Friday, May 31, 2013

Where is Sarah When You Need Her?

As much as Linda loves nature and wildlife, she really isn't very brave or able to deal with critter emergencies.  Years ago, a baby deer was trapped in our backyard.  We have 6' tall fences. Somehow the deer got over the fence but couldn't jump out.
Linda and Tierney were freaking out.  They laid bread pieces out in a path leading from the fence to the open gate so the deer would find his way back out to the woods.  It was hysterical.  Eventually, it was able to get enough speed to leap the fence.

Then there was the chipmunk fiasco.  She found a nest of baby chipmunks in the tall grass under the deck.  She pulled the doghouse over the top of the nest and covered the hole with branches. Every morning she put food (bread, lettuce and milk) at the door of the nest.  They all lived! (or maybe ended up in a possum or raccoons belly, they were just gone one afternoon.) It was hard for Linda to sleep because she was constantly worried about them.

Probably the same generation of chipmunks chewed a hole in the garage door.  She has watched them come in and out.  Again, she is waiting awhile before she fixes it.  What if she puts the new rubber strip on the door and the babies are trapped inside without their Mom?

Once Chip Cat bought a half-dead mouse upstairs and hid it under the couch cushion.  Ugh, that was terrible.  Linda didn't get a photo of that because she was hyperventilating wondering if she should kill it and put it out of its misery, or just lay it outside and hope it got better.  

It's amazing that today she cleared a bird nest out of the dryer vent.  When she turned the dryer on this morning, she heard all this racket from the plastic vent pipe.  Dumb birds pulled the wire cover off the siding and started building their nest.  Seriously,  Linda thought about waiting a few weeks to clean it out.  She was just going to go to the laundry mat because she didn't want to disturb eggs or yikes! maybe baby birds.  Instead, she took off the vent and cleaned out the nest.  (She ducked down like a ninja and poked a stick in the vent.  It wouldn't have been good if the Mama bird came flying out in her face.)  There wasn't any eggs or baby birds.  She caught it in time.  All this straw and dead grass came out.  If Sarah was with Linda in all the above situations, she would calmly and swiftly deal with them.  Growing up a farm girl has its advantages!

(In case you think Linda is a wimp, she really isn't.  She does all sorts of brave things and hardly ever gets scared.  She has saved both Chim and my life from giant charging dogs.  She rescued two big pit bull mix dogs from the very busy road near our house.  She used to have a 4' long pet Ball Python named Rocky that she would drape around her neck and sun on the deck.  ((For some reason, feeding Rocky live mice never bothered her.))  Linda has vacationed alone in Mexico and gone explored exotic jungles by herself in a jeep.  Just never ask her to take a fish off the hook.)

For Real?

Linda was so proud of herself for outsmarting Chimi with the pills.  She sure showed him who is boss.  Last night and this morning she made sure that he swallowed the pills before she let him up off his back.  He licked his lips and panted, so she knew it was in his tummy.  Or so she thought..... She is not making this up or staging the photos.
Both last night and today's pills were spit out on the floor by the dresser, in the exact same spot.  He must have known Linda would look in the bathroom (which she did) so he found a new spitting place.  Are all dogs this smart and sneaky? 

It's a good thing he is such an adorable and loveable dog or Chim might be a pound puppy.


Twice a week Linda teaches a 3-6 year old fitness class at Gold's.  Sometimes she has up to 25 little kids all eager to "Drive the Car"; be robots in "Transformers"; get their inner "Pirate" on; and many other fun routines.  Two of their favorite are "Going to the Circus" and "Prancing Ponies."  In both routines, they pretend they are circus ponies and prance, trot, gallop and jump over obstacles.  And yes, Linda does the whole thing with them.  She loves teaching it even though the weight-lifters watch her through the glass windows with a somewhat quizzical look.

This morning, look what she saw on the news.  The hottest new fitness trend: Prancersize.  Linda is NOT poking fun of her or the video.  There are other blogs who are dissing this woman and laughing.  As a prancer herself, Linda says the pony part of the workout is the hardest song in class.  (You do have to build up to speed and jump high over the "barrels")   If you don't want to watch the full 5 minutes fast forward to 1:25 for the Trot; 2:30 for the Gallop and especially 3:45 for the Prancing Pony Kickboxer.  

The second favorite routine is pretending to be different animals.  Each kid calls out something different like:  flamingo, zebra, T-Rex, alligator, rattle snake; baboon; cheetah.... They hop, slither, sprint, roll and jump around mimicking that animal to different songs.   I'm thinking Linda better get on the ball and start her own "Animalercize: Find Your Inner Animal" program before someone else becomes famous.

True story:  When Linda gets a new Body Combat routine, she puts her headphones on when she walks us.  She does the exact same kind of motions as this video, practicing the routine while kicking and punching in the air.  She's even been known to sit in Starbucks with her iPod while she air punches and does little kicks.   Linda has to work on better outfits and doing her hair though if she wants to look this cool. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Chimi Antics

Remember last week when Chimi went to the vet?  He had to take two pills a day to cure his intestinal bug.  The first few doses didn't go well.  He would spit it out of every single food she wrapped it in. He wasn't fooled one bit.  Finally, Linda wrestled him onto his back and stuffed it down his throat with her fingers. (He never once tried to bit her or growl.. good dog!)  It was stressful for them both, so she started waiting until right before his breakfast and dinner to do the pill.  The last 6 doses, he would run to the bedroom and roll on his back for the pill.  Wow!  Linda was so impressed.  He wouldn't fight her, just swallow the pill and lick his lips then run into the bathroom to wait for Linda to put the food down.  (We both eat in separate bathrooms with the doors closed since we don't like to share.) 

                  Imagine how surprised she was today when she found this while she was cleaning!
You have to look closely since the pills are the same color as the floor.  He was running straight into the bathroom and spitting the pills out behind the toilet!! It was all of 10 seconds between Linda giving him the pill and putting the bowl down.  

Chim was napping on the Big Bed when she found the pills.  She said "Chimmmmiiii..." (in her mean voice)  He immediately jumped off the bed to run and hide.
He must think the blanket is camouflage and Linda can't see him.

What pills? 

Figuring out a new camera

"No Nana, there is too much light in this one."

"Now that the light is fixed, you actually want me to look at the camera?"

Linda is trying to learn how to work her new (old, but she never really used it) camera.  It does have a point and shoot option for no-fuss photos, but she is working with the manual settings.  So far, its been a bust.  On the simple "photos for dummies" settings, she does fine and takes OK pictures.  Today she tried to use some of the other settings.  Blah... not very successful.  It's a good thing Penelope is so cute and sweet because she wouldn't cooperate at all and sit still for Linda to get practice. 90% of the shots she took are a blur or the top of Penny's head.

 Penny's favorite thing today was reading her farm animal books.  She likes to read the same one 20 times in a row before she moves on to the next book. 
"Read it to me again!"
"Fine, be that way.  I'll read it myself"
They also did 2 miles with the "Bob" stroller.  It was over 90 degrees, but Penelope had a lot of sunscreen on and seemed to be enjoying the ride.  Linda did it interval style.  She ran 100 steps, then walked fast 100 steps.  Even if the run turn was uphill, she kept running.  (Pushing a toddler in a Bob stroller uphill is hard!)  Her t-shirt was soaking wet when they got back.  She had to take it off and let it dry for awhile so she didn't sit on Sarah's furniture all sweaty.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The cicadas are supposed to be coming any day now.  Swarms and swarms covering trees, cars, windows.  So far, we haven't seen even one cicada.  Which is good because Chimi is finally over his stomach "bug."  He'll look at the cicadas like buzzing-flying toys.  Plus, he is going to eat every single one he finds.  The bugs aren't toxic, but dogs can get sick if they gorge on them.  (Chimi is a gorger for sure!) Little dogs can also choke on the wings and legs.  Some dogs are allergic to the shells too.  Then there is the whole noise anxiety issue.  It's supposed to be loud, kind of like a constant thunderstorm. Linda HAS to get me a Thundershirt in the next few days.
  There are a lot of cool recipes for cooking cicadas.  You can make everything from appetizers to desserts.  The bugs have a lot of protein and have a nutty, almond flavor. (Linda just priced some almond butter Sunday, it was $14.99.  Hmmmm...maybe?)  The females have more meat on them and it's recommended to catch the bugs early in the day while its cool. 

Chocolate Cicada Cups

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stormy Weather

We had a close call tonight during our walk with Jerry.  While we were out it started raining, thundering and lightening! You all know how petrified I am of thunder.  Even if I'm cuddled under Linda's sweatshirt on the couch, I have severe anxiety.  Imagine how I was actually outside in the rain?  Jerry picked me up and he jogged us home.  He waited until the rain stopped and tried to walk us again, but I wasn't having any of it.  When Linda finally got home at 8:00 p.m., I was calm and ready for dinner.  (Jerry didn't tell her in the texts he sent Linda how Chimi reacted.  Normally, he sleeps through the worse storms. He's only afraid of a blowing leaf or a plastic grocery bags.)

Linda really struggled through her last two classes tonight.  It's been months since shes felt that tired.  This time it wasn't the heavy legs she usually gets, it was her cardio-endurance that was suffering.  She did push herself way harder in each class, but not so much that she should have had such a hit the wall feeling.  Right now the prospect of having to stand up to take a shower is overwhelming her.

That's one Cardio-Sculpt; a TKD class; Body Combat and Aqua Boot Camp

No more boring heart rate monitor pictures please.

"Nana, you need to work on your couch relaxing endurance." 
"I'm training for Nana's Aqua Boot Camp"

Monday, May 27, 2013


     This is the first day of the new heart rate monitor.  So far, Linda has gone 6.9 miles and burned:

The total includes two classes (Body Combat & Pump) and a long, fast walk with Chimi.  (I wouldn't get my leash on, so she left me home.  The second she left I started barking because I was mad she actually didn't take me.)  Linda likes her numbers exact. (At the gas pump, adding a tip on the credit card receipt, etc.) The .1 mile short and the 2 calories over is going to bug her.  See?  Wearing a pedometer and heart rate monitor can make you exercise more.  She is going back out for another walk to get the numbers less buggy.  The last time she wore a pedometer she had to do jumping jacks before bed to end the day with an acceptable number.  Linda says she's not really obsessive compulsive.  She just likes things orderly and exact.  Well, she does sometime count things (like mailboxes when she is walking) and does clean things around the house that are already clean.
Before the gym this a.m. she went into CVS to buy a bottle of water.  Look!  M&M's are on sale for .75 cents a pack. Look at the regular price:  2/$1.00.  What a great sale!

Chimi isn't too worried about the numbers on the watch or the price of M&M's.  He's pretty tired from the walk.
Update:  A total of 8.5 miles.  Chim is dogtired.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Remember MacGyver?

It went from freezing weather yesterday to absolutely beautiful today.  We all spent some time out on the deck basking in the sunshine.  Linda really wants a hammock.  All we have are some CVS cheap folding lawn chairs and two sturdier upright chairs from Target.  Linda was able to flip one on it's side and make a MacGyver-ish lounge chair.  All she needed was some duct tape; paper clips and a piece of chewing gum!

I forgot if I told you that Chimi's better.  He went to the vet on Friday since he was feeling terrible.  Just five doses of the medicine has made a huge difference.  His energy is back, no intestinal issues and he is eating great. 

Tomorrow is like a day off for Linda.  She only has a Body Combat and a Body Pump class to teach and she'll be done early.  We are going out on the trail as soon as she gets home from classes.  She can't wait to test out the new HR monitor.  Chimi should wear a pedometer clipped on his collar.  I bet on an average day he does 10,000 steps no problem.

Time for Linda to leave for church.  She gets to watch the babies tonight in the nursery.  There are two newborns to cuddle.  After holding big girl Penelope, they feel so tiny and light.
Was she really this little?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A busy day and a yummy waffle

'Let's go walk... can we.....please???

Linda wants to know if its bedtime yet?  She is so tired that she is considering taking a nap even though it's 6:15 p.m.  It's been a busy Saturday.  So far today she has: Taught four classes at Gold's; mowed the entire yard (and used the string cutter thing and the clipping blower machine); cleaned the whole house; folded and put away laundry; emptied the dishwasher; ran a few errands at the store; and best of all... ate an amazing Belgium waffle that Taylor made her for lunch.  (Taylor ran 26 miles on crazy hard trails through the mountains this morning. He was feeling totally fine after.  You would have thought he walked to the mailbox and back.) 
During lunch they were talking about going mini-golfing. We have to find Taylor's little golf club so Penny can start practicing her putting skills.  Both Tierney and Taylor are great mini-golf players since they started really young.   (True story: Linda got a hole-in-one at a par 3 course totally by accident.  The rest of the time she shot 8's - 12's each hole.)

Jerry took us for a long walk while she was gone, so Chimi and I got a lot of exercise too.   Even though Linda should rest up, she really wants to take us for another walk to test out her new HR monitor.  It's even waterproof, so she can wear it to teach her aqua classes.  She is kind of number crazy.  Seeing the number of steps, calories, and checking her heart rate will be fun for her. Total since putting the new monitor on 30 minutes ago:  calories burned: 50; steps taken: 30; miles walked: 0.0; heart rate: 66.  (She's only walked to the bathroom and back.)  It took an hour trying to figure out how to program the age/weight/height function and learning how it works.  It has a basal metabolic feature, so it shows the calories burned while she is just lazing around and sleeping.

Friday, May 24, 2013

You Can't Make Me Look

We did a little photo shoot today because the light was so great coming in the dining room windows.  Usually, I'm the best poser ever.  I'll stay in whatever position Linda puts me in.  Today, I wouldn't look at the camera at all and wasn't cooperative.  There are about 30 shots with me head turned facing the opposite direction.  
Please leave me alone.
This is my Lassie pose.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Green Acres

Yikes.  Wouldn't want to meet this bird in a dark ally.
Pile of pigs
When Linda was little, she went to a petting farm park just like the one that she went to today.  There were the same kind of animals: pigs, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, turkeys.  Linda had a weird feeling seeing them then, and she had the same feeling today. There is something so creepy to her about animals in a pen or cage.  Some zoos (with small cages for big animals) and the circus bother her too.  Born-free cows in a field or pigs in a big regular sty are fine.  Linda has been vegetarianish all her adult life (at times adding seafood, other times total vegan) because of her early exposure to a pile of pigs.   Last year she took Noah to the petting farm and it barely bothered her.  Once someone made some shrimp that still had the tail attached and she couldn't eat fish for a long time.  She is weird.
She will have nightmares about this pig tonight.
This rooster thing was terrifying,  The hanging red stuff makes her cringe
Penny agreed with her Nana.  She didn't smile once while she was at the petting farm.  She was bland, totally uninterested in getting near or engaging the animals close enough to the fence to pet.  I doubt she'll become a vegetarian over it though. Sarah grew up on the farm, raising these kind of animals. Penny was just too young for her farm-girl genes to shine.
"I'm not impressed"
"How close is that goat?"

As soon as she got back in the car, she perked right up driving to meet Taylor for lunch.  She was happy, smiling the entire time they ate.  (Sarah said it was the best meal she has had in forever!)
"Now this is the life!"
"Going to go for a bike ride, wanna come?"


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thundershirt Needed

Linda doesn't know why, but all of a sudden both Chimi and I are freaking out when there is thunder.  I even lose it with the sound of heavy rain.  Linda has tried everything to console me.  Wrapping me in a blanket, rocking me, walking me up and down the hallway... I'm shivering, panting, shedding and having major anxiety.  Chim is coping by racing around the house like a cheetah.  Your not supposed to cuddle a dog during storms because then they think there is really something to be afraid of.  How can you just let your little dog pace the floor suffering?  I really wish she bought the Thundershirt for me last week.  If this was Tierney's blog, she would have whatever product she mentioned on her doorstep tomorrow via Fed Ex special delivery.  One time I wrote about too much cat hair on the furniture and a company sent Linda a whole box of nifty products.  (Oh, and another time a company sent Linda got a giant box of energy bars when she wrote about being tired after classes.)   Please Thundershirt people, send us a shirt for a 6 pound Chorkie, and a 17 pound muscular Chihuahua.  Thanks.

Hopefully the rain will stop by tomorrow.  Linda, Sarah and Penny are planning a fun farm outing.  There are quite a few choices in the area to choose from.  Check back for some fun photos. 

Last year on the hayride Linda got nudged by a camel. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Angel Dogs and Prayers Answered

The tornado coverage on the news today was so intense that Linda had to stop watching earlier, but not before she saw the sweet old lady who had her prayers answered. First she prayed that she would live while the storm flattened her house and second, that her little dog would survive too.  By now, everyone has seen the video of the women finding the pooch trapped underneath the rubble. OK, it totally made Linda tear up.

The story she read today about the angel dog was so moving, Linda cried about dogs twice in one day!   Casey was a dog like Linda's old Husky Sheba.  No matter how many things Linda tried, Sheba would escape.  Jumping over the 6' fence, digging under the fence, plowing through the electric cattle fence, chewing the wood slat fence, busting out the screen of the window, squeezing out the door... that dog managed to escape so many times it wasn't funny.  Casey was just like that.  The neighbors would always complain when the lady got home from work: "Your dog got out again!!"  Please read the story, I don't want to give away the amazing ending.  
With my Angel Daddy Snickers

Monday, May 20, 2013

Most (unrelated) pictures ever

Tierney sent this picture of Snickers to Linda.  It was when Snicks was a younger, spry dog.  Wow, back in the day he could run for hours, hike the tallest mountains and jump as high as a cat.  It was so sad watching him get old and go lame.  He was my best buddy, Daddy and mentor.  Miss you Snikcerdoodles!!
Linda went to lunch on Sunday after church and saw this gigantic, big as her face, Rice Krispie treat.  You can't even appreciate how big it is because you can only see one side. 
After lunch, Linda stopped at her friends house for the 5K after-party to raise money for Diabetes.  This pose has become a tradition for Laura and Linda.  They were laughing so hard trying to get the model position right.  Someday Linda is going to find all their shots in this exact position and post them all together.
As usual, Linda made her bed as soon as she woke up this morning.  About 10 minutes later, this is what she found.
Upon closer examination, guess who messed up the covers? 
"It's my fort"

Goodbye Jill
Tonight after classes, Linda went to a going away dinner for her friend and boss.  Jill was the driving force behind getting Linda's second TKD school started. 

Last, but not least, there were new posters up in the 3-year old preschool hallway today when Linda went to get the kids for TKD.  You have to click on the photos to read these hysterical answers "all about my Mom."
"My Mom always says: "I love Gumbo" and she "weighs a lot of pounds"

My Mom "cooks the best cereal" and always says "bad words"