20 December 2011

An oldie but a goodie

I know that some of you may remember this picture from a couple years ago but since 2011 has had its share of hills and valleys with 4-legged health issues and trying to get the Bentman, Roux, Bridgette, and Walter to pose together without me pulling out my haire or theirs, I decided a repost of an oldie (pic) was in order. 
Some of you may not know that Little Jax left us for the Rainbow Bridge this year in November. His absence leaves a giant hole in our daily life. Jax always loved to sit under the tree. It was his his domain and he looked so precious there. I am pretty sure that he is looking down on us from his beautiful star in the heavens and wishing us a Merry Christmas too.... 
So I hope everyone in Blogger-land has a wonderful holiday season. Love and Peace to all of you! 

Till next time,
Karen Raye

24 November 2011

The rest of the "Things I am thankful for" list...

 My list should have numbered 100 but sometimes I make an oops when I copy and paste. Laughing at myself again...Have a great Thanksgiving!
72.      My aunt Loretta and the love she shared with my Uncle Henry.
73.      Remembering my Mom’s passion for life.
74.      The hill country in Texas
75.      Roller coasters
76.      That God gave me lots of patience…
77.      Kris needing me to fix the pie crust and make it pretty!
78.      AssistHers
79.      People that volunteer to help others.
80.  Foster dog failures that were meant to be
81.  Bird of Paradise Yankee Candles
82.  My 2 vacuum cleaners
83.  Good steak on the grill
84.  Sunshine
85.  Big orange harvest moons
86.  Winnie the Pooh
87.  Dr. Seuss
88.  People that remind me of Eeyore
89.  Old lesbians
90.  Not being afraid of life
91.  Really cool shoes
92.  Giraffes
93.  The way Kris cooks ham when I am craving it.
94.  Borden’s egg-nog
95.  Hot dogs over a wood fire on Friday nights
96.  Road trips with Kathy and Kaylyn
97.  Sitting in the truck head banging to Devo’s Whip It song with them
98.  Visiting with good friends
99.  The knowledge that there is so much more than just this list that I am thankful for
    100. Adam Sandler’s The Thanksgiving Song

23 November 2011

Random thoughts on what I am thankful for...

1.      That no matter how I slept the previous night, I woke up to participate in another day.
2.      That there are people that love me for all my pros and cons.
3.      That my wife loves me more and more every day
4.      I have sweet beautiful 4-legged creatures that share our home with us.
5.      There is food in the fridge and pantry.
6.      There is food to feed the 4-legged’s.
7.      I can type all this into a Word document instead of having to handwrite this.
8.      After working out this last semester in PE classes, my arms are getting firmer and my thighs have lost their dimples.
9.      That I have wonderful memories of a Grandmother that loved my sisters and I very much.
10.  That Dad and I have repaired our relationship that was so broken.
11.  Happy that I repaired my broken self-image that occurred from poor decision-making.
12.  That I finally learned to forgive myself first so I could forgive others.
13.  That I learned to not feel guilty for being unable to help those that won’t help themselves.
14.  Icy cold root beer
15.  That I am able to cook and bake whatever I want.
16.  That I’m able to laugh at recipes that don’t work out so well.
17.  To be able to laugh at myself.
18.  To find joy in most everything.
19.  My garden.
20.  Home-grown tomatoes and the song about them that I sang to my Dad for his birthday one year.
21.  The fact that he doesn’t think (or at least show it) that sometimes I am just plain goofy.
22.  That Kris tells me this is one of the reasons she loves me so much.
23.  That I like myself.
24.  That I love my life.
25.  Kris’s sweet smile.
26.  That I make her laugh.
27.  Music and how when I dance around the house and sing, Roux gets excited and dances (doggie style) with me.
28.  How no one that really loves me cares when I sing off-key.
29.  School
30.  Scholarships
31.  Good grades
32.  Algebra. Need to explain that one. The fact that I can enjoy the challenge and not get so frustrated that I give up.
33.  My classmates- even the young ones that have no idea what life can throw out at you.
34.  That no matter what you think you’ve experienced, there is always something that you have yet to learn.
35.   Buc-ee’s Icee’s (Coke mixed with cherry)
36.  Homemade bread from my sourdough starter.
37.  The neighbors and family that never tire of me taking them bread.
38.  My health.
39.  Sisters
40.  Nieces and nephews
41.  My crazy dog friends that do rescue.
42.  Hard cider.
43.  Gulf Coast shrimp.
44.  The beach and the sound of the ocean.
45.  Cooking with Valerie and Kris for the holidays.
46.  See’s Candy (especially the caramel marshmallow thingies)
47.  Spending time in New Orleans
48.  Good advice from Ellie
49.  Jeans that fit well
50.  Getting to know Marie before she died
51.  Lobster in Maine
52.  17 years of Memorial Day weekend with good friends.
53.  A clean house
54.  And a really big bathtub to take long relaxing baths in.
55.  Trees
56.  The cows in the fields on my way to school (they are so pretty)
57.  Scary movies
58.  Butter
59.  Peppermint ice cream
60.  Friday mornings with Kris
61.  El Toro (best Tex-Mex ever)
62.  Lindy’s accordion playing ability
63.  The fact that the woman can play anything on it too.
64.  Sanity
65.  Cooler weather
66.  Reading a good book
67.  Libraries
68.  Curly headed Airedales
69.  People that smile back at you when you are driving down the road.
70.  All the birds that migrate through our area.
71.  A really good Vet (Dr. Kivney)

21 September 2011

Got green beans?

It requires three lb. cans these days...

To feed the Bentman a healthy snack!
Now mind you, he doesn't get the whole can all at once and he does shares with his 4-legged brothers and sisters but it is the most cost effective way I can keep him from eating us out of house and home. And don't get any ideas about me letting him counter surf- not in this house. Bentley has never figured out that he can jump up there. Yet. Though he has figured out how to open trash cans, cabinet doors and get stuck in the back bedroom because he has become a nosy butt. Think the meds are working and he is becoming a real Airedale again. He has even begun playing with his little sis Roux lately...watch out, she's not so little anymore (70 lbs.) and ready for some football!  

Till next time,
Karen Raye and the gang!

18 September 2011

Did somebody say football?

Hi ya'll!
Just a quick note- supposed to be working on Algebra homework...but wanted to say I'd rather be watching the Steelers, Saints, and Texans! And an update on the Bentman- he is doing fabulous. Of course he thinks he is starvin' marvin' these days due to the ongoing dosage of prednisone for another 3 weeks. Massively loud WOOFS for FOOD these days! The two cones of shame were retired and he has only one more follow-up at the surgeons office, then it is back to the regular nice lady Vet.
One other thing is the hummingbirds are migrating down this way in our part of Texas so I'll leave you with a picture or two of our littlest angels!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Till next time,
Karen Raye and the biggest woofer (Bentley)

I have been refilling this feeder 3x a day this weekend.

I think they like the newest feeder also! 

29 August 2011

So far, So good...

Just a quick note to update the Bentman's progress. He had that big 'ole spleen removed last Tuesday and the surgeon said results from biopsy will be back this week sometime but all in all it looked pretty decent without any obvious masses. They kept him till Thursday and was he ever happy to see me when I went to pick him up after school. Of course it was quite a shocker to see him with that giant cone on his head but the incision freaked me out a bit more. I was instructed to take the bandage off within two to three days so I took it off on Saturday and finally got a good look at the incision. No unusual redness or swelling thank goodness. And here it is, too much information of course but he pooped on Friday- 2 days before they said he might. WooHoo. Never thought I'd be so happy to pick up poop but it meant that certain things were working well.

The hardest part with five 4-legged's is keeping them calm and separated from each other. As of yesterday we let them have supervised time together with no play just checking each other out and it went well. We have to continue on this supervised schedule for a few weeks though. Feeding time is a real b%$&* around here because of special diets to coat tummies, control sodium, etc. but I have it down to a science or at least I think I do.

1st day home
The other thing to report is Bentley had been having some pain that I was unaware of from the TBD poly-arthritis flaring up again and being really grumpy towards Roux. The specialist did put him back on 800 mgs of doxy per day and bumped the pred back to a whole tab a day (20 mg). Can we say 'Roid rage? Hate steriods but they are a necessary evil in this case.

This will probably be a constant battle for awhile but at least we know that his spleen will not rupture and can control the arthritis pain with tramadol as needed. And- he is tolerating the two different e-collars as well as he can. Without sounding mean, it is quite amusing to see him maneuver around in the giant cone that he has to wear during the night while we are sleeping or if we are gone from the house.

Night time cone of shame

Other than some extra stress we are hanging in there. I sincerely hope all of our friends on the east coast were not impacted horribly by Hurricane Irene. Down here on the Gulf coast we deal with tropical storms and hurricanes often and know just how devastating and frightening they can be. Sending prayers and Aire'Zen to all of you in Irene's path. Take care and hug the ones you love!

Till next time,
Karen Raye

11 August 2011

Zombie leg?

  Been there for months...   
Last night Kris and I drove up to Pearland to meet some friends for dinner and left the 4-legged's to their own devices. When we came home, the 4-legged's were woofing and happy to see us like usual but the most amazing thing occurred...
In the corner of the dining room by the hutch is an old prop (ZOMBIE leg) that the Mama's used a few years back in the 1st Annual Zombie Walk for the Houston Food Pantry (lots of fun - great cause). Since we have an odd sense of humor, it has been strategically placed in our house to see just how alert our various guests are when they come to visit. At this point in time, only 3 of them have ever taken the bait and one of them is my Dad. He is quite aware of my sense of humor... Anyway...
Back to the story. When we came in the house last night the biggest Woofer (ya'll know who that would be) decided to take notice of the leg and grabbed it like it was a new toy. I almost died laughing and couldn't get the camera in time to snap a picture. Needless to say, I had to retrieve it before the Bentman and his Roux decided to have their very own Zombie leg eating festival.
(Disclaimer- I know some of you think this is gross- Sorry- we love Zombie flicks in this house).
I am thinking my Bentman is regaining his ornery attitude and acting like the silly clown he used to be. I also noticed (after scissoring him on and off for hours) that his beautiful haire is coming back and the color is deepening. And of course he is back to WOOFING (really loud and deep) all the time about everything like he used to.

HALLELUJAH- my Bentley Boy is back and he's starting to get in trouble- Hey la - Hey la - my Bentley Boy is back! 

So I had to share and thank everyone for all the good wishes. Now all we have to do is get him through the spleenectomy on the 23rd and WOO-HOO he can be as goofy as he ever was!

Have a great week and hug the ones you love!

Till next time,
Karen Raye

Mean Mama took it away...notice that look of contemplation?

01 August 2011

Monday morning bread...

Not just another manic Monday but bread day. Potato bread to be exact. I have been perfecting my bread baking skills for a few years trying to tweak my cooking talent in different directions and what could be better than to follow in my Mom's footsteps of bread baking. My better half informed me that her favorite's that I bake is fougasse and the potato roll recipe that I finally perfected. Since there are always too many rolls left over- even when I send some to the neighbors, I decided to make 2/3 of the dough into a loaf to slice for sandwiches. 
   The big pot on the stove is an all day affaire of homemade spaghetti sauce that I'll put up in the freezer for real manic Mondays, terrible Tuesdays, wacky Wednesdays, terrific Thursdays, and finally fabulous Fridays. Works for whatever day during the week you don't have time or the inclination to cook. I like to throw together any of the flat-breads (Italian or French) and put some of the sauce and some good stinky cheese on it for a quick pizza. If I am real lucky, I'll also have enough tomatoes from the garden to whip up some bruschetta or my old standby, pesto from the three basil plants that have been quite generous this summer.

Uh oh-  look who showed up. The Bentman now thinks the kitchen is his own personal domain. It is impossible to go near the kitchen without him making an entrance. Then he just hangs out waiting to see if he can look really pitiful and get a snack of something good and this is a dog that learned my command of "Out of the kitchen" when he was a wee pup. If the pitiful poor me look doesn't work out for him, he just plants himself - like this, see below - until someone comes back and then it starts all over again...doG help us. I think we have at least three more weeks of prednisone. Aaaagggghhhhh!!!!!

Not really complaining though. We are really glad he is interested in life (translate to food) again! Hope you have a great week and will get back to you soon!

Till next time,
Karen Raye

23 July 2011

Quick update for Saturday

The specialist called on Thursday and said the Bentman's joint fluid was thin, watery and dark instead of thick and light colored like a motor oil. So he called in the scary Prednisone pills to the local pharmacy and Bentley started them on Thursday night. No problems as of this morning and he is starting to behave a wee bit more like himself but not really letting Kris or I out of his hearing or sight. The appetite is definitely improving as it should be since I have him and the little Jax man on a special food mix of brown and white rice with chicken and carrots. I boil it all together so everything has a nice chicken flavor then when it is time to eat, I mix it with some lamb and rice kibble. In Bentleys case, it has 8 pills (antibiotics/ Pred) and the little man Jax gets his fluid pill. Jax was diagnosed with a heart murmur and congestive heart failure a month ago. Yeah, it has been a month of news I'll say...
Of course , the three other 4-legged's get a spoon of the special mix stirred into their bowls because it just wouldn't be fair to not share the wealth of yumminess, would it? Plus there is the fish oil, pro-biotic, and Pepcid that has to be added to the Bentmans bowl to keep his tummy in good shape. Whew! It is worth it though....♥

I have to say that feeding time is quite an interesting experience around here. Everyone gets excited and it is nice to see Bentley interested in food again. Can't wait to see him in action when the Prednisone really kicks in - appetite wise, that is. Going to have to figure out a way to keep him from becoming a chunky monkey because he is not allowed to be out in the sun too much because of all the antibiotics and this cuts out some of our means of exercise. 

Thanks for all the well wishes too. It has helped to lighten our hearts to read the sweet comments. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Hug your 4-legged's and give them an Aire-kiss from the Bentman.

♥ Till next time,
    Karen Raye

20 July 2011

Need some Zen...

Prayers too. Bentley is on extremely high dosage of Doxy as of last night. Four pills in the morning and four at night. The specialist passed on removing his spleen for awhile due to possible chronic stage of some type of ehrlichia. The specialist did take samples of his joint fluids that we will get results back on - hopefully Monday. And we should get bloodwork information back from University of North Carolina today or tomorrow. 

We are worried and I am trying not to be angry at previous vets for not taking me seriously when suggesting that maybe he was relapsing from his run in with tick fever back when he was three. This is a serious disease that is silent and deadly. The symptoms are so vague- lethargy, intermittent limps or soreness in one limb or another, just acting odd, not playing as much, CBC's not quite wrong but not quite right, and so much more.

Ever since I saw what tick fever could do to a dog (my ex's parents Weimeraner in West Texas), I became aware of this disease's ravages on a canines body. I took measures with Preventic collars, Advantic, and sprayed the hell out of the property with stuff from the vet's office. I thought I was vigilant and the new vet and the specialist assure me that I was but there was no way of knowing that Bentley hadn't recovered from his initial bout and the disease had gone dormant. 

I am scared because it appears to be chronic and that is not a good sign but there is a chance that we can turn this around. I just want you to be aware and follow your instincts when you know your 4-legged friend is not quite right and insist on testing for tick-based diseases no matter what the vet says. At this point, Bentley has been tested for Cushings, Addison's, Hip Dysplasia, x-rays, ultra-sounds, and even acupuncture treatments for what was thought to be spinal problems. All of his symptoms are classic TBD (tick based disease) results including the enlarged spleen.

I will keep you updated and plan on passing on informational links as I learn more. Take care and give your 4-legged's a hug.

Till next time,
Karen Raye and Bentley Beargrass

14 July 2011

Countdown to surgery

Roux staying close to her Bentley...

For the Bentman. After numerous visits and dollars later plus firing two Vets.and going to one back in Houston(an hour away)it has been determined that Bentley will have his humongous spleen removed next week. It apparently has harbored chronic ehrlichia since he was three even though he was treated for it back then when we lived in West Texas doG- I hate that part of Texas (not really). Anyway, it is the cause of his muscle weakness (back legs and front legs now). He is currently not amused because he is not allowed to get on his couch or the 2-legged's bed. This is because he could hurt the humongous spleen and cause another bleed.  The Vet that I fired missed infection in anal gland and bladder infection so he is getting through that on top of everything else. But- not gonna blame- it is what it is and we are going forward.

I say countdown because all of this was found out on Friday and Monday from the new and wonderful Vet- Dr. Kivney. I didn't expect miracles but this lady has explained so much in 2 visits and 5 phone calls that I finally have hope that my boy will get better. Of course I am nervous and watching him like a hawk. So, we are at 5 days till the 8:30 AM appointment with surgeon next Tuesday. 

Wish us luck and send some Zen so the Bentman recovers nicely and can return to playing once again with his goofy, doofus 'lil sister Roux.....its been a long road to getting some answers and she wants to play with him again.

Till next time,
Karen Raye


05 May 2011

Spring is in the Aire

Better late than never! The weather is beautiful here in Lake Jackson but there hasn't been nary a drop of that stuff we call rain. I know that many parts of the United States are getting more than their share and I hope that everyone is safe and dry. 
We are getting ready to drive down to Florida to see family and stop in New Orleans on the way back in to Texas for a few days to celebrate my big 50 with friends. The Bentman and gang will be hanging out with one of their Auntie's while we are traveling.
By the way the Bentman is on a trial run of thyroid supplement for the summer after numerous tests that ruled out hip dysplasia and Cushings. His thyroid panel shows borderline or low results. He has already been on the pills for a week now and showed definite improvements after just 4 days. A few months ago he started losing his balance in his back legs; severe weakness and arthritic symptoms, severe lack of interest in most everything, and pain. I corresponded with some lovely people in the Airedale world that recommended some bootie shoes called Muttluks made in Canada. Found them at Petsmart for lots of dollars but they are the best fit after trying on various brands. He wasn't real amused for the first few hours, bucked like a mule but then he adjusted, has re-established his footing, and is getting stronger everyday! 
Bentley is getting back to his old self playing bitey-face with his sis Roux, playing with toys, woofing (really BIG vocalizer) again, and engaging in life with all that love him. So thankful! 
Anyway, I know this post is short and sweet but I will try to post more often now that summer is on its way. It has been just one crazy and eventful year so far. Nothing new, huh?
Take care and till next time- 
Karen Raye

16 March 2011

In honor of St. Paddy's Day!

I'm wearing my kilt.     

Just for you.
Hanging out with pretty wenches.
And a really cool guy too!

 And no, I don't have on any underwear!
Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

09 March 2011

A Long Time Ago

We lived here at this house. Well, actually it was only two years and one month ago give or take a few days. Guess what? Sold the other house 'cause the 2nd momma was transferred back down to her office on the coast and we moved again. The momma's said we are never moving again until it is time to retire. And  boy are we ever glad! This place is pretty cool though. There is a lot more room and not one but two yards to find interesting things to check out though we are only allowed in the other yard when we are supervised because there is a funny blue plastic thingie that has water in it that the momma's say will help cool them off  because it gets so hot and humid here in the summer time. And they call it the secret garden- whatever that means...Apparently it has something to do with lots of colorful plants that we are extremely interested in- especially the Roux. She can't keep her nose out of anything. I've nicknamed her nosy rosie these last few month's. 

Anyway, I wanted to give you a head's up that I am back in business and will be blogging more regularly now that I am back in black (loved that band). Got lots of pics of the newest renovations on the house. We're going retro 50's for the kitchen and dining room. Hated the floor though when they put it down. They had to accommodate me for a few weeks with a hundred little rugs because I wasn't real sure of that weird new floor. The momma's said I was a little strange but I don't agree. The Bentman just takes a little time to adjust to different floors- know what I mean? 

So I'll be back soon 'cause I missed all of you, my blogger friends! 
Sincerely your friend,
The Bentman and my 
4-legged cohorts in crime ~
Roux, Bridgette, Walter, and 
little man Jax (he wouldn't let me get a recent pic)