Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Care Bear and I went to the Heidelberg Christmas Market yesterday. (Much warmer than when we walked to downtown Frankfurt on Sunday. I'm sure it was in the 20s yesterday. Definitely the climate for hot flashes.) (Did I mention I'm in Germany? Don't tell Rudy!) This poor deflated Santa was chained to a chair outside what I'm assuming was a bar. I couldn't help but think of my mom and Christmas's past. I can't find the photo of her Santa hanging by his neck on her porch. Maybe it was a snowman. Whatever. It was hanging by it's neck.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

For My Face-less Book Folk

Zoey had her first Christmas of 2009 last night. I'm leaving TOMORROW for Christmas with Care Bear and her family in Germany. So I had to give Zoe the gifts we had for her.

Aunt Carrie and Uncle Mike's gift was the PABORITE! (Not a typo - F is usually pronounced P with the Zoe.)

She immediately declared she needed a hat.

She named her Polly and talked really cute little talk to her nose-to-nose while petting her. When she wasn't riding her - hard.

I need to add that Rudy went a bit Cow Dog on us. Don't know if it was the presence of another animal in the house that didn't seem to think Rudy should have been given all attention, or if it was the wild horseback riding with the whoops and hollering going on. He ran from hill top to hill top. (Chair top to couch top.) The dog can leap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Still All About Rudy...

I've been trying to figure why the blogging hasn't been as regular. Is it because Rudy is growing up and just not that cute little puppy anymore?

NAH! That's not it. I still spend most of my day telling him he is just the cutest thing. (He doesn't understand unless I use a high pitched squeaky baby talk voice.)

(Sorry that is a little fuzzy, but doesn't it catch his essence? Kind of like, yep, I'm growing up and I'm much cooler. Want to play?)

See...he is still our Rudy Patootie.

I'm blaming my new quest to color coordinate his toys.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We have a new watchdog!

I just don't know what he is watching. The first 6 months we had Rudy I could count on one hand the number of times I heard him bark. He barked at a weird kid in Iowa. Justified. He barked at the lawn guy who was encroaching in Rudy's backyard territory. Justified. He barked early one morning at Mike's headlights running down the fence as he was leaving for work. OK. Not justified. Kind of weird, really, but he's a pup and learning. Those lights were kind of scary and surreal. Maybe those cute little puppy yelps in his sleep are from dreaming of alien abductions.

Last night, or rather early this morning, at 2 am he sat up on the bed (YES he sleeps on our bed) and BARKED and BARKED. I walked him out back. Mike went out front to check things out. We saw nothing. As we started drifting off again...you guessed it. MORE BARKING. Not yapping, which was a big fear of mine given his lineage. So I'm really relieved. I hate yappers. He was BARKING. Like he meant it. We sat up peering through the blinds. And then heard a really, really strange noise. It was either a metallic screeching or a weird animal. Or, maybe it was alien.

Today he sat on the top of the couch (not the seat, mind you, the top, back, head rest, whatever you call it) barking at a squirrel sitting on the fence. He wasn't interested in going out to bark at it. Preferred the safety of the indoors. Perhaps he knows the space ship is lurking. Just waiting.

At any rate. Rudy found his bark. If I'm awake at 2 am again tonight, or tomorrow morning, he's in trouble. He'd better hope the aliens take him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm sure there is a treatment.....

Rudy and I are both taking up new hobbies. I think he is getting into gardening. Look at the glee and intensity in his face. (And those EARS! Don't you just love 'em!)

I didn't get the shot of his little snout covered in mud from the hole he was digging. Wish he could figure out how to fill the watering can and clean up.

I, too, have a new pastime, and, as a matter of fact, I just made this for it:

Instead of paying lots of cash for a really cool wooden one, I made this myself for $8.37. (It would have been cheaper, but I didn't want to sand, so I bought chair tips for a couple of bucks.) Any guesses??

Does this help?

That is my new spinning wheel there at my feet. Here are my enablers:

Midge (in the background) taught the class Barbara and I took in Boerne at the Kid 'n Ewe festival this weekend.

Donna sold me my cute little wheel. I'm holding my first attempt at spinning.

We've barely enough room in the house for my Rudy's toys, my scrapping stuff, my yarn....how am I going to store fiber stash? I'm thinking Cuddle Buns will have to store all of his hunting stuff elsewhere. That OK, honey?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Is there a Bolt Syndrome?

Rudy was dressed as Bolt for only a couple of hours. Really. But I'm thinking during his little procedure yesterday he may have become confused.

With careful post-surgery instructions I came home expecting him to be groggy for a day and then subdued so that I could, as warned, keep him from jumping or running a lot for THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. Right.

Either they hyped him up on Halloween candy or he got it all mixed up in his head during that foggy coming off the anesthesia time period and actually became his hero. He's been running and jumping MORE than usual. He's a maniac! Racing around the house and bounding onto the TOP of the couch. Jumping off our bed that is 20 feet off the ground. Jumping from one lap to the next. And the tail doesn't stop wiggling his whole behind.

Not at all like Cuddle Buns after his surgery.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Rudy is at the vet today. Getting snipped. I hope he talks to me when he gets home.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rudy's Halloween

Tinkerbell and her daddy and I went to the Humble Area's First Baptist Church fall carnival this afternoon and then I hurried home to get Rudy dressed in his costume. Can you tell what he is?

The costume didn't turn out the way I planned, due mostly to my lack of any artistic ability and the difficult task of coloring on a dog. (Let me take this chance to thank my creative consultant from Frankfurt, Care Bear.) (She has a thing for washable markers and drawing on dogs.) When he stands up straight it really looks a little more like a lightning BOLT (hint hint). You may need to squint just right, too. And have really poor lighting.

Edited to add at 7:35pm--Our first Trick or Treaters tonight said "HEY! THAT'S BOLT!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

I know you are jealous of my punkins...

Are you most jealous of the fact that we are playing with Play Dough? Or that Wonder Pets is on? Or that Rudy has a new, annoying sister? OR that my Zoe is still in her jammies?

As if that weren't enough, check this out. Are you not just GREEN?

Zoe's new love, right after Play Dough and Tinkerbell (pictures of THAT tomorrow!!), GLITTER GLUE!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rainy days and Mondays...

Yes....he's on my bed. With me. On Cuddle Bun's pillow.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rudy was not harmed in the shooting of these photos...

Rudy has a new kennel. It is bigger since he is growing.

Wonder if I can still get gramma of the year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not just vampires and wizards.....

I'm not a very philosophical person. I don't usually sit around wondering why I like what I like or do what I do. (Unless you're talking spiritually, but that is another post.) (We don't have time right now!) BUT, tonight I'm going to my Young Adult Literature Book Club. It has been about a year and a half since I retired as a young adult librarian. And, while it is true I have definitely been reading more adult lit, that lure of YA is still really strong! I was trying to think of any adult book that I have read that I have felt sad for finishing. I can think of lots of YA books that made me wish for more to read. As a matter of fact, we're suppose to talk tonight of our all-time favorite YA book. Just ONE!!

So why is that?

I taught middle school. USUALLY the plots weren't terrible intricate. Maybe that is why I liked them. They fit my intellect. But that doesn't account for UGLIES or it's sequels.

Not a lot of people died. The world wasn't threatened. Except for in THE MISSING PERSONS LEAGUE or Z IS FOR ZACHARIAH.


OK. I like spunky characters. I do know that. Slim in EARTHSHINE. The girl in BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE and the mouse in TALES OF DESPEREAUX. (NOT the movie. I don't even really know how that movie could bear that title.) And all of the characters in HOLES. (Movie for that is acceptable. Very.)

I like wonderful writing. You can't read the first paragraph of INCREDIBLE JOURNEY without knowing that the book was going to be lyrical. INKHEART was like that, too. (NOT the movie!) (And, even though I've read Harry Potter and enjoyed the series, we are NOT talking great literature here.)

I also really liked books that made me think differently about something. EARTHSHINE, again. UGLIES, too.

It is time to go. I am taking my all time favorite book (WHAT IS IT CLASS????) WRINKLE IN TIME. I read it in 1963. The year it won the Newbery award. I'm sure it doesn't scare kids the way it did me all of those years ago, burrowed under my covers with a flash light until 2am because I couldn't put it down.

I'm also throwing in a vote for WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS (yes, the dogs die, but go read it and don't judge that book by the movie, either) and WORDS BY HEART. Not widely known despite the fact it was on the Texas Lone Star list. (Books for middle school kids.) It is an amazing story of faith.

I'm sure all reading this (hi, family members!) will rush right out and read all of these mentioned titles. I may come back and add a few more after our meeting. But, had to post about this other love of my life. All YA lit is NOT about vampires and wizards, despite all of the movie trailers you see.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Prince of All He Sees

I had a scrapping weekend this weekend. Rudy had to go to the spa. It was his first time in the arms of strangers. I was encouraged when the girl at the desk squealed and claimed she had found a new "desk dog". I was further encouraged when I went to pick him up and the girls squealed again when I said I needed Rudy. (Rudy is used to squealing. I think it makes him feel at home.) He sat on my lap all the way home on his hind legs licking my face. I'm glad I don't live too far from the doggy spa.

Zoey's car seat had to be removed from my car in order to load it with way too much scrapping junk. And knitting. And even sewing this time. (That wasn't touched, but when you are away on a crafting weekend, you must have way more stuff than you'll ever need....just in case.) Anyway, I'm guessing Rudy mistook it for his throne. From which to rule his domain.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spa Retreat Weekend with dog hair...

Rudy and I spent the weekend "babysitting" for Auntie Sandy's two pups. Well, they're not exactly pups. Rudy is still the pup. They actually are more like older cousins and they allowed us entry into their domain. I don't think they'd take too kindly to the "babysitting" word.

Aunt Sandy was in Kansas getting her boychild married off. He really is a catch, Ashley, no matter how crazy he might tell you his mom is.

This is Carmel. Carmey for short.

She is the ruler of the little kingdom. Rudy followed her everywhere, much to her annoyance. She would probably be surprised to find out that it was actually a kind of hero worship with a bit of "She's my human, not yours!" thrown in. By Sunday, Carmey was actually tail wagging with Rudy. Given another day or two, they might have even played tug with the rag bone. Maybe. Carmey may just be too cool to play with babies.

For most of the weekend, though, Carmey wanted on my lap or as close to it as she could get when my knitting needles were going. But then, of course, so did Rudy.

Because of her low tolerance for the kid, she usually gave up and went to the end of the couch. Poor girl. I tried. I really did, Carmey. What are you going to do?

This is Scooter. He has issues. Not of his own making.

Both Carmey and Scooter are rescue dogs. That's right. They rescued Auntie Sandy and Uncle Don from a petless life. But before that, Scooter may have been abused. He is just now, after several months, starting to let me pet him on my terms. OK. Maybe still on his terms. But he does let me pet him and I even got a smooch or two this weekend. (Sorry Cuddle Buns.) He curled up in my lap once before Rudy caught on. Scooter spent much of the weekend here:

Burrowed under his blankie. Beats competing with a little rat-like thing that doesn't even want to use the doggy door.

PS...I had a great weekend knitting and reading and being quiet and dog wrangling. And eating chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Irish Shuffle

I have spent the last week, after getting my body clock back in order, shuffling piles. All of the dirty clothes of course went immediately into the dirty clothes basket so Cuddle Buns could begin his job of laundering them. He is much more able to get right to work and get things organized than I am. The heavy clothes, sweaters, etc. that I obviously don't need since today's weather headline is "Summer Just Won't Call it Quits" sat in a pile on my dresser. Then I shuffled them to the bed so I would be sure to put them up in the closet before I slept. Right. I finally shuffled them to a bottom shelf in the closet knowing that someday I will be cleaning the closet. Did I mention that when I had those sweaters, etc. on the dresser that they covered a whole duffel bag of souvenirs we brought back? Piles. I have shuffled them from our suitcases and tried to put them into piles as to His and Mine. He mixed them up because he shuffled his pile back to my dresser in an attempt to get ready for work. (Poor guy.) Then I shuffled them to the bed next to the clean sweaters because of course I will get everything done before bedtime. They were shuffled back to the dresser. Then some were shuffled to the guest room where they await mailing. Some of them. Those that aren't getting mailed have been shuffled to the kitchen table so I can grab them when I leave if I might be seeing the person I got them for. (Magnet for my hairdresser. Key chain for the miracle worker who gives me massage. Big, important items all over the table.) When that started looking really tacky, I shuffled them back to my dresser.

Some haven't even arrived at the house yet since we had some things shipped. I have a small house. Why did I buy out Ireland?

During this shuffle I am constantly stopping to take away Rudy's new favorite toy: Cuddle Bun's slipper. A billion dog toys clutter the floor. He wants the slippers...

Doesn't seem to matter where we hide them, he finds them.

His little bed here in my kitchen has been moved clear across the room by his running and jumping into it with whichever toy he is mauling. I move it back several times a day. He loves his bed and jumping into it.

When we're not shuffling or chewing on slippers, this is what we've been doing...probably a lot more than the shuffling...

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Best Part of Waking Up....

After leaving a country that was absolutely charming, spending what seemed like DAYS in various airports (JFK-- what a zoo!), collapsing into bed when the clock said it was 11pm but the body knew it was really 4am Ireland time, and then not wanting to wake up when the clock by the bed said it was 6am but your body was awake because it thought the time was 11am, but being so fuzzy brained there was no way the day was going to be put to any good use, it was so good to have a slobbery puppy kiss to the nose. I missed him and it is good to be home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I've tried to kind of be low key around Rudy about this. Inside, though, there is a turmoil about how I can possible leave Rudy for 2 whole weeks. It is Ireland, and all, but 2 weeks!

We are getting ready to go to the airport and I wish I'd taken Auntie Donna Rita up on her plan for us to get Rudy on the plane.

Two weeks without Rudy AND the internet. What will I do?????

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mamas don't let your babies grow up

I so remember the first time I walked both of my kids to the bus stop and watched as they walked up those steps and faced all of those big kids they didn't know. Their first lost tooth. Their first sleep over. The first time they drove by themselves. I thought most of the "firsts" were done for me except for the grandbabies. But now this...it is just so HARD!!

Rudy has outgrown his first collar. He isn't a puppy anymore,

Of course, he still is the cutest ever. AND now he gets to sport his cool camo. I've lost him a time or two in the yard in it. He blends.

Friday, September 11, 2009


This cracks me up. Optimal pooper....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sister Bertrille...and other ear problems

Since I first laid eyes on him, I've been in love with Rudy's ears. Take a look at the picture to the left. Those flopping, wonderful ears.

He also has a way of holding them (not being able to physically do any moving of my ears without the aid of hands I'm not sure if that term is the one I need, but hopefully you get my drift) that has always made me think of Sally Fields. See the resemblance?

OK....that first frame of the movie isn't Sally, for those of you who weren't born when this wonderful show was on prime time. But watch the video. Very entertaining. You old folk (my age) will have a blast of wonderful nostalgia.

I've been sure when he was very small (smaller than now...like 5 pounds ago) he could be air borne given the right wind currents. Sally used to say: "When lift plus thrust is greater than load plus drag." (Oh....the 60s. A simpler time. With no reality TV.)

But lately it seems his passenger side ear isn't acting right and I'm worried. It never flops. The driver's side ear flops. Can you break an ear? Did he fall and do irreparable damage? I'm a big fan of symmetry, so is there some kind of ear therapy I need to do???

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A hunting we will go....

I told Cuddle Buns when we got Rudy that he could be a hunting dog. He knows the commands COME and SIT if he thinks there might be treats involved. (Rudy knows them, not Cuddle Buns.) I'm not sure what else he'll need to know before he goes out with Elmer and his brothers Elmer where they carry guns and blend in with the landscape. I'm thinking SLEEP would be a good one to know.

His Auntie Donna brought him some hunting gear yesterday, although he has a bit of room to grow in it. That's fine, because I don't think I'll really let him go hunting until he is at least 10. I probably should get him a bright orange collar, too.

Rudy has another Auntie Donna who gave him a present when we saw her on our way back into town from Iowa.

Every dog should have his own tire.
Now he'll be ready for our trip to Iowa next year as we pass through Oakland. (Iowa)

I have no idea what GH A6 is. I think you'd need to know more about tractor pulls than I do. At least those in Oakland, Iowa.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What a wasted Wednesday

Apparently, the bad economy has really hit downtown Houston hard. My dear son and The Zoe and I took a trip to the Aquarium this afternoon. We usually all have a great meal and a good time riding the train and playing in the water. Gracious. Things have changed. The restaurant, in an attempt to cut costs, is now only displaying fake fish.

Shoot. The mechanical scarey shark wasn't even working.


OK...We did go to the Aquarium, had a great meal, Zoe had fun watching the fish and naming them after family members, and we did ride the train.

Cuddle Buns just sounded so....so pathetic when he found out where we were. So I didn't want him to think he had missed anything, and since he's the only one I know of who regularly reads Rudy's blog, I thought I'd make stuff up about a terrible time.

Honey, I know you're still reading: The mechanical shark was not working. For real. It was a wasted trip.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


How much fiber fill does it take to stuff one monkey??!! It keeps popping up everywhere!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's Gone Savage!

I came out of the shower last night to find that Funky Monkey...a dog toy with a past to begin with...had been mauled. It wasn't pretty.

Funky Monkey was torn limb from limb.

His innerds were all over the kitchen floor.

Please-no comments about the dirt and dust mingling with the monkey guts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

When in Rome...

In just a few weeks Cuddle Buns and I, along with his 2 brothers and their wives, will be jetting to Ireland for "The Anniversary Tour". His little brother, known to many of you due to the fact that he is on the no fly list and has probably held up your flights on occasion while the authorities read the letter he must carry stating he does not belong to any group despite having a good, strong Catholic name, thinks he is 100% Irish. Even though his mother is NOT. (I know. She told me.) Get a couple beers in him, and his Irish brogue couldn't be picked out in a pub lineup.

ANYWAY, he has planned this trip for us. (I love traveling when I don't have to make any real decisions.) He and his wife, who have made trips to Ireland a time or two, have found the church that the grandparents attended. There the six of us will be renewing our vows. To our respective spouses, not to the family in general, which I would NEVER do having attended nearly every family reunion for 30+ years and have still lived to tell the stories. (Not that I don't love you guys....just saying.) Why this year? It is a monumental year. Cuddle Buns little bro and wife have been married 30 years. We have been married in perfect bliss for 35 years. Older bro and wife for 40 years. (Can these guys plan it, or what???)

In anticipation of cooler weather, I have been knitting up a storm. I have finished the actual knitting on The Rogue Hoodie for me (just need to do the blocking and seaming) and have now started on the Iain Sweater for Cuddle Buns. I'm knitting it from Eco Wool from Cascade, for you fiber lovers out there who love the smell of sheep when they knit. (Hope it doesn't rain while Cuddle Buns is wearing it. He'll be warm and dry but will stink of the sheep pens.)

I've made a little headway on it since I've been back. Rudy has been helping.

PS...The guys had an older brother who passed away 13 years ago. If he were still with us, he and his wife would have been married 45 years this year. Cuddle Bun's mom says that says a lot about the men-folk in the family. We think it has more to do with the women they married.

We miss you Tom!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm having a hard time getting motivated. Can't unpack. My suitcase has been repurposed.

Plus, The Zoe is here with Elmo Giant.

So, the list of things I think I SHOULD do has been shoved under the clean laundry to be put away.

I had someone ask me on Monday if I had the feeling that I should be somewhere when the teachers all go back to school. I didn't even know they HAD gone back to school. Poor things.