a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: April 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

March through May Emotions

SUMMARY: So much history of dogs coming and going in just a small date range.

The Boy Beasties stayed home without me for 10 full days. I'm sad that I didn't miss them much at all. Almost the only times I thought about them were when my sister wondered how her dog was doing at home during the same time, and also at night when I'd be dozing off and switch positions and my foot would bump something and I'd apologize to the dog--which wasn't a dog, it was a pillow or bunched-up blanket.

I've always liked vacations away from my dogs, frankly--they are so limiting unless I'm specifically planning a dog getaway, in which case my activities are predetermined and dog-focused.  But usually I miss them a *little*, anyway.

Got home very late last night. Dogs--well, Zorro in particular--didn't want to settle down even though I was exhausted and in pain, and frustration reigned and grew and grew until there I was in the middle of the night physically throwing him off the bed and yelling at him.Repeatedly. Because I was too tired to want to get up out of bed and put him into his crate.

Not among my prouder or happier moments.

But it did make me think that, after all these years of me and the dogs working things out to our mutual satisfaction on the bed-- 7 dogs in all -- it's time to move them into their own nighttime spaces.  I have to figure out what and where; really room for only one crate in my bedroom.  Not sure whether I have the wherewith all to teach them to stay in beds of their own without crates.  Sigh. Another training challenge in response to a relationship problem or two.

But I digress--

This is only my second time at Walt Disney World; the first time was just under 2 years ago when my same seester and husband took me after the Merle Girls died.

I'm left, during this period, with mixed feelings all around:

  • March 9, 2015: Tika dies
  • March 29, 2014: Chip arrives
  • April 21, 2005: Boost arrives
  • April 24, 2015: Boost dies
  • April 29, 2015: First saw Luke (Zorro) picture
  • May 11-15, 2015: Actually asked whether he was still available, eventually confirmed that he could be mine
  • June 7: He came home with us

To me, his "gotcha day" will always be May 11 because that's when I seriously started the process, and I will always tie his arrival to Boost's death because it was so close after she left that I first saw him and tried to resist.

2 years later, still so very many mixed feelings about both my wonderful, gorgeous Boy Beasties. So smart, so full of potential, so underappreciated.  Guilt and grief and joy all intermingled. Compounded by confounded me who found that neither dog could remember how to sit or down on command after 10 days. Let alone stay there while sitting or downing. Let alone getting them to look at me. Weird emotional stuff.

Doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy snuggling and rubbing tummies this morning.

Where Literature and the Jungle Cruise Meet

I've been to Walt Disney World only twice--once 2 years back and once this past couple of weeks. Not nearly enough time to see and do everything.  (Compare to Disneyland plus California Adventure, which is much smaller, although jam-packed--and I've been there more than a couple dozen times.)

One of our always-must-do rides at both Disneyland (Cal.) and Magic Kingdom (Fla.) is the Jungle Cruise. Terrible puns  and other jokes all the way through, and we love it.

This visit, my seester booked us for lunch at the highly recommended Skipper Canteen at the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd.  It continues the Jungle Cruise ethos for those of us who can't get enough. The waitperson told us, "If you're familiar with the Jungle Cruise ride, we're nothing like that.  Would you like me to point out some things on our menu?  Well, here's some printing, here's some more printing, here's the paper it's printed on..."

Luck placed us into the secret library meeting room of the S.E.A., and we had a chance to peruse some of the titles on their massive bookshelf doors that hide the room (although they were wide open at all times). They include some real titles but mostly lots of in jokes and world of Disney references. I can't begin to identify what a lot of them are, but just the titles of many should be entertaining for even the uninitiated.

Here are the ones I had time to photograph. Among them are;

  • Book by Dr. Albert Falls, after whom the famed Schweitzer Falls are named
  • A trilogy of waterfalls: "Exploring Great Waterfalls," "Standing on Great Waterfalls," and "Surviving Falls from Great Waterfalls"
  • Another nonfiction trilogy starting with Born Into the Jungle
  • "Reasonable Expectations" by Charles Skippens
  • and more.
(Here's another fan's post with other titles and lots of explanations.)

Saturday, April 15, 2017


SUMMARY: Human Mom Actually Cooked

I've actually cooked so seldom in recent years, that this was a landmark event. Cooked for my company's holiday party the other weekend. (Yes, really. Holiday party.) This was my first cookbook and my mom's first cookbook. And this might have been the first recipe I ever cooked from. Have made it many times since then. Pretty simple, particularly if you have a Foley Food Mill, which I got years ago specifically for making applesauce!

Side note: Discovered that Chip either doesn't like apples or maybe it's the cloves. Wouldn't lick the dish afterwards. Zorro, however, took up the slack. (No photos of that part, sorry.)

How many places have you lived?

SUMMARY: I'll tell you mine if you'll tell me yours.

From a random Facebook discussion:

18 different addresses. But --

If you count places where I "lived" for at least a month, I'd add 2 or 3 more (hotels with family while waiting for homes to be built, staying with my parents' parents, etc.).

If you count the same address at different times, I'd add 3 more for my parents' house again:
  • a year at college, then back to parents' house for a year is 1 more
  • living on my own for 3 years then back to parents' for 3 months while my new house was being completed
  • 10 years then back to parents' for 3 months while my next house was going through some legal crap.)

The 18 includes:

  • 2 lodges in the Adirondacks that my parents managed
  • 3 homes that my parents owned in 3 different states
  • 4 places that my parents rented in 2 different states
  • 2 places I rented on my own (all in santa clara county)
  • 4 places I owned (all in santa clara county)
  • 3 dorms in 2 different cities

PHOTOS:  There are some gaps still. will have to come back later and fill them in.


(Following: Inside apartment, me baby, somewhere pretty sure dad has a photo of the building. Still looking.)

(Following photo: Trying to find photo of the whole building--one does exist somewhere among dad's photos. Meanwhile, here's me in front of the apartment.
OK, next one--our apt to the left, our car in carport, me playing house (each blanket is a different room in the house.)






Finchester Mystery House

Oh--ha ha--my bad; that's the WINchester Mystery House!  I need to find all those photos of the FINchester one.




My next house?