Category Archives: Murphy

Do-it-yourself photo shoot, Funny Farm style

Think I could use this as a head shot?

Every publication that I write for wants a photo of me to run with my bio. Unfortunately, I take terrible photos. I’ve tried to get darling husband to take a candid picture, but he likes to kneel down and shoot up at his subjects. Which, as you know, makes the object appear larger. Great if you’re a white tail buck. Not great if you’re an overweight, middle aged woman.

I planned to have get a professional shot done, but I used the money I’d set aside for the photo to get highlights in my hair so I’d look pretty for my photo.  I’m not a great financial planner. So sue me.

So today I made another attempt to take a photo of myself using the timer option on my handy dandy camera. I hoped to get one of the animals in there as well. I did my hair, put on make up with care (foundation, blush, lipstick, the whole nine yards). I found a pretty scarf to hide my ugly neck. And I tried to create a semi-acceptable background.

Well, this picture kind of sums up how it went.

Photo shoot, Funny Farm style

I hauled a stool around to set the camera on; I tried to hang a sheet for a neutral background. I ended up with sweat running down my face, my hair frizzing, the cat pulling the sheet down as I put it up. I hauled the kit and kaboodle outside and used the sports mode to take 100 frames in a few seconds, hoping to get one decent frame out of … well, about 400. I cropped this one to show my sister my new highlights; you can’t see Bailey licking my feet.

Pretty highlights that I got instead of paying for a professional photo. By the time I save up enough for the photo, my gray roots will have grown back in.

I was able to salvage a couple of fair snapshots – certainly not professional by any stretch of the imagination. But hopefully one is usable enough for the blogs that needs a picture of me. Personally, I’d like to use the one with Bandit’s big yawn. It’s the best representation of life here at the Funny Farm. But what do you think?

Sheet managed to stay up, Murphy trying to escape. This might be the only photo I can actually use.

For once, all’s well at the Funny Farm … or maybe it’s the calm before a storm?

I’m almost afraid to say this out loud, for fear of jinxing the relative animal calm that has descended on us this week. But believe it or not, no one is sick at The Funny Farm.

Excuse me while I go knock on some wood.

Scout, while still dealing with cancer, is doing great. Eating, playing, acting like his normal self.

Bailey’s latest urine culture came back negative, so after more than four months fighting a urinary tract infection, she’s fine. And despite a little bout of barfing and diarrhea this week, she’s clearly feeling much better, as you can see from her video. (She learned how to play ball from her big brother Scout.) 

Bandit is … well, Bandit.

Murphy caught a bat this week, and apparently was none the worse for the wear from that little adventure.

The chickens’ latest stool sample came back with no parasites, so we’re cleared to eat eggs again – after maybe six months of treatment.

In other words … outside of the appointment we have with Dr. Hall next week to discuss managing Bailey’s pain from hip dysplasia, no one needs to go to the vet.

Mark it on the calendar, folks. It’s been a long time.

Daddy and Murphy whack a bat (no goggles required)


Yay for the hunting team of Daddy and Murphy the cat! When I was going up to bed, I heard a familiar screeching in the foyer and saw Murphy had trapped … well, I didn’t actually see what it was but I knew from experience that the screeching was a bat.


It’s been a long time since we’ve had a bat at the Funny Farm, at least that we know about. Darling husband didn’t know where he’d stashed his standard bat whacking uniform: gloves, a tennis racket, uniform from a county jail smuggled out by an inmate and given to David as a joke, and goggles.

But in bat whacking, time is of the essence, lest the critter escape inside one of the bedrooms and hides in the dark somewhere. Then no one sleeps for weeks. So in this case, there was no time to suit up. A badminton racket and a cat would have to do. Murphy had the bat cornered upstairs, so darling husband followed and after a few seconds of whacking (and pouncing by Murphy), the bat was dead.

Bat awaiting transport.

It is now in our freezer awaiting a trip to the county health dept, where they track whacked bats for rabies.

Ta da! Just another day at the Funny Farm.

Update from the Funny Farm – Scout’s progress, my new job, and other mildly interesting things

Scout after a round of water dog, chasing soap bubbles, and playing catch.

In going through some old posts, I realized that I never updated you on Scout’s progress or our decision about treatment.

Part of that may be the fact that I really don’t want to think about it. Yes, I’m in denial. It’s a lovely place to live. You should join me here sometime.

After much discussion, we opted to not pursue chemo. It’s a quality of life decision. Just going to the vet is often traumatic for Scout, and a weekly visit to the hospital, where he’d be on an IV every third week and possibly with sedatives, just isn’t the way we want him to spend his last days. I was more confident after the oncologist said that he may not even survive the six months of chemo treatments. If in fact the cancer is in his intestinal tract, his prognisis is very dim. Continue reading

IBD, coughing, and grass – an update from The Funny Farm

It's almost time for summer fun at The Funny Farm. We'll have grass by this weekend.


I’ve been posting updates about the dogs on my Facebook, but an update that should catch readers up on everyone: Continue reading

The week in review

Scout, Dali and Bandit have a pawjama party this week.

It’s been a long week here at the Funny Farm.

My mom’s sister passed away Monday and I just wasn’t able to make the drive to Massachussetts for the funeral. My mom went up for the week, and on Wednesday Cassie decided to head up for a few days herself, leaving Dali with us.

For a minute I thought about going with Cassie. If she was driving, I figured I could lie down for the trip. But when I kind of floated the idea, David said, “You’re not leaving me alone with three dogs.” I don’t blame him. Two dogs is enough trouble. And I probably would have made my back worse with all of the travel and activity anyway.

Continue reading

Yoga with dogs is new trend; how it works in reality

I read a story this week about a yoga class for dogs – or with dogs. They call it Doga. Apparently it’s supposed to be fun and relaxing for both you and your pup.

I wrote a column a few years ago (before Bandit) about doing Pilates on DVD with my dog and cat in the room. I’m not sure how much either of us got out of the exercise. Continue reading