Tag 7 Game & Boy It's Cold Out

Friday, November 30, 2007


Hey Pals,
Our friends Eddie, Peaches, Bella & Lady tagged us for the Tag 7 game.

Here are the rules for Tag 7:

* Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
* Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
* Tag 7 random people at the end of your post & include links to their blogs.
* Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

This is going to be hard. We've played so many tag games so it's getting harder to think of new things to tell you about us. So if you've heard these before, sowwieeeee. Maybe some of our newer pals have not seen our answers in previous games.

1. I Butchy love to hop up into Mama's computer chair & watch the computer screen, especially if pictures of dogs are showing or videos of dogs.
2. I also love to watch the Dog Shows on tv. I watch the dogs walk across the screen.
3. Snickers is the speed queen in eating bully sticks.
4. We both love to crawl under bankies to keep warm.
5. Snickers & I both have Hypothyroidism.
6. Snickers begs for everyone to scratch her back, especially in front of her tail.
7. I Butchy sound like I'm a cat meowing when I yawn. (but don't tell the puddy tats!)

Well we know that many of our pals have already been tagged for this game & it's getting harder to find ones that haven't. So we won't tag anyone, but if you haven't played this game yet, YOU'RE IT!!! So please play.

We don't have any new pictures today except for these of our ponds freezing over with ice now:

Stay warm pals.
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Too Busy to post!!!


The Christmas push is on - the giant quilt has already been received by the folks who commissioned it; and the small wallhanging will go out Monday, leaving the lovely Garden Maze to be finished. Two out of three is not bad and with luck the present one will be finished within the next fortnight.
I finally decided to remove myself (as did two other members of the same organization's Board of Directors) from a very stressful and no-win situation. It's amazing what a great new surge of energy for creative endeavours followed that decision. I look forward to a very productive new year as a result. Will still be involved with community affairs but within a different group with slightly different aims. Am looking forward to this and to tomorrow's ham and beans supper to be followed by the lighting of the community's Christmas tree on the wharf. Should be fun. Will be baking a couple of loaves of oatmeal brown bread in the morning. If you'd like the recipe - give me a shout. It's delicious!

Sunset Photos

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Hey Pals,
We've been freezing cold here in Iowa. We'll take some heat if anyone has extra to spare, hehehe. We decided to watch the deer wander into the yard late today & then the sky started to turn pretty colors. So Mama got her camera & took some photos. Some of the deer were drinking in the pond at the time she took the photos, but it was too dark for the deer to show in the pictures.

These photos were not altered at all. This is actually how the sky looked. Pretty cool we think.
Guess we'll take a nap now since it's dark outside. Sleep tight!
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Story Time

Monday, November 26, 2007


A short story about a doll named Emma, she is an antique, and she just turned 100 years old, she is of quite large proportions, nearly 2' 5" tall.

She came to me with a most terrible crack on her head and often complained that it ached! This worried me so till one day I noticed a wee little squint as she gazed into her book.

Ah ha, I know just what is needed! And digging through that old dust covered chest we keep way down in the basement, I found them, a crooked pair of specs, perfect; as one little porcelain ear is higher than the other due to my repair job.

And just as I suspected, was just what she needed.

Well now, Emma starts to read... Uh hem, ok so she really hasn't

learnt to reed jest yit, so play along and bear with her, you wouldn't want to clip her wings now would you?!

Starts to read; Oh, Ounce poupon a mime, and jaber, jaber, jaber, and yap, yap, yak and so on and so forth...

I tell you I could listen to her for hours, and truly, Emma's versions of the stories are vastly more entertaining, even if I can't understand a word she says!

Amb dey libbed appee effer affer! Bee Ehn

Moral of the story; It might just be a cracked old doll, but I love her all the more for it!

Don't forget to down load your Free Holiday Art in the previous post!
And there will be more Whimsical imagery to come!

Thanksgiving Day & Prezzies from Chloe's Contest

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Hey Pals,
Check out this log cabin.....
That is where Snickers & I went for our Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday. Since Mama & Papa went to relatives for the holiday, we met up with Maya & Kena & the rest of the gang from our DOGS UNLEASHED Dogster group & had our very own Thanksgiving Pawty. Maya & Kena are in the photo above.
Here are a few of the pawty pictures:

Here we are at the dinner table:
After dinner we even had a dance. Boy was it fun. Too bad we had to leave & come home though. Yesterday we sure were tuckered out from the pawty so we just lounged around the house.
Here is Snickers sleeping....
Here I am, as soon as I heard the camera turn on, I woke up, hehehehe....

We had some good things come in the mail this week. Our prezzies from Chloe's Halloween Costume contest arrived all of the way from Spain!
Check out this huge box....
Hmmmmm, need to get my head in there to dig things out....
Look what I found, our lovely award.....
I know I smell something else in there....
Oh yes, rope toy....
I took off with it right away but Mama made me bring it back for pictures.

See the cute brown & red dog toy?? He even has a squeaky inside of him....
Plus we got tons of nice treats, Nutri Dent greenie chews, some cool rawhide bones to chew on & a few other nice goodies to eat.
Thank you again Chloe for hosting the fun contest!!! and thanks again for the cool prizes!!!

We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

And Visions of Sugar Plums Danced.....

Friday, November 23, 2007


In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the Holidays to come, I would like to show appreciation to all of you and share with you
a Sugar Plum Fairy....

for you to download and use in your Christmas crafts.
Use her to make tags or cards or even sparkly little ornaments!
Anything you like, for personal use. I have several more Christmas images I will be creating to share with you throughout the month of December!


Thursday, November 22, 2007


I hope you all are having a Wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Schools Sell

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Located in the coveted stopyourthinking school district. More and more, agents herald the promise, or the prestige, the status, of a lauded school district.

Meanwhile the academics disagree on how to evaluate schools and academic performance. Depending on the API scores? Please! College placement? How much is prep, how much is prop? How much is language homogeneity?

Mostly the herd goes on reputation. Repeat after me, in modulated tones: South Pas = good schools, Glendale = good schools, Culver City = good schools. LAUSD = bad schools. Your kid has personalized needs?! The cure all school district is the answer! Gotta move to Manhattan Beach!

Elsewhere the magnet and charter revolution is turning traditional buyer criteria on its ear. Districts what districts? My kid can go anywhere, provided he gets in. This flexibility and opportunity may be the most potent instrument of change in transitional neighborhoods, formerly indentured to iconoclasts and social-lib types.

But for many the price of relocation, despite often exaggerated academic claims, is preferable to the cost of private schools and the toil of negotiating a labyrinthian system. Really it makes you wonder why every small municipality (adjacent to a thriving population center) doesn't pursue the model. Fund your schools like crazy, raise scores, attract dedicated families, intensify real estate demand, prices will follow, raise the socio-economic profile of residents (which often acts to further boost scores), reap the collateral revenue from increased services, transfer taxes, etc.

In the end, most are looking for the proverbial service relationship: can I write a check, to ease my pain?

New Award & Wild Turkey


Hey Pals,
We received a new blog award from our good friend Thor.
"The Community Blog Award celebrates people who reach out and make the blogger community a better one. It also underlines the importance of a blog's readership community, one of the most rewarding parts about blogging. It's the people that come back to comment, adding to the conversation, making you feel like someone is listening and interested."

Thank you so much Thor, we are very honored. We would now like to pass this award on to our pals Chiyo, Agatha & Archie, and Jackson.

Ya know how people are always saying that Turkeys are STUPID??? Well we have to agree. Tomorrow it is the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the United States & some people call it Turkey Day. Most people even roast a turkey to eat on this day. Well look what decided to come out into our yard today:

BubbleShare: Share photos - Print Christmas Coloring Pages.

They are just darn lucky that Mama & Papa decided not to turkey hunt this year, otherwise Mama would have gone outside & bagged one to cook, hehehehehe! We put the photos onto the slideshow so you can see a bit of our land. The turkeys walked around most of the acres. We even have snow today! It's still snowing right now & the ground is completely covered. But it won't last long. It will probably be gone tomorrow.

We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

The Price is......Right?!? (Part 1)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I took these photos last night, in the dense fog that blanketed West Adams. They have no relation to the editorial.

In West Adams, Pico-Union, Westlake, and the like, pricing is all over the map. Some properties are shedding dollars like a ballooners' ballast, while others of dubious merit seek uncharted highs. Actually I like a little more spread in pricing, always have.

The hitch, I often contend, isn't too high highs, but rather too high lows. Which is still the case. The spread amongst similar product, one state of condition and another, superior and lesser features, isn't great enough.

The value of unpainted woodwork in a Craftsman for example might account for a 1% difference in asking price, whereas it should correspond to a 5 - 10% difference (given the cost to perform the work). A well-painted exterior might add only 10 grand, but merit closer to thirty.

Overpricing was less a problem in the past, values rose so quickly. The market might catch an inflated listing, even surpass it, given a long enough marketing period.

When determining an asking price based on comparable sales, I often use a method similar to Olympic judging, discarding the highest and lowest marks. Too often, sellers and the agents latch desperately to a "lightning strike" comp, some unaccountably high, one-time sales figure.

Last year in Harvard Heights an area business owner purchased an adjacent residential property, fusing the two into a quasi compound. The incentivised business owner paid an astronomical sum, perhaps in order to sway a reluctant seller. That fluke sales total continues to permeate sales discussions in the neighborhood a year later.

End Part 1

Urban Jaunts (Part One)

Monday, November 19, 2007


My greatest source of recreation is walking, as detailed in the Is It Safe? series. When I first moved to Los Angeles I became familiar with some of its neighborhoods, El Sereno in particular, through Adah Bakalinsky's compelling guide, Stairway Walks in Los Angeles. I've always regarded staircases or footpaths (the flatlanders staircase), as joyously transportational, more than mere shortcut.

While my own walks are ever altering, deliberately and unapologetically urban, my greatest enjoyment is including pedestrian only features, paseos, parks, or other semi-public green spaces in my nightly constitutionals.

Here is the first of several jaunts. (The short version to follow.)

Starting at Adams and Arlington, travel East (on the Southside of Adams) to Cimarron. Turn South on Cimarron, plunging down the short hill and the corner empty lot.

At 30th St. head West past Arlington one half block to Prescott Court, a paved footpath which leads South past 31st St to Jefferson where it divides a park and branch library.

Sadly the wooden pickets which used to line Prescott Court, painted with the ubiquitous creeping vine, have been replaced almost in total by metal fencing.

Continue South crossing Jefferson (use the broad, striped crosswalk), onto 3rd Avenue. Head South on 3rd (two blocks) to Exposition, cross, and then walk East along the railroad track right-of-way slated for reuse by the Expoline.

Short version: At 7th Avenue, start North past the Streamline Moderne firestation (#34). A neighboring property sports a '37 Olds and another thirties chasis.

Seventh runs past the 6th Street elementary school, at Jefferson, up to Adams. (Other North/South streets are interrupted at Mont Clair.)

At Adams, turn East towards Arlington, along Church row, past the Guasti Villa (by architects Hudson and Munsell), now the Peace Realization Fellowship and best known as a residence for Busby Berkeley; and, architect Charles Whittlesey's amazing Vienna Secessionist Mansion built for Western Arts Tile Works owner Lycurgus Lindsay, now serving as and obscured by the Our Lady of Bright Mountain Polish Parish .

Part Two: the long version.

Random Thoughts & Expressions

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Accessed my blog after a long time (nearly a month today). And decided that the blog's description did not look cool enough (whatever that means). Hence the new description which bascially says the same thing in condensed form.
Quite a few things have happened over the past 4 weeks. I have travelled (a lot); visited quite a few temples; played the role of an online quizmaster on a larger scale than before; answwered queies of more people than I can count; saw a few movies; started and completed a couple of television series; played online scrabble with a friend whom I have not seen for years....
So basically just kept a bit busy
And as of now I have been left a bit klueless
At present stuck at level 8...


Saturday, November 17, 2007


Hey Pals,
We sure had fun at Scruffy's card pawty last night. We got home really early this morning & then we took a nap. Scruffy couldn't believe how many pals showed up. We even had to set up several playing tables so everyone could get in a few games. Maggie & Mitch provided all of the beverages, thanks pals!! Snickers even wore her Saloon Girl outfit. She figured it would fit right in with card playing, hehehehe. Cousin Asta even made it back from Jackson's house in time to catch a few games with us. There were so many games played, we never really did figure out who won the most doggie biscuits. Some of the boys were still in a tizzy about the girls being allowed to come this time, but I rather enjoyed the girlies around, hehehe. Hopefully Scruffy will post some more of the events from last night cause we couldn't keep up with everything.

We are very honored that our pals Maya & Kena awarded us with the BE*THE*BLOG award!
Thank you girls!!! This award is presented to a successful blogger, one who can “be the blog” - making it their own, staying with it, interacting with the readers, and just plain having fun.
Now we would like to pass this award to our pals: Molly & Taffy, and Joey & Tanner.
Have a great weekend!
Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Cold Snap and a Bowl of Soup!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Last week we had a nice little cold spell, I love it when the cool weather starts moving in.

There is nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a frigid day! I like soup! Tomato soup, potato soup, mushroom soup, chicken noodle soup, tortilla soup, well you get the picture. And here is THE most famous can of soup I know! Andy Warhol's iconic Campbell's soup print! Love it!

And so last week as I opened up my yummy can of mushroom soup for a delicious little lunch, I thought, "Love this can, what can "I" do with it?!"

Then I remembered an old Campbell's soup ad I'd seen! Eureka!

That's it!

Meet "Tom"! Get it! Tom-ato!? Riot!! I dunno maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's funny?!

I know, I know I used a mushroom soup can but I didn't like the name "Mush" or "Shroom"!

He has porcelain parts and I weighted the can to give it some substance.

The neck ruff is antique lace from the early 1900's. His tricorner hat is a snipet of old grey felt wool with the tiniest speckled feather I found while out walking.

Love these old ads, seems like life must have been so simple then.

I like to set up funny little vignettes incorporating items that work with my art piece, it is part of the whole process for me, and then photograph it, I know when I'm very old I will have these pictures and it will bring me pleasure, remembering the whole thing. I guess I really am easily entertained, but I do enjoy it!

I want to share with you a recipe that has been in my family for generations.
Heavenly Potato Soup
6 medium potatos
1 pint heavy cream
1 small white onion
3 green onions
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
4 shredded carrots
3 tblsp butter
1 small container sour cream
3 cups water
salt and pepper
Bake potatoes 1 1/2 hours at 400 degrees. Set aside to cool. In a large pot, saute onions and carrots in butter. Scoop out potatoes into pot, add water, cream, sour cream, milk and celery soup. Boil till all is heated, then with fork, mash the lumps of potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. And just before serving, add the cheddar till it melts. Cooking time 1 1/2 hours.


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