Hot, hot, hot…

Tea cozy by Ruth, teapot from Rosanne

Don’t you love hot tea?  Come on, I know many of you do!  Won’t you join the Hot Tea Month Blog-a-Thon?   Be sure to scroll down to the first post and sign in via Mr. Linky, then post the first question on your blog… 

I’ll be back later.  Okay, probably tomorrow.   Sissy wants to thank everyone for caring about her.  She’s not enjoying the ear medicine twice daily, and she has no idea that as soon as the special food arrives… 

Well, happy fake friday, and have a great New Year’s Eve if you’re celebrating!


I’ve been blessed with some very special dogs in my life, but Sissy is in a class by herself.   She’s not the best behaved; the lab I trained as a ‘tween holds that title, if we overlook her puppyhood.  Frankly, beautiful as she is, her conformation sucks; Fred was much closer to the AKC’s standard.  Still, there’s just something about her.  Everywhere she goes, she makes friends, and in the blink of an eye, she’s the mayor.

This evening, it was the new vet’s office that fell under her spell.  There she is, waiting for another trip down the back hallway, where the techs were looking at her swabs and samples under a microscope, mixing her meds, etc. 

She’s fine.  I promise.  Her on-going “gland” issue flared up again, and since our regular vet is only open a few hours on Wednesdays and then has abbreviated holiday hours until Monday, I gave in and called the vet Pissy’s wife recommended.  We couldn’t get in to see THE vet they use before next Tuesday, but a perfectly nice doctor could see us at 4:45. 

Everything, from my chat with the receptionist through the LENGTHY visit with the doctor, impressed me.   We had a wait, but I’d brought a book, because I was pretty sure our vet agreed to take one more patient (Sissy) at the end of her day, just to get the dog some relief. 

Don’t mind Sissy in this photo; she is indeed trying to convince me we don’t need to be there.  She’s always well aware of which door we came in, and which one she needs to find a way to get past to explore the rest of the building.  And my amazing girl always manages to charm someone into giving her the keys to the kingdom…

Don’t look now Sis, but we’re about to embark on another journey.  Instead of my own self-improvement resolutions for 2010, it will be the year Sissy comes off the kibble and gland roller coaster.

Folks, trust your instincts.  Not only do you know your dogs, children, heck, even your own body, better than the experts, but there really is such a thing as intuition.  See that glorious pink belly?  I’ve remarked for well over a year that it’s perhaps too pink.  I’ve talked to no fewer than five veterinarians about Sissy and the potential for food allergies as the cause of her gland SYMPTOMS, rather than the glands themselves being the problem.  

(Note: not all vets actually have any real training in NUTRITION.  We kinda’ lucked into one who does.  She knows a LOT about dogs and food allergies, and is quite sure our incident-free months came only because I took the bull   er, rooster? by the horns and removed chicken and corn meals from Sissy’s diet.  Sadly, she fears that the beef and lamb I’ve been feeding her are also allergens…  Maybe I’ll try to go beef and lamb free with the girls.  Geeze.  Maybe not.) 

I was dismissed, even laughed at, because I was sure my girl was allergic to corn and chicken MEALS.  Well, I hope the chuckles at my expense keep ’em warm, because just in time for Gretchie’s annual visit, we’re moving to this newtous vet who didn’t even need Sissy’s old records to realize I wasn’t blowing smoke.

She is a beautiful, sweet, smart, silly, funny girl, and she deserves to NOT itch, have pressure in the wrong places, etc.   So, she and Gretchen are both going on a very special, very restricted diet for 8-12 weeks.  With a little luck, that will clear up everything inside, from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail.

Some of my longer-term readers will recall that this is our FOURTH vet change since Fred’s death.   In some cases, it was simply a matter of compatibility.  As with a personal physician, you just have to “click” with your vet, right?  It took a while, but we’ve found where we belong.  I do hate to make this change in many ways, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that it’s what’s right for Sissy. 

Wee Gretch will do just fine at the new place too, but Gretchen is that rare, easy-going, notmuchtroubleatall “kid” we all WISH we could have.   It’s such a relief to know I’m not crazy, and with a little luck, y’all won’t ever have to skim over a post about Sissy’s “glands” and the symptoms that go with, ever again.

Just knowing Sissy is going to feel better – probably does already – makes me giddy-happy.

What makes you ridiculously happy, and how can you get more of it in the New Year?

Tassle Dazzle

Oh, how I love my goofy, sweet big girl.  She’s a ham, but she’s really not a bad model.

Project:  OBrrrX Scarf

Pattern:  Mimi – a hooded scarf.   As written, except for the tassle.  The Knight announced around 2am on Sunday, when I finished the seaming, that the hood was too pointy.  When the trim was done, I suggested a tassle, and he thought that was a good idea.  I made my first tassle and attached it, only to have him mutter, “Now it looks like a Santa hat.”  Men!!

Yarn:  The natural color is Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease in natural heather.  The trim is Plymouth’s Baby Alpaca Brush in a soft, unnamed blue.  My aunt requested a “not-fussy” yarn for the scarf, as it will be used to walk dogs at the beach, so it will get sandy, salty and worn often.  However, I couldn’t resist adding a soft, fuzzy trim…

Needles:  My beloved wooden needles, in a name I can’t recall…  I was give two pairs a few years ago (by different friends), and sadly, Sissy sat on this project repeatedly, breaking one pair before I learned that I couldn’t leave it on the arm of the sofa!  Anyhooo, wooden US #6 straights.

Hook:  Trusty H hook, of course.

Verdict:  While Sissy and my aunt both love it, I’m with Gretchie…  This project was a sleeper.  That’s an AWFUL lot of basketweave, and it was tedious.  Still, I like the idea of a hooded scarf, so don’t be surprised if I try another pattern one of these days.

Yes, yes, there are other goodies you need to see, and maybe today will be the day I get a photo… but I make no promises.   I also need to revist the goals I set out at the start of this year, but that isn’t going to be a pretty post, so we’ll save that for another time, or maybe we’ll just note that I didn’t get very far on any of them.  Hrmph.

But happy fake little friday, right?  I think we only work a few hours tomorrow, so it’s all good…

How will you ring in the New Year?

Arrooo in the Manger

(Why yes, I did set my new nativity set in the floor last night, just because Ann is giving me pressies today  begged  asked sweetly.)

That’s the gift that’s giving the Keurig a run for its money as best gift of the season.   My dear aunt gave that to me, and I am simply beside myself with joy.  You can bet your bippy that next year, that will be the first Christmas decoration out, and the last one put away.

Aren’t they – oops!  Wrong photo.   As you can see, Gretchen isn’t appropriately impressed.  She’s been watching Dirty Dancing on the (cable TV) Channel Guide all month, and she knows you don’t put baby in the corner  that baby Jesus shouldn’t be in the floor, in certainly not smack in the middle of the kitchen.

(Not pictured:  Sissy, being a proper basset for a change, stretched out against the front of the refrigerator, which is a few feet to the left of the display…)

Have you ever?!  I’m smitten…  What breeds do you see?  My cousin and I spent some time, debating what was what.  I’m still not sure about baby Jesus, but the angel’s a buff cocker spaniel,  Mary’s a dalmation, Joseph could be a mix or one of about three other breeds…  The dog to the left (as you see them) of Jeseph is a black lab, and the other, I’m not sure.  The Wise Men?  A bulldog, a boxer and a shepherd.

Now, I’m headed to an early lunch with Ann at Panera’s.   Somehow, all these years, I’ve missed that they have mac ‘n cheese.   See?!  That’s why I love Ann so; she introduced me to Maggie Moo’s as a lunch destination too.

Don’t think of today as little monday; it’s fake wednesday!    After all, you don’t want to miss fake little friday or fake friday, just because of a holiday, now do you?!

You also don’t want to miss the week of tributes Sue is doing on Dogs ‘n More.  It’s a lovely tradition we’re starting for this last week of the year, honoring our departed pets of all kinds.    Our most faithful friends definitely should not be forgotten…    (Thanks Mr. Burns, for those beautiful words.)


How many ways can you spin one word?

  • I am exhausted and all but operating on auto-pilot today.
  • It is cold, because it appears there’s a problem with the furnace here at work.
  • I needed a good word for an FO report on a big ol’ chunky scarf…

The "chiller" as model...

I intended to crop this photo, but in light of the post title, why bother?!  All the snow around here (until yesterday) made  getting decent photos difficult, but I found a nice, white backdrop in the kitchen…

Project:  Double Trouble, a Christmas gift for Best Thing.  (Reminder…  she’s Neighbor Guy’s fiancee)

The other white backdrop - the pantry door

Pattern:  Double Cable Scarf from The Little Box of Scarves, which NG and BT gave me for my birthday.  It was a VERY simple cable project, and I learned that it’s just as fast for me to use a cable needle as it is not to.  I know several expert cable knitters who swear you must learn to knit them without using a cable needle, but I found that painfully tedious and I’m sure it took longer than it did to just slip the stitches onto a cable needle.  To each her own, right?

Most accurate color - love that natural light!

Yarn:  Oh, was THAT a problem!  I’d bought some lovely wool, only to learn a few weeks ago that BT is allergic to wool.  GAH!  I searched and searched for a super-bulky non-wool that I liked, and finally ran across Lion Brand’s Hometown in Cleveland Brown.  The hue was the first thing BT remarked upon, so it all worked out as it should have. 

Needles:  I felt as though I was knitting with fireplace pokers, but they were just US #17s.  It wasn’t a portable project because those sticks are so awkward, but I soldiered on.

Verdict:  It was worth it to see BT light up and to hear that it will look perfect with her “good” coat.   I don’t love fringe, but NG did did think she’d like it, so… that’s what matters.

There was another FO yesterday morning, just in the nick of time, but we’ll get to that later.  Right now, I just want to go home and be with the fur-girls and my new BFF – Keurig.  I’m also WAY  too fond of the fudge I made this year.  I seriously think I’ve lost sleep because I can’t stop drinking another cup and eating another little (hem, hem) piece of fudge…

Are you recovering or still celebrating?

Christmas Kisses

Happy Christmas Eve to those of you who are celebrating.  This is a late post, because I was just too busy baking earlier today, and I need to go do some more baking, but Christmastime has always been a time for memories and contemplations for me.

I LOVE ornaments of this style.  The glass is so thin, and yet, nowhere near as fragile as it appears.   You have to know…  I KISSED this ornament when I unwrapped it!  I have a host of special ornaments I love dearly, mostly because they take me back to Christmases past with just a glance, but this year, this baby is top of the heap, so to  speak.

This one just makes me stooopid-happy.  Jessi confessed that she was so pleased with her “find” that she had a hard time keeping it until Christmastime.  No doubt.  I get very excited about the perfect gift when I find it too.

Our stoic Hooey Hound

That’s such a proper basset, much more like our dearly departed Fred, not so much like zany Sissy.  Oh, Sis would LOVE to bring each of you a gift, personally delivered.

But girlfriend doesn’t do Santa hats.  We’ve CLEARLY established that.

And can you REALLY even imagine packages on that back!?  It would be impossible to secure them snuggly enough…

Not that Gretchen would ever allow Sis to transport a bone on her back…

Anyway, I love the ornament, truly, deeply, madly, do.  Thank you, Jessi!!

And merry Christmas y’all.  Everyone else is snoring.  That’s a good time to go bake.

I’d like to thank…

… the older neighborhood girls who all wanted to be teachers and used the toddler me as their pupil, none of us knowing “babies” aren’t supposed to read and write.  A love affair was born.

I received this awesome award from Dawn…  Thank you!  After reading the original post that started the award, I am humbled and honored.

The requirements:

Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

My nominees:
  • Louise – Always insightful, and the recipes are delightful.  What more could you want in a blog?
  • Sue – Her pack is adorable, but she writes about so much more than life with a lot of dear dogs.
  • Miranda – Two cute dogs, a mix of entertaining stories and characters, with recipes sprinkled in there too…
  • Monica – British boyfriend, handsome cat, and my personal reading list consultant…  Oh!  And she loves tea, knits, takes pictures everywhere she goes…
  • Bridget –  Another knitter/reader.  How do they do it?!  I must be an all or nothing girl… but this is about why I love Bridget’s blog.  She writes from the heart, and I always feel as though I’ve had a cuppa’ with a friend when I’m done.

There are *SO* many other blogs I read regularly, daily, but those five are the first five women who came to mind based on the original spirit of the award.

Now, I’m being rushed for dinner.   Do tell me how you read blogs.  From a reader?  A favorites list?  Do you ALWAYS leave a comment?  Do always ANSWER each of your comments?

I have more questions, but since I can’t dine in my yoga pants, I need to hit send.