Tag Archive: neighborhood

The Dog Pulled a New Trick!

Storm sitting in a chair


When I tell this story, you are not going to believe a word of it. You are going to think I am lying and pulling your leg.

It starts like this. Storm the dog made an escape out of the house. I am not sure how he managed it this time. He might have finessed his way through the side door by pushing the little ones out of the way. Someone might have foolishly opened the front door.

Outside he ran. Across the street. Into a neighbor’s yard. I quickly grabbed a few treats and the leash, then ran after him. He went around one yard, through another, backed around when I did not remember this neighbor has a fence.

I dodged through the yard and behind the house then came out on the other side. I did not see the dog anywhere. The next house has an RV parked in the driveway. I moved to the sidewalk looking but seeing no black animals anywhere. I did not even see the black squirrels that are becoming more abundant in our neighborhood.

That is when a whoosh of dog suddenly flew by. Yep, it was my black dog. He had decided to wait for me and scare me by running as close as possible to my legs. Can a dog make plans like this? Or was it a spur of the moment decison? Whatever it was, it caught me off-guard.

With a look of triumph, he went back and shot out like a bullet one more time. But now I was ready. 

I quickly took one of those treats and held it out. Wild dog was suddenly replaced by the dog who loves his milkbones. He looked at me with a little hunger.  And when I said ‘sit,’ there he was with the butt down.

Licketey-split, I threw the choke-chain around his neck. I gave him his treat. We started walking down the street but he knew there were more treats in my hand and kept looking back at me. So I gave him another.  We got back inside – putting the house on lock down – and the last treat in my pocket was tossed up for the dog to catch.

He did it like a champ.


Fall and Halloween

Usually about this time I post pictures of my garden and show what is going is going on.

This guy is about six stories tall. Gorgeous!

The problem with that is nothing has really changed in my garden. The pansies are going in full bright yellow and the mums still look great. The cosmos finally, finally have buds on them but I will only take a picture once they bloom.

So today I am sharing pictures of great fall color in the area where I live. Plus I am including a few pictures of cute Halloween designs. I haven’t gotten a picture of my favorite ghost but will put that up later in this post when I do finally get it.

So to start things off this is my favorite tree at this time of year. Luckily, it lives down the street from my house.

Not so shimmery but still a beaut.

Around the corner is another beauty I saw on the way home from work the other day. It shimmered from the western sun that day.


This is one of the country roads I drive on to get back and forth to work. It is the long way home.

This is along the Iroquois River where some people have  nice homes. We also pass by one of the nurseries here.

Next up are some Halloween decorations.

Ring of Ghosts!

Are you in the spirit yet?

This was too cute not to snap. I will share another ghost picture as soon as I get it.

Tell me how you get ready for Halloween.

Making the Dog Chase Me

Having an active dog in the house always makes for an interesting day. I never know just what is going to happen.

Picture by Missy Red Boots

 We end up storing fresh made baked goods in the oven or else they will be eaten – by the dog. Last week I made some delicious peach muffins. A week before my neighbor allowed me to clean out her peach tree. I was able to freeze a bunch but had about one cup leftover. Plus we had some peaches for eating that were leftover as well.

 Well, two cups of sugar, two cups of peaches and some cinnamon with some other ingredients made a big batch of muffins. They were tasty, sweet and moist. Two days later I forgot to put them away and, well, the dog feasted. He even ate the muffin papers.

 But that was not his greatest trick of the week.

 His greatest trick came on Wednesday after the youngest two children and I came home from youth group night. We were doing the end of the night routine – getting the bath ready, directing the youngest to the shower – when the doorbell rang. It was neighbor boys selling popcorn for their boy scout troop. We like popcorn and I am willing to support the boy scouts.

 Then I made the fatal mistake. I opened the front door.

 And the dog, who had been fed but not walked yet, ran at the opportunity. I had a moment to warn the boys to get out of the way before the dog got there. He jumped off the steps, greeted two dust mop dogs and ran some more. So I do the same, apologize to my neighbor about the dog and try to catch up to him. But Storm just keeps moving.

Picture by Gracey

I start thinking about my options. I have the five- and nine-year-old at the house plus the boy scouts from whom I intend to buy popcorn. Someone gets me a treat to tempt the dog. I look down the street and see him looking at me before he runs a little farther away. The husband has the car so I cannot ride after the dog.

 That is when I turned back towards my house and pretended to run. My flat sandals make a slapping noise on the street and I make more noise than normal so the dog will see and hear what I am doing. I look back and he is no where to be seen. I begin to doubt my great plan of making him follow me home. I slow to walk and call to the boys who are waiting for me at the intersection.

 I tell them to go back to my house and I will fill out their form. From out of the air, our big black dog comes running to me. He doesn’t get close enough for me to grab him because he is smarter than the average bear. But he turns the corner and stands in my neighbor’s yard. At least he does not pee on her roses. He is looking at me as I am standing in our yard and sees the treat in my hand. His stance is defiant.

 That is until I turn my back. Suddenly, he is there in our yard and looking at the treat. I run up the front porch, tell my daughter to open the front door. The treat is thrown into the house and the dog goes after it. Lickety-split, the door is shut and locked. Dog is safe inside when I suddenly remember the tub is filling with water. I tell the daughter to run and check it. Thankfully, it is not too full. No overflow tonight.

 That is when I sat back down, ordered a 15-count pack of microwave popcorn from the boy scouts. I shared the complete story with the kids and we move back into our night-time routine. The dog goes back to his night-time routine of trying to steal food.

 Some things never change.

I am blessed to live in a small town.

Which means when I go around the neighborhood with a camera in my hand taking pictures of my neighbors’ plants, they do not call the police. One neighbor waved as I took pictures of their hydrangea, another looked at the image of their Peace rose in my digital camera.

These are the gems that make the neighborhood a little prettier, a little more gentile. Am I desirous of these plants? Absolutely. But at least I can have visitation on a regular basis.


The first is this lovely hydrangea. They are coming near the end but apparently it is possible to dry these lovelies to use a decorations in the home during the winter. I have seen Christmas trees decorated with ribbons and dried hydrangea.

Peace Rose

Next up is the Peace Rose. My Neighbor, Barb, loves growing roses. She has a wide variety that includes a lavender rose. This Peace rose has a creamy yellow on the base of the petal while the ends are a delicate pink.

One of the splashy beauties of the neighborhood is this dinner plate hibiscus. Pat has these in red and white with a base of impatiens to keep the roots cool. She recently promised me some seeds and I know just the place I will anchor them.


Shelley loves planting gladiolus. She has a small patch that is doing quite well. This sample has a deep pink flower peeking out. It is not as splashy as the others, more of a hidden gem. But it is something to look forward to seeing.

White Cone Flower

The final picture comes from my garden. I was completely surprised to see it. I thought the plant was going to just ‘be’ this year and bloom next year. But here is the White Cone Flower. There is it in its singular beauty. and when the flower is done, I plan to spread those seeds around to make a nice stand next year.