Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We interrupt this obedience update to bring you the following commercial announcement

We have not suddenly discovered an obedience gene in Silver, although the obstinacy gene is there. We're still looking for the other one.

Blue-Green-Purple Pointy Greyhound Hood

Meanwhile, SEGA is holding its online auction fundraiser, with items for dogs, dog lovers, and pretty much everyone else on the planet.

There are art prints and photographs--some greyhound-related, others not. There's a lovely original 12" x 12" acrylic painting.

Greyhound Snood

Not yet advertised on the auction site is that there's a hat that matches this snood. We'll probably add the hat to the auction at the last minute as a bonus add-on to the snood:


There are books on greyhounds, an actual racetrack lure from the track at Ebro, specialty services like one hour of behavior training (Silver!), a photography session, and a session with an animal communicator. A canine first aid kit, t-shirts and sweaters for people, a donation jacket and sweaters for dogs. Snoods, pointy hats,  and a crocheted footstool (I'd never dare rest my feet on!).

Hand-made wooden items, ceramic mugs, bowls, and plates. An Oriental rug.

A one-week stay (for up to 4 people; no pets) at the Lodge Alley Inn in Charleston, South Carolina, for the week of 30 August through 5 September 2013.

A king-size quilt with dog-themed prints, machine- and hand-quilted, with the binding hand-quilted by the donor's 94-year-old aunt.

Hand-made note cards, jewelry, a new Coach shoulder bag, a camera bag, gift baskets of goodies for dogs and for people. Martingale collars galore, dog bowls, statues and figurines.

For Barbie collectors--a set of nine Holiday Barbies.

There is a pendant I'm not listing here; I've bid on it, so please keep your fingers off. :) And I'm also not advertising the pink Perla bed I've bid on. I've often been tempted to order one online (although not necessarily a pink one), but the shipping usually adds another $20 to the price. If I buy it locally, I can pick it up and save myself the shipping charges. If both dogs like it, I'll order a second one through Amazon Prime.

Pointy Pink Greyhound Hood

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Lately, I've been taking the dogs out back to pee instead of out front, where the asphalt is so hot. The dogs and I are going out back even after dark, and I wanted some lighted collars so we could all watch our footing on the uneven ground. I ordered two of these collars, and I've already discovered some drawbacks to them (and posted a review on Amazon). But these will do well enough, for now, and I might borrow one now and then to hang around my own neck to illuminate my knitting.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lesson 2a--We have lift-off!

Maybe. I'm all happy and pleased because Silver played touch-the-cup in our pre-lunchtime training session.

The real trick will be to see if she remembers the point in the pre-dinnertime training session. And can she branch out? If I move the cup to a less-obvious and easy-to-reach spot, will she still make the effort?

(Sam definitely will. He got so excited during his attempt he kicked the cup across the patio, then lunged to reach it.)

And Sam is better today. His problems yesterday were all my fault. After a training session with both dogs, I came in and gave them lunch...and forgot about the lunchtime meds. By supper last night, it had been more than 9 hours. He can go longer than that overnight, but not during the day, when he's moving around more. So last night I loaded him with all the pills he could safely hold and let him sleep off the whole load. By this morning, he was on his feet (unassisted), and limping much less. Trust me, he's had breakfast meds and lunch meds today.

And this really-need-to-work day hasn't gotten off the ground yet. I've screwed around on Facebook, Ravelry, Greytalk, Twitter, and on the website for SEGA's auction. (Auction ends 4 August, and all the auction items haven't been uploaded yet. But there are a couple of greyhound hats and a snood...I'll post about them later.) I'm still blaming allergies for my inability to get any work done in the morning. I'm in such a fog when I first wake up. Grass pollen is still high.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lesson 2--Back to the Drawing Board

Silver was awful in class yesterday. Not a big deal, but she's learned that if she's confused and doesn't know what I want, she should just lie down, chin on the ground, and look all pitiful. She knows I won't fuss at her when that happens.

Silver Hornet
Silver does "down" when she wants to, but not when I ask her to.

She'll make eye contact, for which I click+treat. Then we tried touch-the-cup, but she wasn't playing. I could put a treat on the cup and wait for her to touch it, but she turned around and laid down. (On today's practice, I kept her moving around so she couldn't lie down.) She still doesn't touch the cup to get a treat, and if she doesn't learn that her behavior dictates when treats occur, she won't get the hang of clicker training, and I really don't see her being willing to engage in any other kind of lesson.

Then, in class, it was time to practice down. You don't teach down by putting any physical pressure on the dog. You use treats to lure the dog into position, and you use something called "shaping"--where you don't wait until the whole trick is performed before you click+treat; instead, you click+treat when the dog even starts to perform the desired behavior. So we started the training, Silver lowered her head in the direction of the treat, and I clicked. That startled her and she jumped back and wouldn't try again. She didn't just lie down; she stretched as far away from me as she could (4' leash), turned her back on me, and then laid down. (While lying down is the behavior I wanted, she needs to learn to do it in response to a command from me--not because she's mad at me.)

We have two weeks before the next class. We'll keep working on this. She's not dumb--she's just confused. Once she gets the idea that she's controlling the treat dispenser (aka, me), I think things will go better. We can practice two or three times a day, just before mealtime, when Silver's hungry enough to be more cooperative.


When I tried to train Oreo before I took Jen's class, Oreo's reaction to training--and I wasn't doing clicker training--was much like Silver's reaction now. Oreo would give me a sad look (Poor fool human, I don't do this stuff), cross the room, lie down on her bed and refuse to look at me. So although Silver's behavior is frustrating, I know enough to realize this isn't going to be her behavior forever.

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In scary news...Sam's having a really bad day today. He's not walking well; his left rear foot is knuckling, and if he puts it down correctly, he's limping--and he won't lie down and stay down, which makes me think he's in pain. (The foot-thing might just be that the foot fell asleep the last time he was sleeping.) About 90 minutes ago I gave him his usual evening pills; and just I threw in an extra tramadol and gabapentin for him. He's lying down now (but breathing more heavily than I think he should be), and he'll get more meds later tonight. We'll see how he is tomorrow. Poor baby.

--Working on the orange thing. I'm not as far along as I thought I was. The skein of remaining yarn was loose and floppy, and I think part of it must have been dangling off the scale. But I've rewound the yarn into a snug ball, and when I weigh that, there are more grams (36 of them) than I wanted there to be. I'm knitting tonight (and planning to stay up late because I slept all morning). Tomorrow needs to be an all-work/no-knitting day (so I can earn some money).
--Tomorrow also needs to be a grocery shopping day. I'm getting low on almost everything.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lesson 1b--Making Progress

A happy girl: "Mom's not shooting that clicker at me!"

For a couple of days, I clicked while in the kitchen and waited for the dogs to come running. I did this just before lunch time or dinner time, when the dogs were doing their "Feed us--we're starving" routine. At first, if I clicked, Silver would flinch and draw back (and Sam would lean in for the treat--after all, he heard the clicker, too, and he knows what it means). Eventually, I stood there with a handful of treats, let Silver try to poke her tongue or teeth between my fingers to get the treats, and I just clicked away. Silver started ignoring the clicker.

This was a little risky. I don't want Silver to ignore the clicker. I just want her not to be afraid of it.

Today, before lunch, I took Silver out onto the patio and we worked on touch-the-cup. She still doesn't understand what she's supposed to do--and if she gets frustrated, she'll just lie down--but she has learned that she'll get a treat when she hears the click. If she touched the cup, I clicked and she turned toward me to get the treat. This is something she should have figured out last week, but at least we're on the right track.

So then I took her for a walk on a 30-foot lead so we could work on recalls. She came right away when called and I praised her a lot, but she was not so deeply involved in what she was sniffing at for this to be any indication that recall training is working.

So then I put her in the house and let Sam practice. He came out the door onto the patio and went and slammed his nose into the cup. Click-treat. He knows the drill, but at least this time he didn't lie down with his chin on the cup. After a few more click-treats, I took him for a walk on the 30-foot lead. He doesn't stick to my side the way Silver does, and if he's interested in sniffing at something when you call his name, well--you'll just have to wait your turn. We'll keep practicing, but his recall skills will never be reliable.

Both dogs have had their lunches and are sleeping now. Actually, Silver had about half of Sam's. (Some things never change.) They're sleeping soundly, as if they've actually worked hard. The training sessions were less than 5 minutes per dog. Greyhounds don't have a long attention span.

It's time to chop up more treats. Today they finished off the abundance I cut up before last week's class. Another class tomorrow morning, then we skip a week, so I hope Silver can catch up.

On the knitting front, there's not much to report. The long, orange triangle is still orange, still a triangle, and a bit longer. I'm more than two-thirds of the way through the yarn on this never-ending, knit-till-you-run-out project. I'm put in mind of Penelope, weaving her shroud by day, unraveling it again by night--except that I'm reasonably sure no one is unraveling this (except for those times I've had to frog a few rows to fix a glitch). Anyway, I really want to get this finished: I've figured out what pattern I want to use for my next project (a baby blanket), and I have the yarn, and I want to get it started!

Shawl to enter in the fair

The North Georgia State Fair runs 19-29 September. Fair entries in the craft divisions are due 14-15 September. I have one shawl I'm planning to enter, and I'd like to enter the baby blanket in the fair, too. (The shawl is the same pattern as the orange triangle I'm making now. The photo above doesn't do justice to the color, and the actual shawl is super-soft and very warm.) The baby is due 15 September, but the blanket could be delivered a bit later than that. If I remember correctly from past years, the fair gets lots of crocheted baby blankets entered, but not many knitted ones (and knitting doesn't usually compete against crocheting except for "best in show" awards).

The remodeling at my sister's house is nearly, nearly finished. Everyone is looking forward to the conclusion, and Mother will finally be able to get settled. She's been sleeping in my sister's guest room since early January, and she doesn't have her craft supplies or anything like that in places where she can get to them. (Half her stuff is still in the storage unit. The rest is piled in my sister's living room, dining room, and den.) Also, pollen counts (grass) have been really high lately, so Mother (and I) have been groggy and drowsy and prone to napping the days away. I think if she really had something to do, Mother would be a bit more mentally alert than she has been lately.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lesson 1a--Click! (flinch)

I do not believe this.


She's afraid of the clicker. Every time I click, she flinches. She doesn't run; she's not terrified. But she flinches.

The red clicker above was furnished for the class. It's a nice, crisp, fairly loud sound that will carry well if your dog is a little bit away from you.

The blue clicker is one I picked up at PetSmart or PetCo or something. It's a more muted sound--and she flinches from that one, too. She flinches even if I hold it right in front of her so she can see my thumb move. Click. It's hardly the trumpet of doom.

But this fear might explain why, this morning, I could click and she wouldn't turn to take a treat until I called her name. When I tried again this afternoon, I stood in front of her (with Sam standing beside her) and I clicked and treated and didn't let her turn away. (I'd click and then treat both dogs, Silver first. I let Sam stand there as a good example--and because it would have been mean to treat her right under his nose. When I need to work with her alone, she and I can go on the patio to practice.)

This morning, Sam wasn't standing nearby, so I don't really think he's part of the equation. I'd click and treat, and she'd turn her head away and lie down as soon as she got her treat. She never once tried to sniff the clicker or poke at it or my hand to produce a click. She didn't watch me to see if I'd make it click again, and if I did click, she'd only turn back to me if I also called her name.

At this point, I'm reminding myself that this is the girl who had to be taught to eat a turkey neck. The first time, she took the neck out of her dish, put it on the doormat, licked the empty dish, and laid down beside it. Later, when I put the neck in the dish right under her nose, ostentatiously ignored it.

Turkey Neck #4

But that lasted just a couple of times. Soon, she was ready to grab her turkey neck and chow down (which she won't be doing anymore since she and Sam both suffered disastrous digestive mayhem from their last turkey necks). I'm betting she'll get the hang of click + treat pretty soon. Tonight, I'll keep a clicker in the kitchen. When I go in there to get ice or something to drink, I'll click and wait to see how many dogs show up. Whoever shows up will get a treat. And I'll hold treats in my closed fist and make her sniff at that before I click again and let her have the treat.

If that doesn't work, I'll have to look for another signalling option.

Silly goose.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lesson 1--Saturday

I've started obedience classes for Silver with trainer Jen Bachelor.


My first greyhound, Oreo, took classes from Jen. Oreo was a good, food-motivated student, and forever afterward greeted Jen by diving nose-first into Jen's right pocket. The things dogs learn by accident... Oreo took the classes, and I came home and did homework with Oreo and Sam.

After I adopted Jacey, I used the same lessons to work with her--with Sam getting some additional training as well. Jacey tried hard, but she never managed a decent sit, and stay was not a syllable she ever was willing to hear. (Oddly enough, Sam was better at stay--at least, after you'd said it three or four times.)

Jacey sits (more or less)

I've had Silver for nearly two years, and I haven't tried any lessons with her. For one thing, she's more independent than Oreo or Jacey ever were. For another, while she's food-motivated, she's only food-motivated on her own terms. She'll happily push in front of Sam to eat from his bowl, but sometimes she'll turn her nose up at treats (treats she happily eats at home) if there are distractions. (Nine other dogs in her class = nine distractions.) But I'd like to get her certified as a therapy dog, and that requires at least a tiny inclination for a dog to do what it's told; I'm hoping the class will teach her that doing what I say for a food/praise reward isn't a bad idea. And I'm teaching her through class so I've got an expert's input on any issues with her.

(I'm not going to give away Jen's lesson plan. If Jen wanted to give away the info for free, she could post it on her blog. So I'll talk a bit about the goals or theory of a lesson, but I'm going to avoid the actual how-to steps.)

Our first lesson was this morning. Silver spent most of her time watching the other dogs and didn't show the first sign of interest in lessons. (The treats--chopped up turkey franks and sticks of string cheese--were fine. But I was just supposed to shovel treats into her mouth while she watched the other dogs.)

The lessons involve clicker-training. The idea is that you click to signal the proper behavior. First you have to teach a dog that the click-sound means treats. Then you have to teach the dog that she can make you click by doing something you want her to do. You do this by getting the dog to touch a target, then clicking and rewarding for the touch. The first few times, you may have to lure the dog into touching the target; at some point, though, the dog is supposed to make the connection and touch the target on her own.


So we practiced this afternoon. I'm not 100% certain that Silver understands click = treat, so we need to work on that without complicating the training by adding touch-the-target at the same time. When we tried touch-the-target, Silver would touch if I lured her into it, but otherwise she'd stand there. She'd sniff my hands to try to squeeze out a treat, then she'd give up and stand and wait for something to happen. We started working this outside on the patio, but when Silver lost interest, we went back inside.

Meanwhile, poor Sam is absolutely beside himself watching this. He remembers touch-the-target. He excelled at it when he took lessons with the other girls. Sam's all, Me! Mom! Me! I can do this! Me! Let me, Mom!

From earlier this year: the old man is still as food-driven as ever

So I took pity on him. I put the target down where he and Silver could both see it. I put a treat right on it, and Silver lunged in for it. I clicked and treated and waited. When another treat didn't show up right away, Silver walked off and laid down. I moved the target toward Sam, but I didn't put a treat on it. Sam touched the target immediately (click+treat). If I moved the target to the side a bit, and he'd reach over and get it (click+treat). That smart ass actually laid down and put his chin on the target! I let him finish off the treats I had in my pocket. Perhaps Silver will learn by example, and I'll work with her on click = treat, too.

While we were outside, I worked with Silver on recall. I put her on a 30-foot line. The idea was to walk her, let her get distracted sniffing something, I'd sneak a little distance away, then call her to me. But the little stinker glued herself to my hip! I'd try to sneak away, turn to call her and find her right on my heels! We're going to have to work on this.

--BOMC book arrived. I left it with my mother. It's crocheted blocks, and Mother is doing some craft stuff for her church where she makes blocks at home and donates them to the church. Now she has some extra patterns to choose from.
--Order from Joann's arrived: yarn and needles.
--Drs Foster & Smith has shipped the heartworm meds and Missing Link.
--I signed up for more Craftsy classes. (This makes 4 classes I've signed up for, and only 1 that I've taken.) Craftsy is having special offers with reduced prices for classes, so I signed up for a couple of sweaters-that-fit classes.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Update

BOMC says there was a glitch in their system, and they're sending me my June 28 book.

Found stamps to send heartworm prescription to Drs Foster & Smith. Damned expensive snail-mail.

Expensive Mail

Netgear has decided that I really do know my own email address. Their products may be good. Their website and tech support are the worst kind of annoying. The site won't let you set up an account if it hates your email address for some reason; but if you want to send an email to tech support, it wants you to log-in to your account first. (Um, fellas...) And their live chat is one person. Technical issues often don't go smoothly, especially since there seem to be some language mismatches along the way. Average wait time for a live-chat session is more than 30 minutes. (What kind of language issues? Well, how does Tech Support by email not understand "When I tried to register my purchase, your site said my email address was wrong"?)

Sam was better on Thursday morning--no soft poop. He's been fine since then until this morning. He's had no raw turkey (nor anything other than his regular kibble and meds), but apparently he's still having issues as of this morning. I've changed his metronidazole dose. Instead of getting his maintenance dose of half a pill, every other day, he's getting a full-bore dose of two whole pills a day for a while. (But since I'd already chopped his pills in half, he'll just get a half, four times a day.)

I bought some re-issued knitting patterns from Patternfish (old Sirdar patterns for baby sweaters). I don't like that the PDFs are encrypted. I do not use printed patterns. I work from on-screen PDFs using my Acrobat Pro, which lets me mark correct size info, leave myself notes about pattern changes, put a colored box on the screen to mark where in the pattern I've gotten to, highlight info like changes in needle size. The Patternfish PDFs do not permit any of this. I will make usable PDFs one way or another, and probably in ways Patternfish wouldn't approve of (although the site's Terms of Use don't prohibit my methods). I won't violate copyright on any of these patterns, and no one but me will ever see my usable PDFs. But I think I probably won't be buying much from Patternfish in the future. I've spent $5.95 per pattern; it's ridiculous that I have to work to make the patterns usable.

Did two meet and greets with Silver yesterday: Marietta Square Farmer's Market and the Acworth Petco. At the Farmer's Market, an artist-vendor donated 20 martingale collars to SEGA (1 large, 8 medium, 11 small that will fit whippets or small greyhounds). We'll be offering many of them at SEGA's upcoming online auction. I've done individual photos of the collars; I just need to write descriptions for them so the auction managers won't have that to deal with.

Pile of collars on my laptop yesterday, before the individual photos were taken.

There's one lovely collar I have my eye on...


...prettier in real life, with shiny gold outlines on the flowers.

Poor Sam is sound asleep in front of the back door. I think he doesn't want to get too far from the nearest exit...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Warm Wednesday in July

There's been knitting.


That's the hat for the Halos of Hope / Buffalo Wool Company collaboration: they asked on Facebook for 25 volunteer knitters who could knit hats and get the hats back to them by July 31 (for presentation at Stitches Midwest). I got the yarn on June 21, and I had the knitted and blocked hat out in the mail on July 1. The pattern is the Brier Toque--nice, mindless knitting.

(No, I never remembered why I knitted a stitch marker into the hat in that spot. I just cut it out before I blocked the hat.)

And there's the finished Wee One Elephant (available in a Craftsy Class) for Sean and Joey's little girl, due in August:


It's a seamless piece. You start with the head. Then you pick up stitches on the head to knit the ears. Pick up stitches on the neck to start the body. Put arm stitches on waste yarn (like a top-down sweater) as you continue the body. Afterthought legs. Finish the arms. And pick up three stitches on the backside to knit the tail. Nothing sewn on, nothing to pull off.


The pattern has three different heads (elephant, hippo, bunny), one body, three different sets of finishing (face and tail). I used very practical Red Heart Super Saver: the whole thing can go through the washer and dryer.

I've also been working on the shop sample of Curiosity. Nothing to see here, though: a long scarf in orangish yarn is a long scarf in orangish yarn--early pictures look much like current pictures. I'm about one-third of the way through the yarn.

There've been dog issues.

I've been feeding raw turkey necks: I'd cut necks in half and each dog would get a half one day, then the other half two days later. The dogs were fine with that for weeks.

So Tuesday I gave both dogs a whole turkey neck each. Silver's been fine, but this evening Sam's backside exploded. (I was planning to go to tonight's SEGC meeting to hear Dr Kellogg, but Sam got sick two hours before the meeting.) For the better part of three hours, Sam whined to go out every 10 or 15 minutes. (Bissell Little Green Machine. Really. Especially if you can get to the stain right away.) The poor boy finally fell asleep about 8pm. I didn't give him any dinner--and no dinner or bedtime meds. We'll see what happens in the morning. I have a package of two turkey necks in the refrigerator. Silver can have some, but I don't think I want Sam to have even a little bit.

And Silver's been having problems: yelping when she tried to stand up after lying down. She saw Dr Bird last week and did a week of Rimadyl, as well as Methocarbamol and Tramadol snagged from Sam's stash. She felt better but I still asked Dr Tison for x-rays yesterday. I wanted to be sure there wasn't a problem that a chiropractor could make worse, and x-rays now will give us baseline films. Mostly, of course, I wanted to be sure there was no sign of serious trouble (like cancer): I've lost two greyhounds, both girls, both 8 years old, and Silver turned 8 in May. (Oreo broke her leg and threw a blood clot in surgery. Cancer didn't show on her x-rays, but why else does a dog break her leg standing in the living room? And Jacey died of immune mediated thrombocytopenia.)

Silver's x-rays showed signs of arthritis in her left shoulder and at the thoracic area of her spine. (Sort of at the back end of her shoulder blades.) This is exactly where Sam's trouble started, although the two dogs have very different backgrounds: Sam never raced, although he has spent years doing the stairs in my condo and getting on and off the furniture; Silver, meanwhile, had a racing career, but hasn't done stairs or climbed on furniture in the two years she's been with me. But Silver now has prescriptions for her very own supply of Methocarbamol (aka Robaxin, a muscle relaxer) and Tramadol--the same meds Sam takes.  (But no Rimadyl. Potential complications from NSAIDs are scary, so I want as little to do with them as possible.) I bought Silver a microwavable heat pack today. I'm concentrating on brushing the teeth of both dogs--since giving the dogs turkey necks is turning out to be a problem (again), and I've signed Silver up for Jen's obedience classes. She's very good with people and might be excellent as a therapy dog--if she'll ever decide that she wants to do what she's told.

(Silver is usually a wuss at the vet's about anything painful, so I was surprised that she didn't let out a peep when Dr Bird was stretching her legs out last week during the exam. But Silver got payback: she nearly nailed the poor vet tech who tried to take her temp on Tuesday. I put Silver's muzzle on her when she went back for x-rays, and they gave her back to me with the muzzle still in place. They're no fools.)

--The router died this morning. I bought a new one and installed it. Netgear advises you to stick with the network name they've pre-assigned your router. Of course. It advertises their product. (And I so wanted to name my network "NSA Surveillance Van.") I've tried to register the router with Netgear, but they insist I've got my email address wrong. Really? I have a request in for tech support. Their email acknowledging the support request said there'd be a second email with a password for me to use online. That email never arrived. I'm considering joining the Luddite movement.

--I looked into getting a new phone and a new phone service: I like Sprint, but I'm tired of losing phone calls at home because my signal reception is so bad. (And when your router dies and your phone can't find a wifi network as a substitute for the mobile signal, you're really screwed. Luddite.) Anyway, the phone contract was up 7/1/2013. The Sprint contract isn't up until 9/29/2013. I put a note in my calendar to remind me in September.

--There are issues with getting Sam a heartworm test--namely that (a) he hates car rides and stresses to the point that his breathing and heart rate get scary, and (b) he's currently suffering from explosive diarrhea. So I've got a written prescription for Silver's heartworm meds, and I'm going to send that to Drs. Foster & Smith, ordering meds just for her, but sharing them with him. He'll get his heartworm test the next time he has to be at the vet's for something else. I'm also ordering some Missing Link Joint and Bone Health formula. Let's keep Silver as limber as possible as long as possible. I have to snail-mail the written prescription to Drs F&S, and I have no stamps. I never have stamps. I pay all my bills online, and every time I buy a book of stamps, the USPS ups the rate immediately afterward. (By refusing to buy a book of stamps, I've single-handedly kept your postage rates down.) I'm going to dig around and see if I can find a couple of old 37¢ stamps to slap on the envelope to mail this out.

--I'm a member of Book of the Month Club. Actually, it's BOMC2. It's no longer the old deal where they'd threaten to send you a book you didn't want unless you returned the reservation card in time. Now there's a plan where you can get a book for $9.99 every month--including postage. You just keep a reading list on their site, and once a month they send you the top book of your list. This is how I've gotten craft books on the cheap for a couple of years. Currently, the website says my next book will ship on June 28. 'Scuse me, folks, but it's July already. (The book on the top of my list is patterns for granny square blocks--500 of 'em.) I emailed the website people and asked what's up with their shipping. They said they'd respond within 3 days. Their 3 days is up late Thursday.

(I'm back-dating this post so that it appears to be a Wednesday night post. After all, that's when I started typing it. I don't want to change the title just because it's now Thursday morning.)