Billie’s snow day!

A snow day for Billie!
A snow day for Billie!

We’ve had nothing but snow and more snow here for the last few days, which is SO unusual for Portland, Oregon and SO fun!  It’s not so much fun for our dogs, however, who’ve been stuck inside most of the time feeling housebound.

So I decided to invent a game. Snow soccer! Take one exercise ball, add two Shetland sheepdogs (Billie and Bonnie), toss everyone outside, and away we go. It was a HUGE hit, as you can see! Billie is convinced that the blue ball is a sheep, and happily herded it all over the yard for ages. I’m going to try and figure out how to upload a video in a few days so that you all can see the three of us at play…

Summer ritual

Billie at DQ 2013

Yep, it’s that time of year again!

Every summer, I stop by Dairy Queen now and then with our dogs. They LOVE DQ — and we love our local DQ for providing tiny vanilla doggie cones.  They’re free of charge, with a purchase by a human, which isn’t a hardship since I love a good DQ Twist now and then…

As for that green streak on Billie’s muzzle, just in case you spotted it and were wondering, that was a leftover from lunch. She helped me finish off my kale smoothie.  Uh, yeah.  Sounds gross, doesn’t it?  Mrs. Wong would so approve!  One of my favorite light lunches, though, believe it or  not.

I’m coming down the home stretch on my new novel!  Hope to be able to share a few tidbits with you all soon!

 

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tea valentine

 

Quick — what’s the best Valentine’s Day present you ever received?  Here’s mine, hands down:

Bonnie with Billie's toy

 

This is what she looked like the day my husband gave her to me:

Bonnie baby picture

Totally irresistible!  I named her Bonnie (“My Bonnie Valentine”) and she’s been my constant companion ever since.  Everybody should receive a puppy for a present at least once in their life!

 

 

Can I go home now?

Look who was waiting for me when I drove up to get her at “doggie daycare” today …

That’s our Billie on the left.  Is she a cutie pie or what?  Don’t know who her pal is on the right, but he or she is pretty adorable, too!

It’s a rainy day here in Oregon, so Bonnie and Billie went off to play with their friends for a few hours.  They’re home now, resting up for their big moment in the spotlight this weekend — choosing the winners of the two GIVEAWAYS!  Stay tuned for the announcements…

 

Nest update

I count four little beaks, how about you?

Mama Robin is keeping a close watch on me as I watch her and her babies …

 

It’s been a busy day here in the Frederick backyard.  The nest is bulging with rapidly-growing baby robins, who look to me like they’re about ready to fledge (leave the nest).  I spotted a couple of way-too-interested crows hanging around earlier (unfortunately, crows like to snack on baby birds), so I’ve stationed myself close to the nest with my laptop, a glass of ice water, and, believe it or not, a canoe paddle just in case I need to swat at one of said crows.

I have to go inside to Skype with a mother-daughter book club in Wisconsin, so I’m going to let Bonnie take over for nest guard duty for a while.  Talk about teamwork!

 

 

And the winners are …

ALEXANDRA, who loves Cinderella, and BRENNA, who loves Snow White!  Congratulations to you both — I’ve sent emails with details on how to claim your prize.

What a great turnout for this contest!  You guys are AMAZING — I had nearly 80 entries, with many of you blogging, tweeting, and telling friends to help get the word out.  Fantastic!  I ♥ you all!

There were so many entries I almost needed a bigger hat!

Oh, and a number of you guessed the catchphrase — it was “And now for something completely different,” from the old TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Picking the winners was so exhausting that Billie and Bonnie had to take naps

Hey, I have good news!  The pub date for ONCE UPON A TOAD has been pushed up to April 10th!  That means you can get your hands on it a week earlier than originally scheduled, how cool is that?!

Stay tuned for more fun stuff and hoopla as publication day draws closer.  Meanwhile, I’m off to answer (finally) my mountain of mail…