Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

For this week's Dogs on Thursday, I'll share a little secret... Cooper isn't exactly the bravest dog in the world. In fact, he's a total wimp. One thing that absolutely terrifies him is thunder. I try telling him that it's just the angels having a good time at the bowling alley, but he isn't buying it. Poor thing, he tries to get into the smallest space he can find. What to do?

Well, longtime readers might remember an igloo doghouse in the yard that little Ducky started started using as a nest for her late-in-life eggs.

The doghouse was originally meant for the stray cats, to keep them out of the weather, but the cats decided they preferred the garage...

... and the chicken coop.
Fine...whatever... I started thinking that in Cooper's former life, he was probably tied up outside with only a doghouse, hopefully he had a doghouse, for shelter. All of the trying-to-get-into-a small-space business is probably his way of looking for a doghouse to hide in when thunderstorms come along. Poor little boy. The only logical thing would be to take Cooper outside in thunderstorms and tie him up and let him have the doghouse, right?

Gotcha! You thought I was serious, didn't you?

Nope, after a good scrubbing, I wrestled the doghouse inside. I no sooner had it in the house and turned around to close the door behind me when Cooper went in the doghouse and settled down. No blanket or pillow or anything. That poor boy has been looking for a doghouse all this time. It breaks my heart to think of what the first 9 years of his life were like.

Now Cooper has his doghouse...with blankets my knitting nook.

I guess you can take the dog out of the doghouse, but you can't take the doghouse out of the dog.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I need a piglet...

A very dear friend sent this link to me. I need a baby pig. Bad.

Kingsford Goes to the Beach - video powered by Metacafe

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gems on Thursday!

For this week's Dogs on Thursday I bring you two sweet gems! Last week I got an email sent to American Brittany Rescue and National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network volunteers about a transport coming through the area. It seems two Brittany/Labrador mix girls, Ruby and Pearl, were picked up as strays in Tennessee, and moved to a foster home in North Carolina. After vetting and spaying, they were put up for adoption, and found a forever home in Maine! Together! What a wonderful thing, that their new mom and dad were willing to keep these girls together.

Anyway, my small part of the transport was to pick them up in Delaware and deliver them to the next volunteer in central New Jersey. Here they are, taking a snooze in the car.

I have no idea which is Ruby and which is Pearl, so I just called them both "sister". Look how the lighter sister is laying her head on the darker sister. Soooo sweet. We were running ahead of schedule, so they had a nice long walk at the transfer spot in New Jersey. Just look at these sweet girls!

I love how their legs are mirror opposites - see the markings? Same white front leg and half-white back leg, but on opposite sides. They are truly two halves of a whole, and I am so thankful to their new mom and dad for keeping them both together.

Earlier this week their new mommy sent me this picture of Ruby and Pearl all settled in. What is that they are laying on? Their new daddy!
That picture brought tears to my eyes. I think things are going to work out for them in their new home...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Knitting

Not much has been going on around Britknitterville, other than an afternoon of fishing off of the beach at Fortescue, and another Brittany transport. Details and pictures of the transport will be coming on this week's post for Dogs on Thursday. As far as the fishing goes, nothing was caught, not even a bite! Chalk one up for the fishes!!!

All of that has added up to quite a bit of knitting time this weekend, so I have another pair of finished socks:

These are made from the April yarn that Emma selected from the Brown Bag Sock Yarn stash. The pattern is Charade, again, and I'm still loving it. I really like how you can see the stitch definition when it's make from a solid color of yarn.
I've also been swatching / experimenting with some sock yarn, but not for socks. :gasp: Sock yarn, but no socks?

Yep. Chan mentioned a Tofutsies Tee that she would like to make, so I followed her link, and I love it! I just might make myself a sweater! Woo Hoo - my first sweater! I even ordered the yarn for it, so either I'll be making myself a sweater or I'll be making a whole lot of socks out of Plymouth Sockotta sock yarn. Not Tofutsie's? Nope. (Don't get me started on my opinion of Tofutsies.) My sweater, my choice of yarn.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

I've been struggling with what to do for this week's Dogs on Thursday post. I found out through American Brittany Rescue this week that the local animal shelter has two Brittanys. Both six years old, a boy and a girl. Fred and Wilma. Neither one has been neutered, and Wilma has heartworms. They were captured as strays last weekend, and if no one comes forward to claim them by the 19th, they will be available for fostering and/or adoption.

My heart says "I want them". I want to give them a forever home and shower them with love and hugs and kisses. I want to get Wilma healthy and heartworm-free.

My mind says "I cannot take them". Three dogs are a lot to take to the vet, and five would be crazy. Three dogs are a lot to feed, and five would be crazy. We're making dog food every six days as it is, and with five dogs, that would mean making six meatloaves every three days. Financially, I just can't do it. Three dogs is a stretch, and five would be way over the top. Three dogs, I can (almost) manage, five would be just downright crazy. (My apologies to Sue with her ten (count 'em...10!) Portuguese Water Dogs. Sue, you're my hero, but you're still crazy!) Even though I know I cannot take them, I still want them.

So, because no post is complete without pictures, and maybe, just maybe, someone out there reading this post has room in their heart and home for one or both of these beautiful Brits, here are Fred and Wilma.

I'm not sure which is which, as the pictures don't show any, um, appendages. Aren't they beautiful?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shedders and Sweaters

I took an extra-long weekend vacation, Thursday through Monday, and it's been great. Not much was accomplished, other than some knitting (socks, of course), some fishing, and some heart-stopping moments of panic. More on that later, but just so you know, my little Prius can really spin some gravel out of the driveway when it needs to get going fast!

First with the knitting, no photos, but I have almost completed the April's Brown Bag Sock Yarn socks. I started them last Monday, and in one week, I finished one sock and am past the heel on the second. That might be a record. For me, anyway.

Next for the fishing. My sister and I have gone fishing several times over the past five days - just off the beach at Fortescue, but it's perfect for my sister, who gets to fish, and for me, as I don't like boats or fishing, but like to walk the beach or sit and knit. Of course, when I say "beach" I use that term loosely. It's not a beach as in white sand and palm trees and cabana boys bring you fancy drinks with little paper umbrellas. Nope. This is the beach at Fortescue.

Not a cabana boy in sight. :sigh:

Still, Friday was my sister's birthday, and as a special birthday present, this big boy jumped onto her line.

He was a 26" Striper, but as the minimum is 28" this year in New Jersey, he went back into the water and lived to get hooked another day. Still, he was a nice birthday surprise for her.

Today, we went back down to Fortescue for one last attempt to get a legal Striper, but again fell short...literally. This big boy is 24". Lots of fun, though!

This brings me to the title for this post. My sister has always wanted to own a bait shop (I know....eeeeewwwww....bait!) and I said I'd help out as long as it was a bait and yarn shop. This morning on the drive to Fortescue we came up with a great name for it. Shedders and Sweaters! Does everyone know what a shedder is? It's what they call Blue Claw Crabs in the process of molting and growing a new shell. Fishermen call them shedders, sheds, peelers, or busters, but in a fancy seafood restaurant they're called "soft shell" crabs. People eat them, legs, guts and all. Can I get another "eeeeewwwww"?

Now for the heart-stopping panic. Yesterday morning, Easter Sunday, the phone rings. I see on the caller ID that it's mom, so pick up and say "Happy Easter". Mom says "Can you come over right now?" Now, there is a certain urgency in her voice when something is wrong, and from mom's tone of voice, something was very, very wrong. I say "Yes - be right there" and mom hangs up.

I slammed the laptop shut, jumped up, ran around looking for my car keys, and in 30 seconds or less my sister and I were running out of the house headed for the car. Mom and dad are just around the corner--you can see their house from attic windows in this house, but it seemed like hours before my little Prius got us over to mom and dad's. In what I'm sure was just a few minutes, all kinds of horrible scenarios ran through my mind. OK, mom was talking normally and knew who I was, so she didn't have a stroke, but it has been confirmed that it was TIAs which put her in the hospital for four days last month. Maybe she fell? Where is dad? Did he have a stroke? Heart attack? Is there a burgler in the house? Axe murderer? Maybe it's she sick? Did she get out of the house? That's the best we can hope for - it's Bessie and she is out in the backyard and they need help catching her.

Anyway, my sister and I get to mom and dad's, run up the steps and in the house and are confronted with......silence. No sign of anything going on. No blood and guts on the floor. We're running through the house calling "hello? hello????" and finally hear mom saying "In here", which was the back bedroom. On the way down the hall, I see Bessie, so I know it's not her. It's mom or dad. Somebody is sick. Call 9-1-1. We burst into the bedroom, and mom is sitting on the edge of her bed, in her new Easter dress, and says "I can't get these earrings in, and your father can't either."

Yup, the heart-stopping emergency was that she couldn't put her earrings through the holes in her ears. The day before, while making potato salad for Easter dinner, she nearly cut the top of her thumb off, which necessitated a trip to the ER. (On a side note, no potato salad for me, thank-you-very-much.) Without the use of her thumb, she couldn't get her earrings in. After I my breathing returned to normal and my hands stopped shaking, I got her earrings in. Crisis averted.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Ride on the Brittany Transport

This week's special guest for Dogs on Thursday is a very sweet young man called Winston. He needed a lift from his foster home in South Carolina to his forever home in Vermont. For my non-US readers, that's 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) or so. What to do? Hop aboard the Brittany Transport! The route is divided into segments of 60-90 minutes of driving, and an email goes out to all American Brittany Rescue and National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network volunteers in the states along the way. Once the segments are filled, the dog is on his or her way! It's a wonderful system, and you meet some of the nicest people in the world picking up and dropping off these sweet dogs.

Anyway, Winston's transport was scheduled for last weekend. Here is the adorable Winston at the pick-up spot in Delaware:
Excuse the trash in the photo - he was just happy to have a chance to stretch his legs. At this point, he had been on the road for almost 11 hours that day, with short 10 minute potty breaks every hour or so. He was such a sweet boy, and a very good rider in the car! He just wanted to curl up and take a nap, and wondered why I was interrupting his snoozing by trying to take pictures of him.
My sister and I handed him off at around 8:00pm, and he just had one more leg of the journey before reaching his "Bed and Biscuit" stop for the night. He started the journey again Sunday morning, and finally reached his new mommy Sunday afternoon.

Sweet, sweet Winston is adjusting very nicely to his new home. Here is a picture that his new mommy sent to all of the volunteers who helped transport this loving boy.Doesn't he look like he is settling in well? I just wish we could save them all...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Knitting Report

Yes, there has been knitting around here. Although my wrist/hand wasn't fractured, it still hurts to pick up anything heavy, but knitting is OK, finally. I've been making up for lost knitting time with, what else, socks. Surprise, surprise!

These are the March Brown Bag Sock Club socks. The yarn is Opal, and the pattern is Charade.

Love that pattern. It's so easy to knit - it's like knitting on auto-pilot. These next socks I had started in my plain-old-go-to sock pattern, but ripped them out and started over in the Charade pattern. I couldn't help myself. I love it.

In case anyone is counting, that's four pair in a row in that pattern. Some might say I'm stuck in a rut, but I prefer to think of it as perfecting my skills in this particular pattern. Nope, that isn't it. I'm stuck in a rut, but I'm happy here, so who cares.

Finally, here are some premie hats knit for Nichole's little grand-niece Emma's NICU. The pattern is Mock Cable and Eyelet Rib.
I hope you come home soon, little Emma!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lots of Sheepy Cuteness

Remember these sheep at my nieces' farm? Now there are more! Look at this little face!
Her name is Penny. Here she is with her mom, Olivia.
That's a polar fleece lamby coat she is wearing. These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago. She was only 12 hours old in these pictures.
Last week, the stork brought another little lamby to the farm. This is Patty.
Here she is with Olivia...or maybe that's Bob. I'm not sure.

The sheep shearer was at the farm, and here he is working on Patty's mom, Melanie.

Olivia was already done, and looked on in sympathy.

Little Penny got as far away from the shearing as she could. She thought that standing in the food bowl was a good idea.

Here is Melanie, much happier now that the shearing was over. Patty says "You're so pretty, mommy!"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dog Bowls on Thursday

For this week's Dogs on Thursday, we have a very special guest. This is Terry, and he is the resident potter extraordinaire here at work, in addition to being an all-around good guy.

What is he holding? Three handmade, personalized dog bowls for Emma, Tara and Cooper. How great is that? I maintain Terry's mailing list, and in return I get his wonderful pottery - what a great deal! The babes were so happy with their new bowls that they each posed with their new treasures. There may have been some bribery involved, too, in the form of copious amounts of treats.

Emma says "Thanks for my new bowl, Uncle Terry! Now I have to figure out how to steal Tara's and Cooper's bowls so they are all mine."

Tara says "You're the best, Uncle Terry! Now I just have to find a good hiding place for my bowl so Emma doesn't steal it."

Cooper says "This is the best bowl ever, Uncle Terry! Now if mommy would just put some food in it..."

edited to add
Thanks for the interest in Terry's pottery. He is working on a website and expects it to be up and running in a month or so. I'll keep everyone updated. In the meantime, if anyone wants to contact him leave me a message on this post with your email address and I'll give you Terry's email.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's April 1st...

...and you know what that means. Time to choose another bag from the Brown Bag Sock Yarn stash! In the interest of fairness, I asked Emma to kindly take a back seat this month, as she got to choose January, February and March's bags. She graciously allowed Cooper and Tara to inspect the bags...

...but quickly nudged Cooper aside and took over.

Emma says "They were too slow! I had to help out!"

Just to make sure her bag would be this month's choice, she tore into that bag like a terrier with a pork chop.

I give you April's Brown Bag Sock Yarn choice: Knit Picks' Risata in Woodland Sage. Oooohh, pretty!

In case anyone is keeping track, no, I haven't finished March's sock yarn selection. I'm working on it...

In other news, I have been tagged by Steph from Not Just a Knitwit. Steph is a new blogger so go on over and check out her scrapbooking\papercrafting and knitting. You've got to see the cute little labels she made for chocolates - adorable!

Anyway, here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Share 7 things people may not know about you.
3. Tag 7 people to share 7 things and link to them.
4. Let them know they've been tagged.

So, here are my Seven Things:

1. My first car was a 1967 Mercury Cougar, and I loved it. It was red with a white roof. I had to sell it when I needed a root canal.
2. Emma sleeps in the bed with me, and in the winter she is under the covers.
3. Even before I was a vegetarian, I would rarely order meat from a restaurant.
4. Spring is my favorite season, but April is my least favorite month.
5. My high school reunion committee has me listed as "missing" and that's the way I like it.
6. I have to be medicated to get on an airplane. Heavily medicated.
7. I have never been overseas (see #6) but as soon as they build a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean, I am going to pack the dogs in the car and head to the United Kingdom!

There you have it! If you're still reading this post, consider yourself tagged!