Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bubble Mower

Mowing the lawn in 90 degree heat and 99 degree humidity is never fun, but there are a lot of chores in life that aren't fun. (Linda likes some chores, like cleaning the wood floors and vacuuming.) She was determined to mow after church before she sat down and got lazy.  She was sweating buckets and the grass blowing out the side of the mower was stinging her eyes.  She mowed most of the time with her eyes shut.  Just like last week, it took her 30 minutes to stop sweating after her shower.  While she was mowing, the neighbor behind her was mowing his yard too.  He was using a riding mower though.  Linda finished in 1/2 the time! She likes to go as fast as she can with no breaks to get her heart rate up and burn extra calories.

I bet Penelope would love her own little lawn mower.  Some of them actually blow bubbles while you push them.  It would be way cool if grown-up mowers were equipped with bubble blowers.  It would make the whole process much more fun! 

(Linda ate lunch on the deck and read her book for awhile this afternoon.  It looks like its about to rain, so she had to come back inside.)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fitness Pals

Since Thursday, Linda hasn't watched any TV.  Not because she is giving it up or because the TV is broken, it's because she would rather sit outside and read.  She is like a little kid with a new bike except it's 4 chairs and a table.   The mosquitoes are pretty bad and she has bites on her legs, arms and face, but it was worth it.  Tomorrow she has to buy a few of those bug-b-gone candles.  

It was hard leaving the cozy deck, but a certain hyper dog needed some exercise. Besides her 3 classes today, Linda took Chimi on a long, fast walk this evening. She wanted to get 10 miles in, and she made it to just over to 10.1.  Using the pedometer and the My Fitness Pal app on the iPhone has been so much fun.  Both really encourage her to move more and eat healthier.  Its free to download!
 Penelope's BBF's Mommy took this picture of Penny during one of their picnics.  Linda just loves how she running down the ramp with such purpose!  She looks like she is training for her first 5K.  She is such a strong girl, if she wore Linda's pedometer, I bet she would clock in 10 miles too! They could be Fitness Pals.

Go Penny Go!


We all are so happy with our new deck furniture.  Linda loves that she has a table and chair so she can eat her meals outside.  Chimi and I love the shade that the giant umbrella casts.  Our backyard is treeless, so the only shade is under the deck or in some bushes.  We've all been sitting on the deck this afternoon while Linda ate, read and studied.  She is so happy to finally have a real (and pretty!) outdoor set.  Before she can have people over, she has to get a company to come and check the sturdiness of the deck.  It was built before Tierney was born (over 26 years ago) and its never had any maintenance work done to it.  She is afraid that it might collapse under a lot of weight. You can also get wicked splinters if you go out barefoot.  Taylor did spray stain it about 6 years ago and the steps have been replaced, but there are holes and rotting boards on the flooring.
Ms. Handy-Woman (not)

Right after Taylor finished.  It doesn't look this good anymore :(

Friday, June 28, 2013

Good Night

Linda subbed an extra class today.  You would think one extra class wouldn't be an issue, right?  On Tuesdays she teaches four classes and can stay awake until 10 p.m.   Today wiped her out. For some reason, it's only 6:53 p.m. and she can't keep her eyes open.  Its one of those times when your eyes burn to look from side-to-side. She is so tired that she is going to bed right now.  All four limbs and her head feel like they are filled with concrete.  Just to be sure we don't have an accident on the floor, she is going to set the alarm for midnight to let us outside.  I guess you could call it a nap and then straight to bed instead of saying a grown-up is going to bed at 7 p.m.  She is also going to turn off her phone, so if you call... she is OK.   She'll be up bright and early by 5 a.m. If it's not raining, she is going to take us for a walk while its still cool. 
Precious Penelope napping when she b'little.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Somthing is Fishy

  There have been a lot of missing pets in our neighborhood in the past few months.  Signs have been up for two missing dogs, a cat and a parakeet. (Pretty sure the parakeet just flew the coop and wasn't nabbed.) Linda has been very careful not to leave Chimi out in the yard while she is gone, even with the fence gate locked.  There have been sightings of bobcats and even bears in our county.  Most likely its a pet-napper in our town  Stealing someones pet is just so wrong.  Linda lost an orange kitty once named Pumpkin.  It was partially her fault though.  The cat used to follow Linda and Snickers on the trail and walk for miles with them, just like she was on a leash.  One day she went outside and never came home.  She was very friendly, so maybe she just made herself at home with another family.
There are no pictures of Pumpkin, so here is a Beanie Baby orange cat.

 Today's news was a little odd though.  Some pets went missing, except they weren't cats or dogs.  They were fish.  Two men, dressed as pond maintenance workers, stole 400 Koi fish from a pond right in our town.  It was at an office center that had a park and pond in the middle of the courtyard. The only description of the men is that they were in their 50's; wearing sunglasses and one man was fat.  Little Koi are inexpensive, but big Koi can cost from $100-$1,000 each.   I had no idea there was a black-market for pet fish.  
If you think of a better fish title... Let minnow.

Great Day!

Linda took Penelope on a little off-road walk today to a fun park.  It's a good think that the Bob stroller can do dirt trails. 
She tried to get Penny to go on the little slide, but she wasn't interested in that one at all.  She wanted to do the big slide that was about 8' off the ground.  That meant that Linda climbed up with her and went down the slide.. over and over and over.
Linda did draw the line at squeezing herself into the swing though. 
"You should try this Nana, its fun!"
Penny was so tired from the walk, park, and all the playing that she went down for an hour and a half nap after lunch.  Linda was thinking of taking a nap too, but she studied and read instead.

Check out Linda's new (to her) deck furniture.  It's so pretty and fits perfectly.  She can't wait to be sit out there with her coffee in the morning.
I'm surprised she didn't make me sit on the chair when she took the photo.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wine and Tuna

Severe thunderstorms are predicted this afternoon, so Linda said there will be no walk today (unless its dry after she gets home later tonight.)  That's fine with me.  It's so hot that I had to be carried down the deck steps since the heat/humidity makes my asthma kick in.  Just losing the 1 pound has helped my breathing, but the hot weather (or if I get really excited about seeing someone!) makes me wheeze and gasp. 

Linda isn't happy about her lunch today.  She splurged on a frozen pizza that turned out to be terrible.  California Kitchen has a freezer brand that usually are pretty good.  Since she eats 1/3 of the pizza at a time, it only works out to about $2.50 a serving.  Except she is throwing the rest of it in the trash.  How could you mess up Roasted Vegetable pizza?  By smothering it in a white wine sauce.  She didn't read the fine print.  There was a bottle of wine on the front of the box, but she just assumed it was a suggestion "this would taste good with white wine."  Nope, the pizza tasted like she was sucking on the cork of a bottle of Chardonnay.  
 I guess if you like to drink white wine while you are eating your pizza, it might be fine. 

I hated my lunch today too.  Linda was out of chicken to mix with our wet food so she used part of a can of tuna.  Chimi gobbled his down but I wouldn't eat mine and just kept pacing and whining over the bowl trying to get it to turn to chicken.  He ended up eating mine.  I've been sadly nibbling on dry food to sate my hunger.
Is this what people mean when they say they ate a can of tuna for lunch?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Extreme Weight Loss=Extreme Crying

It was way too hot to walk earlier today.  Linda is going to take us later tonight after she finishes watching Extreme Weight Loss.  It's such a good show and yes, she has teared up a few times.  It makes her feel horrible for whining about how hard it is to lose 5 pounds.  This guy lost over 100 pounds in the first 90 days, is working out like a beast and he only has one arm.  Linda was dragging in tonight after teaching all her classes, so tired she contemplated going right to bed without eating.  (Her Fitness Pal tracking system said she was at a negative 34 calories for the day, so she had to eat dinner.)  After eating, she is feeling better and more energetic.  Plus, her pedometer watch is reading only .8 from her normal 10 mile Tuesday, so she has to walk us!
(OK, now she is really crying.  The guy just rode 43 miles on a bike in honor of  his Uncle who died earlier in the month at only 43 years old. He had a bad crash but got back on the bike to finish the ride. His 9 month weigh in: down 208 pounds.  Over half of his body weight.  Now the show producers are giving him a new bionic arm!..... No wait, it might not work....Sniff-Sniff.) 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cookie Monsters

Yum.. Yum.. Yum...
Penny had a picnic lunch with 3 of her BFF's today.  It was also the first time she ever tried an Oreo cookie.  Based on how she is stuffing her face, I think she liked it!  Who doesn't like cookies though? Ever since Linda decided that Chim and I needed to lose weight, we only get a small cookie-treat twice a week.  I'm so much slimmer now.  Linda had to use my puppy harness for the walk tonight.  My newer harness (3 years old) is too big.  Chimi has also slimmed down and is looking mighty fine.  Linda has lost weight too!  A few pairs of her favorite jeans are too big now.  I guess giving up french fries, pizza and daily desserts works.  She still has a small treat now and then, but the key word is small.  

I wonder if they shared their cookies with the geese?

Killer Smoothie and Dangerous Grass Clippings

This weekend there was a "Super Moon" in the sky.  Translated it must mean "Crazy Chimi."  He has been acting weirder than normal.  His new thing to be afraid of:  Linda drinking her morning smoothie.  He is petrified of the drink going up the thick straw into her mouth.  On Friday, Linda made a little slurp sound while he was napping next to her and he freaked out.  The sonic-sound  of the Ninja blender pulverizing the frozen fruit doesn't bother him a bit though.  Next, he was wary of the grass clippings on his ball in the backyard.  Linda mowed the grass (he was fine and sunned on the deck during the loud noise) but when she went to play ball with him after he didn't like the strands of grass on his ball.  He tried playing fetch, but kept dropping it and backing away from the ball like it was on fire. 
"I just want to stay under the covers on Linda's lap the rest of my life"
I already told you that he is afraid of the plate that Linda feeds him off of.  She had to change to putting his chicken in his emptied water bowl.  If the food was on a flat plate, he would back away from it and bark.  

If Linda could part with him for a few weeks, Chimi would be an ideal candidate to to to Cesar's Dog Ranch and learn how not to be such a chicken-dog.  On the plus side, he is learning to love all dogs and not be afraid of them.  He is also open to meeting any new people and will give them 100 licks on the face to prove his love!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

So Tired

My legs are only 2" long, but they do reach all the way to the floor (har-har)
 It's been a long Saturday for Linda.  She's home and in her pj's ready for some reading and bed.  This morning's Aqua Boot Camp class seems like it was a week ago, not 12 hours ago.  She had to attend the Gold's all-staff meeting today at 2:00 in the traffic-construction nightmare place, but Yay! there wasn't any traffic at all.  The rehire process was painless and she got to see an old friend.  The worst part was that her morning shake at 8:00 didn't quite carry her all the way through classes, the meeting and grocery shopping after.  She was lightheaded and queasy from lack of food.  It's OK though, she made up for missing lunch with a yummy dinner and a small cup of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for dessert.  After eating she rallied enough to take Chimi for a walk.  Since Jerry took us this morning, I didn't want to go again.  One walk a day is enough for me.  My little legs are so short that I have to take 10 steps to Chimi's one step.
Linda's favorite part of the day was opening her email and finding fun pictures of Penelope!  Penny loves to play in the rain.  Sarah is the coolest Mom ever and lets her sit in puddles and splash. 
This is her sad face because the rain stopped.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Speed Bump

"Get off your cell phone and drive already!"
There are people that have to deal with work/traffic/job stress every day.  Sometimes Linda reads Facebook posts of friends that have super demanding jobs that keep them chained to a desk for 12 hours a day.  Some have to sit in traffic hours to and from work.  Linda is spoiled with her fun job and short, easy commutes.  The longest drive is three Body Pump or Combat songs.  (Every driving or walking distance is measured in song lengths.  A long dog walk is 10 songs, a short walk 4 songs. She is always practicing for a current or new release.)  Teaching is so fun and rewarding, she loves every single class and has easy drives. So today, it was very strange that Linda had a frustrating afternoon/evening because of work stuff.  One of her gyms is being bought out by Gold's Gym.  This is a good thing, except that Linda has to go through the re-hire process with the new owners.  She wasted 2 hours driving in bad traffic, detours, construction, accident back-ups, getting lost, paying tolls, paying for parking only to have to go through it all again tomorrow to attend a mandatory meeting/orientation at a Marriott Hotel in a very busy city.  Blah.

Stop whining Nana! It was just a speed-bump.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Best Job Ever

Thursday's are Linda's easy day.  She only has two or three classes to teach; and only one of those is demanding.  The Kid Fit class at 9:30 is one of her favorites.  When she got to the Kids Club to pick up her class, some of the girls were waiting for her with beaming smiles.  They had made "I love you Miss Linda/You're the best teacher ever" cards and drawings.  It made her so happy to read them all!  They were bouncing up and down with excitement as she read them.  Plus, she had two younger teenage girl helpers today which made it more fun.  Five minutes into the class the stereo broke, so they had to improvise and play games instead.  Even the gym's General Manager stopped in to play a round of Duck-Duck-Goose and Sharks and Minnows. 

After class she got to visit with Penny.  Sarah didn't have any chores or errands to do, but she did go for a run while Linda fed Penelope lunch.  
Penelope, age 14 months
Noah, maybe 13 months? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stay calm, I'm here to help

Whew, it's 10 p.m. and Linda is finally home .  She has been gone all afternoon and evening too.  For her job, she is required to have not only a CPR certification, but a First Responder First Aid certification too.  She is now able to treat you if you have frostbite; hypothermia; heat exhaustion/stroke; a snake bite (including pit vipers); all types of insect and animal bites; get stung by a jellyfish; have an open fractures; get an object embedded in the eye/body; have internal organs hanging out; get electrocuted, fall off a ladder; sever a body part; drink poison; treat shock; deal with severe allergic reactions to food; treat any type of burn; have a gunshot wound; crash your car; get stabbed with a knife or go into diabetic shock.  I'm sure she is forgetting some because her brain is pretty much fried from the class and exam.  She did get 100% on the written and passed the practical, so maybe she should consider a career change and be an EMT.  Not really, just watching the videos of the scenarios was freaking her out a bit (especially the stick impaled in the eyeball one.)   Hopefully the 911 folks will be there before she ever has to find the missing arm; put it it in a plastic bag, wrap it in some newspaper and put it in a cooler full of ice. 

She wants to take another First Aid class that's geared just to children and infants.  There are also pet CPR/First Aid classes.  Might as well make it a trifecta and do all three.

When Not Winning is Good

The 25th annual World's Ugliest Dog competition is being held this weekend in California.  I've seen the pictures of the contestants, and I wouldn't have a chance of winning.  If Linda lets my fur grow out and I'm having a particularly bad day; I might qualify though.  When I was little and had a lot of daily seizures, it caused my tongue to hang out sideways most of the time.  For pictures, Linda tries to stuff it back behind my teeth, but it always lolls back out eventually.  That seems to be the common denominator with the winning dogs:  a tongue hanging out and bad hair. 
The Don King look
Do you really have to take a picture right now?
Nobody looks good yawning

There are also plenty of adorable pictures of me. I actually won a "Cutest Chorkie" contest once and got a doggie tee shirt as a prize. And if you google "World's Cutest Chorkie" I have two photos on the first page of hits. That proves I'm not ugly, right?
I wonder what happened to this hat?

Noah + Choopie = Love
My staring role as Toto in the Wizard of Oz

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mysterious Bruises part 2

It's never a good idea to google a medical condition.  The first thing you do is self-diagnose the absolute worse possible scenario.  There are more bruises on Linda's bicep.  The old ones had faded and then "wham!" a new big bruise.  It's probably because shes such a toughie she doesn't realize that some gruesome troll hiding under the bed is pinching her while she sleeps....Or.... Dr. Google says it could be from rigorous strength training causing tears in blood vessels; especially in athletes :)  But why is it just one arm since she curls a bar with plates? It could also be from weird supplements, but shes not taking any.  Lack of some vitamins or folic acid seem unlikely since she is eating so healthy now. Scarier causes:  a bleeding or clotting disorder; liver disease, lupus, cancer or myleloma (she'll have to google that last one, but maybe not.)   It takes a whole lot worse than some bruises to get Linda to go to a doctor.  She walked around (and taught a bunch of fitness class each week) for a year with a totally torn ACL in her knee.  It would have been her 3rd ACL replacement on the same knee and she was kind of done with the whole surgery and rehab thing.  She waited until she couldn't walk without a cane and then got a total knee replacement.  Since her ACL's weren't lasting, she figured she would just do the whole shebang at once.

She's thinking the real cause is not enough Sweet Frog in her diet.  She's only been 2 times in probably 4 months!  

Da-Da Day & Roll Over

Penny sure loves her Daddy and she was sure to show him lots of attention on Father's Day.  He's really an amazing Dad to her and great husband to Sarah (oh, and don't forget great son!)  Even though he works a full time job, is getting his Master's degree, commits a lot of time to church and serving others, and is training for a 50 mile race... he still seems to make his little family one of his top priorities.

 At 14 months, Penny is already saying so many words!  Every time Linda sees her, she surprises her with something new.  So far Linda hasn't heard her put two words together (like:  Nana, Up!) but she says them one at a time.  She is skilled at letting you know exactly what she wants, even if she doesn't know the word for it yet.  I'm sure the first complex sentence she says will be "Nana, show me a video of Choopie barking."  Right now, she just points at Linda's phone and says "Choop."

This is her new favorite video that Linda took on Saturday. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

She has shoes to match

Linda volunteered to watch Penny tonight while her Mommy and Daddy had a date night.  Remember Thursday when I blogged how much she was changing?  She grew-up even more in just two days.  Her new favorite thing is carrying a purse.  It's filled with all sorts of "big girl" things like (outdated) credit cards, a cell phone, compact, and other important items.  One thing it must have been missing was a hair brush.
"Nana, this hairstyle rocks.. what are you talking about?"
She puts the purse on her shoulder, waves and says "Bye-Bye!" 

They took a long walk, ate a snack, reviewed all the pictures and videos on the iPhone, read books, watched Tarzan and eventually Penny had a bath and got in her jammies. 

Just in case you missed your daily picture of Chim cuddling with Linda.. here is today's.  He is now sucking on his paw since he doesn't have a woobie anymore.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Tier calls him "Mr. Man"
Chimi update:  Chimi was so happy to see Tierney last night that he was actually smiling at her.  As soon as she got here, she spent some floor time with both of us.  After a few minutes of Tier hugs, I wandered off to nap.  Chimi was 100% focused on her the entire time she was here.  She had an online-conference work call she had to be on from 8-9:30 p.m.  The whole time she worked on her laptop, Chimi stared at her with a smile on his face waiting for even a second of attention.  Linda is not sure why he is so attached.  She had moved to her own house by the time we adopted Chim.  He always loves visitors and shows them lots of attention, but it was different with Tierney.  He really adores her.  Maybe she'll come over on a Saturday afternoon and we can all go on a trail walk. (hint-hint!)

 Bruise update:  No new bruises on Linda's arm today.  

Penny update: She is having a blast riding in the baby bike seat on the back of Sarah's bike.  They are riding everywhere. (We have to get some pictures of her on the bike.)

Choopie update:  Linda says I'm so cute that she just can't stand it sometimes.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Penny Says Nana and Mystery Bruises

The predicted storm was a wash-out.  We had a few minutes of driving rain, and then it stopped.  The wind didn't even move the chairs on the deck or blow any branches down.  Tierney and some of Linda's friends lost power, but it only blinked a second and then came back on at our house.   There were a bunch of people missing from Linda's Body Pump class this afternoon.  The tornado warning was still in effect, so some regulars stayed home.  There were still 30 people who braved the rain and dark skies. 

Penny has changed so much in the last 2 weeks.  She is copying words now, and says so many things. Today she said "up" so Linda would carry her; ball; Nana; ....oop (not the Ch part - but she knows my picture. For Chimi's photo, Linda thinks she says "pup.")  She also kind of said Tierney only it came out like "turnee" or something.   As soon as Linda gets to Penny's house, she'll start grabbing for Linda's purse.  The very first thing she wants to do is look at the photos on the iPhone.  Her favorite are videos of Chim and I barking.  She knows how to swipe to the next photo and how to press the play button on videos. When the camera is flipped so she can see herself, she loves to make faces


 No, seriously, I am really quite good looking.

Being so ridiculously gorgeous makes a baby tired.

(Tierney just stopped in for a visit! She did these captions for me. Whole trees blew over at her house and one landed on a neighbors car.  Her street was even blocked by downed trees. She is only a 5 minute drive from us.)

Linda has been puzzled by some mystery bruises on her arms.  At first she was blaming Penny because she likes to pinch the skin on Linda's arms.  She thinks its funny when Linda goes "OUCH!" The three bruises she had were fading, but today... two new ones showed up and it wasn't Penelope's fault.  It's only on her right bicep. 
What could it be from?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


"What? Isn't everyone afraid of paper?"
There was an article on the National Geographic website that explained how dogs can have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) just like people.  Well, duh!  Linda could have told you that without a lot of fancy-pants research.  Chimi has the worst OCD ever.   This is just a partial list of some of his repetitive behaviors:  nail chewer; blanket sucker; toy destroyer; and rabbit poop eater.  Other weird things:

 He has to be under the covers with Linda, not on top of the blanket.  If he's not under the covers, he cries and cries while pawing at the blanket.  Seriously, he has a nervous breakdown.

  He is afraid of books or when Linda turns the page of a book.  Even if the book is sitting on the chair, he won't jump up or get near it.

 He won't eat off certain plates.  He creeps up to the plate low to the ground, and reaches out his neck as far as he can to get a nibble.  Then he runs away and hides to eat it.  When Linda uses a plate he likes, he'll gobble down his food in 34 seconds. 

Some days, he's afraid of basically everything during his walk.  Leaves, plastic bags, trashcans, bikes, strollers, newspapers laying in the driveway.  Other days, he'll walk by them perfectly fine.

If a piece of paper grazes his back or near his head, he yelp-screams like it's a sharp dagger digging into his skin.  Then he'll cry for 30 more seconds about the trauma of it all.

Even with all his issues, Chimi is really a sweet and loving dog.  He is very gentle with Penny and knows just how hard its OK to play with me.  
"Don't look at me"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

No News Day

There is actually a book series about a Chihuahua detective? 
When Linda pulled in the driveway tonight, she could hear us barking from inside the house. This was very mysterious because we are always sleeping when she gets home on Tuesday night.  She raced in because the barking was so intense and scary she thought something had happened to one of us.  There wasn't any injuries or bad people hiding in the house (at least she hopes not.  She hasn't checked behind the shower curtains yet.  Tier, you know what she's talking about.)  Nope, we were just starving and barking for chicken.  We ate breakfast early this morning and she didn't get home until 8:15 tonight so it was kind of an emergency. 

One of the great things about Linda's job is that she gets to teach little kids. A few of her classes have kids as young as 2.  Some of the things she hears about their lives are hysterical.  She's learned this week from a 4 year old what  baby birdie-eggs are and how you have to be really careful with them.  (Think sparring protection.)  Linda could fill a whole blog with funny lines and "private" moments parents don't know their kids are sharing with everyone in class.  Don't worry, your secrets are safe with her.

Bad weather is predicted for the coming days.  Tornadoes touched down not to far from us on Sunday.  Today the weatherman said that maybe, a derecho could happen again.  Remember last year when the derecho storm came up out of nowhere?  It was so scary that Linda actually took us into a room with no windows.

Sorry, nothing newsworthy happened today so it was just a filler post.