Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween at Our House

Oh yes, I am one of *those* people who dress up their dogs for Halloween.  Lee says this is why dogs bite people; I say just take the pictures because Sadie and Vader can deal with wearing a costume for 10 to 15 minutes once a year.  And we didn't even do costumes last year.


Oh look, they have no idea what's coming next!  Bwahahahaaaa!


Ok, so it's hard to tell, but Sadie is the Headless Horseman's coal-black steed...


And Vader is the mild-mannered horse for a princess in pink.  Lee thought I had the costumes backwards, but really, if you go by personality, Sadie would *totally* be out terrorizing the populace and Vader would be the good horse who never does anything that might unseat the princess as they amble about the countryside.  (And maybe I think it's funny to make the dogs cross dress.)


Know how you get two dogs to look toward the camera?  Grab the dog treats.


From the picture, Vader's costume was supposed to have a hat (it was a unicorn horn to go with the princess theme) but the one I bought didn't.  I got these two years ago on clearance at Target, and for some reason Target thinks that people only dress up teeny tiny dogs for Halloween so it's tough to find costumes to fit my dogs.


Vader is fine with dressing up in costume if it means you pay attention to him and maybe give him treats; Sadie hates the whole thing but rather than try to run away, she generally tries to eat the costume, make it as difficult as possible to get the costume on her, and then she'll make it really hard to get any good pictures of her in said costume.  I swear she knows what a camera is for.

Update on Sadie's leg:  her surgery is scheduled for November 12.  We won't know until after the surgery how the recovery will go, if it will be as hard as the first one or a little easier.  But we'll find out.  I just hope this time it works and that Sadie will eventually regain full use of that back leg.

Happy Howl-oween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Not What We Were Hoping For

The Sadie Surgery Saga continues.  Remember, she tried to chase a rabbit this June and completely obliterated her ACL in her right back leg, so she had to have surgery and the vet put in an implant to stabilize the joint.  She'd been doing fine in the recovery up until the first week of this month...I got back from running some errands and she wouldn't put her foot on the floor at all.  So we took her to the vet, and she got put under house arrest for two weeks, and then today we had her X-rayed to check out the implant and what's going on.

The implant isn't where it's supposed to be.  It's like nylon cord that holds the two leg bones together to stabilize the joint until the tendons and ligaments heal, which takes about six months.  That nylon cord isn't where it's supposed to be, so we found out today that she has to have the same surgery again.  Cue slumped shoulders and depression.  We don't want Sadie to have to go through that again, and WE don't want to have to go through it again either--that first month after the surgery was TOUGH.  And now we'll have to do it all over.

I feel like a horrible dog mama, like I should have kept Sadie confined more so she wouldn't have the opportunity to get hurt again.  And soon we'll be back to this.


Poor little Sadie.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Venice: Day 1

If you're looking for a Friday Flashback post, that will go up later today on my brand-new stamping blog, Snapdragon Stamps :)  I decided to split off the stamping stuff into its own blog and keep this one for pictures and stuff.  Now if I could just get a pretty non-limey green going on that blog...

Anyway, we didn't spend very much of our trip in Florence, and a lot of it we have no pictures for since you can't take pictures in most of the museums.  We saw Michelangelo's David (the real one and a replica) and finally got into the Uffizi where I got to see Botticelli's The Birth of Venus.  We also saw a bunch of statues of Roman dudes in togas and a whole lot of paintings.  I know the Renaissance painters are all like enormously talented, but they all painted some truly creepy babies.  Mostly they don't look like babies, they look like some kind of little troll that's going to pop out of the painting and start shredding the wallpaper and eat all the food in your kitchen.

So we left Florence for Venice, which was beautiful and nowhere near as stinky as I had been led to believe.  However, it's been a tourist trap for several centuries, so most of what you find there is souvenir shops, lots of places to eat, and pretty much no regular grocery stores or mundane places like that.


This is me being artsy.  I think this was not far from our hotel, which was right on a canal.  'Cause you have to stay on the canals when you go to Venice.


See, canal.  And Sarah and Scott.


Pretty sure Lee took this because it's not crooked.  Kind of a neat artsy shot.


Sarah and me!  And my awesome Goonies shirt!  I get compliments on that whenever I wear it.


Whoops, should have done some editing on this one so you can actually tell who those silhouettes are.


The first day we mostly just walked around and sort of moseyed our way toward St. Mark's Square.  Don't go to Venice if you're not prepared to walk a LOT; even if you take water taxis or whatever on the canals, you still have to do a lot of walking to get anywhere.  And LOTS of stairs, 'cause there are bridges everywhere.  'Cause duh, it's a city of teeny islands.


Maybe Lee took this one from the top of one of the larger bridges?  The closer you are to the main touristy sections (the Grand Canal, the Rialto Bridge, etc.) the pricier everything is, so you just walk over one or two streets and the prices go down substantially.


Pretty sure this is the edge of a building in St. Mark's Square, I just liked the moon in the shot.


Lee wanted to climb the campanile but the rest of us had had enough of stairs.  Poor Lee, if we go back to Venice a second time we'll go up to the top of the tower.


There's the front of St. Mark's, which you may notice has a lot more Eastern (read:  Constantinople) influence than Roman.  Which is fitting, since the basilica got its name for its relics of St. Mark, which were stolen from the Byzantine Empire when it fell.


This is Lee being artsy with a lamppost and the basilica.  We did go in the basilica, though not on this day; you can't take pictures inside it but it's pretty incredible.  The floor isn't flat, it rolls like waves because a.) it's really, really old and b.) Venice isn't exactly 100% stable and is prone to flooding.  And it's sinking.  They had beautiful mosaics on the floors and the walls and the ceiling (pretty much everywhere) and again, a lot more Byzantine symbolism.  It was beautiful.


One of the other buildings facing the square...forget which.  Too lazy to look it up.



St. Mark's main symbol is the winged lion, and there are winged lions *everywhere* in Venice because he's the patron saint of the city.  Wonder how a saint gets to be the patron of a particular city...


Another gorgeous shot by Lee : )  This was taken with St. Mark's Square behind us; that's another island whose name I forget.


And here is the famous Bridge of Sighs.  We didn't tour the Doge's Palace so this is as close as we got.


'Nother view of the campanile and basilica as it was heading toward sunset.


As we were heading back to our hotel, I managed to find probably the only shop in Venice that sells rubber stamps, which made Lee laugh and roll his eyes.  And then I never found it again during opening hours.


One last view of the canal for today.  More pics to come soon!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Guess Where We Were...

I'll give you a hint:  we were in Italy.  We took a train from Florence and then got on a bus and then we arrived here:


What's that I see peeking out from behind the buildings to the right?


Why yes it is, it's the Leaning Tower of Pisa!  (Obviously before Superman tried to push it back to vertical.)  Oh crud, I need to hurry up writing this post, I have to leave for the gym in 15 minutes.  Warp speed ahead, Mr. Sulu!


Look, there's my sweetie pie.  Can't wait till he gets home later this week.


As you might expect, this being a famous whoopsie architectural thing and thus a tourist magnet, it was pretty crowded.  But the weather was gorgeous.


Lee is sometimes obsessed with getting pictures with no people in them.  Sure, there are itsy bitsy people over near the tower, but no one in the foreground messing up his shot.


Couldn't decide which pic I liked better (the pitfall of taking a gabillion pictures) so I posted both.


Well, you know...you have to take pictures like this.


Tink!  


Oh look, a rare shot with all four of us!  Mostly we took pictures of each other but this time we got someone to take a pic for us.


And now we're the leaning tourists of Pisa!


All along the right was a long line of souvenir shops selling Italian leather purses and T-shirts.  For some reason, Homer Simpson is very big in Italy, we saw Homer shirts *everywhere*.


This building is the baptistry.  I think maybe you can go in?  We didn't have much time; we had train tickets back to Florence so we had like 2 hours to go see the tower and eat lunch, then take the bus back to the train station.


I rather liked that statue on the left, here you can see all of it but I think the next picture is even better:


Yep, I took that one!  What do you think?


Some detail shots of the tower.  Why don't we decorate buildings like this in America?  I think a lot of American architecture is a snooze-fest.



Hey, you see what I did here?  The tower's not leaning!  I found a use for my crooked photography skillz, yay!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Flashback: Ain't Love Grand

Nine years ago yesterday, I wore a big white dress and walked down the aisle where I proceeded to giggle nonstop through the entire wedding ceremony.  I was so happy I just couldn't contain it.  Here's to the man who still makes me giddy...love you Lee!!

So hey, third Friday Flashback in a row, aren't I getting all like predictable and stuff.  Today's stamp set is Ain't Love Grand, and there are no archives for this one...it was a hostess set in last year's SU catalog, so I got it for free and then didn't do anything with it till now.  Since I have no archives, I went ahead and made a card with each of the six stamps in the set, thereby making a pretty good dent in the Splitcoast sketch and color challenges I haven't done yet : )


I don't know why I liked the blues and orange for a get-well card but it seemed to work in my brain...blue for under the weather, orange for feeling better?  I have a stack of the 6x6 patterned paper pads that SU used to have for hostess stuff so I've been using those a lot lately.  Seriously, I did some organization/cataloging with my patterned paper last week and I think I've just about hit critical mass.  I've GOT to use this stuff, pronto.


I colored this one with Prismacolor colored pencils instead of the Watercolor Wonder Crayons because I wanted to get some nice shading on the balloon.  Mom and Dad took Adam and me to the Albuquerque balloon fiesta once when we were kids, and most of what I remember was having to get up at an hour so early it was absolutely obscene, and then freezing our butts off.  Mom said Adam didn't wear socks that day and she thought his toes would freeze off.  And there was a Tony the Tiger (you know, the Frosted Flakes mascot) balloon.


I'd forgotten all about this cloud paper in another 6x6 paper pad till I did that DSP jungle work last week, so I thought it'd be perfect for the plane.  I kinda like the layout; it's quite similar to the last one you'll see on this post but that's two sketches done on my list.  Booyah!


I think someone on Splitcoast thought this was blue but it's actually Almost Amethyst, one of SU's several sadly retired purples.  This wasn't a sketch challenge, though it was a color challenge...I kinda like this layout though.  And the argyle pattern, we need that in every color ever too.


So the car image is cute, but I think I flubbed the coloring a bit.  Maybe just because it's Bravo Burgundy, and the Burg and I don't get along most of the time.  That, and I used Watercolor Wonder Crayons, which are great but you have to have just the right amount of water on your brush to make them work really well.  The brush got a little too much water in it and that made it harder to control where the color went.


And here's the last one, which was a sketch challenge but not a color challenge.  I HAD to put this dude in a red coat and there weren't any color challenges with Real Red that weren't Christmas-y, so I just made up my own color combo and used up a scrap of that same Crushed Curry paper from the car card.

So I said I wasn't going to try to do a zillion cards for every Friday Flashback anymore, and still you got six cards today.  Mainly because I drew the stamp set name out of the proverbial hat (it's actually a plastic container) last Sunday after Lee left, so I had a week to make all these.  What will it be next week?  Who knows!  You'll just have to come back to find out : )  And leave me some comments, I feel like I've been talking to myself for a while here! (shameless begging)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Florence: The Arno River & a Carousel

Lee is away on a business trip this week, and thus far I haven't been able to get to bed before 1:30 in the morning any evening since he left.  Guess I'm just a dyed-in-the-wool night owl when I don't have him here to keep me to a more "normal" schedule : )  It's 12:23 as I start typing this post so we'll see what time I actually crawl in bed tonight.

So here we are back in beautiful Florence.  After we walked all around the basilica and ate all that gelato, we texted Scott and Sarah to see where they were (ensconced at a sidewalk cafe drinking lots of wine) so we moseyed that direction.  But on the way we (Lee) took some pictures of the Arno River.


Ok, the next picture is almost the same, but the one above had the shadow of the bridge we were standing on in the water and the next one doesn't, and I couldn't decide between them so I'm posting both.


I think I love Italy.  It's just so gorgeous...everywhere we went, anyway.


This is the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) which is lined with jewelry stores (as soon as I said that, Sarah wanted to go find it).   And I'm just loving the colors reflected in the water.  But not that stupid crane in the background, it's not enhancing this shot at all : p


Ok, ok, one more bridge picture.  Then we found Scott and Sarah at their cafe and ordered food (we ate a LOT in Italy).  The cafe happened to be in a piazza with a carousel and Sarah was dying to ride it.  Scott was not at all interested, but Sarah knew I'd totally go on it with her.  And I did.


Lee was kind enough to take pictures as we went 'round and 'round.


Sarah and I had a ball on the carousel, those guys don't know what they missed.




See that expression?  That is glee, right there.


I thought this shot was pretty cool with the blurred background.


Yep, I think Sarah won that horse race.


I may have been humming the Bonanza theme song whilst riding the carousel : )


After dinner, this is what awaited us for dessert--some kind of yummy brownie something.  Can't remember for sure what it was, other than delicious!  Kind of a shorter Italy post for today but that's just how the pictures divvied up...got some fun ones for next time.  Hey wow, I wrote that post in 8 minutes.  Off to bed for me.  Ciao!