Sunday, December 09, 2007

Man Paradise: the Return, Plus Snow and Stuff

Things have been flat-out crazy busy (again) of late, what with work deadlines, club stuff, class stuff, holiday stuff, and stuff stuff. Greg actually came home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but it's taken me this long to carve out enough time to just sit down and write.

Bless him, he even brought me a present: a robin's-egg blue T-shirt from Crazy Woman Mountain that says (no surprise there) Crazy Woman. He was a bit hesitant to give it to me because he wasn't sure whether I'd laugh, but I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear it. If I have to go around advertising myself as a Crazy Woman, I want to do so in style.

Greg promises to go through his Wyoming photos and share a few with the blog. In the meantime, here are a few photos of the pups from the snowstorm we had last Monday. Here's Dinah enjoying the snow:

Charlie took the opportunity to survey his domain, as a good monarch should...

Taking My Act on the Road

If you've already read this in my , feel free to skip this section. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was contacted by the owner of the public relations firm that does publicity for the cluster down in Boston. Turns out she reads the blog, and was wondering if I'd go down to Boston and blog about the show for a day. The Boston shows attract quite a large number of visitors, so I composed a newbie's-eye view of the goings-on and posted it to . Eventually, I hope to supplement the first article with a first-person account of my dogless adventures at the show.

At the show, I had a chance to talk for a while with the judge who got to witness Seamus's famous premiere performance in Advanced Rally -- the one in which I sang coloratura. Bless her heart, she either has seen so many such performances she didn't remember ours as being different, or she was very gracious in saying she didn't remember. At least I'm glad (and grateful to her) that I don't have to be embarrassed to show my face around her ever again. Seamus is still mighty famous, but sometimes I get to travel incognito.

Wool Season

Now that winter has dropped out of the sky onto us and appears to have no intentions of leaving for a few months, it's definitely time to dust off the old needles and try to get some stuff done. I have long ago abandoned any pretense that I can reliably complete anything homemade in time for Christmas, but I can usually hit the same season if given a running head start.

I've been doing a lot of "idiot knitting" lately, just because I've been too burned out after chasing work deadlines to do anything that requires even the minutest shred of gray matter. I've completed a scarf for Susannah in black Berroco Bling Bling, and am about 2/3 of the way through another scarf in some lavender boucle something-or-other from my stash.

The front of my Seacolors tunic sweater also qualifies as "idiot knitting," and I've made a teensy bit of progress there, too. I brought it along with me to a couple of dog shows in November. Since this sweater is for myself, it doesn't really matter when I finish it -- though it would be nice if I did it sometime before next July.

Jody's Jawoll socks are still in process. I'm almost done with Sock #1. With a little more time and a little less stress, I should be able to dispatch the foot on that sock and get to the next one fairly quickly.

My company shuts down every year between Christmas and New Year's, so (almost) all of us get the week off whether we want it or not. Although I never would have chosen that week for vacation, I've found over the years that I really look forward to having a week off to recuperate from the stresses of the holiday season, plus whatever wacky stuff I was doing at work before the holiday shutdown came around. I'd sure like to make some progress knitting during that week. I have some Encore worsted that I'd like to turn into some hats and mittens for the twins, plus I'd like to open up the thrummed mittens kit I picked up from Amy at a while ago. A vacation week is a good time to pull apart some bits of roving for thrums and get organized.

At Least My Dogs Have Class

I make no secret of the fact that I despise winter -- the cold, the short days, the crappy weather. I'd be lying if I didn't confess that I've been looking forward to doing a little hibernating this season, though. Since Dinah and I are taking a break from dog showing between Thanksgiving and Easter, we now have a chance to go back to classes and learn some fun things.

I'm very proud of the progress Dinah is making in agility. She still is a little iffy on the weave poles, but she's been happily practicing the teeter and can bang it with the best of them. Cindy, her instructor, declared, "She OWNS that teeter!". Class is on hiatus until the new year, but I'm hoping she still owns the teeter when we get back. Seamus starts another agility class in January, too. It's been a long while for him, since we had to abandon weekend agility classes during the show season. He and I both could use the exercise.

I own a couple of jumps, some weave poles, and a brandy-new agility tunnel that I picked up at the Springfield dog shows. My friend Fran has offered me her old agility equipment, once she unearths it in her barn. Maybe in the spring, I can use some snow fencing to set up a training ring in the yard, and we can do some practicing.

Seamus has always been my "rally-roo" boy, and he's happy to be going back to our Sunday morning rally-roo class. To his credit, he hasn't forgotten much since our last class, and I haven't practiced with him very much at all. Dinah is starting in novice rally-roo. She hasn't had an obedience class in quite a while and has been hearing "Don't sit, stand" from me all show season -- so now she's learning some rally in spite of being a bit behind in the obedience department. The girlie is a pretty quick study, though, and she's beginning to understand that she needs to watch me -- if not always my eyes, then my left hand and knee. Smart girl!

Week of Parties

I have two Christmas parties this week: Thursday's Christmas party, and Saturday's . I've agreed to bring cookies to both -- partly because I'll remember what to bring if I bring the same thing to both parties, and because I can always cheat and buy some at the bakery if I run out of time to bake. Greg said that he wouldn't mind playing Santa at the BCCME party if I can find him a Santa suit, so all the Beardies at the party can get their pictures taken with Santa. I've missed just about every other available chance for photos with Santa this year, which probably comes as a relief to the dogs.

As far as I know, those are the only two parties on Greg's and my holiday schedule until just after Christmas. The local kennel club's holiday get-together is on the 29th. That's about as much festivity as I can handle. I love parties, but general holiday madness makes me want to go find a cave and hibernate until spring.

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