Questland – one week!

June 15, 2021

QUESTLAND will be out in one week!

I’m so out of practice on this self promotion stuff.

A more personal story: I’ve started up my weekly dinners again.

The background is this: I learned to cook by inviting a small group of friends over and cooking something different for them every week. I’d been doing this for over a decade when Covid hit and we stopped. We were mostly safe, but the work situation of a couple folks in the group meant we couldn’t really bubble up. So we didn’t. We had some outdoor gatherings, but I didn’t cook for those.

We really, really missed it. I tried to keep cooking new things — I learned to make eggs benedict — but it wasn’t the same.

Well, we have started again. We’re all now fully vaxxed and had our first dinner in over a year last week, and then watched Loki and Bad Batch, which makes for a fine evening indeed.

The hardest thing about it was not having Lily there. It wasn’t just our first dinner party in over a year, it was our first without Lily. Before, we’d have this big ritual: people arrived, Lily barked her head off, Wendy distracted her and played with her, Lily barked some more, and so on.

We all knew the ritual wasn’t going to happen this time and it felt weird. Last year, people came to my house and I had a dog. Now, they come over and I don’t, and even though Lily died in August, we’re only now just dealing with that part of losing her.

It’s strange and sad, but it’ll be okay. I still really like my dinner nights.


August 8, 2020

Lily is gone.

We said goodbye Friday morning. Her body just wasn’t working anymore. She was with me for over fifteen years, and life feels different today than it did a couple of days ago. The house feels empty.

This pic is from a couple months back. She had just fallen down the stairs with no ill effects and couldn’t understand why I was freaking out.

She kept her floof right to the end.

Lily’s big adventure

August 12, 2019

I think I’ve mentioned that my dog Lily has become very elderly. She’s 16 this summer. We have learned that dogs do get old-aged dementia. This has had some interesting side-effects. When she was young, Lily, like most American Eskimos, was really high strung and nervous. I couldn’t take her anywhere because she just had too much anxiety, barked at everything and snapped at people.

Well. Saturday, I took her to an outdoor SCA event. And she had a GREAT time. Apparently, she’s no longer aware enough to be nervous about anything. We went on a hike. She let people come up and cuddle her. She didn’t bark at all. She was so sweet. On the one hand this is absolutely bizarre, given what used to be normal for her. On the other, we had such a nice day together I’m just going to be grateful about it.

I absolutely loved walking around and having just about everyone look at her and say “Floof!”

She is still very floofy.

Adjusting my mindset about Lily and what she can do (like, the reason I brought her to the event is that she is no longer reliably house trained, alas) has been really hard. But I’m hoping we can get out more and have some fun while we can.


elderly Lily

January 16, 2019

One of the things that made last year a struggle was realizing, and adjusting to that realization, that Lily is showing her age. She’s fifteen going on sixteen, and for many years now she’s fooled me into thinking she’s just fine, nothing to worry about. Then she was diagnosed with kidney disease, then arthritis. She’s on special food and has four medications lined up that she takes every day. She can’t climb into the car by herself anymore, and she avoids stairs when she can. We’ve grappled with UTI’s, and often it’s clear she isn’t comfortable but can’t quite express what’s wrong.

This is hard, especially because until this last year she’s been such an active, hyper, boisterous pup. And now she just isn’t. She sleeps a lot.

But she still plays with her toys and love treats and loves her morning walk and runs around the house when she gets excited.  She’s still a fluffy neurotic adorable mess. We just have to work a little harder to keep her that way is all.

a day in the life of Lily

January 27, 2016

So I was at my desk and turned around to see what Lily was doing and saw this:


That’s okay.  She likes playing with them even better once the stuffing is all out.


holiday pics

January 4, 2013

My dog is what trainers call “reactive.”  She barks, she gets freaked out when things are different or chaotic.  I got her as a rescue, and near as we can figure she had no socialization as a puppy.  Which is really unfortunate, because she really does like people and cuddling, once things settle down.  She just has no idea how to act around people.  Or dogs, or loud noises, or alarm clocks, or…  You get the idea.

So, this Christmas I was worried about how Lily would do with my almost-year-old niece, who is toddling with conviction these days, and grabby, and all the other things that year-old toddlers are.  I was prepared to keep Lily in her crate the entire holiday if I had to.

In fact, she did fine.


(I know the picture is dark, but you get the idea.)  At first Lily was very curious — I imagine Emmy is the most interesting thing she’s ever smelled in her life.  When Emmy got a little too grabby, Lily did what she was supposed to and left the room whenever the kid appeared.  I was pretty proud of her.  We had to watch them both and make sure Lily was out of the way when she got stressed (she was very good about letting us know she was stressed, so we could swoop in for a rescue).  But you always have to do that when animals and babies are involved.

Also during the holiday break, I went with my Dad to the Air Force Academy to visit the new(ish) Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion, which was funded by Dad’s Academy class (1970) to memorialize grads who were killed in the Vietnam War (including one of his roommates).


It’s not quite finished yet, some of the informational displays aren’t there yet.  But it’s a beautiful and poignant structure, and seeing it with my dad was pretty special.  If you’re ever visiting the Academy, you might take a few minutes to check it out.

and now, it’s Friday…

September 14, 2012

It hasn’t been a bad week, or a particularly hectic week, but it’s one of those weeks where I never seemed able to focus on just one thing.  Fortunately, I’m not on any tight deadlines, so the anxiety level about that is low.  Also, Lily’s in the middle of a bout of some kind of stomach unpleasantness that required an emergency trip to the vet. Pretty much our first emergency trip in the seven years since she came to live with me.  She’s a tough kid and usually quite healthy, so this is has been rough.  She’s now gone 24 hours without vomiting, which is an improvement, but she’s still not eating, which is worrying, because it’s now been more than two days since she’s kept down food.  But she’s drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated, so I’m hoping it’s just a matter of waiting for the meds to kick in and for her appetite to come back online.  Fingers crossed.

UPDATE:  Lily has eaten a little breakfast and a little lunch.  I expect she’ll be back to normal in a day or two.  Yay!

In the meantime, here’s a song to take the edge off and maybe start a story or two:


December 27, 2009

My dog Lily isn’t very photogenic.  She usually gets a bit hysterical when the camera comes out, and I either get demon-dog eyes, or a big blur of frenetic movement.  But I got a couple of good, personality-revealing pics of her over the holidays:

Proudly standing over her prey, which she gnawed with impunity.

It was a very tiring day:

This is just to say…

March 23, 2009

… Lily discovered that her hedgehog was actually an android determined to destroy us all.  But she’s taken care of it so we’re okay now.


I was going through some holiday pictures and I found this.  Behold, Lily’s first loldog: