Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A World of Blue

This is a real Blue-Tailed Skink (Skilton's Skink), unlike other skinks I have known!
This might be a Nevada Side-blotched Lizard, or not. Kind of tricky to ID.
More mating damselflies, we call this one "the ballet."
Love the green face and just that hint of electric blue.

A Bonsai update: As of Tuesday afternoon, he's doing well. Much steadier on his feet and more regular (if you catch my drift). He's not completely well, but we don't think he's knock knock knocking on heaven's door either! We are absolutely grateful for your support and kindness.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Prepared To Say Good-Bye: w/Good Update

I've been out photographing the cat. He's not been well. We haven't posted the photos from ten days ago after we brought him to the vet because he had been stumbling around the house and acting stranger than usual. That's when the vet recommended a lion cut to get rid of the matted fur Bonsai had everywhere. Roger brushes the cat every day, but come summer and all the brushing in the world doesn't stop this cat from matting up and getting cranky. So, lion cut it was. But then the old lost dog showed up last Sunday and invaded Bonsai's space. That was two days after the lion cut, so the question became, how much indignity can one cat endure? As it turns out, not much. Of course we are drawing connections where there may not be any. It's okay, we're not going to publish our insanity or make a religion out of it. We're just trying to figure out why Bonsai stopped shitting again.
Last Thursday we brought him back to the vet, even after all the times we've sworn out loud that we were no longer going to do heroics for him. It was obvious the cat needed an enema. I've given him organic pureed pumpkin and psyllium seed in his wet food everyday since last November. He was pretty regular until the lion cut and the stray dog. Is any of this related? Probably not. So, Bonsai had an enema on Thursday. Don't tell him that you heard this from us. He hates when we discuss his private stuff. In fact, it's exactly the kind of thing that makes him stop shitting. At least that's what we surmise.

Friday was hell. He even growled at us. Let me say that again. He actually growled at us every time we touched him. He hid under the sauna outside. He lay in the hot sun and nodded his head like he was dying. That's when we decided that if this cat ever stops pooping or peeing again, we're calling the vet to come to the house and put him to sleep. We just can't have him suffer anymore just so he can stay alive to stumble around the house and eat pureed pumpkin and psyllium seed in his wet food. What kind of life is that?
As of Sunday night Bonsai is still alive. He's not well. He seems very old suddenly. We are prepared to help him make his exit, if that is where he's headed. We will not impede him with enemas and hydration anymore. We are his friends, and we still think he's beautiful.

Bonsai seems much steadier on his feet Monday morning. He's still an old man kitty cat in his ninth life, but for today there won't be a call to the vet. Thank you for your WONDERFUL and THOUGHTFUL comments.

This post is dedicated to a beautiful dog named Raf whose very loving person helped him make his exit on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Martini Wednesday

Our good friend Tara came to visit Monday. She brought gin, vermouth, and olives. Here is the happy moment. Later her daughter left a comment on Facebook that said: Hippies drinking martini's... iconic or ironic?

You decide.

Tara and Roger

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lost and Found

Here is a copy of the thread of comments on a Facebook post that we posted on Sunday. I deleted everyone's names so that anonymity for those who cherish it would be preserved.

This is the sweet old girl who inspired the comments and the love. Winter Moon is home, and we are sincerely richer for having had the pleasure of her company for the day on Sunday.

Woke up this morning to find this VERY old dog sleeping right on our doorstep. She's arthritic and practically deaf. Yes, we let her in and she's sleeping on the kitchen floor. Not sure what to do next. HELP!
Put up signs around the neighborhood. . . . she didn't wander far, I'm sure. Poor, old thing -- she sure picked the right house, didn't she?

Not sure about what's next, but what was first was very, very cool. Lucky dog to have gone to the right house.

She looks sad. She was very lucky to find you!
How sad!!! She looks so old!!!

I would drive around and ask your neighbors if they are missing their dog.

other than being old, does she look well-nourished and cared for? Could she be part of the visiting nuns?

Roger: been to the neighbors. put a pic on craig's list lost/found. she is very well behaved. likes affection. we wonder if someone abandoned her.

What a kind, sad looking face. I hope she just wandered out of someone's yard in the neighbourhood. I would hate to think that someone abandoned her.

When I look at this dog, I am reminded about how wise these old dogs dogs can be - they really know so much.
Robin: She seems healthy enough. Doesn't seem malnourished or anything. We checked with the neighbors, so far no one is missing a dog. We're going to put a sign up at the bottom of the hill by the highway.
the SPCA has a program where they match senior dogs with senior citizens. This is always a route you could take. She would be very adoptable--maybe you could foster her until she had a permanent home?

off to the store to buy a bag of dog food? Cheese is always a fine treat, cubed.

Robin: We just got back from the market with a bag of adult formula kibble and a can of wet food for later. She didn't even stir when we came in the house. She's so old. Maybe Bonsai will meet her and love her, and then we could keep her. Oy.

just feed a little wet food under the kibble, for inducement. or as a treat. i wouldn't go overboard with the wet until you know more about how she does with feeding.

agree she is a lucky dog to have found you! dawn will have thoughts. does the spca or similar offer free/low-cost vet exams? she will probably appreciate a blankie or rug to sleep on. i don't know how you feel about this, but the enclosed area is the perfect kind of outdoors for an old dog.

Robin: She's hanging out in the cool, shady entry room to the sauna. Makes me think she probably had a doghouse. Bonsai is hiding under the sauna at the moment. They came within inches of each other before Bonsai bolted out the door. He doesn't understand why this dog does not chase him or bark at him. In fact, she's not interested in him at all.

Robin: She ate all the kibble we put out for her. It occurred to us that she's much too old and feeble to have gotten here on her own. We think someone may have abandoned her.

You all should put up signs and stuff because I'm sure it's someones dog...

When I visited friends in Red Bluff awhile back, I just had my older dog, Sabrina. They have two rather neurotic cats and we wondered what would happen. Sabrina ignored them and acted as though they were invisible, even when they were in front of her. The cats acted kind of kooky for the first few hours, racing past her as if she was going to make a grab for one of them. After awhile, they got bored and settled down. Bonsai will probably ignore the dog after awhile.See More

looks about 12 or 13... any personality or is she distressed or sick? If she ate... maybe feeling lost from her owner? You can also call the local police and let them know you found a stray.... could be related to something they might know about.

aw I wonder who she is and why she came to you...
I like the way it never occurred to Tara that maybe she was already paired up with senior citizens.

If you don't want anything bad to happen to her, if no owner appears, etc... I would do some checking first into what the animal shelter or whoever it is in charge of such things, would plan to do with her. Unfortunately, with a very old, I suspect most would just put her down. I and others have had some less than satisfactory outcomes when turning in abandoned animals - making me a lot less inclined to do so now.
Robin: Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and encouraging comments.

Bev, your Red Bluff story is just what we needed to read. We're hopeful that it will unfold the same way here between Bonsai and the unnamed old one! We have already pretty... much decided that if her owners cannot be found and Bonsai reaches even an uneasy truce with her, we'll keep her for the rest of her days.

I've made a few fliers to hang on the mailboxes and a post at the corner of the highway and the road to our house.

Al, you made me laugh out loud.

A beautiful old soul has found you, that's for sure. Old dogs are one of my favorite things - though it's a bittersweet love, that's for sure.
I've had old dogs with dementia so she may have just wandered too far and forgotten her way home.... It sounds like you've done everything you can do to try to locate her family - shelters, the local police or sheriff's dept., craigslist, and perhaps if there's a local market or gathering place with a bulletin board that the community relies upon... Like others have said, it's doubtful she's wandered far unless she was abandoned - I always hate to think it, but it's always a sad possibility.
Thank you for saying you are willing to become her family - she's beautiful and she's obviously lived a long life - like all dogs (and all of us for that matter) she deserves a peaceful and loving end.

congrats Robin and Roger!!

lots of clean cool water, a soft bed for old bones and a visit to the vet in a week if no one has claimed her!

I have no additional advice, so I'll send some more cyber-hugs. ♥

So glad that you decided to keep her if her family can't be found or abandoned her. The poor baby needs a caring home for the rest of her days. She has found the right one!

I was thinking (sorry, can't get that beautiful face out of my mind) - you mentioned that she might have had a dog house because she liked your entry room. She's in an unknown place and often, dogs will naturally seek a sheltered place they can feel secure - a dog house, under a table, a small room, between a coffee table and a couch... When looking for place for her to bed down for the night, I'd keep that in mind as well as the fact that those old bones will want warmth and a bit of extra padding. And like Dawn said, a vet visit sometime this next week!

robin, take a pic to the nearest vets to see if they recognize her. she may have been left with someone nearby while parents are on vacation and got out and glot lost. vets offices are often good at helping in these situations and they ca...n post a pic in their offices. such a sweet face. she may even have an ID chip (call vet to find out if they can check). i think Bonsai is going to see pretty quickly that this dog will be a nice pillow to nap with...

Lots of vets post "lost pet" and "found pet" flyers, too. or at least, ours does.

Robin: Flyers posted at the mailbox and the highway. Found ad placed in both the print and online local newspaper, a well as the local radio station that reads Lost and Found ads a few times a day.

OH WAIT-- THE PHONE JUST RANG. A WOMAN SAID, "ARE... YOU THE PEOPLE WHO FOUND THE DOG? IS SHE STILL THERE" When I answered, "yes" the woman started to cry. She just came to the house and picked up her dog, named Winter Moon. Old and deaf and very much loved. Missing since last night, when she sneaked out off the back porch while everyone was cleaning up after dinner. So, ends a very good day. We all cried.

and Bonzai?

Well, that was quite a saga! You could just copy and paste this thread into a blog post.

So glad the owner found you and her.

Something tells me Bonsai just exhaled deeply! : )
Here is a map of how far into the woods old Winter Moon traveled to our doorstep. It's at least a mile as the crow flies. She wandered off after dinner Saturday night while her people were clearing the dinner dishes from the porch. Such an old girl with a little bit of travel still in her blood.

What a Sunday!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011


i've been plumbing. not the measuring depths, nor marking things vertical….installing pipes. we are putting in a gas (propane) water heater to replace the electric water heater that came with the house, part of which's problem is that it is about as far as possible from the kitchen and our bathroom, plumbed with 3/4 inch copper thus wasting much hot water (should be 1/2 inch), not to mention electricity is expensive. so the new water heater is in a new place closer to the kitchen and our bathroom. so that requires gas plumbing and hot and cold water plumbing. hope you all kept up with that. doesn't matter really if you didn't.

this house is on a concrete slab. the original water plumbing in the slab has been replaced by plumbing in the above ceiling crawlspace. i have done a lot of plumbing under houses. water leaks are never good. a leak under a house is messy and muddy and a pain to fix. a leak above the ceiling is fairly quickly a disaster of some size. i pressure test everything with air.

that's the ladder on top of which i stand. my upper body is then through the hole in the ceiling.

this is the view up in the attic. the black pipe just on the left is the new gas line.

meanwhile the garden is thriving in the heat. it has been in the 90's for days. we have two rainbirds set up to water the entire garden. their rhythmic clicking and the swoosh of water is comforting. we tend to plant things a bit too close. tomatoes interfere with basil and peppers. tomatillos sprawl over marigolds. it starts out looking bare with little bitty plants waaaay apart, but fills in quickly.

Still More Quiet

Not sure why we are feeling so quiet, but there was that AT&T-imposed silence when our telephone and DSL went completely dead for more than 48 hours (Thursday-Saturday). Such a crazy disconnectedness descended on our household.
It's been hot too, really hot. Like over 90 degrees everyday for a week. We're lucky because it's fairly arid and dry here. No humidity, so 90+ only feels like 90+ but still, it's been HOT HOT HOT. Then, on Sunday the temps were noticeably cooler. Refreshing. Lovely. Almost like an early fall. Next week the high temps are supposed to be in the 70s. No way... we have a garden full of food to grow before fall. Who knows anymore what the weather is capable of? Not us. We just watch and act accordingly.
We've been out hiking everyday too. Lots of dragonflies and butterflies everywhere. Wildflowers are blooming in the weedy brush and quail families hiding in and among it all.
Sunday morning this beautiful buck scared the cat. The cat scared a jack rabbit. I scared a young doe. All before 7:00 am. That's life in our world. Roger is feeling quite well, and the cat is getting old. We have become a family of few words.

Monday, July 04, 2011

We've Been Quiet For A Week... a good way. Life is full and rich and crazy. Summer burst upon the scene like a hot hypnotist. Everything rises by silent seasonal instruction, "when the temperature reaches 80F, you will send out flowers and shoots, you will produce tendrils that climb the strings, you will turn a strawberry red."
Heatwave, we're having a heatwave. Not only that but we are in the midst of dragonfly season and the season of squirrels lying flat on their bellies in the shade. One day there was a cocoon by the front-yard hose,
and then there was a Ctenucha Rubroscapa come out for its first time in the sun.

I once saw an orange-headed lizard on the road. It ducked so fast Roger missed it. Maybe I imagined it. That could happen, right? But I looked out the door on Sunday, just before I pulled down the blinds on the 95F western side of the house and saw this guy.
What? An orange-headed thing. I remember googling that the first time. It's a skink. Yes, a Gilbert's Skink. Wikipedia says they're mostly not out and about. This one ran under the frame of the door. They like to hide. Ain't that the truth. I can totally relate.