Monday, August 18, 2014


No, that is not a misspelling. I do mean holey.

Did you ever watch a toddler do something maybe inappropriate but it was so funny that you laughed each time? That is until the child quits being a cute toddler and you realize you are raising a brat. That has happened with Callie.

The first day she arrived, she started digging frantically after a mole or vole-they are both subterranean. These voles have been the bane of my existence, destroying my plantings and moles just provide the voles with underground routes and ankle turning soft ground. Neither are welcome here so I was delighted with her zeal and egged her on. "Get em Callie, get em."

However, MANY holes and uprooted plants later, she has yet to produce a single corpse, just craters.  Because voles eat the roots of plants, Callie attacks the plants themselves. My roses were stunted by damaged roots, but they really can't survive being unearthed daily. My cute toddler has become a brat.

I am currently out of fill dirt and am letting nature fill in the holes. Isn't it odd that when you rake the removed dirt back in to the hole, there is not nearly enough? However this low maintenance approach makes mowing a battlefield a bit of a brain rattling challenge.

Currently she is a bit ill so I am letting this slide. I noticed she has a recessed, hooded vulva when I got her which the vet assure me was no problem. However, he was wrong and there is a problem.

This condition occurs when a dog has a recessed vulva and is spayed before her first heat. It facilitates unsanitary urination.

She evidently has developed a few UTI (urinary track infections) and passed about 8 bloody, fairly large bladder crystals Saturday.  She will very likely need surgery to repair the defect. I will find out today.

However this ailment has brought her a full pardon for her crater making. Good timing little girl. We will work on that holey thing later.

Keep your toes crossed for her.

Monday, August 11, 2014


I've mentioned before that we had no TV when I was growing up (though one neighbor did have one). There were also no computers and phones were tacked to the wall by a rather short cord. Party lines were in effect so that several phones on that line would ring your request. Each household had its identifying ring. Two short rings and a long one was our code to pick up.

Sometimes you would pick up the phone to make a call and hear people talking.  You had to excuse yourself then wait your turn as the line was in use. Privacy was unheard of. Often you could hear a tell tale click, then soft breathing during your own conversations.  Perhaps that is one reason I am not all a twitter that NSA spying goes on. I grew up with and was OK with the local version. 

With such primitive lines of communication and entertainment available, the Sunday drive became a pleasant diversion.  Gas was cheap and time was plentiful. The county side was the destination and we actually enjoyed each other's company.

Not my picture but our car looked like this. 
Perhaps the price of gasoline and congested roads but mostly technology have taken it out of the family entertainment category. 

In my youth however, it was something a lot of us enjoyed enormously. As a group we were often referred to as the SSC (Sunday Sightseers Club) sneeringly by those who actually had somewhere to go and were annoyed by our pokey pace.   

Dad drove, Mom looked for dream houses, my brothers made identifying the year, make and model of approaching cars a   competitive game while I looked for farm animals when we weren't talking. Sounds pretty mundane by today's standards but we loved it and so looked forward to those long drives. Even Susie, the little family dog, loved the long rides in my mom's lap. 

Don't know why but we never had those "he's touching me" incidents. We were normal siblings, we just behaved so much better when traveling.  Since there were no seat belts and I was so short, I was allowed to stand on the hump in the back and lean on the front seat so I could see.   Most of my rides were spent on my feet. 

There was also a thrilling part to the county riding. Don't know how Dad knew where they all were but he would, out of the blue, get our attention by accelerating over a steep hump in the road, then letting off the gas briefly as we crested so we all had a startling second of weightlessness with floating tummies. Again and again we would ask him to repeat that thrill. However, twice per ride was about the most we ever got.

I have yet to experience that sensation as an adult except perhaps on a roller coaster. Can one still repeat that tummy float while driving or have our cars and roads eliminated the thrill??  Probably the driver by holding on to the wheel is denied that pleasure. Hum--maybe this afternoon I'll give it a shot. 

The cool thing is that we actually communicated on those drives which wasn't the least bit unusual for we also enjoyed family dinners.   Eye rolling or "attitude" was a grounding offense in those days.   In the car we not only were,  but also had, a captive audience.   We all  took advantage. 

The person in ear and eye sight was whom we talked to with those few party line exceptions. Sigh, that is becoming a lost art. I mean here I am today reaching out thousands of miles to folks I've never met in person with just the touch of a key.  Yes it is amazing and really cool in its own way, but still lacking.  

It is one reason I am sure we don't hesitate to move hundreds of miles away from our families. Distance has shrunken via technology but I do feel the loss of actual contact.  

Is there something from your early days that you mourn the loss of ??