Landscapes and Memories

Hillside landscape in Autumn colors

As a painter it is my nature is to create pictures that are meticulous and  exact.  While studying the works of artists such as Van Gogh and Chagall though, I found myself swept away by the freedom expressiveness of their artwork, and I loved it.  I want some of those feelings for myself!

I decided to explore the area around me and see what I could find to inspire me.  Then I want to see what I can create – more creating a mood than a replica of the place, however. This was my first attempt at quickly capturing a scene from the neighborhood.

This particular location holds a special memory for me.  When Geordie was a tiny pup, only a few months old, we were sitting at this same place.  Suddenly Geordie jumped up and began growling and pulling as if he wanted to catch something.  I checked all around and couldn’t find any rabbit or deer or anything.  When I followed where his nose was pointing, I found a car driving on one of the roads on the facing hillside.  From where we were sitting, it looked no larger than a beetle.

I hadn’t realized until then that my puppy didn’t understand perspective.  The only way I could think to explain it to him was to pick him up and reach one arm out as far as I could toward the car.  When he saw that even I couldn’t touch it, he finally settled down.

 I still have a lot of work to do before I am comfortable with a more abstract style of painting.  This one is driving me batty because I want to go back and make it right.  Except, I don’t want “right” I want “mood”.

It’s a good thing I have a lot of paper because I’m pretty sure I am going to need it!

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Watch Out, Peppermint!

 

Toby and new stuffed girlfriend looking off into the distance.Isn’t this cute?  The two of them are even starting to look like each other!

Watch out, Peppermint.  Someone new is after your man.

This is Toby’s new “girlfriend”.  You may recall from Poopiter that my boy has a particular fondness for his toy peppermint.  Now, though, there is a new lady in his life.  This little gal doesn’t have a name yet, but I think she needs one.  Any suggestions?

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Formaldehyde in Wrinkle Resistant Fabrics

Two Cairn terriers sitting in the grass.

This year for Mother’s Day, my boys very thoughtfully got me a pretty, new set of sheets for the bed.  As I opened the plastic to remove the sheets, I quickly had to set them down because of the itchy red rash I got from touching them.  Not only did they cause redness and itching, but they had a very strong chemical odor to them.

Not sure of what was going on, I checked the packaging and saw that these were “wrinkle resistant” sheets.  I Googled the term and found that what makes a fabric, in this case cotton, wrinkle resistant isn’t the way it is woven (as I had thought) but that the fibers are infused with formaldehyde to cause them to swell and not bend as easily.

I know that formaldehyde can be used in the sizing on fabrics to make them appear crisp when displayed, but I hadn’t known it was bonded to the fibers over something as unimportant as wrinkling.  Formaldehyde can cause skin irritation, breathing difficulties and of course it is a carcinogen.  Since formaldehyde is absorbed through the skin, every time you lie on treated sheets or wear wrinkle resistant clothing, you are exposing yourself to this poison.  Sadly, there is no government regulation requiring disclosure for formaldehyde use.

A big concern should be our children and grandchildren being exposed this chemical.  As a parent, I would not have given a second thought to the term “wrinkle resistant” on my child’s sheets – I would have chosen a print he/she would enjoy.  I would be horrified to find that I had exposed someone I love to something so dangerous.  And don’t forget our furkids.  If your pup or kitty sleeps in the bed with you, they are also breathing and touching carcinogens.

Fortunately there are a number of companies who still sell regular cotton sheets at pretty reasonable prices.  Cotton can be treated with a lot of pesticides as it is grown, so if this a concern look for organic sheets manufactured in the US.  Organic regulations are more strictly enforced for domestic products than foreign ones.

So, if you are making a purchase of bedding or clothing, please be aware of what might be coming home with you uninvited.

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Life Gold

Go away.

For some reason, my favorite pictures are the bad ones.

When Geordie got sick, a  neighbor told us about Life Gold – Dog Cancer Support .  Her dog had been diagnosed several months before and has been taking it ever since.  At his latest check up, the vet said that the dog is doing great and to keep doing whatever it is the family has been doing.

I started Geordie on Life Gold as soon as I could have it delivered.  At this point, I can’t testify to it altering the length of his life yet, but I feel confident in saying that it has significantly improved his quality of life.

Before his diagnosis, Geordie had been kind of laid back with lots of napping.  The clue we had that something was wrong was that he would cough from time to time.  Since giving him Life Gold, though, it is as if he is 5 years younger!  He has taken up playing with toys again, and he even invites me to play chase with him.  In the evenings, after Toby has gone to sleep,  he drags his little brother out of bed and insists Toby play with him.  This goes on every night!  Plus, he barely coughs now.

I realize that Geordie’s cancer isn’t cured, but it is wonderful to see him living such a full and happy life.  I wanted to share this in case someone reading has had a pet diagnosed with the dreaded “C” word. Life Gold isn’t expensive, and it might just help your dog to feel better and you both to be happier.

Picture of Life Gold herbal supplement for dog caner.I forgot to mention one other thing I noticed about Geordie and Life Gold.  Whenever he went for his chest X ray, the vet was a tiny bit concerned that he had lost 3/4 of a pound.  For a while, he simply hadn’t been very interested in his food.  After starting Life Gold, however, he developed a healthy appetite and has gained enough weight that he looks like a healthy terrier again.

Pick up a copy of A Tired Mommy Is a Good Mommy which tells of Bitey’s life before Toby.

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Available from Amazon.

 

 

A Happy Barkday

 

A smiling, happy Cairn terrier wearing a party hat.

Friday was my little man’s barkday, and what a happy pup he was!

My mom had the idea to take the boys to the store to pick out presents for them to celebrate Geordie’s birthday.  The trip would be part of the present.

Geordie tells his story:

While we were good in the car, that all went out the window when we got to the store.  TSC is an agricultural business that sells supplies for all sorts of animals from bunnies to dogs to horses and cows.  At this time of year they also sell chicks and ducklings to farmers.  We could smell all of that as soon as we got to the parking lot.  Woo hoo did we pull!  Mom made us pee before we went in, and Toby did a poo.  Then we FLEW into the store dragging our humans behind us.  First thing we did was meet a puppy black lab girl. Then we found the huge pallet of 100 lb bags of dog food.  Then…then….I pooped all over the floor.  Well, I was just so excited!  We continued to do our best impressions of sled dogs as we tried to break all of the glass lawn decorations foolishly placed out where we could get to them.  (We failed).  When we got to the checkout, the cashier gave us biscuits, so I guess we weren’t too naughty.

Mommy says:  I am hoping that the ears the boys got as their presents keep them quiet so I can maybe get some work done and grab something to eat.  That will be MY part of the gift this year!

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To read more of Bitey and Toby’s adventures, pick up a copy of Poopiter.

Bitey Dog and Toby in POOPITER

Available at Amazon.

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*grumble, grumble* Sharing

 

Two Cairn terriers sun themselves near the door.

Can you believe that I have to share my spot with him?!?

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Don’t forget to pick up your copy of  A Tired Mommy Is a Good Mommy in time for the holidays!  Makes a great, heart-warming gift for any dog lover in your life as well.

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A Tired Mommy Is a Good Mommy will give a glimpse into life for Bitey B.T. (Before Toby) featuring the poems Toy of the Gods and Whispers.  Also, learn the origin of Geordie’s Thanksgiving angst!

 

Butterflies

 

I have a friend who says that puppies' souls come back to visit their mommies as butterflies.

I have a friend who says that puppies’ souls come back to visit their mommies as butterflies.

Butterflies 2

Perhaps that is why my boys enjoy chasing butterflies so much…they sense a kindred spirit.

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To read more of Bitey’s adventures, pick up a copy of A Tired Mommy Is a Good Mommy.   It is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Coming Soon!  Bitey and his little brother Toby will have their own book.  I got a proof back from the printer yesterday, but there had been a problem with compression when the manuscript was sent.  I fixed that and resubmitted, so hopefully it will be good enough to approve next time!