Views from a Classroom

Lovely weather we are having!

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Wordless Wednesday #6

Wordless Wednesday #6

**I know this is supposed to be “wordless” Wednesdays, but lest people think we neglect our dog by leaving her in the snow, please don’t. She has a bed under the eaves of the house and she can come inside when she wants. She chooses this. She’s a Newfie.

Newfie = Dirt!

Murphy, our Newfoundland, is truly the most beautiful dog I have ever seen, but she is also the dirtiest.   If you have a Newf, you know that they are pretty much dirt and water sponges.  Most dogs bring in some mud when the snow starts to melt, but Murphy takes it to an entirely new level.

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Baby Murphy in her pool last summer.

Newfies have what we call “feathers” on the back of their legs.  We may as well call them mops, because they collect every bit of moisture with which they come into contact–and hold it.  Murphy usually thinks this is a good time to try to sit on the couch or on your lap.  One cute thing–whenever Murph gets wet, her hair kinks up as if she had been left in a room with my old high school crimping iron.

Can you see the crimps in her ear fur?

Can you see the crimps in her ear fur?

Now, I understand that most dogs shed.  I am perfectly used to puffs of dog fur dancing around the floor each time the heat turns on.  What Murphy brings to the game is dirt.  When she gets up from the floor, left behind is a giant dog shaped dirt shadow.

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Just a few hours worth of Murphy leftovers from our family room floor…

On our walk today. Murphy found one of the last remaining patches of snow and rolled all around in it, as she is wont to do.  It reminded me of a chinchilla taking a dust bath–when she arose (or was tugged back into the street for our walk), the clean white snow had a lovely, brownish doggie-shaped outline.

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Yes, Murph–please wait until you are inside to shake! Love you!

Bits of dog biscuits stuck in her jowls are released onto her “napkin”, otherwise known as the rug in front of the hearth.   She is fond of putting her chin on your sleeve–and when she leaves, a nice slimy trail of dog slobber  undoubtedly remains.  Don’t bother wearing nice clothes to my house…Newfs also like to present their paws to everyone, and dainty, she is not.

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A nice shot of one of Murph’s hang out spots

She loves to get into the bathtub after the boys shower–and up on the sink to drink whatever is left in the sink.  It is never a secret when she does this as big muddy paw prints appear wherever she has been.  We try to dry off her feet before she gets too fair into the house or out of the tub, but tug-a-towel is one of her favorite games, which makes things a bit difficult.

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There are myriad great reasons to bring a Newfoundland into your family.  However, if cleanliness is your thing, you may want to think again.

Murphy is our favorite great big, dirty, slobbery mess.  We love her to pieces!

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Murphy surveying her domain–surprisingly, “her” deck is rather tidy, comparatively speaking. The window I am taking the picture through, however, is not. Newf finger painting!

 

Where is My Snow?

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Those who know me know I love extreme weather.  Not the type of extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy, where people lose their lives and homes, but rather loud crashing thunderstorms or big snow.  Highs in the 90s.  Big waves.  (I desperately miss Midwest thunderstorms…but that is for another post)

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So I was excited to move to Montana and experience huge winters–after all, the year before I moved here, there was record snowfall.  Snow at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park was still “sign-high” by the 4th of July!  I imagined blizzards and being cut off from society for a few days, tunneling out the front door,  losing power for a day or two,  carrying supplies behind me on a sled and camping out by the wood stove–you know, like the Laura Ingalls during The Long Winter.  Making button candles from wagon wheel grease and logs from hay…okay…not that far.   649_42907035885_8056_n

There has just always been something that appeals to me about being briefly isolated from society…living in the log cabin in the woods with nothing to rely on but our wits.  We do live in a log cabin.  There are a lot of Douglas Fir trees around our house…but the grocery store is just two blocks away, and I could holler from an open window across the street to my neighbor.  155073_467992105885_323457_n

Nevertheless, I get so terribly excited when a winter weather advisory is posted, when meteorologist Mark Heyka puts up yellow and rarely, red, in the weather tracker as opposed to boring green.  Invariably, the snow fizzles out over the Idaho panhandle, drops south to the Bitterroot, or is swallowed by the Cabinet Mountains.  We have had a few good snows since I’ve lived here, but nothing even close to what I experienced in Michigan.  Heck, I had more snow days in 2 years working in Grand Haven, MI than in all 15 years in Montana.  Schools never close unless wind accompanies the snow (there has to be “emergency travel only”).  Where is my wild, wonderful west? I am rather disappointed.

My husband says if I went snowboarding with him I’d see big snow, but it isn’t quite what I have in mind.  Again, in my imaginings, no one gets hurt and no one suffers from the storm.  We just live inwardly for a few days, watching the power of nature and appreciating our solid home, stocked cupboard and forced family time.  So bring it on, Montana.  I’m waiting.  Besides, the Midwest and East Coast could use a break.

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View from my couch