Sick again

Here is part of my first batch of crocuses.

I noticed some black and white ducks on our pond earlier this week, but they don’t seem to have stayed. I also started looking for signs of spring in my orchard, because I noticed that lots and lots of bulbs were coming up at Mark and Nancy’s. I see that I have daffodil stalks up around most of the bases of my trees, but I didn’t see any flowers until Monday, when I noticed a few snowdrops. (I keep forgetting I planted snowdrops my first year here, and they are so small I can hardly notice them.) Then, on Tuesday, suddenly some of my crocuses were up. They came up so quickly and there were so many more stalks without flowers yet that this morning, I thought there would be twice as many, but I went out early and maybe they need some more sunshine, because they looked about the same.

I am afraid some things may be coming up a bit too early, because there still could be some freezing weather this month, although so far it doesn’t look like it. It rained all this week except Sunday and Monday, which were gorgeous. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy the sunshine much because I had another cold. Since I moved to Washington, I’ve only been sick with the flu one time, my first year here, as opposed to more than once a winter all my years in Austin. And I haven’t had any colds or anything else wrong until this winter, when I had two colds. I was beginning to think that I had improved my health so much that that’s why I wasn’t getting sick, but maybe I’ve just been lucky. Or, it could be that the amount of time we spend in the library lately is exposing me to a lot more germs, since on Tuesdays (unless there’s a hike) and Thursdays, we do our errands and then go to the library until it’s time to pick up Luke at Play and Train. Also, it’s true that we’ve missed most of our hiking weeks since December and no one has been able to pack walk with me and Luke, so the lack of accustomed exercise might have something to do with it. I need to get my act back in gear. But, in fact, the timing of getting sick coincides with Mark’s birthday party, so I guess perhaps someone there gave me the cold.

Not much else to say this week since I spent half of it in bed, or as close to it as you can when you have to take your dog out every couple of hours. It’s true that he has been a bit relentless with me, scratching on the bedroom door when I’m trying to sleep in, and so on.

Let there be light

First, a miracle occurred! About a year and a half ago, the second fluorescent light in my closet started to go out. (The other one was out already.) When I mentioned that I needed new bulbs, Wayne suggested that we change out the fixture for LEDs, as they are more energy efficient and he has done that throughout the house. We soon bought a fixture for the closet, which we put under the dresser in the guest room. Time passed. My other bulb went from flickering a lot to being completely out, and since then I have been going into my closet with a  flashlight or just feeling around for things. I complained about it several months ago, and Wayne installed a camping lantern in my closet that was almost as bad as no light at all. My friend Christine suggested I go out and buy fluorescent bulbs and install them myself, but I kept forgetting to measure the fixture.

And lo and behold, yesterday Wayne brought a ladder in from the garage. I could hardly bear to hope, but yes, I now have a new light fixture in my closet! I only had to go a year without any light! For some reason he didn’t install it straight in the closet. It is at an angle to the wall. But beggars can’t be choosers. I’ll take it! It is very bright!

Lukey enjoying the new snow. He just loves playing in the snow. I shot a video of him playing but was unable to transfer it from my phone to my computer. I’m not sure my template supports video anyway, as it didn’t last time I tried to upload a video.

I have to admit to not having done very much the last week. We had a week where it snowed just about every day, and it was so nice to sit in front of the fire with a book that that’s about what I did. Of course, I continued to take Luke to class, and in my art class, I began painting my pigs. I went to tai chi again, this time with Maja, but we did not go for a hike.

And speaking of Luke, he is going through a stretch of naughtiness after being relatively well behaved for some time. The first thing he did was steal my bookmark off the coffee table and rip it to shreds. He hasn’t been taking things off the table, so I let my guard down. Next, he stole one of my socks out of the dirty laundry, but this time, at least, he didn’t tear it up. He just took it into his crate, and it missed its turn in the laundry, since I didn’t discover that he’d taken it until I finished the washing.

On Sunday morning, my only day to sleep in during the week, I tried to sleep a little later than Wayne and Luke. However, he stayed outside my bedroom door growling and scratching on the door, so I finally gave up and got up. I know I’m forgetting at least one more minor misbehavior, but now I’m at the big ones. On Saturday night, he vomited copiously into his bed. After I cleaned it up, I discovered why. He had gotten up on his hind legs and stolen the butter off the kitchen counter. Then he ate it, all the butter we had in the house, about a stick and a half. At least, I found the half stick on the floor, but it was covered in teeth marks, so I threw it out.

Finally, I took him out to the orchard Monday morning without his e-collar, and he ran straight into the road and across the street and did not come back when called. That’s a serious misbehavior, as he gets to go out without a leash around our property because he can be relied upon to come when called. Then he started down the road as if to call on his friend Rosie, but he came back and got dragged ignominiously home. He doesn’t really have it in him to actually run off as he prefers being around me. Nevertheless, I put his e-collar on him first thing in the morning ever since then.

This is just one bunch of the many mushrooms we saw along the path. I don’t think they are edible, more’s the pity, but they are certainly pretty.

Yesterday we went for the first regular hike since the holidays began, perhaps the first one since November, although I went out a couple of times with John and once with Lucie. It was me, Maja, and Nancy. We just went to Moulton Falls Park because it was supposed to rain, and it was raining by the time we turned back. We saw an area where they’d been cutting trees that was just loaded with mushrooms. As always, it was a beautiful walk.

 

 

A white non-Thanksgiving

I noticed earlier in the week that we had a couple of ducks in our pond. I’m surprised. It seems rather late. We haven’t had nearly as many geese migrating overhead. Now they are gone, so perhaps we were just a short stop on their journey. Wayne saw two does in our orchard the other evening, so that’s two wildlife sightings in one week.

This last week has been strange because Enzo’s was closed, so there were no puppy activities. In addition, my pack walking ladies were all busy and so were my hiking friends. It was super cold earlier in the week, so I wasn’t good about getting out to get exercise. Now, it has warmed up a little.

Mischa looking very much the young lady before our tree

We treated Thanksgiving Day as a regular day except that my great niece, Mischa, came over to help me decorate the Christmas tree. We got it up and I put the lights on the day before. That went much more quickly ever since I switched over to the small LED lights. Before, I had LED lights that clipped onto the branches, and it usually took me several hours to get them all on. (I like lots of lights.) Now, I just drape them over the branches, and it takes me about 20 minutes.

Similarly, working with Mischa makes the decorating a snap. When I lived in Austin, it used to take me an entire weekend to decorate my tree, with lots of rest stops. Now with her helping and me in better shape, we finished the tree in an amazing two hours. Then we had lunch and played dominoes for a while before Mischa went back home.

On Saturday afternoon, I went with Shawn and a friend to Randy’s Christmas concert with the Portland Choir and Orchestra. This year, they played with the Big Horn Brass, and they had an impressive sound. However, I missed the bell ringers they’ve played with the past two years. Afterwards, the four of us went out to eat, and then Randy had to return for the second performance. Unfortunately for all of us here, Shawn and Randy are moving to Utah early next year.

I look this picture around 7 AM on Sunday. It’s just the front lawn and the driveway with a bit of snow.

Sunday morning, we awakened to our first snow fall, just a dusting of snow. Sunday was our non-Thanksgiving dinner, so I got up early to work on the turkey. It snowed just a bit again around 11:30 that morning and then proceeded to melt.

In mid-afternoon, we had 13 people to dinner. We had a very nice time, eating turkey, dressing, and all the fixings. Considering I had prepared only a small portion of the food, I was amazed by how tired I was when everyone left. I was just trying to get a load of dishes that my sister had rinsed off into the dishwasher, but I really wanted to just collapse into a chair.

This week, all the puppy events are back in force, so Luke and I went to class on Monday night. Unfortunately, he had a case of diarrhea when we arrived at puppy play on Tuesday and was sent home.  I should have tried to make up for this by taking him for a walk, but I got too involved in writing Christmas cards. However, Maja and I are taking him on our hike today.

Wayne’s project to expand the hanging capacity of the guest closet hasn’t progressed very far. It has resulted in two trips to buy more parts, and one day he spent a lot of time down in the basement planning it out. However, he turned on a heater down there yesterday because he said it was too cold to work, which I took as a good sign except he never went back down to work. I hope he’ll do some today while I am out. My brother and sister-in-law have made it to Taos so far on their slow journey out here, and I have been waiting to clean their room until I see how much mess Wayne has made in working on his project. At this rate, he’ll be halfway done when they arrive.

More wildlife spottings

I don’t know how they know this, but our former tenants told us that a bear had been spotted near the corner of our road and the main road, which is only about half a block from our house. My sister has maintained  we have a bear in the area, but I have never seen any sign of one. However, that makes me think a bit about the times that Luke seems to be barking at nothing in the woods above our house.

Similarly, my sister reported last week that she saw something that looked like a well-fed wolf in our neighborhood. I asked her if it could be a coyote, and she said, no, it was too big. Then my husband said he saw what looked like a wolf running down our road one morning. That same day, I took Luke out to the orchard and there was the “wolf,” running out of our orchard. It was a malamute. Luckily, Luke was behind me so he didn’t even notice the strange dog leaving our orchard.

I am surprised that neither Wayne nor Sue noticed it was wearing an orange collar. I don’t know who he belongs to. As far as I know, no one on our street has him unless he is a new dog. He ran across the road to our neighbors’ property and skirted it toward the farm on the main road that is next to our neighborhood but not in it, so maybe he lives there. I have heard a dog barking over there but never saw a strange dog in our neighborhood until now. It turns out my husband never heard of a malamute before. When I told him what it was, he said, “What?” I showed him a picture and he agreed that was it.

It’s hard to see, but Cougar Creek runs down the middle of this picture at the bottom of a narrow cleft.

Last week, Maja and I hiked again at Salmon Creek Park. This time, we got farther in and walked along a wilder area of the park along Cougar Creek. I have to admit to liking the park more after going farther from the urban part of it, the baseball fields, etc. We did about a four-mile hike.

Not much else of interest has been happening lately. I have been thinking about buying my fall bulbs, as every year I plant more daffodils and crocuses in my orchard. This is earlier than usual, but fall is coming on strong. Today, the high is only supposed to be in the 50’s with the lows getting into the 30’s, and there is frost on the ground for the first time this fall. It has been alternating cold, rainy with cool, sunny days. On the rainy ones, we tend to light a fire on our stove and stay in with a book. Today it is cold and sunny for a change.

I don’t know what exactly it is, but ever since we got the chimney cleaned this time, our stove has been heating up the house really fast. I noticed during the evenings this week that by the time we went to bed, the living room was too hot for me, and this was after only having the wood stove lit in the evening. When the fire department came out last year, they broke some parts of our stove running water down the chimney. They said we could still safely operate the stove, but this fall the chimney sweep installed the new parts. I don’t know if it’s the parts, the cleanness of the stove, or the good wood we bought this year, but the stove is really heating things up. Before, it used to take all day of feeding wood into the fire before the living room got too hot.

This weekend on one of the sunny days, I put on my bramble-proof gloves and tried to cut back some of the blackberry on the slope behind our house. After a time of working, I didn’t feel as if I had made any progress, even though I had a big pile of blackberry bramble on the grass behind me. I decided it would make more sense to wait until winter, after the leaves died off and I could see what I was doing. The next day it was still nice, so I went back out and clipped up the brambles into short lengths and put them in a yard bag. Last spring, when I cut back bramble down by the pond, I just threw the pieces back on top of the bramble. I didn’t realize they would reroot. They are all still green now, despite having been cut months ago.

Luke continues to steal my shoes, so I have to shut them in the closet or put them up high. The other night, he actually opened the closet door and came running out into the living room with one of my shoes in his mouth. That’s not so bad, because he hasn’t chewed any, but one night last week he was looking for trouble, went into the bedroom and got one of my bras off a chair. I had to throw it away after I got it back from him, because he tore it to pieces.

 

Fire at the neighbors’

Last week, we heard just a blip from a fire engine siren. It didn’t even sound like it went by on the road (or for that matter came down the main road). Later, Wayne went out and said that the fire department was down by the house on the corner.

Since we moved here, there has been a family on the corner of the main road and our road who lived in a double-wide. They are an Apostolic family, a young one, that already has three or four little kids. Since this spring, he has been building a large house on the lot with the help of friends and relatives on weekends and evenings and days he isn’t working. Almost all the Old Apostolic Lutherans in the area are in the building trades, and they really know what they’re doing. A week or so ago, the family finally moved into their new house, which is very large. We were all happy that now they would have enough room.

Luke in the orchard with our big maple tree starting to turn yellowish orange

That left the double-wide on their lot in front of the new house. My understanding was that the father-in-law, who owns a lot of the property around here, owned the mobile home and was going to move it onto his property, which is kitty corner to the side of our house. They had cleared some of the forest to make room for it, and we were wondering how close it would be to us.

Well, something happened when they were dismantling it to move it, and it started on fire. The fire department came out that day to put out the fire, and then they came back and did a controlled burn to take it the rest of the way down. Over the weekend, the guys removed all the rubble in a dumpster, and he has already landscaped the property so that you wouldn’t know the mobile home had even been there. It’s a loss for the father-in-law, but at least nothing happened to the young family’s brand new home.

Our driveway down to the road, looking fallish

And speaking of fires, we have had highs in the 50’s for most of this week so far. One of those days, Sunday, was rainy and dismal, but the last two days have been gorgeous. We already started burning fires in our wood stove in the morning, or at least by afternoon. Trees are starting to change, and there has already been snow as low as 3000 feet. Can our elevation be far behind? Mt. St. Helens, which was bare rock last time I looked at it, has a beautiful coat of thick snow this morning. It’s supposed to frost a whole month ahead of normal, which doesn’t bode well for my Brussels sprouts.

The lower driveway, looking more green but with more fallen leaves

The trees are just beginning to change here, but yesterday was a fine fall day. The wind was blowing leaves down, it was crisp and sunny. I took some pictures. The trees aren’t quite yellow yet, but we saw lots of red ones in Battle Ground this morning.

It’s been disappointing for me that it’s been so beautiful the last few days, because I’ve been sick. Wayne and I were doing errands and stopped somewhere for lunch on Saturday. As soon as I got home, I felt as if I’d eaten something that disagreed with me. Unfortunately, and also because I was beat from entertaining the night before (we had my brother and his wife and another couple over for dinner), I had told my brother we would come over for dinner. They had salmon, which was not appetizing to me, not that anything could be the way I was feeling. I had problems all night long and even more the next night after thinking I was feeling better and making the mistake of eating popcorn. Monday, I stayed home. I tried to stay in bed, but Wayne left Luke in the bedroom with me after breakfast and went down into the basement. After a while, Luke started growling and barking at me and pulling the covers off the bed. So, I had to get up and take him for a run in the orchard. But the rest of the day, which was very cold, I sat on the couch in the living room reading in front of the fire, with the door open so that Luke could run in and out. We need a dog door!

And speaking of Luke, he has just lately taken to stealing my shoes. One of the things he did that morning was pick up one of my shoes and carry it to the door. I’m beginning to think he’s doing it because he wants me to go out with him, and he has noticed that I put my shoes on before doing so. Yesterday, we found one of my shoes outside three times before I shut it into the closet. He hadn’t chewed it or anything, but the third time I found him with it, it took me five minutes to get it away from him.

I was very careful of what I ate on Monday (almost nothing) and Tuesday, and I think I am getting back to normal today. We also made the discovery that I had run out of my heartburn medicine quite some time ago and Wayne had forgotten to refill it, which probably added to the problem. At least it was the cause of the yucky tasting burping I’ve been doing lately. As a result of all this, I missed weighing in at Weight Watchers and the puppy pack walk on Monday.

No hike this last week, because the only person who has been going, Autumn, decided to go to Mt. Rainier to hike with her son. I could have gone along, but it is 3 1/2 hours one way and then I wasn’t sure I could handle the hike. Still, one day that would be a good thing to shoot for, being able to hike in some place like that. However, I don’t think I would plan to go there, hike, and come back in the same day.

Finally, on the wildlife front, I was walking in the orchard with Luke early on Friday morning and without paying attention first to what might be on the pond (I usually am), I started down the path to the pond, crunching leaves merrily underfoot. When I got halfway down, a large bird arose from the pond. I still had tree branches barring my view, so I couldn’t see the whole bird, but it had a large wingspan and gray wings. I’m guessing I surprised a Great Blue Heron.

Likewise, we haven’t had any deer spottings at our house since last spring. Last night, Wayne and I were sitting in the living room when Wayne said, “There’s a deer out there.” I got up to look, and there were actually three deer near the woods in the corner of our side yard behind the garden fence, two does and a fawn. They saw me, but they did not leave immediately. They slowly ambled up the hill, the one doe and the fawn watching me the whole time.

 

Suddenly fall

It’s suddenly very much fall, with cold, rainy days. Just last week, we had one or two summery days, and then it became cooler. Now, I am having to think about putting on my second shirt, which I wear throughout the colder weather. Yesterday, it rained all day long and also on Sunday. As a result, Wayne and I have been binge watching episodes of Longmire and The Fall that we never saw when they originally came out. That’s because we finally joined this century and got a streaming subscription to Netflix. We kept our CD subscription, though, because most of the movies I want to see aren’t available in streaming. We’ve also had our first two fires of the season in our wood-burning stove.

Someone else’s picture of a banded kingfisher

I have seen some unusual birds by the pond lately, perhaps indicating migration. I glimpsed one several times over the course of three days, but I didn’t get a good look at it. I just had the impression of a stocky, large bird with a suggestion of a sea bird, a jay-like head and a harsh, clackety call. I finally got a better look at it, and it has a blue head with a white band around its neck. I think it’s a banded kingfisher, hanging out at our pond.

Someone else’s picture of a bittern

The other bird was swimming on the pond in pairs. I happened to see them when I was out with Luke. I thought they were brown ducks, but when they flew off, I saw they had a heron-like shape. I think they were bitterns.

After an eventful last week, nothing much has happened here this week, except that the dog trainer finally realized that Luke needs an electronic collar. I asked about one several times, but his demeanor in class is so mild that I don’t think they believed me that he gets rough with me. However, after Wayne’s injury last week, the owner approached me about getting one. I think they are going to train Luke with it at Puppy Play and Train instead of over an intensive week, which is what they usually do. That will save us a bunch of money but take longer.

No hike Wednesday because I had no partners, so I got together with Christine and we took Luke for a walk. Her dog, Duchess, has been injured the last few weeks, so we haven’t been able to take Luke over there for fear he would inadvertently hurt her. However, on Wednesday she was at the groomer’s. Christine said that when she got home, she sniffed everything in the house because she could smell Luke.

And that’s about it for this week.

You otter see this!

Twice last week when I was down by the pond, I saw a mammal that was not our beaver. The first time, I saw it swimming in the pond, flipping over, swimming under water, and then flipping again, obviously playing. This is not beaver behavior. The beaver is always beavering away carrying twigs to his dam. I looked up what it could be, and it was too big for a muskrat, which only weigh about four pounds. It didn’t have a rat tail like a nutria. I was hoping it wasn’t either, as they can be destructive to ponds. When I described it to my brother, he asked, was it long and skinny? I said yes, and he said, “You have an otter.” I am so excited.

A few days later, I heard a shrieking sound from the pond that I had heard before. When I heard it before, I thought it was some kind of water bird, as when they show up at the pond, they often make loud noises, but I didn’t see anything. This time, as I walked so that I could see the pond, something fell into it. I could see it was the otter, which swam off, shrieking the whole time. I think someone was having a fight. My sister-in-law says the otter and beaver should cohabit nicely, so maybe there are more otters than just one. I hope the otter wasn’t being attacked by a cat or something.

For our hike we just went to Lewisville Park this week, but we took Luke. At first, as happens sometimes, I had trouble getting him to stay in the way back until the door shut. I finally gave up and left him home. Then I went to get Maja and told him why Luke hadn’t come. We decided that since Luke probably had no idea how recently I left (sometimes he acts like I’ve been gone for hours when it’s been a few minutes), we would pick him back up and if he stayed in the way back, he could come. That’s what happened.

And speaking of animals, I gave the information about the bird we rescued to my niece. I keep forgetting to ask her whether they called to find out what happened to it.

Thursday afternoon, I got a call from Craft Warehouse that my picture was ready to pick up, so my sister and I went early to art class so that we could stop by first and pick it up. She had also been asked to put a picture into the art show, and she picked one she had painted of her granddaughter on a horse. She had actually framed it herself using a staple gun and fabric tape, but she is not a detail person, and the detail she got wrong was which end the staples came out of. She ended up stapling her little finger and had to go to the ER! After all that work and a disabled finger that was making her miss work (although luckily on her left hand), the art teacher didn’t want to submit her painting because it wasn’t painted for the Medallion school but before she started there. So, Sue had to go home and frame her lighthouse painting that she finished a few weeks ago. Luckily, she had already bought a ready-made frame at Craft Warehouse. If you are putting an oil painting into a ready-made frame, which is a fairly easy thing for them to do, Craft Warehouse only charges about $20. (They used to do it for free when it was one of their frames, but no longer.) I think she spent a bit more than that going to the ER.

In any case, both of our paintings have made it into the show along with a drawing by one of our other classmates. I was sorry that our teacher, Sarah, wasn’t submitting anything, because I have seen photos of her paintings, and they are amazing. She said it was because none of her things are framed. I hope if they are going to repeat this show that she will frame something for the next one.

I am supposed to take both our paintings to the library downtown the Thursday before the show. I think Sue has managed to frame her other painting without stapling herself. (I shouldn’t laugh because I’m sure it hurt, although she said it didn’t hurt right away, and she couldn’t figure out why the staple gun didn’t work. Where was the staple? In any case, there is no permanent damage and she has a good story to tell.)

My second haul of blackberries. I think by myself I ended up with more berries than before, although together Deb and I picked more last time. I had eight cups, just exactly the amount needed for one batch of jam.

On Friday, less than a week after our first blackberry-picking expedition, I went back down to the same places and picked a huge basket of berries. There are still more to be had, as many of them were still green. I spent Friday afternoon making freezer jam. I have never made jam before, so this was kind of an adventure. I think it came out right. I took some to Christine, who had talked to me about making it before, and she said it was the right consistency, not quite as thick as cooked jam.

Homemade wild blackberry jam, the first jam I ever made. This picture is from before it had cooled. You have to leave it out an entire day and then you can put it either in the freezer or refrigerator.

We got an invitation to my brother’s house for dinner on Friday night. Shortly after they moved here, my sister-in-law went around to all the neighbors and introduced herself (something that I never even thought of doing when we moved here). Apparently, the people who lived in their house before were not good neighbors, and the neighbors were so relieved that someone nice moved in that they brought my brother a huge salmon fillet, fresh from being caught. He had already had my niece’s family over to dinner the night before to try to eat the fish, and even with Wayne, Sue, and me there, we still didn’t finish off the rest of the salmon. A good time was had by all. I gave everyone some jam.

No dog class this week, but I did take Mischa to taekwondo. She is now a red belt. She has one more belt level to go between red and black, but I think it is much more difficult to progress from here. Lukey also did not have a pack walk this week. Lately, it’s only been Christine and me and our dogs, and now Christine’s dog Duchess is injured. She strained her back somehow, and apparently it will be a long time before she can go for a walk or play with other dogs.

As a result, I’ve been making more of an effort to find something for Luke to do, and so Monday I tried to go on the Enzo’s pack walk, which they usually have every Monday night. During the summer, they have been doing them at locations all over the county and even in Portland. It has been difficult to participate in these, because the owner of Enzo’s never posts the information until just a few hours before. She posts it on Facebook, and sometimes when I look for it, I can’t find it. For example, two weeks ago I probably would have gone on one at Frenchman’s Bar Park, but I didn’t see the announcement until 5 PM and they were meeting at 6:30, more than an hour from my house. Well, what happened is that this week, I found a notice I hadn’t seen before, drove all the way out there, a 50-minute drive, and no one showed up. I looked it up on my phone to be sure I was in the right place, and I was. It wasn’t until I got back home that I saw in very little letters under the video that she posted it last week. If she had done a text post, it would have been easier to ascertain when it was posted. She never ever lists the date, as if she expects that you’ve been keeping track of her posts. It turns out they didn’t do a pack walk this week, and I don’t think there will be a pack walk next Monday, as that is a holiday.

In the meantime, she has passed around a sign-up sheet for a picnic on Saturday but has not announced where or when. This is typical.

Speaking of Luke, those of you who have been following this blog know by now that he’s a very silly dog in many ways. For the longest time, we couldn’t get him to go out by himself. Now, if we leave the door open, he sometimes will not be able to resist all the nice smells.

Ever since he was neutered, I have noticed that sometimes when he is very excited, he will pee a little. He hasn’t done this since he was a very small puppy, so I mean to discuss it with the vet. Wayne says it’s because he’s conserving his pee for marking, but I have never seen him do any marking and being neutered is supposed to lessen it even if he had been doing it.

This morning, I got up about an hour after Wayne and Luke, and he was very excited to see me, jumping up on me in my nightgown, which I hate. Ever since we got him, I’ve had to change into my clothes right away instead of lounging around in my pjs, like I do sometimes. This time, though, he was making a little whimpering noise, and it occurred to me that maybe he hadn’t peed yet, although he wasn’t making any little puddles. Well, I found out I know my dog.

He has had a bad tummy rash all summer from running around in the underbrush, probably from nettles. So, we have been trying to spray this stuff on his belly every day that makes him itch less. When we are good about doing this every day, his belly stays clear, but we haven’t been so good about it lately, so the poor dog itches all the time. (Wayne doesn’t want him to take the steroids the vet gave us.) He was scratching himself, so I almost immediately decided to spray him, which entails Wayne catching him and holding him up, while I wash his tummy off with a washcloth and then spray his belly. He likes the washing but not the spraying.

Wayne picked him up, and he began copiously peeing. It was plainly his whole night’s worth of pee when he’d been up already more than an hour. Wayne took him outside and stood by the door, and I spent the next 15 minutes mopping up the floor (still in my nightgown). When they came in, I asked him if he had gone out with Luke this morning. He had not, just opened the door. I told him Luke wouldn’t go unless he was taken out to his usual places. As usual when I imply that Wayne’s been lazy, he got angry and started yelling about how stupid that was. I said I knew it was stupid, but that was Luke. I got dressed and took him out, and sure enough he also pooped, which he should have already done.

Well, that’s about all of interest that has happened this week except we have had several deer sightings. Last Saturday on the way to taekwondo, Mischa and I saw a deer by the road and then just a bit farther down another deer and a fawn. Then last night Wayne and I went out to dinner at Fargher Lakehouse and a black-tailed deer was standing behind the parking lot. I always love to see the deer.