8/27/15 Paintings from The Art Club

The Art Club certainly drew various and differing paintings. The vibe was creative and relaxed. However, the humans were all sad that Dad was several hours late and did not make the Club. Maybe next time.

Jamie painted a geometry-themed abstract that we are calling, “Disobey”. I really think he is on to something with the use of shadows:

disobey

The quote on your lower left reads, “Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.” by Phillip K. Dick

I find Jamie’s painting intriguing, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I also like his use of a quotation in the artwork.

Erik made a blended color, fire-breathing dragon. Mom says it reminds her of me! But I think she is kidding.

dragonfire

Is it a love dragon? Is s/he breathing hearts of fire or hearts on fire? There is a softness to the dragon’s face that I like. This is another painting I’m enjoying looking at and thinking about.

Finally, Mom (the tattoo enthusiast) painted a tribal rose on a white background.

tribalrose

Mom says she wants to sharpen the lines a bit now that the painting has dried and add a little more white and highlight in spots, especially amongst the leaves.

All in all, the family had a wonderful time, and agreed that this was the best idea Mom had come up with for a long time. Everybody is looking forward to the next painting session, and hope that Dad can make it.

You may be wondering what I did during the painting time. I mostly lay under the table and occasionally on the chair to avoid getting paint on my white fur. I already have a black spot – don’t need another! Woof! (tail wags) I enjoyed being with my family and having a good time.

Let me ask you: If I gave you some paint and a blank canvas – what would you paint?

Woof! Love, Maggie

8/25/15 The Toilet Seat

Well.

We had a situation with the downstairs toilet seat. A Certain Person (named Jamie) broke the seat and sheared the screw right off! Mom alerted Dad that an emergency visit to the home repair shop was in order to prevent a one-cheek-sneak off the broken seat.

Dad had a customer. “I’m very sorry to cut this short. My wife and I have a big night out choosing a new toilet seat,” he explained. The customer laughed, and hurried with his purchase.

Erik thought Dad would be mad about the broken toilet seat, and was going to take the blame for it. But Dad actually took it in stride, because he hadn’t liked the downstairs seat at all. Jamie said he was just taking after big brother Mike, who “dropped a brick” in the upstairs toity and broke it a couple of years ago. Dad replaced that entire toilet with a Titan (“Can flush a bucket of golf balls!”) So far, the Titan is still standing tall and proud.

Off the human parents went. I wandered downstairs where Erik, Jamie, and Jenny were watching a movie. Erik’s bedroom door was open, so I curled up in the bed and took a little nap.

Mom and Dad came home shortly thereafter and Dad announced, “I’m not installing this toilet seat tonight.” I thought for a minute that Mom was going to bop Dad over the head with the new seat. “What do you mean? What if someone has to use the toilet in the middle of the night and there’s an accident?” Mom fumed. I wondered what kind of “accident” there could possibly be in relation to a toilet seat, but given Mom’s excited state, decided to keep my muzzle shut!

kitchendog

Me, watching them bring in the toilet seat.

Every male member of the household trooped into the tiny downstairs bathroom to “help” Dad. Dad needed lots of helpers, even though he had told Mom it was a one-man job. Mom brought Dad a garbage bag and placed it on the sink. Not five minutes later, Dad was hollering for one. Mom gave him the stink eye, but said nothing.

Everyone had a little job: One to hold the screws, one to get the paper towels, one to stuff the trash bag, and so forth (they took turns with these tasks).

When it was finally over, the toilet was as good as new. Everyone trooped out of the cramped bathroom and left Mom the dirty paper towels on the floor to clean up.

Well, you know what they say about a job not being finished til the paperwork is done!

Woof! Love, Maggie

8/24/15 Back to the Woods

Hello, everyone!

I trust my buddies Mason & Murphy kept you up to date on the humans and their camping trip.

I, myself, took Mom at her word that she wouldn’t board me again. So, I stayed home with Erik and snuggled! I also had Laurel time when Erik had to be at work. When the rest of my family came home, I was happy to see them, but not stressed out in the least. Much better than the last time, when I had to be boarded, and became gravely ill from dehydration.

We went for a long walk in the woods yesterday, about two miles. It felt good to get out and have a hearty sniff. Here is a view from Dad’s front window at the green canopy covering the trail:

carview

Dad asked if we wanted to walk the wooded trail, or on the pavement. Naturally, everyone chose the wooded path. We started our walk at the totem pole in front of the Nature Center:

totempole

Here I am, with Dad, sniffing around:

walkers

It’s funny, I didn’t get sick at all in the car yesterday, and we had quite a long ride. However, the big van is definitely a smoother gig than Zeus, the little Fiat. My stomach got quite upset picking Jamie up from school today, and when Mom hit a bump in the road – oopsey! Well, that’s why Mom says she has car seat covers.

Jamie started school and he is a Sophomore now. That means he’s not a first-yearer any more.

Last year, Jamie had a wonderful schedule with early dismissal. This year, he is chugging along til the end of the day with the rest of the kids. Poor Jamie! It’s going to take some getting used to.

Watch for school buses! Bye for now!

Woof! Love, Maggie

8/21/15 Guest Bloggers: Mason and Murphy – The Camping Trip Epilogue

Hello, Friends!

Maggie wants her blog back and so we are going to quickly wrap up the rest of the trip for you.

We left off with the humans deciding to use the public facilities at the campground. While showering in there, Aunt Liz got stung by a hornet – twice. She was all alone and said it was good luck and a blessing that she turned out not to be allergic! Later, Mom saw the same hornet and shooed it out on her bath towel. Jamie reported seeing it in the Men’s Shower not long afterwards.

During one of our visits to town, our Mom slipped, fell, or somehow twisted her bad knee (making it worse) getting out of “the bus” that was the rental car. We must repeat, this “bus” could seat 15 humans and was at least a foot and a half, two feet off the ground (from the step to get in). So Mom was sidelined for most of the day after that. Poor Mom! Murphy and I did our best to comfort her.

We visited a famous restaurant that had a herd of goats on the roof! They had delicious Swedish pancakes. Here is a picture:

goat

Later, all the boys (except for us) went go-carting. It was a fun evening.

After passing several days with no hot water, Aunt Liz stated to the entire company that another storm was due to hit the area Monday. We were supposed to be back at the rental place in Illinois early Tuesday. What was to be done? Stay squished inside the camper while the rain fell, and try to pack up in the mud, or make a break for it while it was still dry? Aunt Liz voiced the opinion that she didn’t like the idea of Uncle Jim driving straight through again, especially in the rain after the last storm, and Mom swiftly agreed. She was in the kitchen packing up before you could say, “thunderbolt”. Aunt Liz joined her in a frenzy of activity.

We have never seen humans break camp so fast. They spent one last night in the RV and then, in the morning, hit the road. They took “the bus” back to the rental place where the lady argued that it was short one (1) gallon of gas. We watched from the window at all the eye-rolling. Then the humans piled back into the RV and hot-footed it Milwaukee, where Uncle Jim had used his phone app to arrange for a pet-friendly overnight visit.

Aaah! Civilization! My brother and I got baths from Mom, and clean, new neck scarves. The humans swam in the hotel pool and laughed at their misadventures. My Mom and Dad told Uncle Jim and Aunt Liz they were good sports. Jamie and Anthony had had a blast, and somewhere during the week, Jamie turned 15.

So, our tail comes to an end. It was a fairly quick ride home (about 3 hours, Human Standard Time) and we unpacked, cleaned, washed the RV, and then returned it.

Next vacation – ??? Probably will be a week at a pet-friendly hotel.

Thanks so much for reading and letting us share Maggie’s blog.

Woof! Woof! Mason and Murphy

8/20/15 Guest Bloggers: Mason and Murphy, “The Camping Trip” Part 2

Hello, Mason and Murphy back again to pick up where we left off regarding the camping trip we took with the humans.

As you last recall, we had finally got to the campground. Night had fallen and it was very, very, very, dark; so dark not even we could see anything. Dumbfounded, the humans went to the office (which was closed) but found their packet waiting in the mailbox. They had no idea how they were going to find the campsite when a nice man in a dune buggy appeared out of nowhere, led them to their camp, and helped them get plugged in and set up.

A couple of burgers later and we were ready for “Quiet Time” which started at 10:30. We dogs were tired, the humans were tired, and everyone got ready for bed.

Which is when they discovered that the table that was supposed to lift up and turn into a pull out bed would not budge. In the least.

An emergency plan was made: Anthony would sleep with his grandparents on the bed in the back. Jamie would sleep on the one fold out bed (which had a deep crevice in the middle), and Uncle Jim and Aunt Liz would take the top rack. To gain access here, one had to step on the bench, the top of the bench, and hoist oneself up. It was small. Aunt Liz was claustrophobic. But it was no worse than the three humans crammed into their bed.

We dogs stay with Jamie and crowded him.

The next day, we all ate breakfast around the fire and we felt much cheerier.

We took a ride in “the bus” to town, Egg Harbor, and then to Dyckesville and Twin Sisters. (“What kind of places are you taking us?” Aunt Liz cracked.) Here is a view of the harbor:

harbor

We stayed with our parents and enjoyed the breeze, while Uncle Jim, Aunt Liz, Jamie, and Anthony went for a bike ride by the lake.

waves

They ended up at the Lighthouse and in total, biked 9 miles.

lighthouse

We got back to camp in one piece and Aunt Liz told Uncle Jim she was going to make some dinner and needed “glowing coals” for the fire. Dad and Uncle Jim thus proceeded to burn nearly every piece of wood they had plus coals until there was a roaring fire. Aunt Liz looked skeptical. “That’s not glowing coals,” she said.

Uncle Jim grabbed her precious Dutch Oven and threw it on the fire while it was still going.

cookfire

Suffice it to say, Aunt Liz had to do some pretty fancy footwork to save that meal!

Soon it was night and we were exhausted from our adventures. They tried picking up the table again but it didn’t work. So the humans all went back to their designated sleeping spots. It was a tight fit.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. We dogs and Aunt Liz heard it first. She looked out the window and saw a yellow light. Terror seized her as she thought something was on fire and we had to evacuate! With much effort, she (half shoved) Uncle Jim down from the top bunk and he (without his glasses) sleepily went to answer the pounding at the door, only to realize he could not work the deadbolt and we were locked in.

“Jamie, open the door for your father!” Aunt Liz shouted. Sleepily, Jamie sat up and simply said, “Dad, open the door.” “I can’t open the door,” Uncle Jim said to the man outside, and prepared to go back to bed. “Oh, God, if this were a real emergency we’d be dead by now!” Aunt Liz shrieked. Everyone was up by then.

Finally, Jamie shook himself awake and opened the dead bolt. A night watchman stood there with a neighbor, who told us that something inside the RV had broken and all our water leaked out in a river and was flooding the street. They had turned our water off. The night watchman had an amber light on his dune buggy, and that was what Aunt Liz had observed from her window.

No one slept for the rest of the night. In the morning, the humans had to investigate the problem and discovered that the hot water heater had broken and leaked out all over. Tinkering was done, but hot water was not restored. Our parents were upset about the RV. Everyone decided the thing to do was to take showers in the community bath house area.

Got to run for now, tune in for Part III!

Woof! Woof! Mason and Murphy