Cold Shoulders

How was your weekend?  Ours was relaxing… except for Saturday morning.  I ran a few errands, completely ignorant of UVA’s athletic schedules for the day.  After dodging the traffic between the basketball game and the baseball game, I threw my hands up and headed home. 

I did get to Sammy Snacks for the girls.  I love to see a local business succeed.  They’re now available in 37 states, and really… around the world, because Amazon carries their snacks too.   Can’t say enough about them.  They’re always friendly, and Gretchen is literally itching for their salmon kibble to come out of testing and be available for her dining pleasure!  

I scrapped on Saturday, for a few minutes, until I got hit with stomach pains and a very dull headache.  As I was telling MJ bye, she shared that she’d had very similar symptoms Friday night, and the Knight has them now.  I did stay long enough for MJ to give me a new sippy cup.  Do you know Tervis Tumbler?  If not… you should.  I love a lifetime guarantee, and I know they honor it, because my very first set – a wedding present with Jack Russells as the image – had one or two return to the manufacturer after 5 years or so, and now, some 12++ years later, they’re all still in like new condition.

I did find a dress online, but I need your help!    It’s a Max and Cleo from Dillard’s, in “whiskey”.   You know I’m a sucker for truly descriptive color names…  I’m also a Max and Cleo fan now.  It’s a division of BCBG Max Azria, a designer I’ve had great luck with for years and years.  Do you have favorite lines/designers?  I don’t, not really, but I do find that some brands/designers fit me better than others.  For instance, I love Calvin Klein, but I’ll never be long and lithe, so many of his designs – including the famous jeans – don’t fit me well.

Anyhoo, back to the heart of the matter.  I’m not comfortable in strapless styles, but that can’t stop me this time.  I love the color, see?  So what to do?  I’ve already been told very sweetly to get over myself, get fitted for the right foundation and wear it like I own it.  Hem.  Great theory, but even as a cute, petite 16 yr. old, I wasn’t comfortable with my soft shoulders and arms. 

No, that’s not me having a body image problem.  I know I’m muscular, but I don’t have that long and lean, awesome muscle definition look.  I’m solid, with a layer of soft on top, no matter what I weigh.  But dangitall, I’m going to wear this dress, shoulders be darned… assuming you can help me figure out how to be comfortable in it.

Then there’s the matter of shoes…  I do already own the perfect earrings for the dress, so black shoes are probably in order, to pull it all together.


March winds are here a touch early… in like a lion, so hopefully, the lamb will follow.

March is another very busy month for me, so I’m looking forward to some down time this weekend.  I do need to snag another dress for a party coming up very soon.  No, I truly CAN’T wear anything in my closet.  Evidently, I’ve never been this size before – smaller and larger – because there are no jeans, pants, skirts or dresses that I can even make do with.

Anthropologie's Draped Denim Dress

Unfortunately, I’m not having much luck shopping.  I’ve found several little dresses I want for late spring and summer, but I need a late winter cocktail dress, not a cute casual dress.   I suppose I need to redirect my focus and try again this weekend, because I really won’t have time to shop – or get any necessary alterations – next weekend.  

What does your weekend have in store for you?  And has anyone seen that little groundhog named Phil?   I’d like to have a word with him…

PS – for those worried about the neglected fur-girls and POOR Sissy’s lack of homemade biscuits, I will make them tonight.  I wonder if I have a tiara cookie cutter?

Fire Season

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I can strike a pose too!

If you’re here for Dogs on Thursday, visit the girls’ blog.  Sissy is perhaps abusing her power – or at least over-stating her authority – but she’s declared that those of us who failed to honor Dog Biscuit Day yesterday can celebrate with our pooches over the weekend.   While you’re there, scroll back one post for a link to a contest for owners with anxious dogs…

How is it little friday already?!  I had big plans for this week, what with no big meetings or such, and whoosh!  It’s gone.  The good news is, I’ve gotten some great workouts in, but honestly, that’s about it.

Thankful Thursday has never been more celebrated.  I am SO thankful for so much.  The Knight and I played hookie yesterday afternoon, and on our way home, we toured the brush fire (wildfire for those of you to the west) damaged area where he spent his Saturday while I was living it up with my girlfriends.  I didn’t take photos, but there were no fewer than five homes that literally had the fire stopped just feet from their walls.  I cannot imagine…

So thankfully, some of our favorite customers were safe and sound.  It’s fascinating to  remind myself that even those whose views are blackened and bleak now will have lush green soon enough.  I’ll have to remind the Knight to take me back in a few months to see Mother Nature thriving after her own not-so-urban renewal.


Car fire training... one of the few "fire" photos I have on Flickr!

Even though the Knight was there in the thick of it all, he too marvelled at where the fire went, or specifically, why it stopped just feet away from a broomsage field or a tender young pine plantation.  Sure, wind, firefighting, yeah, yeah, but those same forces didn’t prevail in other spots. 

In our part of the country, this is fire season.  There are outdoor burn bans and we had three red-flag (conditions favorable for a wildfire) days last week, the first week of the season.   I hope our whole community is thankful for the firefighters and their families.  For instance, while one friend was on duty – all friggin’ weekend – his wife had to deal with a water leak that basically destroyed her kitchen.  Makes me thankful I handled being dateless as gracefully as I did…  Hem.

I’m also thankful for the cool, damp air and the rain that’s coming.  What are you thankful for today?


Before I share the book review, do pop over to the girls’ blog for their plans (for me) for Dog Biscuit Day, a contest and more!

Intervention was a satisfying read.   I don’t know whether I’ll get around to reading more of the series or not, which I suppose says something.   Considering it was a special purchase for $1.99, it was well worth it.  However, the author failed to make me REALLY care about her characters the  way Mr. Follett did.  In all fairness, I think almost any book I read next would have paled in comparison.

Anyway, it was good enough, and if you like a bit of suspense or detective books, you might enjoy it.   I’m hit or miss with detective stories.  I seem to require cozy-types, with some side story to entertain me.  I do really want to know if the mom in Intervention got the redecorating job for the governor’s mansion…

What are you reading?  I haven’t downloaded anything else yet.

Christchurch Quake

Only a few of you know I have many cousins in New Zealand.   Even fewer know that several of them live in Christchurch.   While it’s a terrible situation, my family is alive and accounted for, even if I did have to stay up past midnight to get the confirmation.

Gotta’ love technology.  One darlin’ cousin had both internet AND power after the quake, and she was dear enough to head straight to Facebook and begin posting updates as she heard from our relations.  There were broken household items and windows, but all the people were okay and had somewhere safe to hang a hat.   Not all of Christchurch can say that, and there are still likely to be aftershocks, right?

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Sorry... couldn't get a better photo for all of the help!

Luckily, I have a happy parcel to blog from Friday.  Many of you know and love Piddleloop bags, I’m delighted that one of the sisters behind the seams is a good friend.  When I started the basset hound group on Ravelry, it wasn’t long before I needed technical support, and Jen immediately came to my rescue.  Over the years, she’s become a treasured friend, so when she suggested a little swap for something I had and wasn’t using and some Piddleloop loot, I jumped!

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In addition to some sweet new bags, I also scored my first Jennie the Potter item!  Honestly, Jennie is the vendor reason I’d go to Maryland Sheep & Wool.  Big festivals don’t hold much attraction for me, but that’s the only event even remotely in driving distance that she attends.

February 2011 002I’d give two of these mugs as gifts, so I squeed when I unwrapped it.  Thanks SO MUCH, Jen!   I’d gone back to my local Starbucks looking for one for me, but they were sold out.   Don’t you love it when a friend finds something she didn’t even know you had been looking for?

February 2011 005Then there were cute, handstamped cards.  Yes, I stamp.  No, I haven’t in forever and a day, but I’m inspired.  I love the simplicity.  I have a tendency to over-think things, so I might have to do some fresh, clean cards for spring!

There was also mint tea (yum!), peanut M&Ms (a weakness of mine… I’m grateful for the Knight’s help in making them disappear a little faster), and this most awesome pencil.  It’s made from recycled newspapers and is incredibly fragrant.  I’ve had to store it far away from Sissy’s reach.

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Thanks so very, very much, Jen!  I love it all.  There was much, much more too, but my camera battery went dead, and this post is long enough.

Stylin’ and Profilin’

It’s been a while since I’ve had a mega-post, but I’ll be making up for lost time today.  Stop now and grab some refreshments, settle into a comfortable chair, and read on about my exciting weekend!

To kick our gala weekend off, Nichole awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award.  Gretchen made me clarify that Nichole did indeed mean for it to go to this blog, not theirs…  Hem.  Thank you, Nichole!

Now, to share seven things you may not know about me.    Really?!  I don’t know that I have seven left.  I’ve been blogging long enough that I seriously feel I’m an open book.

  1. Since it’s Presidents Day here in the USA, while George Washington is the first of many “Virginian” presidents, my favorite is the very local Thomas Jefferson.
  2. Along those same lines, there’s more than a fair chance that James Monroe once owned the land that is now our Haddon Wood.
  3. I need help thinking of a new name/address for this blog.  Chan doesn’t knit so much, and honestly, I’d rather not have my name in the blog addy.
  4. As much as I love the beach, I don’t swim in the ocean.  Too hard on my tender back.
  5. Surprisingly, high heels don’t bother my back.  I don’t wear them daily, but when I do wear them, they hurt my instep first, and usually enough that they come off before my back can start to hurt.
  6. Don’t tell my chiropractor, but I’m doing yoga again.  This time, I’m going to stick with the gentle stuff on the Wii Fit Plus – I figure if it’s safe enough for them to share with the public… – and the back routine that served me well for the first ten years after my surgery.
  7. I’ve lost a bit of weight and my sweet tooth.  Saturday night, I honestly couldn’t find a single food item that appealed to me.
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Not these earrings... they were the ones I wore, but they hurt my ears on the way home and ended up in the chip bucket...

…. so I had two glasses of Prosecco, won some earrings from the bubbly bar, and that pretty well sums up how awesome my evening was!

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What do you mean it's not mine?!

#46 is my new lucky number.  I’ve never won anything at our silent auctions… except for the year I used a friend’s number accidentally.  Hem.  For those of you who are a little superstitious or into numerology, I always wore jersey numbers with a 4 in them when I was playing sports.   I scored a Lilly P Monopoly game for the Knight’s collection, although you might note that SOMEONE saw PANK and thought it was for her…

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I also brought home a “basic training” gift certificate.  While the DIVA’s feet are present (maybe she saw the purple and just assumed…??), I need to confirm the terms of the certificate, but I think the wee one is going to go to basic obedience class.  

Do y’all think the DIVA would enjoy an intermediate class, even though I know she’s not likely to ever obey “down” or hold an out-of-sight stay?


Photo from the camera of the doll on the far left...

Okay, okay…  I know you want to see the dress.  Sadly, due to the raging brush fires in our area, the Knight wasn’t able to join me Saturday night, but I had a fab time with my girlfriends.  gMarie turned me onto Already Pretty a couple of weeks ago, and she has a great article about female friendships today – perfect timing.  That meant I was responsible for all of my own keys, lipstick, etc., so I didn’t manage a regular camera.  A friend’s hubby snapped a few photos with my Blackberry, but they weren’t stellar… so I borrowed this one from a friend…


From the photo booth... a photo of the photos

 There are tons more, but they’re all rather similar… a bunch of girlfriends, laughing, being silly, having a great time!  If I had to be dateless, I couldn’t have had a better group to hang with.  Thanks also to their sweet hubbies and a fiance for snapping photos, holding my bag and bucket and escorting me in from the rather remote parking area!

I still have a very special package to share with you tomorrow, but really… isn’t this enough for one post?!

How was YOUR weekend?  Can I put your name on the invitation list for next year’s Vintage Vegas?  I think I already have my dress…

OH – and the seven I’m passing the award on to:

  1. gMarie, my bloggy style buddy
  2. Barbara, who has both style and class and a great blog!
  3. Those BonBon Rose Girls, because they keep my style fresh
  4. Grace, whose blog changes its look to match the seasons and holidays
  5. Marjie, who really is a modern day Harriet
  6. The Blond Duck, who has style, wit, and a love of pie and hippos
  7. Mango and Dexter, because frankly, Sissy and Gretchen would never forgive me if I didn’t give a nod to them for their style and friendship!


Logo is the property of the JLC

I’m ready!  Is it Vintage Vegas yet? 

Our second annual gala, and it’s sold out.  I’m so proud of the fundraising committees, immediate past and present.  Two friends of mine dreamed it and brought it to life last year, and another friend is chairing the committee this year, and took us to the next level in a hurry!

I wish you could all jet in for it.  As you can see, the theme this year is diamonds are forever.  Le sigh.  I think I have to drink a lot of bubbly to win the diamond earrings but I’ll do my best!!  You don’t have to gamble, but the Knight will likely settle in at a black jack table, as he did last year…  Neither of us is in the poker tournament, but that sold out so early that I’m sure it will be back next year.  (I hope the diamond bar will be too!)

Several of us have been texting and emailing dress photos for a few weeks now.  Can’t wait.  I love to dress up, and I’m especially excited about my gown (thanks Mary!).   I’ll drop my iTouch in my bag and have a few photos snapped, okay?


Photo by MJ

There’s an update on the girls’ blog from yesterday’s chat with Wondervet.  If you get a chance, can you stop by and wish a kitty pal and her family well?  Charlie is in the beginning stages of kidney failure.  It’s so hard when our four-legged family members are sick…

Dogs ‘n More also has up a post I wrote about glaucoma.  It is the first of a trio (I think?) of pet eye health posts in the works.  The fur-girls and I are also working on fleshing out Sissy’s DIVA platform, which is promoting canine glaucoma awareness.

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Office Beautification

Belated happy dogs on thursday, little friday and thankful thursday to you! 


The Queen on her unadorned office throne

This is my new favorite photo of the DIVA.  She looks very bassettitudish, doesn’t she?  I think she’s sulking because there are no humans padding her throne for her.

The girls also did a quick post of their own, documenting that MJ spoils them ROTTEN.  


Gretchen Greer on her perch

MJ is fascinated by Gretchen’s desire to perch behind me, on top of my lumbar support.  It’s cute, and when it isn’t nearly 70 degrees outside, I like my little snuggler helping me at work.

If it wasn’t Thursday and the princesses weren’t ruling the office, you would have gotten a photo of my feet in sandals.   It’s a beautiful, spring-like day, and I’ve had my first “warm weather” pedicure.  It’s ridiculous how happy having my toes out makes me, but the flip side of that coin is that come September, I’ll be itching for cold day so I can wear my handknit socks.

Any seasonal milestones you wait for with baited breath?

Hen Party!

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The guys were all out of the office this morning, so Gramma took the opportunity to talk to Gretchen about all the new titles in the fur-girls’ lives.   No, it’s not the best photo in the world with the window behind them and the low pixels, but I think it’s a keeper just the same.

IMG00034-20110216-0957.jpgIt evolved into a love-fest, but that’s what grandmothers are for, right?

Now, if we can only agree on what to have for lunch…

What’s on your agenda today?

Still Feelin’ the Love

We had big fun handing out Valentines at the vet’s yesterday, and I especially enjoyed gifting the infinity scarf to Wondervet.

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It’s a great joy to give a gift that’s well-received, and Wondervet really, REALLY liked the scarf.  You can read the details about the vet reports here


See where Sis slimed HER card, down on the lower left?

When we got home, we had a special card waiting.  No, not from the Knight…  He was tied up on brush fires yesterday afternoon, on into the evening.   Sissy has a very special friend named Mabel who was about a week ahead of her on this glaucoma journey.  Mabel and her mom sent us a very pretty valentine; both hearts are pins!

photoHere’s a close-up of the bottom pin.  They’re so pretty – and accented in PURPLE!  Thank you to Mabel and her mom.   And in case you’re wondering, we met them on Ravelry, through the basset hound group I started there when I joined Ravelry.  Who knew a knitting website would turn out to be so VERY much more?

Have you had any sweet surprises lately?