"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Sunday, May 31, 2009


If you ever have the chance to visit the Marine Corps Museum near our Nation's Capital, I hope you do. It is first class all the way and a fitting tribute to our Marines.

Evelyn utterly adores her Uncle Jerry, who went to the Museum with us.

Uncle Jerry is a bad influence:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I’m at an odd place, emotionally, these days. I have not been efficient with my time which means not much blogging, not many pictures and no quilting. Even though most of my work days have been very full, recently, you’d think I would have found more time for recreation since we had a holiday. Nope –I mainly worked on closing case files, set up some file storage and slept over the weekend. I’d like to claim that I have at least been diligently cleaning house in anticipation of house guests next week but I haven’t. And I know I will live to regret that when they walk in and decide they’d rather stay at the Holiday Express.

I am not sure where the time is going other than that I have been trying to go through files in anticipation of shutting down my GAL practice. I suspect I’m doing some internal mental/emotional work. I guess that makes sense. But, still, it seems like the only tangible thing I’ve done, recently, is grow my butt from sitting around with a laptop or a book.

I went by a local quilt shop earlier this week but nothing caught my fancy. Even though we may not actually relocate for years, I am firmly in not-wanting-to-buy-anything-I-have-to-pay-to-move mode. I DID cruise the One Thousand Bolds (and one nut) website to buy some tonal whites, yesterday. First time I’ve bought fabric in a long time and it wasn’t inspired – just getting basics. My Kona muslin is a bit flat even though it makes colors pop. You know what I mean. After facing how much I was spending on fabric, I’ve cut back to balance the anticipated loss of income. Should practically even out!

Evelyn seems to be back for good.

For those of you who have read this blog for the past year or so, you’ll know that I’ve grieved not over the loss of Jezebel, but how Evelyn has been effected. She went from a vivacious, puppyish girl (look at that picture of her with the quilting block at the top of the stairs just to the right of this column) to practically catatonic immediately upon losing Jezebel. She’d stare into space, no eye contact, just lost. Oh sure, she’d have moments of happiness but not many. Getting Pearl helped a lot but if you saw pictures of her smiling or videos of her playing, trust me the rest of the time she has just been sad – off her feed – just damaged.

I’m delighted to report that it seems something has happened to Evelyn in the past couple of weeks. She was extremely excited to drive to the Samoyed Pawty and while she was a little shy when we got there, she hasn’t stopped smiling since we got back. She has been affectionate, energetic, playful – everything she was a year ago. I’ve cried over it. I was beginning to believe that when we lost Jezebel, we lost Evelyn, too. Seeing her grieve and not being able to do anything about it has been heart breaking – and our hearts were already broken over Jezebel.

Before losing Jezebel, I considered Evelyn to be a Daddy’s girl – maybe because Jezebel, the hog, shamelessly claimed me for herself. She was constantly beneath my hand or feet. Funny – now that she is coming out of herself, Evelyn is turning into my shadow. I can barely type since she is grinning up at me and demanding that I pet her. She follows me from room to room and seems to just want to be with me. Pearl is oh-so-jealous and is also trying to lay claim to both husband and me.

Of all my dogs, ever, Pearl is the biggest flirt. She is entering adolescence and getting naughty. She actually had accidents the past two days after going months without. I think she is getting too busy to think about going out. She is jumping up on people and trying to counter surf. She is also getting a tiny bit rebellious but all that is to be expected at her age. We have to clamp down on her because we don’t want her to start developing bad habits. She has been amazingly “good,” so far, and we’ve been spoiled.

She is getting so tall that I am almost alarmed. A rescue worker tells me that a good rule of thumb for medium sized dogs is to expect them to double their weight at 4.5 months old.


That would make her potentially end up being 65 – 70 pounds without being overweight! Good lord, she is ALREADY bigger than her mama and isn’t even 6 months old, yet.

Our old girl, Sapphire was a big girl.

At one point, she was about 90 pounds but much of that was fat (shame on husband!). She was taller (probably 24 inches) and a good weight at about 65 – 70 pounds. She could carry 75 pounds without trouble.

Pearl may well rival her.

To be able to compare, Evelyn is just under 21 inches tall, 55 pounds and ought to lose about 2 – 3 of them. Jezebel was 55 pounds and although she was about 2 inches shorter than Evelyn (not any taller than Pearl!), she was extremely muscular and spot on with her weight. She was a fabulous athlete.

Pearl is also very muscular so that could be why she is as heavy as she is. And she is tall for her age.

Enough of this blogging waste of time! I’m off to work on case files.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Be Still My Beating Heart!

Husband got me a Mother's Day present - a surprise - that came in several days after the holiday. And let me stress, it was a surprise. A welcome one, to be sure, but... a surprise.

Here it is:

Yes, it is a lovely knife. A"case!"

But there is more. It is a Mother's Day knife!

Check out this inscription:

That man is so cute I can't stand it.

Evelyn was due her annual checkup and shots so we took her in, today.

She did great. I was so proud of her. She weighs the same as she did in February, i.e., 55 pounds. We had planned to get a full blood workup on her because she has been so depressed but her demeanor has been so upbeat, lately, that the vet didn't think she needed it. Every thing looked great, no heartworms, lyme disease, etc. The pawty, last week, was clearly something she enjoyed. She has been beaming all week.

We weighed "little" Pearl and she is up to 38.7 pounds!

The vet thought she looked splendid.

We'll be heading to Oklahoma in the middle of June for a three week vacation. Can't wait. The week after we get back, we'll take Pearl in to be spayed. If we weren't taking the trip, I'd take her in sooner but she should be fine.

I hope you are having a wonderful, restful and contemplative Memorial Day. My mother-in-law always took flowers to the cemetery on Memorial Day and I hope to take up that tradition when we move back home. Thanks to those who gave all for the rest of us. We need to always remember their sacrifice and the broken hearts of the ones who loved them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes You Need a Scoresheet

He1 and She1 have Child1 and Child2.

He2 and She2 have Child3.

So far, so good.

She2 is a heroin addict and that leads to a breakup between He2 and She2. He2 keeps Child3.

Okay, tragic, but still not too complicated.

She1 leaves He1 and marries He3. They have Child4 and Child5.
Not uncommon.

He2 marries She3 and has Child6.

Also not too uncommon. Bad first marriages so both She1 and He2 try, again.

She3, with She2’s permission, shares custody of her stepchild, Child3.

Now, this starts getting a little unusual. Normally, a stepparent doesn't share custody but He2 is so in love with She3 that he wants her to be more than just a stepmom. And She3 really loves Child3. Plus, She2, the heroin addict, is supportive. So although unusual, at this point it is as functional as you could hope for.

Here is where it starts getting hairy.

She1 leaves He3 and takes Child4 and Child5. So now, she is a two-time loser. With 4kids (Child1, Child2, Child4 and Child5).

She1 moves in with her best friend, She3 (who is married to He2).
Child1, Child2, Child3, Child4, Child5 and Child6 are all living under one roof.

Not really atypical, but now:

He1 and He3 (the two ex's and fathers of Child1, Child2, Child4 and Child5) join forces to try to get their kids back from She1.

He1 manages to regain custody of Child1 and Child2.

So you see what is coming, next?

She1 has an affair with He2. Under She3's roof. She3, recall, is her best friend who took her in along with her four children.

He2 dumps She3 for She1. They move out with Child3, Child4 and Child5.

She3 (the spurned wife), with help from She2 (the heroin addict bio mother of Child3), unsuccessfully attempt to gain custody of Child3.

She1 marries He2.

He2 and He3 take turns being in jail related to fistfights over She1.

She1 and He2 briefly separate when he is caught trying to convince She3 (his former wife) back to bed. (the most stable one of the bunch, She3 laughed in his face and tipped off She1).

She1 is charged with battering Child6 (the child of her latest husband, He2, and former bestfriend, She3).

He2 loses visitation rights of Child6 because he opts to stay with She1.

The latest round is mainly between She1 and He3 over Child4 and Child5.

He1, She1 and She3 are at war with She1 and He2. They are tracking each other via Myspace postings which they have surreptitiously infiltrated under assumed names.

The war is their hobby.

Amazingly, the kids are all doing great.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Back From the Pawty!

We just got back from the 2009 Samoyed Southern Lawn party. The hostess is a foster mom for Samoyeds and Samoyed mixes, and she was celebrating the 6th birthday of Sammi Sue, her own Samoyed. She invited the fosters that have stayed with her before being re-homed, as well as members of an online Samoyed group that we are members of.

Husband and I drove three hours Friday evening, then three hours Saturday morning before arriving at the pawty. Other people drove just as far, or farther, and one group came from over 800 miles away! There were twenty something Samoyeds and a pit bull puppy (seen in the video), named Sharky. Sharky is a week older than Pearl. One of the Samoyeds, Samson, brought his non-samoyed sidekick, Delilah. Delilah was an honorary Samoyed for the day.

All the dogs were amazingly well behaved. The youngest, Tootsie (featured in the video) reportedly bit Sharky's ear (amazing that she could find it) but other than that, there was very little "violence."

One old boy, Muddy Waters (Muddy), has bad hips and growled at dogs who got too rough, but nothing came of it.

There were a number of youngsters roughly a year old that bounded around being adolescents. A couple of the boys wrestled and Pearl barked at them to get them to behave. She is clearly taking after our girl, Jezebel, who thought it was her job to keep order in the house.

There were also a lot of old timers barely getting around but just as loved.
Some years ago, Kody, the honey colored dog in the video, came to the hostess/foster mom with serious health conditions, including heartworms. He was in a terrible way but look at him, now! Re-homed, gorgeous and deeply loved.

One dog, Blind Willie (Muddy's adopted sibling!), is blind but you wouldn't know it. He was the only still intact male and a rescue. They are waiting to get his health stable enough to have him neutered. In the meantime, he humped everything he could find. Well, he showed zero interest in Pearl, which greatly relieved husband who has appointed himself as the guardian of her virtue.

Evelyn was a little timid and stayed close to me or her dad, most of the time. Eventually, she loosened up and made the rounds - but she kept a close eye on us. She took a liking to Gabriel, a gorgeous young male.

Pearl was the target of "chase the puppy" a few times in the beginning. Her splendid tail was firmly tucked between her legs for most of the first hour. Eventually, she relaxed and by the end of the afternoon she was trying to bring order to chaos.

One interesting thing that happened was that during one episode of "chase the puppy," Pearl gave out a scared shriek. I was watching her and she wasn't hurt - it was just a rambunctious adolescent who wanted to play. All the same, Evelyn muscled her way over, lifted her lip and gave a quite threatening growl to the young man who scared her puppy. We ended up redirecting her because she clearly wanted a piece of him if he gave her an excuse. I think she'd have lit into him if she thought he was going to do it, again. Makes me think that our gentle girl probably is a better watch dog than we give her credit for.

Pearl turned the tables and chased Candy, quite a bit. I am not sure Candy, who is about a year old, enjoyed it as much as Pearl did.

Suka, a darling young male, played bandit. One of the ladies, Emi, had made large Samoyed shaped cookies. Suka came racing by, nipped the ears off a cookie that was sitting on the plate of Candy's dad, and raced off with them. Later, he snuck into the sun room when husband was loading up his plate for lunch. He snatched a bite of cake and took off running. I asked husband if he had to throw out the cake but he said he just straightened it up and let it go. We're all dog people, afterall.

Even though Tootsie was the youngest, the judges (who owned Tootsie) decided that Pearl should get the prize for youngest. Clearly, this was not fair to Tootsie but Pearl took the present, a stuffed fawn, anyway. She dotes on that thing.

Here's Tootsie:

Here's Sharky and Pearl:


Here's pretty Gabriel:

With Muddy Waters (Muddy):

Here's Muddy:

Here's Humping Blind Willie:

Here's Willie and Sharky!:

Here's Sweet Evelyn:

Here is sweet Breeze:

Breeze lost her eye from a tumor but she is just lovely. You should see her coat and sweet ways. The loss of the eye hasn't slowed her down, at all.

Here's Big D - a fine southern gentleman:

Here's the birthday girl, Sammi Sue, who just dug into her birthday cake:

Sammi Sue wandered over when husband was eating his lunch. She demanded some chicken and got it! Then she demanded more. And got it!

Here are some miscellaneous photos just to let you get an idea of what it was like to have that many Samoyeds in one place:

Here is Megan Rose (Sharky's "sister"):

We drove three hours after the pawty to our motel for the night. Here's the exhausted girls at the motel after the pawty:

We drove home, this morning. The girls were really beat on the way home:

We got home, unpacked, and took a nap.