Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nothing Says Christmas Like Corgis Under a Pink Tree

I found this little metallic pink tree a couple of years ago and had to have it. It's a nice size for my little house too.
I have several ornaments of great sentimental value to me. This yellow angel was a decoration on a gift that was given to me on my first Christmas - and was hung on our tree every year when I was growing up. (She looks good to be 29 years old, doesn't she?? ; ) ) The little elf dates back to first grade. The pink cupcake is new - it was sent to me in the Blogger Ornament Exchange this year.
The vintage striped glass ornament and the pink one in the background are other ones I saved from our old family ornaments. The angel made from a cotton boll reminds me of growing up in the land of cotton. The counted cross stitch ornament was made by Mom - she used to make me a new one every year and put it in my stocking.
Of course, the cardis are represented - that's Scout driving a train, and Spencer is hiding back among the branches.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Corgi Parade: All that obedience training finally pays off!

The St Elmo Corgi Parade was this morning, and despite the cold, damp day, the cardis were well represented. Laura brought Lego (black) and Star (blue) so that along with Spencer (brindle) and Scout (red) - we would have all of the colors represented. There were at least 3 other cardis there as well. All the cardis got lots of attention and all of the cardi owners were asked lots of questions about the breed.

Only one of the cardis was dressed up - but we're not sure what she was dressed up as. Scout seems to be saying, "Hey lady, what did you do to this girl?"

Spencer was named the Most Talented Corgi - and the prize was a basket with 7 one pound bags of organic, free trade coffee and a box of rooibos tea. He did a little sampler of rally/obedience exercises, topped off with his signature move - the Full Twisting Inverted Prairie Dog (that's where he drops to a down from the Prairie Dog position and immediately rolls over - it's always a big crowd pleaser!)

Lego beat out Spencer for the Longest Corgi by a mere quarter inch. Star won the Best Tail award, but Scout says she was robbed and pouted over it all afternoon. In fact, it got a little ugly when Scout hit the "red bitch" button when we got home - Laura and her dogs came over to the house after Laura and I had some mexican food and a margarita. Scout got ugly with Star, so Scout spent the next hour in her crate.

The weather was a bit dreary, but it was a fun day. Hopefully they will have the Holiday in St Elmo festival again next year along with another Corgi Parade.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cook, Eat, Clean, Repeat

This was our cycle from Wednesday night through today. My dishwasher has run more in three days than it did in the past 3 months. With my 50+ hours a week work schedule plus Mom visits, the only cooking I have done is dog food.

I must say I actually enjoyed having the chance to be in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. My brother and sister-in-law from Florida, nephew from Atlanta, and nephew, niece-in-law and 2 great nieces from Memphis all came in Wednesday night. My plan for supper was to heat up a pan of Omaha Steaks lasagna that was coming as part of a gift box to be delivered Wednesday, along with a big salad and a baguette.

When the Omaha Steaks box arrived about 5:00, I was surprised and dismayed to see that the lasagna was sized for three servings! Ouch! I dashed to the kitchen and figured I had all I needed to put together a pot of red beans (with smoked turkey sausage) and brown rice - and it was was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Thanksgiving morning, we made a big country breakfast. My nephew Neil is the official biscuit maker in our family, and as usual, his biscuits were light and tasty as can be. I made sausage and gravy, and brother Jimmy made fluffy scrambled eggs. Everyone had fun making their own coffee or hot chocolate in my fabulous Keurig coffee maker - I should get a commission on these - everyone wants their own for Christmas. We finished eating, got up and started cleaning up so that we could start cooking dinner.

I was in charge of the dressing - something Mom has always made in the past. I had never made it, but watched her do it many times. I cooked celery and onion in butter til tender. I made a large batch of cornbread from scratch. When I was growing up, a pone of cornbread was on our table at least 5 out of seven nights a week. As I got older, I would occasionally make it, but I am sure the last cornbread I made was probably fifteen years ago. I was happy to see that it was like riding a bike - something you never forget how to do. I crumbled up the cornbread, stirred in the celery-onion-butter mix, soaked it all in chicken broth, and baked it for 35 minutes. It turned out good! I also made Mom's super secret easy gravy - I could share it, but you would lose all respect for me and good southern cooking if I did. (Although - I did share it with a huge food snob friend of mine who was in a panic Thanksgiving a few years ago when she was cooking for her new husband's family for the first time and had forgotten about making gravy. She was appalled when I told her what to do, but everyone at the table loved it and she has used the recipe ever since.)

If you don't have a turkey roaster, wait until after the holidays and then check the endcaps at Target or Walmart and pick yourself up one at a bargain price. Heck, go ahead and buy one at full price - it is so worth it not to tie up your oven. However - do not believe the cooking time they say in the instruction book - we have used two different roasters over the last couple of years, and both cooked the turkey in about half the time prescribed.

Today we started all over again - another big breakfast - even got a picture of it:

We had a little time to kick back before we started cooking again today - but this time we had a big batch of fried crappie and hushpuppies. My aunt in Mississippi who spends her summers fishing sent frozen filets to us via an uncle who was traveling through.

This afternoon, everyone headed out - nephew Eric to a wedding in Cincinatti, Neil and his girls to Atlanta to visit friends, and brother and sis in law started back to Florida. It's awfully quiet in my little house tonight, but nice. And I have a refrigerator full of food. I may have to recruit some folks at the corgi parade to come help me clear it out.

Hope everyone else had a happy and safe holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Give a Laptop, Change the World

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and here I am still in my nightgown at noon - but I have been cleaning and getting ready for the deluge of family due here this afternoon. Tonight, there will be six adults, 2 children and 2 dogs trying to find space to sleep in my little house, and tomorrow we will spring Mom from the rehab center for Thanksgiving dinner.

In preparation for this, I have been doing some serious clearing out. I have accumulated a large pile of stuff to go to a yard sale sometime soon. There is not one new doodad that I need in this house, so I am letting everyone in my family know that if the best gift they can give me this year is making a contribution to some worthy cause - their choice, or I can make recommendations.

I recently blogged about Donors Choose, where contributions can be made to public school teachers for specific needs. I am pleased to report that two of the projects I selected have been fully funded now. I heard from some folks who read my post that they further spread the word about Donors Choose, which I think is great too.

Here's another cause I have have been hearing about for quite a while - some very smart people have developed low cost laptops for kids all over the world. They are sturdy, kid-friendly and have the capability of linking children to all kinds of learning opportunities. They were also smart enough to partner with Amazon (where a substantial chunk of my disposable income lands - I never buy anything until I check to see if Amazon is cheaper, and they often are. I found an all in one wireless printer/scanner/faxer that I had to have Monday night, and Tuesday afternoon it was on my front porch - but I digress . . .)

Anyhow, when you surfing around, check out the One Laptop per Child Foundation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Corgi Parade is Back!

Many moons ago, I went to a little community gathering in St Elmo, TN, a suburb - in fact the first suburb - of Chattanooga, at the base of Lookout Mountain. It was street fair with vendors selling arts and crafts and such. A friend of mine and I had a little booth selling beaded jewelry.

When noon rolled around, there was announcement to clear the street - the Corgi Parade was about to start. I don't know that I had ever really paid any attention to corgis until then, but I was charmed by these short little dogs. There were probably about 25 dogs there (probably all Pems, but at that time I didn't know there two breeds). I didn't have a dog then, but I thought that when I was ready to get one, I would have to consider a corgi.

Five years later, I went to what would be the last September in St Elmo Festival and Corgi Parade. Spencer was 4 month old puppy then, and he won the Best Tail award - ok, he was the only one there with a tail, so there wasn't much competition.

I am so excited that St Elmo has decided to have a Holiday in St Elmo, bringing back the Corgi Parade - see here for info on everything else going on that day.

For you folks not too far from Chattanooga - think about coming to the Festival! Bring the family!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The view from my sofa

I played hooky today from work. I was sitting on my sofa this afternoon and this was my view. Unfortunately, I have not mastered my new camera, and I lost the blue sky when I fill flashed inside, but it's still a pretty tree. I belive this has been one of the most vivid autumns we have had in a long time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Bright Spot of the Day

Spencer got his 21st RAE leg today. We both had a shaky start on the Excellent leg, but made a huge comeback on the Advanced leg. Spencer scored a perfect 100 and came in second on time. (We were beat by a Terv - so we suffered short dog setback - they really should handicap the time by height!)

No other good news to report. We had hoped the breeder-judge today would break with the pack and give Scout a win, but "The Perfect Front" won again. She also passed on Laura's Jill today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It ain't easy being a show dog

Spencer, Scout and Laura P's Jill (who was winners bitch today!) after a long day at the dog show.

After a couple of Texas Margaritas and the best cheese-bean dip ever, Laura and I will shortly be joining them.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I happily envy these two little bearcubs.

I don't have a sister, and my only sibling is 13 years older than me, so we really don't even have any shared childhood memories. While we share the same parents, they were at dramatically different points in their lives when we were born. Mom was 19 when he was born, married just over a year, and they still lived out in the country. My grandmother lived with them, so my brother had the experience of being with her every day, and I never even knew her. She died when I was a baby.

By the time I came along, Mom and Dad had moved to the city, and we lived a couple of hours away from all the aunts and uncles and cousins. Jimmy started to college the same year I started first grade, so he was off and gone. My parents always said they had two only children.

All that to say, it makes me happy to see these two girls, just 23 months apart in age, and think about how lucky they will be to have a sister going through life with them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The view from my window

This was the view from my office this afternoon. I'm glad I remembered to bring my camera to work today before the rains come and wash all this away.

I snapped this one from the roof of our parking garage this morning. Look at that sky color - straight out of the camera. I love my new toy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Feeling Philanthropic?

I found a cool site tonite and spent some money.

I just supported a few classroom projects at public schools via

"The Coexistence of Good and Evil: To Kill A Mockingbird"
"ESOL Family Literacy Project"
"Love That Dog"

If you contribute, too, we could bring these classroom projects to life. So check it out and see what you think!

All projects are submitted by public school teachers who seek resources essential to their students' success. Donors can choose from thousands of classroom projects, and then hear back from the classroom they chose to help.

I picked out a few projects that sounded dear to me. If you would like to send a little cash their way - click on the widget at left. (I do have a birthday later this week and would consider this a fabulous gift!!)

If these projects don't make your tail wag, check out their site anyway.