Monday, November 2, 2009

My Outside Cat Houses

...yes, you read the subject line right. I've just finished (well, with a little help from my son and grandson) making winter houses for my outside cats. I found the idea online and just changed it a bit.

Front porch kitten - Boots (he's about 7 months old now), lost his brother a couple of weeks ago and has become MUCH more loving since he's basically alone. He comes inside occasionally to visit with the skin grandkids, but the inside cats are not impressed with his presence. He's a great mouser and hopefully will stick close to the front porch instead of going out in the road like his brother did.

Here's Boots, lounging in the sunshine after supervising the placement of his new house.

Anyway, did some online research and found an idea for feral cat houses - my outside cats aren't feral - but they are outside. Take two rubbermaid containers, one larger than the other, put cut insulation between them and cut a hole in one end. And, that's sorta what we did.

Used the two containers, however, son got some spray insulation to go between the two instead of a big sheet to cut. You spray it in, it expands and hardens (and makes a mess). So that worked, however, I was concerned that the inside walls (plastic tub) wouldn't be warm, so I put flannel on the interior and covered a piece of foam with flannel for the bed.

This is looking down inside with the lids off.

I then glued foam on the interior lid for top insulation.

The finished product now sits behind the front porch glider and Boots has already inspected the inside, so I'm confident he'll be a happy camper on cold nights.

Then, there's Halloween. She's an almost 15 year old barn cat who moved to the back deck a couple of years ago. Basically had a bed in a box there, but not really a nice winterized house, and she's not getting any younger.

She hasn't been very enthusiastic about her box there since son & family came with their large, old lab who barks at her. I feed her on top of the bbq table on the deck and she stays when large dog isn't in site. If she would just hiss and slap him once he'd leave her alone. She and Belle get alone great. She has been sleeping back at the barn since large dog arrived, but I wanted her to have the option of the back deck if she chooses.

Anyway, back to her bed. There isn't room for the double box where it can be be protected from large dog, and, the back deck is more protected than the front porch, so I improvised. Got one rubber tub (same size as interior tub in front), a foam mattress pad and some flannel. Lined the entire interior with the foam covered in flannel. Made her a 'really' soft interior bed and glued foam to the inside top of her house. Another hole in the end and 'hopefully' she's set.
This piece of foam is glued on the inside of her top. Same mattress foam that's on the top of Boot's house, and what I covered with flannel for the inside of Halloween's house

Looking at the finished product

This is with the camera inside the little hole, so what she has is comfty and should be relatively warm.

It's put in a fairly protected spot on the shelf of the bbq table, so hopefully she'll actually use it. The back deck has two house walls and while the north side of the deck is open, there's another 'leg' of the house not far away, so it's pretty protected from wind.

She usually shows up at night, so I'll 'encourage' her to check it out tonight. The fan is wedged between the table and bbq grill to give her some added security from large dog.

I had priced exterior, insulated pet houses and the prices were prohabitive for my budget. The cost of both of these houses was around $30 (not including two bottles of spray insulation that son bought for larger house) and that breaks down: 3 rubber tubs-$12.00; flannel throw (cheaper than flannel by the yard)-$5; twin foam mattress pad (and I have a good bit left for future projects)-$13.

Maybe not as elegant looking, but much better than bought houses and I believe they'll be just as snug.

Oh, and I can take both apart easily to clean!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#2 son is 50 years old today

...and I still can't believe I'm old enough to have one son who's 50, let alone two.

This is the same son I went to Texas a couple of weeks ago to surprise - it was a great week. His older brother came out from St. Louis later in the week and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my oldest two sons (together - that doesn't happen often these days).

It was a great week. My daughter-in-law and grandkids worked really hard to surprise my son and they did a great job!!!

This is me with my two oldest sons. Birthday boy is on the left. Aren't they handsome?!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Texas surprise

I arrived in Texas yesterday afternoon for a surprise visit with my #2 son who will soon have his 50th birthday. Pretty handsome for a guy over the hill, don't you think.

My DIL wanted to REALLY surprise him, and surely we did.

He had called me yesterday afternoon - aren't cell phones wonderful! I sat on HIS front porch and talked to him and he had no idea I wasn't in Alabama.

When he got home from work I was sitting on the sofa and when he finally looked around and saw me, he was really surprised... "What are you doing here? I just talked to you on the phone"!!

So, we'll have a great week. It's kind of a treat to be someone's birthday gift :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Frosty is a cutie

I promised to post a photo after Frosty finally got groomer and then life got in the way and I didn't get it done. So here you are. Isn't he a cutie?

We're fighting the flea problem though. Of course, I have so many animals at home how that it's a definite challenge, but I'm determined.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Goat herding kittens

Who would have thought.

Well, at least now, the two resident front porch kittens are earning their keep.

First, Boots is a great mouser - though he refuses to share with his lazy brother, Firestar.

Or, we thought he was lazy till late yesterday afternoon. Here's the story....

Everyone was gone to various places except grandson Nathan who went to the kitchen for food (an activity he does a lot - he's a big growing football player). He heard a goat crying. You know, the 'help me I don't know what to do' cry. Sounded like it was coming from the front (shouldn't be coming from the front). Looked out and sure enough, "Darth Vader" (little black billy) was OUT of the pasture and near the road in front.

So, Nathan goes rushing out (barefoot) to try and get Darth Vader back in the pasture before the dumb little thing gets out in the road and gets run over. Opens the big gate and tries to herd the Darth Vader towards it. Darth Vader does not cooperate, runs into the woods beside the cemetery (at the edge of my front yard).

This chasing/herding goes on for a little while with no positive effects.

Suddenly - here comes Firestar flying off the porch, into the wooded area and part way up a pine tree. Darth Vader runs past and Firestar leaps out of the pine tree onto his back. Darth Vader goes tearing out of the wooded area towards the front porch. Boots comes flying off the front porch hissing and spitting. Darth Vader takes the path of least resistence and runs through the gate back into the pasture.

The goat herding kittens retire to the front porch to bask in their success.

Wish I had a video.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Traumatic day on Friday for Frosty

...but he did great. No grooming pics yet though. This is a long story, so either bear with me, or click away...

Frosty is 9 years old, a teacup toy poodle who is MY BABY, weighs 3-1/2 pounds and apparently has really "loose skin" (I didn't realize that).

Anyway, he'd gone to the same groomer since he was a teeny tiny puppy until a few months ago. She'd never had a really great personality, and Frosty had come home with shaver burns several times. I mentioned it to her (and mentioned a friend who'd taken a dog to her and had a really bad shaver burn) the last time he went there and she got really defensive and huffy and was just downright rude - AND Frosty didn't come home with a very good cut. So, I decided.... I don't need to pay someone money to be rude to me!!!

Looked around for another groomer - not too many in a small town - found a new one and thought I'd try her - can you say DISASTER!!!! Frosty came home with fleas and a bad shoulder which is still bothering him.

Soooo, still need a groomer. A new one opened up in Guntersville and I went by one day early last week and talked to her. Nice lady, very pleasant and cheery - nice clean place. Cute happy dogs there and she didn't want to keep him ALL day like the original one. Take him in at the appointment time, pick him up a couple of hours later.

His first appointment there was Friday, so I dropped him off on my way to work (10ish). She called a bit after 12noon for me to pick him up. Her voice sounded a bit strained on the phone, but I haven't talked to this lady on the phone, so....

When I got there about 10 minutes later, she was holding Frosty and when I walked in she burst into tears. Took me 5 minutes to calm her down enough to tell me what was wrong - I thought someone had died.

It seems when she was clipping Frosty, she nicked him on the right front elbow. She said he didn't cry and was really good, he had just flinched a bit. She double checked and could see the bone - she freaked. She immediately closed her shop and rushed him to the vet. My vet (she uses the same one) was closed on Friday for a long weekend, but fortunately there's another one in town, so she went there. They took them right in (emergency you know) and really thought it would be a good idea to put stitches in - but since they would have to put him to sleep to do that she declined. They did put in two staples (no idea why they could do that and not stitches, but what do I know). He was really good at the vet's too.

She's alternately telling me all this and sobbing and apologizing. She said because his skin was so loose, and he's so little it made it more difficult to cut him super short (which I'd requested).

Now, the reason I have him groomed so short is because he hates for me to brush him and he mats really easily. She didn't get to finish grooming him - no bath as the vet said not to get the staples wet.

The gist of this whole story is, he goes back next Friday to have the staples removed, then I'll take him back to her and she'll finish grooming him - AND she wants me to bring him in twice a week so SHE can comb him out and that way his fur can get longer.

Frosty doesn't seem any the worse for wear at all - he's bouncing around as usual (except for the right shoulder that's been giving him trouble from the previous groomer). I handled it okay - I wasn't mad and was really more concerned with her. IF she had been blase and defensive about it like the other groomer I would have been mad, but I've never seen anyone as upset over a mistake. Of course she paid the vet bill, and she's not charging me for the grooming or the weekly combing.

Think I've found my new groomer!!

btw - I'll post pictures after he's done next Friday :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The cat at Shepherd's Cove

Visited a friend at Shepherd's Cove today.

And in case you're wondering, Shepherd's Cove is a local Hospice facility. All of their offices are housed there and they have ten rooms for patients. Patients who can't be cared for at home, or for respite care for the caregivers. It's an absolutely gorgeous place.

Today was my first visit - it's been built since my dh died, but this is the same Hospice group that took care of him and they are WONDERFUL. I have no idea how I'd have made it without them.

Anyway, back to the facility. The patient rooms are huge and more like a room in your home than a patient room. Armoir with TV, sofa, comfy chair and double french doors that open to a private patio. There's also a 'family living room' complete with all the amenities, a small kitchen, dining area, etc. They even have a kids play room.

You can see some photos of the place here.

I was walking down the hall on my way to visit and looked over in one of the little sitting areas and what was laying on the coffee table but a HUGE cat. Now, I have cats at home, but it would take three of my cats to make this one - and on top of that he has lots of really long fur. He's gorgeous, super laid back, and refused to stand for a photo.

My picture isn't very clear, but you can get an idea of his size, those are normal size magazines on the table he's on.

Apparently he wanders the halls at will. And what a wonderful idea for patients and families to have a soft furry creature to pet.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Boy am I behind

.... and really trying to get caught up.

First, I had family visit earlier in August - that put me behind.

Then I had to work for 10 days straight (well almost, I was off on Sunday/Monday). I'm way too old for this full time working. I normally work 2 days a week in my local cross stitch shop (and love it). There's just the owner and me - and would you believe she had the nerve to go on vacation to Ireland.

And, there were doctor and dentist visits - which usually take up waaay too much time. I'm trying to adjust to a new partial and having to go back frequently for adjustments. This is not fun.

Sitting in the living room one night recently, too tired to do anything and looked across at this:
Does she look like she thinks she owns the place??

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trying to get back into cyber world...

... after having family visiting, working more than usual, and not feeling well.

My Texas son and his family were here for a long weekend, along with my daughter and her son. And of course, the son and his family who are living with me temporarily - boy, did we have a houseful. Three of my four kids and their families and all but one of my grandkids. Not sure if I'll ever have them all together at one time again - it's so difficult with jobs and kids activities. St. Louis son (the one who wasn't here) is planning on bringing his family around New Years, so I'm looking forward to that visit.

Here's a pic of all the ones who were here this time - the old lady in the midst is me. Otherwise though, they're a great looking bunch!!!

You know, on the rare occasion that I have a photo made of myself, I look at it and wonder "who is that". I don't feel old inside - well, I do this week - but not always. I must say though, living with teenagers again - in this day and age, REALLY does show me that I'm from a totally different generation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Facebook fans & family

I'm so excited (doesn't take much with me). I have 100 fans on my facebook page IrisOriginals and I have family coming today and Sunday.

Facebook pages much have 100 fans in order to secure their 'name' in the URL instead of the long one facebook automatically provides. Well, that can be a challenge, but thanks for my personal facebook friends and some of 'their' friends I've made it. My lovely daughter was a special help and kept asking her friends to fan me. Reached the magic number this morning. Thanks everyone. There's not a limit and I'd still LOVE to have more fans - so if you aren't already a fan, stop by and become one.

Now for the really important stuff. FAMILY! It's really a challenge for them all to be here at one time. Everyone has jobs/commitments/etc. Probably won't have them all together again till I die - maybe they'll all get to come to my funeral (though I hope that's not anytime real soon). But, I'll have three of my four children (who live all over the country) and seven of my eight grandchildren here for the weekend. Of course, there will be a fair number of bodies sleeping on the floor. I have a big house, but not quite that big.

So, the Texas contingent are hopefully already on their way - arriving tonight. Daughter and grandson from Tennessee will arrive on Sunday and youngest son (who's birthday was yesterday) and his family are currently living with me. Hopefully he's going to be doing the cooking for this crew - though he hurt his leg last night playing softball and it's quite swollen.

He's too old to be playing those games!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dentist this morning....

.... and Oncologist yesterday. And, I visited both alone! That's a major accomplishment for me.

The dentist was pretty easy. It was only for a fitting for my new partial, so they didn't really poke around or anything. Still stressful for me, but I survived and they were proud of me for coming alone.

Oncologist yesterday was okay too. Routine visit - and I've graduated to 6 months. YEA!!! Big, major goal reached.

Did a bit of shopping after each one and arrived home totally worn out. I just can't walk and shop anymore and what I need at WalMart is always on opposite ends of the store. I failed to check my list well enough and wound up not having one item, but not enough energy to walk the length of the store again.

My energy level is pretty low these days, so balance of today will be resting :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Red Carpet Dress for Barbie

...well, it's amazing. Guess they print those directions to machinery for a reason. (Did I mention, I hate reading directions.) But, I very patiently did - well, as patiently as I do anything. Took all the thread off my serger and starated from scratch. Followed each little step in the manual, checked all the settings and WALA - it's working again. I'm still not in love with it - though I love the way it finishes. They designed the darn thing for a Rocket Scientist to rethread and adjust, plus aside from the fact that the directions are written in four different languages, I'm convinced English was NOT the first language of the folks writing the manual.

Anyway, it's up and running again and I'm a much happier camper.

So, here's Barbie's new 'red carpet' dress. It fits "My Scene" and "Fashion Fever" Barbies. Took the photos in a hurry, so most didn't turn out well. Must take better photos before I list it in the shop, but I needed a break from the tedious job of working on the serger :)

I love this fabric - it's nice and sparkly ("I was going to take over the world, but I got distracted by something sparkly" - a favorite quote of mine stolen from my friend Jacki). The photos never do the really great fabric justice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I HATE my serger

Spent a good part of yesterday cutting out and sewing Barbie dresses. I do love making fancy Barbie outfits.

HOWEVER, my serger gave me a fit. I had to change the thread - hate doing that - and in the process, one thread broke which messed up the entire thing. I messed with that darned thing for over an hour and never did get it to doing what it's supposed to do. Finally left it and went with Plan B on the dress I was working on.

Thought maybe if I left it for a couple of days and then went back and started fresh re-threading and adjusting it would work. Maybe I was making a mistake and kept doing the same thing over and over. Anyway, I'm REALLY frustrated with it.

That dress turned out quite different than what I'd first envisioned though. You know, if you goof on one it's not normally a throw away, you just figure out another plan. This one wound up being a two pieced elegant gown. Not your typical elegant Barbie gown, but seeing some of the Hollywood stars and what they wear on the red carpets these days, it's right in style. I'll get a pic of it soon, too tired last night when I finished it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Computers and Kitties

My bottom is tired of sitting in this chair. Get started on a project though, and it's difficult to walk away from it. I've worked on facebook and a logo for a friend ALL day.

Well, all day except for the time I spent sitting out on the front porch petting the two new KITTIES who have showed up at my house.

Here they are relaxing with full tummies.

This is Boots (yeah, we've already named it). He/she (I can't be sure) is the shy one and really scary. I've already got it to let me pet it if I walk up to it slowly. This picture was made with it sitting right next to me.

Of course, I'm drawn to this one because it's so shy. Like I really need another cat.

The grandkids haven't been able to come up with an acceptable name for this one. It's all black with a touch of white on it's chest and way back on it's tummy. VERY friendly.

These little cuties were starving - about 2-3 months old and so cute. Here he (I think this one is a he - but again not sure) laying down - you can see the bit of white.

I don't need more kitties! I don't want to be the "old cat lady". Why do these keep appearing on my front porch??? My cats inside are having a fit.

Laura's Kitty (a grown orange and white one that showed up about a week ago that I've hopefully convinced Laura - a friend from church) to take).... isn't particularly pleased either.

And Halloween (my barn/back desk kitty) won't even come to the front porch with all these interlopers here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quiet Day

But sometimes those are nice.

I have a "Stitch Group" that meets at my house on Thursday afternoons - so that was my afternoon today. We're just a bunch of ladies (mostly from my church) who use cross stitch as an excuse to get together and eat goodies :)

Actually, there are only a couple of us who do cross stitch. One crochets and/or quilts, one does needlepoint, one does embroidery, and one of the younger gals (who doesn't come all the time) just comes for the fellowship.

We always have goodies - unfortunately, our main/best cook was out of town today, so we had to make do with store bought, except for some pretty good dip one lady brought.

It's a great time to just relax and fellowship. And, it makes me sit down and relax for an entire afternoon.

Frosty LOVES Stitch the Group ladies and knows exactly when it's time for me to put the coffee on. He begs for treats shamelessly, and is always rewarded with some.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Still tweaking...

...the new website Iris Originals - takes awhile for me to think of everything that needs to be done, links on other sites changed, etc. But, for the most part, I believe it's okay. I'm pleased with the look.

It's lovely and cool in Alabama - has been for several days - thought it was going to return to being July, but not yet. I love it! There will be plenty of hot left I'm sure.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New website

Well, I got a bug in my bonnet for a new website - really needed an 'umbrella' site as my list is growing steadly. Someone asks me for my website and I can't very well spout off half dozen names. SO... Iris Originals is here and live - or will be when GoDaddy figures out I'm not forwarding the name to my Etsy shop anymore. Oh, I still have the Etsy shop, it's one the links on the new site.

Actually, I got started thinking about this because my grandson asked me to advertise in their football program - and again, I didn't want to list 6 or 7 websites. Of course, once I got the idea in my head, I couldn't just wait till I actually had the time to work on it (of course, it might never have gotten done if I'd done that).

Actually, I'm still tweaking, but "I" really like the look. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What a day -

I've been fighting with facebook all day long. Finally got a business page set up, but had great difficulty getting it to do what I wanted it to do, or see what I wanted to see (though I must admit, part of that was my fault).

I should have walked away sooner.

But, it's there and I'd love for YOU to become a fan (box on the right).

Went to a local volunteer fire department open house this afternoon. I do their website and they are the owners of a brand spanking new truck (from a Grant), so they were anxious to show it off.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Well rats...

... the Walmart dishes won't work either. Colors are fine - size is NOT. Good thing I only bought the ones above to test. They'll go back.

I cannot believe some idiot designed dishes that will not fit a dishwasher. Am I the only one this is happening to. It seems all the "new" dinner plates are huge.

I've finally found a Pfalzgraff pattern with a smaller square dinner plate. The price is actually pretty comparable to the Walmart ones, I just have to pay shipping - not horrendous, but I'm always looking for free shipping when I shop online.

Speaking of online shipping. Walmart at least allows you to have an item shipped to the store where you pick it up and shipping is free. Target, on the other hand, charges an arm and leg, no store pickup for them. Not that I was a huge Target fan anyway, but I surely won't be shopping with them now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Red dinnerware

... is almost impossible to find. At least red dinnerware that "I" like.

Maybe I'm just too picky, or maybe I'm too cheap (or maybe both).

I painted my kitchen last year - a light minty green. Chose the color to go with a red garbage can I bought. Added more red accessories and love my red & light green kitchen.

I've had the same dinnerware for a hundred years - Pfalzgraff "Village" - and I have enough of it to feed Guntersville. But, I'm sick of it - and it does nothing for my lovely kitchen.

My DIL gave me two really pretty little bowls from a set of dinnerware at Kohls. I love them. However, the dinnerware itself is a bit pricy (for my budget) and the plates are those huge new ones that won't fit in my dishwasher. Why do they make plates too big to fit in dishwashers? Obviously a man designed that.

So, I thought - I'll get a solid red and get some of the little bowls as accents. Not nearly as easy as it sounds. I haven't found a red that I can afford and like at the same time.

I found a set at WalMart that I could live with, though the red is a bit darker. There's also a green - which is also a big darker, but they would probably work. However, the plates are square - and I'm not a big fan of square plates.

We visited "Old Time Pottery" in Madison today - thinking they might have something red, and I actually found a starter set that I liked and was willing to pay for. However, they only had ONE, and service for four at my house just doesn't cut it.

I've wasted waay too much time searching online. Found the pottery set online, but shipping was as much as the dinnerware - so not going there.

I'm frustrated!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Family is home....

.... and I missed them.

I'd definitely gotten used to living alone before they came, but with 4 our of 5 gone for several days (and the one left home is the quiet one), I missed them. I wasn't lonely - I'm fine alone - but I did miss them.

Off to work today - nothing exciting happening.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I don't eat enough... least that's what my grandson thinks.

My son & his family are staying with me till they can get their house situated.

Son, his wife, oldest grandson and granddaughter are at a Pastor's conference (they've been gone since early Monday morning). Middle son (15) is home with me since he has both football and basketball practice.

He just decided I haven't been eating enough in his parents absence and he's very concerned about me.

Now, I've lived alone since my DH died in 2005. I've taken care of myself, survived breast cancer and fed myself. I haven't always eaten on a regular schedule and almost never cook anymore (did I mention, I hate to cook). However, I've managed so far. But, he's concerned that I haven't had enough protein (and I probably haven't, but I'm not telling him that).

I suspect his mother (my sweet DIL) told him to keep an eye on me and make sure I eat enough as she's always concerned about my eating habits.

It's really sweet that he's concerned. He offered to cook me some eggs so I could have protein. I don't really want eggs, I don't really want food right now.

I do appreciate his concern, but I've decided my kids and grandkids are getting awfully pushy in my old age.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's Monday

.... and I had a lovely Independance Day Holiday weekend.

My oldest son came down from St. Louis and spent 3 days with me - mostly working outside (I usually have a list for him), but visiting a bit more since he had a brother and two nephews who could help with the big outside projects.

They got a bunch of fence taken up that I wanted gone, and the gutters cleaned trash and little trees that were growing there.

Unfortunately his family didn't get to come this time - short trip and grandson was headed to scout camp on Sunday.

DIL who's living here cooked us a great Independance Day dinner (with the help of oldest grandson). Fried fish, hush puppies, french fries, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados. I ate waay too much.

One son and granddaughter went down the mountain to see fireworks on the lake. I stayed home and visited with out of town son.

She was going to fix blackberry cobbler for dessert but we were all way too full, so she made it yesterday afternoon instead. Hot from the oven, topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. It just doesn't get any better than that.

The only thing that would have made the weekend any better would have been having the balance of my family here - but I just appreciate those that were here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America

I woke up this morning thinking of all the things we have to be thankful for in America. Yeah - we moan and groan and complain - but in reality, we have it pretty good.

That said - we should never take our freedoms for granted. We've lost many of of our freedoms - and probably will lose more as our country caters to the minority instead of the majority.

Another good reminder - our great country was founded on Christian principals and our forefathers weren't ashamed to be known to be Christians. I hope I can follow their example.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Such a small world we live in

... and it shrinks every day.

I've been online friends with a sweet lady in England (Jayne)for a good number of years. She sells lovely vintage type stuff online shop. A couple of days ago she posted on her blog about selling a selection of vintage china cups & saucers to a lady in the USA as she was planning a tea party for her sweet daughter's 3rd birthday. The nice lady (Tammy) had sent Jayne some photos and given her permission to post them on her blog.

I read Jayne's blog faithfully so I saw the absolutely adorable photos of a little girl's dress up tea party, and posted a comment.

Now, this tea party reminded me of little girls of long ago - you need to go and see the photos if you haven't already - and those little girls look like they're having so much fun.

Okay, I'm finally getting to the reason for it being such a small world. I got an email from Tammy this morning (she saw my comment on Jayne's blog) and she (Tammy) only lives about 40 miles from me (here in north Alabama) and her parents (he was the butler) are only about 30 miles.

She said the girls had a great time and particularly seemed to enjoy being waited on by a grown up butler (Tammy's step-dad who also had a great time), and stayed at the tables longer than expected.

Yes, it IS a small world!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strange day...

... or it seems so anyway. I'm used to going to work on most Wednesdays and while I have PLENTY to do around here, I've kinda been at loose ends because my week is now totally different.

Not complaining - it's been kinda nice getting caught up on some 'desk stuff' and doing some online researching that I've been wanting to do. It's just strange for me.

Ariel seems to be feeling better - enough to complain about being bored. Her Dad told her she should have been sick when he was a little boy - 3 snowy TV channels with soap operas in the afternoon and poor quality AC. Then he said she was really lucky she wasn't sick when Gram (that's me) was a little girl - we just lay in the bed and sweated (actually, that's a pretty close description). Ariel wasn't impressed.

I'm still having a bit of a sore throat, though it may well be sinus. I'm taking the preventive meds and staying away from the rest of the family.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sick granddaughter turned into worse sick...

... and turned out to be swine flu. The good news is the doctor thinks we've caught it in the 'magic window' where the antiviral medication (Tamiflu) is effective.

The bad news is that the entire family, and our entire church family have been exposed.

The other bad news is that I've been exposed and because I'm older than dirt and have medical issues, I have to take the medication also (as a preventive - and hopefully it will work). Kinda expensive stuff - but better than the flu I guess. And if I do get it, hopefully the medication will make it a lighter case.

[sigh] It's always something - but God's in charge of it all, or He's not in charge at all - so my trust is in Him!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Frosty and stuff...

Well, Frosty went back to the vet this AM for a check on his shoulder and leg. He's better, but still not 100%. She wants him to stay on the anti-inflamatory meds until they're finished and then see how he does. His age isn't in his favor at this point, but she said his size actually is. He doesn't have much weight to carry around on those tiny little legs.

My wonderful daughter is here for a few days with another grandson - so I REALLY have a houseful of teenagers.

Granddaughter came home from Youth camp sick. She went to basketball practice this am, but is now in bed with fever. We were going to a friend's pool this afternoon - but she'll be staying in bed.

Rain storm last night did cool us off a little. Think we'll only be in the 80s today - YEA!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Software and Dentist

No, they have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

But, once again I'm having to learn new software :-( One of my least favorite things to do. It's a free graphics program - GIMP - and I think I'm really going to like it. I actually completed a tutorial yesterday (imagine - me, reading directions and following a tutorial!). It's not nearly great, but that's how I created my new profile picture and it is really much easier than PSP7 - so there, PSP!!!

Yesterday I was "OUT" all day. It was the dreaded dentist. About my absolute least favorite thing to do - Dentist appointment was 8:30AM with 'concious sedation'. Which meant that I took Valium the night before before bed and the Halcoin as soon as I got up. Couldn't drive for 24 hours and all these meds were supposed to make me relaxed - NOT!!! I wasn't able to get to sleep till 4AM on Thursday and I was definitely not relaxed when we arrived at the dentist. They gave me another Halcoin (crushed, under my tongue) and eventually I relaxed a little.

I will say I don't remember a lot about the visit (which is really good). And the next appointment (in July) will double the meds, so hopefully will be better - especially since they'll be doing a LOT more at that trip.

It's been forever since I've been to the dentist - only go when it's absolutely necessary - but after this will "try" and maintain regular visits as I'd like to keep what teeth I have left. I will say this dentist and assistants are the best I've ever been to. April (his assistant - not sure of her title) is an absolute jewel and does her very best to make me feel comfortable.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today is Frosty's birthday...

Doesn't seem possible. My little furbaby is 9 years old. He doesn't act 'old' - or even middle age. I've Googled dog ages and find various formulas putting him between 49 and 52 years old by human years. He's tiny (3-1/2 pounds) and I'm praying he lives MUCH, MUCH longer.

Thought I'd share some pictures.... I'd lost my last poodle (a miniature) to heart disease when he was 15 and Chuck (dh) knew I'd always wanted a tiny teacup toy poodle. He wasn't totally enthusiastic because he was afraid he'd step on him or hurt him. But... he found this little sweetheart. I wasn't sure I was ready for another dog, so we just went to "look". Frosty came home in my lap and he hasn't been far from there ever since. And he still reminds me of Chuck's love :-)

These two were made on 8/25/00 - a day or two after we brought him home.

He's a big boy of one year old here.

This is his only 'professional' picture and he not only needed a haircut, but he was definitely less than pleased about not being right next to me.

Here he is running outside in 2006. He thinks he's a farm dog and loves to run in the field after Belle (Chuck's big 55 pound red setter). I have to watch him really closely when I take him out there or he'd follow her all the way to the back of the pasture.
And, Frosty's a working dog too. I work two days a week in a local cross stitch shop and Frosty goes with me. We put a sign in the window "Frosty is in". He's the official greeter and watch dog and takes his job seriously. He knows the mornings we're getting ready to go to work and is so excited.

And here's my baby today. Isn't that the sweetest face you've ever seen.

Unfortunately Frosty is also a 'handicapped' dog. His back left leg is fused at the joint. Doesn't slow him down. In retrospect, I think the breeder was more of a puppy mill and probably doing a lot of inbreeding. He's got the best personality though and is definitely my sweetheart.

When Chuck was so sick, he and Belle both stayed on the bed close to him - it's the only time Frosty has intentionally left my side for another. And, when I was going through chemo, he stuck to me like velcro. He's such a blessing in my life.

He's having difficulty with his right front leg at the moment. We went to a new groomer (BAD decision) and he's been having trouble ever since with his leg/shoulder - and he came home with fleas :-( Of course, that required a vet visit - he's on anti-inflamatories for 10 days and then back for xrays if it's not better. She said the joint was popping in and out and she thinks his shoulder was either dislocated or certainly seriously bruised. He's supposed to be confined to "no jumping or stairs"... which is really tricky with Frosty as he's a 'jumper'. I'm carrying him down the stairs outside (down is worse than up) and trying to keep him from jumping down from chairs, etc. He's such an active little fellow and definitely "my baby".

Monday, June 22, 2009

Computers.... again

Well, I've tweaked, scanned, fixed, and it seems to be running better, so I'll put off the reformat till I have a little more time (or am more in the mood). I really need to clean a bunch of stuff off here, my old hard drive is filling up. I'd love a shiny new computer, but just can't justify the cost as long as this one is plugging along.

I'm so annoyed with Paint Shop Pro though. I'm using PSP7 and have been since it first came out. Not going to buy an upgrade. It's a memory hog, but has worked pretty well till the last couple of weeks. I was editing a massive number of photos and it locked up (not unusual). But since then, every time I open it, it opens about 12 of those old photos (that I've since deleted). and I can't do anything till I get rid of them. NOW, it won't open at all. I've uninstalled and reinstalled, repaired, and all of the above again. Won't open!

I don't really need it for editing photos, I'm now using Picasa3 which I REALLY like. However, I do need something to create graphics in. SO, guess that's my next project (since I don't have anything else to do).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Aren't Computers Wonderful???

...well, sometimes anyway. Mine is not behaving well and I really don't have the time to do a reformat, but it may come to that. Probably clear out a lot of junk that I don't need - and it always gets some I forget that's not junk.

We lost power for 2 hours in the night last night and while it was having a few problems before, it has gotten worse. So, that may be my tomorrow's project :-(

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My new Blog

I have some great online friends who have discussed blogging a lot lately. Well, I already had a couple of blogs - but they really started out as "speciality blogs" and I decided I wanted one where I could put all sorts of things - so here we are with "All Things Iris".

I got the idea for the links at the top from Ask the Ebay Queen, but she did hers with Wordpress and while I've done that before, I just didn't have the energy at this point... so here we are on blogspot and while all of mine look different - trust me, they're all mine.

I think some of my other friends are going to follow in her footsteps, so I'll have some links to their new blogs soon.