Thursday, November 26, 2009

So much to be thankful for...

I have so much to be thankful for, but I have sweet potatoes to make so will make this short and sweet. I am so very thankful for...
  • My new niece! Meet Sophia (being held by my mom). Sophia was born on Tuesday, a couple of weeks early, but mama and baby are doing fine. Sophia is a little bit jaundiced, but they are checking her bilirubin level twice a day and hopefully it will resolve itself without having to go under lights.
Sophia was a little bit fussy, but mom worked her magic and calmed her right down.
  • I'm also thankful for three mischievous, out of control, badly behaved, but happy and healthy dogs! (Especially the "healthy" part)
  • And last but not least, I am so very thankful that 54 years ago today, these two "kids" said "I do."
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you more than words can say!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In which we are failures...

Look at this sweet face. Who would believe that this innocent little creature who can't weigh more than a couple of pounds could turn the whole household upside down.

Little Olive is really a sweetie, and I'm sure that Cooper and Tara would accept her, eventually, but Emma is another story. Emma decided that Olive would be HER baby, and that no one else could go near the cage. Emma turned on Tara and Cooper, and at various points was snarling warnings and raising her hackles at them. When Emma attacked Cooper's haunches and had Tara by the neck, we decided this was not going to work. Olive went back to my niece.

Touching good-bye scene? I think not. While the humans were fighting back tears, the dogs just had their eyes on the prize...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Arrivals

Lookie what arrived in the mail today!
I won this cute zipper bag from Chan's Big Blessed Bash. Isn't it adorable? It was made by Piddleloop and it's the perfect size to hold some knitting notions to keep them from getting tangled up in my project bags. Much classier than my usual ziploc bag, too. Thanks Chan!

Speaking of knitting, I finished a couple of projects this week, but can't post them here yet. Soon, so keep watching...

Now for the newest resident of Britknitterville. It's not a Brittany. It's not even a dog. It's a cat, but not just any cat. Remember little Olive who wandered into our garage a few months ago? My niece Jen took her as a temporary measure. She has been socializing Olive, took her to the vet for shots & spaying, and has been trying to find her a loving home. No luck yet. Since Jen already has something like a bazillion cats, and has lots of company coming this week for Thanksgiving, she can't keep Olive any longer. So, Jen lent us a huge cat cage, and Olive is settling in nicely.
The plan is for Olive to patiently wait in the cage while the dogs get used to her. Eventually the dogs will grow to love their new little sister, and Olive will be able to leave the cage and everyone will enjoy a long and happy life together.

It's only been three hours, but I think it's going well. Cooper is barking incessantly, Tara is howling like a beagle, and Emma just stands "on point", trembling and licking her lips while staring at Olive. How much longer can this go on? I've got to go and look for any Percoset left over from my back surgery.

Anybody want a kitty?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

I read my first book by Dean Koontz this week. I know, I know, everyone but me has read something by him. What can I say.... I'm late to the party. A friend lent me her copy of Koontz's "The Darkest Evening of the Year." I laughed, I cried... well mostly I cried. I would recommend it to any dog lover, especially Golden Retrievers, or anyone involved in rescue.

I won't give away the story line (because that's one of my top 10 pet peeves) but one paragraph practically jumped off the page and said to me, "Hey, you there...are you paying attention to this? Read this again and again, and share it with everyone you know," so here it is:
"Dogs' lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know that pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because of those illusions."
I am so very thankful that my babes are all so healthy, but every day --every single day-- I look at Emma and Tara and Cooper, and know that the unbearable pain of losing them is coming. I can't help it. I also know that I will welcome another soul into my life when the unbearable pain becomes a little less unbearable, and the cycle will start again.

Scarlett c.1994
my first Brittany
May 13, 1991 - April 4, 2003

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nor'Easter Debris

Over the past couple of days, we had quite a storm in this part of the world--one of the worst in New Jersey history as far as flooding and beach erosion goes, so you know what that means... Sea Glass!I'm not immune to the suffering of those who have sustained extensive property damage, but then again, look at this loot! Gorgeous greens and a couple of aquas, some really big pieces, plus a strange looking lead sinker/dipsy there in the bottom right corner of the photo.
It looks like a alien fishing gear!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Socks Experiment

People have often asked me how long a pair of hand knit socks will last. I've always said I have no idea. Now I know! Back in March of 2007 (while we were all going through a rough time during sweet Melanie's final weeks of life), I made this pair of Jaywalkers as a little experiment.

Back then, there was some discussion at the online sock knitting forum regarding using reinforcing thread in the heels and toes of your socks. I mentioned that I use sewing thread to kind of beef up the heels and toes. One of the knitters mentioned that she heard that sewing thread can actually increase the wear and tear on the socks because of the rubbing of the thread against the yarn.

In the interest of scientific experimentation, I knit up this pair of socks using Grumperina's Jaywalker pattern and Knit Picks' Simple Stripes yarn and included plain old cotton-wrapped polyester sewing thread reinforcing the heel and toe of one sock, and one sock without. I've been wearing these socks, summer and winter (my feet are always cold!) for 33 months now, waiting and waiting and waiting for a hole to develop. While I was folding laundry this weekend, guess what I found? A hole! Jackpot!!!
On closer examination, you can see that this hole developed non-reinforced sock, so I guess the thread helped! For this pair, anyway. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I should add that the reinforced sock shows wear, also.
Maybe I should darn the hole and continue to wear the socks so I could keep track of how many additional wearings it takes until a hole develops in the reinforced sock!

Maybe I should continue to knit every pair of socks with reinforcing thread in one sock only and track the wear of socks made with different yarn content or types of reinforcing thread.

Maybe I should have my findings published in the Journal of Sock Knitting and earn a Nobel Peace Prize in Sock Knitting! If either existed, that is.

Maybe I should get a life...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dogs on Thursday Mystery

This post has it all... mystery, scandal, intrigue, but no dogs, so I guess this isn't technically a Dogs on Thursday post, but frankly I don't have anything dog related for today, so chickens it is!

Longtime readers will surely remember Ducky, my Ducky McDuck, my sweet innocent Duck-a-Doo who was shamelessly seduced in the twilight of her life (she was just 2 weeks shy of her 12th birthday!) by that rogue neighbor chicken Napoleon. I'm thinking there was Ecstasy involved. This is one of the last pictures I have of sweet Duck-duck-duck. Look how close that nasty little black chicken is sticking to her.

He filled her head with sweet talk and lies, and led her astray, never to be seen by her loving momma ever again. Oh, the heartache...

But the story doesn't end there. Last week, a bunch of chickens started showing up, wandering in to the yard through a patch of woods that separates us from the neighbors. They're shy chickens, though, so I've had a hard time getting pictures. This picture of them hanging around the driveway was taken from inside the back door.

I went out and followed them to get some better shots, and got this picture of one rooster (the black & white one) and 5 hens. You can just see the top of the head of hen #5 in the bottom right hand corner of the photo.Just for the fun of it, I started cooing to #5 and calling her Ducky Junior. The rest of the chicks ran off, but she came right up to me, and let me snap a bunch of pictures!

Could it be that this is Ducky Junior? Daughter of Ducky? I think it is!

To some people, perhaps all Rhode Island Red chickens look alike, but I just know there is a family resemblance here... Look at the coloring, the eyes, the nose, the comb!

Yes, indeed! Ducky sent her daughter back to me to tell me that she is happy in that great chicken coop in the sky. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Election Day!

The best part about Election Day is that we will be getting a break from the stupid political ads, junk mail, and roadside signs. The signs are everywhere, and they are freaking me out because of this one in particular:

No, it's NOT ME! It's spelled differently, and I do not want to be county clerk, thank you very much. I've had a lot of questions about this over the past several weeks. Even our accounting manager at work asked me if I am running for county clerk!

Take Those Signs Down!!!!