Dogs, Cats and Other Phenomena

Monday, October 31, 2005

Not Thinking Pink; Nikki & Halloween

This is the sidewalk while it was still wet. I had a devil of a time trying to choose a color. I thought that the color that the contractor suggested, Flagstone Brown, was too dark, so I polled family and friends. Finally, I chose the color Pebble. This however, looks nothing like the online color chart!

Well, in this photo, the sidewalk is almost dry but I think the sidewalk came out pink! I don't care too much about the sidewalk but I sure don't want the caps to turn out pink. After all, I'm paying to remove PINK! After a confusing 45 minutes talking to the guy who worked on the concrete (whose English isn't that great) and then finally talking to the contractor, I think what happened is that not enough color was added. The lighter the brown, the pinker it gets. But the odd thing is, I looked at the box and it had the Pebble number on it but instead of being marked "Pebble," it was marked "Medium Brown." Huh? So I told the contractor to go with his original choice in color. He instructed the guy to add more color. Frankly, I have a feeling that the guy mixed the concrete sidewalk wrong, but it's OK as it will be hidden.

The concrete caps on the planter look very dark but hey, so did the sidewalk originally! So who knows what it will look like after the concrete dries and is acid-washed. But the form is pretty, don't you think? It has a bullnose design.

Neither Nikki or I dressed up for Halloween. In fact, I just concentrated on not having her freaked out too much by the ringing doorbell. I put her in her crate and that worked for awhile. She'd cry when the doorbell rang, but she'd settle back down when I ignored her. This worked for the majority of the time, but at the end I had to take her out. I brought her on leash into the den, making sure to bring a chew. She was bouncing off the walls a bit, but not too bad. I sat in the blue chair, and amazingly, she settled down on my feet and chewed. That's the first time that she really just kind of hung out with me in the den for some time - normally, she's too hyper to do that.

Twice, when the doorbell rang, I kept her in the den while I answered the door. But at the end she would have no part of that, so I had to take her with me when I answered the door. The kid was a bit older, but he eyed my jumping puppy and asked, "Does she bite?" It's funny that people interpret her craziness as a desire to bite, when in reality she wants to examine this new person and get petted! I reassured him and succeeded in keeping the puppy away from him.

All in all, Nikki did OK and the kids were sure cute!

Oh, and trying to get landscapers to come over or call back ... same with gutter guys. Customer service isn't their forte, perhaps?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nikki Turns 7!

7 Months, that is! Isn't she adorable? She is still as nutty as ever and is even more of a handful! I took a bunch of pictures of her even though she could use a bath. She looks good, but she's done some rolling in the mud. Tracks dirt in the house ... sigh. The kitchen floor stays clean for about a minute. She drinks and then water drips all over the floor. I need to buy more of those puppy wipes!

I'll be uploading new photos of her taken on Monday at

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Looked up "Chicago" on Amazon - seems there is a 3-disc version out - the Razzle-Dazzle edition - which has much more stuff on it than the original DVD. So put it on my Amazon Wish List (found under my married name). Looks like I had put Roxie Hart with Ginger Rogers on it awhile ago! How funny. Also added that book "If You Really Loved Me," which is about the murder that happened around the corner from me.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Nikki, Some Thanks and "Chicago" ...

I came home today after an afternoon spent getting my hair done, and boy, was Nikki happy to see me! She was full of vim and vigor, practically knocking me over. In the back yard, she pounced on a piece of wood my parents had brought back from somewhere. It was gnarled and pretty but she was going to chew on it and swallow the pieces. So I took it and threw it over the fence that hides the easement. Nikki was so hyped up, plus she wanted that piece of wood so bad - and hey, she is a RETRIEVER - so she began backing up, measuring the fence height. You could see the wheels turning in her head. I had to shout, "NO!" and got her back in the house fast! That's all I need. She wouldn't be able to clear the fence, she'd probably hurt herself, plus she'd knock the damn thing down. Let's hope she forgets about that one soon! On, and then later on tonight, she ate some of these blue sticks that my mom had in a vase by the fireplace. Max would eat them too. I would think that they could damage her tummy. I read that pine needles could do damage and those are comparitvely soft! Oy! Nikki will be 7 months old on Monday. She's getting big and she sure is strong!

Saw cute Golden retriever calendars at PetsMart today. There were the daily calendar and the puppy monthly calendars. Those adorable faces. Hey, if Nikki ever calms down, I can get her modeling jobs!!! :-0

The thanks are to those who either left comments or emailed me to tell me that they DO read the blog. I even had a response to my paint question. I'm not sure that there is a way for me to post the colors that I'm thinking of ... if anyone has a solution to that, please let me know. Dunn Edwards paint.

The other problem I'm wrestling with is gutters. I'm getting 2 different schools of thought here ... I don't really have gutters - just one I think and it takes the rain off of the back of the house, I believe, and dumps it almost onto the driveway. I say almost because it doesn't come out far enough and the water empties onto the dirt. I'd rather have it empty onto the concrete driveway. I can get those roll-up extensions for that one - try it at least. But I have no gutters on the front, side and by the breakfast room. I am not sure that they're going to add to the curb appeal but the rain comes off the roof and makes a deep line in the dirt, splashing the dirt on the house.

So, will landscaping stop the rain from making deep divots in the ground? Or do I need gutters? Decisions, decisions.

Saw "Chicago" for the first time. It was on Channel 4. Missed the first 1/2 hour so missed my favorite song, All That Jazz. I remember Liza singing it back in the '70's. I used to go around the house singing that one ... "Rouge my knees and roll my stockings down ... and All That Jazz." Very fun, sexy song. I even saw Gwen, Chita and Jerry perform it here in L.A. (Speaking of Chita, did anyone catch her cameo in the movie?) Talk about lucky. But did I appreciate it then? I don't think I did. I hardly remember it. I wonder if the old program is here in the house. I used to keep all of them but my mom finally threw out a bunch, I bet. Darn. Some of them almost could be collector's items

Anyway, liked the movie. Good direction. Too bad that they didn't have singers and dancers perform the leads (Catherine was the one with the experience, which showed) but they were very good. I think they could have done a bit more vocally with the songs - worked on the nuances, really - but still very good. I'd like to buy the DVD. Is it out yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

To Blog or Not to Blog?

That is the question.

Am totally wondering if anyone is really interested in all this stuff. Doesn't seem so. I thought this would be a fun way to share thoughts, etc., but now I'm not sure if I should continue. Maybe it's just my need to write, so perhaps instead of spending time on this blog, I should be catching up on sleep - or start writing that children's book that I have bits and pieces of churning around in my head. But really, I think the blog could have been a good way to "talk" to others (after all, anyone can comment all they want) but perhaps my topics of choice aren't topical enough.

So we'll see.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The House and Callie

Just in case you're looking for the post about helping me choose a painting scheme, then please scroll down to read the previous post entitled "Rain Interrupts Us!" (I wrote that one yesterday.) And please, leave comments.

Today was interesting. Dealing with the construction crew and trying to make decisions in the morning, plus juggling Nikki is always interesting. In fact, trying to hold on to a 50 lb. (or so) Golden Retriever who is charging at the end of a leash is always a challenge. We were trying to figure out how to lay out the pilasters and the "winged walls," so I called Jon, the architect, several times. At least Jeremy will be by tomorrow so it will be good to have him eyeball it. The curve of the path was really throwing me off; I couldn't tell how it looked!

In the meantime, I had a power outage in the kitchen and could not get the darn thing to come back on (I have a problem with that fuse). Finally, with the help of one of the workers, we got it back on. I needed the power to come back on because my refrigerator was affected. All because I tried to use my microwave to heat up my morning coffee, which had gotten cold because I had been interrupted by the crew.

Callie needed to go to the vet today to get a check-up so we could decide on the start date of her radiation treatment. She will have 12 fractions (treatments) in a month. 3 per week. At any rate, there was a guy behind the desk that didn't quite seem to have a handle on things. He tried to take a picture of a dog who was just being a dog and didn't pose for the camera. I'm sorry but there were plenty of times he could have taken the darn picture! Then he said the dog's name very loudly and whistled loudly, which neither the dog or I appreciated. His owner hastily told him to stop, that it made it worse. Yeah, HELLO! I was rolling my eyes by this time.

This same guy took Callie and me into a room and temped Callie. He exclaimed, "OH, MY GOD!" He freaked me out. He then said that there was some kind of weird discharge ... I thought it looked like poop?? Maybe she has to go to the bathroom, I suggested. Oh, no, it seemed to come from the side and he had never SEEN anything like this before and I better ask the doctor.

He left, leaving me rather upset. I had all kinds of thoughts ... the cancer has metasticized, my little girl is dying .... The vet comes in, looks at her, says she's fine.

Believe me, I wanted to say something about this guy. Like he shouldn't be working there! I didn't tell the dog-picture story (he couldn't even do that properly) but I did say that he had exclaimed loudly and had upset me. (I really think it's their duty to try to remain calm so that everyone remains calm. Ya know?) But the vet and the tech didn't take the hint. Oh well. Next time I'll be ready for him.

We got in and out of there so fast today, it was great! Plus they didn't charge me. Yeah! Callie starts her radiation Nov. 5 at 5 AM. I have to get here there at 5 AM. Ooh, that's 3 days a week for a month, getting there at 5 AM.

Several neighbors stopped by to tell me how great the house looked, which is always nice to hear. In fact, the neighbors, who helped me escape from the master bedroom the morning after I moved in, even stopped by to tell me how good the house was now looking. They wanted to put in a new pathway at their home too. So maybe some will be inspired to do even more upgrades.

Notice they're almost done with the chimney. Also, they painted on the ground and used string to "draw" the lighted pilasters in front.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rain Interrupts Us!

Do you want to hear something funny? I had to call the plumber as the toilet in the guest bath was leaking. I knew about the leak only because the wood underneath had become swollen, pushing the linoleum up! I called the guy that my dad had used for years, plus I had used him to replace my kitchen and bath faucets last year. He came today to fix the leak. He told me that it had been leaking for years, before my parents died. The wood is totally shot underneath the toilet so I need a new floor and underlayment. (Oh goody. I wasn't going to tackle this bathroom for a long time.)

The funny part is this: the plumber didn't recognize my house and had passed it several times before realizing it was the correct one! :-)

This chimney picture was taken yesterday after the guys left. They ended up leaving early - around 2PM - because of the rain. In fact, they got caught in a deluge and had to take refuge by my front door. It rained all last night, so that's probably why they didn't show up today. I haven't heard from anyone but I'm sure that's the reason.

I'm trying to pick paint colors and could sure use input. I'll be using Dunn Edwards paint because that's what the painters use. However, I have a funny feeling that Benjamin Moore has more paint choices. Also a good paint.

I think the paint colors could be in the earth tone family - and shouldn't the stucco be a bit lighter than the middle range of the stone? If I use 4 colors, I would have 2 accent colors. See, the biggest decisions deal with the siding, the eaves, the doors (including garage door) and windows.

So how does this sound?

Stucco - light to medium earth tone - body color
Siding - 2 shades darker than stucco - accent #1
Eaves, Doors, Windows and Column - white, including garage door - trim
Wood Trim around Windows - accent color #2 (such as a blue or green or whatever)

Or do you prefer this 3 color combo:

Stucco - light to medium earth tone - body color
Siding, Windows and Eaves - 2 shades darker than stucco - trim
Doors, Window Trim and Column - accent color (such as a blue or green or whatever)

I just can't see the eaves being a dark color, though. Or maybe it should be something entirely different? Feedback on this please! Scroll down to see the house pictures to help you decide.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Nikki's First Rain

Today was Nikki's first experience with rain. The only time that it has rained since I got her in June was when she was getting spayed, so she missed out on that. This morning, when I took her out in the backyard, she kept turning and trying to look at what was hitting her in the back! Pretty funny. Later on tonight, she didn't seem to be bothered at all by the rain. She's in bed and there has been thunder and lightning - and no reaction at all! I'm amazed by that. I'm also amazed at the fact that we have a T-storm. 2nd time this year! What is this world coming to? Never happens in So Cal!

House Remodel, Trees Gone, USC WINS!!!

Busy Saturday here at the ole' homestead! The crew showed up around 7:15, per usual. I spent much of the morning with Nikki, my nutty dog. At first she was fine as she was chewing on her bone. Suddenly, however, she went into super-hyped-up mode so I took her on a walk, hoping it would help calm her down. It didn't. I was expecting Jon, the architect and Alex, the A/C guy, to come over, so I was just about to crate her when the doorbell rang. Try answering the door with a fully charging 50 lb. (or so) dog on the end of the leash! Then a minute or two later, Jon came over! I knew that would happen. Alex showed up about an hour later than he said he would, so I ended juggling both of them - and the dog - at the same time! :-)

Alex was here because after he put in the new A/C, the old Honeywell air filter never crackled when dust hit it, like it used to. I should have called him back immediately but I kept forgetting. Turns out it was a loose wire. Plus, when Alex first looked at the existing system, he said the filter needed to be cleaned and that he'd do it. After he put in the A/C, he said no, it was fine. I knew it couldn't be fine but it was at the end of a long day. So now I ended up paying him for a service call when in reality it was stuff that should have been done when he changed out my air and heat. I would still recommend him to people but just wish he hadn't ripped me off here. I could have argued with him, but didn't. Jon was outside waiting for me ... hindsight says I should have negotiated that better, but oh well. He cleaned out the filter as, for me, it would be difficult to get the darn thing out.

My friend Marc was going to come over but he was rather late, so I would have felt better if he could have seen him take the filter out. I'll never remember how to do it. So, if I want, I can pay another $400 and update the air cleaning system. I like hearing the crackling noise though, coz I know it's working. That's how I knew it WASN'T working this time. No crackling when the dust hit it. But the darn thing s/b cleaned every 2 to 3 months, and I'll never do it. If I update it, it will be much easier to clean, but no crackling noise.

Jon came over and we went over the front yard and driveway landscaping. I had to crate Nikki; she was just too nutty. Jon was great with her and calmed her down pretty fast. He also laughed at her because she was so excitable and just plain goofy!

Anyway, we're thinking of putting in Podocarpus as screening hedges on both sides of my house. It's a necessity so I can hide both neighbors ... er, junk! I read up on the plant and it is supposed to be an excellent choice. Just not sure yet if that's what I want.

Then, I had Jon look at the back yard. The tough part of re-landscaping the back yard is the 2nd patio and overhang put on in the '60's. I have no roof-line there so have to put some kind of overhang. But then, how is it going to look?? What would the patio be like there? What kind of shape?

Marc showed up while Jon was still here. After Jon left, Marc turned off the water at the toilet; he needed a wrench to do it. I've called the plumber but haven't heard back. Took Nikki out of her crate so she could visit with Marc. Again, nutty dog. She had grown so much since he had last seen her. She was racing through the den and living room so he got to see her run. Then Javier, the gardener, showed up to tear out the rest of the existing ice plant. Marc took this opportunity to leave.

I gave Javier a copy of the plans so he could give me an estimate on sprinklers and landscaping. Now I just have to get other bids.

I also asked Javier how much it would cost to tear out the fruit trees on the perimeter of the front yard; he said $80. So since he was here, I gave him the go-ahead. I felt bad ... my dad had put them in. I had never liked them there, thought they were odd, plus my parents had just let them grow wild. When I moved in, the darn trees looked like shaggy hippies, reaching down to the ground. But Marc had shaped the orange tree beautifully. Last spring, the orange blossoms were just wonderful. I'd enter my front door and I could smell them. It was great. The tree was full of fruit, ripening.

I then had made the huge mistake of asking my regular gardener, Bestgreen, (whom my dad had hired) to prune them again. Marc had started on the lemon tree but never finished, so that needed pruning, but I also told him that the orange tree needed very little work. When the guy he sent showed up to prune them, Marc and I went out to lunch. We came back to RUINED citrus trees. Especially the orange tree. Horrible. Cut back to nothing! I cried. I complained to the owner who said that was how you're supposed to prune them. That is such crap! You never do that. You ruin the tree that way. That's the way to get very little fruit. The poor tree grew back its leaves, but the shape was terrible. So now there was no point in trying to save the citrus trees. But I guess because my dad had planted them, it was very sad to rip them out.

What's also a bit frustrating is if I think of the amount of money I have spent in the last 2 years, having shrubs and trees pruned, and then slowly having them all ripped out. I have no plants left, so have to start over from scratch.

My niece had called me in the meantime, asking me to tape the USC/Notre Dame game for her. See, we're all big USC FANS!! My dad graduated from there and so did my sis. Cathy and I grew up on USC football. I turned on the game at the end of the 3rd quarter; they were tied. A few minutes later, Notre Dame scored a field goal early in the 4th quarter. I ran out to get a bite to eat and came back just in time to see Javier taking an axe to my orange tree. Did I tear up! The orange tree was being chopped down and the football game was playing inside. Oh dear.

Did any of you see that 4th quarter? I was trying to be quiet because I finally had Nikki asleep in her crate. But forget about it! I was screaming at the end, scaring Max, my cat, and Nikki. First the Fighting Irish think the game is over and that they won, so they start to swarm the field. Then, no, the ball had gone out of bounds, so it stopped the clock. 7 seconds is put back on and we scored a touchdown! In 7 seconds! GO TROJANS!

Read the full story here:

Here's an excerpt: After USC coach Pete Carroll sprinted down the field to plead his case, officials put 7 seconds back on the clock and the ball inside the 1.

With another chance, Leinart pushed and spun his way into the end zone with 3 seconds left to cap a thrilling but chaotic finish as USC escaped with its 28th straight victory, a back-and-forth 34-31 win Saturday over No. 9 Notre Dame.

"You gotta believe you're going to win the way that happened," Carroll said.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Remodeling Update, Callie Cat & Life in General

Something odd happened last night. I had actually posted this last night. It needed tweaking and I was so tired that I kept making mistakes. So I went to bed, checked the blog and realized that this post wasn't there. So now I have to change everything from "today" to "yesterday," etc. So here it is!

Yesterday, the workers put much of the stone on the house. It's beginning to take shape! Definitely the warmth of the stone is at odds with the old paint color. Can't wait to get the house painted; it will make such a difference. Picking paint colors is going to be hard. Now that the stone is up, I will hopefully be able to make better decisions. I had always thought that the wood siding beneath the two windows in the front should be white. But now that the stone is up, I see that Chevy's choice to put a darker color there will make more sense. (Chevy is from SharpDots, the painting company.) Can't wait until my sissy gets back from Hawaii coz then she can help me pick paint colors!

Now to Life in General, which can be not so fun. I was not in a good mood yesterday. Lack of sleep had something to do with it, I'm sure. To add to it, I had placed a phone call to someone regarding money and left an important message, but this lovely person did not even have the curtesy to call me back. Things are not good anyway; don't make them worse by blowing me off! Grrrr.

Also, my left knee has been bothering me for quite some time now ... don't know why. Maybe it happened when Nikki, my huge puppy, hurled her substantial body directly into my knee, causing it to overflex! Pain!! The problem is I don't know if that was my right knee or left knee! It looks like I will have to go to the doctor soon. It's swollen. Great!

Then last night, before my friend Marc came over, I realized that the floor next to the toilet in the guest bath was raised! I rarely use that bathroom but it doesn't matter. Looks like I have a leak! I'll have to call a plumber. :-( And was I smart enough to ask him to turn off the water by the toilet? Nope!

Also, I've been worried about my cat, Callie. She was supposed to start radiation over a week ago but they never called me to set up the time. I called twice before I got a call back. So I'm to take her back to All Care on Wednesday for another evaluation. If the tumor appears to be growing, they'll get her in ASAP. If not, they'll fit her in at a little later time. I talked to the doctor and he said that there would be burning, etc. And that it would get worse before it got better. Oh no. Her little face. He offered to fax me the information on radiation but I said no, I'd just get a copy when I came in. Believe me, I'll have to occupy myself there somehow. The wait is always horrendous and very hard on my back. Was already depressed so didn't want to deal with it then.

I wonder if this means that she'll be scratching at the burn? I hope not. I hope she doesn't feel bad but it's either this or she dies from cancer. So there really isn't a choice, is there?

We will have to go 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Sounds just awful. I better stock up on fun books to read! The last time I was there, I read an entire novel in 2 sessions.

Tomorrow should be busy. Alex needs to look at my A/C, I have to call the plumber, the gardener and look for a landscaper, the workers will be here, my friend Marc will stop by for a little bit and Jon, the architect, will stop by with a copy of the plans. Finally I can talk to him about issues such as screening and the back yard.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Remodeling House Plus a Gorgeous Tree

More work done on the house today, as you can see. The first picture shows the stone being delivered to my house. When it hit the ground, a plume of dust rose up, which was pretty cool! Also, they were cutting some stone and I wanted to get a picture of that because sparks were flying. Rather dramatic, I thought. It didn't happen, so maybe tomorrow it will!

The new stone will be placed a bit higher than the old brick was, so that should be nice, plus it will meet up at the door. There will only be one larger planter instead of the three smaller ones. The new planter will be in the center. The contractor suggested a different shape than the plainer one that the architect designed. I think this will be nice. It will be covered with the stone of course.

Also, I had always told the architect that I was going to keep the camellias - they bloom beautifully in January and were a favorite of my mom's. On his landscape plan, they were nowhere in sight. They have a cute little round shape now (not the case when I moved in), plus I'll plant other flowers around them. Should be fun to showcase them! I had also told him that I was keeping the hydrangea, but he forgot and that isn't on the plan either. But I'm keeping it. The plant was moved to the back during construction, but will be moved back to the front and planted back in its old spot. It's a very old plant, as are the camellias, - maybe 40 years old or more? - but this past May, it bloomed better than it ever had! I even had compliments from Clare, a neighbor. Anyway, still looking for a landscaper. Need to have sprinklers put in, new sod, trees, etc. If you can recommend anyone, let me know!

These trees are still in bloom on Chapman Ave. This particular tree was planted at the gated entrance of some townhomes. Isn't it just incredible? Click on the picture to see the detail of the flowers and the bark - very striking. I've been told that it's a crape myrtle. I wonder what variety it is. Does anyone know? I would love to have one at my house. I wonder if I could plant it in the backyard? Of course, Nikki would pick up all the flowers and eat them, so it would have to be completely non-toxic. Comments or thoughts would be great! :-)

The Cats Need to Show Off Too!

Oh, the cats posed for some very adorable photos the night before last. I think that in these shots, Joey Bear looks noble and beautiful, Max is fetching - as always - and Callie and Joey look quite cozy together.

I was in my home office and just happened to see Max sleeping on his back. I just love it when he does that. So I picked up my digital camera that was nearby and just began clicking away. Don't think that these shots just happened. Nope, I think I took over 50 pictures. I just love snapping away. The problems with kitties - or dogs for that matter - is that they MOVE, or the lighting isn't right, or they've got one eye closed ... so in a very short period of time, I had taken 50 shots. Joey Bear kept doing this great upside-down face on my desk - his eyes were simply luminous - but he kept moving. Unfortunately, the 2 shots I did get of him like that were blurry. Oh well.

Luckily, I enjoy taking photos!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

House in Progress

They worked on the chimney today, smoothing it out and prepping it for the stacked stone. The old chimney had seen better days and even sagged in the middle! I think it looks better even as it is! They didn't quite finish the prepping of it today. Should be interesting to see what they do tomorrow.

Oh, and just realized this ... if you want to see any of the pictures bigger, you just have to click on them and they'll open up in a new window. Should make it easier to see the details!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Here are pictures of the work on the house in progress. Scroll down to the previous post to read all about the changes. Oh, just discovered this ... if you want to see a larger image of any of the pictures, just click on it. So scroll down and get a closer look at some of your favorite pictures! (Is that assuming a lot??) :-)

Changes and Sneezers

Well, FINALLY, the construction crew is back after a 4-month break! I had hired Rock Bottom Construction (owner is Jeremy) based on the advice of the company that I had signed a contract with last November to paint my house, SharpDots. They've all known each other for years. Then I got plans drawn up, based on Jeremy's suggestion. Finally we were ready to go and they put in a stone path in front, widened the stoop and put in a stone sidewalk by the curb to make it easier to get in and out of cars without stepping in mud. I then put in my new front door, which I just love.

Phase II was supposed to be to take the existing, ugly, painted brick off of the house and non-painted brick off of the chimney and replace it with stone. (Believe me, if it had been old brick, which is beautiful, I would not be taking it off of the house and I would have done a brick pathway, which is so much cheaper than stone! But this brick in its original color is a weird pink, has a porous appearance and is stacked.) Anyway, I did want a break from construction, especially since I had just gotten Nikki, but not that long! Oh well, a guy is outside right now, tearing off the old brick. The pounding isn't too bad. Hope all goes well! I'll be putting up Before and During and After photos.

After Rock Bottom finishes their work, the house can finally be painted. Oh, wait - Kevin has to put in the new laundry room door first. Then the house can be painted. Then sprinklers and landscaping. It will be years before I can afford new windows (I want Pella windows with the panes on both sides of the windows), but this house really needs them. The den is SO drafty in the winter. You freeze sitting on the sofa. And it gets way too hot in the summer. Oh, just remembered about insulation. I have very little in the attic and none between the walls. If I'm going to do that now, that needs to be done before the painting. Otherwise I'd have to wait several years again until the house needs painting again! When you own an older house, or any house for that matter, lots of upkeep!

So that takes care of the Changes. The Sneezers are the cats. Yep, they've been sneezing for about a week now. Joey Bear started first, then Callie and Max. Max is the worst. Clear discharge and all, but suppose I should take at least Callie in. I'd love to take Max in, but he got so traumatized last time that they had to put him under to examine him! I'm tired and sneezy myself today and don't feel quite up to it today. So probably will take in Callie tomorrow. I'm hoping they'll put her on some kind of antibiotic. If so, wouldn't it be nice if they gave me some for Max and Joey. The good thing is that they do have their weight charted, so that would help. But the vet is a stickler for proper procedure, so I'm not sure they will go along with it. They may, though, in Max's case since I don't think they relish handling him! Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Nikki Graduates From Puppy School!

And these two classmates dance for joy! Actually Dakota (left) and Nikki (right) had a fun last day of school. They got to play (despite Dakota's mom's seemingly unwillingess to have the two dogs play together all "semester"), try out agility and then they had their graduation ceremonies, complete with certificate and hat!

Nikki aced the agility training on the first try! She had to be coaxed down the tunnel the first time, but after that she did great, even off-leash. She did much better than Dakota, which I fear was a bit of a blow for his mom as she is quite used to him being top dog in class.

The two dogs went through the agility course several times and then played, which got Nikki pretty tired. Then I video taped Nikki going through her paces, and one time as she was weaving through the weave poles, she got tired and just sat down for a second! Of course, it had to happen while I was taping her. Oh well.

Some cute photos of the two dogs playing together, huh? I also took videos of them playing, so be sure to check out the link on the side panel. Do you notice how much alike the two dogs are in color? Nikki is still much taller than Dakota, who is 5 months old. But his paws are big, so I'm sure he has a lot of growing to do yet. Interesting also how Dakota seemed to be alpha dog ... it takes Nikki awhile to warm up and get confidence and then she can hold her own.

Here Nikki is with her trainer. Isn't her graduation hat adorable? I've signed Nikki and me up for the Intermediate Class, which should be interesting! It will meet on Tuesday nights, and there will be more dogs plus the classes will also deal with distractions, etc., all good for Nikki. So far, Nikki has only met one or two dogs at a time, so this will be good for her to have to make friends with dogs of all sizes, from small to larger.

The other good news was that Nikki was so tired out from playing with Dakota that she was so much easier to handle going home. I had to buy some items and she didn't jump on people at all ... just let them pet her. Oh, and I want to buy some agility items for her. Good training and exercise, and it would be fun for other pups when they come over for play dates. I'd also like to enroll her in an agility class - she has potential there!