Flit and Flutter

Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy week, and I still have a few things on my to-do list before I can kick back and relax, but I’ll tend to one item after lunch, and the other three when I get home… right after I hang out with the fur-girls, work out, eat…

I love our butterfly bush.   My dear aunt gifted it to us after Pop’s death two years ago, and it delights me to no end to see a host of butterflies on it.  It’s planted between where I park and the boys’ garden, so I have a great view.

So, what’s ahead for your weekend?  Do you have more fun in mind than submitting proposed changes to bylaws and policies and procedures?   Don’t feel sorry for me; I like that stuff, and have some changes I’d like to see implemented.

Whatever you do, enjoy it!

Back Seat Riders

Happy Dogs on Thursday, little friday and thankful Thursday to you.   Gretchen’s got a cute, fun post up, all about HER new pool…

Since she took care of the awwww factor, that leaves me free to play a little catch-up.    I have a question for you this week…

Anyone have any experience with these back seat hammocks?

Courtesy of In the Company of Dogs

Now that we’re getting a grip on Gretchen’s car anxiety, we need to figure out how to keep her safely in the back seat.  Left to her own devices, she’d like to hop around and finally settle on the center console, but now that we aren’t worried about her having a stroke from being so upset, it’s time for her to be properly restrained.

This particular model has nifty little slits – I think? – that will allow us to seatbelt her harness again, which is my favorite way to restrain the dogs when we travel.  Other models also have a piece that drops down at the doors to cover THAT part of the seat as well.

I’d love to hear from you if you or someone you know is using something similar.  I’m slightly concerned about being able to reach either dog in case one does get car sick, but it’s fabric, so I should be able to get it out of the way, right?

Thankful Thursday.   I’m really thankful for my husband.  I don’t know that I give him enough credit here on my blog.  I’m sure sometimes it sounds as though he’s rather an absentee part of our pack, and nothing could be further from the truth. 

See his hand there, trying to “encourage” Sis to give the water a better chance?  (That’s a hint of what you’ll see on Gretchie’s post too.)  What Gretchen couldn’t tell you about that pool is that we had to go to about six stores in three towns to find it, here in late July.  I insisted we needed the “small” kiddie pool, and that made our search a little more difficult, but he agreed that the slightly lower sides would make it easier for Gretch to hop in and out.  He’s generally very tolerant of my whims, and loves those fur-girls dearly.

Happy little friday!

Art Update

Here’s the link I couldn’t find yesterday.   The Knight said last night that he’s not sure the one I wanted Monday was black and white; he thinks it could have just faded over time, especially in fairly direct sunlight.

Cue the crickets...

And that’s all I’ve got today.  I need to get photos off the camera and into Flickr, so tomorrow, a real post!

Art you pretty?

We have very little “real” art in our home, because frankly, I love photos.   However, yesterday I fell in love with a print, and it just doesn’t seem to be available. 

Now, I’m hoping some of you more internet and/or art savvy than I am can help.  The print had this at the bottom of it:

By Fred Morgan  Supplement to The Family Herald and Weekly Star, Montreal, Can.   Produced by C. W. Faulkner & Co. London ED

The title of the work, done in a script across the bottom of the print was Queen Alexandra, her Grandchildren and dogs.

Borrowed from Wikipedia

I’ve found a color version online, but I can’t find it now to link.  It looks as though Frederick Morgan is the same guy, because the style is identical.   I’ve admired some of his work in vets’ offices, but nevertheless…

It isn’t flat-out dog art.   I think that’s why I like it.  I liked the particular print I saw yesterday because it was black & white-ish and the hounds (we’ll call them bassets) reminded me a lot of a young Fred (on the right, on all fours, if you find the print) and Sissy (standing on her hind legs, just about center, feet in the lap of a young grand-princess).

Please let me know if you have any clues that might point me in the right direction!

Thinking Pink…

Gretchen says it's too hot to be called "dog days of summer"

Today’s THAT day for me.  I’m rewarding myself with an afternoon out of the office.  

How was your weekend?

Different Bone

I’m sure if you’ve been here more than once, if I wrote “bone” in the title, you’d assure I meant a dog bone.  Not this time!  There are dogs involved, but I mean bone china.  However, you’ll have to see this post to its conclusion to get back to the bone…

Another spectacular birthday box arrived yesterday from Ruth.

Hem.  Have you noticed that sometimes, I drop in a photo, then talk about it, and others (above), I talk then show?  Do you care?  Do you have a preference?

You have to see three of the goodies up close and personal.

The Knight and I are calling that a darling little Westie.  It’s MUCH larger than life in that photo.  It’s an adorable keychain, obviously from Ruth’s recent trip abroad.   I’ve always thought I’d like a Westie or a Scottie, but the Knight doesn’t like anything but smooth-coated terriers.  Hrmph.

Why yes, the tea tin is also larger than life.   Maybe tonight it will cool off enough for me to stand the thought of brewing a cuppa’…  Anyway, I think it’s just a lovely tin and those words – Flowering across the slopes of the Highland mountains of Scotland – paint a beautiful picture, don’t they?

Now you’re going to have to bear with me as I share every single angle of this precious mug.

Each and every dog on the mug is adogable!

THAT is perhaps my favorite angle.  I’m insisting that’s a tan basset in a cute coat.

The other cutie in the mug, and some of the doggums going down the handle.

The rest of the handle.  There are just dogs EVERYWHERE!

No surface was left undogged.

Thank you, Ruth.  What a grand package!   I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of the package in great detail.   That’s my first audio book, and it’s of a book I was just thinking I might re-read…

What’s ahead for your weekend?  I’ll be trying to stay inside as much as possible.  It’s supposed to be around 100 degrees this weekend, with the humidity making the heat index WAY above that.

I hope you have better weather and more exciting plans than that!

Doggy Dental Discussion

I can open wide...

For this week’s Dogs on Thursday post, I was hoping y’all can give me some advice on dental care for the pooches.  None of my dogs have ever needed to have their teeth cleaned, but I already see a few tartar spots on Sissy’s teeth.  I brushed the boy-dogs’ teeth a few times, but they were such cooperative guys. 

I did find a cleaning gel for Sis that doesn’t have any of her allergens listed in the ingredients.  I suspect she’ll be about as cooperative as any dog is.  Gretchen?  I’m not optimistic.  She doesn’t like having her mouth messed with, so I just bought her a very little doggy tooth brush, and I figure we’ll just work on getting the buggar in her mouth for starters…

Do you brush your dog’s teeth?  I’d always heard that since we fed a dry kibble, treated with hard biscuits and provided bones of all sorts for gnawing and such, that we didn’t need to brush their teeth…

The braindead and the ever-understanding, aka: me & 'Nita 2008

It’s also little friday and Thankful Thursday.  Right now, I’m thankful for my friends who still love me when I drop the ball or even forget to show up for the game.  

Isn’t that really one of the signs of a real friend?  Someone who still likes you even when you’re not at your best? 

Sissy did get a quick post up today too.  Do pets understand death?

Smile in a Box

How good are you with advertising logos?  Do you know what company is behind that smile? 

I am blessed to have the best childhood BFF in the history of EVER. 

Us, 2008

She really is the best.  I know she lurks here once in a while.   That photo was also taken outside a local yarn shop.  She does crochet, but she’s not manic about it, so her trip to one of my favorite shops is just one shining example of why time and distance hasn’t changed the bond we share.

Anyway, behind the smile tag was a book that is just what my current reading demands needed!   The book I bemoaned yesterday has been cast aside; I unceremoniously yanked the bookmark out when I had to stop for the first time  with WWW: Wake

We’re both voracious readers, so when BFF said it was a fast read and it sucked her in right away, I expected nothing else.    Heck, even the cover art appeals to me, which is rare.  (Excluding Fred on the cover of Anyone But You, of course!)

I’m pretty sure Monica reviewed this book and/or the #2 in the series, but I’m afraid to go back and look, because I know she does share a spoiler now and again. 

Thanks BFF, for a perfectly timed, perfect read!

Another great box arrived last weekend.  The fur-girls were sure it was for them, and the bulk (literally – the parts that weighed the most) of it really was theirs.  Nichole has become our supplier for the awesome Himalayan Dog Chews.  There were also some birthday goodies on top for me, although I had to lift them off, set them aside, give each girl a chew and THEN! I could open my gifts.

What thoughtful gifts!  My new favorite tee, yarn, pawprint windchimes, a funny card…

Aren’t they the cutest measuring spoons in the history of ever?!  Purple silicone.  I haven’t used them yet, but they sure do make me smile.

Being raised Catholic, I love a good Saint’s medal.    Of course, Gretchen wants a MUCH smaller one in PANK, but I haven’t been able to find such.  (Will you think me daft when I give up and  have another childhood friend order a sterling PANK one from her shop?)  Both purple dog items came from The Animal Rescue Site‘s store.  Please consider clicking daily, there and at their sister sites.  A few clicks really can make the world a better place!

Thanks Nic and pack, for a delightful box that will bring smiles to our faces for a long time to come!

What boxes make you smile?

Fotoless Fodder

What is a blogger to do when she has stuff to share, but she can’t stay home long enough to transfer photos from camera to Flickr?!

Well, I’m sure others would perhaps consider just sitting quietly until they could properly address those things, but y’all know I like to babble, so you’re going to hear about a couple of books and a couple of restaurants.  Gretchen also blogged about her new kibble on their blog

First up, I cruised right through Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie.  Gmarie gave me this book a LONG time ago, in a swap box.   It took a long while for me to get around to reading it because the adorable canine (a basset-beagle mix according to the book, but all photos are all basset!) character is named Fred, and he really is a lot like our Fred was.  I am happy to report that I read the whole thing without a single misting up moment.

It’s a mass-produced romance novel.  Need I say more?  That’s not usually my favorite genre, but I couldn’t put this down.  From the moment Fred sucked the heroine into taking him home instead of the lively running partner she thought she was going to get at the pound, I was hooked. 

I then launched right into The Jane Austen Book Club.   I’m still turning pages, but it’s not doing much for me.   I don’t like ANY of the characters, not even enough to care whether even one works through her crazy problems.  Even though Jocelyn is a dog breeder, there aren’t enough dog moments to draw me in. 

This is where I also confess that I don’t love Jane Austen.  I’ve read Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility, and even re-read Emma and P&P a couple of years ago, because I was sure I just wasn’t giving them a fair chance.  Hrmph.  

I know at least one of you is an Austen fan.  What is it about her literature that you like?  Plots?  Themes?  Characters?  I really feel I’m missing something…

Now, about food.  Saturday night, we went to Baja Bean Company, a local joint we haven’t been to since we were dating.  Well, this was even a new to us location.   I had a wonderful black bean chimichanga, but I have one complaint.  Really, we have to order chips and salsa!?  I honestly don’t know of any other Mexican place where chips and salsa aren’t complimentary.  Am I just spoiled?

Sunday, we tried out the new Bavarian Chef location in Fredericksburg.   I’m pretty sure it is in the old towne train station, and I loved the decor – old German train station posters!  It was also not as dark inside as the Madison location, but that’s where my praise ends.  

The food wasn’t bad by any stretch of the word, but it wasn’t the OUTSTANDING, melt in your mouth treat that we’ve come to expect.  The peppercorn cream sauce was thin, and the Knight and my uncle both had filets they found less than tender.  Never mind that one of my rare filets ended up on the Knight’s plate, which meant a couple of bites in, we were swapping filets and apologizing to my aunt and uncle for our lack of couth.  I hope that with time, they’ll settle into the routine of the original location and produce an excellent plate every single time, but in the meantime, Madison is a bit closer to us, and Fredericksburg has lots of other fabulous dining opportunities to try.

But wait!  There’s more!  I really am a culturally deprived gal.  Last night, a girlfriend and I met at the local Melting Pot.   I knew I’d love it (a whole meal based on fondue?!  what’s not to love?!), but a guy friend had told the Knight to be sure to avoid it because he’d starve to death at that “chick food place.”  Hem.

We just had a Wisconsin Trio (cheese) Fondue, followed by a Flaming Turtle (think fondue-ified pecan turtle, flambed) and great conversation.  We’d both had birthdays since the last time we sat down together.  The service was incredible, although I do have to say that I’ll never ask the Knight to dine with me there.  I think he’d like the appetizers and even dessert, but my meat and potatoes man wouldn’t enjoy dipping bite after bite, and I shudder to think how many entree portions we’d have to order for him to leave satisfied.  (Scratch that.  Price and portion are so far out of his comfort zone that by the time his tummy was full, his wallet would scream.)

That’s okay though.  It’s fun to have places to go with friends that aren’t our normal haunts!

What makes a favored food experience for you?

Blogville Gazette

Just a quick, drive-by posting here.  I had weekend plans I didn’t know about and some I’d forgotten, but I’ll catch you up eventually.  In the meantime, I dare you to go HERE and consider knitting up something quick for a worthy cause, and go HERE to learn about a new book I know I’ll have to have.  Knitting AND history?!  What’s not to love?!

It is with a heavy heart that I send you over to Gmarie’s blog to wish them all much sympathy.  Dearest Dudley fought a good fight, but Friday morning, it was clear the cancer had gotten the best of him.  That breaks my heart into a million pieces, because if you’ll recall, Dudley’s east-coast “twin” was my own Fred, whose ending was also a result of a rather aggressive cancer. 

Darling Fred... don't you see why I had such a soft spot for Dudders?!

How was your weekend?