Posts Tagged ‘Pembroke Welsh corgi’

Treasure the Moment!

Leo 7 monthAlicia's wonderlandThree preciesrecent workIF

There is no room for naivité in today’s world.  All I can do in light of the barrage of news we receive is to go on preserving and treasuring the world I’ve always known.  Indeed, my insular world may last only a moment—so I treasure each moment as a gift from God.

Beyond a series of moments on earth lies an eternity of joy for the Christian believer.  Meanwhile my precarious earth moments are filled with prayers, family, friends, a corgi, music, paintbrushes, knitting needles and yarn, spinning wheels, gardens indoors and out, poetry, books/books/books, antiques, junk, never ending batches of soap from our kitchen, and a whole lot more.

A common thread connects the moments: BEAUTY.  I know I’m not alone in determining to pursue and celebrate Beauty—and to TREASURE THE MOMENT!

Margaret Been, February 2015

soap 6

Baby D again

Again Sweet Mia


Daane Boys




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Valentine bears etc.

1)  Bears:  In recent years I’ve received a Valentine Bear most every Valentine’s Day.  This year I decided to move the Valentine Bears from our bedroom settee to a living room sofa, to celebrate their day.  Well, you should have heard the hullaballoo coming from the Other Occasion Bears who were left in the bedroom.  “Unfair!  Discriminatory!  We are Entitled!”

So I promptly moved the Others to the sofa to join their Valentine friends, thinking they could all spend the day there and I’d move them back to the bedroom at bedtime.  Then Joe and I went out for a Valentine dinner.  When we returned home, we were greeted with a petition.  It seems the bears had a secret meeting while we were gone.  They unanimously decided to Occupy Sofa through next Thursday when a young man named Lucas is coming for wiener roll-ups, pop, and an afternoon of art.  Wisely, the bear contingent choose Senior Paddington Bear to present the request to me, as they know I love British accents.  And of course I caved in.  After all, that sofa is an extra.  We have plenty of additional places for people to sit.  And Lucas will definitely enjoy the bears.

Now, Dear Readers I know exactly what you are thinking:  “This woman is eighty years old, and the February Blaaaas have pushed her over the edge.”  Sorry, but I have news for you.  I’ve always been this way.

Shawls Galore

2)  A GOOD YARN:  My fellow Knitwits will love this one.  The stats always soar when I post a yarn and needles bit.  Above you will find a just off the needles shawl.  Who says old dogs (or people) can’t learn new tricks?  Up until a year ago I had Circular Needle Phobia.  But I have overcome, and now I can’t quit making shawls.  This one will go to our local Vince Lombardi Cancer Center, as my family members and friends are by now completely shawled, scarfed, and hatted out.  Note the colors.  They give you a clue as to what is frequently on my mind as I gaze out on our garden buried in snow.


3)  FRESH DECOR:  It’s fun to greet a new season with a few changes.  For years we went to Colorado and New Mexico—often at this time of the year.  We love our old comfy couch (not the bears’ sofa, but the one Joe and I normally hang out on).  New fabric on the couch brings the Southwest right into our living room.

Taking a step

4)  THE BEST BLAAA CHASER OF ALL—A CHILD:  This is our littlest sweetheart.  A week ago last Thursday, Tuks came for an entire day.  She is eight months old, and has begun stepping between close furniture rather than dropping to her knees.  We had so much fun with Tuks.  She took good naps for us, and maintained her sunny personality throughout the eight hours.  She loves to eat, loves people, loves dogs, loves life!  Who can ever have the blaaaas with someone like that around?!!!

And here’s a parting thought to cheer you on:  In three weeks, DAYLIGHT SAVING!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, February 2014

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Meet Duffy, my long lost friend from the 1970s—lost, when he got hit by a school bus full of neighborhood children who loved him.  Duffy’s sad demise never removed him from our thoughts, and we often recall humorous incidents involving this friend—one of many four-footed friends in my lifetime (before and since Duffy) who have consistently proved that there is substance to the title, “Man’s Best Friend”! 

I believe that every sensitive person can benefit from a canine friend.  People will let us down, but dogs never do.  People will make us furious, but dogs never do.  People will make us cry, but dogs never do.  The only time a dog will break our heart is when he or she dies!

To borrow a bit from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How do I love thee” Duffy, Heinie, Tucker, Katrinka, Wicky, Mitzy, Solomon, Sheba I, Sheba II, Mandy, Hans, Tasha, Meeghan, and—-oh my precious contemporary, Baby Dylan?

I love you because you are sweet, no matter what variety you happen to be.  However, I’ve never had a Pit Bull.

I love you because you talk with your eyes; they make a lot more sense than some humans’ words.

I love you because you sleep close by, and comfort me in the night with your snoring.

I love you because you are funny, and communicate your sense of humor to me many times each day.

I love you because you never pass presumptuous judgments.

I love you because you never leap to conclusions like humans do, or pontificate—except when I say “cookie”, “walk”, or “bath”.

I love you because you respect me and therefore never give unsolicited advice.

I love you because you are never “nosey”, except when you want me to pet your nose.

I love you because you never ask personal questions about things that are none of your business.

I love you because you love me “just as I am”!

I love you because you are YOU!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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Just inside the door from our snowy patio, more gardens thrive:  one on a vintage trunk which I decoupaged with wild west art and cattle brand-type symbols, and the other on a pie crust table.  Both trunk and table were unearthed at rummage sales in Price County, Wisconsin.

The trunk features beloved African violets, overseen by a fake barrel cactus on a stool with a deer skull from our land up north.  Our friends, Mary and Bernie, found the skull so it’s theoretically theirs (finders/keepers!) but they said it didn’t fit in with their decor.  Fortunately, skulls look great anywhere we choose to put them!  (I still have a couple of cattle skulls in our northern home, for that classic Georgia O’Keeffe look.  You pay big bucks for skulls out west!)

The pie crust table provides a mini-museum for artifacts, as well as room for more indoor gardening.  Leaning against the watering can on the left, with it’s rose intact, you will notice a rather bizarre piece of work.  This gem was a Christmas gift from our grandson, Jason, and his wife, Sandy.  They “won” it at a white elephant party.  Jason and Sandy didn’t really want or need the pot, but they knew exactly what to do with their acquisition:  Give it to Grandma!  (This grandma welcomes elephants of any color!)

Resting in the shade of the spider plant, is a slab of petrified wood from (of course!) Arizona.  The white pottery mushroom behind the Native American vase was a gift from its creator, my friend Barbara.  In front of the vase, chestnuts sit in a toile box.  The nuts are part of my ever growing chestnut collection, begun years ago and replenished each autumn by the horse chestnut tree just a few yards outside our front door.  The toile box came in a nesting set, from T. J. MAX. 

The plant on the right side as you face the pie crust table is called “Candelabra”, for obvious reasons.  It’s a new kid on the plant block here.  I was attracted to it’s shape.  The plant looks like it popped off the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. 

On the floor, in a basket crafted by yours truly, you will see something very funky:  raffia paper vegies, purchased for a few cents last summer at a garage sale.  I look at the vegies and smile—not from wanting to eat them, but rather from recalling the joys of past rummages and anticipating a whole new garage season soon to begin.  (Two months, or certainly three!)

Moving from still life to live life, I finally got some snap shots of Baby Dylan, the shy one.  The sleeping beauty photo was fairly easy to procure because Dylan was zonked out on the floor.  (Like Joe and me, Dylan takes his naps seriously.)  The other picture was more fleeting.  Dylan normally hides when he sees the camera, and here I sneaked up on him; it didn’t take him long to sense the “danger” of having his picture taken and a moment later he had split!

Finally, here are some indoor friends who do not have to be watered, and do not have any paparazzi phobias.  They just sort of take life as it comes!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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Everyone loves a success story!  And judging from past comments on this blog, many of you enjoy reading about our Pembroke Welsh corgi, Dylan.  Now we have great news concerning our little guy!  He is truly a reformed character, relishing his new lifestyle.

Because his first five plus years were spent with us on fourteen wild acres up north, where he saw more wild animals than humans, Dylan had an adjustment to make when we moved in the middle of a community.  At first he would run and hide in his bed when visitors came.  Walks in the park were tenuous, strenuous, and challenging as Dylan went wild with barking and tugging whenever he saw another dog—or anything with wheels, be it a bike or a baby stroller.

Dylan would sit by our patio door and “guard” the path around the park, going crazy over the slightest activity out there.  Especially odious to him were the landscape workers with their noisy mowers, choppers, blowers, etc.  We wondered if our baby would ever settle down to condo living.

Well, over the winter he got more courageous with visitors, and far better toward the outside distractions.  He got so he could watch a snow blower machine, and even allow the workers to shovel our front walk without going ballistic.  Still Dylan had this habit of barking every time people came to our door—which is quite often!  We think the door barking was simply a kind of greeting—a loud “Hail fellow, well met”!

Then in April, the president of our condo association mentioned that someone had complained about Dylan’s barking.  I was very concerned, wondering what would happen next.  Just at that point, our son Eric and his wife Cheri had bought a barking collar at Walmart, for their YorkiePoo—and they reported good results.  So we got a “Barkie” for Dylan, and it calmed him down in a matter of days.

This collar is perfectly humane.  It kicks in with a bit of a jolt when the dog barks loudly, but ignores quiet throat rumbles.  I detonated the collar in my hand one day, and found it to be no more of a jolt than that thingy that zaps us at OLIVE GARDEN when our table is ready. 

Dylan sits happily when we put Barkie on him, and obviously has no dread or concern over it.  Often we simply forget to put Barkie on.  And now he barks rarely, and very sedately.  His barks are no louder than my sneezes.  We have a reformed doggie!

At this “Golden Pond” stage of life, Joe and I have perfected the art of just sitting!  How we love to sit—in our home, on our patio (pictured above), or in the nearby park pavillion.  Now, with Dylan’s “changed life”, we can enjoy another sitting spot:  a shaded bench beside the lovely pond and fountain in the center of our condo community. 

Today we relaxed there under a honey locust tree, with our Baby Dylan.  He sat like a little gentleman on the grass, never reacting to the landscapers working in the area with their equipment.  People walked by, cars drove past, and Dylan simply smiled.  I felt like the three of us could be in a Renoir!

Soon I hope to have a progress report on Dylan’s reformed attitude toward other dogs.  Several times a week, we take him to a neighborhood dog park.  We sit outside the fence, and Dylan watches the “big guys” playing in the park.  Sometimes a dog will come up to him, and Dylan’s hushed growls are growing far more benevolent.  Sometimes he doesn’t even growl, but rather just sniffs!

And CATS!  That’s a whole additional story!  Dylan LOVES cats.  Go figure!  I LOVE cats too.  If we didn’t have a one-pet rule here, we would certainly add a kitty to our family scene.  But since we are instructed to “Render onto Ceasar that which is Ceaser’s”, we’ll continue complying to the rule.  We are thoroughly contented with Dylan and his changed life!  🙂

Margaret L. Been, ©2010

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In the center of the above-pictured garden I had a couple of healthy-appearing rose bushes, until a couple of weeks ago.  Suddenly the foliage disappeared.  Now the plants are denuded except for thorns and a few wimpy blooms.

A garden expert confirmed the presence of SLUGS in our midst, characterized by slimy trails which we had seen earlier but couldn’t identify.  SLUGS!  Not welcome, and what should I do?  Chemical pellets are out in my vocabulary because I love my “pet” chipmunk who eats, drinks, plays, and sleeps in my garden. 

Nearly forever, I’ve heard of beer for slug treatment—and that seemed like the least invasive way to go.  Better an inebriated chipmunk than a dead one!  So I forayed through the firewater department of our supermarket, perusing the cans of beer while looking for the cheapest brand. 

But wait a minute!  It’s been so long since Joe and I had beer and pretzels, that I’d forgotten an integral fact of beer-ology.  Every can of beer in the store is attached to 5 other cans!  And I’d hoped that the contents of a single can would do in my slugs.

Someone told me that I could get a single can of beer at most convenience stores.  So I raced into a local gas station mart, stopping en route to an appointment.

“I need a can of beer,” I announced hurriedly.  The store attendant gave me a strange look, and said they didn’t stock beer.

Wanting to clarify my odd request I commented, “I need the beer for my slugs.” 

As I left the store, the attendant looked even more puzzled.  Maybe he thought “my slugs” were relatives and friends.

Later back at the supermarket, I relented and purchased a 6-pack of a St. Louis brew—foregoing Milwaukee’s famous product in order to economize.  My slugs don’t have to have the most expensive beer. 

At the check-out counter, I had to show my driver’s license.  This pleased me immensely, as I fantasized that the check-out man thought maybe I was under age.  Ha!  I needn’t have flattered myself.  It’s simply a state law, to show one’s ID when purchasing beer, etc.

Still feeling the need to explain my worldly purchase, I told the check out man, “I need the beer for my slugs.”

He answered, “Tell your slugs, the next time they want beer they have to bring their ID.”

Now several servings of beer have been placed in our gardens, in plastic containers left over from Marie Callender’s delicious cuisine. (Yes, Joe and I sometimes have frozen dinners.  You can gasp all you want, but we’ll continue to enjoy them on occasion—thank you very much!)

This afternoon when I walked Dylan, I noticed that he kept trying to get into my gardens.  Finally I let Dylan lead, and he went straight for the beer.  He tugged on his leash, and obviously wanted a slurp.  This I would not permit.  I’ll leave the beer for the slugs—and the chipmunk, if he decides to be silly. 

Margaret L. Been, ©2010

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Nearly every week, I run into people who read this blog.  From the feedback, I get the idea that Baby Dylan is a popular character.  Dog people tend to flock with other dog people.  And it seems that Dylan’s hilarious adjustment to condo living has become legendary.

Because Dylan has fans, I thought a current photo of him might be fun to post.  I have photos from past years, but nothing fresh.  Ha!  Little did I know, that Dylan has added camera-phobia to his list of silly quirks.

Each morning when Dylan wakes up, he goes for a walk with Joe.  (I would happily be the dog walker, but back issues prevent that at present.)  When the guys come in from their walk, Dylan gets a dog cookie which he proceeds to hide hither and thither around our home. 

He starts with burying the cookie in the blankets on our bed, then changes his mind and carries his cookie to other stashing sites.  His cookie appears, disappears, and re-appears many times in a day before Dylan decides to eat it. 

Yesterday I got out my camera and tried to capture the cookie’s first burial, among the bed dressing.  But Dylan, with his new found phobia, was too quick for me.  He saw the camera and split, leaving me with a shot of his butt descending from the bed.  Then I discovered that I had the camera on the wrong setting.  Instead of a snapshot, I had a video of Dylan’s butt descending from the bed.

I didn’t give up immediately.  I followed Dylan all over the condo with my camera–and he simply would not let me anywhere near him as long as I had that thing in my hand.  Finally I put the camera back in its case, and Dylan came to me immediately for kisses and hugs.

Today I got a bit smarter.  When Dylan made his bee line to the bed with his cookie, I was waiting for him with the camera tucked behind my back.  Voila.  I surprised him with the cookie in his mouth, and got the above shot before he flew off the bed.  This was a split second maneuver, but it paid off.   

Now you can see Baby Dylan in all his glory–with his cookie.

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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Here is our patio and part of our garden area, growing more settled each week.  We live in a condo community of gardens, yard ornaments, and fun and funky outdoor decor–expressing the individual tastes of each condo owner.

I’m thankful for creative freedom.  I won’t say my soul would have died in a restricted setting, but I would not have experienced the abject joy of realizing I can be “me” outside of our new home. 

Of course we can always do what we like indoors, wherever we live–but outdoor freedom is a special gift.  Come spring I’ll haunt the garden centers, as I hope to create a cozy English cottage garden of perennials and herbs.  The cement patio will host houseplants in the summer, as they’ll face a semi-sheltered eastern exposure while being protected from the afternoon sun.

The trellis, now decorated for autumn, will support some of my favorite vines:  bittersweet, woodbine, and possibly morning glories.  We found the trellis at a rummage sale, and hope to find another for more vines–thereby adding panache and pizzazz to the generic aluminum siding of our home.

But one member of our family has adjusted to significantly less freedom than he ever had before.  He doesn’t give a hoot about decor and plantings; he’s contented just being with his people.  I’m speaking of our Pembroke Welsh corgi, Dylan.  Having run freely on 14 acres in the northwoods for nearly 6 years, Dylan is now a model condo dog–well, almost model.  

As happy as Dylan appears to be, walking on a leash in the park, he still regards freedom in his racial memory.  Yesterday I made the mistake of forgetting to close the sliding patio door behind me when going outside–and Dylan shot out, barking and whooping in circles like a wild Apache in a 1940s western movie.  Wondering if I’d ever see him again, I came back in the house for a leash and then raced back out–praying. 

We’ve discovered that a commanding voice never works with Dylan.  The only solution is to get down at his level and talk baby talk to him:  “Come on sweetie, come Baby Dylan–come to Mommy.”  (Those words may be disgusting to any of you who are not dog lovers, but there it is.  I can’t help you–and I confess I don’t really want to!)

Anyway, the above routine brought Dylan to me immediately–and I put his leash on him as he wagged his stump of a tail.*  Whew!  One more adventure, at our new little bit of “heaven on earth”.

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

*Traditionally tails have been docked on corgi puppies, possibly because they were bred and raised as drivers–running on their short little legs amongst the hooves of large cows in Wales.  One can imagine what a mess it would be if those naturally long and fluffy tails were dragged in the muck and manure of a cattle yard–plus the tails would have gotten stepped on by the cows.  (Now tail docking has been outlawed in some countries–Norway and Japan, and perhaps others.)

The corgi’s function was not to herd his own cattle, but to drive away invasive neighbor cows.  Aggressive behavior toward most other animals still exists in many corgis today, including our Dylan.  (However, we’ve just learned something very funny.  Dylan likes, of all things, cats!)

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