Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fred's Ordeal cont...

I'm sure you've all been sitting on pins and needles worrying about how Fred's night went last night...

I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

This was last night, Fred was not going anywhere. Except under the covers, of course!

This morning.

We both got a pretty decent nights sleep. Well, Fred did anyway, he was a serious Bed Hog!
We will be having a conversation about that tonight.

It was interesting sleeping with my dresser and night stand 2" from the bed and my head. Climbing in and out got a bit comical. Sort of like climbing into the berth of small sailboat...

The captions are a little hard to read (learning curve), if you click on the photos you should be able to see a larger view. Or, you can get a magnifing glass...sorry

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Freds' Ordeal

I have lived in my house now for 18 years. It was brand new when we moved into it and it is a very nice house. It is a two story traditional, with about 2000 sq. feet, 3 bedrooms upstairs, living space downstairs. However, it is way too much house for just Fred and I. It has become apparent that it’s time to sell. Time to find something that is more manageable for me. I am not sure where I would like to go just yet, but it will be closer to my Mom and Sister. Obviously, now is not the time to sell due to the horrible housing slump and lucky for me, I don’t have to move right away. I’ve got time.

So, with the help of my Mom and Sister, we have begun the process of getting the house all spiffy. Which includes new siding, new interior paint, etc.. Well, that work started this week, with a vengeance, I’ve got pounding going on on the outside, paint people bustling around on the inside, busy, busy, busy.

Paint Crew (Not sure if there's work going on)
Upstairs Hall

Fred and I are just trying to keep out of the way. I’m also cleaning things as they are taken down and moved around for painting. The upstairs is almost finished, except for my room…

The painters left yesterday afternoon and said they wouldn’t be back until Friday. OK, I had hoped things would keep moving but I understand. Like I said, I’ve got time

After they left I decided to check on the upstairs progress so far. The two bedrooms are done for the most part, the main bath upstairs looks done, there is still plenty of clean up to do, but there’s paint on the walls, it’s all good.

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

Main Bathroom

Then I went to look in my room and this is what I saw…

Door to my bedroom

If you look real close you can see my bed all wrapped up in a couple of layers of plastic, you may not be able to make it out, but trust me, it’s in there. And there’s chunks of plaster everywhere on the floor.

I had asked the painting crew earlier in the day if I was going to be able to sleep in my room, they had assured me I could, the bed and dresser would just be moved away from the walls. Well, apparently they didn’t pass this info onto the drywall guy that was patching up the various nicks and dents that had occurred throughout the years, also, there was some moisture damage on the ceiling in my room and he needed to scrape the old stuff off, then retexture today. Hmmm, Oh well, we won’t be doing any sleeping in there.

I’ll survive, and hopefully, it’s just for one night. I’m thankful that the work is getting done. I can’t get to my clothes either, the dresser is also enshrined in plastic. I could probably pick around and retrieve something, but I don’t want to mess up the “packaging” and I don’t really need to go anywhere today that requires another set of clothes. The drywall guy should be back later on today to hopefully finish what he needs to do.

As I had posted before, click on The Nap , I have a couch that even though it may not be the prettiest thing, it’s a great napping couch. Emphasis on napping. Not that great for an all niter. It’s also not the end of my world. It is however the end of Fred's.

There’s no room for the two of us. Fred was going to have to fend for himself this time. I finally decided it was time for bed, and proceeded to walk the 6 or so feet to what was going to be my bed for the evening and started my usual routine, getting the pillow just so, blanket all nice and cozy, then I laid down. Fred marched up to my face as I was lying there, and just stared at me, for what seemed like an eternity. Then he put his front paws up and finagled a belly rub out of me, acting pretty forlorn. He knew he couldn’t sleep on the couch with me. He tried to plead his case with me, big huge eyes, the works, but, there just isn’t room. He gets too large at night (translation: bed hog). I finally told him to go sleep in his snoopy bed or the rocking chair or something and he stepped off. First he hopped up onto the snoopy bed and rooted around there pretty good, there is another blanket up there too, rooted around with that real good, it was neatly folded, now it’s not.

Good ole' Snoopy

The "neatly" folded blanket.
He was rooting with a purpose, to make sure I knew, without a doubt, he was not happy about this situation.

"This is not comfortable"

After all that rooting around, Fred then hopped off the bed and into the rocking chair. He twirled around a few times, then he finally settled, and proceeded to glare stare at me. I could “feel” him watching my every move.

"I am not happy about this situation"

My "nest" for the night

I closed my eyes and tried to get some zz’s. Pretty soon I heard Fred hop off the chair a proceed to walk through the kitchen (tic a tic a tic a) and then I heard him stomp up the stairs. I guess he decided he was going to sleep on my bed as usual, with or without me. He’d had enough of this. Obviously, he had forgotten there was a mess up there. I really wish I could’ve watched him as he very purposely stomped up the stairs to go to bed, and then to see the look on his face when he ran into the big wall of plastic covering the entrance to my bedroom. “DOH!”

So down the stairs he stomped and through the kitchen he tic a tic a tic a’d, and hopped up into his snoopy bed… again. He let out an audible harrruuummmph! I peeked up over my blanket and all I could see were two big ears perked and pointed in my direction. He probably held that position all night.
"Wake up, wake up, wake up Mama!..."

Well, we made it through the night and I got up before the siding guys arrived so I could brace myself for the pounding and the various power tools to begin again.

Before I hopped off the couch though, Fred came over to say good morning and jumped up on the couch next to me for a little morning snuggle. And, I kid you not, he was actually shivering! It wasn’t cold, or anything. He acted like he had just been through the worst most awful night in his whole entire life. He just sat next to me and trembled, when he shivers, he breaths through his mouth, it’s very odd. It kind of sounds like little gasps, like after a child has been crying really hard, and they have hard time catching their breath. He was really pouring it on, it was pathetic. Alright, I’m not gonna lie here, it was totally freakin’ adorable! He wanted to make darn sure I knew how horribly awful his night was.

I heard ya Freddy, loud and clear.

I hope we can return to the regular sleeping arrangement tonight, if nothing else, for Fred’s sake, even if the bed is all askew. I’m not sure he will survive another night like that.

First floor

"What's with the filthy dude?"

I can't wait until it's all done!

To be continued…

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It’s Brunch Time!

I know this is a little off topic here, but I wanted to share a nice brunch recipe I came across while “blog traveling” yesterday. This site, Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide was referred to me through another blog that I was reading and unfortunately I don’t remember which one. I found this blog to be entertaining and informative at the same time. Yesterday’s dish was Hash brown Bake with eggs. After going through the instructions and the ingredients I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed. The addition of sage in this really put it over the top for me. It just gave it that little extra something. I did get permission to share this with you, so without further ado here ya go!

Hash Brown Bake with Eggs
  • 3-4 potatoes peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 3 slices bacon diced fine
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage chopped
  • 1 egg per person
“Cook potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. While that is happening, shred the onion with a grater. In a frying pan cook bacon until browned. Add the onions and sauté in rendered fat. Strain potatoes and let them cool to the touch then shred them with the grater. Mix the hash browns with the onion, bacon and sage. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to bake the hash browns then grease a 9×9 pan and spread the potato mixture out evenly. Make four indentations and bake the potatoes at 360 degrees until browned on top, about 25 minutes. Crack each egg into an indentation and put back into the oven. Add 1 cup hot water in a pan on the bottom shelf of oven and steam until eggs set, about 4 minutes for a runny yolk. If you want to make individual hash brown cakes divide potato mixture into 4-6 equal parts. Form each into patties and pan fry each in butter flipping when each side browns, about 4 minutes. Create a well in each patty and crack an egg into it. Add some water to the frying pan and cover. Steam until egg sets.”

My Version:

I scaled this recipe down to serve one. Instead of using the 9x9 pan, I used my 6” cast iron skillet to cook the bacon and onions, then I wiped out the excess bacon grease with a paper towel and after mixing everything in a separate bowl (I used 2 forks to gently toss it all together), I just put it back in the skillet and into the oven, one less thing to wash. I baked mine for 32 minutes at 350, then added the egg and baked for another 6 minutes. I also didn’t have fresh sage, so I just used dried. I hope you enjoy it, I know I did!

Of course, no blog would be complete without a little bit of Freddy in it. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Clicker Training part 1

Two weeks ago, I decided to introduce Fred to clicker training. I have wanted to embark on this new technique for quite some time. I have been having a hard time figuring out how to get started with it. My hesitation comes from the fact that I want this to be a fun activity for us both. I have worried that for what ever reason it will just end up with the two of us completely frustrated.

With some much needed encouragement from some wonderful fellow bloggers I got just the boosts I needed. First I would like to give credit where credit is due. Thank you to Jackal and Storms Mom  along with her two dogs, she is also clicker training her two beautiful horses Faran and Chrome. She was the first one to pique my interest in clicker training.  I also want to thank Marley's Mom She had 90 days to train a wild mustang from the ground up for the Extreme Mustang Makeover that took place close to the end of June in CO and still attended college at the same time! Her blog chronicles her journey from start to finish and her continuing experiences. I found it very enjoyable to be vicariously a part of that. They both integrate clicker training into their training programs with slight differences, so my "technique", and I use that term very loosely, is hopefully going to be sort of a blend between the two. Thanks you guys for the unselfish guidance and continuing support!

I have been debating for a while now whether to share my little video here for all to see, but I figured, what the heck, this blog is about Fred, and I want to include you in my many experiences with him. This so happens to be a biggie for Fred and me. My ultimate goals for the clicker training is to be able to teach Fred new and interesting things. Not just parlor tricks, but hopefully more challenging things that can keep Fred interested. He really is a smart little guy and I know he will enjoy learning new things.

In order to reach that goal I need to first teach Fred what the clicker is and what it means to him. My first goal was to just to show Fred that the clicker means he will get a "good goodie" if he does what I ask of him. That's it, very basic. A Pavlov's dog type of thing.

After watching the long version of this many times I am pretty sure Fred pretty much got "it" way before I did. I obviously have coordination issues, and I hope Fred will come to accept my faults and be patient with me as I continue to learn along with him. And so, without further ado, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show! (Just kidding, it's pretty short).

Believe it or not, I actually fixed my hair and put make up on for this very special occasion. Embarrassed smile Fred didn't know what was going on, usually that means we are going to go somewhere.
I just threw a shoe in the middle of the floor and aimed the camera in that general area, god I'm a dork. Here is a picture of the top half of me.

(self portraits are not my "forte" I found this to be extremely challenging)
Obviously, this was taken in my half bath and when I tried to crop it, it just ended up very grainy, so I just left it as is.
This was after our session, I think Fred had had enough of me.
Well, I am pretty sure I was able to introduce the clicker to Fred without too much trauma. We are now on the road to some new and fun things ahead. I am anxious to see how far I can really go with Fred. He tries so hard for me, and he really, truly, wants to do anything I ask of him. I just need to be very clear on how I go about showing him what it is that I want him to do. Should be fun!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! Smile

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Stills-The Letter F

When I heard the letter F was the theme for this week, what else could I do? This is what I will call  "Funny Freddy" (I know, pretty lame). Fred probably could use some orthodontic attention, his bottoms are a bit "off". It may be from playing tug of war a bit to vigorously when he was young. However, I think it gives him character and I fully intend to take every advantage of it, that I can. Now, of course he can really get that lip tucked up pretty good, especially when he's thirsty. I have yet to capture the "full effect" on camera, but I will, oh yes, I will. So this is the best he would give me today....

That's my boy!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday Night At The Movies

Here is a short video of Freddy and Buddy playing. This is my first try at actually getting the two of them playing together. Usually by the time I pick up my camera and go outside, they stop and act like they haven’t been doing anything at all. I think I may have figured these two out though. So hopefully, going forward, I will get much better at keeping them both within view of the camera. Oh, if anyone is worried about Buddy here, trust me, he holds his own. A lot of the time he starts it. When he gets tired of Fred, he has many places he can go that are out of Freddy’s reach. Sometimes I worry about Fred and his big eyes, but Buddy seems to keep his claws to himself. I hope you enjoy the video!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mystery Solved!

After doing a little insect sleuthing, I have manage to identify my new "friend" Weird bug. (see yesterdays post )Thank you very much to my blogger friend intenseguy  for pointing me in the right direction! As a grown up moth, it is harmless, it has no mouth.  However, the larvae enjoy munching on various trees, one of which is a Cherry Tree. It is also quite common around here. (go figure) I have a Royal Anne Cherry Tree in my yard which is probably why I came across it, and I love it!
I just picked these last week from my tree. Yummy!

This picture is from the web, also known as Rainier Cherries. These are not pie cherries, just good eatin' cherries. I think you can also make wine from them too.
I don't use any sort of pest control or fertilizer on my tree and I don't want to start, so hopefully there is no reason to be worried. I did send an inquiry to the Washington State Extension office just to be sure.
This concludes today's lesson... Nerd smile
The next post will be all about Fred, I promise!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What The Heck Is This??

Today's post was going to be something completely different here but...

The sun had gone down just enough that I decided to go outside and water my plants and sit for a bit in the beautiful evening that we are experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. I just took a nice long drink from my glass full of ice tea when out of the corner of my eye I saw this...THING!

For crying out loud! What is it?
Luckily I could use my zoom, I wasn't going anywhere near this thing.

I suppose it's kinda cool in it's own weird way...
It was hard to scale for size, but its about the size of a credit card, just a tad bit smaller.

The camo is just fascinating to me.

Is this alien creature going to eat all my plants?
Should I be worried?

I am really glad it's outside and not inside. I am unclear what exactly my game plan would be if I found this in my house, or God forbid...My Room!

Of course no post of mine would be complete without a picture of Fred.

That's as close as I'm going to get to a smile I think.

(It's still out there)