Archive for January, 2014

Poor Bo!

Wednesday was a really busy day which began with driving my little dog Bo up to Apple Hill Animal Hospital for some dental work. We’ve been going there, even though it takes nearly a half an hour to drive up to Broadview Heights, since 1987 when we bought our first poodle from Dr. Burge who owns the place. At that time his was the only business in that area and he was the only vet working there. Now, I think there is no space left to build anything on and there are two, or possibly three, other vets working with him.


At any rate, I thought this was a visit to perhaps pull a loose tooth the groomer had noticed in his lower jaw and do a cleaning. So I was a bit shocked when the vet picked him up and said, “Wow, that’s quite a heart murmur”. Last May when his vaccinations were done they had mentioned that he had a small murmur, but nothing serious. But it seemed to have become much worse, though not really threatening. And when Dr. G. looked in his mouth she thought he might have to loose eight teeth. I was shocked. And since he had the heart murmur they wanted to do an EKG first to make sure he could handle the anesthetic. Well, it turned out that he could but when they called me later with the results he needed to have nineteen teeth removed! I could not believe it was so bad when we had not been aware of it. But the vet said that there was a good chance it had all happened in the last month or so, starting from a sinus infection and spreading through his mouth. She said that poodles, greyhounds and collies have more problems with their teeth than other breeds because of the shape of the muzzle. He has lots of meds at the moment, but is wonderful about taking them in a piece of cheese, and he seems to have his normal amount of energy. He’s twelve years old now which makes him older than I am, I believe, though I know the old rule of every dog year is seven human years is no longer considered accurate.

I hope he recovers well and goes on to live many more years. He is a very sweet dog, and a definite and much loved part of our family. Paul used to walk him all the time and would tell me that he could tell all his troubles to Bo and feel better afterwards.

There was a bit of sticker shock associated with this too…..I knew it would be expensive, but it ended up being more than $800.00.

Sometimes people ask me about his name. Andy named him after the dog who in Hungarian children’s books fills a sort of Lassie role. Bogancs means “thistle” and there was also a movie made about the book, a movie friends took us to see during our 1992 year in Budapest. Andy was in the fourth grade and loved the movie.

bogancs cover by fekete istvan

The picture above is a cover of the novel. Bo is doing very well and in about a week should be able to eat his regular dry dog food again. We’ll see about that! At the moment he is eating a special soft canned dog food from the vet. And today, when Alice was over and Andy cooked delicious filet mignon for us for lunch (even though he is a vegetarian he knows just how to do this perfectly), Bo had some soft inside bites from that. He has a good life!


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We’ve missed the giant storm which has been dumping astonishing amounts of snow elsewhere, even places which never get snow, but it has been pretty cold. When I first checked this morning it was zero degrees Fahrenheit. I think it reached 13 degrees later on, but temps are falling now.

Emily is on her second snow day! Yesterday was hilarious for anyone from Ohio. All the snow they had by the evening was a bit of what looked like powdered sugar on the edge of their deck. But it did snow overnight and today most of her ecology wing of the biology department at St. Mary’s went Cross Country Skiing. That is very unusual for southern Maryland. But even a little snow in an area that doesn’t normally experience it brings life to a halt. They have no equipment to deal with icy, snow covered roads. So more snow days and lots of fun for many.

Emily january 2014 skiing with the biology faculty

Emily is in the center.

I’m amused by the degree of color coordination they show.

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January, so far, has been rather quiet, a time of some weather extremes, and days with doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, trips to the library and to the Nat to exercise. Mystery reading has taken a lot of time! I’m reading my way through Susan Elia Macneal’s Maggie Hope books and am halfway through Princess Elizabeth’s Spy. I’m liking them more than I thought I would because the story is interesting. I don’t think the spirit of 1940s homefront Britain is quite the same as I pick up from reading writers who wrote of that era as it was unfolding, but I am good at willing suspension of disbelief.

Have not taken many photos other than my backyard after snows…….So here are a few from earlier times which I think I haven’t put up here yet.

You can see Sofia as a blue crayon at Halloween, and Sofia and Clara in pioneer costumes they dressed up in during our lovely visit to the Calvert Marine Museum over Christmas. If anyone is ever in this southern Maryland area, this museum is very worthwhile, especially in the summer, but even now it is quite nice. On this visit I was able to see the otters playing which I missed last time.

And my last photo is of – you guessed it – my yard after snow. Yesterday we had a wonderful intense snowfall for about twenty minutes which made another winter wonderland here, but seems not so glorious this morning. It is still pretty cold for this time of year. It was 18degrees Fahrenheit when I checked about nine o’clock. Alice and her family and Emily and her family are both at Chautauqua this weekend, having a sort of ski/family reunion weekend. Getting there was rather bad for both. It was almost whiteout for Alice and Mike driving across eastern Ohio, Pennsylvania and western New York. It took more than an hour longer than usual to arrive… They did only 15 miles an hour for quite a while. But they had a better journey than Em and Ingmar whose car broke down late in the day (after a three hour traffic jam in D.C.) in State College, PA. The car may have died forever. It’s in a shop being looked at, but the mechanic did not sound too hopeful. They had to rent a car to make it to the cottage, after spending the night in a hotel. At least they were in State College, an area they lived in for more than ten years.

I am not complaining about my quiet life! I am quite enjoying it just now. And I think January is meant to be an inside, domestic sort of time. A week from tomorrow I will begin my last year in my sixties. Time moves on, and if we are lucky, we move on with it…….





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Em and her daughters became three kings and visited their own home this evening.

Em Jan 2013 feast of three kings

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I did find my camera, (in a bag that looked just like my library book bags, but was full of random things from our trip to Maryland) and eventually, after much frustration and help from my son, figured out how to upload photos to my new Windows 8 computer. This is not an operating system that I would ever call “userfriendly”. But finally, it was accomplished, and I hope I remember the next time I need to do this.

We are certainly having a strange winter around northeast Ohio. (And yes, a few other places as well.) We had beautiful snows, but the sort that keep one at home if there is any choice at all. And now, such cold is developing that the first two days back at school have already been cancelled.



Snow was falling thickly when I took both these photos, but I don’t think you can really see it, or at least as it really was, in these photos. But if you are able to click once and then again, I think you can get an idea.

Today is the Feast of the Three Kings, or Epiphany, or Twelfth Night – January sixth – and I am remembering the one time I was part of the ceremony of the Three Kings arriving. This happened in Germany at my brother in law Franz’s Retreat House in Gries. The Kings always leave a token of their visit chalked up on a wooden beam. It might have been 19 C + M + B 92. A beautiful ending to the celebrations of the Feast of Christmas. So it was not surprising that when Alice and Mike bought their first home here in Ohio (still their home) they were thrilled to find the chalk message on a beam in their garage that the Kings had been there.

Finally, here is a photo of Nathan and Stephen and two friends playing outside in the 12 degree weather, falling rapidly, to be zero or less in a few hours.

Nathan January 2014 12degrees and falling rapidly and no school

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