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Sunday, February 24, 2008

In my foray into raw eating, I have discovered the young coconut (photo). And here is one way to open one. I have also discovered that zuchini is not bad; it's mild like cucumbers. And that papaya tastes sort of like cantaloupes, and that they need to really ripen for me to enjoy. Butternut squash is a different animal; it's hard like carrots. I don't yet know how I might enjoy a butternut squash in its raw form. But the young coconut is a real gem of a find, along with the Asian grocery store that stocks it.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Timberkits is absolutely marvelous. Check out the U.S. website for videos.Check out the UK website for the story behind them.

recommended dog training

It's been a soggy week; doggie didn't get to go out much. But we did get some training in. For bull-headed dogs, I highly recommend the Koehler method of dog training foundation longe line work. (On the webpage, it starts at "The Foundation" heading. It's not all contained there but that's the gist.) This has absolutely magical results.

I DON'T recommend it for ALL dogs. We've had a Golden Retriever and a very good German Shepherd dog and those two did not require this. For puppies, I'd recommend a more friendly method. But if you have a difficult dog on the leash, big or small, who couldn't care less about you, nothing beats this method.

Doggie and I have had 4 sessions of this. I don't follow it exactly since I don't have all that space. Also, I'm not home to regulate his water intake and we typically start as soon as I'm home and changed into my "anti-muddy dog" clothes. But the method works nonetheless. According to the webpage, 2 more sessions should do it. The sessions are already becoming less eventful. Guppy came out last night to see what I was doing. He did give a few tugs and that helped with the demonstration. I've used this method when I first started training dogs and by experience, I repeat that I do NOT recommend the method for ALL dogs.

As far as following the rest of the method. I probably won't. For one, I no longer have the book and have forgotten. Another reason is that I'm not that disciplined a trainer. I just get to a point where the dog and us can live peaceably together and I quit. No polish to the training.

06/08/2012 update: I no longer recommend this method.

more plumbing

The faucet handle in one of the bathrooms has been broken for a few weeks now. In the same bathroom, the toilet tank has been leaking water into the bowl, causing it automatically refill every so often. So today I worked on those things. The toilet flapper replacement is easy enough. The tub faucet is a new adventure for me. Replacing the handle would not be good enough, since the reason it broke was that we needed the strength of a bull just to open the valve and get a flow of water. So what got replaced was the faucet cartridge (photo) as well as the handle. After three trips to the hardware store to finally get the right parts (first trip a guess, then a trip for the correct cartridge, then another for the correct handle), all is now well with the bathroom.

vocation retreat (sticky)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hearing with the Heart - A Weekend Retreat: Friday, February 22, 2008 $125.00
7:00 PM-10:30 AM (086-023)Register
Presenter: Debra Farrington

What are God’s desires for your life? How do you know what God hopes for you? Discerning God’s will for your life isn’t just for major crossroads moments; it’s something you can use everyday to be more in tune with God. Come discover some of the ways in which you can learn to listen for God more deeply - with your heart - in both the ordinary days as well as the extraordinary moments when big decisions loom. This retreat will include quiet time for pondering. You may wish to bring a journal.

Friday, February 22 - Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday evening 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. • Saturday 9:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m • Sunday morning 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $125.00

Retreat Leader: Debra Farrington is a popular retreat leader and award-winning author. She has written eight books of Christian spirituality, including Hearing with the Heart: A Gentle Guide to Discerning God’s Will for Your Life. Her website is


Sunday, February 17, 2008

I finally took down the shrub Christmas lights outside. That concludes the undecorating effort. Weather was bad yesterday, but today it is beautiful.

vote for a hospital

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Please vote for a hospital of choice to receive a fun center courtesy of Colgate.

Voting ends March 31st



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our dog is on a raw food diet.

By chance I stumbled upon proponents of raw diet for humans too. Apparently eating a raw diet helps the body to heal itself. Google it for yourself and see.

It started with a toothache out of this world. I was looking for relief. Eventually the internet links got me to raw diets. I think it's worth a shot. My dentist said the tooth would have to be extracted, that it's already loose and the body has rejected it. Once I can chew again (after this regimen of antibiotics and pain killer), I will attempt the raw diet. It'd be great if the body can heal the dentals. I'm supposed to return next week for the extraction; I'm going to stave it off to see if I can get some healing instead.

All those with health problems (i.e. you're taking pills), please investigate the raw diet.

doing well

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Doggie is doing well though he's taking up all my off time. He's quiet in the crate and has never soiled it. He's urinating regularly in the designated bathroom area, though the hasn't learned NOT to urinate elsewhere. He doesn't potty much, but so far it's been in the bathroom area. He still pulls on the leash but we can work on that. He more readily tries the food I put down for him (raw meat diet). His supplements came in yesterday (kelp powder, alfafa powder, vitamin C powder, fish oil, and we already vitamin E), he's well on the way to a good diet. Twice he's been allowed on a leash next to me while I eat my dinner. He must learn to ABSOLUTELY NEVER put his nose anywhere near my food. Even the cats understand that my dinner time is sacred; they don't EVER mess with me whenever or wherever I'm eating.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Still here. Just really swamped. I seem to be in a constant fog of fatigue; that is, it seems to be the story of my life. It's after midnight and I still have yet to take my shower. Then I really need to work on some stuff for work.

There was a meeting with the Dominicans this past Monday--a continuation of the volunteering I had signed up to do. But I skipped the meeting because I had to go take care of the dog. I have spent a huge amount of time dealing with dog stuff. I sure hope it gets easier, it's been exhorbitantly time-consuming. Oh, and the "start-up" costs have been significant too even though there *are* some things that we didn't have to buy anew, thanks to having had previous dogs.

We now have the added task of taking care of Skip's property. Gumby has seen to it that the utilities are straightened out (oh boy, more bills). Security is a concern. There is not anything particulary valuable in that house, but thieves won't know that until after they've broken in. We'll need a faucet lock to prevent others from stealing the water. We also need to make regular treks to pick up mail and to check on the property. Further down the line would be to go through the stuff and schedule times for relatives to come in; they want to claim their stake. There will likely be meetings with legal people because we sure don't know now to figure all this out.

big dog

Saturday, February 02, 2008

We just got a very big puppy. Physically, he's pretty much full grown, but else he's still a pup to me. Some puppies eventually grow to be big dogs. And people who don't know how to handle dogs eventually relegate their dogs to the backyard. That was the case for him. We're going to help them out and take the dog. This big fella is not going to get to rule our backyard like he did with his previous owners. He's going to be in the house with us. And he's going to have to learn some manners. He was barking up a storm in his crate this morning. He did it again after I took him out just now and put him back. But he's already quiet now. And he's already thinking twice about jumping up on me. It's not out of him yet but he's getting the message. We're off to a very good start.

I'm waiting for the sun to warm us up a bit more then I'll give that stinky dog a good bath out on the driveway.