Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
To folks worried about family here, I will post any news I get. I have not heard of any deaths, although we have been totally incommunicado. We just got TV service back, so I will post anything relevant. There are warming centers and folks are really trying to look out for neighbors. There is a 5:15 curfew in the region. Both hospitals are up and running.
It is stunning to hear a city without power. All of the background noise is gone. But there is relentless cracking of trees, followed by the sickening impact CRASH. And then the sirens. And the transformers exploding, like the kettle drums in Peter and the Wolf. Boom. Boom. Boom.
We have power as of this morning, but no Internet or cell phone service. (I am at our dear friends' house, Lee and Dee, as they can access the Internet.)
We are unable to make long distance calls on our land line, but have received two. Jake, Sara, Beth, and Amy - we are FINE!
You would not BELIEVE the devastation here, and I can't wait to share photos with you. For the reader who asked about their mom at Jackson House, I heard on the radio that they have it running on generators, and the residents are in good care. The hospital where I will be working has been without power since Monday, but they closed I-24 in both directions to get a line back up, and my understanding is that the hospital now has power. They got power to the other hospital yesterday.
Apparently over 90% of the area is still without power, and some of the rural areas aren't predicted to be restored until mid-February. Gas stations are without gas, or without power to pump it, and so folks are unable to run their generators too.
There is not a tree with its top limbs. And this was a city of big, beautiful old trees. The power poles in front of our house are at 60 to 70 degree angles, so I doubt that we'll have power forever. Oh but that shower felt good this morning! We have gas logs in our front guest room, so Bill and the dogs and I moved in there. Heather, Jason, baby Ben, Lindy Loo's brother Emmett and his old whippet buddy, Edgar spent the night with us. Because the other front room also has a gas fireplace. Last night it was 42 degrees downstairs! That is NOT whippet friendly.
I also have photos of Bill making pasta by candlelight, wearing a hat and gloves! Pasta will prevail! I beat him in Scrabble.
The dogs are having a hard time peeing. Imagine every blade of grass covered with 3/4" of ice. It's like walking on stalagtites or mites or whichever points up. The neighbor's cable line is luing on our front yard, and the big tree which was over Bill's studio is now lying on the roof or in the back potty yard. But OHH oh oh I am grateful for those gas logs!
They are saying we need to start boiling water, as the water treatment plant is down.
If I never ever hear the sound of branches cracking, ice showering down and then the sickening boom, it will be too soon. And though it is beautiful to see the shower of blue sparks lighting the sky as transformer after transformer blows, I can live without that sight as well.
hug your hounds
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Pay no mind to the silly weatherpeople. Just wake up and go.
But here, they get it right. My scoffing days are done.
This was at ten o'clock last night. It is looking out the east foyer window. If you click to enlarge (use your back button to return, please don't get lost out there!) You will see the ice on the window sill.
Again at ten. Isn't it strange how the ice collected at the base of the flower pots? The sidewalk was ice, smooth as glass, but much more treacherous.
This morning at seven.
Our arbor benches which got shmooshed when the tree fell on them in the wind storm.
The power went out somewhere around three this morning. We woke up because the bedroom was chilly, and the clock on my bedside table (which so happens to be Fat Charlie's crate) was dark. Each dog has four or five blankets in their crate this time of year. I cover each of them up after they get their bedtime biscuit. I checked, and they were all invisible. Only Sam I Am had his head out of the covers. His sire was from Massachusetts; that explains it. I recovered Very Old Dog, who lay between Bill and me. His ears felt chilly.
I'm listening to our NPR station, WKMS, online. That comfortable space on the radio is only rude static. Something about no power for their main transmitter.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Yesterday it was cold. The temperature was in the high 20's, but the humidity was over 60%, making the bonechill factor somewhere in the miserable range. I know, I know, I'm a wimp, but this is supposed to be the South. Capital S.
I put two coats on Very Old Dog, and Mama Pajama's warmest coat on, and off we started. Or, more accurately, off we startled. As we arrived at the corner of our fence, up flew a ginormous red tail hawk. Lordy they grow them big in these parts! He flew up from behind the other corner of our fence, on the neighbor's side, not fifty feet from us. I looked where he had been, and I saw some horrid bloody carcass. We looked closer:
Our neighbor had recently removed the other part of the tree that fell on our house, and there was a pile of shavings from the stump grinding, next to our fence. Thereon lay the bloody carcass.
Very Old Dog, Mama Pajama and I crept closer and saw:
Oh it was too gruesome to look. But wait! It was none but our own Sssssnake toy! Eviscerated months ago by the whippets. It had been inside our fence. The hawk must have suffered a bitter disappointment. Like biting into a chocolate and expecting [insert your favorite filling - mine would be marshmallow with caramel] only to find [insert your least favorite filling - like, say, okay, I don't have a least favorite]. The big old raptor must have braved dropping into our yard to make the grab, and then must have spit the thing out just as fast as I would a chocolate covered cat turd.
I grabbed my camera and on the next walk I took a photo of Delia smelling Mr. Redtail on her Ssssnake.
And then, since I had my camera, I took some photos of (drum roll) Francie the Wonder Corkie! Here are Francie and Tracey coming out of their house.
It's cold and we are walking far and wide, on our mission to pick up our dogs' poop. This mode of dress is not only appropriate to the task, we feel we are stylin'!
- making eye contact with a Whippet or its Servant
- being on the same sidewalk at the same time
- brazenly daring to breathe the air, which everyone knows is for Whippets only.
In the photo above, do you see that brown lead, which is stretched so tight? That is Luciano, who is Special in his Head. He exercised his right to refuse to be held by the same human what was holding a Hairy Dog, photo be damned, and plastered himself to my leg.
Francie is a good sport about it all. She does an occasional fly by, breaking all of the Rules. She stares into Delia's furious eyes, zips up to her and breathes her air, and then darts out of harm's way. "Take that you snotty skinny dog! Ha! My warm hairiness laughs at you! Ha! Ha!"
The whippets on the final walk, the young 'uns, Sam I Am, Swede William, and Lindy Loo, grew up in the city and aren't so snotty. They figure since Francie walks with us, she is part of the pack, and they even are glad to see her! After only two or three months or six, they can be trusted not to eat her in our house. Good young 'uns! I wouldn't trust the three of them out in the yard with her, but they've come along way.
hug your hounds and enjoy the beautiful day
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thank you to fellow blogger Gussie, Teka, and their Muzzer for starting this good, historic day by posting this on your blog.
I just wanted to share it for you dear readers, who hadn't had the same opportunity. Watch the whole way through; you'll be glad!
This is a great country.
Hug your hounds.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Now he does these precious modified leapies. They're sort of a little jump, bounce and expression of glee. And they make my toes smile.
He does have spinal stenosis, the result of catching too many squirrels while travelling at a speed of 35 mph. Diving for the varmint, grabbing it and rolling, like a wide receiver. Without the padding. The spinal stenosis causes a disconnect between his legs and his brain.
Brain to legs, "Jump up those stairs."
So I help him with stairs. He's learned to wait at the top and bottom of our twisting, treacherous staircase in the house. It's an old house, and the downstairs ceilings are twelve-footers, so the stairway is steep.
Outside, there are three steps down from the breezeway to the yard. His preference is to leap straight off the top step and land plunk on all fours. This causes my heart to fibrillate. My preference is to help him up and down, but it is his time to fly and he tries his best to avoid my assistance.
I must be vigilant.
Yesterday I failed. I led him down the steps, and ran back in to preheat the oven. We were having dinner guests, and I needed to get the pie in. How long does it take to light an oven? Thirty seconds? It usually takes Very Old Dog a good sixty seconds to pee. But it was cold yesterday. Really cold.
When I turned to go back and retrieve him, he was already at the door.
"Oh! You did the steps by yourself! How about that!"
And then my heart fell out of my chest and landed right on the bloody spot on my dear, sweet, Very Old Dog's nose.
He had fallen, obviously, and struggled to get up. He had another scrape on his paw.
The only way my socks could get me over this one, is if I wrapped one really tight around my neck until my eyeballs popped out of their unworthy sockets and dribbled down my blue, lifeless cheeks.
hug your hounds
Thursday, January 15, 2009
We have the best Kennel Club in the world right here in Paducah. And one of the reasons it's the best Kennel Club in the world, is because we have the Best President in the world. Mrs. Mary Lee King has been the President of the Paducah Kennel Club since 1991. She says this is her last year, but we don't want to believe it.
We threw a little surprise party at our regularly scheduled monthly meeting to celebrate her eightieth birthday. It takes some serious planning to surprise Lee. But we pulled it off.
My job was to get her there late. I am a specialist at being late, but Lee and Dee are always oh so prompt. They get to the club early to make the coffee, turn the heat up, get their papers copied, welcome members as they arrive. I called early during the day and asked if I could hitch a ride.
"The only thing," I lied, "is that I've been having some intestinal issues. I hope I can go. I'm going to take some Pepto Bismal."
I was setting the stage for my Grand Plan.
Newsletter editor Martha had sneakily notified the membership. Lee and Dee's issue had one glaring omission. Alice decorated the meeting room. Ginia ordered and brought the gorgeous cake. (And it wasn't only pretty, it was delicious!) And our awesome members all brought food.
We picked up Carol, another member who lives in town, and she was a little late coming out her door, as planned.
Lee was just itching. We had a very important meeting scheduled, with lots of crucial issues to discuss. I had been out in the yard with Very Old Dog when they arrived for me, (I'm so devious as you'll soon read), and I had slowly sauntered back in the house, put him away, and fumbled with my keys as I locked the door.
About half way to the Kennel Club, I said, "Uh-oh. My stomach is a little... We might have to stop." Carol worried that I had Spastic Colon.
As we approached the BP station, I said, "Oh, please. I do have to stop here. I'm so sorry."
Lee, who was by now freaking out over the time, kindly sympathised, "When you gotta go, you gotta go."
It's amazing what you can do to amuse yourself, sitting alone in a BP station rest room stall with nothing to do for ten minutes. La la la.
Okay, who put the poop candle on the pretty cake?
Dru is going to be a responsible dog owner and pick up the pooh????
We are serious about our snacking!!! That's Alice on the left who decorated.
Newsletter editor Martha checks with her beautiful agility star, Jamie, to see if the snacks she got are acceptable to him.
Kitchen queens, Debbie, Ginia (who got the marvellous cake) and Carol (a different one, not the Carol we picked up).
Sisters Ruby and Tina got their plaque for doing such a great job organizing our first Responsible Dog Ownership Fair. (This doesn't have anything to do with the surprise, but I wanted to show you how much fun we have.)
And I admitted that there was nothing wrong with my intestines.
Lee got a basketful of fun birthday cards, and we all got a chance to show how much we appreciate this good soul.
Happy Birthday Lee!!!
hug your hounds