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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RIP our Ducky Dog....

Sadly, today our heavy hearts are weeping over the loss of our collie, Duchess (a.k.a. Ducky)  She gave us almost 14 years of her wonderful whacky nosy food gobbling and ridiculous love...

I had been away for a week-long vacation with weaving friends Rosie and Linda, and was 470 miles away in Bethel, MO.  After a few phone calls back and forth last night with Steveio and my dog sitter, Sarah, we knew it was close to "The Time"....  you know, where all kind compassionate pet owners decide to do what is best for their loved furry friends.

I left my vacation buddies behind and zoomed home this morning as fast as I could legally go.  I was too late.  Steve had to deal with it on his own, and by the look in her eyes, the pleading and the pain, he had to bring her in to the vet and do the right thing.  I had wanted to come and help spare him this hurt, as this dog was "his" ever since it sniffed his tennis shoes and fell in love with him at the breeders that day oh so long ago.  It followed him everywhere in that yard, and made sure she was the "Pick of the Litter" to that man with the irresistible shoes, and made sure she was the dog going home with us that day.

She is now buried in the back yard, under the tiger lillies.   This little statue was named "Ducky" by our daughter Heather many years ago, (before we even had a real live dog named "Ducky"!)   We used it as a door stop in our various campers and motorhomes.  Now it's her head stone in the back yard.  Her collar is draped around it's neck, with her "Duchess"  heart tag on it.

And because I have a zillion pics of that goofy hound, here are just a few to share how much she meant to us....

No matter how much dirt and mud she laid in, she was always a pretty girl! 

And sometimes she laid in the grass...  
she loved camping and has many many many miles on her! 

She would allow the Quality Control Tasks of checking out the socks as an assisstant... 
But Duke and Akasha were the serious ones on the job.

What a pretty girl.. even in her later years. 

She loved water and swimming and playing with the kids

I remember this day, we took a long walk, 
and the evening sunshine made her glimmer like GOLD

at her "awkward stage" of being a gangling youngster pup
she was all elbows and knees and would slide all over the ceramic floors

For some goofy reason, if she was ramming around like a nut case,
Steve would scoop her up, perch her like a parrot on his shoulder, 
and she would calm down and survey all she could see from the high vantage point

she likes laying down to eat, puts her nose closer to the food! 

Aww taking a puppy camping for the first time.... and she has many many more thousands of miles on  her travelling in the motorhome and enjoying new sights and places to sniff! 

Santa brought her a toy named "Ducky"....

She would always sleep in crazy upside down positions

More Sockie Wockies... with some socks I got from my friend, Linda in Tennessee.  
They were collie socks and tested out perfectly.

She liked me... but she LOVED Steveio.
The world was right and good when he was back in her scope of the world.

and she put up with whatever we did to her..........

A gangly teenager waiting to be let in the house
When it thundered .... she would chatter her teeth inside her long snout....
and it echoed and sounded like a woodpecker knocking on wood 

She was happiest to be perched up on the couch in the motorhome, 
waiting to see where we would take her next 

A True Travelling Dog

She always felt that her spot was right up in the middle of our bed.  
(Since Steveio put her there in our bed from the first night as an 8 week old puppy!~)

Ducky was lonely after Akasha died, so we got her Duke to keep her company. 
They were Best Buddies. 

We even lent her out one weekend at a campground
 to a 10 year old girl who wanted to walk her in the kiddee parade. 
 She became a "Flag Dog"! 

Mom always said "The Nose Knows"  
as Ducky would be right underfoot for any cooking or serving of food.  
I missed her tonight underfoot in the kitchen, hoping I would drop something into her mouth. 

And this is my favorite pic... she LOVED water as in lakes, rivers, puddles and outdoors.... 
but when it came to a BATH----- not so much. 

RIP Ducky
See you at the Rainbow Bridge....

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Around the yard --- the things we have done

Well, I woke up kinda okay, at least I am on the top side of the dirt!  LOL

Kinda wound up yesterday with a cold, I think from all the raking and shovelling in the cold wet rain while we laid our motorhome parking pad (see post three blogs back for that)   I was pretty wet and cold when that was done.

I missed out on our kid's anniversary party, and even moreso, taking Allegra and Mason overnight!  Oh well, there are five days in July that we are taking them so that can make up for it.

I did wander around taking pics of our yard over the last few days.   Since the house sat for 2 years unoccupied, it needed sprucing up and some new flower beds and trimming of the trees and bushes (plus two trees that were rotting inside and had to come down last winter)

Here are some pics of all our flowers now in bloom and looking so pretty!

I bought four colorful bamboo flower pots for these little pansies.  Steve's coworker found the plant stand laying in the park where they work, so he brought it home for me!  I have that stand by the back door to give me smiles each time we come in the house.  My mom says pansies are happy little faces...awwwwww   The clematis vine in the big pot with the coleus from Connie around the bottom is standing between the big garage door and the smaller passage door to the workshop area.  It's a nice big pot that I painted.  We can drag it inside the garage to winter over the clematis....

Along the south side of the house, there is a row of well-established variegated shrubs... I am not sure what kind they are.  Right now they are in full bloom with some pretty white and pink blossoms.  They fill in that whole section nicely and we just cut them level with a hedge trimmers so they don't get too tall.

See?  These shrubs are just in that back section along the south wall.   Oh, that one big window in the center section of the house is my Loom Room.  I can just make out the pretty Singer Treadle Sewing Machine there peeking out from under my lace curtains!

Along the south side of the house was all tulips and snow glories and daffodils during the spring.   They have all gone down now to the ground, so I could cover that area with some mulch and set some flower pots on top of them for the rest of the summer.  That way next spring they can poke their heads up again!   I marked the blank spaces where none of the bulb type flowers came up and was able to plant some of my coleus and some heuchera too.   I will dig those up in the fall to winter over inside again.... and that will let the tulilps and other bulb flowers peek up in the spring uninhibited.   We also buried a soaker hose along this side of the house which faces south.  The dirt seems to dry out fast with the sun on it... so a soaker hose will be a nice tool to keep it moist. 
 Oh, p.s. we are looking into putting three of those "roll out" type of downspouts,
 to eliminate the ones crossing the sidewalk that are a serious tripping hazard!  LOL 

This clematis vine was here when we bought the house, but the trellis was old and wooden and had seen better days.  Steveio bought me this lovely wire one for Xmas, because I had just randomly mentioned that I would love to replace that wooden one when we had been looking at the house in November!   And he remembered!!!!  What a great present!    I don't know what color the clematis is going to bloom out with, it will be a surprise.   Also here is the very tall pine tree in the front yard that shades the house nicely from the southeast.  I think it's a Black Pine and has very scraggly branches.   We had to cut a few of the lower ones off to get the motorhome in and out past it.

Our new weeping cherry tree in the front yard is growing and has new buds and even some tiny cherries starting to pop out!  It was my Mother's Day present.   I surrounded the base with white and red petunias, and some curved pieces of cement edging.

In the front flower bed, I have all red and white flowers... to go with our red geranium pots on the porch and also our American flag we try to fly daily.  The little red gerberra daisy is from Allegra and Mason.  The four green hostas are from Paula and Mel, and the center variegated hosta is from Juanita and Norm.  The new hydrangea shrubs growing to the far right are from Charlotte.  So many of my plants are from my friends!

We have laid down this new black colored mulch which I think is striking 
and shows off the flowers better than the tan or red stuff.   

Here is the new perennial bed we just laid in the backyard.  Previously there had been two large rotting box elder trees here.  After Steve cut them down, he rented a stump grinder to get the stumps down to ground level or lower.  We took the excess dirt from leveling the motorhome parking pad (25+ wheelbarrows of it!~)   and created a dog boned shape flower bed over the tops of the stump areas and connected in between.    On one side I put a rose bush and the other side two blue hydrangeas.  In between are varied hostas and behind are planted many bulbs of those big tall canna plants from Jim and Norma.   Around the base of the two blue hydrangeas are plugs of a sedum ground cover from Paula and Mel, and some snow on the mountain near the rose bush.
I am thinking of each time we go somewhere and see a nice round rock about 8-10 inches across, I will take it home, paint it white and set it around the edge as a border.  It will take a lot of rocks to surround the whole thing, but it will be fun to collect them from various places we camp, or picnic, or just see them in the fields or woods as we drive.

Yesterday Steve shoveled up the very last of the dirt from making the motorhome parking pad.  He filled in low spots here and there in the yard, and around another stump he had dug out along the northern edge of our yard.  What a hard working man!  The neighbors to the southwest have left their yard all natural and overgrown --- it's kinda like a little woods back there behind us. How nice is that?

Oh, I forgot to mention my tomato patch alongside the garage!   Little Jameson helped me turn over the dirt and dig it all up last weekend.  We added some boards as edging and I planted 18 tomato plants, all different kinds.   I lined up all the cages and added a thin board across the top to secure each cage with a plastic wire tie.  Now the plants can climb up and not pull over the cages here and there.   I mulched all the plants since I took this pic, on the advice of my friend Juanita.  Steve also sacrificed the second blue barrel that was a trash can in the garage.  I painted it up, and we added a spout to the bottom for another rain barrel.  Friend Sarah gave us the two big cement blocks to hold it up off the ground high enough for my watering can to set underneath.
I can just about taste those home grown 'maters .....

So there, I just about went around the whole house!   The north side just has some thick cedar shrubs and a bed of day lilies... so I didn't snap any pics of that.   Bit by bit we are making this house into our home.

It's funny that we are having so much fun doing up a house, when last year at this time we were joyful that our other house sold and we were out of debt and ready to hit the road!  

But as my friend Paula said... 
"Sometimes you have to wake up, roll over, and dream a different dream"

And we are doing our best to make our dreams come true! 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Tale of Three Blogs - Third one Cute Grandtots Visits

I pooped out last night at midnight without writing the third post I promised.  Well, now I am up at 7 a.m. and sipping coffee, so I thought I would finish up the third post.  Gotta have something for everyone who reads my blog.  I already covered Motorhomes and Fibers in the last two blog posts. This is one about family and grandtots visiting!

We were very excited to learn that the Memorial Day Parade in Chilton would be passing right by our house!  We have never lived on a "parade route" before  and I was always envious of those who owned homes on a parade route.  They could sit in their chairs in front of their own home, have their bathroom handy, invite over family and friends and have a picnic cookout afterwards!

Two of our three kids came with their families---  the Locks and the Pfundtners.  The Wades were at a Brewer's Game in Milwaukee.   We all lined up in anticipation of the parade.  It turned colder and damper as the morning went on, but what the heck, we were going to see a parade!

The kids were happy to see TWO marching bands, a wonderful display of veterans, a boy scout troup, and a baton twirling gaggle of girls rag tagging along.  One group handed out candy, so the grandtots got some tootsie rolls. 

 And that was it.... the parade was over in 15 minutes! 

But that was okay, it was getting damp and starting to drizzle outside.  Our son and son-in-law carried in my huge cabinet with the Singer Treadle Machine to my Loom Room (I wrote about it in yesterday's blog)   We hung out in my Loom Room for a while.  The girls had to work on my rug loom, and then I kept them busy sorting out the drawers from the treadle machine.  They took out all of the old buttons to create a "button jar".  Remember those?   My mom always had one, and so did Grandma Kafehl. 

The little guys were kept busy with toys and books and treats.  But they were aimlessly hoping the weather would get better so they could go outside to play and run around.  Just look at how wistful they are, hoping the rain would stop.    We did manage a short time in the park nearby, but it was sprinkling again so we had to come back to the house.  

We grilled out BBQ ribs, in the shelter of the garage to cover Steve as he manned the grill.  Oh well, we just had an Indoor Picnic for the day.   After the meal was cleared away, the two girls entered into the Great Candy Land Game Playoff....    Daddy Dan and Mommy Erin were the helpers and other two players in the game. 

 You can tell who WON---------------                          and who LOST!!!

All in all, it was a good day for reflecting on those who fought to keep our country free.  And a nice day to spend with family.   

Speaking of family, the following week was Steve's annual Father-Son fishing trip with his dad and brothers.  They try to go each year to someplace special for fishing and confabulating.  Extra special gathering this year as some of his family members are dealing with serious health issues and all are mourning the loss of their mother and wife, Mary Ann, who passed away in December.  Great bonding time as they headed north in Dad P's motorhome for five days of fishing.  

While they were gone, I was not going to be lonely, no sireee!   I managed to snag little Chelsea and Clayton from their day care on Friday and kept them overnight---  what fun to snuggle and cuddle them in the morning when they woke up.   We didn't get a long time to play though, because they had to be back home by 10 a.m. to get ready for a wedding on Saturday.  But that was okay, I still got to spend some time with them.   

On the way back from dropping them off in Oconto, I swung by and snagged Jameson on my way through Green Bay.  Now it was his turn to come for an overnight!   (and keep Granmuddah from being lonely)    We didn't get to see him on Memorial Day, so it was extra special to get him for a visit.

He hauled his little suitcase into the house and we got busy with some activities to keep him busy.  He helped me water all the flowers, hauling watering cans from the rainbarrels.  It was so cute to watch him figure out how the water level would go down as he opened the tap at the bottom to fill the cans up.   Work work work he did.... and he had a goal in mind.   See, he mentioned he would like to buy a Hot Wheels Lamborghini and a Hot Wheels Audi and needed to earn 2 dollars to buy them.  

Guess who earned two dollars? 

We walked down to the Farm and Home store in the next block.  He knows exactly where the Hot Wheels display of cars were, and we looked and looked for his choices.  Yes, he got the Lamborghini, but he had to settle for a Corvette instead of the Audi.  He confided in me that Corvettes are slower, his daddy said so.   LOL LOL 

Always looking for jobs to do that are interesting, I asked him to help finish sorting the five drawers on the sewing cabinet.  The girls had started the button sorting, so Jameson helped to finish up.  We spent a long time talking and looking at the attachments.  It's pretty cool now that he is four years old, almost five and holds complete conversations.   

Jameson is a musician at heart.  He brought along his toy guitar and loves to play along with the radio. He most enjoys music by Queen!   Plus he has rhythm in his blood and sets up his "drums" with whatever he can find.  Granmuddah has a couple sets of drum sticks to play with  (I use them for something on my weaving tools)   and he is creative in finding things to drum on.  

 4 flower pots from the Dollar Store.... instant drums!

No matter what project I think of to do, he is right by my side like an eager puppy to work with me.  We turned the soil over in a long narrow bed alongside the south wall of the garage.  I had the big shovel and he had a small garden trowel.  I smiled and secretly snapped this pic when I saw him trying to shove down the little shovel with his foot, like I was doing on the big shovel!   Monkey See.. Monkey Do.     

Later I took out a soccer ball and we played in the backyard for a while.  What grace! What form!  

Jameson stayed till Sunday and Granfaddah came home from his fishing trip in the afternoon.  So he got to spend some time with him too.   Finally we brought him back to Green Bay...   and it was time to relax and enjoy the return of my fisherman!   

Now this weekend it's Allegra and Mason's turn to come overnight.  Our son Dan and his wife Heather are celebrating their anniversary with a "We Still DO" party tonight.  We will attend and then take the wee ones home with us for an overnight, and the grownups can party late into the night. 

(that is IF I feel better.. .so far this morning I have a sore throat, plugged ears, and thick head feeling--- perhaps from being out in the rain all morning Thursday shoveling and raking gravel?)