Monday, June 07, 2004

Oh, what a weekend!

No, I did NOT catch up on my sleep.

I did, however, catch up on my spirit, in many ways, and that's just as important.

Friday night was late at the station, then a last minute swing into Staples for the graph paper and markers I needed for "my little class", and since it was right next to Petsmart, some inexpensive toys for Oscar. He's started digging in the yard, I suspect because the cicadas are just driving him wild, but maybe some chew toys will occupy him and at least slow down his progress a little.

With cats, you never know what will strike them as a good toy. Generally the more time or money you spend on it, the less interesting it is. My Misha had a stuffed skunk that she adored (and even tried to litter train when she was a baby!) and a tiny blue pillow. Almost all other toys were meaningless to her. Trevor likes twist ties and the plastic hoops from milk jugs. Aslan steals hair elastics like they're going out of style (and yells at them while he's playing with them). And it's been a long time since I've shopped for a dog, so it was a bit of a challenge. I ended up buying some "two flavors in one" (wooHoo!) rawhide toys, since he's a big chewer, and they were inexpensive enough that if he goes through them too quickly I won't feel bad. I also got GB a toy - okay, yeah, it's a dog toy, but I think he wants to play tug with Oscar, and Oscar does't quite get it. So I bought something a little more conducive to a tugging environment - a small rubber tire with a rope loop on the other end so the tugger and the tuggee can both get good grips. We'll have to make sure Oscar's "OFF" command is really up to par, since I don't want to encourage him to try to take things away without knowing he'll let them go if we need him to, but I think GB will be pleased with the game. And the rawhide was a big hit - Oscar sat and chewed on one for almost an hour straight, is nowhere near done with it, and is quite pleased - he even took it with him when he put himself to bed.

Saturday he got put out in the rain all day - "Grampa" was coming to check on him, but I couldn't leave him in the house, his house training is so close to set, I didn't want to force him to backtrack on it, and I was to be gone all day and night for my little class. So out he went. Then the long drive to Richmond (singing that Travis Tritt song most of the way). I'd been a bit nervous about the class, since I don't often venture into things on my own with much confidence. Add to that the owner of the hosting shop was very disorganized, and I was just certain her directions were wrong, but couldn't know for sure until I drove them.

I was right. I suspect the exits differ between the north and the south... in any event, I got lost and had to call. But she didn't put the area code on her phone number, so I had to find Bess's number, and hope that the area code was the same (it was). The most frustrating part was the owners attitude. "You did the wrong thing." I promise you, had it been me, even if I was 350% sure my directions were the most perfect directions ever to be written, I would have apologized. Then I didn't get a handout, and she insisted it had been on the table when I sat down... and then went through the entire class sitting right next to me, taking notes on her handout, and leaving me to fend for myself. Then when she did get me the copies at the end, she didn't give me them all, and when I asked for the missing ones, challenged me and told me I told her I had them. *SIGH* I've worked retail too long to think that's any kind of professionalism. If the class hadn't been so great without her disorganization, I would have been upset. As it is, I chalk it up to "eh, so I don't need to give her my business anymore" and move on...

Because the class was fantastic... Lily Chin is just this bundle of energy and crude humor and fun, an AMAZING knitter who's work is astounding and inspiring. The proceedure for reversable cables is such a "why didn't I think of that" concept that by the end of it all, I had dozens of cables scribbled on my notes - there are too many to choose from! I feel like every bit of yarn I knit will have a cable in it now! You want to know what it is? Grab some yarn and a needle. Knit a swatch in ribbing. K1P1, K2P2, whatever you want, just so it's an equal number of K to P. When you get a few rows up, pop a full rib over onto a cable needle (a K&P, or however many you need before you go back to K) Complete a rib, then pop them back off the needle, and "continue in pattern" (K1P1, K2P2, whatever your rib was.) Continue in pattern for a few more rows, then do it again... You'll see a rope cable, and you'll see it exactly the same on both sides... AMAZINGLY simple. I left the class breathless.

Where Bess was waiting for me! Yay! I love Bess, and spending time with her... we went to lunch at Ruby Tuesday's (not Applebees) and then wandered around for a bit, at the LYS and the mall. Then off to her parents house - and what a beaut! 15 acres, horses out back, and three cheery dogs, in a size for every taste. Great big Cody, the Great Dane/lap dog - a stunning almost dalmation spotted boy, fellow redhead Jeremiah, the very red golden retriever, and the emergency back up dog - Bess's favorite - Lady, the dachshund, and leader of the pack. People always apologize to me when their dogs seem to keep - for lack of a better word - hounding me. If I come to your house, please don't apologize - I love it. I love being near animals! It was a blast to meet these three! And of course Bess's parents, who don't deserve to take a backseat to the dogs, but what can I say? They are an adorable pair, and very generous hosts! We were up late talking and playing with yarn, and then up early the next morning for breakfast, and for an attempted rescue at the ball of yarn that Cody or Jerry killed... small scraps were saved, but the rest had to move on to that big knitting shop in the sky...

Then the long drive home (after a fill up at a gas station, since gas in Richmond is TWENTY CENTS cheaper than gas in Baltimore!

I was quite tired, but really interested in seeing the new Harry Potter movie... I decided to see how I felt when I got close to the exit for Arundel Mills Mall... and then went for it. Not as true to the books as the first two movies were, but still very good... and now I want to reread the book before I go back with GB and DSS this weekend to see it! Book 3 is my favorite, and my favorite character is introduced. While I like Gary Oldman a great deal, the physical qualities they chose for him makeup wise were very different than how I picture Sirius Black... The changes didn't bother me, though, as I felt they were very true to the essence of the books, and I later read that JK Rowling approved of all the changes, which made me feel better still about them.

Then home for a long nap, and a snuggly evening with my furry boys. This morning Oscar and I went for about a mile walk with Mary, and we're going to try to keep doing that every day, since it'll be good for all of us - Oscar will settle down with the regular exercise, and I'll pep up a bit, hopefully. And someone on KR asked about the Winsor Pilates tapes, which I have, and love, but haven't used much since I was taking classes... but since those got shoved aside for the job, I guess I could pull the tapes out and get back into them...

Plus a very sweet card from my brother - the tip of an iceburg, sticking out of the ocean and the caption "PROBLEMS No matter how great and destructive your problems may seem now, remember, you've probably only seen the tip of them." Then on the inside he wrote "on the other hand, think of all the different flavors of slushies you can make with all that ice! Hang in there." Ahh... the slushy solution... yup. Can't lose with that one. Thanks, David.

Thoughts for the Day:
Richard David Bach - “Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know it just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers.”

Henri Frédéric Amiel - “To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.”

Solomon Ibn Gabirol - “In seeking Wisdom, the first stage is silence, the second listening, the third remembrance, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching.”


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