….just how big this dog is!
The upside to having my mother now on Facebook is I no longer need to send her photos and what not separately, she can see them and show them with my dad and it’s much easier.
The downside to having my mother now on Facebook is that she freaks out every time I gripe about getting sick, and every time I gripe about work, and…..
Speaking of Facebook, there’s a video going around of a Comcast worker doing work on the side of the road and a bunch of cars almost hitting him. The general FB opinion is that the Comcast worker is EVIL and why didn’t he put out more cones, and OMG!!! GONNA BOYCOTT COMCAST!!!! Meanwhile I’m looking at this video thinking those morons are going WAY TOO FAST for road conditions and they better hope their insurance companies never see this video……
A few months ago I ordered custom muzzles for both dogs. Arty needs one for vet visits, and I’d been trying to train Apollo to wear one just in case but hadn’t been able to find a premade one I liked. The company offered the option of matching leashes (both leashes and muzzles made out of biothane), so I ordered one for Arty (we’re really picky about the leashes we use on Apollo). Everything arrived, and I love the muzzles. The leash….well, the biothane is awesome, but the clip they used is cheap crap (one reason we’re picky about Apollo’s leashes). Since its technically a custom piece I decided it wasn’t worth griping at the company, I’d just replace the clip at some point with something heavier. But I figured the cheap one would last the winter at least……
I was wrong. Last Saturday, while I was at work and Husband was taking the dogs out for one last potty before he left for work, the clip on Arty’s leash somehow popped open (I suspect ice in the spring, and the cheap spring not being enough to keep it closed anyway), resulting in him taking off in mad-cap zoomies down the road.
Apollo saw him taking off, got all excited, and bounced off the end of HIS leash (another reason why we’re picky about his leashes), at which point HIS COLLAR CLOSURE popped open and he took off after Arty. They were easy enough to catch, they only got a couple houses down the road before the excitement wore off, so everyone’s home and safe.
We’re not quite sure what happened with Apollo’s collar, in theory it’s possible that we just caught a large enough chunk of fur in the closure, resulting in it not closing properly. However this collar is 4yrs old and I’m having a hard time believing that we’ve never gotten large chunks of his fur caught in it before. Which makes me think that even if we DID get fur caught in it the closure itself is failing. Which wouldn’t be a huge shock since it IS 4yrs old and gets put on him and taken off him multiple times a day. But it is frustrating. So until I can find a new collar I like for him we’re double collaring him. His current collar (which, when closed, can’t slip over his head) and his old martingale (which, even when fitted properly, he’s proved he can slip out of if he really wants), in hopes that the double collar will be enough to keep him restrained.
And no, neither dog has all that great of a recall. Normally we do have a GREAT emergency recall. But Arty was in psycho zoomie mode cause he’d been cooped up in the house due to the cold, and Apollo wasn’t letting him go by himself. We’re back to using Arty’s old leash, not the end of the world, but annoying. Lotsa fun….
My work has been typical Christmas madness. This is the time of year when I tend to really hate people in general.
And then I had to explain to a casual acquaintance that the use of “frenzied beasts” (by a mutual acquaintance) when referring to Black Friday/weekend crowds was not racist. Her argument consisted of “but it’s OFTEN racist!!”. I pointed out that context matters. She asked if there were any terms that I thought were ALWAYS racist. I said I always consider “nigger” to be racist, but if the community as a whole really wanted it taken that way they needed to stop using it in media. To which she responded that it’s alright if black people call each other “nigger”, cause context mattered! To which I responded “so why are we having this conversation again? Cause you just proved my point”. She hasn’t spoken to me since.
Speaking of retail, and people in general. Please take some thought as to how you treat people in front of your kids (or grandkids or random children around you). A while back I had a lady approach me looking for a particular product. She was pushing a cart with a kid in it, probably less than 5yrs old, though I suck at guessing ages. Kid called her gramma. She told me that she was looking for two specific products, either of which would work for her project. I told her that I wasn’t familiar with the one, but the other is right over here if you’ll follow me. As I turned to lead the way I hear the kid say “you must be new here if you don’t know….” at which point gramma shushed him. I pretended to not hear, though I’ll admit that what I wanted to do was snap at the kid about manners (which wouldn’t have been useful, but yah).
But someone in this kid’s life has said that to people who are trying to help him/her. And not just once, likely it’s been said multiple times. The kid rattled it off word for word. 5 yrs old or less and he already thinks that’s how you treat people who’re trying to assist you. Oh sure, he doesn’t understand the context of it. Doesn’t matter. With that as his guide how do you think he’s going to grow up?
Arty gets cold faster than Apollo, and the single digit temps we’re already getting this winter are a bit much for him, but he has fun for as long as he lasts. Apollo on the other hand doesn’t understand why we can’t spend all day out there!
We’re definitely getting a much more normal winter this year, instead of the incredibly warm one we had last year.
Arty was wondering where his green grass and warm sun went
He was very upset at the cold and snow appearing out of nowhere. He’s well on his way to being shed out for the summer, and isn’t the most cold tolerant dog to begin with.
Meanwhile Apollo was having a blast
And if you needed proof we got more than 6″ of the stuff by yesterday morning, there you go. I guess this is why he was refusing to shed for so long. His legs finally let go of their hold on the winter coat this past week, so hopefully this’ll be the end of it.
Yesterday afternoon they put out a winter weather warning for our county, another 3-6″ overnight-into Monday. Yay.
As of 8am today, Monday, I’m thinking we got somewhere close to another 3″, but it’s still coming down, so we’ll see what the totals are.
I’ve been putting off getting new tires for my car, thinking the worst of the winter weather was over, and I guess this is what I get for thinking. Drive into work today ought to be interesting, to put it mildly.
This isn’t exactly a truly “late” snow for the area, we’ve had snow on Mother’s Day on more than one occasion. But after the early warm spring everyone’s pretty well horrified by it.
I guess this is what I get for putting away my winter boots a couple weeks ago.
Greenhouse is nice and toasty though. Makes me wish it was big enough to climb into……
I swear I was gone for all of a minute and I come back to find him pretending to be sound asleep.
Good thing he’s cute.
He’s still not shedding either. Every other 4 foot in the house is shedding, except for Apollo……
Mother Nature finally decided she’d better get her ass in gear and give us a proper winter. Between late Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon we got a solid foot of snow.
The dogs are thrilled.
I was perfectly happy not having had to do any shoveling yet this winter…..
(Tomorrow, Friday, is predicted to have a high of 40……)
We test drove the 2016 Honda Pilot EX-L, and loved it.
Picked it up Thursday.
Friday we loaded 5 adult humans, 4 collapsible lawn chairs, and Apollo into it and headed off to the dog show for the morning. Apollo still had room to lay down. Yup, this’ll do exactly what we wanted and more! I was sitting in the smaller of the 3rd row seats. There was enough room, though a longer drive would have left me a bit cramped.
We really wanted one in one of the blue shades they’re offering. The one that Husband looked at briefly on Saturday was blue and he loved the color. But when we came back Tuesday for the test drive the blue was gone, and all they had was a black and a couple white ones. We didn’t want white. They did a quick search for us but none of the dealerships in the surrounding areas had any blue ones either, and we didn’t want to wait for one to come off the line, so we bought the black one with the black interior. More than we wanted to spend, especially once taxes etc had been added on. But not as bad as it could have been. Plus they gave us more for Husband’s old Nissan than we’d been afraid they would.
My Caliber is a bit closer to the camera, screwing with the perspective, but you can still see the size of the Pilot there. We put a good 200 miles on it this week, between all the back and forth, and the dog show, and then running Arty up to a Barn Hunt practice. Averaging 24mpg for those 200, considering that a good portion of that was on city streets I’ll take it.
Husband’s current car is a 10yr old Nissan Sentra. He got it because prior to this car he and several of his family members had owned Nissan’s and liked them quite a bit.
This car broke that record. Its been nothing but a massive PIA. There’s a screwed up sensor that apparently Nissan either can’t or won’t fix. Every year in order to get his car inspected he has to have them re-set the sensor. He used to replace the sensor every year, but there was no point. It would still fail within the year. And to top it off he’s had to replace bearings on it 5 times. Now its doing this random, start-never mind not going to start, thing that appears to be related to the sensor again. Its left him stranded a couple times with a car that won’t start, and replacing the sensor only temporarily fixes it (battery, alternator, fuel pump have all been checked, repeatedly).
In addition the Sentra just isn’t big enough. Its not big enough to haul Apollo around (he doesn’t fit on the rear bench seat). Its not big enough to haul materials for projects around the house. Its just not big enough.
My car is a Dodge Caliber. Like it quite a bit, though I’d not go so far as to say I love it. It has some issues. But in general its almost big enough for what we need. I can haul Apollo, and even Apollo AND Arty in it as long as I fold down the entire back seat. I can fit 8′ lengths of lumber in it (though not while the dogs are in it). I can fit 2 other adults in the back seat comfortably (though not while Apollo is in it).
We made the decision that if we were going to replace the Sentra we wanted something just a bit bigger than the Caliber. Something we could haul Apollo in, AND at the same time haul a 3rd adult or a small amount of cargo. In addition we want AWD or 4WD as there have been multiple occasions where Husband has been nearly blown off the road on his way home from work in the winter.
And thats where we got stuck. We don’t want to go for a full-sized SUV, but Apollo is such a big boy…..he’s 27+” at the shoulder, and if he’s sitting the top of his head hits 36″. So either there has to be room enough for him to stretch out, with no more than half the rear seat folded down, or the roof has to be high enough to reasonably accommodate him while he’s sitting.
Since Husband is going to be the one doing 90% of the driving of this new car I let him do the initial narrow down of choices without my input. And then we went down to the big name multi brand dealership in Syracuse to test drive as many as possible.
The 2016 Mazda CX-5 was an awesome car, I’d have bought it in a heartbeat if we were looking for something comparable to the Caliber, but it just wasn’t big enough for what we wanted. Not enough room for Apollo to sit in the cargo space, and when we folded down the larger half of the back seat the remaining seat was very cramped even for me.
The 2016 Jeep Cherokee was even shorter on space than the CX-5.
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6) didn’t quite have the gas mileage rating we’d been hoping for and was pushing the upper end of what we were willing to spend, but omg the space! Husband fell in love on the test drive.
2016 GMC Traverse was borderline on space, and we both disliked it on the test drive.
2016 Kia Sorento had the space, and we took the V4 on a test drive. Not bad. Didn’t love it the way we both loved the Grand Cherokee, but not bad. We might have to go back and test drive the V6. It’s also quite a bit cheaper than the Grand Cherokee for similar options.
2016 Honda Pilot (the CRV not having enough space) had plenty of space, but we ran out of time to do a test drive. We’ll be going back to do a test drive this week though. Pushing back onto the upper end of the budget again. Especially with the options we’d probably pick.
Choices choices……we have to go back for a test drive on the Honda. Jeep has a rep for needing constant work. My SIL is a perfect example of several Jeep owners I’ve talked to who said that they LOVED their Cherokee, but wouldn’t recommend them due to constantly needing work. I’ve never been a huge Kia fan, though supposedly they’ve been improving over the last 10yrs or so. Honda of course has an awesome rep, and I’m partial to Hondas having grown up with them. But the 2016 Pilot is the first year of the new re-design, which means that its more likely to have problems.
I have, again, entered a couple photos of Apollo in the TMINFO Calendar contest. A couple years ago we managed to get one of his photos in it, so I’m trying again this year.
You don’t need to register to vote, and you can reload the page and vote again, up to 5 times, for each photo (and any other photo you see in the contest that catches your eye).
Photo 1 (click this link to vote)
And Photo 2 (again, click this link to vote)
Our weather has been decidedly screwy. After a record breakingly cold winter we were all looking forward to spring. Instead we got summer with the rare “cold spring” day tossed in as a sop. Though we’re not breaking the high temp records we’re coming close to them. And with 90% humidity no one’s happy about it. To top it off it’s been incredibly dry. Normally we spend the month of May barely able to mow the yard (and often unable to, in part or in all), due to the shear wetness of the ground. This year I’ve been having to water my garden.
I discovered that my ankles really are screwed up, but also that wrapping them for the day at work makes a huge difference in my ability to cope. This is a relief because…..
I’ve been attempting to teach myself to spin. No, not on a bicycle, I already know how to ride a bike. Fiber, on a spinning wheel, to create yarn. Thanks to the generosity of several ladies, both local and several states away, I have both a spindle and a spinning wheel to learn on, as well as a fair bit of pre-processed fiber to play around with during my learning process. I picked up the process of spinning on the spindle quite quickly. But the spinning wheel requires me to peddle to keep the wheel turning. And with my painful ankles that wasn’t happening. This past week though, after keeping my ankles wrapped for the entire work day for over a week, the pain has been much less, and even almost non-existent, depending on the day. So I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to do some proper practice on the spinning wheel this week.
Of course, my body isn’t happy unless I’m in SOME sort of pain, or so it seems some days. Friday, while at work, I knelt down to pull forward some stock on one of the very bottom shelves. Only to feel as if I’d knelt on a needle the instant my right knee hit the ground. Standing back up showed no needle, or splinters, or anything else that might cause the feeling, and my skin was un-broken. However the painful feeling in that spot in that knee persisted. My knee didn’t swell up at all. And it hasn’t affected my ability to walk, kneel, or lift. So I’m hoping that all that happened was that I knelt at a weird angle and so something was strained. My concern is that I partially tore something. I guess time will tell. I did file an accident report at work, just in case it does turn out to be something. But I hate going through worker’s comp for stuff…..
Apollo is finally properly shedding. I’ve come to the decision that he is just a delayed shedder. It seems like many of the other Tibetan Mastiff owners I’ve talked to have half naked dogs by now. But not Apollo! Back in mid-March his leg fluff started coming loose, and by mid-April or so his legs were naked and his shoulders were starting to come loose. And there it stopped. Just this past week though I’ve finally been able to get actual amounts of fur from his ruff and body. And that’s been the pattern for him for previous years too. So I guess this is his normal. I’m saving the shed fluff again, this time in hopes of being able to spin it myself this year. See above paragraph about learning to spin!
My seedlings are all in the garden. Though of course mother nature couldn’t let us escape without a threatened late frost, just because. Most everything seems to be growing fine despite that though. The heat is good for somethings I guess! Unfortunately its not good for the early “sow in the garden before last frost” crops though. Half my radishes never formed bulbs, and three of them attempted to go to seed when I left them in the ground in hopes that the bulbs would form. Despite planting lettuce seeds over a span of 3 weeks in hopes of having staggered harvests everything has shot up at once, and I’m picking the early maturing ones as fast as I can in hopes of being able to eat them before they go to seed. I may go ahead and let some of them go though, since I’ve already harvested more than we’ll eat in the next week. My Sugar Snap peas are barely a foot high, and have no buds.
Speaking of the garden, I did end up spending another $12 for additional dirt/compost to fill in the beds.
The crocosmia lilies my aunt sent me last year somehow survived our insane winter and have sprouted. I’m thrilled as they were very pretty last year. I had to send me some more when she thinned out her patch a couple weeks ago, and have planted them in more spots around the property. I don’t care that they’ll spread out and fill in. Infact, I want them to. I have several corners that are frustrating to mow or otherwise keep trimmed, and I’ve been filling them with Daylilies, and mints, and other such in an attempt to not have to mow them as often, so the crocosmia lilies will fit right in!
The winter, and the dry spring, has definitely screwed with my flowers in general though. Crocus bloomed on schedule, but the daffodils and tulips ran a solid month late. And now, though it looks like all my iris sprouted, only half have produced buds. And of those buds, the stalks are all only about half the height of normal, and many of the buds themselves are flat, as if empty. I’ve been trying to keep them watered, but they’re in an awkward spot. And it looks like the winter killed most of the butterfly bushes too. Only one is showing green, and that only from new shoots from the roots. The top is completely dead.
We do appear to have a Bluebird pair nesting in one of the boxes this year. I’m delighted to see them. Since the House Sparrows killed the first pair a couple years ago we’ve only seen Bluebirds in passing. I’ve been putting out mealworms for them, so hopefully they’ll stick around and tell off the Sparrows!
Speaking of birds…..as is usual I put out the hummingbird feeders when the ebird.org reports showed them as having been seen in northern PA. And was rewarded as usual with hummingbird sightings myself within the next couple weeks. Now, Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, the only kind we normally get here, are aggressive, territorial, little snots. Its not unusual for one bird (usually a male) to claim a feeder as HIS, and attempt to keep all other hummers away from it. This only kinda works, since while he’s driving off one bird another is sneaking a sip. And like many folks I put out multiple feeders around the property in order to give the rest of the locals a chance for a longer drink. But the fights that result tend to be very short overall. This year however a pair of males decided they had to fight to the death over feeder rights (and likely girl rights). Well, I don’t actually know that it was “to the death” but thats sure what it looked like. For three days straight, every time I looked out the window, this pair was fighting. And although I can’t 100% swear it was the same two birds the entire time, it sure looked like it. They were so engrossed in their fight that I was able to get within feet of the feeders to snap pictures.
Their pattern went like this-
First both would come in for a drink at the same time, eyeing each other carefully over the feeder
And then, to some unknown signal it would start!
After a minute or so of fighting one or both would decide it was time for a breather and a drink, but woe betide the one who decided so when they other wasn’t ready
And round and round they went, utilizing both feeders. Every minute or two stopping for a drink and a breather before resuming their fight
I must say it was fascinating to watch!