Saturday, March 28, 2015

A day at the dog park

Today was so lovely and warm, 80*F, with sunny skies and a light breeze, that we decided after DH and I got home from our separate bike rides, that we should all take all the dogs to the local dog park.  
It is a very nice, lighted dog park, with separate areas for large and small dogs, plus an all-dog water park.  Yes, water park for the dogs!  Now, being Ridgebacks, mine all abhor the water park.  I think they believe that people drown dogs there or something.

Ranger, keeping an eye on our whereabouts.
Indy of all the dogs, adores his trips to the dog park.  He is like a kid in the candy store, the King of Perpetual Motion.  He didn't stop running until we were ready to leave.

Indy, pausing a moment to catch his breath.

"I hate this place!" says Shiloh.
Shiloh on the other hand, hates the dog park.  She will greet any other dog if they approach, but that is as far as she will interact.  She will stalk around the fence, ignoring everyone and everything, foaming at the mouth.
Now I'm just gonna hide.
Or in this case, today, Shiloh is hiding under one of the tables.
My boys, tracking something that smells good to them.
Ranger had a pretty good time at the dog park.  He ran after the Monkeys, he explored some, but never strayed too far away from us.  He is settling in very well (currently passed out on the laminate floor after the park.)  He was interactive with the other dogs, but not aggressive.  I hope he will warm up to the dog park like Indy, who is a joy to watch as he runs and plays.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Random 5 Friday 3/27/15

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday where you list 5 random things about your life, your family, your pets etc.

1.  Wednesday was my lucky day!  I didn't end up having to have the thyroid biopsy I was supposed to have today, because the doc was unable to find the nodule in question to sample.  Apparently the thing they thought they saw last week, was a false image.  YAY!
All three Ridgies on a pack walk.
2.  Tuesday, we brought home our newest addition to the pack.  Ranger, He is fitting in quite well so far, with no squabbles with the other dogs.  He walks well on a leash with the Gentle Leader halter on.  He is a little thin, and we are working on that to see if it was just kennel stress, or perhaps something else.
3.  Pine Hill Animal Crematory brought Cody home to us Wednesday.  They are compassionate folks there, and took good care of our boy.  He now rests on the mantle, next to his best buddy, Charlie.
Cody and Charlie together again.

4.  I have been back on the bike for the last week or so.  It feels really good to be riding again, but sadly this shoulder repair is going to put a big dent in my ride time.  I am trying to store up memories of warm sunny days to tide me over for 2 months.  However, DH has promised to take me out on the tandem as stoker during my convalescence.  It should help me retain some level of sanity...

5.  Tonight (Thursday) I am trying to make popovers for the first time.  I hope it goes well, as I only have until Easter Sunday to master the process!  DH has requested popovers for his birthday meal, having enjoyed them once at a local Brazilian Steakhouse.  The recipe is from a friend, and you can find it here.  I got a silicone popover pan (it was cheaper than the metal ones and won't rust, but will make excellent summer ice cubes!).  I hope it will make popovers well...

Our handsome black-masked boy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Introducing Ranger

A month or so ago, we went out to the Rescue Ranch, and got matched with a dog, named Ranger.  He's a purebred Ridgeback, and a sweet big boy.

Today I brought him home.  He was a house dog in his previous existence, so house rules should come easily.  He's very tall though which make counter surfing more likely, as he has a health issue, and has not been putting on weight, but he IS very hungry!

Integrating him into the pack has gone well so far.  Everyone is getting along, and I think the pack should mesh easily.

It's a beautiful day, with a strong wind out of the south. The dogs are sleepy and so am I.  I am thinking that a nap is in order.  The dogs seem to agree.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Today we won the daily double, the unobtanium of unobtaniums.   Today is the first time I've ever seen the CFE in the wild. And Automatch is almost as rare.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Random 5 Friday 03/20/15

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday.  

1.  My daffodils we planted as a gift from my Mom are blooming.  They look nice.
2.  I scheduled my shoulder surgery this week.  It will be in late April.  I am really bumming that I have to do this as it will set my fitness back at least 3 months.  It messes up all my plans for the year.  I've got a sub scapular tendon tear and a dislocated biceps tendon.

3.  We are temporarily a two dog home now, after having to put our Cody down this week.  It has been hardest on our kids, as he was always one of  'their dogs' having bonded to our youngest most strongly.  His cancer simply got to be too much for him to bear.  He now runs pain free with our Charlie, the two Old Friends together again.
4.  The weather this past week was somewhat conducive to biking!  DH and I got out a couple times.  He's still way faster than I, but my speed has been averaging in the 15's, which is a big jump for me.  So the winter spent weightlifting has paid some obvious benefits.  The other big improvement has been getting the Carbon Encore recumbent.  It is a great bike!

5.  A month or so ago, we went out to the Rescue Ranch to meet some of their available dogs, and see if we could be matched with another dog.  Roy, the founder of the Ranch, is a great matchmaker, and we were successfully matched to a big boy named Ranger.  We will probably bring him home soon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saying Goodbye

Today is that day that all those who have given their heart to a dog to tear, come to dread.  The tumor has grown so rapidly, that it is now hard to manage and control Cody's pain.  It breaks my heart to hear him whine with every exhalation,  to know he cannot get comfortable in rest, to hear him cry, howl and bark at night sometimes. 

He tries so hard to conceal his pain.  He's damned good at it too, but in the last week or so I know it has been overwhelming him.  Whenever he can though, he tries to act like his young self.  He still loves his food, and treats.  His cloudy eyes still light up when he gets excited over something.  But he is suffering, and I cannot, we cannot allow that to continue unabated. 

Today will be a day of treats and visitors for Cody.  Some of his favorite humans will come over to see him one last time.  We will spoil him senseless if we can.  We all want this day to be comfortable for him, a good sendoff as it were.  I have enough pain meds to control it for the day.

In time, we will remember the good times.  The tears will abate for the most part.  I will do a memory book, especially for Monkey3, who is Cody's most special person.  In time...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Goals setback

Well, my goals for the year just took a major hit.  A fair bit of Marine Corps grade language got uttered in the doctor's office.  I just got the report on my shoulder MRI, and it isn't pretty.  Partial thickness(or was it partial full thickness?) tear of the sub scapular tendon, and the biceps tendon is also out of its groove.  This is eerily familiar.  It's practically identical to what was wrong with my right shoulder that was repaired in the winter of 2009.

That surgery took 12 weeks to get out of the brace and sling, and a couple months of therapy after.  
A scenario like that will pretty much crush the life out of my strength-fitness and my cycling season.  Doc did say I could probably start road riding the recumbent at 2 mo post-op.  And I can ride as much as I want on the bent before that, if I put it in the rear wheel trainer.  Two months on the trainer in the heart of the regular ride season is pretty much soul crushing, but at least I could keep my cardio up and some of my leg strength.  Doc also said NO lifting with the left side for 3 months post-op.  It scares me to think how much I will lose over a 3 month lay off.

Complicating all this is the need to fix our back fence.  DH really needs me functional to do this, and that means it has to be done before I have the surgery.  And we have to coordinate with out neighbor, and his schedule.  

All of that just shoves my surgery date further and further out.  And delays my healing.  IF I can get the fence done before a possible surgery date of April 16,  I might still salvage some of the ride season.  I theoretically could still do Hotter'n Hell, and should be fine for Octoginta.

If I wait until late October, everything would be great from an activity standpoint...BUT, I run the risk of the tendon contracting and not being repairable.  I got lucky on that front in 2009.   Due to DH's schedule back then, I had to wait two months to have surgery.  It went well then.  I might not be so lucky this time around.

I'm afraid of what I might lose, and what I might never get back.  I'm willing to put in the work to rehab this thing--it's NOT my first shoulder rodeo.  But to be honest it will probably be close to a full year to get back to where I am now strength wise.  I'm afraid to fall so far behind where WE are now.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

International Pi Day

Today is International Pi Day!  Yes, Pi Day, that mathematical constant thing you had to remember from high school or college math, 3.14159etcetera.  

Well, today is 3.14.15.  See?  It's Pi.  So celebrate with some pie, for Pi day!  We're having Key Lime Pie.


This year is dubbed the "Ultimate Pi Day," as the first 10 digits of Pi (3.141592653) will be represented, in day/time format, on March 14, 2015 (3/14/15) at precisely 9:26:53 a.m. for the first time in 100 years.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Random 5 Friday: 03-13-15

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal for Random 5 Friday the Thirteenth!

1. The ATF tried to sneak in a ban on a popular 5.56 ammunition that has been historically EXCLUDED from the LEOPA armor piercing law.  It irritated a LOT of folks.  They posted a "30 days comments window", but then it came out that they had already decided to ban it by dropping the exclusion normally included in their 'guidance manual', which only comes out roughly every 10 years, and requires extensive review prior to release by OMB.  Then they claimed it was only a 'publishing error'...yeah, pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells.  Now, after serious outrage from Congress over their sneaky behavior, and over 80k public commentary, the ATF has decided to drop their attempt to ban m855 ammo.  Thank God for the internet, or we would have never known of their duplicity and they'd have gotten away with it.

2.  Had an MRI on my left shoulder Tuesday.  Probably an impingement, and general wear and tear in there finally hurting enough to do something about.  Doc says there is a marked weakness on the left resisting having my arm pushed in toward my side.  Might get away with just some cortisone shots, but more likely it will be surgical.  Joy...

3.   We have had some snow, ice and lots of rain here in NTX recently.  It was much needed moisture too.  It has warmed enough to be pleasant, but still not sunny.  I am hoping for some sunshine and warmer weather so I can get back out on the bike.  It has been too long, my poor bike is feeling neglected.

4.  I have found a show on the Beeb (BBC for the uninitiated) that is quite entertaining.  "Sherlock", a modern take on the AC Doyle Sherlock Holmes books.  Well cast, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit movies) as Dr Watson.  Watson is an MD, and British army veteran of Afghanistan, and Holmes is something of a sociopath by his own admission, and his brother Mycroft a British spymaster.  The scripts are witty, and well done.  So far there are three seasons, but only 3-4 episodes per season.  Season four won't come out until next year.    If you want to see a fun show, that is smartly done, check it out.  You can also find it on DVD at many rental stores.

5.  My thoughts and prayers are with the two officers and their families in Ferguson MO, who were ambushed Wednesday night, as an otherwise peaceful protest was ending, outside the police HQ.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Random 5 Friday! 03/06/15

Linking up with A Rural Journal for the weekly Random 5 Friday.

Yesterday it rained all day, sometimes downpouring.  We need the rain, even though it turns my back yard into a dog-plowed sea of mud.  But we did not need the temps to plummet below 32 while rain still fell.

1.  What we awoke to this morning was around 4" of white fluffy stuff on top of an inch or so of sleet.  Yet it is so unusual down here, it is easy to appreciate its beauty.
2.  Something must've been chasing Peter Cottontail!  Look how far apart the tracks are--nearly the full width of a Honda Civic.  The lack of pursuit tracks lead me to believe the attack was aerial, probably one of the area owls.
3.  Sometimes the Monkeys work hard!  Here two of them are, shoveling our driveway, and our next door neighbor's too.

4.  UPS is being irritating.  They had my package marked out for delivery today, then changed it to delayed inclement weather.  Now I understand the roads were not great at zero-dark-thirty this morning, but it is 37*F and sunny, and even the subdivision streets are clear without the plow.  So we called to ask to be able to go out ourselves, and pick it up at the local hub.  Oh no, they couldn't do that.  So we will have to wait another day for them to get the package across town.

5.  The new Federal Dietary Guidelines (shouldn't that mean they take LESS of OUR hard earned money?) are out.  This time around, cholesterol is good (yay, more eggs!), sugar is evil (well, over-consuming it is a bad idea anyway),eat more plants and less meat (yes, but their reasoning is stupid, touting its lower environmental impact...pesticides anyone?), and the best news of all, your cuppa java is GOOD !  Even if you have 5 a day!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A still life

Daffodils, wishing they were somewhere warmer.
The mighty oak, wearing its armor of ice.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


It seems humans are not the only creatures prone to overindulgence.  Last night, while I was working out, somebody wasn't his usual cheerful self.  I had noticed some scuffling noises from the pantry earlier in the evening, after dinner, but didn't really think much about it.  The dogs often scuffle around there, pushing Cody's empty food bowl in there, looking for missed bits of nasty dry crap.
Dog is always hungry!

I'd had the music up fairly loud while lifting, and DH had commented that Shiloh didn't seem to care for Steppenwolf, but she seemed to settle down when the Man in Black played.  Guess she likes classic country!  Indy seemed restless, but we put that down to the kids playing rough with each other, and yelling over the music, etc.
My favorite the kitchen!

When it was time for dogs to go outside, Indy was being a problem.  He wouldn't sit and wait, and kept trying to bull-rush the door.  Then he got spooky when DH tried to settle him down.  Eventually he went out, and came back in, refusing to wait for his paws to get cleaned of mud.  The kids got involved, and kept saying he looked "funny".  Not haha funny, strange funny.  Monkey3 said his belly looked wrong.
I can trip Mom from this position, I am sneaky.
Indy then lay down in the kitchen, rather submissively, and kept licking his lips.  Monkey3 promptly informed me she thought he was going to puke.  I grabbed a towel, and he bolted to the workout area where we got a hand back on his collar.  Then he began to make the hairball noise... you KNOW what happened next!   (No I did not take a picture of this!)

Upon inspection of the sizable mass of former contents of his stomach, I determined the Monkeys must have given him too many treats!  There were clearly a great many of the pink 'flavored' Milkbones present.  Of course they all vehemently denied over-treating the dog!  But they did all admit they had given him a couple pieces each.  But there was way more than a couple pieces each in that mass of...  stuff.

Police often refer to this as a clue...
Monkey1 however soon solved the mystery of the overstuffed dog.  In the pantry, on its side on the floor, was a formerly almost full box (7#) of Milkbones!  That was the source of the scuffling in the pantry heard earlier!  Somebody, whose name rhymes with Indy, had gotten headfirst (or is that stomach first?) into the box of dog treats, and eaten to his heart's content.  His stomach however, eventually rebelled.  Fortunately the only damage was to his pride, and my pocketbook.
Please Mom, I want some more!