The week in Review – dealing with Fly Strike

This week has been a week! First, for the last two weeks, we have been battling Fly Strike. I never knew this “thing” existed before I noticed a startling amount of flies circling my dogs. My only thoughts were these poor dogs are in desperate need of a bath.

I remedied that quickly (even though it took two hours). With arthritis in my hands, it is difficult to bathe them as often as I used to. We also just coming out of winter – even though winter for us Southerners is a combination of one day hot, one day cold, and so forth. They run through the freezing ditches after a rain, but I still hesitate to give them a bath on a cold day. Go figure. I guess it is our human tendencies being transferred to a dog.

Since Ryka and Calypso’s favorite pastime is running around the chicken coop, which with rain has become a muddy slop, I thought their ears were muddy. Turns out, I was very, very, very wrong. As I began scrubbing Ryka’s ears, she started flinching. This is not something she does. She loves the attention. When I examined her the tips of her ears, I noticed that the water was running red. I continued with her bath and continued soaking the tips of her ears and gently cleaning them. I dried her off and she sat in the sun to dry while Calypso had her bath.

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Some things never change. It’s hot after a storm.

I noticed the same thing with Calypso’s ears. I may be slow at times, but it didn’t’ take me long to figure out something wasn’t right. When I looked over at Ryka, I noticed the flies were swarming again and concentrating on her ears. After coating their ears with Neosporin, I figured it was time to check in with my best friend, Google.

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What I found was called Fly Strike. It was a little daunting because there were some not so nice things listed. I went with the first thing on the list because it seemed that was what they were suffering from. Simply put, dogs with ears that stand up have a landing zone for flies. The flies bite them and draw blood and then more flies come and so on. All I could think was my poor dogs. Their ears were not dirty, they were full of bites and blood and flies!

And, when I say flies, we had to spray to keep them away from the house! I continued to coat their ears twice a day, cleaning them once a day, and kept them inside for a couple of days so the ears could begin healing. Once the ears began healing, the number of flies went down to just a handful. I missed one day this week and boom!, the flies are back.

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I ordered an ointment from Amazon and upon reading the label discovered it is a pesticide. I can’t put it on their open wounds, but I can put it around the perimeter of the wounds. It is supposed to repel the flies. I am hoping this works. After speaking with someone from the vet’s office, they are susceptible due to the chickens in the yard, but mostly the horses next door.

After giving them their baths, Calypso headed back to the chicken coop first chance she got. I was so mad! They each had two baths, getting leashed after the second one. Hubby had put sand in the kennel because Calypso like to chase her tail and she had made a muddy mess inside. The sand is not any better. Sand + wet dog = not a happy mom.

When Hubby got home that afternoon and saw how mad I was, he started looking for fencing. I told him I didn’t care what the fence looked like (thank goodness we live in the country) I just wanted a fence to keep Calypso and Ryka away from the chicken coop and the horses. Well…be careful what you wish for around here. He took old fencing from a neighbor’s junk pile and some from ours…it’s a hodgepodge but it’s the most beautiful fence ever constructed. It didn’t take Calypso long to realize she had lost her entertainment, but she’s adapted.

It was funny to watch her though. I was sitting in a rocker on the back porch and she slowly turned away and the head went down and the tail went down and she thought she was being sneaky. She walked a few steps and stopped and glanced back over her shoulder and I didn’t say anything. Normally, at this point, I would be fussing her and telling her, “No chickens!” She turned around and continued a few more steps and stopped again, looking over her shoulder at me. I still didn’t say anything. I knew she was waiting for me to call her back. I finally told her to go and she happily took off. That is until she came face to face with the hodgepodge fence. That was priceless. I would be willing to bet she made at least twenty-five trips up and down that fence line looking for a way in.

Yesterday, I did the simple task of making my Hubby his favorite chocolate chip cookies. That simple task has taken its toll and the erosive arthritis has reared its ugly head. I was in excruciating pain all night and didn’t sleep. After applying heat for an hour, I now have mobility back – typing doesn’t bother it, limited movement of fingers, but writing is a killer.

The bad thing is I will not be doing much today because it is too painful to use my hand.

And, that is what’s been happening in my world. What about you?

My organizing tip of the Day –

Keep an ongoing To Do  or Task List on your desk. I use a planner that has a graph page to the left and the week at a glance to the right. I use the graph page for my task list. You could also use a simple notebook or tablet to keep track of those To Do’s.

And the poop goes on……la dade de….

    The title was either that or Too much time on my hands, but either way, I bet it was the title that drew you in this morning!
     I was breaking eggs into a bowl earlier in the day – and if you follow my blog, you already know my thoughts have a tendency to wander – and the last conversation I had with my daughter just popped into my head.
     During her last visit, I was serving my infamous potato salad and I told my daughter that the potato salad had real eggs in it that day; and my bewildered daughter (I tend to have that effect on people-the bewildered part) asked, “And the others are fake as opposed to real?” That retort would have stopped anyone else in their tracks but not me; the absurdity of my comment never even registered on the Richter scale. There was no contact, no spark, no rumble, at all between the brain and mouth going on.
     Now, at this point, if you have ever been a fan of The Lucille Ball Show, you can picture Lucy having this conversation with Ethel in the all the glory of black and white film. “Now Ethel, you know that the eggs you buy in the store come from an egg factory.” and Ethel replying, “Now Lucy, that’s just ridiculous!” BUT, is it ridiculous?
     The picture that comes to my mind are hens lined up in neat, straight rows in a hen house waiting for the chime of the quarter hour that will signal to them to “lay;” and they all lay an egg. Chime. Lay. Chime. Lay (remember-black and white film.) Chime. Lay. Then those eggs roll down from the nest onto a conveyor belt, joining all of the other eggs and they all roll through the egg wash (farm eggs have been known to have poop on them! That is how you know the difference between a real egg and a farm egg.) The eggs continue their journey toward the waiting egg cartons, where they will then be whisked into storage before heading out to the stores where they become “fake eggs?” Thumbs up if you can follow my logic; INTJs are known for their logical thinking.

     Have you ever pondered the thought of why the yolk of a farm egg is so much richer and thicker looking than that of a store egg? Then, you have never had a fresh farm egg; a real egg. Is it because they are chicken poop gone right? Or wrong? Don’t tell me you never had that thought! I don’t know about you but I skipped Anatomy of a Chicken in college. I just know that there’s chicken poop on the eggs if you don’t clean them. Do you know where the eggs drop from? I only know what I saw on the cartoons and it looked pretty suspicious to me!
     You do realize that there is no ending to this……and the poop goes on……la dade …de…

 

First published June 26, 2010

Happy Easter and a Recap of Life

 

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Happy Easter! For Catholics, it’s been a week of activities; Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil Saturday night. I saw this picture of a German Shepherd on Facebook and just had to share. If you follow me, you know how much I love my German Shepherds!

Since hubby wasn’t scheduled to play music at church Friday morning for the Way of the Cross, he decided to do a Way of the Cross at the local nursing home. These folks have had their faith to shore them up throughout their lives and most of them attended daily mass before they were confined to the nursing home. When you think about it, you realize that it must be difficult to all of a sudden not to be able to go to mass or any Holy Days of obligation. Some of the priests in the area aren’t really interested in whether or not the days are celebrated for the residents. Our priest wasn’t happy with us because we not only decided to do this, but to invite several groups from our church.

Sometimes, they get too involved with the number of butts warming the pews than with the actual person whose butt is warming the pew. That starts a whole other rant I could get started on, but I’ll save it for later. Getting back to the nursing home, the residents were thrilled and the volunteers who attended enjoyed a blessed event. We had Father J, whose vocation is truly being a priest (he just loves the Lord and being a priest) do the Veneration of the Cross and a Communion service. Hubby said if it was successful, then we’d start a new tradition. Well – it was successful so I guess that’s where we’ll be next year.

Word of our endeavor got around and at church Friday afternoon, quite a number of folks said they would be at the home next year.

The Easter Vigil was quite long last night. Along with all of the extra parts of the mass that go along with Easter, three people were baptized and six made their confirmation. Easter Vigil began at 8pm and we walked out of church around 11pm.

We were up early again this morning. On Sunday’s mornings, we say the Rosary at the nursing home. They were so excited to see us again and couldn’t say enough about how much they enjoyed Friday’s Way of the Cross. It does your heart good to know that you are bringing joy to another person.

Speaking of my dogs, they are back to chasing the chickens! The chickens are actually confined to an enclosed chicken coop, but those chickens are worse than teenage girls! Hubby had to give a chicken away a couple of months ago because it was being picked on. Now, another one has been singled out and it drives Calypso wild. Dogs have a scavenger mindset and the last time the chickens drew blood, she chased around and around the outside of the chicken coop. Now, the same thing is happening. Hubby is kind of scratching his head. At this rate, we won’t have any chickens left in a few months. He said they are mean chickens, Rhode Island Reds I believe. Both Calypso and Ryka have been hanging out in the back next to the coop.

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The azaleas were pretty this year. Last year only half of the azaleas across the front porch bloomed. I was curious to see what they would do this year. I took the pictures from the porch because of the rain.

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And there’s my little monkey. She loves when I sit out on the porch. She doesn’t care to be inside of the screen, but is content to sit in the yard.

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One of our priests made these designs from palms. I had never seen anything like this before. He is so talented. After looking at Father’s designs, he mentioned the one the Pope used for Good Friday. His was a work of art.

I added quite a number of stickers to my Etsy shop ( https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSouthernPlanner?ref=hdr_shop_menu ) last week. I am an organizer and a planner so these are right up my alley. If you are interested in using a planner to organize your days, stay tuned. I’ll be writing a few organizing posts. I have been a planner since childhood. There are so many planners on the market now which makes choosing a new one each year exciting.

I spent some time working on my book today. A melancholy mood will do that to you.

If you missed my post on displaying your emergency information for first responders, you can find that post here – https://mylifeonestoryatatime.com/2016/03/24/iphone-have-you-locked-out-your-emergency-contact/

I wish everyone a joyful day. Don’t fuss your kids because they had chocolate for breakfast and wiped their hands on the sofa. Don’t fuss because they are running screaming through the house. Don’t worry over the spilled gravy. There are some of us who would love to be a part of our children and grandchildren’s lives. The chocolate and gravy will wash away, the screams will silence and if the stains do not come out, then they will become a cherished memory of Easter 2016 when they snuck chocolate for breakfast, or stuck their finger in the gravy boat, a memory I would gladly give anything for.

I hope you all had a great Easter!

 

 

My Daily Drama – It's all about the dogs!

I think the worst drama today is that it rained – ALL. DAY. LONG. That means I still have not gone for a ride on our boat!

Calypso and Ryka were up to their usual squirrel watching. I decided that I really need to find them a rubber squirrel to see what they would do if something actually fell out of the pecan tree next to them. The picture really doesn’t show how hard the rain is falling, yet there they were, diligent as always.

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You can see the rain in the bottom two photos. Ryka and Calypso love the rain, in fact the harder it rains, the more they run around and play. I don’t know why I feel so guilty when I give them cold water baths. I normally have Hubby set up the hose to the hot/cold faucet outside so I can give them a warm bath. I may need to rethink the guilt. Why is it they whine for a cold bath, yet they play in their pools in the winter and run through the ditches when it rains?

We are really loving our newly screened in front porch, especially on rainy days like today. With the louvers on either end, it is like an outdoor room with a swing.

I can’t end without mentioning the time change. What is your opinion on this constant thorn in our side? This is actually my favorite time. I can sleep late and still be up early! I never ever adjust when the “spring forward” rolls around. In my opinion, the time should be split and just leave it!

Hope your Sunday had some brightness to it!

I am being featured…

Today is my birthday! Yes! Hard to believe it’s been 58 years since I was born. And what a wonderful surprise to find out that author Margaret Locke is featuring her interview with me on her blog today!

I invite you to pop over to her blog (follow the link below) and check out the interview and her books!

http://margaretlocke.com/throwitforward-thursday-meet-donna-mcbroom-theriot/

I will posting an update on what’s been happening in my life in a little while. If you would like a preview of what’s to come, here it is!  After loads of online shopping and actual trips to Kansas (2,000 miles round trip) and then this past weekend to Chicago (another 2,000 miles) we purchased a houseboat! I am beyond excited! Not only to be getting the boat, but the fact I will no longer be looking cross-eyed due to searching online for the perfect boat. That means the post I did about finding the perfect fixer-upper in Kansas is null and void! We decided to look for something ready to go.

The second big event is that one of my beloved dogs decided to eat rat poison for a snack. Fortunately, Hubby found the container in the yard and we rushed both of my shepherds to the vet. Both are being treated as a precaution.

Yes, loads of stuff has been happening in my world so I hope you’ll be back!

Not all dogs are good. Not all dogs are bad.

Example – Ryka and Calypso are examples of good dogs. Our Big Dog mower is an example of a pretty good dog. But, what this post is about is not the mower itself (although it brought about this post because it had a tire that wouldn’t hold air) but about the hoops we had to jump through to get service with this brand.

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We purchased the mower about a year and a half ago after looking over a lot of mowers. Believe me, Hubby doesn’t purchase anything without going over every aspect of something and then finding the best price. Not saying that isn’t a good quality, just a frustrating one to someone who has zero attention span – and I was an unwilling participant in most of these expeditions.

Since Hubby had purchased a previous Big Dog mower from Leger’s in Cut Off, Louisiana (and yes, I’m naming names!) and has not had any trouble with the mower, we also checked out the smaller Big Dog mowers for our personal property. The owner couldn’t brag enough about his great service and after test-driving a mower (I was not on board with a zero-turn mower – if you read my blog, you know I tend to run over things with a normal mower and I sort of liked knowing that I had an engine between me and whatever I inevitably hit and I pictured myself hitting something and flying off of the zero-turn. Did I mention I also sport an active imagination? but back to the story) we decided to purchase our mower from Leger’s. When we left he was still bragging about his wonderful service and we were thinking we made a good deal.
photo 2 (1)After the winter season, we pulled our mower back out for cutting grass. Hubby noticed one of the front tires was low and put air in it. He also check the other tires and the oil, etc. and the mower was ready for use. After a couple of weeks, I noticed that the tire was low again. We aired up the tire (is that correct) and off I went. This became a routine so Hubby called Leger’s. Remember the great service he kept reminding us about? That didn’t go so well.

Hubby told him the tire was not holding air and there seemed to be a leak around the seal. His answer was that the mower was out of warranty (which it wasn’t) and there was nothing he could do about it. We were in touch with him a few times and after a few weeks of back and forth, the mower was out of warranty. He told us the company would not work with us. This went on for a another few days.

In doing research on how to contact the company, I came across some interesting information. There is NO phone number on their site. Nadda. Nothing. You can leave an email message, which I did. It took a while before I received a response. Meanwhile, I was at a loss and then I thought – everyone has a Facebook page! Sure enough, Big Dog had a page so I also sent a message via Facebook.

I received a response back and someone contacted my husband – while he was on a boat and couldn’t hear. The rep didn’t seem to care and kept talking. Hubby was more than a little upset. I messaged again and we finally connected with someone who was willing to help.

The initial contact with Big Dog began on May 21st. On May 24th, I was told that our contact information had been sent to the territory rep and he would be contacting us.

On June 1st I contacted Big Dog and let them know that the rep had not yet contacted us and would they please follow up. We were told someone would contact us the next day.

The rep contacted us and after all of the back and forth, phone calls and messaging, we were told a new tire assembly was being sent out. Two weeks passed and we received nothing.

On June 17th, I contacted Big Dog again. I was told that Leger’s had been contacted and they would be supplying the tire and had we been in contact with them.

On June 18th, I messaged Big Dog that my husband had been told that the wheel assemblies would be shipped directly to our house and that he had spoken to two Big Dog reps, Ken and Johnathan, and it was Ken that told him the assemblies would be shipped to our house. When my husband spoke with Leger’s, they told him they knew nothing about the deal. I asked them to explain what was going on.

I received a message asking for our shipping address so the distributor could ship the tire assemblies to our home. No explanation on the run around.

We were then told that the distributor was supposed to have shipped out the assemblies and had dropped the ball and he was waiting to hear back from them on a delivery date, which he would forward to me. (Someone please remind me not to “drop” $5,000 down on a Big Dog again.) He thanked me for my patience. Patience? Did I have a choice in the matter? No. If I could have shaken someone by this time, I would have.

On June 22nd, we received a package, a very heavy package which the substitute (poor sub) of a UPS man tossed over the fence to me with no warning as to the heaviness of the package, but that’s another issue. Problem #1 – two tires, wrong size. Problem #2 – used dirty tires.

I messaged the Big Dog rep again and sent pictures and asked him if he was in charge or was there someone else I needed to speak to.

These were the “new” tires we received. They were not new. They were used. They were dirty used tires. They were tires with no threads. They were tires with grass stuck to them. Really?!
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We finally received the correct tire (and it was a used tire). Since it fit, we kept it. They also included a return shipping label for the previous tires they sent. I had not opened the mailing label, but had the box all ready to go when USP stopped by. Not realizing this, Hubby grabbed the box and handed it off to the driver. Imagine my confusion a few days later when we received a second box from Big Dog. When I opened the box, I found that the tires looked quite familiar. Turns out they were!

You just know this had to have a Lucy story somewhere in it. I thought it was so funny and I can’t possibly describe how long and how hard I laughed. Icing on the cake! The more I laughed, the madder it made sweet Hubby. He didn’t think it was funny. That made me laugh even more.

The first tires got mailed off and I received yet another message from Big Dog apologising for all of the trouble we had and they wanted to send us a token – some Big Dog gear – translation – a t-shirt. Yep! That was funny too. We never did receive the t-shirt. That’s not funny, just plain sad.

This entire fiasco took place over the course of two months. My opinion on the Big Dog mower – it’s a good mower and I would recommend it. We have two different sizes and we are pleased with the overall performance of both. They are comfortable, maneuver easily, do a great job cutting the grass, and have the power needed to do the job.

BUT, and it is a very HUGE BUT, I would make sure that the dealer I purchased the mower from lived up to his promises. We have since spoken to different people. It is almost a trend that if you have money, you get good service. If you are willing to fight and have the time and intelligence and the persistence to do so, you will get results. If not, be careful who you purchase from. We have located another dealer not much further away, and someone we have done business with and were pleased, and plan on dealing with him should the need arise.

I will reiterate that you need to deal with a reputable dealer because should you need to take the problem further, it is difficult. You must rely on Facebook messaging and emailing from the site and hoping that someone calls you. There is no number for complaints or for information. However, I have phone numbers so if you have problems I’ll be happy to share.

I think I’ll go and check the mail. Never know if that t-shirt will show up.

All the opinions expressed in this blog post are strictly my own and there are no affiliate links.