Monthly Archives: October 2020

Books Read-September 2020

One of My Library Shelves

1. Who Rescued Who-Victoria Schade

Elizabeth loses her high-powered job but discovers family and gains a dog and a new career and life in the English countryside.

2. The Big Finish-Brooke Fossey

Duffy Sinclair lives in an assisted living facility. Life is predictable. Until his roommate’s granddaughter crawls in through their bedroom window one night and everyone’s lives change.

3. Separation Anxiety-Laura Zigman

A once successful author learns to deal with her own feelings and her dysfunctional family. This book was listed as funny, but I only found it to be sad and painful. I finished it but wish I had stopped when I thought about it.

4. The Banty House-Carolyn Brown

Three senior ladies living in Rooster, Texas take in a teen expecting a baby. They develop friendships and become a family.

5. Howloween Murder-Laurien Berenson

Melanie Travis and her standard poodle Faith search for who has poisoned the Halloween treats, causing the murder to look like it was committed by their friend.

6. A Walk Along the Beach-Debbie Macomber

A book about the Lakey sisters, their family, and love interests. A bit heart wrenching for a Debbie Macomber novel, but a good read.

7. The Geometry of Holding Hands-Alexander McCall Smith

Read about 100 pages and decided to give it up. Found myself wondering what I would read next every time I picked it up. Just not in the mood for it.



Several of these books were excellent but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Who Rescued Who. It made me wish that I lived in the English countryside.

The Day of the Bread Thief

Zekie, Thief

We had some excitement a few days ago. I bet you can guess who was the source of it. Yes, it was Zekie. Our problem child. You can read why at this link. No Mistakes

I had some bread dough formed into three loaves and it was sitting on the counter for its final rise before going into the oven. You can already see where this is going, right? Living with multiple dogs (currently 6) and two cats, we have swinging doors on our kitchen that we close with a bungee cord to keep the animals out as needed. I stepped around the corner for a second to look out the window and I turned around and was down to two bread loaves and no one was even chewing!

We didn’t have any evidence of who it was except that Zekie’s breathe wasn’t quite the same as usual. Didn’t smell like yeast though. And he was acting guilty. That could have been coincidence too. Claire the sheltie does occasionally put her feet on the counter too. But she is awfully small to have eaten that much, that quickly. And with Zekie’s reputation…well, it usually is him. We put him in his special crate made of aircraft steel incase he got sic.

Something was niggling in the back of my mind that this may be more serious than just an upset tummy. So I got out my phone and began to research “dog ate bread dough”. It turns out that this can be exceedingly serious. Zekie only ate one third of a batch so I was hopeful, but the more I read, the more worried I became. The bread dough can continue to expand inside the stomach and may eventually cause pressure on other organs and potentially the stomach could burst in the worst case. It is also possible that the yeast can ferment and form ethanol in the stomach. This could result in a drunk dog or it could be lethal.

All sites agreed that it was wise to get the dough out of the stomach stating that this could be difficult via vomiting depending on how gelatinous the mass of dough became. If you were going to induce vomiting to try to regurgitate the dough, sooner rather than later produces the best results before it starts to mix with stomach acid.

Next step was to search how to induce vomiting in dogs. Miraculously, I have never had to do this before. Hydrogen peroxide was recommended. Use ONLY 3% hydrogen peroxide at 1 teaspoon per each 5 lbs. of body weight, up to a maximum of 3 Tablespoons, no matter the dog’s weight. This is what my on-line sources said. I also called my daughter and asked for her advice on this procedure since I know she is familiar with it. Calling to ask your daughter for dog medical advice is pretty cool!

So, I got Zekie, a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide, and a measuring Tablespoon and headed out to our fenced pasture. I gave him the correct dosage for his size, about 37 lbs., and waited. All I knew was that it should work pretty quickly. I did not know what “pretty quickly” was. For a bit I thought it wasn’t going to work. Apparently, pretty quickly is about 10 minutes. That’s when I saw results.

The bread dough came up. Yes, the thief was indeed Zekie. I had to throw a bag over the “used” dough while I went to get a scoop, so that he wouldn’t eat it again. He vomited a second time but most of the dough was up.

And thus was my indoctrination, and hopefully only experience, into the induction of vomiting in dogs. Long live Zekie!

Signs of Fall

Bisque in Process

One of the signs of fall at our house is that I make butternut squash bisque. It contains an assortment of vegetables and homemade broth that are complemented by cream and white wine.

Whole Wheat Bread Dough

I always make fresh bread to go with it. These two things make a satisfying and delicious dinner.

Bisque and Bread Ready to Eat

The things I cook vary from season to season. During the summer months I avoid using the oven since it heats up the house. And I avoid dishes with long cooking times.

Now I switch to more lengthy and complicated dishes. They are the perfect for a cool autumn day.

A No Mistake Dog

People think smart dogs are easier. Sometimes this may be the case. Not always.

Zekie is wicked smart. He understands most things he hears. After I correct him several times for misbehavior and he doesn’t listen, I can ask “Do you want to go in your crate?” Only once in a blue moon do I have to follow through. He understands and capitulates.

He can figure out ways to do most things he wants. Opening bins, trash cans, and more. He knows to do these things when I am outside so I don’t catch him in the act.

Talk about brains. Yesterday, we drove past the parking lot where we often stop to go walking. We didn’t stop. We were going someplace else. Zekie whined as we drove by because we didn’t stop.

It is a challenge staying one step ahead of this boy. He is a no mistake dog. If you make a mistake, you pay. He is my kind of dog. I love him.

Last Hurrah

Red Knockout

Even though autumn is here, the roses are still quite happy.

Drift Rose

Recent rains after summer drought have perked them back up.

Orange Blaze

They are having a last hurrah before colder weather and snow arrive.

Drift Rose

It is wonderful to still be enjoying the rewards of my summer labors. I hope you enjoy them too.

Training With Zekie

Zekie in the fall leaves

Zekie and I took a walk around our property this evening so I could get some fall photos. I decided this was a good opportunity to work on sits and stays.

Zekie in front of the burning bushes

I was pleased. He did very well. We also worked on his paying attention to me and sitting whenever I stopped walking. That went pretty well too.

Zekie and squash

He even did a sit-stay on the house steps. Those treats in my pocket worked wonders!

Harvesting and Processing Herbs

Mortar and Pestle with Thyme

Autumn is a flurry of chores to wind up the growing season. There was putting the vegetable garden to bed and now I am processing herbs that I recently harvested. I cut and dried thyme, oregano, and chives. These are perennials. Once they are dried, I strip the leaves off the stems and grind them up with my mortar and pestle. I store them for use throughout the winter.

Basil is an annual plant. I grow several of them. Just before frost I pull the entire plant up by the roots and hang them on the porch to dry. Then I follow the same procedure as above.

This year I think I will give some as gifts. It is easy to grow them yourself and reassuring to know they are all organic.

A Garden of Thoughts

I’ve been learning about the process of writing as I try to write a book. So far I’ve started at least four different ones. So I decided something needed to change since I obviously haven’t been able to maintain my focus. I’m doing two things differently and they seem to be helping.

Reading is always a help to me. So I am reading a book about how to write. It is a textbook sort of book. I read one chapter every day or so and then ponder the exercise at the chapter’s end. The book I chose is one I purchased some years ago called The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. Lots of good info. I would recommend it.

Secondly, I am writing longhand instead of typing on my laptop. Apparently the process requires different skills and can help with creativity. I discovered a number of famous authors do their first drafts with pen or pencil. This has helped me immensely. I don’t spend time trying to fix the things my computer points out as I go, instead of writing. The words seem to flow from my brain to the paper uninterrupted. As I finish a sentence, the next one forms in my brain on its own. I don’t know what is coming next until it pops in my mind. Pretty cool!

Who would have thought?

Photo Opportunities

Zekie, Claire, and Shelby

I have been working on teaching Claire to sit and stay. It is very handy for taking photos. She does sit, it just takes her a few seconds to respond. We will have to spend time now achieving a swift response.

We are also working on the stay. As soon as I back up enough to take the photo, Claire pops back up. That will be easy enough to extend her sit time with practice.

Zekie and Shelby have it down. They sit and wait throughout my corrections and work with Claire. Zekie learned quickly from watching Shelby. I would give the stay command and he would look at Shelby to see what she was doing and if she was upset that I was walking away. He saw that she was not upset so would stay and await further instruction.

Claire takes more repetition before things click, but she will get there.

In the meantime I get to enjoy practicing with these photo opportunities.