Friday, September 30, 2011

"The World is My Buffet Table.......

.......and I intend to eat as much as possible."
 Lord Malcolm, Chamberlain to the Duchess of Hagg

Here ye! Here ye!  An edict from Her Royal Hieney, The Duchess of Hagg.

All Lords and Ladies of the Royal Household 
will eat only those items prepared by the much trusted and loyal
Royal Chef
 and served properly in a fine 'Bone' China bowl

My Chamberlain, Lord Malcolm, who cares for the running of my household along with the Lady McKenzie, has "laid off" (to use the local vernacular) the Royal Food Tester in an effort to save much needed funds in this poor economy.  On the face of it, this may have seemed a good idea.  However, knowing that I myself will place nothing in my mouth without the food first, being tested by a servant (one never knows who might try to take my life by poison), Lord Malcolm did take upon himself this very important position.  This is where the trouble began and, as you will soon see, it grew worse as each day passed.  And it would seem that days were the only things passing--if you get my drift.

So let us begin at the beginning.

It was a beautiful day and I sent the Royal Gardener out to tidy up the posies.  Due to the a-fore mentioned recent cut-backs in our household budget, the Gardener now pulls 'triple duty' as the Royal Staff Oversight Chairperson and the Royal Chef.   Of course, this would lead to one person having to be in two or three places at the same time, which is why I had vehemently argued against such cut backs, alas, to no avail.   It was then that Lord Malcolm decided that he was hungry.  The Gardener returned some 30 minutes later to find that the Celtic Knot throw rug that welcomes guests to our Royal Estate had been overturned.  And she found Lord Malcolm sitting there calmly whilst Lady McKenzie was chewing on the backing tape that prevents the rug from slipping.

Lady McKenzie forfeited her portion of the backing tape and other small pieces were found scattered about and retrieved.  The rug was put back in place and a note was made that most of the tape had not been found.  Looking at Lord Malcolm, the comment was heard; "Ah.  This, too, shall pass".  But it didn't.  It didn't that day, or the next.  Finally, as we were all sleeping soundly, a terrifying noise was echoed throughout the bed chamber at approximately  5am.  It was the horrifying sound of regurgitation.

The servants sprang from their beds, fumbled for the lights and ran to the kennel (er, ahem, bed) from where the sound was coming.  Flinging open the kennel door (er, ahem, bed curtains) and yanking Lord Malcolm away from the crate pad (er, ahem, fine linens) in order that they, those lazy and ill mannered servants, would not have to do a washing.   As it happened, Lord Malcolm did indeed, spit out some vile and very nasty looking and brightly colored stomach fluid.  But after careful checking, alas, there was no tape.  All went back to bed.

...........Repeat the last paragraph at least 3 more times.  ...And only once, did a small piece of tape appear.  But the poor guy could not eat or drink or pass anything that day.  And he continued to throw up at least 7 more times, with no relief.  Finally, I instructed the servant to take him to see the Royal Doctor.  X-rays were taken and anti vomiting medicine was given and it was decided to wait to see if the object would pass.  But it did not pass.  Poor Lord Malcolm never drank a drop of water, nor did he eat or 'pass' anything for another 5 days.  (The Royal Doctor was 'on call' for the entire weekend and even talked with my servant during the Holy Services on Sunday morning!).

He was seen again on the following Monday and it was determined that he would have surgery to remove the tape.  As it happened, the tape was only part of the problem.  Apparently, Lord Malcolm  had also eaten a portion of a rubber dental toy.  It was the shape of a donut with medieval knobs similar to a mace around the edges and a hole in the middle.  The tape of course, had gone through the hole and pulled the toy from the stomach to the intestine where it lodged and was reaking havoc.  Pictures can be seen on the Royal Doctors' Facebook Page.  

Well.  All's well that ends well.           -- Well.  Not exactly.  Lord Malcolm spent the night in the Royal Hospital whilst I kept Lady McKenzie well entertained to keep her mind off worrying about the fate of her beloved brother.  We did have a wonderful and very entertaining evening. ( I must plan another "ladies only" evening very soon).  When Malcolm returned home to us, however, we could instantly see that something had gone a-rye.  He was certainly not himself.  He simply stood there with his head and tail sagging sadly while he kept his back hunched up like a cat.  After again, checking with the Vet (er, ahem, Royal Doctor) it was decided to 'up' his pain medication.  But after waiting out a full day and a half with little to no change, he was taken back to the hospital.

Another surgery determined that his wee body had rejected the absorb-able sutures that had been used, and every where there had been a suture, the tissue had sort of melted away.  The Royal Doctor was forced to take 6 inches of bowel out because of this and they really had to work him over to clean out all the infection.  Peritonitis is a very bad situation and not one to be taken lightly.  Lord Malcolm was very near death.  But he is home now, and resting comfortably with his sister.  And he is on a full road to recovery thanks be to God and His servants at Hunters Glen Vet Hospital.  He was even able to enjoy a bit of sport in Agility Class last Wednesday evening.  

I have removed all carpet tape and replaced with a very expensive and thick carpet pad that cannot be swallowed whole.  I swear, that we must find a way to replace our lost servants so that this never happens again. Lord Malcolm needs an Overseer at all times as his palette is in it's "development" stage.  Hopefully with age, "This too, shall pass".

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Haggs Make a Road

This isn't just a great shot of my very good looking Rubicon.  No.  I'm not about to go 'off-roading'.  This is the first picture of our new property.  For those of you who are not 'in the know', we recently bought  10 acres just outside of Oklahoma City.  We are getting grumpy in old age and are tired (very tired) of neighbors complaining that our water runs down hill to their yard.  (They live a full 5 feet below us with a retaining wall between).  I don't know what they don't understand about gravity, but all my life, God has made the water to run downhill.  If God wants it that way, there is almost nothing I can do about it.  That's why we are so proud of the new 'Tin Horn' recently installed by the county to make our driveway.  Water will flow down hill to whomever our new neighbor will be, but I won't have to listen to them because they will be 5 acres away!

This is a picture of what will eventually be the House of Hagg Road (or some such name).  And that's what our property looks like right now.  The next step is to have our guy, Robert, build a temporary front fence and gate, which he plans to do sometime very soon.  As you can see, he has already graded the drive and has prepped the land behind it so he can plant some wheat for hay.  We've told him to continue to use the land to benefit himself.  In return, he is doing our dirt work and fence building and is our general adviser on what next steps to take.  He knows this land very well and has been working it for years under the direction of 2 previous owners.  He is a wealth of information, which is great, because we know nothing about building on raw land.

These are a couple of pictures that show our frontage to the road.  You cannot see how deep the property is because of the rise of the land and all the trees.  The first rise is about a quarter of the way to the back.  That's where the drive will go to and we will then curve right.  The house will be located behind those trees.  If you can't read the picture, click on it and it will get bigger.

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We are fortunate in that we will only be about 20 mins from my home Church, and if that is ever too far, there is another very small Ukrainian Church about a mile away.   We look forward to building but that's still quite a ways off.  We don't expect to be ready to move for another 2 years.  In the meantime, I will keep you posted as things progress.

Monday, September 5, 2011

3 Deflating Tires

What a beautiful morning!  The sun is shining and the air temperature is in the lower 70's.  I got to sleep in this morning, too!  At some point, I heard my husband saying he was taking Nessie for her walk.  Wow.  I was sound asleep.  As an added bonus, he had fresh decaff brewing for me.  (Yup.  I'm off caffeine since early July. -- OK.  Not totally off.  I still have an occasional coke and a cup of hot tea.  I AM Scottish, you know.  Can't give up a cuppa every once in a wee while).

Well, as I was saying, when I finally got me-self out of bed, there were only two dogs in the house, so I sat down and had a cup o' joe.  Can you still call it 'joe' if it's decaff?  Then I got dressed and got Malcolm ready for his morning bike ride.  We slipped on his Freedom No Pull Harness, got the Martingale collar on and went out to poopy. (again).

It was such a cool morning, I had to come in to get another shirt to put on.  We went from 115F to 70F in one day. (almost--some people tell me I exaggerate).  I checked the status of the squirt bottle in my bike basket and hooked the Martingale to the Bike Tow Leash.  "Malcolm, heel!"  And off we went.  Crisp, cool air.  A slobbery, panting dog.  Newly restored bike brakes, a water bottle and a no pull harness.  LOVELY.  We did see a couple of dogs along the way but were able to keep going without any big incidents.  A dog can only do one thing at a time.  No multi-tasking in this species.  If he's running forward, that's about all he can do.  He can try to lunge and divert himself, but he was attached in two ways.  Sorry buddy.  You're not going anywhere but where I want you to go.  We didn't get too worn out because of the cool temps and he literally never stopped pulling for 2 1/2 miles.  I never had to pedal--and that's just how I like to exercise.

McKenzie ran her 2 1/2 also enjoying the weather.  She was able to meet a few more people and a couple of other dogs, but she doesn't pull so bad as her brother.  She's crazy in an ADD sort of way, which is very different from Malcolm.  She doesn't need the harness.

Well.   We got home and I fed the dogs and did a few chores.  By the time I was transferring the wash to the dryer, I had just poured another cup of coffee.  I went looking for the dogs and found them all in the bedroom.  Nessie was half asleep in the kennel with McKenzie right next to her;  one paw over Nessie's head and her head laying on Nessie's shoulder.  Oooh.  Too cute.  Malcolm was laying on the throw rug near the bed.  All were resting so peacefully, proving my statement that a tired Boxer is a good Boxer.  I sat on the bench to rest with them and drink my coffee.  Then I heard it.  ......  pshoooo.  pshooooo.  pshoooo.  3 deflating tires as each dog sighed and went to sleep.