Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lizzie Gets a New Toy (video)

Lizzie playing with her new Knot So Soft Bunny toy in Lynchburg, Virginia, on 11/29/2008.

Video taken with my mobile phone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lizzie in Fall Color

My darling girl and I are both enjoying the cool autumn weather.  Although the gusts (and accompanying noises) frighten her, she's not letting them take all the enjoyment out of our walks.  Besides, on a completely irrelevant note, I think she looks so pretty amongst the lovely leaves!

She's experiencing some itchiness, probably having to do with seasonal allergens.  However, she isn't letting the occasional chewing and scratching keep her from her perpetual napping. She is really good at napping!

I gave her a bath last week, with hypoallergenic dog shampoo, and for which she was very well behaved.  The poor thing will have to be subjected to another this month, but not until I get some more shampoo.

I am constantly surprised by the extremes of Lizzie's nature.  On one hand she is the epitome of a spud puppy-- relaxed, quiet, and reclining for 22 hours a day (maybe a slight exaggeration.)  On the other hand she turns into a trembling mass of nerves over some unfamiliar inanimate object left out where she feels it ought not to be.  OH NO!

She's developed one little behavior that we all find endearing. It takes place when she and I are on the sofa.  If something frightens her she will slink over to me, turn around, and then slide her little Corgi behind off of her blanket until she's securely attached to my hip. Exactly like she did just now when the wind whistled through the front door!  Perfect timing, eh?

To follow up on my last post Lizzie Gets a Peticure:

Using the Peticure Safe Guard/Dremel Rotary Tool is a dream!  What a wonderfully clever and efficient system.  As far as I'm concerned, it beats the heck out of every other nail groming tool out there.  I am duly impressed and Lizzie isn't traumatized.  w00t!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lizzie Gets a 'Peticure'

I was hoping the Peticure Safe Guard I ordered on September 29 would arrive earlier than this post stated and boy did it.  It was in our mailbox last Saturday after only 12 days! Since then I've been following the suggestions that Peticure makes in their videos to get Lizzie used to it slowly, and with much positive reinforcement (treats and play).

Yesterday, I filed just one nail (which she handled well) and today she received a full "peticure."  As leery as she is about all things different, she has accepted the noise and vibration of the Dremel tool quite well.  I used the coarser of the two sanding bands that came with the Dremel due to the length of her nails.  I believe that the fine sanding band will be enough from this point on.  Peticure recommends filing dogs' nails every two weeks to recess the quick.  When the process is this painless there is no reason NOT to do their nails, as often as necessary, to keep them their optimal length.

The Dremel tool w/Peticure Safe Guard attached

 This was too funny not to post.

 Pretty and painless! w00t! AND w00f!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Book Review: Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani

Title: Milk Glass Moon
Series: Big Stone Gap #3
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 09/17/2002
Publisher: Random House
Genre(s): Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance


Milk Glass Moon, the third book in Adriana Trigiani's bestselling Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney as she faces the challenges and changes of motherhood with her trademark humor and honesty. With twists as plentiful as those found on the holler roads of southwest Virginia, this story takes turns that will surprise and enthrall the reader.

Transporting us from Ave Maria's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Italian Alps, from New York City to the Tuscan countryside, Milk Glass Moon is the story of a shifting mother-daughter relationship, of a daughter's first love and a mother's heartbreak, of an enduring marriage that contains its own ongoing challenges, and of a community faced with seismic change.

All of Trigiani's beloved characters are back: Jack Mac, Ave Maria's true love, who is willing to gamble security for the unknown; her best friend and confidant, bandleader Theodore Tip-ton, who begins a new life in New York City; librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, who faces a life-or-death crisis. Meanwhile, surprises emerge in the blossoming of crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, the maturing of mountain girl turned savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, and the return of Pete Rutledge, the handsome stranger who turned Ave Maria's world upside down in Big Cherry Holler.

In this rollicking hayride of upheaval and change, Ave Maria is led to places she never dreamed she would go, and to people who enter her life and rock its foundation. As Ave Maria reaches into the past to find answers to the present, readers will stay with her every step of the way, rooting for the onetime town spinster who embraced love and made a family. Milk Glass Moon is about the power of love and its abiding truth, and captures Trigiani at her most lyrical and heartfelt.


Milk Glass Moon is currently the third of four novels in the Big Stone Gap series. I read this gem in one day and although eager to start the fourth book, Home to Big Stone Gap, I find I'm also preparing myself for the end of the series. I will miss everything about these "down home" people. They are warm, caring, colorful, opinionated, and real. I have come to love hearing them (complete with 'twang') in my head as I read about their lives. Adriana Trigiani has created and developed characters whose lives, although fairly ordinary, are exceptional in so many ways. Although there are crises and loss, the feelings that are evoked in Milk Glass Moon are positively heartfelt.

(Note: I read the hardcover edition whose cover is featured above.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Book Review: Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Title: Fearless Fourteen
Series: Stephanie Plum #14
Author: Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 04/01/2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre(s): Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Mystery


Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.

The Crime:  Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars

Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.

The Cousin:  Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

The Complications:  Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux

Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.

The Catastrophe:  Moonman

Morelli hires Walter “Mooner” Dunphy, stoner and “inventor” turned crime fighter, to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.

The Cupcake:  Stephanie Plum

Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.

The Crisis:  A favor for Ranger

Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.

The Conclusion:  Only the fearless should read Fourteen.

Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result.

MY THOUGHTS (Short and Sweet)

After reading mysteries and thrillers, one after another, I needed some Plum craziness. Consistently nothing I read can lighten my mood quite like Stephanie and her gang. Everything you expect in a Stephanie Plum novel is here, including lots of laughs. I always look forward to the next installment and try not to dwell on the fact that someday Stephanie's number will be up (no more Plum books.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lizzie Gets Blessed

We took Lizzie to the Blessing of the Animals, where she was blessed by my sister-in-law.

Lizzie, may you be blessed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

May you and Virginia, "Daughter," and "Husband" enjoy life together, and find joy with the God who created you.

All of the animals were very well behaved, even the cats. It was a lovely ceremony. We ALL feel blessed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Wait Is On

Starting off, I think that Lizzie had a good day today. This in spite of the fact that she was: 1) left alone for several hours; 2) was startled by the peculiar sounds emanating from the creatures on the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; and 3) got her nails trimmed and filed.

I've been reluctant to trim her nails for several reasons:
  1. Like most people I don't look forward to it (understatement.)
  2. My trusty guillotine style nail trimmers are very dull.
  3. Lizzie has behaved well, but skittish during past trimmings.
  4. I have a new Dremel Rotary Tool here and a Peticure Safe Guard on order.
Once I did the research and decided to order the Peticure Safe Guard I wanted it yesterday. The website says, "Expect four to six weeks shipping due to demand." I'm really hoping to be surprised by it arriving much earlier. I wasn't successful in finding an effective guillotine style trimmer to use, which made me feel more anxious about her lengthening nails. The brand new ones I tried performed worse than my current "old" one.

For tonight's nail trimming I put her on a bed with a towel under her, and cut only the very tip of each nail off before "going crazy" with the nail file. I was calm and assertive (does that sound familiar?) and she remained calm and trusting. Yay Lizzie!

She's very calm when left home alone, which is vastly different from how it was with my last dog, Tucker. I'm not sure she'll ever get used to thunderstorms, lawnmowers, and loud movies, but I feel good knowing I give her comfort just by being beside her and remaining calm.

She also seems to be getting more playful. She aggressively chews on her Nylabone several times per day. She's taken a shine to her rope chew AND to her "fluffy man" toy. She gets highly animated with them, which makes her humans happy. We all get extremely silly when she gets silly. Good fun all around, I'd say.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Book Review: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewki

Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Series: Standalone
Author: David Wroblewski
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Published: 10/13/2009
Publisher: Ecco
Genre(s): Literary Fiction


Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm—and into Edgar's mother's affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires—spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

MY THOUGHTS (Short and So-So)

There was much I found compelling in this story—mainly Edgar and the dogs. However, the same things that compelled me to finish the book lead me to, what I feel, is a hugely disappointing ending.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Leap of Faith

As much as Lizzie enjoys our walks, each time we walk by our mini-van she stops and looks up at it longingly. I let her know that it's time for a walk not for a ride, which she accepts after one or two more reminders.

This afternoon I took her out for a quick potty break, and at the last minute I decided to bring her with me to pick up my daughter from school. Normally she wears her harness for our walks and to secure her with the shoulder belt in the van. However, I did not go back in the house to get it.

When we arrived home I opened the sliding door and picked up her Flexi-Lead. Before I could attach it to her collar, she took a mad dive off of the seat landing several feet away on the ground. She's never attempted anything like that before and I have no idea what frightened her, but it nearly gave me a heart attack!

I don't think I'll be neglecting to put the harness on Lizzie again. Safety first, even for doggies!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Traitor in Our Midst

I have been snubbed! Lizzie must have had enough of following me about the house, while I was doing chores this morning. She has left me and is keeping my husband company upstairs. I'm sure he will "rub it in" later, that she preferred staying with him. It's not like I'm going to be settled here for too long, but I want her with me! That is all. *pouts*

Monday, September 15, 2008

Flip Sides of the Same Corgi

This little dog who is now sound asleep on the sofa next to me. Seemingly, without a care in the world. The same little girl that has, for some unknown reason, developed a phobia about drinking water. I mentioned in this post that she seemed nervous about drinking out of her ceramic water bowl due to the ceiling fan reflecting in the water. Well, that doesn't seem to be the reason. I removed the place mats from under her bowls. Nope, she's still afraid. I exchanged the cobalt blue bowl for a white one. Nope, still no good. I've been moving her food bowl into the center of the room and sitting with her while she eats. She WILL eat out of her food bowl, but with some trepidation. The other day she would still drink out of the water bowl if I swished the water with a finger first. I'm concerned that she isn't drinking enough. She doesn't appear to be dehydrated yet, but let's avoid that, shall we? I have gotten her to drink several times from a plastic food storage bowl, if I hold it over something dark; like her bed or the carpeted floor. She does have Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry eye) in her left eye, which has to have affected her vision; but why would that all of a sudden cause this aversion to water?

She's had two extremely animated play sessions this morning. One with her Nylabone and one with her rope toy. I took her for a ride and for a walk this morning. Both times she was quite happy to go. Curious. Alert. Lots of "zoom-zooms" and wasn't particularly wary of anything. Hmmm. She ate her breakfast and a couple of treats. She drank a little water. She got some exercise. She's received lots of affection, and now she's napping. Sounds like a pretty good day for a doggy to me. I wonder what she's needing and not getting?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Book Review: Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs

Title: Devil Bones
Series: Temperance Brennan #11
Author: Kathy Reichs
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 08/22/2008
Publisher: Scribner
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery, Forensic Thriller


#1 international bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns to Charlotte, North Carolina with her eleventh riveting novel in which America’s favorite forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan, encounters voodoo, Santeria, Satanism, and a Wiccan in her quest to identify two young victims.

In a house under renovation, a plumber uncovers a cellar no one knew about, and makes a rather grisly discovery—a decapitated chicken, animal bones, and cauldrons containing beads, feathers, and other relics of religious ceremonies. In the center of the shrine, there is the skull of a teenage girl. Meanwhile, on a nearby lakeshore, the headless body of a teenage boy is found by a man walking his dog.

Nothing is clear—neither when the deaths occurred, nor where. Was the skull brought to the cellar or was the girl murdered there? Why is the boy’s body remarkably well preserved? Led by a preacher turned politician, citizen vigilantes blame devil worshippers and Wiccans. They begin a witch-hunt, intent on seeking revenge.

Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan—“five-five, feisty, and forty-plus”—is called in to investigate, and a complex and gripping tale unfolds in this, Kathy Reichs’s eleventh taut, always surprising, scientifically fascinating mystery.


I think that the title is somewhat misleading (like others mentioned who have reviewed the book). Although the author offers some background into satanism that isn't what's at work here. Temperance is brilliant at her work, that's evident. However, I like the way Temperance's thought process in conveyed. The way she thinks and talks things through. The way she uses input from other sources to fill in the gaps.

I also like the way the author adds descriptive comments after dialogue or a physical gesture to elaborate. I feel she mixes the science, mystery, cultural (pop culture), and personal parts of her books really well. I'm a sucker for her chapter endings, which offer great incentive to keep going onto the next one. That's probably why I've read all of her books and am such a fan of the television show!

Temperance temporarily loses a battle with her personal demon (alcohol). She also struggles with her feelings for Andrew Ryan and someone from her past. Her daughter and ex-husband add to her dismay beyond the case and the violent death of a longtime associate.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pecans From Heaven

Each day when Lizzie and I head out the door for our walk I try to instill confidence into my timid little girl. This morning she was on the lookout for anything that might fall from the sky and get her, as usual. Only this morning her feelings of dread were right on. Just as we set foot on the street a pecan fell from the heavens (okay, just a really tall tree) hitting a nearby car with a BANG! We were both startled, only I was okay with proceeding, while Lizzie did a 180 to head home!

They continued falling as we walked down our street, but mercifully we made it passed without getting conked ourselves.

Lizzie was very suspicious when we approached the trees on the way home. She couldn't be any more alert—her head jerking back and forth, and yes, UP. When we reached the door, I could almost hear her sigh of relief when she made it inside. Safe, at last.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Little Wiggle Goes a Long Way

Something happened yesterday that got my family and I so excited that we have spoken of it several times since. After two months of us acting like total fools with Lizzie, she finally responded in such a way that we all shouted with joy at the sight of her wiggling her stubby tail! Yes, she wiggled her little nubbin. She was so happy that she let the little stub do a happy dance. Granted, it only lasted a few seconds, but still...she finally wiggled her tail! Woo hoo!

Now, how do we get her to do it some more?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everything is Out to Get Her

I finally remembered to take my daughter's Flip Video Camera on our morning walk. I caught Lizzie in action. Just when Lizzie's level of bravery seemed to be continually on the rise, a major setback has occurred. What caused this relapse? I can't be sure of all the reasons, but I DO know about one. One thing that I did so casually and without thought seems to have frightened my darling girl tremendously...what was this horrendous event? Well, I crumpled a plastic shopping bag, while she was in the same room! I was on the opposite side of the room with the bed blocking her from my sight. When I crumpled the bag to put it on the shelf (to recycle later) she darted out of the bedroom so fast, nails skidding on the wood floors. I went to her immediately and she was shaking like crazy. Following this episode she was terrified to come back into the bedroom. She did return with a lot of encouragement, but she's been on guard ever since. This was Tuesday evening.

Prior to this terrifying ordeal there was the sudden relapse in her use of the stairs. Specifically going down them fairly confidently to not wanting to descend them at all, or so hesitantly she stops on each stair and turns sideways. I have no idea what happened. I mean she is with me just about every time she uses the stairs and I have no recollection of anything out of the ordinary happening. She's gone up and down the stairs with me this morning and so far, seems much more confident.

We installed a ceiling fan in the office earlier this month. She didn't seem to pay much attention to it until a couple of days ago, when I was watching her while she ate. She seemed nervous while eating and shied away from her water bowl twice in just minutes. I noticed her looking nervously at the plastic storage drawers in front of her bowls. Ah, there was the reflection of the ceiling fan in the plastic AND in the water. Why hadn't it bothered her before? And why did she seem okay this morning?

Returning from our walk this morning something finally occurred that I knew was coming some day. Arriving at the back stoop where we enter the house Lizzie had stopped and was waiting for me to open the door, when all of a sudden she leaped back and under my foot as I was coming up the step. She continued in my direction and I went down on the brick steps, dropping the Flexi Lead. I was so frightened that she would run away that with surprising speed I rolled over and crawled the short distance to grab the leash handle. R-E-L-I-E-F when I had it in hand. She was freaked out and shaking uncontrollably. I sat there on the ground attempting to calm her down before we finally went inside.

We've had a couple of horrifying thunderstorms this week as well. Sunday's storm was so violent and so loud. The thunder booms shook the house and windows repeatedly. I don't coddle her during the storms, but just offer a calm and quiet presence for her to be near.

You couldn't tell by how relaxed she is now that she's a "Nervous Nellie." She looks perfectly calm and secure.

Well, her peace didn't last for long, as the sound of the tractor mower outside has sent her into a fit of worry. What horrendous daily occurrence is going to freak poor Lizzie out next?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Lizzie Movie (video)

I finally remembered to take my daughter's Flip Video Camera on our morning walk. I caught Lizzie in action. I hardly have to worry about keeping up. She ain't exactly speedy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lizzie Meets the Neighbors

What type of neighbors are the most important to a dog than other dogs? On the way home from our walk yesterday Lizzie had a chance to meet up with the three large dogs from across the street, who were out with their humans for some exercise. When they first approached us Lizzie went behind me and sat with her back to my legs and more importantly, to the BIG dogs. While the humans were chatting, the big dogs patiently waited and Lizzie ventured farther from me. The big dogs laid down. Lizzie laid down (still behind me.) The female dog was more curious about Lizzie. I was remembering how grouchy Lizzie had been with the little Maltese earlier in the month, but she was behaving quite differently with these dogs. After a number of minutes she and the female introduced themselves, nose-to-nose with no growling or grumbling. What good girls! All-in-all everyone was on their best behavior.

Last evening I was settling in to my recliner to read. Lizzie's bed was next to me, where I could reach down to pet her. I was quite surprised when she sat directly in front of me and politely asked to come up. She hasn't done that since she first came and we were having thunderstorms nearly every night. I put a blanket on my lap and up she popped. She settled down immediately and stayed there for two hours! I had to shift quite a bit, as my legs were going to sleep, but even as I moved about trying to get comfortable, Miss Lizzie didn't budge. Several times she turned her head around, resting it on my shoulder and staring sweetly into my face. "How could you be any more adorable?" I asked her. She couldn't be is my answer.

We went out for our walk before 6:30 this morning. I don't know if it can be attributed to the fact that it was cooler or because she was just happier, but she did lots of "zoom zooms" this morning. Ears back, smile in place, and her legs racing like crazy. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Lizzie style. Whee!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing

Can a dog get burned out on receiving too much love? I wonder sometimes if Lizzie will get tired of us constantly bombarding her with affection, petting, and goofy talk. So far she seems to accept it all with a knowing calmness - knowing that she's the top dog. The little queen. The doggy light of our lives...

A more practical concern of mine is that she always remain calmly accepting of the treating of her eye. She was and still is so patient while I clean it and administer her ophthalmic drops. Her patience sure makes this necessary routine much more bearable.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lizzie and the Rainy Day

Yesterday morning was the first morning since Lizzie's been with us that it rained. She's made great progress in regards to shying. She goes in and out of the doors without cowering most times, and while we're on our walks she hardly ever spooks and runs anymore. However, I was quite concerned about how she would react to an umbrella, when one was finally required. I am pleased to write that she didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to it. Not even when it opened quickly and with a swoosh. What a brave girl, Lizzie!

Even though it was very humid and buggy this morning, I made sure to tack on a few minutes to make up for yesterday's exercise deficit. I love when she gets those little spurts of energy and takes off running. Her ears go back and her smile gets bigger (yes, Corgis do smile!) and her little legs are so quick they blur. I tell her, "Zoom, zoom, Lizzie, zoom zoom!" It seems to motivate her. She's also learned to slow down before hitting the end of the Flexi-Lead...she's so smart!

When we got back I put her up on the table where I wiped some of the wetness from her underside, and then applied her monthly dose of Frontline Plus. She ate her breakfast (inhaled it really) and then followed me around while I did some chores.

She seems relieved when chore time is over and she's allowed up on the sofa. I can tell she loves it! It's one of my favorite times of the day too. She's next to me, where I can easily give her attention, while I'm reading, watching television, or on my computer.
I am so grateful for this little dog AND all of her precious parts...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Uncovering the Paper Trail of Delbert Hill

I've been trying to locate a paper trail on my great uncle, Delbert HILL since I started doing genealogy in 1997. My dad had little knowledge of his father's oldest sibling. You see, unlike his parents and siblings, Delbert never moved from Ohio. He grew up in Medina, Ohio, and was living there when he died at age 49. It turns out that Delbert died when my father was only 6 years old. Maybe that's why he knew nothing about him. Delbert's birth record listed him merely as "J.D. Hill." His name was also recorded on various documents as Jay Adelbert HILL, Bert HILL, Delbert HILL, and Jay Albert HILL. Oddly, he was recorded twice in the 1900 U.S. Census: on June 1 in Montville Township, living as a boarder, with the HODDINOTT family, and on June 21, in Medina Township, with his parents, John Delbert HILL & Charlotte Ellen KENYON, and siblings. I have not located him in the 1910 or 1930 Census, but with the last name of HILL and all of the first and middle name variations, he's a challenge to locate anywhere. When he registered for the draft in 1918, he and Hattie were living in Huron Township in Erie County. The 1920 Census shows Delbert, Hattie, and two children, Raymond A. HILL and Eloise C. HILL, living in Margaretta Township in Erie County.

Earlier this year I finally found Delbert's death certificate in the Ohio Deaths 1908 - 1953 Database at Family Search Labs. Once I had the death certificate I was able to locate his death notice and obituary using the Obituary Index at the Medina County Public Library website. The following week I had both of those notices but neither contained any mention of his wife or children. My cousin, Pauline, who also referred to him as Delbert, believed he died in the mid-1930s and remembered that his wife's name was Hattie. She also knew of their daughter, Eloise, whose husband presided over the funeral of Pauline's mother, Hazel (who was Delbert's younger sister) in 1952. However, Pauline didn't recollect anything about Raymond. I located the obituary for Hattie LITTLETON in 2009 and have made an abstract. I also acquired Raymond's obituary (02 May 1912 - 12 Dec 1979). Eloise married Rev. Melvin R. WALTER (21 Dec 1917 - 05 May 2004) on 10 June 1879 in Seville, Medina County, Ohio. (UPDATE:  5/20/2010:  Eloise passed away 20 Feb 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. Her obituary abstract.)

I was told about a photograph of Delbert and hope to add it to the family history. I wonder, did he even refer to himself as Delbert? Maybe it was Jay or Albert or Bert...

(Click to view larger image.)

Birth Record

1900 U.S. Census (with Hoddinott family)
Marriage License/Certificate

1900 U.S. Census (with parents)

World War I Draft Record
1920 U.S. Census

Death Certificate

Obituary Abstract

Headstone for George E. HILL 1890 - 1903 (Delbert's younger brother). Delbert was buried here 13 Jul 1936 with no engraving done.

Related Link:

(Updated: 13 May 2022)

Lizzie Gets the Works

The works meaning groomed to the max. I trimmed and filed her nails yesterday, which is a feat in itself given that the blade in my guillotine nail trimmers is quite dull. Thankfully the dog nail file is still in good condition.This morning I cleaned her ears using Veterinarian's Best Ear Wash and triple sized cotton balls. Corgi ears really don't get all that dirty, so a light and gentle swabbing is all it takes to keep their foxy ears in top shape.

After the ears it was tooth brushing time. Even though I have a triple sided toothbrush and a regular dog tooth brush my doggies have always preferred having their teeth done with a finger brush. Lizzie is no exception. It also helps that she LOVES the doggy toothpaste a lot.

Then it was time to use the undercoat rake and finally the gentle slicker. She particularly enjoys this part. I think she feels fairly safe and secure given that she's on plush non-skid rug on top of a sturdy table.

I carried her upstairs to the bathroom where I put her in the tub with a rubber mat and secured her with a nylon grooming noose to the imbedded porcelain handle on the shower wall. This was her second bath since she's been here, and things went much smoother this time. I use a combination of the hand-held shower head and a plastic quart-sized container to bathe her. The gentle hypoallergenic (soap free) dog shampoo cleans and rinses really well. This time she calmed down enough so that I was able to thoroughly massage the shampoo in and rinse it really well, including between the pads on her paws. I toweled her off and lifted out of the tub, where she proceeded to race about shaking wildly. She looked relieved that it was all over. (Whew!)

Back downstairs she was looking expectantly at the sofa. I don't want her thinking that she’s always allowed up on the sofa, but I felt that she deserved to after all of the "terrible" stuff I'd done to her this morning. She settled on her little blanket, where she started licking her wet fur and washing her face.

I tried to get video of her, but she quit moving as soon as I had my mobile phone ready to record. I ended up taking the photo above. Doesn't she look absolutely distraught over the whole grooming ordeal? NOT! Now our sweet Lizzie is smelling sweeter by far.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Recipe: Potato, Onion, and Salsa Casserole

The original recipe came from an organic foods website.  I chose to use red potatoes, which have less starch than russets.  Salsa is healthy and fat free, and I use soy cheese, which means no cholesterol or saturated fats!  They go well with veggie tacos, burritos, taquitos, and even tostada salad.


1-16 oz. jar of salsa
1 tbsp. olive oil
1-5# bag of red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. parsley, freshly chopped
salt and pepper, as desired
1 pkg. shredded cheese*
1 pkg. Seitan Cubes, sliced (optional)

*Daiya (vegan) Monterey Jack or Cheddar Shreds


1. Oil a large baking dish. Place ½ of the potato slices over the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Top with half of the onion slices and sliced Seitan if you choose. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and dot with half the salsa. Place the other half of the potatoes, onions, and parsley over the first layer. Cover with the remaining salsa and parsley.

2. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for about an hour, until potatoes are tender, and cooked through.

3. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and place under the broiler for just a minute or so.

Servings:  Approximately 8.

A Creature of Habit

I find most things about Lizzie to be adorable (smitten mom here), but she has established a particularly cute routine since she got her new Nylabone last Monday. Here it is:

Each morning when I sit down with my breakfast and raise the foot rest on the sofa, Lizzie jumps into her bed (her front end only) and pounces on her Nylabone. First she just pokes it, but then she grabs it and takes it over to the opposite end of the rug, where she drops it on the hardwood floor. She then slides it around with a paw before pouncing on it again.

After picking it up and dropping it several times she settles down to chew on it. The chewing lasts only a minute or so, but she has done this five mornings in a row so far. I really must take video of this little fun and game time.

Today is the one month anniversary of seeing Lizzie the first time. We're all so attached to this little dog already, and I feel particularly fortunate to have been blessed with another wonderful canine companion.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lizzie's Grand Adventure

We loaded up the van and drove to Lynchburg, Virginia, last Thursday. Prior to that day Lizzie had only been on short jaunts. We fitted her in her pink harness and secured her with the shoulder belt on the driver’s side passenger seat. Once settled on top of her paw print blanket, she settles right down. She’s still not completely comfortable drinking out of the Buddy Bowl, but she’s taken a few laps of water on several occasions now.

When we first arrived at my sister-in-law’s house, Lizzie was terribly frightened. She spooked at everything and I could tell all she wanted to do was go hide under the bed in the room we use.

There are three cats who live there, and later several dogs came to visit. There was a lot of activity in preparation for a barbecue on Saturday. The many coolers were particularly frightening to her. I wonder what she thought they would do to her. A young Maltese, named Winston, brought out Lizzie’s grumpy side. A side of her that we had not yet seen. He was acting like a silly puppy and getting in her face, and she growled and snarled at the poor little guy practically non-stop.

The first two days she jumped at nearly every sound, but seemed to calm down considerably by the third day. I took her out for walks in the early morning, and she ended up being able to stay out from under the bed more frequently to watch the goings on. Although she was curious about the cats, she was well behaved with them. She didn’t eat well, but did eat some, especially when I coached her from nearby.

I made another nasty discovery while petting her on Friday evening…a tick on her right ear!!! I was able to remove it and promptly flushed it. I’m wondering if my Frontline Plus is defective or something. Sheesh. I’ve been thoroughly going over her since finding the fleas on July 1 and now a tick. Poor Lizzie!

On the way home on Monday we stopped at PetSmart, where I was able to take her into the store! (This is a big deal for me.) My dog, Tucker, was too aggressive with other dogs and subsequently was never taken inside. Lizzie was very calm and showed a polite interest in all the neat stuff on her level. I got her a Nylabone (her Gumabone was taken away when she started chewing pieces off of it), an Orka Jack Toy, and a Mini Easy Toss Ring.

She’s not taken to the Nylabone like she did the Gumabone, but we’re performing a great deal of silliness to entice her. She’s rolled the jack around and chewed on it a little and has totally ignored the toss ring. She’s such a quiet dog, but she does have her playful moments. She certainly gets a lot of praise from us when she shows enthusiasm for any of her toys.

She's so cute that we just can't leave her alone. She seems to take it all in stride though and shows great patience for us silly humans.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ears That Hear It All

After living with a mostly-deaf dog (Tucker) for so many years, I am having to adapt to living with "She-Who-Hears-Everything." I think for a dog as timid as Lizzie having such keen hearing is detrimental to her peace of mind. Here are some examples of her hear-everything and be-very-afraid personality:
  • She is terribly afraid of thunderstorms. She sticks her head behind me to hide whenever possible.
  • She jerks out of a sound sleep frequently when almost anything is making noise inside or outside our home.
  • When she's outside she's torn between being happy to be outside and being frightened by all of the scary sounds out there.
  • During our walks, if she hears anything that sounds remotely like "squirrel" she is ready to "go get 'em!" Of course, once that chase is over she reverts back to her usual timid self.
  • She's the first companion animal I've had that pays attention to the television. So much so, she is "done in" by all of the threatening sounds. (Witness her reaction to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park—ears at alert, eyes bugging, trembling, squeaking, and trying to back into my lap!)
  • She is a major head-tilter. She tilts her head very often. My husband makes lots of sounds just to get Miss Lizzie to tilt her head. Thankfully, during these instances she looks curious and not frightened.
Some days she has more of those curious dog head-tilts than the "scaredy-dog," eyes bugging, wanna run away reactions.

Wouldn't it be nice if she did mostly the first and hardly any of the latter?

Hopefully she will in time.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lizzie Don't Want No Stinkin' Fleas

The other night I saw something on Lizzie's cheek and I thought I was hallucinating. Yesterday, I saw two "somethings" crawling on the surface of her coat. I knew THESE were not hallucinations but F-L-E-A-S! I literally have not seen a flea since 1995, when my two dogs, Sydney and Tucker, became infested while living in Oregon. (I remedied their problem with Adams Flea and Tick Dip.) I still can't believe that Lizzie has them. It HAS been 13 years since an animal of mine had them. The two I found wandering around on my sweet girl yesterday were pre-adults (dazed or dying already.) I dosed Lizzie with Frontline Plus on June 15th and then bathed her (with hypoallergenic dog shampoo) on the 17th. However, she was so nervous for her bath I was unable to do a thorough job. To tell you the truth I use Frontline to keep ticks off. I haven't given fleas a thought!  I still have two flea combs, and I'm thankful that her skin is mostly pink. That makes finding fleas much easier. She's been chewing and scratching. It looked like she was digging AT something, and not just I know why!

Since her next dosing of Frontline isn't due for two weeks I'm not sure what to do other than search out and destroy them individually. Of course, I'm hoping it was just the two...yes, I know, I am in denial.

She had a good day yesterday. This morning she was literally running circles around me on her Flexi-Lead. She was so happy! It did my heart good watching that compact little body running with such glee. Seeing that cute little Corgi butt trotting ahead of me (I know I am supposed to be the leader, but she is not dominant in any way) is just so cute!

Her digestive system seems back to normal this morning.  She received her monthly dose of Interceptor this morning. She didn't vomit yesterday. Her eye hasn't had a lot of discharge of late. She has a great appetite and she follows me around the house like she has a job. Whee!

She loves her new food and treats. She loves her Gumabone and I think she is beginning to love it here with us. She is still flighty, but I really believe that she's settling in.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Dissemenation of Our Family History

Periodically, I Google my online identity, Valeehill, to see where it is besides where I've put it myself.

Recently, I was surprised by a huge number of search returns related specifically to my mother's Certificate of Live Birth that I had on my old genealogy site. My mother was born in 1930 and passed away in 1963. I ordered a certified copy of this record from the Hawaii State Department of Vital Records in 2002 and posted it on my site in November 2006.

My first inclination, after reading quite a few of the items yielded in the search, was to remove the document. (I am very protective of the memory of my mother, especially since I have no real memories of her.) I continued reading and did not come upon anything I considered outright disrespectful, so I have left the certificate up for now.

When I made the decision to post documents and photos of my deceased relations, I certainly didn't foresee any of the documents being used in the way that bloggers have chosen to use this one.

I did receive an email from someone on June 13. That person wrote the following: "In honor of your beautiful efforts to uncover the magic of your past that is its people, I wanted to share the following...." Below the single line he had embedded the two certificates from the search linked above.

I was contacted by someone yesterday asking some questions about the certificate and how I would like to be acknowledged in his blog post. This is my first reply from yesterday:

You are the first person to mention that you are using my mother's birth certificate for this unexpected reason. I am not thrilled, to say the least; but it was my decision to share it, even if it was purely for genealogical purposes. This "Decosta COLB," as you refer to it, is the birth certificate of my beloved mother, who died when I was four. I would appreciate any mention of it to be respectful to her memory.
After this person's polite reply and further questions about the document, I wrote:

I don't wish to have any specific reference made to me, but it is mildly upsetting to see the legal affirmation of my mother's birth reduced to "Decosta COLB" all over the Internet. I scanned the document immediately after receiving it in the mail in 2002, so the folds were exaggerated…. I guess I shall continue to be on the lookout for how it is referenced and go from there. My first feeling was to take it down….
So, here is my question. Have any of you fellow genealogists had your work (documents) used in such a way? I do not want political debates or conspiracy theories, but I am curious about how our work is being disseminated on the Internet so I can be more aware.


(*2/22/2011--this post required the updating of an outdated link.)

Lizzie Makes Progress

On Saturday morning Lizzie was fairly energetic for her walk. Her eye was fairly clean that morning as well. She ate the 1/4 cup of Blue food, but left the Natural Choice. (In my experience dogs and cats never eat the old food when transitioning (?) to a new one.) She had nervous episodes, but was quiet for most of the day.

She vomited a small amount of bile at 6:30 p.m. and didn't want to eat her dinner. She ate quite a bit of grass later in the evening and my husband took her out for short walk afterward.

Yesterday morning her eye had little discharge. Because of time constraints her walk was shorter than usual. She came home and ate 3/4 cup of the Blue Adult Lamb & Brown Rice. She spent most of the day sleeping on the sofa, but managed to follow me around the house many times in between napping.

She didn't want to chew on her Gumabone or play with any toys, she just wanted petting. She really likes the Blue food and scarfed her dinner of 3/4 cup in no time.

There was a thunderstorm last night. Outwardly she seemed the most relaxed during a storm since she's been here. She was very alert for the rumbles, but wasn't shaking or trying to hide. Then, at 4:30 a.m. she vomited a small amount of digested food, maybe 1/2 cup.

I took her for her walk this morning very early (before 6:00) and she was ready to go. Chasing squirrels, rabbits, and birds. (Since this journal is to keep track of things important to Lizzie's life I'm mentioning indelicate stuff here.) Her stool this morning was the most normal looking since we've had her! I was concerned that the Natural Choice may be contributing to her digestive upset, so I wanted to get her off of it AND the treats.

Her eye looked great! No obvious discharge at all and she devoured her 3/4 cup of Blue food in no time. She also LOVES the Newman's Own Organic Turkey & Sweet Potato treats. She has the look of "yummy" all over her adorable face when she's eating one (1/2 actually.)

Is her trouble related to the Natural Choice? Or, her nerves? Or, something else? She's eating a diet that contains no by-products, corn, wheat or soy. I have to maintain hope that as she continues to calm down and feel more relaxed that the digestive troubles will affect her as they do the average dog.

When she's relaxed I dare you to find a more relaxed dog. On the other hand, she gets so riled about the littlest things. Calm, is the operative mood when we're with Lizzie. You hear that Lizzie? C-A-L-M

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lizzie Hits the Jackpot

Lizzie did well on her walk this morning. She wasn't as timid as she was yesterday. She ate her breakfast of Natural Choice and brown rice, followed by her Flagyl. I took her for a quick walk right before we left at 9 a.m. She didn't want to go into her ex-pen in the living room, so I picked her up and set her in her bed. I gave her two treats and left. It's hard not saying goodbye, but I'm committed to doing it this way to prevent separation anxiety.

When we arrived home I quietly let her out of the ex-pen and took her outside for a potty break. She trotted to the end of the Flexi-Lead over and over again staring out beyond the yard. I get the feeling that she would run away in a heartbeat, which makes me totally paranoid of her getting loose!

I had so much fun shopping for her today and returned home with:
So far she's really happy with her Gumabone. We took some video of her chewing on it right after giving it to her. If it turns out that she's an avid chewer, rather than an average chewer, I'll get her a Nylabone instead. Safety first, right?

She receives her last Flagyl tablet tonight. I hope the gastroenteritis is gone. I'll start mixing the Blue Buffalo food (1/4 new to 3/4 existing food) in with the Natural Choice next week.

Currently she is napping next to me on the sofa after chewing voraciously on her Gumabone. She seems so relaxed and that makes me so happy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lizzie Has a Rough Day

Poor Lizzie had a rough day today. She started out feeling frisky on her walk, but I think she got slightly overheated. We left a little later than usual and it was pretty warm by 8 a.m.

She had been getting calmer about going out the kitchen door, but today reverted back to the way she was when she first arrived. Scared to death!

I took her for a ride in the van twice today, to drop off and pick up my family in town. Lizzie is always looking at the van like she's expecting to go for a ride. I think she feels more comfortable in there than outside.

She was so nervous all day. She kept jumping and trying to retreat from nearly everything. Early this evening she was under the footrest portion of the love seat enough to get bumped when it was being put down. She freaked out and jumped up on the love seat. When she jumped down from there she ran upstairs and tried to hide under the bed. My husband took her back downstairs and put her on the love seat next to him. When my daughter and I got home poor Lizzie was acting more submissive than usual. She was licking and squirming, like she was in trouble. My poor, sweet girl. My heart is breaking over how upset she was.

She's been lying quietly on the bed next to me for quite a while now. I am trying to instill confidence in her and not coddle her to the point that her fears ruin her life. I thought we were making some progress, but after today, I just don't know.
Tomorrow has to be better for her. It just has to be.

And Then There Were None

My last house tiny, ancient, and brave little bunny, Clark, died around 3:00 today.  He fought the big fight but finally gave in.  He was so incredibly weak.  I know I will miss being a bunny mom, but I am relieved that he finally let go of this life and went to his next, where he is with all my other darling buns.

1995 - 26 Jun 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lizzie Has a Visitor

Lizzie was very perky for her walk this morning. She raced to get up close and personal with so many squirrels that I lost count.

Her eye was quite crusty this morning. It took several cotton balls to clean it out before dosing her with the cyclosporin drops. She ate her breakfast of Natural Choice and a little broth and then took her Flagyl very easily.

I gave Lizzie a soft carrot toy that started out as a toy for the bunnies. She had some good fun with it for a minute or so.

Janice, the woman from whom we adopted Lizzie, came by in the afternoon. We had not met her yet, and were very happy to do so today. Lizzie got so excited that she forgot her manners and jumped onto the couch to get right up in Janice's face. Her excitement reminded me of the phrase, "Happy, happy, joy, joy."

Janice brought us copies of Lizzie's health records and some photographs of her as a puppy.  She was (still is!) soooo cute!

After playing with a couple of squeaky latex toys she vomited some bile. The last time was a week ago. Poor girl! I cooked some more brown rice and mixed that in with her food for dinner. She'll get her 2nd dose of Flagyl in a couple of hours. I am really anxious to change her diet in hopes that it will stop these episodes from occurring any more.

Time to get her settled next to me on the sofa so she can get plenty of petting.

A Walk in the Dark

I'm remaining positive that we'll be able to get Lizzie to go potty quicker when she's taken out at night. I look forward to someday being able to let her out the front door on her Flexi-Lead and having her go pee pee all on her own. As it stands now, one of us must accompany her outside, where those pesky mosquitoes are waiting to feed. Once outside she wants to keep walking in an aimless way. (Where do you want to go, Lizzie?) It would be nice not to have to walk her all over the place for that late night outing.

This morning I was feeling gentle "I need to go outside" vibes from the sweet girl, which meant a short walk a little before 5:00 a.m. At that early hour I was hoping for quiet, so she could concentrate. Instead there were loud trucks and strange noises causing her to shy away from potty duty.

She has such extremes--shying at the littlest thing to her mood depicted in the header photo. How about a happy medium more often, Sweet Lizzie?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Mystery of Doors

I believe that in an ideal doggy world there would be no such thing as doors. The doggies would be able to wander from room to room and go in and out of the house without assistance.

My other doggies would lie down on the opposite side of the door and wait for me to return. Lizzie looks longingly at a door after one of us has left through it. Looking at her I feel that she's trying to figure out why her people disappear through these strange openings. Instead of looking frustrated by the barrier she looks terribly sad. When I left for a few minutes earlier this evening she timidly approached the door with me. When I said "stay" she looked so downtrodden. (Major guilt trip.) Sheesh, my husband was home, and I WAS coming back in a few minutes. It didn't matter, she was majorly bummed.

She's lying on the bed next to me: sound asleep with toes twitching. Maybe she's dreaming about a home without doors. Happy dreams, Lizzie!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bath Time and the Dreaded Vacuum

Lizzie got her first bath yesterday morning. I got everything prepared ahead of time and then took her in. I had the quietest setting on the hand-held shower head and the rubber bath mat down. It wasn't easy keeping her on the mat and in the tub let me tell you. She tried to climb up my arm several times. It took a lot of patience and calm but we made it through without any real catastrophes. I wasn't able to give her the thorough bath I had hoped for, but hopefully as time goes on bath time will become easier. She got quite playful after her bath and later when she was almost dry, she received a thorough grooming. Her coat is even shinier and softer than it was.

When she had dried most of the way she got her collar back on. Only now she was sporting a cute pink heart tag that my husband had gotten for her. She IS a girl and should have a girly tag, right?

I've vacuumed twice since Lizzie's been here. Both times she simply avoids me and that noise making machine. She just hangs out in another room. She hasn't worked up the nerve to check it out when it's off yet, but hopefully that will come soon.

She's learning about permitted sofa time already. I don't want my doggies thinking that they can go up on the sofas whenever they want, so I make a production out of allowing them up. They watch while I put the doggy blanket down, and then I ask them if they want to come up. With Lizzie, since she's so nervous, I decided to only allow her up if she's picked up and put on the blanket. I've noticed several times when she's frightened of something her tendency is to want to jump up on the sofas. I discouraged her easily last night with just a sharp "NO!" and putting my hand up. She spent two hours next to me while I was watching a movie last night. She sure received a lot of petting during that time.

On our walk this morning a little terrier that lives nearby raced through the invisible fence to cause some trouble. Even though he was aggressive Lizzie kept fairly calm (considering he was trying to fight with her!) and I was able to get through to him to cease and desist.

She's so timid, but she seems consolable most of the time. She also seems to feel more secure when she can sit on my feet. She really couldn't be any sweeter!

Monday, June 16, 2008

She CAN Bark!

After nearly 3 days here and not hearing a peep out of her, she actually barked three times today. What do you think caused this momentous eruption? Our fax machine! It beeped and started to print and she let out with three sharp barks, all while backing away. She let out a little chorus of growls and then was quiet again. She was curious enough to come and check out the printed sheets, but dismissed them as uninteresting.

Now, on to what she thinks about the vacuum. She watched me get it out of the closet and gave it a wide berth, while inspecting it. She went into her bed in another room, while I vacuumed the kitchen. Her coat is vastly different from my other doggies. I had to dump the canister twice just for the main floor! I think there is a chance that she'll get used to it, like all my other animals have. At least she didn't get hysterical or aggressive. She simply avoided it. Good girl Lizzie!

Tomorrow brings another unknown...bath time!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Welcome Home Lizzie

We met Lizzie (South Haven's Virginia Woofer) on Friday the 13th. Not being of a suspicious nature the date seemed to have no impact on our making the life altering decision to adopt a dog.

She was let out of the kennel at South Haven Farm that she was sharing with another Corgi named Cowboy. She visited with us briefly before taking off to sniff and explore. She didn't go far but didn't exactly respond to being called to return either. A leash was put on her and she was walked up to the house. She wasn't concerned about the cats or the dog who was wandering about. We hung out on the porch talking for quite awhile. Having animals is a huge responsibility, one I've never taken lightly. Adopting a dog only days after losing my cherished little dog, Tucker, was also affecting my ability to make a decision where Lizzie was concerned. I said, "I don't have things prepared at home." My husband finally said something to the effect of, "If you're not going to make a decision, then I'll make it for you." That was it, the decision was made. Lizzie was coming home with us. I had left Tucker's collar and Flexi-Lead in our vehicle, so I went to get them. The collar, a round leather one that Tuck had for years, is still in fantastic condition. It also had HIS three tags still on it. I felt only a little strange putting it on Lizzie.

We wondered how she traveled in a vehicle. Well, no problem. She settled onto the seat, while my daughter held her leash. She rode home without a peep. (We don't have her traveling harness yet.)

When we arrived home there were things to do—beds to wash and bowls to get ready. I walked her to the "potty spot" telling her to go and praising her like crazy when she went.  (She piddles in little increments in several spots.) After showing her the yard I brought her through the back door and walked her around the house. First the main floor and then my husband took her up to the top floor. She came up too close behind him going up the stairs, almost tripping him. Our basement is very spooky. The steps in particular. Tucker never would go down there on his own, no matter how much he wanted to keep me company. Lizzie balks at the door, backs up, and walks away when the basement door is open.

She took to the plush donut bed that Tucker had for about 10 years. She didn't want to eat her usual dry dog food even when mixed with the food I've been feeding for years. So, Friday she had only a few pieces of kibble.

Friday night she settled into her bed on the floor next to my side of the bed. I appreciate the fact that no matter how much she loves attention, she is gracious when it stops and doesn't pester. We're discouraging her from jumping up (don't all little dogs want to be taller?) and she seems very responsive to the "off" command. She pretty much stayed in her bed all night until early in the morning, when she started walking around. I carried her downstairs where I took her out to go potty.

Saturday morning we went for a short walk. I made the front door the "go potty" exit and the back door, the "go for a walk" or "go for a ride" door. She's frightened of the doors and nervous to go through doorways. She wants company when she goes out to go potty. There is a large dog at the corner house, who always barks. Lizzie was very frightened by her that morning on the way out, but on the way back she went behind the small embankment across the street. I thought she might be thinking "if I can't see the big dog it can't hurt me."

Saturday afternoon we took her with us for a drive that turned into a four hour jaunt. I put the doggy blanket on the seat and put fresh water in the Buddy Bowl and off we went. She handled the trip perfectly! We took her out for potty breaks, but she went back in willingly.

After we got home she made the trip up and down the stairs several times all on her own. We made a huge fuss over this major achievement.

Last night there was a thunderstorm. I had no idea how she'd react to them. I sat down soon after the rumbling started. I could see that she was nervous and when she tried jumping up into the chair with me I gave in and brought her up. She crawled in beside me, resting on the padded arm. With the next loud rumble she pushed her head in behind my back and quietly hid. She stayed that way for several minutes before my husband came into the room and talked to her. She brought her head out to get pets and then kept facing outward. I stayed there with her for nearly an hour. She didn't shake overly much. She didn't make a sound or move much at all. When the storm finally passed I picked her up and put her on the floor. She walked off like everything was absolutely fine.

She slept well with one early morning potty break.

This morning I cleaned and treated her eye and then we went for a walk. She was so much braver today. She even tried chasing a squirrel up a tree. When we got home I fed her some of her new food, which she ate lickety-split.

She followed me about the house while I did chores. She stayed close by while I was in the kitchen, but not under foot. What a good girl!

I put a dose of Frontline Plus on her. She's been chewing on herself just a little. Gotta keep those fleas and ticks off my girl!

Later she ate two more small meals quite quickly. I hope she'll soon realize there is no competition for the food here. She is the only dog after all.

My husband tried walking her out onto the pier and she didn't want any of that. The sound of water lapping was enough of a deterrent. She wanted back in the house pronto!

We're also trying to encourage her to play with the fluffy little ginger man and rope toys. She's good for a few seconds and then walks away. Some dogs just gotta learn to have fun.

I've been using the undercoat rake on her throughout the day. Corgis shed constantly. I've had two black-tri colored dogs in a row and am quite used to dark colored fur swirls. This little girl sheds white fur, which is so short it doesn't exactly swirl. Tomorrow we'll see how she handles the vacuum cleaner. I have a feeling that if she isn't exactly okay with it now, she soon will be. I am a 'vacuumaholic' and with our dark floor and all that white fur...yikes! Be brave little Lizzie girl, I won't let the big, mean vacuum cleaner get you. I promise.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I Will Miss Him Forever

Forget that whole thing about being prepared for the inevitable. 
There is no preparation for him not being here.
Forget that at 17 years of age, he lived much longer than most dogs.
I wanted him to set a world record for the oldest living dog.
Forget that he was just a dog and not a human.
I don’t believe that whole “just” an animal thing.

He may have been discarded by someone else, but he became my treasured, loyal, loving, and adoring best little friend for nearly 15 years.

He's only (?!)  been gone for a 5-1/2 hours - I MISS HIM.  I AM SAD.  I am wondering how long it'll take before I quit expecting him here...there...everywhere!

23 Oct 1991 - 09 Jun 2008

His ashes will join Sydney's when they come home later this week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Promoting My Family History: Engaging Relatives

I'm at a loss as to why I have found so few relatives researching common ancestors. I often feel I am the only one doing so. A large part of the information I've received from others has been from generous contributors wholly unrelated to me.

Here are some of the ways I present the family history seeking information and collaborators:
    • I've sought contributions from those relatives for whom I have contact information.
    • I established a private site at in 2001.  The site initiated much sharing in the beginning but has been dormant for several years.
    • I've made numerous queries on message boards.
    • The family tree has been online since 2004 and has been growing with a collaborative effort on Geni since 2007.
    • I began contributing family history documents to Footnote and have made many annotations.
    • I started contributing photographs and information to Find A Grave.
    • I have had hundreds of family history documents and photographs available online for public viewing since 2006.  All will be shared at Flickr with dates, descriptions, sources, geotagging, and tags.
    • I have numerous detailed family history entries on this site. Several receive a lot of traffic, but I am rarely contacted about them.
    I feel genuinely appreciative of everyone who has contributed to the family history up to this point. So many seem reluctant to volunteer information feeling their lives, or that of our ancestors weren't remarkable enough to document. How can I impress upon them that is definitely not the case?  We each have a life story to tell if someone will listen.  I'm definitely here to listen.

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    Recipe: Mushroom Noodle Chowder

    The original recipe came out of a vegetarian magazine in the '90s. It can be made vegan by using egg-free noodles and either omitting the sour cream or by using vegan sour cream.


    8 cups vegetable stock*
    2 large russet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1” cubes
    1 large carrot, peeled & sliced
    2 tbsp. oil
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
    2 Tbs. white whole wheat flour
    2 cups dried noodles (egg-free)
    seasonings of choice  (to taste)
    vegan sour cream

    *Edward and Sons Vegan Bouillon is my favorite.


    1.  In a large soup pot, add potatoes and carrots to vegetable stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender about 15 minutes.

    2.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and sliced fresh mushrooms, sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are dark golden, about 15 minutes.

    3.  Sprinkle flour over vegetables in skillet, stir to coat, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add a cup of hot stock and stir to blend.

    4.  Add contents of the skillet to the soup pot and stir to combine. Add noodles and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste. Serve topped with yogurt or sour cream and chopped dill, if desired.

    Servings:  Approximately 6.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    Book Review: Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen

    Title: Murphy's Law
    Series: Molly Murphy Mystery #1
    Author: Rhys Bowen
    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Published: 04/01/2007
    Publisher: Minotaur Books
    Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery


    From the creator of the much-loved Constable Evan Evans mysteries comes a colorful new series set in turn-of-the-century New York City. When spirited redhead Molly Murphy was growing up a peasant on the coast of Ireland she always imagined there was something more in store for her. She couldn't have known how right she was until the day she became a murderer, albeit in self-defense. Under drastic circumstances, Molly is forced to strike out into a new world. With the police right behind her, Molly's only chance at escape is a false identity and a steamship that will take her far, far away: to America.

    When her ship sails into New York Harbor, with the majestic figure of the Statue of Liberty providing comfort and inspiration, Molly is sure her whole life is in front of her. But she's got one last hurdle to clear: Ellis Island. She is just one among thousands of immigrants on the tiny island, awaiting their fate with anxiety and hope. Unfortunately for Molly, before she is able to leave the island a man is brutally murdered, his throat cut from ear to ear, and coincidence and fate make her a suspect in a crime she didn't commit. Under a cloud of suspicion, and due largely to a growing mutual attraction between Molly and the handsome police captain in charge of the case, she is allowed to leave Ellis Island for Manhattan. Unfortunately, she's got a mission she couldn't have anticipated: clear her own name of murder. Alone in a new country with no one to lean on, Molly hits the vibrant streets of New York intent on finding out what really happened. After all, if she can't, she'll be sent back to Ireland, where the dreaded gallows await.

    With the sweeping skyline of 19th century New York and the gritty, pulsating underworld of recently arrived immigrants forming a vivid backdrop, Rhys Bowen transports readers back in time to America's not-so-distant past. The first entry in the Molly Murphy series is a fascinating look at our immigrant history as well as an intensely absorbing page-turner.


    I am very glad I stumbled upon this book. I have other books to read, but I know I will be counting the hours until I can get the rest of the series on my 'to-read' shelf. Molly Murphy is intelligent (educated), driven, compassionate, and fair-minded. I enjoyed reading about the setting and the other characters, as well. Something tells me that this work of historical fiction is spot on in its depiction of early 20th century immigration and the goings on in old New York. It was an entertaining read all around.

    Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Family Tree Updates and Revisions


    Below are some of the additions and revisions I have made to our family tree file for the first quarter of 2008:

    • Approximately 150 individuals added from contributions to our Geni Family Tree.
    • Baptism, Marriage, and Census information added to the MARQUES and ANDRADE branches.
    • Census information added to these branches: HILL, HANNAN, KANE, and BARRINGER.
    • Data added on some of our KANE relations and their spouses.
    • Locations specific to an institution or residence are being removed from birth and death fields to include twp/city, county, and state only. Cemetery names will still be listed for burial locations when known.
    • Sources are being edited for conciseness and uniformity.

    Book Review: Tumbling Blocks by Earlene Fowler

    Title: Tumbling Blocks
    Series: Benni Harper Mystery #13
    Author: Earlene Fowler
    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Published: 05/06/2008
    Publisher: Berkley
    Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery


    With Christmas just a few weeks away, Benni's queenly boss, Constance Sinclair, demands that she investigate the death of a local socialite. It's not long before Benni recognizes that there may be some deadly truth to Constance's suspicions. But with a famously reclusive artist about to put Benni's quilting museum on the map-and her daunting mother-in-law and her "surprise" new husband visiting-Benni's holiday is already hectic. Nevertheless, she'll need to crack the exclusive circle of suspects before one more gourmet goose gets cooked.


    I've read and enjoyed all of Earlene Fowler's books. This one may be her most personal novel yet. The addition of the Pembroke Corgi, Boudin, to the series had me comparing the parallel lives of the author and the main character, Benni, more than ever. I've been reading about Earlene and her Boudin on her website for years.

    I always enjoy her description of San Celina (San Luis Obispo) and surrounding areas, ranch life, and her loyal friends and family. Benni's view of family and friends seemed more 'relatable' than ever. I also appreciated the dedication and concern given to the canine characters...lucky dogs indeed!

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Recipe: Moist Vegan Chocolate Cake


    This recipe makes: 1-9” x 11” cake, 2-9” round cakes, or 24 cupcakes.

    Since it is egg free it does not make a stable layer cake but does make an excellent sheet cake and cupcakes. It is VERY moist, so it's best when loosely covered and eaten within 2 days.


    3 cups unbleached flour
    2 cups sugar
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    ½ cup cocoa powder
    ¾ cup canola oil
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 tbsp. white vinegar
    2 cups water


    1. Preheat oven to 350° for glass or light pans and 325° for dark pans.
    2. Grease and flour pans or line cupcake pan.
    3. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl.
    5. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and mix until smooth.
    6. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes for cupcakes; approximately 30 minutes for 9” pans, or approximately 50 minutes for a 9” x 11” pan. A toothpick should come out clean when done.
    7. Remove cupcakes and 9” cakes from pan and cool on wire rack. Cool 9” x 11” pan on wire rack. Frost when cool.