...the tropics came to me!
Anybody who believes that our climate isn't changing should come to Maine right about now. Here it is the freakin' 12th day of Christmas, and it's sunny and 66 degrees out! Not that I'm complaining -- I loathe winter -- but it just isn't right for this time of year. By rights, I should be taking turns shivering and shoveling -- but I spent much of this afternoon driving around with the windows down and Charlie grinning out the window. I had been feeling a little bummed out because I haven't the time or money to take myself off to someplace warm for a vacation. If this keeps up, I won't have to go anyplace.
Isn't She Lovely?
Dinah after her makeover from Dog In Sight magazine. Photo by Mike Wiggin. Thanks to Mike and to Helen at the Dog Wash in York Beach for offering the contest!
Lately it's been a blast to bring in the mail, because almost every day's delivery has contained something nice from one or another of our adventures. Of course, you've heard all about Dinah winning the free "day at the spa" from Dog In Sight. The January issue has just been published, so locals can start looking for it at grooming and pet supply shops around NH and southern ME.
Not only that, but the City Puppies book has been published. Dinah's on page 30. Various of our Dogster friends and acquaintances appear in the book, too.
Doesn't Nick do a terrific job?
There's The Lovely One, as she appears in the book. Photo by Nick Diana of City Puppies. I wish I'd taken a little more time with Dinah's hairstyling, but so it goes.
The Lovely One is entered in the Fitchburg shows on the 13th and 14th. There's a good-sized entry in bitches, though not enough for a major. I hope Dinah does well -- it sure would be nice to pick up some more points. This will probably be our last show till April -- although if this weather keeps up, I'll probably wish there were more shows and trials we could do in the wintertime.
He's #2, and He Sure Does Try Harder
The national rankings are out for APDT rally obedience for 2006. Imagine my surprise to see Seamus's name in the listings! Mind you, we only finished an RL1 title this past year, so we didn't come anywhere near the Top 20... but there we are, planted solidly in the middle of the pack. Turns out that Seamus is also the #2 Beardie in the country. Disclaimer: the #1 Beardie has about 10 times as many ranking points as we do, not to mention an ARCHX -- but we're still #2 out of 6. How about that?!
Not that we have the time to lie around basking in our own collective glow. Classes have started again, and Seamus is taking two sessions of agility in addition to our Sunday rally class. We were lucky enough to secure a spot in Anne Andrle's intermediate agility class at Happy Tails, but we're also doing a Saturday morning class. We love, love, love working with Jim (our Saturday instructor). He's helpful and perceptive, and gives excellent advice to each handler about how to improve each performance. I've known a bunch of people who have taken (or are taking) classes with Jim, and they all adore him. The best part about this class is that I know nearly everybody in the class already, including a friend I haven't seen since her Lab Chester and our Charlie were puppies (9 years ago!). I'm also really looking forward to Anne's class, which starts next week. More on that after we get there.
I'm hoping that taking the two classes will help us solidify our teamwork and get us into synch as an agility team. I'm not in a huge rush to get us into trials, but it's definitely in the plan for someday. Let's conquer AKC Rally Advanced first.
Hey, Look What I Made!
I've been helping my friend Fran and her business partner Betsy with the Web site for their new business, BorderCollics Anonymous. Go on over and have a look! Even though the templates I've been working with don't offer me as much freedom to tweak the design as I'd like, I think it came out pretty decently.
And On the Needles...
It's probably a good thing that I was just too beat on New Year's Day (plus the weather was horrible) to head up to Patternworks' annual New Year's Day blowout. I honestly don't have room for any more yarn, but when has that ever stopped me before? Dale and I went last year, and we had too good a time.
Fran and I managed to get into enough trouble just cruising up to Rosemary's Yarn Shop last week. Rosemary keeps a whole big "bargain room" of yarn, and I managed to scarf up enough balls of Brown Sheep Naturespun (at Wicked Bargain prices) to knit my next couple of sweaters. (Both are Yankee Knitter patterns. One is a sheep cardigan, and the other is a simple guernsey.) There's a whole shelf of Big Kureyon at the shop that keeps giving me come-hither looks whenever I'm left alone in the bargain room with it. My resolve is weakening... and the hayloft in the barn is still empty... so there's room for yarn after all!
I'm almost finished with the back of the Seacolors tunic sweater. The sweater itself is dirt-simple -- roll hem, roll neck, set-in sleeves -- and the hand-dyed heather colors (thistle and teal) are so gorgeous you just want to put whipped cream and a cherry on top and eat them for dessert. I really should be farther along with it, but those pesky Fortissima socks keep calling to me to work on them instead. I have the first one almost done, and I need to decide soon whose feet these should fit. I have a waiting list for socks (which actually makes me happy), and this color scheme would please my sister almost as much as it pleases me.