by Maryclaire Mayes
Oh My oh my! This isn’t the view from my window. It was the view from my bed! Just in case my life seemed too boring we volunteered to do dog sitting for our son and daughter-in-law’s german shepherd Trigger, while they visited family in North Carolina. Unfortunately Trigger loves Jordi so much and has just a tad of separation anxiety. It was a long first night. It was pretty rough for Trigger (and me and Dean and our bedroom carpet)! I am happy to report there have been no more incidents and that Trigger has decided life on the farm is not that bad!
Dog Sitting Trigger
by Maryclaire Mayes
It’s no secret that we love our dog Chia. We got her seven years ago after a year of sad goodbyes of parents dying, our kids moving out of the house and several states away and the last straw was when our 14 year old dog had to be euthanized as much as it broke our hearts.
About a month after that I had to fill in the dog shaped hole in my heart and Chia has done that perfectly. I had always heard that poodles were not only very smart, but eager to please. Even though Dean was not keen on the idea of having what he called a foo foo dog, I was completely sold on our next dog being a poodle. And I thought the fact that they don’t shed was a big plus.
For some reason my beloved little Chia pet took a very long time to house train. I would take her out, but she was always leaving little puddles when I wasn’t looking. For a while I thought, what was I thinking getting a puppy, but eventually she got the idea. She has an endearing and gentle personality and I often find myself calling her sweetie. Early on I was sewing toys for her and I would fill them with unshrunk shrink wrap. She loved to chew on them and make that crinkly noise. Now every time she hears my sewing machine I find her looking up at me in excited anticipation, thinking I am making her a new toy. Actually anytime anything comes in the house that vaguely resembles something that could be a dog toy she wants to check it out. I think that’s what happens when you get a dog when your kids move out. They get the idea they are the center of the universe.
I had read that dogs can learn up to 300 words and I tried to get her to connect to lots of words. I didn’t know how much she listened to our conversations until one day a friend was telling me about her daughters pet rabbit when Chia came in a set her toy rabbit on the table in front of her. We just looked at each other in amazement! She seems to like to think she is helping so we have taught her to close doors, bring notes to each other as well as put her toys away, which she promptly spreads out all over the room again. Even Dean is quite taken with her. I clip her myself and give her what Dean calls a farm clip, basically a crew cut. She doesn’t look foo foo and it helps with burrs and ticks. She is smart a wonderful companion and puts up with all our nonsense.
by Maryclaire Mayes
Ahh peppermint essential oil, so cool and refreshing!
My mom always had a patch of peppermint in the garden that we used for tea. I have one too but mint is a rather invasive species, so I try keep in contained in it’s own area. This ancient herb has long been valued for its use in flavoring from sweets to tooth paste. It has also been widely used as a medicine and as it’s dried leaves as an aromatic. It is a small perennial native to the Mediterranean, but cultivated in many parts of the world. Peppermint has a much stronger scent than other mints such as spearmint and is one of the most popular herbs used for perfuming. It was used in many different cultures to bring a refreshing scent to the air and welcome guests into homes. It’s familiar characteristic smell and taste is hard to describe being cooling and hot at the same time.
Peppermint essential oil’s major constituent, menthol, is it’s main active ingredient. It is reported to have many therapeutic properties. It is widely used for relief of digestive problems, muscle spasms, infections, inflammation, arthritis, asthma and sinus problems.
I have heard it can be used for an insect repellent and I do add it to my concoction to keep the bugs off the horses in the summer (but really, I think bugs are winning and are taking over the world). The last few years I have been using cotton balls soaked in peppermint essential oil to keep mice from taking up residence in the closet in our garage and it really works (I won that one at least )
In the summer try a cool refreshing glass of peppermint ice tea or just add some peppermint to your regular ice tea. In the winter I like a cozy warm cup of hot peppermint tea with a little honey, especially when I’m feeling a bit under the weather. And if you like a real morning pick me up, try our peppermint soap in your morning shower.