Doggie Bluffing

You may recall my having mentioned Chloe, our beloved rescue dog who is some sort of Cattle Dog, Aussie-Coyote-something mix. She identifies as a Cattle Dog.

Sweet Hubs and I argue cheerfully over whether she loves cows or hates them, because she barks and whines and carries on like an wild thing whenever she sees cows out the window from her spot in the back seat of the truck. As a side note, there is a gigantic black cow (probably fiberglass) as a sign of some sort north of Salt Lake City. It was always a highlight of the trip if we were driving past that during daylight hours, because Chloe went berserk and made us laugh. She nearly ruptured our eardrums with her excited high-pitched barking, but it was fun.

She knows to watch in certain areas when we are driving to town, because cattle may be close enough to the road to get excited about. As another side note, she is noticeably more excited about black cows than brown ones. I'm curious about that. If we are driving in unfamiliar territory, she watches open fields much more closely than forests. She's pretty smart.

Chloe has learned what "the other side" or "over here" means. If she is watching for cows out the starboard side, "over here" will bring her instantly to port. Like I say...she's pretty smart.

So we were driving to Missoula some weeks back, and there are quite a few herds of cattle sprinkled about between home and the city. Chloe was on high alert the whole time and having a grand time, barking her fool head off like the cows care what she has to say. (Let me say right here that I do get tired of this game, as she barks at whatever level of decibels it is that makes your ears ring, and I get weary of the constant whining and huffing she does until she gets close enough to one to bark at it.)

We were driving along beside a long field that was lousy with cattle, and Chloe was just having a grand time barking, whining and whooping, but they were all a ways back from the road. Up ahead, I noticed a few cows standing right next to the road, crowded against the fence and well within good smelling distance for Chloe. I said, "Roll the window down just a bit for Chloe and let her smell them."

Sweet Hubs pushed the button to let the window down a bit, Chloe stuck her head out the crack and SHUT UP.

Not a whimper, not a huff. No sound at all.

For all these years, and all these many miles, this whole entire time, she's been bluffing!!!

Chloe doesn't realize that she has now shown me her Achilles's Heel. Hushing her never worked because she was just too wound up and in the moment to hush. Now all we have to do when we can't stand her bravado anymore is roll down the window.

Silence.


Spring, Snow, Fermentation and Knives

I haven't posted in a while, have I?

Not that I wouldn't love to give you a valid excuse, but I don't have one. The snow is pretty much gone, finally, so I've been doing more outside stuff than I did through the winter. But that isn't really my excuse. I suppose that I just wasn't thinking of anything good to post.

So I'll throw some random musings out there.

A young couple who is very dear to our hearts had their first baby on Good Friday. He's a whopping baby at almost nine pounds and a beautiful blessing. It's interesting to me how so many women, even old ones like me, can instantly bring to mind their own first days as a new momma: everything from the happy confusion of those days to that warm, clean, kind of earthy smell of a brand new baby. The way it feels to hold their little round head in one hand and the tiny bump of a rump in the other and gaze in wonder at this miracle of God and the possibilities ahead. Something pleasant grabs at my heart whenever I think about it. My own first baby's birthday is in two days. He'll be 29. I still remember how it felt to hold him in my arms the first time.

A few weeks ago, the turkeys around here were just bonkers. The toms and jakes strutted, displayed and gobbled constantly. Just like domestic turkeys, any time they heard a loud noise (such as sweet hubs' drill) they would gobble at it. They also chased the hens around, while the hens appeared to try to ignore them.

That all changed a few days ago. Now the hens are more skittish and secretive. They have dispersed into smaller groups or singles and more of the toms are just being macho instead of horny. Yes, I think our neighborhood girls have their nest sites picked out and will soon be brooding. Spring!

A giant shout out to my darlin' friend in Arizona, MM. She has been encouraging me to try kefir (cultured at home for maximum good stuff) for my gut issues.

Oh my holy smoking cookies! OK. Yeah. I hate it. Seriously. Every time I drink it, I feel like a rat has been sleeping in my mouth. I don't care for the taste, even though I do like yogurt and pickles and sauerkraut and such. But you know what? It works!

Kefir has made a dramatic improvement in the way my guts feel. It still makes me very gurgly for several hours after drinking it, but that seems to be going away over time. Mostly, the constant feeling of having a weight in my belly, like I'd swallowed a brick, is pretty much gone.

And the other day, I had a small salad!!! Did you hear me? Raw lettuce! And I didn't spend the rest of the evening in The Throne Room. Whoo hoo, wootie woot woot!

I'm still tentative and timid about what I can eat, but I may yet get to a point of not worrying about it. Imagine that. So all my love, admiration and thanks to my precious MM. She is ALL that and a bag of chips!

Sweet Hubs and I walked around, somewhat aimlessly, trying to decide where, exactly, we are going to put the garden. This is not our first rodeo, of course. What usually happens is: we talk for weeks and then Sweet Hubs wakes up one Saturday morning and puts the garden whereever the mood strikes him, regardless of what he had previously decided. That works for me. He does this while I'm still in my jammies, so clearly I have nothing to complain about.

What will we plant? No idea. I'm sure tomatoes, potatoes, green chilis and jalapenos. I am hoping for lots of kale, chard, beets, herbs and maybe beans and peas. Wait. What? Peas? I don't even like peas. Maybe they're better from the garden, just like everything else is.

Last. Knives.

Yes, I have reached a milestone in my life. I now have two scars to prove that I should not be chopping veggies without my glasses on.

The first time, I was cutting up oyster mushrooms for risotto, using my big chef's knife and I cut my middle finger because it was closer to the edge of the mushroom pile than I thought.

The second time, I was cutting up oyster mushrooms for risotto, using my big chef's knife and I cut my middle finger because it was closer to the edge of the mushroom pile than I thought.

I guess I'm going to have to get one of those old-lady-chains to hang my glasses from, so they can be on my person all day.