Saturday, September 20, 2014

High School always comes back! plus Rufus tale

High School always comes back! plus Rufus tale
20 September 2014

First and most importantly, Rufus and The Prince Consort have gone to the city dog park for socializing. Hopefully on this pretty fall day there will plenty of other dogs to play with. It’s very sad to see the pair of them standing gazing out the entrance gate waiting for playmates to arrive.

I am supposed to use this time home alone to vacuum since the sounds of the vacuum on the main floor above the Man/Dog-cave- family-room disturb Rufus. Uh huh. That translates the pair of them can’t hear the football games. -OH, RATS! I was supposed to record “Game Day” because it’s being filmed from our alma mater, FSU. Okay, it’s recording now. I’m an hour late, but there’s still two hours … ARGH! 

So home alone. Which means I’m either writing or reading, or vacuuming. Guess which one? 

This past week despite Rufus helping dig out weeds in The Prince Consort’s underbrush clearing project, TPC hurt his back. So my resolution to not only make it to our twice weekly cardio exercise class but also add in an aqua exercise session was reduced to one cardio class. Still we did walk Rufus a mile each morning. So not a total loss. And less embarrassment. 

I was constantly embarrassed in high school. I was a nerd and any attempt at anything physical was doomed. I tried out for cheerleading in high school. The team captain, NOT a dear friend, took me aside at the first try out and told me I was dancing, not cheering, and I should give up. She was right. Although decades later I believe I was actually ahead of my time. Dance away cheerleaders or dance team, or whatever.

Next I tried out for swim team, but I my lacy ruffled swim cap was not allowed. I dropped that idea as not right for me, never mind not being fashion forward. I did attend every meet to cheer on my little sister, who went from not really knowing how to swim to winning. GO PAT! 

It wasn’t until I was the mother of a teen that I next tried a sport of my own. Tennis. Years of lessons later, I could actually catch a ball, hit a ball, and serve a ball. I was on the verge of being able to walk and chew gum. Victory. Did I win at doubles? Big surprise, still no. 

So skip ahead to last December when TPC had bypass surgery followed by cardiac rehab for three months. When his rehab ended, we need a substitute, affordable kind. Diebold’s Dad (Diebold is a very personable pit bull from Dog park Saturdays. I hope Diebold and his Dad are there today.) told us about our town’s YMCA. So we went for a tour and were super impressed. Before we left the Y, we had signed up for exercise twice a week. So far I have not embarrassed myself in that class, and as I said last week, we tried the next level. TPC decided after the advanced class to go back to using the resistance machines. Apparently me face down on the yoga mat in an attempted push up was a sign to him. I’m taking it as a challenge. I will go back. 

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to tackle the water aerobics class three days after the face in the mat class. I’d done Water Aerobics before, back in my tennis days. Piece of cake. Uh huh. Why was I the only one, despite standing in the shallow end, who ended up wet from head to toe? If there’s no drowning in water aerobics, why was there a lifeguard? 

I made it through the exercises in water aerobics, but  everything fell apart afterwards. Although I found my way back to the Ladies Locker room to get into dry clothes, I never got into the dry clothes. I could NOT get my combination lock to open. Shades of High School and my recurrent nightmare of standing in front of my locker spinning and spinning and not remembering or hitting the right numbers and not getting the $%%$^&^ lock open. And this brings up an extra worry. Since the High School nightmare came true, I am scared my college nightmare of showing up for finals completely unprepared and naked is in the offing. I guess I’ll stay out of graduate level classes.  

Not getting the lock open went on for minutes on minutes. I’d still be in the locker room, probably in tears, if one of the dry-haired water aerobic class ladies hadn’t taken over and opened my lock in one try. I grabbed my towel, bag, and TPC waiting in the lobby and went home. I was shivering in the cool all the way home. 

If I can get past the embarrassment of reappearing in the Water Aerobics class, I could replace the combination lock with a keyed one. I can do keyed locks, like on luggage. That’s worked out fine for traveling. Of course, the TSA rule against locking luggage worked in my favor. And then again my taste in clothes has never made me a prime target for theft anyway. 

TPC’s back is better. We’ll be back at our regular exercise classes. But I’m still thinking in terms of a disguise before I reappear at the water aerobics class. Do they make waterproof mustache glue? 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Rufus Tale: Working Dawg and Pride Goeth Before Face Down on the Yoga Mat

Rufus Tale: Working Dawg and Pride Goeth Before Face Down on the Yoga Mat
12 September 2014

The Prince Consort and I go twice weekly for a cardio+ exercise class at the YMCA. The instructor suggested some of the class might be interested in adding a more challenging level. So after the Tuesday class there would be an extra thirty minutes at a higher level. Oh, Boy! I am keeping up pretty well in the regular class, so I was all for this new challenge. 

Yipes! I thought I was Hot Stuff until it came time to do push-ups. The Cheezits and Cherry Coke have made me more than a little fluffy. Pushing that fluffiness up off the yoga mat was more than my arms could do. I collapsed on my face, and the lady behind me collapsed in hysterical laugher. 

Am I going back to the challenge class? You BET! I’m going to get to the level where I can push this hopefully by that time not as fluffy body up off the yoga mat. The lady behind me will have to settle for laughing at my sorry attempts at Downward Facing Dog. 

Speaking of Dawgs. Rufushound had a busy week. Not all of his work was appreciated, like when he finished off his fourth sleeping pillow on Monday. As far as we can tell he doesn’t actually swallow any of the fabric or stuffing. But he does spread the dissected evil pillow all around. He only does this during the day, so sleeping pillows will have to be rationed out, only appearing at night time. Knock on wood. 

 He looks innocent, but he’s covering up the terminated pillow.  

Appreciated Work: TPC is one smart dude. Rufus is rambunctious, full of energy, willing to dig and terminate anything. And he loves to hide his toys. Outside he’ll hide them while TPC is busy with yard work. Since TPC has started a clear-the- underbrush project in the back woods, he could use some help pulling up weeds. So he put Rufus to work. TPC hides Rufus’s toys in a patch of weeds, Rufus dig, dig, digs the weeds out of the ground to recover his frisbee. Voila’ the Dawg is a Working Dawg. And this time he gets a cookie for it!  

Kath who does not need cookies. Really does not need cookies. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rufus Tales: What’s going on in the Back SEAT!

Rufus Tales: What’s going on in the Back SEAT!
5 September 2014

For starters my only opportunity to get a photo of the chickens waiting to get in the neighbor’s front door, was on a foggy day. I almost missed the one chicken on the front porch, and the Guardian puppy.  The rest of the chickens were on the back deck, but not near the barbecue.

Eleven months ago, Rufus was an abandoned emaciated hound, who didn’t know what to make of dog toys or living inside a house. He’s a quick study, so most everything changed. Including that his once loose harness is Very snug. And his flea collar is on its last notch. All of which is related to his discovery of ‘cookies’. 

The Prince Consort decided to control what ingredients went into the ‘cookies’, so he found recipes. The first peanut butter and oatmeal cookie was well received. Rufus was a fan. Then TPC expanded to a pumpkin, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookie. 

Nope. The same hound who will jump and sit, or anything you ask for a cookie, politely took the pumpkin cookie, set it on the floor and looked up at TPC for a ‘real cookie’. We’ll toss the losers in the woods and see how the raccoons feel about pumpkin cookies. 

Although Rufus has a crate for riding in the car, he prefers the backseat. Okay, he really would rather ride ‘shot gun’ in my seat up front. But I’m holding my territory. So while TPC drives us all to the daily walk out at the pond, there is plenty of activity in the backseat. Rolling. Scooting along the seat on tummy. Gnawing on the nyla bone. Barking at motorcycles, big trucks, sometimes small trucks, and just for emphasis SUVs. 

Pretty much expected stuff. It’s the trip back home that becomes really interesting. By this time Rufus has sniffed a mile or more of fields and paths, and is revved up!!! So first thing he does, after a bowl of water and a quick lick over his paws, is to disappear over the backseat. 
And then it gets really quiet. When Professor Daughter was a toddler, she got really quiet. I was sitting three feet away from her sorting through toys. Superman would be hard pressed to smear the entire contents of my left-over from college blue eye shadow over his body as fast as my little Pict descendent did. By extrapolation TPC and I know to be worried when Rufus is quiet. 

I have been known to unbuckle my seat belt and climb into the back of the van when Rufus is not visible and too quiet. ( Last time he was nose deep in the stuffing from a dissected pillow I forgot was in the back.) So a day ago he got quiet, and I stretched as far as I could to see in back.  Nothing. 

And then the seat cover on the backseat raised up like a duck cloth ghost. Rufus had sno-sed his way under the seat cover and was headed back over the seat. (He’s picked out his Halloween costume; no tutus for our hound. He’ll Trick or Treat as a seat cover, thank you very much.) By the time i got my iPhone out, that game was over.  Now it was: let’s eat the seat belts time. Which of course means saying “No” over and over and trying to sound like Rufus better obey. Which… well, you know. Nope. 

So yesterday it got quiet, I looked back. Rufus was checking the back window for terrorists. Or as TPC says, “Watching our six.”  We’ll need some more peanut butter sans pumpkin cookies for the GOOD BOY!  


Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Deco, Not Stalkers, Dragon, Wild Fire Contest Coming

Labor Day Deco, Not Stalkers, Dragon, Wild Fire Contest Coming
29 August 2014

Lone Ranger: 
First: the empty Sheriff’s Car is still living near our community pool. I’ve named him Lone Ranger. I’m beginning to feel sorry for LR sitting all alone on the grass, doing nothing. The Prince Consort suggested that as Labor Day is this coming Monday, Lone Ranger needs decorations for the holiday. Maybe some red, white, and blue bunting on his grill?  Sounds festive.  

Not Stalking: 
I planned to have a new funny photo for this blog, but my inability to work my phone’s camera stood in the way. On Wednesday, I noticed the neat little house with the beautiful chickens and the two Great Pyrenees pups in the fenced yard had something different going on. The chickens were standing on the front porch, peering in the storm door. What a great image! But I didn’t have my phone camera out in time.

So the next day when we drove by the house, I was ready. We stopped in front, and I tried to get a photo. But as easy as it is to get photos of myself when I don’t want to, I couldn’t get the phone to take a photo of the house and the two chickens peering in the door. I tried; The Prince Consort got antsy about oncoming traffic; Rufus, our hound, started to bark; the white Great Pyrenees pup in yard started to bark.  We had to drive away before the homeowners called the police about the suspicious people stopped outside their house. Sigh. 

Love almost everything Dragon except: 
I found this photo in a catalog. While I’m a sucker for dragons and dragon paraphernalia, I’m not so sure about this one. I mean, really? Anatomically Where is the lemonade coming out of the dragon? 

And the best for last. Next Friday I’m part of a blog contest celebrating Ally Shields’ release of Book 6 of the Guardian Witch series, Wild Fire .  To win the prize you have to collect the clues at an assortment of websites. Clue 7 is only on my blogsite, on Sept. 5! 

Kath who is going to try for that chickens at the door photo one more time. Hopefully the next blog will not be posted from jail where I’m being held for stalking. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dumb Bunny Hop

Dumb Bunny Hop
21 August 2014 

The Sheriff's car has been moved! 

To an even Dumber Bunnier location. Yesterday the still vacant sheriff’s car made its way to a slightly hidden location ( as The Prince Consort pointed out) to within a few yards of the sole speed bump and speed bump warning sign in the subdivision. Since drivers already slow for the speed bump, this is also the only stretch of our roads guaranteed to NOT be part of the speeding problem. Uh HUH. Good idea! 


Naturally I have a new suggestion for a sign to place on its windshield since the car has hopped deeper into our subdivision and farther away from the sheriff’s office: 
“HELP! I’m lost. Call the police!” 

If it’s not going anywhere, couldn’t they at least hang a sheriff’s ‘hat’ on the headrest? Or wait, we could make a seasonal scarecrow to sit in the empty driver’s seat. A bunny for Easter. A santa for Christmas. Uncle Sam for July Fourth. 

As we drove up to the new location (doing the speed limit) on our way to walk Rufus at the pond, I suggested we pull over and get a souvenir photo of the Sheriff’s car and our Foxhound. The Prince Consort had a much better suggestion:

First we need to get a life-sized sheriff photo mounted on sturdy cardboard with a circle cut out where the face would be. Then anyone in the neighborhood can stand beside the sheriff’s car, stick their face through the photo’s face cut-out, and have their photo taken as a ‘sheriff’. Even our Rufus. 

After his muddy run out at the pond, Rufus washes up for his sheriff car photo. 

 (No. TPC would not slow down and let me get the photo. Sigh) 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dumb Bunny Idea

Dumb Bunny Idea 
20 August 2014
This is a Dumb Bunny Idea at its finest. 
Some residents of my subdivision complained to the county sheriff about speeders. His solution: park an unoccupied county sheriff’s car on the hill at the front of the subdivision. 
Seriously. It took me one long look to establish that the car was empty. And predictably after ten days it hasn’t slowed down a single resident.  


I have my own Exceptional Not Dumb Bunny idea to get it moved:
1) Lost and Found posting in the local paper and online: 

“Found: one county sheriff’s car. Excellent condition. Appeared about ten days ago parked on this hill at the entrance to our subdivision. If not claimed soon, will be put up for sale to the highest bidder.” 

2) Put a For Sale sign on the car’s windshield. It is common in this part of the country to park a car on vacant land and put a for sale sign on it. Question: should the For Sale sign’s phone number be the county sheriff’s or since the car’s been abandoned, should the subdivision get the proceeds of the sale? 

3) Make sure the Dumb Bunny who came up with this idea does not get re-elected. And bill him for the extra mowing around this obstacle.  

Frankly if our subdivision is going to allow cars to be left on the hill at our  entrance, I’d like this one to show up for sale. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Random Snarks

Random Snarks
14 August 2014

We were shopping for a supply of cheap frisbees (Rufus, our American Foxhound, has about finished his present frisbee. Apparently they are delicious.) when I spotted this little item for sale. All that was missing was:

At the beginning of the week, we were at our favorite county park and found these formulas with the outline of a body left over from a weekend birthday party in the pavilion. Question: is this evidence that the young party guests elaborately planned/ or are planning a murder and left behind a chalk outline of the body? 
Or:  is there a budding Dr. Frankenstein in the area? The plans are made but there is a little left over to fill in on that Frankenstein’s monster, huh? 


I grew up being told it was disrespectful to use the ‘abbreviation’ Xmas for Christmas. I should have known better. After all, I learned the Greek alphabet earlier in my college career than I learned anything else. (The threat of a snarky sorority sister wanting the Greek alphabet recited FAST is much more frightening than a disappointed professor.)  But today in the “Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day” here was the truth, simple and logical. 

This abbreviation for Christmas is popular in advertising. The prejudice against it is unfounded and unfortunate. 

The X is not a Roman X but a Greek chi -- the first letter in "Christ" (Gk. "Christos"). “ 

Well, knowledge is the light of life, but the mysteries around us are the pleasures. 

Kath : alpha, beta, gamma, delta …