Breathe Some Air That’s Never Been Breathed

We spent some time this weekend sitting out in the pasture. It’s the first time I’ve put my butt on the bare ground since we had to slide down a rocky ledge while geocaching in Connecticut. The number and size of spiders and insects that scurry through the fields here is somewhat disturbing. I’ve seen at least two cat-faced spiders, there are yooge funnel webs leading to deep, scary tunnels in the ground, where Shelob’s cousins live, and just last week I was stung on the finger by something that injected a venom that caused pain to my elbow for, like, at least an hour — it was touch and go there for a while. Fortunately, nights have been chilly, so many of the crawlies are gone.

Levee has been packing on a bit of weight over the last few years. Until the cattle panels go up this spring, she can’t run free for hours on end like she could before. She has play time every evening, but she doesn’t get as much movement during the day as she should, would, and will. The weather was perfect, so while we enjoyed plucking at the grass, the dogs got to run wild, chasing each other, snatching their favorite pink waffle ball whenever the other would drop it. Exercise is good for the soul, they say, and also for that pesky neck flab.

I used that time to practice a bit with my camera, which you can see was quite helpful.

Title From:
Don’t Tell Me
by R.W. Hampton

Life’s No Fun Without a Good Scare


I finally charged my camera battery for the first time since the end of 2015. The last photographs I had taken are of a snow storm on January 4th. I wasn’t sure what all would be on the card, and I didn’t want to see Reyka’s face, so I avoided touching the camera altogether. Luckily, there were only pictures of our Christmas tree, the storm, and some flatbread we had made for dinner.

I seem to have forgotten how to take a good picture. Everything I attempted tonight came out wrong. I’m apologize. I need to start taking more again and perhaps not in the evening when things get grainy.

Wicket is growing fast. Brian built her a little temporary corral using some of our cattle panels, so she has a confined area in which to pee and poop without feeling vulnerable and frightened by the yips and howls of coyotes in the night, and so she doesn’t get carried away chasing leaves across the county. I already notice a huge change in her weight as I lug her outside every morning. Lug her I must, as well, since she’s a chaser and Muggabee’s a runner. They will likely never be buddies. C’est la vie.

She will have a buddy in Levee though, who has become so much more patient with her. There is a lot more playing than growling now, even though instances like the one pictured here are frequent. I’m sure there are some who feel we should intervene, but it’s not our place to determine the pack status between them, and no one is being hurt, despite Wicket’s sharp cries to the contrary whenever Levee decides she’s had enough lip biting. Babies will be babies. KnowwhatI’msayin’?

I can’t believe we’re already into November. I had been counting down the days to Halloween since July, and now suddenly we’re past it all. I didn’t even set Tommy out this year.

Let me find a picture of Tommy for you.

Here he is. See him there? We adopted him from Spirit Halloween in October 2010.

Now that Halloween has come and gone, it feels like Christmas is nearly over. Never mind my idiosyncrasies. This time of the year is my favorite, and I wish it could last as long as the rest of the year. Summers, on the other hand, I wish would pass as quickly as they did when I was in school.

Title From:
This Is Halloween
by Danny Elfman

We Took Small Bites at First but Then We Ate It All

When we improved our diet by cutting out all processed foods and/or anything with ingredients that could easily be confused for cleaning products (Butylated hydroxytoluene anyone?), we immediately noticed a huge improvement in how we felt. We were eating what we were supposed to be eating and our bodies were happy. I had more energy, I felt better about myself, and I had a much shinier coat. Wait, what?

We made the decision that if we were eating better and feeling better, we should offer the dogs that same chance. There was nothing wrong with the food they had, we weren’t feeding them the bottom brand and meat was the first ingredient, but the first ingredient of a chicken nugget is meat too and they’re still terrible for you.

So, we switched their food to Canidae. It was a toss-up between four brands and Canidae won because it had the lowest price tag. Sorry, I’m just being honest. I don’t eat only organic, hand-tended vegetables that are soothed each night by Kenny G streaming from overhead speakers, so we’re all going to have some balance between healthy and affordable.

We have mice. Did you know? We have a lot of mice. Right now most of them are foraging in the pasture and not aggressively trying to break into our closet, but a few are still around. We couldn’t gradually mix the foods together to help ease the transition because if we kept a giant opened bag of food anywhere in this house we’d end up like Glen from Hoarders with his 2,500 rats. Poor guy. To avoid all that, I had to dump the Canidae in their container with what remained of their old food and stir it around. Stirring 45lbs. of dog food is really easy and it’s not messy at all.

Levee adjusted within a day or three. Reyka took a little longer. She had some issues. One of those issues was made clear in an incident wherein she projectile pooped all over our couch. Luckily, our couch is leather. Luckier still, most of the jiggly poop was on Brian’s side. Since that unpleasant experience, and another that involved the carpet, a baby gate, a box with a ceiling fan inside, and the living room rug, things have settled down.

I haven’t tried the new food so I can’t say anything about how great it is but the dogs seem to enjoy the flavor. There’s not a noticeable difference in their coats or energy levels but I hear it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Title From:
Stay
by Justin Rock