Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hair cut day for Mom!

Well, finally, I blasted Mom out of her chair for a hair cut! And, it was sorely needed. But, she's looking much better now. We met with Andi and Howie afterwards for some light cocktails and appetizers at Timpano's Chop House in Rockville. Sitting and catching up with friends is always a good thing to do. We're back home now. I've got her set back up in the livingroom watching Cast Away with Tom Hanks - good movie if you haven't caught it.

We have a 'rental' dog for a few days - Kimmie's new rescue lab, Rascal, is visiting. One of the nicest dogs I've seen in a while (and, yes, that includes my own). This shot was done when they were patiently awaiting a bone treat. All is going quite well - Barley and Matee are in West Virginia at the moment so we've only got 4, including Rascal - piece of cake.

Dog training class is going quite well - these folks are well ahead of where I was when I first started training Mocha, way back in the day. Each dog is different which makes it quite interesting to observe how they progress.

Had a pretty funny exchange with Gert earlier today. I was calling after we finished class to check in. She can't always grasp how to answer the cordless phone - she'll hit the 'talk' button repeatedly so the phone just beeps on the other end. I was getting frustrated with her today when I called as the phone must have beeped at least 7 times before she said 'Hello?' So, I said, Mom, how are you answering the phone?! She replied 'Hello....' Cracked me up....I should have known better.
The picture to the left was snapped one day when she 'answered' the tv remote. Funny as hell. Then there was the day I came home to find the tv remote in the phone charger. Living with a senior citizen can really be a funny funny thing.

It's supposed to snow tomorrow and am hoping, for once, that we don't get dumped on. I dearly love snow but, since I'm heading out Tuesday, it could certainly complicate things. A bit of snow would be welcomed though - nothing better than sitting in the hot tub in the snow with a great cup of coffee.

Here's my latest eHows - I'm close to 100 articles (continues to thoroughly amuse me):

How to Find a Caregiver Support Group On The Internet

How to Stop a Dog From Biting

How to Celebrate National Chili Day With Free Chili At Hard Times Cafe - this one was only good for National Chili Day but it's, suprisingly, still earning....

How to Rent A Vacation Marina Slip Or Boat Dock

How to Give Up Facebook For Lent - I actually believe Facebook can be a quite dangerous place as some of the other social networking sites can be

How to Make the BEST Oatmeal Raisin Cookies EVER - these are the oatmeal cookies that Mom just devours. Everyone loves these things, for some reason. I don't quite understand it as they're certainly not my favorites.

How to Doodle To Increase Memory - this one is pure fluff but should actually earn pretty quickly as this was recently in the news.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Key West! Here we come!

John and I made the final, executive decision to go to Key West for our 3 days of sailing after we pick up the boat in Fort Lauderdale next Thursday - we'll be at the marina at the left, right next to Schooner Warf Bar (Bobbi and my's favorite local dive). The allure of the Gulf, snorkeling at the reef, and always a breeze just made the final decision quite easy. So, seems like the perfect way to break in Namaste II for her maiden voyage. Very exciting. I'm getting the hitch put on the Explorer today so we can pull N2 on its trailer - quite an ordeal, especially when I try to talk about the 'thingee' I need. Anyway, finally found a mechanic who talked 'girl-speak' and am getting that taken care of. We've stocked up on all sorts of items to tote with us - of course, a martini shaker and stirrers will be the first thing packed in the dogmobile. We also bought a seltzer maker which is just a joy to have around. The thing makes miraculous seltzer which John and I just drink all day long. So, the rest of this week will be loading the dogmobile (should it be a boatmobile?) and preparing to leave next Tuesday when I'll hit the road for the (long!) drive down to Ft. Lauderdale. I'll be there a day before John and got an oceanfront hotel room for the night so I'll have just a bit of beach time. John flies in the next morning at 9 and then we'll head over to the marina for our orientation on Namaste. Will hang out in Ft. Lauderdale for the night and anchor out at a secluded spot for the evening before heading back to shore on Friday and driving to the Keys.

Took Barley and Rita to the vet today for checkups. Anyone getting a dog? Be PREPARED for vet bills. With 5 of the suckers, it's quite expensive. Luckily, it's worth it.

Gert's doing fine. Freshly showered and fresh as a, well, old daisy. Kasha and varnishes for lunch today which she totally loved. Tried to get her out for dinner last night but no-go, pretty much as I expected. Eh, you can't blame a girl for trying.

Here's my recent eHows (I've had over 11,000 unique views of my articles - cracks me up):

How to Train a Dog To Wake Someone Up

How to Clean a White Sink

Monday, February 23, 2009

On dog training, or, well not...

We're back up to 5 dogs over here as Barley is back for a few days. I've been missing the little guy so asked John to bring him down for a visit. Gotta cut toenails and do brushings today which takes a few hours, all told. Someone (name shall remain anonymous) could also use a bath but it's going to be quite chilly today so will have to hold off.

Came downstairs the other day to find little Rita furiously hiding items in her chair. Wrote this eHow for her - well, she can't type (no opposable thumbs - VIC, that was for you...!).

How to Decorate a Chair (From a Hoarder Dog Perspective)

I'm getting ready for the trip to Florida - just 8 days until I drive down. After we pick up Namaste, John and I are seriously considering heading down to Key West. There's a marina there that we looked at in October where we can rent a slip for 2 or 3 days if we want or, alternatively, we can just anchor offshore. There's quite a few little islands that we think would be fun to explore and the reef is right there so snorkeling right off the boat sounds about right. Might even have to get a few fishing poles and try our luck at catching dinner! We'll be taking John's computer with us so we'll be able to update and keep our fans drooling with gorgeous pictures right from the water. Can't wait! And, sitting at the Bull and Whistle after a full day sailing will fit the bill! So, we'll see. More later!

Friday, February 20, 2009

If Moses won't go to the mountain....

...then we'll bring the mountain to Moses! Sophia was kind enough to hook us up with a man who came to our house and gave mom and me foot massages. John got a foot and back massage (not sure how that happened!). At any rate, it was well worth the money - he was here 2 full hours and we all felt like spaghetti when he was done. Am just hoping Mom doesn't expect the royal treatment very often!

And, to top it off, dear Sophia brought us a homemade chinese dinner - the spring rolls were da bomb and were gone in a flash! She used a different filling for them this time so they were different but delicious. Sophia and Rita don't have much of a love affair (Rita's fault) but we're working on it.

John decided it was time to go for his hair to go in prep for our trip down to Florida, but, before he shaved his head, we had to have some fun. So, at the left is my version of a mohawk - it's dyed blue but you can't see it...shame, it was a nice touch. Now, normally my victims are drunk for me to do something like this but we were all stone sober - imagine that!

On another front, Bobbi, Mom and I decided to mix up the order for a quick picture the other night so we made Mom stand up! You can't really tell because she's so wee (or we're so gigantic!).

eHow articles continue to come pouring out - I'm at 82 articles and climbing. Here's the latest:

How to Get A Boat Loan

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It might not look like much to you...

...but it's a sure sign of love to me. I was running around all over town yesterday and came home to find that Mom had unloaded the dishwasher for me. Now, I know this doesn't sound like 'all that' but, trust me, it is. When her hands hurt so much in the morning that she can't feel the handle of her coffee cup or grasp the spoon for sugar, laborously unloading the dishwasher is a huge sign of love as she knows it's the one thing I hate doing, above anything else in the house. For some reason, I have no problem loading the thing, I just hate hate hate unloading it. It's these little things that Mom continues to do for me that are just so wonderful. She got a fresh batch of oatmeal/raisin cookies (served with a glass of milk) for a snack yesterday.

A few weeks ago, we had snow. I was going out to the mailbox (about 60 feet from the house) to get her newspaper in the morning. As I opened the door, she yelled 'Wear your shoes!' Of course, I had NO intention of wearing my shoes as it was a balmy 37 degrees out and I was only going so far and, after all, I am 50! FIFTY!!! I just looked at her. Her reply was 'I'm still your Mother' - cracked me up.

I believe we've hit on what appears to be a good sleep-aid for her - I've been giving her a tylenol with codeine about 1.5 hours before she goes to bed and takes a sleeping pill. The tylenol gives her enough relief from her knee arthritis pain and, mixing with the sleeping pill, keeps her from waking up as much during the night. She's much brighter in the morning - and, yes, I checked this protocol with her nurse practitioner. Since her age is 92, Mom, me and the nurse practitioner are all on the same wavelength with 'do whatever works.' So, we just tottle along, doing whatever works.

I've been assisting in the dog obedience class on Saturdays and have been just having a blast doing it. Too bad there's no money to be made in dog training. It's really great to be surrounded by pups on a Saturday morning - of course, I get that here everyday!

I'm also starting back up with some pottery classes in the beginning of March. Watch out, Vic - there will be some more crap - er, fine pottery pieces - coming your way. Victoria just LOVES my rejects, and I will admit that I get a kick out of seeing them all in use when I visit her lovely home down by Solomon's Island. I'm sure she runs around putting them all out when she knows I'm on my way but, hey, I'm easy - I don't care.

I continue to play around with eHow articles - I'm up to 77 so far. Mom and I have a lot of fun coming up with these. Here's the latest and greatest (?):

How to Make Juicy Hamburgers On a Budget
Oh, Holly? I've made almost $2 on the Data Management article. Totally cracks me up!

Oh, regarding that shoe story earlier? I wore them...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Namaste II is almost here!

Life has been quiet around the Mansion East lately although we had just a bit of concern as Gert thought she was getting a cold 2 nights ago. I flooded her with these effervescent vitamin C tables that Sophia gets us (thanks SOPHIA!), set her up with a cool mist vaporizer, and gave her cordicidin throughout the night. So far, we've dodged that bullet. We did cancel a haircut for her though as neither of us wanted to take a chance of exposing her to the general public (for her sake or the sake of the general public!). She's feeling fine better now, but I'm still leary so everytime I hear her cough at night, I'm on point.

Namaste II, John's new boat, has been delivered to Miami Florida! The guy John bought it from outfits his boats down there in the winter - quite the nice gig. So, N2 is being outfitted with all sorts of goodies to make our summer totally da bomb! I'll be heading down there with the dogmobile in a few weeks so we can tow the new baby home. Before we head home though, we'll have 3 glorious days of sailing around the Gulf of Mexico - we'll anchor out at least one night and spend the other two in local marinas. We're still debating though - might end up in Key West since we're so close to my other home 'port' anyway. We'll see where the wind blows us!

Mom and I have been babysitting Bobbi's dogs for the past week while she's in, of all places, Istanbul! Who knew?! She's home tomorrow so we'll be back down to just 3 dogs - almost nothing! We have Kimmie's new lab, Rascal, coming in for a few days at the end of the month so that should be interesting. Rascal is another fantastic rescue dog - Kim and her family are very lucky to have this gorgeous lab in their fold.

My first experience at assisting in an dog obedience class last week went quite well. Killian came along as an example of a 'good dog,' and, much to my delight (and surprise....), he was just fantastic. For one exercise, I had him positioned in front of me with his attention focused on me while Nan tried to sway his attention - no go; that dog was so mine, it was amazing. He did everything I asked and a bit more. What a fantastic dog.

All of our dogs are doing quite well these days. Hops was on a muscle relaxant which seems to have really helped with a bit of soreness in the morning - to be expected with 3 legs and at 11 years of age. Barley continues to be a West Virginia lovin' dog and is with John's folks at his house in Berkeley Springs. I miss him most at night as he's my sleepin' dog - he always curls up under the blankets and keep me warm. Rita is, as always, just so grateful to have been found - she's Mom's lap dog when Matee is not here.

So, all in all, life is good!

I've continued my quest with eHow and writing articles. Still having a total BLAST writing these things. Here's my latest list (the first on is a riot...):

How to Find the REAL Lyrics to Any Song
How to Interview Vendors To Identify A Strong Data Management Solution for Clinical Trial Data
How to Facilitate Your Job Search By Working With a Temporary Job Agency
How to Remain Young At Heart
How to Conduct Yourself Professionally at a Temp Job
How to Find Creative Uses For Your Smartphone Cell Phone
How to Be Your Own Bartender and Make a Fantastic Whiskey Sour Cocktail
How to Get Reasonably Inexpensive Health Insurance When Unemployment Occurs
How to Use Good Nutrition and Make Small Goals For Weight Loss Success
How to Support Someone Who Is Unemployed
How to Sneak Calories Into An Elderly Person's Diet
How to Alleviate Homesickness at College
How to Practice Good Dog Park Etiquette

Friday, February 6, 2009

Is she a 'Hottie' or not?

So, it was gorgeous out one day last week - around 60 degrees. I bundled Mom up with an extra blanket around her so she could sit outside on the back deck (thereby doing an 'outing' - at least in her book...). She was enjoying basking in the warmth of the sun as we sat there and chatted about this and that. When, much to my amazement, she starts throwing off the blanket and unzipping her robe (thankfully John was not present as it wasn't a pretty sight). She puts a hand to her chest and says 'I'm HOT.' She ponders this though for just a moment, looks at me and says 'Lori! Am I a HOTTIE?' Oh, you can probably imagine my reaction.

So, after 3 gorgeous days in a row, nature did us dirty and threw us an ice/snow storm. We've had a fire every day for the past week as we're in a pretty good deep freeze in Boyds still. The new wood stove insert is not only gorgeous, but it keeps the livingroom quite toasty too. The little bit of snow we had was delightful, while it lasted. There is nothing in the world like sitting in the hot tub with a fresh cup of coffee, pre-dawn, while the snow falls. Amazing.

John ordered the boat name applique from an online source - 'Namaste II' is officially the name although I was voting for some raunchier boat names specifically playing off the fact that Namaste II is a sailboat (won't go into specifics, but if you want to know, email me and I'll enlighten you). We've also started to think about the things we'll be needing when we sail, such as a seltzer maker. We figured that getting a machine to make as much seltzer as we want/need is preferable to hauling cans or plastic bottles all over the Chesapeake with us. Tote bags will be in high demand also. The cabin of the boat is very spacious, well for a 26' boat. The manufacturer has really maximized the space but, by all accounts of other owners, one must be organized for the space to work (Vic! I'm going to need you...).

Here she is under sail. Actually, this boat looks MUCH more like me than John - a fact I remind him of frequently. Sure is purdy (as Dad would have said).

I'm starting as an assistant trainer in a beginning dog obedience class tomorrow and dear Killian is the 'dog model' to show appropriate behavior - God, I hope so! I'm a bit apprehensive about this move, but he is pretty well trained and does listen to me, most of the time. I've been working with him on 'get the remote' which is quite helpful in ferrying the remote control for the TV from Mom to me. He can't quite grasp the phone to help out there (or, more likely, he doesn't want to). We've also been studiously reinforcing his newest command of 'Get Lori.' This one is used by Mom when she needs me as Killian hears so much better than I do. Mom calls him and says 'Get Lori' and Killian is trained to come find me wherever I am and touch the top of my right hand as his signal. It was a bit difficult to get this through his doggie brain as the treats were in my left hand and he was quite clearly confused about why on earth he should touch my right hand but, about a box of Milkbones later and he's nailed the command. Thankfully, we haven't had to put the command into full play yet so we just practice it daily.

Just had my bathroom painted, finally, so my master bedroom room revisions are officially done. I chose a gorgeous, vibrant blue called Caribbean Seas which is about what it looks like. Now, it's onto the den which is about to be my office. Now, if I could only figure out what to do with an office...

Been continuing my writing on eHow which is really a blast. I don't plan on making millions here, but Mom and I really have fun thinking about articles. My 'payday' so far is around $15. We ran across an 89 year old woman on there who has a lot of really fun articles about life in the old days. I've been reading them to Mom at night. The woman is from Witchita Falls so Mom remembers even the theaters the woman writes about. Anyway, here's my newest list of eHows for your reading pleasure (or, well, not) - the first one is my all time favorite article:

How to Love A Dog
How to Tell If Your Dog Has An Illness Know As Dog Flu (Dog Influenza)
How to Come Up With Creative Gift Ideas for Mother's Day
How to Prepare The Best Mother's Day Gift (Breakfast in Bed!) Ever
How to Find Creative Uses For Your Digital Camera and Its Photos
How to Find Creative Uses For Your Digital Camera and Its Photos When Traveling
How to Make The Best Herb-Marinated Baby Back Ribs EVER (yes, I said EVER!)
How to Make Mouth-Watering Baby Back Ribs In Saran Wrap And Aluminum Foil
How to Reduce Unwanted Litters by Neutering or Spaying Your Dog
How to Find The Best Skin Care Products For Your Senior Citizens
How to Identify Items To Make Life Easier For Our Senior Citizens
How to Make The Best Breakfast Sandwich For Your Valentine
How to Prepare A Diet For A Sick Dog With Stomach Problems
How to Make Money For Rescue Dogs At A Casino
How to Cook For Someone Needing a Soft Diet (as After Oral Surgery)
How to Give Your Dog Medication
How to Know When It's Time To Euthanize Your Dog
How to Help Your Dog Become More Confident
How to Create a Get Well Gift For a Child
How to Identify and Enroll in a Pharmaceutical Clinical Trial
How to Make Sense of Your Dog's Natural Behavior
How to Take The Best Photo Of Your Dog