So if you’ve been around here for long, you’ll know I have dogs. My youngest and smallest is a Yorkshire/Jack Russell Terrier cross. I stumbled on to Jack Russell Races, I’m not sure how at the moment. I can’t remember. I wanted to train Pip to race, but unlike in England where it seems any dog can race, I’m afraid here in America I couldn’t find anything but purebred races. Mores the pity. Especially because the British race I saw was hilarious!

Watch one of these races to see how it’s done in America:

Then watch these:

Then guess which one I like better.

Finally, here’s a picture of Pippin – just because!

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I’ve been thinking about this. Over on The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson’s doing The Seventh Annual James Garfield Miracle.  If you are in the giving mood, I highly recommend pitching in. Here in my town, we have a Christmas Tree at the bank that has the names of local families that are in need. I chose a seven-year-old boy.

He had a list of three things that he likes. So I bought some things on Amazon, but when it came it didn’t seem like enough. So I purchased another toy. And then a game caught my eye.

By this time I’d spent more than my budget, so I waffled. Then I thought about what Christmas must be like for a child from a family in need. I remembered the tight years we’ve had. And I wondered if it was possible to over-buy for a child in need. It’s not like one more gift was going to bankrupt me. So I picked up the game too.

Was that the right thing to do? It seemed reasonable to me. I won’t ever know if the gifts caused enjoyment, but I can’t imagine one more toy could be a bad thing. But am I setting him up to be disappointed next year? Well, I’m not responsible for next year. For all I know, Christmas will be canceled by then. So, for this year, I’m hoping that what I did was enough. I don’t care if it was too much. I’ve decided when buying for children in need there is no too much.

I have a feeling I’m going to apply this rule to grandchildren too. If I ever get any. And not too soon. I’m too young for grandchildren just yet.

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I’ll I can think about today is how tired I am. I could just put my head down on my desk and fall into a deep, dreamless slumber. I just closed my eyes, thinking how lovely it would be to sleep and if someone hadn’t made a noise in the hall outside the office I could have been asleep now. That’s how fast I can fade from consciousness.

I don’t sleep particularly well, so I finally got another appointment with the sleep doctor. It takes ages to get in there. It’s been seven years, so they are treating me like a new patient. Rediculous. They can see what’s happening in my sleep cycles from the chip in my CPAP machine. But no, they want the whole shebang. I get to spend the night in an unfamiliar bed with a camera trained on me. It’s weird. But the worst part is the million wires they hook to me.

The ones on my legs always come off (I kick in my sleep) and then the tech has to wake me up and put them back on. Somehow that seems counter productive. Why bother putting them back on? I only kick them off again. It doesn’t feel like a great way to measure my sleep. It’s like waking a person to give them a  sleeping pill.

(Wow. I just dozed off while writing this. That hasn’t happened in a while. And again. It makes it tough to follow a train of thought. Also, I ‘m having pretty mixed up dreams. It seems like they’d be more interesting to write about than sleep.)

***

I went for a little stroll, so maybe now I’ll be able to stay awake. That would be great because I’d rather not get fired. It’s the holiday season – I’m supposed to be tired, right? But maybe not this tired. Not fall asleep on my feet tired. I have a rare gift.

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I’m back in the making mood, and this year I have the time – If you don’t count the fact I’m trying to finish a book.  However, I can’t tell you what I’m making because if I did then some people might KNOW. And that would spoil the surprise. You’ll have to wait until after Christmas.

But you could tell me what you’re making. Couldn’t you?

Post me pictures of your creations if you can, or just tell me what you are doing. Who knows, you might be doing the project I’ll want to do next year!

If you want to look at the things I was contemplating you can see me on Pinterest:

Here’s something I might do next year.

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You may about how I’m making my tour to Scotland and Ireland special. You know, different from everyone else’s tour.  Well here’s the thing.

First of all, you’ll be traveling with one of the biggest culture nerds in the country. Lord how I love castles, and tea rooms, coos and kilted men. I get excited about these things, which I believe makes them all the more fun. Plus, I’ll be looking for potential murder spots, potential murder victims, and potential murders.

(As an aside: I spent a lovely rainy afternoon in a tea room in Scotland last February. I sat with Jaime, a fellow traveler, and we plotted my first Travel Mystery Novel. We were lovely and warm, the tea was fab, and we had cakes too. A lot of laughter happened. Conniving fictional murders can be quite fun.)

Back to the point, secondly, I’m hosting a fun gathering for those who’d like to attend. Specifically:

Day one and two – we depart our hometowns and fly overnight to Edinburgh.  Some people will want to spend the afternoon getting rested. I will probably take those who are game on a walking tour of Edinburgh. Then, in the afternoon I’ll host an informal get together before we head off to our dinner.

Day Three – A full day of sightseeing. I’m doing the optional excursion that day as well as the included tour. We’ll have some fun on the bus – I’ll love it if we have the same local guide as last time. He was a hoot!

Day Four – A free day. I’m planning on going to see the tunnels under Edinburgh. I’ll do the tour of the vaults which is about 15 pound sterling per person, and you are welcome to join me. I will check into getting a better price if we sign up before we get there. I didn’t see the vaults when I was there last time and I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

Day Five – We travel to Glasgow. We are on our own for Lunch and Dinner after seeing the sights. Anyone who cares to is welcome to join me. Plus there will be games and prizes on the bus – including spot the coo!

Day Six – A day of travel. It’s been 30 years since I’ve taken a ferry to Ireland, so I’m not sure what to expect. But we can play cards, chat, and I’ll spend some time working on something fun for the ship. Drinking games may not be a good idea, but then again who knows?

Day Seven – Sightseeing in Belfast. Then, in the afternoon, some of you will want to go on the optional excursion to the Giant’s Causeway.  I want to see that too, but even more fun for me will be meeting with a Betty I met online. We may have her join us at the Causeway or there may be other high jinx. Anyone is welcome to join us…

Day Eight – Galway. Did you know 52 Lynches were mayors of Galway?  I grew up hearing that from my mother whose maiden name was Lynch! We’ll be sighting seeing and shopping and having a grand ole time! And if you are lucky, you’ll learn how we got the name Lynch. I think an Irish pub is in order! The first round of drinks is on me!

Day Nine – A free day in Galway or do the optional excursions – that’s my plan – along with spot the murderer and discussions about your favorite mystery writers.

Day Ten – County Kerry. Another day of sightseeing. There is a lot to see and we are sure to have some fun. How about a sing-a-long on the bus? We’ll travel through the Irish countryside to County Kerry today, taking time to view spectacular scenery en route, this might be a good time to break out chocolate! We’ll pass through the Burren, a unique limestone plateau where fields of rock are dotted with wildflowers, and pay a visit to a local crystal and marble factory. There will be a walk along the majestic Cliffs of Moher, were I fell on my hind end in the mud thirty years ago! Let’s hope I’m wearing better walking shoes this time. Also: A guided tour of the 13th-century Bunratty Castle.

Day Eleven – As we make our way along the dramatically rugged terrain of the Dingle Peninsula we can look for the best spots for pushing our fictional victim into the sea – No real pushing allowed! Enjoy a scenic drive along the Slea Head ring road, enjoying impressive coastal views as we go. Enter the Gallarus Oratory, an early Christian church overlooking the harbor at Ard na Caithne. Enjoy photo stops at Coumeenole Beach, Slea Head and Dunbeg Fort. After free time for lunch in the town of Dingle, (how can you not love a town named Dingle? I’m looking for a tea shop for my lunch. Will you join me?) head to Killarney National Park for photos at Ross Castle on Lough Leane.

Day Twelve – Pay a visit to Blarney Castle, the home of the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant the “gift of gab” to those who kiss it. Then, continue to Waterford where you’ll tour the city’s famed crystal factory – and I will endeavor not to knock into and break anything. This might be a good day for an early night, or some “you” time. It’s important to do the things that make you happy.

Day Thirteen – We’ll zip through lush scenery on our way to Dublin, where we’ll embark on a guided tour of the Emerald Isle’s capital city. Keep your eye out for the best pubs for visiting later in the evening. And play spot the tourist for prizes! Pass St. Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square. Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College. Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence. Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral. End your tour with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district.

Day Fourteen – You can spend a full free day in the Irish capital or add an excursion, which is what I think I’ll do. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in Dublin with all your new friends. Some of you will have early flights and will want to head to bed early. Others will likely stay up all night before the flight home!

Day Fifteen – Travel safe home and keep in touch!

Doesn’t this sound like fun!  Come with me. Sign up today!

 

 

 

 

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