Viewing/Showing

[I accidentally published my notes for this post earlier. So sorry to have to do it over for those using Google Reader.]

We're trying to sell our house right now. It's discouraging, particularly when we worked so hard to create an awesome home: new appliances, new floors, new basement, new house. We're hanging in there though and realizing that we'll just have to learn a hard and likely expensive lesson.

I've also had a vocabulary lesson regarding the house. We have had several showings, which I actually called "viewings" when I talked about it with other people. A "viewing," however, sounds more like a funeral-related activity. I've caught myself saying "viewing" several times since the distinction was raised, and I envision myself lying at rest in our bed, hands folded as people parade through our house.

For each showing, we work really hard to get everything in place (like anyone can live this way for an extended period of time without hired help). When I get home, it's weird to think that other people were in your home, judging every little aspect of the place. It's a little spooky, but I'm starting to get used to it.

Surprise Party Video




video



Here's a video of the surprise party that Anna wrote about. This is right after we walked in. In a special adaptation of "Oh, Susanna," Tom, Henniker's favorite poet, showed us some serious love. Many thanks, Tom. Also, many thanks to Tim and his family for opening their home for the party. You'll notice that I'm not quite "with it" in this video. I was in class for six hours straight on this particular Saturday morning (mini-courses aren't a great idea). My eyes were glazed over, but I slowly came about through this performance--at least enough to demand the high octave leap at the end and then bark and clap like an ill-trained seal.

Comment Mechanics

I just read this post by David Pogue of the New York Times. He asserts, and I agree, that the various ways that we try to stop ad bots from commenting on our sites just doesn't work. Well, I'm going to try to go without having everyone decipher a squiggly word for a while to see how it works. Maybe it will feel like I'm not letting the terrorists win.

There is a program that I wouldn't mind using. I can't remember where I read about it, and I'm too lazy to grab a link right now. Trust me. This exists.

There are computers that are taking scanned images of old texts and converting them into searchable digital documents. The problem is that there are several places that require human reasoning because of ink blotches or other imaging problems. There are several websites that use people trying to prove that they're not a bot to do this work for document archiving. It seems that Blogger is not one of them.

From Anna's Hand

Well done, all. You pressured Anna into writing a post. Keep it up!

Last Saturday, Austin and I were invited to have dinner with Pastor Rebecca and Bob Maccini in Henniker. We arrived at the Maccini's house right on time, and Bob recieved a phone call that he had forgotten to give a CD to Tim for his daughter Erin's disco themed birthday party. So before we dined we headed over to Tim's house to drop off the disco CD. Bob comes running out and says we have to see how they decorated the house for the party. We go in and, lo and behold, it is a surprise party for me and Austin. Everyone from the choir was there, and some from the Prodigals. They had special chairs for us to sit in, and Tom had written us a song to the tune of "Oh, Susanna (She Came from Alabama)." It was funny and sweet, and made me and Austin tear up a little. Then we had the chance to visit with everyone, and eat some great food; this choir is full of good cooks! Carol C. wrote me a poem titled "Anna's Garden;" it was lovely and precious. It will be framed and hanging in our new home. What a tresure! Carol H. is a fabulous knitter, and she made me a shawl. It is beautiful! On the follwing Sunday they blessed the shawl and said a prayer that the shawl, when wrapped around me, would bring love, support, and comfort. I loved all of these wonderful gifts and will cherish them always. We continued visiting with everyone through the evening. What a wonderful day!

This church, choir, and band have been a constant source of support and love for me during my time here in New Hampshire. They have given me free reign to direct and be creative. We have laughed and cried together, and made a lot of really great music. It is very sad to say farwell to these preciouse people. But we must. There is a strange mix of feelings that happens when I move: sad, excited, anxious, happy, and, this time, looking forward to the wonderful people of Cincinnati, OH. It seems that, no matter where life has taken me, there have always been wonderful and generous people there who are willing to open their hearts in friendship. Okay, well I wrote a post; I am sure to do it again when my arm is twisted. :)

[Editor's Note: Pictures of the Shawl and excerpts from the song and poem to come in a future post.]

Potter Goes Slytherin


The Harry Potter reference in the title of this post refers to the fact that a lot of people think I look like Hogwarts's favorite son. The early years of my life passed without any celebrity lookalike comments; rather, it was my name that led to friendly harrassment: "Austin from Boston [note: I am not from Boston]," "Austinioooooooooo Hall," "Il Pagetto," and the ever-popular "Austin Powers."
I'm not complaining. In fact, I liked that people would give me pet names. The Harry Potter books--particularly the cover illustrations--changed everything. At the height of the books' popularity, I was wearing my hair a little shaggy and my skin a little pale. I also carried a broom around with me for a variety of reasons. The likeness is, I must admit, fairly convincing.
As a lookalike, people expect a lot out of you. My strangest incident happened in Books-a-Million [a store that I haven't seen in a long time]. An older teenager approached me with her friend and asked if she could take a picture with me. With a puzzled look on my face, she said that she would have to run to her car to get her camera. Before she turned to go to the car, she said, "This is amazing. I kinda have a Harry Potter fetish." Somewhere in Alabama there is a girl with a picture of me and a strong set of feelings for a boy wizard. Creepy.
I've tried to embrace the Harry Potter thing, but it's sort of disappointing. More than anything, I've always wanted someone to say, "You know what? You look just like David Duchovny." Not going to happen, and, with Duchovny's recent bad press, it's probably for the best. Maybe Steve McQueen? Not even close.
Do you get any lookalike comments? Who do you supposedly look like? Is there someone you think you look like or would want someone to say you look like?

From the Floor: Outdoors and Undercover


Adelaide Macaroni Padgett is a puppy, specializing in sleep and play. She is author of The Perils of White Puppies in New England and Growling at Windmills. Her series for this blog "From the Floor" strives to provide a commonplace-if not subaltern-view of newsworthy events.

Pembroke, NH--As the high pressure front continues its move through the Northeast, I'm still--as you can see in the picture--having to get under a blanket at night. It's still dropping below freezing out there at night, but I have some good news: The time for playing outside has come. Puppies, rejoice!

I went outside yesterday for about 45 minutes, and it was fantastic. I ran after the ball for a while, and then I did a general sniff-through of the yard's perimeter. Everything was good except for one thing.

There were leaves on the ground. After all of that snow melted, there was a canopy littered across the ground. Either Mother Nature is a magician or my man-owner got a little lazy this fall. To top it off, he didn't even get a rake out. Nope. He just took the lawn mower to the brown, crunchy lawn.

I scoffed at his laziness at first, but I came to be very impressed with the results. No longer will I lose my tennis ball in the two inches of leaves. I have a grayish-green yard to bound across. Well done, sir.

Now I'm hoping that he'll take a torch to the shadowy corner of the yard with the big pile of snow in it. That's valuable real estate for a puppy like me.

Puritan Padgett

I have heard your cries, and I am now trying to force Anna to write about the weekend's activities. She'll cave in and write an excellent post; I'm sure of it. The weekend was really special, so, Anna, we're all looking forward to a great post.

Until then, I wanted to say that I've been using Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on the blog. For a Google application, Analytics is dense, but it provides some great information for someone who is just blogging for kicks.

One of the most important pieces of information that you can get is the keywords used in search engines that lead to your site. You actually get to see what people are typing in that ultimately brings them to your door. Usually you're looking at "theashaveit" or "The As Have It" for our site, but there is a recent search that is hilarious to me: "Puritan Padgett." This search led someone to this post, where I briefly discuss Plink and a Puritan Paperback that I read in college. There is a Professor Padgett somewhere out there that writes theological history books about the Puritan faith and can actually grow a beard. I can only imagine what this person--who stayed on the website for three whole minutes--thought when he or she saw brightly colored mugs. I hope it was a good experience, and they definitely bounced to the Jeremiah Burrough's link.

It reminds me of when Nate and I were running Rhubarbicon and someone found our site by searching for "Single Dad by Choice." When you land on a top executive's profile, I guess that you don't feel so alone in your life decisions. In fact, you probably feel quite empowered.

March is Bustin' All Over


That’s right. Spring is here, and there is some evidence within my own home (where the heater is running). [Editor’s historical note: I’m writing this at 7:30 a.m. on 21 March 2009. It is 15 degrees outside.]

When I started law school, I bought a dwarf lime tree and a dwarf lemon tree. They were saplings when I got them, and I had grand dreams of what they would become as I progressed through law school. As I grew, they would as well. The idea was that, by my third year, we would be harvesting limes and lemons like crazy--giving away bagfulls to friends. Unfortunately, tragedy struck.
Last summer, I moved to Cincinnati to intern at a firm; the process is commonly called a 12-week job interview, but I had a blast and learned a lot. Because of work obligations, Anna stayed behind in New Hampshire (very, very sad). I was actually planning to take my lime and lemon trees to Cincy with me, but I ran out of space in my car. By the time I had everything ready to go, I had forgotten about the trees and didn't instruct Anna about their care. I promise that this isn't a parable and that the trees really don't represent anything like my career, etc.
Because of where they were located, the trees were easy to forget, but Anna watered them on occassion. When I came back, however, they were in bad shape, withered and leafless, and we discussed "putting them down." I, however, am actually emotionally attached to these trees (I know it sounds weird) because we got them during a period of great transition in our lives.
I've been nursing them back to health over the past year, and they're just now getting the amount of sunlight they need to really heal and make a comeback. It's very exciting to watch, and the lime tree actually has a flower that is about to bloom!
I've had these plants for almost three years, and I still haven't named them. I was thinking of "Sprite" and "7-Up," but I know I can do better than that. I'm open to suggestions, and I promise that I'll let you know when they're named. They're looking forward to some warm weather so they can again be set outside--as am I (warm weather and sitting outside).

Update/Pleasure Reading

A few posts ago, I wrote about our trip to a bookstore and explained that I would write more about it later. Now is later.

I am currently reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The White Company and, hopefully, the follow-up Sir Nigel. It's been a while since I've read a book that involved knights (T.H. White's The Once and Future King series was my last), but that has been on purpose. I could easily read books just about that subject matter, so I've forced myself to read books about or set in other time periods. What feeds my hunger for these books? A fascination with certain topics: moats, falconry, statues of griffins, and really heavy armo(u)r.

I've only just started, but I love the book. The language is rich, and the characters are people that you'd want to go on an adventure with. Anyone else got any books in the pipeline that they're wanting to share?

Anna is reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle after my suggestion. It's a beautiful book; definitely worth the read if you have time. The Diane Rehm show's book for next month is The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Her show usually picks a good mix of books, so we might try to pick that up at the bookstore.

Also, we received a few good ideas about what to use on our sauce from this post. We experimented with sauces, and we ended up using the jerk sauce from the chicken on the rest of the dish after we mixed in some olive oil, some extra lime juice, and a variety of spices (including some delicious garlic). Yummy! Thanks for the great tips.

The Prodigals

As I mentioned in some previous posts, yesterday was our last time playing with The Prodigals. The band has been an assortment of fine musicians pulled from Henniker, NH. It was definitely a bittersweet moment to make great music while knowing you're not going to have this same creative outlet and players in the future.

Anna and I got the honor to pick the songs, and we picked two numbers by The Duhks (one of our absolute favorite groups--even with their rotating lineup): "Heaven's My Home" and "Death Came a Knockin." To end the service, I requested that we do "You Don't Have to Move That Mountain" as performed by Nickel Creek. This is one of those songs that will get your feet moving no matter what your soteriology is. It was certainly intimidating trying to get some of Chris Thile's licks into the piece, and I'm still not completely comfortable on mandolin. Overall, all of the songs went really well. Anna's vocals were right on, and the entire band was in the pocket. If anything, the time just went by too quickly.

Obviously there was some serious anguish going on. Fortunately, we went to the Intervale Farm Pancake House (along with Tess and Megan) to drown our sorrows in syrup. It was sooooo good. Anna and I both had the gendered "Hungry Man Breakfast," which consists of 3 eggs, two pancakes, sausage, bacon, and toast. It's a lot of food, but we managed to put a lot of it down the hatch. They were making some fresh syrup in the boiler while we were there, so it was quite an event.

Truth for the day: Bluegrass/newgrass and pancakes make an awesome combination.

The Rest of the Day

In my previous post, I realized that I just told you the story of our morning, and it's been a rather eventful day.

After eating at Arnie's, Anna and I went to our last rehearsal with The Prodigals, our bluegrass band out in Henniker. As most of you know, Anna has been the choir director at Henniker UCC Church for the last couple of years. She's done an amazing job with the choir, and she realized that some of the people in the congregation are very, very talented instrumentalists as well. We've got two guitarists, a dobro player, a fiddler, an upright bassist, singers, various percussionists. We've done some great numbers over the past few years, and we've played at a few events too. Tons of fun (enjoy the picture below from this fall's Henniker Home Companion sendup). We're doing three numbers tomorrow, and I'll write about it tomorrow or Monday.


After rehearsal, Anna and I came back and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. It got up to around 50 today, and we loved it. I've been working on a pasta dish in my mind, and Anna and I put it together in the kitchen tonight. It contains fettucine, spinach, red pepper, onion, tomato, diced carrots, and artichokes. I cooked some chicken in a jerk sauce and put slices on the dish. It worked out well, but Anna and I both agreed that the dish needs some sort of sauce, so we'll be thinking that. Any suggestions or secrets?

This evening, we're watching the film The Majestic. The movie reminds me of The Rocketeer--another one of my favorite movies. I love the "Old Hollywood" look to movies and the accompanying music.

Lane 24


Last month, I told you how much I like to bowl. I also explained the concept of candlepin bowling. I went bowling this morning with Nate and Tess. The first picture in this post shows you the size of the ball (see below for the picture of the straight pins). They're really light, and you can really zoom them down the lane. I would guess that candlepin bowling is lot easier for children--at least in managing the ball.

I met Nate and Tess at Boutwell's at 10:30 this morning for a couple of quick games. I did not roll very well, but I definitely had a good time throwing rocks with friends.

After we finished a couple of games, we met Anna at Arnie's, a local eatery. Anna and I grew up in the South, and we know good BBQ. Let this be said: Arnie's has great ribs. My pulled pork was right on the money as well. Don't underestimate this place just because there are Yankees in the kitchen. They know what they're doing, and they make killer ice cream. I'm really happy that they're back (Note: Some restaurants take a hiatus through the harsh New England winters).

From the Floor: I See Grass


Adelaide Macaroni Padgett is a puppy, specializing in sleep and play. She is author of The Perils of White Puppies in New England and Growling at Windmills. Her series for this blog "From the Floor" strives to provide a commonplace-if not subaltern-view of newsworthy events.
Pembroke, NH--The snow in our front yard is mostly gone. Good riddance; it has confined NH puppies to their homes for far too long. I've seen the weather report, and it looks like we're getting sun for a solid week.
I've seen a lot more dog/people traffic along the sidewalk and road outside the house, and you guys are looking good. I really like the dog that leads the baby stroller like a chariot (I'll try to get a photo). Very cool but probably very dangerous.
As the weather gets even warmer, here are some reminders to keep things civil in a crazy world:
-Keep the paws on the sidewalk. Some of you guys have owners that require you to walk on the road even as traffic passes. You should refuse to be subject to such treatment. The sidewalk is much safer.
-Don't ever leave anything in other people's yards. Bad form.
-Try to relax and enjoy the walk. When you pull on the leash, you can make yourself cough or wear out your owner's arm. I recommend a harness over a neck collar anyway.
-Avoid the little kids on the sidewalk. They always want to put their nasty hands all over you without any warning. If you do see some of these kids, don't think that they're trying to attack you. They actually want to give you some love despite their aggressive body language.
-Feel free to bark at squirrels. They deserve it.
You probably have some great tips too, so feel free to post them. Enjoy the weather! As the Beatles said: "It's getting better all the time."

My Mahler Adventure

It's a rainy day outside, but I'm having a "moment" right now listening to Mahler's Second Symphony. It is certainly one of my favorite pieces of music, and I remember the day that I first listened to it in Samford University's library listening rooms. Why have I started listening to this piece again? Well, (1) I listen to it often, and (2) Hey, Woody (a blog that everyone should subscribe to) makes a reference to the piece.

Mahler's Second Symphony (The Ressurection Symphony) is a ninety-minute mega-work (full orchestra, choir, soloists, organ). After waiting for what seems like forever, Mahler gives you a fantastic gift for the finale. Here's a translation of the text.

In my senior year at Samford, the choirs sang this piece with the Alabama Symphony. I got the privilege to stand next to my best buddy Joel Davis (a fellow Mahler fan and theory/composition major) and scream "Auferstehen." I've never said or sung anything in German with more intensity than I did at that performance. Here's a YouTube clip of the piece. It's certainly not my favorite recording, but it gets you right in the heart of the final few minutes of one of my favorite musical works. I just wish Joel and I could have worn tunics like the women in the video. Perhaps we could have worn the crimson-colored Snuggies.

Q & A -- Blogging

Q: So, I've been keeping up with the blog lately. How's the car doing? You haven't given us any updates.

A: Eh, it's still got a little hitch in its giddy-up, but it's moving me from place to place. It has been a fantastic car to me, particularly considering that it's 13 years old.

Q: Awesome. I've heard that you've been doing a lot of reading about blogging. Tell us what you've learned.

A: I've been subscribing to some blogs about blogging, but I'm done with that. I thought that I'd get some good tips about post format, etc., but these blogs just kept telling me different ways to make money from my blog.

Q: You don't like money?

A: It was very weird to read blogs that talked about how revolutionary blogging is, that it creates a new medium and shakes the greedy, brick-and-mortar corporations to their core--yet these blogs focused on how to create revenue from online activities. It's hard to convince me of the blogging transformation when all you can think about is how to find one more space to advertise a brick-and-mortar product. I just want to update people about the Padgetts and keep my creative juices flowing.

Q: So you didn't get anything from these blogs?

A: Not really, but I have subscribed to Plinky. It's a website that provides a question for each day. I definitely won't write about every question, but it is good fodder to think through for posts. This has probably been the best tool that I've found.

Q: What was today's Plinky prompt?

A: "Name a book that changed your mind or opened your eyes." In college I read Jeremiah Burroughs's The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment for a class. He was a Puritan author, and I was surprised by the tone of the book. People use the word "puritanical" to describe a joyless, rule-driven person. That's not really true to the spirit of Puritanism, and I'm careful about making assumptions about anyone's faith now after reading the book (see also Salvation on Sand Mountain). The book also has rich language and some good advice (regardless of faith): "Do not so much regard the fancies of other men, as what indeed you feel yourselves. For the reason of our discontentment many times is rather from the fancies of other men than from what we find we lack ourselves."

Q: Okay. Try to keep your answers brief if you would. Tell me about what's new on the blog.

A: I've added a Twitter feed to the sidebar for some micro-blogging. I'm also giving some shout-outs to our friends' blogs on the side. If anyone out there has a blog and I missed it, I need to know about it. I'm only listing personal blogs as a show of solidarity to our community--no big-named, high-traffic stuff over there. I'm going to try to write response stories where appropriate and get more involved in commenting.

Q: Anything you want to add to the blog that you don't have?

A: I'm trying to get Anna to write some posts, and I need to get Addy to write some more. I also want to find a way to get comments into the Google Reader feed and to start experimenting with more voices and post formats.

Q: Well, I look forward to it--I think. Thanks for your time.

Kids and Jackets


Well, it appears that the coldest of New Hampshire weather is behind us. This means that everyone has to switch to lighter coats.

Upon seeing this coatrack, I revisited a memory from growing up in Florida (where we only had 1 jacket for the "winter"). When I was in middle school, Starter-brand jackets started to become very popular among students. These jackets were rather bulky and appropriate in Florida for only one or two weeks of the year. Kids, however, really liked to associate themselves with the teams, and they continued to wear their jackets inside. The best part was that dudes would give girls their starter jacket to wear when they were "going out." I never had a Starter jacket, but I can imagine giving it to some lucky babe and getting it back--tainted by the sweaty mix of middle-school musk and forced-air heat. True love.

I remember that one particular girl in band (who was "going out" with one guy [Guy #1]) wore some other guy's [Guy #2] Starter jacket. Needless to say, there was a rumble in the instrument cubby room between the two jacket owners. I specifically remember talking to my buddy after the fight and demonstrating my subordinance to the jacket-swapping custom. I told him--in my changing voice--that I thought fighting was crazy but that I understood why Guy #1 would be upset: "I mean, she wore Guy #2's Starter jacket! I'd be mad too!"

I just wish something similar would have happened in college with North Face products.

The Pits


That's not us in the picture. I have been wailing on my pecs, but that's certainly not my chin. Also, Anna's a blond. It's a great picture though. Imagine having a woman apply deodorant to your arms in the shadows of a taupe-walled room. Tonight in your dreams, friend.
This picture comes from http://www.thecrystal.com/, which makes mineral salt deodorants. I read about the product on Jorge Garcia's (Hurley on LOST) blog, and I decided that I'd try it.
Basically, you get a big chunk of mineral salt. After wetting it, you apply it to your underarm. The website explains that the salt allows you to sweat but prevents the bacteria that causes body odor. It doesn't have alcohol or aluminun in it. I'm a complete skeptic about stuff like this, but I wanted to give it a try.
So far, I'm good. I'm checking myself every few minutes or so (heavy skepticism), and I haven't observed any odor. I am carrying a back-up stick of more orthodox deodorant, so I'm safe--I think. If you see me around and I don't smell quite right, let me know. I won't be offended.

Graduation Pictures

Graduation is upon us. May 16th is the day, people! In preparation for graduation, I've already signed up for a gown and measured my melon for my mortarboard. Unfortunately, we're not supposed to wear regalia from our other degrees. My masters stole (music is pink) would really rock with the color of the law (purple). To get the full effect, I should get some sort of degree in social work so I could clothe myself in a citron-colored gown. It's a shame that they won't let me celebrate previous achievements, particularly when my masters program was far, far more work than law school and I didn't get to walk at CCM's graduation because of law school exams.

Still, graduation will be fun. It's outside in White Park (across the street from the school), so Anna is probably going to bring Addy to the ceremony. How should I preserve memories of the day? The school has contracted with a photographer and left information in my mail slot today. Here's a sample picture from the handout:

I love it! A true patriot, obtaining a legal degree before a furling/unfurling symbol of the nation. Everyone will think that I'm polesitting on the smaller, neighboring flag pole--perhaps for the state flag or the city park department flag.

If I'm going to go this route, I'll need to tan a little lest I blend in with six of the stripes on the flag. I'll also need to conquer my acrophobia to be able to sit still long enough at that height.

I need to contact the photographer with some questions: What if it's a windless day? Are they willing to break flag code and lower it down to a reasonable height for the picture? This is going to be really complicated, so I might just opt for the standard picture of me walking across the platform. It's not as bold, but it's safe.

Babycakes

We have a ton of friends who are pregnant right now, and we hosted a General Celebration of Pregnancy over the weekend. It was fitting because I was pregnant with the desire to do some baking. So I decided to make the official cake for the event. I knew that I had to do something special, really step it up. I did some basic research, and found some appropriately themed cakes that served as my model.

In preparation for my task, I asked myself some pretty basic questions.

1. What flavor cake will I use? No question: Funfetti. It's the patron cake of celebrations

2. What kind of icing will I use? Something sweet and, preferably, prepared in a factory. I will use whatever is cheapest (measuring the price per unit).

3. What shape will the cake take? Pregnancy is a complex thing, encompassing fear and excitement all at the same time. To represent this dual nature, I choose to use two, nine-inch circles.

4. Will you put icing between the two layers? I will intend to, but I sincerely doubt that I will remember.

5. Will you gender the cake with a certain color of decoration? Yes and no. I will use both blue and pink icing in a simple, clean manner. I'm not going to dare take a guess at a baby's gender without the aid of the Baby-Comp.

I took my completed questionnaire to the grocery store, bought the appropriate supplies, put my heart and hands to the task, and came out with a beautiful tribute to children everywhere:


If we ever get to do the pregnancy thing, I think it's pretty clear that I'll be making the cake for the shower.

From the Floor: The Bichon is Back

Adelaide Macaroni Padgett is a puppy, specializing in sleep and play. She is author of The Perils of White Puppies in New England and Growling at Windmills. Her series for this blog, "From the Floor," strives to provide a commonplace-if not subaltern-view of newsworthy events.

Pembroke, NH--I'll admit it. Things have been rough the past few weeks, but I'm feeling much better now. I have been to the Banfield Pet Hospital five times since President's Day, and I'm ready for someone to invent an oral thermometer for dogs. Before anything else is said, I want to give a big thanks to everybody that works at my hospital. They were so sad to see me not feeling good, and all of the people treated me like royalty. Great job.

We're still not sure what caused the mass on my back leg, but it seems that part of my problems were in my intestines. That part has now been cleared up in a rather unspeakable manner.

Between all of my vet visits, I've gotten the full treatment. I know that I don't have Lyme disease or Addison's disease. Cushing's disease is out too. So, I'm still a mystery in some way, but my energy is back. I'm wagging my tail again, and I'm even bringing the big guy stuff to throw.

I'm cautiously optimistic. I haven't felt this good in three weeks, but I don't want to go nuts just yet. Ill betide the day when I have to get any more of those crazy tests done on my thirteen-pound body.

When I got back from the hospital, I could see the grass in the front yard. Sure enough, we've got a foot of snow today to cover it up. It's probably for the best. I still need my rest. Thanks, dear readers, for all of your thoughts and prayers; they definitely helped. Next time I see you, I'll give you a huge lick--on your lips.