Monthly Archives: September 2007

Update: Lots going on in the ‘hood…

Here’s a brief update of the past week or so:

  • Pepper Do You Want Her got to visit Dr. Ueno regarding her swollen-shut eye. Turns out she’d scratched the eyeball. Doc gave her an antibiotic salve and antibiotic pills and sent her on her way. (more about this below.)
  • Despite snowy weather, Mike & Mimi headed off in the pod to Crater Lake for the week. Not exactly the Donner party, but more than I’d want to do 😉
  • Last weekend there was a minor jam-fest when Joanne and a young neighbor friend made a case (or two) of spiced peach jam, then kicked back to watch Happy Feet and chow down on popcorn.
  • Hal continued to work on guitar-playing (a never-ending, but better-sounding effort).
  • Hal harvested the majority of Ellen’s remaining unopened pomegranates, squeezing begins today.
  • Pepper Do You Want Her got to have two valiums before being crated and heading off to see Dr. Ueno for an eye check up. (pardon the pun, but) Her eye’s looking pretty good so she now has a bit of cortisone salve for it… she’s expected to make a full recovery.

That’s it for now – I’m off to squeeze more pomegranates for the October jamming party.

til next time, be well.

Thank goodness it’s Friday

Thanks to everyone for asking about Pan, she’s doing great – I really don’t know how she bounces back from her surgeries so well, but I’m very thankful that she does. Pepper Do You Want Her had to visit Dr. Ueno yesterday because she’d somehow scratched an eyeball and it was getting infected. We gave her valium and took her in; she’s doing much better now, should be fully recovered in a week or so.

I hear there are plans for peach jam on Saturday while I’m @ band practice – if you’re nearby and want to “jam”, just stop by and dig in.

Thought I’d pass on these unique unit conversions for your amusement – some require extra thought, so take your time and enjoy.

Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton

1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope

Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond

Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram

Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling

Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon

1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz

Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower

Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line

453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake

1 million microphones = 1 megaphone

2 million bicycles = 2 megacycles

365.25 days = 1 unicycle

2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds

52 cards = 1 decacards

1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton

1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen

1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche

1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin

10 rations = 1 decoration

100 rations = 1 C-ration

2 monograms = 1 diagram

4 nickels = 1 paradigms

2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 IV League

take care of one another, folks.


What a week-end

As fate would have it, the cancellation of my UK trip turned out to be very fortuitous for the family. Short version:

Noticing that Pan was excessively cleaning herself, I took her to the doc for an allergy shot. As part of that process, we discovered she’d lost a pound in the last 3 months. Given her illnesses last year, this caused alarm bells to go off so a follow-up with the doc was scheduled for Friday. During the exam, I asked the doc to xray Pan and the results showed what the I feared: Pan’s stomach was full of fur – a sandwich baggie amount (ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!) – and would need to be operated on immediately. As-in, that day.

Off the doc and Pan went, with Pan apparently telling the doc he’d grabbed the wrong cat, she was just there to have her nails done!

Needless to say, when I picked her up on Saturday morning, Pan gave me a major butt-chewing for leaving her there overnight. But true to her nature, she quickly got over it and moved on to affectionate head-butting and Big-Cat purring. It’s Monday morning as I write this and she’s doing great – all bright and shiny and eating like a horse. Uh-mazing how quickly Pandora recovers from surgery!

Ya Mon, we still be jammin‘…

After returning home from the wood carving show in Cambria late Saturday, Joanne got very motivated and spent the day making 6 cases of plum jam and 8 jars of pear, plum and apple chutney.

Woof, that’s a lot of kitchen-time.

  • 1 case of fig jam (still have a big bag of figs on the counter)
  • 2 cases of spiced pear jam
  • 2 cases of apple-pear chutney
  • 1/2 case of apple-pear-plum chutney
  • 1 cases of plum conserve
  • 2 cases of applesauce
  • 4 cases of tart tangerine marmalade
  • 2 cases of tart orange marmalade
  • 1 case of blackberry jam
  • 1 gal of the best gala apple juice you’ve ever had.
  • 6 cases of plum jam
  • … and much more to come (pomegranate, peach & even more fig)

As always, if you see something on our goodie list that tickles your fancy, just let us know and we’ll get it to you.

Until next time, be well.

Her name is Pepper Do You Want Her

In the Spring of ’02, Joanne mentioned that she thought that since the cats weren’t willing to be herded around the yard by Penny, a border collie, Penny needed a dog-buddy to hang out with. So she let some friends know she was on the lookout for a dog or puppy to bring in to our tranquil home. Then one day we were at our attorney’s when his daughter (and secretary) said, “Oh, I’ve just taken in this sweet little dog I found walking around our neighborhood. I put up signs saying “Found Dog” with her picture, but nobody’s claimed her yet – why don’t you come meet her?” (in hindsight, “nobody’s claimed her” was an obvious – if overlooked – omen of things to come.)

So a meeting was set and before you know it, she came to live at our house. Neither of the cats were impressed but Penny appeared cautiously optimistic about her new play friend – lots of happy dog-yelping sounds and running around the back yard. When it came to picking names, despite Joanne’s hints that it might be too many “P’s” in one household, I thought that given her jet black color, Pepper would be a good fit.

Ok, so we’ve got Delilah, Pandora, Penny and Pepper. (Like asking for directions, even though I knew we had too many P’s, I couldn’t bring myself to say the words every wife would love to hear, “I was wrong about the P-thing – let’s name her Bridget” or something that doesn’t begin with a P.” what a ninny.)

I’ve gotta say that despite my early misgivings about adding another dog to the mix, except for a few minor initial hiccups, things seemed to be heading in the right direction. Sadly, that initial honeymoon quickly turned into a very slippery slope to hell.

What kind of hiccups, did you say?

Well, to start with, she wasn’t house broken. That bothered me more than a little bit and it really pissed off the cats, who had the nearest-to-the-carpet noses in the house. Aside from that, Pepper seemed ok. Many neighbors stopped by to meet the new family member and when they asked her name, I’d say, “her name’s Pepper” and there were smiles all-round.

We began begin slipping off the happy-track not long after that because whenever we went to let her in the house, instead of sitting down (or even just standing there) and waiting for us to open the door, she would levitate to my shoulder height without ever twitching a muscle.

Not bend her legs and spring or leap up, but levitate, as if Houdini and Copperfield were just out of sight and controlling her every move.

It was bizarre and if I do say so myself, more than a little freaky. (Kinda of like watching Al Gore in anything related to the Oscars – how the hell does that happen?) No amount of talking nicely to her or giving her gentle voice / hand commands or speaking in a loud voice had any impact on her. It was amazing and really freaky. While this initially caused me untold amounts of anxiety and stress, I eventually convinced myself she’d grow out of it. (As of this writing, she hasn’t, but thanks for asking.)

Then one day not long after she came to live with us, I was out in the backyard and found one of my bicycle shoes sitting on the deck, all chewed up. That had never happened before. A few minutes later, I found pieces of my bike gloves – and snowboarding gloves – scattered around the back lawn.

Uh oh, I’m seeing a pattern here.

Another 20 steps toward the boat and darned if I didn’t find my $150 bike helmet shredded as if thrown in a chipper. Holy smokes – what’s going on here? As I looked around, I could see several of the sprinkler heads – brass and plastic, alike – chewed up and scattered around the lawn.

And over there, hanging off the boat trailer – what’s that?Closer inspection of the boat / trailer revealed that “something” had not only chewed all of the wiring harness off the trailer but the fresh-water brake wash down and its hose connectors right off the trailer.

When I total that one day’s “puppy action”, I get:
* bike shoes – $150
* bike helmet – $150
* bike gloves – $75
* boat trailer wiring harness – $325
* fresh-water wash down – $225
* lawn sprinkler heads – $37

Damn near $1,000 worth of puppy teething exercise – not bad for one morning’s work, eh?

Amazingly, we got through the Pepper-puppy years.

It’s been 5 1/2 years now and every time I’m asked her name I reply, “Her name’s Pepper do you want her” not so much a question as a statement.

Did you say, “more pics, please”?

Mutant apple-thingie that grew on our apple tree back in ’01. No photoshopping here, this was approximately the size of a quarter and appears exactly as I picked it from the tree.

If you were the one to get the “glow in the dark” applesauce from us that year, sorry about that, but now you know the source 😉

Save your jugs and I’ll hand wash them!

Pomegranate harvest is just around the corner and it looks like it’s going to be a great jelly season.

Since we don’t have kids around the house anymore, we don’t have nearly as many milk jugs to save for storing pomegranate juice. So if you happen to be a milk drinker and get your milk in gallon jugs, just give us a call when you’ve got an empty and we’ll pick it up and prep for production in late September. (No half gal / quarts, please, they’re too much effort for the space they take up.)

Remember: Save your jugs!