Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Bird Day!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Despite getting off to a late start, we were the first of all the company to arrive at my sister's house on Wednesday, we got our soup made, and everything was ready by the time people started to arrive.

Despite my fears that my sister's rambunctious boxers would eat my quiet little puppy alive, they got on FAMOUSLY and Kelso ended up completely wearing out the more active of her two dogs, Willo.  (Kelso didn't quite figure out how to play with her older, more relaxed dog Ruger, who mostly watched the two younger ones play).  The first night we were there it was a real dogfest, with the three of them barking and chasing each other around the house during our pre-Thanksgiving Soup Dinner.  We kept sending them outside, then letting them back in when they were quiet, only to send the three of them out again.  I'm sure my father thought it was crazy to let them be right there with the family, but I found it amusing to watch, and my sister said she's so immune to the barking that she hardly notices it anymore.

Kelso chilling on the back porch with his doggy cousin, Willo

Despite the fact that the official festivities were not at my mother's house, everything went off swimmingly, we had a marvelous time on Thanksgiving Day.  All of the days, actually.

Thing 2 rides Chaz, the best horse around, who is sporting his long winter coat.

Thing 2 got to go Horseback riding, and Kelso had the time of his life playing for 3 days with his new cousins.  He even did fabulous in the car up and back, not drooling all over himself.  If he thinks that Willo is at the end of a car ride, he may decide the car isn't so bad after all.

Thing 1, my niece, and Thing 2 enjoy their dinner.
Notice Thing 1's grown up grasp of the fork and knife.

I made Apple pie, it turned out okay.  The crust part was the only questionable part, it was okay and the guts of the pie were really good.  I also made my cousin's Sweet Potato Pie (a dessert that moonlights as a vegetable), this is the one that one of my sister's stepsons offered $5 to his dad for the last serving of a couple of years ago.  I made a double batch, screwed up the recipe a little, and still there were only about three servings left by evening on Thanksgiving day. 
The girls had a great time playing with their cousins, my mom was less stressed because everything wasn't at her house, and I had a wonderful time.

Typically, there are lots of people in the kitchen.
Five at this counting (you can just see my sister's arm stirring
the pot in front of my aunt in the red shirt.) Six if you count me

The only downer was that Hubby had to fly out today (Saturday) to Iceland.  So we only got him for this one short week. 
But what a lovely holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paris? No Thanks

We've been doing really well lately.  Hubby's home, which is always a bonus, though he has a heinous trip coming up after Thanksgiving.  He leaves the 28th for Iceland for a couple of days, followed by a couple days in London, followed by a couple days in Paris.  He returns the 12th of December or so, which happens to be my birthday.  He tried to talk me into meeting him in Paris - who wouldn't want to be flown to Paris for their birthday?
Me, for one.
He has a long standing history of trying to do wonderful over-the-top celebrations for my birthday, which usually involve a night or two at a wonderful hotel or something.  This was fine and dandy until we had kids.  As the kids got older it has become a real juggling act of the holiday season, that not only do I have to get everything ready for Christmas, I lose a couple of days in which to do it, and I have to arrange for someone to watch the girls - my folks for the most part.  There were a couple times when trying to juggle his schedule and the girls' schedules and my folks' schedule, and getting everyone where they should be at the right time kind of sucked all the fun out of it for me.  It started to become more of a hassle and less of a delight.
So I turned down the Paris trip.   He'd be teaching a class most of the day, I'd be bopping around Paris on my own except for meeting him for dinner...  Don't get me wrong, I love Paris, I sort of speak French, and it would be fun, but having fun shouldn't be that much work.

And this year I would have the added problem of the dog, which would not go over well with my folks.   We would probably end up putting him in a kennel.  Which would not go over well with the dog.
So I'm staying home to keep the home fires burning.

I took the dog to a do-it-yourself dog wash place last week.  He HATED it but boy howdy did he ever come out fluffy and cute.  He smells less doggy, and his fur has that fluffy, bouncy Breck-Girl shine.  It might be hard to tell from a picture, but believe me, he is much softer and fluffier than before.  He better get used to this bath idea, as I see many such baths in his future.


We'll be doing Thanksgiving at my sister's house this year.  My parent's house is sort of under construction (see earlier blog). The kicker is my dad's idea of having the floors put in while they were on vacation in order to avoid living in construction for a week completely backfired and now they're living in a construction zone for over a month through the holidays.  I'm so proud of my mom who claims she hasn't once said "I told you so!"

With my family Thanksgiving is a two or three day affair.  Bigger than Christmas in some ways.  I'm looking forward to it.

The change of location helps us in one way as it makes it easier to figure out what to do with the dog, since my sister has dogs, we're hoping they all get along well enough.  Had we had it at my folks', the dog would have been in his kennel the entire time, or locked in my sister's back yard or something.

Time to start figuring out my grocery list as the festivities begin tomorrow, and with my mom's kitchen all torn up, I'm helping out more than I usually do.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Call it a success!!

The baptism went really well.  Thing 1 was so excited she could hardly stand it...  everything went off very nicely.  My brother dunked, my dad blessed, and both did beautifully.  The one detractor was an older guy, I believe the grandfather of one of the other little girls getting dunked, who started in whispering after my dad finished the blessing part.  Hubby and I sitting right in front of him could hear him loudly whispering "He did it wrong!-" over and over again to whoever he was sitting next to.  "They've got to do it over!  He did it wrong!"  It was kind of distracting that when I'm hugging my girl and beaming her, and beaming  happy thank yous at my dad, I can hear this old rooster in my ear murmuring how it was screwed up.  After the closing prayer Hubby went up to the bishop and asked.  The bishop said my dad had said " the power" instead of "... through the power" or something extremely minor like that, and it wasn't really a big deal.  Certainly nothing worth bothering over.  It made me mad the old biddy behind me spoiled my basking in the moment with his worry fest.
Everything else went beautifully.
I needn't have worried about the whole white dress thing, though.  Of the two other little girls dunked on Saturday, one of them wore purple, and one wore white and black.  Thing 1's outfit was just fine.

The dog behaved very well for the after baptism party.  I thought I'd have to put him out in the freezing back yard while we had everyone over for dinner, but he mostly sat or slept rather contentedly on his rug in the kitchen and watched everyone come and go.  The dog people in my family were hugely impressed, the non-dog people were commenting loftily that we'll have to see how long it takes before this crazy "getting a dog" idea - especially one as big and hairy as this one's going to be - turns out to have been a bad thing.  Yeah, whatever.  The piddle counter is still going, and so for he doesn't shed.

While I went to exchange the shirt on Saturday morning, the girls went outside and played in the snow with the dog.   Off leash, I might add.  It is so nice to have a puppy who doesn't just run away.  Thing 1 got a kick out of piling snow on him.

  He mostly sat on the front porch and watched them romping around.

Today was the Primary program.  This was the third one I've written and been in charge of.  I was surprised at how well it went.  The kids really out did themselves.  We had a bunch of solos, and every kid spoke up and said their parts, some of which were pretty long for little kids (something you can do when you only have a dozen kids in the primary), and they all sang out just great.

I'm glad it's over.  But I kind of expect I might have to write one more before I'm released. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Four Days Since Rug Piddle

My folks have been in Italy.  They got home tonight to find that the new hickory wood floor that they were having installed while they were out of town had to be ripped up because a valve in the dishwasher broke and flooded.  It soaked through to the basement in one of the back rooms, it's going to take a month to dry out the sub floor, get new hickory and "acclimate" it to their house...

Looks like we won't be doing Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's this year.
The dog went three days.  Then I think it was Tuesday I went into the dining room, he followed me, sniffed around a little and was making me nervous and then sure enough, piddled on my dining room rug.  So I started down the piddle counter again, and now it's been four days.  I really don't have time tomorrow for him to piddle again, as adding one day to his previous record is not a system I'd be really happy with.

Tomorrow is Thing 1's Baptism.  There are some mixed feelings about this, as Hubby won't be performing any of the ceremonies.  It's not really an endearing quality about the church to run it this way.  She is excited and scared and disappointed because of course she'd like her daddy to do it.  We're trying to not make much of the disappointed part of it.
I spent most of a day last week going from store to store looking for a white dress that would suit her because of course this is not white season, and even if it was, she is not going to be happy with sequins across her empire waisted filmy materialed dress...  I finally found a nice satiny sort of shirt at Macy's, with a little matching black knit skirt.  I decided I better try it on her tonight, and found the skirt is fine, but the shirt is obviously a size too big.  She normally wears a 7, but the shoulders hang off of this and the ruffle on the sleeve comes down to her fingernails.  Part of the problem, why I just found this out today is because she HATES to go shopping.  It just isn't fair, a picky dresser who refuses to go shopping with me?  My threats that she can wear the same pair of tacky baggy velour pants everywhere is completely hollow because I do so love to see my girls dressed nicely.  So I'm going to be dashing across town to exchange the shirt in the morning, leaving Hubby to get started on the food. Luckily the baptism doesn't start until 4:00.    Also the house is moderately clean, but not company clean.  And certainly not "company who have never been here before" clean.  That will take a bit of work.  I should probably go to bed as I've got a big day ahead of me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It may be too early to call...

The day isn't over yet, but it looks like we may have actually passed two whole days with no dog accidents on the floor or rug.  It's been 48 hours, anyway.   I'm not sure if he's being trained to pee outside, or I'm being trained to take him outside all the time.

I want to take the dog to puppy school, but the timing at PetSmart is all off for me.  The other lady in the neighborhood with a collie recommended a private trainer.  The private trainer's prices for group lessons are a little more than PetSmart, but not dramatically so.  I am coming into her 8 week session 3 weeks late, so we're getting a deal on the last 5 sessions.  She also recommended private lessons.  I said sure, a couple of private lessons would be helpful.  What I didn't realize was that 1) she comes to your house (that's fine) 2) she wants to do private lessons in a series of 4 lessons minimum (okay) and 3) they're $75 an hour.  WHAT?    I can't commit to three hundred dollars of dog training right now!
So we're just going for the group lessons.
We start on Wednseday.

It's cute to see the girls so enamored of the dog.  Thing 2 likes to grab either side of his furry neck and rub her face in his.  They tell him about every five minutes when they're around him how cute he is.  I hope they still love him when he loses his puppy charm and just becomes a big hairy dog.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holy Cow! It seems to work!

(Did I mention that Hubby is Brilliant!?)  He's the one who told me to try Firefox.

Okay.  The other thing worth mentioning is the puppy.

Kelly left a wonderful comment in reply to Gravity's kind comment asking about the dog... Thanks, Kels.  It's nice to think we're not just mooning over our new puppy, he really is a sweetie.

This is Kelso and Tadaki.

It's hard to get a good perspective on how big Kelso is without a person next to him.  He looks small next to Tadaki, but Tadaki's a regular sized lab... and he is closer to the camera.  Tadaki looks pretty big there.

Naming our puppy was a pain. He was 'Good Boy!' and "Puppy" for a week. The girls were so excited to take him to show and tell, but I insisted we couldn't take him until he had a name.  They were voting for food names, "Waffle" was a front runner for a while, followed by "Caramel," and "Maple."  Hubby was voting traditional names.  I think Scout was his front runner.
I was voting Scottish names.  I found a website that was quite helpful.  Had I not been completely voted down, he would have been named "Tavish" but in retrospect that wouldn't be as good to bellow across the dog park.  Not enough good vowel sounds.  And Thing 1 didn't like it because it sounds like "Radish" and she doesn't like radishes.
Kelso is the name of a town in Scotland, close to the English border.  I don't know if I've ever been there, but I liked the word.  I don't watch "That 70s Show" so I didn't know until after we'd pretty much settled on it that it is also Ashton Kutcher's character on the show.  Oh well.

It looks like he's wearing one of  those weird elizabethan ruffle collars there.

So the funny story is I'm not the only one who had trouble naming their dog.  Also, Kelso isn't the only collie on the block.  It's kind of strange that I had such a hard time finding collie puppies in the state, which helped my indecision about a dog (yeah I like them, but we have to pay $350 to ship it here!), yet there is a full grown one two houses away. People (including the owners of the other collie in the neighborhood) have told me that Kelso is the first collie puppy they've ever seen.  You don't find them a lot around here.  Maybe because they're big, comparatively, for the little houses in this neighborhood?  But I saw a Great Pyranees puppy Trick or Treating, and we play with a Bull Mastiff puppy on the playground, so who knows.

But back to the dog naming.  The other collie, who hopefully we'll have puppy playdates with someday when Kelso is big enough to hold his own and not just get mauled like he was the first visit, is named Windex.  Yep.  Why Windex, you ask?
Because they had named him Simba after he got all of his body shaved but his head - he was a rescue dog and was a mess when they got him the only way to deal with it was to shave him.  But the name just wasn't fitting.  She said they eat dinner on the glass topped coffee table sometimes, and she left something on the table only to come back and find it completely disappeared, and not only were there no crumbs, but the dog was thoroughly cleaning the table.  She told him, "You're better than Windex!"  He threw his head back, and grinned, and she knew he'd found his name.

We weren't nearly so dramatic.  I basically got tired of looking for names, Kelso seemed as reasonable as anything else... "He Who Must Not Be Named," or "Voldemort" for short was brilliant on the part of my brother in law, but it wasn't sticking.  "Quandry" was a possibility, but seemed a little odd...  And I wasn't coming up with anything else.  So Kelso it is.

There.  A big ramble about dog  names.  Your reward for reading this far is another photo.

He's not dirty, his white ruff just doesn't go all the way around.  It kind of brown-grays out on his left.  We'll just have to see what he looks like when he grows into his coat.

We kind of settled on collies because they were one of the bigger dogs I had been considering, and Hubby likes big dogs.  I've also really liked them ever since Lassie, though the only ones I'd ever seen in person were a couple of old ones I saw once when I was in High School, and then a few glimpses of my neighbors when we were walking.

To give you some perspective of how big he is... here is a shot with the girls on Halloween.  remember he's 3 months old.  His father was 100 pounds.  We'll see how big he gets.

 I don't want to be one of those people who has no life outside of their pet - NOT THAT THERE's ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT... so I hope to not ramble on too much about him in the future.  But I feel I deserve a little rambling, since he's relieved himself on my floor more days than he hasn't... I can be a little obsessed since most of my indoor time is watching him, or sniffing after him. 

Change to Firefox

Let's see if this works.  The only way I know to test it is, well, to test it.

We had a great Halloween.  Thing 1 wanted to go as a bat.  I found a bat costume on line that involved ripping apart an umbrella, it worked out pretty well but I couldn't get her ears to stand up.

Thing 2 was Cinderella.  She looked absolutely lovely. The problem is Cinderella did not go out in her little ball gown on late October mountain evenings.

  She was warm enough for the school carnival, but I didn't want to cover up the beautiful costume her grandmother made her for trick or treating, so I made her a cape.


Don't want to ramble on because it will just frustrate me to no end if I lose this post too... but it's letting me put in pictures, so let's give it a try..