December Thoughts


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    • Gold Top Dog

    gosh Kate. You're guys aren't doing it right. You can't see through the nise prints when Dixie gets done!

    Gladyou guys are ok Tracy and thanks for asking about Jon. He's been out of the hospital for a week tomorrow and is doing well. The new meds combo is apparently what he needed.

    Happy anniversary Ginger and Ron!

    Day 10 of a serious allergic reaction to heaven only knows what and maybe some light at the end of the tunnel. Yesterday it did it's darnedest to really flare back up and i took enough crap to feel like a complete zombie but beat it back. I do NOT want to have to use the epi pen! Two office visits and two trips to the ER.....and now a referral to another doc. Exhausting, frustrating and downright scary! Being a tough old broad almost wasn't enough this time. Cautiously optimistic and everything crossed!

    Loving this warm spell! Just fabulous!

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    • Gold Top Dog

    Rain, followed by windy rain mixed in with freezing rain. Then rain with fog.   Dog wants to run, I want to hunt.  Probably finish staining my cabinet today.  Picked a warm golden pecan stain that appears to glow when lit.  I hate the finishing work.  I may have to read up on SAD again.

    My truck has been repaired and seems to run better than it has in years.  Smoother engine, quieter.  I had just about talked myself into replacing it, but now, thanks to the repair bill,  I can not afford another.  A MAS sensor, a vacuum line and a PVC  line were replaced by the Ford tech.  Apparently some things wear out after 200,000 miles.

    Listened to a choir group out of ST Peter, MN called Musicorum.  Traditional back to medieval music and seasonal music.  Fantastic sound.  The concert was held in the chapel of our local Catholic school/retirement convent of the teaching sisters of Noter Dame.  The chapel is a beautiful room, huge and graceful with superb acoustics and a really fantastic pipe organ.  The nuns who retire to this convent are known for their incredibly healthy old ages and have been part of a long term study on aging.  Apparently careful diet and exercise really help.  Engagement  and activity.   Don't stay still long enough for them to bury you.

    The grass is greening up.  Golf courses are still open, and I saw a fishing boat on the river yesterday.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Hi all,  it finally feels like winter in NW Arkansas.  It was 24 this morning.  I think they said maybe a flurry tonight.  Supposed to warm back up next week.  I don't like the cold but when it is warm this late in December it usually makes up for it in the early spring.

    We have our company Christmas party tonight and Ron and I always enjoy it.   Looking forward to good food and no clean up :)

    I am missing my laptop haven't found much time on the computer to catch up lately.  Hope you all have a good weekend.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Glenda, don't tell Rock that he needs to "nose" the window more!  Have you made Heath Bar cookies? I might try a recipe this weekend.

    This weekend is baking weekend (yeah!) and taking pictures for our Christmas card. I'm a bit behind on that. I need to finish grading and submit final grades, too. It's still warm here but cold weather is on the way. I worry I'll have to mow the lawn if we don't get some "normal" weather soon.

    More this weekend!

    • Gold Top Dog
    ood news is that I now have an excellent allergy doctor. He ordered some extensive blood work and will skin test for food allergies on Tuesday. The only drawback to that is I can't take any of my histamine blockers. Just benadryl and even that has to stop after tomorrow. He seems really determined to find the cause though and take care of this right away. Fingers crossed!

    Dixie continues to amaze us. She is just soooo good and loving. She surprises me once in awhile by how playful she can be. Mist of the time she's so laid back and quiet but boy when she wants to play its all out!! Loads of fun! The amount of time she needs for lollygagging before pottying gets a little old but thats a minor annoyance when you've got a perfectt dog!
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    • Gold Top Dog

    Winter is here.  Took Sky for a run at the WMA.  He put up two birds.  One was a rooster.  Between cold hands and total surprise, I managed to screw up the safety and didn't get the shot.  But Sky was still happy.  He loves to go into heavy brush, grass, swamps and check out the smells.  Then he gets vocal when chasing birds. .  I don't think there is any hound in him.  

    One of my brothers wants me to make him a holster.  Couple hours of work, and I have a piece of leather I've had for a few years.  First try was ugly-dye is not what I thought, so the Beta will be better.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Glenda, I hope the new doctor can get some definitive answers for you.  I hope whatever is causing the allergic reactions is something reasonably "easy" to eliminate from your diet and not something like a mold in your house or something serious like that.  Keep us posted on what the testing finds.

    I know all about "lollygagging" before pottying.  Ruby is a pro at that, too.  Of course, she seems to be better at it when we're in a particular hurry!  :-)  By the way, I love the word lollygagging.  I wonder if it's a New England/regional word because when I say it around here, most people look at me funny!  

    Doug, I bet those nuns who are being studied for aging so well also have excellent genes.  Yes, it's usually true that good diet, exercise, engagement and activity are all vital to aging well.  But I've known more than one person who contradicts that.  Currently it's my MIL -- she never exercised, smoked for 55+ years, not an ideal diet (i.e., lots of butter, gravies, bacon, etc.), and even when she was younger, she rarely engaged in social activities or community engagement.  Yet, she's 88 and is in reasonably good shape other than mobility issues due to severe arthritis and severe mental decline due to dementia.  Even now she refuses to move around much and avoids even simple activities where she has to leave her bed or her room.  For example, this week DH stopped in and saw a school choir singing Christmas carols in the common area of her facility, but when he asked her if she wanted to go down and listen, she literally scoffed, "Oh, heavens no!"  So, despite doing none of the things recommended for good aging, sometimes genetics is all it takes to keep one's body going.  Some of it is a crap shoot, I think.

    Kate, my Mom has been telling me about the warm weather out near you guys.  So crazy.  It's not unheard of for us to mow our lawn into January or so, but I'm sure it's weird for you to be facing that possibility.  

    I so admire all of you who bake and cook like you do.  My coworker has been trying some new holiday treat recipes, and another friend made a bunch of homemade candy last weekend.  Unfortunately, my freezer is NOT stocked as well as the ones in your homes!  :-)

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    • Gold Top Dog

    Our family get-together is today.  The snow has melted, the sky is grey (sounds like a Beatles song) it's cold, but it will be fun.  My son likes to host these.  Big house, built for gatherings, central location.  Food, drink, a ton of sugary treats, and Santa.  Going to leave Jr home.  He's good for 8 hours if he gets a run in.

    On aging, my in-laws died in their 90's.  FIL was on a road trip by himself doing genealogy research, MIL broke a hip-which seems to be a death knell.  My side makes it to the 80's.  Wife will probably go on forever, and I have a few good years left.  Dog keeps me young and active.  The nuns have been involved in a research project on aging for years.  Their convent has a full health program, including a warm pool, equipment, helpers, plus a full range of arts  and crafts  programs.

    Had Sky to the dog park yesterday. 20F with a wind, but still several people running dogs.  Sky had a blast with several he's met before..  Every once in a while, he really surprises me.  He was running part with a group and I gave a short quiet whistle.  He stopped, spun, and came to me at a dead run.  Timing is everything.

    The dirt and sand at the park smell doggy in a bad way.  When it gets cold, you don't smell it, until you are in the car and the heater starts working.  Washed a lot of sand out of Skys' paws.

    Filled my truck at $1.77 yesterday, no coupon.  Of course, with the cold weather, milage has dropped a bit.  I had two LEDs die in the dashboard, right at the top of the speedometer.  Couldn't see between 45 and 65 after dark.  It takes about an hour to dismantle the dash to get to the bulbs, and I bought the wrong replacements.  Fortunately, the cluster has sensor bulbs for equipment I don't have so I used a couple of unneeded bulbs.  Hopefully, never again.  The last time I did that, the alternator had failed, which it demonstrated by surging and taking out most of the bulbs that were on. and the battery.

    Got my brothers Beta holster ready.  I used a black cherry wood stain and it picked up the grain of the leather beautifully.  A final fitting and it's ready to go.  I don't know if I am getting better at leather work, but I am getting faster.  A few more basic hand tools and I am set to go.  A sewing machine is really expensive, so hand sewing it is.  Very relaxing-much more relaxing than my wife' quilting project seems to be.  The language from her mouth!!!

    • Gold Top Dog

    thanks Tracy. So far so good without the histamine blockers. I can take benadryl once more today and then the prednisone is on its own til Tuesday afternoon.

    We are definitely getting some winter now but tomorrow the temps go back up and Christmas is supposed to be almost 60.

    Sky sounds like a perfect fit for your family Doug.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Temptation=baking cookies! I tried the Heath Bar cookie recipe--double chocolate (cocoa powder and chocolate chips) plus Heath bars. Yummmmmmy! I also made some Reese cup cookies and the pumpkin cookies are in the oven now. (I try to drop some at all the dogs' "friends" (vets, kennel, etc.). I was going to make some pumpkin bread, too, but I think I'm running out of steam!

    I was going to get the Christmas card pictures of the dogs done today, but I think I'll be sending New Year's cards because I didn't get the pictures done. Oh well. I did get my grades submitted on time (due at 11 am this morning).

    Glenda, keep us posted--I'm glad you found a good allergy doc!

    Sky, you are a good boy paying attention to Dad's whistle. Doug, have fun at your family gathering!

    • Gold Top Dog

    Tracy, I am not sure if the Lollygaggin is a New England thing or a  older saying that isn't used much now.  I grew up in OK and live in AR and still use it and hear it from time to time.   Most younger folks probably wouldn't understand it

    Doug I love your stories of Sky, kinda makes me think that there is some hope for Garth after all.   :)

    Glenda hope you are feeling better soon.  I think it is wonderful that  Dixie is doing so well, how lucky for her to have such a loving family to take her in.  She probably  says a little prayer  doggie prayer of thanks every night.

    Kate I am in the same boat with my cards only it has nothing to do with not having a picture done, it is my procrastination showing. :)

    Made my hubby an awesome anniversary meal.   I was a tad bit under the weather  this weekend so we mostly stayed home.  Finally felt good enough to make dinner last night.  

    Hope everyone has a great week!  Will try to get some pics posted of the tazmanian devil dog and his pal Hot Shot .

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    • Gold Top Dog

    Sky at the park today was eventful. Zephyr , a little herding dog same size as sky, kicked Skys' butt. They have played well together before, and have butted heads before. Sky was jumping up for a treat when Zephyr nailed him. They growled a lot, rolled around and gummed each other bit, but I didn't find any punctures. I am thinking I'll have Sky neutered after Christmas and maybe avoid some of these events. He seems to have reached full adult growth and I am not interested in puppies.

    Went up to Minneapolis to watch grandson in a hockey game. They have changed so much in just a few years. Now it's a real hockey game. Roads were icing up on the way home. Ice scares me more than snow, because you can see snow. The steering was feeling funny, so I slowed down and tapped the brakes to test the road, and the tire just slid.

    Apparently my brothers and I are getting old. We spent some time talking about our doctors-not a good sign. One of my cousins plays Santa-he doesn't really get along well with his side of the family, so he comes to our party-and we love him. We started filling him in on family genealogy . He was unaware of our war hero-uncle Wilfred. He was a WW2 ace, shooting down 3 Spitfires, 2 Hurricanes and several other. He was unaware of our famous distant cousin from Germany, the Playboy centerfold, and he was unaware of our Polish history. We showed him our cousins web page, and he almost had a heart attack. He may do more research when alone. Our family comes from an area that has been run by the Romans, French, Swedes, Germans, Russians, and now is Poland. Our family left when the area was German, but we are Pomeranians, and with the exception of one brother, proud of it.I have been working on ideas for the family crest. A dragon holding little dogs, or a little dog shaking a lizard?

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    • Gold Top Dog

    Posted a new pic of Jr, a photo of my cabinets, and a photo taken at Minneopea Falls on our day of winter.  Beautiful limestone gorge -not accessible in winter, site of weddings , picnics, hikes.  

    Part of a state park that now has a Bison herd of genetically pure buffalo.  Apparently, most buffalo in US have cow genes mixed in.  The Blue Mounds park herd had some excess stock, and Minneopea set up a 400 acre pen on the prairie section for them.  We tried to see them one day, but the pen section was closed.  It's a drive through pen.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Super-warm here today--the weather is just bizarre!  I just dug the last of the leeks for dinner tomorrow.

    Doug, I love the pictures--your "one day of winter" shot is great! I had no idea most buffalo had cow genes. Very cool that there is a solid effort to preserve the pure lines. How was your family gathering?

    Glenda, how many are you feeding for Christmas? The double-chocolate Heath bar cookies were a hit. I may have to make another batch!  

    Tracy, are you getting snow? They announced the winter warnings for the mountain passes all the way out here!

    Gin, good luck with the pictures! I tried yesterday and got blurry images.. I'll try again :-)

    Merry Christmas to all!

    • Gold Top Dog

    Doug, I loved your photos.  Jr. is such a beautiful dog, and your cabinets are gorgeous.  The photo of the falls is exactly what a Christmas winter scene should look like.  And I can just imagine what a fantastic setting it would be for a wedding -- I can picture the bride and groom and the wedding party on that bridge . . . so pretty!

    Kate, we've got grey skies and drizzle right  now -- maybe 40 degrees, but in the 30's at night, so it could get icy.  They said snow down to 1,000 ft elevations, and our house is 600-700 feet, so we may miss it, unfortunately.  We know a few people who are in central Oregon right now, and they've got close to two feet of snow.  I wish I could look out my window and have a white Christmas tomorrow, but I don't think that will happen.

    I came to work for just a couple hours -- it was a late start because I didn't get to bed until 2am.  All evening, Ruby was her usual self -- ate fine, walked fine, did zoomies, etc.  About  9pm, she started salivating, drooling, licking her lips. sneezed a few times, then began pacing and going in and out of her crate.  She was clearly ill or in pain, so we took her out, thinking she'd vomit, but she didn't.  She would not settle in one place, so we suspected bloat or something.  We felt everywhere on her abdomen, checked her mouth, teeth, etc. (thinking she cracked a tooth on her nylabone).  She didn't react anywhere to our touch, but she wouldn't stay in one place more than a minute, then just stared at us when she did sit down.  

    We were  trying to decide if an emergency room visit was in order (I think catastrophically, so I worried about hemangiosarcoma or some internal bleeding or fluid.  She finally settled on the couch at 11pm.  DH went to bed since he gets up at 5am, and I stayed up next to her, prepared to wake him for an ER visit.  But, she fell asleep on the couch next to me shortly after midnight, and at 2am I brought her to bed with me.  She seemed fine all morning (ate, walked, etc.), so I came to work at 10:30am.  I'm heading home in an hour, so hopefully she's still okay.  Oy --- I was a wreck all night, thinking the worst.  I have no idea what was wrong, but she was clearly uncomfortable.  

    So, hopefully we won't fall asleep at the table when we have dinner with our neighbors tonight.  So looking forward to going there -- it's our gourmet cook neighbor, and they have a wood fireplace, so it'll feel as close to wintery Christmas as it gets around here.  

    Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas - enjoy your day with friends and family tomorrow!