The Wizard of Drool

This post is about dog drool and Walter’s copious dispersal thereof.  He’s very good at slinging the slobber so don’t forget to pick up your Drool Abatement Kit before proceeding.

Safety First!

 

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Having a drool-producing canine can be an annoyance.  If you have a big dog like Walter, it can be life-changing.  He drools…a LOT!  Think of a St. Bernard and a Newfie combined.  Yeah, you get the picture.  The very drippy, soggy picture…

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  There are two types of Great Danes:  American and European.  American Danes have, what I would call, normal jowls.  European Danes have jowls that droop to their knees.  Walter should have had taut, trim American jowls like most of his ancestors.

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No hint of drooly, droopy jowls when he was a puppy

 

Instead, his jowls are so droopy, it’s amazing that he doesn’t trip over them.  All of his ancestors were American except for one European great or great-great (I forget) grandfather who came from Euro stock.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Walter is a throwback, I should have thrown him back years ago!

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The Wizard of Drool

 

If there was a Department of Drool at Hogwarts, Walter would be the Wizard of Drool.  The Wiz of Drool has a rather fun ring to it, don’t you think?  He could also be the Wiz of Whiz but that was the subject of one of my previous posts.  Walter’s urinary indiscretions are, after all, legendary.  Between the drool and the pee, Walter’s most-heard words are “Walter, no!  Walter, get away from me!”  Walter never goes away.  If there is any chance at all that he can pass a little slobber along, he will find a way to do it.

People are not his only targets, either.  Windows and doors are obvious choices, but for Walter, any vertical surface is fair game.  Horizontal surfaces are not immune either.  I always say that anything less than 7 feet off the ground isn’t safe from him.  (If you are a banana, I might stretch that to 8 feet.  Walter loves bananas.)  But the drool knows no limits.  Ceiling-slobber is not unheard of.  Do you know how hard it is to clean dog drool off a tin ceiling?  Repeatedly?  I do, and I wish I didn’t.

 

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Tulip wore Walter’s head as a hat…just before he ‘kissed’ her

 

The cats have not been left unscathed, either.  Our little kitten Tulip likes Walter.  I don’t know why, but she does.  One particularly slobbery day, Tulip walked up to Walter and he gave her a kiss…one long lick from her toes to the top of her head.  I’ve never seen a cat shake like a dog does in order to shed water, but she did just that.  Oh, Walter…

 

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The drooliest, droopiest jowls ever!

 

One might think that dog drool is only a negative thing and nothing positive could possibly come from it, but that’s not true.  Much like his shoe-peeing prowess, the drool thing tends to keep away unwanted visitors.  Being an introvert, that is sometimes a handy thing.  “Oh yes, he tends to jump and drool on you.  He peed on your shoes?  Yes, he tends to do that, too.  Oh, must you go so soon?”  Heh heh heh  Goodbye salespeople, religious pamphlet-bearers, and the dreaded “oh I just thought I’d drop by”-ers.  Seeya!  Or not.

Unfortunately, Walter’s fluid-sharing predilections can keep away wanted visitors, as well.  This can be a problem.  I will often try to corral Walter in the living room if it’s just going to be a kitchen table sort of visit.  But if we want to sit and chat on the sofa for a while, I have to march Walter past the wanted visitors to the other end of the house.  He does not like to be marched past potential targets…especially if they are unsullied drool-wise.  Drool virgins are his favorites. I feel sorry for the drool virgins.  There are few things scarier than a 150-pound drooling dog who is eyeing your shoes for their potential as a good pee-stop.  He really likes to slobber chests, too.  Boob-drool is more common than I care to admit. I just thought I’d mention these things to all of you who make excuses for Walter and think he is just awesome.  I dare you to come and visit me for a dose of boob-drool!  I.DARE.YOU!

 

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“Any drool virgins down there?”

 

The other day, I realized that Walter had outdone himself drool-wise.  He had a long line of it strung across the top of his own head.  That takes skill.  I got out the drool towel and cleaned him off.  Yes, I have a drool-towel.  Actually, it’s a purple batik drool-bandana and when I’m not using it to clean him up, he wears it as a fashion accessory!

 

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I Woke Up Early…

This is the second morning in a row that I’ve been awake before 10 AM.  For those of you who have jobs that might seem a little indulgent, but I had one of those for over 30 years and now I get up when I damned well please.  Unless I inexplicably wake up early.  Then the indulgence turns to sorrow and disjointed thoughts.

When I first woke up I kept having potential blog topics running through my head.  Snippets that were totally unrelated.  For instance, I experienced a bit of guilt about providing so many Walter posts and never giving any blog space to my cats.  But then I let myself off the hook because, after all, the cats are normal pets and Walter is not.  Not by a long shot…

Then I thought about discussing this very unusual boat we are getting.  Do we get a normal boat?  Hell, no!  But that’s a post for another time.  Maybe I’ll do that in a few minutes if I don’t get sleepy.  If sleep doesn’t appear soon, I’ll be a grumpy, sleep-deprived zombie whack job when I write it, so be prepared.  Preparations should include an appropriate hiding place, preferably one with coffee.  Mmmm coffee.  That’s what I want right now but shouldn’t have because I really do want to sleep and cease becoming a grumpy, sleep-deprived zombie whack job.  Who am I kidding?  If I get more sleep I’ll just be a slightly less grumpy zombie whack job who is well-rested.

My next potential topic concerned my obsession with a cell phone game rated for ages 4+.  Stop judging me!    It’s perfectly normal to wait impatiently while my flowers grow and watch for some sort of weird bug/creature to appear.  *checks game*  Why do I wait for weird bugs on virtual flowers?  It’s because collecting enough of them can get you spiffy prizes.  These include outfits I can use to dress my character and furniture I can use to decorate a little campsite.  *checks game*  I am currently behind in my bug collecting and I might not make my quota before tonight and then I will miss out on getting that sandalwood resort hut.  It doesn’t matter that it will probably sit in my virtual inventory and never be used, I want it.  I want it bad.  I don’t just want it, I NEED it!

It occurs to me that not having a schedule might be deleterious to my Age 4+ mind.  I don’t care.  I’m going to get that damned sandalwood resort hut if I have to haunt my phone constantly until 2 AM because that’s when the bugs go away and my chance of getting my NEEDED sandalwood resort hut is gone like a bird on a boat potentially bringing me snacks.  Yeah, it’s a strange game and it really is early in the morning for me, isn’t it?

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*This blog has now been interrupted while Walter howls at horses.*  Yes, this is happening real-time.  Did I make this up?  No.  If I had made it up, it would be the start of a Walter post.  Since I am currently a coffeeless, sleep-deprived zombie whack job, I will resist writing another post about Walter, even though horse-howling is a rather interesting topic and does deserve to be explored.  Maybe later…

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Back to irregularly scheduled programming.  *checks game* I went to a wedding reception yesterday.  How was that for a non-existent seque?  Get used to it, there will be more.  The reception was a casual affair hosted by the blissful couple at a cottage on a lake in the middle of a savage thunderstorm.  I had cake.

What do you all know about docks?  *checks game* We have to get one for the weird boat and I’m a dock virgin so there are many questions.  I was reading about mooring whips and water agitators and started to fantasize about becoming a dock virgin pond dominatrix.

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Yet another Walter interruption.  He has traded in his howling for whining.  There is a Golden Retriever down the road. Even though said retriever can barely be seen, except by him, it doesn’t matter.  The whining continues. Horse-howling is a distant memory.

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*boof*  I promise, I’m not even going to give Walter his own paragraphs anymore because he’s just indiscriminately boofing at a spot where a Golden Retriever was…and is not anymore. *checks game* Golden Retrievers are like that.  They have the nerve to move out of Walter’s view, and apparently, that is boof-worthy. *checks game*  Oooh, I got some bugs and a white beach dress as a prize!* Thirty-four bugs to go!  *boof*

Wow!  Did you know that you can get a water-agitating, muck-removing thingmabob?  Neither did I.  I know this subject just randomly popped up but I think it’s important to know that The Aquasweep Muck Blaster starts at only $1195!  I cannot make this stuff up.  *boof* Maybe my potential as a pond dominatrix could be achieved if I got a muck-blasting water agitator.  It does sound sufficiently painful, don’t you think?

*boof..bark…howl*  I wish I could put videos here.  That sound combination is YouTube gold.  It’s not often I get a threefer from Walter.  It’s usually one sound or another, but we have now reached trifecta status in the dog noise emission category this morning.  Stand by for farts.  That’s the only dog noise emission left.  Other dog emissions are not allowed.  If he pees on the sofa again there will be whimpering, and I hate whimpering before coffee.

*low growl boof*  Hey, that’s new.  Walter never ceases to amaze me.  Oh damn, I am actually giving him another paragraph when I promised I wouldn’t.  Oh well, you’d better let me off the hook on this one.  Keep in mind that I’m a pond dominatrix and I can moor-whip you into submission regarding Walter paragraph promises.  If the moor-whipping isn’t sufficient, I’ll get out the Aquasweep Muck Blaster and then you’ll be sorry!

 

 

 

 

 

The Collection Intervention

About a year ago, I was the recipient of an intervention.  Bill and Wendy (the gal who works for us) teamed up and informed me that my collections were out of control.  They were not wrong.  I collect everything.  I love antiques.  If it’s old, I collect it. The house and the barn, and the garden shed were chock full.  The camp was a little scary, too. I won’t even tell you about the garden shed.  “Hey, those terracotta pots were on sale so of course, I need at least 50 of them!”  Who could resist!?  As you can tell, it wasn’t just antiques. I collected everything and I was one of those people who couldn’t pass up a deal.  If one was good, then a dozen would be so much better. After all, it’s cheaper in bulk!   All of these things, added together, created a deadly combination.  An intervention-worthy combination.

Now, I might be a packrat but things were clean, and in my mind, they were organized.  That might be stretching things a bit.  Everything really was clean but maybe ‘organized’ isn’t the right word.  At least I usually knew which room something was in!  Usually.  The fact that I was going through my books last winter and found three copies of the same book might lead you to believe otherwise.  Yeah, it was at that point that I knew I had a problem.  Bill and Wendy had a point.

I’ve always thought that there are two types of people when it comes to stuff.  There are those wonderful people who like to have a lot of it around and feel cozy when they do.  Then there are those unfeeling people who are minimalists and want to live in cold, spartan conditions suitable for a surgical suite or some sort of sterile laboratory.  Perhaps my choice of adjectives would lead you to guess that I am the former type and Bill and Wendy are the latter.  I like my books and antiques around.  Maybe too many of both.  Maybe.  Yes, I like having my books and antiques around, but my loved ones don’t.  If it were up to them, every room would be so sparsely furnished that you could hold a square dance in it!  A compromise had to be struck, and let me tell you, it’s been painful.

In the past few months, I’ve seen clothes, shoes, dishes, linens, books, art supplies, garden tools, and furniture go out the door.  Even some of my precious antiques have, like Elvis, left the building.  It’s been hard, but somehow liberating.  I vacillate between a number of emotions:  happy, sad, mortified, thankful, mournful, inspired and just plain angry; all bound together in a wrapping of disbelief.  Did I really have all of this stuff?  Did I really need it?  Some things I did, but a lot I could really do without.  Don’t tell Bill and Wendy that.  I still want them to think that they are torturing me and I’m a pitiful victim. I continue to make them believe this with a few pouts and well-timed whimpers.

One of my current projects is working on tools.  Perhaps having five sets of screwdrivers is a bit excessive.  We won’t even talk about socket sets and pliers!  Hey, creating a toolbox for camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I have four toolboxes!  My current job is to gather and organize all of the nails and screws.  Talk about painful!  But, I did get to order some really nifty organizers with little drawers from Amazon that are perfect for this endeavor.  This brings us to another problem…Amazon.  Since this post is getting way too long as it is, I’ll leave my love/hate relationship with Amazon for a future rant post.

The long and the short of it is that I’m a pitiful victim of minimalist monsters.  But little, by little, the house, barn, camp, and garden shed are looking pretty good.  There is still much to be done.  Hey, but the new garage is pristine and I am told it needs to stay that way.  Just keep me away from Amazon.  So many of us have the Amazon addiction. There really should be a support group…that serves donuts.  Those glazed ones are pretty good, and the Boston creams, too.  Oooh jelly-filled, don’t forget about those.  You can’t go wrong with a good plain donut, either.  Oh hell, now I’m collecting donuts!

 

You Got What!?

I asked a friend if she had a nice Christmas and she replied:  “It was.  Got a new toilet seat for my ice shack.”   After I stopped laughing, my mind went back years ago when I was a kid and tagged along with my Dad when he went ice fishing.

 

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Ice shack on Ironbound Pond

 

As you can see above, an ice shack is a little building just about big enough to house a couple of chairs and a cooler.  You drag it out on a frozen lake on runners, just like a big sled.  Traditionally, ice shacks are used for ice fishing, where a hole is drilled in the ice and traps are set.  When the little flag goes up on the trap, the fishermen know they have a fish on the line that needs to be hauled up through the hole.

Now there are those who say that ice fishing is nothing more than an excuse for a couple of buddies to get together, sit beside a hole in the ice, and drink beer.  That could be true for some, but serious ice fishermen are there for the fish.

 

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Folded ice traps in a pack basket

 

As a child, I spent many, many hours on frozen Maine lakes in howling wind as I  wondered what part of me would get frostbite first.   In spite of that, I’d watch those traps like a hawk, just waiting for a flag to go up.  We didn’t have the luxury of an ice shack back then.  And you’d better believe we didn’t have one with a toilet seat, either!

 

What was the most unique present you either gave or received this holiday season?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Debb Quimby Heald, one of the finest nature photographers I know.

 

 

Guest in Jest #69 Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

I can’t quite believe it, but 33 years ago today I married my long-suffering husband, Bill.  I’m not sure what you envisioned our wedding might be like, but I’d wager you’d be wrong.

Bill and I first met when he delivered my mail for a three weeks.  And then I moved.  Not because of him, mind you, but I like to tell him it was.  If you want the whole story of that meeting and whatnot, I actually wrote a post ages ago and called it Part 1 and then left it till now.  So I guess this is the second and final part.  Here’s the first post, in case you are curious.   How I Met My Husband Part 1

If you want to see the Prologue, here’s the link to that.  How I Met My Husband – The Prologue  Yes, there is a prologue.  Don’t ask me why there is a prologue because I don’t remember.  I started writing this whole mess over a year ago and I would have forgotten all about it except it’s now the second day of November and it’s exactly 33 years since I married the poor unfortunate man and it’s Guest in Jest day and I figured if I’m going to beg for posts, the least I could do was be my very own Guest…in Jest.  GASP  Sorry, that was pretty long-winded and I ran out of air.

When I left off this story I had just received an April Fools phone call from Bill, whom I’d only really communicated with via the backs of letters going to and from my Aunt Polly.  I know that sounds weird, but if you want to know why and how, you’ll have to click the link up there and get caught up.

Continuing the story, Bill and I decided to go on a date.  He picked me up that afternoon and we spent the day having a picnic by the river, talking, having dinner, talking some more, going to a movie, and talking more into the middle of the night.  It was one of those “I knew the first time I met him” sort of scenarios.  Actually, I knew the first time I met him and we talked for 10 hours sort of scenarios.  And that’s how I met Bill.

After four months of long distance (an hour apart) dating, we decided to live together.  This meant I had to move back to the area where I grew up.  I wasn’t terribly happy about that, but love conquers all, as they say.

Bill and I found this fabulous little apartment in Skowhegan.  It was an old house that had just been converted to apartments and all of the architectural details had been preserved.  It was a great place.  Who needs more than a bedroom, a kitchen and a living room?  We were happy and it wasn’t long before we started talking about getting married.  At this point it was six months after we first met.  I know it was fast.  But there was that whole “I knew the first time I met him” thing going on.  Still, we were in no hurry.

When we mentioned our intentions to Bill’s parents, his Mom went into full Mother-of–the-Groom mode.  If I looked into her eyes, I could practically see her calculating venue sizes and table plans.  Bill and I started to get nervous.  His family wasn’t rich, but they did fine and they were very well respected in the community.  Bill’s Mom wanted to make sure that our wedding was grand enough to impress not only friends and family, but a large part of the well-heeled portion of the community.  This was becoming a problem.

As each day went by, there was something new; another addition to the grandiose plan.  This train had left the station.  It was on the tracks and gaining steam.  We decided to let her go on planning because she couldn’t do anything concrete without our consent, right?  As the days passed, I started to worry about that, too.

While that was going on in the background, we decided to have a party to mark our first Halloween together.  We invited all of our friends.  It was going to be a lot of fun!  It was certainly something to take our minds off the ridiculous wedding plans.  I don’t even remember how many people she wanted to invite, but it was a lot.  Many of them Bill didn’t even know.  The social event of the season was going to star two very unhappy people.

We were talking about this debacle and then we looked at each other and it hit us.  We didn’t have to do any of those things.  It was our wedding and we could have what we wanted.  Right that minute we wanted to elope.  But where?  We couldn’t really take off for parts unknown when we had already invited people for the Halloween party and…then the lightbulb truly went off.  We would elope in our very own living room and the previously planned Halloween party would be our reception!

And that’s what we did.  Bill had a best man and I had a best woman.  Bill’s brother and his wife took pictures, and a friend of ours married us.  That was it.  We got married, went out to dinner, and then we came home and put on our Halloween costumes.  All of our friends arrived and as the party was in full swing we told everyone we were married!  yay!!!  They didn’t believe us.  Not a single one of them thought we’d actually done it.  It took a while to convince them, but we finally did.  But that wasn’t the end…

We still had to tell our parents what we’d done.  In full disclosure, I didn’t have to tell my Mom because I’d already told her what we planned to do.  She was always the ‘whatever makes you happy’ kind of person.  Even so, telling her she couldn’t come to our wedding was a big deal.  She knew what had been happening with Bill’s Mom, and that this was the most expedient way to stop the wedding freight train.  Like the saint she was, she agreed it was the best course of action.

So that left Bill’s parents.  It so happened that they were away for the weekend.  That was just a happy coincidence, but it meant we didn’t have to show up and tell them in person.  Bill made the call during the party.  When he came back he was smiling.  I was dying to know how it went. “WHAT HAPPENED!?” I yelled over the din.  He grinned and told me she said:  “I knew you’d do something like this!”

 

 

 

“Maybe We Could Meet At The Beach”

Have you ever dreamed of something knowing it would never come true?  Ok, I don’t mean a date with latest hot movie star.  I’m referring to something that is possible, but highly improbable.  In my case, it was an offhand comment one of my very own WordPress followers made to me months ago.  Dominique said something along the lines of:  “We should meet in person, maybe at the beach!”  We both laughed saying how cool that would be.  Little did we know…

Half of that dream came true for us a couple of weeks ago. Four of us met in Dominique’s fair city of Montreal.  The dream came true, and then some.  Not only did I get to meet Dominique from 3C Style, I also met Dee Dee from INVISIBLE-NO-MORE and Darren from The Arty Plantsman.  Yup, I got to meet three of my favorite bloggers in real life!  Dreams do come true!  I never in a million years would have guessed that the four of us, from the West Coast, the East Coast, Canada and England would ever be in the same place at the same time.  But we did!!

The tricky part of this journey was that I wanted to stay at the same hotel that Darren and Dee Dee were in.  The hotel only had one night free in the appropriate timeframe, so I booked it.  That meant 5 hours to Montreal, 24 hours there, and then the next day driving five hours home.  I just want to make it clear that I am married to a saint.  Since I can no longer drive, he made the trip and even did it with a smile on his face.  He even braved city traffic like a champ.  Yup, I picked a good one.

Bill really liked my blogging friends, and this trip dispelled an insane belief of his…he thought that there wasn’t any possible way that online friends could be as close as friends you could talk to face to face.  It didn’t take him long to figure out that wasn’t true.  He was astounded how the four of us enjoyed each other’s company and what a strong bond we have.  Hah!!!  That argument has been put to bed!  He knows better now!

The funny thing was that Bill met them before I did.  We arrived at the hotel and he went in search of a bottle of water.  He came back telling me that my friends were in the café next to the lobby.  He knew this because a guy he didn’t know called out his name.  Here he was in Montreal and someone is called him by name as he crosses a hotel lobby.  I don’t know how he did it, but Darren remembered a pic I had posted many months ago that showed Bill feeding some geese.  Darren has a memory like a steel trap, keep that in mind if you do something best forgotten.

You might wonder what on earth we could do in the span of 24 hours.  Let me tell you, we packed those few hours to the brim!  We had dinner at this wonderful Indian restaurant and just chatted up a storm.  Even though many of you have seen this selfie on Instagram, I’ll still post it in here and you can see just how much fun we were having. Dee Dee is on the left, Darren is at the top, Dominique on the right and I’m peeking up from the bottom.  My selfie skills are suspect, but I really like this photo.

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Dominique took the one below and that’s Bill on the left.  I tell you that because you might be in a hotel lobby someday and want to shout out his name.  I’m just sayin’

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I only saw Dee Dee for one evening but she and Bill hit it off immediately because they both love protein drinks.  It makes me shudder when I think about what color they are.  Care to guess?  I expect some really fun responses to this one.  Below you will see another one of my truncated selfies, but Dee Dee looks great!

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Dominique provided many fun moments.  It just goes to show you how much I really love her because she’s a *shudder* Coke fan and I prefer Pepsi.  You know how we cola people are.  There is no middle ground, it’s either one or the other and never both.  In spite of her totally misguided Coke ways, I did get this pic…she said she’d hold the can as long as she didn’t have to drink the contents.  Pffft!

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Darren provided us with the greatest gift of all.  He smiled.  He got a call from Dominique because she had a boot emergency and it actually made him laugh!  Before the trip, he told us he never does either but I have pics to prove him wrong.  Actually, I have pics of all sorts of things…except the boots.  I would have paid to have been there for that.  You must ask her about it when you next visit her blog.  😉

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Dominique was a perfect host as she drove us around the Old City showing us points of interest.  She drives the busy streets of the city like a mad woman.  I loved it!  We had lunch at a charming café and I had so much fun, I can’t wait to go again.

We tentatively have plans to get together in the spring.  And who knows, maybe we’ll meet at the beach!