30 September, 2006

Darwin's Evolution

Our Golden Retriever puppy Darwin is 3 months old. Life since Darwin has certainly changed, changed for the better.
He's grown tremendously, still has his downy soft puppy fur, still trips over his feet, still chases his tail (and the positions he'll get into in order to get that tail! )
The breeder really did pick a great pup out for us, and he fits in perfectly with our lives and lifestyle.
Today he had his third puppy training class, hunting training, and for the second time, the instructor mentioned that there wasn't much of a hunter in him. Apparently if we had wanted that we should've gotten a darker, more "golden" Golden Retriever. No such thing! Our platinum blonde doesn't have to be a professional, just have fun with it. I refuse to become a "soccer mom" with my dog! He does parade happily along, among the Cesky Fouseks, Weimaraners, Labradors (who after pulling his nose up after sniffing a dead crow - I felt relief that I wasn't the only one with a dog with no hunting ambitions) acting like the training class is a tea party, but when I finally get his attention, he does his sits, downs, comes, follows, stays, like a true professional! Humph! So there!

From the moment he came to us, Darwin has been attracting more attention than we bargained for. In the beginning it's flattering to hear from people on the street and in the park that your dog is beautiful, well built, has a nice disposition. He gets patted, cuddled, stroked, baby-talked to. Now it's getting old, no it's becoming annoying. Once the rose-colored glasses came off, I came to the realization that 9 times out of 10 people just dive upon your dog without asking if they can approach him, just start petting him. They look upset when you walk off with your pup with a look like "hey I was petting him!" I always think, well get your own then! No one thinks of petting your brand new coat without asking, do they?

Happily that's the only major thing to complain about.

19 September, 2006

The Dear Jane Project

A couple of years ago, in one of my favorite quiltshops that no longer exsits, I came across a book about a quilt. This quilt was made up of 225 little blocks surrounded by a "icecream cone" border or "kites" just as intricate. The quilt was made by Jane A. Stickle in 1863. Thumbing through the book, seeing the many little blocks with their many little pieces I began to think that one had to be completely mad to start such a venture. I guess I've gone mad.
Then, each time I went to a quiltshop, quilting championship, or other quilting shindig, the book would always pop up. The little blocks kept fascinating me and nibbling at me in the back of my mind. About a year ago, in yet another quiltshop the book lay there again - out of frustration I bought it. I sometimes have that with books: books that you come across in bookshops and they somehow seem to "speak" to you. Well that's what this one did. It came home, got the once over, and put on the shelf, other quilting projects higher on the priority list. In the meantime, surfing on the Net, its surprising how many sites were devoted to this quilt! It seemed a world wide phenomenon. "Fascinating", Spock would say......
To make a long story slightly shorter, I joined the Dear Jane list ( who were these mad women?) and began to learn about this group of wonderful, creative, talented, prolific and full of humour quilters.
I haven't begun yet, but will soon, after the "deadline" projects are completed. In the meantime, I've collected materials, tools and of course, fabric to get started as soon as possible. It's still a bit daunting, but with the help of friends, and certainly my Dear Jane friends, it should work out just fine!

16 September, 2006

A new thing every day...

Would you believe I finally figured out how to make a signature? In my email?
Slap your hand against your forehead - roll your eyes, but hey, I'm better at some things than others....

Besides, I couldn't go anywhere, Darwin's fast asleep on my foot here under my chair and he's so tired, I don't dare wake him!
He was on a platform and saw trains for the first time today. The only thing that startled him a bit was the "wooosh!" of the pressed air coming out from the trains as they passed by.
After a few passed, he didn't even react. He did want to follow Ro onto the train, and was sad when we had to return back to the car. It seems every time he experiences something new, he comes home exhausted. Sort of felt like walking out of Chem. 101..... So he flip flops about, dreaming, and in the meantime I'm losing feeling in my foot.......


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