Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

RIP Smiley The Rat 6/2006 to 6/28/2008

In Life with Animals on June 28, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Today we bid adieu to Smiley, one of Annie’s pet rats. She was two years old. Average life span of a pet rat? Two years old.  Smiley was a good rat.  She died while Annie was holding her. She’d had trouble breathing the last couple of days and finally took a big breath and that was it.

This is the hard part of loving animals.


Say a little prayer

In Life with Animals on June 26, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Shandy the Wonder Dog

When I saw Shandy carrying around an orange the other night my heart sank. I knew the only place she could find an orange was at the base of the compost bin. The little trap door was open as I had slipped a tray of DeCon in there in a fit of rat killing hysteria after a rat RAN ACROSS MY FLIP FLOP CLAD FOOT when I lifted the compost bin lid. Apparently with all our bird seed, fruit and veggie scraps, fountain and birdbath we are pretty much a rat Club Med and at least 2 have made a cozy home in the rock garden. They are so happy they come out to eat IN THE DAYLIGHT!!!! Rats in the dark of night so as not to know they are there are one thing. In the daytime is quite another. Funny thing is they look just like squirrels only with different tails and the squirrels don’t bother us at all.

But I digress.

I wasn’t thinking clearly when I put the DeCon in there. I thought I hid it but the rats actually pushed it OUT from under the compost bin and into plain sight. It was behind a gate but the gate was left open. I wasn’t sure if Shandy ate any at all because it was dumped all over the ground. However, last night at 2:30 a.m. she was pacing pacing pacing and that’s unusual. She went outside and I’m pretty sure it was to have a mighty bout of diarrhea. And again at 4:30 a.m. with the outside. Did I sleep much? No. I called the vet this a.m. and Bob took her in first thing. They are running tests to see how much she might have ingested…

The hard thing is that even without the tests they can see that she has aged a ton in the last few months. I know that too. She isn’t all there anymore. She’s got arthritis, cataracts and dementia. She’s been eating a lot of dirt and poop and whatever else she can find which is a symptom of her digestive system shutting down. She’s nearly 13 years old and that’s pretty old for a biggish dog. I don’t know if this is it or not.

UPDATE: Vet did a ton of tests and started her on Vitamin K. All the results will be in tomorrow but she’s home and it looks like she’s going to weather this one just fine. We might even start her on doggie alzheimer’s meds when we’re out of the woods on this particular crisis. OMG what a day.

Update #2: Shandy threw up a @#$%^&* sock!!!!

She’s fine. $700 and much angst later. I love my children but their habits in re: picking up socks cost me some serious moolah!!

Magic time

In Beautiful Images on June 25, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Lately, as we sit at the kitchen table eating our dinner, the sun moves down between the firs and illuminates everything in its path. The seed pods of the Japanese maple (Acer Palmatum “Bloodgood”) glow like they are on fire. It’s incredibly beautiful. Hard to photograph while they are tossing in the evening breeze but I think you get the idea.

This is cool

In Cool Things on June 24, 2008 at 10:36 pm

When you need a break here’s a very cool website:


The tilde character (~) will keep phrases together. Too fun!


And the winner is…

In Gardening on June 24, 2008 at 4:22 am

I love this plant. Phygelius, or South African Cape Fuschia, has to be one of the easiest, longest blooming, most rewarding for no work perennials EVER. My yellow one, which I think is “Moonraker” has now spread to cover at least 6 feet wide, 3 feet deep and about 3 feet tall. I think there are some new hybrids that might have to find a place in my garden…

Amazing Raised Beds

In Gardening on June 21, 2008 at 8:18 am

There’s a part of my yard next to my deck where nothing but weeds have grown ever since I had a huge big-leaf maple cut down many years ago.

I’m not sure who had the brainstorm, but all of a sudden there we were, pacing out the dimensions for a raised bed. Then it became 2. And I, in my love of all things shiny, corrugated metal, found a design in Southern Living that was pretty close to what I envisioned.  Bobby built them and yesterday we had gorgeous soil blown in. Feast your eyes:Some kick ass raised beds! Thank you Bobby!I planted them last night. My mom says they look very Sunset Magazine and not so much Southern Living. I’m pretty psyched for the veggies to grow. So is Bob.


In Uncategorized on June 21, 2008 at 7:51 am

Can’t fight it so I might as well do useful things. Like learning about bit torrents and how they work. And just how many old Bruce Springsteen concerts are available on the internet. Maybe I’ll do a crossword puzzle or play a little computer solitaire.

Eventually I cool off and then I can go snuggle up to Bobby and hopefully sleep.

Who says plants aren’t cute?

In Gardening on June 21, 2008 at 7:39 am

Feast your eyes on this chubby little number and tell me it isn’t the cutest plant ever. This is the puppy of plant. The 6 month old baby of plant. Adorable.

Of course I had to buy one.