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Bill says: This week’s MI-5 is based of the most recent “Antiques Roadshow” I saw on PBS. They were in Portland, I think.

1) For the kid who brought in the Summer, Winter, and Fall figurines (Spring was missing): Do you have something that you’ve held onto, even though it’s missing some pieces, or may even be broken? What is it? Why do you hang onto it?

Every year for my birthday my maternal grandma gave us these birthday porcelain angels. Well as a young child I thought they were stupid and I actually played with them…and wound up breaking several. I still have them superglued together. I don’t know why I keep them. Part sentimental I guess and part just because I am a packrat. (more…)

I am trying to keep up with my blogging roll I have been on lately…but I really don’t have much to talk about today. I really REALLY wanted to share with you this awesome picture I took of Miss Roxy the best beagle in the world…(ok so that is an exaggeration) but I can’t share it with you? Why Because when I took it? I took it with my dad’s camera so it is stuck in his camera until he figures out how to mouse lefthanded because NO ONE touches his computer equipment (nor do they want to..because then if he has a problem with it? It is all on you…even though you touched it like three months ago for three minutes). You will have to trust me she is darling in the picture..even though I had to corner her behind a chair to get the picture.

What else? Oh…while we are on the topic of dogs…I have been reading about the Atlanta Falcon’s football player indited on charges of running a dog fighting outfit. I have been trying to put into words the complete disgust I have about it…but there are no words for how abominable the actions they took were. Not to mention their unhumane methods of putting down the injured dogs or puppies that weren’t aggressive enough for them (electrocution? Body slamming puppies on the ground? Hanging?). I just can’t imagine anyone being so cruel to animals.

This will be the fourth year I have entered something in the county fair. The first year I entered a baby blanket (crocheted) and a home made card. I won first prize for the blanket and the card. The second year I entered several items…including a crocheted shawl (first place), two crocheted scarves (second and no place). The third year I entered two crocheted bowls (honorable mentions), another home made card (no place), and two photos on a whim (both got honorable mentions).

I had lofty goals to enter tons of stuff. I was going to make a full sized afghan…that didn’t happen (but I have all the supplies in my yarn stash). Then I was going to crochet a stuffed monkey…well he is still in pieces…so maybe I can enter him next year. Then I was gonna enter a small crocheted bag that someone asked me to make…well I still haven’t even gotten the yarn for that one….

What am I entering, you ask? Well I am entering four photographs in the digital photography untouched category. Entering the photography category last year was nerve wracking because I entered two photos I took with my little point-and-click camera..that I hated. I have since bought another point-and-click camera…that I love. And it is still daunting to enter this category. My camera isn’t high end…hell it isn’t even medium end (ok maybe it is at the low-end of medium-end). But I love my camera…and I love to take pictures. They have like twelve subdivisions of the digital photography category. You can enter four pictures…up to two per category. I am chancing it and entering four different categories.

My dad…who has far far far superior equipment had decided to enter four pictures as well…two in two categories. One of my pictures? Will be going up against two of his pictures. Nice…and one of those pictures that I am up against? Is even similar in subject matter (a race car). Now some people may be surprised to find out that I am EXTREMELY competitive when it comes to anything I do (just ask my thursday lunchtime board game group at work). I so want to kick his butt. I know I won’t though…I have seen a small slice of my competition and it is far better. I think if I even place in that particular category- my dad will place ahead of me. I think he should anyway. My only hope is to outshine him by bringing home more ribbons than he….and the smack I talk about it. Because I am a smack talker let me tell you…(again just ask my thursday lunch group).

I got my prints all mounted and ready for the fair…which do you like best:

Top Row: Driftwood (left) and Roxy’s Trick (right)

Bottom Row: Big Orange (left) and Pumpkin Lane (right)

I am the first to tell you that I was so glad to see Tony Stewart get his first win of the season! Whoo hoo!

First off to be a fly on the wall in the meeting Tony and Denny had with Coach Gibbs…I would have loved to listen in on that one!

I was originally a little disappointed about his qualifying- he qualified 19th.  I was watching the race with my dad who was resting after his rotator cuff surgery on friday (and he is doing pretty good thankfully)…then I was displaced by visitors and continued to watch the race in a different room.  Then I left the race for a bit (Ok…you caught me..I was actually taking a nap…but I needed it. I haven’t slept well in 3 days people and I was exhausted).  When I left Tony was in 12th or something like that. When I got back…he was in 6th…then he gained four positions thanks to an amazing pit stop and poof he was in second.  So I finally got back out to the my dad…and he was asleep…as was my mom and Roxy…so I sat there and watched Tony take the lead from Jimmy Johnson.  I was pretty excited but I didn’t say anything because mostly I would be talking to myself and waking up sleeping people…(and a sleeping dog).

Then Jimmy Johnson’s right rear just disintegrates and he smacks the wall pretty hard…and I couldn’t help it…I went “OOOOh that hurt” pretty damn loud I guess because my dad woke up, the dog ran off and mom about flipped out of her chair (no doubt thinking that there was something up with my dad and his shoulder)!  It was a hard smack though…anyway my after the restart my dad’s all Tony has it made as long as his car doesn’t break…then there are TWO more cautions…thanks to JJ Yeley (I like to say his name…)  hitting the wall and then Joe Nemechek spinning…and each time I am worried because it puts Matt Kenseth right there behind Tony but luckily it was just meant to be (FINALLY)! It was good to see him climb the fence.

Nascar has some Napa Race Chatter up for Tony that I’d like to share with you…but I can’t figure out how to direct link to the video…so…just go to THIS PAGE and click on the Napa race Chatter: TONY STEWART to listen to the best of his in car audio from Chicagoland.  Too bad THIS race wasn’t the one that had the free RACE VIEW from nascar.com…because I would have TOTALLY been listening to Tony the whole time. My favorite part is the end when he tells his  crew peeps not to talk to him any more (he was concentrating…I understand that!).  Although I might have listened to Junior for a bit talk about his powersteering issues for a couple laps.  I tell you the pit chatter…that totally fascinates me. I know I have said it before and I will probably say it more but it does.

Why is it that Gatorade makes me more thirsty then when I started the Gatorade? Isn’t it suppose to quench your thirst? And who the heck thought Lemon-lime strawberry would be a good combination? Bleck.

Today I held a six week old australian shepard puppy…he was very fuzzy, soft  and smelled like puppy chow. He had the cutest pinkest belly. He howled for his momma the whole time. He had been without his momma for about an hour and thus he was quite distraught.  I wanted to keep him. I think our family friends would have been sad if I had. Roxy would have been pissed.

1. Tell us a story about something that happened in your childhood. I recently remembered something from my childhood and that inspired this question.

Hmmm just a random childhood story? Well let me tell you this one: When my dad took me to my first INDY race at Laguna Seca I was really excited. He had gotten us paddock passes so we could wander around the garage area which I absolutely loved. He had lots of friends who worked/volunteered with SCRAMP (Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula) and one of them offered to let us walk down the hot pits one of the morning that we were there. That REALLY excited me. I can’t remember if I was 15 and you had to be 16 or if I was 16 and you had to be 18…but I was just a tad younger than I should have been to be able to walk down the hot pits. When the guy said to my dad…she is (what ever age you had to be- 16 or 18) right? My dad said NO! I was so disappointed. There was no way anyone would have known and it wasn’t like they were using the pits yet…it was way early in the morning. I was soo disappointed. He doesn’t even remember that…but I do. It’s ok though…I still had a blast in the garage area and I got to meet Danny Sullivan and Scott Pruett and AJ Foyt…it was uber cool anyway. But it could have been way cooler.

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I was sitting on the couch the other evening watching a television show…Roxy was laying by my feet snoring when the UNDERDOG commercial came on. Underdog apparently is a beagle. Who knew. Anyway…during part of the preview for UNDERDOG the star beagle says “GIVE THE DOG YOUR FOOD”. I about spit my water across the room. It was as if they were channelling Roxy right there.

I did a lot of research before I got Roxy. I read that beagles were hard to housetrain…which didn’t bother me because at the time I was totally expecting Roxy to be an outside dog. I read that beagles could be obstinate. I read that beagles were barkers. I read that they were smart, followed their nose, were diggers, had a penchant for rolling in smelly stuff, and LOVED food. The thing that worried me the most? The barking/baying thing…as I live in a residential neighborhood and the next door neighbor…hates noise (children, dogs, a pin dropping past 10:00pm).

Well after living with Roxy for FIVE YEARS (can it really be that long already? Seems like just yesterday she was small enough to climb up me and sleep on my head…or my neck…which she did often as a puppy) I can tell you that I never expected her to be like she is. Roxy was extremely easy to housetrain…and is most definitely NOT an outside dog. Roxy is kind of prissy for a beagle…and doesn’t like to get her paws wet, which makes bathtime…hell. Roxy has an incredible sense of smell…and can find a crumb the size of a pinhead under five pillows. And speaking of pillows…Roxy loves them…and insists on planting herself smack in the middle of them because while you may think that the bed is yours? Really it is hers but don’t worry she will share it with you…on most days. What is really kind of weird? Is rolling over in the middle of the night and seeing her laying on her back with her head on your pillow, her paws in the air and snoring like you wouldn’t believe.

Roxy is very independant…and would rather not be futzed with or manhandled. She is like me in that respect. She isn’t a good listener and doesn’t like the word no. She can not go outside without a leash unless you watch her very closely…or if you are my dad…because even though she is my dog…she worships the ground my dad…and brother walk on. She loves men…in general actually…and prefers the male vet in the practice. She LOVES to go for walks and if she even thinks you might be heading for the leash basket she gets excited and starts prancing around excitedly. She loves to play fetch but only with tennis balls…and she would rather play with these tennis balls I bought her that squeak. Rubber balls? Nope. Must have that tennis ball feel to it.

Roxy is extremely smart and can do tricks as long as there is a food reward involved. I work with her very very hard. She got the basics fast. Sit. Stay. Shake. Then we moved on…she can now: lay down, shake other paw, balance a treat (or a ball…or a rib) on her head, she can do a “little woof” which is a whispery bark, she can kinda crawl, she can “Sit pretty” which is basically sitting up like a meercat, and her newest trick “BIG YAWN” which basically is her opening and shutting her mouth like she was yawning in rapid succession…so basically she looks like she is talking with no words coming out. She also understands that she has many names. Roxy. BeagleButt, Beag, Beagle, Sweet baby, baby, and monkey or monkeybutt. She also knows that Cody is NOT her name but my brother’s dog and that if she hears it, it may mean he is getting something that she is not…so she investigates.

She also learned that if she takes her back hip and hits the kitchen cabinets just right…she can pop them open. We baby proofed them with superstrong magnets…yet she has still figured out a way to pop open the cabinets. So we started having to put her dog treats in a sealed container and no food in the low cabinets. We learned not to put things like chicken bones in the under sink trash…the hard way (thank god for emergency vets). Roxy is a typical beagle in that she is a “chow hound” and she loves food. When she was 7 months old we learned not to put pizzas on the kitchen table…as she pulled down an entire pizza and proceeded to start to try to eat it. Roxy eats her dinner so fast that it is scary and we now only give it to her in little portions because we are worried she will choke herself off.

Roxy also has an incredibly expressive face which lends a very human quality to Roxy. If we are talking about something bad Roxy has done and look over at her…she will give you a dirty look as if to say…how dare you speak of me like that. If she does something bad (like go through the bathroom garbage and scatter it all over) and someone says “what did you do?” She will sulk off like she is sorry..and after awhile come lick your hand as if to say…do you forgive me? If you are sad or sick she will lay by your feet to let you know she is there for you. She will lay ON your feet if she thinks you are cold…whether or not you are actually cold. And Roxy knows when it is 5:30 pm because she will come and put her paws on your legs or chest and then stretches and nonchalantly yawn so that you know she is there…and then gives you an intesnse…”can you please…GIVE THE DOG SOME FOOD” look.

(Roxy’s Don’t Mess with Me I am Eating Look).