Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: Shiloh (page 2 of 6)

Laptop Woes and Fabric Balm

You might remember my description of the alarming noise my MacBook was making last week, and how they said they fixed it but, in fact, did NOT.

Well, I caved and turned it back in to the repair folks, on the off chance that they can fix the whole thing by 8:45pm tomorrow, because otherwise I will have to refrain from using it in the airport or on the plane or any other place where people might be disturbed by the sound of a turbine engine preparing for takeoff. It is possible for me to survive for an entire week without the internet; it is even possible for me to survive without my laptop (though admittedly harder). But it is not preferable, given the state of my various projects and the fact that I assume I’ll be doing a fair amount of research online about the various nearby things to do in Nashville. Or maybe I’ll just take the AlphaSmart and let Mom be all retro with her printed tour books and maps on folding paper that are kept in the car. We shall see.

At any rate, I was rather thoroughly annoyed at the Mac repair schedule and myself (for not caving earlier, when it would have been less of a problem to get things fixed before I leave) and generally disgruntled at the whole situation, but fortune is on my side once again, because one of the things I’ll be doing in Nashville is making a quilt, which means I got to buy fabric. One forgets, when it’s been this long between buying project fabric, how very nice it is to go into a quilting shop and have all these beautiful, lovely choices, and be able to think of zillions of ways to put them all together into something fantastic. Some people, when they’re upset, go clothes shopping. Me? Books and fabric. Yes sirree. That’s all I need.

And this evening is now devoted to laundry; first, the new fabric I bought, and then the regular laundry so Matt doesn’t end up walking around in dirty clothes by the end of next week. I’ll also be ironing the new fabric, which means the dog will be in a state of anxious near-panic for the entire evening. She is NOT a fan of the ironing board, but we do not know why. So it goes.

If I get my laptop back tomorrow, I’ll blog from Nashville. If not, I’ll catch you all in a week.


Bob2, Shiloh, my boss, and Nashville

Bob2’s soil was very dry this morning, and his little cactus-buds were looking particularly dehydrated. After consulting with Matt, I watered him thoroughly (I watered Bob2, not Matt, you silly people). He just kept soaking up water, so I kept pouring it in until he didn’t soak up any more. I didn’t leave any standing at his base, but I got about a cup and a quarter and his soil was 100% saturated. Now, according to Matt, I am not allowed to water him for a month. Matt has never killed a cactus, so I am inclined to take his advice.

Ironically, I realized on the drive to work today that although I remembered to water my cactus this morning, I forgot to water the dog. Er… to refill the dog’s water dish. You might think that’s horribly neglectful of me, but I’m not too worried. First of all, the toilet’s open if she gets really desperate (not that I hope she will take advantage of that option, but it’s there in an emergency, and she’s been known to do it before) and second of all, I seriously doubt it will get warm enough to dehydrate her any further today.

We have an informal temperature scale in our household, in which the person who takes the dog out in the morning gauges the weather for the benefit of the other person’s clothing and/or jacket choice for the day. The terms vary somewhat, but in general there’s super hot, hot, warm, no temperature (also called “perfect”), chilly, cold, and freakin’ freezing. It was freakin’ freezing this morning. Thus, little danger of overheated, dehydrated dog in the house today.

Furthermore, I purposefully did not fill the dog’s water dish before I fed her. This is because recently she has had the most amazingly foul breath. (No, seriously. Foul. FOUL.) It got bad enough that we went to the pet store for bad-dog-breath remedies and came back with some minty stuff that goes into her water dish and does seem to have worked, more or less. At any rate, Shiloh LOVES her new minty water, and she tends to drink rather a lot of it, especially right when we put down a new, full bowl. After three days of unfortunate experience, we ascertained that Shiloh drinking a lot of her minty water + a full belly of food = vomit on the carpet. Depending on whether the water was consumed before or after the food was added, the vomit is either plain liquid or sprinkled with entirely undigested bits of kibble. We may be headed into the realm of too much information here, so I’ll wrap up by saying that we’ve decided a fresh bowl of minty water at the same time as a bowl of food is a supremely bad idea. So I fed the dog this morning and intended to put the water down about a half hour later, after her belly had some time to settle with the food, and then we got into a rush to leave the house and I plum forgot. (Plumb? I don’t think I’ve ever typed that phrase before, so I never had to know how to spell it.)

So that’s how the cactus got watered and the dog didn’t.

Also worth noting this morning, my boss is in a musical mood. Between appointments he was rather lustily singing lyrics I’ve never heard to a rather well-known melody from The Pirates of Penzance, but of course I can’t remember the name or the correct lyrics for the life of me now. I don’t know if he made up the lyrics or if they’re simply a version I’ve never heard before, but they were highly enjoyable (about how some people think it best to be melancholy but he prefers cheerful melody or something like that). When he got tired of singing, I still caught bits and pieces of the melody as he whistled to himself.

Mornings like this remind me of how much I really do like my job.

I’m headed to Nashville in two days–if all works out, I’m going to take some fabric with me to make into a quilt top since Mom can bring a sewing machine. So this morning’s agenda is to finalize my math on how many fabrics I need and how much of them, and put together a list so I can go shopping this evening.

Aside from being crafty, Mom and I will be exploring the city in a leisurely fashion while we’re there. Neither of us have been before, so if you’ve got suggestions on fun things to do, leave me a comment!


Disaster Area

The kitchen is a mess this morning. This is mostly because we didn’t clean it after any of our meals yesterday. Probably because we were both exhausted–Matt spent 8 hours organizing the annual breakfast burrito fundraiser with the 5th and 6th graders at church, and aside from my usual Sunday morning activities, I took an hour and a half bike ride with a friend. We had fried food and popcorn for dinner. Great way to recoup calories. :)

At any rate, the whole house really is pretty appalling. There’s stuff everywhere… not dirty stuff. Just a jumble of things that haven’t been taken care of or put in their proper place.

And, oddly enough, I’m sort of looking forward to cleaning today. As long as I can keep moving, it shouldn’t take too long, and my iPod has full battery power, so I can get my groove on while I work, too.

The dog seems to think she’s entitled to more excitement than we are currently providing, but that’s just tough cookies for her. She’ll survive. I’m pretty sure she’s been watching the bunnies outside through the window, and wants to go chase them.

It’s supposed to get above 70 this afternoon, so maybe we can head to a dog park and have some fun a bit later.

Have I mentioned that I like Girl Scout Cookies? Well I do. And now I have. I’m sure you feel better knowing that. I know I do.


A Christmas Photo Essay

I feel I’ve been neglecting you. Let me make it up by showing you pictures.

This year, I think I’ve finally found the secret to the lovely kind of toffee that crunches and then melts on your tongue. The light brown stuff that’s always better than the dark, semi-transparent stuff. Not that the latter is *bad*, just that the former is completely fantastic. That’s right. I’ve made whole sheets of light brown fantasticness, and here’s the proof:

Also, Matt cooked his first turkey on Thursday. He did a fantastic job with dinner in general. . . he cooked everything, with my full moral support (I was napping on the couch). From the top of the photo, that’s stuffing, green bean casserole, turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry ice (okay, I made that the night before) and, down in the corner, you can see the gravy. Matt’s gravy is to die for. Srsly.

You might be wondering how Shiloh has been doing lately. I’ve been so busy I haven’t mentioned any of her recent cuteness. She got a new beef bone for Christmas (with jerky on it!), which kept her nicely occupied while Matt and I opened our presents. She also got a candy cane-shaped squeaky toy, which she loves. Sometimes she throws it for herself and then pounces on it. I think she likes its distressed SQUEAK!! when she pounces.

We taught her right from the start not to expect to get People Food. She doesn’t get it often, pretty much just when it drops on the floor while we’re cooking, and sometimes not even then. So she doesn’t actively beg. But she is aware of the possibility of food falling, and she makes sure she’s around in case it happens. We have given her a super-dog alter-ego. Everyone watch out, because Opportunity Dog loves turkey!

Allow me to illustrate.

You see how she positions herself strategically in the place where food is most likely to fall? She wedges herself in the funniest places to ensure her availability. Also, notice her innocent expression. My appearance with the camera didn’t distract her from looking up at Matt with puppy-dog eyes. No, before I took the picture, she was just standing there looking at the drawers you see in front of her. There, just in case. That’s Opportunity Dog for you, always ready to help.

And I know I’ve been delinquent about posting pictures of the new apartment post-unpacking, and I’m afraid I’m going to continue on that front for a little while yet, but I do have two photos from right before our Christmas party last week, so you get to see the living room.

Nice, eh? We like it. Of course, before too long, the Christmas tree will be gone.

Now I have to go finishing cleaning the house and folding laundry so I can concentrate on other work tomorrow. Toodaloo!


Shiloh the Fierce

We have some very good friends who have taken care of Shiloh before when we were out of town – they have a fenced back yard, which she loves, and in general she doesn’t mind hanging out with them. It’s not as good as home, of course, but it’s better than a kennel. But since they had her last, they’ve gotten two cats – kittens, really, but not for much longer. Now Shiloh has been around cats before, but those cats are very crafty and generally chose to stay away from anywhere she was. She doesn’t tend to chase things with the intention of catching them, but sometimes (if they’re running) she’ll run after them just for giggles.

So we weren’t too worried, but we were cautious and aware of the fact that there might be Trouble. I took her over to meet the cats a few days ago, and things were peaceful enough to make it worthwhile to go forward.

I dropped her off last night, and about two hours later our friend send us a picture text showing the result of the first real encounter between Shiloh and Boots, the head cat there.

She inspires fear, doesn’t she? Such a masterful handling of the situation. Or not.

Yes, we have a dog who will debase herself so that everyone and everything loves her.

I think it’s hilarious.


. . . And We’re Happy

With any luck, it actually looks like I might have this quilt functionally finished by the time I leave work today. The Day Job should be quiet, and I think I’m just going to take the quilt to work on – all I have to do is tack down the edge of the hanging sleeve and turn the binding. Well, and then I’ll have to make a label and attach it, but that won’t happen at work. I’m putting it off a bit, actually, because I usually give my quilts some sort of name, and I have no idea what to call this one.

And since I’m fairly certain that this particular quilt’s recipient does read the blog at least fairly regularly (oooh, now you’re all wondering) I’m not going to post pictures, because that would ruin the lovely surprise. Or at least, I won’t post pics until well after all the upcoming holidays.

But it looks really great. I’m not 100% happy with the quilting, but I was trying/learning a new technique, and I might not have picked a great thread for the top – but in my defense, its appearances were deceiving on the spool. It’s variegated (shifts color as you sew) in shades from white through grey to black, and all in all looks much darker than I expected. I don’t know whether that’s because the color ratio is skewed toward the darker on the spool or just the chance of which fabrics I was sewing over when I hit the darker sections of thread. But it doesn’t look bad, just not what I expected.

Also in notable news, Shiloh is doing a lovely rendition of Disgruntled Dog this morning. She convinced herself that she must be leaving the house with Matt when he left for class this morning–45 minutes ago. And she’s still sulking and lying there staring at the front door, heaving sighs and looking at me, then back to staring at the door. Even every 10 minutes she changes location – first right beside me, then in front of the door, then back to me, and so forth. But always watching the door. It’s terribly cute, but don’t tell her that. It’ll just go to her head.

Hey, did I mention that we’re going to be moving soon? New apartment! We’re still excited and happy about the deal.


Happy Adoption Day!

Okay, so I’m two days late, and I don’t even have a good excuse. But it’s been one year (and two days) since we officially welcomed Shiloh into our home and our lives. It seems like longer, doesn’t it?

And here’s one from last week. . . *sniff* My puppy’s all grown up!


Monday, Monday, Monday!

I was going to wait until I had time to upload some photos from this weekend before I posted, but that will be silly, since I won’t have time until at least tomorrow. The backpacking trip was lovely, in almost all the possible connotations of the term. The only down side, so far, is that I managed to strain my right knee, which means today I’ve taken three ibuprofin pills and taped one of those one-time-use heating pads onto it (you’d be how surprised how little it takes to dislodge a badly-adhered heat pad from your knee joint area) and as long as I don’t so anything really silly (like crouch down) it’s just fine.

Shiloh doesn’t seem to have picked up a knack for jumping fences, though we are told she did dig a few small holes in the yard. We’ll have to watch out for that in the future. Also, she stayed in the yard when the gate got left open, even though the other dog went galavanting around the neighborhood. We’re pretty sure that’s because Shiloh knows which side her bread is buttered on, and staying near the humans who feed her is pretty much always a priority.

Also, I can now announce that news that’s been in the works lately – I’ve turned in my notice to my current day job, and this Thursday will be my past day there. Starting next week, I’ll be taking a job at the seminary as a personal assistant. I’ll get more hours at the same pay rate, and there’s an excellent chance that I’ll be able to make progress on my own projects while I’m there. It’s a winning situation all around. So that’s very fun.

Hope your weekend was as lovely as mine. Was it?



It’s been a busy few days. At least one rather large piece of news that will affect our financial state is in the tubes for reals, but I won’t announce it all public-like on the blog until all the appropriate people in real life know first.

Props to the October 3 birthday boys: William (my nephew turns 1!) and Will (okay, so technically Will is older than I am, but he’s still my surrogate little brother and I don’t care what you say).

And props to me for turning 26 on Saturday. I’ll be backpacking with Matt and two of our good friends in Rocky Mountain National Park, so you can be sure I’ll be enjoying myself. It’s leaf season for the aspens, and we’ll be up visiting several alpine lakes, and you can be jealous of me all weekend if you like. I won’t mind.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my husband? Because I do. He’s lovely and wonderful and terribly good to me. I just thought I’d share.

Oh! We went to REI today (only natural, since we’re going hiking tomorrow) and I found hiking pants in a tall size. *squee!* They fit! And they won’t shrink! And they’ll look fabulous all summer on or off the trail! And they were on sale! I tried to wear them around as a hat when we got home, but it became troublesome while I packed so I had to set them aside. But never fear, tall-pants, I still love you.

Shiloh will spend the weekend with Kodiak, the amazing one-eyed jumping husky. Hopefully, she won’t pick up any of his bad habits while she’s there. At the very least, we’re pretty sure she’s physically incapable of jumping a 6-foot fence like Kodiak does. Everything else is up in the air.

And now, it’s way past my bedtime, so I shall bid you all adieu. Until Monday. . . .


Chicken Flavored!

Life has been busy lately, but not distressingly so. Matt’s starting in on his third week of classes, and is right on schedule with moderate panic about being inept with the language he has to learn this term. I’m working consistently on the manuscript AND have managed to do the laundry on time three weeks in a row. A miracle, I know.

Shiloh just got a new bone. A big one! With knuckles! Chicken flavored! Even though it’s plastic! She makes nice sideshow entertainment as I clean the apartment, alternating between Very Serious Chewing and Tossing The Bone To See If It Flies (so far, no luck), followed by a Pounce! or two. Clearly, the height of entertainment for everyone involved.

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