This winter has been an odd one for me. We’ve had a bit more snow than last year, but now the weather is warming up more than normal. I haven’t been working, due to Baby Gecko, so I haven’t seen as much wildlife.
It wasn’t until I sat down at the coffee shop to post this that I realized it’s been a month since I posted a blog… I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I promise. I had good intentions of blogging while we were on our trip to California, but that didn’t happen. We had a great trip, spending time with family and friends and eating my way through many of my favorite restaurants. I also picked up a few skeins of yarn and some things to decorate Baby Gecko’s room. Between the baby shower that my sister put together, pass downs from friends, and hitting a giant consignment sale, we are well supplied for Baby Gecko’s arrival. The house isn’t ready yet, by any means, but we have a couple of months for that.
I played with a lot of yarn on the two days it took us to drive each way. I checked out a book from our library of crochet patterns for baby clothes, and made a couple of items from it. I didn’t like the way the booties turned out, but the jacket turned out cute. I had intended to take a picture of the finished items before I left for town today, but I didn’t. Here’s a picture of Sugar on day 1 of our drive. We did some rearranging at our first stop so that she had a bit more padding for her chin. On one of my last days at work, this guy was crossing the parking lot looking for lady friends. I had to stop and take a couple of pictures.
Our snow hasn’t arrived yet, but we may get some this week. I wrote this post intending to post it last week, then walked off and left my laptop at home. Since then, we’ve had a dusting of snow most days, but it’s all melted off before the end of the day.This was my first odd pregnancy combination (that I actually ate): salted caramel pretzel frozen yogurt, cereal marshmallows, nerds candies, cookie dough, and peanut butter cup bits. It was pretty tasty. My goals for the next month are to write more blog posts, do some freezer cooking, and get more of the house ready for the baby. Oh, and to crochet something for myself, maybe with the lovely wool-silk blend yarn I bought in California.
It’s been a month and a half since my last post… I had good intentions, honestly, but I just never sat down and wrote anything. It’s been a busy few weeks. I changed jobs, Mr. Gecko’s parents came for a visit, we got a new camera, and my sister came for a visit. I feel like I’m just now catching up. Except for laundry, but we don’t need to talk about that. Or the state of my various yarn projects…Anyway, I’m going to make up for it with a couple of catch up posts, but not in order. The pictures in this post are all from my sister’s visit, and all taken with my new camera. Of course, the first pictures that I took with the camera were of the Sugarbeast.My sister had a list of animals that she wanted to see during her visit. We didn’t see all of them- moose are elusive this time of year- but we did see two of them in the first few hours after her arrival. We didn’t get pictures of the fox, but we did get pictures of this grizzly and her cubs. From a safe distance, of course.We also went into Yellowstone for a day. There were bison scattered all over Hayden Valley, including this guy by Yellowstone River.She didn’t really want to stop at any of the thermal areas, but I made her stop at Mud Volcano. It was on our way, and you shouldn’t visit Yellowstone without stopping at least briefly at one thermal feature. There were four bison hanging out next to the path, so we spent more time looking at them than the bubbling mud.Many of the bison are still shedding their winter coats, and it makes them itchy.The bird on the bison is a brown-headed cowbird. They hang around (or on) the bison and eat the insects that are stirred up by their feeding. One of the animals that was not on her list was this Great Grey Owl, who has been spending his days close to one of the roads in the park. The first picture in this post, the two above, and the one below were all taken by Mr. Gecko. He’s spent more time playing with the new camera than I have…
Since I’ve been slacking some on posts, this is going to be a bit of a catch-up post, with more to come in the next few days. I’ve been busy with yarny things, and I’m working on writing up a couple of new patterns, so expect more on that soon.Last weekend, there was a moose hanging around where I work. In the afternoons, on my way out, it would be pretty close to the road, so I was able to get some decent pictures, which I’ll post later. It would also go on walkabout through the parking lot, but I was working during those times, so this picture is as close as I got. I was able to do some distance shopping with my mama this past weekend, as well. One of the LYS’s in her town is also an outlet yarn store, and they were having a big sale. Between text messages, pictures, and a phone call, all crammed into my lunch break, we worked out which yarns I would like. She sent me pictures of what she ended up with, and the caption on this one was “Happy Birthday”. 😀One of the things I enjoy about living in a small town is reading the police blotter in the paper. A while ago, I discovered that the newspaper across the pass in Idaho puts their sheriff’s logs online. Whoever writes them must have a similar sense of humor to mine, because I find them very amusing. One of my favorites so far, brought to you by TetonValleyNews.net:
“A woman reported that a man walked into her home early in the morning. He was so drunk that he didn’t know where he was. He didn’t want to leave… (and) wasn’t making any sense. The woman and her family were able to get him out of the house… In an interview, the woman said her dog, a pug, was useless and did not even wake up during the incident.”
Sugar is three today(ish)! In honor of that, I have a Sugar story for today’s post. Though sometimes Sugar does silly things, in most cases, she is quite smart. And manipulative. She also didn’t want to pose for pictures for this post, so most of these are older. Or of bad quality…
A little backstory for you:
Ever since we adopted her, Sugar has had… quirks… when it comes to eating. Toss her a dog treat, and she tries to catch it. Toss some “people food” her way- bacon, shrimp, cauliflower, whatever- and she will watch as it hits her between the eyes, wait till it lands on the floor, then eat it. Put people food in her dish and she’ll gobble it up. Put down a person dish with food on it, even if it is for her, and she won’t touch it without a LOT of encouragement. These behaviors have developed from the basic house manners training we did when we first brought her home.She’s one of those rare dogs who can be free-fed without becoming overweight, so there’s usually food in her dish. One of her most common quirks involves the first bite of her food that she picks up. She will grab a couple of kibbles, bring them into whatever room we are in (even if we are in bed with the lights out), and spit them out. Sometimes she will come back and eat them later, sometimes I pick them up. She won’t eat the rest of her meal until that’s done, though. Mr. Gecko started calling them her “offerings”, and the name has stuck.
She will also “trade” me. She’ll bring me the plastic parts of her toys- eyes, squeakers, etc.- and I will give her a bite of treat or of my food, if I’m eating something appropriate. This is a behavior that I trained into her when we first started giving her toys and she was rapidly destroying them, and I have reinforced it by randomly rewarding it. It has been a great behavior, because I don’t worry (much) about her ingesting toy bits.
The unintentional result of this has been that she will bring me other things off the floor if she doesn’t have plastic bits handy. She’s brought me paper, tissue, twist ties, envelopes, anything small that she can grab, just in case I trade her a cookie, which I sometimes will. If she can’t find anything, she will casually walk past a table, knock something on the floor, then loop back and pick it up to bring it to me. That doesn’t get her anything.
Ok, so this has been more than a little backstory…
I’m like I AM one of those crazy pet people who’ll talk about their dog forever.
Last week, Mr. Gecko and I were relaxing one evening. I was stretched out on the couch reading, having just opened a bag of peanut butter M&M’s (no sponsorships here, I just like them). I felt a gentle touch, and I looked over to see puppy dog eyes above a long nose resting on the couch next to my leg. In front of the nose was an “offering” of two kibbles.
I tried to give them back to her, but she nudged my hand and looked at the candy bag. I may have been anthropomorphizing, but it looked like she wanted to trade. I pointed it out to Mr. Gecko, and then we both watched in amusement as she licked and pawed at the single M&M I gave her. Given her reaction to the one she eventually ate, I doubt she will ask for one again. But I may have made her more of a spoiled monster than she was already…
This is the Birthday Beast, some of her toys, and an offering. The moose ends up in a sitting position in random places around our house. Since his eyes have been surgically removed by Sugar, and he ends up ensconced “looking” at us, his name is “Creepy Moose”. *Important note: I know chocolate is bad for dogs. The comparatively tiny amount of theobromine in a single M&M, given the minimum toxic dose for her size, weight, and health, is not going to cause any damage.