Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the McFamily event

What a grand one it was. For the first time ever all of my sibs and their families were able to get together in one place at one time. We met at my Step-Mom's husband's house. (Got that?) I somehow was the "organizer" of the thing. Of course, there is no organizing our McFamily, but that is the fun of it. This time around I managed to get a date when my sister's oldest was still in town. Everyone else had the time off or available to be off early...and Mom and new husband were in town as well. Score! (Planning way ahead does indeed have its advantages.)

Youngest son was in charge of smoking the 17 pound turkey. Everyone else just brought something to share. We start showing up in the early afternoon. Kids, grand kids, great grand kids. The numbers grow. But no turkey. Call is placed. "Yes, I am on my way." Almost an hour passes. The phone rings. Understand, dear readers, that I mass emailed everyone the address and phone number to new Dad's house a few days before the event. Everyone makes it except for my two boys; each of whom has a GPS! Dear youngest needs directions as he went to the Mom's house, which is now being rented. Directions are given and he eventually arrives with foil wrapped turkey. I pull back the foil to see a black bird. Not "dark" but black. Completely charred looking. Uhhhhhhh. No, says son. That is how it is supposed to look. And he begins to carve. This is by far the best turkey I have EVER had. He soaked it in brine for 16 hours before smoking it with apple wood for another 12. Slowly the whole story comes out. He got home from work and grabbed the bird and headed the wrong house. Upon arriving at the now rental, he was quite pleased with himself. Even though we had called to find out where he was...he somehow managed to get there first! Cool. Carrying 17 pounds of bird he found knocking on the door a bit difficult so opted instead to just walk in. sigh. When he spoke the loud "hello" he was greeted with a "shhhhhh." Weird, thinks he. Then a young girl greets him. No one he has ever met. Hmmmm. Then a young boy pops up from the couch. "Oh, I thought you were my Dad. We are watching a movie." OK. "I have a turkey" says son. "Do D*** and S*** live here?" Oh, says boy. Nope, but we are renting their house. I think at this point I am just glad that my son decided not to sit down and watch the movie and share the turkey. Only in my family!!

So we sat and savored the perfectly smoked turkey and company of family. My older brother brought a pumpkin pie that was to die for. He had made it himself and I will have to get the recipe. It had molasses and I believe a gingerbread crust. A perfect dessert to follow up with the perfectly baked turkey. More laughs, more stories. And time wore down, as did the kidlets. Homeward bound to the chores and gifts that were waiting on the table. My sister and I always exchange gifts. It is something we gather for the entire year. This year's box was corgi themed. Opening it I see on top a mouse pad. On that pad is printed a copy of a painting of one on my breeder's pups. I was in a tizzie. Who to call first? My breeder/friend, or my sister? I opt for sister and tell her that "I KNOW THAT DOG!" I think she assumed it was a generic painting, but nooooo. I know that dog!!! Another signed and numbered piece of corgi art, this one a sketch. Darn she is good! Then I notify the breeder. Luckily sis told me where she got the stuff as I now need to make a trip back to get one of the mouse pads for breeder/friend by Albany show time. I am still shaking my head in amazement. My house is slowly gaining corgi "stuff" momentum. It will perhaps equal, or even surpass, the scotties. Sad, in a way.

Then I sit down to check out how cuz did on Jeopardy. Thanks to S2 for the call, as I did know the outcome (he won yet again) as I likely would have turned it off. I have no more fingernails. He has been on the show since Christmas eve and has been winning. Last night he was down all the way through. He won because he was the only one who got the final answer correct and he wagered enough to pull it off. Go Stephen!! Can my nubs of fingers take much more of this? I will continue to record it day by day and watch the end first. Oh the joys of the DVR. And here I thought the biggest joy was skipping through the ads.

So the parties are over for this season. I can take the tree down. I can return to whatever normal may be in my crazy life. I am happy.

I am off to gather some firewood. Yep, back to normal...for now.


Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28th

A date that I just can't seem to erase from my brain. A gazillion facts and memories slip away, but I can't make this one GO away. How weird is it that I still count my wedding anniversaries? It would be 34 today. EEEK!! The fact that the divorce was several years ago seems to make no difference. The date still flags in my brain, for some reason.

It was a bit odd, even by my standards, back in 1975. We boarded the ferry in Anacortes headed for Shaw Island in the San Juans. My soon to be had written to the Universal Life Church and had hisself and a few others ordained. I had called the courthouse and made sure all was legal and legit. I wasn't going to go through all the marriage stuff and find out it wasn't legal...although that might have made things easier 27 or so years later. So, we headed to Shaw to a small one room cabin that was being rented by his first wife. Yep, she was going to be the official officiate at our wedding. (Nice lady, btw, and I perhaps should have listened to her pre-nuptials advice.) We had invited a few friends, but it was all hush hush with the parents. Why? I really don't know. Our current landlord "Arjuna" and his wife "Savitra" (Steve and Margie, legally; eyes rolling big time), our dear friends Gerry and Harriet, his friend Larry, and his sister and her boyfriend; both of whom were bus drivers and he ended up getting in a very bad bus accident so she was at his side at the trauma center. We had written our own vows and gathered in the front room. The Irish Setter, Cabernet, placed herself under the table with the lace table cloth and peeked out, looking like a child preparing for her first communion. At about the five minute mark we looked out to see the neighbor's calf cavorting in the front yard so the chase was on. One of the oddest things, when I ponder this whole thing today, is that my ex still has the weird shirt that he had made a few years before...some kind of green curtain material, and still wears it!! (Yes, a vision of Maria and the Sound of Music does come to mind.) The calf was safely rounded up, and we all went back to the cabin for a wedding carrot cake made by our host/minister-ess. We then went down to the ferry landing to use the pay phone and call the parents. Nope no cell phones back then, in fact no phone at all to the cabin, nor electricity, nor plumbing. We had taken the hippy van (Chev, as we were not REAL hippies) and our wedding night was spent parked in front of the ex-wife's cabin. The next morning she had made us a wonderful mushroom quiche. She baked with an old woodburning cookstove and kerosene lamps lit the cabin. We headed home later that day so that we could check on Michael at the trauma center. Wow, the things my dear parents endured with me.

This, dear readers, is all the truth; one cannot make this stuff up!

So, to keep this day in perspective, I will concentrate on the humor of the event, and not the tough years that followed. To them I say "rotten tomatoes."

12/28/75 A day that will forever live in infamy in the nooks and crannies of my brain. sigh.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ahhhh, yes

I had a wonderful day, yesterday, with my family. It was a long day and I was nursing a headache, but that is much easier to set aside when having fun.

The day started at the crack of dawn. As had been predicted it was about 28 degrees when I left for the early ferry. I was completely oblivious, or perhaps it was too tired to think, so took off from the ferry for the number one child's house as if it were all just a "normal" day. The roads were far from normal, and the first indication came less than a block from the pier. My light little truck slid around the corner and continued to fishtail. AND I was the first off. Luckily the folks behind me were not too close and from that point on the speed limit was 20mph, MAX. Several more times I found myself losing traction and noticed that not a single driver was sitting on my bumper. We were pretty evenly spaced out, and going between 10 and 20mph. About the time I arrived at the Interstate I decided that I would take a pass, as the I-405 is notorious for spin outs. It proved to be a wise move and the area around Lake Washington was warmer and I was able to resume a more normal speed. Of course I also began to encounter traffic, and they were getting pushy until I watched a joker in a 4 wheel drive truck hit the jersey barrier after a patch of ice. (It was ALL ice down by the ferry). I haven't a clue why folks with 4 wheel drive think they are more stable on ice and can whip around everyone else. I was bad. I waved as I went by. (Hey, he wasn't hurt physically, and needed a reality check, and I needed some humor to cut my stress level back a bit.)
By the time I got to the house I was a bit tense, but hugs from little girls quickly took care of that. Being the Mom I am I called the other kids and told them to "drive safe."

We had a wonderful time. The girls adore being together, with the three older more oft than not, holding hands. The baby was perfect, waiting until she got home to melt down.
Even the cats got in on the fun; losing their heads in their catnip laden stockings.

I got my oldest grand daughter a "kid proof" digital camera. As of this morning she had 167 photos on the thing. The girls were hilarious posing. I think there are a lot of pictures of nasal hair. And chins. Very few shots with an entire kid. My poor parents would have saved so much money had we had digital cameras waaaay back then. Even with just black and white, to have to pay to develop a roll of film and be lucky to have ONE photo could be costly. But then again, the novelty would soon wear out as one had to put in a new roll of film every twelve pictures. That, of course, involved removing said roll from its foil pack and carefully winding it on to the take up reel "just so." Then insert the reel onto the cassette thing and carefully slide it all back into the camera all the time hoping that enough was rolled on the reel so as not to have to start all over again. It didn't help that Dad didn't want us to waste a frame on either end. He could get 14 pictures on a 12 shot roll, and we were encouraged to do the same. Any way, I digress...
The Mimers shot pictures for the rest of the day. I had a little discussion on what was inappropriate when she made a poor choice that was supposed to be a joke, but it was quickly remedied and she learned about "delete." Her sister the Plum (with no "b") smiled and cooed at everyone she saw. The other two big girls got new bikes from their other Grandma so there were plenty more pictures to be taken outside. (I look forward to bikes trips with the entire family in the near future.) After testing the toys and eating we parted company and I headed for the ferry. I knew not what kind of wait I would encounter, and knew that the dogs would be eager to check out their many presents.

First up was a "Secret Santa" gift from one on the Corgi forum. Trying to get them to open things individually and on their own never worked. The grass was always greener.

Henry was in heaven. He got a stuffy and got right to work removing the squeaker, then the stuffing.

Kate was happy to just sit quietly and watch. I'm pretty sure she was thinking that Henry would soon be done with his snail and she could show him that hers was still sitting pretty, with both the squeaker and the stuffing still inside; and doesn't it look oh so very inviting?

After all chores were done, and all presents tasted and played with, I settled down to do some research on the computer. My daughter and grand daughter had found me a copy of a picture that was framed, signed and titled by the artist. She had even taped her business card to the backing. It is an amazing picture and I will treasure it always. I learned a lot about the artist but the first "hit" was her obituary. That made me sad, but made this even more of a treasure. I cannot for the life of me, figure out how a signed print ended up in a thrift store, but perhaps this is just one of those "meant to be" things. Even the green matting is perfect as I will be painting the front room a shade of green.
(This picture doesn't do it justice. I had to take it at an odd angle to keept he flash from covering the little girl.)

Joyce Moresi, thank you. It is beautiful. I will take good care of it. I only wish I could have called you today and thanked you personally...although I think I would have skipped mentioning the thrift store part of it.

Life is great and there are pleasant surprises around every corner.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Eve eve and the wind down

The gifts are wrapped and the tree up. The dogs snore on the couch behind me, oblivious to the fact that their pile of gifts, thanks also to Secret Santa, is equivalent to the pile for everyone else in the family. 'Tis a bit embarrassing, but I won't tell anyone. My fingers, and especially my thumbs, are stiff and sore from a craft project with a friend. I am even more in awe of the botanical lights down at the park. They are NOT easy to make, and even tougher to keep lit. It will not, however, be the last I make. It is a chilly 33 degrees outside and, once again, there is a burn ban in the county. The wood stove stands cold. So does the turkey that has been moved from the freezer to the fridge. It needs to thaw so that Morgan can smoke it (in his smoker, you sick-os) for the MacParty on the 29th. The entire family of the "older" generation will be getting together along with our kids and grand kids. I will do my best to remember the camera. The new TSO CD is playing (thanks, Sunshine). I love TSO and hope that next year I will get to a concert. For now I enjoy the wonderful mix of orchestra and electric guitar. Amazing! So this is Christmas...

I have yet to pull out my copy of "The Watching." It is a story that has become tradition with the Corgi forum folks. Each year the pets (and people) that have passed on to the Rainbow Bridge become the characters of a story by Millie Williams. Up until this year it has been put on the forum chapter by chapter up to Christmas. This year, for the first time, it was published with the proceeds benefiting Corgi-Aid, which is an NPO that provides support for medical aid for the two corgi breeds and corgi mixes that are in rescue. I think I may be one of the few that have waited to read it. I have looked at the gorgeous artwork and admit that even it has brought me to tears. This year I personally know a few of the dogs that have left. I have been blessed to have healthy critters this year. I have been blessed to be healthy MYSELF this year. So tomorrow I will read "The Watching" and Christmas day will read it to the grand kids. It will then be lovingly placed in a safe place for reading again next year. I'm hoping that Millie will be able to continue this new tradition. I am sure it was a ton of work and will offer help from afar.

It has been an amazing year. The support I have from family and friends has been incredible. Slowly the bucket list empties and refills. Some things prove to be anticlimactic, some things still out of reach. I have learned a lot about myself. So much is only achievable with help from my friends. To my friends, new and old, I want to say "thanks."

And "Merry Christmas."

Song of the day? What else could it be?

"With a Little Help From My Friends" John Lennon/Paul McCartney

What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me ?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key.
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

G2 (who promises not to sing)

(No tomatoes were harmed in the taking of this picture, although one did get thrown in the trash as it had gotten old and wrinkled...uh, kids? What do YOU do when things get old and wrinkled??)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fat lipped

I am entered. Sorry, WE are entered. I've got some grooming help ahead, and decided that there would be no better way to spend my birthday weekend then at a show with friends. And Kim, you are right, nice venue. Weather is always interesting. I was there last year as observer. I had just decided to show and had Kate a mere three months. It seems like a lifetime ago.

So today, after sending in my entry via the internet I headed out to do a bit of grocery shopping as I was out of water for the dispenser. Kate sees me heading around turning down the stove and blowing out candles, and knows she is about to be sequestered in the kitchen. After a couple of rounds around the couch she cowers and awaits the inevitable pick up and carry. I always plant a smooch upon her head and scritch her chest then put her in the kitchen and pull the X-pen across the entry. As I leaned in for the kiss she raised her bean and caught me on the lip. That little pointy area where the neck/back muscles attaches at the top of her head. At the very tip of my upper lip, where it rests at the end of my front teeth. My eyes instantly watered and my lip was on fire. Then it went numb. It swelled to elephant trunk proportions. I headed to the truck and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to see out of my windshield with my fast growing lip soon to be plastered against the window; my own personal air bag. I knew I would need a grocery cart to carry my face about the aisles. Looks? I am used to it. After all, I have a cool Koi tat on my leg. So I wander and shop. Will I ever eat again? Will I drool and dribble my food, not unlike is done following a trip to the dentist? If I were to heat up a needle and poke it like a hammer smacked fingernail would it pop and go down? (Ewww, and OWWWW, don't worry, I am not serious.) It seems odd to me that no one stares, because I am sure I have the biggest and blackest lip in Kingston. Perhaps we, in this nice town, actually don't see people for their "differences." To test the theory I go to the post office to check my mail. I must be wrong, as two people jump to open the door for me. And they are smiling. I want to wear a mask. I am wishing it was still freezing cold so that I could put on that face warmer mask thing I got my son in law for Christmas (for when he bikes to work). I would wear it, but fear that folks would consider me a robber. I get my mail and slink back to my truck and I go home. Home to my dogs who don't care that my lip anchors me firmly to planet earth. That it looks like a gigantic mushroom. Where they can find that it could protect them from the weather on the walk to the field. Then I realize something. This is all good. In fact, it is great. You see, it could have happened last week instead of today. I had a concert. I would have lost my mouthpiece in "the lip"...and that mouthpiece is very special. They don't even make them anymore. I have had it since 1971. It would have been bad. Very, very bad. And sad. Very, very sad.

I love you, Kate.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Decision time

I'll bet you are thinking Christmas, aren't you? Nope, that is the easy thing, and decisions have long been made on that. Sure there will be a few forgotten last minute things, but no sweat on that whole thing.

Nope, believe it or not it is "to show or not to show" in Puyallup. I need to make a decision soon as the entries will close and then I won't have a choice. It is not cheap to show, and I am not a big gambler. I know there are no sure things in life, but I don't want to throw my money away if Kate is off her game or if I can't help someone with a major. I'm too new to this game to know enough about the judges that we will present under. I love watching good dogs do well. I really don't mind them placing over my princess. In fact I really enjoy seeing the good ones do well as I love the idea that this breed will improve in health and longevity. But I can do the rooting and all without paying to enter Kate. Then again, she is getting better and better. Perhaps we deserve a piece of the pie as well. sigh. If only she would have gone into "season" a month ago and been done with it, and growing a nice thick coat. That still looms. Time wise it should be happening as of last week. Dogs are shown all the time when they are in season. It is hard to guess if there will be more attitude or less with Kate. She may spend her two minutes of ring time marking. Yet she might be incredibly flashy as she squats.

So, all of you Cardi folks...what says you? My instructor thinks I should go for it and I haven't heard from the breeder as of yet.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten Days and Counting

The days are speeding by, the house is not yet decorated, and the baking is not done. However, I DO have a tree and it is getting closer to being in the house. It is now blocking the door...if I don't bring it in soon it will have me launching it into Puget Sound. I've got a couple strings of those new fancy LED lights, and they really are nice, I must say. The colors are incredible and they can be seen for quite a distance. Last year I did not put up a tree as I was still in the "missing my Dad" funk, so it will be interesting to see if Kate will leave the tree alone. I have given up trying to guess what she will do. She is a very odd duck, I mean dog. At some point she will surprise me and stop destroying things. I may never know when that point occurs as I do not trust her at all and lock her in the kitchen whenever I leave. It keeps her alive.

Kate is a "licker." She cleans Henry by the hour. Every inch of him. His broken toenail had her quite concerned as he wouldn't let her touch it, and she could hardly stand leaving it alone. It was a bone of contention for a number of days.

She is really into a tacky stool that I have.I haven't a clue what it is all about. She doesn't try to chew it, just licks it. And licks it. And licks it. Perhaps she likes the feeling of the upholstery fabric on her tongue. I will never know.

I do know that it can drive me crazy. Most don't believe me when I tell them. This stool has never been used for anything. Nothing has ever been spilled on it. I have never had dirty shoes on it. It is in the corner to keep her away from the speakers and wires. She follows it around the house. I managed to snap that picture this morning. I guess it could be worse. I hear there are some dogs that eat sheet rock...I wonder if I can carry it into the ring as 'bait?" (Just kidding; it won't fit in my pocket.)

Henry, on the other hand, just likes to chill on the couch.

I have begun my research for a triathlon, or decent street, bike. Who would've thought I would need all this "stuff?" I can hardly wait until spring when I can join up with a group for Triathlon training. It gets old just working on the bike trainer and the treadmill. I think I will start lap swimming again in the wee hours of the morning. Again, however, it doesn't give the support and feedback that a group would give. One day at a time, and for now I need to get through Christmas.

Ten days


Sunday, December 13, 2009


lick your lips when it is cold out; that is why they are chapped.

This was one of the things I remember from my childhood. Even though I know there is very little truth to this, I find myself still struggling to make sure I don't do it. Have you noticed how hard it is to breath through your nose when it is twenty degrees out? I wonder if our nasal passages would become chapped if we could. I'm pretty sure that our noses would quickly become glued shut and we would all walk around looking a bit odd, not to mention the interesting voices we would have. I know the problem might be solved if we could somehow stop our respiration from having any moisture, but that could lead to some interesting after effects as well. So I wander the fields in the now lightly falling snow trying hard not to breath very much. I use chapstick, but it seems to do little. (I just want to make it through the concert tonight.) It is interesting, the things we carry from little comments made in childhood. Another: Don't lick where that baby tooth was...if you can keep from touching your tongue there the new tooth will grow in gold. Yep, my uncle fed me that one. I tried so hard, but none of my teeth grew in gold. He, of course, said that I must have touched it when I was sleeping. Think of the money the rappers could have saved, had they only known Uncle Harry. I remember my little six year old brain trying to devise an apparatus that would keep my tongue away from my gums while I slept. Then, of course, we have all heard "zip up your coat; it's cold out." I tell my grand kids "Zip your coat up; Grandma is cold." More to the point, don't you think? It's funny; the older I get the more I hear my mother's voice in mine as I repeat the little things she would say. The rebellious one that I am, whenever I hear it I try to rephrase it a bit more to the point, as that coat thing aforementioned. Or I try to make them REALLY crazy. The gold tooth thing can quickly morph to a gold foil wrapped chocolate tooth. I don't want their developing brains to grab on to some silly little thing and taking it as pure truth, and holding on to it for fifty years. I'd much prefer "My crazy Grandma once told me..." and lots of laughter.

Yes, indeedy, the things that go through my head as I wander the frozen tundra that is my pasture. Small tomatoes.

Yesterday was the day I took my youngest child to the annual motorcycle show. We have done it almost every year for about twenty. I think we missed twice. One year he pushed me around in a wheelchair and I had IV tubing hanging out. This year we put all that bad past to rest. My stamina was back and I walked for hours with no need to rest. It was wonderful! We were up and down stairs and in and out of booths. He talked, I talked. It was nice. The economy, which of course is to blame for everything, reared its head here as well. No where near the vendors, and only two custom bike builders. There were also less people wandering, which was odd for a Saturday afternoon, but since I hate crowds I was just fine with that. I guess we have committed to doing this every year for the rest of my life...or the rest of the show's life. No exciting new bikes this year. A lot of scooters. A couple of pretty cool paint jobs. A nice tall bald man to chat with. I hadn't seen him in a year and a half; I vaguely recall whacking him with my left leg for not checking road reports prior to heading up a ride that had twenty or thirty bikes, and bikers from all over the country, stranded on Hurricane Ridge...but he does get a lot of mileage on just one tank of gas! (Great to see you, G.) Big tomatoes.

I missed my wake up call to get over to Seattle for the Jingle Bell Dash. This time of year events pile on top of events. Some end up smooshed. I guess the Jingle Bell Dash is one such thing. The logistics of the ever increasing ferry rides and fares can be very wearing. While I enjoy the ride, I dread the time involved and the dollars that are drained from my checking account. Now the dear Governor has decided that we need to start paying a fuel surcharge. The fares go up each year during peak season, but never go down. The state ferry system is supposedly part of the state highway system. It would be interesting to hear the roar if tolls were put on the Interstate that cost drivers even a small percentage of what I pay for those five miles...with my discount over $20 round trip. The fact that our wages are frozen and the cost of living continues to climb is not an issue with dear Gov G. How is it that we were left unaware of how bad the budget shortfall was until AFTER the election? There will be plenty of changes with the next election, and I suspect there will be a lot of unhappy folks. T'will be interesting. Stewed tomatoes.

Oh well. Life hands you tomatoes, make salsa, eh? Nothing better to go with celery sticks.


Friday, December 11, 2009

In an effort to get in the Christmas mood

I took the fur kids to "Naturally4Paws" to see Santa Paws. It was just what we all needed. Ohhh, Henry is holding up his owie foot....I just noticed that. :-(
Henry wasn't too delighted at the idea of sitting on Santa's lap, and I was a bit concerned that he might try to "de-stuff" him. Around here he can gut a stuffy in less than 60 seconds. Kate, however, was oblivious, and quite content to just chill on his lap.

Thanks to Naturally4Paws for the much needed boost. I love you guys!!!


Downhill spiral

I know there is a twist somewhere...

This weather is killing me! It is so cold that I just can't spend enough time outside. I NEED outside. My dogs need outside. It is incredibly beautiful out there. The trees are tipped with frost. The slough is partially iced over and lined with mallard ducks. Hundreds of them. My son is working on a job out at Snoqualmie Falls and he said it is absolutely stunning with the ice crystals hugging the rocks. I want to be out taking it all in. But I can't. There is nothing worse than having my toes cold. The toes that are not there. How does one warm something that doesn't exist? My dogs want to run, but whenever I take them out Henry's split toenail begins to bleed as it rewarms. Since it has split laterally it is not something that can be cut and cauterized, although that option will be discussed with the vet next week. To top it off Kate is driving me crazy. I am stuck in this house with her. I feel guilty locking her in the kitchen so that I can get away for even a few minutes. She is hormonal. If I ask her to stay she moves. If I ask her to move she stays. She does it all with a dumb doofus look on her face. If I grump then she sits and looks at me with a blank stare. If I touch her left foot she moves her right. ARGHH!! I know that we would both be happier if I could wear her out. The ground is so frozen, and after Henry's experience, I worry about her injuring herself. She is ruthless with her body, and her body seems a bit disconnected with her brain right now. The cold has caused my lips to split. I have a concert this weekend. I really, really want this cold snap to end. I know, I know, we can't always have what we want. The Mommy Mantra. As my kids used to tell me, "that doesn't help."

My solution? I will go do my chores and get on the stinkin' treadmill and see if I can warm my toes. I will take Kate, and only Kate, out with me to feed the horse. Together we will scoop the poopsicles while Henry gets some peaceful chewing of his new bone. After about five minutes of that we will come in so that the dogs can snarl and argue over the new bone. No matter how many I put down they always want the same one. Then I will get back on the treadmill and try to warm those missing toes again. It's a vicious cycle and one that can only be changed by a temperature increase of about fifteen or twenty degrees. In this age of Global Warming that doesn't seem too much to ask, does it?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From the memorial program

Police Officers' Prayer

Lord, I ask for courage.
Courage to face and conquer my own fears...
Courage to take me where others will not go.

I ask for strength.
Strength of body to protect others and
Strength of spirit to lead others.

I ask for dedication.
Dedication to my job, to do it well...
Dedication to my community, to keep it safe.

Give me Lord,
Concern for others who trust me and
Compassion for
those who need me...

And please Lord,
Through it all...
Be at my side.

Sergeant Mark Renninger
Officer Tina Griswold
Officer Ronald Owens
Officer Greg Richards

You are at now His side.


Monday, December 7, 2009


nope...downright cold!

It is almost 1pm and the indoor/outdoor thermometer has the temperatures at 65/24F. And the outdoor sensor is tacked in the alcove by the front door. I turned on the furnace when I got up as I wanted the entire house to warm a bit. Three hours later it was still on, and still under 70F. The woodstove is now keeping the front room warm.

My outside time has been cut way back. The dogs are less than thrilled, but I have a concert this weekend and no amount of chapstick is keeping the lips from chapping. It is hard enough to play after all the years away without cracked and bleeding lips. Yes, indeed, another piece to my simple, but used to be complex, life. I played French Horn (and actually had a music scholarship) in college. I get recruited on occasion, and this weekend is a Christmas concert. Little known facts about the gimp. I miss playing, but drum and bugle corps days and illness and resultant medications have left me 95% deaf in my left ear; not a good thing for a horn player.

My understanding is that we could go down to 9 degrees this week. Eek! I am hauling water out to the horse a couple of times a day now. I hope the pool does OK. The pump is rebuilt but not reinstalled. I don't feel like laying on the cement floor to install it. It should be fine, but with all the issues over the summer I am a bit concerned that it will still leak. I do NOT need a skating rink in my pump house, and I don't want to lay out there and watch for leaks. One of the gaskets is very odd shaped and I need to confer with my son-in-law prior to install and make sure I am doing the best I can do for a successful outcome.

It is a crazy week ahead; one that will see many ferry rides. All I really want to do is snuggle up with my dogs in my warm house and watch movies. Henry is curled up in front of the woodstove, and Kate is attacking him. I have just hauled a load of wood in so that I don't have to do it in the middle of the night. I suspect after this week the wood pile will look much smaller.

I am off to shop before the ferry ride this afternoon. Stay warm.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Blue sky and big black birds

At three this afternoon I heard the familiar call of the resident eagle over head. The ground has not thawed at all in the past couple of days and from what I hear will be in the 20s at night for the next week. The sky is bright blue and there is just a slight breeze blowing off Puget Sound. It is beautiful. Of course every time I see or hear the eagle or the family I think of my good friend, Sunshine. We had that too. Unfortunately the freeze also meant that I really needed to deal with the pool, as the water level was way too high and the pump is frozen. So while the dogs played in the pasture with the horse I headed to the pump house to take apart the pump. This time it is going to get a total rebuild. No more messing around. I dropped the submersible into the pool and found the only open hose and began the process of dropping the water level by a few inches. Then I took the pump out of the pool filtration system and ice skated my way to the back door. It is now in my bathroom where I will work on it in the next day or two. Meanwhile water pours out of the hose and down the driveway. I may be stuck here if it freezes over before it gets a chance to soak in a little bit, but better that than a cracked pool, eh? I find some pebbles have gotten into the pump housing, and that is likely what has caused it to freeze up. If I can't fix it there is a nice little electrical shop in the next town over that I will take it, and all the new gaskets to, but I suspect with the help of the World Wide Web I can get the job done.

Last night I spent the evening with my son and his two girls. At ages five and three each sentence begins with "let's pretend that..." I must say, the three year old is the bestest sleeping ballerina I have ever seen. While I worried that the Christmas tree would come crashing down as she danced and twirled with eyes tightly shut, she never even came close to it. We also went to a less than exciting "Holiday Fest." The kids' favorite thing was the museum that was on the premises. It had nothing to do with the festival, but they liked it so it was good we went in for respite from the cold. The most humorous part of the evening was Santa lighting the Christmas tree. A few seconds before Santa came out on the deck of the building for the countdown, two men dressed in their reflective vests wandered out toward the tree. The countdown began and as Santa spoke "ONE" the men bent down and plugged in the tree. Lame...and I know lame. I think that little fiasco can be written off for next year. Nice for me, however, in that I got to spend time with the girls, but we could have had fun going to the dump!

So the Christmas season has begun, in all of its Political Correctness. sigh. I think the dose we received last night was even a bit too much for the three and five year old. The went home to their Nativity Scene and pretty CHRISTMAS lights.

Let's pretend that people are really sick and tired of the PC thing and want to get real again, OK?

I'm off to enjoy the last light of the day with my stumpy family now. I think we will venture into the woods and see if we can find our eagle friend.


Friday, December 4, 2009

You are welcome

Let's see now, was it a month ago that I went to the last show? At least three weeks have gone by, correct?

You all know how nervous I tend to get. Nervous. Disjointed. I pack the bags. I repack. I check things off the lists.

The venue was awful. There was little room between the cement wall and the show rings. The area was packed with crates of dogs...some not so happy to be there. People were walking dogs to their rings as others (myself) were preparing to enter the ring. There was no room to work off the nervous energy.

So, with that preparation...the picture carefully drawn...

I enter my class, get my ribbon, go back in for the next in line. Kate is not baiting well. I have my arsenal, but have pretty much decided it is a moot point.

So, dear readers, yesterday I found something that will give you your Friday chuckle...


Look what I found in my shoe yesterday.

In between classes I had carefully slipped the ribbon and squeaker (bait) into my left shoe. (I have no clue why I didn't put it into my coat pocket as would be the "norm.") FWIW I change into a nicer looking shoe as I get ready to go in the ring. I was still sore from my surgery and the tiny bit of angle change in the shoe hurt so I carried them to ringside and put them on there. I bolted after the show and just grabbed everything and headed out. The ribbon and squeaker were quickly forgotten as they slipped into the toe of the shoe. On the ferry I changed my shoes. Unlike you two legged folks who do NOT take off your leg to go to bed, I tend to leave my shoe on until the sock is pretty much worn out. (Thanks go to all who give me their singleton socks.)

I decided it was time to change my sock the other day.

I thought my leg was a bit more noisy as of late...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another day dawns

I awoke this morning to incredible beauty.

We had a deep frost last night. The sun rose through the trees behind my property and it was truly breath taking. I find it interesting that this simple show takes the sadness and grief of the past few days and helps me see that life does, indeed, go on. I have not yet decided if I will stand in the flag line for the fallen officers. There is now a second option that is a ride in honor of the four. I may do that if I cannot attend the services. It is still pretty overwhelming.

On the up side I had a great time at dog class last night. I have learned so much and Kate, well, Kate is Kate. She does all that I ask, but puts her own twist to it. She makes me laugh. An hour of concentrated posing is almost too much for her. I have found that I can curb her a bit by going a few minutes early and having a bit of play time in the room before any other people show up. I think I will be showing in Puyallup unless she is moody and hormonal.

I spent a couple of hours the other day doing genealogy. Dog genealogy. Someone put together a Cardigan database and I sat and entered names. It was amazing to read all the titles that her ancestors have accumulated. I am now a bit more serious about finishing her. I had not really looked at her pedigree until then and it really is quite impressive. Thanks go to the breeder for allowing me to take this dog and to put her into the ring. I will do my best for her.

My health just continues to improve. The harder I push, the better it gets. I know there is a fine balancing that needs be done, but this whole "wrapping in bubble wrap" is done and over. The best part is that I have found that since I cut out the big meds, the small ones work much better. Yes, I still have the Remicade headaches, but they are completely taken care of by Ibuprofen now. I don't want to be "numb by narcotics." It affects every corner of my being. I would rather feel a bit of pain. It reminds me that I am alive. That is a very good thing. The memories of the past are often overwhelming. So much of my life was lost. I have no regrets, but won't go back. It's called ownership. Narcotics take that away. Having worked in pharmacy for years I have seen it often in others. I knew it was happening to me, but I was in survival mode. Now that same mode is dramastically different; yes, I know I just did a typo, but I like it and have decided it needs to stay. I want to feel my life and not let it just slip away. There are those days of whining and pity partying. We all have them. Now, however, I have other ways to cope.

So another day does indeed dawn. There is plenty to be done and the critters are ready for their third outing of the day. Life is such a blessing.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009



I have two dogs. Corgi. Tri-colored, both. No fenced in yard. No collars are worn unless under direct supervision. They are way too dangerous when dealing with rowdy two year olds. Whenever the dogs go out, I go out as well. I like it that way. I slip a retractable lead over each dog's head and walk them out to the fully fenced pasture several times a day. I also have a good sized pen that I can walk them out to as well. With "critters" abounding, and a neighbor dog that wants to eat my girl it is safest to have this routine down by both myself and the dogs. They wait at the doors for the loop to be slipped over the ears. It is routine at 6 am, and it is routine at midnight.

This morning was a bit different. At the break of dawn I headed out for the feeding of the horse and first run of the dogs. All perfectly normal and routine. Robe on, right foot in left boot. I slipped the leads on the dogs and realized, at 37 degrees, I needed to grab my barn coat, which was hanging on a dining room chair. I dropped the handles of the leads and ran into the dining area to grab my coat as the doggies practiced their bladder control for five extra seconds. When I got back to the back door I found dear Henry standing quietly at the door with both leashes attached. Kate? Frisking at my feet with neither.


I saw a black headed tri-colored Corgi slip its head into the leash loop. Then I saw a black headed tri-colored Corgi slip its head into the leash loop. Sigh. I only wish this had been the first time I have done this.
For great holiday fun have a gander at this awesome advent calendar. Enjoy!!