Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, December 29, 2018

I won't be welcoming the New Year after all. UPDATE ADDED!!!!!

All the planning and anticipation of going up to the mountains to welcome the new year just fell apart for me.

I have been having a real problem with itching lately, all over, but the only redness was in my waistband area.  Last night I was awake all night long with extreme itching all over, and by this morning I was covered with an ugly red rash.  Jeannie took me to an emergency medical care center today, and  they did some blood tests and wrote me 2 prescriptions.  I had planned to go with Jeannie to get the prescriptions filled, but after what the dog did to my house while I was gone I just stayed home and asked her to get them filled at Costco.  So right now I'm still very itchy, but I hope when I get the 1st dose of meds I will begin to get some relief!  The kids have rented two cabins each with several bedrooms and I know I will miss a good party.

Jeanne and I looked at a duplex she wants me to move into about May or when the current family leave for a move to Washington State.   It seems very nice, especially the kitchen which is on the small side but has much newer appliances than I have.  There is a dryer in the laundry room that will stay, and I'll have to buy myself a washing machine.  It will be so nice to not have to leave home to do my laundry.

The back yard is incredibly big although it goes downhill from the deck - Rocky and no doubt I will get some good exercise.   I can see some frisbee tossing back there.  The house, as I've said before, is 3 bedrooms ad 2 baths.  None of the bedrooms is extremely large but they are all a good size.  I'll probably use one as a spare bedroom and the other for my art table, desk, bookshelves, and misc. storage.  I don't know how I am going to pack up my belongings, and I hope to donate some items and clothing.

I will definitely be happy to leave the home I'm in, and I'll be in a much better location, although I will certainly miss my favorite stores and restaurants here.  I don't eat out often, but when I do it's usually Chipotle which is only a few blocks from me.

I wish everyone a happy new year. 

I'm packing and planning to go.  After taking the first dose of the meds last night I am noticeably improved, although still have a bit of a rash and itchiness.

Rocky is beside himself because I'm packing his food, toys, etc.  and he's ready to go.  My son Steve is bringing his dog Sammy, and along with Rocky will probably drive us all crazy with their unbounded energy.  Sammy is about 4 yrs old but still acts like a puppy.  I will try to get some photos of them if they can hold still long enough. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays to all.

Whatever holidays you celebrate at the end of the year, I wish you the best.

For myself, I plan to go to my daughter's house where our California families will gather for a wonderful Mexican meal prepared by Chef Donald, and then the pandemonium of the children opening gifts, to the adults and our secret santa gift exchange which is always full of laughs.  While I'm looking forward to it, I hate the thought of leaving Rocky at home alone.  I just couldn't do it two evenings in a row so I missed the Christmas Eve celebration last night (another wonderful meal prepared by Donald).

Have a great day however you celebrate it, and if you don't celebrate then have a wonderful day just as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Odds and Ends

I just bought the first Christmas gift of the shopping season - a gift card!  Now I need to get the rest of it done soon.  Try as I may, I can't conjure up much Christmas spirit this year.

I just returned from the 3rd walk today with Rocky.  He had been out with Andrew for the second day, and what an improvement!  He responds much better to "heel", and a few other simple commands.  Yesterday I could hear him barking and whimpering when Andrew took him out of sight of the house, but today he went willingly and quietly.  We've arranged for these walks for the rest of this week, and will just play it by ear next week due to the Christmas holiday.
Al asked me about the prong collar and I will try to describe it.  It isn't nearly as bad as it sounds, but maybe there are worse models out there.  It is a collar consisting of rather large chain links.  One end of each link opens out  (two prongs) so there are prongs along the inside of the collar.  They are not small in circumference, and they aren't pointy, and he doesn't seem to be bothered by them at all.  I think he realizes he has to walk in a civilized manner and not be jumping on everyone we meet, nor can he pull my arms out of the sockets.  I wouldn't be able to keep him with the way things were going, and I hope we don't need this collar for long.  Also, he chewed up two really durable nylon collars in two days last week, and that can't continue.  By the way, I checked numerous times on the walk, and when he is walking in a normal fashion, even stopping to smell something on the ground or whatever, the prongs never touch his neck.  I'm sure he couldn't lunge at  someone without feeling it, but they would definitely not pierce or even prick his skin.

As far as stress on his neck, I worry about that as well, but when I have him on his regular collar and leash and he pulls with all his strength to try to get to another person or animal, that certainly can't be good for his neck.   He knows instinctively not to pull with the chain collar and also I can feel a slight tug if he wants to stop to relieve himself, stop to smell the roses or whatever, etc.  We both are doing fine with this system, and I look forward to the time when he doesn't need it.  No doubt many of you thought I was a damn fool to get a dog, and I was, but I did!

While Andrew and Rocky were walking I tried to get as much cleaning done as I could, even moving furniture.  Now I'm plumb wore out and think I need a rest.

Have a good day!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Better Days?

After several days of feeling bad as well as unhappy with Rocky's behavior, things are looking up since I got the prong collar I'm using for his walks.  He doesn't give any indication that it hurts him or is uncomfortable, but just walks very nicely most of the time.  He will give a little tug now and then, especially if he wants to stop and sniff something wonderful along the way.  We are getting along a lot better the past couple of days.

Jeannie and I went to Target and Costco last night and left him for probably 2 hours or so.  I expected to find some disaster when I returned, but evidently he held off until he heard us coming in the driveway.  My jacket was on the floor as was one of the sofa pillows, both of which I had placed out of his normal reach on the high back of a chair.  He must have climbed up into the chair and gotten them, but since no damage was done I think he waited until he heard us returning.  Good boy, Rocky!

Jeannie stayed for a while and she played with Rocky, and went through some training routines with him.  He knew what she wanted, but some times he is just stubborn, acts like he's never heard English before, etc.  I have found that to be true quite often - he ends up doing what I ask him to do, but in his own time.  I usually turn my back on him and act like I have something else to do, and then he'll comply.  I have never had such a stubborn dog!

I cannot believe it is this close to Christmas and I haven't bought one single item.  I have had it with Christmas as well as other holidays that are mostly celebrated to make money for the stores and corporations that own them. 

We just got back from our second long walk today.  It had rained a lot yesterday and last night, but the sun is shining today and it seems warmer outside than it does in my house!

Jeannie told me that she has been in contact with the man who is renting the duplex that I might be interested in.  He and his wife are expecting their 1st child in a few months, and they want to move back to be closer to their families.  He said that it would be okay if we came to see the place the week after Christmas, so that's when I will no doubt make up my mind about it.  I will have a lot of work to do in the first few months of the year in cleaning up this place and making minor repairs.  I think I will miss the storage in this place.  There is much more than in most houses or the later model mobile homes.

I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the holidays if you celebrate them. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Is it Time.......

....to throw in the towel?   I don't know how much longer I can put up with Rocky.  The big problems now are excessive chewing as well as jumping on people.  The Gentle Leader that I bought for him worked so well, but he found it during the night and by morning had one end chewed off.  Yesterday a neighbor gave me a type of harness which I noticed this morning he had chewed one end off.  It was obviously new so I'm going to have to find another one and pay her the amount it costs.  If I try another collar or lead, it's going to be a metal one.

I've been feeling really ill since yesterday - every bone and muscle in my body aches from being pulled; I've developed a problem with itching - forget what they call it - but it's driving me bonkers!  I don't have a rash of any sort.

So I am going to try once more to find a suitable collar and lead that Rocky can't chew up.  If that doesn't work, then I'm going to find another home for him.  I really do love that dog, but he is so boistrous and strong that I know it's just a matter of time until I have a serious accident.

Several people have told me about a man in the park that is excellent in dog training, so I may try him as a last resort.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Government Red Tape

I am so angry with one of my supposed "representatives" to Congress, .  I have written both senators as well as the other congressional representative in my district, but when I attempted to send a message to one rep, I was prevented from doing so because I don't know the zip + 4.   So the message could not be sent and I was informed I could look the +4 at the website for the US Postal Service.  All I can say is WHAT A WASTE!  To be truthful I never received a satisfactory answer from this representative in all the years I've resided in California, but I have never been required to add the +4 to my zip code.

Now that that is off my chest, I feel much better.

With 13 days until Christmas I have only bought one gift so far.  I don't have many to buy - mainly the kids - but I haven't even done that yet.

Rocky continues to walk very nicely with the gentle lead collar, although he still doesn't like it and tries to shake it off.  It hasn't stopped him from trying to jump on anyone we meet.

(NOTE:   I have already received an acknowledgement of the email I sent to my other congressional representative.  (No +4 digits needed!)

My day was only going so-so before I decided to email my senators and reps.  I think the rest of the day can only get better!  I apologize for letting my views seep into this blog, but I had no other way to vent.  I won't do it again

 Have a good one!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Almost like a new dog!

Steve came over yesterday and finished replacing door knobs on all the hallway doors plus the side door to the house.  It's amazing to be able to open and shut them easily and firmly.  Joe also showed up, and the three of us took Rocky to Petsmart as I needed more of the special high-priced food that I am trying to wean him off of.  So far I give him one cup of the expensive prescription stuff to 1/2 cup of the original kibble I bought for him (expensive enough as it is).  This weekend I will up the ratio to half & half and hope he does well with it.

While there we tried a prong collar on him - oooh it was ugly!  Also tried the easy leader (or is it gentle leader?).  I can't remember the name and he found the box and instructions while I was in the shower - nothing is left of it except the plastic box and the DVD that accompanied it.

I bought the easy gentle leader and what a difference it makes!  He doesn't like it much and sometimes tries to shake it off, but he walks like a real gentleman.  I'm hoping that after a week or two of  discomfort he will settle down and walk nicely.  We have yet to pass close by a person or another dog while he is wearing it, and that could be the acid test.  Something has to happen because my control over him is about 50-50 now and that won't do.  Every bone in my body aches - I feel like my left knee is coming out of the socket sometimes, and that is no doubt  from bracing while trying to hold him back from something or someone he wants to get close to.  To say I've been depressed doesn't come close, but this gives me hope I can finally get some cooperation from him.  I don't want to break his beautiful puppy spirit, but I can't let him break me, physically or emotionally.

Several times a person has driven by us today while we were walking, opened the car window, and complimented me on how beautiful and well-behaved he is!  That's the collar working!

I'll be happy when December is past.  It was my favorite holiday until my dad died in 1978 when all the joy went out of Christmas (and every other celebration).  I often thought my dad actually still believed in Santa Claus, or maybe he was the real Santa Claus!

So, looking forward to better times, with a well-behaved labrador retriever walking gently at my side, and possibly living in a house with a big back yard for this lab to run and have fun, I'll get through December.

I hope you are all enjoying the lead up to the holidays, as well as ignoring much of the hype associated with trying to sell you stuff you don't need or want.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

If at first you don't succeed -

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!   I don't read instructions.  I have never in my life read instructions until all else failed.

Last week I watched a couple of Youtube videos about making zucchini fritters, and I thought it looked easy and delicious as well.  Not having a food processor I had to grate everything by hand, which I didn't mind.  They were delicious and got me to thinking, if they were this good for entailing all the work, I should buy myself a food processor, which I did.  Costco had a small Cuisinart processor for $25 and I tried it out this morning.  It took me at least a half hour to get it all assembled and connected, and I could have had all the ingredients grated by then, but at least I tried something new.

I may use it again but to tell the truth, I think my hand-grated fritters tasted better.  The ones I made today are a bit mushier and the flavors don't stand apart.

A funny moment occurred when I was cutting the zucchini in smaller sections to put into the processer.  While I was busy putting the pieces into the machine, Rocky came along and stole a chunk of zucchini and then ran like a rabbit so I wouldn't see him!

While I'm sitting here typing this, I've eaten the entire batch of zucchini fritters and it's only 9:49 am!


Monday, December 3, 2018

Good Boy, Rocky!

We went for a long walk yesterday morning, and starting out I told him to "heel".   I don't know how he knew what I meant because I've tried it before and it didn't work.  This time he heeled perfectly, and although I could sometimes feel tension on the leash, I would repeat "heel", plus telling him what a good boy he was, and he would ease up and walk perfectly.  The day went pretty well after that.

Donald, Jeannie and the girls came over in the late afternoon to take me to Costco, and I wondered what Rocky might do to repay me for leaving him.  He didn't do much, although he was back at the toilet paper.  The locking part of the bathroom door handle came out so the door can't click shut.  He took advantage of it, and messed up a 25 cent roll of toilet paper!  Until Steve can put a new handle on the door I need to take the paper off the roll and set it where he can't reach it if I need to go somewhere without him.

I know he desperately needs exercise, so I took him out often through the day hoping to work off some puppy energy.  Again, he was fine except when he saw a person or another dog.  A lady we passed was out working on her lemon tree and offered me some lemons.  She clearly didn't like the dog, who was jumping furiously to get to meet and greet her, so she picked 4 lemons and set them on the ground well away from the tree.  I find it so embarassing as well as infuriating, because I know how good he can be.  But I have what I have, and I don't give up.  So if anyone wonders if I will have to give up this ball of energy and wilfulness, the answer is that he's mine and I will deal with him as best as I can.

At Costco I was in the beer & wine dept. and wanted a case of beer but would have to lift it from a stack about head level to me.  Ordinarily I ask someone to help me get it down but there was no one around, so I bit the bullet and pulled that big ol' case of beer towards me and then lowered it down to the floor.  I was stunned that I could do it like I was 10 years younger!  I think my arm muscles are being strengthened by Rocky and the leash!  If only there was a way I could tie the leash around my belly and get rid of the fat there! 

So here I am on Dec. 3rd, with not much done towards getting ready for Christmas.  I don't have a present bought for anyone, although the kids should be easy enough to shop for.  The adults in the family do a "Secret Santa" where we pick a name and buy a nice gift for that person.  The fun is in act of giving, and the person opening the gift.  This is always accompanied by much laughter, especially when one of the "boys" is doing the giving or opening.  I have no idea what I will get for my person.  I'm almost broke for the month already after the trip to Costco!

Here's hoping we all have a good and productive week!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Rocky is Doing Fine!

He has all his old devilment back.  I was sort of hoping he would ease up a bit, especially when out walking on the leash.  I've read that it takes several weeks for the hormones to leave his system, so I guess he's not ready for "civilized" just yet.

It is so cold to me today - currently around 49 degrees, but I feel like I'm in an Arctic climate today.  The rain stopped for a while but will no doubt return.  I came back indoors a few minutes ago and changed to warmer and heavier sweat pants, plus warmer socks.  I need to dig out a hat although I've never liked to wear one.  I still have the hat I wore on the Appalachian Trail in 1997, and I think it belonged to one of my kids before that.

Day 4, and he hasn't slowed down yet!