose, dated 1881. I think this is why I've always loved History. To me, it is stories of real people.

Tonight, after dinner and walking the poochies, we watched another installment of the John Adams miniseries by HBO. Excellent series! Very raw. Very real. Very absorbing. Great performances by Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney and Tom Wilkerson, too. Watch it! Last night we finally saw No Country For Old Men. Good film. Bad ending.

Ta for now.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A bit of this a byte of that.

Hey Bloggers. Here's some pictures of a Catahoula practicing agility moves. It's not Ginny of course but the best I can do right now since I keep forgetting to take pictures in class. Our Ginny is really enjoying agility training. She did everything practically perfect tonight...until she got bored and saturated with commands the last five minutes of class. She was supposed to do a jump then run through two tunnels. She executed the jump perfectly and ran through the first tunnel. Then she apparently decided it would be fun to jump sideways back and forth over the final tunnel three or four times. Whee, Circus trick!! Funny. Everyone laughed. So, she did it again that way. Next week is her test. If she 'passes' she goes on to the next level.

I chased the rat family out of my grill. One of them, Papa or Mama was a real Ratzilla. We're talking big, here. The rascally rodents chewed a hole in my pool screening behind the grill as an escape hatch...and escaped. Dunno where they went. Don't care long as they don't get into the house.

I'm as busy as a squirrel during acorn season. Why, you ask? Well, this week has been pack up week number one at Mom's house. Its been a big job since I've been doing it on my own. I might be almost halfway there. Maybe. Everything must go by the third week in April. (Arrgh! Help! Why can't I be Samantha and wiggle my nose or Jeanie and snap my fingers?) Danny and I are going to spend this week end moving stuff into the storage room we rented last week end. Probably moving stuff next week end too.

Laura's birthday is coming up April third. Then, his brother Mark and family are coming to visit for a week and I want to take a day or two off for theme parking with Little Ben (4) and Lexi (2) and parents. The week end after that is Stephen (Danny's stepson) and Casey's baby shower in Lakeland. Then, house closing and Amy's college graduation week end with another visit from Cousin Margie to look forewards to. Busy time around here, folks. If I fall away from my blogging for a day or two now and then you'll know why.

Below is a cute picture of Little Ben, our soon to be house guest. Doncha love that Scots-Irish red hair? I can't wait to take him and equally red haired sister to Seuss Landing and Camp Jurassic at Universal.

Live long and prosper.

Monday, March 24, 2008

the return of ratty

Yes folks, Ratty's back. Not the same rattus rattus as last year. Not the poor unfortunate who got into the kitchen closet and ended up stuck permanently to one of those sticky rat trap trays. Not the one that grossed out Danny had to finish off as best he could. No, this time rattus rattus is outside (at least so far). You'll never guess where the little fellow and his closest relatives are camped out. I wouldn't have guessed it, although it makes sense.

I have a gas grill I never use bought several years ago for cook outs that I never have. It has a spiffy green plastic cover over it and is on my screened porch. Said grill made a really nifty condo for the rat pack. Until Ginny discovered them and spent two evenings of frustration trying to lead me to the rodent squatters.

Tonight, just at dusk, I finally paid attention to her constant circling between house and grill. Something's there, I thought. Gotta look whether I want to or not. I suspected a snake. Flashlight in hand, I went to the grill, pried off the green tarp cover and noticed palmetto leaves sticking out from beneath the grill lid. Weird. Who would put palmetto leaves and grass in my grill?

Oh look
, I thought, peering beneath the grill lid as I lifted it with right hand as left held my flashlight, the grasses are even woven together in a basket-like contraption. Sure they were. A perfect nest for the mother rat who jumped into the air to land at my feet on the pool deck followed by two half grown pups. Okay, I admit I sorta shrieked. The three rats high tailed it to the open porch door to the back yard followed at light speed by Ginny. I replaced the grill lid without looking any further, put the green tarp cover back on and went into the house to wait for Danny to come home from evening IT classes.

Five minutes later I began developing symptoms of upper respiratory disease. Maybe Hanta Virus. Maybe even plague. Now three hours later, I am still alive and worrying if the little baby rats will be warm enough out there under the grill cover in the cold snap. Not worried enough to bring them inside though. I may have seen one to many Disney animated films when I was a kid, but I ain't crazy.

Well, not about rattus rattus anyway. Besides I still have the sore throat and runny nose.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

Have a great holiday. Blog will resume on Monday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Agility Girl and Demon Dog

This is my beginning level agility girl. Ginny Lou Whoo. Purebred Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. Originally named Spice. Sister of Ginger. Abandoned to Animal Control as a puppy somewhere in Tennessee. Destined for the needle. Rescued by CURS. (Catahoula United Rescue Society) Adopted. Returned by the family she trusted. (She jumped on their kids. They were afraid of her. Did they take her to obedience? No. They were too busy for dog training. They got rid of Spice and got another dog. One that presumably doesn't jump). Back to CURS and fostering in Gainesville Florida. Adopted by me. Home at last. New name. new life.

Ginny's lovely "Patchwork" face graces the CURS website. Doncha just love her half pink nose? Ginny is smart, is what I call a velcro dog, and she has conversations that sound like Han Solo's pal Chewbacca. She sings. She loves walks and the dog park and playing with her pack members in the yard. She goes up tree trunks after squirrels. Unfortunately, she is a dumpster diver. No trash can in the house is Ginny proof. She is all too frequently lead into mischief by our resident demon dog, Chili. Chili is an Australian cattle Dog, a no rules just right sort of dog, but more about her later.

Ginny is taking to agility like a duck to water. She had a little difficulty at first with the parachute. Went over it, ran beside it. Didn't want to go through it. Jumps are, of course, a piece of cake. (Hoolas are bred to jump). The tire is a piece of cake. First time got it perfect. Doing good downs and stays and touching the contact. A frame no problem at all. She actually likes being on the wobble board (precursor to the sea saw). She loves going to 'dog class'. Danny is her trainer. He's enjoying agility too. They make a great pair on the field. The only thing Ginny does not like about agility training is being held by anyone besides Danny or me or having either one of us out of her sight. She panics. Understandable, given her history. We're working on that.

Ginny was looking a little pudgy tonight. Why? Earlier today, Chili got the pantry door open and she and Ginny feasted on a half box of Triskets and about three quarters of a large bag of (dog) chicken tender strips as well as the assorted contents of the large silver kitchen trash can. Ginny has skunk gas.

While Danny and I were walking the other dogs after agility class, Chili broke into his backpack and ate two chocolate chip cookies from lunch and got up on my kitchen table to raid a plastic bag of liver treats I'd forgotten I'd left there under the agility dog homework folder. Yes, Chili finally got sick. Maybe the chocolate chips finally did it. Chocolate is really bad for dogs. At any rate, she pooped on the only rug I have left down in three rooms. Demon dog. That's Chili.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Unwanted Dog

These are some pictures of real street dogs. These particular dogs have found rescue angels, but there are millions who haven't. If you want and can care for a dog, check your local shelters, particularly animal control and Google rescue organizations. Street dogs need your help. If you adopt them and love them, they will give back more love than your heart can hold. I promise. I've adopted a few. A good bath and a few good meals work wonders too. Not to mention a squeaky toy. Get one for the dog too.

Below, a rough draft of a new poem hot off my desktop.

by Nancy Wayman Deutsch

Consider the plight of the unwanted dog
bred as companion or for useful job.
Once somebody's pet, now roaming the street
rooting in garbage with cracked bleeding feet.

It's rangy and mangy and covered in fleas
It doesn't know what it has done, to displease.
Why is it homeless, who disapproved?
A new boyfriend, or landlord, or did family move?

Did new baby come, or was fence gate left open?
Dog longs for a home though it's nearly past hoping
for safety and comfort and pats on the head
for collar and biscuits, and padded soft bed.

If this dog gets captured and locked in a cage
as puppy or old dog or one middle aged
will it end it's short life with a needle or gas?
Or will someone kind come, to adopt it at last?

Consider the plight of the unwanted dog.
Please home it and love it, and give it a job,
as companion, or watchdog, or herder of sheep,
Dog will give you devotion and guard you in sleep.

Consider the plight of the unwanted pet,
saving its life you will never regret.
With warm eyes and tail wag expressing it's love
Dog's an angel in fur sent from Heaven above.

March 19, 2008

Happy tails to you until we meet again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patrick's Day

Some images of Eire tonight. On St Patrick's Day, we're all a little Irish aren't we? Or maybe should be.

Here's part of the traditional Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
and the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rains fall soft on your fields
and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Boy could I use a Hello Kitty sort of day...all pink and pretty, nuthin' to do but just lounge around in...well maybe not in a silly hat. How 'bout just lounging around?

Last week was a challenging week what with getting used to the time change (springing forwards made me very very tired), Danny starting a new 8-5 job altering both our daily routines, extreme pollen counts jump starting our allergies, deciding whether to accept the offer on Mom's house, and the usual brutal three days of work at the art festival. I thought this year would be easier physically since we weren't walking with the judge all day Friday and being at the awards judging by 7:30 am Saturday...but even with half day assignments instead of all day assignments I am totally wiped out. Maybe it is the aftermath of springing forward, being knee deep in oak pollen, and the fact that it was pushing ninety degrees out yesterday and today. I dunno. But I was physically sick today from the heat today, my knees and hips ache, and I was winded climbing four flights of stairs in the parking garage. Pitiful, just pitiful.

Enjoyed the festival as always though. The Artists party went off without a hitch (bravo Mercer).
The artists I talked to today while doing Viewing Committee duty were all happy and complimentary about our show and treatment by the board. The crowd was a bit light on Friday due to cold and rainy weather, but the park was mobbed Saturday and today and quite a few artists were happy about their sales. Now, on to the electi0n of the new executive board and 50th WPSAF!

Tomorrow, a dentist appointment and then hopefully some down time for a few hours. No hello Kitty hat. I don't look as good in hats as the dogs.

PS Ginny doesn't wear hats like the hapless ACD in the pix, but she did super well in her second agility class. Took to the various 0bstacles like a duck to a pond, especially the jumps. Not wanting to do the tunnel. She's doing good sit/stays. She'll get the tunnel idea soon enough.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

49th art festival week end

Hey there my little Bloggers and Bloggettes,

This is our 49th annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival week end in beautiful downtown Winter Park. As I write this, the tents along park Avenue and in Central park are up, the artists are here, the art is in place, and we're ready for y'all. We open tomorrow morning at nine and close Sunday at six. Check out for more information.Come on down...its free...and view original work in your favorite art genre by 225 acclaimed artists from all over the USA and several foreign countries as well. Attend Friday night's Jazz concert in the park by a nationally known headliner. Chow down, relax, meet friends. Enjoy. Just don't park in my parking space. Just kidding. I don't have a parking space, either. Be sure to bring allergy medication if needed though. The oak pollen is dropping like rain. Achoo!

Seriously, our show is always one of the top ten in the USA and about 250,000,000 folks visit annually over the three days. Check out our website at for more information.

I've been on the board of directors since 1997. We're an all volunteer board. We work on this event for one whole year. It's a labor of love and occasional frustration. Tomorrow, I will be selling T Shirts and Posters with the image you see at the top of the Blog. Come buy one from me. I'm nice.

Switching gears, I sold my late mother's house today. Linda Ramey of Coldwell Banker is the 'Supergirl' of Realtors in a horrible market. She sold my house for a reasonable price in just one month. Thanks Linda! I admit to mixed feelings about letting my parent's house go. Closure and all. But the young woman who will live there asked what my mother's favorite flowers were. She wants to be sure to plant them in the yard. Isn't that sweet? I'll close before I get misty eyed.

A neighbor just alerted me that there were two break- ins in the neighborhood last night...both in occupied homes with sizable dogs. Very unusual event here. This has always been a very safe area. Sign of the times I guess. Perps are either very overconfident, brazen, and/or lucky. Also sounds like somebody the dogs knew. Statistically most robberies are committed by teenagers who know kids who live in the areas robbed. The kids themselves might not have anything to do with it. They're duped by dopes for dope.

I know the dogs in the houses robbed. They bark at strangers. I don't have all the facts, though. Maybe the dogs were drugged. I hope they weren't hurt. I know the residents weren't, thank goodness.

I will be sure to lock my doors. However, I'm not exactly worried. My dogs will bark. They are substantial dogs. My dogs will bite. Danny wakes up easy, too. Never mind the dogs and Danny though. Beware me. I might bite. I'm the one with a bad temper. I am particularly bad tempered when somebody wakes me up when I want to sleep. Ask anyone who has ever managed to get me to an early morning meeting or event. They'll tell you, sure.

I come from Pennsylvania pioneer stock. I can do damage with an iron skillet...or whatever comes to hand, being German/ Scottish. In the DNA. No fear when mad. I don't care if the robbers are somebody's miss guided druggy teen agers, either. They will look just fine bleeding on the floor. Okay, so maybe I'm not always nice. Just don't break into my house or wake me up and I'll sell you a T Shirt with a smile. Heck, I'm so nice I'll give you an eBook copy of my book. So there. Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wow, what a doozer of a day. I probably had an expression like this wide-eyed hoola girl by late afternoon. I walked all three dogs this morning, one at a time. Took at least 90 minutes. No snitchy hip or achy knee, either. Nightly Yoga must be helping. (Thanks, Danny). Then after a tuna sandwich for lunch, I worked at my desktop mostly line editing with a little content editing for a couple hours. (Poetry book manuscript). I still don't know if it's going to be titled Out of My Head or Between The Lines, but that isn't really important right now. What is important, at least to me, is that I get it done and I'm getting there.

Around two o'clock, things started happening in multiples. I was on the phone with the Nominations chairperson for the art festival when my investment counselor and his assistant both called re some 'deal with them immediately' investment questions and solutions. Then, my Realtor called re a contract on Mom's house. Meanwhile, the kitchen and bath business owner was in the pool bath attempting some leak repairs to the new shower door. Chili was trying to find a way into the bathroom to sample his leg. I got bug eyed. Then returned calls one by one. All was serene by dinner time. After supper, we walked the dogs again and did more Yoga. Namaste.

By the way, the house contract (offer) isn't a bad one considering the market and national recession. Much better offer than the last one. I have till tomorrow noon to decide.

Sneaky Chili blew her cover. All along we though Ginny was the one knocking over all the trashcans. Not so. We came home yesterday to find trash all over the place. The other dogs were out with us. Chili was alone. Aha! She also vomited on my sofa again. Acorns and grass. Stupid dog.

Speaking of dogs, Danny is dog tired at the end of his working day. Hard to get used to the old early to bed and early to rise routine. But, he likes the job and being at UCF. Bravo to him for getting the job and going to school, too.

Ah river derchy. Sleep well, Bloggers and Bloggettes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today in history

Today in history:
1810: Napolean Bonaparte, Emperor of France marries Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria (alas, poor Josephine)
1888: the famous blizzard of '88 begins its sweep through the northeastern USA, resulting in 400 deaths (so we think this crazy weather is a new thing, huh?)
1941: USA President Roosevelt signs Lend-Lease Bill to provide money to fight the evil Axis powers in Europe (primarily Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy)
2004: al-Qaeda explodes 1o bombs in commuter rail system in Madrid, Spain killing 191 innocent people (down with crazy religious zealot extremists)

Today in my history:
I went to the bank and deposited money, shopped at Albertsons grocery, made oatmeal cookies with caramel/chocolate chips, read two chapters of Sword Song, The Battle for London, walked the 3 dogs twice, did Yoga, and took the Dogster 'what breed of dog would you be?' quiz.

Apparently, according to Dogster, I am a German Shepherd. I am not surprised by this result. After all, I can bark loudly and with authority when I choose, would happily run down and bite criminals, have a long nose, good hearing, like to run around putting things in their place, have slightly crooked legs, and really nice hair. I don't think even I can string the dog quiz results out into any more copy though, so enough about me!

Danny started his first full day working at UCF. He is a tired Zombie Geek now.

Wunderkid Baby Alex (see pix) is two months old, 13 1/2 pounds and two feet tall (if he could actually stand up yet).

Alex had his first shots yesterday, but didn't get a license tag.

Danny and I finally dusted off our bikes on Sunday, added air to the tires , and biked the Cady way/South Seminole Trail. It took me all day yesterday to recover since I hadn't biked in about two years! Extreme ouch!! Yoga last night helped. Today I am bright eyed and bushy tailed again.

We almost got a second contract on Mom's house yesterday, but in the end the people didn't like the idea that she had died in the house and said the a/c compressor was old. Whatever....we've had an unusual amount of activity and interest for this poor market. The right folks will come along. The house has only been listed one month today.

I'm off to do nothing much. Ta.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

On Knights Templar and Green Beer

Hey Bloggers,

Looks like the nasty rains of yesterday have ended, but it is so windy out now that I half expect to see flying cows and the wicked witch of the west fly by on a broomstick. The picture above is the Temple Church in London, a popular tourist attraction and Knights Templar headquarters of yesteryear. Many of you are familiar with the Templars from Dan Brown's fictional book, The DaVinci Code and the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Well, of course they were real, established in the 12th century and and reputed exterminated by that nasty old French king several hundred years later. Some say they and the Masons are/were closely entwined. Maybe so. I don't know. But, Templars still exist. These days though, they don't patrol the Holy Land and as far as I know they don't guard the Holy Grail. They do charitable work. The 21st century Templars we know call themselves The Sovereign Military Order of The Temple Of Jerusalem. They are having their 2008 Vernal Covenant this week end and Danny and I are guests of the local Priory of The Holy Rood for their Knights and Dames service with awards, promotions, and initiation. With capes and swords and all. A chaplain in chain mail, too. Cool, huh? We're going to watch the ceremony this afternoon. They want Danny to join. I wonder if he will be the first Geek Knight? That's Geek not Greek.

Since March is sort of Irish month with St Patrick's Day and all, I am saluting all things Irish. When we think of Irish, we think of stuff like Guinness stout and Irish Whiskey, corn beef and cabbage, the great migrations to America during the 19th century potato famine, leprechauns and fairies, Celtic music, Lucky Charms cereal (which isn't really Irish), Scarlett O'Hara, Going My Way and the song Danny Boy. As well as St Patrick's day parades and green beer, of course. Below, I offer a small list of familiar names of sons and daughters of the Olde Sod who made/make America what it is today. Happy Irish month.

Partial list of notable Americans of Irish descent:
Twenty three Presidents of The United States, including Washington, Jackson, John Kennedy, US Grant, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Woodrow Wilson.
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy
Sam Houston, senator and hero of the Alamo
Davy Crockett, senator and legendary pioneer
Billy the Kid, outlaw
Bugsy Malone, gangster
Pretty Boy Flloyd, crazy gangster
George M Cohan, entertainer, Broadway star, songwriter
Walter Elias Disney, entrepreneur, director, producer, animator, artist
Alfred Hitchcock, film director
Henry Ford, inventor, rich guy
Georgia O'Keefe, artist
Tom Monaghan, founder of Dominoes Pizza
Ron Howard, actor, director
August St Gaudins, sculptor
Michael Moore, director, producer
John Sayles, director
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Titanic survivor
Eileen Collins, astronault
Michael Collins, astronault
John Dunlap, printer of the first copy of the Declaration of Independance
James Hoblan, architect of The White House
James Cagny, actor
Spencer Tracy, actor
Gracie Allen, comedienne
Buster Keaton, silent movie star
Steve Allen, writer, actor, songwriter
William F Buckley, political writer
Charles Townes, winner of the Nobel prize in Physics
Jimmy Conners, tennis star
John MCEnroe, ditto
Derek Jeter, athlete
Whitey Ford, baseball player
Connie Mack, ditto
Raymond Chandler, writer
Kate Chopin, writer
Henry James, writer
Tom Clancy, writer
George Clooney, actor, producer, director
Mary Higgins Clark, writer
Pat Conroy, writer
F Scott Fitzgerald, writer
Micckey Spillane, writer
Anne Rice, writer
Eugene O'Neill, playwrite
Anne McCaffery, writer
Flannery O'Conner, writer
Timothy Leary, acid head, writer
Errol Flynn, actor
Bing Crosby, actor
John Wayne, actor
Maria Shriver, journalist, first Lady of California
Regis Philbin, TV personality
Phil Donahue, ditto
Conan O'Brien, ditto
Maureen Dowd, journalist
Margaret Mitchell, writer
Sean Hannity, talk show host
Bill O'Reilly, ditto
Tim Russert, journalist
The Sullivan brothers, soldiers (inspired Saving Private Ryan)
Robert F Kennedy, senator
Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco

So, Erin Go Braugh. Or Erin Go Brea. Any way you want to say it and whether you think it means Ireland the beautiful or Ireland until the Day of Judgment, Ireland still rocks. I may be mostly Scots/English/German, but there's a few sons and daughters of Ireland clinging to the branches of my family tree, too. Here's to the Lowes and the McBrides, McDowells, the Jacksons, and the Derrymores. Ta for now.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sometimes, know Gnus is good Gnus

Tonight's photos: two gnus views. Gotcha attention now, Bloggers and Bloggettes?

Anyhoo, I was reading my AOL homepage this morning and the news banners caught my eye. So, here's my thoughts:

Alas, poor Bill Gates. He's not the richest man in the world any more. (You never should have come up with that stupid Vista, dude.) At least, poor little Bill lost the title to his American buddy, Warren Buffet, and not to some woman and Christian hating Arab oil baron, price gouging all of us us with oil that's now up to $105 a barrel...I really wish I hadn't sold my shares of Berkshire Hathaway stocks a couple of years ago, though. At least I didn't buy Vista.

Cool that a new Greek tomb was discovered and that we now have that beautiful picture of the lovely young Helen Keller and her amazing teacher, Annie Sullivan. No wise ass comment on those.

Danny's glad to hear that at least one Irish/New York pub won't be playing the song, Danny Boy, on St. Paddy's Day this year. Danny hates the song, even though he's about half Scots-Irish. Didja know the song was written by an Englishman who'd never even set eyes on the olde sod? Begorra! How 'bout those Sassanach!

The bomb in Times Square incident is deplorable. I guess we don't have enough flaming crazy fanatic idiots in Tehran and Bagdad, and Kabul. We gotta have flaming stupid crazy fanatic idiots in America, too. Can't even count on having a peaceful lunch in Wendy's anymore or going to your college classes in safety.

Howard Dean thinks Florida should vote again in the Democratic primary. Problems with voting in Florida? Haven't we heard that one before? So how come they always pick on Florida, Chad? I don't get it.

Such a joy to read that home sales are at a 25 year low and home equity has fallen below 50% and that foreclosures are at a record high and stocks are falling. Gee, I hadn't actually noticed this before. And the Prez's top economic advisor says we might be headed for a recession? Do ya think!! Game over, man! Game over! What are we gonna do now, man?!

My favorite news item of all was the one about the lab in Seattle offering to pay volunteers $4000.00 each to be bitten by a Malaria infected mosquito so they can test a new Malaria vaccine. The lab claims the disease, un-curable up to now, can be cured and so volunteers are in no danger. Uh huh. I don't care what you claim, you mad scientists at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute. I don't care that oil is 105 dollars a barrel and that I don't have any Berkshire Hathaway stock anymore. I don't care that I probably can't sell my mother's house or that nuts with bombs and guns are running around New York and Palm Beach. You can't have my body. You hear that! I don't want no induced Malaria. No sirs, not with the Health Insurance system in tatters. Forget it.

That's all for now, folks. Chad and I are going to go sing Danny Boy to Danny. Ta.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bits and Bytes: playdog, itchy pooch, and the tax man calleth

Hidey ho Bloggers and Blogettes,

Isn't this picture wonderful? Personally, dog person that I am, I'd vote for her for 'Playdog' of the month! Picture poochie was a Katrina dog, adopted by kind dog-loving Judith, who once upon a time in a galaxy long ago and far away was nanny to my now grown up daughters. Said picture also reminds me that Easter isn't far away. Even if I didn't have the picture reminder, the oak pollen falling like golden rain from Heaven would remind itchy little me that Spring apparently has sprung. Bring on the antihistamines and eye drops. Where is the Kleenex? Achoo...

Speaking of antihistamines, and I was, my own Chilidog pictured in last night's blog, is now on Prednisone for a week for "over grooming" (the vet's words not mine). Then we wait 48 hours to start epilepsy treatments. Hopefully, the steroid will help her enough that Benedryl will be enough to stabilize her since she must start the epilepsy treatments asap. The Phenobarbital for seizures messes up or is messed up by steroids like Prednisone. I forget which. Anyway, you can't take both at the same time. As the vet explained, each Gran Mal seizure kills brain cells. Chili is having too many seizures not to begin treatment. Poor little dog. Between the broken hip, the allergies, and the epilepsy, she's been given a bum rap.

I finally got the green light from my accountant that he has everything he needs to file my three tax returns for 2007. Yes, I said three tax returns. Your eyes did not deceive you. I had to collect all my own stuff, my mother's 2007 tax stuff, and the estate tax stuff as executor. That's mountains of forms, folks. Especially for a person who never files the stacks and boxes of papers that built up on my office floor. (I hate filing almost as much as wearing hats but not as much as spiders and liver.) It took many hours, dare I say days, to find and organize the stuff. A trip to the post office and moola to mail the copies and forms. Three e mails to the accountant. Three phone calls. But, 'tis done. And even better: I overpaid my taxes for 2007. So did Mama. I get two refunds. Whoo hoo. Ain't life grand?

I also got my first quarterly royalty check from my publisher on my first 'all by me' book. Hey guys, that makes me legit! Also got a request to speak to a book club. Finished a new poem. And got e mail orders for eight books. Good day on the write front. So what if its raining outside.

Tomorrow we go to UCF to get Danny's 'staff' parking pass. He's happy to be starting a full time job, especially since its in the technology sector. We're looking forward to dog agility class with Super Ginny on Thursday evening and the Knight's Templar Convent events on Friday and Saturday. Ta ta for now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Here's some recent pictures of Chilidog and Baby Alex and his proud parents. On to the Blog!

Hello Bloggers and Blog-ettes,

Sorry that I've been away from my desk in Blogland for a few days. I've had to take off my writing thinking cap. I've been busy wearing some other hats though: my hated dirty garage cleaner hat (think seven straight hours on Sunday), my estate executor hat (think tax forms and banking business) , and my helping hand hat (think helping a couple of nice young folks get their first apartment together by donating and hauling furniture across town.) Today, I had to wear my bill paying hat cause somehow March arrived without my noticing it...tomorrow, with luck I can get back to a little writing.

After I take poor Chilidog to the vet. She had two gran mal seizures over the week end. That's six that I know of in one month. Too many seizures! She had one Saturday night while sleeping on one of the wing chairs in my office. She fell off the chair during the seizure and hit the wood floor hard. I was afraid maybe she'd broken a leg, but she hadn't. A few minutes later, after Chili revived, I walked through the room and stepped into a big puddle of urine. More like a small pond, actually. She'd lost control before she fell off the chair, the urine leaked down into the side of the chair, through the bottom and on to the floor beneath where it began to spread outward. Danny and I got the floor cleaned and did what we could for the chair. I really don't know what to do to clean it ( the chair) properly. It's too good of a chair to throw out. Anyone who has positive suggestions, please make comment.

I read up on dog epilepsy on the net and I learned some things I didn't know before. She may also have a thyroid condition and severe food allergies. I've been putting off the standard prescribed Phenobarbital medication since it is habit forming and can damage the liver. It can also affect and be affected by allergy meds. Hence the trip to the vet. We gotta seek solutions to be fair to Chili and to us. I want to save the dog and the rugs and upholstery too!

Yeah, I know most people would just get rid of a problem dog. Not judging here, but those are people who have pets not dog people. If you are an average pet owner you may not understand. Let's just say for me, I could no more dispose of an inconvenient pet than an inconvenient human family member. Its not Chili's fault she's got epilepsy. She wouldn't abandon me for anything. I can't abandon her.

Live long and prosper. Oh by the way, I haven't actually been wearing hats...virtual or otherwise. I hate hats. I never wear real hats. They're hot and itchy and I look crappy in hats. All hats.