Friday, February 16, 2018

Puppy Love

Our Cairns, Ollie and Pepper, have the typical love/hate relationship. She tries to be the alpha, but since he has been with us for 6 yrs, he's not letting her have her way. She's always angling to stand on his head and sit on him, but he's not giving up the title of top dog in the household to 10-month-old baby dog she-devil.

However, the longer she lives with us, the more leeway he allows her with what has always been his. The co-sleep baby bed next to our king has been Ollie's sleeping space for over two years now. However, she's starting to make inroads there on a couple occasions now for some little naps during the day and he's allowing it. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Backyard Casualties

Yesterday afternoon, I let the dogs out to do their usual race around the yard to run birds and squirrels away from the feeders before snuffling in the grass and taking care of business. When I went to the back door to holler them up with the promise of a treat, Pepper raced up with a bird in her mouth. This bird, to be exact.

After I did a little shrieking and dancing in place with some hand wringing thrown in, I hollered at her to drop it and she did. She doesn't like it when I raise my voice and thus immediately responds. So I was able to scoop her up and shove her into the house. In the pic above, you can see her watching out the window, seemingly sad her little prize was taken from her. When I turned my back to look around for something to cover it, Ollie dashed in and grabbed the bird before I could stop him. Not as easily cowed by a raised voice, he gleefully dashed off to prance around the yard with the poor dead bird in his mouth before I was able to shame him into letting it go and get him in the house with Pepper.

Then I had to perform retrieval and burial duties because the husband and daughter weren't home. Thanks to the brand new pooper scooper rake and bin I haven't even used yet, I got the dead bird double bagged in Walmart's finest for disposal. 

Once that was completed, I let the dogs out once more to finish their potty patrol, only to be horrified when Ollie dashed over to the wall of cabana windows where there was another dead bird. So here we go again, him prancing around the yard with his prize while I'm chasing after, telling him to drop it. Thank the Lord Ollie's easily lured by a treat, which got him to let go and follow me back into the house. Then it was round two of the scooping and double bagging.

In hindsight, I just don't think the dogs were fast enough to kill that first bird unless it was ill. The second bird Ollie snagged in front of the cabana was probably a victim of a run-in with the windows. I had the windows cleaned last month and so I bet poor birdie flew right into it and broke his little feathered neck. Now if we could just get some of the more pesky yard squirrels that constantly raid the bird feeder to do the same thing as these birds, I'd be pleased to see the tree rodent population weeded out a bit .

Friday, February 9, 2018

Robber Rodents

Rats and mice give me the heebie jeebies, but their tree dwelling cousins the squirrels are just too danged cute with their fluffy tails. It's funny how a different wardrobe, so to speak, makes all the difference in my perception. 

So yeah, they're cute and funny to watch until they start squirrel-handling the "squirrel proof" feeder, to the point where the top pops open and it's a birdseed all you can eat buffet for the little thieves. This is how I found it yesterday morning after I had filled it up late in the afternoon the day before.

Too bad for the squirrels that I'm equally stubborn and persistent, so I employed a zip tie to keep our resident overfed squirrels from rattling the feeder until it falls open again. It's times like this when I wish I had a game camera so I could watch their antics as they try to break into it again. Hopefully the little buggers don't figure out they can use their sharp teeth on the zip tie to gain access to yet another free meal.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Momma Braggin' Post

Thanks to a whole lotta nagging, some prayer and a pinch of luck, both girls are really thriving. A couple weeks ago, the high school junior was presented with the presidential volunteer service award at school. It had the Trumpsters bold signature on the certificate, and I gotta say they have a most excellent printer in DC because it looked as if he had signed that sucker with a Sharpie. The kids were recognized during chapel, so there she is smiling (third person from right on the back row) in genuine surprise because the students had no advance notice.

Meanwhile, the grad student daughter has a 3.7 GPA in her masters in management business program and is enjoying the experience so much that she decided over the semester break in December to apply for her masters in accounting for the '18-19 school year. Friday afternoon she found out she was accepted and awarded another merit scholarship similar to the one she has for her current program. So she'll get hooded for this first masters in May - which sounds kinda sketchy instead of an honor - then turn around and begin the second masters in June.

Our professional grad student seems happy as a clam spending our money on private school tuition at Wake Forest, and I can't say we mind since it's a great university and she really enjoys it there. I have a ton of respect for this girl who kinda half-assed her way through high school reading only the SparkNotes for every assigned novel and not starting on papers until after midnight when they were due to the next morning and yet seems to have college figured out and is racing through it with amazing grades. I sincerely hope this parlays into her dream job so we can get our little study bug off the parent payroll and out into the working world.

Fickle February Weather

It wouldn't be Texas if the temps weren't bouncing all over the place. A few days ago our high was in the 50s and today we're pushing 80. Ollie and Pepper love to laze in the sun shining on the master bed in the morning when it's typically cooler and they're looking to get warm.

I've about decided Pepper has some cat in her DNA because she loves to chase shiny lights. I bought a cheap kitty laser toy that is easy entertainment when she's stuck inside due to bad weather. She works up a real pant chasing it all over the floor.

Mimi (my mother), who lives in the guest apartment on our property, is out of town for a few days to attend a funeral, so I told her I'd dogsit her little darlings. The pugzillas may shed like fiends and snuffle up every little thing they find on the ground, but are actually easy to manage most of the time. All I have to do is holler treat and they practically knock me down as I play pied piper, getting them to follow me wherever I go. I tend to relate since I'd climb mountains and ford streams for a delicious dessert made from scratch.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

She-Devil Said What?!

Little bits has found her voice, and it's a sassy, high-pitched bark she uses on big boy. The only time we hear it is when she's jealous of him being snuggled up next to me or in my lap, and so she's loud and clear with letting us know how she feels about that. This is something we've just started hearing in the past couple weeks. He has always done the growly noise and barking at her when she aggravates him, but she's new to vocalizing her doggy displeasure. This afternoon I was on the sofa trying to watch a program when the barking commenced. Fur baby squabbling gets old real quick. What makes it tolerable, as they're not human kids, is that I can shove them out into the backyard or put them in their kennels to get a break from it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Random Tuesday Ramblings, the bulleted version

  • Last week we had ICE on Tuesday. The lines at the store the afternoon before Icemageddon was predicted to hit were even worse than the panic of Sept 2017 when forecasters thought we were in the path of a big hurricane. Thankfully, both were a lot of built up and what-ifs that never happened. We got just enough sleet to make the dark mulch look like it had a bad case of dandruff. Or maybe lice since it was bouncing and hopping when it hit the ground. And the junior got two days off from school, so it was definitely a win for her.

  • Meanwhile, the grad school daughter in NC got a whole lot of the fluffy white stuff. Her university closed for a snow day, woo-hoo. When she got back to campus the next day, she slipped on ice in the parking lot only to arrive at class and discover the professor cancelled it. 
  • Winter means I'm still cooking soup these days. The in-laws came over for a visit on Sunday and my MIL mentioned she made tortellini soup recently. So that inspired me to whip up a pot of it for supper last night.
  • As always, the Cairns keep me entertained with their shenanigans. They do a lot of mock scrap fighting with the bared teeth and growling, but it's all for show. She-devil is the worst of the two, getting jealous if big boy sits next to me and she wants the spot. Best part of the pics is the crazy eyes!