Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Other Stuff that Happened to Happen

So it’s still pretty quiet around here except that we have 4 cats, and Beta and the Giant Dog Cody.

IMG_1474I am big  

IMG_1473This cat really annoys me

IMG_1464I am mad all the time. Don’t take my picture.

So, it’s crowded. We sort of like Cody better than Beta right now. But that’s a whole other story.

Either way, before the Labor Day weekend Dave and I went to the Minnesota State Fair. We got there sorta late so we had to pay 20 bucks to park. Jeepers. Seattle prices. Although it was all day so maybe not quite Seattle prices. But still, you get in MN and you start to get cheap.

I ate a grilled cheese sandwich—only ok. A chocolate shake. Really good. A banana bar. Yum. And had a bit of Dave’s Braut. There was so much more. One really needs to get there earlier and scope it out before making choices. It was a nice day and we were there for about 2 1/2 hours before the crowds started getting to be too much. I would have spent wayyyy more time looking at knitting and quilting and crafts. But Dave. Nuff. Said.

We saw lotsa other stuff though….

Sheep getting ready for show. I found them to be a little Klannish.

DSC01139  I’ll scare you on Halloween.


And some giant horses

You can’t tell but this horse is super large and is being held back with a little nylon rope.

DSC01146 It’s only by choice I don’t crush you…….

And my favorite--

DSC01147 Do you have directions to the Mix farm? I’ve heard it’s nice there.

There were some rabbits too but no chickens or avians because of the avian flu.

DSC01143 I’m spotted

Oh, let me digress. The week before was the last Thursday on First and I went there with Nancy P and Dave--

DSC01138 See ya next year TonF

The boys came over the sad Labor Day weekend. We did have a rousing Poker Game--

The Aftermath…(maybe this is why Trivial Pursuit didn’t go so well)


We tried to go to a rummage sale sponsored by Mayo. We went to the Plummer Building-

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It was at the Plummer House..oops. I got a nice pic of Blane and Melanie in front of my favorite statue—the flying boy and dolphin.

The next weekend Ilan got married and we were up in the cities.



All grown up.


Cody was the officiant. And yes, that’s a beer in the groom’s hand.


I’ve been home and having busy days and weekends since. (Was that only LAST weekend???) Yeah. Well, it seems like last month at least. Next weekend is up to the cities with Mary for Women Run the Cities. And the following weekend is quilt retreat. Can. Not. Wait.

In my spare time, I’m just a crazy cat person taking pictures of the pets….

IMG_1468 I’ll cut you

IMG_1459 Blane? Melanie? Hello?




IMG_1465I’m giving that thing a wide berth….

IMG_3376Seriously, do not disturb

IMG_3394  I’m naughty and I don’t care.

IMG_3403Princesses and peas……

And lastly, Abby’s flowers--

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RIP Girlie. We still miss you.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Because Abby

We had a dog and her name was Abby.

Abby 6 I am not amused.

She was a very special dog. Oh I know, everyone has very special dogs, but this dog was a force of nature.

Abby was rescued from a lab in Tennessee  by the Beagle Freedom Project. I won’t go into the ins and outs of animal testing here. Let’s just say it’s a cruel punishment and labs mostly use beagles and hounds for their docile personalities. Abby was around 12 years old when she was rescued in October 2014. 12 years in a cage is a long time. But she survived.

IMG_2813 Where’s the bathroom? Oh, right here?

Abby went to foster care for two months before coming to me, December 4th, 2014. Although she was a sweet dog at heart, she was nervous, itchy, and only sort of housebroken. She was on steroids which made her crazy for food and somewhat aggressive. She went into heat within three weeks of arriving.

IMG_2857 (2) Three weeks in…..

Abby and I started down a path of butting heads, almost to the point of thinking I just couldn’t keep her.

IMG_2820 Merry Christmas (I chewed the tree)

But in true Abby fashion, her skin cleared up, she got spayed, I was with her every single day all day (working at home and babysitting Abby) and suddenly out came this sweet dog who, just because, might, just might, do what you wanted her to do. Or not. But she was always sweet about it.


We got up with her at least 3-5 nights a week, somewhere between 2 and 4 AM. She had to go. We cleaned up a million messes (we bought a carpet cleaner). We walked her, we babied her, we got mad at her, we forgave her. Sometimes within a space of a few hours.

IMG_1122 I forgive you for the next 5 minutes…

When I think of Abby here, in our house with us, I see a picture of Abby standing still while we are all a blur, rushing all around to meet her needs.


We had a phrase we used around the house. Because Abby. Why did you put that there? Because Abby. Why is this gate here? Because Abby. Why is there a wet spot in the hall? Because Abby. We said it all. the. time.

Abby 5 Life isn’t too bad

She ate two socks and the arm off a monkey. Then she threw them up, intact, two weeks later.

Bathtub 1 They never look here.

She never ever barked for 8 months until we got a kitten. We didn’t think she had a bark. We got the kitten as a get well for Abby. Then she barked. At her kitten.

IMG_1409 IMG_1410

She loved to walk but spun around in circles, doing what we called the Crazy Ivan (made up by another BFP rescue owner). Sometimes she spun so many times her leash had to be unwound. But she loved her walk. We’d say, let’s take a walk so Abby has a better day.  Because a walk for Abby was a good thing for us.

DSC01045 I’m staring off into the void……

She was the hardest dog I ever had and the most unforgettable. She was a morning person of a dog, always got up in a good mood. She ran around the kitchen, she played in the yard. She learned to go up and down stairs and she wagged her tail when we came home.

At the end of the day I loved her up, gave her a good night cookie, and waited for her to wake me up at 3 AM so she could go outside. Because Abby.

IMG_1125 Do.My.Bidding.

Of course, everyone by now knows where this is going.

Abby started to get sick the beginning of August. She had a huge spleen and so had a spenectomy. The pathology was benign, and we thought this would fix her anemia and she’d get right back to peeing on the carpet.


And she did. She tried to play with Beta (which is a challenge because he usually just falls down), she wanted to walk, she ate her food. She barked at her get well kitten.


Then in week two she started to fall off. I took her stitches out and she was happy about that. But by the weekend she wasn’t eating and she was definitively not well.

We went back to the vet this past Wednesday where she was diagnosed with an agressive form of leukemia. Very very agressive. Like pretty good three weeks ago and terminal now. It did explain her chronic anemia. I think she probably had some sort of bone marrow neoplasia and in her usual fashion fought it off.

But this wasn’t a fight she could win.


I brought her home and she was weak and tired. Cody and Blane and Melanie came on Friday for the long weekend. Along with Good Kitten, and their two dogs. So that was something.

On Saturday Abby rallied and took a bone away from the big dog and carried it around all day long. She was swaying and stumbling but she chewed on that bone. Because Abby.

IMG_1452 IMG_3406

Sunday she didn’t know where she was, could barely walk, couldn’t get comfortable, and was in great distress. By that afternoon, when Cody was leaving to go to the cities, we left too.

 IMG_3407 Biscuit said good-bye

We, me and Blane and Melanie  took Abby to the vet in her bed and she was put to sleep. Up to the very end Abby didn’t go quietly. But she went with dignity.

(Cody is very special for babysitting Abby when we went out for a bit and for helping out with some doctorly advice. Blane and Melanie are very special for going to the vet at the end-there wasn’t a dry eye in the house)

At the end of the day, we went to bed and brought in Beta’s bed, and gave him a good night cookie. And he stood, looking at the door, and waited for Abby. He’s still looking around for something but I don’t think he’s quite sure what it is he’s missing. Just something.


Me too.


And we wake up around three in the morning now.

Because Abby.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Cats Cats Cats

Laura and I attended the International Internet Cat Video Festival.  And, I just realized, it’s a tour! Yes. Could be coming to your town soon.

It was at the ball field in St. Paul. CHS Stadium. (The pictures on the website aren’t from this year because there weren’t seats down on the outfield—it was blankets). We got there early and took a little walking tour of St. Paul while we were waiting. We (and by we I mean Laura) paid the exorbitant Seattle priced parking but in the end so very worth it for ease of entering and exiting. The doors didn’t open until 6:30 so we ended up sitting by the gates people watching. There were some interesting people. Not as many crazy cat people as we thought there might be. But interesting none the less.

We got in, snagged some super seats, and got something to eat.


OMG—a mac and cheese hot dog. And may I say, everything I’d hope it would be.

Laura sent in pictures of her cats and we saw them—on the big screen.


When we saw them we cheered and clapped which got the attention of those around us even though we thought we were being fairly subdued…by our standards. Which is possibly one of the reasons we get shusshed on a regular basis.

See all the peeps getting set up in the field? They said it was the biggest crowd ever in that stadium—over 13,000 cat lovers all in one place.


Garfield was there, along with a big giant scary cat that I didn’t get a picture of.


Laura and I were there, of course, with the masses behind us. This picture was taken on our quest to find ice cream.

IMG_1395Of course we did this--  


And we enjoyed the videos.

Final opinion-2 thumbs up but once was likely enough. It was pretty crowded and they weren’t really set up for that big of a crowd.  And as we all know—not a big fan of the crowd. One must, however, experience it at least once. And who better to do that? Laura and me.

Not many vendors either—we sorta thought we might get a unique cat toy or something….

All this cat talk made me get a kitten. We’ve been down a cat for a while and we decided that we needed a kitten. The final push was that 1) my friend Angie had a cat that had kittens so she had some kittens available and 2) Abby got sick and needed a kitten.

Yep—Abby got sick a week ago Thursday. Well, she’d been getting sick and I thought—that dog is sick, she’s bloated and swollen up and she probably ate some more of my clothing. So—we did a quick inventory and had all our socks so didn’t think it could be that. Once at the vet it was determined she needed a splenectomy and off to surgery she went. Yeah. She had a gargantuan sized spleen that had to come out.


Abby after surgery thinking “the hell????….”

She’s much better now and running and playing but still a little slow on the walks.

So we got the kitten to make her feel better. Only she’s not a big fan. This kitten has actually caused Abby to bark twice. And she never barks.

IMG_1405 IMG_1406

This is our new kitten and her name is Biscuit, but I call her Little Puss.


She sort of took over the dog bed which may be one of the reasons Abby is feeling a little salty.

IMG_1409 IMG_1410

We love her but Abby? Not a big fan.

We also love the black and white.

Lastly, somewhere in there we volunteered for the Ragnar Relay  at the swag tent, starting line.

It was soooo hot. Heat index Saturday (day 2) 100 degrees. That’s just wrong.

DSC01119  Sunrise over the start



We volunteered for some of our old team mates and here’s Tina starting--


She looks pretty happy to be running even though it’s really hot and humid. Really. Humid.


It was pretty though. I volunteered with Ali and Tiff, and we were just happy as heck that we weren’t running.

I did run last weekend with Cathy. We teamed up and ran a half marathon as a relay team.

I started--

20150822_064733 20150822_065918

I ran with the 2 hour pacer guy until the exchange--


Then Cathy passed the two hour guy at the end and we finished under two—which was totally fabulous

IMG_3372 (3)

I’d totally do that again. The day was super nice weather and it was a great run and great time.

Yay. For. Us.

So-next up the boys will be here over Labor Day, and Ilan is getting married the following week. Among other things…

Lastly, Laura’s birthday was yesterday, the 23rd of August. I had a card AND a little something which I didn’t get to her because that’s how I roll.

Happy Happy birthday to my good friend and all around great person—Laura Mix!


We all love kittens….