Thursday, September 30, 2010


Getting some things crossed off my list before little Byron comes home. We've had this awful freestanding patio swing in the back yard since we moved in, I guess the previous owners thought they'd just leave it for us to deal with. Anyway - found someone on Craigslist that picks up scrap metal for free so he is going to let us know when he can come and get it. Some raking and throwing out some various leftover plant pots and the back will be normal. I wish we had a pressure washer to clean the fence but we don't right now. Maybe I can rent one in a few months or something to do some general cleaning around the place.

Moved some furniture around the house and I still need to do some more re-arranging before setting up the new pup area.

Work has been going ok. I was moved into a new office so I'm still getting used to that.

We're excited about our cruise planned for March. I know of two excursions I definitely want to do this time around. We're hoping to do the Cozumel Bar Hop which is basically a tour of the island combined with visiting 5 local bars and a private tour of Isla Roatan which is combined with a monkey/parrot encounter. Maybe this time I'll get to try some iguana. We tried to get our friends to sign up but I don't think many are going to go with us, if any at all. So we might be on our own again meeting new friends through Cruise Critic. It was lots of fun last time.

I need to make an appointment with the chiropractor. Ugh my back has been giving me issues so bad the last month or so.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow Weekend

The weekend was started off nicely with my boss taking out most of us for a round at the local pub before I headed home.  I tried a new IPA but wasn't impressed with it.  Thus, I didn't remember the name of the IPA and I don't regret forgetting that one.  We had a huge storm blow in right as I parked my car at the pub so my jeans got totally soaked as I waded to the door.  We went out that night for dinner with our friends and then just relaxed at home.

We watched two movies this weekend.  Daybreakers (vampire movie) which I'd already seen in the theater but Ringo hadn't and Harry Brown which was new to both of us.  Ringo liked Daybreakers and we both liked Harry Brown. I'm a sucker for any movie with Michael Caine. The movie is a bit slow to get going but once it does hang on for the ride.

Bernie and Basil always love movie night because they get to cuddle on the couch. Bernie floats back and forth until we stop petting her and then she crams herself into a corner of the couch. Basil gets uneasy with the thunder so he ends up climbing into my lap until the rain calms down.

Saturday we ran some errands before settling at home again. Basil went with us for a trip since he won a photo contest at a local pet store. He hates having to stand still in a crate for a car ride and not be able to look out the window. I just don't feel safe keeping him in a car harness. We got some toys for Byron and a food bowl. I picked out a toy for Basil. Our goodie bag had tons of treats in it. I'm set for agility for a while.

My friend Ella from Iceland was very kind and sent Bernie some fish treats to try out. I'm sure she will love it.

The dogs have been squirreling away toilet paper rolls. Basil has always enjoyed them but now Bernie has gotten in on the action. I'll see her pull out a shredded piece to gnaw on and have no idea where she got it from.

Yesterday I was determined to finish quilting my pinwheel quilt so I got that done. I also had to make Bernie's food for the next two weeks. I was going to make a months worth but realized I was short two eggs and some plain yogurt for the second batch so I skipped it. I did manage to climb onto my kitchen counter to change out the burned out bulb finally. Now to do the other 25 things on my list and I'll be good.

Tonight, if we don't get rained out, Basil will do some agility. Since Byron is coming home on the 15th it cuts into the CPE trial that weekend so I'm just going to enter him in one day and see how we do. Won't cost me a ton of money and I (hopefully) won't be there all day since Byron will be at home with Ringo.

Since we've tossed around a ton of names I still haven't gotten used to calling the puppy Byron. I need to come up with a registered name that is cute. The breeder posted a cute blog showing the pups with their sire and dam having some fun. He's gonna be huge by the time he comes home.

Possible registered names:
Cornerstone's Byron the Charmer
Cornerstone's Three's a Charming Byron
Cornerstone's Byron is Thrice as Nice
Cornerstone's Byron Blue Boy
Cornerstone's Byron the Don Juan

I have plans to make the breeder a wallhanging featuring Cardis. I've got a little bit of it done and decided I needed to re-think the outline stitch. I'm gonna do raw edge appliqué for the first time so that the details stand out. I have two blocks cut and the Cardigan ironed on, need to re-do my third one as I messed it up trying to re-stitch a satin stitch around it. The cutout is small so I can't turn corners easily and have it show up nicely. I did some research and saw that raw edge might solve my problem. Worse comes to worse, I'll hand blanket stitch the whole thing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

To Do List

Things to do before puppy (still unnamed) comes home:

  1. Figure out where his crate will go in bedroom.
  2. Move bistro kitchen table/chairs and set up puppy long term crating area
  3. Get old porch swing hauled away from backyard
  4. Put up some deer fencing against neighbors fence to make sure everything is extra secure
  5. Cut back all bushes by neighbors fence and rake up leaves/pine needles
  6. Screw in any panels that have popped out again on privacy fence (gotta love the Florida heat)
  7. Get a few more baby gates for the house
  8. Dig through doggie toys and make a basket for puppy to rotate each day
  9. Find all the Kongs that have gone AWOL in the house
  10. Puppy proof rest of open areas
  11. Locate small puppy collar in doggie closet
  12. Figure out name for puppy
  13. Figure out food puppy and Basil will be fed

Yesterday was kind of a wash with work stuff at home.  Didn't get to do much of anything else.  My sewing room looks like a disaster.  This week will be focused on cleaning the house.

Tonight is agility class.  Crossing my fingers we don't have any rain and we have a breeze!  Both the dogs have been frisky the past few days.  I'm hoping that is a sign that the weather is changing.  I may take both with me to class tonight.

Just got word that my office is being moved.  I won't be by the building door entrance anymore. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cardigan Update + Pictures

We went and visited our puppy today.  Still not 100% sure of the name.  We are re-thinking Bilbo after saying it since it seems difficult to say quickly.  I think I've convinced the hubby to let me call him Bramble!  We will see if it sticks in a few weeks.

Now for the pictures!  Our puppy has the black patch on the side of his head covering his left ear and he also has a mostly black left rear hindquarter.

Our puppy 5 weeks old
Our Puppy 5 weeks old - sideview

Our puppy likes to play!

He was trying to get to a toy

Mostly he likes to sleep

All the puppies were very sweet, playful, alert and you can see the beginnings of potty training.  We also got to meet the sire and dam.  The dam (Nibbs) is super sweet and personable.  Most Cardis that I've met aren't that eager to come up and say hi without knowing you but she did.  The sire is big!  Our puppy is going to be a large Cardi.  He's the biggest of the bunch right now.

We had a great visit and we will go pick him up in about four weeks.  I've got some things to do around the house before he comes home anyway.  Walking in the door I got the grand inspection from Bernie and Basil.  Then we went outside and played with sticks.

I also took a bunch of pictures at Downtown Disney since we were in the area and decided to stop and walk around.  It was hot but fun.  Florida shouldn't be 95 degrees in September.  :(

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

He is Super Happy to Be Outside
Uh Oh
I guess its ok
I Love you anyway
Just In Time Before Sunset

Bernie was also given a bath but my camera battery was dead when I went to take the picture.  Swapped it out for Basil though.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I was 18 that day working as a legal secretary for an attorney.  He had a TV set up in his office so he could watch the news throughout the day.  He was having issues with our shared calendar so I went in to fix it and figure out what was going on when we first noticed the news story.  Back then, the World Trade Center was in the news quite often, either for bomb scares or something so I just thought it was some sort of bomb scare again.  Then we noticed the smoke coming out of one side when they showed the video.

We watched the news as the second plane flew in and just couldn't believe it.  I sat in his office with the attorney and his daughter watching the morning unfold and more news of other downed planes come through.  It was just heartwrenching.  Being that I worked in the capital of a major state and news got out that they planned to fly planes into each major capital I was scared.

When I finally went home that day no one really knew what had happened and there was lots of speculation.  People were angry, distraught, confused and scared that it would continue.

I visited the site with my husband in 2003.  It was still full of rubble and there were huge gaping holes where the buildings used to stand.  The flag was still hanging at the site. We saw lots of photographs, letters and flowers.  People stood to pay respect and it just brought it all back.

I find it sad that people had to die over disagreements regarding religion, freedom, personal expression, and personal opinions.  It shouldn't be that way.  But for now, it is the world we live in.  I hope each day we all work towards a common good while we rebuild our hearts and country.

I believe in the Religious Society of Friends Call to Peace. 

The Quaker Peace Testimony
We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever; and this is our testimony to the whole world. The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world.
Declaration of Friends to Charles II, 1660

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Training, or lack thereof

I haven't posted much about dog training because, since Bernie got sick earlier this year, I haven't been doing a whole lot of it. Basil and I do work on agility for fun (we both enjoy it and have fun together) and I do some shaping with Bernie once in a while but other than that we're at the point where we kind of just work on maintenance behaviors.

Her illness just completely wore me out mentally. I wasn't able to do training with her for a while for fear of causing an imbalance with her urinary pH by introducing some sort of treat that didn't jive with her new diet. Even using the treats the vet suggested I use left me with guilt after doing a training session because I knew they were not as healthy as the ones I normally use and I was still scared that she would get sick again and it would be my fault. My brain is evil to me sometimes making me feel guilty for things I cannot control.  My solution was just to not train her.

Even after switching her to a raw diet in May I was constantly scared she'd get worse again. The nutritionist said giving her some baked chicken breast wouldn't hurt her diet but I still wanted to give it time to see how she reacted to it.

Poor Basil was caught in the middle. Agility was pretty much the only thing I did with him during the worst of it. A few weeks ago I did some shaping with him, the same time I did the paper bag shaping with Bernie.

Basil was shaped to sit on a mat so we could work some more on start line stay training. It is still working well. It takes him longer to get an idea than Bernie and I have to use some different techniques. I have to do more luring with him since he gets frustrated with shaping and gives up after a time. I've tended to use more shaping with him when he's scared of an object to help him interact with it than to use shaping to teach a new behavior.

At the agility trial he hated the crate fan I hung on the side of the crate. I ended up shaping him to touch it with his nose in about 5 minutes. Very useful. He hates having wind blown in his face.

Shes Part Shark
Basil does very obvious tongue flicks when he's nervous or unsure about something. So obvious my husband noticed them and he isn't very observant. I caught one in a picture once (right).  I first learned about tongue flicks when reading Dr. McConnell's book For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend.  (You can read a excerpt on tongue flicks here.)  He's a great dog to watch to see stress signals since he does them in an exaggerated way, briefly, all the time.  He does them to Bernie.   I see him do it at home for various reasons.  Sometimes he'll do it at my classes when I bring him as a neutral dog.  I've learned a lot watching his body language as he interacts with different things since I know he isn't the most confident dog in the world.  He is very careful, calculating and hesitant.  This made training things like the teeter challenging but still fun in the end when I watch him charge forward with excitement as we work on it.

So over the coming months my goal is to work more on training with my dogs.  Bernie needs enrichment being that she is too smart for her own good.  Even though I can't do much agility with her (due to her left shoulder) she still likes to do training.  I might start writing down some chained behaviors to train her.  I thought about trying out Rally but I just can't afford to compete in two different venues. 

Basil and I are still learning about each other on the agility course.  Thankfully he is very patient with me and doesn't get frustrated as I try to get my cues correct.  He will continue to try over and over.  Bernie would stop, get frustrated and turn off or she'd just bark at me out of frustration.  She has a low threshold for mistakes.

News from the Cardi breeder last night.  Each day it's looking more and more like Sumo is the pup for us.  He was the first out of the whelping box and the first to explore various things.  :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Custom iPhone Case - Arrived!

Bamboo iPhone case by Grove.

I love it! It feels great in my hand and fits my phone nicely.  The image turned out wonderful (thanks Merystic!) and I couldn't be happier with it all.

Sleepy Weekend

He just wants a bathmat.
I did some work on my pinwheel quilt over the weekend and relaxed with the pups the rest of the time.

Basil checks on me throughout the day if I'm in my sewing room.  I've tried to convince him it's ok to nap in there but he doesn't like the noise sometimes and I move around so much it bothers him.  So he will sleep at the doorway to keep an eye on me or I'll find him in front of the sunroom asleep on the rug.  He loves mats and rugs.  Want to make his day?  Give him a soft bathmat to sleep on. 

We tried to do agility last night and got rained out.  He did well running the 9 obstacles in the rain before it started downpouring.  Oh well - we'll try again next week.  I got some good sends to a tunnel with him.  Still working on straightaways.  Having a running contact sucks when the next obstacle is right in front of the contact and your dog is already pretty darned fast.  Gotta work on directionals.

Bernie made both of us laugh last night by deciding it was time for bed at 9PM and staring at the bedroom door wanting to go in.  I tried calling her back to the couch but she refused to come over.  So I opened the babygate and she went right to her bed and went to sleep.  I have no idea what wore her out so much but she was tired and her bed was the only place she wanted to be.

Less than two weeks and we get to go see the Cardi pups.

Can't wait for the weather to cool off so I can clean out my backyard (get the old patio swing hauled off that was left there by the previous owners, remove bushes and ask neighbors to fix their fence) and hold a garage sale.  Maybe I'll refinish that piece of furniture that I said I would do last year.  I might just repaint it and use it as a buffet.  I need to go to the consignment shop and see if they have a dining room table and chair set that I like.  Then I can paint the dresser to match and put away the china my mom gave me.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cardigan Update

Breeder sent some individual pictures!  I think I downloaded the right ones for the two blue boys.  They are three weeks old now.



We get to meet the whole litter on the 18th.  I'm so excited.  Breeder is still picking for us the right one but I'm pretty sure we've got a good chance at getting a performance dog out of this litter.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekend Update

This weekend has been somewhat productive so far.  I did some stuff for the wedding quilt I'm doing for a friend yesterday, we saw Piranha 3D, and we survived another outing to the local Waffle House.

Piranha 3D was pretty silly.  I don't generally want to go see live action 3D movies because I find they usually don't translate well and it isn't worth the extra $2.50 just to say you saw it in 3D. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland prompted this rule since I found a lot of the fast motion in the film to blur when you do the 3D effect and if I wanted to watch a blurry, shaky movie I'd pop in a Jason Bourne DVD.   I've been sticking to animated films for my 3D experiences and I've been pretty happy.

What was fun about the movie to me were all the appearances of actors I like popping up in it.  Go take a gander at the IMDB actor listing to see what I mean.  Christopher Lloyd was pretty hilarious to watch.  Add all of that with the 100% probability that annoying teenage spring break kids are going to be eaten by carnivorous fish and you've got a movie I'd want to see.

I think I was more excited about the trailers for upcoming 3D films.  I've been noticing trailers for the new Resident Evil being played on TV but was disappointed to not see any zombies featured at all and swore I wouldn't go see it if zombies were not an integral part of the storyline.  Then I see the actual 3D trailer (with zombies) and was like omg we have to go see it.  Ringo laughed at me and said no, you said you didn't want to see it.  The 3D trailer is different than the other ones and actually explains the story (which is interesting to me).  The 3d effects of the trailer were incredible, much better than other live action 3d films I'd watched.

Here is the literal parody of the TV trailer if you wanna laugh at it:

Tron Legacy is the other 3D film I was excited about.  Not the first time I'd seen the trailer but this was a more in-depth one than the others.

My pups need a bath so bad!  Maybe tomorrow I'll get around to doing that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Photos from Tonight

A few of my favorites from my short little session in the backyard with the pups -

Puppy Names

Nibs with the pups
Since the possibility of us getting a Cardigan puppy in a few months grows more and more likely, we've been kicking around names and we've failed to find one we really like.

My other two corgis are named Bernie and Basil respectively.  I wanted to find a Welsh "B" name for the boy but couldn't find anything.  We thought about other names like Leto, Newton, Liam but nothing felt right.  I know it seems silly to name a puppy before he comes home but it worked out with our other two and who am I to break tradition?

So here are some male "B" names that I like, take a vote for your favorite:


Ringo really doesn't like Bramble even though that is my favorite.  Ultimately I know it'll come down to my decision but I've been hoping we can come to a consensus like we did on the last two.
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