Archive for the ‘Pets’ category

Slaughter House

May 27, 2011

Look at that face. Doesn’t she look sweet? Innocent? Like an angel straight from heaven?

She is an angel all right.. the angel of DEATH! But only if you happen to have a beak and feathers. If you’re human or a dog, she’ll be your best friend. She’s like Dexter covered in fur.

The birds are back from their winter vacations, and those who happen to venture into our yard do so at their own risk. Robins are the meal of choice, but she won’t turn down any meal. Last week marked our first casualty, and if this summer is anything like the last, we’ll have an average of 4 bird corpses in our yard per week. Although I must say, Phoebe doesn’t waste much. A leg here, a few feathers there, but otherwise there isn’t much evidence of a birds demise.

All Aves, beware. I will do my best to thwart her killing activities, but the circle of life is in full force at the Nickel home.

Geriatricly Awesome

May 16, 2011

A few months ago my uncle asked me for a favor. He wanted me to watch his 11-year-old yellow lab for 3 weeks while he and his wife traveled to India. Not only do I love this particular uncle simply because he is an awesome guy, but I feel indebted to him for some really great things he’s done for me. Saying no was not an option.

When he dropped Lucy off at the end of April, it started off a little shaky. Lucy was a little possessive of toys… Jake’s toys… and was feeling a little insecure about this new situation. Not only did she not know us, but she’s old. Old as in limps and walks pretty slow.

Fast forward a few days and she and Jake became fast friends. It was so fun watching them wrestle and play, and I know that Jake loved the canine company. And our kids loved her, and she was wonderful with them.


When my uncle came to pick Lucy up this afternoon, he commented on how “engaged” & “frisky” Lucy seemed, and said it had been years since he’d seen her like that. Even though at the end of each day she pretty much collapsed because she’d played so hard, and could barely walk, I know she had a blast staying with us. I was happy that there was a noticeable change in her demeanor. At the beginning I was concerned that heaven forbid she would die while we were watching her. I mean hell, she’s OLD. But to have her not only survive but thrive… it was a great feeling.

Lucy has only been gone 8 hours, but I miss her already. She is such a sweet and fun dog, and she fit in perfectly with our family. I would have happily kept her longer… say forever. Luckily my uncle travels some, so I am confident that we’ll be seeing her again. And having her around has made me think… maybe it’s time for another dog?

And then again, maybe not.

Mr. Sensitivity

February 6, 2011

Cooper: “Mom, Jake thinks he’s ugly. It’s sad.”

Me: “Why do you think that?”

Cooper: “Because he looked in the mirror, put his head down, and walked away. But he’s not ugly! I think he’s cute!.”

Then he whispers to the dog, “Jake, it’s OK. You’re not ugly, you’re very cute”.

Cute indeed.

Ralph and Such

August 5, 2010

Meet my new friend, who I’ve named Ralph. He’s taken up residence in a flower-pot just outside my back door. I LOVE praying mantis, and it’s been fun to see him grow as well as hunt a little (I was around when he attacked a spider… cool!).

I’m also loving of the colors out this time of year, especially the ones I can find just outside my back door

And the flowers aren’t the only things blooming around here. Our tomatoes are finally starting to go crazy. We’re always knee-deep in them, so let me know if you want to be one of the people we pawn them off on :). Cucumbers and peppers too!

A Dog and Some Hobo

July 28, 2010

There’s nothing like being awakened in the morning with, “Mom, hurry! Jake has a big cut in his leg!”, followed by thunderous footsteps from the other two children confirming the statement in tones that would make you think the world will probably blow up in 3.2 seconds.

Indeed, Jake, our delightful dog and my 6th child (7th if you include Greg ๐Ÿ™‚ ), had a gash in his leg. It was clear to me that he would need stitches. It was ALSO clear to me that this was no accidental scratch from a chain link fence sort of injury. After I set up the interrogation room and got out all of my torture instruments (OK, so we just sat on the floor and I asked the kids what happened, but the other sounds more exciting), the truth all came out.

Evidently my children’s father felt it was 1) appropriate to let a 7-year-old have a pocket knife. “But it was a really small knife”. Yeah. And 2) he seemed to think that it was OK to let said 7-year-old whittle a stick out back. Alone. With a sharp pocket knife. What seems to have happened is that as the dogs (the ex was babysitting Jake overnight for us. The other dog, THEIR dog, is Rocky) were running around being crazy, as normal, and Jake ran over to see what my kiddo was up to. He’s pretty playful like that and is always interested in where the kids are and what they are doing. And if they are sitting on the ground they are fair game for a round of dog vs. kid wrestling match. Anywho, the result was… SLASH! Guess that will teach him not to bulldoze into kids holding knives!

1 vet visit, 1 shaved leg, 3 staples, 1 “cone of shame”, 1 bottle of canine pain killers, 2 weeks worth of antibiotics, and a nice big bill was how my Monday morning started. And all before 11 a.m.

We had planned on a really fun and activity filled day, but the above as well as the rain later that day put a kink in our plans. But why let that ruin ALL of the fun. Greg picked up the girls and although we didn’t get to do the fun activities we planned, we DID try to make some fun at home happen. We decided to make “hobo dinners” and let the kids each design their own meals. In keeping in with the luck of the day, the propane tank was out of fuel and we had NO coals to even try to make a fire in the fire pit. IMPROVISE! I have to admit that I don’t really have any hobo dinner experience. I’ve eaten them once or twice but never prepared them. So I figured why not just cook them in the oven!

We had shrimp, hamburger, chicken, potatoes and onions to choose from. 45 minutes in a 450 degree oven did the trick. Surprisingly, they were awesome! The kids all loved their concoctions and everyone ate everything in their foil packet. YUM!

Last week Greg bought a flip camera, and it’s been the tool of entertainment for the last couple of days. After dinner the kids made silly videos (Alex interviewing Cooper about his love of a piece of paper is my personal favorite), and then watched them on the computer. It’s so fun for me to kind of just sit back and listen to the laughter in our home. I can say with certainty that they LOVE each other. The past 2 weeks they haven’t seen each other as much as they usually do (which will be remedied with my family reunion tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ ), and when they aren’t together they really miss each other. It’s been just over 1 1/2 years since Greg and I got married, and while it’s not all been sugar-coated roads lined with gumdrops, it has been a wonderful experience to watch and be a part of our melting pot family. It’s been amazing to be able to witness how their relationships with each other (and with both Greg and I) have developed and grown into what they are today. We are a family! And it’s great that the kids have their best friends with them right under the same roof.

Goodbye 2009

January 2, 2010

At the start of each year I think or at least hope that the next year will be better, easier, awesome. A year full of rainbows and skipping down the lane with unicorn dreams. At age 34, I’ve finally realized that each year is full of wonderful and not so wonderful experiences. And THAT, my friend, is called life.

2009 has been a doozie! And I don’t mean that in a bad way. It has just been full of so many changes. I got married, went from mothering 3 children to 5, moved, become a landlord (hopefully to end soon), transitioned my kids to a new school, met a handful of amazing new friends, had more encounters with crazy people than I care to remember, hiked to new places and saw amazing Utah, became a mother of a dog named Jake, had shoulder surgery which I wonder if/when will not cause me constant pain, had an evil insurance company settle, had many fun weekends with the whole family and many fun weekends with just me and Mr. N.

There is a general re-cap of this past year. It’s one that I’m sure I’ll never forget and one whose happenings will change my life forever.

I’m excited for what 2010 will bring. I (we) have some BIG plans for this next year… ones that are both exciting AND a little nerve racking. There is no person I’d rather tackle these goals and experiences with than Greg and our family, and I am forever grateful for meeting and marrying him. All I can say is that things happen for a reason.

ANYWAY, join me in raising your virtual glass and toasting to the passing of a great 2009 and usher in an even better 2010.

Awesome and Not-So-Awesome

December 17, 2009

AWESOME: Getting together with a gaggle of friends for a “Christmas Cookie Exchange” party. What is a Christmas cookie exchange party you ask? It’s a bunch of women getting together to visit, catch up, laugh and just enjoy each other’s company. But we don’t come empty handed. Oh no. We show up with 6 dozen cookies that we’ve made, and then all share the bootie. Cute snowman platters were provided by our wonderful hostess, and we filled our huge plates with cookies to bring home and, if desired, share. It was great!
NOT-SO-AWESOME: Having a dog, Jake, whom I love, eat the ENTIRE f’ing platter of cookies whenย  I went to pick the kids up from school the day after the cookie shin-dig. THE. WHOLE. PLATTER. We’re talking about 40-50 cookies. Maybe 5 lbs. of cookies. When I saw what he had done, I quickly went from pissed to terrified. Because what goes in MUST come out, and I didn’t know how, where, or in what form the “out” would rear it’s ugly (and potentially disgusting and vomit inducing) head. He spent the good part of the afternoon outside, and luckily there were no accidents. However, there was some serious air polution infractions. When I opened my daughters bedroom door this morning (which is where Jake sleeps), it was obvious that his digestive system had been doing some serious work through the night. Yuck.

AWESOME: Having amazing medical coverage is worth more than it’s weight in colostomy bags. My shoulder surgery cost me absolutely nothing. Having lived through some serious medical insurance nightmares, I am extremely grateful to have such great insurance. Sweet!
NOT-SO-AWESOME: Having a state “program” designed to protect and cover children who’ve been dumped by other insurance companies DUMP those same kids because of a confusion over paper work. AND then not do anything about it. That is my tax dollars at work.

NOT-SO-AWESOME: My hubby being out of town for the week :(.
AWESOME: Being married to not only my best friend, but having that man be the most thoughtful and sweet man alive. Every morning that he’s been gone, I’ve gotten a text telling me where I can find my next hidden gift. That’s right… he hid little presents for me around the house, one for every day he’s gone (although yesterday was “bonus” day and I got two ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Seriously, how cute is that!?! It’s been hard having him gone and I miss him terribly, but I am excited to get to see him tomorrow and looking forward to our weekend alone.