Monday, September 30, 2013

Farewell Ratkins

Sept. 16-30, 2013 Wheels West RV Park, Custer, SD
Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.
Fannie Flagg
Quite a while since I've posted. So let's play catch up.
Today is not only National Coffee Day, but it's also the 50 year anniversary of the debut of the TV show My Favorite Martian! I had an e-newsletter from Reminisce Magazine and the anniversary was mentioned. I loved that show! Of course Bill Bixby wasn't bad to look at either.
I am definitely old, although not a senior citizen, but still...I remember 20 years ago when I first had my house, I subscribed to Birds & Blooms which is a sister publication of Reminisce Magazine. They would send me a complimentary copy of Reminisce every once in awhile. I just couldn't relate back then. They covered things "before my time". Well now, Reminisce covers things that are from my youth. Yep, that's a sign I'm old. That's ok. I'm happy to get to this stage in life. Life is a journey and old age is hopefully part of that journey.
My sprained ankle is much better. Still a slight bruising, but am able to walk on flat surfaces without any problems. I still can't walk down steps like a normal person. Still not up for hiking, unless it is a nice smooth surface.

I'm not sure where the time has gone. I think I am just enjoying retirement. I am now definitely ok with doing "nothing". It's ok for me to have a whole day of "me time".
The internet here at Wheels West is pretty fast, so I've been enjoying looking at lots of crafting videos and picking up some cool techniques.
Time flies while surfing the internet. And then of course there is the never ending data keeping for A&B English Setter rescue. No complaints there. It's good that I'm busy with the volunteer work. That means there are people wanting to adopt English Setters in need of a home.
So between my hours of surfing and a couple of hours doing volunteer data keeping, I've pretty much had it with the computer and just haven't felt like blogging.

Here is one of the reasons I volunteer for dog rescue. Jake came into our rescue just skin and bones. His blood work was terrible. We didn't know if he had real health problems or if these health problems were all because of malnutrition. It takes many volunteers to save these dogs. Here is a sampling of some of the volunteers and what they do.
June V. is our "Intake Coordinator" who is bombarded daily with requests for help to save dogs. The alternative many times is they will be killed if not brought into a rescue organization. To deal with that heartache and stress daily, knowing that if she doesn't act quick enough and find other volunteers to help, a sweet dog will be killed is a heavy burden.
Andrea H. is our "Foster Coordinator" who matches up volunteers who are willing to take in dogs in need.
Foster Home volunteers are as important as financial donations. We need people willing to open up their homes to dogs of unknown origin and behavior, other than what is told to us by the shelter.  The photo of Jake is an example of what one of our wonderful foster homes did. She took in this sickly dog that needed not only love, but help to rehabilitate physically. This was a slow road that took dedication in action and emotions.
There are plenty of other volunteers to make a rescue work. People to help fundraise and spread the word of dogs in need. The treasurer who has to somehow balance the the money and how many dogs we can help...or not because lack of donations. Of course there's me to keep the files on applications, there's a couple of volunteers to maintain our website and petfinder. There are volunteers to process the applications, call references, conduct visits to make sure the adopters are as stated on the application.  There are volunteers who help transport dogs from shelters to foster homes and from foster homes to adoptive homes all across the country. And volunteers to coordinate all those volunteer drivers and routes.
Our rescue is all one is paid or even given compensation gifts. We do this for the love of dogs.

The day we left Bozeman, MT (way back 11 days ago), in the pouring rain, I made sure to pick a bunch of apples from our driveway host's apple trees. I don't know what kind of apples they are, but they remind me of granny smith, even though I know that's not what they are. They're crisp and tart, but still sweet.
So what do I do with all these apples?? It would be easy to just make some applesauce, but now that the weather is cooler, I can start baking. No worries about heating up the RV too much. So again, I scan the internet looking at recipes. During my working days, that would be a time waster, but now it is all a part of "me time" and my reward of 32 years working at the same job.

I don't really look forward to making a crust and I don't want to run into town to buy a premade crust. I want to use ingredients on hand. A nice apple crisp would be good. I have searched for good crumble topping but they are a pain to mix up. Hmmm. I'll try this one, Apple Crisp II from All Recipes.
Very easy recipe once you get past peeling the apples. It bakes up with a sweet, cinnamony syrup from the baked apples. And the topping is phenomenal! I have for years always had recipes that tell you to mix in softened butter and use a fork to mix until crumbly. What a PIA. This recipes states to melt the butter. So much easier to mix and the crisp topping was perfect. This is a keeper! Of course I had to run into town anyway. You can't have warm apple crisp without some vanilla ice cream on top!
And of course I used Reynolds non stick foil "Release". No need to grease and flour pan. Just line with this foil and nothing sticks.
Sigh...The time has come that I had to return the Ratkins. We were supposed to make the exchange about 3 weeks ago while in Yellowstone, but I convinced them that here in Custer would be more convenient and would also give me more time with Chino & Patches. But the dreaded day has come. The Keiter family of Dare You 2 Move were only about 5 miles away and they stopped by to reclaim their beloved pets.
Carrying the precious cargo
Even Scott had to hug good-by. Cool optical illusion with the tiger on his t-shirt.

Looks like the Ratkins were missed. They received lots of hugs and cooing. I think Mom missed them the most. I held Patches, the black & white on the right most days. She learned to relax on my shoulder and became quite my buddy.
The Keiter's are a great family of 5 living in an RV for a year to travel the USA, oh and Canada, which was the reason I pet sat for them. Papa Keiter is able to work while on the road and Mom Keiter home schools her kids. What a great way to learn history by visiting the places we usually only read about.
Even the Kiddo Keiter's are nice. They were well behaved and joined in the conversations without interrupting. Really nice family. I'm so glad we met and wish them the best in their future.
Of course, I Ratkin sat because I love animals and felt great being able to help this family out. See? It's always about me! I pet sat so I would feel good and because I could have the company of the Ratkins without the commitment of "forever". So even though I pet sat for totally selfish reasons, the Keiter's still felt that they needed to repay me i some way. Well, ok, if you insist, but it really was my pleasure!

Mom Keiter baked me a delicious pumpkin bread. Fresh baked that morning! I ate it for breakfast every morning until it was gone. Mmmm, mmmm, good! I was also given an Amazon gift certificate. I'll share that with Scott. Even though I was the caretaker of the sweet Ratkins, Scott was the understanding Husband who didn't complain and actually enjoyed their company also.
And the girls drew thank you notes for us. Hmmm, our fridge is wood. How am I supposed to hang the drawings on our fridge?

Drawing of our parrot (top) and our two dogs!

Drawing of our parrot (top) and our two dogs!

Chino and Patches

Thank you Keiter family for letting me borrow your sweet, sweet Ratkins!
So we are in Custer, SD now, just outside the center of town. This is a very touristy town, but yet still has a small town feel. Since our dogs are no longer trustworthy loose in the RV, we have to crate them. Plus, Lyla has developed a little separation anxiety. What's up with that? She's 9 years old and we've never had an issue, but now she tends to bark while we are gone. Not a pleasant experience for our neighbors. So we opt to either take the dogs with us or go to places separately. I went into town the day after we arrived (Friday, 9/20). What a pleasant day. I stopped by the Visitor's Center which is a block in from the main street. Fred, greeted me with a happy hello. This is a great visitor's center! Lots and lots and lots of free brochures and state maps. Fred was so personable without being pushy that I actually asked him some questions about the upcoming Buffalo Roundup. He was a wealth of information. Thank you Fred!

The town had fiberglass buffalo painted by local artists on display on the street corners. These will be auctioned off the weekend of the Buffalo Roundup. This art event is called Buffalo Stampede. The proceeds from the auction are given toward scholarships and local charities.
We have FINALLY seen real buffalo, but that will be another post.

While strolling through town, I stopped at the 1881 Courthouse Museum. $6.00 admission.
Interesting museum with many historical pieces for viewing. Each room is made into a different theme. There are 3 floors to see plus an outside display of printing pressing, stagecoaches and old Model T's. I think it is definitely worth the $6. fee.
Washing Machine

I've never seen a woman's side saddle until now.

Printing press
Still marathon crocheting the shamrock potholders. Bought another skein of white cotton yarn to make more.
I dyed my first skein of shamrock. They were easy to dye, but I think it's a little too dark of a green. My next batch will be lighter.
Before dye
Dye bath

Hanging to dry

From white to dark green (after)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I felt the narrator, Mel Foster was very bland and boring.
The storyline itself should be rated 4 stars, but the narrator really ruined it.
This was a mystery with a touch of comedy intertwined.

1 comment:

  1. I'm catching up on blogs while we drive to Pierre. Ratties are doing well. I think Patches misses you :-)


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