Sunday, October 19, 2014

Morgan's new toys

Through the agility class Morgan and I are enrolled in, I found out about a website,, that has all kinds of toys you don't normally find in the pet shops.

In the top picture, there are treats inside the center cylinder.  As she rolls the toy, the treats fall out.  In the bottom picture, you see a ball.  It comes apart in three pieces, held together with velcro, with treats in the bottom.  

These aren't the best pictures, but, folks, have you ever tried to hit a moving target with a camera???

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It started out being fun. . .

This morning I took my new rifle, a Henry Big Boy .357, out to the range.  Today is a crisp, bright sunny fall day and it felt good to be outside.  This is a fun gun to shoot and I was even hitting the target from 50 ft out without a scope!  As I concentrated on hitting the target and experiencing the thrill of shooting this beautiful machine, the stress of work and the every day cares melted away.

Oops!  What happened?  Suddenly one of the .38 specials that I was shooting got jammed.  In all my years of shooting, I've never had a gun jam before.  When I saw I could not easily dislodge it, I packed it up, placed it in my trunk, and drove to Gander Mountain where I bought it less than two weeks ago.  Where it is jammed, there is no chance of it discharging.  Still, I felt awkward walking into a store and having to say, "Uh, I have a jammed live bullet in this thing."

I explained to the man in the gun department what happened.  There is no gunsmith on duty on Sunday so I had to leave it. He walked out to my car with me and brought it inside.

Hopefully I will get it back tomorrow.  Gander Mountain put it in their "snail room", a special enclosed room that even if a gun discharges, the bullet will not penetrate the walls.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, Kenny!

Today, my cousin, Kenny, is 60 years old and I still call him "lil cuz"!

Kenny is part of our Cousins' Reunion every year down South.  He is from Jacksonville and Lake Butler, Florida.

As many of you know, I moved to New York State in the early 70's and didn't see many of my cousins for decades, until my dad died in 2003.  Funerals and weddings draw relatives out of the woodwork!  My image of Kenny was a shy little kid that didn't have a lot to say.  Man!  Was that image shattered when I saw him again at my dad's funeral!

With Kenny around, there are going to be lots of laughs, no matter what the subject.  He is a walking encyclopedia of firearms.

So if you run into Kenny today, wish him a Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Did this week really happen???

What a week.  As most of you know, I fell Tuesday night because Morgan tugged too hard on her leash, I wouldn't let go, so I went tumbling to the ground seriously injuring my right knee.  The pain was beyond description.

It hasn't been an easy week.  But there have been a lot of bright spots and even times I laughed.

Try getting in and out of the drivers seat of your car with your right leg unable to bend.  Same thing with the shower.  For the last three days I have gotten around with a leg brace and crutches.  Oh, my God, the very sound of that word "crutches" can turn me into a monster.

But let's look at the things that wouldn't have happened had it not been for this unfortunate AND painful experience.  Somebody wrote on my facebook page, "That's how I became treasurer of our dog club, the former treasurer had a LAB ACCIDENT so I took her place."  Now that made me laugh, in spite of my pain and depression at being reduced to walking at a crawl.  So I was walking down the hall at work.  Someone saw me with my crutches and the gloomy look on my face.  "OMG!  What happened to you???"

"I had a lab accident!" I responded.

"But you don't work in the lab!"

I never explained!

Someone else in my facebook family posted a beautiful picture of the Erie Canal in Fairport (a suburb of Rochester).  Just looking at that picture made me think of all the times I have paddled or ridden my bike along the canal.  So I commented with, "I'd love to be paddling down there now, but I'm not sure how my brace and my boat would get along."

Leslie, never at a loss for a quick response, replied, "With proper counseling, I think they would get along just fine!"

A parking lot attendant at work pulled up beside me with a van.  "Ma'am, would you like a ride into the building?"  I thanked him graciously but told him getting in and out of a car was too much of a hassle, so I would walk.

Thank you to all who have offered help.  Most of you I turned down.  I have a really strong independence streak!

And so life goes on, in good times and bad.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Not a good week

Over the weekend, I came down with the virus that is going around at work.  I am a person who never gets sick.  I often look down on chronic sick days some people are known for.  But I didn't let how I felt keep me home.  I went in to work and did my job.

Last night, on our way out the door to go to Agility Class, Morgan took off running toward the car.  I refused to let go of her leash and promptly fell down, injuring my knee.  When I arrived at class, it was obvious I was not going to be able to participate in the class due to severe knee pain.  So the instructor said I could catch up next week.

Ironically, driving, even though I have a standard transmission car, does not hurt.  It is standing up and putting weight on that leg that really hurts.

First thing this morning, I went to the Orthopedics Department Urgent Care Center   .  I walked out with an immobilizing brace and told to wear crutches, which I already had from an injury years ago.

Why do bad things happen to good people???

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Homemade dishwasher detergent

Last night I discovered I was out of dishwasher detergent and it was getting late, so I didn't want to run out to the store.  Yet I had a dishwasher full of dirty dishes that I didn't want to leave overnight.

A quick online search led me to homemade recipes.  Here is the recipe I found:

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt

I had all the ingredients except the citric acid.  So I mixed up the other three ingredients, placed a rounded tablespoon full into the dispenser of my dishwasher, then poured a small amount of lemon juice over it.

My entire load came out sparkling clean.  And there was no odor inside the dishwasher.

I already make my own laundry detergent and use full strength vinegar as a fabric softener.  Here is that recipe:

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated

Combine all.  I use one tablespoon for a very small load and 3 for a medium to large load.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Agility Class

Morgan and I are in Agility classes at DOTCORNY - Dog Obedience Training Center of Rochester, NY.  It's difficult to get pictures during class as it is fast paced, but here are a few I snapped with my iPhone.  The little white dog at the top of the first picture is quite a character.  She has a real fascination for Morgan. As we were walking in from the parking lot, Flash broke loose from her owner and headed toward Morgan and me at the speed of sound.  Fortunately, I was able to grab her collar and hold her till her owner got there.  

Morgan was a little shy of the tunnel (bottom picture) at first, but after a couple of times, she decided it was fun!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is in the air

There is a hint of fall all around if you look closely.  Although I haven't turned my heater on yet, there is a light chill in the early morning.  There are tiny patches of red and orange leaves on the larger trees.  And there is FOOTBALL!!!

This time of year in the North Country, you cherish every nice day because you know that before long the cold and snow will set in seemingly forever.  It takes longer to drive to work with the snow and ice.  It takes longer once you get to work to settle in because you have to unwrap and change from your boots into your shoes!

As much as I complain about winter, especially into January and February, it is a part of the four seasons.  I have learned to appreciate the good and the bad of each season.  It is a part of life.  I grew up in the South where there was a long hot summer and a cold damp, rainy winter. . . just two seasons!

Morgan loves playing in the snow!  Sometimes, when it gets really deep, I have to dig a path for her in the backyard.  Then she will find a way to break away from that path and make her own paths!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Morgan's new toy

I picked this up at the pet store yesterday.  I had no idea how much she would like it!  You fill the inside with food (yogurt, peanut butter, etc) and then put it in the freezer.  It's the same idea as the Kong, only this one is tougher and she can't chew it up quickly.