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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter white, winter bright

 When winter is here, we stay inside whenever possible. Not because it is cold outside, but because it is so cozy and nice in our home. Built in 1907, it has been our home for 35 years. It was built by a couple to enjoy in their retirement. Mr. Farrell worked as a railroad engineer, his largest work being the Laraedo Texas to Mexico line. They had two children, neither of whom lived in the house. Their son became a lawyer and lived in Cleveland with his wife and two sons. Those two sons became Jesuit priests. Their daughter never married.

  Ron and I had the honor of meeting the two sons when they were both in their 90's. We invited them in for a tour of their grandparent's home. We had a great time hearing about their frequent visits to the house until the death of their grandfather in 1919. They were 7 and 10 years old the last time they had been in the house.
Being avid collectors of any and all dog related items, today I gathered some of the collection together and filled a case in the front parlor. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we have on display.
In the corner of the kitchen, I decided to bring out some of the collection of white china we have. I've been looking at white kitchens in the decorating magazines and am considering painting all of the cupboards white and getting a crushed glass counter top in white. We had to replace our refrigerator and dishwasher recently and selected white instead of stainless steel.

Every time I go to an estate sale, I buy white linen tablecloths. It reminded me of the snow and I thought it would be a nice way to brighten things up at this time of year. Next I'm heading to the bedrooms to put white sheets and white comforters on each bed. I think the winter white look will be just the thing for the next few months to keep us happy and contented with the look of snow inside and out.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Art of Napping

Naps are just the best thing! It took me years to appreciate them. My mom says I NEVER napped as a baby, much to her dismay. Ron, on the other hand, has been a napper since his days in the Navy. In fact, on leave, he would head straight for a hotel to nap uninterrupted until the leave was over!  He is by far the best napper in the house.
 Allie Cat is clearly the most limber of nappers. All four legs are stretched out IN FRONT of her!  She is also very happy to curl up into a tiny ball, or drape herself over ANYTHING.                  
Jack insists on having  a pillow of some sort for his napping pleasure.  It is hard, however, to catch him with his eyes closed. He must be the lightest sleeper in the house.
Kate used her furry eyebrows to help block any annoying light and is happiest napping curled up next to Jack or Ron, or, as in the photo above, next to a chair leg.
Marilyn seems to prefer a dog bed smaller than she is for her napping nirvana. I'm not why this is, but, I feel quite accomplished when everyone around me is peacefully napping! Some think napping is the same as being lazy and so, force themselves not to nap. Are you a napper or a non-napper? Inquiring minds want to know.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Retirement news

EEk! Another dog in the family already!!!! says Allie Cat. Looks kinda like Louie, but, I liked him alot better. This girl looks scared of me, how strange is that?
This is Marilyn. She is 11 years old and since she was a pup, she has taken care of an elderly lady named Ruth as an official seeing eye dog, trained in Columbus. Several weeks ago, Ruth suffered a paralyzing stroke and can no longer stay with Marilyn.So, M is officially retired and ready to try life as the only retired member of our family. Yesterday morning, I picked up a voicemail from our vet clinic. Betty said that they knew of a white Standard poodle that needed a home and she wondered if we would be interested. Actually, I  was getting used to two dogs again and had decided not to pursue adding another dog after Louie passed away. Knowing, however, that placing an 11 year old dog would be next to impossible, Ron and I agreed to give it a go.
So, Marilyn ?? monroe, do you think? has been getting used to Jack and Kate and puzzling over Allie Cat. On the way home from the kennel where M was staying, she stopped at Purrrfect Paws for a bath and blowdry in order to make the best impression on the brood. At age 11, she has some seeing problems of her own, but otherwise is in excellent shape. Knowing that Standards average to age 12, we're counting on the fact that a few  live to the age of 15. Paulie stopped by to meet the newest member of our family and brought us some wonderful homemade soup and bread for our dinner, courtesy of Chef Bob.
It was a three dog night again last night. Ron stayed with Kate and Allie and  Jack(not Kennedy) and Marilyn (not Monroe) were with me. This morning, as I write, Jack, Kate, and Marilyn are all asleep at my feet and Allie is still perched on the cabinet gazing down at the group. So far, this is going much better than we expected.
By the way, last night we all watched the funny Disney movie, The Cat from Outer Space, starring Dean Jones, Sandy Duncan, Harrry Morgan, McKlean Stevenson, and Roddy McDowall. Allie refused to watch, however, and headed upstairs for a cat nap.
I think we're going to visit Ruth in the hospital today and give her an update on her beloved companion and see if she wants to snuggle with Marilyn for awhile.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's a dog's world

Today, Kate is just exhausted. She spent all day yesterday fretting at home....alone. Paulette and I left at 7:30 a.m. to take Jack and Sam to the vet for stomach tacking surgery. It didn't occur to me that Kate has never been without company before. She barked and cried and barked some more. She was in quite a snit when Ron stopped home around noon and discovered the racket.  So, today, I brought her to work with me and Jack, too, where I could keep an eye on him as he recovers.
When I took this photo, I glanced over at the painting above my bookcases and noticed how similar the surroundings and the pose itself was to Kate's office lounging. Life imitates art, except that Kate is On the leather chair instead of BESIDE the chair. Ha.
Jack and Sam enjoyed the hour drive to the "Cleveland" clinic. We expected some romping around in the van, so, we put Jack in the middle seat and Sam in the back. It turns out that they were much more interested in looking out the window than looking at each other! In fact, Jack sat in the front beside Paulie, who was driving. I sat in the back seat and Sam sat in the rear of the van. When we got there, we tried to fill out the forms while holding tight to the leashes.
This was almost impossible to do! We learned that of all dogs that get bloat that results in stomach torquing, standard poodles are the most prevalent. Poor Beau. Poor Louie.

The clinic was really nice.  We used the gps to there,  then headed to the east side of Cleveland to have lunch at Nordstrom's. Wine included. I'm pretty sure we were the only ones there toasting to the successful surgery of our dogs. Paulette ruefully remarked that the reason we would not be vacationing in Europe, or spending 6 weeks in Puerto Rico to escape winter, or taking an Alaskan cruise was because between the two of us we had spent that amount on our dogs in the last two months. She had a point. We decided we really didn't want to go to Europe anyway and warm weather is over rated, too. In fact, snuggling next to our dogs is pretty warm and we don't have to struggle with crowded planes and time change issues and other travel hassles.
I still can't believe I have a BFF with the same crazy priorities as mine. Case in point: after our RELAXING lunch at Nordie's, we headed to TJ Maxx to kill some time before we could pick up the pups. We didn't buy anything, after all, we were facing some pretty daunting vet bills, but, as Paulette texted me it was time to leave, she said, I wish we had at least another hour here to look around. My thoughts exactly. How weird is that.
Both dogs are pretty slow today. You could say we have DRUGGED dogs instead of drug dogs.No matter. We are so relieved to not have to worry about death from bloating for Jack and Sam. Prince, Paulette's other standard poodle, will be headed there soon, nixing another ideas of world travel for awhile longer.