A Happy New Year


Bonnie photo bombed my first selfie

Today is the first day of the new year and I have made no resolutions for the year. I can say I do have some ideas about how I want things to do some things differently the coming year.

This last week, Bonnie, my silky terrier, had her fourteenth birthday. I gave her a bit of leftover Christmas turkey and she was happy. The picture below was a taken on her birthday when we got a bit more snow. She was out on the deck and it was a bit warmer that day. She likes to bury her face in the snow and eat the snow. She spent a bit of time trying to catch snowballs.


It has turned colder again with more snow. Tomorrow, I will shovel her a path to the yard. In the meantime, she manages to look absolutely miserable at the door if she waits more than thirty seconds.


My Cheesy Holiday

20131223-162542.jpgTop Row: apple, pear, Touvelle cheese, Somerdale Red Dragon cheese. Second Row: Smoked Gouda, Havarti with Horseradish, Wensleydale Abbot’s Gold Cheddar with Carmelized onions, Somerdale Harlech (cheddar with horseradish and parsley)Third Row: Cheddar, Havarti with dill, Extra Sharp Cheddar.
I really like cheese. More times than not there is cheese in my refrigerator. Recently though, I have had a cheese explosion.

It all started when I was shopping to take something to my son’s house in Ohio for Thanksgiving. I thought cheese would be a good afternoon snack while waiting for the turkey. While I was walking through a local store, I noticed some cheese samples and crackers. I tasted one of the cheeses and it was ok. Then, I tasted another cheese and my immediate though was that this was the best cheese I have ever had. The cheesemonger suggested another one and it was almost as good. I got the Red Dragon and the Wensleydale with carmelized onions. The Red Dragon is cheddar combined with ale and mustard seed. It is a wonderful creamy cheddar with a bite at the end with the mustard seed. The cheddar with the carmelized onions has such a depth of flavor, it is amazing. I took both of them on my visit. And they were eaten in short order. When I got home, I got some more. They are so rich that one or two crackers are enough. The smell is so strong that when I open one, my dog Bonnie makes an appearance at the kitchen door. Her nose knows.
It is overwhelmingly wonderful.
I already had the Havarti with dill and extra sharp cheddar on hand. Then, I got a Christmas package from my aunt and brother and more cheese with the apples and pears. I’m just so glad cheese lasts a long time if it is wrapped carefully.

The View from the Deck


last week at this time, this was the view from the back deck of my home. I had shoveled a path to the yard for my very small dog and it had been snowed over a couple of times. Only an inch or so each time so it was not time to shovel again. I noticed the reflection from the snow with illumination from my deck light was making it easier for Bonnie to see in the dark. When this picture was taken, Bonnie wasn’t shivering immediately when stepping outside.

20131221-180901.jpgThe weather has changed. Tonight we are expecting rain and as the temperatures go down, freezing rain turning to ice. Bonnie is standing in the rain surveying her kingdom. She especially likes how squirrels show up more easily in the snow. Maybe tomorrow it will be one of those days where the top of the snow on the ground will turn to ice and Bonnie will walk on top of the snow until the sun turns the ice to slush.

A Cold Winter Day

20131212-172434.jpgPhoto by Dane Gussin at a site near where I live

I got up early this morning and the temperature was 10 degrees F or -12 C. The sun was shining and there was not much of a wind but I must say my dog took care of her morning business outside with tremendous speed. When she came back in, she ran around the house for a few minutes to get warm.

With early errands, I left the house early. I just got a new battery for my car and had the radiator flushed so my trusty car started up without any hesitation. I went to four different places and I noticed how the cold was not bothering me today as much as it had a few weeks ago. It is so interesting to see how both my dog and I adapt to changes in the weather. And we always do.


Growing Older

Bonnie, November 2013<
On November 17, 2013, a storm hit the Detroit area and has since been billed by Detroit Edison as the biggest in ten years. It started as a thunder-storm with heavy rain. I could hear the wind blowing and I learned later that it reached gusts of over 70 miles per hour. About and hour into the storm, my house lost power. I have electric baseboard heat so I also lost heat. At the time, it was about 40 degrees F. Losing power is not commonplace here, so I got my battery operated lantern and sat down to wait. I reported the outage To Detroit Edison. It was dark and looking out the window, I could see that my neighbors had no power. I had just finished dinner so at least I wasn’t hungry.

I got out a book to read and read by torchlight until I was tired. I went to sleep early and woke up cold. I fed my dog and I had a cold breakfast. I checked the mobile outage map on my iPhone and saw that we were supposed to get power right before midnight that same night. I decided I could tough it out. The house got colder and colder. Bonnie, my dog, and I went to the car to warm up. I started charging my electronic stuff.

By mid afternoon. The car wasn’t cutting it. Bonnie was shivering in the house. Bonnie will be fourteen next month and I have seen signs of her age. I can see that the hair on her muzzle is turning white. When I come home she recognizes me first by voice. At night when she goes out, she sometimes has trouble seeing and navigating the stairs. She doesn’t get up on the bed as easily. Unlike people though she is not plucking her grey hairs or complaining about pain in her joints. the sight of her shivering was a reminder that she is more fragile than she used to be. We went riding in the car. We both got warm. I finally stopped in a coffee shop which turned out to be and ad hoc warming center. While drinking the coffee, I checked the outage map. More were out of service and I was now scheduled for return of power in two days. I began to call kennels and got Bonnie a warm place for the duration. When I went home to pick up her food, it was colder and the temp was supposed to fall below freezing that night.

I delivered Bonnie to a kennel and stopped by a motel and booked myself a room. I was lucky. While I was there, another motel called to see if they had any rooms left. I got a cheaper room. It was clean and warm.
I went home to pack and go to the motel. I had offers from a couple of acquaintances to stay at their home. I did not know them well enough to stay at their homes.

I had to eat out. One was the “American BLT”. I thought it would be a normal BLT. Imagine my horror when I found a slice of the processed cheese product some call American cheese melted on the sandwich. I was able to scrape it off so I could eat it.

I stayed only one night. My power was restored early. Bonnie was two nights in the kennel. With my kind of heat it takes about 6 hours to warm.

The next couple of days, I had to go through my food. I had to throw out a lot. I had put some in the freezer which didn’t work. I had packed some in ice and it didn’t work.

Finally, by Saturday I was through the clean up and by yesterday I was back to normal.

The Daily Doggy Massage


Each and every day, my fourteen year old Silky Terrier, Bonnie, presents herself for her daily doggy massages. I massage her back, hips, shoulders and neck. The are sometimes when she just collapses into a heap on the bed. It has become a routine more and more in demand as she gets older.

She has brought me so much by just being there. She greets me with wild abandon still even as she gets older. Although, now she squints at before greeting me. Now, she has a little trouble going down steps. She cannot jump as high, Or run as long.

I am happy to give her something she wants since she has given me so much.


Bonnie Bars the Door


Bonnie, my 13 year old Silky Terrier, keeps a watchful eye on my comings and goings. When I walk in the door, she greets me with wild abandoned joy.

She is vigilant for any signs that I might go out. She has separation anxiety. When she was a puppy, she dug an 11×18 inch hole it the wall leading to the garage. I came home and found a destroyed wood molding and the hole. She had plasterboard stuck in her whiskers and splinters everywhere. If dogshaming.com had been operational at that time she would have been the star for the day. I now have a baby gate between her and the door. Over the years, I have tried several things to alter behavior. She is far better now but the anxiety is still there.

She watches as I get dressed. She looks at me if I go near my purse. Reaching for the keys or going into the garage has her following me.

She has over the years developed strategies for delaying my exit. She runs to the kitchen and looks plaintively at her water bowl. I fill it. Even though she may have just been out, she pretends she has to relieve herself. She is out for a long, long time. She does come when I call her in my mother voice. Then, she races to the door putting herself between me and the door. I lift her 10 lb. body up and over the baby’s gate. She now gives abut 30 seconds worth of whimpers instead of the youthful howls I used to hear.

So the game is winding down and she now knows I will come home.