Thursday, April 19, 2018

One Last Time

For some reason this Spring has everyone really on the edge of crazy town.  Could it be the snow that fell this morning?
Here's the pic from the hospital window.  I walked in at 6:20am with the ice pelting on my face and the snow flying.   Looking back at previous years on my blog I noticed we have had snow many times in April.  However, by April 19th warm weather is usually fairly consistent.  We've had a few warm days this Spring..not many.. but a few.  But then they are chased by weeks of cold.  No flowering trees that are usually out and about by this time.  No tulips.  Daffodils that are smaller than usual.  Maybe what' really bugging folks is by this afternoon the sun was shining and my car thermometer said 48de...a heat wave!   The grass was green again and I spotted dandelions.   I will need to mow this weekend if this keeps up.   Whiplash at it's best.  Well, we're tough even though we may whine about the weather....constantly.  I'm going to say that we can  handle it one last time....as long as today is that last time...DID YOU HEAR THAT MOTHER NATURE!!!????  Not that I'm upset or anything.
 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Feeling Bad Today

With the highest hopes and greatest intentions we adopted Zoe and welcomed her into our home.  Unfortunately, it's been a struggle to help her overcome her very skittish and scared outlook with humans.  At first we were encouraged by some small steps she was taking.  Like being able to walk into the house with someone next to her.  She has so many good qualities like loving to walk on a leash and be outdoors.   She's not aggressive at all.  She did great with being housebroke.  She's great with other dogs.  But with us she just didn't seem happy at all.  It was a challenge to get her leash on her without her waking in the other direction and not coming to us.   When our Granddaughters came over on Saturday she was a bit better with them.  Probably because they are smaller like her.   The saddest part was seeing how Zoe was getting worse.   She wouldn't take treats anymore or even food from our hand.  She would eat from her bowl just fine as long as we didn't stand next to it.  So on Sunday I called the folks involved in the prison program for some guidance on how to proceed with her.   In the program they offer a week trial period but after meeting her at the prison we were really confident she would be fine.  Zoe was an Amish puppy mill dog who was caged for 6 years and not loved or touched much by anyone.  She was just livestock to them and used to make puppies.   We understood she would need time to adjust, we just didn't bank on her not wanting any connection with us at all.   And also we understand she was here only a week.  But we saw how depressed she was getting, and how she was becoming more detached.  Not ever dealing with something like this we decided to return her to the prison program.  She was only in it for 2 weeks when we took her but we were assured by the prison that she would do better in a quiet home like ours.  After being with her, both Jack and I feel she really will do better in a family with kids and even better if there were other dogs around her.   So I took her back to the clinic and was assured by the Vet there that she would be fine and they will take our recommendations to put her in a home with kids and/or dogs.  There were other people interested in her and some even had experience with dogs like her so I feel we did the best thing for her.   So although I feel really bad it didn't work out, I feel in my heart it was the best move for her.   Some may criticize us for not taking more time with her but we lived with her and know how she was responding.  I guess this is lesson learned and also I have to give kudos to our son Jordan who really hit the nail on the head.  He came over on Sunday and said we probably jumped the gun on getting a dog so quick after losing Chubbs.  We probably thought she would be just like all the other dogs we've had in the past.  And perhaps we thought she would fill his place.  Not fair to her and a mistake on my part.  Anyway, to make the day even more sad, it's snowed all day.  Not a "stick to the ground snow" but a snow in the air kind.  Mother nature taunting us  We went from 80 degrees on Friday to 34 degrees today.  Sort of like my mood I guess!  Have a good week everyone.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I Went To Prison

Yes, I was in prison this week and last week.  Mansfield Correctional Institution...Manci for short...has a program called:  Manci Cell Dogs.  Google it and you'll come to their facebook page and it explains the program.  The Reader's Digest version is this: They take dogs from shelters and have the prisoners train them to be re-homed.   It gives the dogs a second chance for a good life and it helps the prisoners in many, many ways.   We really weren't looking for another dog after Chubbs passed on, but a friend who got a dog from this program had me hooked when I looked at the page.  I found a sweet face named Londyn.  She was a puppy mill dog from an Amish farm.  She's very scared and skittish of humans since she was kept in a cage her whole 5yrs of life.  Hopefully she'll become more at home here at the Pines.  It will take time and patience but she's very sweet and obedient.   We've changed her name to Zoe since she doesn't answer to her old name anyway.
Such a sad face...and my greatest joy will be to see her tail wag one day.  Welcome sweet girl!  In other news  we have quit complaining about our nonexistent Spring.  Today is the 100th day of January.  Snow was flying yesterday but in true Ohio fashion it's going to be 70 on Friday..maybe then we can move into Spring!   One other crazy event happened that really has me believing in the power of prayer.
I lost my Fitbit on Saturday.  I couldn't find it anywhere in the house so I realized it had to be in the Creepy Woods.  We were up there riding around in the gator trying out Jack's new tires.
Pretty aren't they?  Anyway, I decided it was a lost cause.  I mean, seriously, looking for a needle in a  haystack kind of moment:
Sunday afternoon I took a walk in the woods with my camera like I always do.  I said a little prayer about finding the Fitbit.  Then I thought to myself, why would God care about a stupid Fitbit?   I turned around to head back when I looked down and saw this:
I had to click a pic because I'm sure nobody would believe me.  I was tempted to pray quickly about a few other things since He must have been listening at that moment but said thanks instead and moved on.  Yep, be a believer or not but I'll take any prayer answers whenever they are given!  Hope your week has many crazy moments and answers to prayers! 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Light My Fire

Last summer we were out visiting our son Craig and  his family in Portland, Oregon.  Before we left  Oregon, the whole dang state along with Washington, Wyoming and I believe parts of California were on fire. I have no clue how it started.  I'm sure it wasn't with 3 fire logs, 5 gallons of gasoline, and a box of matches.  That's how I started a fire today.   Did I burn the whole state of Ohio?  Did it spread into Indiana...not that, that state couldn't use a bit of purging.   No sirs and ladies it did not.  It barely burned the brush pile I was aiming to reduce to ashes.
I will title this "Brush burning"...clever huh.
I will title this "Freaking stupid pile of brush still almost burning but not quite".  I would show you the finished burned pile but I don't have to because it looks just like the above photo.   What the heck!  Jack joined me in the fire fight and we managed to catch the gas can (that's made from plastic) on fire along with this strip of grass and  his new gloves.  (no human was hurt in this fiasco)
Look at the dry crap behind the grey matter...yep, even that just died out.   In fact I was sure the gas can was going to explode...but no, that didn't burn either..just melted a bit!  My intention was not to gut the Creepy Woods, just burn some brush so I could do my new planting project.  I can see this is going to take some time,  and a new gas can,  to complete.   Well, my last name is Starkey, not Sparky.  I'm still shaking my head.  Maybe they don't make gasoline like they used to...or like they do in the movies.  Come on baby, light my fire!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter / April Fools

 Yesterday we gathered to celebrate Easter.  I love this holiday.  Yes, because of the religious aspect of it and it's meaning of new hope and renewal, and also because it really does mean Spring is here.  We had a chilly day but lots of sunshine made it great to do our annual Easter egg hunt outdoors. This year we started early...10am with brunch here at the Pines.
Since it was so chilly in the morning a fire in the kitchen fireplace made it cozy.
Jack had french toast duty..he's a pro!
I showed you the kid's lamb cake and this is the one I did...being watched over by Peter Rabbit!
Plates were loaded up...looks good Summer and Brett!
Kip our granddog made it...he's ginormous!  Just to give you a comparison,  the next pic is Kip and Summer's dog, Happy
Happy comes up to his knees!  We sure missed having our little Chubbs here..he would have enjoyed all the company.   After brunch we headed outdoors for the egg hunt.  The sun was shining and even some of our daffodils were blooming.
Addy was having fun while Lexi dug through the brambles for eggs.  Those egg hiders were brutal this year.  The kids had to really dig for them!
Cameron, you can thank your Uncle Jordan for putting eggs in this weedy mess!
Lex had to trudge down to the creek for the loot.  We came up short  2 eggs which I'm sure I'll find when I start mowing the lawn in a few weeks...if the weather ever warms up!   Being April Fools day old Mother Nature pulled a fast one before midnight.   When I woke up it had snowed!
That's Jack's jeep with a tarp and snow...
I leave for work pretty early so I snapped a quick pic in the dark of our snow.  Yes, we were fooled alright.
This is later in the morning from the hospital window.   But by this afternoon we had this:
Green grass and no snow and tomorrow it's suppose to be 70 degrees.   We go through this every Spring...up and down temps and snow and rain.  Hopefully by May it will be better!  So Mother Nature had her laugh yesterday but today I want to toss out a big Happy Birthday to Jordan,  our youngest...34! Holy cow, we're the same age!  It's a miracle!  Jord, you were a fun kiddo and you're a wonderful young man..we love you!
When I took this pic yesterday I realized he was in the shadows..but he's a quiet guy and prefers it that way!  Happy Birthday!   Happy Easter to everyone and I hope it was wonderful for you.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Getting Ready

Easter is this weekend and we're getting ready for the kids and grandkiddos to come over.   This year we're starting earlier than usual because some of the family have to go to other relatives during the day.  So we decided on a brunch instead of a later lunch.  Anyway, every year I always make a cake that's shaped like a lamb.  It's something my Mom did every Easter.   She has a cast iron cake mold from the 40's that she got when she got married.  My sister and I always joked with her that we each wanted that lamb mold after she died.  Then we decided we would have to split it and get together every year to make cakes.  Well, my brother Phil broke that debate by giving me an antique cast iron mold just like Mom's that he found at a flea market.   So I carry on the tradition in my family.  Tonight my son Phil and his girls came for dinner and then the kids and I made a cake for them to take home.
I had it baked for them to decorate.
Addy was more interested in t he stuffed bunny I found in the closet!
They were very proud of the finished product.  After the lamb was done we decorated cupcakes too.
There was a lot of sugar going around!  We made a lovely, fun mess and everyone had fun doing it.  Plus they are big enough now to help with cleanup so it was easy peasy!  I love these girls!  When Jack saw I was blogging tonight he asked if it was all about him...of course I said it was!
This was him over the weekend doing some tree cutting and outside cleanup. We worked out there for about 4 hours.  We have lots of burning to do but it will have to wait until things dry up a bit.  Up in the woods I snapped a pic of the creek.
That snow is melted now but we're expecting a chilly Easter Sunday.   The girls were telling me about their new dresses and sandals they will be wearing.  I told them to prepare for a cold day for Easter egg hunting at the Pines and bring along some boots!  Hope your Easter is fabulous wherever you live.  If you're having warm and sunny please send it up to me!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Saturday Jack couldn't resist the urge to buy a new snow shovel.  They were on sale for $4.50!  Who could pass that up?  Good thing too since it's was the first full day of Spring today and we get hit with a weather advisory...snow.   Schools closed today and driving was a pain.  It took one of our Docs 2 hours to get to the hospital this morning which delayed our start time.  I'm sure there will many accident reports in the newspaper tomorrow.   Here at the Pines...
Cold, wet, but beautifully white.
Frosting on the trees
This bird was perched on the tip top of a pine tree.  What was he looking for?
His nest perhaps?  Looks like he needs that snow shovel! 
Spring has sprung in good 'ol  Ohio...come on down the drive, we'll keep the lights on for you!