Friday, November 26, 2010

I was laying in bed last night listening to one of my dogs dreaming and this book title popped into my head. I couldn't just let it swim around in there so I started writing this story in my head too. I fell asleep and lost part of it but I'm going to post what I've put on paper today to see if it's as interesting outside my head as it was inside. I'll be showing up in segments. I don't know if I'll finish it or not. Let me know if you like it.
The Arrival

The day the puppy arrived, I was sleeping on the sofa. I slept on the sofa a lot in those days, an overly sedated, depression medication induced sleep. I’d had a call earlier in the day from my husband asking if I wanted a puppy. I asked all the pertinent questions: what breed, how old, why are they getting rid of it? At that time, I was the local clearinghouse for unwanted animals. People had dropped off dogs, cats, poultry and even goats. Some were just dropped in the driveway without any notice or comment, others were accompanied by a sad story. There were days when I’d go outside to find some new animal wandering around. Some found new homes; others stayed. It didn’t matter to me. I liked the company.

I obtained the answers I wanted from my husband and agreed to take the puppy. “Your puppy”, he said. Mine. That was a novel idea since nothing in that house was mine anymore. Anything that previously had been mine now belonged to him or his kids. The thought of something actually being mine again almost made me happy. The prospective new puppy was said to be a German Shepherd whose dam was a show dog. The father was a passerby mix of Lab, Pointer, Springer and, as I discovered later, Great Pyrenees. My dog, my potential new friend, something to love me. I started thinking up names for the puppy. It was hard to do having not yet met him but I wanted to name my dog and ever since becoming a part of that household, I hadn’t been allowed to name anything except my goat. I wanted a good name that was meaningful and reflective of me.

I’d never had a puppy. My family always had cats. My father had a dog here and there along the way but never an inside dog and they never stayed long. The one I remember best was an English Setter that he brought home to keep as a bird dog. Nice idea except the dog was gun shy, seriously gun shy. Instead, she stayed tied up in the back yard or in the garage for about a year until he found her a new home. The nice thing about that dog was that walking her made an excellent excuse to sneak off and spend time with the boy I liked who lived up the street. We never did bond, the dog and I, nor the boy and I for that matter.

I’d settled back down to drug induced napping when my husband’s dog started barking. We didn’t need a door bell; we had a dog. Door bell dog was announcing the arrival of Erich who wasn’t yet Erich but was instead a quivering, nervous, black ball of puppiness who was dumped unceremoniously into my arms with little conversation or fanfare. I took him into the house, showed him the water bowl and dug out a food bowl from the dark hole where miscellaneous feeding containers were confined until needed. He ate, he drank. He looked mournful. He looked anxious. I named him Erich, for the son I’d put up for adoption 13 years prior. A new baby named for my lost baby. I took him to the sofa and we both laid down and took a nap. Together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can I Really Wear A Hat?

I love hats. I don't know why that is but I truly love hats. The problem is, I'm convinced I look stupid when I wear one so although I have a couple, the only one I ever wear is a ball cap and then only when it rains and I'm doing farm chores.

I have a handful interesting, possibly bordering on flamboyent, female friends. One is a Red Hat. Another is an artistic type from NY, Mahattan actually. They are also friends with each other even though we all live in different states. The reason I mention this is I just returned from visiting the artsy one and now I want to wear hats.

I have some Red Hat hats from when my Red Hat friend was ill. She was seriously ill - we thought she might die - so I purchased some Red Hat hats and some of us put them on and took silly photos to send to my sick friend when she awakened from her coma-like illness. She was tickled to death. So were we.

So I have these Red Hat hats and I really want to wear them. I want to drive around town wearing silly, flamboyent hats, feeling silly and flamboyent but I still have this fear of looking stupid.

I really need to spend more time with these women so I can learn, like them, to not worry so much about what other people think of my appearance and just concern myself with enjoying my life and letting my inner silliness and joy show outwardly.

I believe I'll work on that. And get the hats out of the closet.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Regretful Writing

I was poking around on Twitter and came across a tweet about Writer's Workshop which is a place to work on your writing skills and such. Normally I don't do these things (cuz I'm not much of a joiner) but I'm in the process of passing a kidney stone so what else do I have to do, right?

So I chose from a list of prompts and the one I opted for was:

2.) A post you regret publishing.

This is easy as I tend to regret a lot of what I write if it's meaningful to me and not just a snarky retelling of a story. Here we go.

When I first joined Myspace, I put up a blog about racism. There were several reasons for that. I have a racist spouse and he has a friend who insists everyone is a racist which really irritates me because I think that's bullshit.

So that idea came about from a conversation with said friend and the "friending" of me by an ex boyfriend who happens to be biracial. I was thinking back to when we dated and I moved to Detroit and I recounted that whole story with its racist undertones and my opinion that racism is learned and stupid and unnecessary. Sounds okay, right? Not really. Because I went about it badly, offered too much detail and wound up just telling this convoluted story of being a white girl from small town Iowa living in a black area of Detroit and trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

Second regrettable post: one late night just prior to putting my fabulous dog down, I wrote a weepy, make you want to slash your wrists email to my group of female friends and then got the wise idea to add it to my blog with some changes. I still cry every time I read it but the reason it's regrettable is unless you've been in the exact same situation with a very similar dog, it just comes across as pitiful and melodramatic instead of saying something meaningful about relationships with 4 legged loved ones.

I've since deleted my Myspace account and I think most of those blogs are lost forever unless I've stashed them somewhere on my hard drive. That may be for the best. I'm a little more careful now about what I post but not so you'd notice. I'm sure there will be more bad blogging before I'm done.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sherpas, Toads and Poop

My family.....truth is stranger than fiction. And a lot more entertaining.

I went to my folks' for Father's Day, because I'm a good girl. ;) As usual, I coordinated arrival time with my sister; she doesn't like to arrive before I do. I have to recount part of a conversation because it gives a window into the weirdness and entertainment factor that keeps me going to family functions when I'd rather kill someone.

My sister and nephew arrived with a couple of bags of stuff. We always trade stuff back and forth in my family, normally books. Now my sister has rheumatoid arthritis so apparently she asked my nephew to carry the bags while she carried her purse and water and his response was, "you're a shitty sherpa". He knows of someone who recently disappeared in Nepal so he had sherpas on his mind. So that was the beginning.

Now I have this toad, actually I have a lot of toads, but this one particular toad hangs around a lot and with all the rain, we're buried in earwigs, snails and slugs - good toad food. So this toad has been making a nightly appearance on the new deck where she sits in the corner and snatches any unsuspecting bug that gets within tongue reach. So I was telling my mother about the toad and we were all laughing about it and my husband's freakish hatred of earwigs when we moved on to a new topic: poop.

So we were talking about poop. We often talk about poop because I have a lot of it and my father uses a lot of it and the poop conversation moved into the realm of a previous internet thread in which an online friend suggested we make poop animals to sell as flower bed fertilizer. I suggested we shape the poop into toads and sell them because while my sister's dexterity isn't great, I figured she could form a toad without a lot of difficulty and she's looking for a new ways to generate income since she had to stop nursing. So we started talking about how to create and market these manure creatures and we came up with:

Poop Toads: handmade by shitty arthritic sherpas. I laughed so hard I almost snorked wine out my nose.

I am not making this up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jumped The Gun

So just popped over to complain about something I did recently. I went to a wedding. It was a very nice wedding followed by a nice reception but something embarrassing happened to me at the reception so I kind of bolted out with a bad taste in my mouth.

Now the public humiliation that took place was at the hands of someone who I used to "friend" on myspace. I'd already dropped that person on Facebook but since I never went to myspace anymore, I didn't bother with it. However, following my reception mortification I popped into myspace and deleted my account. No biggie, right? Except I had a blog over there with some nice entries that I hadn't moved over here so SHIT!! Now they're gone and I'm bummed.

Given that I waited an entire day between the incident and the deletion, you'd think I'd have remembered the blog posts but I didn't realize they hadn't been moved until just now while I was reading back through this one.

I hate when that happens.....pardon the interruption and carry on.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Goat Stanchions

You've probably been sent here from to see some examples of goat stanchions. If you arrived on your own, you can pop over to ATG to see the post that prompted the posting of these photos.

Naimhe's stanchion purchased from "arpindan" on eBay. He has stanchions listed most of the time for reasonable prices.

I've modified it by adding a small ramp on the ground so I can use it for goats that are too long for the platform.

Some stanchions from Hoegger Goat Supply:

This is mobile and collapsible with a simple head piece

A double stanchion for milking 2 does at a time A basic stanchion with feed bowl.
A simple stanchion with feed bowl.

Hamby offers this stanchion which would be bolted to a structure in your barn.
Remember when buying a stanchion to ensure that the platform is long enough for your largest goat or you'll need to stand your goat on the ground and may need a ramp so her head fits in the opening without choking.