Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Not Quite Spring

Spring seems to be coming a little later this year. You can usually count on the crocuses to be up right around Feb. 1, but this year they were a week later. And the cherry blossoms that usually show up around the 15th? I've just seen them in the past day or two.
And of course it's snowing today. Which frequently happens towards the end of February.Mother Nature's way of letting us know that she's not done with us yet.
We get beautiful flowers here, and we get them early. I suppose it's our compensation for living in the wet and the dark for so much of the year. And of course we always appreciate the color, when it shows up at last.
But every once in awhile? I'd like to take light and color for granted. Wouldn't that be nice?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Poor Old Raggedy Dog

We have two dogs. The young, very-high-energy black lab with epilepsy, whose name is Spock, but who answers to Doofus, and the ancient one, Felice Navidog. (Yes, we got her at Christmas time.) Felice is fourteen. She's a cocker-Sheltie mix, purhased from the pound when she was a puppy.

She's not a puppy any more. She's now blind and deaf and negotiates the house by crashing into things. Seriously. You can follow her progress through the house by listening to the thunk...thunk...thunk.

Not that she progresses through the house much. She mostly lies down and sleeps. Oh, and she eats, too. Her only real exercise is picking up her empty food dish and whacking me on the shins with it to get me to feed her. Because of this, she's a chubby pup. We did the Fit-'N'-Trim-type food for several years, but eventually gave up. She hated it and spent her life raiding the cat's food. Plus what's the extra weight going to do now? Shorten her life?

I gave her a haircut today. Or I've so far given her about half a haircut. She has Sheltie fur, long and thick and prone to mats. I used to get it cut at the groomer three or four times a year, but now it just seems cruel to drag her out of her comfortable house for that kind of stress. So last year I bought a do-it-yourself grooming kit. Today was the first time I've used it.

I'll tell you what, it's harder than it looks. Plus the dog won't stand up for longer than thirty seconds, and she only lies on her left side, which leads to some interesting manipulations to get to the spots on her that she doesn't want clipped. Since she's blind and deaf, she's not afraid of the thing, but she doesn't like it a whole lot either. It makes her uneasy. It's different, and at her age she's not terribly comfortable with different. She spent most of the time I was clipping her trying to lie down with her head on my knees.

I got about halfway through and noticed that her legs were quivering from the effort of being groomed, so now we're taking a break. I'm about halfway done, and she looks like hell. Patchy and unfinished. I have a whole new respect for dog groomers.

But we will eventually get this done, and for now at least, I've saved her from groomer trauma.

Silly old dog. I'll miss her when she's gone.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Yes, I'm Still Alive

I forgot to log off the computer last night, and when I got up the following IM was on my screen:

Sarah: Dear Mom
Sarah: You have not updated your blog in a long while, and it is distressing me.
Sarah: I am going through withdrawals.
Sarah: Your Daughter,
Sarah: Sarah
Sarah: p.s. 12 days, I've been counting

Has it really been twelve days? Time flies. Sorry. :-)

Life's continued on. Our chess tournament went great. My 4th-6th team took second (actually we tied for first but lost on tiebreak points) and my son won his division. A good day. Aside from whatever idiot child dumped stuff in the salmon tanks, (fortunately it was caught in time to save the salmon fry), broke the bathroom stall and wrote nasties on the faculty photo hanging in the hall. I still can't believe it was a chess kid. Those aren't chess kid things to do, know what I mean? Sigh.

But life goes on, and in great news, my high school senior son has:
a) decided that the $45,000 per year NYU does NOT sound like such a good thing, and
b) as of today been accepted to the $15,000 per year state school University of Washington. (A very good, very competitive and difficult-to-get-into school.)

Woohoo!!!! Double Woohoo!!!

He hasn't definitely decided to go there; he wants to check out another in-state school (Western Washington University) before making a decision. But that would be about the same cost. So either way, this is excellent news! (University of Washington als happens to be the location from which the above IM was sent, so we'd have two at that school, less than ten miles away. Close enough to drop by and do laundry, but far enough -- when they live in the dorms -- that we wouldn't be dropping in all the time. The best of all worlds from a parental perspective.)

But anyhoo. Dot-ster (and anybody else who cares), I am here and will keep this blog more up to date. Thanks for your concern. :-)

P.S. You know, sweetie, if you're dying to read my writing, you could always teach yourself to love soccer. Those blogs are ALWAYS up to date. :-)


You loving mother

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Strange But True

The New York Times says this is absolutely true:

"A few months ago a man walked into a pharmacy in Madrid, pulled out two toy guns and told the attendants to hand over all the Viagara in stock.

Two hours later, in what was perhaps a showof gratitude, he returned with two bouquets of roses, before being arrested."


I survived running our big annual chess tourney yesterday -- more later.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Just checking in...

Just stopping by the ol' blog to say I'm still alive. Hugely depressed because my French guys lost this week, but my husband and I went to see the game in an Irish pub downtown and then stayed for the US-Mexico game, and the US actually won. And it was fun to be in a crowd of US soccer fans. Generally you feel so all alone in this land of American football. :-)

I'm busy this weekend running a chess tournament, but I'll give you a cute commercial with the soon-to-be-an-LAGalaxy-player David Beckham. You'll like it even if you're not a soccer fan. I promise.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

How Much Do I Love Garrison Keillor and His Jokes?

Somewhere in my house, I have Garrison Keillor's autograph.

Let's travel back twenty years, last fall. My husband and I heard that Garrison Keillor (of Prairie Home Companion fame) was going to be in Seattle. You must keep in mind here that my husband was late to our first date because he was listening to the PHC monologue in his car in my parking lot. And once I got to know Garrison myself, I completely understood.

And then, twenty years ago, we were married, and I was pregnant, and the baby was due Nov. 26. And so, knowing nothing about childbirth and what having a first baby was like, we were QUITE certain that we'd just drop off the kid with a babysitter and go see Garrison on Dec. 7.

Unfortunately our little bundle of joy did not cooperate. She refused to be born till December 5, so I was still in the hospital for the performance. (Sarah, I'm pretty certain I have finally forgiven you.) And since those were they days where we got three days in the hospital, my husband went on his own.

Now it just so happened that he stopped by to use the men's room in the theater. And who should show up at the urinal beside him but an unusual-looking guy with dark hair and glasses and red socks. And after all was said and done, my husband had an autograph for me. (And let's just not think about that too much, now, shall we?)

I still love Garrison Keillor. Such a warm humor.

Today was his annual joke show. Some of our family's favorites:

--A B-flat, a D-flat and an F walk into a bar. The bartender says, "We don't serve minors here!! (Heehee. It's a music joke! Get it?)

--So the D-flat leaves. And then the B-flat and the F had an open fifth between them.

And two jokes perfect for an eleven-year-old:

Q: If H20 is on the inside of a fire hydrant, what's on the outside?
A: K9P (say it out loud.)

Did you hear about the three skunks who went to church? The minister made them sit in their own pew.

Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshiper? He sold his soul to Santa.

For the full list of jokes, click here.

And on it goes. LOVE Garrison Keillor!!!