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Messages - shine

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Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Favorite Art/Artists??
« on: February 12, 2008, 06:50:05 am »
I visited the Van Gogh museum (although I never did get the Dutch pronunciation right) husband and I always chuckle when we use the Dutch pronunciation.  Don't think it is possible to type it....but I'll try...

Van Hcghccgccockhg ccchhk

Sounds like you are hawking a loogie on both of the G's (Van *G*o*G*h).  It's quite disgusting, lol!

Introduce Yourself to the Forum / Re: HI From ALASKA and the MALS
« on: February 12, 2008, 06:42:11 am »
I had a "Malamutt" for seven years.  His name was Samson.  I think he was Malamute and GSD...not entirely sure, but he was the most gorgeous creature that ever walked the Earth (in my opinion, lol).  He had severe epilepsy and required alot of extra care....but he was worth every second of it.  We lost him almost two years ago, and I still miss him every day.  He was the Dog of My Life. 
You are lucky to have two Mals....they are stubborn buggars, but so loving!

Anything Non-Dog Related / Favorite Art/Artists??
« on: February 09, 2008, 02:10:41 am »
Every couple years I get on a kick about buying new artwork for the house. This is a BIG deal to me. I am what my husband calls an "Arty Farty", lol....could spend days in a museum, will happily surf for hours, have literally hundreds of art books and magazines, and have been known to cry over a piece that really moves me (at the VanGogh Museum in Amsterdam I could not stop the tears and felt like a bit of an @ss...until a man standing near me wiped his eyes and gave me a "I can't help it" shrug and smile, lol). So, it is VERY important to me to have artwork in my home that inspires me...whether it is to relax me, make me laugh, or fill me with awe. I am currently on the quest again to find some new art, and am open to suggestions!

I tend to prefer more modern art.....Post-Impressionist, Symbolist, Art Nouveau, Modernism, and more abstract stuff. I love VanGogh, Klimt, Munch, and Chagall. I love Rothko....have one of his prints here in my office. I am a huge fan of many Les Nabis artists like Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, and Paul Sérusier. I usually like landscapes and still lifes over art depicting people. And I absolutely adore trees...have many prints of them!

I am really not concerned with era and/or movement....I think the important thing about art is just that it "speaks" to you.  Please share with me some of your favorites! 

Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Teenagers.....AAARRRRGGGGGHHH!!
« on: February 05, 2008, 08:02:20 pm »
I can see everyone's point...that this is his life and he should follow his passion.  I really can.  But I also think that I did not describe the situation properly or in enough detail....maki ng it sound like this is just a kid working toward a dream, when it's not really that positive.

He does do drugs.  He's high fairly frequently.  I don't know how many nights he has come home red-eyed and zoned.  He made a pipe with the wood from his Boy Scout Soapbox Derby car.  This is a really slippery slope for me, because I grew up in a place where marijuana was basically legal and have pretty liberal views about it.  I may not  be the best person to handle this in a responsible parental way and I know it, so I have left that to my husband.  Bad idea....though he is not as liberal as me, he is much more inclined to avoid conflict and coddle his he says NOTHING about the drugs.  Even I would do more than that.

I have no problem with him going to film school, if he has any interest in FILM...but he seems to have no interest in it at all.  He could care less about the different types/genres, the technical aspects, the artistic aspects, etc.  He is not even interested in talking about it...even with Bill, who is obviously a wealth of information on the subject.  He's also not interested in visiting any movie sets with Bill to learn more about the craft.  His only real interest is hanging out on the slopes with snowboarders.  He cannot be a pro boarder himself.  He's not that good.  That may sound harsh....but even he knows it and says it.  So he has latched on to the only other valid excuse for hanging out on the ing the snowboarders. 

I am torn between supporting him and giving him a reality check.  Having a dream is great.  But this is not so much a dream as it is just a way to have fun, if that makes sense.  I am all for having fun....but at some point he does need to start growing up and realizing that life is not ALL about having fun.  He *loves* his psychology class at actually taking AP Psych as an *elective* this term....but thinks that being a psychiatrist/psychologist/social worker/etc is not "cool" so has no interest in whether or not a college has a good psych program. 

*SIGH*.  It's just hard to watch him making decisions that seem so immature.  This is one of the reasons I chose not to have children.  I am not good at this.  Another thing I know about myself, lol.  But I fell in love with a man who had a child and a crazy ex, and now I am a full-time stepmom and struggle with these things.....

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: need vacuum recommendations
« on: February 04, 2008, 09:41:33 pm »
ARGH, don't get me started on vacuums!!! (Too late, lol)

We are ridiculously hard on vacuums....not just because of the pets, but because my husband and stepson will try to suck up ANYTHING with them....screws, rocks, pencils, you name it.  Yes, my stepson once vacuumed his room and sucked up an entire mechanical pencil....took an hour to rip the machine apart and fix it! 

We are currently on our 4th vacuum in 5 years.  None of them have been 'pet specific'.....our next one WILL be.  I think the Bissell Lift Off sounds great because I have 3 herniated discs in my back....draggi ng around an entire heavy vacuum just about kills me....

Anything Non-Dog Related / Teenagers.....AAARRRRGGGGGHHH!!
« on: February 04, 2008, 09:27:12 pm »
Calgon, take me away......

As I have mentioned before, we have sole custody of my husband's son.  He is 16.  Not an easy age...for him, or for us.  He exhibits the typical teen tendency to be lazy, sullen, and dishonest....a dded to the unfortunate fact that he inheirited some of his mother's nasty disposition and flair for melodrama.  Sometimes he is really hard to take.  Like last night...

My husband stupidly tried to talk to him about college....whi ch led to talking about snowboarding.  The kid is completely, totally OBSESSED with snowboarding.  And it has gotten out of hand.  He has no interest in anything else.  He is in Scouts, but doesn't want to participate during the winter because it interferes with snowboarding.  He tries to blow off going with us to see his 81 year old grama if it interferes with snowboarding.  We hardly see him, either...he is either at the snowboarding park or up in his room on his computer looking up stuff about snowboarding.  He has had only one date in two years because "girls don't snowboard".  He is not even interested in getting his Driver's License!  He got his permit in September and could get his license in 3 weeks if he had 60 hours of driving time....but since it Interferes With Snowboarding he only has 15 hours.  I've never known a teen who didn't bust their butt to get their license....but as long as there is snow on the slopes, he doesn't care.

He is even basing college and his entire future on snowboarding.  He wants to go to film school so he can make snowboard movies...and the ONLY school he will consider it University of Utah, because it is close to Park City.
This kid is in a very unique and desirable situation, for two reasons:
1.  My father, who is quite wealthy, has offered to pay for his education.  He could go to any school in the country, or abroad for that matter.  There will be no worries about financial aid or scholarships or living expenses or school supplies. 
2. My husband's cousin is a well-respected actor who could help him get into any of the best film schools....a list that UofU is not on.

We have tried to talk to him about this.  We have suggested that he try to go to the best film school possible....he only wants to go where the snowboarding is good.  We have suggested that he not pigeonhole himself by deciding at age 16 that he only wants to make snowboard movies....that he should have a broader focus his first couple years, like in medical school where you learn the basics and pick a specialty later on.  He refuses to listen.  We've told him that we know he likes snowboarding and it is a social outlet for him and he is part of the "cool crowd", but that will cease to matter the day he graduates high school so he shouldn't base his decisions on that.....but he insists.  We have tried to point out that he is going to change so much in the next several years and should give himself as many options as possible until he matures and can better decide on his future....he claims he knows everything and argues like a petulant child.

He says he "doesn't like big cities!"....though the grand total amount of time he's ever spent in one has been 4 days in Fort Lauderdale and 2 days in NYC....he's been in BFE western Maryland his entire life.

He says he "definitely doesn't want to be in the Northeast"....though he's never been further east than Baltimore.  Translation: the mountains out west are bigger and gnarlier.

He says he wants UofU based on the school....thou gh when we tell him that if we go to visit the campus we are going ONLY to the campus and not the slopes, he has a complete melodramatic sh!t fit.  Truth is, we know if he sees the ski slopes that is ALL he will e campus could look like London after The Blitz for all he cares.

This is a VERY smart kid (got 1850 on his SAT without studying).....but he sure acts immature and dumb.  We don't know how to get through to him.  As I said, he is in a very unique situation....m ost kids can only dream of having the opportunities he has....but all he can see is snowboarding.  I am so sick of hearing it I could scream.  Anyone have any suggestions on this?? 

Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day
« on: February 03, 2008, 11:29:11 pm »
You guys are killing me.  After more than 30 years living in Paczki Heaven (southeastern Michigan), I moved to western d haven't seen a paczki since.  No one around here even knows what they are.  I am Jonesing bad.  That's why I posted the Ode To The Paczki....I am so bummed out!  Anyone want to FedEx me some?!? LOL!!

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: Dog friendly flooring???
« on: February 03, 2008, 11:26:30 pm »
Ahh, the Great Flooring Debate!

We have maple hardwood in our home.  Got a commercial grade sealer on it.  It is still destroyed.  High traffic areas near the basement door and treat jar are scratched and scarred all to Heck. 

Our neighbors (who have 5 dogs) have laminate flooring.  It seems to have held up better than our hardwood...I don't see many scratches on it.  It's also easier to replace a few boards if they get messed up.

One of my regular pet-sitting clients has tile in his house.  Not a scratch in sight.  However...the tile is pretty slippery even though it is "textured"...and the grout needs to be sealed to protect it.

I hear differing opinions on Bamboo.  Some say it is indestructible, others complain that it shows scratches.  Perhaps there is a big difference in quality from different manufacturers.  I like the sustainability aspect of it....though most of it comes from China....

Luxury Vinyl is supposed to be wonderful.  Comes in so many different patterns, does not show scratches, very sound-insulating, cleans up well. 

Someday when I am rich I think I am just going to have my entire house covered in sealed concrete....lo lol....

Anything Non-Dog Related / Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day
« on: February 03, 2008, 11:13:45 pm »
An Ode to the Paczki:

Today is Fat Tuesday.  Paczki Day. If you are not from the Midwest or Polish you’ve probably got no idea what the deal is with these dough balls....but here is a description:

Basically paczkis are Polish pastries. Each one weighs about 17 pounds and were traditionally filled with marmalade made from fried rose buds, but nowadays can be filled with anything.  Most Michiganders believe that
Jimmy Hoffa was jammed into one.

Few things are more popular in the Hamtramck/Detroit metro area. We are the devotees of I-Gotcher-Fat-Tuesday-Right-Here Debauchery, because what greater debauchery can there be than eating Polish doughnuts 'til you burst?  We are the Chosen Ones that know the word "Paczki" is pronounced
"poonch-key"....though few know the singular, paczkek, because very few of us have enough self control to eat only one.  Those who have not had the pleasure of gorging themselves have avoided suffering the dreaded "Paczki
Prostration"...but until you have experienced the sensation of huddling bug-eyed and near-comatose behind your desk with your pants undone after sampling every variety of paczki brought in by your coworkers before 10
a.m., you really haven't lived.

Paczki Prostration is alot like childbirth. Over time you forget about the pain...only the sheer joy of the experience remains, causing you to seek to repeat it.  Therefore, every year on Fat Tuesday you can find huddled
masses of displaced Midwesterners Googling "paczkis delivered nationwide".  Behold this pathetic wretch:

Yes, I'm one of those poor souls googling colorado+paczki. I did the same thing last year. Every year I search up and down for paczki's in Colorado but have found none to no avail. I'm making my own this year. Anyhow, as I was saying I was searching again and stumbled across your
blog and had to laugh. Thought you'd like to know I called every bakery I could find in Hamtramack to see if they ship but I was told "no" from each place I called. Please post if you find any place to mail order them.
Desparate in Colorado. - JR

Not to mention this poor soul, Jenny:

I found your blog by doing a Google search for Greenville and paczki. I moved here from Indiana but I never would have if I had known I would have to give up my paczkis! I discovered them in Indiana (happily) about five years ago and I've been looking everywhere.

Oh, the humanity.  For unless you reside in or around Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, or a handful of other highly-evolved Midwestern cities, you are quite
Up A Creek Without A Paczki.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: poop-eater
« on: February 03, 2008, 03:28:58 am »
Our vet told us that we were lucky...Cooper only eats his own poop and could care less about others.   

Bodhi is just the opposite....he won't eat his own poop but chows on everyone elses, lol!  We keep joking about hiring him out as a pooper-scooper service....tot ally disgusting, but he would be great at it.....

Newfoundland Pictures / Re: First time outside
« on: February 03, 2008, 03:21:35 am »
Awwwww....I remember when Bodhi was a fat little ball of fuzz like that!  Hard to believe it was less than two years ago!  

I can almost smell the puppy breath from here...

My husband is a Realtor, so we are painfully aware of how bad the housing situation is....things are VERY tight for us these days.  But I can't help it....this irks me to no living end.  There is no way I could ever abandon my animals.  I would go to the ends of the Earth to find a place that would take my pets or get relatives to take them or pitch a tent in the woods to stay with them if I had to.  It's hard for me to feel sorry for people who leave a family member to starve and die alone. 

Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Re: Trash dumping - how to stop it?
« on: January 28, 2008, 01:00:50 pm »
Our garbage can is in the cupboard of our island counter.  It's a bit of a's a small cupboard so we have to use a small can that fills up fast and we are forever emptying it....but it's the best solution for us.  Zildjian and Bodhi can't resist the siren song of the garbage! 

They do have those big metal garbage cans with the foot pedal....bulle t cans, I think they are called....but they cost about $149.  I can't bring myself to pay $149 for a garbage can!

Anything Non-Dog Related / Got my TempurPedic mattress!!
« on: January 27, 2008, 02:29:44 pm »
I posted a couple months ago about TempurPedic after sleeping on one during an overnight pet-sitting job.  At first I insisted I would never get one because they were so expensive....b ut I got to thinking about how much time we spend in bed and the three herniated discs in my back and how nice it would be to walk upright in the morning and how much my uncomfortable conventional mattress cost....and pretty soon I was obsessed with getting a TempurPedic, lol.

Well, I finally got one this weekend!!  Delivery was a bit of a nightmare, the truck couldn't get up into our subdivision (12% grade entrance hill covered with snow, and delivery guys from the flat part of Maryland who were completely out of their element up here and without snow driving skills, lol).  We ended up taking the mattress and box springs out of the truck right there on the street and strapping them to the roof of my car to get them to the house, lol.  The delivery guys rode with us and were just in awe at the cold (even though it was 22 degrees...what we consider balmy in January) and the snow (even though we only have about 10 inches....a foot less than we had a couple weeks ago) and our ability to drive in it (as if we have a choice, lol!).  When we got the mattress into the house we had to leave it in the foyer for a few hours to thaw out....memory foam gets very hard in the cold, and after 4 hours in the delivery truck you could knock on it like plywood!  After it softened up we spent 30 minutes wrestling it up the bends, but is quite heavy and has no handles!  FINALLY, we got it on the bed.

I have slept on it for 2 nights now, and here is my first "review":

It takes some time to get used is harder than a regular mattress and not bouncy at all.  If you flop down on it, you hit with a THUD, lol.  In the morning my back muscles are a bit achy, but my spine feels great (that may not make much sense to people without back problems, but it's the best way I can describe it!). 

I *LOVE* the way the foam oozes up into my back when I lay on it.  Keeps my spine straight no matter what position I am in. 

Because you sink into the foam, it cradles you and keeps you in position.  On a regular mattress I couldn't sleep on my side unless I had pillows to prop me up (always felt like I was rolling, and it hurt my back). 

I was a bit concerned about the TempurPedic "sleeping hot".  I *detest* being hot, especially when I sleep.  But, although it does sleep warmer than a regular mattress, I find it to be cozy!

I'd read that TempurPedics have a chemical smell that takes days to fade....but ours didn't smell at all.  I took a nap on it only a few hours after we set it up, and didn't notice a thing.

When I do zonk out, I sleep like a a the dead.  No tossing and turning.  No waking up whenever my husband moves around.  Even when Bodhi jumps up on the bed (which he does alot because he LOVES this mattress!) I don't feel a thing.  I slept for almost 9 hours last night....I can't remember the last time I slept that long!

So far I am very happy with the mattress and highly recommend it!  We got the TempurPedic Classic, which is one of the "cheaper" ones.  It was about $2,800 for a King size mattress and foundation (which is basically just regular box springs with plywood....the foam really should have a flat can use regular box springs, but it will void the TempurPedic warranty).  I'm hoping it turns out to be well spent!

Welcome to my world, LOL!!  Two of Bodhi's favorite things are poopsicles and belching.  They don't combine well.  I have learned to run away or cover my face whenever he burps, because I know it is going to be absolutely disgusting! 

Let me tell you, when you have 6 dogs there are LOTS of Poopsicles in the yard! ACK!!  For awhile we used that powder that you put on dog's food to make their poop "unpalatable" (like it isn't already?!?!)....then when the pet food recall came along we stopped feeding any canned food and they won't touch the powder on their dry kibble.  We've just learned to deal with our disgust, lol....

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