How much is the doggie in the window?

How much is that doggie in the window?  That all depends on the breed, health, size and grooming schedule.  Don’t forget about the flee & tick prevention and the heartworm prevention.  It’s Spring already and the ticks are out in full force.  One of mine had 2 ticks already!!

I have 5 dogs.   The first dog we purchased from a breeder and the other 4 are rescue dogs.

To satisfy my curiosity I added up all the receipts I saved throughout the 9 years that I have had  just one of my dogs, Marcus.   Marcus, had a grand total of $6,000 over 9 years, which didn’t include food, toys, crates, sweaters, dog sitting (on occasion)  or training.  That was just the basic care of vet bills, dog licenses, flee & tick meds, and grooming.   If you add the food, toys, etc, I would estimate that would add another $600.  Grand total just over $770 a year.  Keep in mind, and thank the lord, he is HEALTHY along with my other 4 dogs and a rescue cat.  I then multiplied that by the 9 years =’s $6,930.  Add in the other 4 dogs for a grand total of over $20,000 in 9 years.  Not too bad.  I know some people with only 1 or 2 dogs that spent thousands and thousands of dollars on them due an illness or accident.

From the research I did, the average cost of owning a dog is around $1,000 a year.  The first year could be as high as $1,200.  Cost of owning a pet

Other expenses to consider are fencing and gates.  I have a least 5 gates in my house to keep the dogs out of rooms they should be in.  I love the Regalo gates.  They are sturdy, reliable and good looking  Gates

Lastly, do not forget about the invisible fence or a real fence.  The fence I purchased and had installed came from GMH Fence company.  They did an amazing job installing it.  I decided to get a chain link fence with the vinyl coating to prevent rust.   My dogs are small so I purchased the 4 foot to save some money.  If I had to do it again, I’d get the 6 foot fence.  From my recollection the fence was around $1,200.  It covers about 600 feet of my yard.

It’s so important to have a fence as it help to deep predators away from your dog.  It won’t stop them but it does help. How much is that doggie in the window?

Mold – Indoor and Outdoor

Mold.  Where is it hiding or is it hiding?

After doing a lot of research on mold I found it in quite a few places in my house!!

1.  MY PLANTS:   I started many seeds for my garden indoors as I do every year.  I grow tomatoes, green beans and milk weed for  my monarchs butterflies.  This is what I found in several of my plants.  It’s a white mold that grows  on the surface of the soil  It’s called saprophytic fungus.  The fungus doesn’t hurt the plant.  It’s just gross.  It’s caused by over watering and poor drainage.  To get rid of the fungus, simply scrape it off and toss it outside.  Put the plant in an area that has good ventilation and don’t over water.


2.  MY BATHROOM:  This was staring me in the face every day and I kept saying, “Geeeze, I need to clean this or get a new one”.  I opted to recycle it and get a new one at Walmart for $1.99  

Mold that is pink or orange is an irritant to many people.  It can cause breathing problems and mimic cold like symptoms.  This type of mold grows in damp and humid places like your bathroom.  In order to keep this type of mold out of your bathroom, you need to keep things dry and well ventilated.  Wipe down your shower and dry the hair guard each and every time you use the shower or tub.

3.  Fire Wood:  These pieces I found outside under the tarp.  You can clearly notice the white growths on the wood.  mushrooms-grow-wood.html

4.  Not the dogs water dish?  This was a little sneaky!  I was washing the dogs water dishes every day.  Now that I am looking for mold,  I noticed a “funny” smell.  I pried off the rubber gasket and was disgusted!  

Guess what I will be doing this weekend.   CLEANING

The molds I am most sensitive to are:  Fusarium What is Fusarium

Helminthosporium What is Helminthosporium_solani


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Monarch Butterfly Care

Butterfly Keeper

Butterfly Habitat

What is OE?

I am learning so much from this website video.  How to raise monarchs  There are a ton of videos on this site that will educate you on finding the eggs to the birth of the butterfly!

I recently had one butterfly with a bent wing.  This site helps people like me to understand why and how to help it.

George, the male butterfly below certainly loved the 6 to 1 mixture of organic honey and purified water mix.  I put it in a clean cap that came from a seltzer water bottle.

I have a butterfly house that my awesome dad made me that is over 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide.  This guy will remain in here until I can get in touch with someone who can help either rehab it or let me know how to fix it.  I have seen some videos on the web that use glue and light weight cardboard to help however I am skeptical of that method.  I’ll wait for an expert to get back to my email about this before I do anything.

Butterfly House

Prevent OE Parasite

Monarch Butterflies

I have been planting milkweed around my home for 2 years now along with raising monarch caterpillars inside my home.  I release them into the world after 24 hours of coming out of their chrysalis.

This year is the first year I have found monarch eggs on the milkweed plants outside my home.  I am so happy all my hard work is paying off finally.  I have planted so many flowers and milkweed around my home.  It keeps the monarch coming back for more nourishment and they also lay their eggs on the milkweed.

Twice a day I venture outside to check the milkweed plants for eggs or for hatched caterpillars.  Once I find the eggs or small caterpillars, I take them inside and put them in an old ice cube tray lined with a wet paper towel.  The paper towel helps to contain the moisture of the leaf until the egg hatches.  It generally takes 4 days for them to hatch.

The reason I have been taking them inside is because there are so many aphids and ants on the milkweed plants that can harm the eggs and small caterpillars.  They have a better chance of survival indoors.  I don’t take all of the eggs I find inside.  I take about 10 a day and then let nature take it’s course outside after that.

I did some research on natural ways to get rid of the aphids.

So, what is a natural way to get rid of those pesky aphids on your milkweed plants.

Why lady bugs of course!  I just ordered 1,500 lady bugs from amazon to help control the aphids.  They will be arriving by Wednesday.

Generac Generator

We have lost power so many times in the past 10 years I have lost count.

Ice storms, a tornado, hurricanes and one particular nasty snow/ice storm in October a few years back.  We were without power for 10 days!!!!  Luckily we have a wood stove however it didn’t heat the whole house.  Our poor rescue dogs were not happy. My rescues Dark and cold 

If dark and cold isn’t bad enough, we lost all of our frozen and refrigerated food several times over the years.  Thousands of dollars in food thrown away. 

We finally decided to get a generator.  We wanted one that powered the entire house which is just shy of 4,000 sf.  My husband did a lot of research and we decided on the Generac 7042.  We signed the contract back in early August of 2018.  It took quite a few weeks for the generator to come in.  It was around 2 months.  Once it did, our contractor contacted us to set up the installation.   Keep in mind, you’ll have to set aside a few days to let the contractors do their work.  They need access to your electrical panel and run the gas line. 

Day 1,  the pad went down along with the generator, a few days later the plumber came over to do his hook up.  Once the plumber was done, the electrician came back over to set the system up and to do a test run.  He took his time and explained how the system works and even set up the wi-fi and assisted with the phone app.  The app is amazing.  If there is an issue with the generator both the electrician and I know it even if we aren’t home. 

It’s a huge comfort knowing we have the generator if we ever lose power again.

Lasik Update Week 1

It’s officially been 1 week since the Lasik.

No more eye drops as of today.  As you recall I was using 2 different eye drops, one a steriod and the other an antibiotic in my eyes, PLUS a sterile rewetting drop every 2-3 hours.

Each morning when I wake up my eyes are a bit cloudy which is normal.  It takes about 1/2 hour for them to adjust.  That is mostly due to the build up of “stuff” in and around my eyes as they heal.  A warm, wet face cloth placed over my eyes for a few minutes takes care of that.

The instructions are not to wear eye make up for a week.  My doctor suggested to stretch that to 2 weeks if possible.  I will do that.  What the heck?  I already scared everyone in my office going without make up for an entire week….What’s one more week right?

My close up vision is challenging.  I have worn the cheater glasses for 2 years now so that wasn’t a surprise to me that I still needed them.  My doctor said that the close up vision will get slightly better than it is today within a few weeks, however, I will still require the cheaters for close up work.

All in all I am happy with the progress so far.  I am not one to take it easy and slow down so it’s a bit challenging for me.  I have 2 speeds.  Full speed ahead and sleeping.

My dogs have been so good the entire time.  I think they know that their “Mom” needs some TLC.  I am sure they will be back to their normal self as soon as I am.

2 Weeks Post Op

Woke up at 5:00 am and my eyes were a little blurry, which is normal.  The good news is each  morning my eye site gets sharper and sharper along with less cloudy.

I put in my Sustane Ultra eye drops Eyedrops however I experienced something different this morning.  There was pain in my right eye.  It felt like a pin poking me in the eye.   I gave myself an extra dose of the eye drops and the pain went away only to return an hour later.  I kept using the drops through out the day which made it feel better but only for a short time.

I ended up calling the doctor who asked me to come in.  When I arrived they took me right in and did a few vision tests which went fine.  He examined my eyes and tested them for dryness.  The doctor said my right eye was healing a little slower than the left and it still looked a little rough like sandpaper.  Yikes, that sounds bad.  He said don’t worry, and that I would be fine.

He changed my eye lubricating drops to something a little thicker and longer lasting.  It is called Refresh Optive. Single use drops  He also recommended a special night time eye lubricant which is Refresh PM Ointment or Genteal Ointment. Ointment It’s a thick ointment that stays in your eye all night and keeps them from drying out.  After I put them in I have to go right to bed because I can’t see much at all with that thick stuff in there.  I put on my eye shields and go to bed.

Update:  2 Week Post Op Plus 3 days, which brings us to Memorial Day Weekend.

In general my eyes are feeling better.  The right eye is still being a little stubborn.  They both felt good all day today until around 6:00 pm.  My eyes felt tired and I just wanted to close them.  I rested for a little while and they felt much better.

I’m not unhappy I got the Lasik.  I get impatient and want to see perfect NOW.  I need to chill out and in 2 more weeks all should be just fine.

Fast forward to August.  My vision is great.  The dry eye syndrome has gotten much better.  I only use the drop 3 x a day.  H O W E V E R……………………………………………………………..

I traveled to San Diego, California in mid August and 1 week after I got home I contracted a staph infection on the tip of my nose that spread to my eye!!!!   The very eye that I spent so much time and money on fixing.  It was brutal.  My eye was burning so bad I could hardly open it.  It was red, swollen, tearing like crazy and very painful!!  I called the lasik surgeon and they saw me right away.  I was put on a combo steriod and antibiotic eye drop to clear the infection out of my eye.  My vision was so very cloudy.  All I could see was white, no colors or no shapes of anything.   I was so scared I was going to lose my vision.  I mentioned to the eye dr that the tip of my nose was red and hurt.  That comment wasn’t taken seriously and they said to use the eye drops to clear the infection.

After 1 day it wasn’t much better so I went to my primary care doctor.  He put me on an oral antibiotic and said if I didn’t feel better in 24 hours to go to the ER. Within 1 week I was much better. It was so very scary.

Lasik Eye Correction Surgery

My 28 year old daughter recently had Lasik correction on her eyes.  She raved about it; telling me how wonderful it was and how clearly she can see now.  Her actual surgery is the video below.

I have had glasses since I was in the 4th grade.  I finally got contacts when I was 18 years old.  I am now 53 years old.  I wear my contacts every day and when I get home from work I take them out and put on my heavy, thick glasses.  The glasses have the super thin lenses however with my prescription they are still pretty thick.

After careful consideration I decided to just go for a consult.  The initial appointment was free and lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  The criteria is as follows:

20-55 years of age

Nearsightedness up to a -9.00  (I was a -7)

Your cornea must be of normal thickness and curvature

Do not have Keratoconus or other corneal pathology

Lastly must be in good health

What is Lasik?  Learn More

Step #1  Consult  Schedule about 1.5 hours for this.

Step # 2 You can not wear your contact lenses for at least 3 weeks prior to your procedure.  The contacts actually change the shape of your cornea therefore you can’t wear them anymore.

Step #3 Your procedure.  I was very nervous.  I arrived 15 minutes early, signed and filled out a few forms and then in I went.  The doctor checked my prescription again and gave me a valium and 1/2.

He fully explained the risks and the benefits along with the entire procedure to me. 

We went into the procedure room where numbing drops were put in my eyes.  A cover was put over my left eye as they were working on the right eye first.  My eye was taped open, and then an object was placed over my right eye.  I felt a HUGE amount of pressure like my eye was going to pop out (but obviously it didn’t).  I lost sight completely for about 3 seconds…..Then the laser started.   I was instructed to look at the green light only.  Oh wow, but there were so many pretty red lights all around the green one…….I did my best and focused on the green light.  I smelled a burning smell.  It wasn’t bad or gross, just that smell of burning.  The procedure was so quick!   On to the left eye.  I was anticipating the pressure again and was able to breathe through it.  And once again, DONE so quickly.  Protective eye shields were taped over my eyes and I had to keep my eyes closed for at least 5 hours.

Step #4:  Husband picked me up and  took me home to SLEEP.  Sleep was good for the first 5 hours, and then I got a little bored.  I had to lay flat on my back for the entire time.  That is because of gravity and the cornea flap had to heal.  I eventually got out of bed after 7 hours and opened my eyes briefly.  I was amazed on how clear everything was even through the eye shields.  My eyes felt a little sticky.  Time for the eye drops.  2 different eye drops 4 X a day plus lubricating eye drops.  This sounds like alot but it’s really not.  I fell right into the routine easily.

You have a follow up visit with the doctor the very next day after the procedure and for me I have one more 7 days later and then a few weeks later and so on.   The visits are all included in the initial price.

I am now on day 5 after the procedure.  I feel great!  My eyes are healing quickly.  I am taking fish oil and some extra vitamin C to help with the healing.  I do experience dry eye thoughout the day but that’s normal.  That is what the lubricating drops are for.

Things to remember  DO NOT RUB or TOUCH your eyes!!!!!  More importantly NO EYE MAKE UP for 1 week.  My doctor said to hold off for 2 weeks if possible.

I need to wear my eye guards every night (for 1 week or more) and I also purchased some clear safety glasses to wear around the house.  I have 5 dogs and they do get excited to see me and they tend to jump a little.  The safety glasses are a good extra protection.