Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Sink Had Breakfast in El Paso

I love tracking shipments on line.

Otherwise, how would I know my sink was born in Louisiana, visited briefly in Mississippi, trekked across the wastes of Texas and is now probably somewhere in New Mexico?? Arizona??

It will arrive into a powder room which is now re-texturized, has tile that is grouted, and possesses re-installed t.p. and the appropriate flushable appliance.

Puppy Update: Zelda is not only growing like a weed but also is as fluffy as a dandelion puff due to frequent shampoos. Eight weeks old and She Knows How To Sit!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Defense Rests

What kind of dog is that? We hear it a lot.
  • If you're just making polite conversation, then I'll shrug and say she's a mix.
  • If I'm in a flippant mood, then I'll tell you she's a blonde border collie and stand there daring you to disagree.
  • If I'm feeling patient, then I'll explain that she was advertised as an aussie x border collie, but we think she has some golden retriever as well as yellow lab.
  • If you are a true dog person, then I'll continue to explain about her webbed paws (lab), the little aussie puppy tush, and that only golden retriever could explain her easy temperment.

But when you walk away, I'll question myself about the golden retriever.

I want to believe that there is golden in her mix. Goldens are mellow and friendly and smart. Every other dog we've had possessed some golden in their pound puppy heritage, and they've all been outstanding dogs. But...but..but I've always felt like it might be wishful thinking.

Until tonight.

I downloaded my photos taken last Monday and was startled to see a photo that looked like a flashback of Kharma's brother.

He's a tank of a puppy (the only one who would sit quietly we later learned), but when I saw it on the Petfinder entry, I told my sweetie, "There's Golden Retriever in there somewhere." Off we went to find a puppy and six shelters we finally turned up in Gridley and the rest is sweet puppy-loving history.

So look at Gridley (sitting) and then at Zelda (lounging). Strong family resemblance, right?

One is pure golden and the other is Kharma's full brother. It's sort of like a math problem, simplified: If puppy A is golden and puppy B is golden, then puppy B's sister must also be golden.


No, it doesn't really matter. She is perfect and I wouldn't change one thing about her from her little arrowhead blaze to her pink paws or her white knee socks. (Well, maybe I would change her hair from Labrador-stick-to-every-pair-of-pants-I-own to Golden-feathery-clumps-easy-to-pick-up-on-the-rug. But you can't have everything.) Still, it feels good to have another piece of her heritage firmly established.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Artsy-Fartsy Pup

In the shade of the seedling maple on a hot summer day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just Looking Back

Where does the time go?! My little puppy is almost a two year old, but what an adorable baby she was. Look at those adorable teeny pink girly-girl paws. No wonder she owns my heart.
Love at first sight is sweeter than candy.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Walking Gifts

I've been walking to work. Every day. Through the snow.

It's not uphill both ways and I only live a half mile away, so I can't take too much credit. Driving takes five minutes and walking takes ten, so I'm not losing any valuable time. It does feel nice to leave the car in the driveway.

I'm in love with the squeak of snow under my hiking boots but less so with the crunch of treacherous ice. The challenge of stepping in the perfect spot so the ice doesn't dump me on my kiester keeps the daily commute from becoming dull. I basically have memorized an ice dance through repetition. The crisp clean air is intoxicating even if my eyeballs fight off frostbite by tearing up, leaving me without a shred of mascara by the time I get to school.

I spend a lot of time watching where I put my feet, so I also get to see mysterious bird tracks and paw prints and patterns made by other shoes and boots. The continual daily dusting of snow is just enough to erase the previous days tracks and offer a new selection to scan.

A blast of feathers and air above my head this morning turned out to be a kestrel disturbed during his/her meal of freshly caught quail. I love raptors, kestrels and red-tails alike, and we are blessed to have enough open space nearby to support them.

Who knew walking could be so much fun?

Monday, January 21, 2008


I remember...

  • when words had power
  • when idealist was a compliment
  • when non-violence was news
  • when leaders put their lives on the line.

I miss having a leader who can inspire and unite. I'm hoping for one to appear. That leader might be a woman or an African-American. Might be a white male or even a Republican.

Hmmm, sounds like something Dr. King hoped for--judged not by the color of their skin, but by their character. Amen.

Coyote Love

My day isn't complete without a visit to The Daily Coyote at Pictures of Charlie and Eli and the beauty of Shreve's Wyoming make me smile.

I'm not the only one. Shreve gets visitors from around the globe and we are all united in one thing--we love Charlie. Charlie as a nubule, Charlie with blue eyes, Charlie's ears, Charlie smaller than Eli, Charlie surveying the landscape around Shreve's one-room log cabin, Charlie blending in, Charlie wild and free.

Unusual in a blog, words seem redundant--the daily photo allied with Shreve's title sets our imaginations free to enter a very magical state of being.

Feeding our fascination, Shreve occasionally posts snippets about the essence of coyote-ness. Charlie's odor, his coat, his boyishness, and the worries of being a Coyote Mommy in a universe that generally regards coyotes as varmints. She's kind and thoughtful and patient and observant, and she never fails to pluck my heartstrings.

Heaven was discovering recently that Shreve has put up some clips on Charlie and Eli on Just type in "daily coyote" and three clips show up. It makes Charlie and Eli and Shreve so much more real.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better...Shreve's book about her year with Charlie is going to be published. Guess what people will be getting from me next Christmas?!
Publishers Weekly has announced: "Marysue Rucci preempted world rights to a memoir by 30-year-old photographer
Shreve Stockton titled The Daily Coyote: A Year with Charlie, derived from her
popular blog of the same name; Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich made the
sale. The book will chronicle Stockton's first year raising an orphaned coyote
cub as a beloved household pet (and brother to tomcat Eli) in her one-room cabin
in rural Wyoming; Rucci describes it as “Operating Instructions meets Marley
& Me.” The book will also include many of Stockton's photographs, and pub
date is scheduled for fall 2008."
Yippee-Ki-Oh-Ki-Yay! Congratulations, Shreve! Congratulations, Charlie! Congratulations, Eli! May all your endings be happy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Laundry: Getting Dirtier By The Minute

Still no grout...trivial.

(By the way, that's our grout color choice marked by the paper clip.)

Still no sink much less a vanity to put it in...thank heavens it's been so cold that nothing's thawed, so there's no mud that needs to be removed from Kharma's pink little paws.

Still no toilet...I'm looking on the bright side and thinking of all those Christmas chocolate calories I'm using up when I run upstairs every time Nature calls. (The water supply is weeping and got the cement backer board wet, hence the fan in the photo above. Hopefully a little setback that will soon be fixed.)

Still no dryer...nothing to dry anyway.

Still no washer...NO WASHER!!! Ack!

Pray for a washing machine. The hamper is getting almost full. Anxiety is happening.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kids and Campaigns

Overheard in Kindergarten yesterday...

The New Banana kids were all sitting at the tables working at sorting pictures into the Starts With G column or the Starts with P column.

Miss Alex (casually, as she cuts out the drawing of a gate): My mommy isn't married.

Me: (thinking to myself as I picture Alex's mom and dad, sister and little brother) That's interesting.

Cut to Miss Alex's mom (coincidentally our Mommy Helper for the day) whose mouth is hanging open as she sputters wordlessly.

Miss Alex's mom: I'm not married?!? Whoa! (Long pause) Hmmmm.

I have the feeling that Miss Alex's mom realized there may be a few benefits to being unmarried, and I can hardly wait to find out what Miss Alex's dad thought about the whole conversation.

p.s. The pumpkin bread that Miss Alex's mom brought for a teacher snack was yummy beyond belief and I'm grateful that she brought us small portions. She is a wonderful baker and Miss Alex's Dad, who apparently helped polish off the chocolate chip loaf before it could get to school and into my hot little mitts, is not dumb enough to pass on marrying a fabulous cook who also possesses an twinkling sense of fun!

* * *
Dear Hillary, John and Barak--

I'm enjoying our nightly calls. I know you'd like to be my Best Bud and I'm sincerely sorry that the fact that I have a job prevents me having lunch with you and chatting about concerns I have for the future of our country. I've gotta confess that if we did do lunch you'd probably hear about puppies and cute kindergartners and the weather and puppies and how many goldfinches crowded in for lunch at the feeder today and especially about Kharma's latest trick. I'm shallow that way.

Anyway, thanks for learning how to pronounce Nevada correctly although I'm sure Your People probably told you that pronouncing it incorrectly would automatically lose you the vote of any Nevadan who heard it. We Nevadans are picky that way. I'm beginning to think that you all may be the start of a new and inspiring day. That someday I will be able to watch a television show and not have to yell "Nev-a-da, not Nev-ah-da" when someone mentions my state. I sometimes wonder how Harry reacts when a fellow senator mispronounces it. By the way, Harry is a good dude and thanks for appreciating him in the Senate. I've never understood his low approval ratings when he's one of the few politicians I've ever seen come to a soccer game.

So, Hill, Eddie and Bar, hope to see you around after this Saturday morning. Good luck to all of you. Sorry, I won't tell you who I'm leaning towards in advance. I know you've done a lot to get the endorsements of various entities, but I'm gonna make up my own mind. Congratulations on achieving the impossible and running a positive campaign. I'd much rather know what you stand for than what you think the other candidate has done wrong. In kindergarten we are all friends and use kind words. Drop by any time you need a break from campaigning. There's nothing better than kindergarten to make a day sing.



Sweet Dreams

Zelda the Christmas Puppy is officially big enough to move into her new home. Erkie brought her by this weekend, and we cuddled her and crooned her name and tickled her tummy and let her gnaw on our knuckles. Puppies are so little and sweet.

Kharma had her own ideas on how to entertain the new arrival. She brought out Hissy Cat and taught Zelda to chew on its leg/arm/tail. She then pranced by with her tug toy trailing entrancing and irresistable loops in front of the pup. We laughed at the little pudgy ball of fur trying to catch up with Miss Turn-On-A-Dime. Kharma knew just how to keep a smidge ahead of Zelda and the game of chase raged throughout the family and living rooms.

Pretty soon Zelda discovered the new dog bed from Costco. The one that Kharma had appropriated the whole day before Zelda arrived.

Hmmm...this is so soft. It smells just like that dog that is fun to play with too. soft. Feels best right here. My chin fits perfectly on the edge. Wow, it was fun to play. I like Kharma. I think I'll just lie down for a while. Mmmmm.

Maybe I'll just close my eyes for a minute. Or two. Zzzzzzzzz.

Zelda snores...cute snores, but still!

Congratulations on your adorable new best friend. Oh, and have fun getting up every four hours with her, Erkie.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Golden Princess

Kharma here.

I didn't know what mom meant when she told me I was going to have a new niece. I thought she meant I was getting a new toy. I was almost right--this is a picture of my new niece. Mom said if I was gentle, that maybe the puppy would come over to play with me. I like to play!

We went to Costco and got the puppy a bed. I tried it out and it's almost as comfy as mine, but it doesn't smell as good. Mom found a crate that is so tiny I can barely get my whole head in, but I guess the puppy might like it.

Saturday, Mrs. Breeder will take the litter to the vet for their checkup and shots. I remember the vet. I get treats there. I hope the vet says the puppies are ready to go to their new homes. The puppy is lucky to go live with my human brother Erkie. Erkie plays with me whenever he comes over. I like to play!

Mom says I was the cutest puppy in the whole world with my pink paws and cute freckled tummy, but I think this new one is nice too. I'm pretty excited about the puppy but mom is getting some dinner ready for me so I think I'll go now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Twinkle Toes

Ta-Da! Introducing my Fairy Princess-Cinderella-Ballerina-Best Christmas Present slippers. It's not that I don't love my twinkly earrings or my new am-I-spoiled-or-what Calphalon frying pan or my cell phone with a battery that keeps its charge and has a speakerphone or my luxurious sheepskin steering wheel cover. I love them all. A lot.

But my slippers (delighted sigh)...they fit my mini-feet perfectly, they are the most luscious shade of ivory, and they have little crocheted flowers with sequin centers.

Mornings seem a little brighter, evenings a little cozier, and my attitude a little rosier since they came into my life.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dirty Laundry--part 2

What fun to come home and find progress being made. Our powder room looks IMMENSE with everything ripped out. It almost makes me wish we would have gone with a pedestal sink (like my walking partner did) so we could enjoy the floor space. I gotta have storage though!!

Meanwhile, the pocket door has never worked correctly and had to be removed, necessitating a neat hole in the drywall. We have a new track and hardware on order. Let's hope it comes earlier than the predicted week's delivery!

Don't those painted laundry room cabinets in the background look hideous?! The masterplan involves new wood doors and unpainted hingers. Did ya know you can get doors online! That's where I found the pocket door hardware too--saved a hundred bucks. That works for me!

Here are the cabinets which, with a little tweaking, will replace the old vanity. They are actually wall cabinets, BUT they have huge doors with no center post and total a whopping sixty linear inches of storage. We bought them cheap at Home Despot just for the front faces and will build a kickspace and twenty-inch-deep new innards. It will be soooo easy to get into them to grab a towel for wet puppy paws and I'm hoping my sweetie will actually be able to locate a new box of Puffs Plus next time (it's not his fault he has the Y chromosome which prevents being able to find socks in a drawer or tissue in a vanity). We'll even have a place to hide Kharma's dog food. Life is good!

Monday, January 07, 2008


Sun's out. There's nothing bluer than a Nevada sky after a snow storm.

I'm still lazing away at home because of today's delayed start. I reorganized all the CD's (don't ask) and have Nanci Griffith on in the background. I've been wondering where that CD was for ages. All the Christmas goodies are boxed up and out of the house. My hair is clean and my bed is made.

Teddy Roosevelt said, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Good advice. It may just become this year's mantra.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Note to Self

I've been envious admiring those clever bloggers who write like an Alzheimer's patient talks. Don't they know that strike throughs are visible to the rest of us? We can see their evil uncensored thoughts right there on the page.

All the strike throughs have been on TypePad some other blog host or those with their own domain names, so I thought that Blogspot was defective in not allowing its users to strike through.

Now I am among the anointed lucky ones.

I can type a set of<> and then insert the strike tag and then <> with a / with the best of them. And yes, I'm blogging about it so I don't forget how. Trivial but with the potential for fun.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


At the corner of Huh and Where Am I, 9 p.m.

My neighbors' Christmas lights glowing through the snow.

The goldfinches chowing down on the thistle socks this morning. Our record is twenty-four on the two socks.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Bare Naked

The Santas are gone, the snowman curtains are folded away. It looks bare, naked and depressing. Especially with the rain beating on the windows. Especially with an unwashed pot lurking in the sink.

Give me $4 worth of fabric, an hour of sewing time, and...voila!

The pot still isn't scrubbed, but I get Brownie Points for the new valance.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What's green and red all over?

Yep, it's my house. Still.

Some folks love to get all those Christmas gewgaws all put away as soon as possible and then revel in their simple streamlined clean homes. You may be one of these. My mom is. It's a rare year that her Christmas tree doesn't bite the dust on the 26th. She has all kinds of excuses (The tree is giving me allergies. The tree is giving Tigger allergies. The tree is dropping needles. There is storm coming and I have to get it out now or I won't be able to. Etc.)
Me? My tree is drooping a bit on those branches hung with one little ornament too much. Admittedly, there are a few needles on the carpet. I rationalize that this little tree has given its life to make my heart sing each evening as I sit in the dark for a few minutes and absorb the beauty of colored lights and cherished ornaments. Tree decorating time was at a premium this year and the last ornament wasn't hung until the 24th. Why take it down one minute sooner than I have to?

And subtle I am not. I love the intensity of color that the holidays bring to our homestead. Even my kitchen goes bright red with checked snowman curtains and a variety of Santas and miniature toys. I look forward to setting them out every year. It's gonna look so bare without them.

I just love the huge poinsettia that our Mrs. Wonderful gave us. I'm always pleased with my fireplace decor, but that flower is the perfect final touch! I am progressing away from the holidays--there are no stockings hung up anymore. Just don't rush me.

I'm grateful for the three Wise Men who originated the twelve days of Christmas and gave me until January 6th to legitimately enjoy the holiday decorating. I am taking down a wallhanging here and a stocking there. The Night Before Christmas plates are going back into their cupboard for another year, the red tablecloths are being laundered and my collection of Christmas mugs are waiting to be carefully packed away. Soon a snowlady quilt will hang above the mantle instead. Our tree will move outside and (hopefully) will be decorated with bird treats and snow. But my flock of sheep will graze peacefully next to the Baby as the Wise Men and their camels approach with gifts. And I'll spend the other eleven months trying to honor the Christmas spirit of Love and Kindness and Peace. Amen.