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Changing the Sheets

Today’s post is NOT about jewelry design. Little or no work took place yesterday, but there certainly was a good deal going on.

One of my Blue Heelers delivered her first litter of puppies yesterday. It took all day long. The bitch (a female dog, of course) had been staying in the house at night since I feared she might whelp in the dog pen where one of the other females could hurt the puppies. She was up and down all night on Wednesday and I finally gave up and got up to sit with her at 4 AM. It was nearly 3 PM before she delivered her last puppy. seven pups If a dog could just talk, you could tell by the look on her face that she would be saying “halleluiah” after she finished with the last puppy. I just know that dog was smiling!

I’m well aware that dogs have been having puppies by themselves for centuries, but I wanted to see these puppies as they were born. It’s a good thing because the first puppy was breach, not uncommon, but it needed assistance since it was “stuck in the door”. Two of the others needed help to get started breathing. So, if a midwife helps a woman deliver a baby, does that make the assistant who aids the dog a “midbitch?” hmm . . .

Following the births, I needed to change the newspapers in the bottom of the whelping box. Now think about this. How are you supposed to get the sheets (of paper) out from under the dog and seven puppies when they won’t move? My tired mind pondered this for a while, asked the dog to move, poked and prodded, but to no avail. Then I remembered how you change the bed sheets when someone is ill. You roll the person to one side, remove the dirty linen and replace it with a clean sheet. Then you roll the person to the clean side and take care of the other side. OK, I can do that. The dog was already on her side, so I removed the old newspapers and replaced them on the vacant side of the box. Then I attempted to roll the dog to her other side. You know, dogs just don’t roll well when you want them to. Finally, I moved all the pups to the clean side and tried to drag the dog (humanely, of course) over to that side. That dog is heavier than she looks and this didn’t work either. She grabbed her pups and moved them back close to her on the dirty side. At this point, I admitted that the dog had more fortitude than I did and called for reinforcements. My husband came and put all the pups in a basket, moved the basket away from the dog, and thankfully, she followed. Then I was able to change the papers without incident.


Although both of my females who have had puppies are black, the puppies are all born white except for markings on their heads. In just a few weeks, they will get their dark coloring. The first time this happened with a litter, I wondered if my dog had been out visiting the sheep dog next door rather than the great male heeler I brought her. No, this is just an interesting phenomenon.

I guess the lesson I learned yesterday is that motherhood makes you strong. This dog, which can normally be persuaded to do something if there’s a treat in my hand is not to be reckoned with now.

The Secretary Had Blood on Her Hands

It seemed like the right thing to do. The task wasn’t difficult, just a little secretarial work. It wasn’t til later that she realized the real nature of what he wanted . . . later, when she had blood on her hands.

. . . and so the story goes. Let your imagination run. What crime might have resulted in blood on the secretary’s hands? What messy, cruel act had sucked her in? Was it the promise of money, the lure of adventure or was it lust?

Late the night before when he said, “we need a secretary tomorrow,” she had thought little of it. Although she had other plans, she cared for the man and agreed to help him. It seemed so easy. It wasn’t until later than she learned the whole of the request.

O.K., enough drama for one blog . . . although I thought I would work at the design table yesterday, I was drafted to be the secretary while the men vaccinated, tagged and sampled our 137 heifers. How hard could this be? I would sit at a table outside at the lease pasture and keep tabs on the work. I didn’t know that I would get to be the blood card holder who gets to place the sample collection card under the tail of each animal who has just be needle punctured and is dripping blood. This wasn’t really very difficult, but it was REALLY messy. And so . . . this secretary had blood on her hands.

With blood on her hands, the secretary left the scene hoping that no one would see her. Yet, even after washing away the evidence, she knew what she had done.

Happy Fathers Day . . . ?

Today’s writing is a diversion from thoughts about designing. As you read this entry, you’ll realize why no pictures of today’s jewelry can be shown.

If anyone reading this is a Father, I hope you have had a great day. I’ve always felt we should do more for Fathers, but it seems that Mothers Day is often a bigger event. Maybe it’s because Mothers really enjoy attention, written accolades and emotional gush more than most Fathers. Do they really or do men just refuse to admit they like it too? We’ll probably never know the answer to that one.

Today, my husband and I arose with expectations of a nice day. I had nice meals planned, all the ingredients for his traditional chocolate cream pie and presents from his children. So much for good planning.

Following his full morning of feeding cattle at two locations, moving irrigation machines, giving shots to appropriate animals and fixing broken things, the day should have been his. Unfortunately, the phones began to ring about 11 AM regarding a “cow and calf” of ours that was out. Trips back and forth through pastures, across roads, and over neighboring properties lasted throughout the afternoon; yet our efforts to find the escapees proved fruitless and although others had seen the pair, we had not. By 4 PM I had donned my rally cap and promised to finish making that chocolate pie, but of course the phone range . . . “please don’t answer that,” I yelled. Finally about 5:30 PM we located the pair out on the main road and sure enough . . . they were NOT our animals. Of course in the meantime we had several calls about our baby goats that were also on the loose. We DON’T have any goats!

When the animal escapades ended and the pie was still warm, we realized that there were two cows to be bred TODAY. If you’re not a rancher, you may not realize that we had to breed them today or wait for another cycle which would put their breeding too late in the summer for our purposes. Then we learned our AI technician was on his way to Dallas. Now what?  No person wants to be drug to a ranch to breed someone else’s cows on Fathers Day, but after numerous calls, we found a willing sole. Therefore, on what should be his day, my man is down at the barn at 8:20 PM to help breed the cows and will not return for several hours since the irrigation machines have to be reset. His chocolate pie is still waiting.

Earlier in the day, I called my son-in-law on his very first Fathers Day in hopes that his day was going well. I learned that he has a sick wife and sniffling baby. As the sick wife, my daughter, said, “we’re going to need to have do-overs next week.” I totally agree!

So, what can I say about Fathers Day? Is it just about the celebration and the day’s activities? Is it really for the Father? Mostly, I believe its for us to take the time to think about all that Fatherhood means and how important the men in our lives are. As we think about what food they might like to eat or gift they might enjoy, we truly focus on them. I’m thinking I should do that much more frequently than just one special day and that “do-overs”  should occur often. Does that mean more chocolate pies??? My husband certainly hopes so.

Here’s hoping all your “do-overs” are happy!

A Cat Named Blue

What’s a gal to do with a cat named Blue? He has an affinity for my jewelry light tent. I do believe that he thinks we got it just for him. PICT0183 I’m glad I moved the black velvet that was in the tent yesterday. Hmm . . . black velvet with gray cat hairs and Swarovski crystal jewelry . . . I don’t think so! I’ll be closing that tent door from now on. Sorry Blue!