Chewy Thorsday

Happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday, League-wide meeting #2 of year and happy birthday to several friends too.  Today’s post is a little different, but I’m grateful for companies that appreciate the role of a dog-ma and carry Sissy-friendly products.
While several of our doggy bloggy pals are already familiar with, we had never tried it because of Sissy’s food allergies and sensitivities.  Earlier this month, they contacted ME, and offered me a generous discount to review their company.   If you’re still unfamiliar with, visit the fur-girls blog for a chance to win $25 off your first order.

I didn’t have time to rush right over and order the moment I got the special code, but that Sunday…  I did.  A series of surprises followed.

  1. I was NOT limited to toys and a few known-trusted brand-name treats.  In fact, I was able to search for products without grains, without chicken, etc.  I will warn you; I found ONE product in the chicken-free category that did have chicken meal or fat (can’t recall) in it.  For some pets, that might not matter, and by no means do I fault  That’s why we read labels, even on products that were Sissy-safe the last time we bought them.  The pet food industry is not governed as tightly as the human food industry!
  2. They had the brand (Pure Vita) of kibble the girls had fallen in love with when a fairy dogma sent them a sample pack from out west.  Score, and a big part of our “try it for free” budget was knocked in the head.
  3. The treats that were on sale weren’t excluded from our coupon, so we were actually able to try a 15 lb. bag of kibble and 3 bags of treats.
  4. The order shipped almost immediately and was on the front porch in the Woods on Tuesday.  Wow.

Our haul

Some Chewy facts:

If you do decide to give Chewy a try, please consider using my referral code CHAN9251.  A $10 donation will be made to Best Friends Animal Society if you do.

Thanks Mr. Chewy for inviting us to be a part of your blogger program and giving us the chance to share the bounty with our friends.  Don’t forget to check out the give-away on the fur-girls’ blog.

Spinning Retreat

Roughly 10 days ago, I went to the Dog House Yarns spinning retreat at Graves Mountain Lodge.   I really enjoyed the speaker, the scenery, the camaraderie, the food and just spinning for hours on end!

DSC03240Rosanne and Dog House Yarns always have great goody bags and door prizes.  Here’s a glimpse of the contents: two mini-braids of fiber from Greenwood Fiberworks, a wraps per inch tool complete with an attached list of gauges, and some Mary Kay lotion.  Sissy and Gretchen supplied the dog hair on the fleece throw.   Hem. 

The WPI tool was hand-crafted by Fritz of Dog House Yarns.  It’s a handy little thing and will live happily in the end table with my other fiber-like tools.

I also managed to score a door prize of even more Greenwood Fiberworks “pigtails”. 

Aren’t they pretty?  Pigtails – the small, sampler-sized braids – really appeal to me as I can spin them in one sitting.  I’ve done one cowl with some of my first handspun bits, so I’m already pondering what I might do with these beauties.

I brought home some other goodies as well, including some “faux” cashmere for Gg.  While it is synthetic and thus, doesn’t smell like cashmere, oddly that’s what the girl went for as I spread everything out to admire my haul.  No, I don’t have a photo, because I was too busy rescuing the fiber from Gg.  Since it was bagged and she couldn’t rub all over on it, she clamped the bit sticking out of the bag in her mouth and was about to trot off with it!  


I’m spinning a rather non-descript, long-staple processed wool right now, and she couldn’t care less about that, even with the PANK in there.   I’m almost done, and I’m eager to finish it up and get it plied so I can see what the girl thinks of the faux cashmere when I spin it.

To the spinners out there… what’s on your wheel or spindle? 


Holiday Village

Dept 56 Williamsburg

No, not THAT Christmas village…  I’m just a fan of the notion that it takes community involvement to make the world go ’round.  So instead of getting overwhelmed by my own holiday preparation lists (cards, gifts, baking, groceries, parties…) I’m taking care of the most important parts first, thanks to the organization that keeps me grounded, the Junior League of Charlottesville.   I’ve done angel tree donations for many years, but now, I give through the League, to support our community partners, so I have no doubt about whether or not my gifts will get where they should go, whether or not they’ll make a difference. 

However this year, my deepest gratitude is stirred by our members.  As we move through the process of finding a new, more relevant community focus issue, we’re getting to know our non-profit neighbors better.  At our next meeting, we’re collecting food for the Emergency Food Bank.  On top of that, we’re donating our catering budget for this meeting to them too, even though that means our members who come straight from work won’t have substantial food available at the meeting, because we’re all very aware that too many in our community have very real food challenges.

Are hunger issues a problem in your community?  (The answer is yes… no matter where you live.)  Here, we have a significant working poor population, who don’t necessarily qualify for permanent assistance, but they still need help putting food on the table, sometimes just once or twice, sometimes on a more regular basis.  As we crawl out of our Thanksgiving food comas, take a moment to think about the under-served in your community, and consider making a donation of time, talent or funds.

Do you have a holiday giving tradition of the community sort?

Pickin’ and Choosin’

I suppose today kicks of the commercial side of Christmas, or depending on where you live and such, it might have started sometime yesterday, whenever the pre-Black Friday sales began.

In case you can’t tell, I’m no fan of Black Friday, crowds, or full parking lots.  However, I am proud to support the 3rd annual Small Business Saturday tomorrow.  (Forgive last year’s graphic…  my old relic computer at work isn’t playing well with the site this year.)

Now, I do shop online and at big box stores.  Frankly, little makes me happier than to let my fingers do the typing/clicking, but as I am employed by a small business, married to a small business owner, was the daughter of a small business owner, etc., I am well aware that small businesses and their suppliers need my business, so when I can put on my public face and go shopping, I try to frequent small businesses.

The definition of a small business is open for interpretation.  Certainly, the Etsy crafters and other owner/sole employee businesses fit the bill, but Wikipedia suggests that businesses with up to 500 employees fall in there too.  Franchises are also up for debate, so keep all of that in mind as you scan my list of favorite small businesses.

  • Dog House Yarns  –  Closed today (Friday)
  • The Pink Palm  –  While part of the Lilly Pulitzer brand, it is independently owned and part of a small (4) chain
  • Bevello  –  Another growing-chain boutique
  • Sammy Snacks – A local pet food company gone “global”, but since I can still walk in and chat with the owner, it’s small!
  • Rock Paper Scissors – For people who still like paper
  • Horton Vineyards
  • Darling – I might become a thrift-shopper yet!
  • Piddleloop – Project bags marketed for knitters but they’re cute enough for anyone!

(While I haven’t been compensated for mentioning any of these businesses today, I do have a personal relationship with most of them.  It’s why I’m comfortable telling you about them; because I know you won’t be disappointed!)

Pretty sure you can’t pull that together in a couple of hours…

As for the title of this post… well, I’m pickin’ and choosin’ the parts of the tradiational holiday stuff I’m doing this year.  Life is hectic, and I’ve wanted to host a gingerbread house decorating party for years, so guess what the JLC Board meeting/party is going to feature?!  I’m sure there will be some disappointed people and perhaps even a hurt feeling or two, but I’m going to do what I need to do to find and hold onto the joy of the season. 

Let the Christmas season begin. 

What holiday tradtions do you hold dear?


Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, Thorsday, and thankful Thursday!  The girls woke up just long enough to mention a few of their blessings, and I’m delighted to be composing this post with Gg stretched out on my legs and Sissy pressed up against me while I watch the Macy’s Day Parade.

I had thought I’d write a long, pensive, thankful post, but I think instead, I’ll set about frogging two long rows on an infinity scarf (note to self: when you think, “I’m really too tired to be knitting” put down the knitting!), right after I get another cup of coffee.


Chief Knight and a furry friend at the firehouse

I wish you some peaceful moments today though to ponder the blessings in your life, but please also remember those who do not have the day off to spend with their families.  Remember the firefighters, medics, doctors, nurses, dispatchers, police, cab drivers, food service personnel, etc., and most especially, our military folks on active duty.  Also pause to think about those unable to go home for the holidays because their homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy or some other force of nature this year.   Bravo to Macy’s for promoting the Red Cross throughout the parade!

Full disclosure…  I am affiliated with the Red Cross.  Not only to I always have a JLC pin in my purse, I have my special Red Cross pin in my notebook.

How do you give thanks?


photo.JPGThe post on the girls’ blog was draining, so pardon me if I take the easy way out here.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, Thorsday and Thankful Thursday, but can a girl ever be too thankful?

I’m so very thankful for each and every person who cares about my fur-girls.  I’m grateful for a local veterinary practice where Sissy’s DIVA antics are not only tolerated but encouraged and welcomed.  I’d literally be lost without Eye Care for Animals and their remarkable, top-notched team.  I can’t thank them enough for always taking my calls with patience, support and understanding.  Not only do they not placate me and get rid of me as fast as possible, they sincerely care about assuring Sissy has the best care possible.

And perhaps most of all, I appreciate each of you.  You not only read and comment, but you too genuinely care about my kids in fur coats.   We wish you whatever a perfect Thanksgiving feels like!

First Dogsgiving

Courtesy of the Pond

Queen Bitty is brilliant.  This year, she’s instituted a pre-Thanksgiving special dog-centric celebration, since too many dogs are ignored on Thanksgiving while the humans gather and gorge. 

So from the Pond (where Bitty lives) to the Woods, it’s the first annual Dogsgiving!  Bitty and Bear are celebrating with turkey legs, but of course, we need a Sissy-friendly diet, so we’ll be celebrating with salmon and potatoes instead.  The fur-girls have posted their take on things here

Do your dogs celebrate holidays with you?  Even in my “real life” (read: local, not just here in doggy bloggyland), my friends are pet-centric.  Yesterday I got a text and saw a Facebook discussion about where to board pets.  In my family – on both sides AND inlaws – our pets get and give gifts too.

Happy Dogsgiving!

It’s a Treat…

… to share with you.  Treat is Shutterfly’s exciting, new greeting card brand that makes it easy for you to create and send one-of-a-kind, personalized greeting cards. Treat cards are perfect for every card-sending event, or just to brighten a day for the heck of it.

And with a name like Treat, of course there’s something sweet to offer you.  Today and tomorrow (November 19th & 20th) only, use the code TREATBLOGR to get one Treat card for free.

For instance, if I wasn’t so scattered, I could send this nutty fun greeting to the squirrel whisperer, after personalizing it with her name.  (For the record, I do know an Addie too, but she’s not the squirrel whisperer and I don’t know that she’d delight in this one as much as Alison would.)

Who will you treat with your treat from Treat?

**Opinions are my own, but I have been compensated for this post.**

Winner, spinner, dinner

Congrats to Katie!  She won the Shutterfly prize.  Katie, I’ll email you with the code and such soon.  Is it tacky to say I hope this means I get to see whatever she creates?  She’s a talented crafter and mom to two adorable boys…


My favorite handspun to date

Tomorrow is the Dog House Yarns & More spinning retreat at Graves Mountain Lodge.  Are you going to be there?  

There’s also another birthday dinner this weekend, and of course dog walks will be worked in early and often – and far.   What’s on your weekend agenda?

Tree Lessons

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and happy birthday Uncle!   (Sorry…  I don’t have a recent photo of Uncle.  Isn’t it funny how some of the people we spend the most time with are notably absent from our photos?)

photo.JPGI’m thankful for trees.  I love ’em.  We live in the woods, the dogs and I walk in the woods, and I just find great peace in staring at the trees all around us.  This is one of my favorites.  I call it my Ent.   You can’t tell it from the photo, or from the partner photo on the girls’ blog today, but it is an ancient, GIANT tree.  I am rotten with guessing measurements, but I’m sure it’s more than six feet across at its base.

I talk to my Ent.  I am pretty sure it was there when Thomas Jefferson and or James Monroe lived in the area.  (Monroe may have owned said property, as an aside.)  I wished it well on our pre-Hurricane Sandy walk, and I truly rejoiced when we were reunited without incident afterwards.  I’m sure my Ent thinks I’m a silly human.  Sandy was a non-event here, and clearly, it has weathered many storms.  

There are plenty of very old trees in the woods, but none are even close to my Ent in size, which also means none are close in age either.  Poor ol’ giant…  He’s outlived his contemporaries, but oh if he would   could talk!

What grounds you? 

And don’t forget, the Shutterfly winner will be announced tomorrow.  Leave a comment if you haven’t and you’d like to win $50 off your next order.