Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Dog Named Dudley

Gentle Readers, meet Dudley! This is my new guy, who arrived at dinnertime on 25 May, courtesy of our local golden retriever rescue group. He's absolutely fantastic-he knows several commands, walks very well on leash, is very mild mannered, and best of all, ignores the cats. What a treat it will be to train a dog that wants to repeat something over and over, and over, and over...

Mr. Big has only had to reprimand him a few times, on Thursday, and then again late Friday, when we were sitting on the patio, enjoying a warm, pitch black, summer evening. Cuddly Dudley (to be known as CD) has tried twice to initiate play, and Mr. Big is not quite sure what to make of that, but since he loved to wrestle with his Pupgirl, and has been streaking across the yard on his own looking for someone to wrestle with, I think it's just a matter of time. Mr. Big doesn't have good dog-reading skills, so he's probably a little unsure of what CD is saying.

And cuddly he is. The first night he jumped into bed with me. The third night he started off bedtime laying next to me, head on my chest, with those big, brown, puppy eyes just gazing at me. The fluffsters were invited to sleep with me, but never wanted to. Too hot! Pupgirl would jump on the bed about 5 a.m. and wait for me to get up, but that was the closest we got to sleeping together. May I add she was not averse to sleeping on my bed when I wasn't in her way by being in it already.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Meet Kevin!

I volunteered with the Delta Society evaluations today. All day--17 teams. It's super fun and exhausting. Usually I'm just the flapper and arguer, occasionally the bumper. But today I got to do 5 hands-on exams! I'm so excited! I loved it even more.

But meet the latest Delta Society Pet Partner: Kevin Bacon. You would not believe how adorable this miniature pot-bellied pig was. He has his own Facebook page, so if you want to learn more about, meet him there, where he is listed as Kevin Pig. He's fabulous, and will be a great therapy pig.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Return of the Rutabaga

For many years now, as I have dawdled in the produce section of the grocer's, I have pondered why manufacturer's have decided to offer us wimpy-wristed chefs pre-cut butternut squash (Good idea, it's one hard squash to cut), pre-cut onions (Okay, they make some people cry and the weepers don't know the secret, which is to keep them cold), and pre-cut apples (Seriously? How hard it sit to bit into an apple?). But no one offered me a pre-cut rutabaga, other wise known as the vegetable you chop with a hatchet.

I've used a rutabaga exactly once since I moved to Old Town, because even at my strongest in my 20s, I barely could cut it. MoM used to make us rutabagas when I was young, and I remember liking it, and I wanted to add a new veg or two into the diet. Where oh where was my pre-cut rutabaga?  

Then, Sunday, while once again dawdling in the produce section, it hit me, like a granny purse upside the head: microwave it first briefly to soften it, then chop it, dice it, julienne it, do whatever you want because the microwave should make it soft. Hastily, I snatched an innocent-looking rutabaga and hustled to the check-out line, where the clerk didn't recognize it at all. Hmm, I wonder how long that rutabaga was sitting there? Good thing it's a root veg.

Yes, Gentle Readers, the microwave trick works! Rutabaga zapped, chopped, boiled, mashed, and consumed with gusto. The mashed rutabaga was shy and wouldn't cooperate with the camera, so you will have to trust me that it was delicious in all its sunset orange glory.

I am love with the rutabaga.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yarn + Tea = Bliss

Las Tres Yarnistas, a.k.a., M, T, and me, all piled into the E for a road trip to one of my favorite not-so-local yarn stores in the suburbs of the Metropolis, the Fiber Factory, yesterday. I had a gift certificate, the only thing that made the day even more fun. Free yarn! Except that, of course, I couldn't buy just what my gift certificate could afford, I had to buy more (but just one more skein more, really). I fell in love with the most wonderful yarn, Mirasol Nuna in aquamarine, which I knew would be perfect for a crocheted shawl I've had my eye on for several months. I immediately started working with it when I got home, and oh my word, is it delightful! It's delicious! It's de-lovely!

But I realized that I may have been mistaken in thinking the pattern would work well with just one color. I think it will need the contrasting colors the sample had. What? Stop crocheting in mid-shawl? Perish the thought! Onto the Interweb went I, only to confront horror.  Apparently many of my usual online fiber suppliers do not carry Mirasol, and those that do are Out Of It.  What?!?!?

The Fiber Factory is closed today and tomorrow, so I will have to wait on pins and needles until Tuesday to call up there to see if they have Nuna in seashell and flax, or maybe cool blue as a back up contrasting color option. Please, please, please, keep your fingers and hooks crossed that they do.

What made the day even more fun is that right around the corner is a fantastic little cafe and coffee shop, The Bungalow,  where we had lunch. They serve loose leaf tea--good loose leaf tea! They serve good food--they made the Waldorf Chicken Salad from scratch after I ordered it! They have a lovely atmosphere, located in a 1906 remodeled bungalow, where they feed and caffeinate people and offer yoga classes. The hippie in me was so envious we don't have such a quaint place here. Leash and Latte Nights--even Mr. Big could enjoy a place like that. I recommend it highly, and will return the next time I can afford to drive a couple of hundred miles just for yarn.

See, isn't it lovely?