Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Clean House So Guests Won't Suspect You Own Indoor Dogs

(Please, people. If I actually knew how to pull that off, I'd start a consulting business and could afford to pay a housekeeper.) [sigh]

So I've decided to bump my usual Monday "training" post until tomorrow, as I've got larger fish to fry today: [read] How the hot fudge do I clean my house so none of my friends - who are coming over for coffee at 10 in the morning - will know that I have a couple hairy, mouthy, slobbery, barky, and who-couldn't-care-less about cleanliness corgis in the house?  Yes, I know. To the seasoned dog owner, this post is absurd. Why on earth would I want to give the impression that I don't have dogs; how superficial is that? Maybe, instead, I should find some better friends who won't care that I've started serving dog hair as a condiment, or who won't disapprove of my using fluff as an accessory?     

Ugh! This wouldn't be nearly as traumatizing if I'd had the tennis *balls* to invite these friends over a little more often than once, since the dogs joined the family last spring! (You know; to gradually "break them in.") It's just that we've been so busy with "redecorating" that it's never really been the right time.

Honestly, who'd have thought Jon Farleigh and Dewi were that much in tune with farmhouse decor? I mean, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense that my dream kitchen - with buttery white cabinetry set against sleek stainless appliances and old-fashioned hardwoods - was simply missing "authenticity" before the treatment it received from my two, all-purpose farm dogs? For example, these improvements:

Distressed Cabinetry

Faux-Finished Stainless Appliances 

Weathered Wood

Color-Coordinated Gating with Abstract Wall Art

Why stop when one is on a roll?  Let's move into the family room area:

Catch-all Basket After *Antiquing*

Footstool Fringe Is "In"

X-pen as *Furniture*

And, in the bedroom (note: improvements have since stopped in the bedroom, due to "creative" differences with the dogs, in other words, they're banned from going in it):

Out-of-fashion Textured Frieze Carpet Transformed into "Lived-in" Trashy Fugly Unraveled Carpet

Oh, for the love of peanut butter, it's just coffee with the girls, right?!  I guess I should at least wipe the dog drool off the appliances...  Mr. Clean, Brawny Man: H.E.L.P meeeee! Calgon: I need to get away! Helloooooo; anyone there?!    

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wouldn't you expect siblings to look a little alike?

I'm just not sure I can tell these three are related.  What do you think?

L to R: Jon Farleigh, Georgia, Bogey

[hee hee]

Jon Farleigh and I had a great morning at the dog show meeting brother Bogey and reuniting with sister Georgia.  Such beautiful babies! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

All Gussied Up and Someplace to Go

Jon Farleigh and I are very excited to get to see his littermate - Cadnoclun Fairway Cinderella Story (aka Georgia aka Princess Pretty Pants)  - compete tomorrow at the show in Doswell, VA.  So much so that Jon Farleigh insisted on a hair and nails session yesterday at Salon de Bermuda Vet Hospital.  He says he could get used to the "shorter" do, especially around the ears and rears.  He hopes the flowery smell wears off before tomorrow though.

Jon was not in the mood for photography this afternoon, but I managed to get a shot of his "shorter" face.  Not to worry though, we plan on getting lots of pictures of the siblings tomorrow (not just of Georgia, but of half-brother Bogey, too).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Feline Fix - Lulabelle (The Menace)

Lulabelle (aka Lula) has a fan club; their names are Jon Farleigh and Dewi.  She knows it and she milks it.  They are her muses.  Unfortunately for my blog post, she's also a spaz so I'm having to settle for these pictures of her simply being our resident feline menace. 

I like my figure just the way it is.

This looks like it might taste good.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

From Tiffany to an Overflowing Toilet in Five Minutes Flat

I'd like to say I made this up, but that wouldn't be true.

9:52 a.m. today - Receive e-mail - from husband (Goodness knows why) - with a link to a local news article titled "Tiffany's coming to Stony Point".  (Yes, the jewelry store; coming to a mall near me.)  Back in the day when I earned a paycheck, I went through a little "sterling" phase.  So yeah, I might have a couple things from Tiffany.  Don't judge. 

9:53 a.m. - Daydream about Tiffany catalog and light blue gift boxes.  :)

9:54 a.m. - (Did I mention school was on a two-hour delay this morning?)  Head toward bedroom; notice the door is open (doggone kids); notice familiar funky odor; notice carpet is strewn with - hmmm - I'll say 10 smallish poop presents and a couple puddles of pee.

9:55 a.m. - Pick up poop with paper towels; flush half down toilet (I know); have serious doubts about whether high-capacity toilet can handle the other half; toss it in bowl anyway; leave bathroom without flushing (maybe paper will fall apart and go down easier).

9:56 a.m. - While cleaning up carpet (with Woolite Pet + Oxygen stain remover), ask W (child) to flush toilet; cross fingers; no sound; toilet is clogged; instead of getting plunger, flush toilet again (maybe it'll magically work the second time); water keeps rising...higher...higher...oops; waterfall in the bathroom.

Anyone want to go jewelry shopping?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Dog Mom's Soul

Stock Pot
It's snowing outside, so I roasted a 6-lb. chicken for dinner (think comfort food). Tomorrow, I'll use the stock I made from boiling the carcass and pan drippings to make a big steaming pot of deee-licious chicken noodle soup. Since many of you are dealing with, well, frightful weather, too, it pleases me to share this delightful recipe.

Please, however, note:
  • I can cook, but I'm not a cook - this recipe is foolproof.
  • Don't hold your breath that I'll ever post another recipe; this is, in fact, not a cooking blog. :)
Original recipe authored by Paula Deen
(makes 6 to 8 servings)

1/4  cup butter
3     medium carrots, thinly sliced (or a 1-lb. bag of crinkle-cut carrot chips)
1     onion, chopped
1     cup thinly sliced celery (about three ribs)
1     8-oz. (or close to it) package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
3     quarts chicken broth
       (I boiled my chicken carcass + pan drippings in 3 quarts of water for 30 min.,
         then strained out the broth.) 
1     bay leaf
2     teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
1     teaspoon salt (I use sea salt and add extra to taste since my broth is not salted.)
1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
2     cups (more if desired) shredded cooked chicken
2     cups uncooked wide egg noodles

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add carrots, onion, celery and mushrooms; cook 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until tender.  Add broth, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, 15 minutes.  Stir in chicken and noodles; simmer 8 to 10 minutes, or until noodles are tender.  Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.  Enjoy. :)

I'z'll do 'bout anything fer sum cheekun, pleeez.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Can deer poop be harmful to deer?

Certainly [she says], if they continue to do it all over her yard.  BANG!  (and she loves animals)

Anyone know how disgustingly vile dog vomit laced with deer poop looks? 

Now thinking of brightly colored flowers and choco (NO, not chocolate)....

Not my yard, BTW.  I bet there's poop there though.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Training News: Shoulder Chips and Humble Pie

Tonight is Week Four of Basic Obedience training with Dewi - the halfway mark.  Do I feel like he's accomplished anything from this class?  Not really.  In fact, there have been plenty of times in class when I've sensed that his unrequieted desire to playfully fling himself into the face (and sometimes rear end) of (almost) every dog in the class - coupled with my treat offerings for his completing seemingly endless repetitions of basic commands that he already knows - is only instilling in him frustration and confusion.  

The Dewi Dance
Last class after a string of sit-stays, he looked up at me as if to say, "Can we please do something fun now?" and then proceeded to sit up on his haunches and "dance" (a trick that at home brings showers of lavish praise and treats from his big human sisters).  And there I stood wondering how the heck to get him back into a "sit" without completely knocking the wind out of his sails.  It must have been my uncontained giggling that compelled the instructor to walk over and remind me that Dewi should never be rewarded (including by laughter) for performing a "trick" unsolicited.  (Well, duh, I thought to myself.  Now, please share with me how to "correct" my dog for being completely adorable - as Dewi is still balancing up in his haunches waiting for his "reward.")  She showed me how to "gently" use my hand to guide him back into the sit position.  I don't remember what we did next.

Oh, and just in case you read my training post last week,  Dewi loved the Slim Jim, but still became distracted by other dogs who were "too" close.  I do have a glimmer of hope, however, that he'll do better at in-class heeling when we can practice through a course of cones (instead of in random clusters of owner/handlers about the room).

And now, the whining will cease.

Although I will not pretend that I don't get frustrated at this whole dog training thing, it means a great deal more to me to have a well-behaved and socialized dog who - for his own peace - knows that I'm in charge.  Do I think Dewi is bored in class?  Yes, sometimes.  Do I think training class should be treated like a big doggy playdate?  No.  Do I think training should be fun?  Yes, definitely.  Can I get on board with instructor constructive criticism?  Yes, but it's gonna be hard.  I like the taste of the chip on my shoulder much better than humble pie.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two girls + Two dogs + Too cold = Um, well, why don't I let you figure it out.

This is what happens in my house when children are bored and it's too cold outside to play.

Tigger and Minnie or Digger and Jinny?

Or space alien?
"I come in peace."

This is just sad.

Got ears?

Dewi is inside the sleeve of a Snuggie.
Aren't dogs Grrrreat!?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How does S. Gross - The New Yorker Cartoonist - know my dogs?

I posted this on MyCorgi last month:  A New Briefcase =

Yesterday my husband sent me this link:
Cartoons from the Issue of January 10th, 2011:

The dog in the suit with the briefcase looks like it could be a Cardigan.  Hmmm. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Feline Fix - Tigger (the one who kicked me to the curb)

Well, as the title states, Tigger has all but disassociated herself from me since - let's say - this past October, when we started allowing the Boys a little more freedom in the downstairs.  This also happens to be about the time when Jon Farleigh figured out how to get up onto my VERY HIGH bed, which used to be reserved as Tigger's sleeping place and safe sanctuary.  (Not so safe for her anymore.)  Fed up, Tigger - who has been MY cat for the last 10 years - packed up the remnant of her dignity and moved upstairs to live with my middle child.  I seriously rarely see her, and even then, it's usually just the tip of her tail as she's heading to the litter box. 

This morning I ventured upstairs - uninvited - to snap a few photos of my former cat in her new apartment.  As expected I got a lot of attitude and mostly glaring dirty looks.  The sad thing is that these are probably some of the "best" photos I've ever gotten of her.  :-(

Gosh, I miss the little flat-faced haint!

P.S. I had a reeeeally hard time narrowing down the field.  Many photos coming up.
[Cue the tune "She Used to Be My Girl" by The O'Jays.  That's what I'm singing in my head.]

Thursday, January 20, 2011


What the...?   AAAAGH!   Ohhh. 

All I saw was this...all over the WHOLE area rug

Figured out it used to be one of these coasters (that I keep on top of the sofa end table).

Anyone familiar with Charleston, SC Sweetgrass baskets?  Ouch.
I am so thankful they didn't decide to eat it after they so skillfully shredded it - I'm thinking WAY too much fiber.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Accidental Cardi Fool

Okay, so last night I was flipping through the channels and ran across the 1988 film (based on the 1985 same-titled novel by Anne Tyler) The Accidental Tourist. Since I'm a hopeless Cardigan Welsh Corgi fool, I already knew that one of the main characters in the movie is a tri-color Cardi named Edward. Of course I tuned in - and for any other Cardi fool out there reading this, if you haven't seen this movie, please do yourself a favor and rent it. The action can be slow at times; however, if you can get past that and the depressing score, it's wonderful entertainment. It's the quirky and adorable Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Edward, however, that steals the screen.

That was my two-cent movie review. (I'll be keeping my day job, thanks.)

Now, the reason I had to write this post is not because I want everyone to go rent the movie; it's because into the first 20 minutes or so of watching it, I realized that the seed of my deeply-rooted Cardi fancy (aka foolery) was not planted three years ago - when I accidentally discovered that there was a second, lesser known corgi breed with a tail -  but 22 years ago when I first saw the movie The Accidental Tourist.

I can still remember the day I bought the book in my college bookstore ('86). I chose it from all the other "best-sellers" on the shelf because the cover art was cool, it had good reviews and most importantly, there was a funny dog in the plot summary (I never claimed to be an intellectual). I ended up reading the book several times before I saw the film. Anyway, as I was watching last night, I started to get a vague recollection of being completely thunderstruck in the movie - all those years ago - by the most charming little actor dog I had ever seen. Of course back then - without the modern luxury called Google - I most likely assumed Edward was some sort of Basset/German Shepherd mix; wanted desperately to have one just like him; however, resolved to never find another one in "real life," and not too long after that, forgot all about it.

Last night as all of this started coming back to me, and as I gazed down at my beloved stubby-legged Boys (who were barking loudly at the dog on TV), I sat in amazement at how some things just seem to work out.  Like they were meant to be. Maybe I'm not an accidental Cardi fool after all. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Copping a Training 'Tude

Dewi and I have Week Three of obedience training tonight. We'll be focusing on Dewi's least favorite thing to do when told - heeling.  Although we've practiced, he's still pulling like an ox in certain situations - namely when we're around new people and other dogs (= training class).  The sheer anticipation is making my muscles tense up.  Joy.

Out of desperation, I'm taking a (new for us) super yummy (but otherwise yucky) heeling treat - Slim Jim.  If Jim can't glue Dewi's nose to my left knee, I don't know who or what can.

Detention Bound?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Continued...."Uh, Dewi?"

Okay so obviously, he was stuck on the stairs and not swimming in the toilet bowl - or worse.  Big woop.  A little anticlimactic, wouldn't you say?  Well, sure - if not for one other thing, which begs the question:  How many steps does Dewi have to go up before he gets stuck - for 10 straight minutes?

Yep, ONE.
Poor guy couldn't go up or down.
He's clearly not a risk taker.

Hey!  Over here!

Dude, could you quit laughing and give me a hand?

My kids decided to turn the moment into a teaching session.  Well, sort of.

He never made it to the top.
(But did you notice Jon Farleigh hopping around up there?)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Me to Husband: "Is Dewi in there?"

(Earlier today after Dewi didn't come when called)

Husband to me: "No, I don't see him."

Me to anyone else within earshot: "Where's Dewi?!"

Child #1 (nonchalantly): "I don't know; I haven't seen him."

Me (now concerned) to Child #2: "Have you seen Dewi?"

Child #2: "Not since I walked him [15 minutes ago].

Me (very concerned) to husband: "When did you see Dewi last?"

Husband: "A few minutes ago."

Child #3 (loudly): "I found him!"

To Be Continued...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Feline Fix - Eva (The Diva)

I've been thinking about a good way to give my Girls some face time in the blog. Since they don't give me nearly as much writing material as the Boys, I've decided to go the photo route. (Disclaimer: The cats are indoors only and I have a less than stellar point-and-shoot camera; therefore, please do not judge too harshly my photography. Thank you.)
So today, I give you: Friday Feline Fix. If you don't like cats, hmmm, well, I don't hold it against you. :^)

Here's Eva (The Diva) - four-legged Alpha Queen in the land of Cardigan.

I see you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I think Jon Farleigh has been posessed the spirit of a gloomy grey donkey.

Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water.
"Pathetic," he said. "That's what it is. Pathetic."
He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again.

"As I thought," he said. "No better from this side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that's what it is."

- from Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The #1 Reason I Don't Like Antibiotics

Fluffy Butt + Antibiotic Side Effect = The Devil's Work

Eleven more days of antibiotic side effect. :^(
Somebody's getting a haircut today.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

26 Weeks of Basic Obedience Training and Counting

(Preface: I write this post, however begrudgingly, out of a need for accountability.)

We Train You to Train Your Dog!

The question is: How many weeks should it take a person of at least average intelligence to be trained?  Eight, Twelve, Sixteen, Twenty....Thirty-Two? Ugh.

Last night Dewi and I attended Week Two of an eight-week Basic Obedience course at a local dog training club.  It was my 26th hour of nearly consecutive training since bringing the Cardi Boys home last spring.  Both of the Boys finished AKC STAR Puppy certification with flying colors. Jon did well in CGC classes and will be tested next month. And now, what I so naively thought would be an easy refresher class with Dewi, has proven to be anything but.

Last week at our first class, Dewi, who is the most biddable, intelligent and food motivated dog I've ever personally known, was WILD!  Yes, I know he's still a puppy, and intact, and high energy, and has serious herding tendencies, and is a social butterfly, and already knows how to do everything that I was trying to show him, but to everyone else in the class - he was just some wild bucking (but beautiful) crazy corgi!  So, I admit it; I was embarrassed, then insecure, then frustrated, then defensive, then resentful of every other dog/handler pair in the class because they made Dewi and me look like the dreaded owner with the Juvenile Delinquent that everyone either pities or hates to see coming. What the heck?!

Obviously, Dewi needs time to get settled. I need to get settled, too. I also need to work on being more authoritative - which is hard for a soft-spoken person (yes - I really am).

Last night's class went a little better; okay a lot better. I even had a little fun. Next week we'll work on heeling - which Dewi would rather never do. Until then, I'll be working on finding some seriously delicious treats and a thick skin. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How comfy can a cone really be?

Is this one of the saddest things you've ever seen, or what?

If this was the video proudly featured on the Comfy Cone website, I'm not sure they'd still be in business. :)

Here are some more photos of Jon Farleigh modeling his cone. (Go ahead and laugh; you know you want to.)

So versatile

No need to remove for drinking

Or eating a snack

Rolls back to increase cuteness while begging

And as the logo states, it's comfy


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