Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ice Storm Pics - Part 2

The "artsy" shots - perfect for a Wordless Wednesday, no? (you can click on them to enlarge)

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I might need to frame one of these...

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Sophie checking out the ice... (click linked names for more icey pics!)

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Teutul doing the same...
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Zeus wondering what's going on...

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Lola checking things out from inside on day #9 when we finally saw a couple PSNH trucks outside working on our power... she kept a good eye on them!

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Stay tuned for more ice storm pics... I've saved the best for last... the furbabies all cuddled up inside trying to keep warm!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ice Storm Pics - part 1

I was finally able to find some time to download the pictures from my 9 days of hell... errr, I mean the Ice Storm of '08. Between the damage pics, my artsy shots and the dogs, there were well over 100 pictures... but I promise I won't bore you with them all. Here's some damage shots for today... (you can click on them to make them large)

My favorite maple tree, which is in the front of our yard... We lost about 1/3 of it a couple years ago (think it got hit by lightening) and I was so happy it survied, but I'm not sure how its going to do after this...


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If you enlarge that second shot, you can see a lot of the ice that Matt had knocked off trying to get the branches to spring back up. He had to trim a tun off that were blocking our driveway.

Our weeping willows took some major hits... not sure if they are going to survived or not, but I hope so. We're pretty lucky they aren't closer to the house - otherwise we would've had some holes in the roof for sure!

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Here's the large chunk of the maple that came down on our back porch while Matt was off waiting an hour for gas and 45 minutes for Wendy's burgers. I managed to chop most of it up myself (fearing it'd go through the sliding glass door if I didn't), thank you very much...

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Think this bent over dandy is a birch... won't be sad if we have to loose it. Of course, all the gazillion apple trees in the back were all fine and dandy... those suckers will stand up to anything!

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These trees go along the side of our property line... every single one is snapped about half way up. Looks like a hurricane came through...

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Okay, I'll spare you more damage... tomorrow I'll bring you the pretty artistic shots and eventually you'll get some doggy photos too... stay tuned.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank You Sue


I just found out that Sue presented me - and several other amazing doggy Mom's - with a wonderful year end award! Be sure to hop on over and discover some other great blogs that you may or may not already read. Thank you Sue, it is truly an an honor to receive!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Knitter's Christmas!

I thought this was perfect for a Wordless Wednesday Christmas Eve...

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Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas... may you get all the mmmMalabrigo you asked Santa for!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ice Storm Knitting

I spent several of my non-electric hours during the long outage between December 11 and 20 knitting hats for Christmas gifts. I had wanted to knit a hat for each of my 6 younger nieces and nephews (there are 2 older ones as well) and managed to accomplish that task. (We won't talk about the IOU I had to send out to my good friend Teri for her knitted Christmas item). I used my basic go-to hat pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and used mainly acrylic & wool blends in hopes that my family would not accidentally turn one into a new felted doll hat.... You'll have to check my Ravelry projects for yarn specifics since I'm too busy trying to catch up, but here are the pics...

Tabitha's in a lovely red & black to match her jacket...
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Jake's with a ribbed cuff...
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Benjamin's also with a ribbed cuff...
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Sam's stripey little number...
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Amber's purplely goodness...
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Austin's black & blue...
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Although they were all very simply knits, I'm happy that each is getting something handmade by Auntie to keep their nogin warm this winter!

I received our very unique custom Christmas ornament from Lynne's Little Creations. Like Chan, I found Lynne when Natalie ordered her custom cake topper (congrats to the new Mr & Mrs by the way!) and started a "I need one of those" trend.

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I absolutely love it! Lynne mangaed to capture our personalities and put lots of great details in there (I would've liked my sweater to be a little less bright, but that's okay... its the sweater). You can click on the picks to enlarge them and check out the details... like the Boston Bruins logo on Matt's hat, the yarn wrapping around Lola from the WIP behind me, the checkered flag in Matt's hand, etc. She hit the nail on the head with the dogs' expressions too - Zeus & Lola's ever happy big smiles, Tut's nervous nelly curious stare and Sophie just being Sophie. Here's the rear view so you can see the WIP....

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Speaking of Chan, we haven't opened the human Christmas gifts yet, but she did send the furbabies a beautiful holiday spread...

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I also received my Dogs on Thursday ornament swap package. I hate to admit it and am sorry to say, but I was rather underwhelmed. The swap had no real parameters for pricing and such, but having done it last year I knew that most people seemed to include some treats & toys for both humans & the dogs. My spoiler sent a little basket with a Santa ornament and some unlabeled (what I assume are) homemade dog treats with no ingredients listed so I'm not even sure my dogs can have them.

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I realized not everyone goes "above & beyond" or has a lot to spend, but I'm mostly disappointed in that the ornament is not at all doggy related.... this was the Dogs on Thurday swap and I spent a great deal of time choosing the right dog related ornament for my pal. Ah well... at least I got to spoil the awesome Sue and her pack in this swap and spoil I did! My package arrived yesterday, a few days late however it could not have arrived at any better time. Yesterday Sue had to say the tough goodbye to the wonderful Monty. The ornament I sent to her will forever be Monty's and there was a book I had included that was very fitting. I'm sure Sue will tell you about it via blog at a later date. In the meantime, hop over and give her some virtual hugs..... May you rest in peace Monty... and may you be enjoying all your friends over the Rainbow Bridge.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On The 9th Day of Christmas...

... we got our power back around 9:35 pm last night after nine long days of hell! I've never been so happy to be able to flush a toilet, have running water and be able to turn on a light switch in my life.

I may even be able to get past the fact that my car died on Thursday night after we took Tut to the vet and stopped to get some food. Yes, died... stranded with a dead battery until a friend came to jump start us. $184 later on Friday, I have a nice, strong new battery....

Between Friday and yesterday we got about a foot of snow and we are in the midst of another snow storm today that is set to bring 8 - 14 more inches. So maybe there really is a Santa Claus? If so, maybe he can help me play catch up... I have a tun of wrapping, packaging & mailing to do (not to mention last minute shopping for anything missing)... a fridge to finish cleaning out (hundreds of dollars in food went to the dump on Friday morning)... a house to clean up... about 10 loads of laundry to do..... so please do excuse me as I attempt to make my way back in to the real world before the hussle & bussle this week. I know I have tuns of blog reading catch up to do too... and Ravelry ... and Facebook... oh the simple pleasures of life that we miss when put through mid-evil like times. I have always said my second house has requirements - simple ones really - 2 bathrooms, a bigger kitchen and a farmer's porch. I've now added being on the same electric grid as a hospital to that list.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unlucky #7

Still no power.... It has now been 7 days and we're now 7 days away from Christmas. I thought 7 was supposed to be a lucky number? I sure as heck don't feel lucky right about now. Needless to say this has thrown an extra large crimp in to all of my holiday plans and has truly crushed my holiday spirit. I haven't wrapped or packaged one single gift to mail yet (sorry to all my long distance friends... your Christmas boxes will probably be late this year). The only thing I did manage to do was get my Dogs on Thursday holiday swap box off to my pal on Tuesday. I made that a priority as not to pass my dampened holiday spirit on to some special pooches and their Mom. I hope she gets her box today!

I won't bore you with more bitching and whining, except to say that on Tuesday PSNH released an estimated time of restoral sheet and my town was set for yesterday by 11pm. Yesterday afternoon I called and was told Thursday (today) by 11pm. At this point, I have no hope or confidence in our electric company. Sure, you can tell me over and over again that hundreds of crews are out working and they have restored power to thousands of homes in New Hampshire, but to be honest... I don't really give a crap anymore. I have no power... I can't flush my toilet, have no running water, no real heat, no stove, no nothing...... Why can't you temporarily hook us in to one of the many grids surrounding us that does have power? This is 2008 - not 1958. We should have better technology and better restoration. We live in New England... this was an ice storm... not some unheard of event that only happens once every 50 years in our area!!!! So sorry, but I don't really care to hear about all the lucky people who got their power back. Tell me when I can have mine and have my life back.

ETA: No sooner did I post this, I called PSNH for a status check ... for 3 days they've been telling us there were 40 problem spots on our circuit, then 20 yesterday... now is f**king 205 problem spots and "it doesn't look good" -- the operator said she thought MAYBE Saturday...... and once again I was told "I don't know" when asked why they can't connect us to another circuit in the meantime. PSNH can rot in hell at this point as far as I'm concerned. Merry Fing Christmas people........

Since it is Doggy Thursday, here are some warmer photos (I'll get to downloading the cold photos after we get power back)...

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day 5

We're in to day 5 and still no electricity here in no-man's land. Some of you had asked if we had this or that - nope, nothing! Everything in our house runs on electric, so we have no running water (well pump), no flushing toilet (septic pump), no heat or stove (electric)... and no, we do not have a fire place. We have a wood stove that we have never dared to use since we moved in due to a funky chimney that looks like an unskilled child built and certainly doesn't seem safe. We do have the generator which we run a few things off of - a light, tv, 2 small electric oil filled heaters, etc. We shut it all down at bedtime and bundle up.

Some of you know that I had to deal with some very difficult, not understanding people in the past couple of days. I just don't understand why people need to be so nasty and uncaring during a very difficult and stressful time... We're in a State of Emergency in both New Hampshire & Massachusetts! Talk about dampening spirits. With the stress of everything, I just don't know whether to scream, cry, run in a corner & hide or kick someone.......... ugh. I've heard from others around here who say "good luck" and "hang in there," yet they've managed to have real heat or be able to cook a meal and take a shower. I'm especially sick of hearing how horrible it was for some people to have been without power for 12 hours or a day. I know they mean well, but if I hear "hang in there" from them one more time I think I just might let out that scream! You just really have no idea what its like to have nothing until it happens at your house.... and then to be on day 5. I can relate to those who manage through this awful time during hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.... but it is just not meant to be in the USA!

I know our utility crews are working hard and am very thankful for all the crews who have come in to our state to help from all over the country. As a good friend said to me last night, "If I had power, I'd cook them all a homemade meal!" And thank you to all of my wonderful friends who are truly concerned and care - your text messages have meant alot, as have all the comments left on the blog.

One last thing (and yes, I am a bit bitchy today, but I think I've earned it), for all my jerky darling neighbors who have power and are cranking on their Christmas lights... its not helping to make us feel jolly or in the holiday spirit, thank you very much.

ETA: Yes, we're pretty much going to loose everything in the fridge & freezer and I really dread cleaning it out and having to replace it all......... oh joys!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Greetings from the world of NO power

Quick update... We have been without power since Thursday at about 10:30 pm. Since our whole house is electric, that means we have nothing... no running water, no flushing toilet, no heat, no stove, no nothing.

We have a small generator that we can hook up an electric heater, a lamp, the tv (we just got cable back yesterday - until then it was a small black & white), etc. as well as recharge flashlights, cell phone, etc. We can't run these overnight, so its pretty cold when we get up. We do not have it set up to run anything major such as the water pump, fridge or real heat... and maybe now we might have to look into that.

We have several trees, limbs and chunks of tree down. It looks like a hurricane rolled through - every single tree up the left side of our yard is snapped off about half way up. We lost another good chunk of my favorite maple tree in the front, as well as a large chunk of one in the back which landed on the porch. Our weeping willows are a disaster...

I had thought our 3 days without power in January 2007 was bad but this is by far worse.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake!

Its hard to believe another doggy Thursday is here already... where is the time flying off to? If you only stop by on Thursdays, please backtrack to Saturday to see Sophie's birthday post.

And now... the cake photos! Princess Sophie got a pretty, girly, bright pink cake from Woof It Down. If you're local to the area, these cakes really are a perfect size... they cut in to fourths nicely, for easy sharing (after all the photo opp licking of course)! As most of you know, Sophie has come a long way since last year when everything scared her... however, she's still a bit nervous around some new things (and people). When we give the dogs their cakes, I usually try to get some pics of just the birthday pooch and his/her cake... well, apparently Sophie was still a bit scared of the plastic box again this year (however she had no problem going up and munching off the other dogs' cakes all year long)!

What the heck is that??!!
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Are you trying to kill me Daddy?
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I'm not looking!
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If she ain't gonna eat it, we will!
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Hmm... okay, maybe this isn't so bad...
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Sophie also got a new Planet Dog buddy, which she decided (all on her own) to use as a pillow the other day...

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Happy 2nd Birthday Sophie!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Somewhere in Whoville..

Last Saturday, we headed into the city to see How The Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical...

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With Max and Cindy Lou Who, it was certainly beginning to look alot like Christmas!

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Yes, yes... the Grinch's heart grew three sizes larger and he danced and sang with all the Whos...

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