Scenes from a dog park

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In today’s episode we find ourselves in a rainy situation.

We find a rabid tree.
Rabid tree

A tree foaming at the trunk wasn’t covered in my botany class, but it turns out an accumulation of sap and other things that build up on the trunks of pine trees can actually form a crude soap. Who knew our trees so desperately wanted to be clean?

I don’t know why I’m fascinated with this tiny forest of tiny trees. They are just so cute!
Tiny forrest

And instead of two tiny galls on a large tree, today I saw this huge gall on a small tree.

We also got a rare glimpse of the elusive Woodland Fluffy Badger stalking through his native habitat.
Elusive Woodland Fluffy Badger

I also learned that the best place to walk in the park is about 100 meters behind someone else with dogs who roam through the woods. Wixer ran and jumped and sniffed and it was awesome. He did go up far enough to interact with the other dogs maybe once, but clearly that wasn’t the fun part. Checking out where the other dogs had been at top speed was.



Here I am again in Florida.  Wesley Chapel represent!  I got to attend another Aaron Robbins flyball seminar and this one was especially cool.  Previously, nearly all participants were racing dogs who had an issue or three that they were working on. This seminar was predominantly baby dogs, ranging from 12 weeks to 9 months.  So the tone and content was subtly different and I enjoyed it.  Lots of foundation games and getting to see different dogs of roughly similar ages learn differently.

After getting back to Jaimie and Bryan’s house from the seminar they had a wonderful surprise for me.  Bryan heard of my computer woes, took his old MacBook, cleared it and set it up for me.  Totally unexpected and full to the brim with awesome.

Just wow
With the large amount of forced home improvement this fall a new laptop was so far down on the priorities list as to be non existent. Now the only problem is learning about Macs, as I’ve only ever been a PC!  What a fabulous problem to have.

They also have a fine assortment of world class dogs available for snuggling.  Tor is like taking sleepy time drugs when he lays across your lap, and Traffic is very close to my heart and is a total neck snuggler.  But now and then even big ol’ Alix demands his fair share of snuggles. I mean just look at that face.
Even big giant shepherds demand snuggles. Alix is a great snuggle buddy

And when you stop petting him he make this tiny little whine that’s barely audible, but totally pitiful.

To top it all off I opened a mini pack of Starburst just now and totally won!  Pink is my favorite flavor.

Starburst win!


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Things haven’t been running very smoothly in my world as of late. The Flooding of Lost Acre sent things all cattywampus and it hasn’t been an easy time. Repairs are moving along, but the costs keep mounting. We did get to go on a wonderful trip to Disney’s Food and Wine Festival. But it was marred by the fact that with the repairs we really didn’t have the money for it. By the time the flood happened we couldn’t cancel it, so we went and had an amazing time and I am grateful for the time I got to spend remembering why Dave is the love of my life.

Wixer is also injured again (still?). He came up limping after a flyball practice a while back and its been a long process of trying to figure out what the bajabbers is wrong. I feel like I’ve spent his whole life doing that! The best we have are guesses and I’m working with those guesses to try to help him get back to being active. I have to face the possibility that, with his structure and the turn I trained, running flyball might be too much for his joints to deal with. Its really feels unfair and I find myself struggling to maintain a positive outlook.

With CraftyTown a piecemeal operation for the foreseeable future I am also struggling to catch up on some late late laaaaaate orders.  Some stuff I simply can’t find.  I know its there…in a  box, somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t locate it.  I also spend twice the time doing anything because everything is here and there and not in my work triangle at all.  Probably because its less of a triangle and more of a curved path between two rooms.  But I have managed to get some things done that I’m very happy with so I’m going to focus on those and post pretty pictures.

This adjustable martingale leash is for Anthem and might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.  It just came together really well.


And to celebrate Skye, this blingtastic leash. I thought about doing the leash in the lighter blue color, but I was afraid of it looking dirty very quickly.


This pair of leashes are going to the very handsome Viking. Hopefully he will look as dapper in them as I imagine he will.


Then there is Torment. Torment is a whippet who is doing some pretty amazing things in the world of disc, especially the extreme distance events. But he has a little drooling problem while he’s doing it and all those waterworks make catching the disc harder. So Jaimie asked for some towels to sop up his slobbery enthusiasm. I have a few more ideas for different ones, but I very pleased with how this design turned out. Now he can have a least two Torrible Towels.

Torrible TowelDrool towel for Torment

I think this particular design is perfect because Torment has Jaimie’s heart wrapped around his worry stumps and because she is a doctor.  Perfect, no?

Back on the farm-adjacent, a mystery has been solved.  I had a plant growing out of my compost pile all summer, but other than something in the squash family  I wasn’t sure what it was.  Turns out its a pumpkin.  I’m guessing a pie pumpkin seed from Anne’s collection as I’m pretty sure I had planted some of those that didn’t take indoors so I threw them in the pile.  Guess they weren’t done afterall.

Tiny pumpkins!

I also took a walk yesterday.  It was the first in far too long, but the last time I tried, I was sent running back to the car by a wall of mosquitoes.  Didn’t make me want to go back out and try again.  As usual while I was walking along with the dogs I was mindful of watching for poison ivy.  But what I was seeing seemed more strawberry-ish.  Turns out it was.  Wild strawberries all along the path.

Wild strawberry

Not much fruit this late in the year, but one here and there.  So that’s what’s going on over here.  Hopefully I will make a post about our trip to Disney soon.


There’s a bee in my apple

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Not so shockingly the work on our flood issues isn’t going exactly as planned.  Apparently due to the rain this past week they didn’t finish the jobs before ours so ours has been pushed back until Monday.  Too bad they didn’t actually call us to let us know that.  Apparently one person thought the other was going to let us know and vice versa.  A bit frustrating as its kind of a problem next week because we made sure we could be home for them on the days the originally stated. We may have to have them take a break on Thursday as Dave has a meeting and I made an appointment to take Wixer to TOPS for an evaluation.  I’m hoping they can maybe give me more answers about his rear leg issues.  I’ve had him off of running for a few weeks and it still just doesn’t look right, and looks a LOT like what he was doing almost 2 years ago when he was out of flyball and agility for almost a year.

So making the best of it Dave was awesome and took me to the orchard instead.

Secret weapon

We picked some Gala, Fuji, and a few Honeycrisp apples that I will be making into sauce next week.  We saw tons of apples on the ground that made me wish there was a better way of making sure they all went to good use.  We also saw this totally wasted bee.  He was a happy happy bee.  Not nearly as happy was the bee that stung Dave for picking apples from his tree.  Sorry Dave.

Totally drunk bee

Out in the parking lot we also saw this license plate.  FTW

At the orchard


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So much for my plans.  I normally have a very busy day on Tuesdays, but this week I was free of all obligations.  My plan was to get caught up on a bunch of stuff that needs doing, and maybe even pop over to the farmer’s market.  It was going to be glorious.  And then last night we had a massive storm.  Wixer did a really good job of keeping his freaking out to reasonable levels (poor dude really doesn’t like storms – but he tried real hard!), but we didn’t get to bed until late.  This morning a quick survey of Lost Acre before I let the dogs out turned up a few developments.

The maple in front lost a large branch.
Storm damage

And another branch from the same tree that somehow made it to the complete opposite side of the yard and over the fence?
Storm damage

One casualty I couldn’t save. Poor guy looked like he either fell out of his tree or collided with one trying to fly in the winds.
Storm casualty

and one that I could. THE largest frog I’ve seen up here.  He did not particularly want to be saved, but I thought all that chlorine wasn’t doing him any good.
Giant frog

The worst of it was losing some of the fencing.  Which really sucks, we don’t really have the money for this right now.  The fence people are supposed to be out on Monday to take a look at fixing it.Storm damage

All I can say is thank goodness for the old MacGyvered flyball fencing I made in Florida, at least I can still the let the dogs out.  I’m actually pretty proud of this particular fencing, it has held up really well and is fairly sturdy as portable fences go.
Thank goodness for old flyball fence

So I haven’t gotten to any of the things I wanted to and I’m pretty tired already.  I’ll just have to get to what I get to and have it be good enough!

Its all about balance

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What a glorious day! The weather was absolutely amazing, like couldn’t possibly have been more perfect. And what luck because I had an almost exclusively outdoor day planned. I spent the morning on chores, moved some mulch and brought up some of the pool furniture etc. Then, earlier in the week Lyndsay hatched a plan to go hiking and do some nosework hides and invited me along for the afternoon. It.was.amazingk. We hid and found some odors and walked on the trails at Potato Creek State Park.

I have a not so super secret plan to try to get Wixer and Perkinje to maybe someday play (appropriately) with one another. Neither one is the smoothest of movers when it comes to that, but I think they could work it out. They started by having classes together and they also go to the pool together and today they got to hike together and it went very well!  We even brought our packs like good DSA members.  I’m a fan of having Wixer carry our water and supplies!

Hiking buddies

Wixer didn’t feel the need to snark at Kinje and Kinje didn’t feel the need to protect Wixer from all those crazy short people running around. There was only a teensy bit of real pulling on both their parts, but I figure I’ll forgive a little, given that we were walking past a beach…with a lake…and people playing in it. Its so hard to pay attention to the other end of the leash when all that is beckoning.

Water Break


My phone’s pedometer says I walked around 16,000 steps today so we went a good ways, although I’m not convinced of its accuracy.  I need to get a FitBit.  The trails were lovely and smelled of summer.  The company was wonderful as was the conversation.  And just look at that handsome happy dog!

Strike a pose

Now to train Wixer to pull a cart so I can take Bleys too and he can ride when he gets tired.  I do miss taking him when I go on these little treks.  Wixer is now sacked out in his cave bed so I’ll call today a big win.

Sushi Ya!

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I got the best prezzie in the mail today.  It is amazing and perfect and Julie is the best evar!

While I was visiting south Florida I had sushi pretty much every single day.  I might have missed one day, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.  I’ve tried some sushi up here and it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.  Mostly tasted like eating a ball of rice.  So I decided to try to figure out how to make some.  It doesn’t take oodles of specialty items, but a few.  I talked with Julie, who I knew had made sushi at home in the past, and I started to put a list together of what I would need.  That list was as far it went…until today!  When I got this.


Its got it all, from Alton Brown’s recipe for sushi rice, to pickled ginger.  I am SO excited to go to the grocery store and pick up some veg and shrimp.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find sushi grade fish so I’m going to do some rolls with ingredients I can find and work my way up.

Sushi kit

Thank you Julie!  You are the absolute best.


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Why do I have such a hard time deciding what it is that I want to do?  And it isn’t even anything important.  There is an agility seminar coming up at the end of the month on Sunday, which is the same day as flyball practice.  Both of these are fun hobbies, nothing earth shattering, and I can’t even get my brain to sort through which of these enjoyable activities I would prefer to partake in one random Sunday.  I feel like this is something I should be able to do without all the second guessing and internal circular internal dialog.  But my brain totally freezes up when I really sit down to think about it, sort of like if I don’t update my wishlist throughout the year and someone asks me what I want for Christmas…totally deer in headlights, can’t think of a single thing.


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Okay, so I might be going a little crazy…fine MORE crazy.  While I was out with the dogs I *might* have made a snowman.


Wixer didn’t think that was much fun at all as it took time away from me making and throwing snowballs for him to chase, snap at, and look for in the snow banks.


Back inside, I haven’t been having a whole lot of success in CraftyTown so I changed gears and tried out an adorable reversible dress pattern. Its super cute and the pattern is for sizes 0-3 months up through size 5. Plus its reversible! If (when) your little one spills and you’re out and about, you can just turn it inside out and you’ve got a fresh start.*

reversible dress

reversible dress

The new Joann is theoretically opening tomorrow so I’m hopeful I can get some material and get stuff done after that!

*Does not work for drenching spills or teething buckets of drool.


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I’ve been back up in the great frozen north for just shy of 2 weeks now and I’m not actually sick of the snow and cold yet, but I have been reminded of the major problem with all this weather.  My dogs are going bonkers.  There is much to be said for keeping their minds active with tricks and such, but it only goes so far.  They could also really use a good old fashioned romp.  Some of this could be fixed by bundling up and playing in the yard with them, but we still all get cold faster than they run out of energy.

Right now its right around freezing so its a very wet snow, not as much fun for playing in. Doesn’t stop Wixer from trying!

Baby its cold outside
Then Anne posted another adorable dog doing the trick of wrapping themselves up in a blanket so I pulled that back out and worked on it with Wixer this morning.  I think its almost ready for a cue.

We’ve also been working on holding things a bit more. He tends to chomp things rather than holding them firmly which we have improved but still need work on. We’re also figuring out to hold on to it through changes in position…also a work in progress.

I’m glad we are making progress. I keep seeing things that make me wonder just how long the hyperthyroid was going on. He’s still…well Wixer, but he’s able to stay in his skin better. The next test will be getting back out to an Unleashed class to see how his stays are doing.

Speaking of which I got a chance to go out with Lisa for lunch yesterday to celebrate her last day of teaching in Plainfield. You know its going to be a great lunch when you get carded and then they bring you one of these.


Win Win!