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Archive for June, 2010

thanks to what I thought would be a brilliant purchase.

Feeling the need to buy something for my dog (because I’m a sucker for those sad brown eyes and I figured she needed something other than the carpet to chew on), I made a trip to Sunny Farms to check out their line of dog chewies o’ natural. What I found was a plethora of organic rawhide chews ranging from medallion shaped goodies to pig snouts to ears and other doggie delectable delicacies. I made my decisions, choosing one of the pancake sized flat chewies that smelled like processed meat and molasses – I’m gonna say that dogs find this appetizing – and a “bull stick”. Now, if one has never seen a “bull stick” it is exactly as it sounds, a long slender stick of tightly wrapped bull skin of which once was indeed a bull’s stick. In other words, a bull penis packaged as a delightful dog treat.  I bought it out of sheer amusement. What I did not know was that this hilarious (and slightly disturbing) present for my dog was also a cleverly disguised stink bomb.

When I got home Scout’s nose immediately picked up the scent of something lovely from the grocery bags. She danced tight circles around me until I presented her with the source of the sweet smell. One bull stick in mouth she headed straight for the couch where she fell into a state of doggie bliss, chewing contently on the treat.

It was only a matter of moments before a strange aroma filled the room. A smell described best as smokey and pungent. With ever drooling bite, Scout’s saliva was transforming the bull stick into bull stink. After a few minutes I decided it was time to take away the treat and hope that the malodorous odor would dissipate once the chewing had stopped. I could not have been more wrong.

It seems that this dog treat is some horrid joke perhaps cooked up by some disgruntled rancher. I set the bull stick on top of the dryer – one of the few places high enough that Scout would not be able to reach it – and bustled off upstairs to my office to work on some illustrations. I hadn’t more than sat down when my nose wrinkled. What the heck smelled like sweaty gym socks? I got up and followed the foul smell down the stairs to the kitchen where Scout stood nose plastered to the dryer, wagging her tail. The sun was beaming in through the window directly onto the bull stick. Apparently, slobbery dried bull penis + heat is the formula for creating tear gas. Through coughs and gasps, I quickly removed the foul thing from the house.

Much to Scout’s disapproval the bull stick has found a new home in a plastic ziplock stashed out on the back porch. Despite removal of the botched purchase, the house has yet to give up the lingering odor, of which Scout seems pretty content to have as our new air freshener and for me will be a strong reminder to think twice before buying questionable animal parts for my dog’s chewing needs.

Mmm-mm Good!

Happy Scout with her "bull stick".

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Depression Attack

Depression is not usually a funny thing – that is unless you make a caricature of it and have it taken out by two rather scrappy furballs.

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Perks and Parker

Perks and Parker decided to express their thoughts on my possible trip to Liberia in October. They do make a good point.

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If you are in the process of re-roofing a person’s house and you are now a week behind on the work forcing this person to live out the day at their parents’, it is advisable to finish the roof before asking them out. Believe me, the person is probably not in a good mood and would prefer to hear the words “Hey the roof is done!” rather than “How about dinner sometime?”

*Though I give the guy credit for bravery in the face of a grumpy Irish woman.

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I consider myself a curious person. Curious in the sense that I question things and tend to be in constant thinking mode, though I’m sure I also fit the definition of curious as in odd and a little unusual. The latter definition is certainly a better fit for my dog. Thanks to her I find myself practicing the art of curiosity on a daily basis.

Take for example this morning. I left the house in Scout’s capable paws while I went off to enjoy breakfast with my parents. Upon arriving home, she greeted me at the door with an unusually high amount of enthusiasm. Tongue lolling and a slightly frantic look on her face, she immediately pushed past me and began chomping grass like a starved horse. Not a good sign.

I walked in to discover a lovely pile of half-digested dog food in the living room. Of course, I was immediately concerned for my dog and went out to check on her. Seeing she was still gobbling up the greens, I began wondering what had made her so ill. Perhaps the bits of roast beef I had given her with her dog food that morning? Maybe she’d gotten into something while I was gone? Then a terrifying thought crossed my mind – my dad had strategically placed rat poison in various parts of the house. Upon moving in I’d made sure that none of it was accessible to Scout but what if she’d found a way of getting to some of it? Or what if I’d missed some? I immediately shifted from thinking mode to worry mode.

Going through the house I searched for any evidence of what she might have gotten into. I had completed a sweep of the lower level and found nothing. However, upon making the top of the stairs I discovered a very strange sight. Near the corner of the landing a small piece of the carpet was missing. On closer inspection I saw that Scout had in some genius thought of her own decided to eat a small patch of the lovely orange-brown shag carpet. Strands of it were scattered here and there. I later found a piece logged between her front teeth, confirming her meal. Why did she do this? I haven’t the foggiest. She’s a weird dog, raised by a weird person. What possessed her to sample such a delicacy as 30-yr-0ld flooring is perhaps only understood by other borderline Border Collies.

For me this morning’s events will be filed in among the many mysteries that make Scout Scout. Her decision to eat the Christmas tree one year, her bewildering ability to devour entire soup bones in less than 5 minutes, an extreme dislike of dancing and any other disorderly conduct, and her long held hatred of the UPS truck are all mysteries of living with a spunky mutt whose antics keep me constantly wondering and continually reminding me that life is too short to be lived normal.

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There are places open past 8pm in Sequim!!

Hello and good morning to y’all! (I think I got the y’all spelled properly this time).

As you can see by the title of this blog I’ve been doing a little exploring in my new hood and much to my surprise found out there is such a thing as a nightlife around here – even on a Wednesday! Sure it doesn’t resemble the Seattle nightlife. But I’ve never been all that keen on karaoke at seedy bars where you’re packed like sardines and the floor has that mystery stickiness to it that, if the alcohol hasn’t made you queasy yet, the constant “shsstick! shsstick!” sound from your shoes and faint smell of sick in the bathroom will. Um, not that I’ve been to places like this. I mean, not recently anyhow.

Um, anyway…No, the place I visited last night was in fact a coffee shop. Yay for java after hours! There’s nothing like a little Joe to wind down the evening. Hey, I don’t drink alcohol so I have to have some vice, right? Why not caffeine? But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Yesterday was one of those days that I wish would have just left me alone. It was raining (no surprise there) and so assumed the roofers would not be showing up. I was looking forward to a day of peace and quiet spent in my own place when I saw a truck pull into the driveway. Still in my pjs (a bit unusual for me at 8am), I greeted the roofer at the door and asked him to give me a few minutes to get my dog up to my parents’ place. Scout, of course, was proving the necessity of this by barking frantically at him through the window.

After hastily gulping the last of my coffee and throwing on some clothes, I left the roofers to do their thing. At least I could look forward to the roof being completed faster. I can tell you, friends, this is not the case.

While I tried avoiding the house for the next few hours what I did not know was that my roofers were no longer there. One of the guys’ son had hurt his arm and was at the emergency room. The other was perhaps trying to sort out why the wrong roofing material had been delivered to the house moments before.

I arrived back at my parents’ for lunch and discovered the lack of productivity going on at the farmhouse. Slightly miffed, I figured I could at least go back to the farmhouse and enjoy my afternoon in peace. See how I was TRYING to make lemonade? And it would have worked too, had it not been for the moment I pulled into the driveway a semi-truck with crane in tow followed in behind me.

Scout gave them her usual greeting by barking furiously from the backseat as the workers attempted to maneuver the truck closer and closer to the house. I got out and asked if they wanted me to move my car – nope, just there to replace the wrong roofing material with the right stuff. Well, that was good.

I decided if they were just dropping off roofing material I’d be fine taking Scout into the house and getting some work done. Within minutes I realized what an enormous error this had been as the crane roared to life outside and began dropping 100 lb crates of shingles onto the roof.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Now, as most of you may know and I’m sure the rest of you have picked up on at this point, my dog is a little neurotic. A lovable neurotic, mind you, but neurotic. She is also greatly disturbed by loud noises, hence getting her out of the house whenever the roofers were working. The earthshaking racket created by the crane therefore did not go over well. It is quite possibly Scout suffered a mini aneurism before I got her leashed and snuck her out the back door.

It was this coupled with a lack of sleep that put me in a foul mood and the need to get out for a while. Perhaps, Venice, or maybe Florence – I hear it’s nice there this time of year. Alas, I resorted to walking up the hill to my parents house to see if my dad had broken out the scotch yet because what more is there to do in this town on a weeknight? Thankfully, I would soon find out my

After a little prompting and lecturing from my dad (thanks dad!), I checked out the “Things to do” list in the local paper. I’ll admit, my hopes were not high. After all, I remember growing up in this town and for the most part a night out meant cruising Front street and hanging out at the pier. I doubted this would be the best scene for a single 30-something woman.

Much to my surprise though there was an open-mic event at a coffee shop promising an evening of music, poetry, and dancing…in Sequim. Old ladies in square dancing skirts and some old fart taking his dentures out to play the harmonica suddenly surfaced in my mind. You must understand, if Port Angeles is known as a logging town with the nightlife of beer and cruising the pier, Sequim (pronounced Skwim)is the old folk’s center with nightlife of prune juice and cruising the lobby of the retirement home. Yikes! But with my dad starting into one of his two-bit lectures about how I have to make things happen if I want things to happen, I decided to take my chances with the blue-haired bitties.

Arriving at The Buzz shortly before 9pm, I was again surprised to see it still bustling with activity. Weren’t all the retirees in bed by now? As I walked up to the door and peered inside I realized how very wrong my assumptions had been. A full house of young and old were packed into one room kicked back on couches, country benches and old armchairs. Two hip middle-aged women were jamming on guitars on a small stage at the back of the room. The place was literally buzzing. I entered through the coffee area and grabbed a mocha – one of the best I’ve sampled thus far – and stood by the door listening to the folk/rock music. Soon another group was up on stage. The music was amazing, and not a single blue-hair in sight. These were lively, fun people seizing the opportunity to enjoy a good time.

I scanned the room I found I wasn’t the youngest in the crowd either. Several groups of teens and twenty-somethings were there too. And I could see why. For a Wednesday night this was fantastic! I’d even go so far as to say this was just as good or better than many of the events I’d been to in Seattle. Soon I found myself relaxing onto a worn wooden bench to tap my feet to some good ol’ guitar and fiddle music. One after another, the performers graced the room with their unique voices challenging my arrogant assumption that a small town could not possibly hold such passion and talent. As the evening wound down around 10pm, I reluctantly walked back to my car feeling like I’d just spent the last hour or so in the company of good people and that I’d found my Wednesday night thing. I will certainly think twice before judging the little town of Sequim again…now to work on my mindset of Port Angeles. 🙂

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Small Town Lesson (One of many, I’m sure)

*Never purchase gas from a station where the attendant is standing next to the gas pump smoking while chatting with a customer who is fueling their car.

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