Sunday, March 30, 2008

Super Pet Expo

Took the pooches to Super Pet Expo at the Dulles Expo Center this past saturday. The expo contains local vendors that sell all sorts of pet items. The expo seems to get more popular every year especially since pets are allowed. We got there shortly after it opened and it was already extremely packed.

This is the first time Pete has attended such a large function and we were curious to see how he would do. Unfortunately he did not start with a stellar performance. While we were waiting for Scott and Sue outside, Pete decided he needed to "own" Mike so he peed on his shoes and pants! Needless to say, Mike was NOT pleased so I took Pete and he took Max (I did not get peed on).

This year it seemed all the dog bakeries were out in force and Pete found every single one of them. Poor Pete didn't understand why he wasn't allowed to eat any of the wonderful items he kept smelling, especially since they were all out in the open (and almost at nose/mouth height). Both Pete and Max got a lot of loving from strangers. Pete because he is a chocolate lab (not seen as often as yellow or blacks) and Max because of his lab/dane mix. At one table, Max charmed the vendors into giving him more than a few pieces of chicken jerky because his head easily rested on their table and he gave them his best sad-eye stare.

Overall the dogs were very well behaved and handled themselves better than I expected. They got lots of extra goodies from the vendors, Pete got a nice new collar, and I got a cute dog bookmark.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stitchin stuffages

Haven't blogged much about any of my stitching or other needlework stuff recently so I figured it was due time. I've been rather lax about my hobby recently. Instead I've been doing a lot of reading of various fantasy books. I rediscovered a book I loved as a teenager (which probably got me started in the whole fantasy novel vein) and was finally able to read the entire series (Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet). I read the second book when I was in middle school but never found any of her other stuff. I thought of her recently and found all the books in the library so I gobbled them up in a matter of a few days, then I went and found other series she's done and went through those. Obviously as they are geared towards teenagers, the reading is easy but the storyline is very entertaining. I would consider the books on par with Harry Potter readings. Unfortunately when I do find books that intrigue me, everything else is excluded so I'll just spend my entire day reading instead of anything else.

After reading most of her books, I finally got back to my knitting and stitching. I've finally started on Jen's other half of her Christmas presents (she only got 2 of her 4 pairs of socks). I'm using a free pattern called Jaywalkers for these socks just to try something different. It's working out well so far except that the pattern isn't as flexible as regular stockinette stitches so it's a little bit tough to get over the heels.

I've also finally taken some updated pictures of some of my cross stitch pieces I've been mostly been picking at (just a couple of stitches added here and there). I seem to have mostly lost my stitching mojo so I can't stay focused on one project very long.

I've gotten a fair bit done on Wedding Sampler so far, with only one more page to go. It's not a hard pattern and it really shouldn't take me very long to finish it once I bear down and just do it.

Cirque des Cercles (CDC) is moving along quite nicely. The black fabric makes it a bit tough to find the right holes so I'm forever frogging bits of my stitching. Another easy one because I'm only using one variegated floss color so I don't have to switch around.

Then I've got my monster Chatelaine projects. Egyptian Garden is only about 35-40% finished so far AND I've got a LOT of beading still to do. I love the brilliant colors on this one.

Sue and I started Mystery X (Secret Victorian Garden) together at the beginning of 2008. We were trying to keep up with one part/month but the second part is just so large we couldn't stay on track. We're still working on Part 2 for this thing.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mongo-huge church

On Easter we went to church with my parents, Jen, and Din. Usually on the main holidays we'll go to my parents' church but my Dad was very interested in visiting McLean Bible Church near Tysons Corner. MBC is one of those HUGE church with auditoriums and a very large parking garage. There is police there every Sunday to help direct the flow of traffic.

The entire service seemed a bit over-the-top to both Mike and myself. There's a stage with a full ensemble of stage lights, screens, and a full orchestra. There are cameras throughout the auditorium to film the entire worship so those further back can see close-up views on the screens. It's very similar to the services seen on tv on sundays. The sermon seemed a bit arrogant and rigid especially regarding Christianity vs other religions. While I understand that each religion thinks it is "the one", my parents' church is very tolerant and focuses on more important issues rather than differences of religions.

I do understand how people are drawn to the church and the message but I think I prefer a much more relaxed and smaller atmosphere in church.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Carrie, lovebug & kisser

We've had Carrie, our newest foster, for a week now. She's a cute little (56 lbs) black girl who loves people and other dogs. She's only a year old and is still quite a puppy. Since she loves to play with other dogs, she's kept Petey quite occupied with tug-o-war, chasing, and wrestling. It's kinda nice to see Pete playing so much with another dog. Max is Max and he's quite content just to lay down and watch.

Carrie loves people but she tends to be pretty pushy when she gets excited. She literally starts wriggling with happiness and that crazy tongue of hers starts darting all over the place trying to lick/kiss you as much as possible. Definitely still a puppy since she can get into trouble if she's not watched. She's not too bad in the house since we have lots of toys everywhere and our trashcans are out of reach (previous experiences w/Pete); however she does loves to explore outside and she's found a specific area in the backyard that just NEEDS to be dug up. For the last few days she's come back up the deck with a very brown nose and front paws, the rain has NOT helped with clean-up.

She's actually a very good girl for a puppy. While she gets excited with strangers, she tends to be pretty calm indoors. She sidles up to you and constantly wants attention. She'll lean on you, and gently put a paw on you if you stop petting. Her favorite position is definitely on her back with her belly exposed for lots of belly-rubs. The other foster homes have been working on her housebreaking so she hasn't had one accident here (one of our biggest priorities).

Surprisingly she's been in the system since November, but she just had a visit from adopters today and they'll be adopting her next week. She should be quite happy with three young (human)boys to give her lots of affection and playtime.