Latest Publications

I love my dog as much as I love you…

Click here to view these pictures larger

My dogs got new treats today!

I’ve been reading (er, mostly looking at) Daily Coyote for a while now.  I absolutely love it.  And no matter what your feelings are about coyotes, the author’s photographs are just stunning and beautiful and cute and gorgeous.  Love!  Anyway… Shreve Stockton, the author, also has an Etsy shop where she sells various things she founds around where she lives in Wyoming.  Ever spend any time browsing around Etsy?!  What a great place to lose a couple of hours looking at things that you must have.  Or must make.  Someday Tina and I are going to open an Etsy shop for all of our various crafts, but we’re not there yet.  I’ll warn you all when it’s up!  (2012, maybe???)

Anyway… she’s been periodically selling dog chew toys made out of elk antlers.  (Yes, in theory I could go gather elk antlers in the wild and file them down and stuff, but… it’s easier to buy them.)  The antler toys got here today, and the dog reactions were exactly as I would expect!! 

Grover (Mini Schnauzer) immediately grabbed the big one, took it to his spot under the piano bench, and went to town.  SO HAPPY!!  If any dog can tear through these things, it will be Grover.  I’ve never seen a dog who can chew like he can. 

Tillie (Australian Cattle Dog) was much more hesitant!  She licked the toy in my hand for a few minutes, then finally took it from me.  It still took her a while to really start chewing on it… when it comes to new treats, she definitely takes her lead from Grover.  If he goes for it, she figures that she has to, even if it’s something weird like elk antlers or carrots or apple pieces.  She would drop hers periodically to go see what Grover was up to, though… It doesn’t really matter what either/both of them have (toys, treats, love)… she generally assumes that his is better, and it’s her job to take it away.  We think we heard him actually growl at her once, but it might have just been his teeth scraping his new treat.  He NEVER growls at her, no matter how bratty she is to him.  I’m pretty sure she’s the only person (ha ha) that he just lets do what she wants without ever the threat of growls or teethmarks.

After his teeth got tired, he left it there for her, so she could figure out that they BOTH HAD THE SAME TREAT.

Now get some sleep and dream of rock and roll…

Do you ever wake up with a song in your head?  (Not one of those annoying ones that you can’t stand to have there.  Just a song.  Usually a good one.)

We were listening to some tunes the other night while we were playing cards, and “Chevy Van” came on.  Awesome song, with some (probably unintentionally) funny lyrics, like “Get some sleep and dream of rock and roll.”  Plus, you have to love a song about a Chevy, right?  So, we’ve been cracking up and repeating that line around here every night for… a while.  So far, it never gets old!  We crack ourselves up around here.

So, I wake up with completely random songs in my head ALL the time.  There’s really no logic to it, either.  I’ve started paying attention to what I listen to at  night or hear in the car, and seeing if there’s any connection… there’s not!  Just in the last week, my brain has woken itself up to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (Bette Midler version), “Just Another Girl” (Pete Yorn), “Java Jive” (Ink Spots) and this morning… “Mighty Wing” (Cheap Trick), from Top Gun.  Sometimes it’s upbeat, sometimes not so much, but always with no connection to anything that I think I’m thinking about.  It’s like I have my own personal soundtrack in my brain.  But the soundtrack doesn’t always match up with the plot line.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring…

I want to grow something wild and unruly…

This has been one of those weeks where I really wish I hadn’t given myself this self-imposed rule about talking about work here.  Because, oh, there’s SO much I could talk about.  So much that it took me a few days to even think of something else to write about.

It’s getting cold!!  No snow yet here in Northern Colorado, though, even though my Wyoming & Utah people have seen it!  So today, I decided to clean out the garden.  I’m still shocked at how many tomatoes were out there, in every shade from bright green to bright red.  I got about 25 more jalapeños,  another ginormous zucchini, and lots and lots of herbs.


That’s most of what I picked today.  The jalapeños and the dill are under the tomatoes.  I froze most of the herbs in little snack size baggies, put the green tomatoes in a brown paper bag to see if they ripen, and made some yummy pesto with the basil.  My fingers are now looking this lovely shade of greenish yellowish brown – gloves would have been a good idea.

Lessons learned from gardening this summer…

  • Plant zucchini in its own area about an acre away from everything else.  A single zucchini plant will tower over everything in its vicinity.
  • I don’t really need 6 tomato plants.  One or two would probably suffice.
  • Plant more basil!!  Pesto is the best pasta sauce ever invented, and I need more.
  • Jalapeños turn red after a while!  Then they’re a little sweeter and not so hot.
  • Coffee makes some of the bugs stay away.
  • There is a far wider variety of bugs in our yard than I EVER imagined.  Some of them are LARGE!  And YUCKY!  And they like veggies!
  • I should have spent more than $4 for a salad spinner.

In other food notes… Tina bought a pizzelle maker on Friday and made lots of yummy homemade pizzelle.  I ate them for most meals until they were gone.  Today… she made stroopwafels.  We had them in Amsterdam last year, and they are one of the greatest most delicious cookie snacks ever (along with the pannenkoeken and the amazing fries from the street vendors)!  And now… they are here!  In my kitchen!  Homemade!  So… yes, my sugar intake has been a little high… just makes me sweeter, right?

You know knittin’s friendly and knittin’s fun…

I’ve mentioned my new Knifty Knitter toys.  Well, like any time I take up a new crafty pursuit, I have to go all out.  It wasn’t enough to buy the Knifty Knitter set of 4 round looms.  I also bought a Knifty Knitter rectangular loom.  Then, after doing some things with big fat knits, I thought I needed something with a smaller gauge and smaller pegs and smaller spaces, so that I could make smaller knits!  Never mind that I haven’t made anything useful yet. 

So, a couple of weeks ago, I had a nice little Hobby Lobby coupon, and bought this.  (I didn’t pay the retail price you see there!  Yay, coupons!) 

First, I played around with it a bit, trying out different stitches on this.  It’s very cool, and makes much smaller stitches, which will come in handy when I start knitting fancy cashmere sweaters and things.  (Yea, I’m not holding my breath.)  So right now, I’m making a scarf.  (I can’t post pictures, cause someone might end up with it for Christmas or something.  I’m sorry.  About the pictures and the potential cheesy hand-made gift.  Not that hand-made gifts are cheesey – I LOVE hand-made gifts!!!  So much!!  I just think I’m not always as good at hand-making as I’d like to think I am, and therefore, my hand-made gifts end up cheesy.)  Anyway… scarf.  Tonight I finished row 40 of something like 18 thousand.  That’s my guess anyway.  So… no worries about Christmas this year.  2025, maybe?  (Ooh, I almost could have used a Zager & Evans song for this post.  Wrong century though.)

But these rose-colored glasses…

So, right about now, I really wish I could be one of you good vision people.  Even one of the decent vision people.  And especially one of you people who get to have cool surgery to fix your not-so-good vision.

I went to see my eye doctor the other day – like 4 weeks ago.  She’s very nice, and has cool technology & stuff, and I really like her and most of the people in the office.  We talked about my ridiculously dry eyes (did you know that rheumatoid arthritis makes your eyes even drier?!!), and my massive astigmatism, and why I will never ever ever ever be a good candidate for lasik.  After spending about an hour browsing, and making Tina come to the office to help me pick, I picked out some cute glasses frames, but didn’t like the color, so they ordered a sample pair for me in a different color.  Well… I picked a frame from a “slow” vendor, then the frame was back-ordered, so it took about 3 weeks to get them in.  So I went back (and dragged my glasses advisor along with me) when they came in, tried them on, thought they were okay… but they had a bunch of NEW frames for me to try on!  After I narrowed it down to 4 different frames that I liked, I took votes from everyone else that was in the office that day, and picked a very cute frame!  The day after I ordered them, they did call to tell me that my insurance won’t pay for a new frame until January, but I decided to get them anyway.

Today, they called to tell me my new glasses were in!  Yippee!  (Yea, sad.  I’m excited over new glasses.)  After a super crazy work afternoon, I went down there to pick them up.  So the optician makes some adjustments, I try them on a few times, then she comes back out and says “We’ll have to order you a new frame.”  I didn’t have my glasses on, so I couldn’t see her face, or the fact that she was holding one of the temples in her left hand, and the rest of the frame in her right!  It busted right off!  Not a good sign.

Luckily, they had another of the same frame in stock!  And they could just pop the lenses out of the bad frame, and pop them right into the good frame.  Piece of cake, right?  So, they go about moving the lenses around, and bring them back out.  I put them on, and got all dizzy!  They were all weird, like someone had switched sides or something.  She says, “Oh, they are just curved differently.  I’ll go fix it.”  Comes back, same thing.  With thumbprints all over the lenses, so I thought maybe they were just dirty.  After cleaning them three times, she figured out that there was now a problem with the lenses!  They looked kind of crinkly, like someone had wrapped them in plastic wrap.  So now, they are reordering my lenses. 

I’m a little worried though.  If they can do that kind of damage in an optometrist’s office in under 30 minutes… what do you think I can do to them just walking through my house?!

And behind her little silver ring…


Tina made me this awesome gorgeous jewelry case several months ago.  I thought I had pictures of the whole thing up on the blog somewhere, but I can’t find them now.  At the time, I was wearing (and making) truckloads of beaded necklaces & earring, but I wasn’t wearing very many rings.  My fingers were a little too large at the time to wear the rings I had, and I wasn’t ambitous enough to make my own!  But now… since we took that silversmithing class together, Tina’s been going gangbusters at making these awesome silver rings.  In theory, we’re going to start selling all the crafty stuff we each do, but we’re not there yet.  So for the time being, I am adopting all of her “practice” pieces.  LUCKY ME! 

I had been keeping rings in a special box that sits at the bottom of this jewelry case, but I was losing track of everything I had, and it was getting full!  So I requested a brilliant storage method for storing rings where I could see them alll.  I didn’t think I’d get a modification to my jewelry case, but I did!  She added in two of these sections to hold rings in, so now I can see everything I have, and I can wear a few fancy silver rings every day!  I made a couple of the rings you see in this picture, but most of those are Tina’s handiwork.  Nice, huh?!  Soooo cool.

Been a long time gone…

As Aunt Jane has pointed out, I’ve been a big slacker blogger again!  What have I been up to?  Work.  And then some work, then a bit more work.  Whew!

I’ve been doing some more loom knitting, and need to take some pics of stuff.  I made a shawl out of this cool fuzzy blue yarn – if I wore shawls, it would be super awesome and useful!  I might need to update my wardrobe.  Now I’m working on a scarf that I found a free pattern for in Michael’s, and then converted to the loom.  I ended up taking it off and restarting it no fewer than 6 times, but now it’s going strong!  Woo!  I tried just following the instructions and translating those to the loom, but I kept confusing myself.  So… I put it in an Excel spreadsheet.  And then, I applied conditional formatting to color code the different stitches, so I could get a good view of how the pattern looked.  Technology and tradition, working together!!  That’s cooperation!!  (Yea, really no need for anyone to point out what a dork I am…)

I also upgraded my blogging software and changed my theme!  I’ve been needing to upgrade for oh, say, a couple of years now, but I was scared!  I thought it would be too hard to figure out!  Turned out, it was a click of a button.  So then I got all brave and crazy and changed the theme.  I feel all techy-geeky-smart now.

Baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads…

I made this!  I got to attend my second craft day at a friend’s house on Sunday.  This particular friend runs a fabulous online bead shop out of her house!  The problem with going to craft day at her house is that I tend to spend money on beads when I go there.  The bigger beads in this picture came from her – she had all these great shapes of mother of pearl beads, in all kinds of colors.  I wore this today with a brown dress.  The necklace is actually crazy long, but I doubled it up and made it more like 2 strands.  I picked up some new pretty beads on Sunday, along with some more gemstone cabochons for Tina to make silver stuff with.  I need to post some pics of the awesome jewelry she’s been making!  She took what we learned in our silversmithing class and is expanding on it at home!!

In other notes, today was a big day!!  I got to have dinner with Randy & Rhiannon on their way home from Denver, which was lots of fun!!!  Cliff from Grandma’s church called me, and I will be singing Offertory at her church on Sunday!  AND… Tina won her 2nd golf club championship of this season!  One from Highland Hills, and one from Boomerang Links.  Congratulations!!

Go ahead and jump!

Evans (the much more dog-friendly neighbor of Greeley) got a new fun dog park!  AND it’s way closer to our house than Greeley’s only dog park, and it’s way nicer.  It has two big grassy yards (with trees!) for big dogs – they are keeping one of them open at a time so that they can keep the grass nice.  It also has a big grassy yard (also with trees!) for small and timid dogs.  AND it has an agility course for dogs! 

Here are some more pictures of the pooches enjoying themselves.  Tillie, not surprisingly, took right to most of the agility toys.  She’s not crazy about the teeter-totter thing, though.  And we haven’t figured out how to teach her to do those weave-in-and-out-of-the-poles yet.  But she is smart and agile!!  Treats help, too.  Grover was totally unimpressed with the toys – we tried to get him on a couple (and by trying, I mean we picked him up and put him on them), and he scrunched down and held on as tight as his little schnauzer paws would let him.  But he was very happy just running around and sniffing all the smells. 

We took them into the small/timid yard after doing the agility stuff, and they got to smell more stuff and run around some more.  They played well with a couple of funny little corgies and an adorable little terrier mix girl. 

After they were completely worn out, we left the play yards and let them get a drink from the drinking fountain.  Oh yes, they have a doggy drinking fountain!!  Can you imagine anything more awesome???

OK.  Before we all get too impressed with what smart and clever dogs I have… I just watched Tillie TEARING across the room, with speed she normally reserves for chasing tennis balls at the park, or chasing the cat across the room.  What could have driven her to such speed, you ask?  Probably the cat.  At least that was my guess, especially when I saw a blur of light color running along with her.  But no.  Not the cat.  My smart little dog managed to get my library book bag (freshly full of new library books!) to hang around her neck, which scared her into running away from it, but the bag around her neck was just too fast to get away from!!! 


Don’t stand so close to me…

What I learned from the online harassment prevention training at work (yea, it’s a rare work-related post):

  • “Just because you’d say it or do it at home, doesn’t mean you can say it or do it at work.”  Well, yea.  They expect me to work at work.  Plus there’s no TV or recliners there.
  • “When in doubt, before you say or do something just ask yourself, ‘What would my mother think?'”  Well… my poor mother probably realizes I’m far more obnoxious around her than I am at work, so I think I’m safe.
  • “But your workplace isn’t TV or CDs or movies.”  Um… obviously.  If it were we’d all be much thinner and richer and better-looking.