Monday, December 29, 2008

Bullie Adventures or "Why is my hair graying? says the Mom

While watching my Bull Terrier girls play in the backyard this afternoon, I was struck with the thought of just how much those crazy dogs do for me & my sanity. Not a day goes by that I don't laugh at the antics of one of the 3, usually ALL 3 give me a laugh or two. Bullies know how to live life to the fullest & how to relish in every glorious moment of it. They are known as "A Kid in a Dog Suit" not a care in the world & doing things just because it's fun.

My fun comes from watching them. They bounce like a deer, they play tag (using the poor azalea bush as "base"), they tease one another, they remind me of little kid in kindergarten that does what he knows he's not supposed to do, then sits back & watches everyone else get in trouble for it with a big grin on his face. They also hucklebutt & trance, things I have never seen another breed of dog do in my 28+ years of working with dogs. I have yet to be able to catch a great hucklebutt on video, but if you go to YouTube & type bull terrier, hucklebutt in the search box, you will see lots of them, some better than others, but hucklebutts none the less. One of my favorites is this one.

Trancing is something lots of Bullies do, but not all of them. Pappy, the baby has yet to do it, I've only seen Darla do it one time, Feather on the other hand seems to do it every chance she gets. They will stand under something, branches hanging down from a bush, plants in the house, tablecloths, anything that is just long enough to tickle their back. They will stand there as if in a trance, eyes kind of glazed over a bit, with a look of pure bliss on their faces. I've seen Miss Feather Louise stand for a full 5 minutes basking in the feel of a tablecloth on her back. I know, a little strange, but yet another Bull Terrier trait that I just love.

Bull Terriers are not for everyone, they are, after all, a terrier. Those of us who have them are totally devoted to them, adore them, sometimes curse them, laugh at them, cry either AT them or BECAUSE of them, but can't imagine life without them.

They do keep life from being boring, & make me contemplate adding a nerve pill or 2 to my daily list of meds I have to take. Like the time Miss Feather decided the grass was greener on the other side of the fence & proceeded to use that big Bullie nose to open the gate, let herself & all her little 4-legged brothers & sisters out to run down the middle of the road to Mamaw Jackson's house next door! Scared the crap out of me & probably gave the neighbors a big laugh watching me run behind them in my pajamas, hair not combed, teeth still sitting in the cup on the bathroom sink, threatening them within an inch of their lives. Or, the time we came home to find a note on the front door from the police department, informing us that they were here today, checking out a "possible" break-in, & a cop parked up the street, because the alarm system was sounding off, & ADT for some unknown reason couldn't get in touch with us & had called them. After checking the place out & finding everything to look ok, they posted an officer nearby until we got home. (Apparently, ADT turned the alarm off once the officers arrived since it wasn't sounding off when we got home) The neighbors were all waiting for us to get home & descended the minute we got out of the car, "the cops were here today", "your alarm was hollerin", "reckon everything is alright?", "we thought somethin was wrong" How embarrassing it was to have to go out & tell everyone, cop included, everything was fine, Feather Louise just decided she would rather sleep in our bed, than in her crate. I found her, curled up under the ball of covers, sleeping through all the commotion! Somehow, she had gotten her crate open & wandered through the house, setting off the motion detectors in the house. Oh, & I can't forget the latest Bull TerrOr adventure.........
5:30 am, the butt crack of dawn, Robert comes in to wake me up saying "Honey, you gotta get up, the Bullies are out & I can't find them, I've been looking for 30 minutes & it's dark & I need help" Sheesh! So, my heart pounding, thinking they have been hit by a car, or a school bus or something, I got my son & his friend out of bed & we all got in separate cars, combing the neighborhood looking for these 2. We found them, 2 hours later, 1 block down the street, in someone's fenced in yard, playing with their German Shepherd! When I got there, they looked at me like "What, I wasn't lost, I knew where I was, is brekkie ready?"

What was it I said at the beginning of this post? Something about them being good for my sanity?? HA. Truth be known, I wouldn't have it any other way, I love these dogs like you wouldn't believe & can't imagine me ever being without a Bull Terrier in my life.

(don't let those innocent faces fool you, they are TerrOrs, through & through. Feather is the white girl, Darla is the brindle girl & the shot at the top of my blog is Pappy when he was 4 months old, I LOVE that picture!)

Hug your puppies, hold them tight & thank the Good Lord for sending them to you.

Hugs & Treats all around,


Saturday, December 27, 2008

6 pounds of Chicken Livers

Most of you know we feed our dogs a Raw Diet, meaning, they get no kibble or any other kind of dog food at all, they get meat and only natural treats. All of their food comes from the grocery or the meat packing plant that serves food for us humans. Everything that goes into their little bodies could just as well be going into ours.

They get chicken, beef, Jack Mackrel, venison, turkey, rabbit, quail, and more. They also get cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, deer legs (in season), beef ribs, bananas and more. When feeding a raw diet, there are some guidelines to follow, they have to have organ meals, (liver, kidney etc), they have to have supplements, they have to have bone. It sounds daunting, but it really isn't. Just takes some practice and some learning and the internet is filled with all kinds of sites to get that learning. It is also filled with sites that will give you wrong information, the trick is finding the right place and the right people. I found just those people on a Yahoo group called Raw4Bullies.

My adventure into the raw food diet began when Feather, my 3.5 year old Bull Terrier was diagnosed with Demodectic Mange and secondary skin infections, among other things when she was just a baby. Nothing was helping her and going to the vet once a week was doing nothing but making my vet bills grow trying to treat her and get her better. I started searching online and found that wonderful group and the rest is history, as they say. I started her on this diet and within a month, I could see a HUGE change! No more problems with mange, no more skin infections and for a girl who started her life off being at the vet's office at least once a week, she hasn't been to the vet for anything other than a rabies vaccination in over 2 years!
(Feather in her Santa hat "talking" to me)

So, I will tell anyone who will listen about this diet, how my dogs are healthier now than they EVER were, how Dr. Steve (our vet) will see us in the store or elsewhere and ask us to bring the Bullies to visit with him since he never gets to see them. Anyone with ANY questions about it, please leave a comment or email me and I will help you give your dog the best it's ever had, I promise, you won't regret it.

Now, the idea behind this blog post.....Last night was organ meal night, chicken livers to be exact, and Robert was working late, so I had the honors. I HATE liver, I mean I really HATE liver, (used to take a whipping every Friday night while I was growing up over it, Mom would say "You eat it, or you get a whipping" I would take the whipping) it gags me, turns my stomach and generally gives me a "sick in my stomach" feeling just looking at it, never mind handling it or smelling it. If anyone were here watching me dish it out, I'm sure they would be laughing at me with tears in their eyes, watching me wretch every few seconds, mumbling about how much I hate liver and having to take me teeth out to keep from gagging even worse! HA! Robert gets a big kick out of it, me, not so much. So last night, while I was going through this horrible ordeal all by myself, with no one to laugh at me except the dogs, I thought, "I'm going to post this on my blog for all the world to see, pictures and all"

Here you go, pictures of all the bowls before adding the supplements. One of my dear friends, Janice (Mom to TraceyBelle, Pappy's half sister, also raw fed from birth) tells me feeding at our house reminds her of an Army Mess Hall, with everything lined up and weighed out. (please excuse the mess behind the bowls, we are in the midst of moving and things are all in an uproar around here)

You will notice there is one bowl that doesn't have food in it, that would be Pappy's bowl. Our baby Bullie. Pappy is 10 months old, weighs nearly 60 pounds and is the picture of health and beauty! Pappy is 4th generation raw fed, meaning, his mother, his father, his grandmother, etc are ALL raw fed as well. I have had dogs all my life, and he is, by far, the healthiest puppy I have EVER had! I attribute it to his diet and the fact that he has NEVER had any dog food or kibble of any kind since birth. Anyway, Pappy will not eat chicken livers, I don't care how I serve them, cold, warm, hot, seared, mixed with cottage cheese, with a dollop of yogurt, nothing, it doesn't matter, he will not eat a chicken liver!! So, Mr Papoose gets beef liver instead. Let me tell you, beef liver gags me worse than chicken livers, I can smell that stinkin stuff across the room. I fixed his bowl first so I could get that wretched smell out of the house before going on to the rest of the kids.
(Pappy (L) with his littermate Bama, also raw fed in October at the Nationals. Bama's Mama tells me, he won't eat chicken livers either)

So, like I said, if you want to know more, learn about how much better this diet is for your dog or cat, please, please leave me a comment or email me. I will help you the best I can. There are lots of places that sell raw food already mixed and ready to go. With 15 dogs, around here, it's more feasible for us to buy it ourselves and go from there, but if you only had one or 2 dogs, feeding the pre-mix would work for you.

Hope you found this post interesting and didn't gag too much looking at "6 pounds of chicken livers" :)

Blessings everyone!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Puppies

I promised some shots of my kids dressed in a Santa hat, some of them wouldn't co-operate with me, but I did manage to get a couple of shots.

Peggy Sue (the black Poodle) looks as if she may have had one too many egg nogs! HA

Enjoy, now I'm off to groom a few client dogs & get them ready to greet Santa tomorrow night,

Later taters


Friday, December 19, 2008

Working is getting in the way of my baking.

I still haven't been able to make the Fruitcake Cookies! I had hoped to have them made last week, but working the way I have been this month (Christmas is a groomer's busiest time of year) & trying to get all the things packed up to move to our new house has slowed my baking progress way down. I do hope to remedy that tomorrow.
Our Kennel Club is having their annual Christmas party tomorrow night in Jonesborough & I can't wait to get in the middle of our gift exchange. Everyone that wants to participate brings a wrapped gift that is appropriate for a male or female & places it under the tree, then we all draw numbers. Number 1 picks a present from under the tree, unwraps it for all to see, number 2 then has the option to pick from under the tree or steal the present that number 1 got! If that happens the person stolen from picks another from under the tree. Number 3 comes next & they then have the option of stealing either of the first 2 presents or picking from the tree & on goes the game until all the gifts are spoken for. After 3 steals, the gift is retired & can't be stolen anymore. It's tons of fun & sometimes it can get rather hairy. Hope I draw a number closer to the back of the line rather than the front, more to pick from that way. LOL
It's pot-luck so I am making Cowboy Beans for the gathering. We have some great cooks in the club so we will eat some good food, enjoy some good company & have lots of fun tomorrow night.
I plan to make my fruitcake cookies tomorrow in between packing & getting other things done around here. Hubby is bringing one of the Penske trucks home so we can start moving bigger things like furniture into the house! HURRAY!! I am so ready to be in our little house on the ridge.
So I leave you with the Fruitcake cookie recipe & tomorrow I hope to get some pictures I took of a couple of the "kids" today in their Santa hat.
Blessings & enjoy your cookies.

Fruitcake Cookies

cream together:
1/2 lb butter
1 c brown sugar
Add 4 eggs, beat well
then add:
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tbls milk, beat well
Sift together:
3 c. flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
Alternately add to mix:
1/2 c. bourbon
flour mixture
next, add:
2 lbs. pecans (chopped)
1 lb. green candied cherries
1 lb. red candied cherries
1 lb. candied pineapple
1 lb. golden raisins

Drop in balls on greased cookie sheet, bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Egg Nog Bread

You would not believe how good this bread tastes! It's even better warmed up with butter!

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rum extract
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, eggnog, butter and extracts; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour into three greased 5-3/4-in. x 3-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Yield: 3 loaves.

Next up~~Fruitcake Cookies that are not what you would think, you won't "re-gift" these!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Survey

I "borrowed" this from my friend, Farrah, over at The Old Fashion Homekeeper, I thought it was great! I added #23. :)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mosty wrap with a few bags thrown in for hard to wrap gifts.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real! I love the smell that fills the house!
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually 2nd week of Dec, but not sure if it will make it this year since we are moving.
4. Do you like eggnog? I LOVE it!!
5. Favorite gift received as a child? Deluxe Yahtzee my sister & I shared.
6. Hardest person to buy for? My brother's girlfriend.
7. Easiest person to buy for? Jacob & my aunt.
8. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a gift from my mother.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, it's one of my favorite parts of Christmas
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Don't ever recall getting a 'worst' present.
11. Favorite Christmas Movie? "It's a Wonderful Life"
12. When do you start shopping? Usually summertime I'll start picking up gifts here & there.
13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, a couple of times. ;)
14. Lights on the tree? As many as it will hold!
15. Favorite Christmas song? "Star of Bethlehem" sung by Patty Loveless or The Judds
16. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home
17. Angel on the tree top or a star? An angel dressed in white
18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve, the rest Christmas morning
19. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Seeing "Xmas" everywhere instead of "Christ"mas
20. Favorite ornament theme or color? Blue and gold
21. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Ham, biscuits, sweet potatoes & corn
22. What do you want for Christmas this year? To have my son here with me.
23. Do you buy presents for your pets? Of course, I even wrap them & let them open them! They love it! Can't wait to see my newest 2 babies open their first ever gifts this year!

Feel free to add this to your blog. I would love to read each of yours.
Thanks Farrah!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Will it ever end??

Most of you know, my mother passed away Aug. 7, 2004 from an aneurysm in her brain that ruptured. I miss her horribly every day, but the holidays are especially hard. Mom and I never had the best relationship, both of us being stubborn and independent, we butted heads alot, and I do mean ALOT. Looking back, I realized it was because we were so much alike. I also realize, I am the woman I am today because of, the way she raised me. She instilled in me self-confidence and self-esteem and the knowledge that I could do whatever I set my mind to. I thank her for that, even if it meant some rocky years with her.

Mom raised my sister and I by herself, sometimes working 3 different jobs to keep food on the table and the bills paid. She always had things in order, as far as I remember, she was never late on her bills and we always had something to eat. At Christmas time, we didn't get a ton of gifts like kids nowadays do, we got a few gifts, most of them addressed to both of us, meaning we had to share them. Memories of my childhood Christmases are something I treasure. She always made them special, even with all the working she had to do. She was a very strong, independent woman and I feel sure, she passed those qualities on to me. (Although sometimes I don't think my husband appreciates them. LOL)

Now, something that for the life of me I can't figure out is why she didn't have a will. She always told us where this account was at, or where the accident insurance paperwork was at (she was without health insurance), we knew where the needed paperwork partaining to her house and her pet shop was at, she even had her funeral planned right down to what kind of dress she wanted to be wearing and the kind of flowers she wanted on top of the casket! But, no will!! No paperwork anywhere giving me or my sister power of attorney over anything, NOTHING!

Needless to say, that one detail that she didn't take care of, is the one detail that has caused so many problems and so many heartaches for me.

I got yet another call today partaining to her estate and the house my sister is living in now, seems my sister is, once again, 3 months behind on making the payments and they are threatening foreclosure, AGAIN! I am so sick of dealing with all of this, but I swear, I'm beginning to think it's never going to be over. It's bad enough trying to deal with the pain of the holidays without Mom, but dealing with my sister's lack of responsiblity is making matters even worse! I told the man that called from the bank to just foreclose if he needed to. I'm not bailing her out again, and since I signed the house and all it's contents over to her more than 2 years ago, it's her responsibilty, not mine!

How could my mother raise 2 girls that turned out to be completely opposite from one another, as different as night and day? The woman I turned out to be worries herself sick over getting bills paid and taking care of things like payments before anything else is done, the woman my sister turned out to be, could care less about paying bills, as long as she is having a good time and getting things she wants, not making sure the things she needs are taken care of first.

At any rate, I spent my whole life "taking care of my little sister" just like I was told while we were growing up, I was the oldest and I needed to look after her, etc, etc. Well, no more, it's time she gets up and takes care of herself. In the meantime, I hope Mom would understand and know that I just can't do this anymore.

I want to remember all the good times I did have with my mother. Not all these problems, that stem from her not having her affairs in order, clouding the memories.

I leave you with one of my favorite photos of Mom, taken about a year before she passed away. She loved those little birds that she raised for the pet store and you can see, they loved her as well.

Please keep a good thought, that I can get through these holidays and the memories I have will come to me as bittersweet, not just plain bitter.