Saturday, September 29, 2012

What’s Up, Puppy Dog?

Hi everyone, it’s your favorite doggy!  That’s me, Rosie.

Rosie 01b

This is my Cute face.  It’s very effective after People Dinner.

 

If you haven’t met me before, I am a purebred Shelter Dog, with special qualifications in affection, temperament, easy training and hybrid vigor.  (Mommy helped me with that last one.)  I came to live here in 2006, and they told my Mommy I was two ears old, so now she says I’m eight ears.  But I don’t know where the other ears are, because I still only hear out of two.

Today Mommy #1 wanted to let you know what’s up with me, because she hasn’t said much about me lately, and she said I’ve been on her mind a lot.  (Isn’t that nice?)  She felt silly writing a whole story about her dog, so I said, “It’s all about me, let me do it!”  She said I might not get everything right, but then she said maybe all the details aren’t that important.  So she said I might as well.

Today I went to the Rosie People place for the second time in a month.  This is a special place we take a RIDE to, where lots of ladies pet me and give me treats and tell me how pretty I am.  Sometimes they make me stand on a Wiggly Floor and they poke around back there like the rudest, dumbest boy dog you can imagine, but mostly they give me treats.  Today, though there was more poking than usual and hardly any treats!  I used to love going to see the Rosie People, but I am thinking about changing my mind.

Now that I think about it, this all actually started last month, when I heard Mommy #1 on the phone with the Rosie People, telling on me!  She was saying she thinks I’m too skinny, and then she tattled about my little accidents in the guest room. I didn’t think it was that big a deal. I mean, since Mommy was putting out special towels and stuff for me to pee on, I thought we were ok. But I guess she got tired of washing my towels every other day, and she thought the Rosie People could show me how to wait until outside pee-pee time.

When I went the first time, last month, the Rosie People took me outside to pee, and then while I was doing that, they snuck up behind me with a ladle…it was weird.  But that was all they did, so I don’t know how that’s supposed to show me how not to pee inside.  I guess they must have looked in the ladle, though, because when Mommy #1 came to get me later, they said I had some kind of infestation in there.  So they give Mommy two weeks’ worth of anti-bionic pills for me.  I didn’t like them as treats, but they were ok in my food, and I didn’t turn into a robot, so I guess they worked.  I felt better for a little while, and didn’t use my special toilet, but then I did again, and Mommy didn’t seem very happy.  Isn’t that what it’s there for?

On the other hand, Mommy was giving me extra yummers!  I guess the Rosie People didn’t have an answer for my weight problem, so Mommy just started giving me a whole can of yummers at breakfast and dinner.  Wow!  It’s good, because I’m still hungry all the time, and I know they don’t like it when I get on the counter and eat Mommy #2’s candy, but I’m hungry.  Mommy #1 calls me her starvin’ Marvin, which is dumb, because I’m not even a boy.  But I am starvin’, so she’s got some sense.

After a while with extra yummers and some more consistent WALKS to let me pee more often, I guess I was still using the toilet too much and still not fat enough.  So like I said, Mommy #1 brought me to see the Rosie People again today.  There were other dogs there like always, and they were interesting, but I didn’t really feel like tugging on my leash and insisting on a sniff.  In fact, I was a very good girl while we were waiting, I mostly sat down by Mommy and watched.  Which Mommy said was kind of odd, because usually I try to pull her around the corner to find that cat I know lives there somewhere.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, my second visit today with the sneaky Rosie People.  After we waited, the ladies brought us in the back and were all nice and “Hi Sweetie, what a pretty girl!” like they usually are, but then they grabbed my nose and held my head up and gave me a big pinch right in my neck!  Ow!  Oh, and they snuck up behind me with that ladle again.  They’re getting weird.  I think I need to talk to Mommy #1 about them.

Anyway, after some more waiting, we talked to another lady, and she said I have something like back-year in my urine again, and they don’t know where it’s coming from.  Mommy thought maybe my long fluffy pants on my back legs might be part of the problem.  She tries to keep it trimmed with a scissors because sometimes it gets in the way and it gets dirty when I squat (I can’t help it, I don’t do it on purpose!)   But Mommy says she’s not so happy with her scissors trimming, so the doctor and another lady used a clipper thing and gave me a haircut back there.  I didn’t really want a trim, but Mommy made me look at her and told me I had to put up with it, so I did some licking and chewing to let her know it was ok if they all insisted.  I was mostly afraid all the other dogs would laugh at my naked butt, but actually it doesn’t look too bad. 

The Doctor lady also said that I had lost two pounds since last month, and she thinks I’m too skinny too.  She said she’s going to test my blood and call Mommy on Monday…but then we left, so I don’t know when I’m going to take this test.  I hope it’s not hard, but Mommy says she would like any kind of definite answer so she knows how to help me.  Then she gave me a whole can for morning yummers, which is a good start, I think.  She says she doesn’t like to pet me when all she can feel is bones, so maybe my test is to see how much yummers I can eat.  That should be easy!

Right now, though, the lawn mower people are here, so I have to go keep an eye on them.  Because no matter how many back-years or tests around here, I have a job to do!

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Mommy note: As you can see in this photo, Rosie still looks good, and her energy and behavior seem pretty normal.  But she’s about 8 pounds lighter than she should be, and I was alarmed to learn she’d lost so much in a month, even with bigger rations.  Like Rosie said, I hope we can just get some kind of definite answers, because, as even my lawn guy said, she’s “a good one,” and I would like several more good “ears” with her.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I’m a Winner!

And gosh darn it, people like me.

Do you all remember the, uh…NIAFPHFPPW meme I got involved in a week or so ago? Yeah, well, I kinda sorta forgot it was actually a contest, not just some lame meme.  And thanks to my Gumby weightlifting photo, I was one of six winners chosen sort-of at random.  Yabu’s partner in crime, Juju woman, provided handmade stained-glass ornaments as prizes, but of course, I got the prettiest one.

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How did she know my favorite color is blue??  She’s good, that’s how.  Notice the little bead decoration?  Extra cuteness!

In other news, our Full Fall Festivities have already begun.  I’d forgotten that the Matthews Farmers’ Market annual BBQ dinner was Tuesday night.  We (well, Miss Chef mostly) scored free tickets, thanks to our volunteering time.  Miss Chef picked me up after work and we then proceeded to get stuck in stupid, stupid rush-hour traffic there was no reason to be stuck in (because it was really stupid traffic).

We parked behind the restaurant (which is across the street from the market), eager to get over there before the food ran out, and before Miss Chef got too cranky from being so hungry.  As Miss Chef was discovering she couldn’t find the tickets, Chef Adam materialized from nowhere.  So we stopped for awhile to chat outside the back patio.  We talked about the new sous-chef, the old line cook, and next quarter’s schedule at the school.  It took awhile before we could break free and make it to the BBQ.

Miss Chef never did find the tickets, but everybody knows us, and things were winding down, so there was no problem getting some plates and a place in line.  Scratch-made potato rolls, smoked pork, a selection of local bbq sauces, and tons of sides, all donated by local chefs.  The volunteers said hello and loaded our plates—and Chef Charles gave me an extra tartelette normande.  Phew, too much food!

We found a couple of empty chairs at one of the long tables, and entered into conversation with the couple across from us.  Naturally, once people learn Miss Chef’s profession, the talk tends to center around food.  Which is fine, as, y’know, we’re both kind of into that.  At one point Bruce, another volunteer, stepped up to offer us some illicit zinfandel.  All in all, we felt quite welcomed.

Unfortunately for you, I didn’t think to take the camera out until we were just about ready to leave.  But I couldn’t resist a photo of the flower arrangements, especially when I saw the Cheerwine bottle (a NC favorite).

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We stopped in the restaurant on the way out, to say hello and goodbye to a few other people.  Again, a great feeling of being welcomed and yes, loved.

This Sunday we’ve been invited to an annual event of the Alliance Française, called a méchoui.  That’s a north African name for a whole-lamb roast, in the old fashioned spit-over-flames style. However, the local Alliance has made it into an entire afternoon garden party, with tons of food, wine, and a whole collection of local chefs.  Miss Chef helped out last year, and she just knows I’ll have a great time.  French for me, food for her, what’s not to like?

If y’all are lucky, I might remember to actually use the camera this time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Should Be Back...

...but I'm not.

I'd planned to sit down yesterday and blast you all with my cheery presence.  For last Thursday was the last day of the quarter, and the rest of this year I"ll be working a single job.  All that free time laid out in front of me, with all my grading done, no lesson planning to dread do, and my bank job requiring only 40 hours a week.

As you have no doubt realized, I did not sit down yesterday and announce my re-entry into the bloggy world.  Well may you ask why, but I'm still sitting here scratching my head, wondering why I made so little of this (beautiful, sunny) weekend.  My best guess is a bit of an over-scheduling hangover.  I think I'm still stuck in that "don't wanna lesson plan, oh look Angry Birds, la la la" mode.  Soon I hope my subconscious will realize there's no work to do, other than the usual housework, so no point in procrastinating!

So this post is a bit of a placeholder.  Yes, you get the opportunity to "hear" my friendly voice, but it's not going to tell you any good stories, or even introduce any interesting photos.  Sorry.  I'm waiting for my creative well to re-fill.

In the meantime, I'm going to list out some of what I hope to accomplish as this glorious fall rolls on in.

1) Get back to the gym!  It's been so long since I've been, that I've misplaced my membership card.  But I did go Friday after work, and even tricked Miss Chef into meeting me there, mostly to ensure *I* made it.  Whoo-whee, I got a lotta catching up to do in there...

2) Paddle more!  With summer gone, both high temperatures and large crowds should be diminishing, and the foliage should be starting to turn.  Bonus: Miss Chef should be able to join me more often, and she's recently developed a real liking for the stand-up paddleboards.  Have I shown you this picture from last month?

Ok, so maybe I was wrong about the no-photos thing.

3) Go to the fair!  I've decided to make it an overnight trip for the NC State Fair this year.  My hope is to be able to see some of the livestock before they're shipped off for the weekend (they have too many to keep the whole time, so they do the judging in shifts).  But also, I'm looking forward to staying with a cousin on my mom's side--she's the artist who did the painting from my Paris rooftop photograph.

4) Go to the mountains!  We'd do this anyway; we have decided our October anniversary is the perfect time to getaway to the gorgeous mountains around Asheville, pick apples and do some hiking.  We still haven't figured out where exactly we're going, though--maybe Banner Elk, as one of Miss Chef's former restaurant colleagues is working at a nice place up there.  In the meantime, we've planned a quickie day-trip back to Skytop Orchard for apples (and donuts!)

5) Go to the Renaissance Festival!  The change of weather from summer's sultry heat to drier, brighter fall air always gives me a hankering to wander the shady acres of our local RenFest, enjoying the sights, sounds  and smells.  I'm not entirely sure when we'll be able to work this in, but we will.

6) Pay more attention to Rosie!  Yes, she's been neglected, but she's always the one to get my butt off the couch and get outside.  She deserves more of my time (and no, she didn't just take over the keyboard).

7) Read more of your blogs!  I have actually been reading (almost) all of you-all's posts, but I've been spotty about commenting.  Part of that is because I do a lot of reading on my tablet, but it's a pain to type comments on, especially because it gets cranky with some of Blogger's displays.  So a lot of my comments remain in my head, but I'd like you to know I'm still reading.

That certainly sounds like quite ambitious enough of a list, along with a couple of major holidays and the usual projects around the house.  But hopefully, with just one job going, I'll have time to share my adventures here on Flartopia.

Right after I finish this book...

The first of the series is Magyk (click for more info).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

NIAFPHFPPW--A Two-Fer!

Yes, this is food...but I shan't tell you what it is 'til the end!  (Don't you like a good mystery?)



Here it is, Saturday afternoon, and I finally have time to myself to waste spend on a blog post.  What, you say, time by yourself?  But what of Miss Chef's newly sane schedule?

Oh, that.  It took less than a month for Chef Adam to ask her to help out on a catering gig.  In fact, both he and Chef Luca wanted her help tonight.  I knew that was coming.  And it's ok. We still had time this morning to go to the farmers market and have lunch together.

First, though, part one of today's Twofer: Friday night's dinner, or as Miss Chef titled it, What Miss Chef Makes When She Has No Ideas.  We both firmly believe it doesn't have to be fancy to be good.

Leftover chicken, leftover beans, fried potatoes (my idea!) and nuked frozen corn.


Part Two is today's lunch--more leftover chicken in a melty-open face sammidge, with a few slices of farmer's market 'maters underneath.



Oh, and what's that peeking out from the towel behind?  Summer's last hurrah--corn on the cob in September!  It was some of the best we've had this year.  It's an odd, fun time at the markets right now, as we can still, if we're lucky, pick up summer's tomatoes, squash and watermelon, but we're already seeing apples and cider, and today we bought fresh chestnuts!  Last night we sat down to plan out our annual October pilgramage to the mountains for hiking, fall leaves and apples.

I don't know if this is a summer or fall crop, but here's the food I teased you with at the beginning.  I wasn't being fair, because it's not really the leaves we consider food...it's the root.


I've never seen this plant in its entirety, and wonder if it wouldn't be feasible to have a nice, attractive background in a border or flower bed, stealthily and slowly growing our own supply of fresh...

...ginger!  


Isn't it beautiful?  The elaborate shape of the roots remind me of traditional Chinese art, all sinuous, tangled up dragons and tigers.  And the bright color is so unlike the beige, dried-out clumps at the grocery store.




Miss Chef had never seen a whole plant, either, so of course she had to have some to play with.  I really have no idea what she'll end up doing with it, but that's part of the fun of living with Miss Chef!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NIAFPHFPPW #3

Technically speaking, I haven't eaten this food yet.  But I double-checked the rules, and I didn't see anything about actually having to eat the food.  More importantly, I think these are cool, and they're food, and I picked them today.

I declare persimmon season in session!



 Once again, I'm supposed to be lesson planning or something, so I'm too lazy busy to set up better lighting, etc.  You know what I love about this whole thing?  Not only am I clever enough to discover and harvest free persimmons, but I use Rosie's (unused) poop bags to gather them.  I am nothing if not practical, and who's gonna steal persimmons from a poop bag?  (Rosie, that's who.)

If you haven't stopped by before, here's the low-down on my earliest persimmon adventures three years ago.  If you have been present for previous persimmon posts, I'm excited to share that I've found the other tree! (If you'd gone back and read that link, you'd know you need two for cross-pollination.)  It's quite close to the one I've been picking from, but in the woodline, so it's a bit hidden.  However, it gave itself away the other day by dropping fruit on the path.  Ha!  Gotcha!  Unfortunately, it's quite tall and narrow, and the fruit must be at least 20 feet up.

Oh, did you want something for perspective on these ripely delicious fruits?  How about Gumby and friend?



Pokey*, have you been working out?  Myyyy...

Gumby's into a little weightlifting himself.



*Don't tell Gumby, but that's not actually Pokey.  It's a Breyer Horse, a Hanoverian if you're into that sort of thing.  Pokey had an appointment for a pedicure he didn't want to tell Gumby about.  It's complicated.

Monday, September 10, 2012

NIAFPHFPPW: Day 2

I’m not sure I got that, er, acronym correct.  Well, anyway, don’t expect I’ll be doing this all week. Tomorrow, for example, I’ll be teaching ‘til 8:30 or so and when I get home around 9:00, if I do eat dinner I won’t be stopping to take pretty pictures of it.

(If you missed it, here’s a link to yesterday’s post explaining—barely—what NIAFPHFPPW is about.)

Anyway, my point—if I have one—is that you should probably enjoy these pics to their fullest, because there may not be any others for a few days.  Here’s my dinner:

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Ha ha, just kidding!  Well, it’s part of my dinner.  I dug these out of the garden, then chopped them up to add to the rest of it.

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Those are my cherry tomatoes in that salad, too.  Just about the entire harvest for the year.  That’s because the dog keeps eating my dang ‘maters before they’re ripe!  I took her away with me over Labor Day weekend, and when we came home, there was a whole handful of tomatoes waiting for us.  Funny how that happened, eh Rosie?

The pasta is left over from our dinner Saturday night, at Miss Chef’s former place of employment.  If I remember correctly, it’s orrecchiette* pasta, with pancetta, sundried tomatoes and peas in a creamy sauce.  Since Miss Chef wasn’t in the kitchen, it needed salt, but other than that, it was as yummy as it sounds.

And for dessert, toasted bread from a local bakery with my own strawberry jam on top.  Sorry, no pictures.  I don’t want you to ruin your screen with all the drool.  HA!

*The name of the pasta comes from the Italian “orrechio,” meaning ear, ‘cause of its shape.  And that’s your language learning moment for the day.  Prego!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NIAFPHFPPW

That stands for National Irritate a Food Pic Hater Food Pic Posting Week.  It’s a silly blog meme being hosted this week by Yabu, who I don’t know anything about other than he seems to be friends with Laura, who curses a lot on her hilarious blog about dinosaurs, fingernail polish and the benefits of gin and circus peanuts.

The conceit is that both of these bloggers have received snide comments about posting pictures of their food on their blogs.  I’ve read similar expressions of superiority on various online forums, comics, whatever.  The basic sentiment is “Silly blogger, what makes you think your food is so hot?”

Our basic sentiment is “Silly commenter, what makes you care so much what I post on my blog?”  And so a bunch of us are posting as many food pics as we can, I guess to irritate such people.  Or maybe I’m just doing it because it sounds like fun, and I don’t have time to think much, or write much, so this way I get credit for having a blog post this week.

Besides, I know my food is hot, because Miss Chef is cooking tonight.

Roasted free-range, organic, compost-eating, possibly heirloom variety yardbird:

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Bubbling hand-cut fries from these ginormous locally-grown potatoes (figures for perspective, and maybe I’ll get extra points, because it’s GUMBY, dammit!):

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Oh, and some green beans, because Miss Chef has this thing about feeding me vegetables.  She’ll probably serve me an apple for dessert.

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My pictures look kind of crappy because I’m supposed to be grading presentations and oral quizzes, so I didn’t take the time to fix the lighting or anything.  I will take time to fix a big ol’ plate of them fries, though.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Up A Different Creek

Different paddles, different kayak, different creek.



Osprey nest on a cell-phone tower.  Might as well give that ugly thing as many uses as possible.



There's a lot more water out here than I'm used to.  (Brunswick bridge in the faaar background.)



Zoooooom.....all these photos are straight out of camera; I'm too lazy to look for photo editing software on Dad's computer.




Moss Cottage in the Historic District.  (There's also a white heron in the marsh grass to the left.)




Jamie Dimon's yacht isn't nearly as nice as I expected.



Here's a video of not much.  Blogger, why must you shrink my videos so?

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Here's a video of something a little...more.  And right outside the back door.


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