Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Questions, which I really love, because it keeps me from having to come up with a "real" post

Liz in Sumner asks: One more question: I'm a clueless, pacific northwesterner(sorry, but not my fault - I was born here), and someday when my son is out of school, I'd like to leave the state and live elsewhere. All we ever hear about the midwest up here is TORNADOS!!! Do you guys down there all have storm cellars or basements or something for when those storms hit? Because they SURE look scarey! And, how are the bugs? We're (relatively!!) bug-less up other words, nobody uses Orkin on a regular basis.....

Liz, this question hits particularly close to home because as I type this, I have an eight-year old asleep in my bed, as she has been every single night for the past four months, due to her obsessively paranoid fear of tornadoes (which trickles down to an obsessively paranoid fear of thunder, lightning, rain, and even dark clouds in the sky--- which, quite frankly, is exhausting. And makes me hate the makers of The Wizard of Oz for putting ideas in her head.) Like I’ve tried explaining to Kendrie, I lived in Oklahoma for the first twenty-one years of my life, and have never seen a tornado, or been anywhere near a tornado. The closest I’ve ever come to a tornado, ironically, was when we lived in Georgia and a small one touched down a few miles from our house. Although I was out running errands at the time and didn't even know it until the next day. And one time we came home on vacation and were at my sister's house when one touched down a few miles away. Some people here do have storm cellars (my sister does, and at that party, we had about fifty-eleventeen people crammed in there, which was actually a hoot) but the majority do not. Yes, storm season here can be scary, and nothing *quite* gives you an adrenaline surge like hearing the tornado sirens go off. But thanks to Doppler radar, the meteorologists here can tell you exactly where a tornado has touched down, the route it is traveling, the path it is taking, and when, within a minute, it *might* be in your area. That’s not to say it’s not scary, because it can be. But I equate it to the earthquakes in California, or the hurricanes on the coast. Just pay attention, know what to do in the event of an emergency, and use common sense. Now, if someone could help me get that message through to my daughter, and get her back in her own bed, I would be most grateful.

As far as bugs, they’re no worse here than anywhere. Although we do have a weird roly-poly infestation in this house ever since we moved here and I’m about sick of it. The first two or three I picked up and threw away were cute .... the next seven billion were not.

Cindi asks: I do have one more question you ever read other blogs? Leave comments? I don't know how you'd have time, unless your request for 36 hour days was approved. And if it was, let me know what to do to get it approved. They keep turning mine down.

Cindi, yep, I love reading other blogs. I lurk way more than I ever comment, but do comment at least occasionally because I know how fun they are to recieve. I check out new blogs on pretty much a daily basis, including the links people leave here. As far as those I read regularly, you can see the list in my sidebar. Although, I should probably update that list. There are a few there that I no longer read, and a few others I should add. And really, I should add the Caringbridge sites that I still check. But, I confess to being impatient with other bloggers who don’t update on a regular basis. If I check back daily, and several days or a week goes by without an update …. And that happens often enough …. I typically quit checking. Um, fair-weather friend, anyone?

Donna asks: Are you getting the full-blown Photoshop or just Elements? I can't afford the big one, but Elements seems to have more stuff than I could ever learn to use.

Donna, a copy of Elements came with my original Rebel camera, and I was pretty content with it for quite a while. A little cropping, zooming, and contrast work was about all I did. Then, I … um … “borrowed” a copy of Photoshop 7.0 from a friend, and starting getting a little more adventurous with my work. I was juuuuuuuuust entering the wonderful world of actions a few weeks ago, and my “borrowed” copy died. So now I’m back to using Elements, and trying to work up the nerve to spend the money on my own version of Photoshop. I don’t think, however, that I’ll get the full-out version with all the bells and whistles. Too much money, too much of a learning curve, too much stuff I’ll never use.

Abbie from IA wants to know: But I am curious...did Nicholas fly out by himself or did his parents come too?

Abbie, we were lucky and the entire family got to visit! Unfortunately, thanks to airplane mechanical glitches and weather trouble, they spent more time (literally) in the airport in Atlanta and the airport in OKC than they spent actually visiting us. I’m pretty sure it won’t go down as the smoothest travel they’ve ever made. But we were happy to have them and hope they’ll come back soon. After Nicholas left, Kendrie brought me a picture she had drawn and colored, titled “My favorite place in the world! Gagia house” with a picture of our home in Georgia. Broke my heart a little bit, truly.

Nancy from Ontario asks: is barley the family dog, or, the hunting dog? whichever one she is she is absolutely beautiful. have tons of fun.

Nancy, she’s both. Although for now she’s “the dog that better quit nipping at us before things get really ugly.” Seriously … does anyone have any suggestions for teaching kids to train a dog? She does well with Blaine and I because when she tries to bite us (playfully, yes, but those sharp little puppy teeth hurt!) he and I know to grab her mouth and forcefully say no, at which point she stops. The kids start squealing, and running from her, and she thinks they’re playing, and she gets even more excited and jumps and bites some more. If we try to intervene and pop her on the butt, the kids get upset with us “because we’re hurting her!” But then they cry because *she’s* hurting *them*. So far, Kendrie has a bruise on her thigh where Barley got skin, and she actually drew blood on the back on Brayden’s neck yesterday. So I think in addition to training the puppy, Blaine and I need to work on training the kids, also. But thank you, she is cute. When she’s not peeing on the carpet.

Mama Bear says: I'm saving up to buy my first digital SLR, having only recently given up my Minolta Maxxum (which was the greatest film SLR I've ever used). Still sitting on that Nikon-Cannon fence trying to decide which way to go. Any reason why your professor prefers Nikon?

I think for the same reason most people prefer one over the other … it’s what they started with, it’s what they know, and it’s what they’re most comfortable with. Obviously, they’re both really good cameras … how many times have you heard someone say, “I just hate my Canon!” ?? Or, “This Nikon is a piece of crap!” ? Relatively never, because bottom line, they’re both good cameras. They both have neat features, and they both can capture high quality images. But after you choose and buy one, and begin to accumulate the lenses and accessories that are interchangeable, I think it would take a pretty strong incentive to get someone to change. I’m just not sure why “some” people can’t acknowledge they are both good cameras, or why they feel they must be critical of whatever brand it is they DON’T have. So if you ask me, I’m going to tell you to buy a Canon because I love mine and it makes me happy. But I’ll also be the first to tell you I have plenty of friends that use Nikon (or Olympus or Sony) who are perfectly happy as well.

Dear Twenty-Four at Heart, thanks for the invitation to come by your site and take part in your contest .... I love contests! Unfortunately, Blogger informed me when I clicked on your link that your profile is set to private, so I'm afraid I couldn't do it. Which made me sad, because I'm all about the give-aways. Unless you're giving away $50 worth of massages, or pedicures. Then I think I'll just bow out gracefully.

And now, my question-comment section is empty once again. Which means I've got to think up something "real" and interesting and funny to type about. (sigh)


Anonymous said...

I posted this once, but I tell you, the ONLY thing that stopped my Golden from his nipping as a puppy was to put change in an empty coffee can (make several of these to have handy) and give it a good shake right near him when he starts nipping. They hate the noise and I swear I was skeptical and at my braking point when someone suggested this. My kids were younger than yours too, so it HAD to stop. It worked. Never let the kids shake it for fun or too tease the dog. Only for when he nips.

Hang in there. After the nipping spell there was the lovely chewing everything stage. Sucker chewed through the wires that connected our AC to the house. Amazing he didn't kill himself and he set me back $400.00 in repairs. He ate ANYTHING and set me back another $1000 or so bucks in vet fees for illness from whatever the heck he ate.

But he is almost 4 now, and I swear, he is hands down THE best dog I ever had. It will get better.


Jamie AZ said...

Mama Bear - if you read this, please email me at jamie dot moilanen at cox dot net (change the dots/at to symbols) as I, too, have a Minolta Maxxum film camera that I love, and moved to a Sony A100 because the Minolta lenses fit it (saves me from buying another 300mm lens). Anyway, if you'd like more info, just drop me a line.

Kristie, these types of posts are fun, even if it isn't a "real" post!

Grandma J said...

I've never heard of this before, but when I first came to Texas, my daughters puppy was six months old and when I took him to the vets they pulled his puppy teeth. They were sharp as razors and the adult teeth came in right away. The vet said it's common practice. So if it is, maybe you might want to consider it.

Lauren said...


For kids and training and even lots of fun (and no more need to grab or swat the puppy), check out clicker training. It is so cool! Our 7 week old puppy is already learning stuff, plus some manners. He still jumps and bites of course, but we just started. I think you can find stuff at or something. I ordered the puppy starter kit and the kids love the clicker and the DVD was great for them. At least look...


Cindi said...

Wish I could offer a suggestion or two about Barley, but alas, we are a feline household.

For the record, I also tend to be a fair-weather virtual friend. If people don't update their blogs every few days (unless they've stated that they're taking a break) I tend to delete them from my Favorites. Sometimes I'm just a little short in the patience department.

Thanks for having a question/answer session Kristie.

karen said...

Well Kristie if you get a answer to the dog bitting thing please let me know. We are having the exact same issues. Only Meg is now 25 lbs so it's worse, hmm would it be wrong for me to pull them... JK. T got stiches in his ear from those sharp teeth.

Hyzymom said...

I haven't left a comment in quite a while but I do have one thing to say about Dog training...
THE DOG WHISPERER! This guy - Cesar Millan is on the Nat. Geo Channel and he is beyond amazing. While my dogs aren't perfect or even close to perfect they are miles and miles better than when we got them. I have gotten comments (good ones) on their behavior. Cesar has books and videos and a website and the TV show. Put the TV show on TiVO and just watch a couple! He can do anything!

karen said...

Me again read the comments now. We have done the "noise maker" did not work with ours for biting but helped with other things. We are also clicker training, but again does not help with the biting issues. We have had her in puppy clasees, ie clicker training, and she is to start basic next week, also with a clicker. Ours also chews any thing, furniture, toys, toys, clothes esp. socks and even better if there are feet in them. Tried the bitter stuff, she likes it go figure.
Good Luck.

Jacquie said...

We've had a similiar issue with our puppy, I posted about it a couple of times on my blog, links below. It is really, really hard to help the kids be calm enough that the puppy does not want to gouge their eyes out. The thing that has helped the most is TIME. And training. With the help of a local trainer with kids of her own (she gets it), we've taught the kids clicker training, and now when the puppy goes crazy they can grab some treats and the clicker and do their little regimin with her and she quickly gets very motivated to behave herself. There is one very specific method we've learned for bite inhibition - e-mail me if you'd like me to send you an article about it. The best book we have is called "Before and After you Get Your Puppy" by Ian Dunbar, he also has a website called

Here are my puppy posts (I wont link to the one where she ate my new shoes)

Good luck!

(just realized that my e-mail is not attached to my sig here, leave a comment if you want that article)

lizinsumner said...

Okay, so I guess I'll just have to come up with some more questions for you.....but, in the meantime, I sure wish you had a storm cellar - now, I'm gonna have to worry about you. As for Kendrie in your bed - well, at least she's got the excuse of a natural son had no such excuse, and it still took forever to get him to stay in his bed in his room. What worked for me was TV and an expensive new mattress {{{sigh}}}...but, at least it worked. Can't help on the puppy problems - another feline household here. Oh, and what the HECK are "roly polys"????!!!! One of the ONLY good things about living so far away from everything up here - lack of insect/reptilian life (that, and Starbucks, of course)!

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious!!I love all your psots always...NOW READ MY BLOG TOO!! LOL...Love, Marci

Alisa said...

I agree with hyzymom, have the kids watch The Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic channel. It taught my kids (esp. the impatient one) to stay calm when dealing with animals and she's now using it on the horses she rides. Cesar Milan is celebrated and hated, but my family loves him. If it weren't for him, I'm not sure our dog would have survived the puppy stage. Or the adolescent stage. (kidding of course)

Sue said...

Our 4 1/2 month old puppy nips to get attention. She wants to be played with, or she's just bored. What we've taught the kids so far is that, if she's nipping, turn your back to her, make no noise, fold your arms (so your fingers aren't fair game) stand like a tree and ignore her. No attention for nipping at all. When she finally stops trying to bite, it's training time. Sit, down, sit, shake, high five, sit, down, wait, come, sit, etc. Or take her for a walk.

Then their friends come over, and they all turn into a group of large, human squeaky toys that run through the house with the pup on their heels. That's when it's time for me to grab a Mike's Berry Lemonade, and sit out on the back porch, repeating the mantra, "It's only a phase" over and over again. Sometimes, a second dose of Mike's is necessary.


Anonymous said...

We have a Lab, so kind of a cousin to a Golden. First off, the puppy teeth are horrid. Once they go and the adult teeth come in (around 4-5 months old) nipping will not hurt so much.

Second, we had a ton of rawhide chews scattered all over the house. (Yeah, well I just told anyone who asked that it was just a new decorating phase I was going through.) Anyway, we taught the kids to shove a rawhide into our dogs mouth if he started to nip. (In other words, give him something "legal" to bite.)

It will pass, but it's very instinctual for them to nip and bite until the adult teeth are in.

Now, good luck with the fur, especially when they are shedding. (I literally changed the color of the living room furniture and rug from dark blue, which showed everything, to a a nice soft brown, which hides our yellow labs hair nicely.)


Anonymous said...

Works for all unwanted habits in the house:
spray bottle of water in the face.
Quickly gets to the point of where you just have to pick up the empty bottle.
Does not make them water phobic. They just don't like water in their face.
posting as anonymous so peta doesn't come calling :)

Mama Bear said...

Just got back from a well deserved 3 day vacation - after working summer school for the past 6 weeks! I had to tell you - I bought the Canon XSi with my summer school earnings. Well worth the headaches of dragging kids in and out of the pool.

As for Barley, I'm working with my newest golden Sherman (aka the Sherminator). We've pretty much broken the nipping. Puppies nip at their leader for affection and food. It's pretty simple to break them of this habit. When she nips, tell the kids to hold still, say ouch or let our a little squeal of pain (which is what the mama dog would do) and turn their back to her. It's most important not to give her any attention when she does the nipping. After a few minutes, command her to do something she knows - like sit - and give her lots of praise and a treat (we dehydrate hot dogs for our guys). If she nips again, repeat it. After a very short time, she will get the idea that nipping does not get her positive attention, but following commands does.

Goldens are really easy to train because they are so smart. Good luck!