Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thorsday: Active Brutus!

So, last week Larry complained that all of Brutus' pictures show him in a reclining position.

Well, that's the way giant dogs, even puppies, prefer to spend their time.

But I figured you'd all like to see that Brutus does, indeed, go outside to his own yard.

And he wanders off to the far reaches of the yard, sometimes as much as 50 feet from a person before he returns to make certain we're still here.

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Garden Tuesday: Boxwood

Last fall, I decided that the back side of our garage and porch looked just butt-ugly.  So Dan went off to one of the big box home improvement stores, and bought all of the boxwoods they had.  They were in one gallon containers, and cost $3 each on clearance.

 They're doing pretty well now.  They've grown quite a bit.

Of course, one got to be a favorite of Brutus'.  He gnawed on it, sat on it, pawed at it, and now it's just grass.  Fortunately, he left the rest alone.  They're even doing well in the relative shade of our garage.

Now, to figure out how to make the rest of the plantings around the house to look good.

Happy Garden Tuesday, everyone!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer Reading Lists

Well, a while back, the boys got their summer reading lists.  Some of the books were already in the house, and some I had to order.  I try to read the boys' summer reading books, even if I've read them before, to show solidarity with them.  What with the reorganization of my office, plus reorganization of the playrooms (ongoing in both cases), my reading time has been minimal.  But I'll get there, mostly.

Ryan's reading:

Angela's Ashes (Saw the movie, and it was depressing.  I'll skip the book.)
1984 (Read and hated in high school.  Another skip)
Pride and Prejudice (read last year, and enjoyed) OR
Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (Ryan's choice.  I found it for free on the Kindle, and have enjoyed it.)
A Passage to India (A must!)
About A Boy (Liked the movie; hope I'll Like the book.)

Mark's reading:

To Kill A Mockingbird (I've read it about 4 times, and love it.  Mark read it last year.)
Shane (Short.  Maybe this weekend, or next.)
The Hobbit (Not my stile.  Mark's read it twice.)
A Separate Peace (Loved it in high school.  Eager to read it again.)
Of Mice and Men (Classic.  Of course it's on the list.)

And, in case you wondered, Brutus doesn't always eat shoes.  Sometimes he plays with the Planet Dog ball Nichole sent to Thor, which Brutus found in the playroom and carefully hides next to his pillows (and sometimes loses under his pillows!).

Happy Weekending, everyone!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thorsday: Sleeping?

Baby Brutus always looks so innocent when he sleeps.

Even when he's sleeping....

Right next to Dan's shoe, which he often totes around for company.

So why does he have to chew MY shoes, instead of just letting them keep him company, too?  Of course, my dearly beloved carefully cut off the loose bits, and replaced the insole with Gorilla Tape, insisting that they're nearly as good as new.  Of course they are, darling, of course.

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Garden Tuesday: Hydrangea

Remember my giant hydrangea, with which I was particularly delighted after removing the unsightly, overgrown shrubs last week?

Well, we fertilized the new boxwoods planted next to it, and evidently, the fertilizer is working its magic on the hydrangea, as well.

See?  The flowers are turning pink!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Guess He's Not So Little

On Saturday, I was measuring Ryan for dress shirts.  He's going to be a senior in high school this year, and will have to wear a suit for his senior portrait (a family rule, not a school rule).

My dearly beloved thought my measuring the boy was hilarious.

I don't care; I'm still going to call Ryan and Mark the "little boys."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Book Review

I read this book in the spring and summer.  But life's been hectic, and since Brutus has entered our lives, I have him for Thorsdays.  This is the first time in a while I've had a few minutes for a book review.

By R. F. Delderfield

Probably a long, long time ago I added the miniseries by the same name to my Netflix queue.  In April, the first DVD arrived; after watching the first episode, I realized that I had the book sitting right in my library, having been purchased at a used book sale some years ago.  So, off I trotted to fetch the book and begin reading it.

This is the story of David Powlett-Jones, a Welchman just returned from The Great War.  Having been released from active service due to shell shock, he was sent to apply for a job teaching history at a boys' school.  He accepted the job, intending to see how it went before deciding to stay on.  This is the story of his life at Bamfyld, about his dealings with the boys and the other teachers, about his friendship with the head master, about his marriage to Beth, and their twins.  There is joy and tragedy in this book.  It is a very long book; my copy is in excess of 600 pages of small type.  It feels rather like Downton Abbey, in that events unfold over a long time, and the reader gets to know a great many characters, albeit all from David's point of view.  Sometimes, there are humorously made, but very true points.  The second headmaster under whom David worked, and with whom no one got along, died suddenly in the book, and David's friend and fellow teacher Howarth growled, "That's that, and I hope to God nobody asks me to comment.  If there's one form of hypocrisy I can't tolerate it's sentimental regard for the dead, simply because they are dead.  To hear some people talk at a funeral one would suppose dying was limited to the chosen few."  This book spans the time from late in World War I to the outbreak of World War II.  It was a very pleasant read.  4/5

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thorsday Lap Puppy

Remember when Baby Brutus was 9 weeks old, and my daughter picked him up?
And when he was 13 weeks old, and not quite as portable?
Well, she was here last weekend, and Dan had to hand him to her, so she could pick him up.

 At 17 weeks and about 80 pounds, he's not a portable puppy now.

Dan carefully lowered him to the ground.

Maybe he'll just be a lap puppy instead.

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Grandmother's Cutting Board

She had it as far back as I can remember. 
And it still shows virtually no wear.

Who says things weren't better made "back in the day"?  Even wood.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Garden Tuesday: The Executioner

In addition to cleaning up inside, I'm on a roll, urging the cleanup of our shrub beds outside.  Let me tell you, it's not easy.  See this corner of my house, specifically the pair of upright yews surrounding the upright juniper?  Just in case you can't identify them, they're the 3 brown shrubs with just a little green at the top, much as if the fool shrubs are wearing green hats.  And they ate the corner and two windows on my house.

Well, I had a landscaper come in and cut them down, with a chain saw, and replace them with boxwoods.  My dearly beloved is now accusing me of having the shrubs executed.  Yes, that's me, the executioner.

Don't they look good?  And my hydrangea has room to unfold and be as pretty as it wants.

BTW, in case I decide some of those hydrangea branches are too long, does anyone know if I can cut off a branch and stick it in something to root?  Because I'd surely enjoy having hydrangea elsewhere, too.

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm Still Alive and Cooking...Sorta

One of my landlines got struck by lightning a couple of weeks back, as did my modem and router.  I had to wait a couple of days for the phone company, because it happened on a Saturday.  And it was very difficult for Dan and the repairman to get into my office and fix the whole dastardly thing, because my office is small and crowded.  Like 6x9 small, and stacked to the 9 foot ceiling crowded.

Around the same time, my trusty old inkjet printer decided it didn't always want to behave.  So Dan offered to rebuild my office, and pick up a new printer of my choice for me.

And the printer is here, but the reorganization is not complete.  I'm entering my second full week of climbing, cleaning and heaving.  And I think I might someday be done.  But that means I'm not cooking "exciting things."  Except for these Italian Ninja-bread Men I made on Saturday night, when my daughter requested the Olive Garden option: Multiple kinds of sauce for the endless pasta bowls, endless bread sticks and endless salad.  I did make 2 kinds of sauce, and for some harebrained reason decided making cut-out bread would be easy and quick.  Silly me.

These were the only survivors of the 32 I made.

And, I found this fax which a friend sent me about 15 years ago.  Evidently, I've always been just this easy to get along with, and so very accomodating to others.  I'm keeping this.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thorsday Lunch

Happy Thorsday to all of you!

Remember how Brutus used to lie down to eat, because standing up is so much work?

Well, evidently that's still true.

Brutus says that when his people sprinkle a tablespoon or so of dry milk on top of his Puppy-O's, it makes them dandy!  OK, maybe not steak-style dandy, but a guy has to take whatever he can get.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Garden Tuesday: Dogwood

I know dogwoods bloom in early spring.  Honestly, I do.  Having lived in Tennessee, how could I possibly forget the Dogwood Festival in Knoxville, where they paint pink lines on the roads which a motorist can follow to see all of the lovely blooming dogwoods?  Really! Who could forget pink lines?

Anyway, some of mine are still in bloom.  It's amazing.

I'm not hallucinating.  Here's one, close up.

Happy Dogwood Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thorsday Cookies

Today, Brutus happened to be sitting near the back door when the UPS man came in.  This driver hadn't met Brutus before, and so inquired as to his name.  Then came the important question:

"Can he have a treat?"

Of course he can.  But then the UPS man left.  And Brutus kept looking for another cookie.

Is it on the ground?

Oh, where's the cookie?

Happy Thorsday, everyone!