Saved $60 but the dog hates me…

These days I’m always looking for ways to save money.  (Duh.  Who ISN’T, you say!)  Well, our dog hasn’t been to the groomers in … hmm.  When was that she last went?  All I remember from that visit was the groomer saying, “Maggie was a real brat!”  Haven’t gone back to them since.  I mean, I recognize that she is willful and does not like to be groomed, especially to have her nails cut, but honestly. to call her a “brat”?

Have you ever heard that phrase, “No bad dogs only bad owners”?  Or something like that.  Well, it is OUR fault that Maggie doesn’t like getting groomed.  She’s not used to it and it scares her and is uncomfortable.  Ah, but there are always reasons (er, excuses) for everything, right?  Like in our case, we are always wanting to save money and not get her groomed except when absolutely necessary.  We bathe her ourselves and all of that (otherwise, pee-euw!)  But when it comes to hair cuts,we figure she can go six months easy.

Only for some reason the last several months Maggie has decided to go the way of the Rastas and grow some wicked dreadlocks.  We’re talking mega-matting!  And once you go down that road, it’s really hard to go back to smooth and silky.  We try to brush her, but there is some sort of tipping point with brushing — after a certain amount of mats develop, you’re doomed. One of my former students had big, beautiful dreads but had to get rid of them when she joined the peace corps.  She said changing her hair was one of the most unpleasant things she had ever had to do, much worse than anything she faced in Africa for the two years she served there.

Anyway, so today was the day to “fix” Maggie’s fur.  She was not amused.  But I figured the best way to solve the issue was just to cut off every bit of matted fur.  I figured I’d give her what I believe they call a “puppy cut” (short all over rather than the typical Westie cut).  That way if there were spots that were REALLY short, it wouldn’t be as obvious.

Here’s what a Westie is supposed to look like…

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Well, that’s pretty cute, right?  One of the ways in which those dogs are able to look like that, though, is through the development of a stiffish, wirey overcoat that helps them keep this shape and not get matted.  For some reason our Magster has still — at three years old — not developed that tough outer coat.  She is still as soft as an alpacha.

zodiac alpaca dante

Which is nice for us when we pet her and all but leads to no end to the matting problems. (Our last Westie had the same problem, by the way — never got the wire coat.  Weird coincidence?  Our vet has no idea why Maggie is still so soft and fluffy.  We met her parents and they have wire coats.  Hmmm.)  Anyway, today I decided to implement my great money-saving plan and give Magga-muffin a new do.

She hates me.

Who doesn’t hate her hair dresser when she gives you a crappy cut?  Who doesn’t blame the one with the shears when we come away with a four week bad hair fiasco?

Honestly, I tried my best, but I REALLY underestimated how much matting there was. Every time I thought I had a leg looking okay and I’d run the brush through it, yank, it caught on yet another mat.  Maggie was none too pleased and took to biting the brush after a while.  “I understand, Maggums.  This sucks.”  I didn’t call her a brat.  She’s our soft little sweetheart of a Rastafarian.

I know you must wonder what she looks like now. Not sure this picture gives you the full effect of her humiliation….

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At least she was willing to go out in public!  Our good, brave Maggie-May!

Oh, yeh… I have a blog!

Hey, there!  Anybody ever come to this site anymore…?  🙂

I turned in the last of my grades this morning and am just finishing up preparations for my new on-line summer class that starts on Tuesday.  Ah, but then… then I’ll have time at last to write!  And to catch up with all of my blogger friends whom I have not visited for ages.  I hope you are all well.

Stay tuned…

Rollin, rollin, rollin, keep them doggies rollin

Just keep working.  Keep reading.  Keep grading.  Keep getting up and putting on work clothes and driving to school.  Keep standing in front of those students.  Keep going to meetings.  Keep on keepin on.

Sometimes in a person’s life it’s 95% about JUST KEEP MOVING…

“writing assignments for bad kids…”

Hmmm.  Well, that’s what showed up on my wordpress dashboard yesterday as the search terms that led someone to my site: “writing assignments for bad kids.”  Nothing like promoting the idea that English is torture. 🙂  Give ’em some grammar exercises, too, why don’t ya?!

I have a student this semester who is so far beyond being a bad student that he is a caricature, a cartoon.  Yet, I’m not sure for all that I’d call him a bad kid.  Compulsive liar?  Sure.  Morally repugnant?  That’s a given.  Passive aggressive?  Duh, of course.

But I hadn’t stopped to think maybe he’s just bad to the bone.  I was more thinking that his lack of any sense of personal responsibility for his own learning has led him to get absolutely nothing out of college.  And his lack of work, any writing really of note, is what led to the F on his midterm that I just passed back.

I tend to find that the worst students are the ones who are NOT writing, not doing their work.  So my answer to the person who queried about “writing assignments for bad kids” is to say the problem is not in the assignment but in the student’s work ethic or attitude or study skills, etc.  “Bad kids” or “good” — they all need to write.  Motivating a kid to write, well, if you figure out the answer to that, I’d like to know!  I already discovered long ago that grades rarely motivate struggling students.

Just checking in…

I have nothing interesting to say.  Sorry!  Just checking in to let you know I’m still out here.  When I took a first aid class once, they said you should ask three questions about a person in distress:  Is she breathing?  Is she bleeding?  Is she comfy?  Well, I’m okay on the first two….  Not sure about the last.  But I can say that not blogging has freed up just enough of a smidgin of time for me to be able to stay caught up in my grading…. SO FAR!  LOL 🙂

I tell you what…here is another link to a funny video.  Who says I don’t think of my friends…?!

Again, I can’t get this to show up directly into my post (anyone know how to do that if it isn’t YouTube?)  But I laughed out loud at this kid. She is too precious in her wily storytelling ways!

the hippo was allergic to magic

Amelie rocks!

here’s a laugh…Finnish goats

A friend of ours sent me this link to a cartoon made by some Finns of the “Three BIlly Goats Gruff” story.  It includes the most addicting little song.  My husband tried to turn it into a ringtone.  We all sing it to one another at odd moments to lighten the mood.  My son begs for it!  I secretly watch it all the time. 🙂

I could not get this video itself to show up on my site, but it is SOOOO well worth the click.  Hope you enjoy!

http://plektra.kapsi.fi/KolmePukkia.mpg

Baaaaaa!!  🙂

Kreativ Blogger? Wow, thanks!

I want to say a big thanks to Montessori Mama, who has given me the Kreativ Blogger award!!

kreativeblogger

You know, it feels kinda good.  I needed the boost — thanks again, MM.  Coming from one of the most creative of all bloggers I know, this award means a lot!

Now, on to the rules:
– List six things that inspire my creativity
– Pass the award on to 6 more kreativ bloggers
– Link back to the person who gave you the award
– Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know.

so…

SIX things that inspire my creativity:

  1. family night — We decided to rotate the responsibility to each family member each week  to choose an activity for Friday night that the whole family would enjoy.  Last time that it was my turn, I chose painting, and we had a marvelous time just hanging out and painting together. Never done such a  thing together ALL three of us at the same time.  Cool!
  2. Christmas — Something about that holiday brings out my creative side.  I relish the chance to make things beautiful, to use my hands to create something new out of something old (ornaments, table decorations, handmade cards….)
  3. teaching a text that students seem to find boring — Ah, I love that challenge! That’s when I revert to drawing crazy pictures on the board, jumping on top of furniture to act out a concept, bringing in wigs and hats for students to stage an impromptu dramatization of that boring 18th century poem, etc.
  4. dinner parties — I know you aren’t really “supposed” to make up new recipes when you have company coming, but I love to get creative in the kitchen for my friends.  Almost always there’s enough delicious food (if I do say so myself) in the meal to make up for anything borderline.  Even the flops are food for funny stories later on. 🙂
  5. scrapbooking — Okay, I admit it.  I actually like doing this activity.  I haven’t been able to work on anything for years, but I love how it is both a creative (making something new) and retro- and intro-spective activity.  I need to find a way to do this craft again, as it gives me much pleasure both in the doing and in the viewing later.
  6. Grandma’a life — I find my beloved grandma to be incredibly inspiring.  Writing her book is one of the most meaningful things I have undertaken in my life and one of the hardest.

Now, on to listing SIX more kreativ bloggers:

The Sruggling Writer is a wonderfully creative guy — I like how he just keeps on writing despite being busy with work and his young family. I’ve seen a noticable change in the quality of his writing, too, clearly proving that practice makes perfect. Paul, you’re awesome!

I read Kitty’s delightful blog  The Show Must Go On almost every day.  She is witty and hilarious and kind.  Check her out!  But bonus…she is also a gifted photographer and has another blog The Cuckoo’s Nest filled with interesting pixs.  This gal can do anything.  She even turned me on to cooking cabbage (yup, Kitty, I finally bit the bullet and cooked that thing in the bottom of my fridge — delicious!  Who knew?)

Ginny over at Praying to Darwin is a crack up.  Always makes me LOL when I read of her and her family’s escapades in the great white north of Canada.  I’ve actually snorted with laughter when reading her before.  Thanks, Ginny, for cheering my day!

I love handmade paper products (books, cards, etc.), and I really admire Diane Aldred’s work, often showcased on her blog Much of a Muchness.  She has a real knack for choosing just the right design.  She’s also a good writer, and despite my jealousy over her exciting travels, I’m nominating her as well.

I don’t recall exactly how I first found Katie Hoffman’s blog Paint Fumes, but I have enjoyed visiting it and viewing her paintings for a long time now.  I always find something worthwhile to contemplate there, and I’ve enjoyed learning more about the art wold from her interesting written posts, as well.

When I first began blogging a year and a half ago, I was searching the blogosphere using the keyword “grief”  and came across Linda’s mysteroriley, a “blog I never wanted to write.”  What strikes me so much about this blog is Linda’s courage and the strength of her creative energy in the face of the painful loss of her 20-year-old son.  Linda, I admire you both as a writer and as a human being.  You inspire me!

So, there you have it folks!  And I want to encourage everyone to visit Montessori Mama‘s site, too.  She is a gifted artist, teacher, and a great gal. Thanks!