Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mocking Bird at Dusk

Took this dusk shot with my iPhone this evening - not bad. I'm still figuring out how it all works!

Now I'm just sitting with Chris and Mavis enjoying the lightning bugs, some deserved R&R for all 3 of us.

Mr. Spock

I think it's unanimous that our little Eastern Screech Owl will be named Mr. Spock (thank you Joanne!) Here is some audio (and mostly dark video) I got around dusk Sunday night. You can hear him "whinny", which I understand is usually used in territorial defense. I also think I might have heard another one over in the next yard. Hopefully he will get used to me hanging around and I'll get to hear the "trilling" that is not so defensive(owl lingo you know).

Chris called me at the office yesterday to tell me that he was there in the same place in the afternoon. I didn't get home until well after dark, so I wasn't able to visit with him (Mr. Spock that is). Come to think of it I was so late that Mavis was the only one I could visit with. Chris is an early bird, while I'm more of a night owl...GaaaaHaaaaHaaaa! Couldn't resist the lame joke.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I needed nail polish remover today so I looked under the sink where it normally is. We've been trying to tackle the clutter so there have been a few things tossed out from beneath the sink revealing what is in the way back. Here is what I found for nail polish remover down there. Do you think it will cause a chemical explosion if I pour them all into the same bottle? I'm going to do it outside just in case.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I'm sitting in the backyard, enjoying a cafe au lait made in the french press with some authentic Cafe Du Monde coffee. Oh so sweet. My intention was to come out and write about whats been going on with Mavis. I'll get to that in a minute. Here are some recent Mavis pics. I know you have missed her so.

I haven't been very motivated to write lately since nothing extraordinarily good has happened. This is the "In my backyard good things happen" blog after all. There have been extraordinarily BAD things going on, but I just don't feel like writing about those things, don't ask. So I haven't. But today, as I got settled to sit and write about Mavis and her health, since so many of you have asked, a good thing happened in my backyard. So it preempts my not so good news story about Mavis. Just by a paragraph though, so again, I'll get to her in a minute.

The Good
Like I said, I'm getting settled on the porch, coffee in hand. The squirrels are running rampant and Mavis is having a ball chasing them. It's funny because she isn't much bigger than they are. I think I see one crouching in the pine tree (I'm not wearing my glasses) so I go closer to check it out. I don't want her to get into a boxing match with a squirrel. Then I get goosebumps. There sits my Eastern Screech Owl. In the pine tree, on the lowest branch, in the middle of the day. We stare at each other and he appears to snooze off and on. Chris comes out to look and the owl just blinks. That was an hour ago and he still sits in the same spot cleaning himself, snoozing, and I'm guessing hunting too. I'm irritated at this moment that I haven't bought that upgraded camera that I've been dreaming of. I have a pretty nice one, a Sony Cybershot, but what I really want is one that can super zoom and take rapid shots. Here's the best shot I could get.

I think we should name him, since he's decided to keep us company. Let me know what you think, I'd like for you to help me pick a name.

The Bad
Ok, now on to the rest of my story. Now don't get me wrong, it hasn't been all bad lately, I've just felt all doom and gloom and stuff. Mavis has had trouble breathing for a year now. She snores LOUD all the time. When she gets really excited she snorts and kind of gasps. I've asked our regular vet before if it's all ok. Dogs like her are prone to "collapsing trachea", and I've always worried that was the case. Our vet has always said that it's probably just allergies. I've known and trusted this vet for a long time. She used to take care of Beaux Kittie and Pee Wee before they went to kitty heaven. Fast forward to Friday. Mavis was going in to have her teeth cleaned, and 2 baby teeth that never came out pulled. The regular vet is out on leave, so we had a sub, Dr. Long. By the way, I REALLY like Dr. Long, and he has little ones like Mavis too. I was going to have routine blood work done since she'd already be under. You know kidney, liver, blood sugar. Just to be sure everything was working right. I mentioned to him that she had trouble breathing a lot, and he said he would take a good look while she was under for the cleaning. A couple of hours later he called and asked if he could do some X Rays. Said he didn't see anything in her mouth or throat that would cause labored breathing and just wanted to check her trachea. Of course, it turns out she has a collapsing trachea in the worst spot, down in her chest right next to the chest wall. This means that she wouldn't be a candidate for the surgery they do now to correct this - a metal or plastic stint much like a tube that is permanently implanted. I'm not sure I would want that for her anyway. How could that be comfortable? I cried a little, sucked it up and went to pick her up. Did I say how much I like Dr. Long. He's older, rough and worn hands, and reminds me of a favorite grandfather. He also reminded me of a vet we had when I was in high school that would come out to our place and treat the horses. Dr. Long assured me that she would be able to deal with this on her own. She knows her limits and will calm herself most of the time. Eventually she may sometimes faint when she over exerts, or gets too excited. I now have the doggie CPR instructions posted where I can find them. *deep sigh* Worst case the collapse gets so bad it will be fatal. Not all dogs but some die from this, and usually when they are older. I was counting on getting a good 18 years with Mavis like Joan Rivers did with Spike. I'm trying not to be a pessimist, but I tend to err on the dramatic side. I'm currently resisting the urge to buy an oxygen tank and tiny mask just in case she keels over.

And the Ugly
Ok, now a complaint about the ugly. Dear Mr. Neighbor, could you please remove the ugly satellite dish from my nice view. Every time I sit in my favorite chair out here now this is what I see.

I've already emailed the city. There has to be an ordinance regarding the placement of these hideous things.

It's been at least 2 hours now since I spotted the owl. He's still there, hasn't moved. The Blue Jays have been totally harassing him. They have a nest nearby. I wonder if this little owl has been hanging out in my backyard every afternoon? I need to spend more time out here. I miss it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out in the backyard enjoying the tree frogs, and I'm trying out the iPhone for blogging. No novel gonna be written here but it's do-able. Also, Mavis hasn't figured out it's a computer yet. So no tantrum.

It tries to guess the words I'll type. Sometimes it's right, and then there's the time it wanted to turn boss into Bono. Funny.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Upgrade Me

I have made some changes in the last month that you could call upgrades. I'm thinking my brain is going to explode from trying to remember all the things that come with these upgrades. I got a new car, really just an upgrade of the same car I had, but with all the extras I didn't have before. All those different places for switches, gadgets and new features I've never had. Satellite radio..I have like 20 favorite channels. I don't have 20 buttons. I've got a cheat sheet but then that's not too safe when you're cruising down the freeway. Then I decided that I would get an iPhone. I LOVE my iPhone, but oh man are there are so many things to see and do. I lay in bed at night just looking at all the different things there are to do when I should be sleeping. I downloaded an app for virtual fortune cookies that deliver the "fortune" to you..to be shared here later. In the office I put the iPhone on the credenza behind my desk and I can feel it staring at me, asking me to stop what I'm doing and use it to do something incredibly worthwhile. There will probably be a need for a lockbox to put it in just so I can stay focused on my job. I'm sure this is just the honeymoon, I'll get over it...or I'll say "how did I ever live without my iPhone".
I've never been the one to have the cool new gadget. I decided that it was time for me to treat myself. It feels really good.

In totally unrelated news, I have inadvertently turned my husband into a Fox News junkie:) I leave it on for Mavis every day when I go to work. I think she likes the regular reporters and anchors, you know familiar voices and faces to keep her company. Chris comes home every day and it's on and he can't stop watching. I think it's kind of funny. From Star Trek and the History Channel to Fox News. I'd say he's well rounded.

Oh, and Mavis is speaking to me again. All I had to do was cook for her and give her treats for breakfast (the equivalent of giving your kids Chocolate Cake for breakfast). We're old pals again. She still hates it when I read or use my computer. She was throwing a huge fit, but is now curled up beside me. Proof that Chocolate Cake for breakfast is a very good idea.

One more thing - I talked to April for the longest time today. She is doing so very well and is really stretching herself. I am proud of her. She has also changed her major to Social Entrepreneurship. I really think it fits her.

I think that about covers it. Me and the doglet are going to bed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Excuse #52

I have been a terrible blogger the last few weeks. Neglectful etc etc. You could probably say I've also been lacking in the wife, mother, sister, daughter (well maybe not so much that one), employee, and friend department. Mavis even seems to be telling me in her way that even she prefers to be around her daddy more than me. THAT's an all time low. I'm so out of whack even my dog won't give me the time of day. I'm gonna have to find my bootstraps, then start pulling. I'm in a terrible slump! Just look at my office!

I had to get up, stand at the door and just look at it earlier today. It's time to burn some of this stuff in the trashcan and make everyone believe I never saw it when they ask "where's that copy of the soandso agreement"..and so on (naw, I'd never do that, really I wouldn't.) That copy of Treasury and Risk magazine is months old. I should at least get rid of that. I do think I have a good excuse for the old mags and piles of paper though. I do. The management here at the office has decided that recycling costs too much. I'm not kidding. I haul stuff home to recycle. So there, it's the companies fault that my office is such a mess.

I have one 5lb dog that eats a quarter cup of food a day, how hard can it be to keep up with that? The kids are in college, out of the house. I do however have to keep up with that sweet man I'm married to. That is A WHOLE LOT like having a little kid at home sometimes. But I'm not raising 5 kids while in command of the State of Alaska, and at the same time running for Vice President of the USA. I'm pretty sure I don't have a good excuse for such a messy existence.

Seriously (finger now pointed at my face) you've got to grab ahold of yourself woman! People need you. You need you. You have a life list to accomplish. You have a life list that you haven't even blogged about yet.

Major slacker I am, and I had such high hopes for myself.

I shall start taking my vitamins again, pay attention to all the sticky notes I've left myself, and I will find those bootstraps.