Saturday, February 28, 2009

Amazing Race 14, Episode 2: Your Target is your Partner’s Face (Germany)

Playing a bit of catch up here, since the next episode is tomorrow night. Hey G2, they'll be heading to Romania tomorrow, land of your ancestors...

After a Pit Stop in the Swiss town of Schteckelberg (only guessing on that spelling), the teams are instructed to fly to Munich, Germany. First to leave are Margie and Luke, at 2:56 am. I sense an equalizer on the horizon, wish I were wrong, and we’ll see. Once there, they will drive themselves to the village of Ruhpolding, and take a tram to the top of a nearby mountain. Cool beans!

The smart teams think to call the airlines and make reservations while they are en route to the airport. Even though Steve and Linda continue to be portrayed as hicks that have just left the Virginia mountains for the very first time, they do think of this, too. However, they hope for a beer challenge in Germany…one step back. And yep, here comes the equalizer. I hate equalizers! Looks like everyone will be on the 7:10 Swiss Air flight…except our blonde flight attendants? How strange. On the 8:45 are Jodi and Christie, and Mike and Michael, the stuntman brothers.

There will be quite a shake out here, depending on who can get along, and who can follow directions. Tammy and Victor work out their sibling differences and snag the first trolley up the hill. Kisha and Jen’s sibling rivalries only worsen, however, along with their sense of direction.

Once at the top, they discover a Roadblock, where one partner must make a tandem paraglide off the mountain. The other partner takes the gondola back down the hill. Unfortunately, the wind kicks up, and now they may choose to walk down the hill, or wait for better conditions. All the teams decide to walk down, except for Mel and Mike, because Mel injured his groin in yesterdays cheese debacle. Mel figures his leg will not handle the walk down the hill, and are fearing elimination during the interminable wait for the wind to die down. Mel works on psyching other contestants into staying on top of the mountain with him…he’s sure he’s lost the race for his team.

They must follow the arrows as they run down the hill. Unfortunately Linda misses a key arrow and takes a wrong turn. Instead of arriving back at the start, she ends up on the side of a highway, engulfed in sobs, and worrying about what Steve may say or do if she has lost the race for them. In a late breaking wind change, Mel gets to take off on the paraglider. Wow. What a gas! He says he would lose the race for this, and I’m with him.

The runners are coming in, and receive their next clue, they are to drive themselves to Schonau am Konigsee to find their next clue. Much burying of heads in maps to figure this one out.

Right now I’m really feeling for the camera persons that must run down the hill with each competitor. Yow! Mel lands…and they are in fifth place.

And it’s a Detour. Teams must choose between two tasks…Balancing Dolly or Austrian Folly. In BD, they must ride a segue vehicle on an obstacle course. In AF, the teams must go into a party tent, and throw pies at each other until they find a pie with cherry filling. I would not have been amused with the pie throwing, I gotta admit. Me for the obstacle course.

Margie and Luke choose pie throwing, and apparently they have terrible luck, throwing umpteen pies until they finally get lucky. They lose a considerable amount of ground. Once the teams have completed their tasks, they get their next clue, which directs them to find the tyrolean woodcutters, which will cut them a disk of wood. Once they have their wood it will be stamped with their next clue. Is this getting convoluted enough yet?

The teams must then drive to Salzburg in Austria, and find Schloss Hellebrunn, which is a castle. This is where the next Pit Stop is. As Victor and Tammy power on toward the Pit Stop, Linda is thumbing a ride on the highway, still in tears. If it weren’t so clear that this will put them in last place, they would incur a penalty for catching this ride…

Tammy and Victor are the winners of this leg, and each win a hybrid go-cart. As Phil points out, they look pretty ridiculous in their cream pie attire. Most of the teams come in dressed like this. Mel and Mike mastered the Segway course with ease, Margie and Luke are still throwing the pies. Kisha and Jen have gone the wrong way, again.

When they reach the castle, Mel and Mike spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to get the gate open. They can see the pit stop mat and Phil, and just can’t figure it out. Phil gives us a highly arched eyebrow of amusement. Along comes a couple of people, who just…pull the door open. I would really laugh about this, if I didn’t do this exact thing myself quite regularly.

The blondes finish pie throwing and it is now dark. They begin to search for the wood…but haven’t completely read their clue for content. They end up in a horse pen, looking for any piece of wood, anywhere. They show up with a piece of 2x4…pretty funny. Eventually they do find the right place, and head for the finish. Steve and Linda appear to still be in it at this point. Kisha and Jen are still driving the countryside, but eventually end up in seventh. Mark and Michael are #8. Once at the castle, the blondes and Steve and Linda appear to be in a dead heat for the finish. Steve and Linda, however, do come in last, and they are eliminated from the race. Steve bucks up and says some nice things about Linda…

One thing I really like about Amazing Race 14 is that they are spending much less time photographing airports, and much more on the incredible scenery. Thanks, guys!

G2, what do you think, shall we apply? Heh heh. None of this pie stuff for us, we want the Segway challenge, right?


Friday, February 27, 2009

Apricot Torture begins

My brother usually waits until June to torture me with pictures of his loaded apricot tree. This year he has started early :) His tree is loaded with blooms, and even better, he says that the humming of bees fills the air. Can't have a bumper crop of apricots without pollination!

I think it bodes well for the bees, too. I'm hoping the bee colonies are recovering from the virus that appeared to be injuring the hives last year.

It is true that last year, there seemed to be a real drop off in the number of bees that we noticed around our places (he's in CA, I'm in WA). And that was reflected in the smallness of his crop. The year before, I made a trip to CA, timed with the harvest, and we canned a couple of dozen quarts. Then we picked I large box of apricots, to take with us on the trip we had planned. Placing the box directly behind the AC jet in his car worked beautifully. We were able to eat almost every one of them (and I'm guessing we started with at least twenty pounds), very few were lost to spoilage. It was heavenly ~

The tree is a very old one that was once part of an orchard that covered the south San Jose hills. We have no idea what variety it is, but we sure would like to take grafts. These are the tastiest apricots imaginable. Once you have eaten them, you'll never go back to the supermarket for those pallid imitations of apricots that you will find there.

We were so lucky to grow up in the area, eating fruit right from the trees.

Photos were taken by my brother, who will no doubt be torturing me with more as the fruit matures.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The winter blast

I just heard that snow is falling at my sister's place, about 100 miles south and west of here. This morning there were a lot of wind gusts that were dropping trees. Power went out in the area, but not here. Funny; since I bought the generator the power hasn't gone off for more than a hour. My wood pile has dramatically reduced in size, and I am already beginning to split and stack for next winter. I counted six trees down on my walk this afternoon. Only a couple were on my property, but I am sure there will be no problem if I want to take the time and hassle to cut and haul. If the snow stays away I will get the chainsaw out in the morning.

Living here, alone, really has its pluses. In order to keep the place running I am forced to push myself physically. I see that as a REAL good thing. I am not one to ask for help, unless I am in a dangerous situation or truly cannot do something. It is who I am, and I enjoy learning; and I learn by doing. Simple, actually. I learned a few years back, that I could quite easily become a couch potato. I needed a reason to get up and going. Between the animals and the house I have those reasons. I think I also am a bit a-feared to slow down. I have so much to do before it is my "time." Everything that I have is a huge blessing. Even the trials. Sure, sometimes it is very difficult to keep myself focused and going. Sometimes it just plain hurts to even think. I am so grateful that my parents down played illness and injury. I didn't realize how great a gift that was. I only wish I could call and thank them. I have little tolerance for whining; especially if it comes from me!

So, on I go...working toward goals that are yet unknown. Goals that, on the surface, can seem impossible. As Dad used to say: "just take one step at a time, and you will be there before you know it." As I train for the walk I am finding my inner strength growing as strongly as the physical strength. My biggest fear? I will have to think on that. I suppose the fund raising part is right up there. Rain would be tough as well. If my "short side" gets wet then the prosthesis starts to "piston" and that is really uncomfortable and annoying. I hope that I can iron out some of the potential issues before the walk.

My hopes for now are for Spring to come. I am tired of the cold and the snow. Besides, I could not convince myself that I should fork out the dollars for a snow shovel. Then again, maybe, like the generator, it would be good insurance that I wouldn't need it. I think tomorrow I may go pick one up. Just one more thing to trip over.

Song of the day? "I Can See Clearly Now, the Rain is Gone." The Bob Marley version

I'm thinking that's Jimmy Cliff singing that song, but yeah, that version! I hear Bellingham has several inches of snow already...really really hoping we don't get hit. I did some errands today (AT&T refunded my deposit today, was in a hurry to put it in the bank), and when we got home the wind was whipping so hard and cold we were like popsicles by the time we got inside.

I've been taking along an umbrella on outings for years, it's great insurance. It never rains, just so long as I remember that umbrella...

Sunday, February 22, 2009


***On my way over to G2's yesterday I picked up my mail, knowing that there would be three Netflix movies waiting for me. We had our choice: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Unzipped (Documentary about the fashion industry), or Appaloosa (a Western with Viggo Mortenson and Ed Harris).
Based mostly on the fact that we would love to gaze upon Viggo's chin for any length of time, we chose to watch Appaloosa (also, we like horses). I'm not too proud to admit to the Viggo thing, besides, Viggo and Ed are great, great actors. It's about the acting, really.***

As the movie begins, Jeremy Irons (Bragg), with his band of motley gunslingers (euphemistically known as 'hands') are facing down the current sheriff and his two deputies. A couple of the gunslingers have done what gunslingers do, and the sheriff is attempting to arrest them. Tiring of this silliness, cause everyone knows that Bragg does what Bragg wants, Bragg picks up his rifle and shoots the three lawmen. One, two, three. Apparently they are never found, but townspeople are powerful worried.

We were worried, too. Only five minutes into the film and the cliche filled lines are multiplying like prairie dogs in spring. Luckily the powers that be in town have decided that the only thing to be done is hire two itinerant lawmen who conveniently ride into town later that day. They commence to lean their chairs back, prop feet on the ole hitching post, and chat together in laconic drawls.

This is when we notice it, and it is a serious issue. Viggo aka Everett Hitch, has grown a beard and mustache. His magnificent chin is completely obscured. This is wrong, I tell you! When Renee Zellweger arrives in town, something is wrong there, too. Her forehead is unnaturally immobile. No matter what expression her facial muscles attempt, it is hampered by her complete inability to move her eyebrows and forehead. G2 and I could not stop ourselves from looking at the strangeness of this forehead.

I've suddenly grown tired: To be continued. G2, jump right in and continue, since I'll be taking Ramona in for surgery in the wee hours tomorrow.

S2 really doesn't care for Zellweger, but we both admitted that this was the perfect role for her. What she failed to mention was that the only two things on her entire face that moved, OK three, were her blinking eyes and her mouth. It was as if her face had been soaked in botox. It became one of the stand out parts of the movie. Since we couldn't see Viggo's chin we focused in on Zellwegger's face. I have honestly never seen an actor deliver lines with a completely immobile face. If it wasn't botox or facial prosthetics, the woman really deserved an Oscar.

So anyway, she comes to town as the poor widow and jumps into the sack with Virgil Cole (Ed Harris). They are immediately "engaged," and buying the house down the street that is yet to be finished. At about this point even Mrs. French's immobile face couldn't keep our attention. She of course made a pass at Hitch, which made me pretty sure she was brought in by the "bad guys." Yada, yada, yada.

Biggest bad guy (Bragg) gets caught and sentenced to hang for the murders of the former law dudes. S2 comments: But you have to admit having Bragg caught with his pants down as it were, was one of the high points of the movie...hint, there is an outhouse involved.

Young man who testifies is told to grab his horse and get out of town by the judge, and we never see him again. S2: This is one of my biggest irritants with this film, the editing! The story lines begun, dropped and never heard from again.

Bragg is taken somewhere by train: long ride to the tree, I guess. Or perhaps they had paid for the cougar that does a cameo, so had to put him in somewhere; why not a cliff overlooking the train? S2: that cougar was just so random! It's a good thing we weren't watching in a movie theater, because both of us were hysterical.

Of course bad guys nab Mrs. French and hold rifle to her head and demand Cole turn over Bragg; all while the train has stopped for water/fuel. sigh. S2: Poor Renee, she had to try to look terrified with only her mouth, nothing else on her face could move.

Poor Hitch sees his bestest friend in the whole world, turn over the bad guy for release of the bad gal. Of course they don't release her. They ride off with both. Our marshall and his deputy go home (on foot) and grab three horses and quickly catch up to the bad guys; which led me to wonder why those bad guys couldn't get the kid...and where was he going anyway?? The stone faced seductress is spotted nekkid in the swimming hole with one of the bad guys. OK, it goes on and on.

Bottom line, what was Ed Harris thinking? I must admit that if this film was based on a book I am a bit curious to read the book. This was one lame film. (And I know lame!!) S2: I know! After Ed Harris previous work (Pollock), I was expecting so much more.

In the end, the town is again returned to Bragg, the top bad guy. Mrs. French and Cole (who has now been demoted to just plain citizen) move into the "cute lil' house" down the block. Hitch heads into the sunset without his lessor half. S2: He didn't head into the sunset before he resigned as a deputy, challenged Bragg to a duel, then shot him daid, daid, daid. Oh, yea; I forgot about that; well, actually I missed it.

The cougar and the kid are never seen again. Oh and the Indians...can't remember any thing about them except that they put a spear through the widow's corset; who never did so much as twitch her eyebrows through the entire film.

Hey, wait a second S2, I thought we were going to watch "Unzipped."


Ah yes, the Indians, I thought that bit with the corset was pretty funny, actually. They were a strange addition (and unneeded) addition to the story. Just another bizarre incident in a story full of bizarre incidents. No story arcs that made any sense, no Indians previously in the movie, they just suddenly ride through the story drop off the corset, and disappear, never to be heard from again. The same with the cougar, suddenly, there it was, and then it was gone, never to be referred to again.

Maybe we just don't like westerns, but I think it was more than that... I suppose, but sometimes I like them, and I ALWAYS enjoy Viggo. (Heart be still) Oh, we forgot about the "Hop-Sing" guy that worked in the kitchen. That was pretty weird.
It might be fun to just watch it for all the stereotyping. (Could that be what he was getting at?)

It was a Kitsap kind of day...

I headed over to spend the day with G2 on Saturday. My first 'excursion' since surgery a month ago, and maybe I overdid it just a tad, but it was so totally worth it. I've done the odd errand or medical visit, but this was the first that was pure enjoyment. I hadn't even taken any pictures in over a month, my poor camera just lying there (ok it was in the camera bag), ignored and wondering why.

A couple of days ago G2 was lucky enough to see two pods of orca on her ferry ride. I didn't get that lucky...I was directed onto the ferry and into the dreaded back of the boat ramp parking place. This doomed me to stay in the car, since I'm not great on steep surfaces just yet. At first I was peeved, but I decided to make the best of it.
The first picture I took through the windshield. Is this not a delightful position on the ferry? The second, we have a peekaboo view of the water to the rear of the ferry, courtesy of my side mirror. I actually kind of love this picture, and if I hadn't been stuck there on that ramp I never would have taken it.

G2 has talked about Kate so much, you would think I had met her, but so much has gone on for the last couple of months, I just haven't had the chance to go over to her house. Henry, now, I have gotten the chance to know Henry, and I just love him, complete with over exuberant jumping and doggie kisses.

Here is Henry, isn't he a beautiful boy?

And here is Kate, looking up at me expectantly, since I had possession of the frisbee. What a lovey this little dog is. They are both relentless, however. Heh.

Corgi's (or corgwyn) were bred to be cattle herding dogs. Here is Kate attempting to herd her basketball and Windy the horse at the same time. Windy doesn't really go for this but hey, I have a feeling Kate is going to keep on trying.
In reality she has, in the past, chased the ball under Windy's tummy, which got her a severe "nose lashing;" after the second such thing she has been a lot more careful to let the ball roll past the horse before she continues the chase. G2

After we played with the dogs (and horse) for quite a while, the day was beginning to slip away,
so G2 and I proceeded to get ready to head to the water...didn't matter which water, I just needed to walk along the water.

First though, I was distracted by the growth on this old cedar stump on G2's property. Beautiful colors, aren't they?

We ended up at Point No Point, and since the sand is pretty solidly damp, we were able to go for an actual walk along the water. I've paid for that walk today, because walking on the sand is actually very good exercise for all sorts of muscle groups that are not often used.

I am so sore today! I make pitiful little sounds when I stand up, or sit down, for that matter. It's only been a month since I had major surgery, but hey, even though the day may have been a little more than my body was ready for, it was so totally worth it! Photography is just so good for my mental health! The cliffs you can see in the distant left of the photo are on Whidbey island, and line a beach (which is unfortunately private, unless you know someone...I do). Mastodon bones are regularly found working their way out of the cliff, as well as other interesting things. I have a piece of bone that I found, and I also found a rock there with a hole in it, that turned out to be ancient money, or I believe, wampum.
It depended upon which direction you faced on the beach today, what kind of sky it was. Most of the sky on Saturday was this kind of fuzzy off color. Just the way it was. Those are the Cascade Mountains in the distance. I am not sure what sort of bird is flying through the picture. I didn't see it until I looked at the pics on the computer. It looks kind of eagle-ish, but with my luck and expertise, it's probably a gull. Sorry, indeed it is a sea gull. You think either one of us would have missed the photo opportunity had that been an eagle? FWIW it has been a couple of weeks since I have seen any eagles; perhaps they are beginning the nesting phase?

We had walked about to the point where this picture was taken, when G2 casually mentioned, oh by the way, did you remember to lock your door when you got out of the truck? Unfortunately the answer was, No. Since we both left behind things we wouldn't want to lose forever, we rapidly (well, pretty rapidly, lol) headed back. It was pretty darn cold on the beach today, as well, and I think we were both done at this point.

Besides, it looked like it was going to be an amazing sunset, so we headed west, hoping to be in good position to see (and photograph) it. It really was gorgeous, but very yellow. We got to the Port Gamble area perhaps a little late, but we were watching all the way...those glorious oranges, pinks and reds were just not happening this day. Still, it was beautiful! The Olympic mountains are in the back ground, and the Hood Canal Bridge crosses Hood Canal here. I think we found a great sunset spot, but next time, here's hoping for more color. Still, not really complaining, it just goes to show, you never can tell.

By this time we were hungry, so we went to Daves Famous Barbecue, is that the right name? Great ribs, but my gosh, they give you so much food! I brought a good 2/3 of mine home, and made two more meals out of it today. Not a morsel went to waste, that is really great food there.

After we went back to G2's, we watched a movie...but I will start a new entry for it. Already, I am laughing, and it wasn't a comedy. That should tell you something.


It works pretty good to use italics, or perhaps bold, when interjecting comments. I suppose we could also use Bold, italicized Red...


One step forward, two back

So goes the life, or perhaps it is the CARPET life, of a dog owner.

When I got dog number two she was from a show home/breeder. She had basically grown up as a crate dog. Nothing at all like a puppy mill. It just means that she was rotated between being outside and being in her crate...with some hooman interaction of course. This could easily be a perfect thing, but I really like having my dogs greet me when I get home; not having to go let them out of their cages.

Lately Miss Kate is getting closer and closer to being a "crate dog" again. I see her perched on the back of the chair, looking out the window as I leave and come home.
Believe me, she does not stay there the whole time. I do need to take into account that Henry could easily be not only the instigator, but could be setting her up. I was gone for about two hours this morning. When I left I had a splitting headache. When I came back I still had the headache and was really looking forward to climbing into bed and "disappearing" for a bit. As soon as I stepped in the door I knew I had a mess to clean up. (While the head and eyeballs hurt, the nose still worked fine.) I know I did the deep sigh and figured a quick ten seconds and I would be headed for bed. WRONG!! One of the dogs, which I assume was Kate, has been chewing plastic things lately. I am now thinking it was Henry, as it was the clips for his muzzle. (I had done his toenails and it is the only way. Muzzle and then hang him from the grooming table loop.) The camera bag was also missing a clip and there was a clothes hanger that will no longer hang. On top of all that, there was a pretty good sized hunk of bark from the wood box. The biggest piece left was maybe the size of a quarter. On top of that mess were remnants of a cardboard box. These are not young puppies. They are 20 months and 19 months in age. I am forever surprised at what secrets they have hidden away. Books are quite popular with Kate. She really does consume them. S2 had bought a large candle for a friend. When I gave it to her to take home it looked like a rather large rat had been nibbling away at it. 'Twas a tad bit embarrassing. I don't remember seeing damage to the box, so they must have been working on it while it was in the box. It was pretty heavy. We have our days that go great. No problems at all. Then there are days like today.

Perhaps it was that I was out and about a bit yesterday. Perhaps it was that movie that we watched last night. (S2; where's the review?) Perhaps it is that they are dogs, not humans, and I haven't a clue what puts them in "beast" mode.

Whatever it is, Kate is going to see a lot more from inside her crate. I would, however, get a kick out of watching what they do while I am gone. I really can picture the angel dog Henry (OK, angel except for the four feet on the floor thing) taunting Kate. "Wow take a look at that candle, Kate. I bet you can't get it out of the box. Go ahead and poo in the corner, she will never know. I'll bet that book is one of those dog psychology books and the chapter on crate training is the one that she will read first." What Henry doesn't know is that I am wise to him in that some of the things are at a level that Kate cannot reach. Whether he snares them and gives them to her for destruction; I cannot say. (If only they hadn't eaten that page in the Greg Louganis book.)
The good news is that my headache is quieter now. I will go torture the pups by starting the carpet cleaner. If only they could understand cause and effect.

I will quietly await the movie review...

G2 Great. It is a no indent day on blogspot. sigh

At least I finally have the pictures downloaded and onto the computer. I can't imagine blogging about yesterday without some pictures! Problem is, I really did do a bit too much and I've been physically 'unhappy' all day. And now the Oscars are on....

Friday, February 20, 2009

An amazing journey

Today at around noon my oldest son called. He wanted to borrow the chainsaw to take care of all the fallen limbs and trees from the winter snow storm. I told him it would be fine, as long as I got the wood. That set into motion an incredible ride on the ferry. (S2 knows; I had to call as I could barely contain myself.) Figuring the grand daughters nap times I decided to hop on the 2:15 ferry to the mainland. I love riding the ferry. It is especially nice when the weather is as beautiful as it was today. Some kids in the car in front of me started throwing french fries to the seagulls, so we had a huge flock alongside. (That was when I realized I had forgotten the camera.) All of the normal canned messages played and then the captain cut in. "There is a large pod of orcas off the bow if any one is interested." I immediately headed to the front of the boat. They were off the port bow. One suddenly breached and we could see the white patches.

Fantastic!! Suddenly, as they are a bit closer I notice two tiny dorsal fins next to several large ones. It feels as if the heavens have opened for just a tiny amount of time. I admit to getting a bit of a "rush" whenever I see a bald eagle. I have several nests around me, but they still cause me to pause and take a breath. The orcas did the same thing, but in a bigger way. This was a rather large pod. I couldn't count the fins as they were quite obviously fishing. The only ones that stayed on the surface for more than a second or two were the calves and their attendants. My call to S2 revealed that this was the K pod. She heard in the past few days that there were two new calves born. What an thrill. I still cannot stop smiling. I love my life. Living here really is a gift.
(Both of these pictures are of the K pod; Taken off the internet. Photographer not listed .)

When I was growing up my best friend's family had a 30' sailboat. We would go out in the summer. Sleeping was a trip; as we would anchor out in a protected bay and be rocked to sleep by the sound and motion of the waves. I remember one morning awaking to the sound of her somewhat grumpy Mom. She loved to fish off the boat. It was just one of those great things; sitting in the rocking boat, warm coffee, and a line in the water. This particular morning Mom was not so terribly pleased. We were surrounded by orcas. They were right next to the boat. They were swimming under it. We could see their eye looking into our's. It was amazing, and I think even Mom had to agree. The issue was that if you are in amongst the orcas (then called "killer whales") there would be no fish. What a great way to start the day. Those are memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. Special people and special places. We sailed over to Kingston a time or two. We would tie up to the guest dock and go up to the Kingston Inn for lunch, then sail back home. I never thought I would someday live here.

So, tonight I go to bed happy. Life is good. Sure there are a few bumps in the road, but once again I know that I would not change a thing.


Guess what I heard on the news tonight! You were lucky enough to see K and L pod, joined up and swimming together! That's why there were so many of them. You lucky!

It was surreal; they made the news? I wonder if they were celebrating the new calves. Believe me, I felt pretty darn lucky. (Edited out a few "amazings;" I guess it must have been my word of the day. Sorry 'bout that!)

OK, all you email forwarders

It amazes me how often I get emails from panic driven keyboard drivers that I have seen maybe two or three or ten years ago. They seem to be cyclic. There is the perfume that is laced with ether so that the guy in the mall parking lot can rob, rape, or hijack your car/identity. There is the swiffer wet jet killing dogs and babies. And of course the plastic in microwaves giving you cancer. Not to mention the Teddy Bear Virus in which you will infect every one in your address book unless you remove a certain key element on your computer. Now they are getting trickier. Now there is a link to a bogus "snopes" article. Never mind that the last cycle around it was deemed a hoax. Now it has really happened; just click on THIS snopes link. I think I will just put a "this is a hoax" reply on the notepad so that I can easily copy and paste onto all the frantic postings. The most humorous to me was the time that I was sent the teddy bear virus email from a person who was taking computer certification classes and claimed that they got it from their instructor so it must be real. I sent the snopes link and this person then emailed everyone again to apologize; but they found this great website that everyone should check out. So, if it seems to good to be true, or so BAD, please do your homework before mass mailing the darn thing! If it takes too much time to do that I have some great ocean front property in Arizona that I can sell you, right after you cash that foreign sweepstakes check and the one from Bill Gates.


Do you seriously mean to say that Bill Gates/Microsoft will NOT be paying me for every email I forward? Shoot, that money was going to keep me in my old age. Now what will I do?

The Great Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr.

I love baseball. I love it in Safeco Park and I loved it at Oakland Coliseum. I loved baseball at Candlestick Park even though I froze my hiney off there, every single time I went. They played at another stadium whilst the lovely Candlestick was being constructed (Seals?) but it is Candlestick that I remember. Candlestick was constructed ever so carefully, having been built on a windswept point of land on San Francisco bay. It was placed just so…as the wind whistled past the point, it was scooped up by Candlestick, where it whipped around the bowl of the park a few times, picking up speed and lowering temperature, until it attained escape velocity. Watching a game at candlestick was it's own kind of punishing experience.

It was worth it. When I was around five, the Giants moved from NYC to San Francisco and they were OURS. I had been raised on Giant love, there just was no other team. Apparently my mom was raised the same way, and she lovingly passed her mania along to me. I don't remember dad caring one way or another about baseball. We loved the Giants as a family. Also as a family, we despised the Dodgers, our National league nemesis. The only team we hated more than the Dodgers was, The Yankees. We actually threw things at the television if a Yankee game was on. The only saving grace was that the Yankees were American league (where the pitchers didn't even hit for themselves, the sissies). Until the Oakland A's came to Oakland, we had little thought to spare for the Yankees…unless they made it into the World Series. At which time it was likely that they would come up against either the Giants or the Dodgers. If the Dodgers made it into the Series, we still hated them for a bit, but once they were up against the Yankees, all bets were off. Anything was better than a Yankee win.

I loved the Giants unreservedly. Willie Mays an astounding player. Every time I saw him play, I felt blessed to have been able to sit in the stands and watch such masterful play. And he was a gentleman, and a kind man. It beamed out of him. Orlando Cepeda. Felipe Alou, Jimmy Davenport, great players. I remember one game we were attending, and Jimmy Davenport hit a foul back over the back stop. It landed on a woman's head and knocked her out. I was ten or eleven at that time, and I remember thinking, why couldn't it have been me? I had a thing for Davenport. My own dad was missing at the time and I think he was a bit of a beloved father figure for me. When I read in the paper the next day that the woman was ok, and that Jimmy had visited her in the hospital, well then I really wished it had been me.

But I digress. I loved Willie Mays, and when Willie McCovey came along, our team just could not be beat. We thought. But the cursed Dodgers had Sandy Koufax. The Dodgers were very hard to beat with Koufax on the mound.

And I digress again! This isn't about how the games were on tv in the daytime back in those days, so that I was forced to fake a tummy ache or headache in order to be sent home from school, just so I could watch the game. I was that addicted and in my heart of hearts I still am.

While I keep the giants in mind, we're AmericaN league up here in Seattle, and the Mariners really have become my team, unless it's on of the interleague games and we're playing the Giants…then I'm in a bit of a quandary. But…I find Bonds to be off-putting, what can I say.

So one day, I took the kids to a single A game in Everett, WA. The team is the Everett Aquasox, and going to their games is like a trip back in time. Fun stuff. This day, Willie Mays was attending the game. He was just standing there on the other side of the chain link fence by the field, close enough to talk to. I screwed up my courage and did, telling him how much he'd meant to me through out the years and how glad I was to see him. What a gentleman. As often as this man must hear this , he treated me as if it was the first time he'd heard it. I had no camera with me., unfortunately, so his signature on a program is what I carried away, thank and the warmth inside that you have when you have met your hero, and he has been kind to you. I just love Willie.

Today the news of the day is that Ken Griffey Jr. has resigned with the Mariners. Safeco field is known as the field that Griffey built, he was that important at the time. But as the years went on, the grass got greener as his contract finished, and he chose to leave and play for the Cincinnati Reds. Well that was sort of going home for him, but we all felt burned and snarkey about it, as fans are wont to do. Ken was important to this club, and we've always missed him, and that's the truth.

It's been a few years more, and now Griffey is nearing the end of his career but looking for a team to spend the last years of his career with. Apparently the Mariners have been under consideration, and it was looking pretty good. But then, Hank Aaron invited him to Atlanta, in an attempt to lure him to the Braves. And it didn't look good for the Mariners.

And then, and then, this happened. I am relating this as I heard it on the tv…Chuck Armstrong is the general manager of the Mariners, and had been talking to Kenny pretty much daily. The pull of Atlanta was clearly growing. His phone rings, and it is Willie Mays. Mays says that he would like to talk to Griffey, and can he have the number? Now we have our own hall of famer, on our side. He Willie and Kenny had a long talk, where apparently Mays laid out how not finishing his career back with his original team was one of his biggest regrets, and would Kenny really think about that. And of course, they would have talked about much more than that (and we'll never know), but the upshot was this: Kenny called Armstrong back and after pulling his leg for a few minutes, told him that he was coming back. Armstrong said there he was standing in an airport talking to Griffey, and tears were coming down his face.

And I had tears coming down mind, just listening to Armstrong talk. Willie Mays had a hand in helping this along, and this makes me delighted to have Griffey back. Really, really happy. It's going to be a great year. I may have to squeeze some money out of the budget for some tickets this year J But I will be there on the tv.

I'd like to give Willie Mays a big ole hug, and I doubt that I am the only one. Thanks, Willie.


Wonderful read. Did you know that the only games I have been to have been with you in the now imploded King Dome?


Remember how we wondered if all the players were Mormons? One of the games we went to was one of my all time favorite games. We watched the pitcher warming up, and he was looking amazing. He allowed one hit in the first inning, and I said 'there goes the no hitter'. And indeed, that was true. What a performance!


Do you still have that baseball card collection? It was pretty amazing back in 1980 (or thereabouts)...I'll bet you have some great cards in there. I know you have the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card; you showed it to me. Perhaps you can get it signed now.


I do have those cards, and really should get them out again. I feel that baseball excitement building! I have thousands of them, surely one or two or three are worth something. Can you say, travel money?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Return of the Beavers (or, I am Exonerated)

Good Morning America (well I think it was GMA) played in the background as I was getting all my morning sorts of things done, when my attention was abruptly snagged. The story was about how beavers have returned to a nature preserve north of Detroit.

Beavers have been rare to nonexistant in most parts of the US since they were over hunted during frontier times, as well as being the scourge of farmers because of the 'damage' they cause.

But that isn't what is really important here. The important thing is, I have researched, and I have been vindicated!

On Kitsap Peninsula, at Green Mountain, there are trails that lead you past marshes that host beavers (click on beavers for the proof); eagles and ravens soar above, but we care about the beavers, don't we?

G2 has teased me for years, because one day we were driving into Poulsbo to see a movie, when there, in the middle of the road was a beaver. We were doing approximately 30 to 35 (the speed limit there at the time, it's lower now), with a deep ditch one the right, and oncoming traffic on the left. We had to hit it. By the time we were able to turn around and look to see what it had been, it was gone. The dent to the underside of my car, however, is still there to this day. She says it couldn't have been a beaver...but now we know, they are in the area. Ha!

To this day, we'll be driving along, perhaps in Tennessee even, and we'll note a dead animal on the side of the road. G2 with a straight face intones: Think that could be a BEAVER? And she laughs. She trule believes it could not have been a beaver that I hit that night, and I believe just as strongly that it was. And Now that we know beavers do live in the general area, perhaps the teasing will end. But. I doubt it.

I still feel bad about hitting it. Nothing else to do, though.

S2 (who does know a beaver when she sees one)

Don't let her kid was a squirrel. We grow them quite large here, and they usually come with rings on their tails and masked faces. Weird thing was that it was gone so quickly...ever seen a real beaver run? I rest my case!!


It was that big, wide, FLAT tail that convinced me, that plus the size of the beast. No rings on that tail, either. That coupled with the fact that there was a water way was a beaver!

The only animal I'd ever hit previously was a raccoon. Don't let G2 kid you, either. It was a beaver....


If it was in the water and moved that fast I might have to believe you. However, why would a beaver climb out of the water, up the steep bank, onto the road in rush hour traffic, get hit hard enough to dent the car and leave no signs? Then again, if pigs can fly I guess maybe beavers can as well!We both looked back immediately, and there was NO sign of anything. Perhaps it was the great Poulsbo beaver (Einar Kjelstoooon)'s ghost. I hear he comes out at dusk in search of lutefisk.


Silly G2, obviously the force of the collision flipped it off the road; either that or the car following us had already obscured the evidence.



I think we should have stopped and taken the tail for a coon, I mean a BEAVER, skin hat. What? No tail? No beaver? Where the heck could he have gone? In fact, the "beaver" is the reason that they redid that entire intersection. It was just so sad that poor Einar was once again killed, that the entire population of Poulsbo petitioned for a beaver thorough fare. It took a couple of years to complete. There has not been another "sighting" since it was completed.


Stop and gather roadkill? Ew, not even for a beavertail hat! And clearly, after the untimely demise of dear Einar, the other beavers were forewarned and were too smart to try it. Beavers are very clannish, you know, and they will go elsewhere if members are 'disappearing'.



I'm thinking 'most all anamules, specially those that are male, will high tail it out if their members begin to disappear. And perhaps I should drop the coon and go back to log. If your car can fling something out of the way, why not a good sized chunk of tree? I was just humoring you by saying it was once a bleeding critter. After all, no blood or hair evidence could be found.


Just slap me a good one when I don't get the joke. Oh, and what club were they a member of, that they would rather disappear than show up?


No, silly woman. Their "member" was disappearing. (Are you never in mixed company chat rooms?) you can figure it out from here, right?


I guess I'm just not a member of any chatrooms like that...


It's the motorcycle thing. ;-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All is well

I talked with the vet twice about Kate's swollen lymph nodes. They have gone down and are barely palpable. He said with lymphoma they will not go down. I also now have a chart of the lymphatic system in the dog so that I can check the other nodes. So I am breathing easier. In two weeks I will get a baseline blood panel done on both dogs. I never realized the importance until now. I will do this once a year during their annual vet checks. I had not realized how deeply bonded I am with this little working dog.

So I have been answering emails left and right about how my weekend went. Highs followed by the deepest of lows. That is how I felt by my Sunday drive home. I am exhausted and have been falling asleep by 10pm with two corgi bodies snuggled close. The good dog breeders can do their utmost best to ensure good health in their pups, but the bottom line is anything can happen even in the best of circumstances. It really was nice to be with Kate's breeder this weekend. I am glad that she told me her fears with regards to the swollen nodes. She did the right thing. I'm not sure I did the right thing by getting in the truck and heading home. I did choose to take a "loop" that skirted around the Portland area, as going down the traffic was horrendous and I really didn't feel good about having to buck the traffic. In the end it all worked out fine. I know what we need to work on for the next show. We have our two blue ribbons. Life is, once again, back in sync.


What a relief!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Amazing Race, Season 14, Episode 1 (Don’t Let The Cheese Hit Me)

This is S2, your Amazing Race participant wannabe, signing in. US Marine helicopters have delivered the racers to the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, home to the Army reserve and the National Guard. Our racers this year (Oh I am so jealous!) are:

Kristy and Jody, friends and flight attendants . Our 'blondes' for the season? They have an awful lot of travel experience. These blondes may have what it takes.

Tammy and Victor, siblings and lawyers from California. He is used to thinking of her as the three year old. Uh oh.

Margie and Luke, mother and son from Colorado. Luke is deaf, and both sign. Cool! No one will know what they say (except me, bwa ha)(at least some of the time).

Steve and Linda, married 17 years from Virginia. Oh boy, the self described hicks from the sticks. May they transcend this appalling appellation.

Keisha and Jen, sisters and former college athletes. This is their first time being on the same side, and dealing with their 'issues'. We are forewarned, lots of screechy stuff to come from these two (sigh)

Preston and Jennifer, dating for two years, from S. Carolina. Already disagreeing about who is in charge.

Brad and Victoria, married nine years from Ohio. They are the 'bad ass older couple" who work out.

Mel and Mike, father and son from Virginia and California. Son wrote 'School of Rock', which is a favorite movie in our household. I am already a fan. Both are gay, and both writers.

Amanda and Chris, dating three years. 'Practically attached at the hip". Blond chick, hunky guy stereotype.

Mark and Michael, brothers and professional stuntmen. Both are ex jockeys and I'll bet their short stature is going to fool a lot of fools.

Jaime and Kara, friends and former NFL cheerleaders. Both redheaded, but I would be willing to bet that THESE are our blondes for the season.

Phil welcomes all, first clue is on their luggage, and jump into the parked cars. And away we go! Phil calls after them….travel safe~

Almost everyone looks particularly fit this year. They are told to fly to Switzerland and make their way to Locarno, and given a choice between two flights. The first sorting out if the pack is here, as correctly choosing the flight to take can be the difference between winning and losing...

Everyone is really excited, and I can only imagine how exciting this really is for the participants. Can't wait to see what happens with that giant cheese the commercials have been teasing us with...

The Lufthansa flight departs first and lands in Zurich. It carries Tammy and Victor, Christy and Jodi, Jaime and Kara, Mark and Michael, Brad and Victoria, and Margie and Luke.

The Air France flight departs second and lands in Milan. It carries Keisha and Jen, who are thinking that the train from Milan is much faster than the train from Zurich, which the Lufthansa passengers will have to take. The others are Mel and Mike, Mike describes his dad and says the other teams are going to think he is Cloris leachman, when it is really McGyver. Oh I love writers! Others: Amanda and Chris, Preston and Jennifer, and Steve and Linda. They are very nervous about leaving the United States (S&L), and they better not be Mountain Dew fans, either one of them (I have relatives from the hills of Virginia, nuff said)

The Lufthansa flight appears to get to Switzerland first (but you never can tell, magical film editing does prevail on the Amazing Race). The train station that leaves from Zurich turns out to be in the airport. Looks like they all make it on their train ok.

Air France members must exit the airport (or so it seems) in order to find the train station. Preston and Jennifer have trouble finding the train station, with Jennifer stating "I have never in my life even been in a train station". They miss their train. Let the blaming begin!

Kristi and Jodi meet a lady on the train who says she is also going to Locarno and will be happy to show them a faster, better way to get there. And it does seem as though they are the first ones there. The teams from the Air France flight appear to arrive shortly thereafter, although for some reason, it is much darker when they arrive.

Teams now must race on foot to the Church of San Antonio, sign the register, and receive a message from the priest. Because of their smart thinking, Kristi and Jodi are indeed the first to arrive. The message from the priest turns out to be a map to the 'campsite', and they are assigned a start time for the morning based on their arrival at the church. First four teams to arrive, first group to leave, at fifteen minute intervals. Steve (and Linda) complains that they are "Last at everything they do", and berates Linda for her slowness until she cries. Preston and Jennifer arrive last, though.

The teams all bed down on a provided area that is padded with straw (oh my, I'm glad this isn't me, achoo!). All begin to swat at the mosquitoes. Luke signs (for the third or fourth time already) that no one would think that a deaf person could do so well. Why the heck NOT? Luke, you are not physically impaired and you have a hearing person with you. I think you will do very well. Steve continues to badger Linda for her 'slowness'. Steve, Preston and Jennifer were last, get it? Keep this up, Steve, and you are going to be on my list.

It is now 7:15 in Locarno, and our first four teams are about to leave: Tammy and Victor (sibs), Mark and Michael (stuntmen), Margie and Luke (mom and son), and of course Kristi and Jodi receive their clue. It is a postcard that says, wish you were here, and has a photo of a dam on it. They must divine that it is the Verzasca Dam, where they will find their next clue. Funny how there always seem to be plenty of taxis around at moments like this, usually. This time however, there were only three and Kristi and Jodi miss out…looks like the taxis were behind the church and that is not the way they went. The field further stretches out as others make the same mistake.

Mark and Michael get there first! The clue states "Who has nerves of steel?" Oh my, it's bungee jumping. (Hey G2, can't you just see the two of us? Which one of us would do this? You with a prosthetic leg, or me with a knee replacement, which I most certainly will have had before I sign up for this crazy wonderful race.) As the team members arrive I am hearing a whole lot of "oh Holy crap!". What they said I am hearing every possible permutation of "OH MY GOD" I may replay this part and count them up, just for the sake of curiosity..

Victor takes the dive first, and he is now thanking God. And receives the next clue to take the train to Interlaken. The teams now jockey back and forth in order to get there the quickest way while no allowing another team to get the idea that maybe someone else has a better idea.

Oh lord, oh my my: They must carry 100 pound cheeses on their backs bring them down a steep hill to whence they must be gotten. Much falling breaking of cheese carrier boards, and subsequent escape of the cheese wheels, which wobble gaily down the hill. Some scoot down the hill with their cheese, while whispering their mantra "Don't drop this cheese, don't drop this cheese. Linda is having a tough time getting back up the hill for her next cheese. I am praying that Steve helps her rather than berates her. He tells here that they didn't get here by being meatheads.

Once done they have to listen for the yodeling of a yodeler, who will be yodeling the place to which they must go to the pit stop. Everyone is shaking, this was a really tough challenge Linda and Steve complete their challenge ahead of some of the teams, so Steve is a happy boy.

Margie and Luke have made it to the pit stop. Phil signs to them that they are team number 1! And they have won a trip to Puerto Vallarta. Tammie and Victor are team 2. Mark and Michael are team #3.

Meanwhile, back at the cheese task: Everyone is having a tough time. The Swiss Onlookers are having a grand time, double over laughing.

Mel and Mike arrive, team #4. Amanda and Chris are #5. Brad and Victoria are #6. Jaime and Kara are team #7. Steve and Linda can't find Phil, while others are arriving. Keisha and Jen are #8. Finally, Steve and Linda are Team #9.Kristi and Jodi are Team #10. Preston and Jennifer are the last team to arrive, and Phil utters the fateful words: Preston and Jennifer, I am sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race. Jen feels like she let Preston down, but it is what it is.

What do you think, G2? Could we have bungee jumped and hoisted four 50 pound cheese wheels down a hill? Have YOU ever seen the inside of a train station? This is starting to sound like a Spruce Ridge Crystal trip sort of contest...but I still wanna~

S2 need to watch the show at all. Nice going. We absolutely could do it. Teamwork. Bungee jumping would be fun, but I would likely lose my leg, so that would be your job. I hoist bales of hay and 60 pound feed bags all the time, so I could do the cheese, especially since you are lactose free. (can we cut the cheese??) And yes, I have been to a train station many times.


Sunday, February 15, 2009


It was a much longer drive coming home than it was going. Partly it was because I got a later start. I decided to watch the Pembroke Welsh Corgis and they showed somewhere around 2pm. Kate and I showed this morning at 9:05. We got another blue. We watched the judge dismiss a class of three with no ribbons at all, so I was a tad nervous. Then I was not at ringside when it was my turn to go in, which is a big no-no. However, the judge was super nice and gave me a little pep talk and told me I had a "very pretty pup." Ego stroked sufficiently and I was flying a little high. However, on the way to the Pembroke classes I was stroking Kate and found that her lymph nodes were quite large. It was a bit hard to tell if she was acting "normal" since the weekend was all abnormal for both of us. I worried about her giving something to the other dogs. Kath checked them and suggested that I take her to my vet ASAP. Actually her words were "do you have a good vet that you can trust?" The little high I was on came crashing to earth. Hopefully my vet will be in tomorrow so we can begin the process of ruling out lymphoma. Once we got home I found that she is indeed acting normally. I almost wish she was not feeling well. Infection would be so much better. So send positive healing thoughts our way. I cannot bear to think too deeply about this or I begin to cry. I cannot remember ever feeling this deeply for an animal, and I have had them my entire life. I have loved them all, and some more than others, but this little girl has my heart. Darn there I go. sniff.

So with that said. We did good for the first time out. It will just keep getting better and better.


You and Kate are in my prayers today. I know I'll be thinking of you both the whole and let me know as soon as you know anything.

Darjeeling Limited and White Assam

Last night I watched a wonderful movie, The Darjeeling Limited. This is one that I really did want to catch when it came out, and for one reason or another, I just never did. What I missed!

It took a little getting into. It opens on a particularly depressing interval with brother Jack (Jason Schwartzman), which fortunately was of short duration even while it was necessary to set up the fact that these three brothers are on the depressed side of life. It's been a year after the sudden death of their father, and Francis (the eldest, played by Owen Wilson) has orchestrated a train ride across India on the Darjeeling Limited. The trio is rounded out by brother Peter (Adrien Brody).

The trip becomes a learning experience in completely different ways than the stereotype that big brother had in mind. After turning into little boys scrapping on the floor (this involves the use of mace), a tryst with the lime girl, various strange Indian medicines, and a poisonous snake, our boys get thrown off the train in the midst of what looks like a vast desert. There their emotional journey truly begins.

Angelica Huston, whom I adore, and Bill Murray both appear unexpectedly.

As to the White assam: After watching the movie I felt the need, the need for tea. Having no Darjeeling in the house, I opted for White Assam, which I in fact did have. After filling the teakettle and bringing it to a boil (no microwaved hot water for this girl), I carefully set the kettle aside while I dealt with another pot, full of cooked pasta in need of draining.

It is a truth that should be known to all: When dealing with receptacles full of boiling water, ONE AT A TIME. I picked up the pan of pasta and, somehow, hooked the kettle of water, sending it bounding to the floor. The top flew off, and boiling water went everywhere. I danced backwards (in my bare feet) trying to avoid the boiling puddle heading my way. Said puddle was unfortunately between me and my way out, so I jumped on a chair and hollered for Ramona, while congratulating myself for not having burned myself. Around this time I discovered that one finger was bright red, and small spots all over both feet seemed to be stinging. Uh oh, need cold water, which also was on the other side of the boiling puddle. The refrigerator (with it's ice tray) was on my side though... but do you think I thought of it?

Since Ramona usually has on headphones, I wasn't holding out much hope, but she did hear me and ran for towels. My darling daughter saved me, the burns turned out to be first degree and of no major issue, and I never did drink any tea. The floor, however, is very clean.

Fantastic movie, though! Highly recommended!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

As promised

We are both refreshed, fed, and packing up. Since check out time is 11 and our class is at 9:05 I think I will check out before I leave for the fairgrounds. In the morning when I go to the lobby for breakfast I will take a load out, then take the rest when I go back to the room for Katelan.

Once again I get a free hot breakfast. The wonderful waffle maker, omelets, biscuits and gravy (which I wrongly assumed was a southern "thang") and the cereal, danish and bagels. As we did on our trip, I eat, then grab things to munch on as lunch. This place also has a weight room and indoor pool and spa. We are right next to the airport and the medivac crew is training, so there is a lot of touch and go type stuff happening with the helicopter. This is an older building and even though it is happening just a small field away, unless I am outside I don't hear it.

The fairgrounds is just down the road. I can almost see it from here. So, one has to wonder how I can get lost, but I did. I left Lee here, figuring I couldn't possibly need it. Wrong!! It is literally right down the road...I found when I got back. On this very road that goes across the front of the building. I discovered a shopping mall, Fred Meyer, Costco. I have no idea where I was, but if I can find the Costco I will fill the gas tank before I head for home.

It is much more relaxing tonight. Part of it might be that I had a decent dinner. Part also may be that the dreaded first time in the ring is over. I had a rousing game of tennis ball and Kate is asleep beside me. She is so used to being outside and running and playing soccer or tether ball. It is tough not being able to just let her play and run. I suspect she is going to go crazy when I get Henry home. Tomorrow when we get home I will take her out to the pasture to play with Windy, but it isn't the same. The two corgwyn are such an ideal unit. I could not imagine a better group of critters than what I have. A happier family just doesn't exist. I think I am committed to not sharing my home with a two legged animal, thank you very much. I will stick with the four legged kind. They are just so much easier, and I can shut them in their crates if they are driving me crazy. Although I must admit it is an interesting and humorous image; that of a male human shut in a giant dog crate. Even funnier to think of that same human suspended by choke collar on the grooming table. Can you imagine a Planet of the Apes scenario with dogs running the place?Oh the paybacks we would all get.

This will be it until I get home. I'm hoping to find someone to man the camera when I am in the ring. If Kath gets up and over I will recruit her. Tomorrow her dogs don't show until after the lunch break. I am not sure why they showed right after us. Cardigan (C) and Pembroke (P)? It wasn't even herding group, because the dogs before me were not herders. So, send positive thoughts my way in the morning.

G2 and Kate the wonder pup


Why is it that tomatoes always want to be in the spotlight? Is it not enough that they are the main ingredient in almost anything canned? It's not like a tomato can be "kept." A lot of folks, myself NOT included, even like to eat them right off the vine. There are always prize winning tomatoes at the county fairs. Why, then, does Kate have to share her win with the Roma?
Here we were at ringside. Kate is done showing and we were watching the Pems. Kath's grandson took this. I think Kate remembers Camden. She just kept wanting to be near him.
We were exhausted so came back to the motel to nap. Kate has taken a liking to the loveseat. I think it is because she can easily get up onto it, and needs help to get on and off the bed.We did great. I checked my nerves at the gate so that she wouldn't feel stressed. I just talked to her the whole time. She stood great. In our next class, which consisted of the winners of the previous classes, we didn't do anything. I did realize that she is still lacking hair from going into heat in December. She has her first ribbon, and to me she is perfect. That is what really matters.
For now I am going to curl up and take a nap. I didn't get much sleep last night. More later.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Up and Away

It's Friday the 13th! In about an hour I will begin the first step to hitting the road. Henry will go to doggy camp for the weekend. He loves his "work" there; they use him to help make the sad and homesick pups feel better. For him it is another of life's big parties. When we left for the big trip last fall I worried about him. A lot. After eleven days, he was happy to see me, but really not ready to come home. Now when we drive in the driveway, he goes crazy wanting to meet his new buddies.

Last night Kate got the bath she should have gotten two days ago. As I feared she has a bad case of "bed head" on her bum. Hopefully it will settle before ring time tomorrow. She is also a bit itchy. I've really got to get the grooming trailer together. It would be so much easier to use it. (Note to self: BEFORE next show, get propane and a lesson.)

I am packed and repacked. I cannot figure out what I am missing. Because I have the truck I am taking everything. Pen, crate, crutches, poop scoop, laptop, camera, several leashes, paperwork, bridge toll, toys for the puppers, folding chair. I give up. If anyone sees what I forgot you can let me know when I get home...

We are off on an adventure, Kate and I.

Song of the day: "Dog and the butterfly" Heart. (That's it!!! I need to pack my cd collection!!!!)


Food for you and Kate? Power cords for various and sundry?
Have a great weekend! Power to the pupper!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cooper the Cat Photographer

I have watched far too much tv these days, but there isn't too much else to do when one is just lying around recuperating. The tube is usually on, or else, music is playing. This is because I have severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Well, anyhow...tonight when Evening Magazine came on, and I was just too unmotivated to figure out where the remote was, I actually watched it. The host is one of those people that irks me, so otherwise I rarely see this show.

Evening Magazine is a half-hour digest sort of show in the Seattle area, and tonight they profiled a local celebrity photographer. Cooper is a three year old orange tabby. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a soft spot for the orange tabby. Right now I am kitty-free; it's been a year or so since I lost my last kitty, Jerry, at the age of nineteen. See photo of Jerry, below. He lived to the ripe old age of 19, but it still seemed too soon. Somehow I just can't get another cat, but I have fallen in love with Cooper.

Cooper's humans got the brilliant idea of outfitting Cooper with a small digital camera on a collar. It is programmed to take a picture every two minutes. His humans just got to wondering...what does Cooper do all day while we are busy with other things? It was revealing, and Cooper's pictorial take on the world is fascinating. Cooper's humans have started a Cooper blog, which I'll be following avidly. If you would like to view a selection of Cooper's photos, go -->here.

Welcome to my latest obsession, bwa ha. I have even contemplated going to the gallery showing of his photos that is opening Friday night, but really, I think I'm not quite up to it yet. Getting there, but just not quite there. If it's open for a while, I'll definitely catch it :)


Song of the day: Touch of Gray by the Grateful Dead.
Jerry kitty at age 18, still rambunctious.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thanks to our friend and third Grandma

Just when we (and yes, I mean us collectively) were feeling a bit stressed I hop on the blog so that I can reset my brain and try to go to writing mode. And there it was. An award. Very sweet, and much appreciated. Thanks, Lorrene. I will follow up with it in a bit. I am still chuckling over the newscast: "Is it bad if a vacuum really sucks?" If you readers haven't yet read the blog "Pet Peeves and other Ramblings" that we have listed on the side bar, you really need to go and do so. S2 had read an article about Lorrene and decided to check out her blog. We are both quite smitten with our favorite third grandma.


Monday, February 9, 2009

The preparations have officially begun

All shopping is now completed. Groceries so I can stick to the program, caffeine so I can function on very little sleep, a new pooper scoop so I don't have to clean the one I have, and miscellaneous "stuff" for both the dog and for me. The dog will get bathed on Wednesday or Thursday and trimmed up and nails filed. We have been doing practice sessions daily and both dogs rather enjoy being on the grooming table. They were, however, quite intrigued at the appearance of a stranger in the grooming loop...

On the other hand, I am delighted to have the little red companion back in the loop (snicker)


More snow! Will this global warming never end?


I don't really know about this being related to global warming, doesn't it seem to you that it just happens every ten years or so? I remember the first year we lived here in WA (winter of 82), we had weeks on end of snow and freezing weather. And I remember sitting in a house on Capitol Hill, waiting while Clara took her violin lesson...watching it snow outside. In April!

That said, I really did hope that it was over for the year, too. We're supposed to get 4-6" tomorrow, so beware...

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Pink has never been my color. I don't think it was my color even when I was born. I was the ultimate tom boy in my youth. I would much rather be outside building forts and playing "horse" with my friends, than helping Mom bake. It just is that way. Now that I am signed up for the Breast Cancer walk with my daughter and friends it seems that I am submitting myself to pink. And I am liking it. Scary, but true. I am thinking that it is the reason and purpose of this walk that has me letting more pink into my life. NOT that there has secretly been a little piece of girly-girl hidden deep inside, that only appears when the hormones disappear, and I could care less. Interesting.

I am slowly picking up steam for the 3 day. At this point it is little things. I need to get a pedometer so that I can be sure that I am putting in more steps each day. My short side is healed up now and is actually toughening and changing shape a bit. It hasn't been enough that my prosthesis is a problem, thank goodness. I am finding myself feeling more and more secure in the idea of being able to do this walk. What I am NOT good at is the fund raising stuff. Too many years of Camp Fire Girls, Drum Corps, and High School Band. I hate it big time. I am thinking I will try to solicit corporate sponsorship. Each walker has to come up with almost $3K to do this walk. I have until September, but feel the need to get on this and not wait until August. Yet, at the same time, feel the importance of realistically being able to do the miles before I seek support. In the end I will benefit the most from doing this walk. I will have a bond with my daughter that will be deeper that ever. I will feel like I am somehow helping S2. I will be able to mourn the loss of my friends who have passed from breast cancer, and let them know that I miss them, and to celebrate with those who have survived. It is a deeply personal thing now. I want to walk with their names, or initials on a shirt, so that when I am ready to quit, my sweat and tears will fall on those names and give me renewed energy. So, for the next several months there will be more and more pink. Perhaps by the time this is over I will come to a better appreciation of this color.
S2: if you find me looking longingly at this:

Knock me alongside the head. Please.
For now I am going to start packing for the Oregon trip this coming Friday. I think I will get a pedometer before I go. My nerves alone ought to put a few miles on it. All these nerves for two minutes in the ring. A bit silly, actually. I think I may wear a pink shirt. My list has grown to two pages; well scraps of paper if all put together would likely take up two pages. The worst is wondering what it is that I will forget. I guess if I have myself, and I have Kate, all else will somehow come together. Oh, and the camera and a tomato, of course.