Shiny Happy Puppies Wearing Bands

Shiny reflective gear on walker and pups.

Whee!  The boys and I got lucky.  Our Christmas presents arrived early!  They received reflective leashes and collars, and I got a reflective harness to go with my bands and my flashlight.

I hadn’t realized how much we would enjoy night walking, but it is wonderful!  I love the peacefulness and the quiet.  People in the area go all out for the holidays and decorate with tons of lights and lawn ornaments.  You really get to appreciate them as you stroll by in the dark.

It is great no longer being restricted to daylight hours to get our exercise.  If I had known how much fun we’d have, I would have asked Santa for reflectors much sooner!




Conflicted About Casinos

Poker chips

The town next to us has been brainstorming ways to revitalize the city and draw more residents.  One of the ideas they have come up with is to put a casino in one of the empty anchor stores at a local mall.

My initial reflex is “Ach, no!” because I despise gambling.  I hate that it takes advantage of people with impulse control problems.  Also they tend to draw a certain element to town whether you mean for them to or not.  That being said, I also hate to see one of the last malls in the area dying.  I wonder, could a casino help to bring in traffic to the area again?

I can’t quite picture how even a casino could succeed there, though.  Normally casinos are located near transportation or population centers.  I think of riverboat gambling and casinos near airports and convention centers.  This mall is located in the middle of nowhere.  The county fair takes place only a few minutes away.

The local news had an artist’s rendering of what the casino might look like.  It was stunningly appointed with sparkling chandeliers and- for some reason- many Asian men in business suits.  I am not sure where these men will be coming from.

There is supposed to be live entertainment along with the gaming tables.  I can sort of see locals being interested in going to dinner and a show, but this is not an affluent enough area to have a ready-made population for extensive gambling or a heavy entertainment budget.  Would out–towners come for the sport?  Um….again, that is hard to picture.  Surrounding the town is mountains, not enclaves of richers.

Presuming the casino does well, would anyone dress up for an evening of entertainment and gaming then decide to hop on over to Sears and buy some bath towels?  Would Aunt Ann’s Pretzel shoppers want to stroll into the casino and play slots?  It is a sad thought, but I feel that even if they build it not that many will come.

I hope I am wrong and that if the town leaders decide to host a casino it does the things they believe it will.  I hope it allows B & M stores to remain in the area.  I hope it brings people to the small-but-still-wonderful cultural center of town.

Geordie and Toby say that so long as they keep the pet stores open, they are open to the possibility of change.

Two Cairn terrier brothers turn their backs to the camera as Mom tries to take a picture.

Woo Hoo!  Did you see that poodle at the craps table?

The Sharing Dish

As I emptied the contents of the crock pot into a container today, Geordie kept hitting my leg to remind me that he would like a taste.  Toby, on the other hand, was off in an other room playing with his toys.  (He doesn’t take food work as seriously as his brother.)

Thinking that Geordie would enjoy a private little treat, I quietly placed some food in his dish.  Normally he would run over and scarf it down.  Instead, he sat beside his dish looking up at me.   He looked toward the food, then toward Toby’s dish, than back at me.  Oh my gosh, he wouldn’t eat until I had given Toby some too!  We called Toby over, and he enjoyed some home-cooking shoulder to shoulder with his big brother.

When Toby first arrived, Geordie couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him.  Now he won’t eat goodies without sharing.  It’s so sweet it makes my eyes all leaky!

Cairn terrier puppy hold his food bowl.

Really?  I can have some too?



The Sideways Tree

Tree growing although it has been knocked over.

It’s hard to judge from the photo just how big this gentle giant is.  He is huge!

If you could peek through the trees a few feet, you would be able to watch the Keystone Pipeline being put in.  Workers pushed over the trees in this wooded area  to make a place for the pipes.  Part of me would like to blame the workers for knocking over healthy wood, but these trees were nearly all past their prime and should have been thinned  long ago.  Over the years when the pups and I have walked by, I was struck by how many trees were still upright simply because they had died leaning against a fellow tree.

One day during a bad storm, this giant of a tree was knocked over.  Even though he was down, he continued growing and put out a full display of leaves that first year.  By the second year, his spirit flagged.  As you can see in the photo, his leaves were thin, and he looked tired.

At the end of the Summer, he finally gave up and died.  He had had enough.  What is sad to me is that he has had to lie there for all of those years while the township mowed around him.  Again, my photography isn’t good, but there is an island of unreasonably tall grass as large as the outline of the tree.

Toby and I walked past the tree last week.  I brushed against a branch, and it was so brittle it easily snapped off.  Inspired, I broke off more and more.  On several more days (sans Toby) I went back to the park and broke off all the branches that would snap.  I even dug through the snow to reach the ones buried under the 30″ tall grass.

This is fun for me.  I like the work, and I like making that public area look better.  I am planning to sneak back with a saw and keep hacking the tree into pieces that I can drag into the woods.  I am wondering how long I can do this before someone decides to yell at me.  You know, because after nearly 3 years of ignoring the problem, the township is suddenly going to develop an interest in it.

I hope that the parts of the tree I have returned to the woods will decompose and become fertile ground for new life.   Season by season we can watch that stand return to its former glory.

Terrier pups waits next to his tennis ball.

I can’t believe you are getting rid of my chance to pee on the top of a giant tree!


Christmas is right around the corner.  Order your copy of Poopiter for yourself or for someone you love!

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

Poopiter is available at Amazon.


Small Business Saturday

Don’t forget that today is Small Business Saturday!  Supporting small businesses ensures that there is a diversity of products in the marketplace and allows people who are unable to hold down traditional jobs to keep their puppies in biscuits and kibble.


Needful Things of Salem

Needful Things of Salem

Stop by my shop Needful Things of Salem to see what interesting things are in stock.  Nearly everything is on sale, and shipping is free.  Please feel free to share pins, tweets and anything else with friends and social groups.

Happy shopping!


Speaking of shopping, don’t forget to order your copy of PoopiterPoopiter is available from Amazon and would make a great gift for the dog lover in your life!

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER


The Closet (The Coat)

I had though that the season change was off to an auspicious start when I was able to repair a purse for under $0.50.  Surely this was a sign of good things to come!  Not.

A quick perusal of other Winter gear showed a coat with definite cold spots.  OK, it is at least 12 or 13 years old.  Surely I could at least think about possibly finding a new one?  Maybe one with a hood?

Thinking is about as far as you can go these days about new things.  With all of the talk I hear about the flourishing economy and American-made pride, I thought I would be overwhelmed with great choices.  Choices yes, but certainly not great ones.

Anyone who lives up north knows the value of a warm coat.  Sadly now I do too.  It is approximately a mortgage payment.  I had always been lucky enough to find something at an outlet store, but there don’t seem to be any around here anymore.

A check online showed that not only are coats super expensive, but for some reason every manufacturer has decided that current coats must a) be very form-fitting and b) have a zippered turtleneck.  Models demonstrate the coats’ attributes while wearing stilettos and nothing else.  Really?  Are we supposed to be wearing our down coats over cocktail dresses?  What happened to dressing in layers?  How are you supposed to fit a wool sweater under one of those?  I find this level of stupidity very frustrating.

And then there’s zippered turtlenecks.  That is all you can find.  I loathe zippered turtlenecks.  They catch on your hair.  They catch on your earrings.  They constantly poke you in the face.  Seriously?  No one could think to buck the trend and place a zipper to the collar bone then a snap-closed insulated collar?  Even if I could afford a coat I would either have to hate it as-is or commit surgery and void its warranty.

So, my unfortunate puppies are closet orphans for another week as I try to once again fix what I have.  Toby enjoys going through my fabric bin with me and pulling out different insulators trying to find something to help.  If I can’t find anything, maybe I’ll just stuff him in there.  After all, my boys are always bragging about how warm their fur is.

Cairn terrier pup standing in snow.

My fur is warm.  N’yah, n’yah, n’yah!


Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Poopiter!

  Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

Available at Amazon.  Makes a great holiday gift!






The Closet (The Handbag)

Cold weather brings about many rituals in the North, including switching from Summer to Winter wardrobes.  It is a time to reevaluate which items will be traveling with you into the next season and which will have to be tossed or donated.

This most recent change showed me that my beloved “Cream Puff” purse had succumbed to age.  (Cream Puff was the label it came with, and it truly lived up to its name with its soft, sweet, poofy nature.)  The top had finally cracked exposing the padding beneath.

Cracked top of beloved Cream Puff purse.

I checked several places for a possible replacement, but the quality of what I was finding was just so disappointing.  I decided that I would rather keep what I had, so I looked for ways of making it better.  The lady at the shoe and luggage repair store told me there was nothing to be done, and that gave me the permission I needed to experiment with my own solutions.

Small black Cream Puff purse with new black flap.

By some miracle, I found an upholstery fabric that was the exact color and texture of the purse I needed to fix.  After all these years the original fabric was too delicate to take apart and reconstruct it, so I did a fudge-repair.  I covered the old with the new and did the stitching by hand.  I am grateful to still have my faithful buddy with me even though we don’t get to go out as often as we used to.

Toby thinks I am crazy for putting all of this work into a purse, but Geordie told him, ‘You are too young to realize but….those things hold biscuits!!!

Two Cairn terriers sitting in the grass.


Shopping early for Christmas gifts?  Consider giving Poopiter This year!

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

Poopiter is available at Amazon.


Is there a little girl in your life who might look adorable in a Red Velveteen Capelet for the holidays?   Red velveteen capelet for little girls.Red Velveteen Capelet is sized to fit a girl up to size 4.

This and many other fine things are available in my store. Come see!