Repost of Up to Some Good

“As opposed to no good,” Jabber remarked.

Yes. Some good. Or I could entitle this, “What I did On My Summer Vacation” except I had no summer vacation other than a couple of trips with Girlfriend and Thumper which WERE fun (see previous posts), but that didn’t exactly take up the entire summer.

No, there was a good deal of down time. So I decided to fill it up….Maybe the title ought to be, “Filling UP the DOWN time”?

Okay, this is what I did:

Eleven years ago, or so, I purchased two chairs which were blue upholstered and fruitwood finished. My intent was to reupholster them. I finally got around to it this summer. Because, Weeders, redoing chairs takes a very long time, much patience, and a vision.

Oh, I had the vision alright, but I didn’t have the ambition. Took me 11 years to work that up. But, finally, I did. And I chronicled it for YOU! Yes, just in case you wish to redo something yourself. (Advice: don’t.)

It can be done in a few simple steps (she said, tongue in cheek):

Take the entire chair apart. Save all the pieces. Mark them. Try to avoid allowing any stray Poodlettes to eat the stuffing out of the chair. The Spicy Royal Red devoured one large piece, so I had to remake that. Also, it was a rather large vet bill. But I digress….

Remove said chair to garage and proceed to refinish the wood. This may or may not involve consultation with one’s daughters and friends, much sanding, painting, glazing, waxing, whatever. Anyway, do it now. Let it dry.
Place chairs in a room where small Poodlettes (and stray ones as well) do not have access. The stuffing is still at risk.
Select fabric. Decide how much you may need. Order more than what you think you’ll need.
Cut out the fabric pieces using the original pieces as patterns.
Reassemble the chair beginning with the last thing you removed from the chair.
Remove what you just assembled and start again.
So far, you have been at this for approximately 2 months. Set it aside for a couple of weeks to regain your composure.
Slowly and with much patience, sew, glue, staple and reassemble the chair.
Improvise new attachment techniques–staples, hot glue, spray glue, fabric glue, whatever works.
Complain to whoever will listen.
Finish the project–at least one of the chairs so you can take a picture and get some praise from somebody or another.

See? How easy was that!

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Picture test Post

I do not know why the photos won’t stay UP after I load them, but they don’t.  Trying a couple with

this post to see if I might figure it out.

Up To Some Good (repost)

“As opposed to no good,” Jabber remarked.

Yes. Some good. Or I could entitle this, “What I did On My Summer Vacation” except I had no summer vacation other than a couple of trips with Girlfriend and Thumper which WERE fun (see previous posts), but that didn’t exactly take up the entire summer.

No, there was a good deal of down time. So I decided to fill it up….Maybe the title ought to be, “Filling UP the DOWN time”?

Okay, this is what I did:

Eleven years ago, or so, I purchased two chairs which were blue upholstered and fruitwood finished. My intent was to reupholster them. I finally got around to it this summer. Because, Weeders, redoing chairs takes a very long time, much patience, and a vision.

Oh, I had the vision alright, but I didn’t have the ambition. Took me 11 years to work that up. But, finally, I did. And I chronicled it for YOU! Yes, just in case you wish to redo something yourself. (Advice: don’t.)

It can be done in a few simple steps (she said, tongue in cheek):

Take the entire chair apart. Save all the pieces. Mark them. Try to avoid allowing any stray Poodlettes to eat the stuffing out of the chair. The Spicy Royal Red devoured one large piece, so I had to remake that. Also, it was a rather large vet bill. But I digress….

Remove said chair to garage and proceed to refinish the wood. This may or may not involve consultation with one’s daughters and friends, much sanding, painting, glazing, waxing, whatever. Anyway, do it now. Let it dry.
Place chairs in a room where small Poodlettes (and stray ones as well) do not have access. The stuffing is still at risk.
Select fabric. Decide how much you may need. Order more than what you think you’ll need.
Cut out the fabric pieces using the original pieces as patterns.
Reassemble the chair beginning with the last thing you removed from the chair.
Remove what you just assembled and start again.
So far, you have been at this for approximately 2 months. Set it aside for a couple of weeks to regain your composure.
Slowly and with much patience, sew, glue, staple and reassemble the chair.
Improvise new attachment techniques–staples, hot glue, spray glue, fabric glue, whatever works.
Complain to whoever will listen.
Finish the project–at least one of the chairs so you can take a picture and get some praise from somebody or another.

See? How easy was that!

About Time (repost)

“It’s about time for what exactly?” Jabber, slightly interested, inquired. “Time for what?”

For Fall. Autumn. It’s the most dreary weather here–overcast, gray, chilly, not pretty autumn weather at all. Feels more like Winter, but it isn’t time for winter yet, I don’t think.

But, also, it’s almost time for The Spicy Royal Red Paprika (aka Poppy) to begin her side career as a Security. Since we are not capable of doing the job. That’s what I’m really referring to.

“A Security Analyst?” Jabber asked a question again, “She don’t know nuthin’ ’bout finances!”

No, no, Jabber. That’s TMWLH’s job. And Jabber’s job is to disperse said finances, as you know. I’m doing a pretty fine job of it, too!

No….I’m referring to a side career as our protector, defender, and alert specialist!

Oh yes, I know, the original Security did an exemplary job at this–we could always count on her to alert us when people came to the door–and I always knew by her distinctive, individualized alarm ….oh alright, by her BARK…… which was individualized, Weeders, it really was… if they were friends and family or if the approaching person was a deliveryman or someone she did not know. Yes, Security had turned security into a fine art indeed.

And now, since Poppy is approaching a year old, she has been practicing BEING the Security. (She’s been reading Oxanna’s Manual again. I tell you, these Poodlettes pass on such knowledge and information, it’s astounding to me. I mean, I didn’t even know she could read!)

Anyway, I’ve had a glance at said Manual, myself, from time-to-time and the chapter on “Security” doesn’t say anything about individualized barks for different visitors to the house. It simply says, “ONE can decide for Oneself whether or not a unique announcement shall be made for different visitors to One’s Abode.” Our Security took it to heart. (And I must say that Mr. Peroit has been most silent on the subject.)

Henri Peroit, our Butler, who is silent on the subject.

I am not sure whether or not The Spicy Royal Red will do the same, but of course, it’s been discussed amongst the household members and she’s listened. She is a quick learner, and I do believe she, too, will decide to announce visitors appropriately so that Jabber will know if it is friend or foe. Or family which might be either. Depends……

As it is, right at this moment, she’s begun practicing surveillance at the front door. She does this without being noticed by the outside passersby simply by moving the curtains ever so slightly so that she can peek out the base of the window.

  

Or, at times, she moves the blinds so that she can peer through them to see what is happening outside.

Arising BEFORE dawn most days, Miss Poppy heads for the front window/door to check on the surroundings. Noticing that it is DARK OUTSIDE (OMG!) and the lights have obviously been turned out by Whomever, she alerts the rest of us. This is at maybe 4:30 or 5 a.m. It is so nice to have a built-in alarm clock in the household. I just wish we could reset the time it goes off a bit.

This causes TMWLH to arise, dress in his finest robe and slippers (he has only one of each and both are in the neighborhood of 30 years old, give or take–and I do wish someone would take), and slide outside, Poppy leading the way. I must admit this is an improvement over the 2 a.m. walks and feedings which we were subjected to in her early months, but nonetheless 4:30 a.m. is DARK OUTSIDE. At least we don’t have much traffic at that time of the day. For which I, at least, am grateful.

This gratitude for little traffic is because The Spicy Royal Red has a penchant for simply plopping down on the ground and waiting and watching to see what is going to occur in the Great Outdoors. This, of course, leaves TMWLH holding a leash and waiting, in his robe and slippers at 4:30 a.m., with her.

Generally, nothing happens. And so, after 10 minutes or so, TMWLH is successful in tugging/dragging her (all 55 to 60 pounds of her) back into the house. Where she has a drink, and then promptly returns to her bed to sleep another 3-4 hours.

TMWLH is, of course, up.

For the day. (As is Jabber. Which is why you get these posts periodically. What ELSE is there to do at 4:30 a.m.?)

I mean, it’s just the way Miss Poppy has decided to implement security in and around the house. It does work. She sleeps quite securely once everyone else is up and alert. Should anything dangerous actually occur, she knows The Authorities will instigate some sort of defense, so it’s a good system, she reports.

Besides, a girl needs her beauty rest.

Birthdays!

Oh my, it seems all the really IMPORTANT people have September birthdays!” Jabber stated, matter of factly. 

Then, again, it might just be that Jabber’s birthday is a September one– Along with Thumper’s, Bob the Painter’s, California’s husband (see a previous post from a while back), and of  course, TMWLH!

TMWLH had a birthday yesterday and his daughter from Sitka, Alaska (no less!) was here for a visit and a birthday dinner.  So that made his birthday extra special SPECIAL!

Here we are, the three of us above, about to devour a piece of Cheesecake.  TMWLH, His Daughter in center, and Jabber on the right.

The Puppy Pokey Repost

Weeders, I know you have been checking this blog every single day for a Poppy report.  How do I know this?  you ask, as well you might.  Well, never mind, I just do.  (May I suggest you get a life of some sort?  Just a suggestion.)

So wait no longer–here is the update:

As you all know, Poppy has been attending Middle School.  With some pride, may I report that she is taking some accelerated classes too?  Oh yes, our Poppy is, indeed, the ‘smartest child  canine’ in the class….(oh, alright, Weeders, I’m prejudiced a little bit….)

“Oh my,” I thought.  Well, before she gets too big an ego, we must make sure she understands that the world is a big place for a young Poodlette, and she may not be the smartest canine in the world.  A bit of humility would benefit her education.

So, of course, Poppy has been going to the local Dog Park for several weeks now.  Several TIMES a week. Oh, alright…it is actually whenever she tells TMWLH she wants to go.  Which is about every single day.

And do you think she’s learned her lesson of humility?

HA HA HA HA HA

No way, Jose.  (And Jose happens to be TMWLH’s name, only in English.  Although sometimes we say “Jose” but not like that, not like “Josie”  No, it’s got that accent over the ‘e’ as is written–and spoken–in Spanish.  Which he is not.  He is Irish.  100%.  You see, on his Mother’s side of the family is Irish, completely, and on his Father’s side of the family, well, they’re all Irish as well.  Which makes him all Irish.  Unless there was some other nationality thrown into the mix there, which they aren’t telling.  I have no way to know.  Genealogy is such an interesting pursuit, but I haven’t taken advantage of the internets for such, although others have……Oh wait…….I’m digressing here…..besides, who cares?  It is what it is.)

So anyway, (as someone I knew always said…transitioning from one topic to the next)

It turns out The Spicy Royal Red is a meet and greet, glad-handing pawing (and sniffing) little girl and loves nothing better than to make her way around the ENTIRE dog park, meeting and greeting not only the canines who are there, but every single one of the people who are there.

And they all adore her.  At least, that’s what she reports.

A bit of romping and running is also involved, along with some growling, but generally not from The Spicy Royal Red.  Beneath her dignity, she reports.

So much for teaching her a lesson.

But back to the report:

Poppy has not missed a single class and also does ‘extra credit’ classes during the week.  I regret to report there ARE some dropouts in the class.  One appears to be her good friend, Dahlia, about whom Poppy is very distressed.  Dahlia was a good dancer, as was previously reported, and Poppy likes to dance.  This dancing is also, evidently, a portion of the curriculum, but I can’t be certain.  Not all participate.

At any rate, we attended class Thursday night with Poppy.  Immediately leaving our side, she greeted all the other children and some of the adults, including the teacher, Miss Marisa, and her Assistant of whom she is particularly fond.  And her Assistant is particularly fond of Poppy, too, evidently.

It turns out that she (the Assistant) is the one who has been instructing Poppy in the more advanced levels of Canine education and Poppy is working on some accelerated courses.

Basic education includes:  Get out of the kennel nicely and, when instructed, enter the kennel; Sit; Stay; Down; walk following one’s person nicely; and of paramount importance:  Leave it!

A week ago, “Leave It!” was introduced as a main lesson and Poppy was to practice with her family during the week.  So, I dutifully did as we were instructed:  Take a handful of treats, drop one on the floor whilst Miss Poppy was watching, seated, and I stated, “Leave it!” and cover it with my foot.  Miss Poppy was to wait and as soon as her attention withdrew from the treat on the floor, I was supposed to hand her a different treat from my hand and pick up the one on the floor.  (This resulted in a number of crumbly treats on the floor, in case you wish to try it with your own Pup.  Note:  just cover the treat with your foot, do not squish it.)

We practiced in class.  After the first two ‘drops’ by me, Poppy understood there would be a treat forthcoming from my hand, not from the floor, and so she would dutifully sit there and wait for it to be handed to her.  There was not even a need to cover the dropped treat.  No way was she going after it and having to fight with my foot to get it.  She is, after all, refined, and does not believe in arguing with her parents.  Telling them what to do when necessary, yes.  But arguing, no.  There are better ways to do things she informed me.

We practiced a bit at home with different treats.  Miss Poppy said, under her breath, “Oh my, really?  You could just hand me the treat after you drop the first one.  I know I’m getting it anyway and this is such a bother!”  

But then she realized that if she stole say,  a napkin, off the table, and I called out, “Leave it!” that a treat would result.  And so this is the game we’ve been playing this past week:  she steals a napkin, runs to the living room with it, waits to hear, “Leave it!”, then runs back into the kitchen, sans napkin, to obtain her treat.  And I play ‘retriever’ and obtain said item from the living room floor.  Sort of reverse fetch.  She told me this was a very GOOD way to obtain treats anytime she wished.  Which is often.

So this gives you an idea of why Poppy is often told how intelligent she is.  I have another word for it, but I won’t go into that now.

So, last night, we arrived at class and Miss Poppy immediately went into a frolicking dance with her newest dance partner appropriately named Jazz.  Jazz and Poppy are the best of friends, and Jazz does know how to dance very well as evidenced by the photographs to follow.

A bit of dancing, the meet and greet over, it was time for instruction:  repeating the “Leave It” (Poppy was selected, of course, to demonstrate to the rest) and practicing; learning “Down” which Poppy thought was rather ridiculous since she’d been doing that for months, and then a combination of the two.  Quite boring actually.  So, of course, Poppy added in, “Crawl” which amused the others to no end.

Then there is this business of “Wait.”  Well, ‘wait’ is fine if there is a REASON to wait.  But if not, why does One have to sit patiently at a doorway with One’s person when there is no reason TO sit and wait?  One knows to go through a doorway when One’s person takes a step, for heaven’s sake, to just follow politely behind.  Why does One need to LOOK AT One’s person for ‘permission’ anyway?  This seems absurd.

So Poppy sat and sat and sat and I stood and stood and stood…..just to walk through a doorway.  Finally, Miss Marisa said, “Well, she ISN’T going to look at you for permission, and she’s waited so very nicely for SO LONG, so just go on through.”

No, she isn’t going to look at anyone for permission to do anything, actually.  She never has.  She figures out by her own self what is proper and what is not.

For example, this “Sit and look at One’s Person before One’s Person will Put the Food bowl down” business is ridiculous.  Miss Poppy ALWAYS sits and waits.  And waits.  And waits.  But look at One’s Person to request One’s Person place the food down?  Heaven’s NO!  When the food bowl is put down, she waits some more during which time I can only assume she is saying Grace or having a Moment of Silence in Gratitude or something along those lines.  I mean, she is VERY polite.  And she sits when dining, as well.  I seriously question if any of her other classmates do the same.

It is also preposterous to think Miss Poppy will allow her People to decide when she will eat.  I mean, really?  No!  She tells us when she wishes to eat.  By banging the Venetian blinds against the windows.  When One is hungry, One is hungry.  Period.  It is up to the Authorities to provide food.  That’s the LEAST they can do.  (Miss Marisa was horrified at this. “Why,” she asked, “does Poppy need you?  She gets beauty parlor appointments, and gets her food on demand….who is in charge here?”  Well, she is.  Obviously.  But she does like her living arrangements, evidently, not having left home to go abroad or anything like that.  Which is to say, left to her own devices, she doesn’t run off in the neighborhood, but rather comes to the front door to be let back inside.  Otherwise, I’m not sure why she ‘needs’ us.  It’s a mutually agreeable living arrangement, I suppose.)

And so, Poppy will be graduating shortly and continue her education with on-going coursework.  We will, of course, report.

And the Assistant stated, once again at the end of class, “Poppy is SO SMART!”  And Poppy, being Poppy, did a little dance on her back legs, pirouetting and balancing in the air on those two back legs.   And politely accepted her treat.

This is what she was saying,

“You put your mouth on an ear”

“You put your mouth on a neck…..”

“You put your mouth on a tail….and you shake it all to heck!”

“You do the Puppy Pokey and you run yourself around,”

“And, that’s what it’s all about!”  PUPPY POKEY!

At the end of this little ditty, Jazz and Poppy took turns hugging each other, like this:

And you can see how happy Poppy is with her dancing partner (below).  (The Assistant Trainer is also very happy for both of them.)

Poppy is smiling as Jazz gives her a hug.

 

 

 

Repost The Graduate!

APOLOGIES! IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT THE PHOTOS ARE NOT SHOWING UP. THIS WILL BE CORRECTED SOON. I AM SO SORRY–GLITCHES DO HAPPEN, HOWEVER! PLEASE CHECK BACK IN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

‘”Wasn’t that a movie or somethin’ a while back?” Jabber* inquired.

Well, yes, but this isn’t about a movie. It’s real life! And Poppy just completed Middle School (aka Puppy School) last night. Here is the certificate to prove it:

Miss Marisa, the Head Trainer at the Academy, first went over the various course topics which Poppy had studied, and then TMWLH took her through each to show that she had, indeed, learned all her subjects well.

Poppy and Miss Marisa above. Poppy is about to demonstrate to Miss Marisa that she understands “Wait!” at the doorway.

Of particular pride was the “Leave It!” subject in which she excelled.

“Uhhhh, no she din’t….” Jabber* interjected here, “No, she din’t. She ate TMWLH’s glasses the night before. That’s not “Leave it!” that’s “Eat it!”

Well, in CLASS she mastered the command. Miss Marisa dropped treats all over the floor with the command to “Leave It!” and Poppy did. Finally frustrated at ALL THOSE TREATS lying about, but unable to actually get them. she lay down on the floor. Then she got praise. And only ONE treat from Miss Marisa. Hardly seemed fair, she reported later.

But then lots of this classroom study seemed unfair to Poppy. However, the treats make it worthwhile to at least pretend for the hour long-instruction. Miss Marisa ALWAYS has treats she hands out to the good dogs! who obey. At home, it’s a different story. TMWLH never has treats in his pockets and Mom generally doesn’t either. Ergo, why bother to do what One is told? she reasons. On the other hand, (or is it IN the other hand?), if One is told there will be treats forthcoming, well, then, that’s a different matter entirely.

(It’s clear that Poppy has been studying up on Oxanna’s Manual again. The manual, mentioned previously here on this blog and the much revered instruction book for ALL Poodlettes, clearly states that a Poodlette is perfectly capable of thinking for Herself. Following commands is based upon the answer to the question, “What is in it for Moi?”)

A brief intermission in the testing was ordered so that the children canines might play for a bit. All kids need some recess, after all. Poppy was delighted that Jazz had come for finals. They are the best-est of friends!

Piper was also in attendance. Piper has a difficult time being QUIET! Piper much prefers to be ON somebody than PLAYING with somebodies.

Below, Piper is sitting standing on TMWLH’s lap.

Despite Piper’s lack of involvement with much of the rest of the class, She still managed to receive her diplomas:

Jazz, too, received her diplomas and was a proud graduate of Greymont Puppy School:

Jazz received the honor of being named “Life of The Party” for the class! And Poppy? Well, Poppy received this award:

 

Yes, Poppy graduated with HIGH HONORS. We are very proud of her. Future plans include returning to Day School on Friday and consulting with her Head Trainer on what high school and pre-college courses she might take next. Again, while considering other options such as dance, vocals, gymnastics, education and even perhaps psychology, Poppy is leaning towards geriatric services as a major. We shall report.

 

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