Thursday, May 22, 2014

Not Sure Where...

...the time went!  Hubby and I just had our 19th anniversary. It seems like "forever" and then it seems like "forever and a day" -- during good times and bad, right? We don't make a "big do" out of anniversaries. For one, our schedules are insane. And we have 3 dogs. And he has a 4 a.m. wake-up call... And my schedule can vary to where I'm either working all day, working the evening shift or coming home from work, grabbing a cheese stick and heading out to teach yoga. 

But we did do a little something. We bought some cranes. I will say I'm disappointed. Menard's has these "two in a box" with one SKU number... but they charge you FOR EACH even though the tag didn't say that. It was a bummer. But anyway, this is what's in the front garden now. 

Eventually, there will be gravel there; we're working on it. 

We did cranes for a specific reason. Cranes are in it for life. Once they pick a partner, they're done. We've had some hard times, and rough starts. But we keep re-starting. We keep working at this thing called marriage. He's my rock. I don't tell him that enough. 

I am always amazed that he's as crazy about me as he says he is. Why is that so hard? Well, I don't think I'm alone - it's a human thing, and probably more of a female-thing. I don't ever think I'm "enough." Pretty enough; slim enough; happy enough; you get the idea. 

But he's shown me that "in good times and bad; in sickness and health" really does have meaning. Deep, abiding meaning. 

And for that, a pair of cranes just doesn't seem to do it. But he understands. 

Happy Anniversary, Dear!!

Crappy Mow Job...

Sounds like a really bad porn movie, right?? Well, where I work, I'm next to an empty lot. It's owned by a company who owns a LOT of empty lots in our county. And the village where I work is VERY particular that you keep your property mowed. 

Last year, I had lots of fighting on my hands because they also own the lot on the other side of my building and I had a huge influx of "critters" due to their lack of maintenance. 

Imagine how happy I was to see the mowers. 

Then look at this. Really??? I could've bought a herd of goats or alpaca and the grass would've looked MUCH better than this. Plus, I'd have gotten yarn AND fertilizer out of the bargain, too... 

I suppose I should just say, "Okey-dokey - not my problem." And really, it's not. And the bug guy will be happy to see this. He's coming out next week. He was gracious enough last year to give me a second spray for free because of the "new tenants" I kept seeing for a few weeks last year. 

And -- there's good news. My Coral Bells have come back!! I bought these at the end of the season, for 99-cents at the local Ace hardware. That was after deer ate the petunias. The pansies. The lamb's ear. Apparently, they don't like Coral Bells. 

Coral Bells
But bees do. And these will throw off some lovely tall white-flowered spires later on. 

I would've sworn they had died off. Those concrete planters are on the north side of the campus, and after all the brutal winter weather, I figured I was going to have to hike off for more plants. 

But lookee!!! I'm so excited!

I had them for years on the north side of my house, but in a bucket, sort of on the northeast side where they got a little more light. They're lovely flowers and if you can pick some up, do so. They come in a couple different varieties and with luck, they last several years. 


Quinn & Raisa
Quinn and Raisa have come to a detente. As you can see, we no longer have exclusive rights to the couch. Well, we do, but we all know that it's too adorable when they want to sit there, especially together. 

For a while, we knew it was going to be a long process. Our patience has been rewarded. They've begun to play together more, and while we're still watchful, it's nice to see them developing a friendship. They make very good walking partners, as Tippi doesn't like to move fast and Quinn's a speedy little stinker. Raisa is the one who can not only keep up with her but probably outlast her. 

Raisa has become quite the vocalist. Every morning, I get a wake-up woooooooooo and every day when I come home, I get the Welcome Home Song. That's in addition to the "The Elkhounds are Singing, So I'm Doing Harmony" song and the "The Harmonica is Playing" song and our very favorite: "The Happy Toast" song. I'll have to get some of them on video. The other day when I was playing guitar, she started in, too, so maybe we'll have a "special screening" of her accompanying me. What a goof-ball she is!

Raisa is also doing quite well in Obedience. At least in class! I think we'll get Intermediate done with and then have her spayed. That'll get her over the rest of the summer, I think. It'll be interesting to see if we can keep the Red Husk-Cat Ninja away from her incision. The tube we used on the Elkhounds isn't going to be enough for this contortionist. It looks like it may have to be The Cone of Shame. 

That ought to be interesting. 

Sock KAL...

Sock KAL
So you know the Sock KAL is going along well. Sock #1 was done in a record 13 days. Yep. Thirteen days. By me. 

Go ahead. Fan yourself. My needles were practically on fire. I'm taking it a little more slowly on Sock #2, but Sock #1 won't have long to wait. Why is it that 1x1 ribbing takes forever??? Elizabeth Zimmerman used to say, "Knit the ribbing till you just about can't stand it, and then it's long enough." It works great on sweaters, but socks pretty much have to match. 

Except these won't exactly match. The construction will be the same, but I didn't want to waste the yarn to find the area closest to the beginning of Sock #1. It's a yarn that I'm not sure I can find again, and honestly, it's the same hank. If you're going to be that critical, then knit your own socks the way you want them. 

Isn't it enough that I'm knitting my own socks? I don't mean to be cranky, but occasionally on the knitting discussion sites, there are the "matchy" people and I don't happen to think that there's a strict rule about matching. Some yarns are really easy to match - I've seen some stunning, gorgeous, MATCHING socks. However, at least in my mind, if you have a ball of yarn that makes a pair, use it. Deal with the fact that even if you DID manage to find the starting point, unless you're doing 2 at a time, they're not going to be exact anyway. Every day you knit, you knit differently. Your state of mind, the weather, how you slept, how your hands feel... All of that impacts your knitting. My granny was a stickler for tension, so I'm usually ok with that, but as far as matching these?

This would drive her nuts. But she wouldn't have knitted this anyway. She'd have done argyles. 

Junk Drawer

Cleaning, first. I had a spare moment, so I dove into the Junk Drawer at work and got rid of a car-load of pens. I brought them home, because our house apparently devours pens in the night. It's a lot neater now. I keep the coffee machine money in there, and it was becoming a disaster area. 

Nothing big, right? But "spring cleaning" starts incrementally. At least for me it does!

I'm told that this is the Year of the Deck. Our back deck is pretty horrid and it needs to be replaced. I keep nagging suggesting that this be done sooner rather than later. I finally got an assurance that yes, this is the year it'll get done. Along with the gravel in the front bed, and cleaning up the south bed. The south bed is about 99% done anyway; we just have to get some landscape brick or other system to contain it and we'll be putting slate chips in there. It's too much to maintain a garden on that side, and it's muddy right now. I don't want to put grass all the way to the house, and Hubby thinks it's just an invite to mice. 

Pictures of any progress will follow. I promise. I don't think he'll let me do anything else. 

And... nothing says "spring" like the annual (sometimes 2x/year) pedicure! I should have waited, I guess, but I was able to get in on a day off, so I took advantage of it. It's a little spa down the way from my house, and they're very nice there. The technician and I spent most of the time discussing our dogs.

Spring Toes
The only thing I would say that I don't like is that there's not a huge array of colors to pick from. The spa across the way from my office is larger, and they're about the same price. With more colors.

I finally found some nice, dressy sandals that are comfortable and have support. They're a little "retro" but I like that. They're made by Earth, and I got them on sale at Zappos. 

I like the rose-red color of the polish, and it's pearlized. I like that better than the solids. I apologize in advance for the "winter white" skin, but that's about as good as it gets. I'm not a sun-bunny. I'm a firm believer in sunscreen, hats and staying in when it's the most likely to scorch me. 

Anyway, these sandals are going with me to our Zonta convention in Orlando. This June. Really. Orlando in June. Yeesh. Last time I went, it was San Antonio. In June. I gotta get somewhere more temperate!

Random Picture...

Stingray Toy
Raisa is a toy hog. Seriously bad, and we don't want to start a war. And most of them, she destroys. Or the squeakers drive us to distraction. 

This is a new one. The tail is already chewed (and it's rated 7-out-of-10 in "toughness"), but I expected that. What I like is that it's not only keeping her occupied, but the squeaker is there and quiet. So she gets her squeaks and we can hear ourselves think. 

It's from Fun Time Dog Shop, of course, and it's the "Ray-Ray Sting Ray" toy. Click on the link and browse. All profits go to rescues and you can pick from a very nice list she has. 

At some point, we're hoping to gradually go through the toy box and get rid of some of the more "loved" toys. If we put a few of them out there, then perhaps she'll share. If not, she's going to learn how to share anyway. 

She only THINKS she's in charge. But then again, every Siberian Husky does!

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