Stella here:  We had the very best time this week that anybody could imagine.  A local agency was offering help with yard work, house work  or painting your home, so my Mom applied since our yard has turned into kind of a forest.  My Mom just asked for help to clear away overgrowth of plants and bird-planted trees.  So the lady at the agency told us we would have some helpers starting Monday.

(Click on any picture to enlarge it)

This is what we got:  Two adults and four teenager kids.  The adults helped them to figure out what to do and the kids went right to it (along with the adults!)  They went all around our house, cutting trees, digging up roots, clearing up the mess and hauling it away.  Then they decided they had to paint the garage, which hadn't been painted for a long time.  They all scraped off the old bad stuff and it took about a day and a half, then they started painting:

One important guy was missing from this picture because he (Ben)
was painting on the other side of the garage. 
You can't imagine what a huge and beautiful change this was.  They put on two coats of paint and it just shines!

This group came from Wisconsin and Illinois, being part of the Catholic Heart Work Group, and sponsored by the Mahube agency.
The weather was hot and pretty miserable for this kind of hard work but you would never know it from this group.  Smiles all day, and simply the nicest people I have met in a long while.  Lots of teenagers have reputations as being lazy, but these kids worked harder than you could imagine, for four days, kept smiling and even seemed to be having fun at it.  Then they would take a little time, come in the back yard and play with me, Stella!  I did get into some paint though, and it went on my chin:

My Mom said it could have been way worse!

This is the front before they hauled the cuttings away.  We have an
Amur Maple which are the leaves and branches you see and they cut it so perfectly.  We all love that tree.  The curtain you see open is Zkhat's look-out.  She checked out what they did but was scared to get close to the workers.  Such a wuss!  She will never know how good they were to me!

It is so hard to find people these days who will do this kind of work for pay, and to find these willing workers in my yard who thanked me for letting them help me! (at no cost) It was just the most wonderful four days I can imagine, seeing good people putting their faith to work.

So, Roger, Mary Ann, Shannon, Morgan, Ben and Mike, if you are reading this, know that we will love you forever for your good nature, kindness and hard work!

If you would like to learn a little more about Catholic Heart just click and read!

Love and hugs,

Jo, Stella and Zkhat


From All Three of Us!

From Jo:  Way too hot for me!  I saw this video this morning on Dog Art and thought you might like it if you haven't seen it    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpIp0Ebao8k  I just loved it.

From Stella:  Thanks for the nice comments on the shaking picture.
It came from this lake   and even though  it was a cloudy day, it was a pretty place to be.  Here is a picture of me when I started to get dry!

You can see my furs are all ruffled up!

It is too hot to walk there today, though, so we are staying home and keeping as cool as we can.

Here is Ziva Zophia Zkhat!

Thank you for the nice letters you wrote me when I talked to you about forgiving Stella for putting her mouth over my head.  Most everyone said to forgive her, its the best thing to do, but also most of the comments came from DOGS!  My sweetie, Tober, said he didn't blame me for being upset for so long and didn't even know why I would want to share a home and Mom with Stella.  But I am going to go with the majority.  Here is where I officially forgive Stella for putting my head in her mouth.  She still likes to jump at me, just a little so she can see me run but she knows she is not allowed to mess with me personally.  So we will see  how THAT goes.

We hope you are all well and braving the hot weather.  September is always a nice month for us, but we are not sure what August is going to be like.  We hope it won't be a repeat of July!

Love and hugs to everybody and we are saying prays for the victims of the Aurora, CO shooting.

Jo, Stella and Zkhat


How to Keep a little Cool!

This is my favorite way to keep cool.  Walk a mile to the Lake, jump into the lake, get totally wet, come up for air and then SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT, SHAKE IT!

This is so very much fun because sometimes there are kids around you and they squeeeee! when I do this.  But I don't care because I love it.

Here is something else that is fun.  If you have a nice deep bowl of drinking water on your porch or deck, you can first stick your whole face in it and get soaked.  Then stick your front feets in it and give your Mom a big hug.  Oh, does she ever love that!  Some things like this are worth doing over, and over and over again!

I hope that all you pups are happy and healthy, and for those who are sick we send our prayerful good wishes!

Wet sprays on you for coolness and big hugs for love,

Stella who wants winter to come!


Some little newsies!

Its me, Stella!  Its really a cooker out there today.  Feels like it might be up in the 87s or the 90s.  Not a day for me to be out and play!

With that, we found a new blog to us, called Why Would Anyone Want to Move to Minnesota? written by Wendy Carson.  Lots of photos, descriptions of things to do, statchews and all of the beautiful lakes we have.  If you are of a mind to come and visit our happy state, read through this blog and just see if you wouldn't want to come calling on  us. 

Here is a second exciting bit of news.  I have a new neighbor dog on the other side of my backyard fence.  He is really pretty and I am not sure, but I almost think its Dennis the Vizsla .  I have gone back there several times to say hello to him, but he won't say his name, only Hi and a little woof.  Here is his picture:

Dennis and his Dada got into kind of a disagreement about doing the blogging and writing certain stories, today was an old one about a pig Dennis got out of the archives.  I thought maybe his Dada got upset and sold Dennis to our new neighbors.

Now I know its hard to see, my Mom says she will get a closer picture one of these days.  He is sure a nice polite dog and he likes to stand there by where my fence starts and we just kind of look at each other and sort of commune silently.  Nah, that couldn't be Dennis, could it?  I hope I can learn the new guys name, because I like him. We got two pitbull types on the other side of us, and they are both good dogs too.

Hope its not too hot where you are and  that you have a good new week!

Stella (and Jo and Zkhat)