Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

This will be another quickie post, because the computer is in the old part of the house that is kept at 57 degrees in the winter. That's Fahrenheit, of course. I have no idea what that is in Celsius for my British and Canadian friends, and am too cold to go to Google to find a temperature converter. I know I could invest in a laptop someday and move it to the room that has heat, but I just can't stand typing on those tiny keyboards.

In knitting news, I finished up three pair of socks today so I could get them done in 2008. Really, all that was left was the kitchener stitch at the toes, so it took maybe a half hour to do that, plus weave in all the ends. Anyway, here they are:

Plain-old sock recipe #1 (from this post):

Plain old sock recipe #2: Cable and Lattice pattern from a Patons leaflet
Oh, and here is a shot of mom's finished Christmas socks. The pattern is "Go With The Flow Socks" from the Favorite Socks book.
Wow, that tablecloth looks orange in that picture. It's more of a brick red in real life.
And here is a fun and quick knit. It's a Scrappy Hat from Folknits.

Great for using up bits of leftover yarn, and it is oh, so warm. I wish I was wearing it right now.

I'll be adding all of these to my Ravelry project page, but not today. My fingers are so cold I can barely type. Gotta go and warm up by the pellet stove for now. Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm Honored!

Sue from The Portuguese Water Blog gave me an award!

Thanks so much! I'm honored to be included in her list of favorite blogs for 2008. Go on over there and check out all of the honorees!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back from the Brink

Yes, I've been AWOL from the blog for a while. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever holiday you celebrate. Despite my vow last year to be far, far away this Christmas, I was right here, doing all the same holiday stuff, but I really mean it this time. Next year, I'm taking the dogs and going to Tahiti, or the Grand Canyon, or an island off the coast of Maine, or anywhere, really. Despite my extreme scrooge-ness (and accompanying breakdown on Christmas Eve), Christmas came and went here in Britknitterville. Trees have been decorated...

...and cookies have been consumed by both two-legged and four-legged beings.

Try as I might, I couldn't get a picture of the three hooligans in their Christmas finery (new bandannas).

Socks have been knitted, and darn near completed on-time! Here is a shot of mom's Christmas socks a half hour before I gave them to her.

One sock finished, the other, not so much. I wrapped them up and gave them to her anyway. She had a moment of panic when she opened them, and she said "Oh, no... what am I supposed to do with this???" I think she was afraid I was going to make her finish them!

Here is a shot of dad with his two new friends. Anyone familiar with Jeff Dunham's comedy will immediately recognize Walter and Achmed.

Dad wants everyone to know that he does not play with dolls! Walter and Achmed are considered "collectible celebrities". At least that's what he is telling himself. I still think he plays with dolls...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dogs on Thursday

I know it's been a week since my last post, but that's just because I didn't want to inflict my crappy mood on anyone. For that reason, this is going to be a short one. There's been decorating here in Britknitterville, and for this week's DOT I'll share a tradition we started when I was a little kid. Take a look at the ornaments on the top of the Christmas tree:

Not your traditional decorations, eh? We have always put the dogs' and cats' first collars on the Christmas tree. They're kind of hard to see in the photo, so I took them off and snapped a picture of them on the floor. See Tara's purple one? It still has the rabies tag from when she was picked up as a stray in Arkansas. See Cooper's fluorescent orange one? Or at least it was orange at one time. How long was he wearing that horrible collar, for it to be so faded? The inside is still a lighter shade of "hunter's orange", but the outside is faded almost white. So sad.
Remembering all of my girls (yes, Sam was a girl - her real name was Samantha) from years gone by is bittersweet. They brought me so much love. So very much love.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Special Guests for Dogs on Thursday

We are going to welcome some special guests to this week's edition of Dogs on Thursday. Here is a picture of my co-worker's dog, Isabella as seen on the blog in November of 2007. Little Bella was maybe 10 weeks old in that picture.

Awwwww! And here she is now. My, how she has grown. The sweet little girl had hip surgery two weeks ago, (see the stitches?) and she came to work with her mommy before the appointment to have the stitches removed. What a sweet little girl - I just love that smooshed face! I'm happy to report that she is doing very well. Luckily, her mom takes her to the same veterinarian that Emma, Tara and Cooper go to, and he is a miracle worker. Our other two guests for Dogs on Thursday are really cats, but they don't know it. Tigger and Lizzie, two of the strays hanging around in the yard, also had a trip to the Vee-Eee-Tee scheduled for this week to get "fixed". Here they are...

Hmmm, don't see them in this picture? Neither do I. That's because Tigger got wind of the fact that he was going to get his hoo-hoos removed, and skipped town. Again. This was his third appointment. Oh, well. We're not giving up, though. Those hoo-hoos are coming off!

Lizzie was not so lucky. We managed to catch her (at 5:30 am on a very frosty morning), and stuff her into a cat carrier and drop her off at the clinic for the deed to be done. The thing is, she is not, and never was, a "she". Oooopsy! In our defence, she he has long hair, and it's rude to go looking around in places that polite society doesn't normally, you know, look around in. There was some suspicion that she he might not be a she, but no, umm, conclusive evidence presented itself, so she he remained a she until proven otherwise. I would have a picture of her him after the surgery, but she he took off like a shot out of a cannon as soon as I opened the door to the cat carrier. I was left there, like an idiot, with my camera in one hand, post surgical instructions in the other, calling out to Lizzie to "refrain from running or jumping" and "keep the wound clean".

Joseph says "I don't know what all the fuss is about. I had hoo-hoos once, and now I don't - see? No big deal."

Monday, December 8, 2008

A good cause, and bad change, and a pain in the knee!

First the good cause. My friend, blog-free Margo, alerted me to a wonderful cause on Ravelry, and I'm spreading the word. The group is called Afghans for Pine Ridge (that's a Ravelry link) and it is a bunch of wonderful knitters and crocheters who make afghans for the Native American Lakota Sioux residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. They have some suggested sizes for squares, but will take any and all squares that anyone wants to knit or crochet. It's a great way to use up leftover warm and woolly bits hanging around in your stash. I'll be making some squares, but at this point it won't be until after Christmas.

Next the bad change. Well, I guess it's not really all that bad, but anyone who knows me, knows hows much I dislike change. Something as simple as shifting furniture around really gets to me. This weekend, the main living space in the house went from this... this.
There was just a subtle shift in the position of the all-important knitting throne chair, from one side of the pellet stove to the other, but still... I tried to argue against having a Christmas tree this year, given the fact that Cooper was 9 years old and not house trained when we got him. A tree inside would be just like having indoor plumbing for him, right? My sister said she is confident that Cooper knows the difference between indoor trees and outdoor trees. Turns out he just gave it a sniff and then walked away, so I guess she's right. Just in case, there are no ornaments on the tree yet.

One good thing about moving furniture around is the discovery of some long-lost playthings.

That is nineteen (count'em--19!) nylabones, a tuggie-toy, a ropie toy, a squeeky barbell and Mr. Green Ball. How did they all end up under the sofa? I asked Tara, but she said she is so stressed out by the moving of furniture that she just cannot deal with anything else right now.

Well, maybe stressed out isn't the proper term. She is the most laid back brittany I have ever known. She just settled into the chair and watched us vacuuming and moving stuff around. She didn't even get up when we moved that chair she is laying in. Silly girl.

Now for the pain in the knee. Today I had the second of three shots in my knee and I just feel like whining a little. I think that needle was a foot long, and rusty, and he twisted it around in there, and I'm not sure, but he may have broken a piece off inside my knee. It was hard to tell with all of that screaming and crying, so they had to slap me to shut me up. Heeheehee.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dinnertime in Britknitterville

For this week's Dogs on Thursday, I thought I would share a typical dinnertime in Britknitterville. Last night we had black bean quesadillas. Cooper likes to "help"... a lot. Here he is checking out the ingredients.

He is saying "Hey - is that cheese fresh? I'd better check."

"What is the expiration date on those tortillas?" Notice that horizontal reach. Impressive, huh?
Emma is hiding behind mommy's legs. She doesn't want to be too close to Cooper's bad behaviour, but close enough to share in anything that he might be able to get down off of the counter.
In that split second when I was snapping a picture of Emma, Cooper manages to reach the tortillas...
...and a tug-of-war ensues. Fortunately Tara offers to be the referee, and of course to share in any spoils that might result.

No more tortillas!
Don't worry, though. Cooper managed to grab some of the finished quesadillas off of a dinner plate and inhale them before we could get them out of his mouth. Success!

I just can't discipline this sweet boy. Before you judge me, keep in mind that Cooper was probably tied out on a chain and brought the occasional bowl of dry kibble for the first nine years of his life. He was seriously malnourished when we found him this past June. Also keep in mind that I'm a push-over...

On a somewhat related note, a mere three weeks from today is Christmas, and every year we host breakfast for seven people. Omelettes, bacon & sausage, (I know...meat in a vegetarian household...the horrors! But Uncle John is 84 years old, and he looks forward to the Christmas breakfast meat...) hash browns, french toast, quiche, fruit, etc. Can you just imagine how much Cooper will like his first Christmas in Britknitterville?