Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Harley's Handsome Coat

     Harley loves to go outside and play. Usually it's hard to get him and Faith to come inside. But one morning it was cold. He ran for the door, put his face and front legs through (which left plenty of him still on the house) and put on the brakes. Nope!

     So I began catching and leashing the long dog to force him out into the cold where he would shiver and whine as he peed and ran for the house. He is not a winter dog.

      So where on earth do you buy a coat for a cold little long dog? 22" long to be exact!

     From DoxandDane on Etsy!

     Look at that handsome boy! I found this wonderful woman on etsy named Janae who makes awesome custom coats, they have a chest covering and can be made to fit any odd-shaped dog. You customize the whole thing to your dog's size and shape.

     I sent her Harley's measurement and the colors he likes, and I got a custom made long dog coat!

     It has a tendancy to billow out behind him when he runs, so I call it his cape. This is purely because he is sooooo long, I think I will probably put some elastic leg bands on it for him. He is, stretched from nose to tail, well over 3 ft. long! The current guess is Dauschund/Golden Retriever, one day I may buy one of those DNA kits just to find out. Check out those HUGE thick legs. I can't wrap my fingers around his legs they are so thick, he has thicker legs them most of the mini horses I work on!
     Plus those giant, knobby, crooked knees! Watching him run is like watching an inchworm inch, lots of back and no legs involved.
     But he has one of the funnest personalities you will ever find on a dog, and I don't think I'll ever meet a more stable, happy minded soul. He is AWESOME for rehabbing other dogs. He is just that solid, stable, calm soul that they need to work with. I find him becoming my go-to dog with anyone with issues of any kind, or even just normal training work.
     So now my long dog love is cozy warm for the coming winter; if he gets out from under the blankets to see it.
     Thank you Janea! http://www.etsy.com/shop/DoxandDane Visit her store to see all kind cool designs she has. Mom MUST have one of her Bronco's coats for the crazed Peyton :)


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pottery Madness

     My boyfriend David got into pottery last winter, and had a blast making all kinds of cool things to fill the cabinets of friends and relatives. I was slowly lured in; helping him fire, helping him glaze, babysitting the kiln. Then it comes to the point of, "Hells bells I do everything but throw!" and you give in to the new craft you weren't going to start because you have too many craft projects to begin with. Plus I had a 'want'.

     Custom dog bowls for my dogs!

      So I'm making heavy duty customized dog bowls for my crew. And then I started telling people, and now I've got a list of dog bowl Christmas presents for all my friends dogs. Now I have gads and gads of dog bowls, and Faith is the only one with her own so far!

     So it's a fun new hobby and with both of us playing we needed more room, so my mud room is now a pottery studio, or more appropaitely, it's still a mud room! Extra bonus of concrete floors means very easy cleanup.

     Pottery is a very messy business as you can see. And I invest in the most pricey of chairs for my mud work.  

     Of course I couldn't do these things without assistance, and my main assistant is Misty Moo, my disabled bun.
     Those who follow the blog know of Miss Misty. Her best bunny buddy Sapphire passed away recently of old age, and now Misty has been diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition. The condition is a result of raising rabbits in cages too small, they can't play and their spines don't develop properly. As they age the spine calcifies until they become paralysed. Misty isn't paralysed yet, but she can't stand up on her own or clean herself, so she has to stay in a small, heavily bedded cage to keep her clean and so she always has access to her food and water. She's on medicine that may help her be able to walk, I am hoping it works so she can have more freedom, but until then she has to stay in her cage. But she is quite pleased with herself and all the attention she gets now, she bangs her water bowl around or kicks the back wall when she wants something, and watches pottery making like TV.

     Then of course Elliot helps. Or more Elliot complains because I won't let him on my shoulders or lap while I throw, or he'd end up in the clay. He doesn't believe this is a good reason though, and gives me a lot of "The Face of Cat Displeasure".

     And I wouldn't be doing anything without Zak! What madness.

     Of course, whether I want it or not, I always get Daisy's opinion.

      And it's just never positive. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Tail of the Mad Wee- Pt. 2

     Zak was the first huge influence on Manning. The little Yorkie lived in a constant state of near panic, and this was overwhelmed by... pretty much anything. There was no blip of calmness to reward, no mind to work with, just pure panic in the face of any situation.


  So Zak introduced Wee to the idea of relaxing. To the idea of being safe with a pack. I used Zak to introduce Wee to other people; leaving Wee on a leash and letting Zak greet the newcomer first, then slowly feeding Wee line as he wished to approach. This became a safe way to introduce him to strangers without hysteria or biting.

     I took some time but Wee slowly settled in, relaxed in his environment a bit, and the developed an unhealthy attachment to me. He became hysterical whenever I left. He would find an area about 1-2 ft. wide and pace it back and forth at top speed, screaming at the top of his lungs while urinating/defecating himself the whole time and continuing to run back and forth through it. He'd occasionally pause a minute to run through the whole house, spreading his nasty paste everywhere, before resuming his pacing. He didn't do this for a few minutes, he did it for hours. He did this until his eyes were bloodshot and he was hoarse from screaming. He'd work such filth into his coat and environment it'd take hours to get everything cleaned. He'd do it the whole time I was gone from home.

     A cage did not help, he did it in a cage. Tied up he would trow himself at the end of the line and flip himself over, and he'd do that for hours. He dug a 1" deep hole in a solid wooden door, and he was only in the room a couple hours. No miles of walking or even bike riding his little legs off would get him tired enough to keep him calm.

     I spent days and days and weeks walking to the door, walking back, walking outside, walking back, going to the mailbox, coming back. In the mean time walking the little legs off him, and putting him in a cage small enough he couldn't pace with the ferocity to exhaust himself while I was gone. Progress was painfully slow, but it was there. Soon I came home from a quick trip to the hardware store and found a clean Wee in his clean cage. There is rarely such excitement over something like that! 

     It continued to take time but we got to the place where if I walked out the door, went straight to the car and drove away; then pulled in, got straight out the car, went into the house and let him outside, I could leave home without an accident in the house. If I dallied about or checked the mail, he would hear me, become hysterical, and begin pacing and peeing. 

     Another problem was when he was in this frantic state, nobody but me could touch him (and I made a loud noise to snap him out of it a bit first). He would go into fight mode and attack, no matter how well he knew the person. Upon being dropped he would immediately resume his pacing. Nothing and nobody could snap him out of this. The other dogs knew to leave him alone with plenty of space, he would slip from panic to terror and attack blindly.

     Enter Harley Longdog.

     I had, it is sad to say, mostly given up on 'fixing' Wee. He was pretty much good. I didn't let strangers around him without him being on leash, or let strangers pick him up, but basically he was a pretty good dog. While I fed or worked outside I put him out in the yard in the chain link and he paced the fence and did his peeing hysterics outside. He walks perfectly on or off leash (2" behind my left foot). We worked a long time to get him ok with walks off the property, he would get upset and pace back and forth behind my legs while we walked. But other then some little 'isms' and anxieties, he had come a remarkably long way.
     Then Harley chose to give him a very new uber-calm energy to deal with. Baby Harley, with his total lack of any kind of aggression or malice, watched Wee begin his mad fence pacing. And he said to himself, "Fun madness! We will play!" and toddled over and pounced Wee. The look on the little Yorkies face was beyond priceless. He paused, used some foul language, and immediately started to pace again. Pounce, pace, pounce, pace, pounce, pace until finally Wee turned to him and screamed, "I'm trying to be hysterical over here damnmit! Leave me alone!"
     You could almost see the switch. He hadn't been able to complete whatever stereotypical behavior he believed necessary to keeping the sun in the sky. His ritual was rudely interrupted without finish, yet nothing bad happened. He looked around like he'd woken up out of a long dream, waiting for the explosion, earthquake, and whatever his fearfullness thought would happen, and it didn't. The gears in his little head produced smoke with this new thought.
     What if pacing isn't necessary? What if it is really ok? Do I really need to do this?
     And with that I watched the little Mad Wee, who had spent likely years with his hysterical pacing, slowly walk to the corner of the fence where he could see me work, lay down, and fall asleep. For the first time ever. Harley watched this as well, then tromped off to go play with Zak.
     I was dumbfounded. A human could not show him this, he was too fearful and went into fight mode. I don't believe just any other dog could have showed him either. Because Harley is such a unique absolutely harmless, low, soft energy to him, Wee is not in the slightest way threatened by him. Wee is to a degree scared of all other dogs, he doesn't "speak dog" nearly as well as he should, and is very socially awkward and timid with others. But Harley is harmless, so harmless even Wee, who is scared of everything including himself and the kitchen sink, is not scared of Harley. And that is how Little Harley Longdog started the impossible rehabbing of The Mad Wee.    

Monday, November 26, 2012

Feeding Your Good Wolf

     An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.”
The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

      This is one of my favorite stories. I’ve heard many variations, but they are all roughly the same. To me this is not only a story about personal growth, but an easy way to understand learning theory as well. You always get the behavior you reinforce; the wolf you feed.

     In any behavior you can focus your attention on one of two aspects; the one you want, and the one you don’t. You want your dog to greet people by sitting politely, you don’t want him to jump 6 feet in the air and body slam them into the wall. You can attempt to kill the bad wolf by yelling, hitting your dog, locking him away from guests, or by any other means that suit you. Or you can simply feed the good wolf, giving treats and affection while your dog sits calmly, and it will extinguish the bad wolf all by itself.

     Both these methods will usually work. Often times punishment leads to a dog who is frightened by guests, or it isn’t harsh enough to work and the dog persists to be more physical with guests until he is removed from the area. Feeding your good wolf in this situation will always work better, and often quicker, but it takes patience and peacefulness from you to work. It’s usually the human that fails at this; they can’t hold their temper or frustration and resort to punishment. Thus working to feed your dog’s inner good wolf feeds yours too; and visa versa as people who instead focus on their dogs bad behavior often end up feeding the wrong wolf in themselves; becoming tense, harsh, irritable, and angry.

     But really training any behavior is so simple that it’s laughable when you look at it from the base perspective, feed the behavior you want and let the other one starve. You can feed it with affection, excitement, a game, or even food. In alpacas you can feed the behavior of coming toward you, and they will stop running away. Feed the dog for sitting politely by the door, or for walking nicely on the leash. Feed you horse’s good behavior of being easy to catch, or standing well at the mounting block. It’s a cumulative effect of many soft touches, butt scratches, cookies, and Frisbee games to build your perfect animal companion; and in the meantime this feeds your inner good wolf, your compassion, kindness, empathy, patience, calmness and love. In the end you and your animals will grow from each other.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Tail of the Mad Wee- Part 1

     I have been delighted of late at the enormous impact little Harley Lowrider has had on my Yorkie-esque little beasty- Manning a.k.a. The Mad Wee.

     So I thought I would tell the Tail of The Mad Wee, because as much as I occasionally want to throttle him, he is fascinating in his madness and really has changed drastically for the better. His story also illustrates how much stable, sane dogs can help completely crazed little maniacs and bring them into a state of stable sanity. And above all to show how far he has come, and how well he is still progressing. One day, I do believe, he will be A Good Dog.

     The very basic back story on The Wee is that my mom adopted him from a now-closed local high-kill humane society. He was dumped there after being deemed unadoptable in a local no-kill rescue. This rescue does a lot with puppy mill dogs, and based on his caged-dog front teeth and horrible habits (along with being miserable to house break) I'm willing to bet that is were he originated. We were told he's a purebred Yorkie (though not likely to win any breed prizes if he is) and since I doubt the source I call him my Yorkie-esque dog.

     He came home with mom scared to death of everything, covered in a nice matted coating of urine and feces. He was traumatized enough to allow a first bath, then he basically ran for cover.

    He was obviously not housebroke, and had a tendency to pee anytime frightened (which was pretty much all the time). And then he started to bite my moms boyfriend when scared. So he has just been a delight from the start.

     When I met Manning I immediately began calling him "The Wee Dog" because of his diminutive size. I was eating potato soup at the time and saw him skitter through the house in a mild state of panic over all the things. So I sat down cross legged on the floor, and Zak and Faith sat in front of me awaiting the sausage bits out of my potato soup, because they know good and well I don't eat them and that they always do.

     Manning circled us neurotically and we ignored him completely. With my dogs focus on the slowly growing line of sausages on my leg, he sniffed closer and closer to us without having any attention directed at him.

     Three sausages sat on my leg, so I gave one to Zak, then one to Faith, then laid on on the floor behind me. There was the brief mad skittering as Manning dashed forward, grabbed the sausage, and ran like hell to hide under the couch with it. None of us moved from our casual dinner.

     Now he was interested even more. I could feel him touching and sniffing my back, watched him sniff both Zak and Faith head to toe. I told them to Wait and ignore him, and with the promise of sausages they couldn't have ignored him more. By the third round of sausage handouts, Manning was sitting casually next to Faith calmly taking his sausage piece and eating it right there with us like he was not insane. Thus, via the miracle that is potato soup, we made a friend.

Friday, August 17, 2012


     A couple weeks ago Thursday I got a midnight call from friends of mine. They'd found a puppy covered in blood in the middle of the road. He was still alive, but very out of it.

     I went over and met them. We cleaned up the blood, which all came from a ugly head wound, but no other major cuts or injuries. All the legs worked, and the tail definately worked. But he was totally out of it, he could barely move his head.

     First thing Friday morning I was at Seven Oaks getting his head taken care of. He chipped his skull, and had brain swelling, but no other severe injuries from the car. He had terrible fleas and ticks, along with being stuffed full of worms. He got good drugs, and a staple in his head. He was very out of it for the first few days, and didn't do too much but cuddle up in his basket.

     But then slowly but surely every day there was improvement. The first day he was awake all day, the first day he ran, the first day he ate good... Then it became the last days of his medications, the removal of the staple, and his first day for going to work with me and Zak. He became a differant puppy entirely.

      He made his first trip to Petsmart and got lots of toys and tag with his name.

     Now he terrorizes the house, stealing anything he can get ahold of. He is a Dachshund mixed with something much bigger, he's a definate lowrider. But boy if he stands up he's tall! He can steal off most shelves and especially likes socks. Usually he runs about like crazy stealing, then curls up on his nest to pass out cold.

     Or cuddles up with Zak for a nap.

     So now there are 4 dogs to fill a kitchen. Wee is currently taller, but not for long. But he is enjoying being the 'big dog' for the moment.

     So that has been my madness. Chasing a crazy little monkey around collecting all his 'treasures' and all my shoes from his various nesting places. I had forgotten how puppies could find every single dead thing that ever was on your property to roll in and then eat. He excels at this game!

     But how can you resist that face!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quick Updates

     First off, some of the most exciting news to ever be heard, MY FENCE IS DONE!!!


     The beagle is quite delighted, and now spends most her time out in her 'domain' sniffing to her mad minds content, and sleeping the in the sun. Lots of lots of the latter.

     It is also of great enjoyment to the alpacas, and here is Ficus out enjoying grass!

     I love this picture, the redbuds were beautiful in bloom this year, and the 'pacas love their pasture. L to R Andy, Dark Star, Titan, and Snap.

     And then their was the death of my beloved, albiet ancient, truck. A loyal and semi-dependable friend (as long as you had certain tools and carborator know-how on hand) it was with me for the last 7 years of it's life. It served well nearly to 500,000 miles, so it has been a tribute to the name Ford.

     After it's sad demise, I found a new Ford (DUH!) on Easter. It's a '99 so still been on the road longer then me, but it's not older then me, so I'm stepping up in the world.

     And beyond it's still-driving condition it's totally bad-ass and looks good in my driveway. It also has a crew cab, so if someone wants to ride with us there is whole back seat for them and Zak never has to give up his spot. The world is good.

     I also have a new blueberry patch. 10 plant, 5 varieties, and I as of right now they have wee green blueberries on them. Eventually they will be a hedge between the chainlink and the driveway. This was planted with a long-winded and complicated system to establish proper blueberry growing grounds, and it seems to have worked quite well, they are growing like crazy.

There is the start of a lilac hedge between the road and the chainlink going the other way.

     And here is some of the pottery made by the worlds maddest squirrel monkey, before firing. I am getting gads of awesome stuff out the deal and will be showing off my finished yarn bowl next. Dating a potter has perks.

It's also that time of year. Shearing season. Fuzzy madness is filling my house. And my truck, and my everything. But on the bright side, JJ says the mountains of fluff are perfect for catnaps.

     And last some knitting. The top sock is commercial yarn, with paw-print lace, which you can't see terribly well in that picture. The bottom sock is made with my hand-dyed Lizard yarn, with a DNA cable up the side, which you can't see at all in that picture.

     And that is my very brief, completely un-informative update, due to shearing insanity. Maybe I will have something better to say before June.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fleece Washing 101

     Washing wool and alpaca fiber is actually quite simple. There are many different ways to do the washing. Here I'll show the simple way I wash alpaca.

     Washing the fleece is generally the 3rd step of the process, after shearing and skirting. A lot of alpaca can be spun without washing with no problem at all. It depends heavily on the animal, the owner, and the shearer.

     I skirt my fleeces while I shear, then again when I wash. Go through by the handful and pick out any hay, straw, burrs, grain, second cuts, crud, and mung in general (VM to the spinning world).

     I really like to use these big mesh bags. If you stuff it too full it won't wash correctly, but I've found if you lay the fleece one layer thick through the bag, it will wash well and stay together. Using a bag helps preserve your locks, and keep fiber from going down your drain. It also helps prevent felting as you can lift the whole thing at once and hang to dry, you don't have to pull out bits and squeeze the water out.

     The bag is very lightly packed, with one layer of fiber. When you start packing the bag fuller, it doesn't wash well and you have to wash it again. After you've washed the same fiber 2-3 times you realize washing less at a time really is the faster way to go.

     Fill the sink with hot water and add enough Dawn to tint the water. With alpaca the water temperature doesn't matter as much, but warm to hot is best. With wool you need as hot as possible, and with heavy-grease wool you often need to add some boiling water to the hottest water your tap puts out.

    But for alpaca, warm works fine. If I'm dealing with a really dirty fleece, I'll put it in hot water with Dawn, and let it sit for 2-3 hours or overnight. That way all the dirt has dissolved and dropped out. Without waiting for this you'll be tempted to agitate a little to get rid of the dirt, and on fine fleeces you'll end up with a lot of felting. This also usually gets rid of more dirt/sweat and eliminates one of the rinses.

     After it's soaked long enough to make you happy, pull the bag out and let it drain. Most the time I'll dunk it back in once and pull it out again. Dunking it in and out slowly will remove dirt, but not cause felting.

     Drain the sink and refill with hot water.

     2nd rinse.

     3rd rinse.

     Clean fiber!

     I usually lay the fiber out on a towel and roll the towel up to squish out the excess water. This helps prevent felting over just pushing it down on the towel.

     Then lay it all out to dry. This is a full fleece drying it front of an open window. Now sing and dance because it's done! :)


Friday, February 24, 2012

From Trash to Treasure

     It's funny sometimes when you finish something to go all the way back in your mind and think of where it came from. What little thing changed the course of events and ended you up where you are. This particular yarn came from spring 2010 and Zak's desire for a pig ear.

     We were driving through Rochester to pick up feed one Saturday and Zak promptly demanded I pull over at the farmers market and get him a pig ear. There is a local hog farm that has local smoked pig ears and they must be extra fresh and tasty because he loves them at the expense of all other pig ears, which are now basically crap.

     So I, dutiful well-behaved slave I am, pulled in and hooked him up to go get a pig ear. Down through the rows we passed a woman selling lamb meat. We got Zak's pig ears, and he trotted back for the car quite delighted with himself, and I paused at her booth and asked if she sold fleece.

     In fact, her husband had just finished shearing and pulled out a handful of nice fleeces, it was their first year of trying to sell them. She lived a little ways off, but as chance would have it I was trimming in her neighborhood the next week. I took her phone number, set an appointment to go look, and we went home. Zak ate all 3 pig ears while I went into Krogers and thus none of the other dogs were ever told we stopped at the farmers market.

     So the next week I was beyond ecstatic to get my fleece. I'd never spun Suffolk, but had heard good things. And the woman wanted very very little money for her fleece because she'd been told they were 'junk Suffolk' by other spinners.

     We went into her barn and there were 4 big plastic bags sitting on the floor. Tied shut. I opened the first one and about collapsed. The sheep had been shorn, the fleece put in plastic, tied shut, and left for a week. It had begun to ferment into a new life form. The smell was horrifically bad, and coming from me, that's pretty bad.  

     I was so excited about my fleece though, this was a small set back. I took a gulp of air and dived into all 4 bags. I picked the longest staple length amongst them, about 4" unstretched, snatched my bag and ran for fresh air. I believe I paid about $25 for my huge bag of very stinky wool.

     When I got home it was pouring rain, so the fleece came inside with me. After the 30 minute truck ride me and Zak were both quite used to it's aroma. I spread it out on the floor and did a quick skirting, because it was also quite filthy in general.

     But I quickly washed up a small batch and was amazed at the beautiful, soft, clean wool that came out. I was really quite pleased with myself when my mom arrived.

     Needless to say there were some very high pitched noises made over the large poo filled fleece spread over the living room floor, the smell, not of wet wool, but of dead-wet-woolly-thing-laying-in-the-sun-for-weeks-wrapped-in-plastic. I very much understand how Faithy felt when she brought me home the green, slimy, week-dead ground squirrel and laid it on my bed and I did not share her pride and accomplishment in the matter.

     So a different way of washing my prize had to be found. So for the next week I collected rainwater and set myself up a fermented suint mix. Basically, you put a really greasy fleece in rainwater in the sun for a week, and wonderful things grow in the water and eat the grease, thus giving you a washed fleece. It's a very stinky procedure, but my fleece was already very stinky so nothing lost there.

     It worked! The fleece came out quite nice, and with a lot of rinsing, stink-free! It got washed again by the usual protocol of Dawn in the sink, but this time there was no un-godly aroma to fill the house for days.

     So my fleece was then put through the drum carder to give me lots of beautiful white fluffy batts of loveliness. It's my starter kit of "the best socks ever".

     But then there is the rest. The belly wool was permanently stained yellow. Not a pleasant sunny yellow, but a sickly nasty yellow that would tell anyone it came from poo staining. Could I throw it away though? This hard-fought bit of wool? The last of my trash fleece?

     I'm way to cheap and crazy to do that. So through the drum carder it went, perfectly nice but stained yellow. It then went into my box of things to be dealt with at a later time.

     This fall I went to a fiber fest and got some more dye colors to play with. I dyed all my white handspun, some raw wool, and some roving. I wanted to try my new colors, but didn't really have an ideas for them. So into my box of 'things I also don't know what I'll do with' and out come these two yellow-ish Suffolk batts. If the new colors were total puke, no harm done. I threw color on like a blind man, and put them in the oven.

   One batt came out a multitude of greens, which is my favorite way to dye anything, and the other came out with my 3 new dye colors neon green, purple, and gold. But they'd bled together quite a lot to give me new blues, reds, and greens. They were both rinsed and dried, then put back into the box of things without a purpose.

     Now fast forward a couple weeks ago. I was supposed to be spinning some alpaca for a friend, but I was bored with it at the time and happened to wander over too close to my box. I stumbled into that loud strange purple/green/gold/all-the-muddied-colors-those-make batt. It became laceweight. But it was a bit poo-ish and muddy in places, plus not a lot of yardage out of one batt. So out came it's multi-green friend to become the second strand of laceweight. Plied together it eliminated the 'muddy' colors. Instead it became a field of wildflowers. With all the purples, blues, yellows, golds, greens, and reds. Plied with the wild greens it became a beautiful laceweight flower garden of a yarn.

     This was the trash wool off a trash fleece, that many would say come from a trash breed of sheep (as far as wool is concerned). It was dyed trashy colors, and made a trashy, muddy single. But adding it's bright trashy friend made it a thing of beauty. I'm delighted with this yarn. I have no idea what I'll do with it, and it will continue it's life in the box of things that have no current intentions.

     And Zak says this is why you always listen to your dog when he wants a pig ear. Because you will end up with 144 yds. of Suffolk laceweight.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Kewanian Mountian Lion

     I have been informed that not everyone knows what a Kewannian Mountain Lion is! Or more importantly who the Kewannian Mountain Lion is, as there can only be one.

     Fair warning, she's terrifying.

     She's ferocious, and only lets me live in her house because she can't quite get the hang of the can opener.

     She is violent and sends dogs quivering into corners.

     She wakes you in the night with a claw in the eye.

     Are you ready?


     You should be...

     This is Daisy. She is a 3 year old, 6 pound, long-haired black and white ball of death.

     Look at those eyes, they glow with evil.

     The truth of you existance is as you believe it to be. Daisy truly believes her existance to be that of a 400 lb. killer mountain lion, who very likely has super powers.

     So far fleece skirting has seemed to be at the top of her talents, and she spends a lot of time helping me with that. That is how she became, Head Fiber Cat.

     In my enjoyment of trying to learn butcher the Latin language I often talk to my animals, and describe their current state in Latin. This is how Daisy became Dasia. She prefers this title as it is much more noble sounding.

     Since she insisted upon telling me how to fix my floor, she was also given the title of Flooring Director. She also supervised the painting, and commanded the trim work, thus giving her the title of Painting Assistant.

     Her power over the dogs occurred when she was ill and they would get in trouble of bumping Daisy, stepping on Daisy, irritating Daisy, etc. So now she will strut right up to their food bowl and take something out while giving them the, "Go on, make me scream" look.

     Her long term illness gained her certain privilages. Plus she has many titles. She's really quite important and I'm pretty sure the world would fall of it's axis if she failed to tell it what to do.

     You never know where she will pop up to offer assistance. Once she even took it upon herself to save me from washing my hair wrong by leaping into the shower, then taking down the shower curtain and trailing massive quantities of water through the whole house and soaking my bed.

     She lives to give.

     So now you know of the fiercest beast on the planet. The violent Dasia, Head Fiber Cat, Flooring Director, Painting Assitant, Shower Inspector, and Kewanian Mountain Lion.

     You are warned.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Floor is Finished!

     After a month of irritation my floor is now finished! 3 coats of porch & floor paint on my carefully cut plywood and a lovely decorative trim and it's now DONE!

     In discussion of how I could make the floor "me" but without being electric blue and neon green, my mother came up with a hunter green and tan. These are my second favorite set of colors, you can probably tell by my business cards.

     My grandpa suggested while I was going through the trouble to paint the whole floor I should at least paint it something cool. Amish sometimes paint quilts and things on their floors. I vetoed that immediately and he said, "Well then what about animal tracks?"

     Well coolness personified. I love it. I traced the cow, goat, and alpaca tracks from a drawing cut out, and the rest are free hand. First there are horse, then alpaca (and I have to admit of the whole lot I like the horse the least. It just doesn't look real like the rest do)

     Then we have chicken, goat, and dog. The chicken prints are thus far my favorites, they came out great.

     Then it's cow and duck. The cow is for grandpa and his oxen. He insisted I had to have some cow prints.

     Then cat, rabbit, and goat.

     Then big dog prints, alpaca, and duck again.

     Then cat, cow, and chicken again.

     Coming back in the door is rabbit, dog, goat. 
     Then wee kitten tracks all around the register.

     Cow, duck.

Dog, alpaca.

     Chicken, cat, and mountain lion.

     Looking at those little green prints one might think, "Hum, that is almost like a cat ran in while the person was carrying in groceries, and ran across the wet paint floor while being yelled at not too, then left little green kitty prints in the trim." Of course that would be nonsense, none of my cats would do something like that.

    And then of course why do I have mountain lion tracks? Because Miss Dasia, my head Fiber Cat, Painting Assistant, and Flooring Director, asked why everyone else got prints on the floor and she didn't. I pointed out there were a multitude of cat prints, even wee kitten. She gave me her patented, "You are a moron and I will poke you in the eye while you sleep" look and pointed out that she was not a mere cat but she was the famous Kewannian Mountain Lion and a wee cat track was not exactly representative of that.

     So that's how I got mountain lion tracks on my floor.