Bob Walks Lucky

Almost every morning at 8 AM Bob walks Lucky. As they went around the retention pond recently they came across these lovely deer.

As soon as he got home Bob said, “I have something to show you!” And shared those two photos. Moments later, a neighbor texted me saying, “I was taking a picture of the deer and look who entered the frame.”

We live in a fun neighborhood!

Often while walking Lucky Bob is listening to Morning Prayer or a devotional blog. I think these verses fit these photos perfectly!

Just like a deer that craves streams of water,
    my whole being craves you, God.
My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.
    When will I come and see God’s face?

Psalm 42:1-2 CEB

Lucky and Noodle

The winter weather broke and we were going to sleep with the windows open. On that warm evening there many dogs out of doors and they had lots to say. Lucky was uneasy with all those canine voices. She looked out the window with her paws on the sill. Had trouble making sense of it. She laid on the floor next to my side of the bed, under one of the open windows. Seriously restless.

Finally she decided the only safe course of action was to scoot 1/2 way under bed.

Later in the night when I got up she was on her sleeping pillow as the other canines had retired to sleep and were no longer causing a racket.

Lucky has not yet met Noodle, but we have a Great-granddog puppy! Baby Corgi! Congratulations Lizzie and Drew!!

I think my favorite name for her is pinky toes!

When she is awake she has loads of energy. When she is asleep she is out cold. There is a little eye make-up on one eye and a faint black stripe down her back. She is quiet vocal and for now has a tiny bark. With her personality they are going to have their hands full!

I can’t wait for her to get all her shots so Lucky can meet her!

54 and Mushy

Glorious sun and welcome warmth drew us to take Lucky to the dog park. Remember, this dog is basically a nose on legs!

The dog area has double gates so no critters can escape the confines. There were more folks than I’ve ever seen before going in and out of the double gates. The recent hard rains made the ground mushy. Really mushy! Mud and goo that made for some dirty dogs!

The dogs played fetch and some just followed the leader. As owners departed they would leave the fetch ball for the next player. Lucky just goes to sniff. She basically ignores the other canines.

Some owners pickup the droppings from their animal. Best watch out for ones that didn’t! Especially from the large dogs. Ick.

It was an hour of sunshine, fresh air, blue sky.

Even a kite did dips and races, 
reminding me of the vultures
searching the nearby woods
with dips and races,
searching for a snack.

Kite photo extremely difficult to capture! Best r m dutina could pull off with iPhone. Vultures were too quick for me to even try!

R m Dutina
Like I said, tough to show you. So IMAGINE!! First kite sighting of 2022!!

Sunny Side of the Street

For many years we lived there. No longer.

While those across the street had total pavement showing, we had 3 inches of ice on our sidewalk to front door. The entire yard was frozen over this AM. Rough winter indeed!

These photos are from an evening walk February 5. Too bad I did not capture the lovely driveways on the sunny side!

Evening walk with Lucky

Many have fallen on the ice, some more than once. Black ice, clear ice, I just hate ice. One fell and broke a rib. Another fell and bruised both hands, shattered her cell phone completely. PLEASE be careful out there Ohioans and others in this continuous winter weather warp.

Oh Lord, send the sun and spring soon we pray!

All That Glitters

-is not gold. Some things are more precious than gold. Some do not last but an hour or two!

r m dutina 22-2-5

The winter storm we had brought over 2 inches of sleet at our house, sheet of ice beneath and topped by a couple inches of snow. The weatherman said in 25 years of forecasting he had never seen anything like that sleet accumulation. It will take many days for us to thaw out. Especially since we no longer live on the sunny side of the street!

That is sleet piled up , not snow. And Claudia’s cheerful sunflowers! Can’t see the flower bed edges for the sleet.

Bob insisted after the last storm that I buy Lucky some boots. Previously she would get salt in her paws and be in pain during his long walks with her. This morning she made it about 3 steps out the door before losing the boots. Walked like a weird untrained soldier in them, trying to get them off. Today, no troubles with salt. Go figure. Returning those things to the pet store. I failed to grab the camera after putting her boots on. 😦 Lovely yellow silicone items with velcro straps.

Even the tree trunks were glazed with ice. Very strange and hoping for NO MORE of that type of storm. I do not mind snow. I HATE ICE.

Shine on the trunk is ice reflecting the sun

One thing fascinated me. From morning to night the sleet ticked on every window, sort of like fingernails tapping the glass. The front office windows gave us new art-form. Not even certain what to call it. At first glance it looked like coral to me. Remember riding in the car as a child and watching raindrops go down the windowpane? Choosing one and racing against a sibling?

Here is how it was made. If you turn up your volume you can hear the ice ticking on the house.

Keep trying to put that sleet sound into words. Maybe Suzette can write something for us!?! She is my haiku Queen.

He spreads the snow like wool

    and scatters the frost like ashes.

He hurls down his hail like pebbles.

    Who can withstand his icy blast?

He sends his word and melts them;

    he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

Psalm 147:16-18 NIV

Mended Slaughtered Peanuts Characters

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Lucky decided she did want to play with toys. The Snoopy and Charlie Brown dolls were under the Christmas tree on the floor. Before we moved they had been seasonally upon the mantel with the Linus tree.

You might recall she decided they looked like fun and began chewing on them. That is a feat for a dog with few teeth. The vet had pulled eleven of her teeth before we adopted her from the shelter. She had ruined her teeth trying to chew her way out of a cage when she was held for breeding in Kentucky. (See Killer Dog?

Eventually she chewed a hole in Snoopy’s neck and we had to remove it from her. Then she went after Charlie Brown. As his stuffing began to fly we took that away also. Could not let her get to swallowing that stuffing and a needing a vet visit. I pondered whether I should mount the heads on the wall like a trophy hunter would? For a time they were just in the office closet. She knew right where they were, but could not reach them. Some friends even told me that Kohl’s was selling them again right at Christmas for about $5, but I never made it there to purchase new ones for her.

I did buy her a rope toy suggested by Chrissy. She called it floss – basically strings knotted to form a rope. Lucky mostly licks it but occasionally gets to chewing at it. Eventually, after the holiday busy-ness calmed down I wanted to mend Snoopy and Charlie Brown for her to enjoy. I could not get their necks under the sewing machine needle, so I had to sew them up by hand. Lucky was delighted when I returned her toys to her!

It took her a while, but eventually, you guessed it, she had another hole in Snoopy’s neck. Bob removed it when he saw the stuffing flying. She has been making herself busy working on Charlie Brown’s shorts. I told my friend Lucky thinks Charlie changed his name to the name of her possible disease, so she is attacking his groin. Got at least a giggle from her! She loves Lucky.

How many times will I mend those? No telling. Snoopy now has another row of stitches in his neck. She is a sweet dog even though she has a streak of that stubborn beagle-ness in her. We have our stand-offs over issues besides toys.

But hey, who cannot love a dog who was mistreated, rarely barks, bawls us out if we leave her in the kennel and go out (think when she gets her flea drops). She is gentle and kind. The only thing she likes better than us is food, treats, dishes with gravy, etc!

Yes, I give thanks to the Father for bringing this dog to us during the pandemic. She certainly cheers us more than she aggravates us. Right now she is at my right leg while Bob dismantles the sitting room preparing for the painter later this week. She is watching him carefully as he places picture frames on the other side of my desk. She just ventured out to see where he went. So curious!

Sleepy beagle shedding as usual!

An Almost Immediate Refresher Course in Be Glad

I usually cook meats and foods like sweet potatoes in larger portions than we need for a meal for two senior citizens. We freeze the extras and have ready meals for days I/we do not feel like cooking.

Recently we ate the last portion of Beef Brisket from the freezer stash. Mind you, we do not eat much beef, but brisket became something we love ever since Betty cooked and served it to us in New Mexico. She uses Claude’s Barbeque Brisket Marinade from El Paso, Texas.( I cannot find it here in Ohio so I went so far as to order it from Texas! Yes, it is THAT good!) Last week, I found a piece of brisket marked down at Kroger’s. It was a splurge, but I bought it anyway.

We have two wonderful women who come in once every two weeks to clean the floors and tub/shower tiles. I can no longer clean the house in one day, even with Bob’s help. They are a delight and always leave things sparkling clean. They were here Saturday morning. That evening I put the beef in a baking bag to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Baked it in the cooking bag Sunday afternoon and the house smelled delightful – almost overwhelmingly so!

After the meat cooled I snipped a small corner of the bag so I could drain and save the juices for making a gravy after I sliced down the meat and separated it into portions. Usually I do these sorts of things in the sink in case I make a mess. I was tired and not thinking clearly. I tried to get the juices into a measuring cup on the glass stove top. In short order the baking bag got away from me. The open tip actually began spinning around. Yep, you guessed it! Brisket juice all over the stove top, down the front of the stove, on the floor, down my pants leg, left shoe top. I finally got it aimed and into the pan where I had cooked the brisket. As I hollered “Oh no!!” Bob came to my rescue asking, “What can I do? What can I do?” I had just placed clean rags on top of the dryer. I asked him to get me the rags. I almost slid in the juice while trying to clean it up. I wiped up enough that I would not fall. Called the beagle over.

After all the excitement it took some encouragement to assure Lucky it was okay to come lick this up. She was entranced by the exquisite flavor. I mean that dog stayed there licking and polishing that floor the entire time I was working to clean up my mess. In the past I nicknamed myself, “Little Molly Make-a-mess.” So apt. Remember when I quoted Hanson as writing, “We also focus on our own mistakes and flaws – and on the feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy, and even self-hatred that get stirred up.” I had begun with internal self-castigation and shaming. And then I was glancing down at that dog.

Having just read and then re-read the selection by Rick Hanson, I knew I had several choices here. I could choose to be glad or spiral down into negative, dark thinking. As I stripped off my clothing in the laundry room it hit me that this could have been so much worse had I not cooled the meat before I began. I washed by new slacks right then, but the oil stain remained from the brisket juice. Washed them again. Have not checked that status yet.

Dressed in clean clothing, I went back to cleaning up the stove top, stove front and floor. That dog was still amazed at her blessing from on high in the form of brisket juice. Much more juice than she would ever be given otherwise! She was delighted!

For the first time I used the Lysol cleaner from the other house to clean the stove and mop this portion of the floor. It would cut the grease better than water with vinegar and a drop of Dawn as recommended for regular use on this type of flooring. I used the sponge mop that I prefer. And I was able to do it! Even after bending over to wash the front of the oven door.

Draining the catch pan and measuring cup I got enough juice to fill a 2 cup measure and then a bit more. I began to slice the meat. Got about halfway through when my hand began to rebel (Arthur-Itis is not my friend!) Bob finished for me. Love that man! His help is invaluable.

Measured out portions and had a large dish for our meals this week. Likely too much so will freeze some of that also. Three other portion bags for freezing. While making the gravy Lucky sat on the rug in front of the refrigerator, likely hoping for “More, please!” The gravy worked just fine without the part on the floor. In actual fact, it was better than if I had made the mess in the sink where I likely would have lost more of the juices from cooking right down the drain.

Later in the evening the dog kept going back to that portion of the floor. She does not get the fact that I mopped it. Perhaps she prays for me to make another mess. Larger. Soon. Until then, she will need to be content to lick a little bit of gravy off my plate after dinner. Last thing we need is a chunky beagle!

What might have ruined an evening became an occasion for rejoicing with the Beagle, seeing that even when I make a mess it is not a catastrophe, just a mess. I am even more grateful for our cleaning women and their abilities to make our home sparkle. I was able to “Be Glad” even though things did not go as I planned.

Killer Dog?

Lucky, our rescue beagle, came to us not knowing how to play with toys. The only way I could get her to take an interest was to affix a treat to the toy. So Olaf has elastic on him to affix a treat, as does the storybook Pokey Puppy, yellow puppy from Tractor Supply, etc.

You may have read how she decided to blind the squirrel in one eye? For details see

2020 on the mantle. No mantle at new house!

When we placed the Peanuts characters under the tree this year, she eventually decided that Charlie Brown belonged to her. It took her several days to chew up his collar. We never found the yellow pieces, and I for one did not want to examine her poop. When the stuffing started to fly we removed it from her.

Next was Snoopy. Yep she put a huge hole in his throat. Now the question is do we mount those famous heads on the wall to portray Lucky’s conquests as a hunter? For now they rest in the office closet until I can decide to either pitch them out or mount them. Hmm, would have to put them high enough on the wall that she cannot tear them down!

Wonder what she is wishing for at Christmas? Her other toys so far have not a tear, not a chew. All my daughter’s dogs destroy their toys. Maybe Lucky is related now?

Bob, Lucky and the Singing Squirrel

For years there has been a joke circulating about Bob and the squirrels. When we lived on Danny Drive he would get upset at the squirrels for eating the bird food. Occasionally he would get out his BB gun and have at one.

He told the grandchildren that in our yard there was a one eyed squirrel, a tailless squirrel and a three-legged squirrel because the sight on the BB gun was so lousy, (never that he was not a very good shot). If he did kill a squirrel he never told them. I said if he killed one he would have to skin it and nail the pelt to the shed as a warning for other squirrels to stay away.

At our house on Siesta Drive he would occasionally get one. We installed a spring on the bird feeder that was hanging over the edge of the deck (with a twenty foot drop to the ground). That squirrel was so confused and frustrated that he could not feed upside down and gorge himself on bird seed.

What have you done?!?!?!

He would climb out on the pole and touch the bird feeder. It would bounce and he would retreat. First day I think he did it 8 times before he gave up!

Some years ago our daughter and Grandgirl Ellie gave him a mechanical singing, dancing squirrel.

We stored the squirrel with Christmas things. This year when we brought him out Bob sometimes tormented Lucky with the squirrel. He would turn on the music and watch her retreat in fear. He would turn on the music and set it next to her. She would run a safe distance away and watch. Remember that Lucky is a rescue. She has been with us for over 1-1/2 years. Our daughter, Emily, had told us we might need to live with her for more than 2 years for her to show her true self to us.

I have never gotten Lucky to play with toys unless I put a treat in them. I have sewn elastic to the legs of some toys so I can attach treats for her. Once the treat is eaten she ignores the toy. Realize she was caged the first 4 years of her life and never had toys, so yes, she is clueless. Throw a ball and she looks at you asking “Now what?”

Imagine my surprise when I was crocheting Levi’s Christmas gift, watching TV one late afternoon and Lucky went to the table to sniff the mechanical Squirrel.

Next she put her claws on its foot and dragged it to the loveseat with her. Before I knew it she knocked it the floor and began chewing. Bob was working at his computer in the office. I texted him to come see.

Bob went back to work. You can see Lucky’s face when he walks in again at end of clip.

Before we knew it she carried the squirrel off to where he was working in the office. I told him we had to be careful she doesn’t try to eat it, wires, batteries, fringe on scarf, fake fur, etc.

I went into office a few minutes later and she had chewed out one eye. Thank goodness the pieces were all there!

Yes, then we removed it from her reach. Bob wants me to make an eye patch as he finally owns his one eyed squirrel.

What baffles me is she had been alone all morning while we went to the 25 year church reunion. So glad she did not tear it up then. We could not have protected her. Perhaps she was waiting to see what our reaction would be? How do dogs think?

Remember the new Christmas tree?

She has now dragged out Snoopy, who fortunately has sewn patches for eyes. No danger there! Wonder how Charlie Brown will taste to her?

October 18th

Day that I love! Because the man I love was born this day!!

And one of his favorite characters ….

The Book of Common Prayer offers this and I agree for my husband.

“O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, I pray, on your servant Robert as he begins another year. Grant that he may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen his trust in your goodness all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Yes, Lord. Thank you for the gift of Bob!