Sunday, October 24, 2010

Way Back When

Okay, maybe it wasn't way back, but it has been awhile since we took this picture.  We brought it out today because we have had a stormy day and we were looking for some sunshine!  This is from our Crater Lake vacation. I was sitting on a boulder in the river.  It was great fun.  Maybe we'll get to do it again next year.

I hope you have had a really good weekend.  Thanks for stopping by!!!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Blog Hop Time

Good Morning!  We are joining the Saturday Blog Hop again.
It's a really fun way to make new friends.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Creative Minds Are. . . . .

When the Duke and Duchess purchased this castle many, many moons ago, one of the main reasons was the daylight basement. (Which I call the dungeon).  For several years they had a ceramics shop down there. The Duke made the clay pieces (called greenware) and the Duchess taught classes.  As time went by the shop closed and all of the inventory and molds were sold off.  That is when the Duchess became completely obsessed with Decorative painting.

We decided to show you her messy studio because she is talking about painting again.  That is one of the benefits of being on furlough!  Time.  Someone once said that "you can never find time, you will have to make time.  That is easier said than done, for sure.

Originally the studio was a one bedroom apartment.  After the ceramics shop closed the Duchess had the fridge and stove removed so she would have more space.  (Can you believe that?)  Anyway, it became her most favorite place in the universe.  The next thing you knew, she was teaching classes again, but this time it was just decorative painting.

It wasn't long before she realized two things.  First thing was that she honestly was not skilled enough yet to be teaching.  Second was that while teaching was fun, it did not allow her time to work on her own projects and hone her skills.  So that was that and classes were over.  Afterwards she was glad she did it because the more time she spent painting, the better she got.

Well, one day, as often happens, life changed and the Duchess stopped painting.  She always meant to get back to it but something always came up.  There was never TIME. 

So, last month when she was on furlough she decided to give it another go.  Sadly it is not like riding a bicycle- and she found she will have to start all over again.  But practice makes perfect :)  (That's what I tell her!)

She decided for her first project she would try to paint my portrait. (I think that was a bit ambitious, but she didn't consult me.)  That's when she realized she has no idea what she's doing!!! However, she does have a sense of humor about it all. 

Now that you have the background, we can start our tour!

This is the main room where you first walk in.

Past the main room is the kitchen, tiny, tiny bedroom, and bathroom.

The tiny, tiny bedroom is used for storing all the junk wonderful things the Duchess
plans to paint someday. (You know how that goes!)

This is the little kitchen.
During the holidays it would sure be handy to have that extra fridge and oven!
Oh well. . .

There is even an old computer that probably doesn't work anymore.

Back to the main room. You can see the front door from here!

Have you ever seen such a mess?

The Duchess says that's the best part of having a studio.
You can leave everything, walk away and close the door.
Next time you come in it is ready and waiting for you! 

So, I guess this concludes our tour.
Next time you think your house is messy, just remember this post!
You will feel much better :)

And I will leave you with one thought. . . 
(click to enlarge)


Wordless Wednesday #9

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Love Wins!

I cannot stay mad at my Duchess, nor she at me.  Love always wins.  Life is way too short to stay mad.  Just think of all the fun we would miss!  So when the sun came out we abandoned our feud pronto!!!

I was so excited I left Higgins in the dust.

But it didn't take him long to catch up.

We are having an Indian Summer and it has been so welcome.
The rain is supposed to come back in a few days, but for now we just enjoy.

Higgins likes the smell and taste of the long grass.

Bear enjoys it too. Even if he looks grumpy he seldom is.

And of course I adore the sun in my face! 
It doesn't get any better than this :)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to Start a Royal Feud

Look into my eyes. . .

 Am I not your Queen?

 If you dare publish this picture I will banish you from my Kingdom!
No?  Okay, I will not speak to you EVER AGAIN!!!

 Go ahead ----- Make my day!

I think she really means it this time...

 Yep. . . Sparks are gonna fly. .  .

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Queen is Back

After all the trauma about Higgins, I decided to brighten things up a bit with a picture of ME!  How cool is that? :)  These pictures were taken last week when the sun came out for a few days.  Today the rain is back, but that's ok because we have bones to chew on.  Yum, yum!

The Duchess asked me to thank you all for the good advice.  She feels much more confident now that things will work out fine. 

And as for me.... Well, I just want my blog back, thank you!  I mean, I am happy to be of assistance when I can, but let's not push it ok? 


Friday, October 8, 2010

Update from the Duchess

I realized after reading your comments on our last post that I needed to give you more information.  So here is what led up to the bite and what we did afterwards.

Higgins sleeps in his crate in the kitchen. It is open so he can get out if he wishes, but he cannot get out of the kitchen.  We decided he was trustworthy enough to sleep with us so we let him stay on our bed when we went to sleep.  He didn't stay long but returned off and on during the night - usually with kisses to our faces.  The second night of this routine is when we had the bite incident.  Higgins had jumped on the bed and started his "kissing" about 2:30 am.  We both told him firmly to knock it off and lie down.  As soon as he obeyed, my husband reached down to pat him and say "good boy" - Wham!  Higgins bit him.  Needless to say the lights came on and we were wide awake.  My husband was furious and picked up Higgins by the scruff of his neck and carried him like that down the hall to the kitchen.  I'm pretty sure he yelled at him too but I don't remember.  He didn't strike him (although I'm sure he wanted too!).  We have always tried to train our dogs using positive methods.  Hitting isn't positive, but I realize sometimes a dog might deserve a swat. Carrying a dog by the scruff of their neck isn't too positive either, I know...

Anyway, back to the story....

The next morning I got up and went to the kitchen as usual and when I started to open the gate and say "good morning" Higgins started growling at me.  I knew if I tried to push it he would bite me.  I was certain of it.  So I ignored him and let the other dogs in the kitchen so everyone could go outside.  He did not growl at me again that day, but he would not come near me.  The next two mornings were a repeat of the first morning.  He would play ball with me but I had to really work to get him to bring the ball close enough for me to reach it.  During this time he never growled at my husband, although he acted reserved with him also.  He continued to play with Emma as if nothing had happened.

On the fourth morning he seemed almost normal.  It was almost as if he was tired of being ignored while the other dogs got "good morning loves".  I am just sure all of this has to do with his sleeping arrangements.  But I can't figure out why.  In the meantime, he is back to sleeping in the kitchen.  Maybe he feels safer in that confined space.  His part of the kitchen is about 10'x10'.  I have also "upped" his exercise time.   A tired dog is a good dog, right? 

The comments we got about NILIF and reinforcing his obedience commands are really helpful.  We are going to work on these things right away.  Higgins has been through twice the amount of obedience classes that most dogs go through.  And his sessions were private, one-on-one with the trainer because he does not like other dogs.  In that controlled environment we could introduce strange dogs.  He still doesn't like strange dogs, but he is much better now at ignoring them.

One last thing.  Higgins is due for a Vet visit soon and I will talk to them about this.  Of course if needed I will get him in sooner (if we have anymore problems with behaviour).

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, concern, and encouragement!

The Duchess

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Help! We Have A Border Collie!

It has been a hard week for us.  Mister Higgins is being a real naughty boy.  He bit the Duke for no reason, other than he was cranky (Higgins, not the Duke).  Then he growled at the Duchess for three days in a row.  She couldn't get near him in the morning without him letting her know to "back off".  Today he seems back to his goofy sweet self.  Have any of you experienced anything like this?  Is he just testing us to see how far he can go?  The Duchess has been traumatized by all of this and thinks somehow she must have failed Mister Higgins.  I say pooh!  He's just a naughty and spoiled brat!

I am not amused. . .

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


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