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Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

There’s been action on the yard every single day this week.  I hope I’m not jinxing anything by writing about it, but just maybe we’ll be having cement poured by the end of next week, weather gods cooperating.

But that’s not why I’m here.

Since it’s been a long while since I have devoted any space to the hounds of heck, here you go:

Since we switched Attie’s dog food to salmon instead of chicken, her fur is nicer, she’s quit scratching the heck out of her face, she’s not limping as much, and she has resumed layin’ the smackdown on Wallace.  She has rediscovered her squeaky toys, and in general is not acting her age (11).

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He looks so cute and harmless.

The Face of Wisdom

Almost wise.  Almost like there’s something going on between his ears other than “If you throw it I will retrieve it”, or “Wanna know what I found in the garbage can?”

With no gates on the backyard, and Wallace being the sneak that he is, I have had to retrieve him from the park (a block and a half away and across a fairly busy street) a few times.  He used to just walk up to the corner and look; now he’s running to the corner, and running across the street, and running through the schoolyard all the way to the soccer pitch on the far side, because, you know, there might be someone there with a soccer ball that would like to play with him.  He has selective hearing (he’s such a teenager) and doesn’t come when he’s called; he’s even taken to pretending that his name isn’t Wallace.  Talk about your blank stare.

Two years ago, my older son got married the day before Mother’s Day.  The kids gave the bride’s mother and me each a nice ceramic mug with flowers in it.

Since then, I have cleared several extraneous mugs out of the cupboard, but this one remains.  I have other mugs I like to use, but this one has been used a lot lately.  I think of my son and daughter-in-law every time I drink from it (and I drink way too many cups of coffee a day), and I remember the challenges Mike and I faced as newlyweds.  By the time we’d been married 2 years, we had a son, and job worries, and money worries, and concerns about my cooking (well, that hasn’t really changed), and I hope that whatever challenges my kids face over the years, that they’ll be able to rely on each other and their families to get through.  The journey is the whole point, and I’m so happy they’ve got each other, and that we’ve got them.

Today’s to-do list:

1)  Watch the guys patch the last foundation crack, and not let them up out of the hole until it’s done.

2)  Go to the flooring store and see what our options are for replacing the new/damaged carpet in the basement.

3)  Try to find a bat house locally, and if that can’t be done, order one online.  Then try to arrange non- Canada Post delivery of same.  Mail strike- pure silliness.

4)  Buy hook-and-eye closures and finish the dratted Balkan Booties.

5)   Reflect on my busy busy life.  Have another cup of coffee.  And maybe a nap.

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Domestic Goddess

Did you ever have one of those days?  You know the kind; you’re expecting your friend for dinner even though you’ve never met her before except over the internet,  and your family thinks that you may be hallucinating the whole thing and that she’s really just an imaginary friend and they don’t believe she’s real until she actually appears on the doorstep, complete with children, husband and a really nice hank of Manos del Uruguay?  And then your husband drops the weiners on his way in from the barbeque, and the dogs grab them and snarf them down before you can say Bob’s your uncle, and then while you’re all seated at the table your friend’s husband forgets he’s sitting at the edge of the kitchen and falls backwards on his chair down into the family room, and then just when you’ve apologized for seating him in the danger zone, and you think that Charity might buy your little act and think you’ve really got it together on the domestic front  your sweet little dog yappy little Sheltie barfs up purloined weiner all over her husband’s feet?   Well, have you ever had one of those days?

There is only one thing I can think of to say to Charity, and that’s I’m really sorry and welcome to the family.

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and they’re off!

We take off tomorrow morning well before breakfast (but it’s worth it to make Andrew get up to drive us to the airport,  she said with a wicked smile), and this time tomorrow we’ll be a little warmer than we are now.  There’s a 31 degree spread (celsius) (that’s about three hundred fahrenheit) between here and Buckeye, so I am packing shorts, flipflops and sunscreen.  (and painting clothes.  Yay.)  Andy’s notes are done, and notes for the housesitter who comes when Andy goes snowboarding are done, an alternate pickup location for a housekey should Andy forget to leave one for the housesitter is arranged, the dogs have had their oral hygiene looked after and cursory pedicures.

I don’t know what I’ll take for knitting- I have started a reversible scarf (sorry, no pictures) and have the gear for a cute little leaf scarf (also no pictures), so I’ll just have to play it by ear.  I figure after a week of slothing Mike will be amenable to a drive, so we’ll check out a couple of fibre purveyors and see what’s what.

I finished up a couple of weaving projects, and tried out my nifty new gadget:

Triple Roach Clip?

I can twist fringe until the cows come home now.  It does do a nice job, but I need to work on getting the knots in the same place, as well as doing the same number of turns on both ends of the scarf.

Alternate use for Tofutsies

Still having fun; still amassing scarves at an alarming rate.  I did get a commission (my first, and hopefully not my last) for a scarf destined for Vancouver that I will do when I get home.

I would love to have a loom down south; might just have to buy one down there.   Somehow, sitting in the desert (or in my own little oasis) weaving just sounds like a good idea.   Socks in my sandals, a little Valdy on the iPod, glass of wine (or something with tequila), yup, great idea.

Wallace is howling because Mike is shovelling the driveway and Wallace is not outside attacking the shovel.  It is a pathetic sound, but then he is a pathetic little dog.  I will miss both of them while we’re gone- who will bark and leave hair all over the house?

We  have to leave in just over 8 hours, so I better go and put something in a suitcase.  I think I procrastinated enough that I don’t have time to hit the treadmill.  My fiendish plan is working.

We get our internet hooked up on Saturday morning, so perhaps a progress report is forthcoming.  After all, I can only talk to Mike for so long before his eyes glaze over.    Maybe I should talk to him about sports.  Maybe I’ll flap my arms and fly to the moon.

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Tunnel Vision

It’s not that I am particularly obsessive; it’s just that I just can’t seem to think about anything else.

Weaving.  I wake up at night thinking about fibre combinations.  I make deals with myself:  “Empty the dishwasher and you can warp the loom for another project.”  “Put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and you can weave for an hour.”  I am sure that the novelty will wear off eventually and it will just become a part of what I like to do, but in the meantime, am I ever producing a lot of scarves.

Yesterday’s production:

scarf6.5

It’s AslanTrends Santa Fe sock yarn with DROPS Lin. Hopefully it will soften up with washing- it’s a little, shall we say, crisp for a scarf now.

scarf6.6

scarf6.8

Attie is already getting bored with the whole thing.   Too bad; it’s not like her schedule was full anyways.

And in the “Nothing says happy birthday like shredded cheddar on your dog kibble” department, Wallace turned 6 yesterday.  We’re expecting maturity and the cessation of barking that comes with it any day now.

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…and actually doing a little knitting!  While the renovation is showing a little sign of progress (and here I quote Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada-“By all means, move at a glacial pace.”) we have had to change our “hope it’s done by” date.  I don’t think that any renovation is ever right on schedule; there are too many moving parts over which no one person has control.   We have to vacate for a few days later this week while the hardwood gets finished, so the dogs will be off to summer camp at Auntie Kathy’s while Mike and I decamp to some hotel or other.

Our hardwood floor should be sanded and stained by Wednesday evening, then sealed by Friday.  We** follow that with 2 days of wall painting and reinstallation of our real light fixtures (not that I don’t LOVE bare bulbs hanging down or anything).  Then I heard a rumour that we should be able to move back in on the main floor!  This is exciting because that means that my new bathtub is within reach.

**This is, of course, the Royal We.   My job is to stay out of the way of the professionals.

Knitting-wise, here’s where I’m at:

Leaves on Leaves- get it?

Leaves on Leaves- get it?

Light as a ...Leaf?

Light as a ...Leaf?

I gained about 10 inches in blocking this:  I finished just over 60 inches, so it’s juuuuust long enough to wrap.  I do wish I had had the full third ball of Douceur et Soie, as I would be even happier with 70 inches, but it is what it is.  The pattern is a variation on a Knitty pattern, and in spite of the relative simplicity of the instructions, I am distactable enough to need silence in which to knit it.  Hence the long time frame.  Silence seems to be in short supply.   I am psyched up to do another bit of lace, but this time I will be using something without the mohair; I’m going for a less fuzzy piece.  There will probably not be pictures of it, as it is stealth knitting for a very dear friend.

As an antidote to the lace knitting, I present:

in progress for a baby yet-to-be-determined

in progress for a baby yet-to-be-determined

This is Sirdar’s Crofter DK, using EZ’s ubiquitous Baby Surprise pattern.  Just for fun (and because the colours would indicate that this will end up with a female-type baby), I am using a yarn-over increase to give it a little laciness.  (Is that a word?)  This is the same yarn as my Crofter Socks, and it is working up beautifully in garter stitch.  Now, anyone who is reading who may happen to have attended the Stitches Conference is probably thinking what a great opportunity this would be for me to practice Lever Knitting a la Yarn Harlot, but alas, I seem to have misplaced my enthusiasm.  That and I think I would prefer to pursue that on a garter stitch scarf (if at all).  I am not unhappy with the way I knit, so I may just bumble along my way.   As long as I try to knit with people who knit a little slower than me, I will feel like I am a speedster and be content with that.

And I was wondering why we can’t get anything done around here on Sundays…

Poised for action

Poised for action

Onwards!

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Greetings, Zorchers! What’s hyper-happening?

Now, is there anyone out there who can tell me why I remember this line from a Jetsons comic book from roughly 40 years ago? I was not a huge Jetsons fan, or comic book fan, but this has stayed with me, using up brain space I would rather allot to something else more useful (such as family birthdates, knitting stuff, where my cell phone is, and so on…). I know that I’ve only got so much space in my head, and it bothers me that with all of our scientific research and advancement, we haven’t yet figured out a system for orderly memory maintenance. Oh well. Sorry to rant, Zorchers. Thanks for stopping by.

What’s been happening here? Well, we are finally getting some above freezing temps, and the snow is starting to reveal what’s underneath it in the yard. Dog poop. Water. Birdseed. Frisbees and soccer balls. Dead grass. This year, as in other years, it is my most fervent wish that the weather warms up enough that the standing water actually evaporates before finding its way into our basement. Just in case, we have moved all the furniture away from the offending side of the house downstairs, the dehumidifier is running and the pump is on standby for the lake which could form in the back yard. It’s hell being a burgess.

To distract from the potential water issues, I have done a bit of knitting since the blue ankle socks:
orangeandtealsocks

I don’t remember what the yarn is on these.  They were a little tight in the ankles (too much tweaking) but once I used my nifty new knitPicks sock blockers, they’re going to be okay.  And they match everything.

imgp0066

This is a Drops design, using Fabel sock yarn.  Once I figured out that 2.5mm needles gave a gauge of 32 stitches per 4 inches, not the stated 26 stitches per 4 inches, I was able to monkey around with the needles size and get underway.   This was a disappointing pattern- a little overthought, and not as snug as I would have liked for ankle socks.  The wool is nice to work with, and I would use it again (but not ordering it online; by the time shipping was paid, these are twenty-five dollar socks.) but I would use my new-found sock-knitting powers and fly by the seat of my pants, as it were.

The socks do match the guitar rather nicely, but I doubt that has any relevance to anything.

imgp0074

And, most currently:

imgp0097small

This  is the funniest sock I have ever knit.  (Second sock is safely on the needles.)  It is Opal Hundertswasser, in a colourway referred to by a Raveller (humourously, but rather uncharitably, I thought) as Clown Barf.  While the sock looks goofy, (I used elements from Mojo) it is surprisingly comfortable.  I may be getting the hang of this.  I will model them when the pair is done, and once again, these socks go with everything.  (My mother-in-law will be eyebrow-raisingly skeptical, but I am pre-emptively putting that down to envy.)

My self-searching question for the day is:  When the heck am I going to knit anything else?  There are projects I really, really want to attack, but it seems that as soon as I finish a sock, another one magically appears on my needles.  It’s the ultimate “just one more row” scenario:  “Just this pair of socks, and then I’ll finish that shawl/sweater/scarf”.  Then I find myself ordering more sock yarn online, or buying it at the store, and then it’s “I’ll just knit up those 12 balls I got from KnitPicks, and then I’ll do that other thing”.  I guess I should stop stressing and just go with the flow.  After all, it’s not like I’m not being productive.  And, I have a renewed close friendship with my chiropracter.

Attie and Wallace are very excited.  Wednesday is a big day for them, so we’re trying to keep them calm.

dead-dogs

Easier said than done.  “This dog bed’s not big enough for the two of us.   This morning- back ends.  This afternoon- front ends.”  I swear these dogs have no bones.   Here I must digress for a moment.   If you want to see a boneless dog, (and really, who doesn’t?) check this out:

And, on that note, it’s off to attack my income tax.  This is such a fun time of year…

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Here’s a fun thing to do if your dog is pestering you.  Follow this link:  (turn on your speakers)

If your dog is anything like mine, he will hightail it to his kennel and sit there with a very worried look on his face.  Just a little reminder about his place on the food chain.

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