Another day at the zoo.

Well, we’re in the middle of unexpected tons-o-snow.  Crept over to James’s yesterday morning, shoveled around 2 pm, it was just as bad on his driveway again by 4 when I left and crept home.  This morning, more snow…I could get out of the driveway, but James called and he’s working at home (no school for the girls today), so no rush.

Meanwhile, as I walked in the door last night, I had a call from “Crystal” (probably spelled more like Kryztl or something) from Trips Incentives.  This is the place that advertised back in Oct on Deal Chicken for 2 nights at a cheap price at a couple of places in Orlando. Tera needed 2 more nights for them, so we each bought one of these deals.  Tera tried to make her reservation immediately, but was told they weren’t doing Mar reservations till Dec, so I just waited.  She made her reservation, it wasn’t confirmed, she called, and found out she’d input her credit card number wrong, so she corrected and got a confirmation.  I have no idea why they didn’t contact her to tell her it hadn’t gone through the first time.  I made my reservation, the $50 deposit (to be refunded after the trip; we’d already paid for the rooms when we bought the deals) went through, no confirmation.  I called and they apologized and sent my confirmation.

Last night, Crystal or whatever told me that she’d just realized that we were apparently a “group” because we’re both named Watson and are arriving on the same day, so one of us has to change our reservation. The deal isn’t supposed to apply for “groups.”  She defined “group” as people who know each other and are arriving on the same day. She had no explanation for why this was just brought up now.  I maybe would have been more understanding if more than 50% of the sentences out of her mouth were not “I completely understand.”  She understands nothing. She told me to change our plans.  I told her that cannot be done at this point.  She didn’t care…even though she “completely understands.”

I called the BookIt.com (I used them to book the other hotel for the rest of the stay) and the hotel we’re in prior to this other one is booked full.  I also checked the hotel’s website for those dates and they are not available.  So I went through Priceline and found a LaQuinta near the airport and booked that.  So today I guess I’ll have to get hold of Crystal and tell her to issue the refund of our $50 deposit NOW.  She already said that we’ll have to apply to Deal Chicken for a refund.  From past experience with Deal Chicken, I’m not sure that will happen.  (Oh, and I need to go to Groupon to get a refund for the Gino’s gift certs, too, now that Gino’s has closed.  But I expect Groupon to be good about it.)

Yeah, I need more stuff like this dumped on me.  Sigh.

Meanwhile, my cowls are selling well. And I just sold another Mad Willy “Apex Colors” hat. Yay!  If anyone is interested in cowls, shawls, afghans, mittens, dishcloths/potholders, hats, baby stuff, or custom crochet work, let me know.  But not socks.  You’d never be able to afford what I’d charge you to crochet socks.

The dogs are doing well.  And I’m not reading as much as I should be–got stuck on playing The Enchanted Kingdom again.  But I’m planning on getting back to reading soon.  I’ve been having some charging issues with the Fire; per online info, that’s not unusual for this version.  I know the work-around now, and just need to remember that when the icon shows that the battery is still fully charged…it might not be and I need to turn it off and back on and recheck the icon.

Happy New Year

I started typing with my right hand one set of keys over to the right.  Maybe I should have left it that way. 

We had a great Christmas–in St Louis the weekend before, coming home on Christmas Eve, with both boys, d-i-l, and all three grands.  My next-older brother and s-i-l were there on Sat and Sun, and my oldest bro and some of his family were there on Sunday.  Another of his sons visited my mom on Monday after we left, with HIS family, so she had a lot of kids and grands there to celebrate with her. 

Christmas day, we got up early and went over to James’s house, where he and Brandon (visiting from Omaha) were already up. I got dinner into the crockpot and then we waited for Tera and the girls to wake up so we could do the unwrapping thing.  It was a terrific day!  Kat’s old enough now that she didn’t get all whiney halfway through the unwrapping.  In fact, she didn’t get whiney till the rest of us were also whiney, so she’s growing up!

As far as books are concerned, I did decide to go back and re-read Hold Me Closer, Necromancer…then I started over on Necromancing the Stone.  Love both of those books, by a Seattle author named Lish McBride.  If you’ve got a Kindle and you’d like to borrow, I can check to see if they’re available for me to ship over to your device for a few weeks. Started an anthology, and the next one will Mark of Athena.

Jim’s got a bad cold, so when he got home from work yesterday, he took a bath and came into the bedroom to get dressed to go out with friends and I told him to just crawl into bed and stay home.  He did so, but I went out to dinner with Ken and Cindy, then we saw Parental Guidance.  Funny, funny movie–especially when Billy Crystal’s character takes his youngest grandson into a rather nasty public restroom and the boy announces that his dad sings to him to help him go….  I’ll have to see it again to try to hear the whole song because everyone was laughing so much that I couldn’t hear the lyrics in several places. 

When Jim has a cold, I don’t get much sleep, so I’m groggy today.  We’ve done nothing. I have leftover lasagna in the oven for our New Year’s dinner.  And I’ll probably start Zicam to ward off getting the stupid cold…which in turn will kill my tastebuds.  Just because a few people lost their sense of smell after using the nasal-squirt form of Zicam, they took it off the market.  I loved that stuff…sure kicked my colds where it did the most good for several years there before those-who-couldn’t-smell-anymore ruined it for the rest of us!!! 

Michael’s has the Boa yarn on sale this week.  Got some up in Ankeny, and I may run to the one in WDM to find out what colors, if any, they still have available.  So if you’re in the market for a “feathery” cowl or hooded cowl or scarf, let me know what you want in what color and I can quote a price for you.  These are a pain in the neck, so to speak, to get that first couple of rounds done right, but they sure are pretty!  I’m working on three cowls for a friend now–got a purple one done, working on the cardinal–red and black–one now, and she also wants a jet black.  The purple is quite wide. She said she wanted it wider than the cowl part of the hooded one I was working on, so I just kept going till I ran out of yarn.  I won’t get that far on the cardinal one till I find out how that width is for her taste!  And I still need to do one more hooded cowl for a girl at the gym once her mom decides for sure what color they want!

Had a mini-scare with Harper.  He reacted badly to his rabies shot early in Dec–bad, bad scratching (I’d just combed him the day before, but he dug out so much undercoat that it looked like dreadlocks hanging from him), frantic inability to get comfy, etc.  So I called the vet, we tried Benedryl, that didn’t work, so we went back in at 4 that afternoon and he got a shot of antihistamine to stop the itching and a sedative to settle him.  Then he was due for his DHPP and bordetella this past week…and on Christmas, I found a small lump on his left front leg.  Looked like a blister (more like Elmer’s wood glue had dropped onto his leg and solidified), a bit hard, and he didn’t care at all when I pushed on it or wiggled it.  So in to the vet we went last week.  They are now going to give him a shot of antihistamine just before ANY vaccinations, and he sailed through those just fine.  Dr K said the lump looked to be probably an infected hair follicle and he suggested letting it pop/drain on its own.  Which it did this morning.  So he’s just fine.  Anthem is his usual elderly self…if he were human, he’d be sitting on the front porch hollering, “Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!”  But he does come up to me every day at least once wanting to be cuddled…but just for a little while.  His trip to the emerg clinic this past summer when we were all afraid he was going into CHF (but it turned out to be a very, VERY expensive asthma attack) garnered him some chest x-rays and, of course, he’s so little that we got pretty much his whole body and know that he has some spondylosis along his spine.  So I’m sure he’s not terribly, terribly comfortable being held.  He rarely whimpers, so I hesitate to give him pain meds at this point.  He seems very content in his own little world, although I know he misses Bubba, who was a companion for him without asking him repeatedly to play or to “get out of my WAY” like Harp does occasionally as he’s racing through the house. 

Ta for now!  Happy New Year to all!  And I’ll get my holiday greetings out on e-mail to those of you who didn’t get a real card very, very soon.  Printer problems let to me know being able to print my letter or any address labels, so I took the lazy way out and sent the hard copies to family and to those of you for whom I don’t have e-mail addresses!

Well, I’m home

There’s more than 12″ of snow on our side of town, the malls are opening late, parts of the interstate and freeway are closed with stuck cars, there’s a no-towing law in effect (hence the stuck cars), and I’ve got my shopping done and mostly wrapped. So I’m here watching morning TV, trying to figure out what to have for lunch (I had part of a Bavarian pretzel for breakfast).
Crochet-wise, I created a pattern for a hooded Mobius cowl and have made several of those for grandkids and Christmas gifts, have orders for a few more (including some non-hooded–more fashion than warmth, although if you wrap them twice, they do keep your neck pretty warm!), did several candle wreaths (nothing worse than a naked candle, huh?), a TON of towel holders (some reversible) with fun buttons, and sometimes jingle bells, to hold them on the oven or fridge handle, some slippers, dishcloths and potholders (of course), and some work on a couple of afghans that I’ve started with no purpose in mind at this point.
I’m reading “Necromancing the Stone.” Loved “Hold Me Closer, Necromancer” and this sequel came out a couple of months ago, but I’m just now getting to it. These are fun reads. I kinda wish I’d re-read the first one before starting this one, so maybe I’ll do that. There’s one character I’m just not quite placing….
Anthem is pacing nervously (and slowly, bless his little heart), thinking that if I’m out here on the big computer, maybe I’ll be leaving soon and he doesn’t like being left behind at all anymore. But even if I were going to head to James’s, the dogs would stay home. I wouldn’t risk getting stuck somewhere with them. Worrying about myself is enough! Harper is back on the bed. If I get up and head to the door, he’ll know it, but he’s content to not be right at my feet right now.
The noon weather report says the worst is over, but that it’s still bad. The shots of local streets and highways don’t look good. Our street’s not plowed yet. We’re on a hill, so it’s hard to get back to our house if it’s slick at all. I think I’ll just stay here. Baking can wait till tomorrow or next week. We’re heading to St Louis tomorrow night for the weekend (coming back on Monday so the girls can have Christmas morning at home).
I am SO looking forward to Christmas morning and Kat’s open-mouthed joy face. James mentioned the other day the same thing I’ve been thinking…if only we had a camera trained on her at those moments! Maybe we’ll capture that look Christmas morning.
To anyone who reads this–Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all the best to you!

The one I’ve been dreading

Two weeks and a day later and the tears are still right here. We lost our Nemmy, beautiful Mnementh, on Oct 23. 8 months old. Too damned young. I cannot believe how much it still hurts. It hurt to lose every dog, of course…but I’ve never lost a puppy before and pray I never lose a puppy again. Senseless. So many what-ifs and if-onlys keep running through my head. I know that’s a stupid thing to do, dwelling on the things I could have done differently. But how do you turn that off and find any measure of peace? I haven’t even brought myself to write an obituary for him to post to our various dog related mail lists yet. I cherish seeing his special toys around the house. Then again…to Nemmy, everything became a toy. That was the eventual downfall, I guess. But I wouldn’t have traded that very special Nemmy joy. I believe perhaps his joy was needed elsewhere. He never met Bubba, Shenanigan, or Tipper but I have to believe they’re having a blast together now, at the bridge, waiting tor me.

Dog show, hooking, and film…oh,my

Great 10th anniversary dog show by K9 Sports Club this past weekend! All dog shows are fun (or I would quit going) but I especially like the UKC and TDAA shows because EVERYONE is so relaxed and having a good time! Great judges, great dogs, and great friends!

I didn’t show this week; I table stewarded all weekend. Jim was in Omaha with James’s family, visiting Brandon and the zoo. So he wasn’t available to take the dogs out to potty and run, and I didn’t want to leave Harp crated constantly.

I had time Saturday to go to Sears to buy a fridge we’d looked at earlier. Hated doing that.
Salesman: Do you want the extended three year warranty for $179?
Me: If I need that, I’m buying the wrong refrigerator.
Salesman: You don’t understand. They don’t make them like they used to. (Surprise!) Energy Star requires more maintenance.
So I call Jim (at the zoo), knowing he’ll say no, too. BUT HE DIDN’T. So I bought the darn plan. Maybe I’ll cancel it before we pick up the fridge.

I was working on a crocodile stitch baby blanket Fri at the show when I noticed my pop cup had a lot (because “alot” is not a word!) of condensation. So I grabbed cotton yarn and made up a pattern for a croc stitch coaster. I made 2 for Sheryl to throw in her judge’s bag, then on Sat I made 3 more sets of 2 for the other judges. I’m also working on hats, scarves, and cowls, and bought yarn yesterday for Christmas stockings.

It’s in limited release now, but go see “Butter” if you get a chance. Funny movie. It takes liberties, but it’s about the Iowa state fair. There’s a butter carving competition, instead of it just being a display. The final carving by one of the contestants is of the JFK assassination and it’s in such bad taste that I couldn’t help but laugh. So did everyone else. Filmed at the LA state fairgrounds, I believe, because it was shooting at the time of the Iowa film industry “unpleasantness.”

Weekend Update

Took Harper and Mnementh tracking this morning. This was Mnementh’s second time out there…and in tall weeds today. He grazed frequently. None of my others have done that while tracking. LOTS of “leave it!”s going on out there. Dave laid one short track through some mousehole infested grounds. Oh, no…that was WAY too interesting for him! He was one tired (and full–both treats and “salad”) puppy when we were done. Jim said Harp did well. He was out with Ruth, and I was out with Dave, so we didn’t get to watch each other. We should get out tomorrow for tracks with both of them, too.

Started a pair of baby sandals–beautiful pattern recommended to me by my friend Carole. I got the first two rounds done…then the pattern designer sent out an edited version. The first one said to use size 3 or size 10 crochet cotton (very different weights) and a 1.5 mm hook and 3 to 5 mm beads. This one is more specific, listing hook and weight sizes for four different infant and young toddler sizes. So I’ll rip out what I started and start over, I believe…I’m using the lighter weight thread and the new instructions say to use that weight with a smaller hook. I dunno. Maybe I’ll just keep going and see what size I end up getting. The only other bad part is that the first one didn’t say to string the beads up front and in reading through, I thought I found a better place to string them. The good news is that these particular beads have holes big enough for my hook to fit through, so I probably can keep going. But on the other hand, if I’m gonna have to rip it out and start over, it’s a lot easier with only 2 rounds done!

Mikey was kind enough to mention my elephants in a video he made of some of the donations to the Crafting for a Cure cause that he works with during the CreativFestival. Maybe some time I can get up fhere to see it–it’s twice a year, spring and fall. About a 12 hour drive, I think.(southern Ontario).

Sure hope this works

I tried doing a new post a couple of days ago but couldn’t get it to post.

A couple of book things.

Just saw that James Patterson posted to his Facebook page that one can read 20 chapters of his “scariest book yet, Zoo.” Having read some of his stuff years ago, I believe that would only be about 25 pages, with lots of white space, so not much time out of your life if you’re so inclined.

And I have learned that “Fifty Shades of Chicken” will be released in Nov. Looks pretty good…apparently the author is “known” in the food world, so is using a pseudonym. S/he read the Grey books and realized s/he had already participated in BDSM frequently…in the kitchen…with poultry. A book is born!

If I can get this to post, at least I’ll know how to post from my Fire. And perhaps I’ll actually tell someone I’ve started a blog.