Confusion reigns

Every day, we’re hearing about how we should all get vaccinated against the Rona. ( I figured that we’ve been aquainted for long enough that I can call it the Rona now) I’m not convinced that these vaccines are actually all that safe, I keep thinking back to something called “thalidomide,” and how it was marketed as totally safe and a wonder drug for pregnant women. It caused children to be born with shortened limbs – when I was a kid and we were absolutely politically incorrect, they were known as “flipper babies.” It was never sold in the US but was given out as samples.

Maybe it’s not a good analogy, at least that’s what the MSM is telling me, but thalidomide was also rushed onto the market without adequate testing and the results were not great.

All of that aside, yesterday I read a long article that detailed “What can you do after being vaccinated?” Well, from that article, seems like you won’t be able to do anything you can’t do now. It warned that you can’t eat in a restaurant, you shouldn’t gather with friends, you still need to wear a mask and socially distance (umm, can we say “physically” because we’re already socially distant, dammit) and you have to wash your hands every time you touch any surface at all. Sooooooooooooooo…………this is where I get confused.

I’m supposed to allow someone to put something into my body that isn’t going to change a damned thing? I might still get the Rona? I’m totally shaking my head and wondering if I’m living in the Twilight Zone.

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Dog hats and other silly things

Maverick’s groomer is a lovely lady who can make a plan to become a millionaire at the drop of a hat, and abandon that plan with little notice soon after. Her latest is selling dog clothes. Apparently there are people (some of whom read this blog and therefore I’ll be kind) who like to dress up their dogs. (Poor Max, I do feel bad for you even though Maverick seems to consider you a snack sized morsel)

So she’s making dog coats and selling them like crazy. Last year I made a dog dress for a friend who had gotten a pug puppy. (Yes, another snack sized morsel) M suggested I make one and put it up beside her coats because she knows we can sell a ton of them. What the heck, I only have 7000 other projects started, so why not? Said dress is now sitting in the kitchen, awaiting delivery.

It wasn’t quite finished, hence the clips at the top

And then I saw baseball caps for dogs. The search was on till I found a pattern, which I’ve adapted because I don’t like the way they put it together and I’m never satisfied doing things the way someone else says I should.

Ignore the background, my craft room is a holy mess but I get things done there.

Maverick refuses to model either of these lovely garments. I don’t know where I’ve gone wrong with him.

At any rate, being sick of politics and the Rona, here are some sillies to make you smile.

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I spent most of my life in academia. I went to college at the ripe old age of 17, graduated with a useless degree – unless I wanted to teach, which would have required grad school, and since I had been told all my life I was going to be a teacher just like my oldest sister, there was no way in Hell I was going that. I had grown up in a working class family with fairly middle of the road values, I wouldn’t have called my parents either liberal or conservative, they were just people who did the best they could for their family, their friends and their community. To this day I have no idea how they voted.

But I was a child of the 60’s, growing up near Woodstock, NY and fully embracing liberal values of free love, sex, drugs and rock and roll. Stuff your labels, I’m a person, treat me like an equal and not someone lesser (or better) because of my skin color or my sex. We HATED labels. College solidified these ideas for me, and working in a factory didn’t change them. I wanted the women in that sewing mill to unionize, rise up, fight against the men who held them down at home and at work. I wanted them to fight – never thinking that they had mouths to feed and bills to pay and couldn’t afford to lose their jobs for an ideal. Never mind that they most likely didn’t have the energy.

My second and third degrees solidified my isolation from the “real world.” Don’t think for a second that academia is not an isolated island in the midst of reality. As a professor, I can pretty easily tell which of my colleagues went straight into teaching and which ones worked in any other field.

Then I met the Bear. He was working at Harley Davidson, introduced me to his friends and watched as my head reeled from the culture shock. I’ve written about that before, and it’s relevant because I learned a lot from talking and listening to a group of people whose experience of life was so far different from mine.

I would hear them say, “Did you hear Rush today?” quite often. I had heard OF Rush Limbaugh, but never actually listened to his show. In my world, he was a far right nut case, someone to be derided and ignored except when he was saying something that might actually be considered dangerous to my world view.

I admit that I investigated this man only because I don’t like not knowing what people around me are talking about. I hate to feel uneducated or in the dark. So on one of my random rides around the area, because I was still trying to find my way around – and I didn’t have a GPS in those days so it was interesting at times, but that’s another story – I turned on talk radio. I listened with an open mind, as much as I could, because hey, this was Rush, the guy who had DittoHeads as fans and seriously? But I tried. And after a week or so, the strangest thing happened. The guy started making sense.

I didn’t always agree with him. His “feminazis” comments would set my teeth on edge, but there was something there. He had facts to back up his statements. He actually answered questions. And I started to respect him.

I learned today that he passed away. He was beloved by Conservatives and hated by Liberals. I expect the twitter-verse to be filled with glee at his passing, because the party of unity and all.

That’s the saddest part of all

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I miss letters. I miss writing long, chatty letters to people. When I was a kid, my two best friends left me behind as they were sent off to boarding school. (I had wealthy friends). They were at different schools and so we wrote to each other every week, two long letters detailing our day. Sometimes we wrote more than once, because as my friend would say, “better short and mailed today than long and mailed tomorrow!”

I went off to college and wrote to friends from high school, including the two besties who remained friends until college made us drift apart. I wrote to my mom every week and still treasure the letters she wrote to me.

I wrote letters all the time. After college, I wrote to friends I would see maybe once a year. I wrote to pen pals – is there even such a thing any more?

When I moved from my home town to PA, I wrote to family and friends back home. As the years have passed, my oldest cousin – who wrote faithfully once a month – is going to be 91 and has lost some fine motor skills so it’s difficult for her to hand write a letter, and a computer is not something she feels the need to learn at her age. Another friend told me to just call – and yet, we forget to do that.

Another cousin passed away two weeks ago and I was the one who got to call a few people, including the two former letter writers. We had long conversations and it was wonderful, did my heart good. But it’s not the same as a letter.

When my mother passed away, I wrote her a letter every day. I told her all the things I would have said had she still been with me. I slowly stopped, as life went on (but I never stopped talking to her and telling her all the good gossip whenever there was any!)

In this day of instant messages and facetime and zoom, I miss the slow scratch of the pen on paper, of thinking about the words that are written down, the joy of seeing an envelope in the mail stuffed with pages of gossip and chat.

Maybe the world would be better if we all started writing letters again.

Posted in family, home, memories, my life, old friends | Tagged , , | 16 Comments


When I was a kid, we lived on the next street over from the library – literally, we lived behind the library. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to live. I learned to read at a very young age, between my oldest sister learning to be a teacher and practicing on me (one of the few things I can thank her for) and my father working as a roofer, which meant he was home all winter and read to me to keep me out of my mom’s hair, I learned that books were magical things. My Uncle Bill had bookshelves all around the living room, my mother loved to read poetry (she didn’t pass that love to me) and my father read western novels. All of us were and still are readers.

We would go to Florida for two weeks in the summer. My parents would drive and I would co-pilot from the back seat, when my nose wasn’t in a book. (I never got carsick from reading, thank goodness!) I was allowed to check out as many as I wanted for those trips. The librarian and I had an understanding. She was a mean woman but she was afraid of my mother – most of the adults in my life were afraid of my mother, she did not mince words, nor did she suffer fools gladly.

When I was 11, I wanted to read Gone with the Wind. The librarian wouldn’t let me check it out, saying I was too young for such a novel. I went home, told my sister, who went to the library and checked out the book, then brought it home and handed it to me.

This same sister now lives 350 miles away, but we talk every week. One of the things we always talk about is what we’re currently reading. Libraries being closed hasn’t been a huge problem for me, Amazon loves me, but it was one of her social outlets. She’s a widow, and is often lonely. Going to the library gave her a chance to socialize with other people, and she looked forward to her weekly excursions there.

My library is finally open for browsing again. Yesterday, I talked to my sister and she told me about two books she has on order, that her library can’t seem to get in. I’ve gotten her hooked on Karin Slaughter, she’s gotten me hooked on the Faith Fairchild series, we seriously enable each other. Today I went to my library to return a book – if I own a book, it can sit unread for years, but give me a library book and that baby gets read and returned pronto. So I went inside because going into the library and smelling books and wandering about is a slice of heaven for me.

I normally limit myself to two books. It’s all my sister’s fault that I came out with three today. The two she couldn’t get were on the shelf and I just have to gloat to her that I got them when she couldn’t, because, after all, we’re sisters! (If you’re interested – The Whistler by John Grisham, The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben, and Broken, by Karin Slaughter. I already have A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter checked out, that’s the next in the Grant County Series)

Going to the library is a slice of normal in this currently crazy world. I’ll turn off the TV, curl up with a book and a cup of coffee, and forget about all the hatred, all the division, and all the other bad stuff going on. Maybe we all should read more and talk more about books and less about politics.

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2 steps forward, 85 back

Maverick is dog reactive. We’ve been working hard on this for 2 years, at least. We’ve made some progress, I thought. We’d been able to pass some dogs on the sidewalk without issue, I could almost always get his attention away from the other dog and break the stare, and I was feeling hopeful that we were past the worst.

Then today happened. We went to the park, the paths aren’t great so I was picking my way through the snow when he decided to sniff, deeply, nose in the snow up to his eyes. It’s cold and my coat has a huge hood. I didn’t see the girl coming up behind us with the hound type dog. But Maverick did. He pulled the leash out of my hand and ran at the other dog, barking and growling.

No physical damage was done, I managed to get his leash and pull him back, the other girl managed to get her dog safely away. She was so nice, I kept apologizing and she kept saying, “it’s okay, he’s just being a dog.”

We went back to the car. I cried for ten minutes while Maverick panted happily in the back seat, seemingly quite proud of himself.

So it’s back to basics. We won’t go back to the park till this is under control again. We’re going to work hard on the “watch” command till he whips his head around to me whenever there’s another dog in the vicinity.

We’ll figure it out. No one said it would be easy, and if they did, they lied.

There have been coyote sightings in my neighborhood. Coyotes don’t like dogs, especially big dogs, especially when there’s a femaie in heat. Consequently, Maverick is confined to the house after dark until the Bear gets home. I told Bear that I supposed I could take my Glock along if I take Maverick out, but he didn’t think that me with a loaded gun and a dog who pulls like a tank was a good idea. Sometimes he has no faith in me. 🙂 (I would probably shoot my toe but we won’t talk about that)

So Maverick is grounded for a bit, from the park, and from his nightly outings. (He goes out before dark, it’s not that many hours that he’s inside).

I think I have enough booze in the house to survive this.

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We’re a mess

I have this weather app on my phone that gives me the weather for weeks in advance. It’s not really accurate past yesterday but none of them are, and this one is better than some. I look at the next two weeks for shits and giggles, as my husband likes to say. (This is a PA expression I never heard till I moved here, and it cracks me up still after almost 20 years) This morning it told me that next Tuesday, the 16th, we will get 24 inches of snow. And that the following Friday we will get another 12 inches.

Shoot me now, throw the gun in the lake and forget where you put it so when they pass that lovely law they’re trying to push through, you won’t have to register it with the government and pay a wicked amount of insurance. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, research HR127 – here’s a link for you And pray you don’t have an ex who would make it impossible for you to protect yourself if that person was an abuser who just might come to get some revenge)

That aside, I don’t drive in the snow. The township doesn’t plow the paths at the parks. I have no issue with that, they have far more important things to do. Maverick, however, is not at all impressed with the inability to go for a walk. People do walk at the parks, resulting in frozen foot prints. Maverick doesn’t know the meaning of “walk slowly” and that mess is just a broken ankle waiting to happen.

So we’ve been housebound for a few days. He’s an attention hog. If we can’t find a way to run off some energy, he demands that I play with him, pet him, take him outside, do something NOW NOW NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m not sure there’s enough booze in this house.

So I’m counting the days till Spring and praying we survive till we can get our daily walks again. Keep your fingers crossed.

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well, I didn’t have a heart attack

Maverick decided to break his lead this morning. We have like 5000 feet of snow out there and he’s off and running in the woods. I can get through the woods on a good day, but with all this snow, it ain’t gonna happen. This is not “lovely stroll through the paths” woods, it’s “tree limbs on the ground, holes in the ground, rocks on the ground” woods. For a dog, it’s nothing. For a person, it’s a broken ankle waiting to happen.

Bear and I were on the porch. I never lost sight of Maverick, but he was going further and further into the woods, heading for the neighboring field. The field that opens to the road. The road where people tend to drive like the hounds of hell are behind them.

We were both calling and he wasn’t listening, he would stop and look and then run further.

We spend a lot of time playing games. One of our favorite games to wear Maverick out a bit is “come find me.” I run upstairs, “hide” in a bedroom, and call to him to come find me. It’s actually harder than you think because my scent is all over the house, so he has to figure out where I am from where he heard my voice and where the freshest scent is. And running up and down the stairs tires him out nicely. (When you have a high energy dog, you do a lot of “wear him out” games.)

As he was getting further away, I yelled, “COME FIND ME!” He stopped. Turned. Made a bee-line for me. I didn’t even cry till about half an hour later. Phew!

If you’ve never played this game with your dog, do it!

Posted in learning, Maverick, my life, puppies, training | 8 Comments

Pondering things that don’t make sense

It’s been really cold here. It’s also supposed to snow tomorrow and the next day and maybe the day after that. Oh, yippee, two of my least favorite things.

I’m seeing this comment on weather pages and it makes no sense to me at all: “well, if it’s gonna be this cold, it might as well snow!” Umm, really? So we can have two wads of suck instead of just one? I’ve questioned this statement a few times and never really got a satisfactory answer. Seriously, if it snowed when it was 70 degrees outside, I might be okay with it. When I’m already wearing 18 layers just to be outside for a half hour with the dog, then yeah, let’s add snow to that so I have to wear boots and clean floors 8 times a day from all the crap being dragged into the house every time someone goes outside and comes back in. (The “let me out, I need to come back in” game is strong in Maverick.)

‘Here’s another one – “It is what it is!” Be damned strange if it was what it wasn’t!

And another – “walking” your dog off leash at a park where it’s clearly posted that dogs must be on leash, then getting pissed when someone asks you to leash up your dog. There’s a dog park – a really huge dog park – in this county. If you really want your dog off leash, go there! Yelling at me that your dog is friendly does not mean a damned thing to my reactive dog who is being faced by your big oaf bounding at him at a pace that means something other than “I want to play” to my guy.

Walls don’t work and cops are bad, so let’s surround the Capital with a wall and a bunch of armed guards.

A guy dresses up like a Viking and his testimony is to be taken seriously.

A fetus is only a baby if you want it, otherwise it’s just tissue.

My caramels are hard as rocks and I have no idea how to soften them up.

Maverick loves me no matter how crabby I get. (That’s probably my favorite thing, though)

Posted in dogs, my life, snow, weather | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Oh dear

Well I can’t be responsible for what he posts but…………………Maverick has his own blog now

Please go visit or he’s gonna be terribly sad.

And then I’ll have to give him treats

And he’ll get fat

and it will be your fault.



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