Monday, March 30, 2009

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty


I am so hoping that my husband does not read my blog while he is on the road. Our truck up and died in the driveway on Friday and had to be towed to the city, so I had to drive Peter to work this morning. He is on his way out of town for a couple of days. After I dropped him off, I proceeded to the gas station at Hwy. 5 & 2. There was a young german shepherd trying desparately to get this small cat (kitten) to play with it. The cat wanted nothing to do with this puppy and was hissing and spitting at her. I get out of the van, crouch down and say, "Here, kitty, kitty" and this cat just makes a bee-line for me, but gets intercepted by the puppy and runs back towards the big propane tanks.

The gas jockey/owner comes out and tells me this cat has been hanging around for a couple of weeks and is always trying to sneak into the restaurant. By this time I have the cat in my arms and she is just purring away. She's really friendly.



Yadda, yadda, yadda - I have a new cat.



Well - my other cats are not very pleased with this new arrival and upon seeing her they all puffed to twice their size and got big spazzed tails. The dogs are very curious. New kitty is just hissing and spitting at dogs and cats. However, she loves people and does circles around my legs.
She is currently seeking refuge on a ledge in front of the microwave. I guess she feels safe up there.










I am not quite sure how old she is. She is very small, however does not have a kitten look. I think her new name is "Pretty Kitty" and she will now be known as simply "Pretty".
I wonder how long it will take for Peter to notice we have another cat?

Update - April 1, 2009: "Pretty" has been to the vet and much to my relief is not pregnant. She is less than a year old - maybe 10-11 months old. No ear mites! No feline lukemia or HIV. Very good condition. Yippee! She will be spayed soon.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nay Nay

We had a great night out on the town last evening. We went out for dinner - tried to get into East Side Mario's, but the wait time was 30 minutes. We ended up at Mano's on 8th St. and were promptly seated. Mano's is newly renovated and is now a more upscale decor along with the prices. Despite the screaming toddler at the next table, we did have an enjoyable meal and our waiter, Blaine, was very attentive.

We had tickets to see the comic, John Pinette at Centennial Auditorium (I know it has a different name now). Now, this place is so much better than Credit Union Place. For one thing, it is an actual auditorium with great acoustics and comfortable seats with legroom.

John is a big, funny man who's entire life is devoted to food and that is the central theme of his show. You'll never look at turnips in the same light again. I highly recommend you catch his act!

A couple of clips for your enjoyment.






Update: I forgot to mention. We parked on the Sears side of Midtown Mall and had to walk 3 blocks to get to the auditorium. We had fully intended to park underground, but when we pulled into the "Sears" lot the underground parking was blocked off. Unlike the evening we attended the Eagles concert - it was a lovely -3C. So the 3 block walk was invigorating - walking off the Mano's supper as opposed to walking to keep our blood from freezing. Our seats were at the end of the aisle, so getting out after the show was simple. To our delight there was no toll booth in this parking lot when we left - WOW saved a big 4 bucks!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blast from the Past


My sister sent me this photo this morning. This is me when I was 18 years old. Don't you just love the 70's hair and flared pants!
P.S. Abba called - they want their costume back.



Speaking of Critics

OK - I watched American Idol (AI) last night just like 30 million other er..fans. Boy do they ever draw this show out. My prediction for tonight:

Bottom Three
Sarver
Melanie Joy Cockrey (I don't know why they don't use her last name any more)
Lil Rounds

I was quite disappointed with Lil Rounds performance. I figured she'd have this one in the bag, but she ended up shouting her song. I am not sure who she was trying to be in that outfit...Tina Turner meets Diana Ross?

Best Performances
I quite enjoyed Adam Lambert's performance and he reminded me of a young Kurt Russell - all dark and brooding. He certainly is not boring.

Allison - she can sing. You go girl.

Boring, boring, boring
Scott - He is no Jeff Healey
Anoop - yes, the boy has a lovely voice but ...snore. He will be safe though.

Who else? Can't remember as they didn't make an impression on me. Oh yah...Gokey...whatever.

Who's leaving?
My guess is Sarver.

Harsh Critic


Having a little jam session with cats and dogs - they are a great audience, or so I thought. Turns out Baby Puddy is a critic - and a harsh one at that. I'm singing and playing away and she saunters over, jumps up on the couch and then presses her paws against my mouth.

How much clearer of a message could she send out? Her other way of telling me that I am making her ears bleed - she goes into my guitar case and shreds my sheet music.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hallelujah

I am a campfire singer. For my adoring fans I have added "Hallelujuah" to my repetoire ....I sound good if you drink enough booze. In the meantime enjoy someone with real talent...

Coldest Place on Earth

I googled "coldest place on earth" and this is what popped up in Wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatoon

On Climate Wiki quotes:


"Saskatoon in Winter.Saskatoon is in a dry-prairie/savanna biome and experiences
warm summers and very cold winters. The city has four distinct seasons. Average
temperatures range from -17°C in January to 18.2°C in July."
Average -17 C?

LIARS!

That should read -27 C!
Looking south towards our place - March 24, 2009.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

Don't be drinking anything while you watch this or you'll have to buy a new monitor.


Move This

I just love the movie comedy "Let's Go To Prison".

Here are the ending credits and if this song doesn't get you moving, then check your pulse.

Extra Extra Read All About It!


This just in...Environment Canada has officially cancelled spring and summer for Saskatchewan.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We Are Live in 3..2..1....ACTION!

I guess I have to remember to put on clothes now. Once the puppies come, I will be pointing the camera at the whelping box. I also will have it on during their birth - however I cannot promise that the lighting will be very good if they happen to arrive during the wee hours.

http://bernese.sasktelwebhosting.com/kimbercam.html

I think it's working now. Let me know in the comments section please if you can view the camera.

UPDATE: While the webcam is working, it only allows 4 users at one time. We are working on a fix. Right now there isn't anything too exciting going on here anyway.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Guilty Secret

A guilty secret. I watch American Idol. Oh Noes!

So - who here thinks this show is rigged, fixed (whatever)? And who do you think should win?

Excellent Find

I happened to come across a set of 4 Robert Duncan berner prints - 5x7 framed at Rona. I quickly snatched them up. I plan on donating them to the berner club so they can be offered up at a health or rescue raffle.

Robert Duncan is an artist from Utah and he has many paintings featuring his children and his dogs, one of which is a bernese. Check out his website here:
http://www.robertduncanstudios.com/about.php

Bed vs Toy

I had to purchase one more cat bed and Peter had found the cutest one at London Drugs. Here is L'il Puddy snuggled into the new bed. Who can resist a cat bed that actually looks like a cat?



I have just spent the last 5 minutes looking for this bed after I let Callie Two Toys into the room. I guess dogs who love toys and chasing cats cannot resist beds that look like cats either.









Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Cost of Pearly Whites!

Last week I happened to find Callie with a broken incisor and so scheduled an appointment with the vet to have it extracted. I figured it would be just a straight forward extraction and also thought - might as well have her teeth cleaned at the same time. Well, nothing is ever straight forward with bernese. Turns out this tooth was quite damaged and the vet could not simply pull it out but had to drill that sucker right out of her head.

I generally scale my own dogs teeth and have never in my 20 plus years of owning berners have had their teeth professionally cleaned. Apollo - my blue eyed sweetie, will not let me scale his teeth. He used to be content to chew on bones but for quite sometime when I offered him a bone he would simply bury it. His teeth became heavily coated in tarter and this was probably why he was not inclined to chew his bones. I brought him in for a dental today.

If anyone is seeing a little smoke wafting from the Saskatchewan area, it's probably because that was when my credit card burst into flames. The bill for these two dogs came to $1460.00.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What is That in my Bed?

Quite the busy night at Kimberlite Grand Central. First I was awaken by a loud thud. Turns out Sparkle had fallen out of bed and not very gracefully. Then around 1:30 am I was awaken by the Stinkbomb. Anyone who has ever had dogs knows that smell - the smell of reeking poop.

I suspect it was sweet little Lola who deployed the Stinkbomb. She has a very subtle way of letting us know she needs to go outside. She will simply sit by the front door with an anxious expression. Well, with my third eye closed for the night and my spidey-senses muted I missed her signal. It is no fun cleaning up poop in the wee hours of the morning, however, I did manage to get back to sleep.

When I awoke this morning, after the usual frolic with the berners giving me their good morning greeting, I finally manage to push whoever is sitting on my head off. I sit up and notice something brown in the covers on the left-hand side. This was just not something I wanted to have a closer look at without first arming myself with a cup of coffee. After several cups of coffee I make my way back into the bedroom and tiptoe over to the brown thing (least it suddenly spring up). A close inspection reveals it is a chewed up empty toilet paper roll. Wheeew - that was a close one.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Awww


Too cute. Ophie has cuddles for her "baby". This is the poor teddy who was found floating in the water dish. I'm glad he survived.

Walkies




Finally the temperatures are starting to get to a more human level. We were able to get the dogs out for "walkies" They had a marvelous time sniffing and tearing around.






Friday, March 13, 2009

Fat Friday Recipe

Spaghetti John with Cheese Garlic Bread

We were first served this dish out in the great outdoors at some provincial park in Ontario. It was made over an open campfire. Once this dish is made it is important to serve it immediately.

Ingredients - all approximate guesses use as much as you want
  • pasta - we use fettuccine - enough for 2 people
  • bacon - 1/2 pound chopped
  • asiago cheese - shredded - about 1/2 cup
  • havarti cheese - shredded - about 1/2 cup
  • 3-4 green onions - diced
  • 2 garlic cloves - crushed
  • olive oil - 1 tablespoon at least

Cook the bacon nice and crispy and then saute the green onions in the bacon. In the meantime you are cooking the pasta as you want everything to be ready at the same time. Once the pasta is cooked, add the olive oil and toss the pasta, then add the crushed garlic cloves - toss. Add the cheeses - toss. And lastly, add the bacon and onions and toss well. The heat from the pasta will melt the cheese.

It's best to use a heated bowl.

My Garlic Cheese Bread

  • French loaf cut in half
  • Butter the halves
  • Season with some kind of garlic spread
  • Cover with creamed cheese
  • Cover with shredded mozza

Bake in oven and then broil so cheese is nice and bubbly.

I like to serve mine with a nice Chianti and fava beans...sppppppf. (just kidding about the fava beans).

Enjoy!









Holy Photoshop Batman!

I Think My Husband is an Alien





I bought a can of Tim Horton's coffee and am hoping that it tastes similar to the coffee that one can get at "Timmies". Peter says he wouldn't know what a Timmies tastes like as he's never had one!



What? Is that even possible?



How can one even call themselves a Canadian if one has never had a Timmies coffee?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What Lies Beneath

A couple of years ago we decided to take out the carpet in our living room. Keep in mind that 16 litters and many pups from outside have passed (peed) through our house. Those are all pee spots!

We have installed laminate flooring now and it is so much easier to clean. Plus - I bought myself a Shark Steam Mop!



Fabreze Pills?


Pal is one gas bag of a berner. She farts. She burps. And they are TOXIC. Too bad this blog doesn't have a "scratch and sniff" feature. Stink just seeps and oozes from Pal. I don't know how many times I have kicked her out of the bedroom because I cannot breathe. I am really frightened of our propane stove - it has an open flame...what if she farts too close to it? Pal will climb up on the couch and have a snooze (obviously she is cooking up some gas) and then she will roll around until she lets out some pressure. She also likes to sleep on her back, on the couch, in a kind of pretzel position and I have literally pushed on her sides and played her like a bagpipe - only she doesn't expel music.


It is too bad that Proctor and Gamble cannot come up with some kind of Fabreze pill that we could give our dogs so that when they do fart they will fill the room with a fresh morning breeze scent instead of some long dead, make me gag odour.

Precious Water

The prairies are quite desert-like. We do not receive a lot of precipitation, nor is there much in terms of potable water. The main source of water for Saskatoon and surrounding area comes from the South Saskatchewan River. When we first moved out to this acreage we had a little well that drew water from a slough. We never drank that water - just used it for the household. Then we put in a 300 gallon tank in the house and Peter carried a little 100 gallon tank on the back of his pickup and would go to the municipal well on the way home from work and fill the little truck tank. I ran my house on 300 gallons of water a day for the next 12 years (not that we used 300 gallons a day). You learn to conserve!
Imagine my delight when we had a 2,000 gallon underground tank installed! Not only can I do several loads of laundry during the week, but we can also drink this water. We have water delivered about every 3 weeks. The pictures here show the truck that delivers our water. I can tell you Peter is certainly happy that he no longer has to pick up water on the way home and then worry about thawing out the nozzle to get the water into the house.
We now use the well water for our gardens and lawn.
Update: I have edited this post to say 300 gallons a day. Peter (my editor)came home and read the post and I had initially said 300 gallons for the next 12 years - I think we should have won some kind of award for that should it be true.

Big Sky





This is the approach to Saskatoon coming in on Hwy. 5

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Territory Revisited

What they were really thinking.

Something to Hoot About

I wish I had a good camera with a telephoto lens. I was doing the dishes and looking out at the frozen pond and saw this 'different' shape on the fence post. We always have our binoculars handy and I figured it was a hawk, but it turns out to be an owl. It's probably frozen to the post.
Update 4:42 pm: The owl is still there.
Update 5:37 pm: OK, I am looking around my property for Eric Idol and John Cleese. I think this poor bird may be "nailed to his perch".
Update: 5:58 pm: Peter is home from work and we both concur that this is a Great Horned Owl.
Update 6:15 pm: He's gone. Peter went out to snow blow...


Eagles Take It To The Limit

The Eagles are touring Canada and made Saskatoon a 3-concert venue. I am sure the band thinks that they are in hell and it has indeed frozen over. The temperatures have been in the low -30s with windchills dipping below -40 C.

With the mercury sinking to -33C last night we attended their sold-out concert. Parking is a problem at the best of times at the Credit Union Centre (CUC), however, 500 spots were unavailable due to snow being dumped in them. 13,000 people attended this concert and all wanted to get as close as possible to the building so as not to freeze on the way in. We have a secret spot that we park at outside of the CUC grounds and not only is it easy to get into but when the crowds surge out afterwards, this spot permits a quick getaway from the traffic bottlenecks that occur.

As we approached the building we could see quite the lineup to get inside and I certainly did not want to stand there freezing and noticed a few people walking towards the back of the stadium. We followed the small group of people and quickly found an entrance into the stadium.


We had seats in Section 8 - Row 19. We pushed our way through the milling bodies and eventually found the stairs up. Up. Up. Up. Up. This concert sold out in 5 minutes. Peter and I used both our computers to secure two tickets at $100.00 each. And we found ourselves seated in the 2nd last row from the top of the stadium. We could barely see the stage.


The seats are hard and there is barely any leg room. Looking around the crowd I noticed something very similar - lots of bald heads, grey hair, glasses, and conservative clothing. After all - as Don Henley said himself, this was the 'Eagles Assisted Living Tour'.




The concert starts around 8:15 and at first Peter and I are not very impressed. The sound was quite low and much to our disappointment we could not see the Jumbotrom due to a girder that hung down blocking our view. I really think that those seats that have impeded view in CUC should not be priced the same as those that have a better view.


To add to insult, behind us sat a couple of 20 something girls who just had to carry on a loud conversation between themselves. I wanted to enjoy the music and didn't want to hear their insipid giggling and conversations about who is texting them at this moment. Third song in was 'Hotel California'. Now this is one of my favourite songs and I sure didn't want it ruined by those two boorish girls behind me. Suddenly, I grew horns and fangs and turned around and snarled "Girls, please keep quiet!" Big eyes! They managed to keep quiet for all of 2 songs. I figured they probably spit in my hair. Oh I forgot to mention, when these two crawled into their seats they managed to spill their drink on Peter. Much to our relief they decided to leave (probably found better seats) about 10 minutes before the break and never returned.

I know we saw and listened to a very different concert than the people who were in the lower balcony and floor. The music was great - they sang all their hits. Joe Walsh is as crazy as ever and wore his helmet cam for his hit 'Life's Been Good'. The background with computer generated images was incredible and at least we were able to see that. But we never did really see any close-ups of the band. Closing songs were 'Take It Easy' and the last one 'Desperado'. Instead of people holding up lighters - they held up their cell phones. Speaking of cell phones - I was amazed at the number of people who were on their cells the entire concert - most likely texting. I could see all the little glowing globs throughout the crowd. Despite the stifling hot air up in doldrums of CUC, the lack of a good view and hard seats I was happy we went. I'll probably never get the chance to see The Eagles live ever again.

I am also glad we had our secret parking spot because after a 1/2 hour shuffle in the crowds to exit the stadium, we quickly got to our van and onto the road.

Unfortunately, we came home to a piles of poop - and nasty, stinky ones too. Oh well.

"L" Litter is Six Years Old!





On March 5 - the L litter turned 6 years old. Happy Birthday to all you wonderful puppies!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Show Me The Proof!

Ever come across dog breeder sites that contain absolutely no real content about their dogs? Their sites will be littered with cutesy pictures of puppies playing with balls and children. Adults being cuddled and all sorts of family type feel-good shots. The content of information about their dogs will speak about how much they love their dogs; how sweet they are; what good pets; what nice markings the parents have; how they have "bone", etc. The key thing missing in all of these sites is evidence to back up these claims. Where are the health clearances? How do they know their dog is of good type? Was it judged by an outside source? How is their breeding stock superior and able to produce good (better) pets to that of the breeder who shows and tests their breeding stock?

There are often incredible claims being made on these websites:
  • our dogs come from European stock and don't have the same problems as North American dogs
  • only show dogs have health problems
  • we only want to produce nice pets
  • we've never had any hip dysplasia
  • we've never produced cancer
  • our dogs have wonderful temperaments and excellent type
  • our dogs have excellent health.

SHOW ME THE PROOF!

What evidence do they have that European dogs are somehow healthier than North American dogs? How does coming across an ocean cause health problems? How does stepping into a show ring cause health problems? How do they know they've never produced pups with orthopedic problems - have all of them been tested and certified? Have post mortems been performed on all breeding dogs owned and all pups produced to determine cause of death so that they can claim they have never produced cancer?

These type of breeders ride on the coat tails of the responsible breeders who make every effort to test their breeding stock for health problems associated with their breed. Responsible breeders take part in their breed clubs, they attend shows to have their breeding stock assessed by an outside source as to their quality - to ascertain their strengths and weaknesses. They participate in health research and education to the public and rescue. They screen their buyers and will always take back puppies. And most important - they can tell you about the background of their dogs because they have knowledge of the pedigree. They know about the ancestors in the background of the puppy, i.e., orthopedics, longevity, temperament, size, etc. Every breeder will produce pups with problems. What the buyer should want to know is what are they doing to minimize problems (and the only way that can be done is through health testing of parents and ancestors and knowing the pedigree of the parents for the strengths and weaknesses that are in every bloodline).

Compare this to the fluffy breeder websites that can't even tell you who the grandparents are let alone what they might have died of.

I say before you plunk down your hard earned cash for a new puppy ask the breeder to SHOW YOU THE PROOF that this is indeed a well bred puppy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Territory










This bed is mine! Get out!




Now that the fight is settled - everyone has their spot. Our four cats. Mr. Slinky in the blue bed; behind him is Baby. In the brown bed is Lil Puddy and in the wicker basket is Old Puddy. Yes, we are very original in our cat names.

Boomer and His Buds

Boomer with a little Swiss Miss









Hugs for Boomer


A Very Talented Photographer

Visit Chris's site and view his wonderful pictures of bernese. There's even a couple of me, The Berner Goddess with Joey and Lola.

http://www.csphotoonline.com/Dog%20Shows

Put Up Yer Dukes!

video

Slipperless in Saskatchewan


I could hear Lola chewing on something this morning while I was trying to catch a few extra zzzzs. I know I told her to "knock it off".
I ususally leave my slippers on top of the dresser but either one of the evil....err ...sweet cats knocked them off or I stupidly left them on the floor. In any case, another pair of slippers have been destroyed. Actually, I could probably make a lot of "sets" of slippers. Not sure if they would be all left or right feet.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Riding in Style


Giddy-up Roman! Roman proudly pulls Claire.

These Are a Few of my Favourite Things



Sparkle after 2007 Blizzard












Berkley has a bath.










Jumpin' Joey

Berners of the Corn


You're heard of "Children of the Corn"....meet "Berners of the Corn".

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pilling a Cat and What is that Hammering?

Our old cat - Old Puddy has some kind of respiratory thing going on and has to be given antibiotics twice a day. Well - you'd think we were wrestling a 400 pound tiger and not a 6 pound, 20 year old cat. Peter puts on the oven mits and we wrap her in a towel and then he pries her mouth open and I quickly insert the pill and then he shuts her mouth and holds it closed. All the while her claws are out and if she could make contact we'd be ripped to shreds.

Sometimes we get the pill in the first try - sometimes she manages to spit it out. What an ordeal.

I heard this hammering outside yesterday and thought Peter was doing something (???) -however when I looked outside I couldn't see him. I finally found the source of the hammering. A woodpecker had drilled quite the hole in our siding. I put two cats out in hopes that it would deter him from returning.

We are impatiently waiting for spring to arrive. It must be close as we did smell a skunk the other day, but I am sure he went back in his burrow when the temps dropped to sub zero again.

How to Amuse Yourself When It's -35C Outside

I used to play this game with my first berner and I forgot how entertaining it is. Hide the "milkbones" or any piece of food. What I do is hide a bunch of pieces of tasty food (like milkbones) around the livingroom. Then I let the dogs in to "hunt". It's really interesting to see them scent the air and work their way towards the piece of food. Then scent another.

I received this free sample of dental kibble and it must be really tasty because one of the cats ripped open the bag. So, I put a bunch of pieces around the livingroom and had great fun watching them play the game. Lola was the ulitmate winner - finding the hardest pieces that I had placed in a spot that the dogs rarely go.As I write this little blurb, they are still looking around alhtough all the pieces have now been found and eaten.

Body Found Floating in Water Bowl

RM of Colonsay - The water sodden body of a purple Teddy Bear was found floating face down in a green water bowl in a rural Saskatchewan home. The prime suspect is bernese mountain dog, "Callie Two Toys". Police were suspicious when they found the suspect with only one toy in her mouth. The body has been retrieved and is now set out in the kitchen sink to dry. No word yet on why the suspect drops stuffies in the water dish, but experts speculate that the dog has a clean fetish. The investigation continues.



Welcome to Berner Bumps

Testing, testing. Here we go.