Category Archives: Dogs

Beagles and Us

When I was a little girl, my parents said I could have a dog of my own. Some neighbors had Beagles and that was what I wanted, but Daddy said no, that Beagles bark a lot. He was correct, they do, so I had to keep looking. I chose a Dachshund instead, which ate holes in all the blankets on my bed. My mother would’ve preferred the Beagle. After a couple of years, Mama couldn’t take anymore, so we gave Smokey to my friend, Judy.

I spent many dog-less years, filled with cats, until I took our older son to the animal shelter to choose a dog. To my delight, he chose a Beagle and he named him Hobbes (from Calvin and Hobbes). Hobbes was pre-digital cameras, so I don’t have a photo quickly accessible.

Then that son grew up, had a family and took his son to go get a dog. The son chose Petey.


I wish we had them longer, but the life expectancy for Beagles is only 10-12 years.

Now we have 2 sisters

Zelda and Sissy

I’m glad we have 2 now, and that they’re sisters. They love us and each other sincerely, but have 2 distinct personalities. Zelda is more confidant and adventurous. Sissy is a bit more reticent, but not about food. She’s really fond of food.

Zelda and Joe


John Zmirak has written some very nice articles about his 2 rescue Beagles on The Stream. Here is one of them.


Filed under Dogs, Family

Dog Rules

And now for something completely different…


1. The dog is not allowed in the house.

2. Okay, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.

3. The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.

4. The dog can get on the old furniture only.

5. Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.

6. Okay, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.

7. The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.

8. The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only

9. The dog can sleep under the covers every night.

10. Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.

(Back in the 1990s, someone had sent this to me by email; the author is unknown. I forwarded it to my sister and she printed it off. I’d forgotten all about it until she found it last weekend and read it to me. It’s still funny, it’s still true and it applies to cats also, only more so.)

General LaFayette


Filed under Dogs, Humor

Dog Humor on the Road

Just north of Oklahoma City:

And almost home:



Filed under Dogs, Humor, Oklahoma, Texas

Riding in Cars with Dogs

Peter Parker (aka Petey) enjoys an automobile ride, but is not a good traveler, so we’re trying to get him used to short rides. Maybe then he can manage the trips to Oklahoma with more success (don’t ask).

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Filed under Dogs, Humor

House Altered Book, Using What I Have on Hand

My activities are still very limited – mostly to what I can do sitting or lying down. Lying down means reading, watching a video or working crossword puzzles.

Sitting activities are a bit less confining. My ability to concentrate has improved; so I decided to try making an altered book this week.

The theme is a house. I love the look of kitchens from the 1930s – 1950s. Especially with that soft green color. I’m sure there’s a name for it, but I don’t know what it is. If you do, please tell me in the comment section.

To get inspiration and some ideas, I did a search on youtube for altered books and I watched a lot of them. All of them had merit, because there really aren’t any rules concerning altered books; they are as individual as the people who create them. Click here and here to watch a couple of my favorites. (Each of these has more than 1 part. After watching, look in the sidebar for the subsequent parts.)

And, as always, I wasn’t exactly sure of how to start, so I simply started anyway.

Usually, it’s difficult for me to begin a new project because I’m not working from a kit, with directions. I think it must be kind of like a writer sitting down to begin a new work and they face the blank page. Knowing that once I get into the project, it will become apparent what works and what doesn’t. But by then, the first ones may not fit in with the rest as much as I like.

The fear of dissatisfaction has kept me from doing many, many things. And now I know
that perfection won’t be obtained this side of heaven, so I feel freer to start.

Hooray! It won’t be perfect!

So after watching the youtube videos for a couple of days, I started gathering my tools (small scissors, decorative edge scissors, gel pen, heat gun, stapler, crimper, glue stick, Tacky Glue, etc.) and my supplies (magazines, decorative scrap paper, ribbon, paint, stamp pad, Ultra Thick, etc.) and an old phone book to use as my base (it works great; when the top page gets too messy or gluey to work on, I simply tear it off and use the next one).

If you’ve been around scrapbook stores or have been to a “party” like Stampin’ Up, my supplies will look totally out of place. Not professional at all, because I like to use what I have instead of spending money that I can’t afford to do it their way. For instance, bone folders are considered a basic necessity. I use an old Kinko’s account card (looks like a credit card) and it works just fine.

The book that I altered for this project is a mathematics magazine (it has regular typing paper-type pages — not the slick kind that most magazines have and it’s bound by staples rather than a glued edge). Since our son has his B.S. in math, we have a ton of these magazines that he no longer wants. Ordinarily, we would recycle them. Instead I use them. I think the current term is re-purpose.

The first step was to prepare the base. Red acrylic paint was thinned down to a very watery consistency on a Corelle saucer (not a store bought paint palette) and painted around the edges of the two pages. After drying, a salvaged gray junk mail envelope was affixed with a glue stick on the left side, and pink construction paper was glued down on the right.

When making altered books I don’t try to use acid-free materials. Since I’m 55 years of age, they won’t have to last forever. I really don’t have anyone to inherit these projects, so it doesn’t matter if they don’t last a hundred years. For things with family photos I’m very strict about using only acid free materials.

Instead of buying packages of that wonderful ephemera for embellishments, I photocopy all kinds of things, enlarging or reducing them, as needed. Magazines, catalogs, junk mail, packaging material are wonderful resources.

For instance, the vases of flowers that border the left and right sides came from a clothing catalog. The pages are nice and thick, which made it easy to tear. Two of the phrases (‘This house is peaceful” and “make your house a home”) were clipped from magazines. The brown dotted paper ribbon at the top and bottom were cut from the cover of a Christmas paper pad.

As I said, I mostly use glue sticks (instead of those proper costly products like the double stick tape). For things needing a stronger fixative (like buttons), I use Tacky glue.

The green medallion was made from part of a green magazine page, which was stamped, glued to chipboard from a cereal box and cut out. Then I dabbed it with a watermark stamp pad, coated it with Ultra Thick, and melted it with the heat gun to make it shiny. It should’ve had a second coat. That was something that I learned by experience.

I had a lot of fun making this book and it didn’t cost me a dime. As I worked on it, I thought about how there are so many different kinds of altered books, using many different types of materials. One of the youtube videos that I listed above used solely commercial materials. They make a great looking book.

And I thought about why I get such fun out of cutting up the magazines and thinking up ways of getting a particular look without having to buy a lot of things.

I think it’s because when I was a girl, my sister and I cut furniture and paper dolls out of the discarded Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs, and this is very reminiscent of those long ago days.


Filed under Altered Books, Cozy, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Dogs, Ephemera, Kitchens, Thrift, Using What You Have, YouTube

Dog Humor

Here’s a link for a dog video made in Hungary.

This is for those who need a break from all the cat humor. It’s such a fun video.

Thanks to my friend (Geneva) who posted it on Facebook.


Filed under Dogs, Free, Fun, Humor, Music, YouTube

Simon’s Cat

Simon's Cat Book

Simon Tolfield is an English animator who has posted his clever video/cartoons on youtube.


Go here for his youtube page that lists all his cartoons.

TV Dinner is one of my favorites.

Another favorite is Snow Business.

And for those of us with dogs, there’s Fed Up.

Go here for the Simon’s Cat Official Website.

Hope you enjoy them.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Free, Fun, Humor, Internet links, YouTube

Our Pets

Gracie contemplating fire

This morning we had our first fire in the wood stove for this season and it reminded me of this photo that Joe took of Princess Gracie Allen.


This little fellow is General Gilbert LaFayette, who seemed to appear out of nowhere about 3 months ago. I heard Petey barking like crazy out in the yard and when I looked out, there was this little orange and white kitten sitting out in our fenced yard, scared to death. Unfortunately, Petey set the tone for their relationship, because once Lafayette became tame enough for Joe to get him into the house, he now lords it over the dog. He was named Lafayette not because I’m a francophile (I’m not), but because we have a theme running here, which will be obvious in a minute and with that little patch of orange on his face, he looks insouciantly French. All he needs is a little black beret.

Benny & Gracie
On the bed with Gracie, is Benjamin Franklin, aka Benny. Our son found him in the parking garage of his apartment in Houston last year. Benny had been out there almost a week before being adopted by our family (thereby giving his owner a chance to take him inside. Houston is not the safest environment for either cats or personal property.) His fiance was allergic to cats, so he gave Benny to us before they got married.

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson belongs to our older son, but has been staying with us quite awhile. We went to Watertown, New York to get him before our son was deployed 4 years ago. Tommy handles air travel pretty well. He is a Hemingway (Polydactyl cat) – he has an extra toe on each of his front paws. It looks like he’s always wearing mittens, beautiful white mittens.

Outside we have Baby (a feral cat who was living at the Whataburger in Decatur). He has tamed up a lot, but only comes in the house when it’s really cold weather. Not often in north Texas, but a few times during the winter.

Also outside is a huge, gentle fellow. His name is actually Pumpkin, but we call him Punky. His brother was Pepper, a beautiful brown tabby who started staying away more and more, then just disappeared. I miss him a lot.

Martha Washington died about a year ago. She’s the only one we’ve lost on the road. We live on a dead end country road with a speed limit of 20 m.p.h. Obviously someone was going a lot faster than that. She was very, very beautiful and tiny, never weighing 3 pounds. Martha was also a Hemingway and a distant cousin of Tommy’s. However, she hated him with a passion, which is why our son gave her to us when she was a kitten. She would attack poor Tommy. Poor Tommy weighs about 20 pounds. Friendly to us and tolerant of the other cats, but she would stalk him. In fact, I thought he had a cataract grown over his eye, but the vet said it was damage; and I’ll bet she was the culprit. Even with all that I miss her. Her fur was as soft as eiderdown and she loved us, but had she lived we would have had to keep her outside and away from Thomas. It was like a vendetta.

Peter Parker 100_7399
Looks like he’s giving his opinion of cats, doesn’t it. He is Peter Parker (named by our grandson who is wild about Spiderman.) He suffers the cats, but not always in silence.

Gracie's Paw

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Family


Never leave a hot, buttered cranberry muffin on the coffee table.

The beagle can’t be trusted.


Filed under Dogs, Humor