Friday, December 14, 2007

Sad news

We learned late in our Thanksgiving weekend that Lori Adams passed away. Since then, we have been busy with the inevitable matters that follow a death in the family.

Friday, November 23, 2007


We have much to be thankful for, and enjoyed our day of reflecting on that.

Mother's birthday is the day before, so she was very happy to open her gift of "Magnum, PI, the first season." Her old main TV broke and she had just bought a new flat-screen, so she's going to enjoy watching all her old shows again on the flat screen.

We were going to set up the new TV today, but Rowdy has an upset tummy so I'm staying home to do doorman duty and cook bland dog food while Mike goes out for a bit of shopping. We scoured the ads, but really don't need much. So he's out taking care of those few things and doing a bit of errand running. We have beautiful weather today - clear and chilly. The leaves have almost all fallen now. We're expecting cold weather tomorrow, which I love, and cold and rainy the following two days, which no one loves unless they're spending the day inside with a good book, a fire and some nice hot tea.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

T-giving prep

We had such a nice weekend...I'm not sure why; it just was very nice. The leaves are dropping now tho a good number are still hanging on. We're just past peak color now and it has been a beautiful year - a very golden year. Temps are still a little high for my tastes, but as long as the daytime highs stay below 80 with cool nights, I can be happy.

The fridge and freezer and pantry are stocked with food for the big meal. We're not doing anything elaborate this year - just the basic dinner. Then, it's get started with the Christmas decorating and pull out the Christmas dishes!

I'm wrapping up a baby sweater I've been knitting. It is SO cute!! The wow factor is huge with all these cables; it's like a little mini-aran cardigan. I'll post a picture soon, here and on my knitting blog at I just love it when I find a free pattern (this is Trellis from that is so well-written and produces such a beautiful result.

We are looking ahead to next year and planning to get back into dog competition in a big way. I'm hoping I can find a show a month for us to enter. We're setting goals and reviewing the calendar.

Christmas events, revolving around dog groups of course, are starting to get scheduled. The Greenville Kennel Club does a very nice dinner that we are looking forward to attending at a charming and delicious restaurant in Greenville's West End. We are still waiting on Speedy Paws' announcement for the annual party, and Footloose in the Carolinas, the freestyle group, has a little party at their December meeting - with dogs attending, of course. Paws 2 Care, our therapy dog group, is making plans for a social event after the new year.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Canine Freestyle

Today we attended a meeting of the Footloose in the Carolinas group. This is a canine freestyle club affiliated with the World Canine Freestyle Organization. This is a very new dog sport, informally called "heelwork to music" or "dancing with your dog." They are excited to have us, because they think they have been the only club in the country without a single Border Collie or Aussie member. So now they can claim Rowdy.

The meeting was at the Community Center gym in Cashiers, NC.

What the heck is canine freestyle? For a great example, click on this video at YouTube: Watch it all the way through (4 min). It's worth it. The battle rages on, but it does eventually wind down into more great dancing, and an ending with a twist.

I must say, Rowdy had an absolute ball. He got to meet new dogs, socialize with the dogs, meet new people, play, do some obedience and Rally with me in front of all the dogs, watch the other dogs with their owners working together and doing things Rowdy has never seen before, and he also had a lot of fun with Mike. As usual, Mike and Rowdy invented a new game, and this game had Rowdy lit up like a Christmas tree with excitement and focus. Mike took Rowdy's holey ball and threw it through a basketball hoop. Rowdy's job was to get the ball and return it to Mike.

The club has 30 members scattered around western NC and upstate SC. Today there were three dog/handler teams at the meeting. The club is just beginning their second year. The woman who runs it, Deanna, clearly has made it a work of love for the sport. She is just amazing in how much she has done to build this club, and she has had a lot of success in their first year. They had participants from over 10 states at their first show, which was just recently held in Greenville.

We did a couple of pictures:

Here we are getting ready to pull out from home:
And here is Rowdy meeting and greeting one of the other dogs:

The drive up there was uhhh gorgeous. We took a scenic route through the Jocassee River Gorge area - a conservation area protected in perpetuity by Duke Energy and the States of SC/NC. Absolutely breathtaking in the autumn with vivid colors, canopied roads for most of the way to the main route between Cashiers and Brevard. Has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country. It also took us 2.5 hours to go 90 miles. The curves were so short you could stand at the apex of one curve and spit, and you'd be hitting the apex of the next curve...well, almost. We arrived an hour late. We came back by a different route - over Caesar's Head - and found it to be a nice, relaxing little drive with a few twists and turns by comparison. (This was formally known as the twisty-est route we've found yet).
I used to think this Freestyle was embarassingly stupid. Then I thought it might be fun. Today I was impressed with many of the moves these ladies have put on their dogs. It was creative, appealing, and it was totally obvious that the dogs were having a ball. Have you ever seen a dog do rollover after rollover after rollover down a floor - with his tail wagging continuously as he rolled round and round? Now that we found an enjoyable route to Cashiers, we're looking forward to more of this sort of fun.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Whew - back in the driver's seat

After a period of being constantly annoyed and in mild pain, the stitches were removed and I'm back to full steam again.

The geneology work continues, and continues to expand! The bug has bitten Mike and now we're busy researching various lines in both our families. Mike's family history really is a straightforward telling of the history of westward expansion in the US with all ancestors tenaciously pursing their manifest destiny and making their way to Kansas, where they homesteaded land. It's fascinating. My family came over early in the formation of our country, and then there were later immigrants too. My family mostly stayed on the east coast, with a branch wandering around the South - including Texas and MO ever since.

I continue to be totally absorbed in knitting. For many years my standard baby gift has been a baby blanket. But now, it just seems that there are too many babies or too many things competing for knitting time and baby blankets are just too much knitting. So I've been searching for some sort of knitted baby gift that meets my criteria: durability (I want a practical gift that will be used and is easily cared for), ease of knitting, and must have a major WOW factor for the mother. Through this new knitting site,, I've been able to use the search capabilities to come up with multiple options. Sort of good news/ bad now knitting my way through a series of test projects to see what will sort itself out as the best option(s). Currently working on an aran patterned cardigan for a baby. More on my knitting blog:

Finally got a reserve of dog food established again. The dogs' are doing much better. It's sort of like, you can get by eating at Subway...but if you want to really feel good - you're going to need some very nutrition and well-balanced food. It's time to resume our obdience training again, and really get serious about putting more Rally titles on Rowdy. Tillie continues to be active,. very loving and uhhhh, demanding and bossy - so we know she's feeling good and doing well!

Mike and I are going to take Rowdy out for a walk around the new ICAR (automotive research park with Clemson University) area today. We all need the exercise.

Yesterday Mike and I went to Black Mountain, NC. We wanted to see the leaves, having heard mixed reviews about the display this year with the drought and heat. The leaves were pretty, but it's not one at the usual spectacular level. Still, it was great to get back to the mountains and spend a nice day wandering around a mountain town. We were in shirtsleeves, and are eager for the temps to get a little cooler. It's hard to get into the fall spirit when you don't even need a light jacket.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What a pain...literally

Not much posting going on due to various minor medical issues that are grinding me down, temporarily.

More in due course.....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A little sample, or a taste

Here are the visuals from our week:

Mike began the week by trying out his new edger. He got it for his birthday this year. He was very pleased with it's handling and performance.

And I was pleased to find that I'd cooked more rice than I realized, yielding me an extra week's worth of dog food. Our dog food production system is transitioning from using plastic freezer bags as storage containers, to using the plastic GladWare. The GladWare is cheap, amazingly versatile and tough, and best of all - it comes with the volume stamped on the bottom in CUPS, not grams or ounces. So out came my Sharpie marker and voila! Now I can easily tell Mike how much food to dole out if we needed him to manage the canine catering service. (This is less than half of the total amount I cooked this weekend. FYI: they eat at least 2.5 cups a day of homecooked food.)