Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Tax Refund Check to Me....

Happy Tax Refund Check to Me,
Happy Tax Refund Check to Mee-eeee,
Happy Tax Refund Check to Me!

As you might have guessed, my Tax Refund check came this week...although it's not really a check anymore, but "Happy Tax Refund Check to Me" fits the Happy Birthday tune much better (more or less) than "Happy Direct Deposit into my Checking Account to Me". Either way, it is cause for celebration, and even a little splurging. Hey, I need to do my part to stimulate the economy, right? What better way than to buy something that I have been lusting after for many months now. No, sadly it's not Alan Rickman. It is a Namaste bag!

I first read about these bags on Nichole's and Chan's blogs, and knew that I had to have one of my very own. What is so great about these bags? They are cruelty-free! Not one speck of leather is used in the manufacture of these bags. That, and the fact that the people at Namaste bring their dogs to work with them...well, enough said! I was going back and forth between the Laguna and the Newport, but settled on the Newport....for now. I have a feeling that the Laguna will be winging its way to me in the future.

The astute viewer may notice the presence of additional items in the photo. Well, it's like this... if you spend $75 or more at, you get free shipping. Who can resist that? I think it would be downright irresponsible of me to spend less than $75.00! The yarns were in the Bargain Bin, so I really did well. The larger skein is Sock Options by Sereknity, and it is 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tencel. That's a combo I have not tried before! The smaller skeins are What Not Sock Minis by Union Center Knits, and they are just too darn cute to resist.

I can't say enough good things about Jennifer (the Woolgirl), too. Everything was wrapped up in tissue and ribbons, and she included little surprises (knit soak and a pen) and the best part is that I ordered this on Thursday, and it arrived today - Saturday! From Oregon to New Jersey in two days, and the shipping was free. This is the first of what I am sure will be many orders from Woolgirl.

Before I go and play with err, arrange things in my Newport, I have to share the Brown Bag Sock Yarn Club pick for the month of February. Since Emma was the only one who wanted to help pick out the brown bag last time, I added a little incentive to the bucket in the form of treats.

Cooper jumped right in, of course. He can smell food from miles away.

Then Tara got in on the act.

And then Emma came over to investigate.

After all the treats were consumed, Emma grabbed a bag and ripped it open. If she was looking for more treats, she was out of luck. Just more sock yarn. Bummer!

Not to worry, though. I gave all three babes extra treats for all of their hard work in helping pick the February sock yarn!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A boy's gotta do...

...what a boy's gotta do. Cooper feels as though he has been largely ignored in recent weeks when it comes to the blog, so for this week's Dogs on Thursday, he wanted to make sure that he wasn't forgotten. What better way than to drape himself across his mommy's knitting?

He is curled up on the Shelly Kang Mitred Square Sock Yarn Blanket that I've been working on since...forever. Here's an old picture of it.
I have since added around 18" to its width, so it's getting too big to get a good picture of without standing on a chair or a step ladder.

Ooops, sorry Cooper. I got sidetracked. Today is all about you, you handsome thing.

Cooper says "You didn't really want to sit here, did you?" Of course not.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Gratitude List

(Not-so) Cynical Knitting Gal came up with a brief gratitude list, and invited everyone to do the same, so here's mine.

  1. Family that I love, and they love me.
  2. Emma, Tara and Cooper.
  3. All of the fur babes that I have had and have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Yes, it breaks my heart to think of them, but I will be forever thankful for the joy that they brought to me while they were here on earth.
  4. A comfortable home. If you call setting the thermostat at 57 degrees "comfortable."
  5. The Pellet Stove. Without it, I would never be warm in the winter.
  6. Knitting. There are times I would go seriously bonkers without it.
  7. My job. So many are without jobs, and they are dropping like flies around me.
  8. The fact that I was born in the USA. For all its faults (and there have been many, especially over the past 8 years) there is still nowhere else I would rather live. Except maybe the north of England, or Ireland, or Tuscany, or an island off the coast of Greece. I've never been to any of those places, but they sound really nice! But I digress.
  9. Chapstick. I am addicted to it, big time! And last, but certainly not least....
  10. All of the wonderful friends I have made over the past couple of years through blogging. You all know who you are! Virtual hugs to you all.

Anyone want to play along? Let me know so I can check out your blogs.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tabby's Place and Brown Bags

News Flash! News Flash!

Tabby's Place is in the news!!!! Tabby's Place is the cat sanctuary where my niece Jen works, and it's a wonderful facility. Click on their link to read more about them, or, better yet, watch tonight's news. Not the local-yokal news, but National news! CBS Evening News with Katie Couric to be more precise! Yup, Tabby's Place is scheduled to be on tonight's broadcast, which is from 6:30-7:00pm here on the east coast. That is, unless there are any major news developments, blah, blah, blah.

As if that isn't enough excitement, Tara gets her stitches out today. Woo Hoo! In honor of this big day (for both Tabby's Place and Tara) I decided to join Donna Lee's Brown Bag Sock Yarn Club. I think that's what she is calling it. I can't seem to link to the exact post on her blog, but go there and scroll down to the entry for January 12th.

In short, the idea is to use up sock yarn from your stash. Sad and lonely sock yarn that is just sitting there, waiting to be worked into a pair of socks, but you never seem to get to it because some other flashy yarn catches your eye. You take 12 different skeins of sock yarn (I had my sister do this part, because I wanted a little extra surprise each month) and put them into brown lunch bags.
Including a pattern is optional, so I didn't. I figured I would let the yarn "speak to me". Who am I kidding, I'll probably knit twelve pair of my standard old sock recipe. I'm not much of one for change. Anyway, each month you reach in and pull out a bag and knit up the yarn into a pair of socks. I know January is almost over, but better late than never, right? So, I enlisted the help of the fur babies, but Emma was the only one who could be bothered to play my little game.
She tip-toed through the bags, carefully inspected each offering, and ever-so-delicately chose the most appealing one, and carried it over to one of the dog beds...

...and ripped the stuffing out of it!

Viola! My Brown Bag Sock Yarn Club for the month of January!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

The blog has been pretty dog-heavy this week, but it's Dogs on Thursday, so I just have to go along with it and give you another doggie post.

Everyone here in BritKnitterville is still doing the dance of joy for Tara's clean biopsy report.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I have the best Vet in the world. I am so very thankful to have such a man who cares for my dogs, and puts up with my various neuroses. He allowed me to bring Tara in right before the surgery, and I got to hold and hug and kiss her while he gave her the "happy juice". Less than 2 hours after surgery, he allowed us to take Tara home to be loved and cared for and, in all truthfulness, be annoyed by her mommy. I did try to keep the annoying to a minimum, but I just couldn't help it.

Tara is looking forward to getting her stitches taken out on Monday, and thanks everyone for the good vibes sent her way. I'm pleased to say that Tara is back to her old self, even feeling like helping out in the kitchen again! She makes sure every dish gets a good pre-rinse as they go into the dishwasher. Such a helper!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Big Celebrations in BritKnitterville!!!

This day, Tuesday, January 20, 2009, is a day to remember! Yes, we're so very pleased that the country is heading in a new direction.

You might think that all of the people in this picture are celebrating Obama's inauguration.

I have it on very good authority that they all came together to celebrate....

Tara's Clean Biopsy Report!!!

No cancer! Tara's lump was a ruptured follicular cyst! I cannot tell you how relieved I am to get this news! Maybe you can tell by my use of so many exclamation points!!!!! Emma is celebrating by giving her sister lots and lots of kisses.

Tara and Cooper are celebrating by taking trying very hard to take a nap.
Oh, how I annoy them when they are trying to sleep!

Thank you, one and all, for the positive vibes sent our way. We felt every good wish, and are so very grateful that we have such good news to share with you all.
God Bless America!
Dog Bless America!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I love this man!

Happy Birthday to the number one man in my life!
Oooops, no, that's me and Alan Rickman. That's when he was reading poetry to me. Well, maybe it's not really me.
Ooops again. That is me with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Well, again it's not really me.... I was going to Photo-Shop my face into those two pictures, but really, those guys don't compare to the real thing. My Dad!
This is a picture from Christmas, no Photo-Shop required. He is a very young 73 years old today. Isn't he a handsome dude? I think the playing with dolls keeps him young.
Happy Birthday Dad! I love you more than words can say!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Overwhelmed... all of the good wishes! Tara and I thank everyone for the good wishes and positive vibes being sent to Britknitterville. They must be working, because little Tatty is doing great. Here she is yesterday, after sleeping off the effects of the anesthesia.Hmmm, she still looks like she has a bit of a hangover. Not to worry, though. She is back to her old self today. She is a real trooper!

I feel as though I should post a warning about the next picture. Stitches Alert!!! If stitches skeeve anyone else the way they do me, just close your eyes and scroll right on past this photo.

I'm just so very glad that the lump is out. Now it's just a waiting game for the biopsy report. Ten days to two weeks...seems like forever! But I'm feeling very optimistic now. For some reason, I'm now feeling like it will turn out to be a benign cyst and everything is going to be fine. It must be the good vibes that you all are sending our way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Scared "Spit"less

This week's Dogs on Thursday post is all about my sweet Tara.
My precious Tara.
My lovable Tara.

Tomorrow is a big day for my little Tatty McTatters. She gets to go for a R-I-D-E to the V-E-T for the second time in a week. She has an oozing lump (hope no-one is eating while reading this) on her hind leg, and while the vet said it's probably just an abscess and nothing to worry about, I'm worried. More than worried. Scared. Scared "spit"-less, so to speak.

Nine years ago we lost this lovely girl to cancer.

That's my darling Katie, much loved and missed, even after all these years. Katie was liver & white, and Tara is liver & white, as opposed to the much more common orange & white coloring in brittanys. Katie's cancer started out with a lump that looked an awful lot like the one on Tara's leg, and it turned out to be a mast cell tumor. Is there a connection in the coloring and cancer? Who knows. All I know is that I'm absolutely terrified, and will be until I get the results from the biopsy.

added Jan 16, 4:30pm

Tara is now home from the vet. The surgery went well, and the biopsy should be back in 10-14 days. Thank you, everyone, for your concern and good wishes for my little girl.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Car!

No, not for me, but for my pretty excited niece Jen!

She had an accident this past week with her old faithful Toyota Rav4, and thankfully Jen wasn't hurt. The Toyota is another story, so with the help of insurance money and excellent credit, she bought herself a brand new Scion!

The best part is, it has lots of room in the back for cat and/or dog crates! What can I say, her first priority in a car is "room for rescues"!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We interrupt this blog...

...for a very special Dogs on Thursday announcement. Mommy told us that American Brittany Rescue entered a contest to be America's Favorite Animal Shelter. If you have a minute, please vote for them.

Heck, vote for any shelter, really. We know that ABR does good work, but so do countless other shelters and organizations around the country. We're just partial to American Brittany Rescue, for some reason...

Hugs and kisses to all,

Emma, Tara and Cooper

Monday, January 5, 2009

Goodbye, Sweet Sara

The Rainbow Bridge just got a little more crowded today. Mom and Dad's cat, sweet little Sara, joined the countless other faithful kitties who have crossed over to a land of no pain, no fear, and endless birds to watch.
Rest easy, sweet girl.