Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Warning: Spider Story

No spiders were harmed in the writing of this tale, though two humans and a dog nearly were.

Yesterday, DD, Dd and I were driving home from school when I saw a movement on the frame of my door. I jumped and grabbed at my heart, giving a little yelp. Understandable, right, when something is moving where it shouldn't be.

It was a spider. Not a very big one, and I'm not really spider phobic, but I didn't want the thing dropping on my head, so I kept blowing on it to make it freeze in place until I could pull over and put him outside.

Apparently, he decided he'd deal with the wind, though, and started making his way up the frame and close to where my head was. This was unacceptable and I picked up a pack of cough drops I had nearby and put it up where he was to block him.

That didn't work, so I decided it was time for him to take his chances with the great outdoors and rolled down my window, then tried to brush him out (yes, I was driving the entire time... ::hangs head in shame:::).

That was when he dropped ... dangling above me from a silken thread.

I screamed like a little girl and whapped at him. He landed on the door frame and scurried into a crack.

Finally, I was able to pull off the road and get him the h-e-double toothpicks OUT OF MY CAR. But even that was a trial. First I had to find him. Then I had to make him understand that he would be much better outside. He disagreed. Finally, though, he fell on the floor mat and I picked it up and shook it off outside, then leaped into the car and took off before he could hitch a ride again.

I know, I know -- I could have squished him, but honestly that never occurred to me until after all the drama. I'm a catch and release kinda gal, so it didn't enter my thought stream at all.

I do wonder what all the cars that passed me on the side of the road thought, though.

So that was my excitement yesterday. Anything exciting happen with you that you'd like to share?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cool school!

What an amazing and very different school we visited yesterday. They actually own the entire little residential street they're on and the classes are held in different houses. Two of the houses are HUGE because of additions they students built (not the current students -- though, they're doing building as well, an addition for another private school in a different town). There are a few outbuildings they built, too, all post and beam and stained glass (beautiful pieces also created by the students, who apparently also make it for various other schools, churches and other buildings).

Everything is very casual, possibly due to the "home" feel of the place and the fact they have to walk outside from place to place (it's quite rural). There's a dress code, but it's not strict. Jeans are allowed and T-shirts, but nothing too short, too tight or too skimpy which works for me. The "feel" is sort of a cross between regular school and homeschool. Class size will be bigger there, but not a lot. Her current school's high school classes run 3 - 5 students. This place averages 10 - 12, a good size.

DD is excited about much of it. Nervous, too, but she's not really super happy where she is, has struggled to make friends (most of the kids there have gone to school together for years) and is pretty sold on the new school. I told her SHE needed to decide what was going to work best for her.

Dru had asked yesterday if she has to test, etc. to be enrolled or if they'll automatically take her. We have to fill out the application, get copies of her report card and references from teachers and mentors and she'll have to shadow a day there (thankfully they're in sessions when DD is off on spring break in a few weeks, so we'll do it then). Her current school required her to test to make sure she could do the work for the grade we wanted her enrolled in. I imagine this one will, too.


In other news, I swear winter has returned. We had 30 - 50 MPH all day yesterday, so bad it grabbed my storm door last evening and flung it open, hard. Didn't break the glass, or the door itself, but yanked the bottom whoosie-whatsit (the thing that controls how fast it closes) right out of the frame and bent it neatly in half, breaking the plastic cover and twisting the metal.

We had to chase down our lawn chairs and garbage can (why is it always windy on garbage day?) as well as my pooper scooper and some other things that stay outside. It's bitterly cold, impossible to walk in or even stay out in for more than a couple minutes. And it's just as cold and windy today. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'm guessing this wind is blowing in that front. Hopefully then it will stop. But my dog is bouncing off the walls.

The joy of New Hampshire.


Monday, March 26, 2012

School Choices

This morning we're checking out a new high school as a potential landing place for DD. Yes, her current school has a high school and, yes, we've been invited to return next year but I'm not sure it's a perfect fit for her. It's a very, very small school with few extracurricular opportunities. We found that out in spades this year as the canceled middle school basketball because enough people weren't participating -- and the high school is even smaller.

The school we're looking at is closer, very rural and rustic (it's held in a huge old house/barn) and has about 50 students in the high school. DD's current school has about 15.

They really celebrate what it is to live in NH -- with lots of outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, etc. plus their girl's basketball team won their division this year, so clearly there are enough students. They offer project-based learning (last year the kids built a post and beam house and held a miniture victorian faire, for instance).

We'll see how the meeting goes, but it feels right so far and DD is sort of excited, too. It helps that her BFF is probably going to be going back into homeschooling next year, so she isn't a factor as to where DD goes.

Other than that, our weather is back to normal for this time of year... COLD. Highs in the low 50s, lows in the 20s with light frost. *sigh* Those 80 degree temps spoiled me rotten.

Hope you had a good weekend! Trying to get to blogs ... visited a few this morning and will try to hit a few more this afternoon.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Theme Song

When "Now and Forever" was rejected by Samhain, the editor mentioned that she found my hero a bit rude and rough around the edges (though she loved some secondary characters AND the storyline ... which is why I'm still gobsmacked she didn't invite a resubmit, but that's neither her nor there). She was right, to a certain extent. He's a man's man (I actually modeled him a bit after my DH). He doesn't "go to the bathroom" he "takes a leak" or "hits the head". He's rough and tumble, wears jeans, works on cars and doesn't mince words.

Today, I was listening to the radio, and his theme song came on. I had to share it with you.

Of course, that got me thinking about Mena, my heroine ... what would HER theme song be? She's such a romantic. She's sweet, (mostly) mild-mannered and a believer in forever.

This is the song that popped into my head:

I can't wait until I'm able to share these two with you. The cover is being worked on as we speak. I have two scenes to add to the story and then I'll send it to a friend for a look-see for typos and gross errors.

Then it'll be ready. I hope.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


We've had weather in the high 70s all week. I've raked, weeded and admired my early spring blooms.

I've walked and picked ticks (I now refer to my walks by number of ticks -- today I had a fourteen tick walk, yesterday's walk was a nine tick walk -- oh, and to those of you who mentioned Skin So Soft, though you're right, Dakota is VERY sensitive to scent, which is why I can't use citronella and natural tick repellant that smells like cloves).

What I haven't done is figure out how to multiply hours.

I need a clone.

How are you doing? I'm trying to visit at least a few blogs every day. I may not get caught up, but I'll be less behind.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend In Review

Was a busy weekend. Yesterday was absolutely stunning -- almost 70 degrees and bright sunshine. I did some raking of leaves from my gardens, dug up about 1000 baby violas (aka "Johnny Jump-Ups") that were spreading into the lawn. I pull these like weeds every year, but can't get rid of them ... it's wild. I think they should come with a warning label at the nursery.

Didn't get as much done as I would have liked, but still spent several hours outside in the lovely weather.

With the heat come the bugs, though, and Dakota is already having tick problems. I finally broke down and tried a topical tick medication, FiproGuard Plus for Dogs from Sentry/Sergeant's Pet Care. I bought it at my local Agway, and it's supposed to be comparable to Frontline. I know Vectra burns Dakota's skin, so we can't use it, but thought I'd give this a try.

I applied it on Friday morning at about 9 a.m. -- right before a walk. I put it on the back of her neck and down her shoulders, as directed. Though it didn't bother her on the walk (I suspect she was sufficiently distracted), she spent the rest of the day pacing and fussing. I don't know if it burned her skin (it wasn't pink like it had been with Vectra), or if it was the smell, which was pretty noticeable, even to me.

This morning, 48 hours after applying the stuff, I found TWO fully engorged ticks embedded under her collar. They'd been there for at least a couple of days and were alive an kicking (ew, ew, ew). I pulled them out -- one left a HUGE lump and scab -- and then promptly got on my computer and emailed the company. I'm furious. Not only was my dog stressed by the meds for a good twelve hours, BUT IT DIDN'T EVEN WORK.

We'll see what they have to say.

In the meantime, I guess I'll be going to back to checking for ticks every time she's outside, frequent combing and bathing and much crossing of fingers.

I have a love/hate relationship with spring.

How was your weekend.

Oh, and because I know someone will ask, I'm still not really well. The coughing is less now, but my throat aches again. Still, I'm not as completely exhausted as I was there for a while, so I think it's a win. Eventually the rest will go away. I can't be sick forever.


You Are Teal Green

You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.

Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.

While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.

Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.

... making the impossible, possible. I thought that was my biz partner, Judy (aka The Goddess). It's right here on her bio.


Friday, March 16, 2012

This and That

Spring is definitely here. Although it was cooler (down in the 50s) the last couple of days, this weekend will be in the 70s. I went out yesterday and raked leaves out of part of my woods garden so the daffodils can come up -- the foliage is already a good four inches tall!

I love spring. It's a time of possibility and the start of green growing things. It's not the lazy days of summer, when the garden is in and needs almost no tending. It's the busy time: cleaning, planting, pulling weeds. It invigorates me.

I'm still sick, but on the mend, I think. I'm just healing very, very, VERY slowly. I must have picked up some super germ and my typically uber-strong white blood cells are fighting a difficult foe. They're winning, but I suspect their own losses are extreme. And yes, I can see it like a little movie in my head -- white soldiers with swords up against black and olive green ones. Lots of yelling and bloodshed. Thankfully, they have no cavalry or that would get uncomfortable. *G*

I still haven't done much blog-hopping (I opened Google reader yesterday, screamed at the numbers and closed it again). Next Monday, I'm determined to feel well enough to truly get back to my routine.

Hope everyone is fine -- I try to peek in on Facebook now and then to see my friends. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Dog Dish with Kriffle

We have a slightly different Dog Dish interview today -- for the first time, Dakota interviewed a fictional character!

We're welcoming Australian author Jonathan Gould to the blog today on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. He's a humor author and has written two fun books: "Flidderbugs" and "Doodling". He'll be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to someone who comments during the tour, so make sure you leave a note!

And now ... please welcome Kriffle, the central character in Flidderbugs

It’s lovely to talk to you today, Kriffle. Firstly, can you tell me exactly what is a Flidderbug?

That’s a good question. Well firstly, I guess we’re bugs. That bit's pretty easy. We have six legs, and big, googly eyes, and long, wiggly antennae, and we live on the Krephiloff Tree. Secondly, we flidder.

Ok, that’s not very helpful. Can you tell me what is a…flidder?

I don’t know. I never really thought about it before. It’s just what we do. Maybe it’s a bit like a flittery fiddle. Or perhaps it’s more like a fiddly flitter. Come to think of it, it could be more like a fluttery dither. One of my friends thought it might be a little bit like a twittery twitter but I don’t think it’s anything like that at all.

Maybe it’s best if we move on to more interesting things. What do Flidderbugs like to eat?

Klummerflies are our very favourite food. They’re crisp and savoury and very crunchy. My mother makes the finest tasting Klummerfly broth on our side of the Krephiloff Tree. Flidderbugs come fliddering from faraway branches just to breathe in the aroma.

That’s the second time you’ve mentioned the Krephiloff Tree. What on earth is a Krephiloff Tree?

The Krephiloff Tree is our home. It’s the only place where you’ll ever find us Flidderbugs.

What’s it like?

I don’t know what it’s like. It just is. It has a big trunk, and in the middle of the trunk is the Fleedenhall where the Fliddercouncil meets. I’ve been there lots, because my father is head of the Triplifers – that’s one of the two main tribes of Flidderbugs. The other tribe is the Quadrigons, but we won’t mention them. They’re our arch-enemies.

Why don’t you like them?

Because they’re horrid and rude and they have no idea how many points there are on a leaf.

How many points there are on a leaf? Is that important?

Of course it is. It’s the single most important thing in the world to us Flidderbugs. Not that it’s a complicated question. We all know the answer is three, don’t we?

I’ll take your word for it. I have just a few more questions to ask if you don’t mind?

Sure. Go ahead.

Six legs or four – which is better?

Definitely six. I don’t know how you possibly cope with so few legs. With all the leaves around here, I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere.

Which is worse, flyspray or a bug-catcher?

They both sound pretty nasty. I think I’d have to go with the bug-catcher. At least flyspray would be quick. Being stuck in a bug-catcher would be like being exiled from the Krephiloff Tree. I don’t think I could live with that.

Have you ever owned a pet?

Well once I had a pet Klummerfly. Actually, I’ve had a number of pet Klummerflies. They never seem to survive for long. I guess it’s because they just taste so good.

Again, I’ll just have to take your word for it. Kriffle, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for your time and all the best for the upcoming election.

Thank you. We’ll need it.

As Kriffle the Flidderbug investigates why his fellow 'bugs find it impossible to agree on the pressing issue of how many points there are on the leaves of the tree on which they live, he finds that the truth is more complicated, and ultimately more terrifying, than he ever could have imagined.

Flidderbugs is a political satire, a modern fable, or maybe just a funny little story about a bunch of insects with some very peculiar obsessions.

Neville Lansdowne fell off the world.

Actually, he did not so much fall off as let go. The world had been moving so quickly lately and Neville was finding it almost impossible to keep up.

Doodling is an engaging comic fantasy which relates the events that befall Neville after he finds himself abandoned by the world and adrift in the middle of an asteroid field. Douglas Adams meets Lewis Carroll (with just a touch of Gulliver's Travels) as Neville wanders through his new home, meeting a variety of eccentric characters and experiencing some most unexpected adventures.

He calls his stories "dag-lit" because they're the sort of stories that don't easily fit into the standard genres. Some might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.

Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).


And he's only just entered this world of social networking - so if you meet him somewhere out there, please be nice to him.!/jonno_go

Purchase Doodling from:
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
KoboSony Bookstore

Purchase Flidderbugs from:
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
Sony Bookstore

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


But still not well.

I'm not sure what this thing is I have, but it's miserable and apparently lingers forever. It's not a cold, exactly, but mostly a really bad, non-productive cough. I'm also being cursed with severe headaches every morning when I wake up. Coughing, of course, only makes them worse. It also exhausts me, so I have very little energy.

I don't like to complain, so I've mostly just been quiet. But I've had some folks email me so thought I'd let you know that I'm still alive, just unable to fuction well. I'm doing those things I *must*, but everything else has fallen to the wayside.

I haven't visited any blogs in a week. I've tried to check Facebook for those of you there to keep up with what's going on if I can -- it's quicker and easier than blog-hopping.

It's been extremely frustrating because it looks like spring is here early and I'm itching to get out in my yard and start cleaning up. I want to rake the leaves out of my woods garden and let the daffodils bloom. I need to pull up the dead stuff, see what's coming back and start making plans for what might be an early veggie garden. It was 70+ degrees here yesterday. In early March! All indications are that official "ice out" might be as early as next week.

And I'm sick. I'm also sick of being sick.

So ... that's my check in. I'm sorry I haven't been around much, but as I said, I'm really just doing what I must and all other things have fallen to the wayside.

Hopefully, I'll mend soon and get back to normal!


Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring is springing

I still may feel like crap on toast (in fact, I feel worse today than I did yesterday which is a horrifying thought), but spring is coming. I have proof! My crocus are blooming:

Other than that, I'm doing the bare minimum of work on the computer and trying to rest. Because OY VEY I don't feel good.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012


How is it fair that my first week back to routine I get seriously sick? Everything hurts... I got the chills really bad around eleven last night, shivered under a pile of blankets for an hour before I finally nodded off, then woke up sweating buckets at one a.m. My muscles ache, my joints ache, my throat is killing me, I'm congested ... I dozed on and off until about 3:45 a.m. until it simply hurt too much to stay in bed.

Got up, took ibuprophen, took the dog out and here I am.

I'm supposed to be blogging at the All Day / All Night Writing Divas. It's not up yet, but hopefully I'll manage something coherent soon. Please come visit.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Office

I moved my office over the weekend. I actually had my office in the room over the garage that we refinished four years ago, but never used it. It just wasn't in a good place for me -- really isolated, no door and you had to walk through the master bedroom to get there, so in the morning I'd have awakened DH to work.

I spent the last four years working primarily at the dining room table and used the office for storage.

This made DH just a little crazy. Okay, a LOT crazy. I told him if I had my druthers (I love that non-word) I'd move the office to the spare bedroom and make my old office into a craft area. So I'm working on that.

The critters are terribly confused. We had a routine, the cat, the dog and I. They knew where to sit, what to do. Now they don't. In the morning, it's not a problem for the dog. She used to go crash on the spare bedroom bed when I got up anyway. But the cat? Yesterday morning she kept coming upstairs and then YOWLING at the top of her lungs. I tried letting her into the room. That didn't work. Chased her downstairs. That didn't work. Three times she came upstairs and YOWLED. So I locked her back up in the basement.

This morning I brought her into the office and closed the door. She's not settled at all, is pacing and sniffing. But she's NOT yowling, so I'm happy.

I'm not settled in yet. I prefer working at the dining table, and if DH wasn't part of the equation, I would be. It's more practical and easier for me to multi-task. But he is part of the equation, and I'll figure it out.

Where do you work?


Speaking of Office Space ... here's my favorite scene (it's poorly recorded but I quote this regularly):

Have a good day!


Monday, March 05, 2012

Of Ice and Pigs

Had an interesting weekend. Long. Never could remember what day it was because DH was home on Thursday, so it felt like Friday and messed me up the rest of the time.

We got a lot of snow, and despite the fact it rained on Saturday, we still have quite a bit of snow. I don't expect it will last since it's supposed to warm up significantly this week. The annual competition to guess when "ice-out" will be declared on Lake Winnipesaukee is underway. I've always guessed April 24th (DD's birthday), and while I've never been exactly right, it's been close. This year though? I'd be more inclined to guess April Fool's Day. I won't complain if we have an early spring.

In other news, DD earned enough money to buy an Angry Birds plush pig. She LOVES the Angry Birds pigs (I bought her a plush pencil topper this past week, too, as a surprise -- he's "PJ" for Pig Junior, because the big pig is just "Pig"). She loves her pig and tells me regularly. He goes to school with us in the morning and then comes to pick her up in the afternoon. Here's Pig waiting patiently for DD to get out of school:

And a few days ago, my mom gave DD a couple of beanie hats she had. DD immediately bequeathed them to Pig:

Yesterday, at fairly regular intervals, she'd find me where I was working and we'd have THIS coversation:

DD: "You know what?"

Me: "What?"

DD: "I have a pig."

Me: "True."

DD: "He has a hat."

Me: "Yep."

DD: "Pig is cute."

Me: "He is."

DD: "I love pigs."

And she'd trot off with a smile.

How was your weekend?


Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday and Pictures

DH stayed home yesterday ... he has a 45 mile commute daily, and while it normally takes him over an hour, when the weather is bad (and we got a foot of snow yesterday -- most since "snowtober") it can take 3 - 4 hours.

Here was my deck midday:

Here was me midday:

I'm so completely buried in work I can barely breathe. Forgive me for only visiting sporadically this week. If I ever get caught up, I'll be back.

In other news, DD complained of her ears popping painfully all day yesterday and even woke me up at 3 a.m. saying her ears popped and hurt. What is that? Anyone?

Have a good weekend!


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Snow and the Sicks

DD had me scared a bit yesterday -- she's just never really sick (except the occasional cold), so when she suddenly complained of a heavy head, nausea, chills and more yesterday I was uneasy.

However, this morning she feels fine. I'm guessing it was something she ate. :::wipes brow:::

I did discover that I don't own a thermometer. I've not needed one the entire time I've had the kidlet, which is pretty amazing. But she never got sick, not really sick.

We finally got snow. It's been a crazy, crazy winter with little to no snow the entire time. While I don't mind not having to drive in it, the snow does serve many purposes, including insulation. We're worried about our grass and I lost several perennials last year because of no snow, so I'm thinking the same might be true again this year.

Worse, my bulbs are coming up and it's just TOO early. I even have some crocuses that were getting ready to bloom, and while the snow wouldn't kill the plant, it would kill the flower.

So ... now you see it:

Now you don't:

So far we've gotten about 6" but it's still snowing, which probably means DH will work from home.

And on that note -- I have to go. The first of the month is a bit of a nightmare for me over at LASR!

Have a great day.