Thursday, November 27, 2008

the pack

I think that the dogs have finally bonded. Now that they are officially a pack, I think that Mark and I should probably be very nervous. They do out-number us now, after all.

After a couple of days of pooping and peeing and fighting (in the kitchen - yuck), things have settled down. The dogs are grooving together and playing well. It's pretty funny actually. Over the past couple of days we've had a tiny amount of snow. Of course, as I typed that, I glanced out the window and noticed that it's almost gone now. Okay, this morning, there was actually snow in the yard. I let the dogs out after Mark left for work (around 5:30 a.m.). I thought that they wanted to come in at one point but they just ran around the kitchen, realized that there was no snow on the floor, and ran out again. Even Gracie ran out (and she normally needs to be tossed out - she has fun when she gets there but needs convincing).

The pack stayed outside playing together in the snow until I left for work (around 7 a.m.). It seems that they run so hard and have so much fun out there that they don't mind being inside all day. I mean, Mark gets home a couple of times in the course of the day to let them out but I'm pretty impressed with how good-natured they are. Oh and cool. We have three cool dogs at our house right now. It's pretty awesome actually.

unique greetings

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the States. If I were home today, with the television on, I know that I’d be seeing lots of winter holiday type ads. It’s hard for me to believe that the holiday season is already here. I guess because we had such nice weather in the fall, I felt like I could not think about all of the stuff what needs to get done for the holidays.

One of the things on my list is putting together our annual Holiday Photo Cards for friends and family. We’ve done photo cards for the past few years and really like them a lot. As you know, I love photography and have received really good feedback on the photos I’ve used in our cards in the past. This year, I think I’m going to try to get some festive photos of our dogs to send out. Last year, we used a template from Christmas Cards Direct and had the card and template printed together. This year, I think I’m going to use their beautiful photo holder cards instead. This will be easier for me to mix up the photos I use in the cards I think.

There are many great things about using Christmas Cards Direct for your holiday cards. First, you can create a personalized card, very easily. Secondly, they have terrific prices which include beautiful envelopes. It’s never been easier to create a unique and personal Holiday Greeting!!

I’m happy that I’ll be able to cross "order cards" off of my to-do list after just a few clicks of the mouse!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

crying over you

Actually, I'm not crying but I can't help but think about a former colleague named Karen. She loved herself some Platinum Blonde. We worked together in a grocery store during high school and Platinum Blonde were BIG at that time. I'm sure that Karen was a little sad to hear about the passing of Kenny MacLean. Sounds like it was quite unexpected and, I'm sure, a huge shock to some.

In honour of Kenny, here's a little bit of Platinum Blonde for you. Remember, if you can't cry, go dance behind a back-lit screen!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

a parade of puppies

Three dogs just marched past my office door, largest dog leading, smallest taking up the rear. As it should be, right?

Bella has come to stay for a couple of weeks while Jamie & Annette are away. She's played with Sam before but had never met Gracie. It was a bit of a growl-fest earlier while they all figured each other out and sniffed each other's butts.

Right now, the butt sniffing is over and the serious play has begun. My earlier worries of a two-week long growl-fest are gone. All three doggies have big doggie smiles on their cute doggie faces.

The cuteness is almost overwhelming.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Give me a break!

This morning, I had a couple of meetings to attend. Between meetings, I was chatting with a colleague about her neighbours. Apparently, they had blocked her driveway this morning for a few minutes while they were loading up their car, trailer and new RV. My colleague spoke with a twinge of envy in her voice about how the neighbours were heading to Florida. Apparently, they’ll be there until April, I presume that they must be retired folks. Nice huh? An entire winter without shoveling, imagine that! Now, neither she nor I are in a position to be heading down south for months at a time but we did start talking about Kissimmee vacation homes and Siesta Key beach vacation rentals. My colleague is particularly interested in the Kissimmee area because she has grandchildren who are nuts about Disney! My dream vacation would have fewer children involved and more privacy, perhaps a beach and a lot of peace and quiet. To each their own, right? Of course, the person who was sitting on my other side is crazy for skiing and was thinking about checking out the site for information on renting a couple of Breckenridge condos with a group of friends during the winter reading week. No matter which destination you chose, makes finding a property simple.

cold snap

No matter how much hand lotion I put on these days, it's just not enough to keep them from getting dried out. I know that it's a time of the year thing, that they are just dry from the cold outside and the furnace running inside. I also know that it'll pass and we'll eventually get used to the weather like we do every year when it turns, I just felt like complaining a little I guess.

Yesterday, we had a little bit of snow which actually accumulated for a few minutes. When we got home last night and I let the dogs out, I went outside with them and neither of them seemed to know what to make of it. Sam decided that he'd like to eat all of the snow on the deck (we're talking about the thinnest skim of snow on the wood) but Gracie wasn't having anything to do with it. It's actually been difficult to get her to go outside over the past few days. I may need to buy her one of those doggie sweaters for the winter. I thought she had enough fur (she had a double coat, like Sam does) but I think she's minding it.

On Monday night, we took the dogs to the dog park. When Sam saw the leashes come out, he got really excited because he knows that leash = fun but Gracie became terrified. When Mark approached her with the leash, she peed on the kitchen floor. Eventually, I was able to pick her up and put the leash on but I had to carry her to the van and then hold her in my lap all the way to the park. She shook like a leaf. Once we got to the park, she had a ball. There was another Sheltie, a male, there and she had a good old run around with him. She let me put the leash back on her okay but when we got home she was afraid to get out of the van. I'm not sure what is causing this but I know that she'll get over it eventually and she'll figure out that leash = fun, it just may take a while.

And in the name of puppy cuteness, I may not support this company's beer but I do like their use of Eskies in an ad. Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I need a new room

A couple of weeks ago, just after Gracie came to live with us, I rearranged the living room furniture to make room for two tearing around dogs. Every time I move the furniture around, I complain to Mark about the room. Honestly, I don’t think it’s the room, I think it’s our furniture. We bought our stuff for our old house and while it looks okay here, it’s not really working like I think it should.

If I had my way, I’d rip the walls out between the kitchen and the living room and open up the first floor of our house. I’d buy some beautiful new Dining Room Furniture to place in the spot which is currently my office and install an island in the kitchen. We could probably do a lot of the work ourselves if we put our minds to it.

Of course, this sounds expensive but it doesn’t have to be. I have been shopping around online for a quality source of Home Furniture and have found one that will ship to Canada. Max Furniture has a beautiful leather sectional sofa that will fit perfectly in my wonky living room and I can’t find a local supplier who can beat their prices. I also love the room planner they have on their website. You can use it to plot out your room and try different furniture placements so you’ll know exactly what will fit and what won’t. Who knows, when I get the living room and dining room sorted out, maybe I can start into our master bathroom. I have more than one of Max Furniture’s beautiful Bathroom Vanities bookmarked right now!


beaming gracie
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I almost typed "warned" just now but my toes are not warned, they are warmed.

In my office (where I am right now) I have laminate flooring. I keep my office door closed when I'm not home (to keep the puppies out, they do love to chew on cables and my office is full of them) and it's a small room so it warms up quite nicely on days when the furnace is running. It must have been running just before we came home because the floor under my desk is toasty right now. It feels good.

I haven't been spending any huge chunks of time in my office just recently and as you can tell, I haven't been posting here either. Between still feeling a little under the weather and playing with the dogs, my evenings and weekends just fly by.

It's hard to imagine but I'm still feeling less than normal right now. After my second course of antibiotics, I had some horrible side effects and they really left me feeling washed out. Over the weekend I turned a corner and feel like I'm on the other side of that nonsense now. 'Bout time too, I've been "sick" since the end of September.

Friends keep telling me I sound congested, I still cough every once in a while and my lung capacity is still no where near where it should be but I am feeling better. Mark's feeling better too. His health has definitely improved and he's much happier after having changed jobs last week.

He's still driving cab but is working for a different company. The company he was working for was okay, he'd been there for 7.5 years. The problem he experienced (and he wasn't alone) was the day shift dispatcher. This guy can barely function as a human being, much less as someone who needs to have a knowledge of the city and decent short-term memory to do the most basic part of his job. This guy feeds calls to the drivers he likes and he jerks around the guys he doesn't. It's affecting business and was causing Mark to come home frustrated every day.

The new company Mark is working for has a dispatcher but the calls are sent out to cabs via a computer system. The calls are assigned based on where the gps says that your car is (at the other place, guys will bid on calls which they are know are going out of town, to the airport, whatever - when they are on the other side of town). The only time he talks to someone at the switch is if he's having a problem or needs direction. So far, Mark's really enjoying it. Learning the new system is challenging and fun for him (he's figuring out tricks and short cuts every day) and because the system is fair, he's making more money.

So, in a rather rambling nutshell, that's where we've been the past week and a bit. Working, playing with the puppies and sleeping. I don't think it's a bad way to be spending our time.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


gracie and the pig
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The temperature rose above 20 degrees here today. Walking back to my office from a midday evening, I was hot. I had black pants and a black jacket on and was wishing I'd worn sandals this morning. It was really weird. I'm not complaining at all, just saying.

I had a wacky day at work. Was not at my desk until 1:45 because of meetings on the other side of campus. I normally don't like being away from my desk that much but I was up in the area where I used to work and I saw a lot of folks who I miss so that was nice.

We had a luncheon for a colleague who is leaving us. Her last day is tomorrow. She's moving a to a new position on campus so she's not going to be too far away but it's in a unit that isn't really connected to our group so I'll not see her at meetings and stuff like I normally would. It was the second time this week that I got together with this particular group of colleagues. We all work in positions which support folks who do similar kinds of jobs so we try to get together every couple of months as a way of checking in on what everyone's doing and to share tips and ideas.

There is a lot of change happening in our area at the moment and I think some folks are coping with it better than others. I tend not to get too worked up by change because it's been a constant for me over the past 16 years. Others I guess, either haven't been around as long and haven't learned to roll with the punches like I have or they are just more sensitive to change. We had a couple of great meetings this morning with our new ED and I think things are going to be good going forward. I just hope that my colleagues can feel as good about it and not worry too much. I know that with the economy in the tank (temporarily) it's easier to say not to worry than it may be not to worry but I do think it's the smartest thing to do right now. Worrying about stuff you can't control never did anyone any good!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

got hope?

Is is just me or does the sun seem to be shining a little brighter this morning? I really think it's not just me. The world just feels like a better place to be today.

We did not stay up until 11 p.m. last night to see the polls close on the west coast. With both of us still feeling lousy, we pushed it staying up until 10 p.m. When we turned the tv off, I think the EV Count was at 200 Obama, 50-something McShame. We knew it was over at that point, that we could rest easy knowing that things would be okay in the morning, no matter what happened in Florida. This morning, we watched the countdown to 11 p.m. and the speeches (we'd left the DVR on MSNBC when we went to bed). It was a great moment for our neighbours to the south and for the rest of the world. I have to say that we both became pretty emotional watching it all unfold.

The hard work can start now, to rebuild the U.S. Hopefully, change can happen here too. I was really disappointed, although not entirely surprised, by our own election results last month. I feel that a lot of it was caused by voter apathy. Hopefully, when our next election rolls around, Canadians will be inspired by the efforts of our neighbours and will actually go out and vote. It's easy to do here in Canada, everyone can do it if they want to. Unfortunately, I don't think enough folks wanted to this year and we're stuck with another Harper government.

It's time for us to pull our collective head out of our ass. Goodness knows if it can happen in the States, it can happen here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

sticking it out

sticking it out
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Happy US Election Day folks.

We're just hanging out in front of the television machine, watching MSNBC, waiting to hear the results of the election.

I'm sure that we're not the only folks in our little Ontario town who are doing the same. Living in a border town, like we do, we take a keen interest in US politics because they do have an impact on stuff we do everyday. We're hoping that Sen. Obama wins tonight. No matter how things look, I'm one of those folks who believe that it "ain't over 'til it's over." Hopefully, the result will be one that won't make us scream in pain.

Speaking of pain, I took the last dose of my second course of anti-biotics last night. I still don't feel 100%, I'm pretty easily winded and am coughing a fair bit. Definitely, I'm feeling better than I did a couple of weeks ago but I'm still not all the way up to snuff. Oh well, each day is a little better than the day before. I guess I can't, or shouldn't, ask for more than that. Thank you science and medicine!

Monday, November 03, 2008

weekend update

gracie and sam
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I sure hope you like doggie photos because you can expect to see even more of them here. We have double the number of puppies at home so, it makes sense that I'll be taking double the number of photos of said puppies.

The weekend went very well. We all slept well on Friday night (Gracie in her crate, Sam on his bed) and spent Saturday all together, hanging out in the yard or in the house "bonding." Sam and Grace are doing lots of playful puppy wrestling. After they bore of that, they'll either attack rawhide chews or just lie in a sunbeam. It's really cute how well they are getting along. I love that small as Gracie is, she's scrappy.

Yesterday, I rearranged the furniture so that they'd have more open space to roar around in. They way they were tussling on Saturday, I was afraid that someone would be body checked into the furniture and get injured. It was a good excuse to clean too. I'm such a bad house keeper that unless I'm rearranging the furniture, I rarely worry about behind the sofa.

On Friday night, we had 86 kids at our door. We were down almost 50% from last year. Not sure what happened there, the weather was great but maybe because it was a Friday, more folks went to parties. Mark kept the dogs in the basement while I shelled out. Gracie was really good and sat under his desk, on his feet. Sam, on the other hand, stayed at the top of the stairs and barked every time someone came to the door.

Some of the costumes I saw were pretty cute although I was a little disturbed by the number of "pimps" I saw. I guess they are this year's "Harry Potter" because I didn't have one HP at the door all night.

This week, I'm going to see if I can work full days each day. I'm almost finished with my second course of antibiotics and am feeling a bit better. I still don't have a lot energy later in the day but I'm not too bad early in the day. It will get better, day by day, I know.