Friday, December 28, 2007

Ignoring Travel Warnings...

Yup, we were one of those that ignored the travel warnings as we ventured out into the snow storm, early Sunday morning. We had planned to go to church, but realized this trip was going to take longer than the normal three hours to get there.

Knowing the Lord understood, we took an earlier exit, heading up to Minocqua, instead. The way things were going, we knew Christmas with family wouldn't happen for us if we didn't head east--and north to the land of snow--without stopping.

This is typical of life up in the north. Memories of traveling around through Maine in the dead of winter came to mind as we drove.

The way the snow was flying--and blowing--on the roads, many times we couldn't even see the highway! Still, I felt strangely peaceful--puzzling since white-knuckling is how I usually travel, and what my normally calm hubby was experiencing!

The snow
was dry along 29, the first part of this trip. I'm posting a lot of pictures to show how the snow and the roads changed as we traveled.

It wasn't until we passed Wausau and were north of Merrill that I started getting anxious. This is where 51 suddenly has head-on traffic. Slippery wet slushy snow now replaced the dry stuff we had left behind. This heavier snow weighed boughs of green down onto already tall white banks.
It was picturesque!

Shooting shots through foggy car windows doesn't do any of these scenes justice. But, I never gave serious thought to rolling down windows to get clearer shots. Nor was I ever tempted to traipse around in the cold, wet snow (like I had planned--what was I thinking?!?), even when we reached our destination! But I wanted to share them with you all, just the same.

It took us all but five hours to reach Minocqua from Eau Claire. The time with family, and the beautiful, striking displays from my favorite Artist were well worth it! --LKR

It's kind of ironic to me, but in Eau Claire, we have giant statues of Paul Bunyon and Babe in Carson Park. Maybe this pair is just more common up north. Anyone know???

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mary Pierce Is Coming To Town

Have you seen this lady? No, no, no. She's not missing--this is on a library return drop box. Mary Pierce will be speaking and signing her books at our local library, among many other places.

If you can't see or hear her in person, go get one of her books and read! Or read her fabulous blog! You can listen, too. It's a real treat! --LKR

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Beware So-Called "Gluten-Free" Items!!!

Today, while at Sam's Club, I avoided all of the sampling at the demo stations, as usual. Living gluten-free is not easy with gluten hidden in so many prepared foods.

One of the ladies providing these tempting treats excitedly pointed out her sampling of seasonal, gluten-free crackers. I was ecstatic and tried one with and without a (GF) salmon topping.

Suddenly, I got the funny sensation I get immediately after ingesting any gluten. Checking the box, again, I again saw it was made in the same facility where wheat is used. I continued shopping, but the sensation and discomfort only grew stronger and stronger.

Checking the box yet again, I noticed a tiny asterisk and followed it to the message it lead to. There, it declared that these crackers were made with a small amount of gluten!!! One of my doctors told me long ago that it only takes a trace amount of mere molecules to have a reaction to gluten. Molecules. But it's okay to label something gluten-free if it only has small amounts added that will make people sick. Crazy, huh? But it's legal!

At the very least, this company was honest enough to have an asterisk that pointed this truth out. Fortunately for me, I could immediately tell something was wrong and not buy the product, even if it was already too late and was reacting to it. Unfortunately, other companies may not be as gracious.

A super, reliable, well researched source on gluten sensitivity (Celiac and gluten sensitivity) that my friend has on her website can be found here:

If you're looking for a GF cookbook with really good GF recipes, check out Sueson Vess' book,
Special Eats Simple, Delicious Solutions for Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cooking. I recently had the pleasure of feasting on her fine cuisine at a friend's wedding. Everyone I spoke to truly enjoyed the gluten-free food, even my finicky kids! Sueson, also a speaker, chef, and consultant, is located in the Chicagoland area. Her website can be found at:


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

No Cancellations!!!

The snow didn't really start flying 'til closer to 10AM. Thankfully the kids did not have a snow day, today. I personally would have been crushed! I don't know what Lizabeth, my oldest, would have done, either, if they had called off school!

Today was her field trip to the Guthrie Theater in MN. They went to see "A Christmas Carol", and were going out for fast food for a late lunch before heading home. It's about a 2 hour drive under ideal driving conditions. With all this snow, and I'm sure traffic, it's going to make for one loooong day! Fortunately, tomorrow is a day off for them!

They had a fun day at school, yesterday. Several of the teachers got dressed up as the various ghosts. Her English teacher was dressed as the Ghost of Christmas Present, carrying around boxes of food. I would have loved to have been there to see this!

If we had stayed in the Chicago area, Lizabeth would have gone into the Windy City for cultural events such as this. Growing up 45 minutes from NYC, my sister and I were also fortunate enough to have access to many museums and theaters. Even after graduating from high school and college, it was so much fun bringing visitors from all over into the city. My all time favorite haunt was the MMA (Metropolitan Museum or Art). A day was not quite enough time to see everything, especially if you wanted to spend quality time there! --LKR

Saturday, December 1, 2007

More White Fluffy Fun Stuff!

Mom was in for quite a surprise, she was. Running out the door in her shoes, holding me by my collar, she shrieked. "Waaaaait! Wait a minute! We're going back in! I need my boots!"

Well, we needed more than her boots, we did! My chain was buried under about 2 1/2" of snow, it was, so she slipped what Mom says Nagypapa called "necklaces" over my head, attached to my leash, and off we went. She grabbed her camera, of course, she did, and out into the white fluffy fun stuff we went.

Even at her age, Mom ran around the yard with me, she did. But she didn't want to for long. She does like the white fluffy fun stuff, she does, when it's falling and looks so clean and pure, she said. But not when it's mucky sloshy and slushy, or black or gray like it gets in NYC, NJ, and Chicago, she said.

It's the cold that really bothers her, it does. She told me if we ever move, she's praying it's to the tropics, she said. Wherever that is, I say.
Mom spoiled us when we got back inside, she did. After putting up water for hot chocolate, she gave me leftover rice stuffing from Thanksgiving that "needed to be eaten or thrown away", she did. I ate and was filled. I had been snacking all day, I had!

Turning on the gas fireplace, she handed me my bony bone, she did. I chewed chewed chewed, while she sipped her hot chocolatey drink. It was fun with me and Mom together until my kitty sister Rocky came out of hiding, jumping into Mom's lap. I had to one-up her, I did! I can't let my social order slip in my pack, I can't, so I tried to get into Mom's lap, too!

But I am too big, and Mom won't allow it, she won't. My brother Charlie used to curl up in her lap, he did, even when she was eight months pregnant with my sister Lizabeth. I'm only slightly larger than Charlie, I am, but Mom insists I don't know my size and am not mindful of my paws like all her other poochies.

Other poochies? She's comparing me to other poochies? Excuse me, please. I have to work on one-upping them too, I do! --Mister Poochie

White Fluffy Fun Stuff

Hi, It's me, Mister Poochie!

Alpha took my siblings to his mom's for the day, he did. They're going to help set up her Christmas tree. I want one of my very own, I do, so I don't have to go out on those really cold days and nights to water things.

Mom hasn't put any of the pretty stuff I knock around and down with my tail of cedar, she hasn't, because they celebrated Thanksgiving late, they did. Alpha was 13 hours away from home with his mom, he was, and Mom didn't want anyone to feel they missed out on what she calls a very important Christian Holiday.

But she's told me she's going to do it soon, she said, because of the long northern winters. And the cold. And that white fluffy fun stuff you all call snow. Mom sometimes refers to it as yet another four letter word, she does. I don't think she likes the white fluffy fun stuff, but I do, I do!

As a puppy, I used to run free and play in it with my puppy pals Cosmo and Cinnamon. Old timers like Louie and my older brother Charlie sometimes joined in, although Charlie would flop over, he would, sometimes.

I started getting in trouble when I began chasing cars up and down the road, I did. I also became known as "Puppy Thug" when I started stealing gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves off of my siblings, the neighborhood young ones, and people Mom always refers to as "leave it joggers". She sure knows how to spoil fun, she does!

So now I go out on my chain, and bark bark bark. I bark at the neighbor's rooster I hear in the distance. I also get a conversation going with my puppy pals. I bark at cars, bikes, and the lone skier as he goes up the big hill. And when the wind is blowing just right and I can hear them, I bark at the cows that are out grazing in their big fenced-in yard a mile away. I'd love to go play with them, I would, but Mom's never gotten me a play date, she hasn't.

Well, the white fluffy fun stuff is flying, and I need to go water something, I do. If we had an indoor tree, this wouldn't be a problem, now, would it?! --Mister Poochie

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Shocking, Subtle, Secret Story

No doubt you've seen the adds for the movie. It's reminiscent of the Narnia movie, but looks can be deceiving, just as the tip of the iceberg was to the Titanic--by the time anyone saw it, it was too late.

We had seen the trailer for The Golden Compass over the summer which looked like a fun, cute movie to take the kids to see. Fortunately, I recognized the storyline, and when I heard the name "Lyra", immediately scratched it off my list.

Lyra is the main character in the first of a trilogy of books put out by Phillip Pullman, and is the secondary character in the second book, The Subtle Knife. My son had innocently brought home this book from his elementary school's library when I picked it up and started reading it.

The reason I'm so fervent, for those of you just hearing this from me for the first time, is because I read the entire second book in the series called The Subtle Knife and was quiet disturbed by its content very early on.

The media is defending this movie, making it look like only "kooky Christians" are concerned. I'm here to tell you that while I am indeed a born-again Christian, I was disturbed about its content long before I ever learned of this book's plot at the very end when "killing the Authoriy" is revealed.

How many of us would be indifferent upon learning of a book that talks about castrating young boys and girls? Shocking? Just wait, there's more!

It also paints evil as good and good as evil, revenge and murder as justifiable and worthy, among many other things.

In a very short amount of time, our town received
over 400 signatures from concerned citizens who signed petitions when a murderer moved into one of our neighborhoods. They were neighbors. I doubt very many, if any at all, would call this man, or any other murderer a "worthy companion" like Lyra does in the second book!

These books are vile even if they did not attack God or Christianity. They are surprisingly found in many elementary schools for the advanced readers. I strongly believe they should be removed. All books influence people,
especially young, impressionable minds, even in the name of "fantasy".

Pullman writes very compellingly, and Hollywood is out for the big bucks. Mega efforts are going toward promoting not only the more benign film, but the wicked trilogy itself.

Does the below sound like a book you'd like your kids to read? They are taken from
The Subtle Knife: --LKR

He (Will) couldn't get out of his mind the crack as the man's head struck the table, and the way his neck was bent so far and in such a wrong way, and the dreadful twitching of his limbs. The man was dead. He'd killed him.

And now he'd killed one of them.

So the police would be after him too.

Well, he was good at not being noticed. He'd have to not be noticed harder than he'd ever done in his life before, and keep it up as long as he could, till either he found his father or they found him. And if they found him first, he didn't care how many more of them he killed.

She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy?

The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer.

When she (Lyra) saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion.

54 "I know the man Stanislaus Grumman. I used to love him. But I hate him now with such a fervor that if I see him, I shall kill him... .."--a young witch named Juta Kamainen 322-323 ...Something shot down from the turbid sky, and he John Perry) fell back dead before he could say a word, an arrow on his failing heart. "No! No!" Cried witch Juta K., and fell down after him, clutching her own heart. ... "Why did you do that?" he [Will] shouted. "Why did you kill him?" Because I loved him and he scorned me! I am a witch! I don't forgive!" "What did he ever do to you that you needed to kill him?" he cried. ... And she looked at the dead man. ... "No, I can't explain," she said. "You are too young. It wouldn't make sense to you. I loved him. That's all. That's enough." And before Will could stop her, she fell softly sideways, her hand on the hilt of the knife she had just taken from her own belt and pushed beteewn her ribs.


261 talking about his mother: "They were tormenting her just like those kids at the tower with the cat.... They thought she was mad and they wanted to hurt her, maybe kill her, I wouldn't be surprised. She was just different and they hated her. Anyway, I found her [his mom] and I got her home. And the next day in school I fought the boy who was leading them. I fought him and I broke his arm and I think I broke some of his teeth--I don't know. And I was going to fight the rest of them, too, but I got in trouble and I realized I better stop... so I just pretended to be sorry and told the teachers I wouldn't do it again, and they punished me for fighting and I still said nothing. But I kept her safe, see. No one knew [about his mother's problems--being afraid of things she couldn't see, but he didn't want people to think she was crazy and get separated from his mom] apart from those boys, and they knew what I'd do if they said anything; they knew I'd kill them another time. Not just hurt them. ..."

264 "What about the man you killed?" Lyra said, her heart beating hard. "Who was he?" "I don't know. If I killed him, I don't care. He deserved it. ... And I ran away. That's all that happened. So I didn't mean to kill him, but I don't care if I did. ..."

talking of killing the Authority pages 45-47

46-47 "...I think he's aiming a rebellion against the highest power of all. He's gone a-searching for the dwelling place of the Authority Himself, and he's a-going to destroy Him. ... I'd be afraid to speak it aloud to you if you weren't a witch and beyond the power of the church; but that makes sense. and nothing else does.He's a-going to find the Authority and kill Him. ... The Church teaches that some of the angels rebelled before the world was created, and got flung into hell. They failed, you see, that's the point. They couldn't do it. And they had the power of angels. Lord Asriel is just a man, with human power, no more than that. But his ambition is limitless. He dares to do what men and women don't even dare to think. And look what he's done already... ." --Thorold

50 "...There is a war coming. I don't know who will join with us, but I know whom we must fight. It's the Magisterium, the Church. ...For all history,'s tried to surpress and control every natural impuse. And when it can't control them, it cuts them out. ... They cut their sexual organs, yes, boys and girls; they cut them with knives so that they shan't feel. That is what the Church does, and every church (c) is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling. So if a war comes, and the Church is on one side of it, we must be on the other, no matter what strange allies we find ourselves bound to. ..." --witches speaking???

319-320 "...If you're the bearer of the knife, you have a task that's greater than you can imagine. ... There's a war coming, boy [Will]. The greatest war there ever was. Something like it happened before, and this time the right side must win. ... The knife,...they never knew what they were making, those philossophers. They invented a device that could split open the very smallest particles of matter... .. They had no idea that they'd made the one weapon in all the universes that could defeat the tyrant. The Authority. God. The rebel angels fell because they didn't have anything like the knife; but now... " Will's father, John Perry, aka Stanislaus Grumman

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bettas and African Frogs

One little African frog.

Another little froggy. Unfortunately, neither of them lived that long.

This is Passion, one of our bettas, named after the purple passion plant. Passion really is more purple than he looks, here. We just lost him two days ago.

This is Pate II. We had another wonderful Pate when we lived in IL that protected our platy fry (babies). He wouldn't let any other fish near the netted breeder they were in! --LKR

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year at Thanksgiving, we had the class guinea pig, Mel, with us as our guest of honor. He literally sat at the table for his meal, but not when we had ours!

This year, my hubby drove his mom 13 hours down to Ohio for his aunt's/his mom's sister's funeral. Bummy, huh? It's really sad, but the Lord's in control of these things, so I'm not complaining.

The kids and I watched part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on tv. I pointed out Times Square to them as well as the historic hand-carved wooden wagon I'd heard was being transported from Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI, for the event. We don't have cable, so we didn't have super reception, but at least we got to see it! The kids spent the rest of the day on the computer (where else?!), while I visited with a good friend across the miles via phone who was also alone for the holiday.

DV, we're planning on a Thanksgiving meal Sunday afternoon when hubby should be back. We can even put it off 'til Monday evening, need be.

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Albino Squirrels

Coming home from Church near the new "turn around" [a small circle], I saw one that had met the grim reaper at the side of the road. Yes, I do mourn the loss of little creatures along the sides of roads. When my hubby's with me, he'll say, "Wow! look at that!", pointing in the opposite direction to divert my attention. Amazingly, after 17 years of this, I still usually fall for this line! --LKR

Friday, November 9, 2007


This is Wisconsin, so I shouldn't be too surprised that it's snowing in November--this for the second time, already! And, after all, 16 years ago it did snow in the Chicago area on my wedding day on the second of November!!! Imagine that--I've lived in the midwest for 17 years and I'm still not used to this weather! Never do I remember it snowing that early in New Jersey!

My poor little poochie puppy out in the white, fluffy stuff. It wasn't snowing when I put him out!

Some time after it stopped snowing, I counted 14 robins in just a small section of our yard! I'm sure there were even more of them hanging around close by--the deck obstructed my view. Yes, the snow did not stay on the ground too long!

Not all robins migrate south for the winter.
Those that stay behind feed on the fruits of bittersweet, crabapple, snowberry, sumac, and many others. At feeders, they look for treats such as apples, raisins, currents, oranges, cranberries, as well as other berries. They also like moistened dog food in the place of worms.
Bon appetit!


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Walk Through Fairfax Park

Hi! It's me, Mister Poochie taking over for Mom while she's busy working on yearbook!

I took Mom for a fun walk through Fairfax Park, today, I did. It was the first time either of us have ever walked these trails! Mom was bringing me to the vet, she was, but had to stop at the middle school to drop off my oldest sister's violin, you know? Lizabeth had her hands full, this morning, she did, bringing a rubber band car on the bus that she built for her science class!

We had some time to kill, we did, and suddenly Mom thought of those trails. I love to walk, I do, I do! So, I pulled pulled pulled her all over the place. She didn't think she'd need my pinch collar and back-up choke collar since we were only going to the vet's! Thanks, Mom, really, thanks! I really got to be lead dog for real, I did!

Mom also didn't bring her camera, so I have no pictures to show you, none at all. But, it was fun, it was, even though it was cold and very, very windy, even for me. And I was too busy sniff sniff sniffing and watering things to let it bother me much, though, you know? Poor Mom--she rarely wears her gloves, but she sure took them out for this walk, she did!

Hey! Was that you we saw walking in front of us?

--Mister Poochie

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Where to Find a Thermologist

Several people have asked where they could find a thermographer in their area, so I'm adding links that I've found. Check all five lists, as there are a few that are different on each site. The first one is of my thermographer who travels throughout the midwest. Also, ask around, or even call these places to see if they know of someone closer to you.

Don't give up--it took me three years to find someone who is a traveling thermologist that just started coming to my area. Check with chiropractors, alternative healthcare providers, wellness centers, holistic healers, massage and physical therapists--anyone and everyone!

Sports docs may know, as athletes have thermograms done on their injuries. Horses have thermograms done, too, so it's a lot more common than we are led to believe.
My friend in IL had a thermogram done in Chicago several years ago and this doctor still does them, yet I haven't seen him listed anywhere. Once you find someone, check into their reputation. It's an extremely valuable tool! Make sure the kind they do also screens for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).

I had my thermogram done earlier this week, and just got the results today that everything is fine. It's just like having your picture taken, minus the blinding flash! I'll just need to go back in about three months to get my thermal signature baseline established, and every year or so after that.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thermograms in the Chippewa Valley!

Breast Awareness
(You have been warned!  :-))

I'm *soooooo* excited! I've been trying to find some place that does thermograms in the Chippewa Valley since we moved up here three years ago, and now I'll be having one done on Tuesday here in Eau Claire!!! 

Last spring, My doc ordered a mammogram as a follow-up to a breast exam after I complained of a "whining", aching breast. I later asked a nurse where I could have a thermogram done. Apparently no where around here since she seemed so totally unfamiliar with it, as many people, including healthcare workers seem to be, now.  It's really strange, especially since thermograms have been used since the 1950's.  

This nurse tried to scare me into going for the mammogram even after reminding her that a) it's not always accurate, b) cancer doesn't show up on these x-rays until it's been in your body for at least 4-5 years, and c) mammograms don't show Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), the deadliest form. Deadliest because it spreads quickly, is sometimes symptomless, and is often misdiagnosed as a bug bite or rash (that doesn't respond to treatments).  Thermograms do pick up on IBC loud and clear!

Being hypersensitive to light, sound, taste, etc, I can hear and feel radiation which makes my head feel really odd. (Yes, I have to leave the room when using a microwave, too.)  When I *did* go for that x-ray, afterward I wanted to remove my head, throw it as far as I could, and run away in the opposite direction. Not too many people react this way or would even understand, but as my sister reminded me, florescent lights in large stores like Two Guys years ago used to leave me with a headache, nausea, and disorientation. So, how I reacted to radiation was of no surprise to her. (It's so nice to be validated!) 

Once again, I'm a little unnerved because my cystic breasts are hurting, and of course I'm thinking the worst. Reports on mammograms, at least mine, are evasive, reporting that, "it's in the 'normal' range"--whatever that means! I'd been praying for a near-by place to have a thermogram done after recently finding that the closest ones listed were 3 and 4 hours away. Then, my ever resourceful chiropractor (Dr. Dan of Tenold Chiropractic) heard of a lady who travels the midwest doing them!

Pam Ryerse, a clinical thermographer, will be in Eau Claire starting this Monday, and I've scheduled an appointment for Tuesday am! Thermograms can detect cancer very early on, and because no radiation is used, you can have them done as often as you like or need. I need that peace of mind! 

Breast awareness events free to the public will also be taking place at these times and places:
*  Wholistic Healing and Arts  119 Regis Ct.  Mon, Oct 29, 6:30pm, Tues, Oct 30, 12:00pm
*  Gaia Massage & Yoga 112 East Grand Ave.  Tues, Oct 30, 6:30pm
*  Path to Health Massage 310 South Barstow  Wed, Oct 31, 11:30am

To schedule a thermogram with Pam, call Joyce Sobotta at:  715-828-0117

If you miss this opportunity, Pam plans to be back in our area in about three months. A thermogram is an impressive tool that can also be used to help diagnose many other diseases and conditions all over the body. 

For more information on thermograms, please visit Pam's website:


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We lost our super 14 year old "puppy" Charlie two years ago, today. He was such a super dog that just loved the kids. He loved everyone! Charlie and his "sister" Rocky, our shy little kitty, were the best of friends and used to sleep next to each other on the guest bed. Every neighbor we had that had a dog he'd get them to run back and forth the length of the fence separating them. A well-worn path would be created on both sides!

One of his closest puppy friends was a dog named Candy. They were both the same breeds--Golden Retriever, Collie, and German Shepherd and were the same age. Candy was more orange and looked more like a Retriever while Charlie was darker and had Shepherd markings and a white Collie tipped tail. But he was his whole life what the shelter described him as: goofy!

We got him from the Hinsdale Humane Society in Hinsdale, IL. His family had just dropped him off and, unbeknownst to us, was it the "observation before adoption" section. When we went back there, Charlie picked out Don. I was "okay", but the doleful eyes, leaning into the fence, and plea went out to Don. I don't know if he knew that we were from the same pack, but he picked out Alpha!
Hard to believe from these pictures, he had short fur for the first three years of his life! Every year after that, he got fuzzier and fuzzier. Much later in life, he earned the title "Fuzzy One". When my parents would come to visit from NJ, my Dad would take him outside to brush him. They both loved it! They were best buddies from the very beginning.

When we started our family, I would know Charlie had totally accepted his "siblings" when he'd plop down on the floor next to them and chew his bone. With our oldest, he loved to very carefully trip her by purposefully and gently grabbing her leg with his paw. It was so funny to watch! His tail would start wagging as he'd smile and then kiss her. The older the kids got, the more he adored them and the more they loved him. It was really hard for all of us to lose Charlie. --LKR

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Walk in the Woods and Wetlands

"Mom! Hey, Mom! This way, this way! Let's go this way!" Oh, I forgot, I did. She has an agenda, today, she does. We're going onto trails she's never walked before, we are! An adventure we're off to, what fun! What fun!

We'll start off on the usual paths, we will. And be linking unexplored trails to the ones we know well, too, Mom said. Lowes Creek County Park has many trails for bikes, "leave it joggers", hikers, and us poochies on leashes. I love to come back here, I do!

We've walked for quite a while, we have. We usually don't walk this fast. There's always too much to smell and see, so we usually stop a lot, we do.
But, not today!

I love walking through this part of the park, I do. It's so peaceful and tranquil. The leaves are pretty too,they are. Mom likes it too, she does.

By now we are out passed the trail "Red Flint". It
turns into lots of other trails, it does. Mom's figuring out which is what and where they lead. But she knows exactly were we are, she does. If we go further east, we will be out by 93! See that blue in the top left corner? That building is on 93!

Remember Mom's blog on Waste Research and Reclamation Environmental Services? This is the back of WRR that was on fire, it is. That big black tower had huge flames coming from it, it did, and was on tv. It made really big news!

I remember it well, I do. It's not that often Mom takes me out before 7AM! But this day she did for sure, she did!

I got to see those thick black clouds of smoke, but mainly just sniffed the air. I doubt one of you would have smelled it where we lived, but Alpha sure did, he said.

He had been on 93 and got to see the huge balls of fire pouring
from that tower right over there, he did.

Mom believes we are now where the polluted wetlands are. They got even more toxic after this fire, they did.

I got a drink back here. From standing water, uh oh. We just had rain, we did, but Mom was not too happy. Neither was my vet when he found out, he wasn't. "Deer ticks and toxic water--not very good", he said, shaking his head.

But pretty things still grow here, they do. We saw lots and lots of late blooming wildflowers and weeds back here! And pretty yellow butterflies and bees, too!

Look! See?! Take a peek at this, please do! Mom saw this and took two blurry pictures, she did! She said it freaked her out, it did. I did not smell what she saw. I was busy watching what Mom calls "leave it joggers", I was. But it does look like a man by the door, doesn't it, you think?

We're heading back now, we are.
Mom and I bring home little deer tick from here, we do. They are small and hard to find, even when they get bigger this time of year.

Mom forgot to put natural tick repellent on us both. She makes it with essential oils in olive oil, and it's always worked well for us, it has.

We're back to where we started from, we are. This is one of the paths us locals take to enjoy these trails. Many bicyclists ride these trails and can get in at several places.

I need another drink, I do! I can't wait to get home, I can't! We've been out here for three fun hours!

We're almost to the van! We're almost to the van, we are! I can't wait to go bye-bye in the van! We live only one block away, but Mom drives us here, she does. I don't stay in my yard, I don't, so she drives us to this local's entrance. I do think she's right, I do. If I smell my scent walking here, this would become part of my big backyard too, it would! --Mister Poochie

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Use the Force...!

Isn't this sweet?! We were guinea pig sitting for my daughter's friend during part of the summer when my youngest daughter Hannah took this picture. This little girl's name is Hermie, and we all just
loved having her around!

My son had been looking for someone to play "Star Wars" with. If only Hermie could have picked up this light saber... .

"Use the force, Hermie. Use the force!"


Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Spotted Trio at Dusk

Right before dinner, this evening, a trio of deer were spotted in our neighbor's yard. We get them all the time, according to our neighbors, the telltale hoof marks seen throughout our yard, and disappearing vegetation!

Even though they come smack up to our house, we do not see deer that often. The largest part of our property--where they frequent the most--is on the north side where we only have one window. And, unfortunately, that's located in the laundry room, all the way down stairs!

Bow hunting season has already started in our neck of the woods. Admittedly, I do enjoy venison. It's the slogans like "Bambi must die" that bother my inner child. Deer--with tongues hanging out of their mouths--displayed on top of the same car or truck for days doesn't sit really well with me, either. My hubby, who grew up in WI, says these trophies are a normally expected--and accepted--sight, come fall.

Hunting wasn't really that big where I grew up in northern NJ. My first real exposure to it was when a neighbor my sister and I babysat for cautioned that if we wandered down into their basement with the kids, we might find some deer "parts". And, on our way to school, we could see deer skins hanging outside on the cloths line over their fence. My friends, sister, and I would cringe as we'd walk by.

These photos are my trophies so that Bambi can live! (I'm posting three so you'll know they're real, not those lifelike statues seen in people's yards that I get fooled by!) Hunting is not for the faint-of-heart! --LKR