i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Harper Collins Canada – March Madness

I have been seeing a few posts among the Canadian book blogs that I read about Harper Collins Canada’s March Madness event. No one asked me to participate but I am letting you know about this because I noticed two of my favourite books are up there for voting!

So, I went here and I voted for the following:

The Day the Falls Stood Still – Cathy Marie Buchanan
Dead Witch Walking – Kim Harrison
Wondrous Strange – Lesley Livingston
Lamb – Christopher Moore

Runner up: And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

I was thrilled when I saw that four of my most favourite books were up there to be voted on. As SOON as I saw The Day the Falls Stood Still on that list I went and voted my little heart out!

There are apparently some nifty prizes too, but to be honest I didn’t really check that out. I was more interested in voting for my favourite books! I encourage you to go check this out!

i need to write something else…

But I don’t really have anything to say. We’re dealing with Annie’s loss pretty well. Jinx is out of sorts but it comes and goes in waves. We have been taking him on longer walks to try and keep him (and us) occupied, he’s started sleeping upstairs in bed with us like he did when we first moved in. I’m ok with this, that’s why we got the king sized bed anyhow! Lucky for me, Jinx only pushes Shawn off the bed at night. heh heh

It’s all those little “firsts” that get you. The First time you don’t need to put the baby gate across the foyer bathroom. The First time you have a banana and there’s no Annie suddenly sitting almost on top of you from out of nowhere. The First time you have a meal with gravy on it and Annie doesn’t run up the basement steps after dinner ahead of you so she can sneek her head into your plate and lick off the gravy when you come up after her.

The Firsts are hard, but they spark trips down memory lane as soon as they make you sad.

We went to Shawn’s parents’ place yesterday to let Jinx get tortured by their dog Hex. We thought it might do him (and us) some good to visit. Jinx was super excited to go but after running around the yard and house he just flopped down. I am wondering if he thought maybe Annie was there and we’d all be a family again? He doesn’t normally sniff around all the rooms in their house anymore. Not since we lived there for a year. It’s hard seeing him so sad because we can’t explain it to him. He’s doing better than I thought he would though and he’s eating which is good. Jinx and Hex played in the backyard for most of the visit there and when we got home (late) he was out like a light, snoring his head off. He came up to bed with Shawn around midnight. Wouldn’t come up with me at 10.

Jinx did nap with me this afternoon. He’s not done that in a while. It’s nice. He gets Shawn’s side of the bed and snores loudly, and I stay on mine and don’t snore. 😉 We’ll be going for a walk after dinner, he’s been enjoying those a lot too.

Otherwise – nothing much is different. I did realize that there were no deaths in our family in 2010. I had a three year streak with my Aunt (May 2007), Grandfather (June 2008) and then Grandmother (April 2009) but 2010 gave me the year off of losing someone from my family. I am hoping that 2011 isn’t the start of another 3 year run. And yes, Annie fits into that family grouping as well. You can’t live 13 years with an animal and not consider it family. Every part of your life is intertwined with that of the animal and you’ll realize just how much when they are gone.

The one exciting thing that happened at work this week was that I was told I had more vacation time left to take before the end of May than I thought. I thought I had 8 days left, turns out vacation days that I hadn’t taken in 2009 had not been carried over to this year yet – so I have an extra 4! So I have 12 days of vacation left and I think I might actually take it all this time. I don’t care, I need the time off. So now to plan when I want to have some long weekends or another week itself! Woot!

Also – thank you all for your comments on the post below. It’s too hard (emotionally) to try and reply to them all personally, which I had wanted to do. So please know that they helped and made a huge difference to me. Thank you!

Sizzling Sixteen

Sizzling Sixteen (A Stephanie Plum Novel)
by Janet Evanovich

My mother lent me her hard cover copy of this book before Christmas and as much as I was longing for the next Plum book I just wasn’t feeling like reading it yet.  I picked it up at the end of last weekend and read it in a day. I needed comfort food reading due to my stress and unease over my poor sweet dog and I thought maybe the Evanovich book would help pick me up. Happily it did. I was giggling over the dialogue and events as of the first chapter. I knew that was a good indicator of how well the book was going to go.

Even though Stephanie and Lula were together the entire time, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by Lula very much in this book. Sometimes she can be a little much. So can Grandma Mazur, so I was happy both doses of those ladies were just the right amount.

There was not enough Ranger at all. There should always be more Ranger. Heck, Ranger should come over and visit me and let me spend all the time I want with him. *rawr*

There wasn’t enough Morelli either, oddly enough and when there was they’d argue and walk away. It was sort of sad and irritating at the same time. I know this love triangle, if you want to call it that, has been going on long enough, but for the love of god, woman! Make a decision already! (Feel free to leave me Ranger though.)

I loved that Connie had a larger role in this novel and that she was determined to rescue the kidnapped Vinnie, if only so she wouldn’t have to try and find another job. I like Connie a lot and I always feel she’s not in the stories enough.

The alligator and the herd of cows – especially the herd of cows – made me laugh out loud and I enjoyed that SO BLOODY MUCH.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again – shouldn’t Stephanie be a little bit more adept at the bounty hunter thing by now? I mean, sixteen books, plus novellas. Just once or twice I’d like to read a book where she successfully captures her skips and doesn’t have some sort of freak event ruin it for her. She deserves that much.

Or she could go work with Rangeman… though I see how that would conflict with the Ranger / Morelli romances. Still, I think Stephanie is a smart enough woman that she should be able to apprehend a few skips with no problem. I find it hard to believe everyone in that town is completely insane and incompetent! As funny as the books are it can get a little frustrating at times.

I have had ups and downs with the books in this series, thankfully this sixteenth book was quite the up for me!

Stephanie Plum series

  1. One for the Money
  2. Two for the Dough
  3. Three to Get Deadly
  4. Four to Score
  5. High Five
  6. Hot Six
  7. Seven Up
  8. Hard Eight
  9. To the Nines
  10. Ten Big Ones
  11. Eleven on Top
  12. Twelve Sharp
  13. Lean Mean Thirteen
  14. Fearless Fourteen
  15. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
  16. Sizzling Sixteen
  17. Smokin’ Seventeen
  18. Explosive Eighteen – Hardcover November 2011

Stephanie Plum Between-the-Numbers Novellas

  1. Visions of Sugar Plums (between 8 & 9)
  2. Plum Lovin’ (between 12 & 13)
  3. Plum Lucky (between 13 & 14)
  4. Plum Spooky (between 14 & 15)

 

the extraordinary annabelly

(cross posted from Beyond Elsewhere – apologies to those of you who see this twice)

Annie 2003

I thought she’d live forever.

I mean, I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but Annie was oddly Benjamin Buttonish as she got older she became younger. She was more playful, active and puppyish with each passing year. It seemed like she’d never get old. The only indication we had that she was “old” was right after her 12th birthday last year, she started to slow down a little. Yet she still took off like a banshee and romped through the dog park that we started going to in the spring. She hobnobbed with the Bernese Mountain Dogs and the Rottweilers. They were her kind of people. She would just hang with them as they slowly trundled through the park.

Towards the end of the summer she stopped wanting to eat her dry food. We figured her teeth were bothering her so we started mixing wet with the dry after a while and she’d gobble it up. She’d try to eat anything other than her dry food so we weren’t concerned. When the snow came she perked up like she always did. Winter was her season. It was tasty and cold and tasty and cold. After Christmas however she started going on hunger strikes again. There were a couple of weeks in January where I was certain this was the beginning of the end. There were some other complications aside from the picky-ness in food. I was worried. Then it all went away and she ate everything in sight for almost two weeks. We couldn’t buy the food fast enough. She was eating the amounts she should have been eating and it gave her more energy.

The last two weeks have been tough. She was even refusing to eat her favourite things. I had hoped she’d stick around, unsuffering, until her 13th birthday on March 7th, but after this past weekend it wasn’t looking too promising. Monday night, even though she came down to the basement with us while we watched the news, her eyes started squinting. Shawn carried her back up the stairs because her legs were weak. We started having that talk, the talk no one wants to have because we didn’t want her suffering. All day at work yesterday I thought about it and I had come to a decision, it was like I knew, we had to go to the vet. When I got home from work I wanted to look at Annie and wait and see what my gut said. One look at her when we came in the door – she didn’t even get up to greet us, first time EVER – we knew. I said “We have to call the vet now”. Shawn agreed. He’d been working up the courage to tell me he felt the same way all day. But that look on her face when we came home made the decision for us. She was ready and we would listen.

Aside from the insanity of the price of the visit ($182!! JEEZ!) it was a good visit. Annie was calm and quiet the entire time. She didn’t shake when we got there like she normally does. She just looked at both of us as if to say, Thank you. Shawn went in with her, I couldn’t. I sat in the waiting room, called and cried to my parents to tell them where I was. Texted my closest friends and left a message for my boss at home, she knew this was coming and she understood. Thank the gods.

We are sad. We are crying. Jinx isn’t quite sure what is going on, but we’re trying to give him as much attention as possible. He’s out a big sister that will wash his face and ears every night after dinner. I have never been in a two animal home before when one passes. I have always only had one at a time. This is new territory for me and Jinx is a very sensitive and wussy sort of guy so I know he’ll be depressed for a while. Once he figures it out that is.

I have had other dogs in my life and I have loved them deeply. But Annie was The One. That one animal you have that you connect with so strongly, the one that fits just perfectly with you and your soul. That’s who Annie was for me. She was my perfect dog. She was beautiful and judgmental (ha) and sweet and gentle. If I’d been a witch or a magical whatever, she’d be my familiar. She was mine. My girl.
Shawn and I were talking last night about how normally when you lose a  dog you have all these reminders all over the house of them. With Annie – none of the toys were hers, she couldn’t care less about them – we have her bowl and other than that? The baby gate that was set up in front of the bathroom on the main floor because she’d go in and steal all the toilet paper for a snack. When I went to the bathroom last night and didn’t have to move the gate I started crying. It just hit me. Annie was gone, we didn’t need the gate anymore. The other thing is the coffee table. The coffee table, people! She’d run laps around it when she was excited, anxious or scared. She loved to run laps around it when she emoted. And when she didn’t want to be found? She’d lie between the table and the couch. We called it her Table of Invisibility. You could still see her, the table was open underneath, but she thought she was safe.

Annie came to live with me at a time in my life when I was on the edge of losing myself. She came after a rotten year of losing another dog, a relationship, friendships, health and more. She was the gift I can never thank my friend enough for. She helped save me. She had the first litter of Finnish Lapphund puppies in Canada in 2002. She was so small and beautiful and shiny. She was cheeky and a diva and you had to go to her for attention, not the other way around.

She developed a much more demanding yet lovable personality after living with my in-laws for a year when she realized she had to compete for attention between Jinx (just a puppy) and my in-laws’ very spoiled Standard Schnauzer (whom Jinx idolized). She started wagging her tail, confused as to what it was doing (ha!), she started barking when we’d get home. A couple of little woofs to greet us. She started coming over and body checking the other dogs out of the way for her own pets. She made sure, in the most subtle and gentle ways ever, that every one knew she was the Queen of the Pack and she always, always, stood beside me. I was her Mummy and I was the problem solver and the comfort and the safety.

She loved her belly rubs, hence the name Annabelly. There was a time all Shawn would have to do was move his arm in her direction and her back leg would go up to expose her belly as if on a string. We used to laugh so hard at that and do it over and over, letting her do leg lifts like an exercise video.

She loved bananas. If you even picked one up off the counter and she was in another room, as soon as you turned around she was sitting right at your feet staring very intently on your banana. It was as though she teleported there. You’d make no noise at all picking it up and there she was. Like frickin’ Jaws of the Banana.

It doesn’t feel like she’s only been part of our life since she was 4. It feels as though all of these 13 years have been spent together. I did meet her when she was 7 months old when I went down to adopt my first Lappie. I remember being so smitten with her and joking about stealing her in my suitcase when I left. I had no idea that 4 years later I’d have Annie in my life full-time.

She was our flower girl in the wedding. She’s come on vacation with us to New Brunswick. She’s always been there.

I miss her like anything, but I’m going to be ok. I slept oddly well for what I was going through last night, but I think the absence of the anxiety over how she was feeling and if she’d be there when we woke up helped me sleep better.

When we turn our kitchen calendar over next Tuesday it will have a photo of her and the caption “Month of the Belly” since it’s her birthday month. (This month is Month of the Winxish.) It will be hard to look at her for 31 days but each day will get easier and we’ll stop crying over things like the baby gate and we’ll laugh over the silly things she’s done or that we’ve done for her in the past. We will snuggle Jinx and hold hands and recall all the smiles she’s given us.

We miss you Annabelle, you were the most special dog I have ever had.

the extraordinary annabelly

Annie 2003

I thought she’d live forever.

I mean, I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but Annie was oddly Benjamin Buttonish as she got older she became younger. She was more playful, active and puppyish with each passing year. It seemed like she’d never get old. The only indication we had that she was “old” was right after her 12th birthday last year, she started to slow down a little. Yet she still took off like a banshee and romped through the dog park that we started going to in the spring. She hobnobbed with the Bernese Mountain Dogs and the Rottweilers. They were her kind of people. She would just hang with them as they slowly trundled through the park.

Towards the end of the summer she stopped wanting to eat her dry food. We figured her teeth were bothering her so we started mixing wet with the dry after a while and she’d gobble it up. She’d try to eat anything other than her dry food so we weren’t concerned. When the snow came she perked up like she always did. Winter was her season. It was tasty and cold and tasty and cold. After Christmas however she started going on hunger strikes again. There were a couple of weeks in January where I was certain this was the beginning of the end. There were some other complications aside from the picky-ness in food. I was worried. Then it all went away and she ate everything in sight for almost two weeks. We couldn’t buy the food fast enough. She was eating the amounts she should have been eating and it gave her more energy.

The last two weeks have been tough. She was even refusing to eat her favourite things. I had hoped she’d stick around, unsuffering, until her 13th birthday on March 7th, but after this past weekend it wasn’t looking too promising. Monday night, even though she came down to the basement with us while we watched the news, her eyes started squinting. Shawn carried her back up the stairs because her legs were weak. We started having that talk, the talk no one wants to have because we didn’t want her suffering. All day at work yesterday I thought about it and I had come to a decision, it was like I knew, we had to go to the vet. When I got home from work I wanted to look at Annie and wait and see what my gut said. One look at her when we came in the door – she didn’t even get up to greet us, first time EVER – we knew. I said “We have to call the vet now”. Shawn agreed. He’d been working up the courage to tell me he felt the same way all day. But that look on her face when we came home made the decision for us. She was ready and we would listen.

Aside from the insanity of the price of the visit ($182!! JEEZ!) it was a good visit. Annie was calm and quiet the entire time. She didn’t shake when we got there like she normally does. She just looked at both of us as if to say, Thank you. Shawn went in with her, I couldn’t. I sat in the waiting room, called and cried to my parents to tell them where I was. Texted my closest friends and left a message for my boss at home, she knew this was coming and she understood. Thank the gods.

We are sad. We are crying. Jinx isn’t quite sure what is going on, but we’re trying to give him as much attention as possible. He’s out a big sister that will wash his face and ears every night after dinner. I have never been in a two animal home before when one passes. I have always only had one at a time. This is new territory for me and Jinx is a very sensitive and wussy sort of guy so I know he’ll be depressed for a while. Once he figures it out that is.

I have had other dogs in my life and I have loved them deeply. But Annie was The One. That one animal you have that you connect with so strongly, the one that fits just perfectly with you and your soul. That’s who Annie was for me. She was my perfect dog. She was beautiful and judgmental (ha) and sweet and gentle. If I’d been a witch or a magical whatever, she’d be my familiar. She was mine. My girl.
Shawn and I were talking last night about how normally when you lose a  dog you have all these reminders all over the house of them. With Annie – none of the toys were hers, she couldn’t care less about them – we have her bowl and other than that? The baby gate that was set up in front of the bathroom on the main floor because she’d go in and steal all the toilet paper for a snack. When I went to the bathroom last night and didn’t have to move the gate I started crying. It just hit me. Annie was gone, we didn’t need the gate anymore. The other thing is the coffee table. The coffee table, people! She’d run laps around it when she was excited, anxious or scared. She loved to run laps around it when she emoted. And when she didn’t want to be found? She’d lie between the table and the couch. We called it her Table of Invisibility. You could still see her, the table was open underneath, but she thought she was safe.

Annie came to live with me at a time in my life when I was on the edge of losing myself. She came after a rotten year of losing another dog, a relationship, friendships, health and more. She was the gift I can never thank my friend enough for. She helped save me. She had the first litter of Finnish Lapphund puppies in Canada in 2002. She was so small and beautiful and shiny. She was cheeky and a diva and you had to go to her for attention, not the other way around.

She developed a much more demanding yet lovable personality after living with my in-laws for a year when she realized she had to compete for attention between Jinx (just a puppy) and my in-laws’ very spoiled Standard Schnauzer (whom Jinx idolized). She started wagging her tail, confused as to what it was doing (ha!), she started barking when we’d get home. A couple of little woofs to greet us. She started coming over and body checking the other dogs out of the way for her own pets. She made sure, in the most subtle and gentle ways ever, that every one knew she was the Queen of the Pack and she always, always, stood beside me. I was her Mummy and I was the problem solver and the comfort and the safety.

She loved her belly rubs, hence the name Annabelly. There was a time all Shawn would have to do was move his arm in her direction and her back leg would go up to expose her belly as if on a string. We used to laugh so hard at that and do it over and over, letting her do leg lifts like an exercise video.

She loved bananas. If you even picked one up off the counter and she was in another room, as soon as you turned around she was sitting right at your feet staring very intently on your banana. It was as though she teleported there. You’d make no noise at all picking it up and there she was. Like frickin’ Jaws of the Banana.

It doesn’t feel like she’s only been part of our life since she was 4. It feels as though all of these 13 years have been spent together. I did meet her when she was 7 months old when I went down to adopt my first Lappie. I remember being so smitten with her and joking about stealing her in my suitcase when I left. I had no idea that 4 years later I’d have Annie in my life full-time.

She was our flower girl in the wedding. She’s come on vacation with us to New Brunswick. She’s always been there.

I miss her like anything, but I’m going to be ok. I slept oddly well for what I was going through last night, but I think the absence of the anxiety over how she was feeling and if she’d be there when we woke up helped me sleep better.

When we turn our kitchen calendar over next Tuesday it will have a photo of her and the caption “Month of the Belly” since it’s her birthday month. (This month is Month of the Winxish.) It will be hard to look at her for 31 days but each day will get easier and we’ll stop crying over things like the baby gate and we’ll laugh over the silly things she’s done or that we’ve done for her in the past. We will snuggle Jinx and hold hands and recall all the smiles she’s given us.

We miss you Annabelle, you were the most special dog I have ever had.

(My husband’s post here)