Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Catch-up

I've been very lax about blogging, not that life has been giving me a chance to relax, but starting next week I'll have more time than I ever imagined. All three kidlets will be attending school full-time. It'll be the first time ever (well, since having a baby back in '98) that I won't have a kid at home. Quite a change after five years of homeschooling. Needless to say, lots of school prep of a different kind going on around here. And lots of mixed emotions. For me at least!

My oldest's goldfish Butler died. We thought he died a week ago when our youngest found him on the carpet, but hubby moved water over his lungs and Butler started breathing and swimming again. Beauty, our little black cat, is the one who knocked over his bowl. She's been after him since he arrived from the fair (a prize from a carnival game.) Butler was floating in his bowl so we assume he died from natural causes. But Beauty has yet to provide an alibi. She also stopped hanging around the door to my oldest's room. Circumstantial evidence, but a little fishy if you ask me!

I had a very nice birthday. Thanks for the greetings. A quiet day, but fun. The celebration continued into Tuesday when my parents came up to take me to lunch and later that night the family went bowling. The funny thing about my birthday is I'd picked two things I'd wanted to do. On my day I wanted to go bowling and have lunch, but the place was closed for an employee appreciation party. And the next day I wanted to have lunch at a little cafe I love. Well, that happened to be closed, too. They stopped serving lunch. Lesson learned for next year, call ahead and make sure places will be open!

Did you see this story about George R.R. Martin's name appearing randomly in his A Feast of Crows ebook? Some of the examples are very funny!

Hope you have a nice day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

LASR 6th Anniversary Bash!

Today is my birthday and what better way to celebrate than to join in the Long and Short Reviews' 6th Anniversary Bash. You'll want to click on the link above because readers who visit can enter to win prizes...$450 in Amazon/BN GCs, more than $200 in publisher GCs, over 100 books and MORE! 

Hope to see you there!

Have a great Monday! I plan to!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Mackenna and Cato on Sunday
This weekend the girls, the dogs and I attended three days of dog showing in Enumclaw, Washington. The show, put on by the Olympic Kennel Club, is a big one with lots of breed specialty shows, including one for our dogs, Norwegian Elkhounds. I used this show as the setting for the final scene in The Man Behind The Pinstripes!

To say we had a good weekend doesn't do what happened justice.  At least that's what everyone in the know keeps telling us. All I know is my two girls and my two dogs did very well and I couldn't be happier for them!

Friday was the PSNEA Specialty Show. Not as many Norwegian Elkhounds were entered this year, but there were still going to be enough dogs for the show to count as a major. In order for a dog to get his/her championship, they have to win two majors and earn 15 points. There aren't that many Elkhounds in the Pacific Northwest so majors are a big deal!

Cato, our 10 1/2 month old puppy, was entered in Puppy Sweeps, Breed and would be shown in Junior Handling by Mackenna. Chaos, our 8 year old, was entered in Veterans and would be shown in Junior Handling by Rose. Since the girls were the only two Junior Handlers entered, I knew they'd be winning their classes and one of them would be Best Junior.

Other than Junior Handling we didn't expect any wins. Cato's not only a puppy, but also a boy puppy who is smart but very silly and has more growing and maturing to do. Plus he'd lost a lot of his coat and only recently stopped looking like a mangy coyote. Chaos is gorgeous, but is a thief and will steal any food left within her reach. She needs to loose a few pounds!

The competition on Friday afternoon began with Puppy Sweepstakes. This competition doesn't count for points, only bragging rights and a few dollars if you win. Mainly we wanted to get Cato more ring experience and this was a way to do that.

Cato won 1st Place in the 9-12 months Puppy (he was the only one in his class) then went on to win Best of Sweeps Juniors (i.e. best puppy that was was competing in the sweep!) We were thrilled. He and Mackenna looked so good together in the ring. I was a very proud mom of both my two legged and four legged kids. A great start to the weekend!

Next up was the Breed competition. The puppies went first. Cato one 1st place in 9-12 month old pups (only dog again.) But that meant he could now go on to compete for Winners dog. He surprised us by winning Winners dog. It was a three point major, too! His first major and his first points! None of us could believe it because he beat older and more mature dogs! 

A few of Friday's ribbons
Being Winners dog meant Cato got to go back into the ring for Best of Breed. There they pick the Best of Winners (between Winners Dog and Bitch) and the Best of Breed (aka BOB!.) We were stunned when Cato was picked Winners dog as well as Best of Breed! Mackenna had so many ribbon and prizes she needed help to hold everything!

But the day wasn't over. Mackenna won Best Junior showing Cato. (Chaos had placed second in Veterans and both she and Rose looked good in Juniors, Mack and Cato were on a roll!)

It was so exciting and everyone kept telling us how big this was! A dream day is how someone described it!

On Saturday, Cato won Reserve in Winners Dog (kinda like second place), then he and Mackenna made the cut in Juniors against twenty others. Not bad for the pup's first time in AKC Junior Handling. Rose and Chaos did well in Jrs. but didn't place.

On Sunday, Cato won his class and Winners dog. He was also named Best Winners again. His second major! That means all he needs is points to finish his championship. Not bad for a puppy! But he was finished showing by then. Mackenna took him into the Juniors ring for the Open Senior class and that was the last place he wanted to be. They didn't make the cut, but she couldn't complain after getting two majors in one weekend!

It was then Chaos and Rose's turn. They were spot on and won the Open Junior class. We were all excited. Wins for both kids and dogs. It doesn't get much better than that at a dog show!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One of those weeks...

Not only am I crazy busy this week, I'm not feeling well. I was hoping my home remedies would work, but they aren't so I'll call the doctor in the morning. Will be back once I'm feeling better.

Hope all is well where you are!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday Find #2 - Tracy Brogan

I'm away at a swim meet and totally forgot about preloading a Friday Find blog post so this will be quick! Today's Friday Find is Tracy Brogan. I don't know her, just came across one of her books called Crazy Little Thing and it sounded good.

This book made me laugh out loud the weekend I found out Rocket had liver cancer and was dying. So what I needed! And I'll every be grateful for that because he was sitting with me or on me the entire time I was reading.

I wish I had time to tell you more about Tracy and what other books she's got out, but I need to get to the pool for warm-ups. So I'll leave with a "Go buy the book" if you want a very entertaining, funny read!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Cat 4-H at the Clark County Fair

Junior Reserve Champion for Cage Decoration
Sorry it's taken so long to get this post up. I had two more days of fair with my oldest, 3 extra kids (two nephews and a niece) here and way too much to do around here!

So 4-H Cats at the Clark County Fair...

I'll start by saying when I left for San Diego, my youngest decided she was not competing at Fair. She had never shown Beauty. She'd used our leader's cat at a Fun Match and it hadn't gone well. She'd only practiced during 4-H meetings twice.

Our leader texted me suggesting she at least decorate a cage and do a cat craft. Rose agreed. Of course, none of this was done let alone started while I was away in San Diego. So I return home from my vacation and Fair preparations begin.

Finn's award winning photo
Most people take weeks, maybe months, to pull everything together. We did it in three and a half days, give or take a few hours.

First up was 4-H Photography. Matted prints were due on Tuesday. The mishaps in getting ready included hubby not ordering reprints of all the pics and our puppy Cato eating the sheet of matting. That meant an early morning run to Michaels the day everything was due. Special thanks to the framing guy who cut the mats to save us time.

The kids pics did well. Rose won four blues. Mackenna won six. Finn won a red and a blue, including a special award.

Next up were the 4-H Cat Projects. Rose drew a picture of a cat to enter in Cat Crafts. She won a red ribbon with that. Then the big project was at had. Cage Decoration. She had a theme idea in mind based on her Build-A-Bear igloo.

A quick trip to Jo-Ann's Fabrics gave her all she needed to create the Kitty Snow Globe cage pictured at the top of the blog. She sewed the fabric to the cage, had her dad help her make a flooring and a wall to hide the litter box. A quick rummaging through her toys found a few accessories for the top. Her skills from Computer Adventures, a class she's taken the last two years, helped her create the title. All this took her most of Wednesday to complete, but for a last minute effort she did well. We had the cage to the fair on-time Thursday afternoon!

Irish Dancers Rose and Beauty
 On Friday (first official day of fair) morning when we arrived, she had both a blue ribbon and a Reserve Champion hanging on her cage for her efforts! Thankfully, she's already picked next year's theme so we can get started early.

As fair was getting closer, Rose decided she still wasn't going to show Beauty, but she wanted to do Cat Costume, where the 4Her and animal dress up. So as soon as the cage was finished, she figured out an easy costume. Irish dancers.

Rose had always dreamed of wearing her big sister's solo dress. Now she was big enough that it fit. Finding Beauty an Irish Dance outfit wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Given our last minute efforts, sewing wasn't an option so Rose raided her toy box. The American Girl Irish dance dress was too small, but a Build-A-Bear Sleeping Beauty dress fit. Rose added a tulle headband she'd made and white baby socks, cut off with black shoe laces drawn on to look like soft shoes. She won another Blue ribbon!

"Type" Judging
By Saturday, Rose had changed her mind and decided she was going to compete in the Fitting and Showing as well as Type. She was very nervous though.

Beauty had never been shown to a judge. She was a handful for Rose during Fitting and Showing (the judge is looking at the handler not the cat), but the two of them still ended up with a Blue ribbon. Rose was thrilled. We all were. Doing so well was a big confidence booster for her.

That afternoon, Type (the judge is looking at the cat not the handler) went much better. Beauty was more calm. We're not sure if she just decided this was her Fate or if she was more used to the new surroundings, but they received another Blue ribbon.

Cat showing is very different from dog showing. I'm still not sure I get the whole concept since the cat really doesn't do much. No running around a ring or stacking, just sitting/standing/lying on a table, but Rose enjoyed herself and already wants to do it again.

Beauty resting in her igloo
Saturday was also voting day at the Fair. The public could vote for their favorite cat cage. The kids passed out ballots to people touring the cat barn. Rose worked hard to get votes for hers!

Guess what?

She won! Beauty and the Kitty Snow Globe won the Public's Choice for Juniors (Rose's age group!)

On Sunday, the kids also competed in Cat Bowl. As the day was drawing to a close, they announced Clark County's State Fair team. Rose's name was announced. She qualified twelfth out of fifteen. Not bad for a kid who a few days before wasn't even going to compete. So in September we'll be heading to the State Fair in Puyallup, Washington.

Fingers crossed we won't be rushing around at the last minute to get everything finished in time!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Fair Update

I spent the past three days at the Clark County Fair. A post and pics coming soon, but I need to head back there soon and am just too tired to write right now! But I will say I enjoyed the Cat Project much more than I ever enjoyed the Dog Project!

Hope you're having a wonderful morning!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Friday Find - Jennifer Faye

Today is my first Friday Find post where I introduce you to an author I think you should check out and read. I'm doing this both here on my blog and on my Facebook page. I thought it would be a fun way to spotlight books and authors I'm reading.

Jennifer Faye
Meet Harlequin Romance debut author Jennifer Faye.

I met Jennifer on-line. Where else do I meet people these days! Jennifer is from Pennsylvania. She's a wife, mother and has two spoiled rotten cats! I knew there was a reason I liked her besides her being a talented writer. Us cat people must stick together.

Her first book RANCHER TO THE RESCUE came out in July and was an RT Top Pick with 4.5 stars! Here's what the review had to say:
 ...Fun, quirky and romantic, Faye's tale moves along without a hitch, with an original storyline and solid characters.

Check out the back cover copy:
Damsel in a wedding dress!

Jilted at the altar, celebrity chef Meghan Finnegan flees the scene--and the baying press--only to run straight into the muscled torso of Cash Sullivan.

The former rodeo champion knows what's it like to have your life crumble in the spotlight, so he offers Meghan a place to lie low at his ranch.

Fresh air, no paparazzi and the brooding rancher's lazy smile are making Meghan not want to leave her sanctuary. But she and her unborn baby can't stay here forever...can they?
A cowboy hero, jilted pregnant heroine, ranch setting...what's not to love about this story?

You can visit Jennifer's website here and her Facebook page here.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Why it's Awesome to be a Nerd...

Wil Wheaton gives an infant girl a pep talk about being a nerd. This nerd loves this awesome video, and I had to share. Enjoy!

Have a great Thursday!