Saturday, February 25, 2006

5 Quirks
Lisa tagged me with the 5 Quirks meme.

List 5 quirks about yourself.

This should be easy because I have many many quirks. Unfortunately, I've had them for so many years I don't think of them as quirks. I had a hard time coming up with five - at least 5 I will admit to in public.

Thinking Bob, husband for 30+ years, should have no problem coming up with five of my quirks, I asked for his help. Quirky minds think alike. He said he was so used to my quirks he couldn't think what they might be.

We had some fun today thinking and talking about quirks. Thanks Lisa.

And here are five to meet the requirement:

  1. I'm superstitious about numbers and have a strong preference for even numbers. 22 is my favorite.

  2. When I'm annoyed, I hum. Bob has trouble understanding this. He thinks I hum when I'm happy although I've told him many times that the opposite is true. Fortunately, I don't have a quick temper or he would have been beheaded by now.

  3. I believe that Pappy understands a large percent of what I say to him. Not only that, but he's a very vocal dog and tries to talk back. Really.

  4. I'm moderately phobic about driving or riding on a road with water on both sides. It doesn't bother me a bit if I'm on a bridge above the water, only when the water and road are on the same level.

  5. I peel a grapefruit and eat it like an orange. Why not? It is like an orange.

If anyone needs a quick blog post because they'd rather be knitting than posting this weekend, you're tagged.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

D is for Dumbbell
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Hobby Advanced class at Briarwood Dog Training has started working with doggy dumbbells again. My dogs have been though the dumbbell training before. They are still flunking.

The dumbbell forced retreive is supposed to be a fun thing for the dogs. Some of the dogs who have learned how to do it in previous rotations of the class do appear to enjoy it.

The desired sequence of events goes like this:

  • Dog sits on left side of owner about six feet in front of a hurdle.
  • Owner tosses dumbbell over the hurdle and says "Take it."
  • Dog enthusiastically jumps over the hurdle and takes the dumbbell in his/her mouth.
  • Dog jumps hurdle with dumbbell in mouth to return to owner.
  • Dog sits in front of owner and gives his/her owner the dumbbell.

Sunny wishing she didn't have a dumbbell in her mouthTake your fingers out from under my chin so I can spit this thing out!

The sequence of events when Sunny does the dumbbell exercise:
  • We don't bother standing in front of the hurdle.
  • I stick the dumbbell in front of Sunny's nose and say "Take it."
  • Sunny ignores me.
  • I gently push the dumbbell into Sunny's mouth.
  • I hold Sunny's chin up for about thirty seconds so the dumbbell won't fall out.
  • Sunny agrees to this because she is being bribed by little pieces of turkey dog.
  • After two tries at holding the dumbbell in her mouth, Sunny insists it's time to go out for a potty break.

The theory is that I will need to spend less and less time holding up Sunny's chin as she learns to hang on to the dumbbell without assistance. Gail the trainer thinks Sunny is making progress. We have practiced at home this past week, and I'm spending just as much time holding up Sunny's chin as I was last week. Sunny is starting to like the practice more, though, because she can guilt trip me into a great long game of tug afterward.

When Sunny's class did dumbbell training two years ago, she hated it so much that I used dumbbell time to take her outside for a potty break. This time around we're going to stick with it and see if we can get to the place where it's fun for her.

Pappy hates the dumbbell even more than Sunny hates the dumbbell.

Pappy looking very sad with a dumbbell in front of himI would do almost anything for you - except this.

The sequence of events when Pappy does the dumbbell exercise:
  • We don't bother standing in front of the hurdle.
  • I get down on the floor and secure him between my legs.
  • I make all kinds of encouraging noises to let him know this is fun.
  • He clamps his jaws shut. Very tightly shut.
  • I pry his mouth open while he's playing keepaway with his head.
  • I insert the dumbbell and hold his mouth shut around it while I continue making encouraging noises.
  • When I can spare a hand, I rub his chest to calm him down.
  • Pappy tries to spit the dumbbell out and run under the nearest piece of furniture.
  • After about thirty seconds, I let him drop the dumbbell.
  • I get very exited and feed him multiple little pieces of turkey dog.
  • Pappy is excited too because maybe we're done with this exercise.

Sounds cruel, doesn't it? I feel like an unfit doggy mother everytime we do this.

All the activities that Pappy now thinks are wonderful fun started out with him balking, so I'm not ready to give up yet.

Fortunately, dumbbells only take about ten minutes of the two hour class. If things don't look better soon, I may teach Pappy that dumbbell time makes a good potty break time. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Lunch
Heather opening her pictureThis afternoon the eldest three generations of women in my family met for lunch at the Oakwood Bistro. Granddaughter Kimmy was elsewhere with her dad. We missed seeing her, but it was nice to have an adult lunch.

Daughter Heather (in picture) treated for a belated my birthday lunch. Our family is not always prompt about things like that. We do things when work schedules permit.

Oakwood Bistro is an award winning restaurant. Its creme brulee is the best I've ever tasted. I don't want to know how many calories it has, but today it didn't have any because it was a birthday treat.

Mom opening her pictureThe other purpose for the lunch was delivery of professional pictures taken of John, Anne, and Sydney in Idaho.

The pictures were framed, wrapped securely in bubble wrap, and all sent to my house for Michigan distribution.

Here you see Mom (my mother, Heather and John's grandmother) trying to liberate the large picture marked for her. Heather is doing the same in the top picture.

Everyone loved their pictures. Thanks John and Anne and Sydney.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

C is for Cosmetology
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I graduated from high school with a math scholarship to Olivet College. To my 18 year old mind in 1963, this was not a cool thing.

What did a girl do with a math degree? And, since it was 1963 when girls did not do much, no one could answer that question for me. When they tried, it came out sounding like “develop your mind and find a husband.” Surely there were easier ways to find a husband than four years of college math.

I enrolled in the fall session of Wright Beauty Academy to become a Cosmetologist.

Marge of Hairstyles by FerrariNine months later I passed the state test and went to work for the best hair styling saloon in Battle Creek, Michigan. Hair Styles by Ferrari.

It was the decade of beehives, backcombing, French twists, flips, and lots of hairspray. Shampooing once a week was the norm.

In 1964 a haircut was $2, a shampoo and set was $2.50, and a perm was $10. Since we worked on commission, we tried to sell the more expensive perms for $15, but most of the ladies (our license did not allow us to work on men) thought the $10 perms were just fine.

Christmas 1964 hairdo with green hair on topI had red hair with the crown bleached out platinum. With the help of color rinses on the bleached part, I could have all kinds of outrageous color combinations.

In this Christmas picture, the top of my hair was a pale green color.

Wedding picture showing the top of my hair rinsed redWhen I got married in February, 1965, I had a temporary auburn rinse put on the bleached hair. Since I was paying for expensive wedding pictures, I thought I might want to look as normal as possible so my kids wouldn't laugh at me in the decades to come.

When my daughter sees the wedding pictures, she is too busy laughing at the hairstyle to even notice the color.