Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today would have been my father's 81st birthday. He passed away three years ago from esophogeal cancer. He and I got along really well and I miss him so much. He was never one for much adventure, but if I asked him to do something with me, he always said yes and he always seemed to have a good time.

Dad in his early 20s, while serving in the Marine Corps

I miss the sparkle in his eyes when he smiled, and the way he teased my mom. I even miss the way he used to crab about things behind my mother's back, swear, and stomp off to the bedroom.

Just a few years before he died. Just look at the mischief in those eyes :)

Dad seemed closer to me than my three sisters. Maybe because they didn't live there, but I think it's because we understood each other.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you so very much.

Tag! You're it!

Angela tagged me, so here we go!

What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, hmmm, I had just started working at a physical therapy clinic after a year of tech school and after losing my manufacturing job to China. I had just had or was about to have a hysterectomy. Mom was still walking (she's now wheelchair bound), and Dad was still spry (he's now been gone for 3 years and today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!).

Five snacks I enjoy:

(1) Hood Non-Fat Frozen Yogurt - Chocoloate of course
(2) Watermelon
(3) White cheddar popcorn
(4) Pepperidge Farm Orange Milano cookies
(5) My mom's homemade chocolate fudge

Five Things on My To-Do list today:

(1) Help my BIL fix some replace some rotten siding on the house.
(2) Build a new gate for the fence.
(3) Move some stuff around in the garage to put some shelving in place.
(4) Vacuum.
(5) Clip Raeka's nails (a major production!)
Can you tell I'm on vacation this week?

Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

(1) Quit my job and start some sort of dog related business.
(2) Get my ill mother around the clock, loving nursing care.
(3) Build a green as can be house in the country.
(4) Donate a ton to not only my local animal shelters, but to Second Chance Rescue in Puerto Rico where Raeka came from.
(5) Travel.

Five jobs I have had:

(1) Nanny
(2) Veterinary Assistant/Receptionist
(3) Shipping Clerk
(4) Airbrusher in a figurine factory (my favorite job ever!)
(5) Office manager in a physical therapy clinic

Five of my bad habits:

(1) Worrying
(2) Procrastinating
(3) Starting things and never finishing
(4) Spoiling my dogs (is that a bad thing?)
(5) Lack of willpower for losing weight

Five places I have lived: Sorry, only have three...

(1) Winooski, Vermont
(2) Burlington, Vermont
(3) Colchester, Vermont

Five people I would like to get to know better (yes, this means you are tagged!):

(1) Amy
(2) Lizz
(3) Ginny
(4) Susan
(5) Steph

Five Random Things:

(1) I need to get my butt moving and into the shower!
(2) My BIL and I are both on vacation this week.
(3) It's going to be another stinkin' humid day!
(4) Raeka is dreaming on the couch and woofing in her sleep.
(5) I have to go to Elm Hill Farm to pick up pickets for my gate.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I just went out to move my car into the road while my BIL mows so it won't get covered in grass clippings and as I was driving along the curb I saw what looked like spilled cola on the curbing. I got out of the car and saw that the "spill" was crawling. Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a huge mass of ants! I ran back up the driveway to grab my camera as I've never seen anything like this before.

The pictures don't show how busy the mass is...

What do you think would cause such odd behavior? There is nothing spilled there from what I can see. They are acting kind of frantic, as if something has upset them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Who can sleep with housemates like this?

Two nights ago I went into the laundry room to get my nightgown out of the dryer and as I reached for it, I saw something large running down the wall out of the corner of my eye. A huge centipede! Now, we've had little centipedes since we moved into this house two and a half years ago, but I haven't really seen many over the last two years. It was mostly when we first moved in because the lower level of the house wasn't in use with the other folks.

I've been doing some research online to try to find out what kind it could be since I don't think we have that many kinds of centipedes in Vermont. From everything I could find, it appears it was most likely a house centipede, but all the literature says they grow to only about 1.5 inches in length and the one I saw was at least 3 inches long and I really think it was closer to 4! I scared it with the light and it weaved back and fourth down the wall trying to fit it's big long body into the crack around the water drainage pipe for the washing machine, but it wouldn't fit because it was so big! A good inch or more was left out. I knew I wouldn't sleep if I didn't do something about it, so I grabbed a can of ant and roach spray and saturated all around the pipe. Ewww, it wiggled it's way out of sight and I have no idea if it found a way out or died. All I know is, I haven't slept much the past two nights. I'm trying to make myself feel better by telling myself that everything I've read says that they are a good pest to have because they eat other pests like spiders and such, but they also bite!

I tried to find a picture to show you all and found a website called "What's That Bug" I couldn't find any copywrite warnings on this website at all, so I hope it's okay to post a picture of the little monster.

I still don't know if it was a house centipede because of the size, but I guess it's possible that one could grow bigger, right?

Here it is....

I think it really looked more like this one though...a tropical centipede

If anyone knows if these live in Vermont, I'd love to know.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Peony Perfection

Yesterday, the white peony in my memorial garden finally burst open and just made my heart smile. I planted the peonies in memory of my Aunt Judy who just loved them. I can't think of anything that smells better than peonies. It's like heaven on a stem...

I'm afraid my joy was shortlived. We had a couple of torrential downpours today and I came home from work to find that it had bent the stem clear through. I was so saddened to see it. Now I will have to enjoy it for as long as possible from a vase.

My pink one is just starting to bust from the bud today, so hopefully it will have better luck than my beautiful white one, but the forecast is for rain all week, so I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. I hate to say it, but there is a major flaw in the peony plant. The flowers are just too big and heavy for those spindly little stems!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Beautiful Day

Today has been a picture perfect day. Humidity levels are down, the sun is shining even though we were supposed to have cloudy, rainy, stormy weather, and the temps are in the low 80's. Sherman and Raeka have been enjoying sunbathing in the back yard and coming in now and then for a drink then back out again. Raeka and I were even able to replace my letterbox (to learn more about letterboxing, visit out on the Colchester Causeway and she was only nervous for the first quarter of a mile of our walk. She is very nervous in new places, riding in the car, and just being around people in general, so this was a big deal for her.

My sweet little Raeka

Darling Shermie

I was also able to put the decals on my new car today. I just love my new dogmobile and can't wait until my license plate frames arrive. Then it will be truly how I've pictured it in my mind. Now I realize that Sherman doesn't look like the Peke in the decal, but that's because he just had his summer haircut yesterday. He is really suffering in the heat and humidity this year. Already, he's cooler and breathing easier, which is a relief to both of us.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Dogmobile

For months I've been thinking about trading in my PT Cruiser for a higher vehicle because of our nightmarishly steep driveway. I had a couple of cars in mind to check out and at the top of my list was the Honda Element and the Kia Sportage.

I spent the entire day yesterday cleaning out, vacuuming, washing my old car, trying my best to remove at least some of the layers of dog hair in the back seat. Not an easy feat, let me tell you. Raeka's hair is less than an inch long and it's like tiny needles that embedded into the upholstery. My small canister vac smelled like it was burning up, so I had to haul the upright out into the driveway, and as if it wasn't hard enough to try to stretch the hose into the car and struggle with every single little hair, it was over 90 degrees yesterday and so humid you could hardly breathe!

It was all well worth it in the end. I'm now the proud owner of a 2008 Kia Sportage, in Volcano Red! I'm thrilled with it.

Pretty cute, don't you think? The dogs haven't had a chance to ride in it yet, but soon. Sherman will be thrilled. Raeka....not so much. She hates to ride, but maybe she won't feel so claustrophobic with the lighter interior and better visibility.

Lastly, I need to share a picture of my old gal, Flower. I bought this little cat bed hoping that either she or Pheebs would like it, and sure enough, Flower loves it! Isn't she the adorable?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gardening, and..what is this and how do I get rid of it?

My little memorial garden

My little memorial garden is coming along finally. My peonies have big buds this year. I'm so excited about that! Last year was the first year for them and all that came up were a few leaves that quickly turned brown and looked diseased. This year the plants are green and beautiful and the buds are growing larger every day. I can't wait until they open. I planted the peonies in memory of my Aunt Judy, who just loved them.
A growing peony bud

I also planted a miniature rose bush in memory of my pup, Olivia Rose, who passed away at the tender age of 14 months. Last year it had flowers all summer. This year it is full of leaves, but something is eating them. I'm going to have to spray it, apparantly, even though I hate pesticides. I also don't see any signs of buds yet. I'll just have to wait and see.

The daisies that my vet gave me in memory of my sweet Daisy Mae, are coming up great and looking healthy. I still haven't seen any buds, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
Daisy plants and the cat statue placed in memory of Ebony

Last but not least, the blue hydrangea I planted in memory of my grandmother, is getting bigger by the day and I'm anxious to see if it will get flowers this year. Last year was the first year for this plant and though it had lush, green leaves all summer, no flowers appeared.
Hyrangea plant coming up

Now, for the "what is this?" part. Our lawn is being invaded by this vine/weed. It's taking over the entire yard! It has tiny purple flowers on it and scalloped leaves. Any idea what it is or how to get rid of it?