Trixie Is A Good Dog


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Someone made this guitar out of Popsicle sticks, and also typed up instructions. Amazing! I've started my own fudgsicle stick guitar. And by that I mean I bought a couple of boxes of fudgsicles and began eating them. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cheryl w/the girls before they left to spend the summer with their father.

I am very sad to report that I had to find a new home for Jilly. I gave it a year, but I was unable to housebreak her. She came to us out of an animal hoarding situation where she had probably never gone outside. Anyway, I take the blame, but she was wearing me out. And, she got a very good home with one of the volunteers, who coincidentally was my former vets fiancee. (He was a very well known vet in Pittsburgh, who died suddenly.)

I am still tremendously sad. I wish it had gone differently.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010



Jilly Ann took her first trip to a professional grooming salon yesterday.

I kind of gave up trying to clip her myself. She is the worst behaved dog that I've ever tried to groom. She wiggles, she squiggles, she pulls, dodges and weaves.

Full disclosure in mind, I described these behaviors, even adding that I was willing to pay a penalty for having a bad dog. Especially because, I warned the groomer, she does that charming, excitable peeing thing.

When she called me back in under an hour, I answered the phone tentatively, expecting that Jilly had flunked out of Grooming 101.

"No, no, she was fine. She's done. You can come and pick her up."

As soon as she handed me the leash, I rushed her outside.

Coming back in to pay, I explained that I knew she would pee as soon as I looked at her. "Did she pee while she was here?"

"No," they say, "she did not."

"Well," I tell them, like I'm all proud of myself, "all the girls pee when they see ME!!"


Sunday, October 11, 2009



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dangerous Breed Alert

If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a 'dangerous breed' category and you also have a small child please take this as a warning.

Don't leave your dog with a small child unattended under any circumstances!!!

Only one little moment was enough for the following to happen.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pittsburgh is hosting a professional Bass Fishing tournament. I watched the boats launch from the Three Rivers (on TV) this morning. I think that if I go down to the Allegheny River, just down from our house, I could see a few of them fishing. Maybe I'll borrow one of the girl's Barbie Light-Up fishing poles. You know, show them how it's done around here.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

He's Our Big Boy!!

Yes he is!! We got him a Winnie The Pooh ice cream cake for his first day of school. Look how surprised he is!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First Day at Cordon Bleu!

Trixie wanted to go. I told her, "maybe some other time".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Even a Four Year Old Can Figure It Out

This picture was taken by a 4 year old. I happened by in time to see a flash, even though the child was across the room. She figured out how to use the timer! I think it came out good. Maybe I can get her to show me how to use it.

Little Jilly got spayed. The nightmare were the car rides to and from the vet's office. OMG! I have NEVER had a dog with such car sickness!! After the first disasterous car ride, I learned to put her in a cat carrier, which I lined with puppy pads and have to thoroughly hose after each trip. Other than the car sickness, she seems to be fine. She even took her own stitches out!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dogs We Used To Have

This picture is from about five years ago. Trixie, on the left, is the last survivor of this motley pack. There were also two cats in this group that we loved very much. I'm beginning to get a little sad, thinking that Trixie, as healthy and active as she is, is about 11 years old and we may not have her that much longer. Then again, she could outlive me!

Of all the dogs to pair up, these two were inseparable. Best friends, unless there was food involved.


Monday, April 27, 2009


The new dog, little Jilly, must have gotten the sniffles in the night. Fortunately, the big box of Puffs was within her reach. She didn't want to bother me, so she just helped herself.

Little sweetheart dog! I would not have minded getting up for her, in fact, I don't know how I slept through this.

This is what was looking me in the face when I opened my eyes.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Here's How We Clean Up Our Yards In These Here Parts

Yards are a lot of work this time of year. Especially our yard. We've had our own Grey Gardens thing going on, letting things slide out of control, but we can't seem to agree on what needs to be done.

I want certain trees pruned, others removed entirely. I think that all bushes should be neatly trimmed, and I do mean all! Someone else evidently went to the school of letting things grow through the effing windows!!

Ok, so I do have a thing about cutting, pruning, and trimming. And, the penchant does extend well beyond trees and bushes, even into personal, or dog grooming. But, doesn't everything look better when it's neat and trimmed? Guys who shave their heads? Totally! Ban on Brazilian waxing? Ridiculous. Waxing should probably should be mandatory.

Cheryl's sister will not let me trim her little Yorkie unless she is present. She has nicknamed me Peggy Scissorhands. If not for her, the little dog would probably be almost hairless. I say, "less hair, fewer mats."

Lettuce all prey: Oh Lord, if it beith thyeth will, please just giveth me one hour aloneth with Obama's new dog and my Oster Dog Grooming kit. Amen

We were able to reach a couple of compromises today. Three small trees came down. One tree stayed, but I was allowed to remove any branch low enough to smack me in the face.

I have pictures of spring clean up. The large fire, I will have to explain after my Xanax wears off. I'm absolutely terrified of fire but it seems that I'm in the minority around here. Maybe I'd have better luck if I offered to just burn down the trees that I don't like?

Look at the glee!

Trixie thought she saw the Blessed Mother in the flames and had to turn away!

I really stepped up this year,
by starting my own clean up fire!!

I didn't want to say anything until it was official, but we have a new little dog. We are still arguing over her name. Please participate in the "Name That Dog" poll, or suggest another name in comments.

She'll be getting a haircut right after we see the Vet this afternoon!!



Would You Like That, Edie?

Grey Gardens, the movie premiered last night on HBO. It was almost as good as Pgh winning the Super Bowl!

Loved it!

Loved it!

Loved it!

I TIVO'D it on every machine in the house and I know that I'll own it as soon as it's released.

Since Sally Quinn has saved everything that was in the house when she bought it, I have hope for another documentary and perhaps museum.

Today, Grey Gardens belongs to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and writer Sally Quinn, who bought it from Little Edie for $220,000 in 1979, after her mother died, and restored it to its former splendor. Quinn recounted the day she bought the home on's Editors' Blog:

"(Little Edie) said 'I know that this house belongs to you. You're the person who should have this house.' And then she did this little pirouette in the hall and said 'You see? All it needs is a coat of paint!' So I bought it on the spot. It was one of these magical experiences where everything went right."

The New York Times has a fabulous series of pictures on the original interior of the house.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tripping Over The Dog

I've been tripping over big dog beds for years. Trix wants to stay close, so I've always had a big dog bed right by the computer desk. A slight disability gives me an awkward walk, meaning that I stumble over her every time I get out of my chair. Then, a stroke of genius! Clean out the bottom of the little closet that is right next to the desk and put the dog bed back in there! I was worried that maybe Trixie wouldn't like it, but she has really taken to the idea. It is an especially good place for her to hide rawhide bones that she has snatched away from Ellie.

Last night she looked uncomfortable, as she had slid forward and her head was off of the bed. Nothing that an old pillow from the couch couldn't rectify.

Now, isn't that better?

I put Ellie's new bed back under the desk. Even though Ellie is only a house guest, I've asked her to straighten up all those wires under there.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Trixie Contemplates Planting Potatoes


My new best friend, Mellie, posted a frightening new way to plant potatoes. I'm trying to keep it on the down low as our neighbor has an enTIRE shed dedicated to what I now realize must be Potato Ag Remedial.

Last summer, he asked us to come over and help him rotate his stock. He was just out of surgery and couldn't lift but wanted to find a pair of big truck tires for his buddy, Uncle Ron. We were shocked to see about 150 tires that he'd stacked under a leaking roof, creating a mosquito breeding project that any University, well, at least any Community College, would be proud of.

When I asked him what Uncle Ron wanted the tires for, Buster told me that he liked to burn them up at his camp because, "old tires burn good".

Makes individual ecological planning seem so futile, doesn't it?

As soon as Easter Weekend is over, someone has a lot of yard work to do. Look how much greener the grass is in just a week.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I've Come To Bury Your Butter, Not Eat It!

Sometimes my spaghetti comes out like this. I like it and think that it means I'll have good luck. When I was growing up, even though I didn't know it at the time, I was growing up Irish and learning the ways of the ancestors.

I'm not crazy about tomato sauce so I just put Molly McButter, Parmesan cheese, and maybe some red pepper on it. I used to use real butter but quit for health reasons.

There are many benefits to being Irish. Usually because the food that I make is so horrible, I only have to cook for one. Or, if I'm asked to a Pot Luck, I'm usually just asked to bring pop and chips.

Our family made their own butter on a dairy farm in Sanilac County, Michigan. Grandma Kirk had a butter churn in the kitchen pantry and I recall going down in the cellar with Grandpa where he had a new fangled creamery set up that separated the cream from the milk. Everything was cooked in, or slathered in butter. I have even seen it spread onto a piece of pumpkin pie.

Irish Butter Bogs are interesting.

The custom of burying butter in bogs seems to have been known in early times, possibly as early as the sixth century A.D. An account of Irish food written by Dinely in 1681 contains the following description 'Butter, layed up in wicker baskets, mixed with a sort of garlic and buried for some time in a bog to make a provision of an high taste for Lent'.

Believe me! Only the Irish would think that burying food in a peat bog would improve flavor!

The article also says that the butter still smelled good after 1400 years but was not edible. The archaeologists must not have been Irish!! Bet my family would have eaten it. We'll eat anything no matter how old, or long that it's been left out, or in the bog!

If you'd like a copy of my "Good Luck Spaghetti" recipe, please email me:

Cheryl made a big filet Mignon. I know, I know, I should have taken the picture before we tore into it. Excuse me, I'm going out in the backyard and bury some Molly McButter.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


One of the nieces, Jenny, and her daughter Hailey, dropped off Cheryl's sister after picking her up from the airport. The little dog with the coat is about 17 years old and in very frail health. Jen also brought over her little puppy, Chloe.

When Chloe went under the chair, I think Ellie figured it was a good time to check for her genital warts, given the name of the breed, Papillon.

I keep a special drawer of candy and cigarettes for myself. The kids are always welcome to help themselves. When one of them complained about there not being much candy, I told them, "You children are just going to have to start smoking".

Notice the Arabic on the cigarette pack. SIL bought them in Egypt.

Randy Travis and me singing "I Told You So" on American Idol


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trixie Is Cool

One of the nieces sent me this test to see how cool you were in HS and if you are still cool today.

Since I am very cool and hang with a dog who is even cooler, I couldn't resist.

Yup, I've still got it!

The Cool Test


Friday, March 27, 2009

My Dog Is Guarding Our Satelite Signal For The Grey Gardens Premiere

"If You Seek A Beautiful Pit Bull, Look On The Hot Tub Cover"

"Michigan's State Motto is: "If you seek a beautiful peninsula, look around you".

Learning that, as a third grader, I believe even then, I thought to myself, "What the eff is that supposed to mean?"

As children we all see and hear things which are beyond our understanding. Our mother had a knack for giving us opportunities to reach deeply into our imaginations. As we'd pass the heavily forested Mio Mountain, on our way to the family cabin, she'd always say that the Indians used to play there. I could just picture the young children in the cool shaded Jack Pines, running and playing just as I loved to do. It was fuel for the imagination as well as the soul. Many times I still look around wondering what walked the ground before me. Although sometimes it is not that difficult to tell. If I find dog shit, I can kind of figure it was one of the dogs.

When I was on crutches after hip surgery, I went to Sears and had them load a new dryer on the pick up truck. Getting home, and with no way to unload it, I called one of my buds at the Gas Company. Before I knew it I had about 6 Gas Company trucks at my house.

Outside of my fence, along the driveway, I saw the bane of every gasman's existence, a big pile of dog shit. A present from one of the neighbor dogs, as my dogs are all fenced. I pointed it out to my coworkers, as a courtesy and because I didn't want them tracking it into the house.

But, there always has to be ONE. Little Zimmy had to step in it. So while everyone else took the dryer into the house and hooked it up, I was outside at the garden hose trying to clean up Zimmy's shoes.

The conversation went like this:

Little Z: "Was this from one of your dogs?"

Me: "No Zimmy, this must have been from a neighbor's dog. My dogs are fenced".

Little Z: "Oh, do you know what kind of dog it was?" (I guess he was just trying to be sociable.)

Me: No, Z, I'll have to pay closer attention. If I'd known it was there, I would have picked up it before you guys came.

Little Z: "Looks like a pretty big dog."

OK, at that point I gave up being polite. Sometimes it's better to bust stupidity to the rest of the guys and let them handle it from there. And believe me, busted he was. It was hilarious!

As far as I know, my gasmen still analyze dog shit for breed specificity.

Two nice aerial shots of Mio, Michigan


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Grey Gardens Promo For April 18, 2009 HBO Premiere

I'm posting a generic clip of Drew Barrymore on Jay Leno.

I'm just so pumped for the movie, Grey Gardens, premiere that I want to make sure that I'm totally ready.

Here is the character that she will be playing, Little Edie Beale:

I might wear mah big girl shoes that nite!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trixie Liked Her Bath

I used the kids dinosaur shampoo on the dogs. Myranda commented one time that Kassie's hair smelled good. When Cheryl asked her what it smelled like, she said, "dinosaurs".

I don't think that they wanted to get out of the tub. I had to let the water out.

I was too exhausted to try and take pictures while I was trimming nails. But someone is going to get a hair cut tomorrow. Guess who?


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Irish Dog? I Think Not!

Trixie Could Have Been Summer Help

Trixie would have made a really great farm dog. She totally could have done the work, but her short coat would have made for awfully rough winters. Especially since my grandparents never took any dogs into the house. The dogs always took shelter under the wooden steps on the east side of the house, away from the west wind which, in Michigan, is as ruthless, as relentless.

Trixie could have been summer help, like the young men who came and went, summer to summer, at Uncle Keith's farm, which was right up the road.

My grandfather splurged one time on a dog that he mailed ordered from Ireland. It was supposed to be a special herding dog and cost the exorbitant sum of $200 back in 1959. (Probably comparable to about $3500 today.) The puppy came packed in a wooden crate that sat in the barn for years afterward. She arrived amid much family fanfare and excitement, not only because of the extravagance, but the wonderment of a special dog, arriving by airplane from a foreign land!

The word special did not do her justice. One of a kind, yes. She looked to be some kind of small, gray, shaggy, ah, canine. A Sheep-a-poo that got crossed up with a large Dingo Mutt? Shleep-a Ding? Grandpa got totally ripped on that deal. I've never seen any kind of dog, or picture of such a dog since, and I find myself constantly on watch for one during televised Dog Shows.

It had to be a mutt. She wasn't even a good mutt. I don't believe that she ever went out to the barn unless someone carried her. (She did like to be carried and held.) I know she never brought any cows in from pasture.

That dog was never right. Without going into detail about the dog's behavior, even as a young child (I was only 7) I could tell that something was drastically wrong. Fortunately, the Waller's, city folk who spent their summers on a small farm 1/4 miles east, took Cindy in as a house pet and treated her very well. The Waller's probably weren't really "right" either so it was a good fit.


Because the Kirk's all immigrated from Ireland to Canada before the potato famine, I asked Uncle Keith one time if he knew why they left. After all, it was a family of about 14. Eleven or twelve boys and their parents who all made the Atlantic crossing in the early 1800's.

He told me that they were thrown out of Ireland.

Thrown out? How does a whole family get thrown out of an entire country, especially Ireland?

Uncle Keith told me that they had a choice. They could have gone to Australia, or England, but instead left for Ontario, Canada. (They settled in Western Ontario, before crossing Lake Huron when it was frozen, to settle in Michigan. The town in Ontario is still called Kirkton.)

"But, they sent the criminals to Australia! They must have been really bad to get the whole family thrown out of Ireland, of all places!"

"Oh no, they weren't that bad." Uncle Keith said, "They were just drunkards and horse thieves!"


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grey Gardens HBO Promo For April 18,2009 Premiere

Trixie is not a big movie fan, but she might watch this.

Premiering on HBO April 18,2009

Finally, the movie that all Grey Gardens fans have been waiting for. Doesn't it seem like it's been years since they announced this project? Just looking at the clips, this will have been more than worth the wait. Period piece, complete with autos, the dress, and social customs of the times.

As much as I'm intrigued by the story of two women whose living conditions collapsed around them, I have to remember that while they were living a richly grand lifestyle during the 1930's, 40', and 50's, my family was barely eeking out a living on a small dirt farm in Michigan. President Kennedy, if you recall, said that he didn't even realize that there was a depression until he read about it. My family, like many, actually lived it.

I don't even have to see the movie to predict that it will be hugely successful. A classic. The original documentary, Grey Gardens, by the Maysles Brothers, is one of my favorites. I own the Criterion Edition (maybe several copies)and have bought copies of this for friends. Some have liked it, but not all. It appears frequently on HBO and I keep it on TIVO.

BTW, a slim paperback by Lois Wright, "My Life At Grey Gardens: 13 Months And Beyond", is also very interesting. Lois is the woman who appears in the Maysles "birthday" scene. While appearing to be a guest, she was actually a resident of Grey Gardens at the time that the documentary was filmed. The book is Lois' diary of the thirteen months that she spent there.

Compare and contrast Drew Barrymore with the real Little Edie Beale:

Remarkable, isn't it?

Here is the trailer for the original documentary, Grey Gardens, by the Maysles Brothers:


Monday, March 16, 2009


She Thinks They Taste Good!

We had a lot of people in and out of the house over the weekend. Finally Sunday night everyone came over for BBQ chicken wings that I made on the grill.

One of Cheryl's niece's, Jennifer, was here with her daughter, Haley, and their new puppy, Chloe. Chloe is a Papillon. Adorable.

The dogs played hard, especially the puppy. After dinner, they climbed up for a nap. We had to lift Chloe up on the couch.

I think it's bad luck to get a dog whose name sounds like some kind of warts!


Trixie spotted her Easter Gift. Now I'll have to buy another one.