It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny

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October 08, 2009

smoke alarms

When anyone comes knocking at the motorhome Cooper goes crazy. This time it's my mom and he greets her in his normal way, almost knocking her over, and instead of coming back inside as usual  he takes off running. We take off in pursuit, yelling his name and soon I find him along the dog run, chasing after a dog on leash, barking and jumping. I tear after him, apologizing for my dog's bad social behavior while she's trying to pick up her dog, who's just thrown up on the grass, probably from fear of this lab monster attacking him. The "older" lady is trying to calm her dog down while he sounds like he's choking for air and I'm running after Cooper who's barking furiously, thinking this is all a fun game.

How long can I use the "he's just a puppy" line? Or "I have a Marley", as if that excuses his exuberant, wild behavior? Most of the time, Cooper is a sweet and lovable dog who just thinks that all other dogs - as well as humans - are there to play with and jump on and bark at.  There are times when I can just see him weighing his options.....should I behave and do as I'm told or should I go for it and suffer the consequences later? Some of the time he surprises me  and I think he's finally growing up and getting it - other times the Marley puppy just oozes out of him. It's hard to harness all that energy and excitement - and, when it doesn't involve humans who don't understand, I love to watch it, that love for life and everything in it.

Last night I decided to "break in" the oven by cooking my mom's homemade lasagna. I really wanted to put foil or a cookie sheet down on the bottom but the manual says it's a no-no, so once I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, in went the lasagna. Just looking at it I knew there was trouble ahead.  About 5 minutes later the smoke alarm went off. With one hand I'm waving at the alarm with a kitchen towel, the other hand trying to open the door to let the smoke out. I open the oven door to check things out....looks okay. Turn down the heat a bit -maybe it's too hot. Five minutes later the smoke alarm goes off again. By this time the cheese is oozing over the side of the dish onto the floor of the oven, which is right above the burners. Five "alarms" later, I give up, turn the oven off and take the lasagna out. It's been in there about 30 minutes and I'm hoping that's enough - if not, there's always the good old standby, microwave! My oven has cheese drippings all over the bottom and the inside of the motorhome is a smoky haze.  The next time, screw the manual- I'm putting a pan below the rack!

I took the lasagna over to mom and dad's motorhome and we had a nice leisurely dinner together. I'd forgotten to take my cell phone with me and when I got back, I had received a phone message from the RV park manager telling me that my dog was barking (I had left the window open because of the smoke) and that he needed some attention. I'm sure "Marley's"  on the black list today!

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