Thursday, December 3, 2009

To: Whoever rules the world of "stuff"

Please come take some of my crap away. I don't have homes for anything and I'm becoming overwhelmed with the clutter. I've tried to be calm and collected about the whole thing, gradually getting rid of stuff, finding good homes for the sentimental things...

I know what the problem is: I get rid of some stuff and it replaces itself. I donate clothing, but the closet never empties. I give my shoes to a friend who sells them on Ebay and more shoes appear. I get rid of sewing stuff and the void made becomes filled with knitting stuff. Wherever there's a little bit of stuff, it just....procreates. MAKE IT STOP!!!*

Gradual isn't getting it done. I'm just not moving fast enough to combat the replication process. I'm this close to packing up the dogs and the spouse and running away from home, taking only the essentials, and paying someone to take care of the rest of it.

Also, if you could take care of the muddy dog tracks across the kitchen floor, I'd really appreciate it.


* For the record: I know it's my fault. I know only I can actually make it stop. But sometimes it feels better to blame some nameless, faceless entity who brings the stuff into the house (or a magical stuff replication process) than to acknowledge that I have a shopping problem. Shuddup.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Would you look at that?

What's this?

My goodness, could it be? A finished Wedding Shrug, based on the Cobweb pattern (Rav link) by Marie Wallin?

I'm excited, too, Chloe. Still, try to manage your excitement?


Friday, September 25, 2009

TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Finished

I've been quiet largely because I've been plugging away on The Shrug while dealing with a broken water heater, a sick dog, and a few shrug-related set backs. Here's the worst of those.

I gleefully knit along on the fronts, and forgot to make certain the shoulder seams would end up the same length. I thought, for reasons that currently escape me, that I only had to account for the final 10 stitches bound off the back at the shoulder seam, and so decreased the front to 10 stitches. Then, because I was on a roll, I didn't think to double check the shoulders until after I'd finished both fronts. Turns out, there are actually 24 stitches bound off on the shoulder in the back, just some on one side, then on the other, then the final bind off of 10. Whoops.

Anywho, the knitting portion is complete, and I am on to the seaming part. While I have seamed before, I haven't done something so fine. I'm a little nervous, and am going to my LYS for support and encouragement. I've gone this far, and shouldn't be afraid of a little finish work. Here she is, all pressed and waiting to go.

Wish me luck.

In the meantime, the sock fiend in me has been quieted by the lace knitter. After completing this beaded lacey shrug last night, I promptly cast on new project, namely, the Aeolian Shawl. Beads, charts, and lace, I am wholly comfortable with. This project comes with a NEW challenge: nupps. Nupps are wicked little collections of lots of stitches going into and out of the same stitch. They give me some pause, but I shall push forward and conquer! :-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Shrug Grows in Brooklyn.

Interesting weekend in celebration of the upcoming nuptials of friend J to her darling Lance.* Conversation and laughter ebbed and flowed, accompanied by good wine, good food, and good friends. I participated in conversation where I felt I could add something, sampled the wine, enjoyed the food greatly, and met some lovely new people.

I'm not certain why; call me oblivious. We went to Brooklyn for this party and we went on a sunset cruise around Manhattan. It was cloudy and grey, and I spent most of my energy working on a new sock,** answering knitting questions, and worrying about my lack of swimming skills.*** For some reason, it just never occurred to me that it would happen. Then I looked up, and, in the mist, far away, I saw something. I couldn't believe my eyes, and I asked if that was what I thought it was. Given confirmation, I promptly became an overeager child, waiting for a clearer view. The boat grew closer and turned just a little bit. Just enough that I could no longer see what I was waiting with baited breath to see. Here's what I could see, looking at me through the clouds resting quietly on the water.

Then there was this.

Between my camera and my blackberry, I couldn't take enough pictures of everything. This was a mammoth moment for me. Huge. You see, even after over 3 decades of life on the East Coast and having been to NYC numerous times on various trips, I simply had never ever seen her. Not up close where you can see her features and the drapes of her gown. Not so near that you can feel the benevolence flowing from her gaze down onto you. I squealed like a little girl. I jumped up and down on my seat. I took picture after picture and sent them to GF and my brother. I was infectious (I'm told) in my glee. I was wholly unashamed.

Returning to my normally wry and generally quiet self, I passed through the rest of the evening of more talk, wine and food. I waited for quiet. Bit by bit, everyone dropped off and went to sleep. I had a great talk with my friend, Star, and didn't sleep until really late. Then, because I'm naturally an early riser and because I don't sleep well anywhere but at home, I got up quite early in the morning. I went into the kitchen and took out the shrug to work on it.

Over time, people woke and found their way into the kitchen for coffee (or water) and more conversation.**** Eventually, the kitchen was full, and some remarkably smart people suggested the party move to better accommodations. The hostess, B, stayed in the kitchen. I also stayed, furiously knitting and beading as breakfast preparations went on around me. I did offer to help, but B seemed happy working on her own. I didn't want to mess with her flow, so I stayed out of the way and chatted. All the while, the shrug piece grew. Until, with remarkable timing, I finished the last row of the beaded section just as breakfast was ready to go.

All in all? We got the fabric for the dress to go with the shrug (il est délicieux), we partied, we rested, we ate, we hung out, and we came home. Did I enjoy myself? I have a natural reluctance to be a part of overnight gatherings, but I had fun despite myself. The bride? She seemed tired and I hope she had fun. She assures me she did.

*Just doesn't flow as well, does it, J?
** Of course I took the shrug. Read the title. But I was working on a beaded section. Can you imagine - taking a canister of teeny tiny seed pearl beads onto a rocking boat? And trying to get even a single of those beads onto an equally teeny tiny hook and then onto a very small loop of very thin yarn?? Neither could I. That's why I started socks that I'll blog about later.

*** Yes, I'm 32. No, I don't know how to swim. Shut up.
**** Seriously? These people could TALK.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


If you're interested, I'm well into the shoulder shaping on J's shrug. I'm moving right along, despite being unable to find very many moments to settle and concentrate. But you don't care about all that, do you? "Just post the pretty pictures, Ringed," you say.

Okie dokie.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's this?

This, dear readers (of which there are probably...two of you...okay, maybe three), is my current work-in-progress. I'm making a shrug for J's wedding. It's beaded and lacey and pretty and apparently quite impressive. It is also the culmination of a very frustrating weekend.

You see, I started this project last week, maybe...Tuesday, maybe? I got fairly far along, then realized that the beads I was using (you'll have noticed that every fourth stitch on every fourth row is beaded) were going to run out before I finished the project. I ordered more beads. The exact same kind of little white pearl beads from the exact same place. They arrived on Saturday, and were a different shade of white. ::sigh:: Obviously, I can't use two shades of white beads on the same garment, so I backed up 30 rows (unbeading as I went) so I could re-knit using the new beads. This worked fine until I noticed that the yarn was fuzzing a bit due to the abuse. The fuzzing was making the yarn dull. One of the things that really makes this yarn (and thereby the project) wonderful is the sheen. So, I backed up again, wound that yarn off, and started again with a new skein. I tried a new cast on method, which I love, and this photo is the project once I got back to where I was when I got the beads. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

And the socks just keep comin'

As usual, they're for someone else. These are for my very oldest and dearest friend, CT, who very much wishes for a baby. I knit her these socks, using the Pomatomus pattern by Cookie A., and the Intention Yarns colorway Fertility. The belief behind this yarn is that meditative intent can have power. These yarns are hand dyed with colors selected to represent specific intents and then the word of the intent is written on the yarn in dye (nice write up with pictures here). While the word cannot be seen in the finished product, small dots of darker color can be seen. The dots give little reminders of the purpose behind the project as you go, helping you maintain that meditative frame of mind. I tried, with every stitch, to put my hope for CT and her husband into these socks. There's so little to be done, as a friend, except give love and support to someone going through a difficult time. I hope she will see these as I intended them - as a tangible representation of everything I can't say with words. Of course, she may read about them here before she actually gets them...J graciously loaned me her feet for the pictures - my feet are far too large. I suppose I should put those in the mail. CT darling, tell BB his socks won't be far behind. :-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Update on Chloe.

It's been a little while since I told you about our growing beagle puppy. What's that they say about pictures?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where Chloe jumps on Otto's back

I haven't posted in a little while, and I wanted to make sure you guys had something to look at. I don't have a lot to say. I'm mostly being very domestic and hanging out with my dogs. This is by no means a bad thing, and I might be inclined to just stay this way. I've always believed myself to be one of those career types. Maybe I still am, but the career is homemaking. Eh - We'll see where the road leads.

I'm happy to announce that my older brother has returned Stateside safe and sound. For those of you who actually know me, this has been a pygmy elephant in the living room for the last two years. Here's a very brief step onto the soapbox. Whether you're for the war or against it, whether you believe we should direct rebuilding efforts or not, please be supportive (or at least not dismissive) of members of the military and their families. The men and women who opt to join the military are a part of a rare breed of people (police officers, firefighters, and other emergency responders fit the bill as well). How many of us would truly be able to manage daily laying our lives on the line when we go to work? To leave family and friends and the comforts of home for months or years on end to perform a thankless task? I could go on, but instead here's this: before you condemn, place yourself in that individual's shoes and see how they fit. Removing politics and theology and whatever else for a moment consider: could you do what they do?

And now it's time for a BEAGLE UPDATE!!! She's fine. We're going to keep her another month, we think. She's growing quickly, has become downright leggy, and has almost all of her adult teeth. She and Otto have super bonded, and get upset when separated. GF has taken to walking the dogs on alternating nights (we have three, you'll recall), and they get terribly upset when he takes one of them. I'm hoping that soon I can walk with him or he'll feel comfortable taking them all together. Until that day, I suppose they'll just have to be close when not on walks, like this:

Yes, that platform she's propped herself and her toy on is Otto's back end. And while this picture was snapped just before he got up and walked off, she'd been doing this for about 15 minutes off and on. She snuggles next to him on the couch, and he tolerates it when he's too tired to care. If he does leave and she stays sleeping, he'll come back and look at her. I can't say if he's upset she's in his spot or if he's checking on her. I prefer to think the latter. It's much cuter and avoids the impression that my 85 pound shepherd/lab is being bossed about by my 17 pound beagle.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

GF's Guide to Child Care

Taken directly from an email sent to his brother regarding the new babies.
In my experience the best thing to do is start them out with something soft for playing. Stick a rope bone in A's mouth and give a little tug - just not too hard, and he should start tugging back. Don't worry if he growls -- that's normal and is indicative of play.

You can also easily distract them from any wrongdoing with a soft felt toy which you would also stick in the mouth.

Remember though, it's important to establish dominance. If you play tug of war with a soft bone, you must ensure that he never successfully takes it from you. When you take it from him (this will get harder to do without hurting him as he gets older so remember to be very careful) make him wait still for it, preferably in a sitting position.

Other ways of establishing dominance include playing with his hands and feet and pinning him to the ground. But never hard and never for any longer than necessary! Don't suffocate him, just make sure he knows who is boss.

When B soils her diaper, don't rub her nose in it - you must catch her in the act. A simple firm but quiet "no", and then pick her up and place her in the yard -- don't worry, her bladder is very small. She will go again within seconds but this time in a proper location. Make sure to praise her when she does so!
I just wanted to share. That's my man, y'all! :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The weekend that ends in an almost done pair of socks, a finished quilt top, some green tomatoes, and two happy dogs.

For the last week, I've been working on a pair of socks for my sister-in-law's mother. When we all figured out that SIL would be going on bedrest at some point during her pregnancy, I made her a pair of socks. The idea was to send some warm fuzzies her way, and make her smile a little when she wore them. She was wearing them when her mother came to visit her in the hospital, and her mother, Darling Woman, got "jealous". She wanted a pair, too! A pair of the same socks. "No problem," I said, "I have more of that yarn, so I'll have those done for you when you come back up for the birth!" I had planned on working on them this week anyway, because SIL was operating on an "any time now" sort of schedule...then her water broke last Sunday, throwing everyone's plans into disarray. Ah well, that's the way it goes. I started the socks on Monday, hoping to churn them out in the week DW was up here. But I got busy in other ways. And my hands got tired. And I got fumble fingered and started having trouble. And my fingertips were turning a little purple from the dye in the yarn. So I put them aside. They are nearly done, and will probably finish up this week. A better picture with a description coming soon.

Because I can't function if I'm not busy, I jumped into that quilting project I haven't touched in a month. I bought the fabric and it's been sitting in a bag on my piano. Because I didn't feel like pressing it. Yesterday, following the quilt-along instructions, I pressed it and cut it into strips. The strips got stitched together and became groups of strips. I cut the groups into squares. Then I decided to save some of the fun for tomorrow. For reasons unrelated, I was awake until 2:30a, and then BMcB woke me at 6:30a. And again at 7:30a. Brat. I gave up on sleep at the second wakening, got up, and started sewing. The squares turned into rows of squares, and the rows of squares became a quilt top. A pretty large quilt top. I'm currently debating options for backing and whether I should send it to a long arm quilter or try my hand at free motion machine quilting. To be honest? It's very large and I'm a little daunted, so I'll probably choose option 2, just to say I did. Then I'll make another one (because I already want to), and send that one away.

When I took this picture, I was standing in front of GF's little vegetable garden. He built it a few weeks ago, and the plants that BMcB hasn't trammeled or relieved of their root systems are doing quite well. Of course, we can't be certain what some of the plants are because she ripped out all the little plastic markers. Brat. ANYWAY, while choosing angles for my quilt pictures, I looked down and noticed the little green tomatoes that were beginning to show themselves. I love tomatoes, so I'm really excited about this.

BMcB update: it's been a little while since I gave an actual update about her. She's fine. She's doubled in size since we got her, but is still very small (she started at just over 8 pounds and now weighs in at 15.5). Completely bonded to Otto, she gets mad if he isn't wherever she is (we really thought she'd bond with Maxine, but she doesn't want a mommy dog). She's still learning the rules, and still likes to buck the system. But she's getting there. She's getting her grown-up teeth. This is very important because we give our dogs Nylabones to chew. She's been chewing on the puppy version. She likes those, but has wanted nothing more than to chew on the adult ones that are littering the floor for the other dogs. For awhile, we tried keeping them put away (which meant the other dogs went crazy because they couldn't chew). Then we tried getting the other dogs to chew them out of her reach (clearly we overestimated their intelligence and ability to reason). Then we just told her she couldn't have them. Repeatedly and over and over again. (Please understand that the others couldn't chew on her puppy bones, either. It was a fair situation, I promise.) Today, I decided to relieve us all of this irritation. Most of her chewing teeth are now the adult version, and she is no longer supposed to chew the puppy version. So we gave her the puppy starter bone, which is the same material as the adult bones in a smaller size. She eschewed the starter bone in favor of Otto's much larger bone.

And the 83-pound Otto took the puppy sized bone.

They are both very happy now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh, baby babies...

I mentioned a while back that my sister in law was having twins. I would like to take a moment to gleefully announce their arrival yesterday. Mother and babies are doing well, Pappa is over the moon. Always pretty energetic, his step has become downright jaunty (well, it was before he realized how all-fired tired he was).

GF and I picked up his mother and drove up to see them. Born at 35 weeks, they are small. Not as small as we expected, but still quite small. They are perfect little tiny people with astonishingly large feet. It's kind of ridiculous. Little head, little hands, little chests, little tummies, little wrinkly knees, great big ol' ski feet.

I'm completely smitten, and look forward to driving back today to stare at their disproportionately large feet some more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The turtles are coming!!!

GF has a plan for world domination. It is, in fact, the grand dream of every knitter, and it took a knitter's husband to think of it. If you're a knitter, you've probably heard the joke about how knitters can take over the world.* Sadly, none of us have actually been able to come up with a comprehensive plan for world domination. My darling GF has an idea and believes that vast armies of teeny tiny knitted turtles are required. He is convinced they can take over the world. How precisely? I don't know. It is not for me to question the genius of the man. It is for me simply to do whatever I can to support him in his endeavors. So I knit him a tiny little turtle, using the Tiny Turtle pattern by Raynor Gellatly.**

I finished the knitting portion last night but technically didn't finish him until today because I didn't have any stuffing. This morning, I went and picked up some stuffing and stitched him together. I remained skeptical as to the efficacy of tiny knitted turtles for world domination, but his immense cuteness convinced me that he needed a little friend...

...and then there were two. I believe the power of the turtle army may be in their ability to convince knitters to augment their numbers. I say this because, as soon as I completed number 2, I cast on another...

...and now there are three. I would say that I'm done and GF's army of tiny turtles will never advance beyond a trio; but, that would be a lie. He'll get more of them. Because they don't cost much in time or materials. Because they keep my mind off of the chocolate stash. Because they please him immensely.

And, if we're being honest with each other, because they're just so gosh-darned cute. ***

* Step 1: Collect lots of yarn
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Make buckets of money/ world domination!!

** I realized that I neglected to put anything in these pictures to give these little guys scale. They're just under 3 inches long and about an inch tall. They're quite teeny.

*** GF would like to add "And because they're gonna take over the world!!!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aren't I just the crafty one?

I mentioned previously that I was planning to join in a quilt along. The task for the first week was to go get supplies. I already had a fabric that I loved intensely that I was going to make someone else turn into a quilt for me. Given this great opportunity, I just had to take that fabric back (sure am glad I didn't let it go to Maine with a bunch of other fabrics), and find friends to go with it. Here's a picture of the motif on the favorite fabric (I'm going to use it in the quilt top and as the binding), and another of it with its new friends. I sure do hope they like each other...

In the meantime, I finished a couple of knitting projects and started two more. I'm very pleased with both completed projects, and I hope the recipients are as happy when I finally mail them.

These socks were an absolute dream to work on. I love, love, love the Yarn Pirate Merino/Tencel blend. It's incredibly soft and forgiving. I used the Pillars of Atlantis sock pattern by Chrissy Graham. The yarn and pattern combined nicely into a quick and satisfying knit.*

The sweater was a true learning experience - it had seams. I'm very pleased to say that I can stitch together knitted pieces now, which is something I could not do before. Of course, the sleeve on one side went in when I was sleepy, and then I accidentally cut the wrong yarn when I tried to take it back out. This resulted (of course) in needing to reknit the shoulder section where I made the mistake. ::sigh:: You do something well, you learn; you make mistakes, you learn more. This is the Seed Stitch Baby Jacket by Elinor Brown. The mother went to my Alma Mater, and she's very devoted to the school. I decided to make the sweater in a size the baby should be able to wear when the weather turns cold again, and felt that a sweater in our school colors was just the thing.** Don't you just love those cute little flower buttons?? Hopefully, all will work out according to plan and I will be able to post a photo of sweater on baby in October.

Currently in progress, I have a pair of socks and baby blankets for my sister-in-law and the impending birth of the twinlets.*** The sock yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Kypria in an exclusive colorway for a sock club at my local yarn shop. The pattern is also exclusive, written by a local designer named Beverly Roberts. Sorry the picture isn't that great. I could either show stitch definition (sort of, since it's a lace pattern and will show best on-foot), or the color. This is pretty true of color. They're knitting up crazy fast, and I'm hoping to have them finished in time to take them to her this week. We'll see...

The baby blankets are a simple garter stitch on the bias, and I'm going to make them in alternating stripes of cream and blue for one and cream and green for the other. I wanted them to be functional, so I'm making them in Plymoth Encore Worsted, which is attractive, warm, and machine wash/ dryable. I would have done something more involved, but she already has a very nice baby blanket her grandmother made before she passed on. I don't want to be disrespectful and try to compete with that. Unfortunately, her grandmother didn't know she'd be having twins, so I thought it might be nice for her to have two blankets that she felt less sentimental about.

Here begins a SOAPBOX MOMENT:

The joys of creating with one's hands cannot be overstated. I heartily encourage everyone to find some craft they enjoy and just do it. A technician at the orthodontist's office once looked at my knitting and said, "Gosh, I sure wish I could do that." YOU CAN!!! Don't be such a doubting Mustafa!!!**** Do whatever it is that tickles your fancy. You could enjoy making music or woodworking or painting or writing or knitting or quilting or all of the above or something I haven't listed. You won't know if you like it or can do it until you try it. Whatever it is. Don't worry if your efforts aren't immediately awarded with perfection. As long as you're having fun (and not putting yourself in the poor house), keep at it. You'll get better, or - if you don't - at least you'll be enjoying yourself. Party down, people!

* I feel safe posting a picture of the end result because my mom doesn't actually ever read my blog - this will naturally be the one time she does - and even if she gets around to it, I doubt she'll be sad that she's seen the socks before she's seen the socks.

** Our 10 year reunion is this fall. Note: she also does not read my blog.

*** My sister-in-law who does not read my you sense a theme developing here?

**** Reference unknown at the moment, but I'm sure I hear the line in Billy Crystal's voice.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My little place in this world...

Here you go. This is my place, where I spend my time knitting, thinking, waiting, and websurfing. My rear goes just past the cell phone, my legs live under the computer, and all that crap sits next to my legs.

Well, maybe not ALL of it. That blue bag isn't normally there. It's holding a baby sweater I've been working on for a friend. I'm almost done with it, just need to finish stitching the pieces together and add amazingly cute buttons (FO picture to come).

That poor remote must be feeling neglected. I ignore it most of the time. I've been more interested in catching up on the Lime and Violet knitting podcast during the day. I tried one episode and got a little hooked. If you look closely, you can see my iPod (his name is iGor) tucked into my knitting and the little black box with "iHome" is a plug-in speaker (it is the box with no name). These tools make it convenient to listen to all of them, at a clip of about 4 or 5 a day (I listen between GF's comings and goings, whilst coping with the needs of Bratty McBraterson and her backup Doggies). The laptop is usually on my legs because I like to pause in my knitting to see what they're talking about when they discuss different yarn purveyors. It's going to take quite some time to get through them all - there are a lot, and I feel little hope that I'll ever completely catch up. In the meantime, I'm feeling an immense urge for Starbucks and sock yarn..

I cannot, however, overindulge in either desire. As far as the Starbucks goes, I am in the midst of yet another attempt at living a more healthy lifestyle. I've rejoined Weight Watchers online, and I'm trying to be a little more active. I gotta say, I kind of dig on the new WW tracker - it has this nifty daily checklist of items you should be consuming. They're called "Healthy Checks" or something. I love them because, if I check off the proper number of boxes in each category, I get a little smiley face. It's like a daily report card with all A's and gold stars for dieting. One of the checks is for water. As a result, I'm entirely motivated to drink more water. That water bottle sits there because I don't have a table to put a glass of water on like a normal person.

In fact, all of this crap sits where it sits because I DON'T HAVE A FREAKIN' TABLE. You see, GF and I had this great idea to purchase a sectional some time ago. It never occured to me that a sectional sofa would render end tables pointless. Now now, I know what you're saying, "Ringed, may I ask why you don't have a coffee table?" To which I respond that you clearly have not been paying attention. I have three dogs. One of them is a shepherd/lab mix with a table sweeper for a tail. He's also large and dumb and likes to body slam the furniture while fighting/playing with the other dogs. More on that some other when he breaks something really expensive that GF cannot live without (read here external hard drive that keeps getting knocked to the floor from the table HE gets to enjoy... not that I'm bitter).

Then there's that bag with the knitting. I stole that bag from my brother (who is in the Army) years ago. Until I started knitting, I was at a loss to find a use for it. I mostly kept it because it was something of his to remember him by (he's usually somewhere far away). It's large enough to hold a couple of skeins of yarn and a corresponding large-ish project or two pairs of socks in progress, if needed. Currently, it's holding the yarn for a baby blanket. I actually started this project three or four times, lost an entire day on one idea and then pulled it back and started again. I've settled on a nice bias knit stripe in garter stitch. I hope it's enjoyed by the recipient. I think I want to do a nice crochet border in the green on the outside edge when I'm all done with the stripes...I guess I'll have to remember how to crochet...

Of course, all this knitting and podcasts and whatnot is for the specific purpose of distracting myself from my current state of joblessness (the primary reason I cannot overindulge in sock yarn). The cell phone's purpose is to remind me that I still don't have a job, or even prospects therefor. It sits next to me, not ringing. Well, that's not true. It doesn't ring because I have it set to vibrate so it won't annoy BMcB and the Doggies. It's a Blackberry (named Edna), so I get what few emailed rejections employers bother to send immediately. I also use it to maintain nearly co-dependent level constant contact with GF. Until I figured out that the screen lights up when the phone is ringing, I used to get mad when he'd send me more than one response at a time. You see, emails don't set off vibrations, texts and GF messages set off two bursts, and calls set off four or more. When GF sends more than a single line of response at a time, it vibrates twice for each message. Due to the nature of our contact, it sometimes vibrates a LOT. I guess, therefore, a more accurate-to-the-situation explanation is that it sits there, dark screened, and vibrating.

That's all for now. I'll give a puppy update soon, with new pictures.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Giving this a try...

I tried to get into quilting before, but then I started law school. Knitting is more portable. I've been thinking about finding my way back to quilting and I need to break my machine out anyway (looking at you, J). This looks cool and kind of fun and I might enjoy it...

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


After a month and a half of staring at boring boring grey, I finally finished GF's socks. I'm very pleased with the end result. More importantly, he's very pleased with his socks. And they make his feet look surprisingly normal.

Of course, after I finished the socks, the temperature soared for about a week here, and GF couldn't wear his new pretty socks. Instead, they sat on the table next to the couch. Eventually the temperature ebbed, and he got to wear them to work this past week. He loves them, naturally, and now would like more.


Lesson learned - don't introduce new addictions you aren't prepared to feed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chloe, beginning of week 2

Well, she's settling in. Most of the time, she's fun. The house breaking continues on. She will now go to the back door to ask to go out. Sometimes, she goes to the back door because she wants to eat grass. I'm sure we'll learn the difference in time. She also still needs to learn to actually tell us, going beyond simply walking to the back door. We won't always be looking, and we don't want another dog who just waits by the door silently and then goes and pees someplace because we weren't paying enough attention to her (I'm looking at you, Maxine). We're thinking to install a doorbell of some sort.

She's learned to sit on command, thanks to diligent and patient work by GF (my darling love will now be known as the Grinning Fool, GF, or The Fool under obvious circumstances). She's also learning not to climb on people and to sit patiently when she wants something. We're attempting to teach her not to lick faces, since some people who come for visits don't like being licked in the face (I'm really not that much of a fan either).

Because I'm not patient enough to let her dictate my entire life for long (she's a dog, people - I'm sure I'll be much better with an actual child), we've begun working on establishing independence. We're starting to see some success on that front. Yesterday, she slept on the floor on top of my foot (a vast improvement over sleeping on the couch and in my lap). Last night (this morning really), she didn't fuss overmuch about being put to "bed" in her play pen in the bedroom. This morning, I got to wake up on my own and she was quietly chewing her teething ring instead of whimpering and pacing. Today, she spent 10 minutes on her own in the back yard while I washed dishes and only started whining about being left alone at minute 8.

She's a little bigger this week. I noticed just this morning that she's a little bit heavier to pick up. We're allowing the others the leeway to establish boundaries in their own way. It's a little frightening, because they bark and growl and snarl and snap a lot, but they haven't hurt her yet, and she barks and growls and snarls and snaps back. They still tolerate the biting of tail and ruff, which is good because I don't see that ending anytime soon. She's still too little to jump onto the couch, so they see the couch as their refuge. I wish there was an effective way to communicate to them that it won't last. Poor dogs.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh, Chloe...

This is Chloe. She is a two month old blue tick beagle. She joined our family yesterday, and I'm very happy to introduce her to you. She is working very hard on being housebroken. Sadly, she doesn't yet have much control over her bladder and has to go out roughly every 20-30 minutes, excepting sleepy time. She also has a very short memory and doesn't always recall that she needed to pee, even if we catch her in the act of squatting someplace. So we get her outside, and everything is much more interesting than the requirements of her bladder. I can't really blame her - there are so many distractions at that height. Here - take a look:

There's the tennis balls our other dogs leave around the yard...

The dried clumps of grass are very hard to ignore...

These purple flowers are all along the fence line, whatever they are...

These plants just leap out and attack, if you aren't careful (we have a lot of weeds)...

Don't forget the dandelions!

Sometimes random leaves just beg to be chomped...

All those blades of grass are constantly sticking out to block her way...

Plus there are plenty of trodden paths to explore, over and over and over again...

Lastly, sometimes there are other dogs with huge tempting furry tails in the back yard. So, you see, there's a lot going on in that yard. This doesn't even count the birdsong, other dogs barking, lawn mowers, and neighbors going about their lives. Poor puppy. This housebreaking thing may take awhile...

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Angst in the Making...

My sister in law is having babies. Twins, to be exact. We're all very excited. We were thrilled when we found out she was pregnant, ecstatic when we found out there were twins, and overjoyed when we found out she was having one of each. There is a Baby A is a girl, up high and to the right; Baby B is a boy, down low and to the left. A moves a lot, and B moves not so much. Turns out A likes to kick her brother...right in the head. Poor B. He must not move much because he's scared she'll kick him again. Now you know that's some teenaged angst in the making. This kid is going to hate his sister, and he'll never really understand why.

Random teenaged friend, "Dude, you're really hard on your sister. What's up with that?"

B, as teen, "I just don't like her, that's all."

RTF, "But she's your sister. Your twin sister. I always heard twins are supposed to be extra close."

B, "I don't know. I've kind of always hated her. She gives me headaches. Whenever she's close to me, I get a headache."

RTF, "Since when? Does she have some kind of stinky perfume?"

B, "No, it's been like this ever since I can remember. Like, my WHOLE life."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A little after the fact, but hey...

I originally posted this on my other blog, which is now defunct. Since it still applies, I figured I'd repost it here (with edits):

Welcome to my blog!

Here are the three disclaimers very important to reading and fully appreciating my blog.

Disclaimer 1: I will likely spend a lot of time and words on my dogs and on knitting (you've probably already noticed this tendency). These are my primary sources of joy and amusement. If you don't like dogs or knitting or both, bypass those portions of my blog. Freak.

Disclaimer 2: I fully intend for this to be a stream of consciousness type exercise. I will only be editing for grammar and spelling. DO NOT expect to be consistently amused - I'm not Dave Barry. I will work to avoid gratuitous language, but expect to see some because sometimes I'm just that mad. If you are the subject of a rant, view it not as a personal attack, but as my way of venting frustration and irritation in a semi therapeutic environment. Offended? Deal with it and move on. Upset? Good - it lets you know you're alive. Amused? Excellent - it means you are my friend and you understand me.

Disclaimer 3: Me, me, me's all about me. It isn't about you, or you, or even (sorry) you. It's about me. I will talk about other people only as they affect and relate to me. I will mention news events only when they interest me. I will discuss products that I like and not mention products that I don't. My blog is not a place for companies to get free advertising. It is a place for me to express myself. Feel free to express yourself...just get your own blog. Just joking. Feel free to comment on what you read here. I will keep an open mind so long as you do. If your comments seem close-minded to me, I will call you on it. This blog is, essentially, my internal monologue made external - it won't always be pretty or witty, but I'll be having fun, so I hope you do as well.

Keep these disclaimers in mind and we'll get along just fine.