Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of Another Year

Buh-bye 2009. Not sad to see ya go. Don't let the door hit ya in the butt on the way out.

Friend of mine on Facebook posted a status that asked you to name one thing that brought you joy in 2009. Danged if I could think of an event. Oscar went to the Rainbow Bridge in February; I spent the summer in Audit Hell; and the fall has brought a series of family, friend and business challenges. I mean, I'm thankful for my family, for my friends, and for my church, and heaven only knows where I'd be without them... but thinking of one event that just brought me incredible joy during the year??? I got nothin. Maybe my memory is just too short.

So I'm looking forward to 2010. Granted, like every year it starts with tax season -- that's just an occupational hazard. I knew the job was dangerous when I took it (to quote Super Chicken -- and that's a cartoon from the 70's that's way underrated in my book). We're anticipating some changes... don't know what hubby's company is going to do in terms of keeping his division, and of course, some of my client base remains fluid.

We're hoping to take an actual vacation this year. We've missed our trip to Highlands for two years now: in 2008 Oscar was too frail to make the journey, and in 2009 Penny was too young. It would do both of us a lot of good to get away for a weekend.

Resolutions? Yeah. Gave that up awhile back. Except I'm going to try to stitch and knit more out of my stash this year (yeah, I know... I have clients that pay me with store credit... and Stitches South is coming back and the siren's song of the marketplace will be overwhelming). I'm going to try to stick to the Quick Weight Loss Plan (down 14 so far since Nov 2 -- not as quick as they'd like, but I'm living with it). I'll try to be more diligent with my Bible study. And I'll try to be a better friend. My friends are my family that I've chosen.

So to everyone who takes the time to read my blog... I wish you health and happiness in the New Year. Be safe. And here's to a better 2010!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry (?) Christmas, everyone!

Where have I been, having sadly neglected my poor little blog? Well... (scuffing toe in dirt)... it's complicated. Let's just say I've been living that ancient Chinese curse of "May you have an interesting life". Business issues, family issues, issues with friends... I've lived it all over the past couple of months, and if you don't mind, I don't want to rehash it here. I'm trying to look forward to the future. All in all, I won't mind seeing 2009 in the rear view mirror for a number of reasons, but there's some indications that 2010 will present a number of challenges as well. I ask your prayers and thank all of you who have stood by me with your friendship and support.

It's December... and as a lot of you know, I don't handle December well at all. It's hard for me to get into a holiday spirit when each holiday is a reminder that my father will be celebrating with us from heaven... and this year Oscar's howling to the Christmas carols there with him. I read an article somewhere that said being sad during the good news of the Christmas season is just one way the Devil wins. Could be. All I can tell you is that it's tough for me. At Richard's insistance, we did put up a small tree this year -- a tabletop model that isn't too tempting to Penny -- and the wreath is on the door. Baby steps...

And how is Penny? Rotten. Simply rotten. :) Little snot is now 9 months old. We've taken to calling her "Princess Chunky-Butt", since she's tipping the scales at 12.5 pounds and should weigh between 9 and 10. The girl loves her food! Unfortunately, we've discovered that she's prone to some of the same tummy troubles Oscar had. She had a bout of HGE in November that we got a handle on early -- having seen Oscar with it so many times, we recognized the symptoms and were able to get her to the vet pronto. It's a little concerning because it showed up in her so young; Oscar was 6 or 7 before he had his first episode, but Penny was 8 months old. I guess God knew we could handle dachshunds with tummy troubles, so he sent the Pennster to us. :)

Stitching and knitting, you ask? Well, I did go to ASG at the end of October with the girls and had a wonderful time as usual. It was great to see Ron and Rae and all the folks we normally only see once a year. The classes were delightful -- even though I now know that scrimshaw etching is "not my thing", I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to try it. Jackie duPlessis was an absolute joy to take a class from -- I loved her sense of humor -- and Rae continues to amaze me with the creative projects she comes up with year after year. If you click on the "Teachers" button on the ASG page, you can download a PDF describing the classes we took. Of course, none of the projects are finished yet. I've only finished one measly ornament and I don't even have a picture to share. I know, bad me.

Knitting-wise, I knitted up some pressies for my sisters-in-law. Pictures to follow after Christmas, because I don't want to spoil the surprise. I'm working on some socks for my mom now that I'm hoping to have finished -- simple pattern with two strands of worsted held together that goes fast, so I have some hope! I'm pondering a moratorium on stash purchases for the first 6 months of next year, but I fear that might endanger several small businesses. We'll see. ;)

I know some of you who come to my blog expect humor and something uplifting... I hope to be able to offer that to you next time. I promise not to neglect my sad little blog for as long as I did this time...

Until next time... I wish you health; I wish you happiness; and I wish you the peace and love of the Child of Bethlehem. To all my friends reading this, know that you are cherished.

Merry Christmas from me, Richard and Penny!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Of Wins and Wiener Dogs

I'm happy to report that Penny has completely recovered from being spayed. She had a very smooth recovery process with no problems, and I'm proud that she didn't have to wear the "Cone of Shame" because she didn't mess with her stitches at all! All of us are glad to have that behind us.

The area continues to recover from the floods. As it turns out, my mom's roof had three pretty significant leaks during all the rains, and I'm working with the roofers and insurance company to get her house re-roofed. It's always an interesting process taking care of stuff like that from an hour away. At least the insurance adjuster has agreed that the roof needs to be completely replaced, so we're hopeful we can get the process going and everything done before the next deluge. There are tarps on the roof now to protect the house from any further damage.

But on to happier things...

I got a note from my friend Melody that I had won her blog contest! I was totally blown away -- I never win anything (well, I take that back... I did win a blender in a raffle when I was in the 9th grade... I still have it and it still works). Behold the loveliness:
It's a hand dyed laceweight yarn from Kaalund Yarns in Australia. The picture is horrible; it doesn't do justice to the beauty of the yarn. And Mel very kindly included a beautiful shawl pattern for me to knit. Mel, thank you so very much!!! I look forward to casting on and I hope I can do justice to the wonderful yarn!

As for wiener dogs... We took Penny to the annual HowlOWeenie sponsored by one of the dachshund rescue groups here in Atlanta. We joked that it was Penny's big "coming out" party after her spay.

Did I mention that there were wiener dogs??
Some were in costume...There was even an Elvis sighting...
Penny found a new fan:
All in all, we had a good time. Penny was a bit overwhelmed by all the people and all the dogs. She does well with other dogs on a "one on one" basis, but she tends to be a bit timid when confronted by a lot of them at once. I think the socialization was good for her though.

Now, this next bit may not be for the faint of heart... but I actually finished something!
Granted, it's only an ornament -- The Sunflower Seed ornament from the 2008 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue, but it does represent the most stitching that I've done in the past 9 months. Penny's settling down to the point where I can get a needle and thread out and not worry about her grabbing it out of my hand. (I do, however, still have to worry about where I put it down, or it will be grabbed and taken across the room...)

I also started Penny's sweater for the winter:
For those of you interested, it's the "Olly Sweater" out of Doggie Knits, and it was specifically designed to fit a dachshund, so I'm hoping there won't be a lot of tweaking to fit that long, low body. I'm making it out of a soft, Berroco merino washable wool and I'll include a hole for her harness to clip through so she can wear the harness under the sweater rather than over it.

Whew! That's the catch up! Hope everyone has had a good couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I can't take too much of this excitement

First of all, Penny was indeed spayed yesterday, and she came through it like a champ. She also had her upper puppy canines pulled, because the adult teeth were coming in, and the baby teeth were getting impacted. The vet kept them for us, and they're in a little bottle which the vet techs labled "Penny - Tooth Fairy". I suppose I should get some more gravy bones to put underneath her pillow! She's feeling pretty good... she has pain meds to take once a day with food (which I translated this morning as "with a can of chicken"), and she's relaxing and snoozing for the most part. She occasionally rouses to investigate whatever paper I may have accidentally left on the coffee table, but she goes back to the sofa soon afterward for a nap.

But, you may have heard that we've had a little bit of bad weather here in the Atlanta area. That's like saying Hitler was a little bit of an unpleasant person. Rain. Buckets of rain. Over a 48 hour period, I heard that our area had an estimated 15 inches of rain, and we weren't even one of the hardest hit areas.

It stormed all night Sunday night and into Monday morning. Got up and took Penny to her appointment at the vet, then went home to monitor the weather. Got a call that Penny was ok... and I was making plans to go get her shortly after 3. Except I looked out my window shortly before 1 and saw this:
Well, that's not exactly true. I saw water creeping up the street from the lake. The street that you can't see in this picture, which was taken from my across-the-street neighbor's porch. The street sign is in my next-door neighbor's yard. The bench you sort of see sticking out of the water in the distance, next to the sign that's just about submerged, is in the park where Penny goes to sniff and run around on a regular basis. The lake's regular banks are well beyond the trees...

Now, my Hummer can drive through 2 feet of water. Problem is, I had no clue how deep the water was. And it was rising.

Called the vet, because I was worried that we wouldn't be able to get there to bring Penny home. They said she could stay there. As you know, I love my vet and her office, but there was going to be nobody there between 7 PM and 7 AM. I knew we had to get our girl home to look after her in case there were post-surgical complications.

Emailed this pic to Richard. He planned to leave work, buy a crate (which my mom generously offered to fund), head to the vet, come home, park as close as he could, then walk through people's yards avoiding flood waters if at all possible. Unfortunately, this plan got complicated, because roads were flooding all over the place, and he had to make detours. When he got close, we decided to forego the crate in favor of speed, since conditions were rapidly deteriorating.

But... when he got to the exit where the vet's office was... it was flooded. He had to get back on the interstate. We tried to find alternate routes, but we decided the best move was for me to get the Hummer and try to head on back roads that might not be closed to get to the vet. Richard headed home... and I think the police were right behind him closing the interstate as he was dodging the flooding on the roadway.

The neighborhood flooding had receded some, so I was able to drive out and take the long way around to get to the office and get our girl. About 2 1/2 hours had passed since we first hatched the plan to get her. She was still very groggy, but I think she was happy to see me. Drove carefully home with our precious cargo and made it without much problem. Thank goodness I was driving south; northbound traffic out of the Atlanta area was a nightmare.

I hope the folks at the vet's office got home ok. Many of them were worried that they wouldn't be able to get home last night because of the road closures. I read one report that said the "express" bus from Downtown Atlanta to Woodstock (where my office is and where the vet is), a 30 mile trip, took 4 1/2 hours.

Too much excitement for my taste!

Richard said we undertook a small "Penny rescue" of our own. That minimizes the horrible damage that people have had here. People have died. Babies were swept away from their parents and killed. Schoolkids weren't able to get home and had to spend the night at their school due to the flooding. An entire small town north of my hometown was flooded and evacuated. People have lost everything, because they were told they weren't in a flood plain and didn't need insurance. Folks who were at work haven't been able to get home to check on their pets.

A friend lives in a heavily flooded area. Her house was ok, but the two houses across the street were flooded and the residents had to evacuate. She woke up at 3 this morning to the sound of scumbags looting the houses that had been evacuated. She called the police, but they were busy trying to save the idiots that insisted on driving around barricades into the floodwaters. I pray there's a special circle of Hell for predators who would take advantage of people like that.

We're blessed, because we were all able to go to bed in our own house, in our own bed, safe and dry. We're not having to boil our water before we use it. Things could have been much, much worse. We were inconvenienced, but everything turned out ok for us. Please keep the people who weren't so fortunate in your prayers as their long road to recovery begins.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What is my Role?

Thanks to Ria for the meme!

You Are the Philosopher

You love thinking things over and developing theories.

Learning is very important to you, and you pursue knowledge relentlessly.

You love to talk about the things you know, often in more detail than people would like to hear.

And you know a lot! You're always taking on new subjects, interests, and hobbies.

You are at your best when you are left alone to ponder your newest ideas and experiments.

You tend to withdraw from environments that are loud, contentious, or passionate.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Change in Plans

Our wonderful Dr. Weaver is ill, so Penny's spay has been postponed till September 21st. We appreciate all the good thoughts you've been sending, we hope you can continue them till then. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hitting another deadline

And I've been quiet again. It's because another tax deadline looms: September 15, which is the deadline for all those corporate extensions that were filed in March. While I'm used to it, this is Penny's first big tax crunch. She's not understanding why she has to stay out of Mommy's office (there's so much interesting paper to munch on in there! and just look at those power cords that could use some chewing!) while Mommy works. Needless to say, I have a bit of an unhappy puppy right now.

Richard tries to get her outside when he comes home from work as much as he can.It's amazing the change in her since June when we first started leash training with her. She is now confident and will walk all over the place on her lead whereas in June she'd just lay down in the grass and refuse to move. She and Richard are going for walks through the neighborhood -- they're gradually getting longer, and Penny is likely to take off running when Richard lets her! It's a great opportunity to work off some of that puppy energy.

I'm trying to join them when my foot permits. I'm working on the third month in the air cast due to the plantar faciitis.
It's better, but we're still not at a point where I can go completely to the orthotics in my shoes. I've learned how to maneuver with it pretty well. It's still annoying and hot, but if it keeps me from having surgery on the foot, which sounds completely unpleasant, it'll be worth it. I still think I'm secure in my status as "Queen of the soft tissue injury" between this, the carpal tunnel, and the rotator cuff tears in both shoulders. :)

We spent Labor Day up in Rome visiting Mom. Penny spent two nights away from home for the first time. She found Mom's house to be big and very interesting. We still have a few potty training issues, but for the most part, she did really well. It was an orgy of puppy junk food for her, since Mom fixed her roast beef, bacon, eggs, and biscuits. And yes, you can imagine the gastrointestinal effects that had... I'm happy to report that she was doing better once we got her diet back to normal. :)

As for stitching and knitting... still not much. I don't get a chance to work on a lot since Penny takes a real interest in anything I'm doing and offers a great deal of assistance. Sometimes her assistance comes in the form of grabbing the ball of yarn and running across the great room and into the dining room, wrapping the furniture with yarn as she goes. I'm happy to report that she has excellent "taste" in fibers, as she has shown no interest in embroidery cotton but has stolen a couple of skeins of silk while I wasn't looking. You might know I'd raise a pup who wants the good stuff.

Back to work with me.... If you can spare some good thoughts on Monday the 14th, we'd appreciate it. Penny's being spayed that day (I tried to get the vet to do a "twofer" and spay me at the same time, but Richard said he couldn't deal with both of us in those collars...). I'll report back and let everyone know how she's doing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another Ten Commandments for Dog Owners













--Author Unknown

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Musical

Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test...


37% Logical, 10% Spatial, 31% Linguistic, 20% Intrapersonal, 8% Interpersonal, 76% Musical, 6% Bodily-Kinesthetic and 27% Naturalistic!

"This area has to do with rhythm, music, and hearing. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence display greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones and music. They normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. Since there is a strong auditory component to this intelligence, those who are strongest in it may learn best via lecture. In addition, they will often use songs or rhythms to learn and memorize information, and may work best with music playing in the background.

Careers which suit those with this intelligence include instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, and composers." (Wikipedia)

Take Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test
at HelloQuizzy

Penny's First Post!

Head over to Dogs on Thursday and check out Penny's first entry. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We Have a Kindergarten Graduate!

Puppy Kindergarten, that is. :)Here is Penny getting her diploma from Susan of K9U. After a rigorous 7 week class, she has mastered socializing with other puppies, people, and various commands, including "come when called", "sit", "stay", and the ever difficult "leave it" and "drop it". She will also walk on a leash and seems to look forward to going out for walks and on car rides. All in all we think she did really well.

Meet Penny's classmates...June is an All-American Breed dog who seems to have a bit of hound in her. Although she's a good bit larger than Penny, she and Penny were playmates, and Penny delighted in doing everything the "big dog" did.Hayley is another All-American Breed dog who had a rough start in life. Her person found her at the age of about 3 weeks, abandoned and starving. With a lot of love and a lot of attention, she's thriving, and she's quite the star student in the class.Little Lita belongs to Susan's assistant... you know I have a soft spot for red, smooth dachshunds, and Lita did not disappoint. She reminded me so much of Oscar, because she just wasn't sure about all these dogs. Didn't want to participate in all this puppy play -- she'd rather hang there with her person and be fed the occasional treat, thankyouverymuch. And she always had such a concerned look on her face. It was like she was peering over her glasses as if to say "Are you sure you should be doing all that foolishness?" Ah yes, Lita. We'll rely on you to keep all of them in line. :)

So, we'll miss Penny's classmates, but we wish all of them well. We know all of them will have happy lives with their people and will be well cared for and have bellies full of good food and good treats. And they may end up just a tiny bit spoiled.

As it should be.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's Thursday! that must mean an update on The Princess (who is currently on my list, considering she wouldn't settle down to go to sleep last night... I fear she spent the night in her private den in the master bath because she just wouldn't lie down and rest... and yeah, I feel bad about it and didn't sleep either).Penny is now 23 weeks old. On Saturday, she graduates from puppy kindergarten. We have a spot ready on our diploma wall, where her diploma will join mine, Richard's and Oscar's. She's done very well and has mastered come when called (she even ran up a hill last Saturday and did everything the Big Dogs did) as well as Sit. She's working on Stay, Leave It, and Drop It. Those last two are a little more difficult because they involve ignoring stuff she really wants but can't have.

We're working on walking on a leash. She's come a long way from June, when she would just lay in the yard in her harness, not moving. We've gotten her to walk down the road on the leash and it seems like she's actually enjoying getting out and about. She likes greeting other people who give her the proper amount of adoration, and she doesn't shy away from other dogs.

We haven't decided yet whether or not to enroll her in basic obedience, because we think we've gotten a lot of it in the puppy kindergarten class. We think that right now the important thing is to keep working on the things she's learned and to keep reinforcing them.

We're considering a short weekend trip with her to see how she does. She hasn't ridden in the stroller yet -- we may try to get it out around town here and get her used to it before she does a big shopping adventure to an outlet mall.I think this photo reflects Penny's overall opinion on clicker training. If she could, she'd use the clicker to get us to bring her treats on demand!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dogs on Thursday!

Penny and I will now be a regular contributors to Dogs on Thursday, a blog where, interestingly enough, people talk about their dog every Thursday. :) Our intro is up there today. Our regularly scheduled blog time will be the 4th Thursday of each month, so check there for what I hope will be amusing anecdotes on The Princess.

So since it's Thursday... and The Princess is allegedly a dog... I'll share a story here. This past weekend we went to Costco and they had bags of 12 inch bully sticks for $20. Now, if you have a dog, you know that bully sticks are wonderful chew toys. We refer to them as "dead animals", because that's what they are. They're some part of a cow, and frankly, I don't want to know what part they are. The 6" bullys I had bought for her on sale were about $2.50 a pop, so I figured we could buy the bag and cut them in half and be golden for a bit.

Except... The Princess had other plans. She took the 12 inch bully, which frankly is just about as long as she is, and ran through the house with it. Then she took it up on the sofa and settled in for a chew. In three days she had whittled it down to about half size. So much for the cutting it in half plans. The big dog needs a big bully stick, right??

At least it's keeping her from gnawing on our hands...

Edited to add the picture of The Princess... isn't she just the cutest when she's napping?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

25 Years Ago Today

... I married the most wonderful man in the world.

Today is our silver wedding anniversary. Truly doesn't seem as if 25 years have passed. Seems like just yesterday we were just getting out of Georgia Tech and starting our life together.

We've been through a lot... We've built two houses. Been through stressful jobs... the loss of a couple of them... and job changes that go along with building a career. Been through the loss of my dad and his mom. Started my business. Decided along the way that our family would be the two of us and whatever pet we had at the time, because that was what was right for us.

We've been blessed... we haven't faced the challenges a lot of other couples have. I hope that it's because we've kept our marriage God-centered and focused on Him and each other.

I know that I love my husband more now than I did 25 years ago when we got married, and I didn't think that was possible.

Happy anniversary Richard. I love you, and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Drama Queen Update

It was bath day for the Drama Queen. Took her in 9 ish this morning. The cheerful folks at Dr. Weaver's, no doubt not having heard about the events of Wednesday, said it would only take a couple of hours and they'd call when she was ready.

At 11 I called to see how she was doing and how many people she'd bitten. Oh, she's fine, they said. Just a little squirmy, but she's giving us kisses. We'll call you when she's ready.

What? Giving us kisses? Excuse me? What happened to little miss "Oh you're touching me I think I'm going to die!" that appeared a mere two days ago?

At 1 I started getting a little antsy and called again to discover she was just finishing up her spa visit, so I jumped in the Hummer and drove up to get her. They brought her out complete with little pink gingham bandanna around her neck.

Little snot ignored me. Pretended she didn't even know who I was. Didn't want to leave the tech. I was crushed.

Got her in the car and headed for Chick-Fil-A, where the Magic Window produced a box of nuggets that we took home. She inhaled them and has been sleeping off her experience for the rest of the afternoon.

Silly dog.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I have a Drama Queen

So Penny has to go see Dr. Weaver for a nail trim (known here as a mani-pedi... we want The Princess to think she is only getting the Royal Treatment she deserves). We also needed to get her weighed to get the proper dose of Advantage Multi, which is what we're using for flea/heartworm prevention.

The good news: She continues to grow and is up to 8 pounds of dachshund fury. At five months, Dr. Weaver says she'll probably add about 10 to 20% more body weight when she's full grown... so we're probably looking at a petite flower of 9 to 10 pounds when she's full grown.

The bad news: She can put on a drama scene worthy of Camille. She began screaming when we got in the room at the vet's office. She continued screaming and brought it to a crescendo when the vet tech picked her up for Dr. Weaver to begin trimming her nails.

Then she bit the vet tech. I was mortified.

They switched places. Dr. Weaver held, while the tech trimmed nails.

Penny bit Dr. Weaver. I wanted to drop through the floor.

I don't think I've apologized so much in so short a period of time in my life. Of course, they laughed it off and said it was part of the job. Dr. Weaver spoke sternly to Penny and everything ended with Penny giving Dr. Weaver kisses.... but still.

Now, Penny still hasn't had the dreaded bath. We put her in an empty tub the other night, and you'd have thought we were killing her... so we've decided to wimp out and let the pros do it. I'm taking her back to the vet's office on Friday for a trip to the beauty salon.

Pray for them.

Friday, July 31, 2009


I enjoy Twitter. It helps me keep track of a number of friends of mine, both in real life and my cyber friends. I get a lot of NASCAR news updates from a lot of writers I follow, as well as several drivers and crew members (I won't deny that a bunch of us were squeeing like 14 year old fangirls when Michael Waltrip actually tweeted back to our friend Jen, but that's another matter entirely).

Penny has her own Twitter account, and she routinely tweets and sends pictures commenting on life as a dachshund puppy. Turns out she's not alone. There's several other dachshunds on Twitter who are also very communicative and a number of other dogs who are following her. Penny actually has tweet conversations with a couple of dachshunds on a regular basis. They don't like thunder, vacuum cleaners, or baths either.

What irritates me about Twitter is the inevitable appearance of spammers. No, I don't smoke cigars. No, I don't want to buy steaks. Thank you, but I'm not really in debt over my head, and even if I were, I don't think I'd need your help to get out.

I've been trying to figure out if there's a pattern to what I post that might make me more appealing to these dweebs, but for the life of me I can't.

And no, frankly I don't want to see your sexxxxxxy pictures, either. Neither does Penny.

I'm wondering if any of these porn spammers know they're really following a 20 week old dachshund puppy??

Monday, July 27, 2009

Help a pooch?

A fellow Raveler is trying to raise money for an expensive MRI for her dog, Miss Poppy. You can see more information regarding her condition here.

If you can spare a buck for a pup in need, Penny would appreciate it. No tax benefit, just some good feelings and some good karma.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back to Normal, whatever that is...

Well, it's been about three weeks since my last post. I can now tell you that I'm no longer contracting at the audit client. In the process, I've discovered that there are people in the world that you can't trust who will stab you in the back. I've eliminated them from my life and I'm working through some anger right now. Even though I no longer have that contract that was a base of my business, I know that everything will be fine -- even before the contract ended my phone was ringing with other clients who needed additional work... God's way of taking care of me. I have no concerns, because I've turned them over to Him and I'll just let Him handle it from there.

At any rate, it was an ugly, exhausting process. I've just been bone tired and really not excited about doing much of anything to be honest. I'm looking to the future to get back to normal -- whatever passes for normal in anybody's life these days. :)

My comings and goings have been somewhat hampered by the fact that I'm now in an air cast to try to calm down the case of plantar fasciitis that I have. The night splint wasn't working, so I'm hobbling around in this to try to heal the ligament where it's tearing and get the bones realigned properly. We're hoping that the inconvenience of the cast will keep me from having go to through the inconvenience of surgery on my foot.

Penny continues to grow and thrive. She'll be 20 weeks old this week, and she's a charmer! We're starting to see some adult teeth coming in even though those ultra-sharp puppy canines are still there. She's been in Puppy Kindergarten for three weeks now. We're making progress with socialization, but she doesn't like big groups of dogs and prefers one on one interaction. I completely understand! A couple of the more rowdy dogs graduated from kindergarten this week, so I'm hoping that it'll be a bit quieter for her in the coming weeks. We learned the hard was to take "people food" like chicken or cheese or roast beef last week as treats when Penny completely ignored our perfectly acceptable dog treats and mooched off other puppy parents. How embarassing! This week she got her own cooked hamburger.

We had our annual ornament exchange weekend:
In the picture are most of the group with yours truly front and center in the Ravelry t-shirt. :) Linda and Laura elected to be photographers and weren't in the group shot. The red tote bags on the table were made by DF Vicky for each of us to put our ornament kits in. Judy and Ann graciously helped me finish my kits in time for the exchange; with having Penny in the house, my stitching time was limited, so my fiber totals for each ornament were admittedly estimated this year. I'm hoping that I overestimated so that nobody will run out of anything. At any rate, it was a great weekend and I got to visit extra with Judy, Ann, and Teresa who spent the night at my house during their visit. It's always a treat to be able to spend time with my out of town buds. :)

Not much else going on. I'm still working on the Garter Toes socks that I showed you in the last post. I'm almost finished with the first one. I started stitching a relatively simple piece, "The Branch" by Bent Creek, but I haven't made a lot of progress to show. And I took out an ornament kit that I've put exactly 12 stitches in so far. Maybe I'll have pictures next time.

Have a good week everyone! Take time to do something nice for yourself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Catching Up

A belated happy 4th of July to everyone in the US! I hope you took some time to ponder the freedoms we enjoy and to thank the people in our military who keep those freedoms safe for us.

It's been a stressful couple of weeks here. I've been involved in an internal audit at my big client. There's some internal politics going on, and I hate stuff like that. At any rate, the internal auditors from corporate came in and went through stuff with a fine toothed comb... problem is, the main auditor is accustomed to auditing government contracts and procedures in a large company, not what is essentially a small retail business. Top it off with the fact that, to put it politely, she's "confused"... can't keep bank accounts straight, keeps asking for duplicates of documents she already has... and I'm seriously questioning her competence. Unfortunately, I think someone's job is on the line here. I'm not denying that there's record keeping issues, because there were, and I had cautioned about them numerous times. But those have been compounded by the auditor's incompetence. I think something ugly's going to happen within the next couple of weeks, and to be frank, my trust level for everyone there is currently at zero. I'm currently deciding if I can continue to contract for them. It's a difficult decision, because they're my biggest client, but I'm not sure I can keep working in that environment. Sad, because I've been with them for ten years now.

In the middle of all that, we've been trying to keep up with training Penny. She'll be 17 weeks old this week, and she's going through all the predictable puppy stuff. Teething is a big issue, as is housetraining. She's finished her puppy shots so she's free to mingle with other dogs. Tomorrow night she has her first session with a trainer here at the house, and then this coming Saturday she's scheduled to start Puppy Kindergarten. Good news with her is that she's now walking on a leash, thanks to Kim at Dr. Weaver's office (I had a small meltdown there when we went for her last shots about all the problems we've been having with her. Our frustration level is high.). That means she's been able to get outside, and she loves it. Keeping in the great dachshund tradition though, she completely ignores the geese and ducks who frequent our front yard.Here we are in a quiet moment on a Sunday afternoon. I'm in mid-summer allergy attack.

For the 4th, we went to Rome for Penny's first overnight visit to Mom's. It went ok.... we had a couple of potty accidents, and we had one unfortunate incident where Mom and Penny were playing and Penny got a little overzealous and nipped. On the bright side, Penny did find a chipmunk hole and actually started digging at it! We may have a little earthdog here after all. :)

In the middle of all this, we had Vacation Bible School at our church, and once again I was the Snack Lady. Attendance was down slightly this year due to the fact that we had to postpone our school to accomodate a teacher (who ultimately couldn't attend due to a death in the family) and we were competing against several other churches in the area. But we managed to attract over 50 kids. Snacks were uneventful for the most part. I'll admit one day was particularly lame (although I like Twizzlers), and two four year olds rebelled. They informed me they didn't want the snack, and they knew I had other stuff because they'd seen it. Couldn't argue with that, because it was right out in the open. So I relied on the old "well, this is what we have for today and if you don't want it, you're welcome to sit quietly at the table and have some water" which is what they ultimately did when they realized they weren't going to get their way. As I told one of the teachers, it must be a shock to find out you're not really that special when you've been told all your life that you were...

In a vivid demonstration of "keep me away from the internet when my stress level is high", Amazon politely offered to ship me a Kindle 2 via ovenight shipping and I accepted. I must say that I love it so far! I've downloaded two books I wanted (haven't updated the reading on the side of the blog yet), but I can see where the downloads can quickly become addictive (and expensive).

Knitting and stitching, you ask?? Well, I do try to sneak some in around the puppy. No real pictures tho. I'm frantically working on ornaments for the annual exchange. It's time to start making the kits so I've got to order stuff (Drema at Needlecraft Corner, are you listening?? :)) As for knitting, my DF Sara from Ravelry sent me some wonderful Mirasol Hacho merino wool that screamed to be a pair of socks. I obliged them and started knitting during the Sprint Cup race this past Saturday night.The color is much bluer than it appears in the picture. Beautiful stuff and so soft!

That catches you up with us. Hope all of you are having a good summer. Take some time to be good to yourselves.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mail for Me!

Penny here. Mom let me take over the blog tonight to say hello and tell you about my big week. I got a box in the mail. Really! Addressed to me and everything!
Drema at Needlecraft Corner and her faithful canine Amber are friends of my mom, and they wanted to welcome me to the neighborhood, so they sent me a box of my very own. Well, ok. They sent my mom some silly toys with it, but the important thing is that it was addressed to me! I couldn't wait to get into it.
I *finally* got it open. This whole lack of opposable thumbs thing is a real drag. I mean, I had just had my final round of puppy shots that day, and I was feeling kind of grouchy, so I was hoping for something really good, ya know?? It smelled interesting, so I thought there must be some kind of really fabulous surprise in there...
Aaaugh... so close! Got the package out... full of Mommy's silly stuff... and I could see an envelope in there with my name on it!! Must... keep... working...
Got it!!! Now, to get the envelope open and savor the wonder within.
Inside were some of the yummiest treats ever! I gobbled them up all at one time. Mom said she felt sorry for me because I'd had to go to the vet, and I'd had all those shots, and I'd had a mani-pedi on top of that. Plus... well, I kinda snapped at the vet, and Mom tattled on me and said that's what I'd been doing at home. So then we had to do some obedience stuff. They made me walk on a leash! The very nerve. My feet aren't supposed to hit the ground, you know. And Mom and Dad have been making me do that at home too. Things have been changing a bit. So they're gonna have to get me more of these treats.Because I really deserve them.

But thank you Aunt Drema and Aunt Kathleen and Amber. Thank you so much for sending me the yummy treats. I enjoyed every bite and licked up all the crumbs after they were gone. I appreciate you treating me like the princess I am (unlike some people who make me walk on a leash...).

Ok mom... I'm getting off the computer now. Geez. Parents.

Friday, June 19, 2009

An Update on The Princess

So, I imagine some of you have been asking, what's up with that adorable puppy of yours?
The good news is that she's still alive. See that face? That's what's keeping her living.

She's now 14 weeks old, and at our last vet visit she was five whole pounds of dachshund fury. And teeth. Don't forget the extra sharp puppy teeth that puncture human skin like Wolverine slashes through supervillains.

We had seriously forgotten how much work a puppy is. She is so energetic! But the funniest thing is that she's acting like a dog. Seriously. How strange is that? Oscar would be so amused at the sight of us dealing with a dog.

She's learned to play fetch. And she'll bring you the toy over and over and over and over and over... well, you get the idea. Favorite toy at this point is Mr. Ram, the blue and yellow fellow you can see in the background of the picture. She'll play tug of war. She has learned where the treats are stored and if she hears the mere hint of a bag crinkling (even if it's for human treats) she'll drop whatever she's doing and park her little rear by the treat box with that ever hopeful look on her face and the slight head tilt so as to maximize her cuteness. I tell you, the cuteness is a survival instinct.

She's also learning rudimentary obedience skills. For example, "sit" is short for "if I drop my butt here now, a tasty morsel will fall my way." She knows her name and chooses to answer if it suits her, which is normal for any dachshund no matter the age. Housetraining? Eh. Not so much. But we now have new machine washable throw rugs.

The kicker was last night when we took her in the back yard. She'd previously been out there, clad in collar and harness, and she hated it. She'd sit like a lump and occasionally gnaw on a blade of grass but she'd make no effort to move. But last night we decided to take her down there nekkid as a jaybird since the back yard is fenced in. That did it: she frolicked; she cavorted; she ran; she leaped; she sniffed; and so help me, she laid down on the ground and rolled in the grass.

Oscar would have been mortified at the behavior.

That's when we realized that we have an actual dog this time. We have no clue how to deal with it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Bittersweet Day

I'll begin with a brief review, since I know I have a lot of new blog followers...

My best friend growing up, Lynne, passed away suddenly in April, 2006 at the age of 47. Like me, she was an only child. She left behind her mother, who was 88 at the time. Her mother found her in the house when she couldn't get Lynne on the phone after a day or so, so we really don't know how long she'd been dead when she was discovered. It took months to get a cause of death; the coroner finally said the primary cause was pneumonia, with a secondary cause of undiagnosed thyroid cancer. To this day, I don't think any of us really believe it, but it doesn't do any of us any good to dwell on it.

I wound up as executor of Lynne's estate. As those close to me can tell you, it's been a long, sometimes painful process. There were issues with her mom understanding what was going on. There were issues with some charities (which will remain unnamed here, but if you really want to know who contact me and I'll be happy to tell you) causing trouble because they didn't think they got their "fair share" of what she left them in her relatively small estate. And ultimately, the whole thing caused a bit of a rift between her mom and my mom, which I had nothing to do with, but which I regret.

I had distributed most of the funds due to Lynne's mother, as her sole heir, quite awhile back. Yesterday, I closed out the bank account, being satisfied that after this length of time, there would be no more claims against the estate. Today, I mailed the check for the balance to her mother.

So this chapter in my life is now officially closed. Aside from putting things in file folders and moving them to my archives, my work is finished. And Lynne's time here on earth is complete.

I sent a letter with the check to her mother saying telling her to consider this little windfall as Lynne's final gift to her and to go out and do something nice for herself with it. I doubt I ever hear what she does. I'll be able to track that the package was delivered, and that's about it.

A lot of things have changed for me in these three years. I learned not to take people around me for granted, because they may not be there. I learned not to wait till tomorrow to do what I want, because tomorrow may not come (thus, the Hummer, that I bought a week after Lynne's death). And I've learned that somehow, someway, I always end up with a lot more responsibility than I bargain for. Danged if I know how that happens.

So, my friend, goodbye. I love you like the sister I never had. I miss you. I hope the life you have now is much happier than the one you had here. I'll see you again one day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Support Small Business

Think about it. Go there now.

Just sayin'.

Thanks to Tammy for letting me know about it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A little busier at our house...

Why, you ask?
Meet Penny Jasmine. She was born 3/12/09 and joined our household this past Saturday from the folks at the Indian Cotton Kennels. We've been keeping her under wraps as a surprise to our friends, but she's ready to make her debut. In case you can't tell from the photo, she's a longhaired black & tan dappled little girl. Right now she's 3.1 pounds of dachshund fury.

It's been a long time since we've had a puppy, and we've never had one this young. Our Oscar was 3 months old when we got him. Penny is a ball of energy, exploring everything (she's particularly obsessed with whatever she thinks is behind the recliner, which frankly is only a bunch of electrical cords she can't have, and we're amazed at how she's working out different ways to get around the barriers we've erected). Those little puppy teeth are sharp and her favorite targets are toes. She is a rather opinionated young lady and will readily let you know what's on her mind. Loudly.

We know that it's not fair to compare Oscar and Penny, since they're two completely different personalities, but we've been amazed at the differences so far. Oscar would never, ever get into a crate; so far Penny's been sleeping in hers and in her puppy playpen. Oscar was always a "nervous eater" and had to have someone with him while he dined; you'd best not get between Penny and her bowl.We've been for our first well-puppy visit and Dr. Weaver has pronounced Penny "perfect" and is really impressed with the breeder as Penny didn't have any of the puppy parasites that generally come with dogs from kennels. Penny has also been well socialized and didn't mind all of her "aunts" passing her around to "ooh" and "aah" over her at stitch group last night. She can already work the room with the best of them.

Penny's already gone hi-tech, as any modern puppy would. You can follow her on Twitter, and I have it on good authority that she's going to be setting up her own web-cam to follow her during the day when we're not home. You'll find details here when it's set up.

We never, ever intend for Penny to replace Oscar. As my dear friend Benne on Ravelry said, Oscar was tired and needed to rest, and now he knows that someone is there to take over his work. Richard and I are a pawfull, so Penny will have her work cut out for her. We hope she enjoys the journey as much as we're gonna enjoy having her with us.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And, The End of the First Wave

Ah, April 15. The end of the first wave of tax returns for the year. I guess what really upsets me more than the usual litany of people not knowing what to bring for their returns and people bringing stuff in late is the fact that folks have no clue how much they actually pay in income tax. They phrase it in terms of "I got this much back -- I didn't have to pay", not actually absorbing the concept that they've been paying all year. It's food for thought, and maybe it'll inspire some of you to actually look at page 2 of that 1040, line 61, and see how much of your hard-earned money is going to the government every year.

But my political opinions are not why most of you come to this blog...

You come for fun things, like SHEEP!This past Saturday I played hooky from work and went to the Atlanta History Center for their annual Sheep to Shawl festival. The festival featured re-enactments of life as it would have been on the Tullie Smith farm in Atlanta in the 1850's. It's amazing that the actual structure still standing -- we don't have a lot of pre-War-of-Northern-Aggression buildings standing around here considering how rude Sherman was with the fire thing when he came through. But this one was and they moved it to the grounds of the history center. There are animals there, including one ram and one ewe who were in need of shearing, since it's spring and they were sporting their heavy winter fleeces.

The unhappy sheep you see in the picture is Napoleon, a roughly 250 lb ram who was the first to be sheared. Took three men to bring him out. The gentleman shearing him is a professional sheep shearer and has a farm here in the area. Silly me -- I didn't know there were enough sheep in the area to merit a professional shearer here, but evidently there are. He carefully sheared Napoleon (avoiding obvious boy parts... and boy, were they obvious once all that fleece was gone). The shearer said that the sheep would cooperate pretty well as long as their hooves were up in the air.For his part, Napoleon cooperated pretty well except for in mid-shear when his hooves did hit the ground and he decided to make a break for it in the pen, with half his fleece hanging off him. He was quickly wrestled into submission by the three men again and put over onto his side so the shearing could be completed.

When he was completely sheared, the shearer let Napoleon up to run free. We thought he would run around the rather large pen, but instead, he said "Check, please!" and made a break for the barn, where he no doubt told the ewe what was in store. And actually, it was a bit chilly out and well, he was nekkid at that point. The shearer passed around the fleece for the kids there to grab a handfull -- I passed on that one after explaining to one rather perplexed mother that the fleece would feel sticky because of the lanolin in it. She expected it to feel like a cotton ball.

There were other exhibits of blacksmithing, basketmaking, dying with natural colors, and cooking, but for us, of course, the highlight was the shearing.

After the shearing, we went up to the Swan Coach House there for lunch. When I worked in the area, that was a favorite lunch spot for me and my co-workers when we felt like taking a long, leisurely lunch. I hadn't been there in 20 years, and I didn't know if it was the same. I was not disappointed -- the chicken salad in timbales and the frozen fruit salad was still delicious. Plus I splurged on a dessert:"The Swan"... a meringue base with whipped cream goodness concealing a chocolate mousse middle. Yum. Blog worthy.

As for stitching and knitting during tax season -- precious little, considering I generally fell asleep once I sat still, and frankly, after Oscar passed, I wasn't in the mood to do much. But in early February I had one completion I hadn't blogged yet. Richard asked for and got a handmade scarf to keep him warm in the winter weather:Pattern is the Scrunchable Scarf (look it up on Ravelry), made with two skeins of Manos del Uruguay wool.

So, I'm back and hope to be posting more now that my silly job will allow. Actually I'm thankful that most of my clients came back and I picked up some new ones this year. I'm busy, but it's all good.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Two more days...

Seriously. I'm trying to make it through the 15th.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What is my word?

Thanks to Ria for the meme!

Your Word is "Love"

You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.

Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.

You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.

And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Facebook ponderings

First of all, it's that time of year when I'm scarce. I made it through corporate extensions. The big issue consuming a lot of my time has been the refinance of one of my clients' business mortgage. They don't have English as a primary language, and we'll just say someone took horrible advantage of them when they gave them a mortgage on their building ten years ago. The mortgage ballooned, and it turns out not only did they bank have a lien on the building, but also on all the equipment in it. If they foreclosed, they'd pretty much put them out of business. In the current market, refinancing hasn't been easy -- so I recommend that if you have any banking needs, please consider BB&T, because the good people there helped us out. At any rate, the crisis is over, the mortgage is refinanced, and I can get back to working on tax returns.

But the title of this post is "Facebook ponderings". I recently signed up for a Facebook account, considering a lot of my Ravelry friends had them and hubby had one to keep up with the kidlets at church. I have been pleasantly surprised at the absolute delight it has turned out to be! I have reconnected with people from my childhood, high school, college, a job where we had a small fraternity of non-crazy people... plus added connections for people who are in my life now. It seems like it's the place where everyone I have ever known is coming together. I feel like they're all in a room together and it's *almost* like I can just introduce them to each other. Almost. :)

Other than the Facebook stuff, life is pretty boring. I do taxes; I sleep. At this point I'm trying to catch up enough to take Mom to Pigeon Forge next week on a shopping trip. She wants to go up there while we're dog-less. So, I got some reservations, and we're going. I could probably use a break at that point as well.

Tonight is the "lock-in" at church. Since we don't have a puppy at home, I volunteered to be the female chaperone for the teenagers. Egad. What have I gotten myself into? We get there at 8 and stay all night. I have a tax appointment in the morning at 11. I've already warned her that she may not see me at my best. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thank You, Everyone

A friend of mine reminded me last night that it had been awhile since I'd blogged. And I've been remiss in thanking all of you for your kind words and all of your support after Oscar's passing. It's been an incredibly hard time... to be honest, I'm behind in my tax work because I just kind of shut down for about a week and a half there. But, life goes on, and it's my first season as an accountant without my furry little buddy helping with tax law. :)

Your kindness and support has meant everything to us. I'm not sure how we would have made it without you, and we thank you and love and appreciate all of you more than you'll ever know. I was incredibly touched by a group of my friends from Ravelry who decided to lift my spirits by having packages arrive at my house every couple of days for two weeks. My friend Jerry in Chicago sent a wonderful little book about Dog Heaven. My friends Jill and Andy made us Oscar's favorite dinner, brisket, and we toasted to him when we ate. And my business partner, Bob, has named a star in the constellation Leo after our boy. Oscar Worf will shine in the heavens forever, in addition to shining in our hearts.

Thank you for knowing that our little guy was so much more to us than just a pet. He will always be a member of our family, and the loss has run deep.

I would like to wrap all of you in a great big hug. We certainly feel wrapped in one, and we feel your love from all over the world. Thank you... Thank you for everything.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oscar Worf 7/20/93-2/18/09

I lost my best friend yesterday. My best friend with four legs.

Oscar had some kind of event this past weekend. The vet, our wonderful Dr. Weaver, thinks he either had a severe stroke or had a blood clot that went to the brain. Either way, the result was the same: he kept falling, couldn't walk straight, couldn't drink a lot, and really didn't recognize or interact with us. Our last interaction with him was Sunday night, when he licked our faces at bedtime as what I think was his goodbye to us. Dr. Weaver told us it was time, and we couldn't be selfish and keep him here only for us. We sent him to the Rainbow Bridge, and he passed peacefully in my arms. I know he's there with my dad, who always pretended not to like him but who would get him chicken biscuits when we'd visit. I know Dad will take good care of him till we get there.Oscar was one of a kind. He never caught on that he was actually a dog, and he educated these rookie dog owners in his ways. He instead considered himself more of a small person in a fur coat. He was mightily offended by any other dog who greeted him with the traditional "butt sniff" and preferred the company of people to canines any day.

And he always had to be in the middle of the action. If something was going on, he wanted to be in on it. Gathered around a table? You'd better have a chair for His Royal Lowness, as we came to call him. He was an experienced traveler and a shopper extraordinaire. He even had his own stroller (or royal carriage, as his dear Aunt Jill called it) in which he rode through the streets of Pigeon Forge, TN, Highlands, NC, Calhoun, GA, Roanoke, VA, and Man, WV, among other places. He visited the beach at Hilton Head, but he wasn't fond of the water. The waves kept chasing him.Oscar was a clown, and a constant source of laughter and entertainment for us. But most of all, he was a source of comfort and my confidante. He greeted me each day when I came in with a wag and a kiss. If I was upset, he licked the tears away... and he did that quite a bit in those dark days after my dad passed away. It didn't matter what kind of a day I'd had... he always wanted to play his version of fetch (three tosses and I'm through because I'm not a retriever, thankyouverymuch) or beg for a treat (Beggin Strips, please!) or bury a dog biscuit somewhere in the house to plan for the upcoming Dog Cookie Famine. I know we're going to be finding dog cookies around the house for months, if not years. And when he chose to "unearth" a cookie, he would stand and bark for you to get it for him, even though it was right in front of him. Yes, we were well trained humans.Oscar was simply the best dog on earth. We never intended to have a dog, but evidently God had other plans, and we needed Oscar as much as he needed us.

We miss him terribly. Last night it was hard to get to sleep, because I had become accustomed to his little rear snuggled up against my leg. And if you moved, he would slam his butt back up against you as if to say "perhaps you didn't understand... I'm sleeping here, up next to you." I had an entire half of a king-sized bed to myself whereas I'd become accustomed to only having a small area because the dachshund had to stretch out horizontally across the bed. I didn't like having that much room.

When the pain subsides, and I hear from others that it will, we'll begin to look for a puppy. Not, you understand, to replace Oscar, but to take this giant amount of love that he generated in us and give it to another. Oscar's legacy is that I cannot imagine not having a dachshund. We will love one again, but we will never, ever forget our little man, his place in our lives and our heart and what he meant to us.Goodbye, my little man. I love you so very much, and I miss you so much it hurts. I'll never forget you, and I'll be there to get you at the Rainbow Bridge one day. Enjoy those chicken biscuits you're getting from Dad till I get there.

Lend Me A Puppy

“I will lend to you for awhile a puppy,” God said,
“For you to love when she lives and to mourn when she’s dead.
Maybe for twelve or thirteen years, maybe for two or three,
However, will you, till I call her back, take care of her for me?
She’ll bring her charms to gladden you and should her stay be brief,
You’ll always have her memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise she will stay, since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in search for teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life’s land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give her all your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take my dog back home again?”

He fancied that he heard us say “Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joys this dog will bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter her with tenderness; we’ll love her while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever-grateful stay.
But should You call her back to You much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand.
If by our love we’ve managed Your wishes to achieve
In memory of her we loved, please help us while we grieve.
When our faithful bundle departs this world of strife,
We’ll get yet another dog and love her all her life.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Can you help my friend Jen?

Jen is one of my dear friends from Ravelry, and she's doing something very big here...

See, Jen suffers from MS, which thank goodness, seems to be in remission right now. I have another dear, dear friend with MS, so this cause is particularly close to me.

Jen's doing a walk to raise funds for MS research, and I'd appreciate it if you could support her if at all possible. The link to her personal fundraising page can be found here.

She's got two of the cutest kids on earth, and they need their mommy healthy and strong to play with them as they grow up...

Jen's retired Navy, and her husband's currently on active duty, so they've given a lot to our country. I'm proud to be able to give something to them.

Even if you can't make a donation, please leave her some words of encouragement on her blog! And tell her Jean & Oscar sent ya. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm going on a rant

So the new administration has taken over, and so far, two Cabinet level nominees have had tax problems. One was a senator; one previously worked for the Federal Reserve and is going to be the Secretary of the Treasury, in charge of tax collections and the IRS.

Seriously, is it too much to ask that people who make the tax laws for the rest of us to follow pay their tax liability? I don't care what your party affiliation is... Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Devil Worshipper... Pay your freakin' taxes if you want to be in charge!

I mean, I'm not buying this "honest mistake" crap. I haven't met an IRS auditor yet who is gonna let that excuse fly. And there's a word for that much unreported income. It's called "evasion". Or at least it used to be.

I spend a significant portion of my time every year doing tax returns for honest, hard-working people who pay their fair share. They grumble. They complain. They ask me to do the best I can within the law to minimize the amount they have to pay. But they pay it.

I believe anyone who governs us should do the same. And if you fail to do so, don't blame it on Turbo Tax or your accountant. Seriously, dude. Write the check. When you're supposed to. The rest of us have to.

Or maybe our new Secretary of the Treasury will give us a new "honest mistake" box on the 1040. Yeah, right.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nerd, Geek, or Dork?

Thanks to The Magic That Is Heather for the meme.

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Modern, Cool Nerd

70 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 48% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

Take The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test
at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Box?

For Me?Hmmm. Sure looks like it's addressed to me. I don't remember ordering anything. Mom took the credit card away after that last ugly incident with Corner, eh? Looks like some of Mom's silly cross stitch stuff. Why on earth is it addressed to me? Obviously this requires some closer inspection.Now... if I can just get this stuff out of there... darn this lack of opposable thumbs! What?? Looks like cookies!!! For me!!! Finally someone's realizing who really runs this place!Cookies! Glorious, wonderful cookies! Yummy cookies! Must get them out of the bag and have one now, now, now!!!! (Patience is not a dachshund virtue, you know.)Oh so yummy! They're so good I had to bury some for later in my fleecy blankets on the sofa (don't tell anyone).

Thank you Aunt Drema, Aunt Kathleen, and most especially Amber!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some thoughts on the inauguration

We approach on Tuesday something magnificent here in our country: the peaceful exchange of power that happens every 4 years. Considering the political unrest in so many parts of the world and our changing times, it is truly amazing to realize that the system men put together over 200 years ago still works, and still works well.

Now, I'm gonna be up front about something: my candidate didn't win. Most of you who know me in real life aren't surprised about that revelation. However, having said that, I do wish Mr. Obama well. While I don't agree with many of his ideas and a lot of his proposed policies, I hope that he is able to look to God for guidance and to use that guidance to do what is best for our country, and not necessarily what may be most expedient. He has the most powerful and the toughest job in the world.

I understand for a lot of people, the inauguration of an African-American president is a big deal. But honestly, I'm not seeing it. Now, before you lambaste me for being callous or unfeeling or racist, let me tell you why...

I'm a child of the Deep South, born four years after Brown v. Board of Education (look it up, if you don't know what I'm talking about). I distinctly remember the day at the end of my first grade year, when the teacher explained that "little boys and girls who looked different from us" would be in our school the next year -- that's how desegregation was explained to 6 and 7 year olds.

But you see -- I don't see others as African-American, or Asian-American, or whatever other hyphenated designation you want to give. I see everyone as people. I strive daily to treat people by the Golden Rule and do unto them as I would have them do unto me. I really don't care what color they are.

So when I look at Mr. Obama, I don't necessarily see an African-American man... I see a man who is about to become president. I will make my judgment of him and his actions by the "content of his character" rather than the "color of his skin", to paraphrase a famous speech.

Isn't that what it's supposed to be?? Wasn't that what the civil rights struggle was about?

May God Bless America as we face the challenges in front of us.