When you are reading here whether you found me intentionally or accidently, please take time to leave a comment and let me know where you are and what you are thinking. I love feed back. Vondi

Saturday, August 28, 2010

rotten little dog!

Gable is a little liar! The stinker. A little while ago, bout 10:30 I got up to put my empty carryout container in the bathroom trash can. That basket is big but it doesn’t fill up as fast as the one here by me and has more room for chef salad containers.
At any rate Gable decided it was time for his morning potty break. I told him quite definitely that it wasn’t time! He proceeded to hustle out: first, to wake up Sebastian, THEN to go get Maxim and Mica!
Now you can say what you want about whether or not he ‘understood’ what I said to him but I swear his little brain developed a strategy: "I’ll go tell Maxim and Mica we’re goin’ outside and then she’ll have to go open the door!”
Yeah, I hear ya. But it sure looked like that. And GABLE stood in the hallway looking expectant when the other dogs came in bouncing around to go out.

Look at that face! Doesn’t look like a little liar does he. LOL

Thursday, August 26, 2010

you get what you pay for

When we first moved to Westerville, R & M were shocked and I was appalled to discover how much the property taxes are. To say they were the highest that I had ever experienced is an understatement.
But within only a few weeks we found that, really and truly, ‘you get what you pay for.’ The city services in Westerville are the best I’ve ever seen. Within just a few days of our moving here, Michael was in the back yard with the dogs. He was in the process of putting up our fence, but there were as yet to be discovered gabs between the ground and the bottom of the fence. Sebastian found one of them while Michael was distracted and was gone! Panic ensued!

Michael ran in the house and grabbed his tennis shoes instead of flip-flops and ran out the front door to go and find him. In out little loop off Smoke Burr there was a city police car parked and another van from Westerville Animal Control. Of course, Michael knew why they were there. He hurried down to them and told the officer, “I think you have our dog.” Sure enough, there was Sebastian incarcerated in the back seat of the police care just like any common felon. Lol the police officr had called animal control to come and get him when he was found trotting along SUNBURY! Of all directions to go—Sunbury is the busiest street in the whole town! The officer had picked Sebastian up to keep him safe! The animal control only asked to see his license tag. Sebastian didn’t have his collar on!

Michael ran in and asked me if I knew where Rachael had put their dogs’ tags when we moved. I had no idea. All of the dogs had Tusc. county tags that first year. As long as they were moving around I kept getting the tags. Rachael had put the envelope with the tags in them ‘away.’ Michael rummaged in the obvious places and finally resorted to taking the collar and tag off Gable to show to animal control. (You better believe Rachael found Sebastian’s the same night!--the little escape artist!) Both animal control and the police were pleasant and helpful. Amazing.

I wrote last fall about Gable’s little escapade with the police when he took off on a jaunt around the neighborhood because a utility person had not latched the gate! Why do these things always happen when they’ve just had a bath or for some reason don’t have a collar on? We keep collars and tags on the all the time it seems. Anyway, the police had found Gabriel that time too. They called us the next morning and said they thought they’d found him. When they found out that I couldn’t come and get him, they brought him to me! Never in 65 years have I heard of police being so helpful and cooperative! Never!  And forget about the police returning your dog! The best they do is call the dog catcher!

And now the epitome of community service! The Westerville Electric company has been burying the electric wires in the community. We got a notice last week or two weeks ago that they would be doing the work. Get this! The notice said that they would be taking video so that any property disturbance could be returned to its original appearance! Amazing.

Every town I’ve ever lived in has said, “Oh by the way we are fixing electric wires, you’ll have to replace your landscaping, we had to mess it up to fix the wires.” And they left the home owner with the mess.

Westerville came in and worked all day getting the wires buried. They had to take out the whole corner of Barry’s fence but they put it back! And fixed everything up again just like it was and were apologetic about it! Maybe they do that where you live, but never where I’ve lived!

A couple times we’ve had a problem with the power and sometimes one of us had to call to say this is our problem, do we need to let you know. Now I’ve called AEP before when my power was out. I NEVER got a pleasant answer; usually it was a very short response that said basically, “Keep you pants on, whiney. We’re working on it.” Click. Barely civil, never mind polite or forthcoming with information.

Westerville is a different story. Not only is the representative polite, but gives you complete information about why the power is off and when you can expect it to come back on. THEN they ask you if there is anything else they can do! Mind boggling.

Roads are always cleared before any of the surrounding area. R &M say that you can tell exactly where the city limit line is drawn because you hit snow and ice and desolation!

Any kind of trash or lawn clippings or shrub and tree trimmings can be put at the curb with trash and are picked up with no complaints or hassle about whether or not they are eligible for pick up. We even put an old chair down there; a truck came by an hour or so after the trash pick up and got it. Even the masses of trash accompanying Christmas are handled quickly and efficiently!

Trash never sits by the road for three days making the homeowner call and say why hasn’t my trash been picked up, only to be told—oh we had a new man on. Your trash was on the wrong side of the mailbox and he didn’t know if it was supposed to be picked up! Idiots! It was on my property in MY registered trash container that THEY supplied. Stupid.

Like I say, the taxes may be high, but the standard of service is equally high. And there is a lot to be said for civility and courtesy in all situations.

Monday, August 23, 2010

another morning

I REALLY ENJOY the early morning. I usually wake up by six, sometimes much before. On work days I set my phone to jingle to make sure I don’t forget what time it is and not get R & M’s breakfast and lunches started. It’s strange, but I never enjoyed getting up so early before I retired. Hmmm. Must have had something to do with having to go to work!

Today I put the little dogs out, started the eggs, piled the lunch fixings on the counter and started in making sandwiches, rolling Rachael’s meat rolls and putting stuff in baggies. When the lunches were finished I put the fixings away and sat down to a few cheese cubes and a pile of grapes with my early morning coffee. It was nice tosit there in the quiet. I spent some time in prayer and after that I was remembering other mornings in my life.

Probably my favorites are the ones I spent with Notah in Belen. He leaves for work almost every morning by six, many times he is going as early as five and very rarely by four-thirty. When I was with them my chair was in the family room adjacent to the kitchen. We never had stirring conversations; Notah is too much his mother’s son for that. But we did always share a few words sometimes about what was in store for his day or about a snake he had seen the night before or something else mundane to our mutual interests. It was dark, with only the flicker of the TV news and weather. The time was only a quiet few minutes at the start of the day. Then he would leave and I would sit and watch the morning come up across the hills and valley beyond

Friday, August 20, 2010

cell phones, dogs and family ties

I was thinking this morning, AGAIN, how thankful I am for cell phones. Some days I talk with Notah and his family twice. They share photos with me and text me with bits of information and ordinary everyday things.
When a lady at Notah’s work was giving away a Great Dane because her old dog was beating up on it, I had a blow by blow account of the adoption of Bella. (yeah, mind boggling--a dog that can beat up a Great Dane. Well, the old dog was a Saint Bernard, but still!)
When Seth brought home a stray with mange, I saw the dog within a couple hours and discussed mange remedies with Notah. I heard about the search for the owner. I heard about his bath and his mange treatment. I heard how Huck taught him his place in the pecking order of the ‘pack.’ I learned his name-Jack. Notah dubbed him that and it is a pretty good indication that he is going to stay.
All of that happened by cell phone and made me feel a part of their days, even though we are nearly 2000 miles apart!
I think of my mother-in-law whose children lived so many miles away. She had no phone and spoke no English. She couldn’t read. How many times her heart must have yearned for her sons and grandchildren! Today, my sister-in-law has a cell phone. My nieces have cell phones. My nephew has a cell phone and a computer! Technology has hit the reservation! And I’m so glad! I wish Mom could have enjoyed it.
NOW! The new members of our family. Bella is a pure bred Great Dane. As I said, her previous owner was looking for a new home for her because their older dog, a Saint Bernard, was fighting with her regularly. They had decided to find a new place for her when they had to take her to the vet for stitches because the bite marks were so severe. When Notah called me to tell me about it, I knew that dog was going to go to the Howe house to live! I have to laugh sometimes. Notah is so low key. He was very laid back and quiet when he was telling me but I knew he was excited. He and Kerra have dreamed of a Great Dane for years, but the cost was always prohibitive. He said he would have to talk to Kerra. HA! I had no doubt what she would say. And unless Notah absolutely completely and positively said NO the dog was theirs. Sure enough he sent me a text in the evening saying that Bella was arriving on Saturday.

 They sent me a series of photos of her arrival. She looked very sad. There was one photo of her standing at the gate looking out after her people left. It didn’t take her long though to decide this was a good place to live.     Soon she was exploring the dog yard and getting acquainted with the other dogs.  She is friends with Thain.  Sadie likes her but she is to big to mother.  Huch ignores her.  Chloe stays away from those big feet!

 The last two photos of the day were of her lying on the sofa beside Kerra and another of her reposing on her bed (the lady brought her big bed and her other things with her.) with Thain beside her.
She has fit right in and got to go on her very first hike ever last Sunday! How sad such a big dog, a year and a half old and never having gone on a hike!

Seth has to walk ten steps from the bus stop to the gate and in that space he found a lost dog! He must be related to his Aunt Rachael. He brought the dog in the gate and it was home. The poor thing has the worst case of mange I’ve ever seen. It was wearing a rabies tag which Notah and Kerra traced back to the owners.

As of today, they still haven’t shown up to get their dog. Notah said they hadn’t sounded too excited that someone had found their dog…he thinks they dumped it out along their road. The mange had been seriously neglected. Probably they didn’t want to bother with treating it.
So now Jack has come to live with the Howe family. He has gotten a bath. Notah paid close attention to the horrific scrapes and cuts on his face where he had scratched until it was bleeding. I found a treatment for mange on line that is supposed to work better than the vet meds. Just to be sure, Jack got both the vet meds and the home treatment.
So that’s the story of my cell phone and why I love it. I can live on the other side of the country and still feel a part of my kids’ lives! I would have paid a fortune to the land line phone companies by now. In fact I simply wouldn’t have been able to afford it. Five or six long distance calls a week! Never. And photos? Since when can you send photos on a land line?
We have traded in our land lines for cells.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Four AM

Last night at four in the morning I woke up to this horrific squalling, banging, screaming, thudding, scrambling, furniture rocking catter-wauling. Yaaah! As soon as I was wide awake I knew what it was. Cloudy and Coal, brothers, have an ongoing disagreement with Andy and Cloudy. Usually it is limited to a few disagreeable grumblings and some squalls. But from time to time it escalates into full scale battle.
Last night was a full scale battle.
A couple minutes or a few seconds (My time sense at 4am is not that great.) after the fracas began Rachael came stomping down the stairs. Of course as soon as she hit the scene the cat fight ended. Andy and Cloudy came hustling in my room and Rachael shut the door.
Silence returned.
At daylight, six o’clock, I went through to let the little dogs out and saw the scene of the fight in the living room. The set-to had developed between the sofa table and the antique bookcase that sits against the staircase wall. It looked as though a stuffed cat had exploded! An area of about three feet wide by four feet long was covered with tufts of cat fur. No blood-they weren’t that serious- but serious for distribution!

These are the culprits-they don’t look like midnight brawlers, do they?




This is the Mess!

I cannot believe they have any fur left, but looking at them today there doesn't appear to be a single hair missing!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Háálá Ayóo Diyin (Navajo Lyrics)

This is another original Navajo gospel song. There is no specific English translation... only the literal translation of the words as they appear on the video. It blesses me to hear praise for the Lord presented in such a traditional style. And the expressions are so wonderfully Navajo.

I like it (musically) because the repetition demonstrates the Navajo style of singing. In fact this song doesn't have as much as I've heard in some of the old songs (Navajo) The repetition and insertion of the rhythmic syllables (such as Haala, haala) were some of the things that made it so difficult for me to understand the songs. Mr. Tom tried for an entire year of Pre-school bus routes to teach me the Navajo songs and help me to comprehend the lyrics. I remember him with great affection, but I can't really say he was very successful at  teaching me to sort out the lyrics. When you listen with your English (or maybe Hispanic ;-) ) ears, I think you will understand my difficulty

Dóólá Dó' ShiDiyin Da (Navajo Lyrics)

This absolutely thrills me! the song was written by a Navajo man. and the joy of finding the Great God shines throughin the Chorus: "Doola do' shiDiyin da Ayoo' at'eii ei' yee akasdzaaz" HOW GREAT IS MY GOD, HE'S WRAPPED IN GREATNESS! I've never heard it put that way, but it is a very traditional Navajo way of speaking and it describes our God so wonderfully.

Sweet Hour of Prayer (Navajo Lyrics)

I cannot believe I figured this OUT! Wow! I'm so excited I can't type!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

neighborhood skunk

Gabriel and Sebastian had a run in with a skunk! I let the two of them out early in the morning. I always enjoy watching their two little bottoms and black tails go bouncing out across the yard every morning. They act as though the fate of the world depends on their getting to the back corner of the fence as quickly as possible! They go bouncing out and I go back in the kitchen to get the coffee started and assemble the things for R & M’s lunches.

By the time I have the various lunch bags out and the components put on the counter so I can sit down and assemble the sandwiches, etc., the little dogs are ready to come back in. This particular morning was no different. I may have taken time to make myself a cup of coffee, but no longer. I went in to open the door for the little guys.

As soon as the first puff of wind came in I smelled the skunk and thought Oh-oh somebody ticked that skunk off. Gabriel and Sebastian came when I called them and hustled in just as they usually did. I closed the door and gave no more thought to the skunk. Not until I followed them back down the hall. At that point I decided that they were involved, somehow in ticking off the skunk.

I’ve been around dogs who have tangled with skunks and this smelled no where near as bad as those. With those dogs you couldn’t be in the same barn with them! Regardless of that Gable and Bastian were definitely skunky.

R & M noticed it when they came down, but at that hour of the morning they had no time to do anything about the situation and I certainly couldn’t! It was smelly but not the eye-burning, nose-numbing potency of a full on blast. Once I sat in the room with it for a while my nose cancelled out the smell. I decided they must have merely been down wind of the skunk but not directly in its spray radius.

I have this vision of poor old skunk trundling along back among the evergreens on the other side of the fence scuffling through the duff under the trees looking for what ever goodies he could find when Gable and Sebastian came tearing out like gang-busters and scared him silly! His first reaction was to flip his tail and spray in the direction of the disturbance. Fortunately Gable and Sebastian were quite a ways off.

When I went back n the bedroom one of the little guys had gotten pretty sick over by their bed. I didn’t connect it with the skunk spray until much later. I simply cleaned it up.

When evening came the first thing that happened was that Gabe and Baby-bastian got baths! For future reference: a cup full of hydrogen peroxide with three heaping tablespoons of baking soda and a couple hefty squirts of Dawn dish soap is effective for removing skunk smell. Although for Sebastian it took two baths.

It wasn’t until later that I connected the barfing with the skunk. Now I knew this from past experience, but of course didn't remember in good time. A good dose of skunk spray in the face will make a dog dry heave for days! When Sebastian had to have two baths, I knew that he had been the one who vomited. I also knew it because the towel I had used to scrub up the vomit residue was making my bathroom smell long after I had rinsed it out and hung it to dry.

Poor little guys. But they still tear out the door in the morning to chase that skunk off. It’s the neighborhood skunk. Rachael came in after work the other night asking if we were sure the little dogs were in because the skunk had smelled up the neighborhood again. But this time it was somebody else’s dog!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

one sinner has come home!

I’m rejoicing this morning thinking about how good the Lord is to us. Last night at midnight Lucinda called to tell me she was being baptized this Sunday. She sounded so joyful when she began talking to me I couldn’t imagine what she was calling about at that time of night. (It passed through my mind that maybe she was pregnant although her husband has grown kids and Lucinda said she is satisfied without kids. )

She said “I’m sorry to call so late. I told Roy it was too late, but he said, ‘Call your Auntie. She said to call any time.’ So I’m calling to tell you I’m being baptized on Sunday!” And suddenly it all became clear! She didn’t know the right words, to say but the joy in her voice made it all apparent. I’ve talked with Roy enough to know he would not let her be baptized if she hadn’t gotten saved. He has been the instrument of her coming to the Lord. I don’t believe she had ever been to church until she met him. And now look!

I was looking for the song, “The angels up in heaven are rejoicing round the throne, filling the courts with songs so grand. They’re rejoicing because of one lost soul who has come home. I know there must be joy in that land!” If someone knows where it is on youtube or someplace else, send it to me. That’s exactly what was going through my mind last night!

While I was looking I found this: “It’s a Song Holy Angels Cannot Sing!” I’ve heard it over and over, but each time it blesses me to think that with all their glory in the beauty of heaven, YET they can never know the same joy we have when our sins are forgiven!
Listen and think about it! They will never know the words to “Love Lifted Me”! If it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, check your relationship with the Lord!

(Sorry, some day I'll learn how to embed them to show up right here, meantime you'lll have to click and go to the actual Youtube site. )