Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ten on Tues….Wednesday

I have been following several blogs that participate in these blog topics. Mirth on Monday, Ten on Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, uhhhhh, I can’t think of what Thursday is, and Eye Candy Friday. Well, it isn’t as if this blog is overflowing with content. I have been wanting to participated for a while and just too lazy, but yesterday, I decided to do Ten on Tuesday……and you see when it got posted. What can I say.

10 Favorite Romantic Comedies

1. Serendipity – I have always loved John Cusack and his character in this movie cracked me up. I liked he and Kate Beckinsale together a lot. Pity there isn’t more time with them together in it. Then add Jeremy Piven and Molly Shannon as the respective side-kicks and it gets better. I like John Corbett too, but he was driving me crazy as Carrie’s whiny, never happy boyfriend on Sex and the City about the time this movie came out, so when they made him hilariously goofy and stupid here, it made me happy. Eugene Levy as an insanely crazy salesman who kind of gets the whole thing started is just the right topper. And also, the music choices were wonderful. I enjoy the soundtrack too!

2. Love Actually- Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley round out a huge cast. This movie came out during some rough single years from me and I enjoyed the idea that love is almost never perfect, and can be really silly and that love with the wrong person won’t work. But it is Andrew Lincoln’s character Mark whom I would have married on the spot. First, at his best friend’s wedding he hires an orchestra to play the Beatles song Love. He does this because he is actually in love with the bride (Keira Knightley’s character) and has been forever, but no matter, it is a sweet gesture. Later in the movie, on Christmas night, he shows up at her door. He has a boom box and a bunch of poster signs he has written. Christmas carols are playing on the boom box and when she opens the door, he holds up a sign that says “Say it’s just the carolers.” At that moment Keira’s husband says “Who is it”. She of course, says it’s just carolers and then stands amazed as Mark flips through his posters, which very sweetly declare he is in love with her. I LOVE that scene. I love that they take Hugh Grant, usually the suave and sophisticated love interest and make him a rather silly, but single prime minister who falls in love with his catering head of staff. I love the actor and actress who fall in love in INCREDIBLY awkward positions while standing in for the main actors in a porno. It’s a great one.

3. Bridget Jones Diary- I was a singleton in the days this movie came out and I had to commiserate with Bridge. But to have to pick between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, ah, such hardships. Mark Darcy (Firth) acts like an ass through half the movie, but he is still awfully yummy and it makes me happy that she lands him in the end. When she shows up to a tarts and vicars party dressed as a tart only to find the theme has been changed make me laugh every time.

4. The Slipper and the Rose: The Cinderella Story-This movie was filmed the year I was born, but I remember staying at my grandparent’s house one summer when I was about 8 or 10 and watching it on the Disney Chanel. I thought this movie was the best ever. Handsome prince, pretty but oppressed princess, music, multi-layered humor throughout and all built on the Cinderella story, but from the prince’s perspective. The music is wonderfully catchy, but the lyrics are marvelous. I don’t know that I got them at that age, but I watched it twice and taped it to take home. Well, it was on Betamax, and we all know that went the way of the dodo very quickly. I remembered the name and that I loved it, but it is a rather obscure movie. Recently my mother caught it on tv and raved to me about this wonderful movie and I said “The Slipper and the Rose. That’s the one I loved as a kid.” She bought it on DVD for me one Christmas and I watch it at least every 6 months.

5. Pretty Woman-That same old Cinderella story, with a racy edge. It came out when I was in 8th grade and I was NOT allowed to watch it. But, in high school I was a prolific baby sitter and I first saw it on VHS while waiting for some parents to finish their date night. I watch portions of it frequently on TV now. I LOVE the scene where she returns to a shop where the saleswomen wouldn’t help her the day before. They start fawning all over her now that she is dressed the part and she says smartly: “You guys work on commission right?” They agree and she holds up her bag and says “Big Mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.” and whisks out while they saleswomen stand with their mouths open. Love it.

6. Emma-Jane Austen had a wicked sense of humor and it was played so well in this movie. Jeremy Northam was delicious in the role of Mr. Knightley.

7. Forget Pairs-Every time I see this movie, it makes me laugh. It is older and I have no idea where I saw it first, but it has always been one of my favorites. My God, the father-in-law who reads the billboards and signs as they drive.

8. Sliding Doors-Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah starred in this one. I admit, John Hannah is not the most sexy of leading men, but in this story, he works so well. I love the line where she is standing the bathroom doorway with a positive pregnancy test and her friend tries to cheer her up. “You can’t tell from one. They can be inaccurate.” Gwyneth replies, “I bought three packs, 2 in a pack. That’s six. You can tell from six.” This movie was not very popular and I used to own a DVD of it, but I can’t find it anymore. Great movie though. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. And someday, I will use this line: “Gerry, I'm a woman! We don't say what we WANT! But we reserve the right to get pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating! And not a little bit scary.”

9. Grease-I admit, bending the genre a bit. My mother watches this movie almost every time it comes on television. I loved it for the music. I loved it for the sheer silliness. I live that John Travolta used to be really cute and that Sandy manages to get him in the end.

10. Shakespeare in Love-Ok, I guess I just love movies with Gwyneth Paltrow and a fake English accent. Really though, this movie so cleverly writes so much of the Shakespeare legend and lore into it, while being hilarious and being a great story. A pox on both your houses! Ben Affleck looks good with his goatee in his part, but Ray’s little brother Joseph Fiennes, HOT! I also love Colin Firth. Even as a bad guy, I love him.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Catching Up

I know I have been away for a while, so I will try to be succinct. 

I finished the Baby Dean Tweed for Glenn's other cousin's baby BEFORE the baby came!  I hadn't knitted much lace before and this was my first time to aggressively block something.  I bought the blocking mats and then spent a lot of time trying to convince the 2 scotties and 2 cats that they didn't need to stand, lay, sit or roll on it while drying. I repurposed Moxie's puppy X-pen to protect the blanket.
I was very happy with how this turned out. 
Not too bad for my first lace effort.  And I really liked the i-cord bind off.  Nice strong edge for when the kid drags it around!
And the girls liked it too.  After I told them "off" Moxie tried her nose under the blanket trick, but I couldn't capture it.  You can see she flipped the edge over nicely.
Baby Dean Tweed has been taken to it's forever home and I hope to see a picture with Mr. Weston sometime!

In May, I traveled with a friend to Castle Rock, CO for the Terrier Only Performance Summit.  My friend Sandy drove most of the way while I knitted (AWESOME!) and navigated. Sandy and her two Seallyham Terriers were fun bunk mates. Dobby and Alice played nicely with my two.  We stopped in Lamar, CO on our way and the visitor center had a great expanse of grass.
We were packed into the car pretty tightly, but everyone were great travelers.
We stayed in a nice LaQuinta near the show site.  The back of the room opened into a nice grassy courtyard where we could potty the dogs without stepping out of the room.  However, the bunnies and squirrels had very little sense of preservation and hung out in the courtyard.  Bailey and Moxie quickly spotted them from the bed in the room.  After that, the curtains were perpetually closed and all potty excursions were scouted prior to execution!
The girls on bunny watch!
I lost my mind and entered Moxie in Rally Obedience after the very minimum in practice. The first day I ended up being the first dog to run, so I was very nervous that I didn't know quite what I was doing, but Moxie earned her first Rally Novice A leg with an 87 out of 100. 
Doesn't she look thrilled!?! Pictures aren't her favorite thing.
She seemed to enjoy Rally, and especially the peanut butter cup reward afterward.  The second day we earned a 95.  The third day, we earned her RN with a 97.  I think we will try doing more Rally in the future. 
Bailey qualified in four out of 6 agility runs, which put her at the top of the Scottish Terriers in performance points, so she got named the TOPS Scottie. Moxie unfortunately was totally taken with the Colorado ravens and had a hard time focusing on pottying when there was "caa caa" to be heard.  She pottied in the ring one day.  Had she concentrated better and qualified a few more times, she could have beaten Bailey out with the addition of her Rally points.  But, she is quite happy letting big sister take the spotlight. 
June 21st was my 35th birthday. It's an age I am having a hard time reconciling.  It feels rather old.  I am not sure where all the time has gone.  However, I had no shortage of friends and family quite happy to celebrate it. My friend Katie (click the link to see her blog entry about this) put on the COOLEST party.  We dyed yarn at a local yarn shop. I had the BEST time. 
My friend Bonita dyes the last third of her yarn green.
Michelle begins hand painting her two skeins of yarn.

Lisa begins a tripple dip of shades of blue.
After the second dip, Lisa rotates the yarn to orient the last third at the bottom for dunking in her third shade of blue.
I pose with my virgin skein of yarn, ready to dip in the red dye.
Katie helps me hold the half dyed skein of yarn.
Here I am hand painting my second skein of yarn.
Here Katie is making sure her gloves are clean as she prepares to dip her chartreuse yarn in a fushia pink dye.  She ended up with a BEAUTIFUL skein we like to call Orchid. In the foreground, Lisa is hand painting the highlight color of "burnt" to her orange skein. Being the Longhorn lover, there was quite a bit of consideration on how to get the best burnt orange. 
The Glamour shot: from left to right, Michelle's two hand-painted skeins, my cherries and chocolate skein and Lisa's tripple blue skein.  All of these skeins are merino with silk mixed in, which gives them the shiny look you see.  And, the silk and wool take the dyes differently, so it gives each color a variagation which is truly awesome.
Here are Bonita's two tulip skeins of orange, green and yellow. Then Kerry's two sage green skeins and on the right, somewhat in shadow are Don's amethyst and taupe skeins. 
At the end, we got to create a grafiti skein with all the colors of our dyeing session.  It is crazy colored.  The current plan is that I (amazing how Katie's great ideas often involove me doing all the work!) will make Christmas ornaments out of that yarn. 
At the end, we took a group shot.  Notice the grafiti yarn that Michelle and I are holding up.
The folks at Gauge Knits were truly wonderful. Doug and his helper Kim of White Bear Fibers were absolute god-sends. They did all the grunt work so that we could have fun dying. They soaked the yarn before dying, nuked the dyed yarn to set the color, mixed up endless numbers of dyes, rinsed the yarn and laid them out to dry and acted as general gophers when bowls, jars, paper towels and various items were needed. If you ever have the chance to take a dying class with them, DO IT!

My sweet husband gave me a beautiful diamond pendant for my birthday. He picked out a beautiful (and robust) chain for it that sparkles and catches the light almost as much as the pendant. He did quite well and is pretty much off the hook for the month of July.

I have several WIPs, but most of them are gifts, so they are all under wraps, but will appear here eventually. We have a family wedding in July in Carbondale, IL. Then Glenn and his brother Craig will be heading to Oregon for a nice short vacation. Glenn and I will be joining my family on an Alaskan cruise in August. I am so glad that we will be getting some opportunites at cooler weather this summer. The heat here has been crazy and we will be ready for the relief. So, there will be plenty of picture opportunities in the next couple of months. Moxie and I will be trying our hand at more Rally in Houston at the Reliant World Series of Dog shows in July. Of course, Bailey and Moxie will both be running agility as well. I am hoping we will get to visit with Moxie's breeder while there. In short, the summer will be busy, but I will try to update "le blog", as Katie says, more often.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Power of the Mind

I am a grown woman, and one would think that by now, I would have outgrown my procrastination proclivities....but one would be wrong.  I am even more skilled at talking myself out of doing something I need to do, having gotten better at it with age.  I do understand why I do this with a big project at work, or with house cleaning, or some nasty chore I don't know how to do.  But, why on earth do I do it with my hobbies?!?

Take the star blanket.  I decided to crochet this blanket back when Glenn's cousin first told us she was pregnant and was not going to find out the sex of the baby.  I decided that crocheting a burnt orange and red blanket for her baby would be appropriate regardless of the sex, since her husband is a basketball coach for UT and they bleed orange. 

I bought the yarn, I began. And lo and behold, I had issues.  My main issue is that I didn't read the pattern.  [Hand Slapping forehead] and it wasn't turning out the way I wanted it to.  So, like any true procrastinator does, I put it in a bag, worked on something else and tried like hell to ignore it.  But, it bugged me.  Just like Poe's beating heart, at night when I was falling asleep, or when I was working on something else, I could feel it nudging me to get working. 

After frenetic knitting on Christmas gifts, I began feeling the pressure to finish the star, so I got it out and ripped everything out and started again.  And AGAIN, managed not to read the pattern correctly.  Sigh.  So, on a trip to see hubys' family, he drove and I sat in the passenger seat frantically counting stitches and getting very frustrated.  THIS is when the negative mind association started.  I was so focused on the stitch counting, I got pretty car sick.  And now, I never wanted to see the darn star again.  And despite the fact that we saw his cousin, looking very round, I worked on other projects and left the darn star in a bag in my trunk...take THAT star.  Becuase every time I looked at it, I turned a little green.  So, perfect solution...don't look at it.

It still bothered me, but I ignored it.  So, on Sunday morning, when the text came that she had the baby, I did what any good procrastinator does.  I grabbed the blanket, I started over AGAIN and I crocheted like a fiend to have that blanket ready.  And I MEAN UP TO THE LAST MINUTE.  I bound off, weaved in ends, blocked and steamed and RAN out the door to the hospital. 

And luckily, Glenn's cousin loved the blanket.  We got to hold the baby and enjoy a visit.  And now, I can never show her this blog, because while it wasn't that I didn't want to make her a blanket ( I really did), one really shouldn't know that I had mad thoughts at their gift.  I am just SOOOO glad it is done.  It's like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders.  And do I start the blanket for the next cousin who is due in May?  Nope!  Like someone with a true problem....I merrily cast on this hat for myself last night.  I mean, the logic is undeniable, I fnished one, so now I start one, right?  So what that I have 4 WIPs beside the hat?!?

The Star in it's finished state.  I had already put the girls in their crates when I remembered to take the FO pic. 

And here is a shot of how the girls encourage my knitting. Do they try to talk me into doing projects for upcoming occassions instead of selfish knitting?  No! Basically, they are happy to sack out and sleep through endless B movies, or crime dramas while Mom knits whatever she wants to knit. Moxie will occasionally look up if there is a funny noise on the TV, otherwise, they meet their quota of 22 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period quite handily.

Bailey is in the forgeround and Moxie is laid out in the background.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I talked about Moxie living up to her name here.  While she is a good escape artitst, she is an equally good monkey.  She likes to crawl up on things.  She loves to walk along your body on the bed rather than just walk NEXT to you.  Don't ask me why, she just does.  She rarely gets on the couch that she doesn't get up on the top of the back of it.  She likes to explore. 

We installed a cat flap in the kitchen window for the cats to come and go.  I had placed a patio chair outside under the door so they could easily enter and exit, but the dogs as well as small undesired critters would be less likely to use it from the window. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table working on the computer and the dogs were outside. I heard the cat flap open and when I looked over, there was Moxie sticking her head through it as if to say, "Hey Mom, did you know there was a hole here?!?"  I tried to snap a pic of her sticking her head through, but as soon as the camera came out, she didn't want to stay there.  However, several times that day, she jumped up on the patio bench sitting under the window, over onto the plastic chair under the cat flap and stuck her head in.  She hasn't done it since, but she watched the cats go through it and had to check it out. 
Moxie having watched Emma go in the cat flap wondering if she could follow
Wow, how long has this hole been here?  And can I fit through it?
Aww Man!  Why don't we have one of those?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Lost, but not Forgotten

Last Tuesday, Glenn's male cat, Ace disappeared.  He was there that morning when we left for work and he wasn't there when we returned.  We have scoured our neighborhood, Glenn blanketed the place in Lost Cat posters, we have visited the animal shelter (a visit I would like never to repeat as it was really depressing) and looked everywhere we could think of and more.

It is as if he vanished....poof!

It is interesting how much I miss him.  He did not interact with me much.  He wasn't the type to cuddle, or even come beg to be petted. He rarely interjected himself in my daily life....unless I was carrying something that obstructed my view (like a laundry basket or big box) and then he loved to run in front of me and stop abruptly.  But, when I would come in and see him cuddled on the bed, I would pet him and love on him and he would tolerate it.  He frequently chose a spot on the floor in between the kitchen and living room to sleep (perhaps to keep an eye on what we humans were up to) which never seemed really comfy to me.  I could think of 100 better places, but that is the one he chose more often than not. He LOVED sleeping in my computer bag on the table. Best place ever in his book.  But when I bought him a bed, he shunned it as if it were going to EAT him alive.

Can't you just read his expression: "What do you mean I can't lay here, it is shaped perfectly for me and is up here on the table where I can see everything at once. Whatever lady...stop flashing that at me, I'm not moving."

So how come I miss him so much?  How come every time I hear the cat door flapping in the wind I go running? Why do I look for him every time I walk in the house?

These are the last two pictures taken of him before he disappeared?  Being very cuddly in both!  The cold weather seemed to bring it out in him. 

He and Abby had their share of fighting, but when it came time to sleep, he let her rest on him.

Almost every night he stood on, kneaded and purred loudly with Glenn.  He had the most distinct purr.  And have you ever seen a longer tail on a cat?  Glenn's vet said he got in the tail line twice.

I think I can now understand a tiny fraction of what parents of abducted children must feel.  It feels horrible not to know.  If you KNEW they were dead, you could mourn.  Instead, you hope...against hope. And at every strange sound, you jump, hoping it is them come home again.  The hoping hurts.  It's a little cut every time your hopes are dashed.  And yet....thinking they are alive and ok somewhere feels better too. 

Ace, come home now boy!  We miss you!  I promise I will feed you your favorite canned food every day, even though you only lick the gravy and never eat the vittles.  Just come home.