Thursday, March 27, 2008

Weeble Wobble

I need help.

My mother-in-law (the cook - she refuses to call herself a chef) has been here for almost two weeks and my house is full of food that I cannot possibly ever finish eating. And believe me, we've been trying.

We have had her:

Chicken Cacciatore
Another chicken dish on stuffing with succotash and some funky kind of potato (boiled then browned in peanut oil)
Homemade Mac n Cheese
Something called Cheesy Carrots ended up on our plate at one point too.
Banana Cream Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie

Not to mention:

Round Table Pizza
Kirin Chinese food (to die for - TWICE)
Easter dinner at a friends house (see lovely table setting?)

She taught me how to make Crepes. She brought two smoked hams and 20 pounds of smoked bacon - all of which she smoked herself.

She also tried to burn the house down, but we won't discuss that. Nothing actually burned, she just filled the house with the smoke of carbonized candied lemon peels and I'm still getting the smell out of my craft room (yes that means my yarn and quilting fabric - sigh)

We've been inviting people over for dinner left and right and filling them to the gills.

We hit the farmer's market this past Saturday and we've seen 'Horton Hears a Who' (way good - go see it).

But last night was pretty cool.

We've known about MIL's visit for a while and I know one person that has a restaurant in the area and I was bound and determined to take her there.

So the weekend hubby went and got his mom I went to knit group and asked Susan about her hubby's restaurant:

Where is it?
What's the dress code?

When will he be there?

Don't worry about it.
Tuesday through Saturday

Since MIL was going to be in Windsor yesterday for an eye appointment with Dr. Bob, I figured she'd be close enough to Healdsburg to be willing to go (she really doesn't like to leave the house), so 5 of us drove up to Zin last night completely unannounced.

I forgot to ask Susan about reservations. D'oh!

However they were able to accommodate us very promptly and we don't think we caused too much of a back up.

The food was absolutely delicious. I had the pork chop with applesauce and cornbread stuffing. Hubby and MIL had the lamb. Shane had the Herd Roasted Chicken and Dr Bob had the pasta dish. Starters were Artichokes and a Bacon wrapped Date with Almond dish.

During dinner I tried to 'Kinear' Farmer Jeff

Then came dessert:

Me: Chocolate Mousse Chocolate Tart (yummy yummy yummy yummy)
Ken: Ice cream sundae
MIL: Banana bread and ice cream
Shane: Cafe au Lait Creme Brulee
Dr Bob: Zinfandel Grape Jelly doughnuts

Well during dessert, I finally broke down and asked our waitress if we could say hello to Farmer Jeff (okay I said 'Mr. Mall') and he came by.

I explained that I know Susan from Knit Group and that my MIL is a cook that owns her own restaurant and her visit was as good a reason as any to finally try the restaurant.

Then I asked if I could take their picture (I don't Kinear very well) and he said yes.

So hubby said "You're going to make the blog!"

Farmer Jeff asked which blog. I said that I was actually linked from Susan's and he asked which one. So I said "Tiny Tyrant".

Yelp! He reads it (and loves the doggies - but then who doesn't?).

So a good time was had by all.

If you decide to try Zin, be a better person than I and call and get reservations so the pretty little hostess doesn't pass out when you walk in with 5 people.

PS If you ever need an incentive to join a gym , have your cook MIL come for a visit and never stop feeding you. Guess what I did Sunday?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Dude

It's hard to believe that a year ago today a source of extreme joy came into our life.

Last year March 18th was on a Sunday. It was the day after the funeral for our dear neighbor and hubby and I were on our way to a client to do some server work while no one was in the office.

He and I were headed to the car when I see this little blob of brown fur sitting at the top of the driveway.

I immediately go into doggy alert. Hubby hadn't come through the gate behind me yet and waited to let me do my thing.

I got the little shivering terrified furball kind of trapped between our Buick and the pile of construction stuff at the side of the driveway while DH went and got a leash. I'm down on all fours at this point (this guy is LITTLE and I don't want to scare him) and he slowly hands me the leash.

The minute it's on this little guy, he's an entirely different dog. Happy, bouncing around, like someone flipped a switch letting him know everything is okay and he's with people that won't hurt him.

Well we still have to get to the clients so in the house and into the crate we have for Oscar he goes and off we go.

Later I take a picture and post flyers around the neighborhood and take him for a walk to see if he'll take me to his 'real' home. Little did I know, he'd already found it.

The next week is a week of craigslist ads and pressdemo ads and petco flyers and filling out found dog reports at the local shelters and putting the word out that we have a little guy that might need a new home. We already have two dogs after all. I got heartbreaking phone calls from people looking for their own dog or puppy.

It's also a week of IM conversations with DH like the following:

DH: Guess what?
Me: What?
DH: He plays fetch.
Me: Oh boy.

Couple of days later

DH: He likes the water.
Me: Excuse me?
DH: He likes the water.

Me: How do you know he likes the water?
DH: I threw the ball in the pond

Me: Oh boy.

The next weekend still no real bites on the search for his home and I t
ell hubby I cannot take him to the shelter. Hubby agrees that we can keep him till we decide if we are keeping him or we find him a new home. Again, little did we know.

He went through three names those first two weeks:
  • Ranger ("I want to be an airborne ranger")
  • Rocket (the little bugger just flies after tennis balls)
  • landing finally on Scrat (him with a tennis ball is Scrat from Ice Age with an acorn - he even makes the same noises) when we decided to keep him for good.

He is my husband's dog, and hubby hasn't ever been a dog person. Till now. Scrat is his joy and his playmate and his snuggle dude.

They love to play. Scrat loves tennis balls and playing throw more than fetch and he'll ride on the jetskis with the wind in his face.

He has two speeds 0 and 60 and alternates between the two faster then a pretty little Lamborghini.

He's excited about everything and anything you want to try to do with him. He'll sit an
d wait or sleep while waiting for the next great thing to happen.

He cannot help but bring a smile to your face with his expression of pure joy.

Even if he still has the occasional accident in the house (thankfully NOT on the carpet anymore), he's learning and he's come a long way.

He goes by many monikers:
  • Scrat the Gnat - he has the attention span of one after all
  • Scrat Monster
  • Scrat the Brat
  • Little Brown Dog
  • Little Dude
We don't know when his actual birthday is, so the day he came into our life is the day he gets. He's two today (our best guess).

While Cliff the Mutt is and always will be 'My Boy' and Oscar the Dog is my satellite, Scrat the Brat is our joy.

I don't know what fates led him to our driveway, but I'm very glad they did.

Happy Birthday Little Dude.

You'll live to see more if you stop going on walkabout at 7:30 in the morning when Mom's already running late. ::wink::

Friday, March 14, 2008

Recommend Us for Approval

I think that pretty much sums up this morning.

We did it. We really truly did it.

She still has to write her report to turn in to her supervisor and he has to officially approve us, but she is going to recommend us for approval.

As soon as I stop crying (tears of joy my friends) you won't be able to contain me.

Now to go rescue Dinke from her container (the RV shower) and pick up a computer for hubby, who just lost a fan belt on south I5 (It's getting repaired as I type).

I'm just over the moon everyone. Thanks so much for all the kind words.

We will know OFFICIALLY by the end of April probably. The hard part is done. It just gets better from here on out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So so close

All right folks.

Here's the check list
  • House is clean - check
  • Carpet is clean - check (that happened today)
  • Island has doors - check (that happened yesterday)
  • Pond is empty - check - Dinke - the turtle - is in a temp pond and will spend Friday in a bucket in the garage - she still needs a home - any takers?
  • Backyard is clean - check
  • Side of garage has been purged - check
  • Dump run has been made - check
  • Front yard is clean and mown and presentable - check
  • Garage is neat (clean is not really an option) - check
  • Tulips are blooming - check - at least one and I have NO control over that
  • Dog room/Craft room is clean and organized - check
  • Water clearance - check
A lot has been done, it still seems like we have a lot to do, but that's just panic.

I am currently (well blogging - but should be) culling the knickknacks in the living room to lighten the dusting load and then once the carpet is dry move all the furniture back into it.

Smokey Cat got a new outside condo. We are going through the firewood as quickly as possible to get the pile down to a manageable level.

Scrat the Brat had a horrible day at the vet yesterday. 5 teeth removed. At some point before we got him (a year ago next Tuesday) he took a header into something HARD. Personally I think he got kicked, but I've also seen him barrel across the front yard, over the wall and whatever else is in the way with his sole focus on the tennis ball that was just thrown. So who knows. Either way, really drugged up snoring little monster last night. He's feeling much better today.

No knitting (I've been busy). But we met our Adoption Specialist yesterday afternoon to get that part of the ball rolling. So we get to go through all the paper work, and medical tests and home studies all over again very very soon.

Rest of this week:

Thursday: Help Ken with a client, final check of chemicals and meds for inspection, pack bags for Ken to go pick up his mom and bring her back for a three week visit.

Friday: Home inspection bright and early, see hubby off on his trip, wait impatiently for the service repair dude that's supposed to come between 1 and 5 pm to fix the lock on my washing machine. I'm taking bets on him showing at 4:45. Gr.

Saturday: KNIT GROUP! Then maybe up to Sac to see my friend Bec

Sunday: Make sure guest room and RV are ready for MILs arrival. Breathe.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Busy is as Busy Does

and boy are we busy.

We are in the home stretch for the foster licensing.

Well is being shocked tomorrow. We have negligible amounts of arsenic in our water (woo hoo). The property is looking really good. I think I have a home lined up for the fish pond and resident turtle. I have my medical clearance and I don't have TB (score!). I think all of our references have been turned in (at least two that I know of) and I haven't
heard anything about our criminal clearances, so for the time being I'm assuming all is well.

So what's left?

Childproofing the house, namely the kitchen.

Just how hard is it to childproof something that doesn't have doors? Point in case being my lovely huge monstrous island.

This was a great freebie. Our kitchen wouldn't be nearly as great as it is without it. Real maple butcher block top. Extremely UGLY everything else. Doors got removed and the whole thing got repainted ages ago.

Well we never bothered replacing the doors. But now we have to. So we ordered them last week and our carpenter had to fill in the old T hinge cut outs. That meant the whole thing had to be emptied and taken outside for sanding and repainting. It's NOT light, let me tell you.

So my kitchen got destroyed Saturday for Operation Island Patch.

That means I spent yesterday reorganizing all my kitchen drawers and shelves (at least those below the counter). All drawers were cleaned out and lined with contact paper to mostly match our granite counter tops. Stuff I haven't used since the island was brought in 4 years ago went in boxes for my MIL to pilfer on her trip.

Now it is wonderful and organized and CLEAN and I know where everything is. Best of all there are NO choking hazards in that island. None at all. The junk drawer got move
d and I can kiddy proof that easy.

There has also been knitting:

I finished these:

Fingerless mitts by Gaea (I think) in Patons SWS in Natural Violet.

As you can see they are TOTAL fraternal twins, more like negative/positive and I had to tweak the yarn on the right one to make that happen. They were for my boss for her birthday and she likes them.

A threebie:

Left to right:

Lions Brand Wool Felting and my swatch for the Purl Diva's KAL of the French Market Bag. It will be green and hot pink and light grey.

Fingerless gloves, like hubby's but for ME, out of the really great sock yarn that Doctor K sent me. I love this stuff.

The bag from Last Minute Knitted Gifts for my mom in Alchemy Bamboo (the yellow) blended with a gossamer Habu mohair. When finished it will be lined with satin or something or other in a cream to match the Habu.