Sunday, March 25, 2012

TMT is alive and kicking!

But I'm very late. Oh well, I can still play along!

And this week's questions:

1. Where were you born? Did you grow up there?
2. How did you come to end up living where you are now?
3. What is the most unusual trick you have taught your dog? Or the most unusual animal you have taught tricks?
4. What is the most unusual food you enjoy?
5. I know this has been asked before, but I'm always looking for a great book to read so what was the last book you read? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

So here we go!
1. Where were you born? Did you grow up there?

I was born and raised in a little place called Fairview Beach in King George County, VA. Fairview Beach is along the Potomac River, and King George is east of Fredericksburg. After graduating college I lived in Frederciksburg for probably 15 years, so I stayed close to home for a good part of my adult life.

2. How did you come to end up living where you are now?

That's a bit of a long and convoluted story, but I left Fredericksburg for northeastern North Carolina the year after my mother died (so this would be 1999). I had a sister living in that general area and I needed to get away from where I was. I worked in that area and in Hampton Roads, VA for a few years, then in 2005 took a job in Durham and moved to the central part of the state. I have lived in several locations since then, and although I'd like to move back to VA, somehow I seem to be stuck in NC.

3. What is the most unusual trick you have taught your dog? Or the most unusual animal you have taught tricks?

I can't claim to have taught any of my animals any tricks that would be considered especially special....

4. What is the most unusual food you enjoy?

That's a tough one. I like a lot of different cuisines and I'm always open to trying new things. Around here, that's a bit tough--if I want something interesting, I have to drive to the Triangle area, which I don't often do.

5. I know this has been asked before, but I'm always looking for a great book to read so what was the last book you read? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

Now this is one I can answer. I recently read Jennifer Nivens' Velva Jean Learns to Drive and Velva Jean Learns to Fly and enjoyed them both immensely. Velva Jean is from the North Carolina mountains, so the nearby locale of the story also gave added interest. Before those it was Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. I don't remember the author right off the top of my head, but it was a FUN read, and if you're at all a Jane Austen fan, you'll probably like it. Let's see, I just finished The Sixth Extinction. The story was intersting, but the writing was a bit florid for my taste, almost like the author was trying too hard to be descriptive. But although the writing style annoyed me at times, the story was still good. And the book I just finished is Restoration, by Olaf Olafsson. It's the story of two women in Italy during WWII. Both are ex-pats, one an English society woman who has given that life up to restore a crumbling villa with her Italian husband, the other an Icelandic artist who finds her greatest skill is restoring old masterpieces. The come together after Rome is taken by the Allies and Kristin, the restorer appears at Alice's doorstep. As they face the retreating German army, they both have secrets they wrestle with--secrets that could change their fates and those of the people who have come to depend on them. I would definitely recommend this book. In fact, if I had to recommend just one of these books, it would be Restoration (okay, and Definitely Not Mr. Darcy if you want a lighthearted read). I've just started The Cat's Table, by Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient and Anil's Ghost). It's too early to say much, but I've been drawn right in, and that's a good sign! Okay, I'll stop now. I admit, for me books are like crack.

Thanks for taking over TMT Jaenne!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stream of consciousness TMT

So rather than Q&A this week I'd like to know whatever random tidbits you might have on your mind today.

In honor of Laura's request for random tidbits, I'm just going to post things as they pop into my head.

* Puppies who put holes in old dogs' heads, especially right over their eyes, might just have to have some sense knocked into them (though it seems said put-upon dogs are trying, to no avail).

* Why is it that when I offer my friends eggs because I'm being overrun with them that other people suddenly come out of the woodwork wanting to buy eggs? Is it some sort of cosmic "I only want it if someone else wants it" thing?

* I wonder if Chili Pepper is happy that I set her on a towel on the windowsill in my bedroom so she could enjoy the fresh air and watch the chickens, or if she's just too feeble to bother to get herself down (even though I left a little step stool there just for that purpose).

* It irks me to have to do many loads of laundry knowing that more rain is forecast for the morning and everything I cleaned (well, as clean is it can get in my less-than-stellar HE washing machine) will likely be muddied again.

* Kestrel can stand both ears up, so why doesn't she just leave them that way???

* I wonder how Willow really feels. I wonder the same thing about Jill.

* I wish ticks the world over would drop off the face of the earth. I figured out that the dogs are excavating the yard because we no longer take nice long walks in the woods. I miss those walks and I know the dogs do too. Not to mention that if I ever move from here, it will likely take several dump truck loads to fill the tiger pits in the back yard. Where does the dirt go?

* I have some set out jobs coming up and wonder how I'll afford the gas to get there and back home again.

* Why can't I have an endless supply of chocolate and never get fat from eating it all?

* Could someone please give me a lifetime supply of Cadbury mini eggs? Or even a week's supply (that amount would be relative, I suppose).

* If I'm really, really nice for an extended period of time, would the cosmos send me a decent, enjoyable job?

* I wish I could figure out a way to farm full time and still make a living.

* I wish for patience. Probably the rest of the world wishes for me to have patience too.

* Grow, grass, grow!

I could go on, but the other things that are on my mind mostly fall into the category of things unprintable!

Sadie says, "Don't be an ass!"

* Why, yes, if gum balls were a commodity, I'd be RICH!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who misses a week now and then!

So I actually have some breathing space from freelance work, short-lived though it may be. And what am I going to do with that little bit of free time? Well, play Tell Me Thursday, of course!

1. What blogging tip would you give other dog-bloggers?

That's a tough one. I don't think very many strictly dog people follow my blog. In fact, I don't think very many people, period, follow my blog. Not to mention the fact that I seem to go AWOL from the blog from time to time. I guess my tip would be that if you're going to put yourself out there with training ideas, etc., develop a thick skin, because there will always be folks who disagree with you and who are willing to say so, loudly and not so kindly. Sorry, that's the best I can do, lol!

Well, and not specific to dog blogs, but if there's any chance someone like your boss or disliked co-worker would read your blog, watch what you say!

2. If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take five things with you (aside from the clothes on your back), what would they be?

Does a sheep flock count as one thing? And a chicken flock as another? With those two things, I could certainly feed myself and the dogs and cats, who of course would come with. (Dogs and cats count as one thing, too, right? Under the general heading of household pet?) For the rest, probably books and chocolate, each of which also counts as one thing, no matter how much of each I actually have. lol! I guess I better be traveling on a container ship full of all my stuff if I'm going to get stranded....

3. How much pain are you willing to endure in the name of physical appearance? Do you have painful things done to enhance beauty?

You're asking me? The one who has gone native? Enhance? Does that mean something like not wearing my highwater sweats with the holes in the crotch but instead choosing something less white trash to wear? Or perhaps changing my clothes more often? That could be painful, having to bend and stoop and search through my dresser drawers for something else to wear.

Oh, you mean something like painful procedures. Well, it is a pain to shave after all. And the longer you put it off, the more painful the act of remedying the situation is, so best just to avoid it altogether. At least until the weather turns warm enough that you don't want to lose the few friends you have by appearing in public with them as that great hairy sasquatch woman. Well I can fix that; I just won't go out in public with any of you.

The only pain I'm willing to endure is the pain that comes with exercise, though it's clear to anyone who knows me that I haven't been experiencing much of that sort of pain lately either!

4. Speed limits... how fast do you drive? Do you drive Miss Daisy? Do you do the Indy 500 to work?

Ahem, I think I've actually passed the two-year limit on speeding tickets, for once. I wouldn't swear to it though. It's amazing how working from home and not being able to afford to go anywhere can save one on speeding tickets. lol! Oh, and when I do drive, I try very hard to emulate Daisy, er, Laura and keep it down to a dull roar. (Okay, Laura and a dull roar probably is an oxymoron!)

5. What trial (that you go to) is your favorite, and why?

That's a no brainer for me. There are a lot of trials I like, but my absolute most favorite is Donald McCaig's. I'm prefectly happy to make the long drive and live without cell service for the weekend in order to relax with the dogs by the Cowpasture River; spend nights gazing at the stars, which are surely more abundant there, in God's country, than anywhere else on the planet; and just revel in the peacefulness and beauty of the place. If I could figure out a way to squat there permanently, I'd be living in Highland County right now. And, yep, it's the kind of place where you could go native and no one would notice.