Tar and Abby

Friday, December 30, 2016


Time to post --

“Twas the night before Black Friday, when all the through the abode
The labs were stirring, even the one from a different zip code
The vomit was projected by the back door with unrestrained care
In the hopes that someone would arrive soon to help their despair
The adults and children were all startled out of their beds
As visions of WTF danced in their heads
And as we released the dogs to finish their puke attack,
We soon discovered they had more to do than just yak
When out on the lawn the labs began to seek sweet relief,
Everyone watched with curiosity that soon turned to disbelief
Like a flash it came out of their rears
A black toxic sludge that had them in tears.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a luster to these horrible objects below,
When what to our wondering eyes did appear,
A trail of oil from the turkey fryer used downstairs by the family’s engineer
We now knew why the labs were to the door so lively and quick,
They had in a moment been led astray by the temptations of a turkey oil slick
This Thanksgiving was one for the ages,
Now it was time to find the carpet cleaner in the yellow pages.”
– Matt Shifley

Saturday, December 24, 2016

'Twas the night before Christmas...

''Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. It was delicious.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Abby is not pleased with me but I set up a feeding station for the squirrels - with almonds included.
We are into freezing temperatures and the squirrels don't get bowls full of kibbles. We've had
up to four squirrels at a time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Tar. Again. On a day The Engineer had to leave for a meeting. He tossed some skunk stuff we have on him. I lighted a scented candle, put some spice scented water on to boil. Sprayed the house with Free-Breeze and am waiting to 9am when the dog wash opens. Luckily Daughter is home to help.
Rest of the kids here on Friday. Just what we need running up to the holidays.
UPDATE: It took three women to get Tar's carcass into the tube. We washed him with Dawn, baking soda and more skunk stuff. The house... smells pretty good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Another reason people have gone gonzo

Reading an article in the Seattle Times about halting construction of
backyard cottages and mother-in-law suites. At the end of the article
is this paragraph from the gov't:

“The record demonstrates that the challenged DNS (determination of non-significance) was not based on information sufficient to evaluate the proposal’s impacts,”


Monday, December 12, 2016


Schools closed. Snow blowers blowing. Doggies a snooze until the squirrel makes his way to the deck to nosh on birdseed (and some almonds someone left him...)

Friday, December 9, 2016

Ice Skating rink closed due to threat of ice....

The West Coast gets lots of rain in the lower elevations but not much snow. And we like to laugh at them about it. (Currently 3 inches here.) This is from Portland, Oregon area.

"The city of Hillsboro's outdoor ice skating rink has been closed due to ice.
No, really.
Citing the imminent winter storm expected to hit the Portland area on Thursday, city officials tweeted Thursday morning that Winter Village, the Portland area's only outdoor ice skating rink, would be shutting down for the day."

In Canada I used to skate on a lake! Heavens!

Neighbor's teenage boys having a wonderful time running the snow blower all over the place. We loves them :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


First I have to admit - I catch spiders in the house and release them outside.
Yesterday we may have paid for that....

In the morning the temperature started dropping in the house. It got
down to 63 by the time the repairman arrived. With a new low expected
(20) we worried.

Turns out a spider had crawled into our heat pump and been electrocuted
which messed everything all up.

All fixed. Except for the spider...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Barfing Dogs Won!!

Nephew-in-law, a talented writer and author, sent in our Thanksgiving barfing dogs story to the Seattle Times. Links and such here
Beyond getting published - the poem WON!
We have a new Lab puppy visiting this weekend. We will sit him down and read him the tale.

(Confessions Of A Dumb, White Guy: Tales About Life, Love And The Risks Of Wearing White Thong Underwear - here)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A dinner and a show

The Engineer went to a retirement dinner for another engineer. They were in a restaurant sitting along a bank of windows.
As they ate a shoplifter ran out of a store, paused to yank away a woman's purse and take off. The shoplifter did not notice the rather large and fit male companion of the woman. The other fellow took off after the shoplifter and tackled him right outside the restaurant. Two of the engineers are ex-military (and one of them was the retiree) so they went out to help the fellow and they held down the shoplifter for him. Then 7 police cars showed up (they had been called by the store and were expecting to have to search a large retail area). One of the policemen joked that the retirement dinner had turned into a dinner and a show. :-)

Friday, November 25, 2016

A gnome house divided

Annual cross state rivalry game - The Apple Cup. University of Washington Huskies (twins went there) and Washington State University Cougars (everyone else went here). Huskies won 45-17. Tar sez well dogs won over cats - that's a good thing right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Thanksgiving Story for the ages

 The Seattle Times is having a contest about Thanksgiving Disasters.
I suggested to Nephew-In-Law he send in our particular disaster.
It got published tonight.
The article is here. 
(Starts out '“Twas the night before Black Friday,)
Nephew-In-Law's book is here.  (Had The Engineer in tears from laughing.)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Getting colder

32 here this morning. Friend in Colorado sent this picture of the elk herd she
passed on the way back from the store.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon!

We had clouds all night. But my friends in Colorado took this picture. :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The gnomes say

never let politics interfere with turkey (and beer - especially beer).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The sun will rise tomorrow

Last night President Obama said 'the sun will come out tomorrow' to help ease our shock.
My SIL sent this from the farm. It did. Rise :-)
Displaying IMG_1892.JPG

Monday, November 7, 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016

Abby says what is so surprising about this?


Squirrel attacks seniors in retirement community — worker calls 911 for help 

Full story here 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

You know you go to Starbucks too often -

Starbucks New Cup 
 when they have your order memorized.
This is the new Unity Cup. They are not saying if it is the holiday cup or a cup to get us thru the
next week (or two or three!)
It is full of line drawings of all sorts of different people.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Trick or Beer

Had to take this with my phone as camera needs attention from Youngest...
Note the purple caldron filled with beer for the trick or guzzling gnomes on
the edge of the left hand side.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Another picture of Eldest Son

 Yes. At work. He's in the middle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

While watching Anderson Cooper...

This commercial pops up!
Eldest Son works here. I think he was employee number 25.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Halloween start-eth

Charity Ball at our capital. 
DIL is in the long black dress, second from the left.
Gorgeous and mysterious looking ladies. :-)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Abby says a puppy?! How big will he be at Thanksgiving?!

New puppy at the family farm. Tar is all 'dude! let's play!' and Abby is 'ak!'
His name is Finn. :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Local police and schools monitoring clowns...

"With the recent activity revolving clown sightings nation wide, the K. Police Department began monitoring social media sources regarding local activity. As a result, we have identified 2 local groups that are encouraging clown sightings, or clown hunting. Several hundred local youth have been identified through social media along with the license plate of a known participant. We understand that this newfound trend may seem like a harmless fun, but there are many instances in which it can become dangerous." Local schools also posted this morning warning of clowns around schools....

Dear gawd, what next?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Abby read this over my shoulder and said MOM, CLICK!

Scientists gave squirrels fitness trackers and found that males are lazy and females do all the work.

 Okay, first scientists equipped squirrels with, yes,  fitness trackers... article here 

Image result for sunbathing squirrel

And apparently males spend most of their time soaking up sun.

As a wife, mother and female - hmmmm. ;-)


Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Great Pumpkin

Now that it is October I allow myself to start buying pumpkins :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

You want to know about Sasquatch? Ask the gnomes.

We often have an International Bigfoot Conference in town.
I was talking to the gnomes about it and they said, of course we
have our very own Sasquatch - he is shy but I got a picture of
him today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Crack up of the day and... just a little worry

Growing up my family did a lot of hiking. My mom and I brought back rocks for our collection which usually sat in the kitchen windowsill. Once in a while we would joke that the mountain gods would exact revenge upon us. The rock collecting gene passed on to Daughter, she and my mom mailed rocks back and forth to each other.
So today this shows up on the internets. I had to laugh and then I had to look over my shoulder....

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Donald gets a ticket

In the state of Washington around the high population areas they have the HOV lanes
(high-occupancy vehicle) to encourage car pooling. All attempts to avoid obeying the law are posted by the state patrol - especially if they are funny...

Friday, September 16, 2016

For Bob....

From a discussion Bob and I had about book covers a looooong time ago.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Protection denied for American pika

Image result for american pika 
Isn't he adorable?
Read that the pika was denied protection.
I know why.... they don't need it.
They are accomplished thieves.
Did a lot of hiking up mountains as kid thru 20s. 
These fellows were diving into our backpacks all the time.
When we did a day hike up the Tetons one of them dragged
our day pack off to his den.
Really, all felonies aside, I hope they do get protection.

Breakfast in Japan

Daughter and two friends are in Japan for two weeks. This is breakfast. Looks tasty!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Basket of food studies

Image result for i give up meme

We find out in the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.
full story here
In the 90s when they gave out the new food pyramid they told us (parent educators at community colleges) that the grain industry had lobbied to get the more proliferate spot at the bottom of the chart. When it was RELEASED they knew it had been fiddled with.
Coffee is good, coffee is bad and on and on - I've decided it is good.

Anyone want a cookie? 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fire Update

Clean up, monitoring at sunrise.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

today's fire on the edge of town

Not anywhere near us, thankfully. A little south and east.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Update on Tar and the Noise

Image result for funny dog surgery 
Tar is back at the vet.
He was so excited he pooped in the van.
He has pulled out all the staples like he pulled out all the stitches.
We spent $75 at PetCo last night on another new cone, a bitter bandage and bitter spray. 
Will ask the vet about their use when we pick him up again. 
So far this adventure, of getting bit at the dog park, is up to $800.

The noise. Today the concrete truck arrived at the neighbors at 6.15am. I thought
it was a tornado but curtains weren't blowing. Then it started beeping as the tornado
backed up. Okay, a concrete truck at 6.15am. Looks like the driveway will be done
today. We can but hope there are no more home improvement projects next door.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So I discovered why normal people go nutz.

Image result for dealing with city hall meme 
A tractor started tearing up the neighbor's driveway at 6.30am. I am NOT going to complain as the neighborhood put up with hot and cold running teenagers and a punk rock band in our basement.
But I was curious.
And I think I found out why normally nice people turn into Trump supporters ---
This is just a small bit I found, on our city website about noise ordinances --

(2) "dBA" means the sound pressure level in decibels measured using the "A" weighting network on a sound level meter. The sound pressure level, in decibels, of a sound is 20 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the pressure of the sound to a reference pressure of 20 micropascals.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tar "Adventures"

So - after he pulled out the stitches, despite two different cones of shame.... back to the vet. Staples this time. How long did they last? About 15 hours before he pulled four out. Since we could not find them we have to monitor his poops and search them for the staples. The Engineer saw him pull out another staple and spit it out so we are hopeful that this is what happened with the others. We have tried wrapping the area. Twice. One he took off in his trip down the hall. The other lasted an hour. We switch the cones of shame to confuse him. He is now sedated for sleeping which seems to keep the staples in. Other than that he is his usual happy, goofy self. The Engineer has about $400 of his work bonus left so..
(Abby spends a lot time trying not to get clocked by the cones of shame. I've seen her roll her eyes a couple of times.)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tar spent National Dog Day at the vet...

It doesn't happen very often but every once in a while there is a dog at the dog park who should not be there. This dog attacked Tar and gave him a rather large wound. Off to the vet. Surgery, stitches, meds, be quiet for 2 weeks. Oh, boy.
Labor Day plans canceled. Luckily we don't mind quiet weekends.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A little more information would be nice...

: (WA state) declares emergency in 20 counties due to multiple wildfires, extreme fire conditions

First response on Twitter:
  can we get a link with list of counties?

Looking around... fireman neighbor home, so we must be safe. When I smell smoke (having been in a bad fire before) I listen for sirens, I look to see if fireman neighbor is home or his house is quiet. Usually calms me down :-)

FINALLY update: "The proclamation covers Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Yakima, Walla Walla and Whitman counties."
(we are Benton Co.) 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Abby and the debate season

Abby sez forget them and write in her for dictator!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

This cracked me up

So our very hard working wildfire agency made an announcement today.
28m28 minutes ago
danger HIGH (yellow) in 17 counties. Is your county one of them?
NO! Hey! Dudes! Our county is in RED. It is listed as Very High/Extreme


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Once again Abby does not understand

This is Nutty Narrow Bridge that exists in Western WA state. Tries to keep squirrels off a busy street.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Swimming with Olympians

When we moved to this tiny town my brother and I joined the swim team. We did not realize we were in the halls (pool) of greatness -
"Over a 14 year period one of the OF swimmers was on every Canadian Olympic, Commonwealth, or Pan American Games team. Under Coach G’s direction the team won 26 national competitions and half the Olympic team in 1964 was from his club."
The white building was where our pool was located.
The pool. Hundreds of laps swum in that pool.
One of the boys we swam with was on the 1972 Olympic team and was in the finals in two events.

Brother and I both became excellent swimmers and I worked as a life guard and swimming teacher when we moved back to the States.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pelican gets a ride

California state trooper gives a ride to a pelican. full story here

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

fire update

Is now up to 177,000 acres. And the wind has started.
The good news they did a lot of backburning to keep it
away from all the Cold War storage facilities and The
Engineer's worksite.
Air in town is good. Feel for folks north of us.
AND another new fire started about an hour from us.
AND another new fire east of us.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

the whole damn state is on fire. again.

Actually mostly the eastern half. Two have joined up and are headed to the reservation  - where all the bad chemicals are stored and being rendered inactive and the active plant where The Engineer works. right now it is at 50,000 acres. The last big fire we had here on the reservation was 100,000 acres. And there are three others at last count.
 On the other hand the boat races continue. You should be able to see the hills and mountains at the back of this picture. And the sky should be blue...
Our fire is called Range 12
Update - Range 12 fire - 60,000 acres
New fire about 10 miles south.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Abby is gobsmacked!

From FB
"This little squirrel keeps coming in through my doggy door to hang out with my cat..."

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Updates on the kids

Twins - Daughter and Eldest Son are 31 (!!!) Kai doggy is about two - rescue doggy. DIL - only her mother gets to release her age :-) And Youngest Son is 27.
Daughter is going to Japan this fall for a trip. Eldest and DIL are headed to Alaska to visit some of her siblings. Youngest will be in India for three weeks this Fall to conduct training.