A Fish Tale Only Jonah Would Believe


Hi Everyone!

I don’t often reblog something, but the day this happened, my husband “called” it for Facebook, so I will share Mark’s version with you. Every year, there is a big fair in Montgomery, and Kayla’s school went to it on a field trip on October 13. Here is what happened:

Goldfish

Photo courtesy of .clickartonline.com

Yesterday was the day my 12 year old daughter Kayla and her class went on a field trip to the Fair. Before she left we cautioned her about bringing anything live back except her classmates. We specifically stated, don’t play the stupid gold fish game and win a fish because you don’t need any more pets. Feeling that the instructions were clear and reasonably easy to follow my wife and I then sent her on her way with hugs, kisses, and lots of love. However, the 12 year old mind is apparently hopped up on hormones and thus unable to process information in a direct and meaningful way. I know this because when I called her yesterday to see that she made it home okay I was told, “Dad I have a bit of bad news….” Apparently we played the fish game, but tried hard to lose. Unfortunately we were just too darn lucky and won a goldfish named Kisses any way. Well we couldn’t just flush it – I know this because I suggested it and was quickly rebuffed by her and my wife – so we are now trying to be responsible and raise it. That decision has presented my daughter with a moral dilemma. In order to keep it alive she really needs to invest in a real fish tank which I have refused to pay for because I am openly hoping that Kisses croaks. Therefore she would have to use her money to pay for said tank, but she is saving for a new IPOD and apparently is much more conscientious with her cash than with Dad’s. She is further concerned because I’ve told her that if Kisses dies she cannot replace him even if she buys a tank. So when I left this morning she was trying to decide whether it is nobler to accept the demise of poor Kisses or risk it all and buy a tank. I could rescue her from her situation, but as I told her, she got into this situation by not listening, so she needs to learn to get herself out. Besides the way I look at it I could win either way. If she buys the tank and the fish dies, then she doesn’t get the IPOD which means she will have less electronics and more time to spend with the family. If she lets the fish die, then I will have one less useless pet in the house. However, with her luck she will probably buy the tank, get enough money from her relatives for her birthday next month to buy the IPOD and the fish will out live us all.

P.S. from me:  10 days later, Kisses, the fish, is still going strong, making him exceptionally long-lived for a fair fish!

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Why I Enjoy Being the Mother of a Seventh Grade Girl


Good morning Everyone!

Here is my list of some of the reasons I enjoy being the mother of a seventh grade girl.

1)  I am no longer the most absent-minded person in the house – seventh graders apparently can hold only one thought in their head at a time for a maximum of 20 seconds.

2)  I live with 10 children for the price of only  one – happy girl, tired girl, sad girl, mad girl….

3)  In the person she is today, I catch glimpses of the wonderful woman she will be and the child she used to be – often in only a five-minute span of time!

4)  I can beam with pride when she does something extraordinarily thoughtful, like the sweet note she wrote and delivered to her dentist and her staff yesterday right before they pulled four of her teeth…..

5) While wondering at the same time exactly what information she missed in what class that day while writing said note.

6) I have her convinced I’m psychic.  When she’s mad at me but can’t say anything, I tell her to stop thinking what she’s thinking and am spot on.  She hasn’t yet realized that I remember myself at that age.

7)  The social world of the seventh grade girl and her friends is even more exciting than General Hospital when I was in college – without the murders, of course.

8)  The list of chores she is capable of doing has expanded from individual tasks to whole rooms.

9)  We’ve started a family pool betting on the exact date on which she will be taller than me – and I am on the inside track to win said pool!

10)  She still will hold my hand and sit on my lap sometimes – and I really love that!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Kayla’s Kitchen Kaper


Good morning Everyone!

Last night, Kayla asked me if she could fix the  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese we were having at supper and deciding it was time to loosen up on my Mac N’ Cheese obsession, I said yes.

I suggested to her that she might want to get the ingredients out before the noodles were done.   She told me that there weren’t any extra ingredients to the mac n’ cheese besides the packet from the box!  I told her she needed butter and to call me when she was ready to mix so I could give her the other instructions.

12 year old brain in training

That was my mistake – I gave a 12-year-old two tasks in one sentence.  Apparently, their brains can’t handle it.

Mark announced that the pork chops were almost ready.  I waited for Kayla to let me know she was ready to mix the stuff up.  Instead, this colloquy occurred.

Mark:  Did you drain that before you mixed it up?

Kayla:  Nobody told me too!

Me (from the den):  I told you to ask me when you were ready to fix it!

Kayla:  No you didn’t!

Mark:  Well, actually, yes she did.

Kayla (to me):  You could have told me that I had to drain it first!

Mark:  How many times have you watched Mom make mac n’ cheese?  Let’s see if we can save it.  Go ahead and get the colander out.

Silence, then Kayla to Mark:  It’s not funny!

Mark and I:  Well, actually, yes, yes it is.

I’ll omit the stories of parent’s pasts, which include attempts by Mark and one of his friends to make mashed potatoes without boiling them (his sister was removing random pieces of potato from the ceiling the remaining six years they lived in that particular house) and the absent-mindedness that caused me twice (years apart) to place my palm directly on a piping hot stove burner seconds after I had just removed the pan and should have known better.

It’s nice to know that Kayla is carrying on the family tradition!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Characteristics of a Buskey


Hi Everyone!

Meow0, who works over on the blog site Talented Tails, found the post last week with pictures of Mandy, Stella and Sawyer and wanted to know more about the buskey “breed,” so I thought I’d go over the characteristics all of you have helped me identify in buskeys that we have found so far.

1)  Geneology .  Buskeys are not an official breed, nor are they even an official mix like goldendoodles.  However, to classify as a buskey, a dog must have a basset hound and a husky as parents.

Basset Hound Husky dog

Mandy, The Quintessential Buskey

2)  What does a buskey look like?  A buskey has the long body and short legs of a basset hound, with hair about the length of a husky’s, and a beautiful curved fringed tail.  A buskey’s coloring is highly variable – so far, I’ve seen colors that range from typical husky colors (Mandy) to pure black.  Their eye color can range from two blue eyes, to one blue eye and one brown, to both brown.  Mandy’s eyes are enthralling – she has one blue and one brown eye, but if you look at the brown eye closely, you can see that even it has a patch of blue in it!

buskey, basset hound, Siberian Husky

Mandy – One Blue Eye, One Brown Eye

3) What does a buskey do?  Nothing it does not want to.  If you look at lists about how “trainable” dogs are, huskys (surprisingly) are close to the bottom of the list, and basset hounds (not surprisingly) even lower.  It’s not that they can’t learn to do things; it’s just that they’re only motivated to work on the things that interest them.  A buskey is highly independent.  Even when one is chastised for something, its nose never gets out of joint.  The buskey simply looks thoughtful for a minute, as if to say to the chastiser, “You have an interesting point of view” and then returns to doing whatever it was that got it into trouble in the first place.  Buskeys do love to run – and in spite of their short legs, they are amazingly fast.

Sawyer dives for something

Sawyer dives for something

4) What is a buskey’s temperament like?  A buskey has the most infectious joie de vivre of any dogs I have seen.  Imagine a dog that smiles all the time, much like a dolphin, and you have a good idea of the look on a buskey’s face 99% of the time.  The buskey I have, and the buskeys I have learned about are, without a doubt, the happiest, most content dogs the owners have ever had.  My Mandy, for example, is simply never in a bad mood.  Ever.  Unless you mess with her food bowl.

 

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

5)  Is there anything buskeys are exceptional at?  Yes.  Foraging.  Mandy grazes the counters and tables at my house regularly, unless we stop her.  Trash cans pose no obstacles to her, either.  I once spent $65 to buy a large kitchen trash can with a pedal and a self-closing lid to try to thwart her garbage foraging habit; she had it figured out in 30 seconds, and turned around to look at me, wag her tail and thank me for my thoughtfulness, since the self-closing lid was slower than the previous trashcan’s lid, so she had time to be more selective in the scraps she chose to pursue.  If there is an apocalypse, and Mandy and I survive it, I am following her to the nearest feeding ground.

Dog, eating, counter

6) Is the buskey a family dog?  In spite of its independent streak, yes, a buskey is a fabulous family dog, loving, sweet and happy.  They do well with children, and other dogs.  I have yet to encounter a buskey owner with a cat, so I’m not sure how they do with animals besides dogs.

buskeys, dogs

Tyra and Mandy Share a Walk

Mandy and Darwin confer

Mandy and Darwin confer

7) Where can I find a buskey?  Beats me.  Every single one I know of so far was adopted from a rescue shelter, so it appears to be pretty much luck of the draw.  If you ever see one, though, you’ll recognize it instantly.

Stella as a Puppy - the only buskey puppy picture I have!

Stella as a Puppy – the only buskey puppy picture I have!

8) Why bother writing about them in this blog?  It’s a basic consumer demand type thing – my first post on Siberian husky/basset hound mixes, which I used to highlight my Mandy, is one of my top 5 posts of all time – it gets viewed continually, and many people now are kind enough to tell me why they are looking and all of them either have or are considering getting a buskey.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Amnesia Anesthesia


Good morning Everyone!

Bibliophilic Friday will return next week with a discussion of Helen Hooven Santmyer’s And Ladies of the Club, one of my all time favorites, but today I wanted to share a couple of funny stories with you.

1) Anesthesia Amnesia

female dentist

A Trip to the Dentist
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Kayla has had the same dentist since she was 2, a wonderful woman she trusts.  Unfortunately, ever since she was about 7, she also has had to have a lot of teeth pulled.  So, while she doesn’t mind going to the dentist to get her teeth cleaned, she always is a little afraid that she is also going to learn that she has to have some more teeth pulled.

Last year, we found out that she needed to have four permanent teeth pulled out to make room for others, and the dentist recommended that we go to an oral surgeon so that everything could be done at once.  The other option was to stay with Dr. Miller, and go back twice.  Kayla instantly chose to go back to Dr. Miller.

The subject came up a couple of weeks ago, and Kayla started to share the story again.  Indignantly, Kayla said, “She was going to send me to someone else who would have given me amnesia!”  It was a few seconds before either Mark or I could stop laughing hard enough to explain that the correct word would have been anesthesia.

2) Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Tyra Running from the Rain Photo Credit: www.clickartonline.com

Tyra Running from the Rain
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Tyra also had a moment the other day.  Tyra hates to go out in the rain by herself.  She will happily go out on a leash with a human beside her, umbrella or no umbrella, but she does not do rain individually.  We have accidentally had all three dogs out in a downpour before; Mandy and Darwin come in soaking wet, but Tyra will be bone dry – even if all three of them never left the patio!

We have had a pleasant break from normal August weather, with the temperature getting down into the sixties at night and very low humidity, which means, of course, that the dew has fallen several nights.  The other morning, I let Tyra out and was talking her down the stairs.  When she reached the second stair from the porch to the back ground, a drop of water from the roof fell on her.  She immediately assumed that it was raining and started to turn back around.  It took all my urging to convince her that it wasn’t raining and to get her started back down the steps again!

3) Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Don't Worry; Be Happy! Photo Credit: www.clickartonline.com

Don’t Worry; Be Happy!
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Finally, we are always trying to encourage Kayla to dial down the drama she lends to every day ordinary events and I suppose somewhere along the way we have exposed her to the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  We were driving to Montgomery last weekend, and Mark was getting frustrated because the seat belt kept creeping up his shoulder until it hit his neck, starting to choke him.  I’ve been there and done that and it is extraordinarily annoying.  As he began to express his frustration, a voice came from the back of the car.  “Hey Dad!  Don’t worry; be happy.”  Of course, we all had to laugh again!

Have a great weekend!

Nancy

Buskeys Rule: Additional Encounters with Husky-Basset Hound Mixes


Good morning Everyone!

In August, 2011, I wrote a post about Mandy, our husky basset hound mix.  Since that date, that post has been visited over 4000 times!  People have been kind enough to tell me sometimes why they wanted to read it – most of the time, someone has either just adopted a puppy or dog who is a buskey.  (For those new to the blog, “buskey” is the name I’ve decided to use to call this most unusual, but beautiful mix.)

I’d like to introduce you to a new member of the buskey family:  Stella.  As you can see, she bears a striking resemblance to other buskeys, as most of them do.

Stella, a basset hound husky mix

Stella, photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella has the body shape and the striking blue eyes common to the buskey, and you can see that her tail has longer hair on it than a hound’s tail would.  Her coloring is interesting, since she appeared to pick up more of the basset hound brown then some of the other buskeys we have seen.

husky basset hound mix

Stella enjoying a car ride.
Photo from her Mom, Amelia.

Here’s a picture of our Mandy enjoying a ride in our motor home.  You can definitely see the resemblance!

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy Out for a Drive!

Just like all the other buskeys, Stella has a laid back temperament, a generally sunny disposition, and a marked aptitude for foraging/scavenging kitchen counters and any other surfaces which may have food lying around loose.

Stella as a Puppy - Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella as a Puppy – Photo from Amelia, her mom

We are fortunate in that Ms. Amelia was able to send us a rare photo of a buskey as a puppy.  A lot of the people who now have buskeys adopted them from shelters as rescues (including us) and never had the opportunity to see our buskeys as puppies.

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

This pose looks familiar to me – it is one of the poses Mandy uses when she has decided to get me up in the morning.  It’s usually a warning shot before she starts to walk across my hair, which always gets me up.  (It hurts!)

While we are always happy to meet new buskeys, it’s nice to hear from some of the others we have already met.  Sawyer’s owner, who was the first buskey owner to ever contact me. recently sent me some updated photos.  Believe it or not, Sawyer is now 8!  That hardly seems possible.

Sawyer, Husky Basset Hound Mix, Buskey

Sawyer at age 8 with his family. Photo from Neda, his mom.

He looks happy, doesn’t he?  Here he is on the front steps of their home:

Husky Basset Hound, Buskey, Sawyer

Sawyer in the front yard: Photo from Neda, his mom.

Sawyer’s resemblance to Mandy can be almost uncanny – since he originally was adopted from a shelter in Birmingham, both families have speculated as to whether they might be related – but that, alas, is something neither of us will ever know for sure!

Huskey/Basset hound mix, Sawyer, buskey

Sawyer napping; Photo from Neda, his mom.

Compare that picture of Sawyer with this one of Mandy sharing her bed with Tyra, and you’ll see what I mean about the resemblance.

Mandy buskey update

Tyra and Mandy Sharing a Bed

It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

If any of you other buskey owners out there who have or will visit here to find out more about these unusual dogs want to share pictures, I’ll be happy to share them!

Have a great day!

Nancy

In Which the Heat Pump Died and Revived


Good morning Everyone!

3d person piling up boxes

Moving – An Adventure, A Project and a Treasure Hunt! http://www.clickartonline.com

With the happy find of the lost box of kitchen cooking utensils that included the all-important can opener, measuring cups and measuring spoons a couple of weekends ago, we finally have the inside of our house set up for permanent residence.  Mark and Kayla worked in the garage that same weekend and now have the remaining boxes set up so we can, at our leisure, pull a box or two at a time and unpack, with aisles between stacks so we can see the labels on the boxes.  Mark said the remaining unpacking will not be as bad as it looks, but I’m not sure.  However, with all that accomplished, we were safely at the end of our move.  Thank goodness.

Not that we didn’t have a stumble or two along the way.  That same Saturday, after Kayla and Mark rearranged the garage boxes in the morning, all of us laid down to take a nap.  (Even Kayla slept!  I’m not quite sure what to think about that.)  I woke up after about two hours thinking that the master bedroom had become awfully hot – it normally runs about 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the house in the summertime, but it felt worse than that.  I got up to go cool off in the rest of the house and Mark looked up at me from the sofa announcing, “It’s hot!”

Penguin, Polar Bears, Arctic

The Normal Temperature for Our House
http://www.clickartonline.com

Since normally Mark expects polar bears and penguins to start migrating into the house, and occasionally references the subject of hanging meat, his declaration meant that we needed to check the heat pump.   According to the thermostat, which was set at 74, it was 81 degrees in the house!  The dogs were hot, too.  Mandy kept looking at me, plainly asking why it was so hot, while Tyra, smart dog that she is, found the air purifier, which also acts as a fan, and camped out in front of it so that she could stay cooler than the rest of us.

We called Tillery Heating and Air Conditioning, whom we have used before.  They have a person on-call during the weekends, and when Mark called, the repairman told us he had two calls to finish first and then he’d be right over.  Mark and Kayla rearranged the boxes one more time to allow the repairman to access the attic, and then we waited.

Once it was past five, I was beginning to wonder if the Tillery person would be able to come after all, but true to his word, Mick from Tillery showed up as soon as he finished the other two calls.  I liked Mick; he was very friendly and didn’t mind the fact that Mandy greeted him happily by jumping up on him with two paws immediately upon his entering the house nor that Darwin thought really hard about jumping up in greeting as well.  More importantly, he knew what he was doing.  Mark stayed near while Mick worked on the heat pump components in case there were any questions, and he liked the methodical way in which Mick approached the problem.

Visions of the cost of a new compressor were starting to dance fearfully before my eyes after Mick and Mark had been outside at the heat pump for a while, but fortunately right at the end they found a wire that had come loose, shorted out and cut the power to the compressor.  You could tell from the feel of the air alone that as soon as that wire was fixed, the heat pump was working again.

As the air in the house began to decline back to the not-environmentally-or-budget-conscious-but-extraordinarily-comfortable-72 degrees I love, we waved a fond farewell to Mick, heaving a sigh of relief for a job well done and a compressor saved.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Growing Up


Good morning Everyone!

growing up cartoon

Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com; hand colored by me

My beautiful Kayla is steadily growing up on me – she is already taller than my mom and my aunt, is probably taller than one of my sisters and I fully expect her to end up being an inch or 2 taller than me or my other sister when all the growing is over with.

Growing up is fun (when you’re a kid, at least), but it does have some negative consequences.  A series of those happened this week – for the last three nights, Kayla has come back out of the bedroom crying after she went to bed.

Last night, as she was wiping her eyes, she looked up at me and asked, “Mom, am I going to cry this way every night until I’m over with puberty?”

Exactly how do you answer that?

Have a great weekend!

Nancy

Absent-Mindedness – A Condition Without A Cure


Good morning Everyone!

Have you ever lost something important like your keys while you were at work?  Losing your keys at work is absolutely maddening because you know they have to be there SOMEWHERE or you never would have made it to work in the first place.

Keyring with keys

Car and House Keys
Photo Credit: http://www.clickartonline.com

Well, that happened to Kim, one of the people I work with, yesterday.  She noticed about 10 in the morning that they were gone, and by 5:00 p.m. yesterday every woman in the office (there are 7 of us, including Kim) had looked for those keys – we looked on her desk, in her desk, in file folders, behind her desk, under the two stuffed chairs in her office, under rugs, in the parking lot, in her car, in envelopes she had put in the mail, everywhere in the office she had been and everywhere in the office she had not been.  By the time we left work at 5 (fortunately Kim had a spare key to her car), I was beginning to think that the keys had been carried away either by elves or aliens, take your pick.  I asked her to text me when she found them, but no texts came in last night.

One was sent this morning, but by me, not her.  Leaving the house, I had to lock the front door, and reached in the outer pocket of my purse to pull out my keys.  I looked through the key ring a few times, trying to figure out where my house key had gone – and then the penny dropped.  I was holding Kim’s keys in  my hand from my purse.  I called Kim immediately to let her know, apologizing profusely.   FN.

I would like to believe that aliens or elves or Bigfoot  or the Tooth Fairy slipped those keys into my purse when I wasn’t around, but deep down I know that the condition of absent-mindedness struck me again!

Have a great day!

Nancy

FN.  Kim has been a very good sport about it all!

Mid-Move


Good morning Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten you; over the past two weeks, we have been moving from our rental house to our old house that never sold – and we are VERY happy to have been doing so!  As soon as we get settled ( and we’re getting close to that now) and I get my new schedule ironed out, I will be back posting regularly.

refrigerator

The refrigerator in the rental house

In the meantime, I have at least one funny story to share from the move.  One of Kayla’s jobs before the movers came was to clean out the rental house’s refrigerator and freezer.  When she was given the task, she disappeared and then reappeared in about five minutes, informing us that she was done.  Both Mark and I knew that there was no way she could have cleaned the fridge and freezer that quickly, so we sent her back to do the job right, much to her chagrin.

In doing so, I specifically asked her if she had gotten the ice cream out of the fridge – someone had put softened ice cream back in the freezer at some point, and it had dripped onto the freezer bottom.  She admitted she hadn’t.

When we kicked her back into play the second time, she was gone for a little while longer, but again returned, announcing she was done.  We went on to the next task.  By the end of the day, we had accumulated several garbage bags worth of trash, so Mark and I put them into the dumpster.  I noticed that two of the bags were very heavy.

When I opened the refrigerator and freezer that night, I was stunned – not one shelf had been wiped off, and the ice cream drip was still on the freezer floor.  However, there was not one single item left in either the refrigerator or freezer – besides the residues that needed to be wiped off, the fridge and freezer were empty!

After Mark and I called Kayla back into the kitchen for the third time to clean the fridge and freezer, we retired into another room where we could laugh without seeing us.  She certainly had cleaned OUT the fridge and freezer, but not in the way we meant!  The good news is that nothing in my fridge and freezer now is out of date.

Have a great day!

Nancy