On The Blackwater

Musing on retirement, writing, puppies, and whatever else strikes my fancy

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Spending my life in 20-year increments: DC, Calif, Maine, & now in the BlueRidge Mountains of VA, where my YoChon, Sadie Mae, has started to blog...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sadie Mae's 15 Minutes of Fame

The phone has been ringing ever since Sadie Mae showed up in the Roanoke Times. I sent them her 'feather' picture, which we've been calling Bird dog. Bruce Rae says it's a quill instead.

The callers all want to know where they can get a YoChon, a Yorkie/Bichon Frise' mix, so I give them Junior Horton's phone number up in Hillsville so they can call and see when he'll have another litter to sell. I also told them her appearance has changed considerably, away from the Yorkie caramel/white/black to more of the bichon pure silky white coat. She also has lengthened out (the better to reach high tables and chew up my glasses!). Expected to reach a weight of 6.5 lbs after weighing only 2 lbs when we got her, she has grown to 10 pounds! But she is a skinny little thing beneath the puffy white coat.

Her eyes and nose still show up pure black, of course. (Right now, I can hear Becky Mushko saying: Post a picture! Post a picture! It's way past time for me to learn how to take pictures and scan them in and post them.)

Her turbo runs on the lawn continue; one caller said her bichon did that, so perhaps that is not a Yorkie trait. She LEAPS high into the air, grinning and showing her teeth. A closed-mouth smile is definitely from Yorkie dad.

Ah, what a beautiful early spring we are having! Temps are 75, 85 degrees and so far, we've gotten enough rain to turn our Japanese weeping cherry tree into a huge canopy of pink blossoms drawing large bees and many butterflies. Behind the tree, on the sloping lawn, our three fruitless pear trees are nearly through blossoming and are turning green with leaves. The new peony fronds in the front flower bed are nearly a foot high. Good thing we put the round cages on as soon as the red pointy beginning stalks poked up through the brown mulch. If you wait too long, the stalks snap off.

Dick mulched everything nicely and even bragged to friends and family (especially up in northern Maine) that he's already mowing the lawn. March is still winter up there, April too most years. I don't know how many Easter Sundays we took pictures of the grandkids holding their Easter baskets, wearing heavy down jackets and standing in front of towering snow banks!

I honestly believe SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, from lack of sunlight) hits most folks who live in the far north. Two of Dick's good friends are buckling under bouts of depression. My daughter gets out into the sunlight as much as she can, winter or not. Her kids, too. She'd love living here in Virginia but I haven't convinced her yet. Her daughter, husband and baby son are moving to St Pete, Florida sometime next week. Maybe that'll get Cathie to move south.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Rocky Mount Writers' Club forms

Becky Mushko, Heather Froeschl and I got together to form a Writers' Club in Rocky Mount, to meet at the Franklin County Library immediately prior to the new Eclectic Readers Book Club run by Bonnie Johnson.

Our first meeting took place from 11-noon on the second Wednesday of March (the 14th) and we drew a very interesting group. From poetry to short stories to longer fiction, we found there were writers looking for a day-time group. Even though the notice did not get into the News-Post until the day of the meeting, word got out.

We agreed to continue meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month for one hour, to share news about contests and to read and gently critique.

As for the Eclectic Readers Book Club, we watched an hour-long DVD provided to us by Adriana Trigiani in which she discussed her Big Stone Gap books, the characters, and her motivations for her storyline. It was a fascinating DVD, and is now at the FCL on loan, so everyone can take it home to show friends and family. We had read her Home to Big Stone Gap prior to the meeting; now several of us will go back and read any of the series we might have missed with a new understanding of the plot.

Much Needed Rain...

After all the wonderful warm 80 degree weather, the rains came. Despite cooler temps, our lawn is a brilliant green, the weeping cherry tree is covered with leaf buds, and the pear trees are nearly ready to burst.

Not only that, my peonies are coming up! I can see those reddish tips poking through the black dirt. Ahhhh...I am so ready for spring, even though we had a very mild winter all told.

We've been busy indoors; I say "WE" but it is the royal we. Dick decided to get rid of his old computer desk and buy ME a new one with an L shape and more desk space, taking my old desk into his room. Well, when you start doing that, you notice scrapes and nail-holes, so he began painting, first his office, then the hallway, then my office, then the guest bathroom. Which of course led to the living room and foyer!

The dust! The cleaning!! The eggshell color paint!!! The white enamel trim!!!! All I can say is: WOW I had to be unplugged for a few days, but there was no time to get online anyway.

All my wall posters are down, and I may not put them back up as I do like the uncluttered look. Even my bulletin board is empty. Between cleaning the sunporch so the sunporch people could come out and take pictures for their brochure, and now all this cleaning and painting, our house feels like a brand new home. Oh, there is still the master bedroom and bath. He bought a new flatscreen TV for the bedroom, how lovely is that?

HD TV now shows all his sports channels, but also shows one of my very favorite series, Northern Exposure. Daily. That, and Grey's Anatomy are my two TV passions. Dancing With the Stars? We usually watch that together.

Oh, news about Sadie Mae? She'll be in the Roanoke Times Neighbors' section, possibly on March 23rd. Her famous feather picture. And pick up Prime Living's March issue, as Sally Roseveare is on the COVER, with a piece inside, and Becky Mushko also has a piece in that issue.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sadie Mae's Adventure

Whew, when they say Yorkies tend to bolt, they mean it! I got home from the store and was bringing in groceries yesterday when Sadie Mae did her great leap outdoors, joy on her little face at being free without a leash. Off she bounced into the woods. Dick wasn't home (she OBEYS him, doncha know). I put the groceries on the counter & took off after her.

She circled around to the driveway...ah, yes!...bounding like she had springs on her four little feet. Every time I got near her (Winchester, our 9-year old choc Lab, came with me. Sometimes, he is able to drive her home...but not this time)...she'd look over her furry little shoulder at me, with those big black eyes, and race away. Back & forth, until she reached the top of the driveway and disappeared. When I panted up to the top, calling her & whistling, she was nowhere in sight.

Did she go down the old road to the river? Or down the steep graveled driveway to our neighbors' house? Or to the right towards the mailbox? Then I heard a slight rustle of dried leaves...she was partway down the neighbors' very steep driveway. Down we went, Winchester and I. Finally, at the bottom, she stopped to sniff around and I GOT her. Carrying her back up was a chore. She's only 6 pounds, but I felt like I'd already gone 6 MILES by then. Carried her home, her tongue lolling out of her grinning mouth.

As I was putting the groceries away, Dick came home, took one look at me and asked if I was OK. I told him it was definitely time for me to go over the "COME" training I'd dropped when Sadie began to go the other direction. And it's time to make it stick. If that is possible with a Yorkie mix!

Apparently, Sadie has also learned to type, as she wrote a letter to Ida B. Peevish...hmmmm.