November 23, 2015

Little Hound Activity

I read an interesting blog post yesterday by someone I have followed many years. I cannot believe I started this blog 4 years ago in October. There have been times I have not felt like writing, there have been times I have even shut the blog down and came back. So I could understand what Nina over at Wheelingit was saying here. I think most people that blog have been there at some point. It's a great read about the aspects of blogging.

For those readers that may be thinking of starting a blog, Nina's post is very informative. You can click here to read some great inside blogging information.

As I sit here this Monday morning, it's colder than I like but I know it's part of the deal when you live in the Midwest. It will get warmer later this week where some forecast shows a high of 62° on Thursday. With all of this cold weather, the hounds don't spend a lot of time outside. If they are not eating or outside for a short period of time, the basset's sleep and the bloodhounds chew. All the hounds sleep most of the late morning and afternoon until their 2nd meal time.

Sadie and Stella choose 2 bones out of the 6 or 7 possibilities and most of the time they each want the same one. There is never any fighting over them. The bloodhound that does not have the bone will stand over the other as she lays on the floor with the bone between her paws, chewing away.

The weekend was nothing out of the norm. A lot of good college football games on tv on Saturday. I watched parts of NFL games on Sunday but never stuck with one and would flip over to a college basketball game, depending who was playing ... all around an afternoon siesta. The biggest action during Saturday were the 4 hounds  wanting 3 seats. Even I lost my seat late Saturday night when I got up from the couch.

It was near 20° when we went outside Sunday morning and for some reason Sadie and Stella started playing as soon as they had one paw out the door. By the time I closed the doors and turned on my camera, they were both in the backyard going full tilt, frozen grass and all.

Just as fast as they started ... they will stop ... then head toward to door to come back inside.

I've been reading a lot of books, watched a couple of movies and really just hanging out inside the past few days. I need to replenish the food supply so that will be my social activity for the day ... waiting in the checkout line.

The scenery locally is all pretty dead looking. If it were to snow a lot in the future, I'll get out and get some photos to post but I think you can see by the background of the hound photos, it's pretty ugly right now.

The brown spots in the yard is where I had the Class C parked from September 2013 - April 2014. I've tried to plant new grass there last spring but it looks like I will end up tilling that part of the yard next March or April, plant grass the correct way and then cover it with straw to start the process.

For some reason, even with cold temps, I don't have the urge to travel. That might change later but I have my doubts. I find myself reading fewer blogs, I hardly ever read the RV forums anymore. Those periods of high intensity research on what to buy or do and trip planning has disappeared.

It will be another winter of hibernation here in the tropics of southern Indiana.

November 20, 2015

Temperatures Drop & The Hounds Hibernate

Today is the first day this week where it is actually cold ... freezing cold. Luckily since I live around 200 miles south of Chicago I will not be enjoying their forecasted 8" of snow this weekend. Still ... it's cold here.

The hounds have moved into their non-activity mode (winter) and I have not moved from my computer most of the time. There have been some changes though these past few days where I have not blogged and I will get to that later.

The hounds didn't do anything different than my last short post ... they went outside, dumped their tanks and sniffed the ground. Pretty simple stuff and pretty boring stuff. The other day I had mentioned "there couldn't be that much animal traffic at night" ... well I found my answer Wednesday night a little past midnight.

We had gone to bed early and I was tired enough to bypass the "last trip outside" for the hounds before they went to sleep. Since I didn't let them out, a few hours later Stella is waking me up to let me know she has to go outside. Since it was cold, dark and I was still about half asleep, I let her go out on her own like always ... only this time I didn't follow her outside.

I thought she would just comeback to the door like always. After a few minutes I had to go outside to see where she was because she had not come back to the door wanting inside. By the time I changed clothes, added a jacket and turned the light out outside ....

That animal at night answered my question ... a cat that I had never seen before is walking from the backyard across the edge of my carport with a mouse hanging out of it's mouth. By the time I was outside the cat had scrambled over the bank that runs along the driveway.

Stella was no where to be found.

Shining my small camping flashlight into the field, pitch black darkness, I see her eyes as she lifts her head up. That was a good thing, much better than seeing her running after that cat down the hill and onto the highway. I had to walk out to where she was before she would come back with me. I didn't take the time to see what had kept her interested in staying outside.

So I now am pretty sure what the hounds are sniffing so much in the yard, first thing in the morning ... the field cat. I was actually happy to see it because it keeps the mice traffic down as the temps get colder. A common problem living in a rural area.

As you can see today, there was heavy frost to go with the 28° temperature. Without the heat turned on last night I woke up to the house being 56° inside. I didn't know it would be getting that cold last night after it was such a nice day on Thursday. So it was quite a surprise to wake up to.

Heidi has basically only gone outside just long enough to do what she has to do and then sprints back to the house. No photos of her these past few days. I have found though the dog food change for her has not been good. Duck and Sweet Potato was a vet recommendation but this food also has grain. Her skin issues have had a relapse, so we will be going back to Earthborn Grain Free dog food.

The other 3 hounds explore a lot, but not much else.

Sometime before noon I took these photos of some air traffic. Both are passenger planes, one heading west and the other north. What I found interesting was in a matter of one minute the crossing pattern had moved east in the sky. As I looked through the zoom lens at the top a the tree I could see the pattern where they had crossed was moving east at a rapid rate of speed.

That seems to be the highlight of the day so far. Winston goes out so often during the time we are awake .. like every time he wakes from a nap ... where today I have seriously considered counting the number of times he has to go outside in a 24 hour period. He's older now so I can understand it.

I guess the big news is I am going to try to pry myself away from a smart phone and go back to a basic phone only to make calls. I had thought about it a few months ago and then I decided I was just like everyone else in the USA that are addicted to their smart phones. I have been using iPhones since they first came out.

The issue I had, although they are a great tool, I rarely receive or make phone calls, never watched movies or played games on the iPhone and would take occasional photos. I text with it more than anything. For $67 per month I didn't think it was worth it. Plus I wanted to get away from the constant connection to the internet.

So I am in Day 2 of the LG Revere 3, a basic flip phone where I have programed it for just making phone calls. I have 700 minutes per month where I have averaged 300-400 minutes per month in the past year and unlimited texting but no data plan. All for $25 per month plus the government fees that are too high. My monthly Verizon bill will now decrease from $67 to $32 per month or a savings of $420 for the year.

To me that's worth it. So far I have not missed my iPhone which is turned off and put away out of sight. If I decided the basic phone is good enough, I'll sell my iPhone 5S to a buy back program from a couple of different companies or possibly on eBay.

Nothing is on the agenda except trying to keep warm and reading books, with an occasional ballgame on tv to watch. Not much to blog about really.

The tropics of southern Indiana are turning into the cold tropics of Southern Indiana.

November 17, 2015

Hounds Cancel Today Due To Rain

Like any MLB baseball game, at times things get cancelled due to rain. The hounds called today off early this morning while outside in the dark at 7am. They came back outside to check things out at 3pm when the skies brightened up ... only to go back inside where all of them have been sound to sleep since.

Here were their day's activities.

You may be asking where is Heidi?  With the new breakfast plan she went outside in the dark at 7am, came back inside to eat and has been hibernating inside. Here exercise today has been moving among her three sleeping spots.

I've been reading, drinking coffee and enjoying myself on Twitter ... that place has been on fire the past couple of days. Let's just say there are not a lot of happy people throughout our country. Two good basketball games on tab tonight, along with a couple more interesting teams playing. I think ESPN is calling this 24 hours of straight basketball.

Those games will get me to the weekend of college football. Some good books, coffee, sports and the hounds make for a good time here in the tropics of southern Indiana.

November 16, 2015

How Do Hounds Think?

I know the title is a little strange but you have to wonder what goes inside their heads when out of nowhere, they change their routines or do something surprising for the first time. There have been some of these changes recently and one of them in the past 10 hours.

I realize there is a difference between hounds and people. They are animals we are humans, no matter how pet owners treat theirs. Yes, they like me but what are their reasons. Is it just because I am their "doorman" and food source?

You have to wonder based on their responses, even Heidi's, since I now feed them twice per day. It's still the same with Winston being the one that decides when the herd wakes up first thing in the morning. The change is Heidi. Whereas before she never got up on the first trip outside that takes place in the dark now with the time change. In fact she rarely got up until her lunch time when I was feeding the hounds once per day.

After a week or so of feeding them twice per day and as soon as they come back inside after that first trip in the dark ... Heidi is now going out with the other three hounds first thing in the morning, even when it's cold outside. By the time I get their food bowls filled with their morning portion ... all four hounds are at the door EXCITED to come in.

The basset's are wagging their tails, Sadie is hopping up and down with mini barks and Stella is quietly moving herself in position to be the first one inside. Since they all sprint to their respective food bowls, I've had to place all the bowls up high and out of the way and then set them down in order. This prevents them from stealing food from the others ... yes, they have tried that.

The surprise was last night and again this morning ... with two new routine changes.

For 7 years and 3 months, Sadie has slept on the floor starting with her mexican wool blankets and then taking Heidi's new dog bed that I bought her the day I picked her up from the foster mom in 2011.

Until last night ... this is where today's blog title comes into play.

A little after midnight, as I am turning stuff off and locking the doors, the hounds will head to their sleeping spots in the bedroom. I keep them in there so I can shut the door and keep them out of trouble. I have tried to let them sleep wherever they choose and keep the bedroom door open, but they failed that test. They like to roam at night and get into stuff ... preferably their dog food.

Anyway, so they are walking into the bedroom while I finish shutting off lights, locking doors etc. For the first time in 7 years and 3 months or the amount of time I've had Sadie since she was a 12 week old puppy ... she is not on the dog bed in the corner of the room ... Winston is. Sadie has jumped up on the bed on the opposite of where I sleep, curled up sleeping ... or acting like she is sleeping. She stayed their all night. She has never done that. What made her do it?

The second surprise happened this morning. It was another routine changer at least for today.

Usually after they eat breakfast, I am on the computer with a cup of coffee, Stella since her arrival on August 30 lays right next to my desk chair and sleeps, Sadie sleeps on her living room blanket, Heidi takes the big chair in the living room with her mexican wool blanket and Winston normally lays in his spot in the bedroom.

Not today ... as I am reading through my normal list of blogs and websites I notice it is extremely quiet ... tooooo quiet. That usually means the bloodhounds are into something they shouldn't be, or they have found something new they might be chewing on or at least checking it out.

I sneak quietly away from my desk to find out what they are doing. Heidi and Winston are in their normal places ... then the shocker ... once again, Sadie is on the bed curled up sleeping using the spare pillow, in the same spot she slept in last night. Stella has joined her, laying right next to her.

What made them do that for the first time ever? It's not that cold yet. There was no food involved.

Just like I have mentioned before ... another strange thing ... when the bloodhounds play inside, Stella lays on the floor and is in the defensive mode, outside it's just the opposite where you see in the photos that Sadie lays on the ground and is usually in the defensive mode.

After a good two hour nap this morning, Stella comes to the desk to rescue me and let me know they all want to go outside. Even Heidi takes another trip with the herd outside.

The bloodhounds take off for their daily recon mission in the field, plus dump their tanks. They seemed pretty energetic this morning ... it must be Monday.

Since this post has been talking about new changes ... here is another. This morning Winston decides he wants to join the fun and attempts to wrestle with the bloodhounds. He can't jump up like he use to but he tried, not quite reaching far enough to nip their jaws.

Even here in the tropics of southern Indiana you can occasionally catch a nice sunset. I was almost too late for the one last night.

Winston is sure I said something about food or him getting food or eating.

More later ... enjoy your day!