30 April 2006

On Renn Fests, Sofas, and the Dining Room Floor

My season with the Georgia Renaissance Festival has now come to a close. I went yesterday with all three greyhounds, but luckily we had an abundance of handlers so I spent a lot of the day dogless! I say luckily...but I admit to being a bit giddy every time I spotted one of my dogs approaching with his/her handler to be returned to me.

I actually saw a Lost Boys show yesterday...from the back, admittedly, with Profile in tow, but it was a great show. The Boys never cease to amaze me with the amount of dedication they put into each performance, and how much they obviously love what they do.

Hunk has been on his favorite sofa almost non-stop since we got home. I love Susan and Dave's red sofa, and actually fell asleep on it for a bit last night. Despite the fact that it occasionally seems as though it wants to swallow me (lots of pillows), it's definitely mine and Hunky's favorite place to be while visiting Unka Dave and Aunt Susan.

Jeany's favorite place to be this weekend seems to be their dining room...especially when she really needs to go out. Dave and Susan's friend Ben was visiting this weekend as well, and he was unfortunately awakened when Jeany decided to break the rules and use the dining room as her own personal facilities. Could I have been a more proud Momma? If I ever bring Daiz down here after she retires I'm probably going to be so nervous I'll keep her leashed to me the entire time we're visiting.

I'm really going to miss coming down here. I don't get to spend near enough time with my family, and when I do, it's usually Mom and Daddy just because they are closer. It's also hard to get together with Susan and Dave because of their work schedules...weekends are work time for them. I am really lucky to have a sister and brother-in-law that will not only put up with me bringing my dogs into their pet-free home weekend after weekend but also will let the other members of my renn fest group come along and bring THEIR dogs! Thanks, Unka Dave and Aunt Sooz. You rule.

25 April 2006

"Tourt-cha....Tourt-cha....the whole day phrew...."

(title most unceremoniously stolen from the dear Executioner at GARF who serenaded us...)

"Nay, my dearest Tim Tam, thou shoud'st sniff Master Smiter's drum just there, carefully avoiding his kilt and knees..."
Nay, Tim Tam, sniff right here...

"My Dear Lord Above, the Lady Potato Head has't taken on the King's Weiner, and appears to be winning!!"
The Lady Potato-Head Vs. The King's Weiner

"Hmmm, be it truly lady-like, my dear Antoinette, to chomp down on a fried pickle with such abandon?"
Mmmmm Fried...Pickle?

The Ladies of East Fairhaven...some of us anyway. What is so funny?
The Ladies of East Fairhaven

Dude...Life is Good!


The Obligatory LB photo
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

Weekend 2 of the Georgia Renaissance Festival is now in the can, as they say, and we made it through with only a few problems. I had to take a photo with a Lost Boy, of course, and since Tom Smiter is the one I know the best he was the lucky victim...er...target...er...yeah, whatever. Huzzah! Click here to see a slideshow of our weekend at faire!

21 April 2006

I used to really like dogs...just not downward facing

In my quest to lose the extra person I'm lugging about in the form of being overweight, I've landed, I think, on a plan that I can stick to because I'm really enjoying it. I'm trying yoga. I'm using a video called AM/PM Yoga for Beginners at the moment and while it is HARD and PAINFUL I already feel better and have only been at it a few days. One of the best things about yoga is that it isn't hard to learn, just requires practice. The poses are not easy, but they are not impossible.

I used to really like dogs until I tried the downward facing dog pose. Holy moly, do I even have hamstrings? I think my favorite one so far is upward facing dog, even though it gives me a cramp in one of my toes sometimes. Cobra pose leads to upward facing dog in the routine I'm using, and just makes my whole back feel good.

I'm also really into the meditation part. My brain runs ninety-to-nothing most of the time, and this is a good reminder to me that I need to slow down and concentrate. I'm finding that I get more done during the day and don't just get lost in a sea of trying to do sixteen things at once.

Namaste.

You know you should go to bed when...

...you lose count how many orange slices you've had...the candy, not the oh-so-healthy fruit.

...the Showbiz Show makes you howl with laughter, even during the commercials.

...you call your "Friar Dave" costume project "McShane's Sundress."

...you realize that you've probably stayed up so long that you will have to skip your PM yoga and go straight to AM yoga.

...you blog about skipping PM yoga like anyone is interested.

...you sing three rounds of "World Leader Pretend" in your head and comment to the cat how much you miss REM.

...you comment about anything to the cat. THE CAT.

Just a hood, a tabard, and I'm done with Dave's monk costume...if I don't get ambitious and embroider some flowers on it and call it a sundress. Insomnia sucks.

19 April 2006

Can you hear me now? CRASH

My sewing machine is sitting on my dining room table currently because I don't have a special sewing table. At the dining room table last night were two chairs, only one of which is safe enough to sit in. The other one was either not put together correctly or has just worked a screw loose in the 7 years of its chair-life, rendering it wobbly at best and darned near dangerous at worse.

I'll let you take a guess at which chair I ended up sitting in to sew last night.

All started out well as I sewed the twill tape on the edges of Kalyne's bodice, the fabric for Dave's costume churning away in the washing machine in the background. I even got up to answer the phone when it rang and sat back down without incident. But then I made my fatal mistake: I leaned back in the chair to stretch my back, because as I sew I tend to hunch over and get closer and closer to the needle, leaving me looking like Gollum from LOTR by the time the garment is done. "My pressssssshus seams..."

CRAAAACK.

The next thing I remember clearly is being on the floor in terrible pain with the phone pressed to my ear and Scott yelling into it, "Nan? Can you hear me?" I told him to hold on, disentangled myself from the chair, and tried to stand up. It seems that when the leg came out of the chair I pitched backwards, striking my head and then neck on the wall and landing on my tailbone on my hardwood floor. There is also some apparent damage to EVERY STINKING MUSCLE between my hair and my toenails on my left side, as evidenced by the shooting pains in that general area if I move too quickly or try to turn my head to the left.

Dangerprone Daphne does it again! I am reminded of other incidents of equal grace: The time I sat willingly in a hammock at camp hung on one side with rope and on the other with BANDANAS AND DUCT TAPE. The time at Maryville when I walked off the edge of a platform in a play (having missed the stairs completely), causing the stage manager to line the edge of the platform and the stairs with reflective tape so that from above it looked like an airplane tarmack. The summer we lived in England I couldn't stop falling down the stairs in our house. If there is a way to get hurt doing it, I will find that way.

I'm just wishing I hadn't left my advil at home. I wonder if my chiropractor takes walk-ins?

18 April 2006

Caves, Trains, and Automobiles

Since I find myself again stuck in the cave-like environs of the deaf services office at the hospital, I've been busying myself today with planning my part of the trip to the UK in the fall with my sister and her husband. Today's mission was to get down a bare-bones itinerary and do some preliminary checking on transportation costs.

Holy geeeeeezominey, these trains better sprout wings and fly for how much you have to pay to ride one! I've been looking today specifically at train travel between London and Edinburgh, as I didn't get enough time in the Scottish city when we were there in 1995. So far I've found a round trip ticket from London to Edinburgh for $217. I'm really wondering if there isn't a cheaper way? $217 to ride for four hours after just having gotten out of a plane where I've been for about seven hours...a train that stops about 10 times between London and Edinburgh...

I've managed to whittle down my list of things I want to see from EVERYTHING to the following: Edinburgh, London Touristy Stuff, Canterbury, Stonehenge, and Glastonbury. I don't think that's too much to ask? I'd love to see Wales and Ireland since I've never been to either, but that can be a later vacation I think. Now I just have to figure out the money to be able to do all that I want to do and not be so broke that I'm resigned to sitting in the self catering apartment/house/thingy where we are staying and watching Channel Four because I've run out of money.

BritRail Point to Point, London to Edinburgh R/T: $217
Self Catering Apartment for a week: $200 (my share)
Chance to return to the land of my ancestors: Absolutely Priceless.

Oh, if only I knew British Sign Language I'd never come back to the US...

Hunky and Profee go Metro, and I don't mean the DC subway...

16 April 2006

Happy Easter! Pass the Febreeze, please?

Today marks the last day of our mini-vacation/first weekend of the Georgia Renaissance festival/invasion of my sister's house. I have been puppy sitting as well as visiting and serving as the director of the HOEF, and it's been very interesting. I have kept Simon before but at MY house...I've never traveled with him before now.

The dogs and I headed out Friday afternoon about 5:30 on our journey with a brief stopover in Six Mile to pick up Simon. Six Mile is a small town near Clemson, and there is no fast way to get there (as is true for many small towns in South Carolina). While Simon was happy to see visitors and even happier to sniff my dogs, his long time buddies, when it came time to get in the car he wasn't having any of it. I ended up lifting him into the car and coming away with more fur on ME than he had on him I think...

The ride to Atlanta was fine. There were only a few GRRRS and of course they happened when I was on the phone with my mother, giving her more reason to think that my dogs are dangerous. I'm telling you, the only dangerous thing about the furry head currently pressed up against my leg on the sofa is what happens if he eats anything with soy in it...see previous post about Unka Dave's nose.

Thursday night went well, better than I thought it would. The four dogs and I shuffled off into the guest room at about 1am and once I got them placed on beds I didn't hear another peep out of them till morning. Susan had a Good Friday service during the day Friday so Dave and I went to get me third leather leash for the festival Saturday and left the dogs here. They did SO well...except for the gas.

Holy geezominey, I'd forgotten just what "grain-fed" farts smell like. My word! Febreeze!!!

Friday night I decided that Hunky's foot was just not ready to handle the gravel at GARF (and that since some of the folks I thought were coming didn't), so I would just go over and make sure that my new folks were set and ready to go and then I'd come back to Dave and Susan's. I took Simon and Jeany with me, and at one point opened the back window of the Hounda so that the folks could meet them. "Won't they jump out?" Doug says. "Oh no," I respond, the confident face of a long time dog owner shining. "Jeany doesn't like to get out if it's dirty and Simon barely got in the car, I don't think he'd jump out with the tail gate up."

Then I turned away from the car, and suddenly became wrong.

Luckily Doug caught the flying brindle blur that swept past my right ear and landed, ever so gracefully, with his nose in the heinder of Doug's pretty little brindle girl.

I got back to Dave and Susan's and Dave and I ran over to Cokesbury, a store I remember going to as a child...it's a kind of a supply store for clergy. After that, we met his friend Ben for lunch in East Atlanta at a bar/pub called The Earl. Best grilled cheese I've had in a while...and Dave and Ben just kept me laughing the entire time.

Today is Easter, and this morning the hounds woke me up around 8:30. I took them out and fixed their breakfast. By the way, if you feed raw, there really is no substitute for it. Kibbles that don't have grains in them have other FAR MORE STINKY things in them to bind the ingredients together. And if you think they are stinky going in... Pass the Febreeze. After they ate, they sort of scattered as I was rinsing out the dishes so I went looking...and found that our visiting hound, Simon, had made a little bit of a mess...in mulitple rooms of the house as well as perfuming Susan and Dave's room. I should own stock in Febreeze.

We're heading for home after lunch with a brief stop in Six Mile to leave Simon. Next weekend we'll do it all over again, but this time without the fourth pupper and definitely without the kibble. I'm thinking I should bring them a bottle of Febreeze, though, just in case...

14 April 2006

In which Unka Dave pulls his shirt up over his nose...

The puppers (and Simon) and I are visiting my sister and her husband, Dave, this weekend for the opening of the Georgia Renaissance Festival and Easter. We're doing all kinds of new, exciting, and different things on this adventure, like fitting four greyhounds into the back of my Honda Element, racing down I-85 hoping to get their food to a refrigerator before it goes stinky because I didn't stop for ice, and trying a new kibble that has no grains in it whatsoever.

The fitting of the four greyhounds went remarkably well, considering one of mine even got carsick on the way down to Atlanta. (I had no idea till I got here, joy, bliss...) The racing down to Atlanta went well also, as I channeled my father upon leaving Simon's people's house and struck out following road signs to get back to the interstate.

The new kibble is the flop of the weekend I think. First of all, it STINKS. SMELLS REALLY BAD. Were I still in college I might even say it SMELLS LIKE ARSE. Had to expect that, though, when the first ingredient is salmon, followed by tuna. But as bad as it smells going in I think it's worse coming out. Quite honestly (and most likely to the horror of my family) I don't really notice canine flatulence as much as I did when I first got my dogs. It just happens.

Their Unka Dave is not so familiar.

I keep looking over to where he is working on something for the Good Friday service tonight and he intermittently will pull his t-shirt up over his nose. But they love you, Unka Dave....

12 April 2006

Note the New Button

On the right side there is a new button that can be used to get to my book on Lulu.com. Thus ends the post from the "shameless commerce division" of Brave Lettuce. (apologies to Click and Clack...)

09 April 2006

Almost Famous

I finally got off my virtual butt and got my first two books combined into one volume and re-published. Thanks to a review from Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com, I went with Lulu.com publishing and the process was so incredibly easy! Now, if you click on the link in the title you'll go to my storefront where you can purchase this:

I just got this done yesterday afternoon and by last night I'd had a sale (thank you Jay)!! I'm so excited...I feel like a real grown up author now instead of just some wanna be that forces her friends to pity her and buy her books.

08 April 2006

Borrowed from Mah Thug...

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthday (excluding the year). List three neat facts, two births and one death in your journal, including the year.

Neat Facts:

1095 - Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.

1924 - In New York City the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held.

2005 - The first partial human face transplant is completed in Amiens, France.

Births:

1940 - Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist (d. 1973)
1942 - Jimi Hendrix, American singer, guitarist and songwriter (d. 1970)

Death:

1988 - John Carradine, American actor (b. 1906)

07 April 2006

My current desktop wallpaper


Whaaaaa?
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

I decided today to lug the dogbeds out onto the patio to let the dogs soak up some rays while I vacuumed the bedroom. The covers had to be washed anyway, I explained to them as they looked at me like I was insane, so why not plop them down on the pollen infested patio for a bit while it's sunny out? Finally they succumbed to the lure of cushy beds in the warmth and what you see here is Profile's I'm Drunk On Sunshine look.

They stayed out there about five minutes or so before whining to come in where there's air conditioning...

Why I Am Now Afraid of the Drawer in the Kitchen

So I'm doing some housework last week, right? I take the vacuum cleaner into the bedroom and head for my bathroom to see if there is a plug in there. I don't really use that bathroom because the toilet flushes only when it feels like it and I have the cat box in there, so I had no idea if there was a plug there or not. I open the door all the way (it stays cracked most of the time just so the cats can get in and out) and nearly jump out of my skin to find Mills sitting in the sink. His eyes and the top of his head were the only parts visible over the top of the sink, and his ears were plastered to the top of his head. By the time I'd run to get the camera he had disappeared.

Or so I thought...

Later that same day I finished washing and drying the dishes that were rapidly taking over the sink and was putting them away when I made a horrifying discovery. I opened the end bottom cabinet by the stove...the one that has access to the only drawer in the kitchen and can only be opened about 6 inches due to the required placement of said stove...and pulled the drawer out the 2 inches that it will come out before hitting the door. Without looking I reached into the drawer to put the pizza cutter in and something in the drawer swatted at my hand!

On the verge of simultaneously wetting my pants and bursting into hysterical laughter, I bent over and peered into the drawer. There sat Mills, his ears in the same position as they had been in the sink earlier, front paw poised and ready to strike. Little stinker.

Since then everything has come out of that drawer that doesn't need a coating of orange cat hair and I periodically just open it and reach in to give my little furry golem a scratch behind his flat ears.

06 April 2006

Yummy Yummy Frosty Paws

There is a fantastic product for dogs that will keep them busy for as long as it takes them to devour it...Frosty Paws. Now in Peanut Butter Flavor! What makes it entertaining for the humans, however, is how needle-nosed greyhounds will contort and grin and do whatever they can to get every last bit of "ice cream" out of the little container...that disturbingly enough looks like the containers we got in school with the tongue depressor for a spoon, remember? Anyway, you can check out the fun here...and notice how my Monkey-Man, Mr. DONTSTEALMYFOOD, Hunk takes his far across the yard...

For those who don't think he exists...


For those who don't think he exists...
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

Meet Mills, destroyer of cabinet doors, lurker of sinks and drawers, the Almighty 3am Meower...Pure Evil this cat is. That's my boy!

(please ignore the horrid curtain, it came with the house...)

05 April 2006

A Very Beany Birthday

Jeany, April 2000

Nine years ago, on a greyhound farm in Lee, Florida, a litter of all yellow fawn pups was born. They looked so much alike that the Nice Lady had to actually pick them up and look underneath, even when they were older, to know which one was which!

Today Buds Lady Jean, Buds Lady Jayne (adopted by GFNC and living in MD), Peter the Gun (adopted by GPA Orlando and living in Orlando), My T Bud (adopted by GFNC and living in NC I think) and BB's Mariline are all 9 years old. I can't believe the spooky little girl that was just barely three when she first walked out of her crate and put her head on my shoulder is NINE!!!

It's a special birthday too because this time last year I thought that she would be going to live with her Daddy, and that I had celebrated the last birthday with her in my home...but she's here now, lying on the guest room bed and basking in the sun...here with ME.

Happy birthday, Beautiful. Mommy loves you so much. We'll have Frosty Paws later...

Jeany, Summer 2005

04 April 2006

Thoughts before Bed

That should actually be thoughts before drugging myself to sleep. Somehow my internal clock, probably thrown off as it is every year by the torturous "Spring Forward" to Daylight Savings Time or Eastern Standard Time or Did I Forget To Change That Clock Time, the clock went all wonky today and I had the energy of a slug. I'm not sure if I'm coming down with a cold or if it's just allergies, but the cold meds do NOTHING to help the sleepy during the day, this I do know.

At about noon I was feeling said sleepy so I decided to take a nap during my lunch hour. I woke up at THREE PM and checked my email and pager frantically, sure that I'd missed something huge from work. Nada. So instead of being responsible and hooking up a caffeine IV I decided to just lie down for a few more minutes...and woke up at 5:15.

While I was asleep I had the strangest dream and it was unfortunately not one of my lucid dreams where I can tell myself to wake up. I dreamed first that my house had a waterslide outside of it that I was riding over and over. Then I went into the house and all of my extended family were there, dressed to the nines. Scott showed up and they all left but his family showed up...and it was like we weren't getting a divorce and everything was hunky and dory and all that. I even remember his brother and sister in law Jack and Sheila inviting me upstairs to see their new baby (which they do not have)!

I then went outside where Scott told me he was keeping the Element, all I had was the Civic that's on it's last legs, and then I noticed all the improvements he'd done to our Pit of Despair in Anderson. I asked him what he'd done to our house and he told me it was HIS house now and none of my business.

This dream played out over both sessions of sleep and I can't imagine why I wanted to go back to it when I just laid down for my short two hour nap...Yeesh.

I think that I'm in a funk...and that's what prompted the weird dreams. I'm off now to take my nightime meds in the hope that they will override any dreams...and just let me rest.

03 April 2006

Hey Daisy-Girl


Hey Daisy-Girl
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

Randomness

I think I may be coming down with something, so my post today is going to be random stuff slung together...that's about the best my brain can do at the moment.

Quote from this past weekend that only Rennies would understand:
It's always good to have friends that ride horses and carry big sticks.

Funniest Thing that Happened Over the Weekend:
While shopping for shorts with Thug and Amy in an effort to not completely lose my sanity to sewing, we came across a pair of shorts in Belks...BELKS, mind you...bastion of polyester suits and sensible shoes, one step up the teenage acceptable clothes ladder from SEARS...that Amy thought were exactly what Thug was wanting and would satisfy the length requirements at her middle school. "See," Amy says knowingly, "you can just roll them up to make them shorter than Bermuda length when you're not at school! How much are...Holy Jesus Lord..." The shorts, which were denim and showed multiple signs of repeated distress including strings left to dangle where they had obviously been cut from a pair of jeans with dull kitchen scissors, were $87. I'll let that sink in for a moment. Jeans Shorts. Holes and rips. Cut off with strings hanging. Had that look that says they haven't been washed for a year despite repeated trips either under a car that's leaking oil or to the Varsity in Atlanta with someone who has never heard of napkins. Eighty-Seven Dollars.

Best Moment of Clarity from the Weekend:
Despite the fact that I taught myself to sew, more or less, and I find a lot of the tasks that used to frighten me to be quite simple, I cannot and should not ever try to teach someone else to do anything involving a needle, as evidenced by Thug's attempt (at my encouragement) to hand sew hooks and eyes into her costume's waistband. She did exactly what I told her to do, which was not at all what I meant, and I ended up doing it myself. Thug's ability to sew had nothing to do with the knotted mess she handed me to fix...it was, as I've said, exactly what I told her to do.

Thing I Wish I Could Remember From the Weekend:
There was some story that I was telling Amy as we were walking through Haywood Mall that made her laugh until I think she almost snorted. Why am I only randomly funny? Thank goodness I never tried to make comedy my living, despite how well Profile and I apparently do with it.

Why You Should Never Give a Digital Camera to a Thirteen Year Old (especially when you are trying on the new corset you just got in the mail that you found on Ebay...):
Thanks Thug, Amy, and Drew for a fun weekend!!!

Dia duit ó GARF.

Almost TOO Irish, that. Go raibh míle maith agat  to Chris Heffron (of the Southern Travel Guide ) for this great shot from last Sund...