Thursday, December 29, 2011

this week

Well, Christmas has come and gone for another year.  We hosted breakfast and gift opening in the morning.  Darcie took a nice pic of son Geoff and his girlfriend Carmen.
Cooper loved having everyone here.
It was a beige Christmas here on the prairies - not quite brown because there was some residual snow and ice left from November but certainly not a white Christmas because of lots of ground without any snow cover.  The weather has been exceedingly mild lately with many days of temperatures above the freezing mark.  Christmas Day was 4 degrees C (39 F) which was almost record breaking.  If winter was like this all the time I would be a happy camper.  As we were driving home from Dan's sister's place in the afternoon, there was a spectacular sunset which I tried to capture on my phone.  The picture doesn't do it justice.
The only reminder that this is December and not March was the early sunset around 5 p.m.

The mild weather has lasted all week but some precipitation has been added to the mix.  There was freezing rain earlier today, turning everything into a skating rink.  I was glad to be able to stay at home and not have to drive anywhere.

The rain has turned to snow now.  Austin and Cooper celebrated the new snow with a good run around the back yard. 

It's still nice out.  Sooner or later, the bitter cold temperatures are bound to arrive because this is Saskatchewan after all but this lovely weather will make the really cold winter that much shorter.  I'm all for that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

where's your tail?


"Where's Your Tail?" is a sheltie game that is popular with Austin and Cooper.  Robbie refuses to get involved.  You can almost see him mentally putting his little paw to his forehead using the L-shaped salute for 'Loser' when he watches the other two.  Bentley doesn't care to get involved either.  However, Austin and Cooper think it is the greatest way to get attention ever.  They will show off on request and will also offer it spontaneously when they figure it will get a laugh.

I managed to get a little video of a bit of the game to share with you.  Sorry about the poor lighting - the opportunity presented itself without any pre-planning on my part.  (Notice that they spin in opposite directions.  Dogs have right/left preferences just like people!)

From all of  us, we wish you the best of the season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sidekick bags

This is try #2 for this post.

I am the proud owner of a new Schacht Sidekick (from Shuttleworks). I have had other travel wheels and didn't really bond with them so they were sold and now live with very happy new owners.  The Sidekick arrived in November, an early Christmas gift from Dan, when I was taking the art yarn class.

With the weather turning wintery I knew I wanted a bag for it.  There aren't a lot of options for bags yet because of the newness of the wheel design.  The Bag Lady makes one and Bountiful offers another.  I decided to order the Bountiful bag because it is lighter than the more substantial one from the Bag Lady.  People on the Schacht Ravelry group asked for pictures so here we go.

I had to wait a few weeks for the Bountiful bag so I cobbled together a bag from an old bathrobe.  It did the trick but isn't beautiful.
One side fits over the top of the wheel then the other side, with its edge encased in elastic, closes the bag.  The posts for attaching the strap are left open.
  The public side has a big pocket that closes with velcro.
 It wouldn't be very useful in the rain but worked fine in the winter weather and was surprisingly comfortable to carry.

My Bountiful bag arrived yesterday and I'm very pleased with it and the excellent customer service I received from Lois at Bountiful!

The bags are made to order by Judy Jackson for Bountiful.  She does a great job with quality materials!

There are some color options available.  I chose dark teal to match the wheel.

There is a good sized pocket on the front that zips closed.

The bag has webbing for handles and backpack straps.  Because of my cranky back and neck, I added the seatbelt pads for now to make the straps more comfortable to wear.  They were bought at WalMart and cost $5 each.  I ordered some better ones from Amazon that haven't arrived yet.

The wheel fits comfortably in the bag.
 It has some padding on the bottom and where it leans against your body when carrying it.
 There is enough room to add extra padding if desired.  This bag is not sufficiently strong enough to protect the wheel if it is checked as baggage for a flight.  Size-wise, it can fly as carry-on on a few airlines but not all so you'd have to research the guidelines before flying with it.  Beth of The Spinning Loft went shopping for a suitcase to protect her Sidekick and blogged about it here if you're interested.

The Bountiful bag came with two fleece bags.

The larger one easily holds the bulky flyer and large whorl.

So there is my review.  Hope it's helpful!

And to wish you good night, my lovely Austin dog.....

how appropriate

I took a pile of photos this afternoon when the sun was shining and just finished editing them for this post.  As usual I emptied my trash folder promptly because the icon of the full garbage can on the desktop bugs me.  When I went to my pictures folder to add pics here, today's file is gone.  Disappear-o.  Nothing.  Empty.  Dark.

Dark, as in no light.  Today is the Winter Solstice.  The least daylight hours of the whole year.  How appropriate that my pics vanished into darkness.

So now I will go and retake all the photos with the flash.  Sigh.  My New Year's resolution will be to ignore that full trash icon until I have triple-checked that I still have what I need and haven't accidentally deleted whole files in a single move.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

how it ends

In yesterday's comments a couple of you asked how the sheltie crate game ends.  Actually it ends with no excitement whatsoever.  Austin and Cooper get bored and leave to have a nap or chew on a rawhide.

Robbie stays in his crate and barks at whoever walks by in the hopes of reviving his favorite game....
 until I leave the computer room, the doorbell rings, or the other dogs start barking at real or imagined people and dogs outside the window.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

what I see

What the dogs do when I'm on the computer:

The shelties enjoy a game invented by Robbie.  It involves Robbie being in the crate and the other two acting like they're trying to kill him from the outside.  I don't know why this is such a popular game but they like it so much that Robbie goes out of his way to get me to put him in the crate by jumping up on the keyboard and barking until I oblige.  Note Robbie's smile while he's in there.

Bentley doesn't 'get' the crate game.  He stays out of their way.

It was tough to get the above picture while Austin and Cooper were flying around, snarling and barking at Robbie.  I deleted a bunch of the shots but couldn't resist keeping this one of Cooper's furry butt.  That happy tail tells the tale (sorry, couldn't resist) of how much fun he was having.