Monday, November 30, 2009

Coffee and a handshake

Because I cannot think of any other way to express my appreciation. I am off to the coffee shop for some prepaid cards to give out to those who put themselves in danger every day; that I might be safer. Thanks is never enough.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

It was many years before I realized that term was supposedly a "good" thing. I think the movie "Black Sunday" somehow made Black Friday, and all of the resultant hysteria, one of the same. All I could see in my head was crowds of people stomping over each other to get away from the terrorists (that are the store folks that advertise amazing deals only to tell you after hours of looking for a parking space, making it into the store, and winding down small aisles filled with carts and grumpy people, that there were only two of that particular item and they were gone within seconds of opening the doors at 3am. Black. Black and dark, indeed. I did the Black Friday thing once a few years back. Back then doors opened at 5 or 6 on Friday morning. Mass craziness. It is not something I would ever choose to do again. I don't even do Costco after mid November. In fact, 90% of my holiday shopping is done on line now. I have always been one of those people who goes into a store knowing what I want/need and try to get out as quickly as possible. The Walmart SuperStore overwhelms me a bit and I find myself wandering the aisles, but that is the only place that it happens and since I am aware of it I do my best to stop the silliness and nip it quickly in the bud. I hate shopping and I hate crowds. I do, however, love being able to shop online and have packages arriving at my door several times a week this time of year. It is just so much easier. One thing: do NOT get fooled by the "site to store" thing. Sure, you might save a couple of bucks, but the pickup is often at the back of the store and one must wind through said store and crazy frantic people in order to pick up the item. If you are going to do that, then why bother? Inevitably you will find that one extra thing that you had forgotten that you needed and end up standing in line at the register anyway. It is all part of their plot to get me into the store...and it worked, just once. Now, however, I sit in my wood warmed house. Dogs snoring at my side. Turkey and fixins' still digesting and some music on the stereo. The sun is shining through the trees and the kids are texting me telling me how they enjoyed getting together at the farm yesterday. Bliss.

Suddenly it is shattered by Airlift Northwest flying quickly overhead on its way to the trauma center in Seattle. I guessing that this is somehow related to Black Friday. What the heck are people thinking???? Sleep off the turkey, peoples. Enjoy the family. Stay away from tired people in a rage over the almost false advertising. All of those good deals will soon be on eBay, and chances are the guy who spent his Thanksgiving sitting on cardboard at the door of the local WallyWorld bought both of those laptops anyway.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Going postal?

It's been a strangely humorous last eighteen hours. And expensive.

First the eldest child calls last evening to alert me to a good deal on turkeys at the local grocery store. I always like to have a turkey or two in the freezer so head out. The deal is that one must spend $25 to get the special low price; no biggie, think I. Off I go. Once there I wind my way through the crowds to the turkeys. (Perhaps I wound my way through the turkeys?) Problem number one arises almost immediately. I must get a turkey that is at least 16 pounds. The biggest turkey in the freezer is 15 pounds. Hmmmmm. Off to the meat counter I go. I ask if there is a replacement brand. No, but off she goes to check the "big" freezer. A few minutes later, with frost bite on her nose, she carries out a 15 pounder. It was the biggest she had. "Tell them to charge you the lower price and to call me if there is a question." I go off on my way to grab a few groceries to total the required $25. Cheese!! It is past time to send off Tillamook to my dear friend in NC. Score! It is on sale!! smoked cheese and I know that is the favorite. I pick up the brick and snivel to myself about the lack of smoked, grab a few more things and head to check out. I buy my big (and cheap) turkey and cheese, and head for home; Susan Boyle singing on the radio. Her new CD makes me cry, btw.

This morning I copied down addresses and packaged up the other copy of Susan's CD to send off to Hawaii and my step Mom. I decided to put the "flat rate box" to the test. You see, while not very big, there is a bit of weight when it comes to mailing cheese. (Go ahead, I will wait as you mull over all of your "cutting the cheese" comments.) I grab a box and it is huge. Off I go to the little grocery by the post office. Score! Smoked Tillamook cheese!! Back to the post office where I nab some paper from the recycle bin, fold up the box, address the label and go to the counter. Tape? Nope, have to buy it. sigh. Confirmation of delivery? No thanks. Insurance? Nope, I will pass, thanks. Stamps? Nope, but thanks. Then the question that somewhat baffles me. "Do you know you have a flat rate box?" Uhhhhh. Yes, yes I do. Now that I have tape, labels, pens, it is cheaper...right?

So I head for home. Eldest again calls and wants to discuss the whole global warming thing. I have my opinion but am not sure if I am being baited. What the heck, in I jump with both feet (Now THAT is an interesting concept, I must say). Amazingly enough he was serious and we talked a bit and parted ways. It is odd. I know my kids are adults, but sometimes I am still amazed that they actually think like adults and form their own opinions. (This one, however, has always had his own opinions and then loves to debate them.)

Home I head, as Susan sings "Amazing Grace." What a voice. Then, there in front of me as I drive into my driveway. Dear neighbor is up on the ladder. Putting up his house and yard decor for the season. A choir sings the chorus on the cd track. Life is good. I am blessed.

The phone rang. My house phone. The phone that is dead; I haven't dealt with it yet. Last night I had company and made some cookies to send home with them. I nabbed a mix for $1.50 and all I had to do was put oil, egg, and water in. Caller called for the recipe as they were the best variation she had tasted, and she is very picky about that particular kind of cookie as it is her very favorite. My recipe was spot on. Suddenly what I thought was a "good deed" comes off as a lazy deed. On she goes..."perfect amount of salt. Just the right sweetness. Was it handed down generation to generation?" Yep, it likely was. Either Betty or Duncan got it somewhere. Funny. I hang up. When I pick the phone up again and it is dead. Selective screening? Global warming? Postal?

Turkeys are on sale everywhere, and ARE everywhere. And I have a deer wandering through my yard.

Bizarre, but I am blessed


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanks giving

First to my family. I could not be prouder to be a mother and a grand mother. All of my kids have really stepped it up a notch. Through the adversity that was their young lives, they have grown into loving, caring contributors to a better society. All have incredible work ethic and a great love of family and people in general. I strive to be more like them. This parenting thing keeps getting better and better.

And my friends. As the circle expands, I feel more and more blessed. It is so empowering; I feel I can do almost anything as I have so many holding me up.

My animals. They have given me much. I may indeed be the "crazy dog lady" of this little town. The stumpy dogs seem to draw a certain folk. The stumpy horse as well. I am incredibly smitten by both, and new friends keep feeding my habit. There are worse things, for sure. Thanks for all the help and ideas. My heart overflows, as do the tear ducts, when I think of all that I have done and those I have met in the past year.

My health. While tenuous at times, this old body has had a darn good year. Still in remission even through a surgery. I have pushed it harder than ever and all is well. I have worn out components in the removable leg. I will continue to test the limits. In fact, there are no limits. I will be running again come summer. "I don't need no durn drugs (as in meds, guys)." I will not sit still and let life go on around me. With no expiration date stamped on me, I have way too much I want to do and no idea how long I have to do it all. Am I sore? Absolutely. Blisters? Yep. On the left side they are mid leg instead of heel and toe, but they are my badges of honor. I have found that activity is the best pain medicine I have ever taken, and I have been prescribed them all. This coming year will be the year of the Triathlon. Having good docs and protocol in place in case the PG rears its head makes this all possible. I am grateful for the health care that we have available to us.

My faith. It carries me, and it keeps me "real." It also makes the trials a little easier to deal with. 'Nuff said.

The tomato. While eating them is not something I enjoy, the tomato has become a symbol of laughter, love, and letting go for me. I cannot peruse the produce aisle without smiling. That is an excellent thing!

Oh, one more thing I am thankful for, and Arlo says it best:

I don't want a pickle

Just want to ride on my motorsickle

And I don't want a tickle

'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle

And I don't want to die

I just want to ride on my motorcy...cle


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Of puppies and kids

I think I am causing some interesting developments in the grand kids, especially the oldest. She is very artistic, and very much into getting my attention. Sadly, she has come to realize that her best bet at my undivided attention is to become a dog. So she made herself some ears. (She now also has kitty ears, horse ears, etc, etc.) I have taught her poorly, it seems. Or perhaps she is a puppy and her ears are not up yet. Perhaps a taping lesson is in order? Whatever it is, she is more than content, and comfortable, wearing her dog ears out (no matter that they are floppy) wherever we happen to go. I must say, I feel just a teeny tiny bit guilty, but for the most part I am loving it! I see dog crates and grooming tables in the future. For what it is worth, I did insist that she take the collar and leash off. She does still get to wear the diva beads, as can be seen in the picture above. My dogs are collarless, as collars are much too dangerous. The same certainly applies to her. I do worry a bit as she is not yet microchipped and she could run off and get lost...however, I must say she does mind a lot better than my two doofuses that live with me. For the most part when I tell her to "come" she does, and when I tell her to "wait" she also does that. At times the constant noise from the mouth can get old, but it is livable. Best of all she is housebroken. I think I will keep this one around. Besides, she has to teach the new pup the ropes, and she is darn good with her and loves to snuggle.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Feeling old?


My oldest grand daughter had her first date tonight. It was also her first school dance. She has been talking about it for a while. Excitedly sharing what details she could with her granny. She had a new dress to wear. She wanted her hair "just so." She would be getting her picture taken with her date and would send me a copy. Sigh. I somehow knew that this would be OK. That her Mom would survive this, as would her grandma. Best of all, no shotgun would be required. Her date had been properly screened and approved. I think he was at least as excited as she for this dance.

I had her Mom send me a picture before the two headed out.

I've decided to share.

Here you go:

Doesn't every six year old girl dream of marrying her daddy? Who better for the first date! (Don't you love the "fur" stole? I think this kid plays with too many Barbies)

Meanwhile on the home front. Baby sister seems to have disappeared, ET style.

With that, I am going to go to bed and watch a bit of TV. I wonder what lies waiting in the DVR?



Or perhaps it is six. (Storm fronts, that is.)

The ground is as soggy as the horse. The horse refuses to be locked up at night, which is what I would prefer so that she at least has a small chance of drying out over night. I think the winds spook her a bit, and I can't force her to be in a place that could trap her and cause her harm. There are now axle breaking pot holes in the driveway. And yes, I still have no home phone service. (Note made: call Century Tel for service date.) I suit up in warm coat and big yellow Gorton Fisherman hat to run the dogs. They still need their work outs, and they still get at least three trips out. The tennis balls emit an amazing spray as they sail across the field. Neither dog is willing to catch a ball on the fly now; has a dog ever died from drowning follow inhalation of tennis ball splash? One of the most interesting things about corgis is the way their coats shed the dirt and mud. About an hour after coming in the house they are dry and clean. Not show ring clean, but I am willing to let them on my bed and they leave no visible signs of dirt. It's pretty amazing. Any way, I am loving my truck. It sits a bit higher than the older truck. Driving home from the city yesterday I saw a lot of cars and trucks hydroplaning on the road. I am thinking my truck has a pretty clean under carriage, but it stuck to the road like it was glued there. I really hate the feeling of suddenly floating and felt it often in the Nissan. While the street sweeper and plow trucks are out in force trying to keep the storm drains clear, it seems almost impossible at this point. Sheets of water run down the street carrying the alder leaves that are still falling with it. While I am tired of the gray, and tired of wet foot, I am surprisingly still "up" mentally and emotionally. I think it must be exercise related as I am just getting back on track with the work outs. I feel a bit like a "reformed smoker" in that my solution to the world's woes seems to be more exercise. It is pretty simple really, and the dollar output, if needed, surely must be worth the quality and length of life benefits. While I am on the treadmill now, I look forward to getting out in the weather and doing the "real thing" soon. I need to rebuild the callous on the stump and now that the prosthetics are back up to snuff that work has begun. I rather enjoy breaking through that wall that comes at about the mile mark. (It amazes me how quickly I lost all the stamina following surgery; I hope it returns as quickly.)

So now I sit and type. One of dogs is to my left. She is REALLY into licking a cheap and funky upholstered foot stool thing that is sitting there. I don't know what the deal is, but she cleans that thing as meticulously as she cleans Henry's ears. I wonder if it the texture. She has never tried to chew it. She just sits and licks on it. Strange, strange dog. I adore her. What does that say about me? Hmmmm.

The pitter patter on the skylight has softened so it is time to go out and feed the horse and run the dogs. Another fall day has arrived in Kingston. While I miss the dry, and I miss the warmth, this is life in November in the Seattle area and I will take it. Then again, I really don't have a lot of choice, do I?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Awaiting number four

Storm, that is. "They" say it is coming. Four in a row. Hard rain and high winds. Trees down. Scattered power outages. Flooding. More rain. Whitecaps. Mud puddles. Did I say rain?

Yesterday I got to spend a bit of quality time with my newest grandchild. I will admit to being a tad nervous, even though Mommy was just a few blocks down the street working with the kindergartners for two hours. Grandma just doesn't have what this little pup needs if'n she decides she is hungry. All was fine, however. I had daughter set me up in her new fangled sling system and put the munchkin into the pouch where she slept quite content the entire time. I took my camera, once again, to share some pictures of the world's cutest little peanut, but alas, once again, I messed up. Last time I left the memory card home in the printer. This time I left the whole camera locked in the car out in the driveway a few hundred feet away. Chances are I wouldn't have disturbed her for a photo session while Mom and Sister were gone, but could have taken a few before or after. So you will all just have to take my word for it; she is the world's cutest baby.

Wednesday night is conformation class night. So we had to high tail it to the ferry and the weather was looking very ominous. Branches were falling and the trees were blowing big time as we headed south. I always want to see a lot of oncoming traffic as I near the ferry landing, but it was not to be this time. Instead there was the tail end of loading. I bailed out of the car and high tailed it up the ramp, but the doors closed about ten feet before I got to them. So I got to sit for forty five minutes and listen to the rumble of the wind. It sounded like a train was coming through. Boy was I excited about the ride across the Sound...NOT!! I called the store where my lessons occur and told them not to let the teacher go. I would be there, but I would be late. I had a lot I wanted to discuss. Then came time for my ferry to sail. I have never been sea sick on the ferry. I have been on some pretty crazy rides. Last night I almost lost my cookies. It was no where near the roughest ride. I am really not sure why it was so hard. Perhaps it was the frequency of the waves. Perhaps it was the intensity of my Sudoku puzzle. I have no idea what happened, but I was a tad green on the ride home. It was warmer than the trip over, however. The wind in the afternoon cut through me like cold knives. The wind and rain that drenched me on the walk to the truck was chilly, but not as cold. Anyway, long story short, I got to class about thirty minutes late and Kate was not a happy camper. She really wanted to play. She wanted to run. She wanted anything but to be on a leash. She had been locked in the kitchen all day and had energy to burn. Then she didn't even get to strut her stuff as we sat and talked. Another member of the class had a rough time in the ring so we both had a lot to talk about. It was great. Until I got out to the truck.

I had a missed call from my neighbor. I live in the woods. It was dark when I grabbed Kate. Had I missed the giant cedar tree that had taken out the house, fence, barn, garage? He left a voice mail. "Please call when you get this message." Oh oh. Flashlights and lanterns were right inside the door if the power was out. My heart was pounding as I hit the redial. "Is everything OK?" says I. "Yes, I just wondered if you have cable or satellite TV." He's such a man!! 70mph (predicted) winds, and he wanted to know if I thought he could get around the whole descrambler box somehow. I sent him to talk to the Best Buy guys and headed for home, knowing that, even if it were dark, I had a roof over my head and the animals were safe. I did, and they were. That was what mattered at the moment. However, I do have an interesting thing that has come up. My home phone doesn't work. My DSL is fine, but the phone is dead. I would be much more panicked if the computer were down, but cannot figure this one out. Both the phones, one is wired and one portable, cannot call out or get calls in. I had rewired under the house last year, and had paid the big bucks for an electrician to crawl around in the spider webs so that shouldn't be the problem. With storm number four on its way I will not spend a lot of time worrying right now. Perhaps we will get a little break between this next one and number five. The important folks all have my cell number. It likely is something as simple as wet wires in the box. Just seems strange that the DSL is fine, but I am NOT complaining.

So, Thursday has officially begun. Right now the trees are quiet. The rain is only a "pitter patter" at this point. I guess it would be a good time to get out and survey the damage and do chores before number four sets itself down. How many days until Spring??


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yep, it's true

I have the National Geographic channel! You have no idea how thrilled I was to discover that late one night. It has always been a favorite channel of mine, but after switching from DirectTv to DishNetwork I lost the channel in the "cheaper" package. I was tempted to upgrade, but it just wasn't worth the extra dollars for the one channel. There was nothing else of interest to me. This channel takes me back to my childhood. I remember sitting in the basement going through the bookshelves of carefully placed magazines. I loved them. I still love them. When I discovered the channel it was like having all of my favorites wrapped up in one. A wee bit of Animal Planet, Discovery, History Channel; heaven for me. Now it is called "Gnat Gee-oh." Ewwwww. How sad. It is almost enough for me to turn it off. Almost. In the past two days I have watched theories on Stonehenge and the sinking of the Titanic. I've watched research studies being done on the Blue Whale and the Great White Shark. I even got to see footage of a head shrinking and the reaction of current tribal members as they watched the footage that was filmed in the 40s. I am really hoping that this is not one of those "preview" things that happen every month. Where they give you a taste of a few channels that you could have in an upgrade. If it is I will slowly repeat to myself, several times a day "Gnat Gee Oh." After which I will sigh and turn off the TV and get back to my previous state of dislike of the television. My life is so darned simple.


Monday, November 16, 2009

A badly needed break

It is time to take a dog show break. Kate is due to be in season shortly, and I have need to do some studying. I am incredibly confused as to what is being looked for in this breed, and what I personally want out of my own dogs. I sit with paperwork and measuring tape. This will be the fun part. I have never evaluated a dog mathematically. The breed standard does just that and a serious breeder should do the same just so they know where improvement is needed and who can best fit the bill for the other half of the gene pool. Congrats to the winners this past weekend. Nice job. Have y'all (besides Kim) measured and documented your guys too? I think I must've missed that lesson ;-)

So today we are being a bit lazy. The rain is pounding down. I will be making a trip to Vashon later this morning, but other than that I am sticking close to home. I think I need to make sure my house doesn't float down the hill and into Puget Sound! I badly want to ride the motorcycle. I have been too consumed by the dogs and it is time for a mental health break before the holidays hit. Rain is forecast for the next week, so it looks like it won't be any time soon.

With that I am off to Southworth. I'm getting a heckuva deal on a garden wagon/cart with nice big tires. YES!!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

More care to be taken

When labeling my ramblings!! 'Twas a tad bit unnerving to see that someone from Tehran had landed on my site. I will let you do the math...

I think that the Monroe show will go down as once of my least favorite venues. It is cold. It is dirt. It is fall. Short stubby dogs hustling into the arena makes for wet bellies. Wet bellies trotting through dirt makes for dirty bellies. All that time grooming becomes a bit of a joke. Enough said about that. Anyway, Kate was less than enthusiastic about this show. It showed. Something else showed. The dramatic differences in this breed. We had long dogs, shorter dogs, big heads, refined heads. We had crooked fronts and straight fronts. Level toplines and wavy ones. I came home and printed out the standards. Thanks so much to Kim for helping me get my thoughts in order. I know what I like to look at, but am not sure what I am seeing. I really look forward to using my new found knowledge today as I study the breed. It makes me sad that the standard is not more adhered to. I remember, years ago, watching a class of Rotties. I wondered how people could tell their dogs apart from the others. Not an issue with Cardigan Welsh Corgis. Even if they were all the same color it would not be an issue. The good thing is that I am slowly gaining knowledge as to the "lines" that I enjoy seeing. It makes it so much easier when it comes time to get my next dog. Yes, I will get another Cardi. I just enjoy the whole "doofus" thing. And the ears. However, I feel strongly that the breed needs to be cleaned up a bit. Let's emphasize soundness. These are herding dogs and their looks and actions should emphasize that. A dysplastic or disproportionate dog surely could not go out and herd cattle for hours. We have the knowledge and testing available, why the heck can it not be utilized a bit more?

So, with that, I need to get myself going. I spent an hour grooming Kate, and now will jump into my clothes and head to the ferry. Thank goodness SHE is the one being shown, and not me!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Of balloons, bombs and very cold weather

I generally don't do the news. I generally don't do a lot of TV until I go to bed at night; and then I watch what has been recorded for me. Today it was cold and I was tired from having cleaned the carpet and gotten the trailer and camper cleaned and ready for a cold front. So I sat and watched a bit of afternoon television which turned into the local news. I then remembered why I preferred to stay clueless when it comes to the news. The headlines? "Balloon boy's parents to turn themselves in. Police killer may get the death penalty. Cold front coming in which may dump snow in the lower elevations." Bizarre events. Bizarre people. The weather? Does not thrill me since I will be catching the 6am ferry out of here on Saturday morning. It is all so strange, and sounds like something out of the "Weekly World News" at the check stand. You know the one; the one that talks of alien abduction and the mother who gave birth to the shark kid. (A little known fact: my soccer team once made that newspaper. Yep, indeed we did. My brush with fame...I still chuckle when I think about how we harassed "Cowboy" who was pictured along with the article. And no, I will not tell you how I came to find the article.) So, I have turned off the TV. Quietly, I tuck the hoax of the kid in the balloon out of sight and out of mind. I would prefer not to know what will happen to my medicare. The fact that some psycho has gone on a one man cop killing spree is more than I want to dwell on now that he is off the street. The war will go on. Money will be spent. Ferry travel will require reservations. All of this is out of my hands. All of this will come into play at the next elections, and I will then have my say. That is how it works, or how it doesn't work.

So I sit in my dark, quiet house. Dogs are snoring at my feet. My lists for the weekend are made and bags are packed. I will torture the dogs tonight. Henry will get muzzled and toenails trimmed. Kate will get her nails ground again and a bath. The soap opera that is the evening news is silenced. This is my life. Plain and simple. That is how I like it.

I prefer to see humor and happiness in life. Were I to dwell on the news that would be very difficult. It is no wonder that this country has an epidemic of depression. What a shame. There are so many things to smile at. Today, for example, I went with a neighbor to the store and the post office. As I sat in the truck at the post office I notice her motioning people around a squished doggy do do. When she came out she carefully placed a junk mail flyer on the spot so that folks would not track it into the foyer, or into their cars. She then saw someone she knew and ducked back into the post office. Four or five people carefully avoided the flyer on the sidewalk. Then a very grumpy lady came up and snatched up what I assume she thought to be "litter." As I was thinking EWWWWW, she folded it in half (!!) and disappeared in towards the recycle can. Just then the neighbor came out. The look on her face was priceless. By then I was laughing so hard I was crying. Then it happened. Two people walked by. All had avoided the poo when the flyer was stuck to it. Both walked right into the land mine without it. Sure, there are two sides to this coin. Shame on the person who didn't clean up after their dog. Nasty, nasty, nasty. But one can find humor in the oddest of circumstances...OK, EYE can find humor in the oddest of circumstances...but neighbor lady was laughing pretty darn hard as well.

So, my challenge to all is to find humor in the most mundane of things tomorrow. Twice. At least. Don't laugh at people, but laugh with them. Soon you will find people smiling right along with you. It is really not hard. It really does ease the pain better than any pill could ever even hope to do. Make your own personal news.

I'm hoping mine will not read "Homeowner eaten while trimming corgi toenails..."


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is the day set aside to remember those who have taken time out of their lives, and often given their lives, to allow us the freedoms that we take for granted. I prefer to start and end each day in thanks to those people. I wish that we did not have to set aside one particular day to honor them. Yet it does allow for the decor and all. It does allow for a brief respite for some workers; I only hope those folk take a bit of time and think about why they get the day off. I remember as a naive first time parent of a young son, just a decade out of the Vietnam War, thinking about how I would take him and flee to Canada should the draft be reinstated. Wouldn't you know that this would be the child that chose to enlist fresh out of high school. Boy, did he show me! It was an amazing lesson in Attitude Adjustment 101. I sent away a boy that cold fall morning, and along with his someday to be wife, watched a man greet me in December at his boot camp graduation. I have never been so proud. I try to remember those feelings of wanting to flee, even though they make me feel a bit ashamed now. All that we have does indeed come at a price. If we are happy where we are, then we need to acknowledge that price that was paid, or is being paid. There is much sadness and fear in the world today. But we can find our little place of safety and security if we look. To those families that have sacrificed so that I have my sanctuary I wish to say "Thanks." It is not much, but often it is more than they will ask. My heart, and my prayers, are with our military and their families. Today, and everyday, they carry me.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Speed dating

Only one person who is reading this knows from whence this thought came...and that is part of the fun of this adventure in avoidance. You see, I have plenty to do, but don't want to do anything. So, of course, I come to the perfect tool of avoidance: my computer.

Anyway, I "bing"ed speed dating. (I hate bing, but didn't want to take the time to typle "google" into the address bar.) To my surprise, they are not just fodder for sit-com writers. There were 39,600,000 hits. I cannot even imagine the hits I would have have with a real search engine!! Wow. There is Speeddate. 8minutedate. My favorite would have to be: Hurrydate. There is even on "online speed dating" site. Let's pretend. We all sit with our webcams precariously pointed at a picture of someone that is at least twenty pounds lighter and ten years younger than ourselves. At the sound of the bell we begin questioning our potential suitor. "Do you have a 401K? Do you have a job? Do you like tomatoes?" The timer sounds and off we go to the next date. The problem could arise if more than one of us pirates the same photo to use as "me." Identical twin in Santa Fe? What happens if you find someone interesting? Is it like in that you have to pay for the gold package to send messages? If you don't find someone are you forever hassled about a gazillion folks checking out your profile, and you must want to know who, and you just MUST upgrade so you can get your twenty pound less, ten year younger ego stroked? It is all so very strange, this little cyber world we are creating for ourselves. A world where we can really make ourselves believe that we know people that we really don't, that we can trust people whom we have never met, and that we actually have things in common with people who use "handles" instead of their real names just in case...

Cyber security is a bit like an over ripe tomato. Good for certain things, but best not left on a car seat in the summer time.

(Figure that one out, SM)


Monday, November 9, 2009

The calm before the storm

er, show

Will I ever get over these pre-show jitters? Will I ever be able to take it in and roll with it like Kate does? I slept about four hours last night as I had a million things running through my head. This first is how I will groom this girl. To say that it is raining here is an understatement. I cannot live with the dogs if they don't get their exercise in. Low to the ground, white bellied, race ready...means very dirty. Especially on the lower half of the dog. Toenails and feet are spiffy, so the easy part is done. I suspect more sleepless nights will be in order until I settle how I will groom those five remaining hairs to best show off Katelan's attributes. (Not really much different than when she is in full coat...then I worry about what to do with all that hair! at least she will dry faster.)

So today is cleaning day at the house. Going to the city day for leg issues. Going to the bank day. All the hum drum stuff. My brain will be going full speed as I vacuum and as I drive. If I am this bad for local shows, how can I even THINK about Nationals???

Perhaps this is why people hire handlers. Perhaps I just need some time with the diva beads around MY neck.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Family dynamics

I got an email from my younger brother. He is developmentally delayed and our older brother and his wife are his guardians. Older bro does a darn good job seeing to lil bro's needs in a very caring, but also very straightforward, way. Lil bro has a way of pushing our buttons something awful, and I am not sure he knows how truly thankful my sis and I are that he was willing to step up to the plate on this. I am not really even sure how it all happened. It just did. I suspect big bro did it for Dad when he decided to move from the area. They had a very special bond that I was always a bit jealous of.

The email was quite simple. It seems that his new fancy cable system router for his computer has died. New and fancy can be tough. It is a whole new system that needs to be taught. But lil bro eventually turns it into his routine and life goes on. I think part of his "delay" affects his expectation level. I guess that may be part of the buttons that he pushes, and that he likely doesn't even know about. Things are just to "be." On his time schedule, and fitting appropriately into his routines. I think all those years of "there's nothing wrong with your little brother" comes into play a bit here. Funny how the uglies can rear their heads at a most inopportune time. Anyway, this nice little email, about four lines long, seems to be a bit of a breakthrough for lil bro. One simple line said it all: "What a great brother we have, if it weren't for him i don't know what i would done you know what i mean?"

Pretty cool. I forwarded it on so that on those down days when big bro is tired and gets the third or fourth phone call of the day, he can read it and know how appreciated he is. Of course I added my own line of thanks as well. In all those growing up years, this part of the picture never surfaced. It was never something that was planned, or even considered. I am so grateful to have a brother that was willing to take on the role. It would have been taken care of but no where near as well as is happening now. I guess some of us never have the luxury of having the kids raised and out of the house. I am grateful that I have that.

So, thanks big bro. And thanks lil bro as well, for recognizing all that is done for you. Life is just not automatically placed in your lap with all the fancy wrappings intact. You do seem to be getting that, and that is a very good thing.

Reminder to self: Christmas is coming...


Friday, November 6, 2009

A crazy sad day

Today, November 6th, 2009.

My family (both birth and "choice") is full of police officers and teachers. Two of the three toughest jobs (military making up the third). It seems that babysitting the communities has become tougher and tougher. And scarier and scarier. As a firm believer of the right to bear arms, and a concealed carry permit "owner" the latest event in the Seattle area, as well as the Texas massacre, has really shaken me. Not in the way that one might assume, as I contemplate my "accessories" each day. The sadness I feel is deep. Down to my core. The idea that a person can open fire on someone, unprovoked physically, is frightening. Even more humbling for me is the thought that had I been in the area I would have been morally forced to draw my weapon and fire it. Could I have done it? Absolutely. Would I be able to get on with life as usual? My usual would be forever changed. Yet I think the senseless shooting death of Officer Brenton has already changed my "usual." You see, I was raised to respect people in uniform. I am actually in awe of them, and have been since I was a tot. It saddens me when a bad apple is discovered, but it doesn't mar the respect I feel, as I know those are the minority. Even in my days of rebellion I could never disrespect police officers, or teachers.

As the city begins to shut down streets for the funeral procession of Officer Brenton my tears begin to fall. For his young family. For his fellow officers. For Seattle. For that tad bit of innocence that was taken by a yet to be found gunman. For those of us that choose to legally carry, and the ramifications that doing so may hold. Sometimes life is just so very sad.

Rest in Peace, Officer Timothy Brenton. Take care, Officer friends and family.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Once a diva

forever a diva. What have I created??
Last night I went to conformation class. (That's DOG handling, you weirdos.) From the second we got out of the car I knew it was to be a handful of a class. One hour is a bit more taxing than two and a half minutes. I need to start bringing the diva's crate. Kate did NOT want to sit and discuss anything. She wanted to play, she wanted to strut her stuff, she wanted to "pose." It was pretty funny, actually. The instructor took to using her for demos, which was more than fine with me. Kate quickly got tired of being "baited," and would spit it out, which drove the other dogs crazy as they wanted it. I mean REALLLY wanted it. How exactly does one tone down a diva? We went around the ring in a group. Kate was trotting up on the heals of a young Rottie. We finally passed as the poor thing was spending more time worried about the stumpy little dog behind her. She was happy. And crazy. And a tad out of control. Correct her? Nope. I spent way too much time dragging her around. There is nothing sadder looking than an unhappy Cardigan Corgi. The ears droop, the tail sags, the eyes look like a Basset Hound who is down on his luck. So, the trick that worked? Her beads. I had them in the bag. I put them on Kate and she suddenly turned into the reserved and very in control diva. Coincidence? Maybe. With this pup I think I will take what I can get.
So she lays quietly on the couch behind me. Muddy from our recent jaunt out to the pasture. Diva beads still in place.
I love this dog!!
(Hey S2, if you tried to call the cell phone you need to turn off your ID block. You are listed on my friends and family for free plan, but "Blocked call" is not.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not quite 60, but nice enough.

The neighbor's water main project went off without a hitch, almost. His Dad, another friend, and his self were all out shoving the one inch line through the five hundred feet of two inch line and it seemed almost too easy. The first 350' feet went in quite smoothly. However, a Kitsap potato caused a bit of fear for this neighbor, who went out to chat with the "boys" and found one laying in the driveway. It seems that he went to take a step away and his toe caught on a rather big chunk of rock (potato) and down he went. I grabbed a chair and made him sit for a bit once he was up (I think he was a tad embarrassed by my attention to him). He bruised his hip on his keys when he fell, and that seems to be the extent of his injuries, thank goodness. The pain was dealt with via beer. Hey, whatever works, I guess. They then hooked up the second roll of pipe and began slowly pushing it through. Soon enough Scott drove the tractor down to the main road and announced that it was through. Ten minutes later it was hooked up down there, then flushed and hooked up here. I think the whole project took about an hour, maybe two if you count beer breaks. Calls were made and it was found that the line will not need to be replaced. 3/4" is often used for mains now. I am eager to follow them down to revel in the fact that with the water off his meter is no longer running...I think he will revel in the fact that $600 water bills are a thing of the past.

So I will now get a change to wash and wax the truck. Kate has been bathed and groomed. She needed the bath and it was really the only way I could tell if she would be showable in two weeks. The shedding has dropped down now and while she certainly doesn't have a nice full coat, I think we will enter the ring anyway. She looks good enough. Henry will get his chance after the truck is washed. We have dog class tonight, so he may not get his bath until tomorrow. I don't think he will mind.

So I am off for now. I will enjoy the last hurrah of summer...(Make note: change wiper blades)


Oh wiper blades! Good thing you reminded me~


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A pet peeve

Musical blogs. I love music. I love all kinds of music. (OK, almost all kinds.) I have music playing everywhere. When I don't have it turned on the stereos, it is playing in my head. I cannot stop the music. Sometimes it makes me a bit lulu. With that said, and having set the stage, so to speak, I get REALLY crazy when I open a blog and music comes on. It rarely matches either the music in my home, or the music in my head. Most is quite pleasant. Most, if not all, would be quite enjoyable if I had the choice of timing. Knowing that I write for myself, and not others, I do not expect people to bag their music because I like to read their blogs. Yeah, like I think I have that kind of power! So I have resorted to turning off the speakers on the computer. It ended the crazy game that I was playing; that game being to find the little music player doohickey on the side bar and hit the pause button before the first note came out. Now, however, I often forget to turn the speakers back on when I want to watch a little video that someone has posted. It is humorous the little things that can set me off on a bit of a rant.

So, dear readers, you now know one of the reasons that S2 and I do not have music on our blog. You also know why we chose instead to list the "Song of the Day."

I love music; really I do.

Song of the day?

"They're Coming to Take Me Away" LARD

And they're coming to take me away Ha Ha
They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
To the happy home with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes
They're coming to take me away ha ha...


Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, Monday

so good to me.

Indeed. I slept last night. This time change thing has all three of us messed up a bit. I think I was in bed around 7:30 and up by 4am. I remember waking up at one point and looking at the clock. To my disgust it was 9:40pm!!! I was afraid it was going to be another very long night, but t'was not to be, thank goodness. It was quite cold. I hear in the 30s again. There was no frost this morning, but now, at almost 1pm, I am still only contemplating washing the truck. It is the idea of a wet foot that keeps me in here. I am sleep deprived enough that the idea of being cold is almost more than I can handle.

There is also the fact that my poor neighbor has a huge mound of dirt in the driveway, and the water from washing the truck would likely flow right to the pile. The poor man is having to change out his water pipe. 550 feet of water pipe. In an effort to get through the winter he is hoping to shove a one inch poly pipe into the two inch PVC pipe; like a liner. This summer he would change it out when all is nicely dry again. He finally had to call the water company in to find the leak. Sadly they found "a lot of small leaks." He says he was down looking at the meters. Mine was not moving. His was. And there was nothing turned on, and he had pulled the sprinkler system off the main. There are three people and a dog that live there. Hardly worthy of a $600 monthly bill; unless the dog sneaks in and takes extremely long showers each day, which she swears she doesn't.

I've finished wiring up the doggie motel. I have developed a strange joy in playing with electrical. I cannot explain it, perhaps it is just the challenge as it really is like a puzzle. A more active puzzle. I need active right now. I am very slowly trying to build back up to the activity level I was on when the surgery knocked me for a loop. I am just not a patient person, and perhaps that is my lesson in all of this. I love that the dogs are back into their activity niche. I could really see their lack of conditioning beginning to show. It didn't take long at all to get it back and I can only hope for the same for me. We are back to four trips out daily during which they run non-stop for about twenty minutes. It sure helps my house to have them tired. We spend a total of three hours out there. If the weather is decent we will get in another hour.

I never did figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. While I shudder to think of myself as a "grown up" I must say that I am pretty darn happy with where I am in my life. I can pretty much do whatever I want to do; albeit oft times in "different" ways. The people that I have met, and the ways they came into my life only makes the adventure more fun. While I care deeply about many things, I pick and choose what, and how, that occurs. My dogs are extremely important because they make me laugh. It is impossible to stay angry when I look down at these two little stumpy dogs with the laughing faces. They are both extremely driven. That drive seems to be to pull "fun" out of everything. It can be a bit obnoxious at 4:30am when they are fighting over my right foot, which I am trying hard not to move. Once they know I am awake they are quick to dig the covers off and vie for the between the toes morning bath ritual. One morning I tried throwing a pillow at them. A new game was born as the two ran happily down the hall with the pillow carried by both. Within five minutes the pillow was "dead" and the innards everywhere. Kate even had a tuft of fluff on an eyebrow. I am pretty sure the two planted that tuft precariously on the eyebrow. They knew I could not stay mad when she stared at me with the eyebrow she must've borrowed from my High School History teacher. Needless to stay, I do not throw pillows anymore.

I do choose to focus on the humorous as much as possible. The world is too scary and I refuse to go there. Politics? I think not! It is not that I don't care, it is that I don't feel I have time to be giving even minutes to things out of my control; things that might depress me. Besides, when I am "off" the two dwarfs get testy with each other in an effort to be the one that makes me feel better. Who needs a Mom, Grandma, friend, who is suffers from "Eeyore syndrome?" We all know one. You know the type. "Woe is me. Life sucks. No body loves me." Oh go eat worms for heaven's sake!! So I am off to the post office. I may stop at the park on the way down or back. Then to WallyWorld to return some parts I didn't need for the wiring project. It is always enjoyable to wander Walmart and people watch. Is this what "they" call the simple life??


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Of ghosts, goblins, phantoms, and headaches

First the good:

Last night I spent with four beautiful young princesses (OK, the smallest was actually a monkey) at my son's church harvest festival. The kids got to play games, cake walk, ride ponies, sing songs, and just plain enjoy a bit of cousinly fun time. It was also my son's wife's birthday; how nice to see him doting on his wife. He cooked her dinner and baked her a cake. How come I never got that? I'm thinking she did a better job picking...and he got pretty darn lucky. What a gem I have as my second daughter.

The ugly? Hmmmm. I guess the sticky syrup I kept laying my arm in. (Did I mention that the son also cooked his wife French Toast for breakfast?) Then there was trying to understand the very complex card game he was trying to teach me as we waited for the cake to bake. Perhaps the flightless fruit flies that he seems to enjoy breeding for his fish to eat. Weird child, that one. Did I mention how wonderful his wife is? I'm not sure I would be as willing to deal with multiple bottles of maggots in various stages, tucked away in cupboards. EWWWWW.

The bad: The phantom returns. I'm thinking it is related to either a prosthetic fit issue because of the surgery, or a back alignment issue due to all the recent poor sleep. This is new, however. It is the top of my foot that is electrically firing off messages to my body. It has always been under the arch. Neither is fun, and I am ready for it to be over. I will schedule appointments at both the chiropractor and the prosthetist for next week.

Now to end on a good note: I am signing up to do the Jingle Bell Run to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. I have brought the bike back in the house and will be settling it back on the trainer. My house will once again look like a gym, but it is MY house. Why do I need it to benefit any one but myself? With a bit of furniture rearranging all will be fine. I do look forward to getting back on the bike. I do not know if I will be running or walking. I do not know if I will be just doing the kiddie walk. It all depends on how the healing goes, and how the leg is fitting. I can be perfectly happy doing the 1K with my two, or three, grand kids. Heck, maybe Kira will join us with little Violet in the stroller. What do you say, Kira? I think Miss Lilly would be interested in your response...

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow begins a new week. It is a new month. All the discomfort that happened today is soon to be over. Isn't it brilliant how this all works?