Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas star and PapillonMerry Christmas!
To all my online friends and readers: Wishing you a wonderful holiday, however you celebrate - or don't celebrate.

Tonight, Christmas Eve, we are going to my mother's apartment for a family dinner and gift opening.

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, DH and I are spending home with plenty of good food, our three furry loved ones, and all our new books, yarn, and chocolate. We'll be watching it snow, feeding the birds, napping, and relaxing. I'll be doing a little knitting.

That's just the way I like Christmas to be. The only thing that could make it better would be to have the Idaho family here.

Take care, stay calm, and have fun. It will all be over soon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Those Things That Marguerite Makes
At doggy school parties they call these "Those Things That Marguerite Makes". I assume, since they get sought out and eaten, that is a compliment.

Please don't tell them how easy these are to make.

Need a quick, rich sweet bar to round out your holiday cookie plate? Here it is.

Butter Pecan Turtle Cookies

2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter - needs to be soft, at room temperature
1 cup pecan halves

  • Mix well.
  • Pat firmly into an ungreased 13 X 9 pan.
  • Spread pecan halves evenly on top.

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Heat with constant stirring until boiling.
  • Boil for 1 minute.
    Note: I do the heating and boiling in the microwave.
    1 minute - whip with whisk - 1 minute - whip with whisk.
    You can tell when it starts to boil and thicken.
    Then, give it 45 more seconds, whip with whisk, and it's done.
    In my microwave the total procedure takes 4 minutes.

  • Pour over crust and pecans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

1 cup milk chocolate chips (not semi-sweet)
  • Sprinkle chips over top immediately after removing from oven.
  • Chips will partially melt, but still look like chips. That bothered me at first, but it's OK.
  • Cool slightly and cut. They're much easier to cut when they're still a bit warm.
  • Enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Party Report
Doggy school dogs attempting to pose for a pictureNormally doggy school has a strict "no sniff" policy. But party night wasn't a normal night and the dogs seemed to know it. There was plenty of sneaky sniffing going on as we tried to get all the dogs to sit stay for a group photo.

Sunny is not a party dog. She didn't like the noise or the sniffing and she did not want to stay with the group, so trainer Gail sat on the floor with Sunny and held her for the picture.

What Sunny really wanted to do was to sit on my lap and watch. That's how she spent most of the evening, so she had a good time once the picture fracas was over.

See those three fingers in the foreground? That was my futile sit stay hand signal.

At the time this picture was snapped, there were many people yelling "stay". Most of the dogs stayed most of the time, but I don't think anyone got a picture without at least one human included as they put their dog back in position.

Susan, mom to a chow mix named Millicent, told me she had three great pictures of my butt.

Pappy is a party dog. He participated in the sneaky sniffing and would have happily lead a pack of dogs on a romp around the room if I had allowed it.

Dog dish on a standSeveral weeks ago the dogs drew names to exchange inexpensive gifts.

Sunny received this dish on a stand from Ramon, a standard poodle.

Papillon hanging ornamentPappy got this cute Papillon ornament from Marcy, a bull terrier.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Designer Dog Prepares for Party
Sunny standing in the grassSunny, our mixed breed dog, will no longer stand for being called a mutt. She heard people at doggy school talking about designer dogs, (cockapoos, schnoodles, golden doodles, etc) Since Sunny is a princess and is allowed to make declarations, she has declared herself a third generation designer dog.

We're not sure what breeds have gone into her design.

We adopted Sunny when she was seven weeks old and weighted two pounds. She was living in a pen with her two sisters. One sister looked something like a poodle, the other sister looked something like a Jack Russell terrier. Sunny looked something like a Papillon puppy.

Her foster home called her a Papillon/terrier mix, but they were guessing. She's not delicate like a Papillon, and I suspect she might have some Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixed in with her design instead of Papillon. But then where did she get her beautiful, tri-color Papillon tail?

Part of the fun of having a mutt designer dog is guessing what breeds are in there. We're going to have a lifetime of fun guessing with Sunny.

Bubble Buddy, extra bubbles, and Merrick's Venison Holiday StewTomorrow evening is the doggy school holiday party. We're having a potluck dinner and teacher Gail is planning doggy fun for us.

Instead of having the party during class time, Gail is having a combined advanced class party on Wednesday when no other classes are scheduled. Since I have a dog in each of the two advanced classes, that means I'll be there with two dogs.

Sunny and Pappy think of doggy school as a night out with Mom and without the other dog, so it could be a bit shocking for them to end up at doggy school together.

The dogs drew names for gifts. Pappy drew Sundance, a very young Australian Shepherd. Sunny drew Downy, a mid-sized designer dog who got her name because she was found lost and starving trying to get warm under the outside dryer vent.

Sundance and Downy are getting identical gift bags containing:

  • Bubble Buddy, a scented bubble blowin' dog toy
  • Three jars of bubble juice scented sizzling bacon, peanut butter, and Bar B Q chicken
  • Can of Merrick's Venison Holiday Stew, a wonderful tasty dog food containing venison, red jacket potatoes, carrots, zucchini, sugar peas, and apples.

Trainer Gail is getting her Opal Lollipops. The fact that she is the only person outside my immediate family to ever get a pair of hand knit Opal socks from me testifies to my appreciation for the great job she does with the dogs.

I'm taking the camera to the party. With two dogs to keep track of, I may forget to take pictures. But I have good intentions.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Kimmy Gets Her Present
Yesterday there was a break in the snowfall so I headed east, picking up Mom in Kalamazoo and driving to Battle Creek for lunch with daughter Heather and granddaughter Kimmy.

Kimmy and her birthday gift from IdahoI had planned on taking pictures of the four generations of us having lunch, but we were so busy yakking and laughing that I forgot until everyone had their coats on and we were ready to go.

Then I shot this picture of Kimmy with her birthday (10 years old!) present I delivered from John, Anne, and Sydney in Idaho, and my camera batteries went dead.

The gift is a case full of cosmetics and accessories for pretty young ladies. Kimmy loves it, which is good because I sacrificed my favorite nail scissors to fly it to Michigan.

I KNOW you can't take nail scissors on a plane. It was before dawn and I was trying to close my suitcase with Kimmy's gift in it, so I plucked out my cosmetic case complete with nail scissors and crammed it in my carryon bag. Oops.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Early Morning Snowy Dogwalk
This morning I grabbed the camera when I took the dogs out for their first walk about 8 am. All three had a great romp in the six to eight inches of snow we have, and now they're back in bed sleeping off the cold and the exercise.

The snow is gray looking because there is no sunshine. The days are short, so it's barely daylight. The sky is overcast and dark.

Glory in the snowGlory, the queen of the house, is almost ten now. Her blackness makes it difficult to get a good picture of her, but she does show up well against the snow.

Sunny in the snowThe little dogs hop through the snow like kangaroos.

Sunny's curly chest is a snow magnet. The snow gets picked up by her hair and immediately turns into solidly affixed iceballs. That's why she willingly wears a coat that covers her chest and her tummy.

Pappy in the snowPappy has a thick, warm, straight coat that repels the snow. He will happily plow through snow that's over his head and dive into snowbanks looking for rodents.

Fortunately, we don't have that much snow - yet.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Quiz Time for Princesses
After spotting this quiz on Birdsong's Blog, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

The questions brought a smile to my face. Haul out your imagination and have fun with it.

Sorry guys. Unless you want to be a princess, the quiz won't work for you - but scroll down a bit because everyone can have fun with the Chocolate Math.

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both
feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to
be a little on the old-fashioned side. You
value home, hearth, and family life and love to
be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent
for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Chocolate Math
Elaine shared this with the EZasPi Yahoo List and told us to spread it around.

I love figuring out why these things work. You only have to figure out why it works if that's part of the fun for you.


Don't tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway-
but the Hershey Man will know!

This is pretty neat.
It takes less than a minute
Work this out as you read ...
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

  1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you
    would like to have chocolate(more than once but less than 10)

  2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

  3. Add 5

  4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

  5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1755 ..
    If you haven't, add 1754.

  6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.
    You should have a three digit number
    • The first digit of this was your original number
      (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).
    • The next two numbers are YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)


Thanks Elaine! Now I know how old I am. How did that happen?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Thanksgiving Dinner

Carol asked . .

What did you have to eat on Thanksgiving? You never did say.
It was a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner with seitan in place of the turkey.

According to the Kroger Food Guide
Seitan is a chewy, protein-rich food made from hard winter wheat that resembles meat in texture and taste.
I won't go so far as to agree it tasted like meat, but it was very good.

Brother-in-law John spent most of the day in the kitchen. We woke to the smell of fresh baked bread and he made enough so we could have some for breakfast. He also made mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, carrots, squash, brussel sprouts, and pumpkin pie.

One of the appetizers was green olives stuffed with a generous sliver of fresh garlic clove. Normally I don't care for olives, but this combination was a mouth watering zinger. Outstanding, but not for the timid eater.

The meal was delicious and lovely.

I was so busy smelling, tasting, talking, and enjoying that I forgot to haul the camera out and take a picture.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Are We There Yet?
I'm home! Sister Doris and her DH John put much thought and effort into making sure we had a nice, relaxing, pleasant time in their beautiful new home in the woods of Virginia. And we did.

It was a lovely, family time with plenty of good food, good chat, and good company.

The airports were a nightmare. No one should be surprised by this, as Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year in the US. In SW Michigan we also have the weather factor. Mother Nature was feeling cranky.

Wednesday morning I white knuckled it 20 miles to Mom's apartment in Kalamazoo to pick her up. The roads were covered with ice and it was snowing.

For those of you who aren't familiar with sliding around on slippery roads, white knuckle driving is when you grip the steering wheel tightly, thereby turning your knuckles white, because you instinctively but erroneously think you can prevent the car from sliding if you hang on tight.

Kalamazoo to Detroit, scheduled to take off at 10:25 am

Mom and I both brought books to the airport. Turned out we had plenty of reading time.

Chicago and Detroit were sending planes to Kalamazoo that couldn't land. They would circle for a bit and then head back to Chicago or Detroit. Since those were the planes we were scheduled to fly out on, there was no service to Detroit.

Every time a flight was cancelled, the disappointed passengers had to leave the secure area, stand in a long line at the ticket counter, get rescheduled, and then go back through security.

Finally at 1:30 Northwest brought in a big plane that could handle the weather and all the accumulated passengers. We boarded and headed for Detroit where most of us had totally missed our connecting flights.

It was the first plane to land and/or take off from Kalamazoo that Wednesday. It took 20 minutes to get to Detroit. Not even time to get up to full altitude or serve a beverage.

Detroit to Charlotteville, Virginia, originally scheduled for 1:30, rescheduled for 9 pm

We sat in Detroit for 7 hours waiting for the next plane to Charlottesville, which of course was delayed. We boarded about 11 pm and arrived in Charlottesville after midnight.

Charlottesville airport turned out to be very small, even smaller than Kalamazoo. Our plane held 30 passengers on very hard seats and had propellers.

What a joy to see our family standing there waiting for us. They whisked us to Scottsville and served us tea at 2 am before showing us our comfy beds.

Charlottesville to Detroit, scheduled to take off Saturday at 4 pm

While waiting to board in Charlottesville, we were informed that every NorthWest computer was down in Detroit and nothing was able to depart or land there. Computers were out for an hour and we got to Detroit 10 minutes before our flight to Kalamazoo. The gate we needed was about a mile away.

Detroit to Kalamazoo, scheduled to take off at 7:30 pm

How perverse is this? The first flight we were late for was the first flight of our trip that left on time.

Lunch had been a vending machine bag of potato chips. There was no time for dinner and no time for a stop at the restroom.

We ran through the airport as fast as we could go, and we were the last two people to board.

Here is where an amazing good thing happened. In anticipation of dashing through the airport, we had checked our luggage for the trip home. In some miracle of airport efficiency, our luggage also made the quick plane transfer and landed with us in Kalamazoo.

After gathering our luggage, unburying the car from under the snow, and paying our ransom at the long term parking gate, we headed across the street to McDonald's for a chicken sandwich and hot fudge sundae.

We agreed it was a wonderful trip and headed home to rest up before starting to think about Christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Give Thanks to the LordHappy Thanksgiving to all my US readers.

Early Wednesday morning Mom and I are flying to Charlottesville, Virginia where we will be picked up by Second Sister (I'm First Sister) and taken to her beautiful new home in Scottsville. Third Sister is driving in from North Carolina with Griffin, her dog, to join us.

Second Sister hasn't told us what we're having for Thanksgiving dinner. Since Second Sister, her husband, and Third Sister are all vegetarians, it will certainly not be the traditional stuffed turkey I'm accustomed to.

Any body worried about Husband Bob? He's staying home with the dogs and having a turkey with all the fixings. I'm making Green Dream for him before I leave. Green Dream is a tangy lime jello salad with pineapple, cream cheese, marshmallows, Miracle Whip, and Cool Whip. It's the perfect complement for turkey, especially cold turkey.

I've been making Green Dream for over thirty years, so I guess that makes it a family tradition. Even the family members who don't like it expect to see it on the table.

We're due to return late on Saturday night, so there won't be another post until Sunday.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Early Winter in SW Michigan
Cardinals eating sunflowers seeds in the November snowThe snow that started Wednesday kept coming down until we had about three inches on Thursday morning.

The first snow of the year often melts when it hits the ground because the ground is still warm. This snow didn't.

The first snow of the year often melts the next day when temperature rises above freezing. The temperature didn't rise.

It's Friday, we still have snow, and winter is officially here.

Pappy checking out the snow on the dog trailPappy likes the snow unless the temperature dips to the single digits and his feet get cold.

He knows if he picks his feet up and whines, I will carry him back to the nice warm house.

It's not that cold yet, so he's having fun looking for rodent tunnels in the snow.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Birthday Question

Your Birthdate: January 20

You are a virtual roller coaster of emotions, and most people enjoy the ride.
Your mood tends to set the tone of the room, and when you're happy, this is a good thing.
When you get in a dark mood, watch out - it's very hard to get you out of it.
It's sometimes hard for you to cheer up, and your gloom can be contagious.

Your strength: Your warm heart

Your weakness: Trouble controlling your emotions

Your power color: Black

Your power symbol: Musical note

Your power month: February

Everyone in knitting blogland is posting this - what would you call it? Blogthings calls it a quiz. I call it a question.

About a week ago, I went to the What Does Your Birth Date Mean? question. My results were so NOT me that I didn't post them.

Today I feel left out of the fun, decided to do the question again and post the results. Please don't think the results describe me.

My emotions are under control, thank you. I'm naturally blessed with the ability to keep my mouth shut and stay kind and polite even when thinking evil thoughts.

My moods do not set the tone of the room. In fact, I'm an introvert and tend to be very quiet and invisible in a gathering of people. I prefer my friends one at a time.

Maybe my whole life would have turned out different if I had known February was my power month.

The best thing about February is that it's short. I usually spend February hunkered down waiting for March, the month the snow melts and signs of spring appear.

February is a great month to wear black, though. Now what do you suppose I need to do with that powerful music note to make the world a better place?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

All the Leaves Are Down
Scenic and colorful fall viewThis was taken about ten days ago.

The trees were showing their last bit of glory waiting for the next windy day.

The windy day arrived, the air filled with leaves - leaves falling and swirling.

Fall view after most of the leaves are off the treesThis picture was taken today.

All the leaves are down. Those of us with dozens of trees and acres of land are wondering why we don't live on a small lot in town. Or, maybe I'm projecting my feelings onto my neighbors.

Anyway, I think town people take that leaf cleanup thing much more serious than we do. They have leaf bags and leaf pickup date deadlines - no matter if the leaves are off the trees yet or not.

We have leaf fires and compost piles. On cold short days when we'd rather be indoors, we think it's perfectly OK to leave those leaves until spring. After all, it's not like the leaves are going to smother our grass. Grass doesn't grow in the heavy shade.

Anybody want to come rake a bit?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Marguerite Needs . . .
Here's a silly little game that's been popping up all over Blogland. I couldn't resist.

Google "[your first name] needs" and post the ten best results:

1. Marguerite needs new routes for commuters.

How amusing!

From Wikipedia
Marguarite is a free shuttle service Stanford University offers to its students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Named after one of Stanford family's horses, Marguarite operates a few dozen bus shuttles throughout the university and the nearby town of Palo Alto, California.

According to the Marguerite webpages, the shuttle service serves 135 stops on or around the campus; in 2004-2005, it carried some 1.2 million riders; and it runs approximately 64,000 hours a year.

Note the misspelling of Marguerite. It happens frequently. The most common misspelling uses a "q" in place of the "g", Marquerite. Sigh.

2. Marguerite needs you to come play with her today! ...
She is lovable and sweet, though she requires an owner who can handle her large size!

Happy to report that Marguerite has been adopted from the Lexington Humane Society.

3. Marguerite needs nursing home care.

How sad.

4. Marguerite needs someone to love and respect her for herself.

Doesn't everyone?

5. Marguerite needs suggestions for speakers. She also needs help with calling sponsors, soliciting table reservations, set up,. guarding the prize table, ...

Marguerite needs some assertiveness training.

6. Marguerite needs someone to talk to.

But it's not easy. Her phoneline is usually in use with her laptop dialup.

7. Marguerite needs to give me more treats.

Is one of my dogs writing a blog I don't know about?
Is that how all the dog hair got under my keyboard?

8. Marguerite needs to have a rest for a while.

Please send a cleaning team and a lawn crew.

9. Marguerite needs to be reported on to the welfair for taking money from welfair.


10. Marguerite needs to be planted in drifts or used as filler between other more substantial plantings.

Oh, that explains what's wrong with me lately.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Upjohn Pumpkin Torte
Looking for a wonderful holiday dessert?

Back in the 80s when I started working for The Upjohn Company, the cafeteria had a chef who made wonderful things from scratch. The Upjohn Pumpkin Torte is one of those wonderful things. It's a rich, heavenly dessert. Takes a little effort to make but it's not difficult and well worth the effort.

I'm posting this well advance of the holidays so you'll have a good excuse to make it twice. After all, you do have to make it once to try it out before the big dinner. Right?

This recipe was created to be sinful. Don't try to change it into something healthy. For the intended results you need real butter, real sugar, real cream cheese (not lowfat), real eggs, and whole milk.

This is the original recipe with my changes, suggestions and notes in parens.

1 pkg graham crackers - about 10 (I use 1-1/4 cup packaged crumbs.)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter (Use the real stuff.)

  • Mix together.
  • Press into a 9 x 13 pan.

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
8 oz. cream cheese (pre-softened to room temperature)

  • Mix together and pour on crust. (I use electric mixer to get it smooth.)
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

2 cups pumpkin (I use 15 oz can pumpkin. NOT pumpkin pie mix.)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
dash salt

  • Cook to a boil.
  • (I microwave it two minutes at a time, wisking after each two minutes.)
  • (It's hard to tell when "boil" happens in the microwave. Mixture will be noticably thicker.)

1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water

  • Stir in gelatin and water while (pumpkin) mixture is still hot.
  • Cool.

3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

  • Beat egg whites with sugar until stiff.
  • Fold into pumpkin mixture.
  • Spread on cheese layer.

8 oz. whipping cream

  • Top with whipped cream or Dream Whip.
  • Chill.

(I use real whipping cream whipped with a couple of tablespoons sugar and a teaspoon vanilla.)

No nutritional information. If you have to know, you shouldn't be eating this.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Tuesday Tidbits for October 31
Crashed witch on a broom Happy Halloween!

I always get a chuckle when I see one of these crashed witches.

In the fourteen years we've lived in the swampy woods, we've never had a trick or treater come to the door. So tonight Sunny and I are headed to doggy school like we always are on Monday evening. We're pretty predictable.

Sydney dressed as a Hershey kiss Sydney isn't going trick or treating tonight, but she does have a costume.

Here she is dressed up like a Hershey Kiss. And, believe me, she's sweet enough to eat. Wish I could gobble her up right now.

Question From the Comments
Judi M. asked how the poochies fared while I was gone.

The dogs stayed home with husband Bob, who is even better at spoiling the dogs than I am. But they did miss me and put on a great show of excitement when I got home.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Introduction to Carrots
Sydney looking forward to a good mealBring on the food. I'm ready for dinner.

Sydney Anne is eagerly expecting a yummy dinner of rice cereal. To this point in her very young life, rice cereal and milk have been the whole of her diet, and that's been fine with her.

Anne, her mom, is getting ready to feed Sydney something new and very different. Grandma (me) and Dad are hanging around with cameras to catch Sydney's introduction to carrots.

Sydney tasting carrots for the first timeWhat was that you put in my mouth?

Sydney spitting out carrotsYou may have put it in my mouth, but I don't have to keep it there.

Sydney making an awful face after tasting carrotsGrandma, Dad, are you going to just stand there and let her feed me this stuff?

The Rest of the Story . . .
Wanting a successful introduction to carrots, Anne mixed some rice cereal in with them so to blah down the flavor. Sydney ended up eating the toned down mixture and the next day she ate more. On the third day, she ate squash.

Grandma (me), not being a cooked carrot or squash lover, thought Sydney did very well with her new vegetables. And I bet she's going to love the fruit when she gets it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Returning to What Passes for Normal
I'm back! My laptop is back and functional! All is almost right with the world and I have so many scattered thoughts I don't know where to begin.

Laptop Update
My repaired laptop beat me home. While I was still in Idaho happily playing with granddaughter Sydney, my repaired laptop beat me home to Michigan sporting a new hard drive, a new mother board, an updated system BIOS, and all the original software and default settings from almost three years ago.

Do you have any idea how unhandy it is to lose all your configuration settings, internet favorites, drivers, and - well everything. It was returned with Windows XP minus all service packs and Norton Virus 2002 with no updates.

The first thing I did was to purchase Norton Internet Security 2006 (virus protection and a firewall), and then I started reinstalling, reconnecting, and reconfiguring. As of this evening, the laptop is starting to look like an old friend.

Idaho Update
Unlike the trip in August where Granddaughter Kimmy was with me and we were out doing something everyday, this time I stayed around the house. John and Anne went to work as usual, and I had an abundance of babysitting time to enjoy sweet Sydney Anne.

I do have a few Sydney pictures to share. Soon.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Everything Will Be Back to Normal Someday
For those of you nice enough to check in to see if I have it together yet, thanks. Things should be back to normal approximately the end of next week.

Right now I'm in Idaho visiting Son John, Daughter-in-Law Anne, and 5 month old granddaughter Sydney. It's been a great visit so far. Sydney had to look me over good to make sure I was OK, and then she smiled and we started our fun time of smiles, laughs, funny noises, and kisses. Sweet baby kisses.

After a quick trip to an IBM repair center in Memphis, my laptop arrived home in SW Michigan today sporting a new mother board and a new hard drive. I won't get to try it out until I return home late next Tuesday evening.

It's very possible I will have a lot of software to load and configure before it's back in usable condition. No blogging or anything else will happen until I get the virus protection and firewall installed.

All in all I'm happy. It's been a nice enforced break from blogging and I'm looking forward to getting back to it - after I'm done spending a week with my Idaho family.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Laptop Blues

Computer Update
It is such a long story I'm not going to write everything that happened this week in my quest to get my laptop repaired without sending it back to IBM. I'll just say that the quest failed.

Monday IBM is having DHL drop off a packing box. I will fill out the forms, pack the box, and send my laptop far away.

The estimate to fix it is right at the borderline of what I determined to be the cut off of what I was willing to pay for repairs - the value of the laptop on the used laptop market. At this point the experts are 85% certain it needs a new motherboard.

There is a little bit of good news. The local repair shop was able to backup all my documents and pictures on CDs before giving me back my nonfunctional laptop.

Whoops, There Goes Another One
Two days after my laptop died, DH's desktop died. It also appeared to be a motherboard. Is that strange, or what?

After considering and pricing out his options, DH decided to just buy a new machine. His was old and outdated.

Yesterday he came home with a big box, and now we have one nice, functional desktop. But it's his, set up for him. I don't have my Favorites, or my Outlook, or My Documents. But he is sharing and I'm able to get online and read my email, write a blog post, and check my flight status for Tuesday's trip to Idaho.

Hairy Mess
Richard, (the computer repair guy) -

Do you have a cat that sleeps on your keyboard? All your keys seem to be wrapped in cat hair.
Me -
No cat. I sit on a loveseat and one little dog snuggles up next to me and the other little dog sits up behind my shoulders. When the laptop is not in use, I shut the lid.
Richard (laughing)-
The fan is pulling the fine dog hair into the keyboard. You're probably not even seeing it fly through the air. I cleaned it out the best I could while I had it apart. The hair doesn't seem to be hurting anything.

I'm not sure what to do about the hair, assuming I ever get the laptop back. Being comfortable on the loveseat and snuggling with the pups while I'm online is one of the reasons I'm willing to pay extra to have a laptop.

Right now I'm sitting in a hard chair using DH's desktop. Pappy is on my lap wiggling around trying to get comfortable. I'm reaching around him trying to type and get comfortable.

The whole family, including dogs, want that laptop back ASAP, hairy keys and all.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Saturday Snippets for October 9

What Obsolete Skill Are You?
The title of this quiz made me giggle. Since they didn't show all the possible results, I'm curious what other obsolete skills someone might be. I'm afraid I may have many of them.

If you take the quiz, please let me know what obsolete skill you are. Don't be embarrassed. It can't be worse than Gregg shorthand.

It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are 'Gregg shorthand'. Originally designed to
enable people to write faster, it is also very
useful for writing things which one does not
want other people to read, inasmuch as almost
no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things
efficiently and on time. You also value your
privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not
pretend to be friends with just everyone; that
would be ridiculous. When you do make friends,
you take them seriously, and faithfully keep
what they confide in you to yourself.
Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is
very important, of course) sometimes keeps you
away from social activities, and you are often
lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand
has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
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My fingernails longer than they've ever been This is the first time in my life I've ever had fingernails so strong they don't bend and/or split. I think my new, improved fingernails are a sign a new drug I'm taking is working.

Severe osteoporosis runs in my paternal family. I've been taking calcium for about ten years and still losing bone mass.

Three months ago I started taking Boniva. It's caustic, but only needs to be taken once a month so I plan ahead to deal with the side effects.

I get excited every time I look at my hands - not about the fingernails, but about the possibility the Boniva is actually restoring some of my bone density. That would be a very very wonderful thing.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Early Autumn
Fall colors just starting in the trees It's still early autumn in SW Michigan. The leaves have just started to turn. Many of the trees are still green, but not for much longer.

Once autumn begins, it goes quickly. The leaf colors turn dazzling shades of red, orange, and gold. Then they fall to the ground and we scurry to rake them up before the first snowfall. Some years we don't make it.

It's been know to snow in October. November for sure.

Hostas with fallen pine needles and fallen leavesOur average first frost date is mid-October. It hasn't happened yet this year, so the hostas and other tender plants are still green and standing while the leaves begin to fall around them.

The low temperature tonight is forecast to be 41 degrees ( 5 degrees C.). For Friday and Saturday the low is forecast to be 36 degrees ( 2 degrees C.). Those hostas won't be standing much longer.

Goldenrod in the field gone to seed The goldenrod in the field has all gone to seed. Every morning when the dogs and I go out for their first walk of the day, the field is full of migrating birds chowing down on all the yummy seeds.

Yesterday morning there was a flock of approximately two dozen bluebirds flying around the nest boxes. I'd like to think the flock contained some of this year's fledglings from my nest boxes, but it could just as well have been a migrating flock passing through.

Several of the bluebirds checked out the nest boxes. Maybe they were making note to come back in the spring to raise a family here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tuesday Tidbits for October 4
Unenlightening Quiz
I found this quiz over on Michelle's blog, Plush Knits.

Blog Component Quiz

If I Were a Blog Component,
I would be the PERMALINK.
I'm constant and dependable. Which Blog Component Are You?
Take This Blog Quiz at About Web Logs!

The quiz only has four questions, and the third question is:

3) Which blog component do you think describes you the best?

Since I answered "Permalink", it's hard to be impressed by the accuracy of my quiz results. But it is accurate.

Am I Awake or Asleep?
Two weeks ago I visited the doctor for an ear, nose, and throat infection.

On a return visit to the doctor today, I learned that my infection is gone but I'm still suffering from allergies. Since I don't usually have allergies severe enough to be bothersome, I'm hoping this is a fluke for 2005, and not something to expect every fall from now on.

My new Rx is Zyrtec-D, which is composed of two components. Cetirizine causes drowsiness and Pseudoephedrine causes wakefulness. I feel like passing out on the floor with my eyes bugging out of my head.

Sydney getting her first taste of rice cerealOn a brighter note, Granddaughter Sydney turns six months old tomorrow.

She has teeth, she's sitting up, and a few days ago she had her first taste of real food.

Well, maybe "taste" is an exaggeration since it was rice cereal.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Lagging Behind
When I worked as an IT (IT = Information Technology, meaning computers) professional in corporate America, backups were not only expected, they were mandatory. Usually mandated by law, but certainly mandated by good business practice.

Remember the shoemaker's son who went barefoot?

I've been muttering about backing up my laptop documents ever since I bought it nearly three years ago. Two months ago (good grief!) DH bought an external hard drive for me. I see it sitting on the floor under the table were I keep my laptop when it's not in my lap. The box has never been opened.

This is very stupid of me, and I wrote this to put myself to shame and maybe inspire some action. I need to open the box, at the very least. And then read the documentation (or not) and do some backing up.

Phone Service
When I called to order phone service as we moved into this house on a dirt road in the swampy woods fourteen years ago, Verizon told me I would need to go on a party line until a private line became available.

A party line in the 1990's? That was my first clue that there might be some disadvantages to rural living.

A party line, for those of you too young to remember, is a phone line shared by two or more households. Household A picks up the receiver to make a call and possibly hears Household B having a conversation. Household A can not make or receive phonecalls while Household B is using the phone. But Household A can listen to everything Household B says on the phone if they like.

My corporate America employer did not think a party line was acceptable for an employee that needed to be called during off hours, so they used their muscle to intervene and we did get a private line.

Verizon has improved phone service to this area since then, but not much. A few months ago DH picked up the receiver and heard people talking. He asked them who they were, and, although they were reluctant to tell him, they did tell him they were having a cell phone conversation.

We have no cable available, we have no DSL available, we have dialup. In dry weather with a lucky dial, we can hook up at 45.2 kbps tops. Lately it's been raining. When it's raining we are rarely able to top 38 kbps. We know the moisture gets into the Verizon equipment because sometimes it turns to ice and then we have no phone service at all.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday Tidbits for September 15
Bees on the goldenrodBuzz in the Back
For the past several weeks there's been a buzz in the back field. This time of year the field is dominated by goldenrod, and each blossom has multiple bees collecting the goldenrod nectar and pollen.

There are bumblebees, honey bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.

The goldenrod bloom is their last chance to collect food for the winter.

As the dogs and I walk down the mowed paths between the goldenrod, we brush against the plants that are leaning onto the path. The bees are so busy they don't even notice us.

Close up of bee on the goldenrodGathering the Gold
In this bee closeup, you can see the loaded, golden pollen sacs on the bee's legs.

The goldenrod pollen is very high quality and protein rich. It's also very sticky and easy to collect. It doesn't go airborne, which is why goldenrod is not responsible for fall allergies. It only gets blamed because it is so abundant and colorful.

Snap the Apple
The large snapping turtle came out of the pond, walked up the bank to the apple tree, grabbed an apple in its mouth, and ran back to the water.

It's one of the regrets of my summer that I didn't get a picture of that. Snapping turtles gathering apples are much quicker than I would have guessed.

Once the turtle was back in the pond, it let go of the apple. The apple floated on the water, and the turtle ate it from the bottom, under the water. Bob and I watched the apple bob around while the turtle was eating, amazed at what we were watching.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I'm Smiling Now!
Had a three hour lunch at Bravo with a good friend. We hadn't seen each other in two months and had a wonderful time catching up and enjoying each other's company. And eating, of course. We both had a delicious, tender steak covered with blue cheese sauce and artichokes. Heavenly.

Booked a trip to Idaho to visit Granddaughter Sydney and her wonderful parents. October 18 through October 25. Got a decent price on the tickets and, just as important and just as difficult to manage, only have one stop over each way. It's in Minneapolis, one of my favorite airports.

Booked a trip to Charolottesville, Virginia to have Thanksgiving with Sister Doris, Brother-in-Law John, Sister Carrie. Mom is traveling with me. We're actually going to a little town called Scottsville where Doris and John are just finishing the building of a beautiful house in the woods. They hope to have appliances before it's time to cook the holiday dinner. Or maybe we're eating out? I'm a little short on details, but I'm really looking forward to seeing my sisters again.

The yarn mess is sorted. My stash now only contains yarn I actually intend to knit someday. The rest will be off to the Restash Network as soon as I get a box big enough to hold all of it. A most excellent purge.

Once again there was no knitting today, but there are plans for knitting tomorrow.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Trying To Smile
Unhappy faceI feel cranky and unhappy. Why? I don't have a good reason.

There are plans that aren't working out, the price of gas is way too high, summer is over, I don't feel as well as I would like, and the world isn't perfect. But that's life, and I don't normally react to it by getting cranky and unhappy.

At least I know it's a temporary mood without a cause. I can zip my lips and wait for it to pass.

With three dogs needing attention and walks, there's no going to bed and pulling the covers over my head. It's too hot to do that, anyway. We've been having daytime temps in the 90s, but it cools down beautifully at night.

Have you figured out yet I have no knitting to write about?

I've been working on the corner of the spare bedroom that holds my stash in bins. So much more there than I remembered. So unorganized. It didn't get done today, but hopefully tomorrow will see the finish of the sorting. There will be several large boxes going out to Restash Network coordinators.

The coordinators of the Restash Network are taking yarn and needles directly to the shelters and giving it to knitters who want it and will use it. Several are making up kits with yarn, pattern, and needles. What a great way to cull my stash without guilt while doing something for evacuee knitters.

The thought of making someone else happy makes sorting out piles of unorganized yarn almost enjoyable.

Happy face

Now I need to plaster a smile on my face and take Sunny to doggy school.

Good girl Marguerite!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sunny Shines at the Vet's Office
Close up of Sunny looking backwardWhy are you sticking that pan under my butt every time I squat to pee?

Sunny went in for blood and urine rechecks today. The news was good, but not excellent.

After two weeks of antibiotics, her white cell count is back in the normal range.

Dr. B. is still concerned about her urine being too dilute. He would like to measure her water intake over a 24 hour period. To do that, we would need to keep her separated from the other dogs. Not an easy thing to do. My guess is that she would be so upset at being kept away from the heart of the family the results of the measuring would be meaningless.

Since her blood work is all normal now, meaning no kidney problems or diabetes, we're not doing it unless she starts leaking again.

The incontinence problem that started all this testing has been resolved with 1 mg of estrogen a week. If she starts "leaking" again, we will address the dilute urine problem in more detail.

The first time I had to do a doggy urine collection, I had no idea how to go about it.

This sneaky method works with Sunny:

  1. Use a shallow pie plate shaped pan. It's better if it's plastic because pee hitting a metal pan makes a startling noise and the dog jumps. I have a Glad plastic plate to use for doggy urine collection.

  2. Take the dog out on a short leash.

  3. Wait until she squats and just starts to pee. Then, slide the edge of the plate under her back legs as far as possible without bumping her legs.

  4. Careful not to spill the urine before you get it poured into a taller container. It's nice to have help. When I don't have help I set the plate down, take the dog into the house, and then go back out to get the sample.

Vets don't need very much, so if you don't get the entire catch it's OK.

I've never done a collection on a male dog. That would require some different planning.

The best plan is to tell your dog to stay healthy so you never have to do it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dog Ears
It's Pappy's night at doggy school. We're standing in line waiting our turn to do a long distance drop on recall. I was half watching the working dog and half looking at Grayson, the beautiful Australian Shepherd in line ahead of us.

"Grayson looks handsome tonight. Looks like his ear finally went up," I remarked.

"Prick ears," his owner answered with a voice so disgusted she might have been saying "dog vomit."

That got my attention. "Huh?" It was beginning to register that I'd said something stupid and probably offensive.

"They're called prick ears. They're a severe fault in the breed. He didn't get them from his father, they came from his mother."

I looked across the room where Grayson's father, Casey, was training. I've know Casey for three years now and his ears are breed standard, breaking forward and over. Whatever was I thinking? Even more important, what do I say next?

Grayson's owner is a kind lady. She gave me an out by saying, "Lots of people like the erect ears."

I still felt very sorry for mentioning Grayson's ears. Ears can be a very sensitive topic for dog owners.

Pappy the PapillonMy little Papillon rescue dog Pappy has one ear that hangs because the cartilage is broken, either from abuse or an accident. I'm forever having well intending people tell me how cute it is that one ear is up and the other down.

I never know how to respond to that compliment. While I don't give a hoot about meeting Pappy's breed standard, I do care that one of his ears was so badly injured. The fallen ear will never be cute to me because of the pain it represents, but it is endearing.

I'm going to start answering that way: "It is endearing." Much better than trying to splutter thanks for something I wish wasn't true.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Let's Play Turtle
Sunny and her toy turtleNothing gets Sunny's adrenaline pumping quicker than a squeak from her toy turtle.

She hops, skips, and levitates at the sight of it. She goes completely bonkers at the sound of it.

She loves playing turtle fetch, she loves playing turtle tug, and she loves playing turtle catch. She is obsessed with shaking it hard enough to kill it.

Sunny with her toy turtle in her mouthShe's hard on turtles.

Until now, I've always kept at least one spare hidden away. The store that has carried turtles for four years no longer has them. I can't find them on the internet. This one is looking a little ratty and the squeaker is not working.

What am I going to do? How can I explain this to Sunny? Help!

Close up of Sunnys last toy turtleSeriously now, if anyone knows where I can get one (or a hundred) of these things, please let me know.

It's a Krislin Latex Dog Toy, 50-094.

A Google search for Krislin shows a few recalls and a few boycotts because they're made in China.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Join Me in Helping
When I donate time, money, or knits to charity I like to know what I've donated is going to get to the people who need it.

Sending CIC knits to the distribution person, I know those knits will be traveling to Eastern Europe in the suitcases of adoptive parents. They're delivered right to the caretakers of the children who need them and love receiving them.

Salvation Army delivering food in a boatI always felt that sending money to disaster relief was like throwing it into a black hole until I stumbled onto the Salvation Army. They have the reputation for being there in times of trouble and delivering what is needed to the people who really need it.

Click here to read about how they're on the spot delivering food, water, and shelter to victims and first responders of Katrina. Then, if you want to be sure your help is really going to help, click on the donation button and join me supporting this pragmatic and generous organization.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sydney and Sunny
Sydney smiling and showing her first tooth I swiped this picture from Tah Tales, my son's blog.

Granddaughter Sydney's first two teeth came in with hardly a whimper from her, the smiling girl with the happy personality. I sure wish I could give her a hug.

Thanks again for all the concern about Sunny. She's acting happy and healthy and I've stopped worrying about her. When the antibiotics are gone in a little less than two weeks, she'll have another blood draw.

The ladies at doggy school, several who work in vet offices and have seen everything, think she may have had a low grade bladder infection that didn't show up in the urine. I like that theory.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tale of Two Mugs
Blue pottery coffee mug with dogs on the front and backI've been drinking out of the same coffee mug every morning for (I'm guessing at this) seven years.

It's a blue and gray ceramic mug with dog silhouettes on the side. Possibly they are supposed to be wolves, but I think of them as dogs.

The shape tapers in toward the top which is great for not slopping that first cup of morning coffee when I'm barely awake. I usually carry the full mug back to bed, throw on an extra pillow to prop up my head, and snuggle in with Bob and the little dogs to drink my coffee in the almost dark.

The blue dog mug was a gift from sister Carrie in North Carolina. I remember getting it for Christmas. When I opened the package I thought the mug was nice. I didn't realize at the time it would become a favorite possession.

Coffee mug with 80s working woman on the sideI drank out of the same coffee mug at work for twenty years.

It's a white porcelain mug with two very 80's looking professional women - one on each side - and the words

"Forget the whales... Save the working woman."

This mug was a gift from my then fourteen year old daughter. I don't remember the occasion. I do remember laughing at the sentiment and thinking that maybe she did have a little inkling how difficult it was to be a full time working mother.

Daughter Heather doesn't remember giving me the mug. That's OK. There are tons of important things that I don't remember. I enjoy imagining her seeing this mug in the store and thinking "My Mom would like that." Knowing Heather, it must have happened something like that. And she was right - I like it.

Now that I'm no longer working, this mug mostly sits in the cupboard. But it's full of history and I intend to keep it for the rest of my life.

Note: This post was originally posted on Seasons of Violet, November 3, 2003. Minor changes have been made.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Update on Sunny
Thank you for all the kind words and well wishes for Sunny. The blood work news was good, considering all the awful things it could have been.

Sunny has an elevated white cell count (19,800. Normal is 6,000 to 17,000.) indicating an infection. She has antibiotics to take for two weeks before getting tested again.

She's looking and feeling healthy and playful. I feel like I've been through the wringer. Those who love a pet will understand.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Please Pee in the Pan
The reason I am stressed out and haven't been online is a very long story which, to most people, would be completely boring. So I'm going to try and tell it in as few words as possible.

While running a urine check on Sunny to attempt to figure out why her incontinence medicine wasn't working, the vet found her specific gravity to be way below normal range. This greatly concerned him and he proceeded to tell us all the horrible - and mostly incurable - things it might indicate.

He's been running tests on her for the past two days and I have been knitting and sitting by the phone to hear the results. Except, of course, when I've been outside trying to slide a pan under her butt when she pees.

We've gone to this vet for fourteen years now. He's extremely competent. Unfortunately, I also know him to be pragmatic and willing to wait and see how things develop when there's no urgency about a condition. Therefore, I have to conclude that even though Sunny seems healthy, this could be the start of something awful.

The big news from the blood work should come tomorrow morning, when I'll be knitting and sitting by the phone.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

End of Summer
Goldenrod starting to bloom in the field To an unknowing observer, this picture looks like a weedy field with some willow trees (left) and a tulip tree (right) in the background.

What this picture, taken today, really represents is the End of Summer.

See the golden tone of the weeds? That's the goldenrod just starting to bust out into golden bloom. The goldenrod towers above all the other weeds. Some patches of it are taller than me. By the first week in September, the entire field will be screaming gold and looking as if there's nothing growing there but goldenrod.

Autumn in SW Michigan is a beautiful season, but way way too short. With just a little imagination, summer lasts until the middle of September. By the first of November the leaves are on the ground, the days are cold and short, and everyone has located their mittens and boots.

This very week my mother mentioned tentative Thanksgiving plans. Could it really be that close?

Even more horrifying, last Thursday evening Gail at doggy school asked us to start thinking of ideas for the Briarwood Dog Training entry in the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade, formerly known as the Kalamazoo Christmas Parade and still frequently called by that name. One of her first thoughts was to have the dogs be sheep and their people be shepherds. Fourteen pound Pappy will need to be a newborn lamb. At least he's the right color.

I am just NOT ready to think about Christmas yet. Please. No.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Second Doggy Beach Party
Pappy swimming in Lake MichiganThree weeks ago after the first doggy school picnic at Hagar Shores on Lake Michigan, we immediately planned a second.

Last night was the second doggy beach party. Like the first, the bring-a-dish food was great, the weather was beautiful, the company of other dog lovers was very pleasant, and the dogs had a great time.

Unlike last time, I brought Pappy instead of Sunny and the waves were gentle enough so the little dogs could swim.

Teacher/trainer Gail took Pappy out in water way over his little doggy head and gentle sat him down in the lake. I was waiting for him at the shoreline and he swam right in to me.

Check out his tail. I never noticed until I saw this picture that he kept his fluffy tail up over his back and it didn't get completely wet. In doggy body language that means he was happy. Or at least I'd like to think he was happy.

Dogs on the beach at the second doggy school picnic

From left to right:

  • Jazz the Maltise
  • Sis the toy Poodle
  • Molly the Sheep Dog mix. Jazz, Sis, and Molly are all part of the same human family.
  • Dahle the Bull Terrier
  • Pappy the Papillon, looking wet because he is wet
  • Riley the Boxer mix
  • Favor the Australian Cattle Dog
  • Downy the Chow mix
  • Casper the Corgi
  • Effie the Corgi

Please let me know if I misspelled a dog's name and it will be corrected.

Both pictures were taken by Downy's Mom, Anna. Thanks Anna.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Pictures From Idaho
Beautiful Idaho taken from a sea planeWhile we were in Idaho, we did something that I've always wanted to do - we took a ride in a sea plane. It was a beautiful flight. This is one of the pictures I took from the air.

Selected pictures from the trip are in a Picturetrail album called "Trip to Idaho, August 2005. Take a peek if you're interested.

And, if you want to read and see more, Son John has written a blog post about our visit showing some of his pictures. The post includes a fascinating picture of me, first thing in the morning, in my nightgown.

I thought I raised him better than that.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Seasons Change but Tattoos are Forever
I saw a young woman with massive snake tattoos on her arms and shoulders. Oh honey, I don't think that was a smart thing to do. Don't I remember that it hurts to have tattoos removed?

Life changes us. Our interests change as we age. While it might be interesting to have a tattoo history of things we used to find important, it's more likely that we don't want to be so frequently reminded.

Thinking of my own life in ten year intervals, here's my imaginary tattoo history:

1955, 10 years old - New tattoo is a picture of Howdy Doody.

1965, 20 years old - New tattoo has hearts and says "Harold Forever".

  • Harold was my first husband. We married in 1965.
  • Howdy Doody was removed in 1958, as soon as I could earn enough baby sitting money to pay to for the procedure.

1975, 30 years old - New tattoo has flowers and says "Bob Forever".
  • Bob is my second husband. We married in 1975.
  • You can bet that "Harold Forever" has been removed.

1985, 40 years old - New tattoo is a picture of running shoes.
  • I imagine myself finding the meaning of life during a runner's high.
  • "Bob Forever" still works, except I'm about twenty-five pounds heavier. The tattoo is looking a little distorted.

1995, 50 years old - New tattoo is a Christian cross.
  • I'm a new Christian and it really is the meaning of life.
  • The running shoes have to go. I have arthritis and a bad back. I'm lucky I can walk.
  • "Bob Forever" still works, except I'm now about fifty pounds heavier. The tattoo is looking very distorted.

2005, 60 years old - There is no new tattoo.
  • Can't decide between a dog, a violet, knitting needles, my laptop, or the names of my granddaughters.
  • "Bob Forever" still works. I lost forty pounds so now it's only distorted by the wrinkles.

Note: This post was originally posted on Seasons of Violet, September 22, 2003. Minor changes have been made.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Me and my two beautiful granddaughters sitting on the couch in IdahoHere I am sitting on the couch in Idaho with my two wonderful granddaughters. What great memories.

The trip was wonderful. I have many many pictures which are not uploaded yet. I'll post the link when they're ready to view for all who are interested.

Ten days without knitting. It was a nice break. Today I picked up the needles and knit a few inches on the back of the Hanover Jacket.

There are two more posts I had ready to publish while I was gone that never made it. I'll be posting them in the next few days while I catch up on everything and life returns to normal.

Friday, August 05, 2005

How the Greatest Trumpet Maker in the World Got His Name

Dave Monette and his motherWynton Marsalis with a Monette trumpet
Monette -The Greatest Trumpet Maker in the World
is my little brother Dave. That's Dave on the left with our Mom. On the right is Wynton Marsalis with one of Dave's masterpieces.

Back in the 50s when Mom was pregnant for Dave, Davy Crockett was very popular on the Sunday evening Walt Disney show. Mom, mother of three girls and sure she was going to have another, said that if she had a boy she'd name him Davy Crockett.

Dave was born a few months early and weighted in at three pounds three ounces. His eldest sister (me) remembered what Mom had promised and knew Mom would keep her word and name him Davy Crockett.

Mom fudged a little and named him David.

She told all the relatives that he was named after the David in the Bible because he was so little and had so much to overcome. Made a great story. But now the truth has been published on the internet. The Greatest Trumpet Maker in the World was named after Davy Crockett. I was there. Trust me, it's true.

Note: This post was originally posted on Seasons of Violet, November 30, 2003. Minor changes have been made.

I'm on vacation but I'd still love to read your comments.