June 09, 2007

Mostly Gardening

It's been a long week. WS has been working extra long days and I have had pet-sitting duties (which I believe the next 2 days are the only days this month that I don't have pet-sitting). Two nights this week after regular chores, I put more coats of polyeurathane on the cabinet. I only have one more coat to go (I hope). Still have to turn the thing over and do the very bottom at least twice to protect the wood.

Last night I spent time repotting some roses. I have gotten into roses the last couple of months for some odd reason; okay, the reason isn't odd, I just don't know what that reason is - I'm going to blame the "enablers" on the Gardening forum that I frequent. I recently found out that one of the premier own-root rose suppliers, The Uncommon Rose, was going out of retail business. Naturally, I had to order some of the stuff that I don't run across anywhere else. Their plants come as slips, or slightly larger, so need to be repotted into larger pots for better continued growth (and to hold them until I can figure out where the heck I am going to put them). Here is a list of what I now have with the type in parentheses:

  • Armide (Alba)
  • Aimable Rouge (Gallica)
  • Green Diamonds (Miniature)
  • Julie Link (Moore Modern)
  • Marbree (Portland Damask)
  • Softee (Miniature)
  • Strawberry Swirl (Miniature)
  • Vanguard (the only peach colored Rugosa)
  • Les Sjulin (Hybrid Tea)
  • Red Cascade (Miniature)
  • Sea Foam (Modern shrub)
  • Table Mountain (Hybrid Tea)
    • I had already gotten three miniature roses from Nor'East Miniature Roses:

      I have also bought some roses from gardening centers. I believe I wrote about the Peace and Arizona roses that I got from Agway a couple of weeks ago (pictures hopefully next week). This week I stopped at a gardening center around the corner from work, and bought two more roses; Sheila's Perfume and Double Delight. Both are supposed to be very aromatic, with Double Delight rated at the top of the scale and Sheila's Perfume not too far behind.

      So to recap; I still have one tree and a bunch of shrubs to plant in the area formerly of the fruit trees, I now have about 20 roses that I have to figure out what to do with, and oh, by the way, there is some stuff I planted last year that I decided have to be moved out and somewhere else (espcially that wisteria tree - I can see it will get out of hand quickly so I need to put it somewhere that I don't mind when it happens - Note to self: wisterias are not slowed down when grown in shade).

      Hey, but it is all worth it. I can't help but smile at the blooms as they arrive and I eagerly look around the yard for what is coming up next. I am so excited about the first blooms I have gotten off a couple of clematis I planted last year (and WS kept weed-wacking to the ground). I can't help but lean over and smell the Arizona rose everytime I go up the steps to the porch (can't wait for the Double Delight and Sheila's Perfume to open up). And, I enjoy the excercise and time I spend digging the holes for the new trees and shrubs (even though I cuss about rocks and black flies).

      So if I don't post much for the next month, you know that pet-sitting and planting have taken over my life!

      Posted by Bogie on June 9, 2007 at 06:46 AM in At Home, Pet Sitting, Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (1)

      May 28, 2007

      Work and Play for the Weekend

      We have been really busy here at the Bogie estate. Most of last week we weren't even sitting down to think about making dinner until about 8 PM (suspiciously close to my bed time). There was my pet-sitting, and coddling of GT (who never did eat, but according to reports, as of yesterday was still alive and being fed by eyedropper). When it quit raining on Sunday, the weather decided to warm up some, to the tune of upper 80's and mis 90's (I don't mind those temps, I just want them a little more than 4 days afer it had been in the 40's! Not only was it hot, the humiditiy was at something really low, meaning anything that was newly planted, or in pots, or in the greenhouse, needed to be watered. Most of that watering had to be done by hand; Since Wednesday, I have had a 3-day rotation going until we get a decent rain.

      Then Saturday, I started planting trees in the area formerly of the fruit trees. I ran into a humongous rock, so by the time I had spent 2 hours out in the blazing sun, I had exactly 1 tree planted and a sun burn. I came in and started staining the new linen cabinet. As I hadn't been able to decide which color matched our dressers (old ones from Cop Car), I had bought 2 different stains. There is one fixed shelf in the cabinet (4 removeable), so I did the top half in Red Chestnut Redchesnut and the bottom half in Red Oak Redoak (thank goodness I did, because the test pieces I had done didn't show any difference in color - but there is a huge difference!).

      WS was busy hauling in manure, shoveling it into the cart to transport up to the garden, spreading said manure, then rototilling it in. He used the neighbors 1 ton w/dump body to bring in 2 loads of manure - it took some work to get it all to the garden!

      Yesterday was more productive for me. I managed to get 2 trees and 6 shrubs planted after running around in the morning (pert-sitting, groceries, dog food). I had promised myself when I went to Agway to get dog food that I wouldn't look at any plants. I didn't, except for those on a table just outside the entrance. JIm, the store manager, is an evil, evil man! He had just placed some blooming roses next to the entrance. One of them was a Peace Rose, which I have been looking at for some time. It had one fully open bloom (pictures I found on the internet just don't do it justice), and 3 well formed buds. Naturally, you can't just buy one rose (I think it is a law or something), so I started looking for another, and found an extremely scentfull (is that a word?) Arizona rose. It had 3 buds and just a whiff of one was enough to convince me that it was going home with me!

      Yeah, like what I need is another plant right now (I still have a couple of trees and bunches of shrubs, not to mention the veggie garden to get in). Hey, and the plug for the day, if you don't know about HelpMeFind for roses, go check it out.

      Anyway, WS mowed then decided to finish staining the cabinet (so I could continue planting). After looking at the two colors on the inside of the cabinet, bringing in a drawer to see what matched the closest, I decided that the Red Oak would look best, but really, a mix of the Red Oak and Red Chestnut would be perfect. So, off to the hardware store went WS to get a bucket for mixing the stain (one with a lid to save the leftovers). Also, he had to stop at Agway to get me another bail of Pro-Mix as I was afraid I would run out.

      He got the cabinet completely stained, I planted what I was going to get planted for the day, we both took showers, then we jumped on the bike and met with Jim to go to the Sky Show in the Manchester Millyard. It is a mixture of carnival (no rides that I saw, but rock climbing is there), exhibitions of motocross bikes (or skateboarders or whtever is slated for the year) food and concerts. The finale is a 45 minute fireworks show over the river. It was an awesome show!

      Today we are supposed to take the day off and take a ride to the seacoast, then wherever we decide to go from there.

      Next week will probably be light on posting again; I have pet-sitting duties and I have to polyeurathane the cabinet. WS will be working 11 hour days, so he won't be able to help this time. I'll also have to water plants unless we get more than the 1/8" of rain we got last night. The carpet people are supposed to be in on Friday, so the cabinet HAS to get done, and be cured enough for handling, before then.

      Hope everyone has a good week!

      Posted by Bogie on May 28, 2007 at 07:13 AM in At Home, Pet Sitting, Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (7)

      May 21, 2007

      Taking a GT Day

      Here I am at home today, on a day I should be at work. Actually, I just got home about an hour ago, but never made it to work.

      I have been pet-sitting since Friday, and since that day, one of the cats in my charge has not eaten. The owner had indicated that GT, the cat, was having trouble eating dry food, so he was giving her canned food along with dry. I have a feeling that she has only been picking at the canned food, because she has lost a lot of weight since I last saw her. She also has been huddled in as warm a spot as she can find.

      Her owner is in Mexico, and I have been unable to reach him. I leave voicemails and emails, but have had no response (except 1 email to let me know the voicemail wasn't working down there).

      This morning, I took GT to the vet. The cat is 17 years old, and I was worried that she was experiencing kidney failure (signs: losing weight, disinterest in food, cold body temp - everything that I had observed). Fortunately, the work-up indicated no organ failures. She has anemia and some sort of infection, but it is unknown what from. She was also dehydrated, so they gave her an under-the-skin water flush. She is scheduled for more hydration therapy tomorrow evening and Thursday evening (so I don't have to miss more work). And she is down to 4.5 pounds

      We aren't conducting any more tests to pinpoint the cause, because we are unsure of my clients wishes, at 17 years old, how far do you go (it is a personal choice for everyone)? We have started he on antibiotics for the infection, the hydration therapy, and a high calorie/high protein cat food (if she will eat). This is a stop-gap and supportive measure that should get her thru until my client gets back in town.

      I have also turned the workout room/computer room into a convelecence room for GT (she normally is a barn cat - severe allergies on the part of the wife). I have placed a childs gate at the door, so she doesn't have to be "closed up", but is protected from our dogs and cats. She has her own private litter box, food/water dishes and nice thick comforter (of which she is snoozing on beside me right this very instant).

      So, the vet visit and all the preparations are why I never made it to work. By the time I could have gotten to work it would be just about now (actually, with day-time traffic, I probably wouldn't be there yet). Get in 3 hours of work, and leave so I can take care of the rest of my client's animals - not worth the 2+ hours of drivetime!

      Anyway, I'm treating GT as I would want someone else to take care of our animals, should one of them become sick. I know my client appreciates that.

      Posted by Bogie on May 21, 2007 at 12:39 PM in Life in General, Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (2)

      August 07, 2006

      Concern

      About 5 yesterday afternoon there was an ambulance at our neighbor's house (I saw it as I was going pet-sitting). At 9, I went and let their little dog out then put her in her kennel. I left a note explaining what I had done and letting them know to call us if they needed anything.

      Hope everything is all right.

      UPDATE: Mr. Neighbor called and said that his wife had had tightness in her chest and trouble breathing. They took her to the hospital but the doctors did not believe she had a heart attack. She was kept at the hospital overnight as a precaution. After testing yesterday afternoon, which came out negative, they released Mrs. Neighbor without any restrictions.

      Posted by Bogie on August 7, 2006 at 03:54 AM in Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (6)

      May 02, 2006

      Pet-sitting Month

      Today is the start of a long stretch of pet-sitting. I have clients from this afternoon on, and my next free day is May 27. During 10 of those days, I have two clients that are in diametrically opposing directions. That means the Tuesdays are really going to suck as I also have class to get to in the evening. I'll actually pass by our street (and wave in the direction fo the house), but will not get to stop as I am running between the horses and cats. Then from the cats I will head straight to class.

      Don't tell the boss, but I am actually planning on taking a sick/personal day on one of those Tuedays (of course planning to and actually doing so may be two entirely different stories). I figure the boss can't mind too much, last year I used all my personal days for the Christmas shutdown (ie I didn't call in sick at all last year) and the year before that I only used one sick/personal day for other than Christmas shutdown.

      Oh yeah, I also get to go to Rhode Island for the gold reclaimation during two days that I am taking care of the two different households of pets.

      Fortunately, there are no dogs involved during the more hectic days, so timing isn't reallhy too critical.

      Posted by Bogie on May 2, 2006 at 04:16 AM in Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

      October 12, 2005

      Changing ISO Cats

      Busy week this week. Last night a customer called me and needs me to take care of her cat starting this morning until Monday. This person is in Henniker so it adds about 20 miles to my daily commute not to mention a bit more than an hour (gotta give the kitty some lovin' ya know).

      Actually, the customer will be at her house until Friday. She needs help giving the kitty her antibiotics for a bladder infection. MT has horrible arthritis and can hardly hang onto a jar, much less a pill for the cat. Then she will go to her house in Weare and entertain a whole bunch of family, while the cat relaxes in the calm of the Henniker apartment.

      *      *     *      *     *       *       *

      Then, Thursday and Friday is our audit for ISO certification. That means I am there until the audito decides to take pity on us and lets us go for the day (figure 5 or 6 PM - doesn't sound bad until you realize I am there at 6 aM).

      *      *     *      *     *       *       *

      I will leave you with this little pearl of wisdom about the new buffalo nickel. Someone was all agog at work yesterday thinking that we would all be millionaires if we hung onto the recalled change. Yep, I busted her bubble.

      Posted by Bogie on October 12, 2005 at 04:15 AM in At Home, Life in General, Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

      June 05, 2005

      Going Visiting

      In the next couple of months, I will be a bit busy with pet-sitting and will get to see some clients that I haven't seen for a while. PL is having me take care of her three cats at the end of this month. I haven't seen them for since July of last year, so I am thrilled to see them again.

      PT called me the day after we got back from Kansas. I was totally surprised by her call since I had not heard from her since her dog, Sam, died in June 2003. She is fairly old and not very mobile, so I did not expect her to get another dog. She didn't, she got a cat about 6 months ago. She went to a shelter looking for an older cat. She wanted a small cat, since she can't lift anything very heavy (she has crippling arthritis in her hands). It seems the shelter was used to people wanting kittens, and took her request for an "older cat" to mean 4-6  month old. Apparently the cat gained 10 pounds before he finally quit growing up. So next month I get to see PT again to learn all about taking care of her kitty while she is away for a couple of weeks.

      This weekend I have been taking care of Mocha, her sheep and the chickens. I usually only get to take care of them during the summer and fall, when her humans, DB and EN, are most likely to be travelling at the same time. Mocha is getting old and gray, and doesn't walk as spritely as she used to - but she is still a joy to take out on a leash. The sheep have lambed, so there are 4 babies that I can laugh at for their antics. The chickens are just chickens, but DB told me to take home any eggs they laid. Yesterday I brought home 11 eggs and gave most of them to Karen when she came to visit. Today's batch will go to our neighbor, Chris. I don't know what I will do with Monday's batch since there are only so many egg salad sandwiches that I can stomach, and we don't really use many eggs in a month. I'll figure out something though.

      I think of all my clients' critters as my friends, and I can hardly wait to go visiting them again when the call comes in for my services!

      Posted by Bogie on June 5, 2005 at 03:10 PM in Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

      May 07, 2005

      A Horsey Weekend

      I have been so busy lately that I didn't realize it is Kentucky Derby weekend. I have no idea who is running, but will try to take some time later today to at least delve into bloodlines before I watch the (taped) race.

      Aptly enough, I am taking care of horses until the middle of next week. It used to be that the horses were easy to take care of. The stay outside except in the most extreme weather (they have a large, 3-sided overhang to get out of inclement weather), so I would just take them grain, hay and water, and make sure everyone seemed to be moving well and in good spirits.

      Last fall though, Jesse, the lead mare, foundered. Besides daily medicine that she now requires, she is not allowed any grain at all. She is now on beet pulp, while the other horses still get grain. This situation means that I have to take her from the big corral to a smaller corral, so she can eat her beet pulp and the other horses can eat their grain.

      Jesse is very well behaved, so I don't have a problem transferring her to the other corral. However, now that spring has sprung (sort of), there is some grass sprouting in the small corral. Jesse will start with the beet pulp, then partway thru, will decide the grass is much better.

      After taking grain to Bailey and Winnie, I set out the hay for the morning, and check the water. Then, I wash out the beet pulp bucket (it has soaked in water and leaves a residue that could ferment if not cleaned out). About the time Winnie and Bailey have finished their grain, I lead Jesse back to the beet pulp, so she will finish it. She  resists a bit, but if I am insistant she will finally come with me to the feed pan. I stand there, keeping her from going back to the grass, until she has finished her meal, then lead her back to the large corral.

      Then there is cleaning of the feed pan before I can take care of the cats (another long story, but one I don't feel like getting into today - suffice to say, it's not just plunking down food for them either).

      However, I don't mind the extra time and work; the horses and cats are great, as are their owner. I also get some of my best wildlife observations there, like the moose in the road a couple of years ago, and the turkeys that thought I was chasing them near the barn this morning - they just kept going the same way I was headed.

      I'll just bet our pet-sitters are gratefull that our animals are easier to take care of than that.

      Posted by Bogie on May 7, 2005 at 07:40 AM in Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

      April 16, 2005

      Survivor

      I have, so far, survived the massive slobber and baying that greets me as I go to feed the pack of dogs I'm pet-sitting. Their owner called me last night to make sure that everyone had behaved for me - I assured her they had.

      "You didn't have any problem with Zeus when you came in the door?" she queried.

      "Uh, no. Was I supposed too?"

      "Well sometimes he can act really scary, like he won't let you in" she replied.

      No lady, scary is watching three 1,000 pound horses come at you at a full gallop, while you are holding what they really crave; grain! A 150 pound Newfie is nothing compare to that. Oh sure, he could bite me, but usually if you go passive, they'll lose interest. A horse can bite then turn around and kick you, and then mash you to a pulp with their front hooves (they don't stop until you are a pile of nothing recognizable). Pfft, a big dog is nothing.

      My reply was actually, "Both the big guys [Zues and Oden, the Newfies] stood at the door barking. I told them firmly to get back, and they did. Then everyone crowded in for pets and some loving before I shooed them out the back door while I made up their food. I didn't have any problems at all."

      I was actually more worried about Paulie, the Shiba Inu. She hung back and growled a whole lot - even growling as she went out the back door. But actually I think it was more because she was a little peeved over the excitement than anything. Anyway, she was happier than heck to see the food!

      The two Bassets, Wrinkles and Madeline, were just loves. I did have to keep Madeline from stealing Wrinkles' food. Wrinkles is 17 years old, and eats so slow that everyone was eyeballing her bowl as she slowly made her way through it.

      The Chesie, Monica, is the most reserved. She is low dog on the totem pole, so hangs back a bit while all the petting is going on. She is funny to watch eating though, as she growls the whole time, while lifting her lips to show her teeth - making sure that no other dog even thinks about coming over to steal her food.

      Nope, no problems, just a whole lot of noise and action in that house.

      Posted by Bogie on April 16, 2005 at 07:38 AM in Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

      April 15, 2005

      Crazy Client

      Some people think we are crazy because we have 2 dogs, 3 cats and 2 birds. Those people would be wrong; one of my new pet-sitting customers is nuts. She has 6 dogs: 2 Newfies, 2 Basset Hounds, 1 Chesapeak Bay Retriever and 1 Shiba Inu mix (so she claims - it looks more like a Finnish Spitz mix to me).

      I got home last night to a desperate phone call, a woman and her husband were supposed to be on the way to their son's wedding, but their neighbor, who was supposed to pet-sit, became ill.

      I called her back and got some general information from her, then told her I would be over in a while to meet the dogs and find out where the food is kept. She kept going on and on over the phone, even after I told her I would be over shortly, that I actually raised the cost by $2 per visit for the aggravation of listening to her yammer on.

      I went and met everyone, they seem to be a nice bunch. I spent an hour at the house, and was amazed at how nicely they calmed down (both the owner and the dogs) after the first 10 minutes.

      So, tonight I will see if I can get into their house without being maulled (or licked to death).

      Posted by Bogie on April 15, 2005 at 04:31 AM in Pet Sitting | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack