Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Travelogue - Part 2

UHM and I made it to Jamaica right on time and with no trouble.  It was a very long day but we were happy to get to the resort, indulge in a rum drink, wander around a bit and then get ready for dinner.  After dinner, I have no memories - I pretty literally passed out and slept until 9:30 the next morning.

Friday was spent lounging by the pool and sipping on rum and fruit juice concoctions.  It was positively lovely.  Friday night we took a shuttle to another restaurant on the property.   A really lovely restaurant high on a hill overlooking a golf course and the Caribbean sea.  About 2/3 of the way through our meal, one of the restaurant managers stopped by our table to chat and be sure we were enjoying ourselves.

During the course of the conversation, UHM commented that she was sorry we had arrived when the light was failing because she really wanted to show me the "Monkey No Climb" trees on the course.  The manager looked at her oddly and said, "What kind of trees?"  UHM replied, "The Monkey No Climb" trees.  They have thorns on the trunk so the monkeys can't climb them."

Again, the manager was puzzled.  She asked where UHM had heard of these trees and UHM replied, on her last visit to the island the golf caddies had told her about them.  Then the manager began to laugh - long and loud.  The caddies had been pulling UHM's leg.  There are no monkeys on the island of Jamaica so why would there be a  tree called the Monkey No Climb tree.  There are palms on the course that are difficult to climb but, to the manager's knowledge nothing like the tree UHM described.

I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time.  It was such a classic case of the locals amusing themselves at the cost of the tourist.

Now, to give UHM credit when we got home I Googled "Monkey No Climb tree" and there is a species of tree called that but it is not native to Jamaica and, as far as I could tell it doesn't grow there either.

Moral of this story - if a local tells you something that seems pretty cool, it might be a good idea to research it before you go telling anyone else about it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Travelogue - Part 1

UHM and I decamped from VA for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and indulged in some sunshine and rum in Jamaica!  We had a wonderful sitter stay with Sam, Ginny, Moira and Georgia.  Bogey went to stay with our regular dog-walker where he can run and play all day with his dog pals.

Our flight left bright and early Thursday morning.  Ok, it wasn't bright - it was just early.  5:30am to be exact.  Ugh.  Then we had a 5 hour lay-over in Charlotte, NC.  I love the Charlotte airport.  It's just a nice, newer-feeling airport but 5 hours in any airport is too long.  That's especially true when facilities has turned down the heat in the airport in anticipation of the holiday crowds.  I was freezing!

While waiting in line at Starbucks I saw a young woman accompanied by a man about her own age and an older gentleman - he was probably in his 50s.  The young woman was dressed in a very cute but lightweight blue dress and flip flops.  I told her the dress was adorable but that she was going to freeze if she had to wait long for a flight.  She replied that, at the moment,  she was actually quite warm.  The older gentleman added that she had just been "legally groped" by the TSA.

I replied, "Gee, how come that never happens to me?"  To which the older gentlemen replied......

"They only want the young ones.  We know how it is."

And thus, my illusion of youth was shattered in Starbucks at the Charlotte airport.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Regression Analysis

Three weeks ago I was super pleased  with how Moira did at the MadCo Agility trial.  The last couple agility classes haven't been anywhere near as good.

I know that part of any dog training is regression.  You think you've got everything pretty well nailed down and then your dog decides that she's never heard the word down before or never seen a tunnel in her life.  That's where we are right now.  Moira has decided that it's ok to blow me off in class.

I have to work very hard at the beginning of each run to get her to connect with me - something that hadn't been a problem for quite some time.  The beautiful down-stay that we worked all summer on - and that still exists at home - has disappeared in class.

On the plus side, she's jumping beautifully and, when we do connect, her runs are quite pretty (I still look a little like Phoebe).  It's just such a let-down from the stunning run-throughs we had a month ago.  I really thought we were at a place where we could 'go to the next level' and start working on more advanced things.  It's especially disappointing that this is happening at the start of winter when we won't be able to practice as much to try to work through these issues.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No-Sew Crafty Project

This is a project I've been planning for a little while.  I just needed to have a weekend at home to get it done.  I love patchwork quilts and I love the whole Shabby Chic color palette but I don't have the $$ for real Shabby Chic and I don't have the patience to quilt so I came up with this idea.

I bought 8, 8x8" artist's canvasses at Michael's and then I went to a couple different quilting stores and bought fabrics that I loved in my color way.  I stretched the fabrics over the canvasses and stapled them into place, making sure I had nice, neat corners.  Lastly, I hung them on my bedroom wall in a checkerboard pattern using my wall color, a very, very pale pink, as the background/solid squares.

Now that it's on the wall, I think I'll buy some picture frame molding and build a "frame" around it, just to finish things off.

I've recently bought some pretty simple quilt patterns that can be sized down to table toppers or wall hangings.  I may try making those and doing the same sort of thing - buying a canvas to stretch the finished top  on for hanging.  After all, it's coming up on winter and I should have time for these kinds of projects, right?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Graceful I Am Not

Ra and I had agility class last night - our first since the Halloween trial.  At one point our instructor took me aside and suggested I watch the video from our first run (Saturday) again.  Here it is....

Patty, our instructor, pointed out that my arms are flailing all over the place and that could very well have been why Ra went so wild and had such a crappy run.  Hmmmm.  Watching it again, I am strongly reminded of this.

Anyone else think my running style bears a strong resemblance to Phoebe's?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Idle Hands

They say that idle hands are the Devil's tools.  I think the Devil has had to find other tools lately as I've been busy, busy, busy.

Moira's agility trial and birthday on Halloween weekend were a lot of fun.  Here's a video from her run on Sunday.  This was the better of our two runs that weekend.  We are in the background to start.  My instructor shot the video and she was closer to the end of the course than the beginning.

Then my mother came into town on the 3rd for a visit.  Friday we took Sam to see Dr. Dove (aka The Glove) in Gainesville, VA.  It was past time to get him collected on and frozen.  Fortunately, Miss Georgia cooperated by being in season and giving Sam something to think about.....  who needs Playdog when you have the real thing!?!

The 6th was the 76th running of the Montpelier Hunt Races in Orange, VA.  If you've never been to steeplechase races and want to see them close up and personal, I highly recommend coming to these races.  There aren't too many things I can think of that are more thrilling than standing on the rail watching equine athletes thunder past you.  It helps that you can have an adult beverage in your hand and share the fun with friends too!

Sunday Ellen (mom)and I drove over to Williamsburg, VA.  We had a nice time there doing a little shopping and just visiting.  Ellen flew back to MO yesterday.

So, there you have a quick recap of the last 2 weeks.  Now it's time for the holiday rush at work and who knows how much time I will have to post.  But you might get some fun pictures from the Thanksgiving weekend.......I'm hearing reggae and thinking about drinking rum.......