Walking with Lexi

Summer is in full swing now. This is very exciting for my dog. There are kids outside all the time, not just after school. Lexi needs to keep an eye on them. Sometimes they walk by the house. What nerve! She lets us know there are trespassers.

“It’s okay, Lexi. They’re just kids. They can walk by.”

But they have bicycles, and skate boards, and balls! They must be barked at.

It isn’t just the kids. Grownups are enjoying their motorcycles. They roar by, turn around and roar back. Lexi barks, and jumps, running around in a circle, deftly avoiding getting tangled in her leash. She is so silly. Trucks are equally exciting, whether new and shiny or old and noisy.

There are squirrels, bunnies and birds. Yes, summer life is exciting for a little dog.

She took me for a long walk this morning. First stop is the little white dogs’ house. She pauses to see if they are outside. If she doesn’t see them right away, she’ll go around the corner of the yard to check. She will stand at the gate and look longingly into their yard until I give a tug on her leash to move her along.

There was a lot to check out today. I like to see what is growing in other people’s yards; Lexi checks her pee-mail. I admire her shiny fur; she looks up to make sure I am keeping up with her.

She has another friend she likes to stop and chat with—the Rottwieler in the white house. They have never met in person, but boy they love to catch up on the news. When we are getting close to the house, Lexi picks up speed, straining against the leash, scraping her claws on the sidewalk. I have to hurry to keep up. She stops at the window and looks up, quivering with excitement. If the Rottie is there, they both bark and dance around. I fear for the window. If she is not there, Lexi waits and gives a little whine.

One day, the curtains were drawn. Strange. Lexi looked, and waited, finally giving a little bark. Nothing. Soon she got excited, and I noticed a nose appear between the curtains. Pretty soon the curtains moved aside and Lexi and her friend greeted each other enthusiastically.

Don’t you think dogs have conversations? Lexi has such an expressive face, I am sure she does. After all, she understands English. Here she is lounging in her favorite chair–all tuckered out. Fear not, she will be ready to go again in a few minutes!

lexie in chair

Gerunds

Raise your hand if you know what a gerund is. Sue and Roberta don’t count—we talked about gerunds at dinner the other day.

I hear rumblings from the audience. Don’t you talk about gerunds at dinner? How about Second Law of Thermodynamics? No? Clearly we don’t eat with the same kind of people; but I digress.

Once I spent a year as a high school English teacher. The previous teacher had adorned the walls with posters illustrating parts of speech. Since I didn’t have any decorations of my own, I left them up.

On the first day, one student bopped into class, looked around and exclaimed, “Oh, no, I forgot what a gerund is.”

As I greeted the others with a cheery smile pasted on my face, I secretly cringed. What in the world was a gerund anyway? I looked it up the first chance I had and sighed with relief when I discovered it wouldn’t come up in class for a few weeks.

A gerund is the noun form of a verb formed by using the “ing” ending. For example, if the verb is “to ski,” the noun form is “skiing.” Jan skis every weekend. Skiing is Jan’s favorite sport.

If English is your primary language, you use gerunds all the time without needing to know this obscure word.

I have noticed a new trend—making a verb out of a noun. Like crater. The meteor cratered the ground. Then we transition to the gerund form. Scientists noticed many craterings in the area. I scratch my head. You could have just said “many craters.” That is part of what makes English such an exciting language, and since it is my language, I will continue to go with the flow.

All this is here for the purpose of letting me get used to my new tablet. The touch pad is very sensitive, and I need to avoid touching it while I type. I am trainable and I am learning. It is a great tablet, small and handy, and much easier for carrying around than my laptop. I can fit it in my purse. My husband got it for me the other weekend, and I am delighted with it so far.

I have finished another project off my DO list. My husband is now the proud owner of a pair of green kilt socks to match his vest. I have 14 projects left out of 22. I think I am doing quite well. How are you coming with your DO list?

New Beginnings

The weather changed its mind and went from cold and grouchy to sunny and pleasant and so did my mood. The snow we got last weekend came with some raw temps, and I had to haul out my scarves, hats and mitts. I drew the line at the down parka—not going to wear that in April! I felt as dreary as the gray sky.

Tuesday was frustrating—two out of three family cars were out of service and my husband had to coordinate towing and repairs. My brain felt jangled and I couldn’t think straight. He suggested I walk the dog. What a good idea! A little exercise always helps, as well as the company of a frisky pup. I stepped out into the sunshine. What a blessing.

I didn’t need gloves or scarves. A cool breeze whisked away the jangled thoughts and I relaxed in the sun while Lexi did her business, then we were off. I let her lead and we had a very pleasant walk sniffing the good sniffs and enjoying the sights. Sometimes a little change is all you need to bring on a new outlook. The cars were repaired with a minimum of fuss and things are back to normal.

I started a new knitting project. It was fun to match up some yarn from the stash I got when a local store went out of business with a pattern for a short cape. It is just right for this weather, now I have to master the pattern.

It is one of those deceptively easy ones with a three stitch repeat, but the challenge came when I tried to work in increases. The first time around it looked awful and I had to admit after 16 rows I must have gone wrong somewhere. I pulled it all out and started over where the pattern began. The second time around it looked better, but not exactly like the picture. I kept going until I got the 16th row and discovered I had made a mistake. A mistake that looked great, in fact it actually matched the picture. Yay! So I frogged it again—back to the beginning of the pattern and went for the third attempt. So far, so good, we’ll see what happens when I get to the 16th row, but this time I have high hopes.

Maybe next time I should swatch the pattern to make sure know what it looks like on a straight piece before I put in the increases. What do you think?

Meanwhile, enjoy the beautiful day, even if it is gloomy where you live.