Overcoming Quakes and Shakes

Once upon a time in a small village in northeastern Illinois, lived a little dog named Mitchell. Mitchell quaked and shaked, and wouldn’t come out from under the chair, or out of his crate, or from behind large pieces of furniture. He was just afraid. He wouldn’t let Dog-Mom touch him..Mitchell was sad…Dog-Mom was sadder.


Finally Dog-Mom got super hero Doctor Vet and the beloved vet-tech Meredith to come to the house and visit Mitchell. They helped a lot. Within two days, Mitchell started taking short walks outside with Dog-Mom…and he allowed her to rub gently behind his ears, and give treats . Mitchell likes a good ear rub, and peanut-butter flavored treats are good too.


Soon Dog-Mom took Mitchell on a great adventure. They went to a small magical summer home nestled in a wooded area. The wooded area was filled with all sorts of wonderful woodland creatures….deer, and turkey, and owls, and rabbits, and coyotes, and…well a lot of wonderful woodland creatures, and lots of human types who walked their dog-friends. The smells were wonderful., the other dogs were ok, the other human types …not so much. Long walks were good because there were lots of opportunities for potential friend encounters. Soon Mitchell was willing to sniff the human types, but they did not and still do not have the privilege of touching him. Mitchell is very personal space conscious when it comes to human types.

Dog-Mom made sure there was a crate for Mitchell at the small magical summer home too…because Mitchell still liked small spaces for hiding when nasty fear got the better of him. He decided it was the perfect place to sleep. One night, Mitchell made a momentous decision. Mitchell decided Dog-Mom might be ok to sleep with. So…in the middle of the night, Mitchell put on his big-boy pants, bravely walked over to Dog-Mom’s bed, jumped in and started snuggling. Mitchell has snuggled every night since, and has never returned to his crate. In fact, snuggling at night, sitting next to Dog-Mom, getting ear-rubs, and head rubs, and nose rubs are his favorite things.. But only Dog-Mom and Beloved Meredith, the vet-tech, are allowed the privilege.

Mitchell and the Weird Wind Demons

Once upon a time in a village in northern Illinois, dwelt a scared little dog named Mitchell. After rescue, adoption, vet care and a lot of reassurance from dog-mom, Mitchell blossomed into the confident little bad-ass he was intended to be. He discovered the joy of playing tug of war with Lamb Chop. (He now has four in various stages of disembowelment). He fell in love with the vet techs who watch over him and spoil him rotten when Dog-Mom has to travel. (They create the Mitch-suite for him complete with comfy bed, toys and a welcome mat…No exaggeration!!!) He accepted the fact that dog-walker Martha is not going to dognap him and is there to help on days when Dog-Mom has an extremely busy day. He learned that long walks in the forest preserve are fun, full of great smells and potential friend encounters. He even discovered that all human types are worth at least a sniff…but maybe not worthy of petting him. (Mitchell is very picky about what human type can rub his ears.)

Today, Mitchell realized that dog-mom needs protection from the evil wind demons that live in trees on windy days and make weird windy noises. (Sometimes the evil wind demons try to gain entrance through the chimney…then they make even weirder noises) These demons deserve to be growled, threatened, barked at and attacked because they threaten Dog-Mom who needs constant protection…

Today wind demons….Tomorrow dust mites.

Again..Dog-Mom feels so safe.

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Winding Down For the Summer at the Little Trailer in the Big Woods

It’s been an eventful summer.  The long lazy days of childhood were remembered but not necessarily enjoyed.  This summer is best described as productive.  I worked – almost every weekend and for at least 4 solid weeks at the little trailer in the big woods, and accomplished much…

  • With my brother’s well-outlined instruction, I patched and sealed the screened porch roof. (I’m still sealing.)  The scariest part is getting off the roof…not getting up there.
  • Dug up and burned a termite-infested walkway, and planted grass in its place.
  • Built a fire pit..(really – that was pretty easy for someone who spent hours with tinker toys and Lincoln logs….The challenging part? I bought the first row of concrete blocks at a Home Depot near home, and the little trailer is in Menards land.)
  • While my long-suffering brother trimmed several trees, I burned the wood in my neighbor’s fire pit…then cleaned the fire pit.
  • Cobbled together a deeply discounted TV set (don’t do this unless it has a remote – trust me..most deeply-discounted floor model tvs are sold without the remote…Universal remotes are not always universal.), and got the streaming stick to work properly…
  • Sprayed for insects – twice. (Again thanks to long-suffering brother with excellent instructions)
  • Killed moss on the roof. (Picture a 66 year old woman perched on the peaky part of a roof – balancing a two gallon insect sprayer filled with bleach water…aiming the nozzle at the moss, and praying)
  • Again …long-suffering, much appreciated brother hung the blinds in the screen room…Now there is privacy for guests using it as second-bedroom.
  • Cleaned the outside of the trailer with a fertilizer hose attachment and a brush…Power washing is unnecessary.
  • Washed many windows.
  • Applied privacy film to storm door of screen porch that faces street….for privacy.
  • Purchased futon for screen room – Thank you to long suffering friends with pick-up truck who brought it here.
  • 86’d 16-year-old living room furniture with help from above-mentioned long suffering friends with pick-up truck
  • Moved new upholstered furniture from screen room (what’s up with that picture???) into living room where 16-year-old seen-better-days furniture once lived – again with the help of long-suffering pick-up truck owning friends.

Threw out or found homes for an overabundance of junk left by the previous owner which included

  • Large primary-colored plastic objects most likely used by their grandchildren
  • Two weed wackers. ( I have never wacked a weed in my life..and never intend to…That’s what landscapers are for.)
  • Non-functional electronic components including but not limited to an eight-track tape deck.
  • Non-essential speaker wire.
  • A band-sander
  • A satellite dish
  • Miles of coax cable.
  • Mouse droppings in shed (Yuck)

Things I have learned

  • Even though I am confident that I am quite able of fixing  pvc leaks at elbow joints, it is worth $60 to pay the handy-guy to do it for you….especially when the fix requires crawling under the skirting where God-knows-what lives.
  • Praying every time while descending a ladder is a good thing.
  • Peanut is a keen observer of human behavior and generally knows when I am packing the car for a trip.
  • Despite his age and eyesight, Peanut will chase deer and threaten them to within an inch of their lives.
  • Putting things away in the same place…like keys…prevents time lost looking for them. ( I knew that J)
  • A second set of hand-tools is essential.
  • Work clothes get yucky, but are necessary. T-shirts are inexpensive if bought at craft stores.
  • Friends and family are great cheer leaders. Love them and appreciate them.
  • After the water is shut off, and the trailer is winterized, it is possible to create hot water with the coffee maker.
  • Bleach is my friend.
  • Rain on the roof when the electric heater that resembles a fireplace is on is magical. Especially when accompanied with wine and fuzzy slippers.
  • Good neighbors are a blessing. (I knew that too. J)
  • Network TV and cable are unnecessary if you have a streaming stick.
  • Television and the internet are black holes.  Turn them off and rediscover your creative self..
  • A Catholic home is not a home without a crucifix and icons – even a trailer home.
  • When friends spend the night, they get the bedroom. (I am, if nothing else, a good hostess.)
  • Clothes line is an essential commodity for getting things off the roof.
  • When on the roof, if a tool or a bucket of something falls to the ground…so what? Tools and buckets of something are not you.  Let it go.
  • Living near wild life is a good thing.
  • Starlight and moonlight are magnificent.

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