Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Pitiful By the Day

Rita the Pitiful Puppy has not had a good week. First, she ate holes into her back. Then I insisted on clipping the fur over those holes and cleaning them, a process she was not happy about. To say nothing of the dreaded Elizabethan collar she's been stuck in since Wednesday. Then those holes got infected, so she had to go to the vet yesterday. Where we discovered that she's very resistant to the quick and easy sedative the vet gave her that was supposed to make her sleep quietly for 10 minutes so the vet could clip and clean her wounds without causing too much pain. Rita went to sleep, all right, but she fought even in her sleep, so that the combined efforts of the vet tech holding her head and me basically sprawled on top of the rest of her barely kept her from flinging herself off the table.

She's a scrappy little thing.

Then she was given something for the pain that made her disinclined to walk, so I had to carry her to and from the car. And THEN, the final indignity: she has to wear clothes when she goes outside. Like some kind of spoiled little purse dog.

This is Stoic Acceptance. It was preceded by Get This Thing OFF OF ME squirming.

Perhaps she objects on sartorial grounds, as the only old t-shirt I could find was one of A.'s, which is way too big and has to be tied in a very 80's little knot at her waist. But the reason for the t-shirt is that flies are outside. Flies lay eggs in wounds. Eggs turn into maggots.

Hmmmm. Humiliating 80's t-shirt or . . . maggots. If Rita could understand the choices, I feel sure even she would go with the t-shirt.

But she doesn't have to like it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Romance Is In the Air--Or Is That Diesel Fumes?

A. announced yesterday morning, after softening me up with home-made blueberry sour cream blintzes, that he was going to take me on a date. To the state farm exhibition. Be still my beating heart.

Let it be known that I am not a big fan of fairs and festivals like this. I have been to more than my fair share in the past six years with A. and they are always hot and sunny, yet inexplicably muddy and filthy. A word of advice: If you ever go to an outdoor fair or festival, do NOT wear sandals, no matter how hot it is. Especially if there may be animals present. You will regret it.


A. wanted to go. He was getting restless being at home all the time. This is not a problem I have, but after much sighing and grumbling, I gave in to the inevitable, smeared sunscreen on my face, put on socks and tennis shoes, and got in the car.

Now. This exhibition is big--300 acres. And the entire 300 acres are filled with farm machinery. That's pretty much it. Well, there were a few barns with a couple of beef cows, some food tents offered by the New York State Beef and Pork Growers, and several chewing tobacco tents, but for the most part, it's all farm machinery. Plows and combines, seeders and harvesters and I don't even know what else. It's a definite statement about what it means to be a farmer nowadays. It's the sort of place where a rant about the evils of high fructose corn syrup would get you lynched by a crowd of sunburned men in jeans and Cargill feed caps.

Incidentally, about those chewing tobacco tents? We passed no fewer than four, and it is possible to go into each venue (if you're 18, of course) and leave with three free cans of tobacco. Which means, if you hit up each one (and we saw at least one guy who had a bag from every vendor), you could pick up a dozen free cans of chewing tobacco. This seemed weird to me, so I asked A. why the tobacco companies do that. He explained that chewing tobacco is highly addictive, so they give it away free to hook new customers. Nice.

On a related note, when A. worked digging ditches in Phoenix in the 110 degree heat, there was always free chewing tobacco in the work trucks for the laborers. They didn't get a lunch break, but there was free tobacco, dammit. That's messed up.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, right. The farm exhibition. We only stayed a couple of hours. Long enough to consume an enormous pulled pork sandwich each, pick up some information about an upcoming goat and sheep symposium (yes, this is my life), and dehydrate ourselves pretty thoroughly wandering around in the sun. Then I whined enough to convince A. we should go home before I succumbed entirely to heat stroke on our hot date. (HAAAA!! Geddit? Hot date? Oh, I slay me.)

The end.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Mysterious Case of the Dog Doo in the Nighttime

Yesterday didn't start out well: A.'s printer self-destructed, the sheep escaped from their pasture by breaking fence, and A. got stung on the ear by a wasp (yes, the EAR--bizarre, and apparently, particularly painful). If I include the middle of the night and technically the next morning as the end of yesterday, then it didn't end well either.

Onward with the story.

Rita the Pitiful Puppy has been staying in the kitchen at night as part of her recuperation process. Rita has not technically been house trained, as she's spent pretty much all her life outside in the pen. So it was with some trepidation that I left her in there on Tuesday night. I meant to get up around 2 a.m. to let her out, but I ended up not getting down there until 5 a.m. And yet, despite her having been in the kitchen for over eight hours, there was no mess at all. She went right outside, did her stuff (with much bonking around in the flower beds with her Elizabethan collar), and came right back inside. I was so proud. And relieved that I didn't have to worry about her.

So last night, into the kitchen again with Rita when we went to bed. This time, I actually got up at 1 a.m. to let her out, feeling virtuous (also feeling like I REALLY did not want to drag myself out of bed at 1 a.m. to let the dog out, but whatever). I was at the top of the stairs when it hit me: the unmistakable, pervasive smell of dog doo. And the fact that I could smell it at the top of the stairs meant that it was not in the kitchen, but rather somewhere else downstairs. The downstairs which is solely carpeted with Oriental rugs. Oh lovely, I thought to myself. This is JUST what I want to deal with right now. But duty* called, and I descended the stairs to meet my fate.

I checked the parlor, the entryway, the living room, and the library on my way through them to the kitchen. Nothing. Then I got to the dining room and flipped on the light. The first thing I saw was the Elizabethan collar on the floor. The next thing I saw was Rita, running out of the adjoining guest bedroom, clearly delighted to have ditched her torture device and even more delighted that someone had arrived to share in her midnight escapade. She wasn't so delighted when I slapped the collar back on her. I figured the damage had already been done (I also figured I did not want to stand around outside with the dog, waiting for another bowel movement), so I just put her in the back hall and resumed my search for the source of The Odor.

Since the culprit had emerged from the guest bedroom, I went in there next. Nothing. But there is an adjoining bathroom . . .

Yes, Rita had taken her dump in the bathroom. Appropriate, no? She didn't make it to the toilet, but she did manage to hit all three (white) rugs on the floor in there. I was so happy that she had soiled something machine washable that I almost went out to thank her. But I didn't. Instead I gingerly bundled up the rugs, tossed them outside to be dealt with in the morning (well, LATER in the morning), and trudged back up to bed.

Sometimes, my life is so glamorous, I can't even stand it.

* I managed to barely restrain myself from writing "doody" there (HAAAA!). You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pitiful Puppy

Is there anything more pathetic than a puppy wearing one of those Elizabethan collars?


Yes, there is: A puppy wearing one of those Elizabethan collars who still tries to play with the other dogs.

P.S. Not to worry. Rita just had some fleas and bit some raw spots into her back. She has to remain under indoor incarceration and collar torture until they heal up some.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just Because This Always Makes Me Laugh

And I could use some laughter this morning. Couldn't we all.

P.S. The actual post about this photo is here, if you care.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Opinion Poll

We had some serious thunderstorms last night. All night long, I was waking up to flashes of lightning and cracks of thunder. Then that storm would move off and another would move in. As long as I don't have to be outside during thunderstorms, I love them. But I know some people are terrified of them.

What say you, poppets: Yay or nay on the thunderstorms?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My Altruism Knows No Bounds

I have never met Susan, the matriarch of Trout Towers, but I know that she's a woman of exceptional intelligence. And I know this because she has pioneered the concept of eating cake in celebration of someone else's birthday--even if that someone else isn't there to share the cake. She may have even mentioned that she would be pleased if people sent her videos of them eating cake on her birthday.

Well. God knows I need no excuse to eat cake. But Susan just handed me one, because yesterday was her birthday. My first thought when she mentioned her impending Day of Birth was that we should all eat cake for her (and ourselves, of course--let's be honest here). But I had no cake in the house. I did not want to make a cake, because I dislike baking. Even for Susan, who I'm sure is a lovely person and totally worth the effort, I would not bake.

And then a miracle happened.

A. wandered into the kitchen when I was making dinner and started flipping through a cookbook, remarking that we hadn't had a home-made dessert in awhile. He was thinking he might make Crepes Suzette. I told him I didn't want anything but cake, because I can be a huge pain in the ass sometimes. Luckily, he indulged me and made one of those really easy chocolate cakes where you pour boiling water on the batter and the cake rises to the top while baking, with a chocolate syrup on the bottom. YUM.

I ate it, of course. And while I do not have a video documenting the eating of said cake, I did take a picture. Not of me eating it, actually, but that's my thumb in there. My exploding thumb, which is almost but not quite back to normal.

The sacrifices I make for others . . .