Friday, February 28, 2014

How to get rid of skunk smell on your dog

Tomato juice doesn’t work. Sure, it masks the smell, but I promise you that tomato juice is not the remedy you need. What really works is the following solution, courtesy of a chemist from Illinois named Paul Krebaum. The article below is taken directly from ‘How to Remove Skunk Odor’ via the NJSPCA (the New Jersey Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals) page:

1 quart hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup baking soda

2 tsp. mild dish detergent

* This solution must be mixed in an OPEN wide mouth container like a bucket. It will bubble or fizz profusely, so DON'T mix it or store it in a closed container or bottle. This formula will produce pressure in a closed container and cause it to burst. Use it as soon as you make it, because it will lose all effectiveness if it is stored. It must be freshly made in order to work properly.

* Wet your pet's coat with warm water then thoroughly massage formula into pet's coat. Be sure to massage it in very well so that you neutralize every trace of skunk spray. Be VERY careful not to get any of the formula into his eyes nose or mouth. You may use a wash cloth to CAREFULLY wipe it onto his face. Leave it on for about five minutes then rinse off thoroughly (do not get into eyes). Repeat if necessary.

Your Pet's Eyes

Call your vet immediately if the skunk sprays your pet directly in the eyes. You will know because your pet's eyes will be very red, irritated, and probably watery. The spray will make his eyes sting very badly. Your pet will not be permanently blinded but it is very painful.

What Is Skunk Spray Made Of And Why Is It So Strong?

Skunk spray contains compounds called Thiols and Thioacetates. Our noses are very sensitive to Thiols, so sensitive in fact that we can detect then in parts per billion! Thiols smell so horribly noxious because of the sulfur they contain.

The Thioacetates in Skunk spray decompose very slowly into; you guessed it.....Thiols!

So the reason that Skunk spray has such staying power and lingers for so long is because of the slow decomposition of Thioacetates into Thiols. In essence you are getting "timed
release" Skunk odor because of the slow release of Thiols.

Why Doesn't Tomato Juice Work?

You may have heard that tomato juice is the magic potion to get rid of Skunk odor, but it isn't magic, it's just an illusion. It is an illusion because strong odors such as Skunk tend to cause something called "olfactory fatigue". Olfactory fatigue happens when an odor binds very strongly to the odor receptors in your nose.

For example olfactory fatigue can occur if someone is wearing strong perfume and you are in the same room for an extended period of time. The odor receptors in your nose become fatigued and you stop noticing the smell, but if you leave the room for a while and return, you will notice the perfume again. The same thing happens with many other odors even strong cooking odors.

So when you use tomato juice, perfume or room or fabric deodorizer sprays on skunk odor. One strong odor is replacing another and it fools your odor receptors. So if you use tomato
juice or a deodorizer on your pet, chances are YOU will think your problem is solved but it isn't. Just ask a friend or family member if they smell skunk. They will!


DSC_0046 copy 2

This photo is from my files but is what George looks like after being de-skunked. He’s even wearing the same collar. Had to throw the other one out because it stunk to high heavens.

123 Signature[5]

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Three things

Today I’m sharing three of my favorite things. One is edible, one is a beauty product, and the third pertains to photography.




photo by Tieghan

I have made this several times since discovering it on Pinterest a couple of months ago. It’s great to have as leftovers that I can pack into my lunchbox to take to work. Quinoa is full of protein and this dish fills me up and makes me happy.

I love how she styled this shot, too. Just putting that out there.


DHC mild soap


I discovered DHC  about 10 years ago and have been using it faithfully ever since. DHC is a an olive oil-based skin care line that originated in Japan. Yes, you heard me. Olive oil! There's a 3-step cleansing, toning and moisturizing program that's geared towards your skin type, but I've always just stuck with the deep cleansing oil followed by the mild soap. I also use two of their moisturizers.  It's all wonderful stuff and the bars of soap last for months on end. When they’re on sale, I stock up.


Florabella actions

Florabella actions


Photos by Shana Rae Rosengarten (Florabella)

I use Photoshop but will freely admit that I only have a rudimentary knowledge of it. I get by with the help of several sets of actions, many of which were purchased from the Florabella Collection. They are probably my go-to actions because I find that I use them all the time. I love the rich colors, the muted tones, and the dreamy pastels. They add an extra something to my images.

An action is a recording of a sequence of commands and operations in Photoshop. So rather than perform ten or more different things, you simply press a button and then adjust accordingly. I love actions.


:   :   :


On another note, my favorite little buddy had his first skunking last night. I was sitting here, quietly minding my own business, when this odor resembling an awful petroleum scent began to permeate the living room. I ran downstairs to the basement thinking that something had happened to the oil burner. But no, following the scent, I found my poor dog cowering at the front door and wanting to come in.

I washed him with what I had on hand: lemons and Johnson’s baby shampoo. Luckily it wasn’t a horrible skunking but still, it left my head and my stomach hurting. Today at work, I googled how to remove skunk smell and it’s definitely not by using tomato juice. More on this tomorrow. Tonight my George smells fresh as a daisy and there’s just a tiny lingering smell in the living room which should dissipate with time. At least it’s not hurting my head and closing off my throat . . .

Until tomorrow, then ~123 Signature[5]

Monday, February 24, 2014

Little darlings

I’m writing this quick post to let you know that I’m still here. My blogging has been pretty lax lately and for that, I apologize.

It’s very early morning and I have a few extra moments to spare before I get ready for work. This weekend was so needed by so many. It was beautiful and the weather was mild. And there was sunshine.


DSC_7072 copy 2

And this is the new sunshine in my family’s life. Baby C was born earlier this month and yesterday I travelled to Philadelphia to meet her and to catch up with family from around the area.


DSC_7103 copy 2

I am Great Aunt Kate.

This is my sister, Charlotte’s, first grandchild and she is over the moon.



DSC_7071 copy 2

My niece, Emily. Sorry Em – for waking you from your nap.




DSC_7220 copy 2

And then I drove over the Betsy Ross Bridge into New Jersey to see this little cutie. Baby M was in town with her mother, Kim, and she was visiting her grandparents (Helen, my husband’s sister, and Bob).


DSC_7260 copy 2

Somebody loves loves loves bathtime!


Ok. Better go or I’ll be late. Hope you all have a wonderful week ~

123 Signature[5]

Monday, February 17, 2014


Yesterday the sun came out for a while, and we all rejoiced. Shortly afterward, the clouds rolled in, but surprise ~ they dissipated by mid-afternoon. Beautiful!

I sat outside in the sun for a bit, which felt really good. I cannot walk on the property right now – too treacherous. The snow is frozen and is about 12 inches height in most spots. You can walk along the top of it but you never know when a leg will go through to the bottom. Not a good feeling ~

So I sit inside by the kitchen window and wait for a bit, or sit outside if it’s bearable enough. The driveway is still tough to navigate, so I am still limiting my excursions out into the world. Tomorrow, however, it’s back to work and back to business as usual. I am really looking forward to it after five days off.

Here a few photos taken yesterday.


DSC_6799 copy 2

Female red-winged blackbird.


Thanks, [Kerri], for confirming my hunch.



DSC_6778 copy 2

Dark-eyed junco.



DSC_6817 copy 2

I am not even going to tell you this one.

I have said it enough.



DSC_6847 copy 2

I went to the movies today to see  The Monuments Men. I cried, I laughed a little, and I left the theater feeling good. Highly recommend.

I saw a lot of previews that left me wanting to put my hands over my ears and close my eyes tight. I can’t stand loud, bomb-blasting trailers. Am I showing my age? I mean, it was just SO LOUD.


Mandolin - Nelly Nero copy

This is a panorama shot. I created it in Photoshop using two photos I took with the camera turned sideways (lengthwise).


And then I took a couple of portraits of my buddy.


DSC_6860 copy 2

Looking regal.


DSC_6866 copy 2

And being really careful where he walked on the snow. At any given second, one paw through the snow would go up almost to his shoulder. It’s only about 12 inches or so, but it feels like so much more when you’re walking on it.


DSC_6869 copy 2

Here’s hoping for a good week to come. For all of us ~

Thanks for coming by.

123 Signature[5]

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blow, blow, thou Winter Wind

So sorry for the lengthy absence. I opened the laptop to write several times since last Tuesday but just didn’t feel like it. This is the first time as far back as I can remember that I have actually felt that I have had enough of the winter. Those of you who know me will be surprised by this statement. I don’t know . . . maybe I’ll change my mind, and maybe it’s because my husband isn’t here to enjoy it, and maybe I will stop being angry at what has become my nemesis of late: The Damn Driveway.

Our driveway is horrible. Even after having it plowed. However, I am thankful to be able to live here. It’s a double-edged sword, I tellya.

It snowed some more on Wednesday night into Thursday – a big, wet, heavy snow that left our area blanketed with about 14 inches. The next day it snowed another 3 inches. George was actually finding it difficult to maneuver in and I gave up trying to walk around the property after several tries. Just too deep for comfort and I was afraid I’d twist one of my knees. Some of the drifts were to my hips.


DSC_6677 copy 2

It sure was pretty for awhile, though ~



DSC_6709 copy 2

These were taken from the windows as the sun was rising on Friday morning.



DSC_6702 copy 2

The glow is from the sun on the trees at the edge of the property.



DSC_6719 copy 2

I’ve filled the feeders several times in the past couple of days for my bird friends.



DSC_6757 copy 2

When I ventured out to take some photos I thought it was interesting how the snow had formed all these little bumps.


20140214_131748 copy 2

I sat outside for a bit yesterday. The sun was shining and it felt good.



20140213_095834 copy 2

Took this one Thursday. My son was scheduled to go to work at 5 am but there was no way anyone was getting out of here at that time. Plus, it was still snowing.


20140213_102134 copy 2

My son and I took turns shoveling. This was my section.



DSC_6443 copy 2

Then it began to rain and sleet.



DSC_6460 copy 2

We who have rejoiced in Spring, and luxuriated in the summer sun, we who have wandered in autumn's rich colors and gathered in her bountiful harvests, we should not feel cheated when Winter at long last takes its turn...

A friend wrote this on my FB page yesterday. I thought it was appropriate.


DSC_6465 copy 2

You just have to find the beauty.

Because it’s there.

And so are you.

Thanks for being here ~

123 Signature[5]

Blow, blow, thou Winter Wind,
Thou art not so unkind, as Man's Ingratitude...
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Things Fall Apart

I mentioned that so many things went wrong last week that I didn’t even know where to begin. But the week is over now and I’m not going to whine about it all.

I will tell you a funny story, though.

After I show you some icy scenes taken on the property last Wednesday.


20140205_120642 copy 2

The ice that came last week was damaging to so many areas around us. But where I live, we didn’t have much damage and it had melted by late morning. When I was coming home from running some errands, the only ice that could be seen was up at the top of the hill where we live.


DSC_6412 copy 3

I decided that I’d better get out and get some photos while the getting was good.

In the photo above, you can see some equipment left over from the power line repair that had to be made earlier in the week.


DSC_6416 copy 2

It really was pretty.

And our power had come on by this time, so that was great.



DSC_6391 copy 2

On Thursday, however, as I sat at the doctor’s office for a check-up, I received a text from my son. He informed me that he’d just cleaned up a big flood on the kitchen floor from the washer that had overflowed. He said he’d used every dry towel in the house but he got it done. He checked the washer hose and it was backing up from the drainpipe into the house, so he texted to tell me that I might want to call the plumber.

Yay. Immediately, I felt my blood pressure rise.

My son had to pick me up from the doctor’s office when I was done, because he’d borrowed my car that day to get to work. So when he picked me up (and after I had called the plumber), I then asked him what he’d done with all the wet towels. “Oh, don’t worry about it,” he told me, “I took care of everything.”

“Yeah, but what did you do?” I asked him. I told him I was thinking of putting them all into a couple of laundry baskets lined with our biggest plastic trash liners. And he said he’d had a better idea. And that I would see.

When we pulled up, I was appalled to see that he’d lined up all the towels along the concrete walkway that leads from where we park the cars to the mudroom door. My good set of Ralph Lauren white towels plus all of the towels we use on a regular basis were lined in a row and I said, “Noooo!” We then had some words about it and I decided to just let it go after trying to get them off the ground and realizing they were already frozen to it. So we walked on them. And the team of plumbers walked on them the next morning when they came to fix the kitchen water line. It was the end of a very long and lousy week and I just felt like I didn’t even even care any more.

On Friday, I texted my son before I came home from work to tell him that I didn’t care what he did to get them up, but I want my towels off the walkway by the time I come home. And when I arrived, there they were – all piled up against the house – like so many boards of wood. It was so ridiculous that it made me laugh out loud.

And that night, I stayed up until I had every last one of them clean. And I just want to thank the stars and the moon for Tide laundry detergent. That’s all I’m sayin’.


DSC_6376 copy 2

Here’s wishing everyone a good week to come ~

123 Signature[5]

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Review: The Sense of Touch

I was contacted again by a representative of TLC Book Tours to write a review on a book of my choice from their upcoming selections. I chose a debut collection of stories entitled The Sense of Touch by author Ron Parsons.

From the jacket description:
The Sense of Touch
Sprung from the variously lush, rugged, and frozen emotional landscapes of the North Country, this luminous collection of stories captures the progress of a diverse ensemble of souls as they struggle to uncover themselves and negotiate a meaningful communion, of any kind, with the world around them. A brilliant but troubled Bangladeshi physics student searches for balance, acceptance, and his own extraordinary destiny after his father disappears. When a Halloween blizzard immobilizes Minneapolis, a young woman is forced to confront the snow-bound nature of her own relationships and emotions. During an excursion to an idyllic swimming hole hidden in the Black Hills, two old friends unexpectedly compete for the affections of an irresistible, though married, Lakota woman. Like  mystical expedition to reach the horizon of the quest to distill truth from the beauty around us, the revelation confirmed by these imaginative stories – elegant, sometimes jarring, always wonderfully absurd – is that the very act of reaching is itself a form of touch.

Let me preface this review by stating that I am a fan of short story collections. This one piqued my interest primarily due to the fact that all of the stories take place in the North Country and many of them promised to be full of cold and snow. I reasoned that this would make it a perfect book to read in the dead of winter, when my review was due.

I loved this description of bitter cold, from the nameless narrator of the title story, a freshman attending the University of Minnesota. He decided on the school which was 16 hours north of his home in Fort Worth, because he wanted to head north and was “thirsty for a clean break in a place where [he] didn’t own a wisp of history”:
I was ready for wind chill advisories and blizzard conditions. I wanted a sturdy, honest, decisive winter, where the air feels like a sharpened weapon, and everyone hides behind beards and scarves, ski masks even. Every now and then, we can all use the feeling of a long deadening freeze. It makes you appreciate the mercy of a thaw.
He quickly tires of the brutal winter, which he found out later was actually mild that year, much to his surprise. Not all of the stories revolve around harsh weather, however. In The Black Hills, the description of the secret swimming hole left me wanting to add it to my bucket list of places to visit in this lifetime.
They were relaxing at the top of a waterfall, in a small, still pool where the mountain waters hit an upward slope of folded granite. It was sort of a rounded bathtub, carved out of the rock throughout the centuries by the rushing river, a river so hidden that it was without a name. Just below were the falls, about a 30-foot drop into another much larger pool of clearest water that was gathered for a respite, a compromise in the river’s relentless schedule downward, between split-level decks of flat rock. It was a perfect place for sunbathing.

One of my favorite stories was also one of the shortest: As Her Heart Is Navigated. In it, a young woman named Haley discovers that her presumptive boyfriend, a young man who seems to have such a kind manner, has a violent streak. The city she lives in has been taken by a surprise storm that has dumped four feet of snow in a short time. While digging out her car which she had to park two blocks away, she discovers a house that has been drifted shut, and in it dwells an old woman who Haley ends up saving.

The characters in each of the eight stories in this book are diverse and interesting and the truth is that most of them are looking for a connection. I found Ron Parsons’ debut collection worth my time and am still thinking of some of the stories long after having read them. The writing flows with a certain grace and I say well done, Mr. Parsons. Well done.


Ron Parsons

Ron Parsons is a writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared in literary magazines and venues such as The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, Storyville, and The Onion.
The Sense of Touch, his debut collection of stories, was released by Aqueous Books in 2013.

tlc tour host

This book has been read and reviewed as part of a TLC Book Tour. You can check out the other stops of the tour [here].

You may visit the author’s website [here].

Respectfully submitted,

123 Signature[5]

Hold tight

It’s been a heck of a week here at the old manor house on the hill. It began with my laptop freezing up and I was without it for nearly a week. Immediately following that, the electric went out for two days due to a tree that fell on the privately-owned line that runs to the Delmarva line. Then the plumbing went in the kitchen, followed by other assorted minor maladies. I guess I should have never said that I’m not crying uncle yet (written in my last post). Ha!


DSC_6356 copy 2

All is well now, however, but I am busy working on a book tour post with a deadline of tonight. I signed on as a tour stop a couple of months ago and then sort of forgot about it. And I haven’t yet finished reading the book . . .

Today is a perfect day to read, however. It’s cold and gray, just like the photo of the dark-eyed junco above.

So take care, keep warm, and I’ll be back later this week.

Your friend,

123 Signature[5]

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The whole story doesn’t show

I’m writing this on a Sunday morning and I have no set plans for the day, which is unlike me. I always like to have a plan, even if it’s just a loosey-goosey kind of thing. And I never say loosey-goosey so I have no idea where that came from. It’s cloudy today and I had thought it was forecast to be much nicer but as it turns out, yesterday was the prize of the weekend as far as weather is concerned. So I’m glad that I spent as much time outside as I did.

After my chores, and my grocery shopping, and my soup making, I went outside and sat in the snow and the sun with my camera and shot photos of my bird friends. Surprising, isn’t it? Hahaha.

I also did several loads of laundry and hung a couple of them on the line because it was so sunny. Hanging laundry on the line is a very calming thing. At least, it is for me. Plus, why waste power when the sun can do it for you, right?

These are some of my favorite images from yesterday ~



DSC_6287 copy 2

Tufted titmouse eyeing up one of the feeders.



DSC_6284 copy 2

A male cardinal who refused to come to the feeder because of my presence.

Cardinals are very skittish.



DSC_6282 copy 2

Tufted titmouse? Not so skittish.

They are no fools. They knew I had the good stuff in the one feeder.



DSC_6276 copy 2

The black-capped chickadee makes a lot of different noises for such a small bird.

The vocalizations of the Black-capped Chickadee are highly complex.[14] Thirteen distinct types of vocalizations have been classified, many of which are complex and can communicate different types of information. Chickadees' complex vocalizations are likely an evolutionary adaptation to their habitat: they live and feed in dense vegetation, and even when the flock is close together, individual birds tend to be out of each other's visual range.

~ Wikipedia



DSC_6279 copy 2

Hiding in the brush.



DSC_6268 copy 2

Chickadee on the wing.



DSC_6261 copy 2

The prize seed.



DSC_6262 copy 2

And the prize shot.




Tomorrow it’s supposed to snow again.

I am not crying uncle yet. It’s winter, people. It snows in winter.

It sure is a lot of work though, isn’t it?


:   :   :


Hope your weekend is going well ~

123 Signature[5]

I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. ~Andrew Wyeth