Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lizzie Gets a 'Peticure'

I was hoping the Peticure Safe Guard I ordered on September 29 would arrive earlier than this post stated and boy did it. It was in our mailbox last Saturday after only 12 days! Since then I've been following the suggestions that Peticure makes in their videos to get Lizzie used to it slowly, and with much positive reinforcement (treats and play).

Yesterday, I filed just one nail (which she handled well) and today she received a full "peticure." As leery as she is about all things different, she has accepted the noise and vibration of the Dremel tool quite well. I used the coarser of the two sanding bands that came with the Dremel due to the length of her nails. I believe that the fine sanding band will be enough from this point on. Peticure recommends filing dogs' nails every two weeks to recess the quick. When the process is this painless there is no reason NOT to do their nails, as often as necessary, to keep them their optimal length.

The Dremel tool w/Peticure Safe Guard attached

 This was too funny not to post.

 Pretty and painless! w00t! AND w00f!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Book Review: Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani

Title: Milk Glass Moon
Series: Big Stone Gap #3
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 09/17/2002
Publisher: Random House
Genre(s): Women's Fiction


Milk Glass Moon, the third book in Adriana Trigiani's bestselling Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney as she faces the challenges and changes of motherhood with her trademark humor and honesty. With twists as plentiful as those found on the holler roads of southwest Virginia, this story takes turns that will surprise and enthrall the reader.

Transporting us from Ave Maria's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Italian Alps, from New York City to the Tuscan countryside, Milk Glass Moon is the story of a shifting mother-daughter relationship, of a daughter's first love and a mother's heartbreak, of an enduring marriage that contains its own ongoing challenges, and of a community faced with seismic change.

All of Trigiani's beloved characters are back: Jack Mac, Ave Maria's true love, who is willing to gamble security for the unknown; her best friend and confidant, bandleader Theodore Tip-ton, who begins a new life in New York City; librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, who faces a life-or-death crisis. Meanwhile, surprises emerge in the blossoming of crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, the maturing of mountain girl turned savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, and the return of Pete Rutledge, the handsome stranger who turned Ave Maria's world upside down in Big Cherry Holler.

In this rollicking hayride of upheaval and change, Ave Maria is led to places she never dreamed she would go, and to people who enter her life and rock its foundation. As Ave Maria reaches into the past to find answers to the present, readers will stay with her every step of the way, rooting for the onetime town spinster who embraced love and made a family. Milk Glass Moon is about the power of love and its abiding truth, and captures Trigiani at her most lyrical and heartfelt.


Milk Glass Moon is currently the third of four novels in the Big Stone Gap series. I read this gem in one day and although eager to start the fourth book, Home to Big Stone Gap, I find I'm also preparing myself for the end of the series. I will miss everything about these "down home" people. They are warm, caring, colorful, opinionated, and real. I have come to love hearing them (complete with 'twang') in my head as I read about their lives. Adriana Trigiani has created and developed characters whose lives, although fairly ordinary, are exceptional in so many ways. Although there are crises and loss, the feelings that are evoked in Milk Glass Moon are positively heartfelt.

(Note: I read the hardcover edition whose cover is featured above.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Book Review: Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Title: Fearless Fourteen
Series: Stephanie Plum #14
Author: Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 04/01/2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre(s): Women's Fiction, Contemporary Mystery


Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.

The Crime:  Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars

Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.

The Cousin:  Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

The Complications:  Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux

Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.

The Catastrophe:  Moonman

Morelli hires Walter “Mooner” Dunphy, stoner and “inventor” turned crime fighter, to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.

The Cupcake:  Stephanie Plum

Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.

The Crisis:  A favor for Ranger

Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.

The Conclusion:  Only the fearless should read Fourteen.

Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result.

MY THOUGHTS (Short and Sweet)

After reading mysteries and thrillers, one after another, I needed some Plum craziness. Consistently nothing I read can lighten my mood quite like Stephanie and her gang. Everything you expect in a Stephanie Plum novel is here, including lots of laughs. I always look forward to the next installment and try not to dwell on the fact that someday Stephanie's number will be up (no more Plum books.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lizzie Gets Blessed

We took Lizzie to the Blessing of the Animals, where she was blessed by my sister-in-law.

Lizzie, may you be blessed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

May you and Virginia, "Daughter," and "Husband" enjoy life together, and find joy with the God who created you.

All of the animals were very well behaved, even the cats. It was a lovely ceremony. We ALL feel blessed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Wait Is On


Starting off, I think that Lizzie had a good day today. This in spite of the fact that she was: 1) left alone for several hours; 2) was startled by the peculiar sounds emanating from the creatures on the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; and 3) got her nails trimmed and filed.

I've been reluctant to trim her nails for several reasons:

  1. Like most people I don't look forward to it (understatement.)
  2. My trusty guillotine style nail trimmers are very dull.
  3. Lizzie has behaved well, but skittish during past trimmings.
  4. I have a new Dremel Rotary Tool here and a Peticure Safe Guard on order.
Once I did the research and decided to order the Peticure Safe Guard I wanted it yesterday. The website says, "Expect four to six weeks shipping due to demand." I'm really hoping to be surprised by it arriving much earlier. I wasn't successful in finding an effective guillotine style trimmer to use, which made me feel more anxious about her lengthening nails. The brand new ones I tried performed worse than my current "old" one.

For tonight's nail trimming I put her on a bed with a towel under her, and cut only the very tip of each nail off before "going crazy" with the nail file. I was calm and assertive (does that sound familiar?) and she remained calm and trusting. Yay Lizzie!

She's very calm when left home alone, which is vastly different from how it was with my last dog, Tucker. I'm not sure she'll ever get used to thunderstorms, lawnmowers, and loud movies, but I feel good knowing I give her comfort just by being beside her and remaining calm.

She also seems to be getting more playful. She aggressively chews on her Nylabone several times per day. She's taken a shine to her rope chew AND to her "fluffy man" toy. She gets highly animated with them, which makes her humans happy. We all get extremely silly when she gets silly. Good fun all around, I'd say.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Book Review: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewki

Title: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
Series: Standalone
Author: David Wroblewski
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Published: 10/13/2009
Publisher: Ecco
Genre(s): Literary Fiction


Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm—and into Edgar's mother's affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires—spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.

MY THOUGHTS (Short and So-So)

There was much I found compelling in this story—mainly Edgar and the dogs. However, the same things that compelled me to finish the book lead me to, what I feel, is a hugely disappointing ending.