Monday, December 31, 2012

Ahh... So Comfortable

Linda loves her new chair so much that she doesn't want to get out of it to take a picture.  You'll have to wait to see it tomorrow. (Plus, the light will be better.)  Now we have the lounge chair and the bean bag chair in the same room!   She also set up a special little corner just for me.

The crock pot chicken/rice turned out great.  It was super easy for her and she could actually leave the house while it was cooking.  The best part is that it didn't stink (Linda's word) up the whole house.  She hardly smelled it cooking.  At the end of 4 hours, the rice and chicken were perfectly done.  The only down side was that the rice left a sticky film that wasn't too fun to clean.  Maybe she was supposed to rub the inside with a little oil. 

Tierney is having her annual New Year's eve party.  Last year they all dressed up as Disney characters  This year the theme is the 1990's.  You'll have to keep checking back for some fabulous photos. 
The Cast and Crew of the Disney New Years Eve Party

Be Kind

This morning was cold, it felt like the coldest day this winter.  Our outside water bowl was frozen solid and the temperature was in the 20's.  Neither Chim nor I wanted to stay outside long, we did our business and barked to be let back in.  Linda's home from her AM classes and is done teaching for the day! Yipee for her!!  Later this afternoon she is going to pick up her new (old) chair for the den.  Our love seat is sagging and the arm is squished.  The guys are going to move it downstairs since it's part of the family room set.  The new chair is a a long lounge chair and is so comfy!  Linda could probably nap on it if she wanted to.  Pictures to follow later today.

Now this is sportsmanship.  Be kind and respectful everyone.

Our local team, the Redskins, won a big game last night.  Linda doesn't watch football.. even if it's the Superbowl. Back in the 80's she liked it.. but it's when she actually hung out with some of the players and felt invested.  She wouldn't know even most of the players if they were in line in front of her at Target.  It's weird for her to root for a team of strangers.  Something did make her mad today.  It is the way radio DJ's are bashing the Cowboy's and making fun of them.  On a few stations she heard all sorts of name calling about a few players.  (Big Baby, Cry Baby, Jerk, Goat,  "the hot wife should leave him because he's such a loser" . just unnecessary rudeness.)  Go ahead and root for your team, but please stop the personal bashing. 
Why is it a Crock pot?  Did a guy name Crock invent it??

It's chicken and rice day.  Usually on Monday Linda cooks our food for the week.  It's a process of boiling the chicken, taking it out of the pot and then cooking the rice.  Instead, Linda found a giant Crock Pot on after Christmas clearance.  It will be so much easier for her.  The only downside.. Chim and I have to smell the delicious aroma for hours and hours.  It makes us both crazy when she starts boiling the chicken.  We'll just have to learn to be patient. 
Look, other dogs like Woobies just like Chimi!  Maybe she should get him one of these to suck on.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's New Year's Eve Eve

It did end up snowing yesterday for about 45 minutes...big fat fluffy flakes that were beautiful, but didn't stick.  The snow turned to rain and it was a wet, mushy mess.  Jerry came over to walk us but neither Chim nor I would set foot outside.  Linda got home from classes and had to get ready for her "party" (all of 7 people) Saturday evening.  Whenever people come to our house, they always know it's going to be all vegetarian snacks.   Even the deer hunting, "I'll take mine rare" people don't seem to mind.  The food was yummy and Linda made exactly the right amount.  Everyone had second plates and there weren't any leftovers to put away.   Chim made sure to sit on each persons lap and give them lots of juicy kisses.  Since Linda didn't take any pictures, here is one of Penny to make you smile.  She's praying before she eats, just like we do!
"Thank you Jesus for this food..."

 After church today Linda went to the gym for rehearsal.  Every quarter a new Pump/Combat routine is released.  The instructors practice for weeks and weeks to get it right.   She'll only be home for a couple of hours before she goes back to church.  Tonight she doesn't have nursery, so at least she doesn't have to get there early.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve.  Most people will be out partying and staying up super late.  Linda will be home, probably in bed by 9:30.  The last time she went out for a NYE party, Tierney wasn't even born yet!  It may seem lame but it is so much safer!  There are lots of people who are bad drivers; distracted by their cells and texting.  On NYE, you can add a bunch of drunk people texting while driving.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hog Wild

We were supposed to wake up to a blanket of white, but there was no snow at all!  This is good and bad at the same time.  Good for Chim and I since we don't like anything but dry grass; but bad for Linda because she didn't sleep too well last night and desperately wanted to sleep in.  At 6:00 a.m., she checked her phone to see if an email notice or FB post went out about classes being canceled at the gym, but there wasn't anything listed.  She decided she had to get out of bed and look out the window.  No snow.  Now that she is up, she's glad to teach.  Maybe she can get a nap from 2-3 before she starts getting ready for her little party.  If there is a lot of snow later, people probably won't come anyway, but she'll prepare just in case a few show up.
"We are NOT walking on the snow!" (Look how small Chimi's coat was.  Linda couldn't even zip it!)
Whenever Linda watches a TV series on Netflix, it always weaves into her dreams.  The dreams never make any sense at all, but somehow are related. Last night she dreamed that giant hogs (the 600 pound kind) had pushed open our backyard gate.  They were grazing on the grass and snorting up a storm.  Chim and I ran around to the front door and were barking to be let in.  Linda had to call the SWAT team to come and deal with the hogs.  They arrived in full tactical gear with guns drawn and shields up. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Don King

Drats. There is something wrong with my hip.  (There is something wrong with Linda's hip too, but that is a chronic issue.)  For the last two days, I've yipped every time Linda has touched my hinder-parts to pick me up.  If she puts her hands on my belly area, I'm fine.  But if she puts her hands lower, it hurts. I know lots of people don't pray for animals, but I've been healed from my seizures, back knees dislocating and acute pancreaitis (I totally made up that spelling.)  Linda is praying I'll be OK and won't need any surgery.
"I hate the Vet's office so much it makes my hair stand up like Don King!"
Linda has invited some friends over tomorrow evening. You know what that means, right?  It's going to be another round of cleaning.  Honestly, she loves to clean so its not a problem.  She just cleans areas she sees but not in closets or storage rooms.  Someday her goal is a 100% clean house and garage.  No junk draws, storage rooms, messy closets and most importantly... to be able to actually use the garage for what it is attended for.  After cleaning, she is going to make an apple pie and some cookies.  It won't be Sarah's famous apple pie or Taylor's amazing chocolate chip cookies, but they will still be good.

Penny helping her Daddy bake.

A Busy Day of Doing Nothing

I know you are all wondering why I didn't post yesterday, right?  :)   Well, it was a very busy, busy day of doing absolutely nothing for us all.  Linda was on her way to Penny's for her usual Thursday play-date and got a call from Sarah. Penny only slept a few hours the night before and was crabby.  Plus, Taylor was working from home.  They couldn't go out on a date anyway.  Linda came home and cleaned the whole house (honestly, is it really necessary to clean so much when you hardly ever have a visitor?)  Next she did 2 hours of study on her routines, ate lunch and watched a few Flashpoint shows on Netflix.  (Watch it. You will be hooked by the 3rd episode.  It's a police swat team drama... and she means drama.  You need tissues at the end.  When a little girl named Penny got kidnapped in one episode, she was crying a little.)

 Before she knew it, 4:00 rolled around and she had to go teach her classes.  By evening when she got home, she kind of crashed on the couch and (no she didn't!.. yep,watched another Flashpoint) before going to bed early. 

The weather guessers are calling for some snow this weekend.  Yuck.  It's pretty to look at, but neither Chim or I will walk when it's snowing. Plus, both of us hate going out in the backyard to do our business.  Chim is afraid of the wet/cold feeling on his paws and my long fur gets icy and freezing.  Its also hard for me to manage the slippery deck steps, so I have to be carried down.  Linda towels us both off before she lets us walk on the hardwood floors, but we don't mind that so much. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snow & Snickers

I woke Linda up at 4:40 a.m. (again) to go outside.  Even though she has been taking me out before bed, I still sometimes have to go before her alarm goes off.  She is afraid if she doesn't let me out I'll have an accident on the carpet.  Anyway, unless she was totally out of it, there wasn't any snow or ice on the deck.  When she got up the second time at 7:00, it was snow-covered.   Our new little Kia is wonderful to look at and fun to drive in Fall, Spring and Summer... not so much in Winter.  She was slipping and sliding on the way to teach.  One time she got stuck in some slush and fish-tailed, almost hitting the curb.  When she left the gym, she had trouble getting out of her parking space because her back wheels were spinning.  Boy, does she miss her all wheel drive Subaru on days like this.  That car would plow through banks of snow and grip the road in iciest conditions.  It's still sleeting now and really cold.  It better not get to icy for her drive to church tonight.

(Linda was searching for a photo of our old Subaru and came across this photo.  It's my Big Daddy Snickers.  ((Of course he wasn't my birth Daddy, but he did raise me!))  Gosh, every time Linda sees a photo of Snickers she misses him so much.  He was THE BEST dog ever.  He lived a good, long life and gave her so much comfort and companionship.  From the very first day I came home, Snick's was protective, gentle and kind to me.)

He could have eaten my whole head in one gulp. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The End of an Old Tradition

For years and years, Linda and the family has gone to iHop for Christmas breakfast.  It was tradition, something they always did before opening presents since Tier and Taylor were in elementary school.  For reasons that don't need to be blogged about, everyone mutually decided this would be the last year.  Sorry iHop, the family is starting a new tradition... from now on Taylor will be making his world famous waffles on Christmas morning.  They will still be doing their annual Christmas photo, it just won't be in the iHop lobby like usual.  (Linda is glad that Christina and Penelope got to experience it once though!)

"Oh look.. I always wanted to read this book!"
After breakfast, it was present opening time!  Penny loved all her prizes!
Sarah and Taylor loved all their prizes too!
Christina looking very cute in her new scarf
Tierney rocking her leopard footie pj's
Linda and her new coffee maker!  Yay!!

Merry Christmas From Choop and Chimi

There has been a gift bag on the kitchen table for a few days.  I've been keeping my eye on it and Chim has been standing on his back legs trying to get closer to see what was inside.  We could smell something wonderful, but usually Linda keeps our treats in a sealed container.  This morning was Merry Christmas, so we got to open the gift. 
Of course Chimi was afraid of the bag and wouldn't look inside.
"Move away Chim, this is a job for a brave dog"

"Choop... Be careful, it could be dangerous!"
"Don't worry Chimi, you're going to be very excited when you see our presents!"

Two cookie-bones and a bag of balls.  Whoo-hoo!!
 Merry Christmas!!  Linda will be leaving in a little while to eat breakfast with the family and exchange prizes.  You'll want to check back later tonight for all the fun pictures.  

From Linda:  Don't forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  It's not for the gift bags full of goodness or how many chocolate chip pancakes you can eat...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Little Lamb

"I'm keeping this lamb head on for exactly 1 minute and no more!"
Christmas 2012. Linda's friends can't believe she is the shortest one in her family. * She's almost 5'10" too.
Penny was a little lamb in the Christmas play last night.  She did great during the 3 songs she was on stage.  While Linda was dressing her, she tried to teach Penny her lines.  She didn't "Baaaa" on cue, but she was very good and had great stage presence under the hot lights. Maybe she is taking after her famous Aunt Tierney after all. 
After the play, everyone gathered in the gym for refreshments.  Linda never got to the actual food tables.. but she did snag a cookie or two.  (Lately, the blog interface isn't letting me add another paragraph under a photo.  It goes right to caption even though we are not choosing that option.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Biker Girls

Linda has gotten some amazing Christmas presents already, and it's still 2 days till Christmas!  Besides this GIANT bag of M & M's (almost bigger than me!); she's gotten lots some very welcome gift cards along with other prizes from her TKD students and the members at Gold's Gym.  Even Chim and I have presents to open, but we have to wait until Tuesday.

Penny got to open a very special present today, her first motorcycle! She comes from parents who love motorcycles but Linda is hoping that Penny isn't a daredevil like her Daddy. 

"Look Nana, I'm doing tricks!"

Linda siting on Sarah's motorcycle.  (Sitting being the operative word.)
Taylor actually racing back in the day.

Someone Scary at the Front Door

It was one of those days yesterday that Linda was somehow still in her TKD pants up until bedtime.  She got home at 2:00 p.m, and got busy with all the things she didn't do on Friday.  After cleaning, wrapping and gift bagging, a late lunch-dinner, she watched 2 episodes of Alias. (She had to finish the series. BTW, Will Tippen is starring in a new movie that is out right now.  Linda might have to go see it just because he's in it.  She has no idea what the actors name is though. He'll always be Will Tippen to her.)   Around 7:45, Linda was downstairs folding laundry when she heard me barking upstairs.  I usually bark like that if someone is at the door, but she didn't hear any bell or knocking.  She did the sneaky-pose and crept up the stairs to look out the peephole.  All she saw up against the hole was what looked like the end of a gun! Her heart was beating 1,000 a minute.  Yikes!!!  She peaked again and could see a part of Penny's chubby cheeks.  Taylor was holding her so close to the peep hole that all Linda could see was the middle of her pacifier.  Whew, it's a good thing she looked again and didn't go into Ninja mode.  Taylor asked her why she stayed at the door if she thought it was a gun!  She should have run and called 911.  I guess she learned that from scary movies.  At least she kept the light on and didn't hide under the bed.

Penny was much better with Chimi last night.  Taylor or Sarah held her while Chim sat quietly and let her get used to him.  I was the same as always.  I'll sit still for a few pets but as soon as she started running (holding onto Sarah's hands) after me, I went and found an out of the way bed.  I really only like babies when they sit still.  I'm not much for being chased.

2011 Christmas.  Only a few more sleeps until the big day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Costco? The Saturday Before Christmas??

Brr... it's so freezing today.  The strong winds made it hard to even walk.  During our morning walk with Jerry, I had to really hunker down and persevere.  Both Chim and I needed the exercise. Linda's "night to do nothing" meant we didn't take a walk before bed.  It was pretty wonderful that she stayed home and we got to all cuddle up on the couch. 
"Nana, I hope you got me new pj's because my big toe is sticking out!"

Only a few more days until Christmas.  Linda was so glad that she did all her shopping online and that everything came in early December.  She vowed to stay out of stores, malls and shopping centers (that didn't involve groceries) until after all the madness was over.  Except it didn't quite work out exactly as planned.  The Christmas party is tomorrow at church.  She signed up to bring large wraps.  Honestly, when she chose that item she thought it meant large flour tortilla wraps to go with dips.  After the ink hit the paper, someone told her they were actually sandwiches, not just the wraps.  She wasn't supposed to make them either, they had to be the ones from Costco! You know what that means, right?  After teaching until 1 p.m. she had to go to Costco on the Saturday before Christmas to buy them.  The parking lot was totally full, there wasn't any spaces at all.  Cars were parked along the side street and people were hiking to the store!  After cruising around, Linda finally followed someone to their car and snagged the spot.  You can imagine what it was like inside.

Over 8 pounds of sandwiches!  I hope she brings the leftovers home for puppy snacks!

After getting agitated looking for a space and that she had to go to Costco blah, blah, blah... Linda decided instead of being grumpy she was going to be kind and smile at every single person she saw, be patient, let people in front of her, and stay positive.  Even with people not slowing down and almost running her over, she still smiled.  When unaccompanied children were pulling stuff off the shelf making it impossible to go down the aisle, she smiled.  When the lady at the checkout in front of her was gabbing on her cell phone and kept talking while searching her purse for her misplaced credit card, Linda kept calm and smiled.  The only timed she stopped smiling is on the way to her car when her cart hit a bump in the sidewalk and she smashed her shin into the metal. Ouch.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Night of Rest

Linda is taking the night off.  She isn't teaching class, she isn't cleaning the house, she isn't studying her routines, she is staying in tonight...and is just going to rest.  Maybe she'll read a book, watch Netflix, take a hot bath.  The laundry can wait until tomorrow.  The presents can wait to be wrapped.  She needs a whole 3 hours of nothingness, then it's early to bed.  If only Chimi would cooperate and relax too.  He has been trying to get Linda to play tug of war with his new toy.  He drops it on her lap and cries until she throws it off, then he repeats over and over and over. 

Speaking of bed, every time Linda sees me in my dining room bed, she has to giggle.  My fur matches the hair on the bed.  This used to be Chip's bed, but it got willed to me.  The new bed in the background is my Christmas present.  It's the greatest little teepee fort.  Now in total, I have 1 kitchen bed, 2 dining room beds, 2 den beds and of course The Big Bed for night time.  I use them all equally.  It's so nice to have a choice which one I want to nap in.

Sometimes I like to put a blanket over my head

Tierney Wants a Kitty

Tierney really wants a kitten for Christmas.  Not just any old alley-cat run of the mill kitten though.  She wants a Scottish Fold.  They are cute, if you are into cats.  Linda has always loved them, but after Chip cat died, she decided her cat days are done for awhile.  If we could afford one ($350-$1,000), Tierney would be opening this little guy on Christmas morning.

Do they meow with a Scottish accent?
Linda even found a You Tube video on how to wrap a cat!

Tacky Lights Soap Box

A production company is coming to Virginia tonight to do a TV special on Tacky Christmas Lights.  It won't be in our exact area, but they could make a wrong turn and end up on our street!  Linda still hasn't taken a photo of the house blasting the music over the loudspeakers yet and the bazillion lights.  There is also a street near out house that draws crowds from many miles away.  Since at least when Tier and Taylor were little, maybe longer, the entire street bans together to go all out and decorate. Traffic creeps bumper to bumper down the side street as Christmas draws closer.  There are live carolers and even visits by Santa!  One special house on the way home from her Tuesday night class has lighted dinosaurs, flying pigs, 3 or 4 of those life size snow globes, a train, moving reindeer and of course, the mandatory trillion lights all over the house.  These are a few examples I found after searching "tacky Christmas lights"

Everyone is entitled to their own decorating style.. yay! for America.  You can go over the top crazy or just hang a wreath on your front door.. or even do nothing and still love the Christmas reason/season.  The confusing thing is our homeowners association stance on curb appeal.  Linda got a little warning that her pine tree wasn't shaped properly and some of the honeysuckle next to the retaining wall was growing a bit wild. She had 30 days to fix the problem or the HOA police were planning her a visit.  How can they write her up for that, but allow someone to clutter (hoard really) a tractor trailer load of  plastic Christmas decorations and leave them on their yard and house for 6 weeks?

OK, we'll get off the soap-box.  There must be a reason deep in Linda's subconscious that causes her to overreact with the whole decorations thing.  If it makes people happy to decorate and they are not as crabby, sad or depressed as they might usually be.. it's OK.  If it stresses them out trying to get everything up, to look better than the Jone's or become full of pride that they beat the Jones... then it's probably better just to go with the beautiful wreath and chill-out.  Some people actually love decorating and it doesn't involve any added stress, competition or angst.  It just a hobby they enjoy that brings back happy memories or traditions of old. 
One year Tierney surprised her and chopped down a live Christmas tree and bought it to our house!  After Linda spending a lot of money to buy a stand, lights and decorations..she had to admit it was kind of nice turning all the lights off and just sitting in the glow of the tree.  She gave everything away after, even the fake tree from CVS that she would put up when the kids were little.

We do have one Christmas decoration in our living room.  It's a collection Linda's mom started giving her when she was younger. Maybe Linda should give it to Penny and start buying her another Precious Moments figure every year?
For some reason, Mary is missing from the set. Where is she?  Linda will have to look in the storage box again.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Workout Girl

To tide Chimi over, Linda bought him this Woobie at the pet store this afternoon.  Its just a twisted knot of soft, lamby material with no stuffing.  He loves it and has been nursing while he naps. She couldn't find a Flat Fox or Coyote, but she did find a store that sells them.  Hopefully she can go on Saturday after her classes.

Penelope's cold is much better.  She still has a runny nose, but didn't cough once the whole time Linda watched her.  She was happy and playful and full of smiles.   Eventually, her toys on the area rug became boring and she made her way to Sarah's workout weights.
"I want to teach Body Pump just like Nana"
Linda was keeping a close eye on her and stopped her the second she touched them.  Now that she is moving around the floor, there will be no turning your back on her for one second!  Watch out world, here comes Penny!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chimi Woes

Things are a little tense in our house right now.  Chimi doesn't have a woobie to nurse on.  Last night he was gagging on the strings that are hanging off what is left of it.  Before Flat Fox, there was a Flat Coyote but it was decimated and Linda replaced it. They are about 3 feet long and cost a fortune.  The price is well worth it to keep Chimi soothed.  He thinks they are his Mommy.  Without a woobie to suck he paces, cries and whines.  Last night he had to go in his bed without it because Linda didn't want him to choke.
This was Flat Fox before he turned into Destroyed Fox

This is what is left of it! For some reason, the blogger interface won't let me make another paragraph.  It just keeps staying in the caption mode.  Sorry if this is hard to read.  Anyway, Chim will have to wait until tomorrow for Linda to drive to the pet store that carries the exact one he likes.  The $10 cheap imitations only last a few days. 

One More Week!

Yesterday just flew by without anytime for posting.  Tuesdays used to be Linda's almost "off" day.  She only had one class to teach.  Now it's morphed into a 4 class day that kicks her butt.  There is a slope in our front yard with big steps leading to the front door.  When she gets home at night after all the classes are done, every step feels 2 feet high and 2 feet wide.  It's a struggle to get to the top carrying all her gym bags, TKD stuff and heavy wet towels, swimsuit and pool shoes.  Plus, it was her turn to clean at church.  There was enough time between classes to get it done, but crawling around on her knees doing the bottom of all the windows, glass doors and baseboards added extra ouchieness.  Honestly, she loves her job so much and really enjoys the times she gets to clean the church.  She should be thankful for the aches and pains since she is getting to do what she dreamed of doing as a little girl. (Well, she dreamed of being a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall in NYC... but she is on stage, jumping around and kicking high!)

 As far as cleaning at church, it feels like such a privileged to be able to help keep everything looking sparkly and neat.  After all, it is her church "home", so why shouldn't she be part of keeping it clean just like she does our own house?

That whole paragraph was just an into into why she couldn't take us for a walk yesterday.  We had a lot of backyard time to play, but not a proper walk.  Jerry is sick, so he missed his regular Tuesday night time with us.  At 8:15 p.m., the only thing Linda wanted to do was take a bath, wash her chlorine-smelly hair and go to bed.  Both Chim and I realized how tired she was so we didn't wake her up during the night to go outside.
"I'm feeling a little under the weather."
Penelope has a little cold, so Linda might not be going over to watch her tomorrow.  Penny is super clingy and just wants her Mommy.... just like she should when she's not feeling well.  Linda is still going to keep the day open and not take any sub classes just in case Penny starts feeling better and Sarah wants to grocery or Christmas shop.  Lot's of babies seem to be getting colds this month. Linda has a friend who's daughter is a little younger than Penny who has to be on breathing treatments to help clear her up and another baby she knows has to keep getting saline squirted up her nose. 

Dad opening Penny's presents last Christmas.
Christmas is just in one more week!  Linda just loves having the kids over on Christmas morning.  This will be Penelope's first Christmas (although last year she got lots of presents that Sarah had to open for her while she was pregnant with Penny.)  The tradition is an early morning iHop breakfast (Penny's first too!) and then open presents. 
iHop Christmas Morning