Waiting for a New Granddog

My son-in-law has wanted a dog for some time now.   I knew that he had grown up with Pekingese dogs and when he first joined our family, I think that this was the breed that he was leaning towards.

Photo courtesy of Photos8.com

Now when I think of Pekingese dogs, I think of little bug-eyed dogs with pushed in snouts.  Sorry, but that’s the image I have in my mind.    You see, I just never grew up with dogs that didn’t have nicely formed snouts and the prick ears.  It formed my idea of what “normal” looks like.

This is the type of dog I grew up with…..Fresca, the Wonder Dog….an American Eskimo.  Prior to her, I had Shetland Sheepdogs.  They all had similar looks…the pointed muzzles and the prick ears.  There wasn’t a mushed-in face in the group.  Of course, they were all neurotic, but that’s another story.  But I digress.

Well, my daughter emailed me the other day to say that her Jason was now on a “bulldog” kick.  He had decided that he wanted a bulldog instead of a Pekingese.

Photo courtesy of Photos8.com

My first thought was of this breed….the Dogue de Bordeaux immortalized in the movie “Turner and Hooch.”  Visions of slobber being flung all around the house filled my head.  I recalled the scene in the movie where the character leaves the dog in his car for a few minutes and returns to find the entire car interior ripped to shreds.  Ugh!

Photo courtesy of Photos8.com

I did a little research on the bulldog.  Jeepers!  I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder but to me, this breed was ugly as sin.  I called my daughter up.

“You don’t want a bulldog.  They’re too big and besides, I checked out their intelligence.  Do you realize that on a chart that ranks 79 dog breeds in order of their intelligence, they rank 77th?”, I asked her.

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The latest email arrived a few days ago.  It said, “Jason no longer wants a bulldog.  We are thinking about getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel now.”  Hmm, this sounded more promising.  I went online and did some more research.  They at least looked cute.  Their temperament sounded sweet and they appeared to be quite intelligent.   I breathed a sigh of relief.  As of today, Laura and Jason are on a waiting list with a reputable breeder for a puppy from a litter due around Easter.

I mentioned to our vet last week that I might be “Grandmother” to a new dog soon.

“My daughter is probably going to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,” I told him.

“Oh, they’re nice little dogs,” he replied.  “We almost got one but we  got a bulldog instead.”

I started to laugh.  “Did you know that they rank 77th out of 79 on the intelligence chart for dog breeds?”, I asked.  “I told my daughter that a bulldog would be too dumb for her.”

“Well, he fits our lifestyle,” he answered….”big, laid-back, and chilled out.”

I looked at him and then looked over at Fresca the Wonder Dog, who was perched on the examining table and looking around the room with that look that said, “Where can I jump to next and what mischief can I get into?”

“Do you honestly think a bulldog would stand a chance with keeping up with ‘Wild Thing’?” I asked him.

“Probably not,” he laughed.  “A King Charles Spaniel is probably a better choice, although I suspect Fresca would STILL be able to think circles around it.”

I’ll let you know what they end up with.


Ain’t No Sunshine When You’re Gone

So the other day I noticed that one of my medications was running low.  Time to call in for a renewal.  It was one of those automated phone lines and I was expecting to hear the voice tell me when I could pick up my refill.  Instead I heard the words, “This prescription can not be refilled until March 17.”    What?

I looked at the pill container and realized, to my consternation, that I had been taking two pills per day, instead of the prescribed one pill per day.  Yikes!  When did that happen?  I knew that I had been taking one a day because I remembered the conversation with my doctor about switching the time of day to take the pill from breakfast time to suppertime.  But I also vaguely remembered loading up my weekly pill organizer with one pill for breakfast and one at dinner.

Luckily the pill in question was an anti-anxiety pill that I had started taking way back when my son had decided to become a missionary and go live in slums around the world.   It was about that time that I’d started having anxiety attacks and bouts of weeping, sometimes at the same time.  I mean, his dad and I had figured that he was going to be a mathematics teacher, for goodness sakes.  He’d thrown us a real curve ball  and since I’m not the calmest person on the planet, it had hit me particularly hard.

I was diagnosed with “General Anxiety Disorder” – who knew?  I thought everybody worried as much as I did about everything.  But with the help of medication, I discovered what it was like to live a fairly normal life — at least one that didn’t involve constantly imagining doom and gloom.  I wouldn’t want to live a totally normal life.  How terribly boring!  But back to my story.

Here I was, puttering along, feeling great and every so often, wondering why I wasn’t crying my eyes out at the thought of our son, daughter-in-law, and grandbaby leaving soon, only to discover that it was probably because I was on a double dose of “happy pills.”   I called up my doctor.

“You see, I think it started when my allergist said to cut back to one Allegra-D a day and that pill is a white pill just like the other medication,” I explained.  “I’m used to seeing a white pill in the organizer for morning and evening.”

“Dee,” she said.  “Usually we just have this problem with our elderly patients.”

“I know, I know,” I chuckled. “I guess I’m going to be a holy terror when I really get old.  But will it kill me to suddenly halve my intake until I can get a new prescription?”

She assured me that I’d survive although I might be a little more emotional than usual.  Oh boy, just in time to say “goodbye” to the kids.

OK, kidlets…listen up!  I’m giving you fair warning.  Momma might need some extra help with this pill organizing when she’s old and gray but for now, I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.  Could you pass me a kleenex?

Starting Them Early

There is an old wives’ tale (or should I say…old knitter’s tale) that says if a Master Knitter puts a pair of knitting needles in a baby’s hands, that baby will grow up to be a knitter.  I’m going to see if that holds true.

Last night, I started little Mika on her way to becoming a knitter.  With the permission of her mommy and under my careful supervision, I placed a whopping big pair of nicely crafted wooden knitting needles into her tiny hands. I took special care to make sure she wasn’t going to poke her eyes out accidentally.  I didn’t think that would be an auspicious start.

She examined the needles with careful concentration.  Obviously she was fascinated by them.  And just because I never do anything halfway, I made sure to do all this in my craft room where she was sitting next to two spinning wheels, surrounded by a LOT of my yarn stash, and I also stuck a skein of yarn on her lap for good measure.

As she slowly sank into a blissful nap, I could tell that she was already dreaming of all those future projects that she was going to knit.  Perhaps she was considering different color combinations for those projects and what types of yarn would be best to use.  If I’m really lucky, she might have been dreaming of spinning up some of her own yarn to knit with.  I have only one variable in this little experiment that I’m not too sure about.  I don’t know if I quite qualify as a “Master Knitter” unless you go by length of time I’ve been knitting.  In that case, 50+ years will hopefully qualify me.  The rest will be up to Miss Mika.

And as a little “teaser” for my next post, my new Schacht Matchless DT arrived yesterday in the evening and the Commander lovingly assembled her for me.  Allow me to introduce to you “Valentina.”

Not ANOTHER Snowstorm!

Holy Moly!  The Commander told me this morning that another snowstorm is headed our way.  Snow is to begin this afternoon and then get heavier tomorrow with 4-6 inches expected on our side of the river and 6-12 inches expected on the other side of the river.  What always makes it tricky is that we live less than a mile from the river (the mighty Susquehanna River) so it could go either way where we are.  That being said, the logs are stacked in the fireplace and we’re ready to gather around with hot cocoa and watch the snow fall.  Actually, that’s our gas fireplace so the logs are fake but the effect is still lovely.  I can’t say as much for the snow at this point.  We were just starting to see some grass in spots here.  Oy!

In the meantime, I’ll console myself with the fact that my new spinning wheel, a Schacht Matchless DT is scheduled to be delivered today.  I’ve checked the UPS tracking and it made it to the distribution center right across the river yesterday so it should be on the truck today.  I’ve been busy spinning, in the meantime, on the Louet Victoria.  The more I spin on that little beauty, the more I am enjoying it.  For some reason, the height and angle of the orifice is just perfect for me.  I am finding the Lendrum, with it’s downward angle of the orifice, is harder on my back if I’ve been spinning for long periods of time.  Maybe it’s the osteoporosis and the fact that I’m starting to angle downward more now (drat) but there you have it.  With the Victoria, I can comfortably sit back in a variety of different chairs without slouching and still comfortably spin.  Just to give you a physical comparison, I’m around 5 ft. 5 inches tall but my legs are pretty long,  if you are considering buying a Victoria and wondering how it might work for you.

In knitting news, I finished the Julie H. Levy square of the Great American Aran Afghan.  I am almost finished with the Marian Tabler square, which I am knitting in a light brown heathered color.  Tonight I have another class where we will be beginning the Meredith Morioka square.  So slowly but surely our class is working through the squares of this somewhat intimidating afghan.  The trick is definitely to take it one square at a time (and getting pointers in a group setting is a definite plus).

I’ll leave you with a picture of me “entertaining” my little Mika.  I call it “Me and Grumpy.”  I still have the uncanny ability to put my granddaughter into a less than happy mood.  Someone said that this was God’s way of making it easier for me to say “goodbye” to her soon.  It would be so much harder if she were snuggling up to me at every turn and clinging to me.  Right?  Hmmm, I don’t know about that.  I think it’s going to be hard either way.

Well, hopefully tomorrow I’ll have pictures of my new Schacht to show you.  In the meantime, somebody out there has to be enjoying warm, Spring-like weather.  Enjoy it for me.

Fave Five Yummies and Honeys

Another week has whizzed by and it’s time for my list of Fave Five events of the week.  It was hard to limit myself to five things this week.  I had quite a few good things to report which is always a good thing.  Better to have an abundance of blessings to choose from than to have to make some up, eh?   But I narrowed it down to five so here is my list of Fave Fives for the week.

1.  My little Mika turned 2 months old. This little honey of a grandbaby is growing and changing so quickly.  To celebrate her “big girl” status, her mommy and I went out and bought her some headbands and hairbows and then she had to model them for us.  There should be no doubt now that she is a girl.

2.  Mika met her Aunt Laura for the first time. To celebrate the occasion, our daughter Laura presented Mika with a t-shirt that says “My Aunt Rocks.”  Too cute.  I don’t think Mika looks very impressed in this picture but she really did have a good time giving her aunt the once-over and being held by Laura.  Judging by the smile, I’d say that Aunt Laura enjoyed the time with her niece as well.

3.  I spun some wool today at our spinning guild from the nicest wool I’ve ever had the fun of spinning. This is from the fiber artist BeeMiceElf and the fiber is Superwash Blue-Faced Leicester.  You’ll never believe what the name of the colorway is.  It’s called “Naughty Librarian.”  Isn’t that a hoot?  The fiber comes in a braid that is shown at the bottom of the picture and you can see how it is spinning up.  I can honestly say that this is the easiest wool I’ve ever spun.  It has really been a dream to spin.

4.  Mika and her Great-Grandma Toots were able to spend more time together. I was able to bring my 96-year-old mom home from the nursing home for a visit with the help of my son.  She had a fun reunion with the dog (my previous post) and got to hold Mika for some fun bonding time.  We had a nice lunch of pancakes and bacon which she polished off and we capped off the day with a sing-a-long and an impromptu piano concert.  It was a full day for all of us but a good one.

5.  Mika was dedicated at our church and then thrown a potluck/shower by our church family. Bless her heart, she slept through the whole thing.  She even slept through all the folks who wanted to hold her during the potluck.  It was such a blessing to share our joy at Mika’s safe arrival with our church fellowship.

That was my week.  If you’d like to read the Fave Five’s of others, visit Susanne’s blog at Living to Tell the Story.

It’s Friday and I’m Loving It

Did you notice the new Fave Five logo that Susanne made up for February?  Here I sit, looking out my window at over 20 inches of snow which is still on the ground here in south-central PA and yet it will be Valentine’s Day this weekend.  The sky is blue today and the sun is melting this snow slowly and steadily so Spring surely must be on the way.  So I’m feeling the love today for my five Fave Friday musings.

1.  I’m enjoying reading the Facebook entries today telling how couples first met. I guess because this is Valentine’s weekend, a lot of folks have been posting pictures of themselves early on in their relationships and telling how they met their spouses.  The Commander and I met on the island of Crete over Labor Day weekend in 1978.  I had flown over there with a friend from our base on the Greek mainland to enjoy some sightseeing and we were staying in the officer quarters on the Commander’s base while in Crete.  He had heard that two single female officers had arrived on his base and he sauntered over to check us out.  You see, there were no single female officers stationed there.  Well, there were no single male officers stationed on my base so I was kind of in the same boat, so to speak.  Neither of us had anyone we could easily date.  Guess he liked what he saw because less than a year later, we were married at my base and we’ve been together now for over 30 years.

2.  I’m loving watching Mika’s fascination with Mr. Owl. She is loving sitting in her bouncy chair and for some reason, out of all the little animals that hang down from the bar over her chair, she adores Mr. Owl.  She is absolutely mesmerized by him and breaks out into big smiles as she gazes at his face.  He’s the blue fellow in the middle, by the way.

3.  I’m praising God for a “good report” from my annual cancer check-up today. It’s always a stressful time each year when I have to go in for my annual follow-up after having breast cancer almost 20 years ago.  Yet God is faithful and has blessed me with another good report so I’m not scheduled to go back for another year, as long as my chest xray and further blood tests all come back normal.

4.  I’m thrilled that Mika already enjoys being read to so much. I love books and it just warms my heart to see our son read to her and to watch her respond  with such interest and enthusiasm to the pages.  I think we have a miniature “Booklassie” here.

5.  I’m getting a little better at learning to soothe Mika when she’s fussy. We seem to be reaching an understanding.  I’ve discovered that she’ll usually quiet down if I swing her back and forth as I sing “Rock-a-Bye, Baby”.  I’ve perfected the bent leg, bendable baby tummy maneuver that my son showed me.   She’s not totally freaking out anymore whenever she turns around and sees me.  So I think there may be hope for this Nana yet.

What are your “fave five” things from this past week?  To read about what others are writing about, visit Susanne’s site at “Living to Tell the Story.”

Nana’s Fave Fives

It’s Friday already and I can’t believe how the time has flown.  My goodness, who knew that having a baby in the house would accelerate the clock so.  And yet, here it is time for the Fave Five list already and I just looked up at the clock and saw that it was almost suppertime and I hadn’t even posted yet today.  Yikes.  So guess I’d better get busy.  Here are the Fave Five events from “Hot-Flashed Nana’s” house today:

1.  Our son and family arrived safely from Canada this week. Yes, Nana got to hold little Mikayla for the first time late Monday evening.  As you can see from the picture, I was certainly excited and Mika wasn’t too sure what to make of this strange lady.  Let the fun begin!

2.  Mika got to meet her great-grandmother for the first time (and vice versa). It’s not every day that a six week old little girl and a 96-year-old whippersnapper get to bond together.  It was truly a special moment.  Mika managed to sleep through the entire meeting, even when Mom’s hold almost ended up with Mika’s feet pointing north and her head pointing south.

3.  Taking turns holding our granddaughter – Proud PawPaw couldn’t get enough of looking at that darling little girl asleep in his arms.  Nana, on the other hand, has been the official waker-upper.  It seems if I hold her, she wakes up and starts fussing a lot of the time.  I think it must be because I am just too exciting for a newborn, eh?  Although, she does seem to enjoy me marching around the house with her, swaying her back and forth and singing “Rock-a-bye, Mika” and other arrangements.  I’m also having a lot of fun when we put her in the bouncy seat and I get to do the “voices” of the three little stuffed animals that are hanging from the handle.  Rocky Raccoon, Olly the Owl, and Howie the Hedgehog have quite a rivalry going trying to vie for Mika’s attentions.

4.  I’m relieved that I still remember how to change a baby. After all, it’s been about 24 years since I changed a diaper.  But today I changed Mika’s dirty diaper and we both survived.  Although I will admit that I was a tad puzzled as to why the tabs seemed to be going from the front to the back until I realized that I had the diaper reversed and needed to turn it around.  Well, I still remembered the one-handed leg lift so I made short order of lifting that little bum and getting the diaper set to rights.  Mika seemed none the worse for wear and I would have given myself a pat on the back but I decided that perhaps it would be wiser to wash my hands instead.

5.  Celebrating Christmas for the third time with Jason, Laura and Mika – It was so much fun to watch the kids unwrap the things I had knit or sewn for Mika.  And then there were the felted mice slippers.  I didn’t make these.  I purchased them from a very talented lady on Etsy.  I’ve been just dying to see them on Mikayla.  Last evening, when we opened presents, we  got to snap a picture of them on Mika.  I know that she doesn’t look too impressed in this photo but trust me, they are as cute as can be and just perfect for such a cute little munchkin.  Someday she’ll thank her Nana for such an “Awwww” moment.

And that’s the news from our home.  What are your fave five moments from this past week?  To share yours or to read what others are writing, visit Susanne’s site at Living to Tell the Story.  And now we’re going to go sit by the fire and enjoy the lights of the Christmas tree while the snow falls outside (which is #6 technically, but there’s nothing like a good blizzard to get this Midwesterner smiling).