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Monday, December 31, 2007

The story of the Redbacks

The Redbacks
Originally uploaded by Hotash

It’s a long one. . .
But I’ll make it short

A good friend of mine, cerublu and I did a boot swap. I had been drooling over a pair of slip on boots for ages. I decided on a pair of Redbacks from Australia. She had wanted a new pair of Ariats, so we did the swap. Everyone is happy. I have my lovely new work boots and so does she. I’ve been wearing the Redbacks here and there when I go out. They are super comfortable and light. They keep my feet warm and dry and I like them. . .

Skip ahead with me to yesterday morning about 9am PST, mind you, I’m trying to sleep because I’m working nights now. . .I wake up to some cursing and banging around downstairs. I say “what’s wrong?”, he says “Marlee got away, and the last I saw her she bailed into the river!”
Now, if you don’t know Mean Marlee
Please read her story below

Now, back to the other story

So, I roll out of bed, looking rather cute mind you and start to look for some shoes to go help. I have many pairs laying around, but I’m looking for the right pair. I grab the Redbacks and I put one on as I’m hoping through the house. . .I hear a thundering dog running across the back porch at the same time I hear his truck tearing down the driveway. I’m running out the door, trying to get someone, anyone’s attention as I’m trying to put on the other boot. I didn’t take the time to put on socks, a very bad call as it turns out.

As I’m watching him speed down the driveway, the deaf dog Marlee races after him, dripping wet and not stopping anytime soon. I finally get the other boot on and I’m off. I meet up with him at the river crossing down the road from our house. He on one side me on the other. He says “the last I saw her, she was running northbound full tilt, and not slowing down or looking back”
I take the time to take the boots off, roll up my pj’s and I wade across the river-lucky, it’s not too high, not like the other day when some goober got stuck in the river December 2007 058

So, we end up walking forever it seems looking for her in the vineyard. I only ended up walking about 2 miles according to google earth calculations-BUT, in that 2 miles I ended up with some sweet blisters!
The big one this one on my right foot and The little one this tiny one on my left foot.

He found it rather interesting because I raved about my ‘new boots from Australia’ heeheehee.

The only good news is, after he gave up and I had made almost back home, Marlee came running down the driveway like nothing had happened at all!!!! GOOD GRIEF!!!!
Oh, and it’s a good thing I bought those other shoes (much to his dismay) from Germany or else I would be a hurtin’ unit right now.

The C160 Alpros

sigh-no heals-sigh

The moral of the story
-wear socks
-buy lots of pairs of shoes, you never know when you’ll need them (I told ya ;)
-sooner or later, they all come home

OH, and PLEASE don’t hold it against the Redbacks :) I still love ‘em

ok, I guess it was funnier in real life but alas it's my story.

Also, visit cerublu's Etsy
Have a Blister free New Year you all :)


Originally uploaded by Hotash

Marlee is not always the nicest dog in the world...

Just ask Rain & Cali... both have holes that prove, even though Marlee is deaf, she is the BOSS! Marlee knows some ASL commands and sleeps through anything!

When I want to wake her up I knock on her iglooo (when she's outside) or just touch her when she's inside. Waking Marlee is funny... she is wide awake instantly!

AKA: Lizzy, Mean Marlee

Marlee came to us from Tracy, CA from the same rescue group that Cali came from;


Mean Marlee

came to us a little over two years ago. She was passed off as deaf and aggressive towards other dogs-very aggressive.

So aggressive that she was separated from our other two dogs for months before even introducing them. She would chew on her wire cage and slobber/foam at the mouth she would become so enraged by the mere sight of another dog. She has been known to bloody her nose and gums in her effort to "get" that other dog. Cali has one scar and Rain has many (as she is a butt most of the time)
Rain's war wounds

With constant vigil and acceptance of the occasional dog scrap we have been able to bring Marlee into the house and even take her around my families dogs-but Marlee does not go in public.

Now begins Marlee's story to date-a beautiful day on the beach in the company of strangers and dogs-you must read this, if it helps one other person out there then her job is done~

When Marlee came to live with us she came on a special diet of rice and pumpkin and she had severe diarrhea and coat issues. Oh, did I mention that we drove nearly 7 hours to get her? chris just figures I'm crazy-but something about her drew me in. We had a fenced field, a large outdoor kennel and I thought I could handle the aggression-who knew it was really "that bad?"

Anyway, Marlee went to the vet, got antibiotics 'for an infection" and recommended a "special diet." I switched her to an all raw diet along with our other animals and within a few months this symptom cleared up, mostly.

The hair and skin problem just continues to worsen. She has only fuzzy, fluffy hair, like puppy fur and itches/chews at herself all the time. She gets sores and she goes back to the vet (with a muzzle on of course). She comes home with more antibiotics and the diagnosis of "skin/food allergies." Shortly after this, her hind end skin has turned black/dark form her pink/white color and has began to thicken into a bare "elephant" like skin. Marlee also develops (suddenly one day) a very bad drunken walk and begins falling and tripping. She is only able to climb stairs with much effort and a person along side her. She goes back to the vet with ALL these symptoms-she comes home with more antibiotics and a diagnosis of "congenital deafness complications." Hey, I fell for it (sorry Marlee.)

Now, in between all this I tell the doctor (and anyone who will listen) that Marlee won't play and she just "sleeps all the time." In fact, she has developed these callouses on her legs and elbows from sleeping all the time. Again, it's chalked up to her deafness - quoted by vet "some deaf people describe deafness/movement as feeling queasy-did you ever think it might make her feel sick?" Well, no. So, I take her home (after wedging her nearly 90lb body into the truck as she can not and never has been able to jump.

-oh, did I mention she is just turned three this year? I tell you (and the vet) there is something not right with this dog. but, alas it's just "allergies."

This summer her skin became infected and her feet also became so bad, so fast, that I set to work online trying to figure out just what was happening to this poor dog. - I said screw allergies, the antibiotics never seemed to clear anything up and I refuse to believe it's diet.

Now, this is the part that really sets me off. Within minutes of researching words like "skin allergy", "black skin", and the like I find this site. (THANK YOU Dr. Ron Hines DVM PhD ) which leads me to even more detailed research and a prompt call to my vet (again.)

I drop Marlee at the vet with a list of current symptoms and a request to test for Hypothyroidism

They call me to pick her up, she has a bandage on one foot (she had a bad infection) they said "allergies." I said what about the test? Oh, okay we can do that too. Anyway, three days later I get the call.
Apple cider vinegar

Marlee's test levels return. Now let me first tell you that a normal Canine TSH (cTSH) is < .41 - Marlee rang in at 1.7 - so we have her on a ($25.00) med/high dose of thyroid medication (along with the 350.00 worth of allergy/antibiotics) Man this is a long story~

The best part. . .

Within 48hrs Marlee has shown marked improvement and is less lethargic, more alert, more responsive to touch. Three days later she goes for a 4 hour car trip with three other dogs and three humans to the beach where she encounters more humans and more dogs and she is not wearing a muzzle-it's awesome! She loaded herself into the truck and allowed herself to be walked tethered with Cali tugging her everywhere at full speed.

I'm telling you-four days ago I would have told you you were nuts to take her anywhere with that many other dogs.

We have nothing but hope for her to have a long, healthy, happy life now-thank goodness for the internet or I'm certain she would still be suffering this lonely, depressing life of deafness, lack of energy, dulled senses and constant itching-this is no life for a 1 year old (3 now) dog!

I can only wait and watch as Marlee turns into herself.
Big tall dog Marlee

The moral of the story = Be the "advocate" for your pet - they can't talk or they would tell us just how silly we really are!

Walk this way

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry days everyone

Merry days everyone
Originally uploaded by Hotash
Christmas. . .
wow-i'm glad it's nearly over.
this year really 'sneaked' up on me and i wasn't into it at all.

Christmas lists, credit cards, expectations, AHHHHHH!!!!!

as an adult, it's lost it's charm - i'm going to work hard to get it back next year and not with buying gifts. . .

i do enjoy the lights though ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wild Salmon

Wild Salmon
Originally uploaded by Hotash
they made it up the river a bit this year

Friday, November 23, 2007

My good 'bad dog' Cali

My good 'bad dog' Cali
Originally uploaded by Hotash
we went to the river today and the dogs all had a great time
the weather was fantastic, you know after it thawed out :) Reaching blue Acorn Art

rain is doing really good. it's my job to make sure she has a good amount of exercise a day and doesn't eat too much-i should start doing that for me. . .
Rain & the duck weed dark I
here is rain in the duck weed-when are we going to get some rain? why do we had duck weed in the river in november?

even marlee enjoyed the sunshine love today Sunshine on my face

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Acorns & Nutkins

Originally uploaded by Hotash
so, the nutkins are continuing to do well.
we feed them yummy avocado 2-3 times a week and carrots and other nuts here and there.

they come around, well, i believe it's just the littlest who ever comes home, but any way, they come home and get the food then head back to the bay laurel trees next door.
New homes

they bark and bark in the early morning some days and those are the days that we go put food out-they have us trained well :)

at any rate, i'm nearly officially pleased with our 'catch & release' program-it appears to have worked-they seem healthy and growing, with thick fur and the big brother never comes around us or the animals, while the littlest shows obvious recognition, he keeps his distance

we're happy
"i'm free"

since it's thanksgiving today they got a big, fresh avocado for breakfast & i'm sure they will get some pumkin pie later :0

Friday, November 16, 2007

Glass like fungi - 2 ( Mycena ) ????

any ideas/id?
i went to show chris these tonight and couldn't find them. . .
then i looked a bit harder and found that every single last one of them and been dried up by todays sunshine.

the whole little plant/fungi? was less than 4" tall and completely see through-like glass
it appears that the older they were the more upturned they became with tattered ends and distinctive black lines

i am so curious about these and have yet to be able to come close to identifying them
any help is very much appreciated.

Glass like fungi - 6 Glass like fungi - 4

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I stood and listened

I stood and listened
Originally uploaded by Hotash
the other afternoon i went for a walk. i went to find someone and i found much more.

this tree (i'm not sure what it is) made a lovely song and dance for me as it's seeds fell to the leaf bed below and then danced to the ground.

i took a few moments during this walk
i decided i'll be back

Douglas Miller
douglas miller


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rain doggy

Rain doggy
Originally uploaded by Hotash
well, last night she made it clear that she was sick, so off to the on call vet we go.
she was in a lot of pain, panting hard, shivering harder and refused all food attempts. she was also very stiff and having much difficulty walking.
chris calls me and we decide on how to get her to town (we are both working at this point or going to work) they do some x-rays and find that she is not having a bloat issue which i was very worried about (having just read about it online - ahhhh!)
however the xrays found some 'general haziness' and some problems with her lower back vertebrate and calcium deposits on the underneath of her backbone.

i decided to go to a new vet today, and i chose a local vet, katy sommers, who is far more into a more holistic and natural care program than i'm used to with vets.

i am moving my pet family to her hospital. i feel really happy with the decision to move forward and take charge of the type of care that should be provided to my dogs & cats, but i feel i need to talk to my old vet and explain to them why we're leaving. ugh.

anyway, turns out rain dog seems to have had a bout with pancreatitis and after a couple of pain shots and some subcutaneous fluids over the past 24hrs she is well on her way to feeling better. she still is not eating, it's been 3 days now, which is by far a record for her as i have never know her to turn down food-ever.

she's drinking water and lapping at vegetable broth here and there, but otherwise will not leave my side and just tries to be comfortable. last night poor cali was all nervous each time rain would whine-it was a rough night for us all.

rain got told she needs to loose some weight and eat a lower fat diet-she's not gonna like this much. lucky for me and her, our food supplier, feed this, has a vet and a dietitian on staff and will be helping me line out a nice low fat diet for her. bottom line is she needs to loose some weight and stay out of the kibble at my mom and dad's!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

After light
Originally uploaded by Hotash

i love halloween because it means my birthday is right around the corner.

this year we did not have a halloween party, i was too lazy. so, no big deal, just a nice long four days off of work


enjoy some shots from the other night with my friend
Deep, Dark

'does this shadow make my butt look HUGE!!!!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

out cold

out cold
Originally uploaded by Hotash

it's monday morning, nearly 1am

out cold
i should be, but i'm still awake
i spent a small fortune on iTunes today
stacked some wood
took some pictures
enjoyed the sun

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Fall reds
Originally uploaded by Hotash
fall reds
they are brilliant
in the gray of the day

summer is done


Friday, October 19, 2007

The littlest

The littlest
Originally uploaded by Hotash

today is 10.19.07
it's friday, my first saturday & it's raining on and off

i decided to try and call the squirrley nutkins even though it was raining.
i took an avocado out and put it in the usual spot and gave a call. . . nothing.

i gave up and came inside to have a spot of tea and go though some more pics from e&j's big day when i heard the oh so familiar sounds (which have been missing for weeks and weeks) of squirrely nutkins running across the roof!!!

This is what we hear every single morning and every single evening of every single day

i jump up and head outside, sure enough the littlest is up on the roof. i went an got some almonds and put them in one half of the avocado and tried to get him to come to me-he bailed off the roof into a lilac bush and raced across the front yard & up the pine tree, where he eyed me the whole time. i put the treat in the tree and went and sat on the porch step-he came right down and let me photograph him- i did not see his big brother, but he never did care for us much.

we are all warm & enjoying a nice fire, wasting time in front of the tv/computer

i hope you all have a lovely weekend

After the bat incident

After the bat incident
Originally uploaded by Hotash
ok, so i decided to buy jester, the murdering kitty, a collar with a bell (again) because the birds are coming through.

skip ahead to the next morning with me.
it's 630am and i hear the jingle jingle of jester's collar and the dreaded familiar meow that means a catch has been made.

he trots upstairs and lets loose a live bat!!!!
Our little stowaway

the little jerk!!
i spend the next hour trying to shoo the poor thing out the upstairs balcony door. jester just watched and intermittently chewed on his bell.

once i got the bat outside jester went out for a bit then cried to get back in and promptly took over marlee's bed.
marlee took exception and pawed at him from afar.
he finally left.
then it was time to go to work :)

read more about my lovely jester
Jester hiding from the world


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm happy if you're happy

Attention, originally uploaded by Hotash.

i got an excited call this morning and they're happy
i'm so happy

i missed some shots, but i think they will forgive me
boy did i ever learn a lot

i used the 70-200mm canon lens (borrowed from a friend) for the first time too - never use a lens you're not familiar with :)

actually, it was a great lens and the only thing that i didn't like too much was the huge lens flare i got - suppose if i used the lens hood i would have been smart. . .

all in all, it turned out well
it was a beautiful ceremony & i'm happy for my friends

Sunday, October 14, 2007

i survived

See what you missed
Originally uploaded by Hotash

it's sunday night. . .

i'm back :)

i pray that the photos come out half as good as they hoped...
i'm nearly sick to my stomach over the shoot!!!
the best part is. . .
that we all had fun, even though i was tense as tense can be...
never for money will i do this.

the ceremony was the most emotionally felt ceremony i have ever attended. the commitment that this family shares is beyond awesome.

the entire party made my mommy (who had never met any of them) feel welcome. in fact, i had to make my mom go home last night!!! i was exhausted and nervous (your were right kari, to give me that look on thursday-i thought you were crazy-but i realized i am!!!)

stay tuned and be kind as the event unfolds and dominates my photo stream for the next few days.


he big day was saturday. . .
E & J

i'm a tad bet calmer after going though some of the pics. . .or maybe i'm just tired

tell me, what do you think?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sun sets on a long weekend ahead

Sun sets on a long weekend ahead
Originally uploaded by Hotash

is 10.11.07
it's thursday, my friday. . .

the big day is saturday. . .
E & J

i head out in the morning (i'm taking my mommy with me for fun ya know) and i will be photographing the rehearsal friday night and the big day on saturday.

wish us great weather and me luck!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

At rest@work

At rest@work
Originally uploaded by Hotash
acorns and tobacco leaf scented candle make me happy at work

the acorns are selected from some that i have collected for our squirrely nutkins in case they run out and ask for more :)

the large round one is from an oak (black oak?) at my mom and dad's place and the two pointy ones are from our house (coast live oak?)

More on Oaks

i love this candle. i was introduced to this scent via a great friend who i miss dearly.

i sit with this almost everyday and it makes me happy while i remember happier things :-)

today i learned, during my acorn research, that acorns are rather interesting. they take anywhere from 6 months to 24 months to 'make' and the oaks need to be at least 20 years old before they begin producing acorns!

i plan on planting some of this babies around our place to replace the many trees that we lost in the the 2005 flood

Russian River - Not even at it's highest!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Blown out Heart

Blown out Heart
Originally uploaded by Hotash

these things happen sometimes. . .

i'm off to cut firewood today
i hope to see some lovely clouds
enjoy today

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Don't laugh@me!!!

Big Kitty
Originally uploaded by Hotash

the mean big kitty, made me laugh at her this morning.
she was all up in my face while i was trying to get ready for work, which is normal for her.

finally she decided to jump from the bathroom sink to the clothes hamper in an act of 'coolness' -


she hit the hamper lid and it instantly flipped, dumping her inside!!!
i laughed out loud so hard and she just glared at me.
i told her 'come on you know it was funny' and she just stared some more. finally she did a few burn outs and acknowledged that it was indeed pretty dang funny!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

NATURES selective use of COLOR

NATURES selective use of COLOR
Originally uploaded by Hotash

fall is definitely in the air of late. i don't remember ever really liking fall until just the past couple of years. . .in particular, since i picked up the camera. the camera really helped me to understand the light in our world-it's awesome.

i'm about to decide to go for a brisk fall walk with a friend after work or wimp out and go home. . .i should walk, 'course i should clean house and about a million other things too ;)

convince me

Bonanzle!!! with me & my daddy

"James" by Ysabella Brave