Thursday, June 07, 2007

Take a Real Vacation: Stay Home!

Ahh, what luxury. Sleeping till late, sitting around in my old slippers, drinking coffee, updating this old blog, and listening to the relative quiet. Sounds like a vacation? It is -- and I didn't have to pay anything extra for it! I simply didn't sign up to go anywhere or do anything this weekend. What a novel idea!

I haven't been home both days of a weekend since April, or maybe earlier. Now that the dog show and trial season has returned, it seems that I'm always headed out the door to some dog event or other on Friday night or Saturday morning. It's been just plain nice just to kick back and not dash out the door to anyplace.

Dinah Moe Burfitt, HIC, CGC

Dinah and I did pop over to the obedience and rally match yesterday for a little while, though. We got to visit with for the first time in ages, and Dinah earned her title. This means she is now Breaksea November Storm, HIC, CGC. What a good girl!

That's not all that the little princess has been up to, though. We've started an introductory agility class at on Wednesday nights with Cindy Ratner. This class is a wonderfully laid-back way to introduce a young dog to the equipment, strange surfaces, and even the body language of agility and agility handling. This past week we introduced tunnels, chutes, and jumps. Dinah got jumps right away -- jumping a crummy 12" jump is nothing when you can spring six feet straight up in the air from a standstill -- and she managed the chute pretty well. She'll still need some more practice on chutes and tunnels before she'll dash through them, though. There are also other obstacles scattered around the training floor for us to try, including a PVC "ladder" on the floor and several wide planks. Dinah gets those pretty well, too.

Seamus: The Dog. The Myth. The Legend.

Seamus and I are continuing our agility classes with Jim Gregg on Mondays at . Seamus is a terrific little agility dog, aside from his habit of taking off on me to go play kissy-face with his ever-patient Golden friend, Guinness.

I just found out at the POC match that have grown in fame beyond my wildest expectations. Since our rather theatrical showing at that trial, Seamus's antics have been transformed into part of the mythology of the POC. Sue reprinted my blog posting in the club's newsletter. Aside from the eyewitness accounts of my fellow club members, I thought that was the last of it, and that the tale had ended.

But nooooo. It turns out that the Saga of Famous Seamus has increased in fame beyond my retelling, or even that of my fellow POC members. I was chatting with Dale and Cheryn and a couple of other people while waiting for Dinah's turn at the CGC test, and Diane (a Border Collie person who happened to be at the trial) asked whether I'd brought Seamus. The woman standing next to me asked, "Is that Famous Seamus?" Turns out that she not only was there at the trial with her Labs, but had read about Famous Seamus on a Lab email list. Just for fun (and because one can't get enough Famous Seamus stories), I asked her to see if she could forward the Lab-list account to me. Seamus grows ever more famous!

Charlie finally had his summer buzz cut this past Friday. In a normal year, he'd have been trimmed long before now, if only so he wouldn't be naked and shivering in December. With the weird weather this year, it's been alternately so cool and so hot that I haven't known what to do about his hair. I finally just had him trimmed just so he could start the regrowing process in time to have some fuzz by wintertime, and in the hopes that on at least a few days each week, he won't be sweltering under a year's worth of coat. I would trim Seamus too, but I promised his breeder that I wouldn't -- so he is sporting a "stealth trim" on his belly.

Adventures in Yarn

I haven't had the time or the desire to spend a heckuva lot of time knitting lately, though that hasn't really slowed me down in terms of stash acquisition. When I have taken up the needles, it's mostly been in dribs and drabs -- half an hour or an hour here while watching TV, an hour or so there when I couldn't stand being in the office in front of the computer any more.

Even dribs and drabs tend to add up after a (long) while, though. I finally finished the Trekking socks I'd ripped out in despair some months ago. As a pair, they don't look completely mismatched -- they even seem to have sprung from related yarns -- but they sure as heck don't look like they've been knitted from the same ball. I have another skein of Trekking in shades of blue. I wonder if the socks from that ball will turn out similarly. Maybe I'll have to resort to some pain-in-the-ass trick like knitting alternately from both ends of the skein, or something similar, in order to make the blue pair look more consistent. That's just plain too much trouble, especially for summertime knitting. (Some people have "beach reading." My books remain pretty much the same year-round in terms of content, but "beach knitting" shouldn't be painful.) If I bring socks along to Sue's Girls' Day Out, they won't be from Trekking yarn.

I gave my sister the oh-so-girly phone pouch for her cell phone, and she got a major chuckle out of it. (You have to understand that on the Barbie-doll scale of girliness, both of us rank pretty far down there. We just like pink.) I have to dig out one of the several gazillion balls of baby-pink Lion Brand Fun Fur I picked up for practically nothing at Marden's and make her another one sometime. She'd like another pair of socks sometime (maybe out of Tofutsies or a bamboo-based yarn). Will those be pink? We'll all just have to wait and see, won't we?

Because my faithful canvas-bucket sock bag would look desperately forlorn without a sock in progress threatening to fall out of it, I cast on a Yankee Knitter sock in gray Jawoll for Greg. I still have the mate to my blue-and-purple Sockotta socks to start, too -- so if I find myself in the mood to knit some cotton (see "beach knitting" above), that sock will also serve nicely.

This coming Wednesday, I'm taking that Lucy Neatby class in Fryeburg. Pam asked me to find out if Lucy would be back in Nova Scotia for the following week, since we'll be driving up that way. My "homework" swatches have been done for a while, but I need to find some beads someplace for the beaded-knitting portion of the class. The instructions weren't too specific as to size, composition, or anything else. Guess I'll have to use my imagination.

News of The Man

Greg's been fighting off a cold he picked up someplace, but all indications seem to point to his surviving the experience. He still coughs up the occasional hairball and his energy level hasn't quite reached 100%. This doesn't mean he hasn't been able to compose, however.

He has just about finished the Brass Quintet. After a few listens, he's decided to break up some of the solos a bit to make them jive better with the polyphonic nature of the piece, but he's almost ready to print off the score and ship it to the first trumpet/leader of the quintet.

I'm bummed that I won't be able to get to New York with him to hear the premiere of Clayton's Runaround for solo violin (fiddle) at the ACA concert this year. I didn't know the concert date at the time Pam and I set up our trip to Nova Scotia, but she and I will be in Canada when the concert takes place. This will be the first concert of Greg's that I've missed.


Barbara W. Klaser said...

I've never seen one of these guys with his hair trimmed before. He's cute that way too. My, you've been busy. I wouldn't have the energy.

I think vacations at home, even for just a weekend, are highly underrated.

sue said...

Hey Karen... could email you this, but comments are fun... Ed and I went to the spinning bee today in Berwick that you had told us about.... very neat... nice old farm, people were wonderful and I found out some more things about spinning...... thank you...sue