Lost purse found

The phone rings at work. The name of the restaurant where Ed and I ate dinner on his birthday last May 30 pops up in the caller ID.

Me (answering phone, but thinking the call must be intended for another department, which sometimes orders food for meetings): This is Rebecca.

Caller: Hello. Is this Rebecca [last name]?

Me: Yes, this is she.

Caller: This is “Peter” at [restaurant]. I have your purse.

Me (interally): ::: THUD! :::

YUP. The purse I assumed had been stolen when it didn’t turn up after I left it at a restaurant almost 10 months ago? It turns out that it was locked up in the restaurant’s office all this time, apart from the undetermined amount of time it spent in the restaurant’s Lost and Found. The general manager was cleaning out the drawer today and found my purse.

Everything was still there. So, I’m about $50, $23 in Target gift card, $5 in Wal-Mart gift card and $5 in Starbucks gift card “richer.” Also found? Now-replaced credit cards, office security card, and various receipts from my therapist, not to mention assorted bits of purse detritus.

So all I’m out is the $25 to replace my security card at work and some finance charges, the result of Ed’s not realizing he was getting the wrong e-bill from one of my card companies and, therefore, not paying the bill. (The late payments didn’t show up on my credit report — at least not so far — which is excellent.)

I am thankful that my stuff really WAS safe all this time… just not with me.

We’re back from our cruise!

Remember that cruise I told you I wanted to take? Well, we got back from that 3-day cruise to the Bahamas yesterday.

It was fairly cold. I had goosebumps. A LOT.

Yes, those are goosebumps. This was a theme.

But we had a GREAT time.

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We went snorkeling in the Bahamas.

Ed and me after we finished snorkeling.

It was WINDY and cloudy on the trip back, which is why we’re wrapped up in our beach towels.

The general coldness also explains why this look is how you found me much of the time.

This is the ensemble when it's 65 and freakishly windy on a cruise. :)

We did lay out a bit on Monday morning, fully clothed.

Laying in the sun fully clothed just before debarking on Monday.

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Oh, you want to see the scenery? How’s this?

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Nassau -- Prince George Wharf

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Atlantis

Leaving Nassau

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Lido Deck at night

You get the idea. If you want to see more, you can click either on the full set of cruise photos (all 176 of them) or on the abbreviated version of the set, which I did with a bunch of captions.

We would have preferred it be 10 degrees warmer, or at least not windy. But that’s a small quibble. It was a great vacation, and we’ll do it again.

I could write a BOOK about my cruise, but I want to write about what you’re curious about. So please tell me what strikes your fancy. Please?

Grilling on a Friday night

Ahhh… Friday night. A perfect night for grilling bratwurst.

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What made this grilling night different from any other grilling night?

The five inches of snow I’d just measured. (This is GREAT snowman making snow, by the way.)

Brats weren’t on the menu for tonight, but they were in the fridge. When we were on the back deck taking in the view, Ed decided he wanted to grill. So grill we did.

Grilling in the snow

The brats were delicious! 🙂

Move complete: see anything weird?

I’ve (and by “I’ve” I mean Ed has) completed moving my site.

It looks o.k. to us, but does it look o.k. to you?

Also, can someone kindly send me a comment to make sure that part of the blog isn’t not broken? And, if someone wanted to e-mail me, that could be GROOVY.

I’ve decided I NEVER want to have to try to do this host migration thing by myself. It was stressful enough with Ed doing it… not because Ed doesn’t do wonderfully at this, but because I got frustrated 10 minutes in and had to give the project to him for the sake of sanity. 🙂

Perhaps at some point I’ll, you know, write a REAL post. 🙂

Found and found: Baby the dog (alternate title: please consider microchipping your pet)

This is Baby, a chow/golden retriever mix and one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met.

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For about 19 hours yesterday and today, she was in our care.

Ed took our dogs for a walk about 7:45 yesterday evening. The dog followed Ed up onto the porch. She didn’t have a tag or collar. She was clearly well cared for and well loved. She was also SO STINKING SWEET!

We’ve seen the occasional dog “about” that we’ve let find its way home. But last night’s low was to be in the mid-20s with wind. Today’s high wasn’t to be more than about 35, also with wind. This wasn’t a good situation for this dog, who we estimated to be about 40 pounds.

We also knew we couldn’t keep her inside, not knowing for sure if she’s healthy and with Fox’s fear issues, which play out by nipping/biting. Long story a bit shorter, we set her up in the garage in a crate (which became harder and harder to get her in). We put up a few “found dog” signs in the neighborhood, hoping someone would call.

This morning, we set out to three different vets, hoping they could find a microchip. (Animal control, which was great, said last night that she had one, but that it was encrypted and needed a special reader.) None of the vets found a chip, and we declared her chipless. And the POOR dog, who clearly hated every part of the whole “being in the car” thing, put up well with all of the “in and out” of it, not to mention the ride, ride, ride.

Last night, completely overwhelmed by the thought of finding this dog’s home — a feeling that never abated, Ed and I’d gotten some advice from Samantha Fogg, Toby’s trainer, and we were on our way to take “found dog” posters to local vets (to be followed by more signs and knocking on doors) when we got a call about 2 p.m. from Baby’s owner. She lives less than a two-minute walk from here. They’re not sure how she got out of the yard (where she has adequate shelter, etc.). They’d been driving all over the neighborhood looking for her and were heading home when they found the sign we’d put up last night.

Her owners were delighted to see her, and it was clear she was glad to be going home. I think she had an o.k. time with us, though, considering the circumstances. 🙂

Everything worked out well, and for that we’re delighted. But, we realized how important it is to make sure a dog is microchipped (ours are) and that their chip’s contact information is current (Toby’s isn’t, nor is the information for my cats’ chips.) Microchipping isn’t expensive (the most I found online was $50ish, but most are much less). When I had the chips put in years ago, I thought whatever I paid was well worth it, and I think it’s even more worth it now. So if your pets aren’t microchipped, please consider doing so. (End of public service announcement.)

And one other funny/cool bit: I mentioned to the owners that Twitter and Facebook would be glad to hear that we’d found the dog’s humans (thanks to EVERYONE for your advice and moral support). When Ed and I came home from taking down the “found dog” signs a few minutes later, Baby’s owner had found me via Twitter’s search function and left me another nice note. Ah, the power of Twitter. 🙂

Now a photo of Baby from last night, just because she’s so cute:

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We were glad to meet you, Baby, and we’re glad you’re safe at home now.

Peppermint bark: reason #7654 I love my husband

Often, in my travels through the Internet, I see recipes on other people’s blogs that I want to try. I remembered one salad and found another, which I’d blogged about. It’s not all been salad that’s gotten my attention, don’t you worry. Ed tells me there was also a recipe for no-bake oatmeal chocolate peanut butter cookies. (I remember the cookies, but not that I found it online.)

The problem? I don’t like to cook. Ed, however, does. If I want it, he’ll cook it. Have recipe, he’ll figure it out.

So when I saw Beth include a recipe for peppermint bark at her blog I Should Be Folding Laundry, I e-mailed the recipe to my husband in a hurry. I LOVE peppermint bark. Today at work, he sent me this photo.

Peppermint bark

It does, as Beth says, taste like heaven.

The fact that he will make me peppermint bark is reason #7654 I love my husband.

When does sunset start getting later where you are?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard several people lament how early it’s getting dark these days. They’ve all said something along the lines of “I can’t wait for the first day of winter to get here, so it will start getting darker later.”

I had good news. In Atlanta, sunset starts getting later tomorrow, several days BEFORE the first day of winter. In every city I’ve checked, sunset starts getting later BEFORE winter’s start. Anchorage is the latest I found to join the party, coming in on Dec. 20. Of course, in the Southern hemisphere, they’re enjoying their longest days of the year. I’m not at all jealous.

So, yes, the days still get shorter until winter starts, but I find those extra few minutes of daylight at the end of the day make a HUGE difference to me. What about for you?

Go visit Time and Day.com and tell us when the sunset starts getting later where you are. Please? I’m completely interested.

It’s my Toby-versary

In November 2001, my friend Sarah and I visited a lady named Marlene Anderson. I visited her because she breeds Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the breed I’d fallen in love with after looking through a book on dog breeds. I’d never met a Cavalier, however, and Marlene graciously allowed us to come visit her. I fell in love with those dogs. Instantly.

I knew I couldn’t afford to buy a Cavalier puppy, nor was I really interested in a puppy, but hoped I might be able to rescue an adult dog. Marlene suggested I contact all the AKC breed clubs in the metro Atlanta area. She also suggested I contact the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Greater Atlanta. And then she warned me that Cavaliers don’t come up for rescue often.

I went home that afternoon and sent about 20 e-mails. I expected to wait months — if not much longer.

Ten days and a bunch of phone calls and e-mails later, including one tearful call between the foster family and me after she misunderstood something I’d written on a message board related to the costs associated with pet ownership, I met this guy, who had just come up for rescue with the Greater Atlanta Cavalier group.

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It’s Toby!

And here we are the night I met him, while we were still at the foster family’s house.

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(Both photos taken from the Wayback Machine Internet Archive’s search of the CKCSC of Greater Atlanta site.)

He’s always been a laid-back guy, as you can see. The foster mom told me later that she decided he was mine for sure when he came into the room, saw me, immediately came into my lap and exposed his belly for me to rub.

This is Toby today (literally). I woke him up from a nap, which explains the slightly dazed look. 🙂

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Today happens to be the 8-year anniversary of my adopting Toby. I didn’t realize that until I did some research earlier today. 🙂

This lap dog now goes on hikes. (Not to worry. He still sits in PLENTY of laps.) This shot was also taken today.

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My life would be vastly different were it not for him. The biggest? I wouldn’t have met Ed. Yay for Toby!

Happy Toby-versary to me. I know we won’t have another eight years together. But I’m going to enjoy every bit of time we do have.