Portrait by Henry: November 24, 2013

Portrait by Henry: November 24, 2013

Rob and I were talking about Dozer the dog yesterday, so Henry was inspired to draw a portrait. From left to right: Dozer, George, and Susie. We are all wearing yellow shirts, including Dozer. Rob suggested that George hold a shovel in the picture (a reference to Dozer’s recent near demise). Dozer weighs about 40 pounds. He is obedient, but according to Mom “he never reflects on anything.” In order to demonstrate this point (and perhaps introduce humor) Rob says that he once asked Dozer to “kennel up” in a cat-sized kennel. Dozer enthusiastically tried to shove himself into the kennel.

Henry is the only four-year-old that I know that doesn’t like McDonald’s. Last night it was the most effective way to get Robbie, Henry, and I fed. Henry was almost in tears, explaining that he was hungry, but didn’t want to eat at McDonald’s and wanted to eat at home. We were about an hour and a half away from home. Fortunately, Henry has a sweet-tooth and the offer of a soda made the fries and cheeseburger more appealing.

While it was light out, Robbie read an Animorphs book to himself in the car. When it became dark we began to listen to the audio book The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry.


Out of the Easy

Out of the Easy

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Here is my latest book recommendation: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. This young adult historical fiction follows seventeen-year-old Josie as she navigates life in New Orleans as the uncherished daughter of a prostitute. Josie is good in school; wants to pursue higher education; and needs to get out of the city that has low expectations for her. Unlikely friends and supporters can help her on her journey, but can’t protect her from her hindersome mother. A murder mystery further complicates the scene…

While prostitution, a brothel, and murder are central figures in this novel, they aren’t sensational or explicit in detail. I would recommend this book for mature young adults and adults.

p.s. I was going to review more books, but have found that I just don’t have the desire to review everything. I do add tags and ratings in LibraryThing, so if you are really curious you can follow me there.

Hard on houseguests

October 5, 2013 (This post sat in the unfinished queue too long.)

“Our” butterfly emerged! Well, I think that it was our butterfly. (See Approaching Autumn.) The tomato stalk that the chrysalis was attached to fell over, like tomatoes do at this time of year. I moved a section of the stalk, with the chrysalis, to the lip of an empty dog bowl and supported it with a bit of rusty barbwire. I would have been more careful, but there were things to be done. Two days later, the dog bowl was back in use, the barbwire was on the table top on the deck, and the chrysalis was nowhere to be seen. George denied seeing a chrysalis before moving the bowl. Which is probably a true statement, regardless of the position of the chrysalis, but didn’t lead me to any answers. What we did find while doing chores on September 21, was a newly emerged butterfly.Butterfly

It was so exciting to see our butterfly, contemplate its past, and speculate on its future that I probably wasn’t the best host. I crawled close to it to inspect and photograph it, even before its wings were fully extended. Despite being a sunny day, it was cool and breezy. I wanted the butterfly to be on a sunny, sheltered nectar source. I chased the poor butterfly, probably sealing its demise. Fortunately for the butterfly, I haven’t see it since. Getting loved to death is a real possibility around here.

Larry is visiting today. He and George picked pasture apples (no, not that kind!) for the pantry. They peeled and cored them. So far 58 quarts have been canned and there are at least a couple of gallons awaiting canning or eating. I was chief bottle washer, but allowed to peel and core the last apple of the bunch (for today).

Apple brothers

Apple brothers

Apple peels

Apple peels

Apple slices

Apple slices

Apples canned

Apples canned

Come and visit! We might serve you some apple crisp…after completing a project or two!

Lucky Dog

Ethics in Practice

I like to think that I’m good with ethical matters. Which, fortunately, are primarily considered only theoretically. My understanding of ethics grew when they were described as “right vs. right” instead of “right vs. wrong.” Most of us can make a good decision when faced with right vs. wrong, especially when it is a theoretical choice.

Here are my theoretical ethics: habitat is greater than individual animals; people are more important than domestic animals; wild animals are priority over domestic animals. (I acknowledge this is not a linear model. Perhaps I’ll draw a diagram someday.) When a friend took her pet in for expensive emergency veterinary care, I declared to myself that I wouldn’t make the same choice. If I was going to spend that money, I would use it to improve the life of humans. These humans could live a potentially better life and possibly make choices that improve habitat, other humans, or even pets. This disregards the fact that I’ve never donated the amount of money my friend spent for any humans or habitat. Nor have I had to make quick decision to try save or end a pet’s life.

George accepted Dozer aka Doughy the dog on a trial basis after his dog Meg died from cancer. That was just over two weeks ago. This past Saturday, Dozer was hit on the road near our house. George thought that Dozer was dead until he went to bury him and found Dozer breathing. Blood was running from his mouth. His eyes were glazed over. His breathing was shallow. We quickly came to the choice: euthanize Dozer or in George’s words “take him to the vet, but don’t spend over $500.” While realizing George’s choice wasn’t a choice, I took Dozer to the vet, 27 miles away. The vet confirmed what we already knew: Dozer was in bad shape. He was in shock, had a very low blood pressure, and had blood (and perhaps other bodily fluids) in his abdominal cavity. Dozer’s likelyhood of survival even with treatment was unknown. The vet provided a quote for an attempt to stabilize him. The vet told me it was certainly acceptable and understandable for me to euthanize him.

I took a few minutes to think. I called Vicky because she loves dogs and George. She would be able to help me think about the problem: finances; likely outcomes; and George. With her support and thoughtful questions, I was able to make the decision to attempt to save Dozer.

Dozer is a lucky dog. He didn’t have any broken bones. His blood pressure stabilized with treatment. He could take in oxygen despite his bruised lungs with oxygen support. His internal bleeding stopped. His lacerated tongue could be stitched. He didn’t have brain damage. He was able to come home on Monday. He had gotten a bath! He gets to live in the house (at least while he’s mending). His only symptom of damage is occasional wheezing or coughing, which should go away as his lungs heal. He has good pain killers and antibiotics. His trial period is over. Lucky dog.

This hasn’t stopped me from thinking about the use of money to save a pet’s life. Or the other ways it could be used.

Dozer is a lucky dog. I am very fortunate to have an easy life and to ponder ethical questions in my free time.

Lucky dog

Lucky dog

Dozer at home on the sofa

Dozer at home on the sofa

A few of my favorite things…

I was happy when my financial institution began asking security questions that were not already in the public sphere. I want my data to be challenging for others to retrieve.

My mother’s maiden name will stay with me for a lifetime if I am lucky. The flip side is that it is fairly exposed information. And what about people who came to be with an anonymous maid? Or have a highly progressive name that documents five generations on both sides of his or her family and exposes this to everyone?

My place of birth? Perhaps a little more obscure, but still relatively easy to obtain. If I have an option , I don’t it for a security question because I can’t remember if it has one or two l’s and who wants to look that up before getting the checking account balance?

First car? That really doesn’t stick with me because I was able to adopt many beaters (for which I am very thankful) before actually purchasing my car. The definition of first car could be different depending on my current feelings.

So, when I was asked to name my favorite activity to view my checking  account activity I was pleased. Until I needed to use it. Reading or just read? No. Travel or traveling? No. Since I have little patience for this sort of stuff and will run out of guesses (hopefully or un-hopefully I won’t be able to enter ALL of my guesses) I gave up for the moment. Are these favorite things so private after all? My blog would be even LESS interesting to read if I wrote about things that I don’t enjoy.

Don’t be surprised if a future blog documents my genealogy with birthplace, vehicles that I have driven with a definition of the first one, all of the pets I have had in my life and which one was alive at the time of account set-up, along with all of my favorite things noting the very most favorite of all. I need a place to look this stuff up.