Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eighteen Years Ago Today...

...my first Brittany came into my life! My much loved and much missed Scarlett is seen here with her big sister, Scupper the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Here is one of my last pictures of Scarlett, (a.k.a. Starlett, Star Baby, Star Belly). Left to right is Mellie, (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2007), Scarlett, and Emma.
See how white her whole head is in that picture? Compare it to the next photo, which is one of my favorite pictures of Scarlett.

Sweet Scarlett
May 13, 1991 - April 4, 2003

I suppose someday it will stop hurting so much when I look at that photo, but it still brings me to tears every time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Knitting, finally!

I was scrolling back to see how long it's been since I posted a finished pair of socks, and it was back in April. Some knitting blog, right? So this is a catch-up post. (The links are to Ravelry, and if you are a knitter or crocheter, and haven't signed up for Ravelry yet, what's keeping you???)

First the Bavarian Cable Socks from the book "Socks from the Toe Up" by Wendy Johnson.

I used Judy's Magic Cast On for the first time, and it truly is magic. Love it, love it, love it. This pattern was a lot of fun, and very easy to memorize. I had a bit of trouble with the bind-off, but after a couple of tries, it's great.

Next up is Lacy Ribs socks, also from the book "Socks from the Toe Up" by Wendy Johnson. Seeing a pattern here? Mom gave me Wendy's book for my birthday last month, and I love it. I highly recommend it for all sock knitters, even die hard top down sock knitters like I was.

I joined the SFTTU KAL (Socks From The Toe Up Knit Along) on Ravelry, and each month you have a choice of two of Wendy's patterns to knit, one from her book, and one free pattern from her website. If you get the socks finished within the given time frame, you are entered into a prize drawing, and who can resist a prize drawing? Lacy Ribs is the June pattern from Wendy's book, and the June pattern from Wendy's website is Sprucey Lucy.

So the next pair of socks is...you guessed it...Sprucey Lucy!

I wasn't sure if I would get these finished by the end of the month, but it helped that I had them with me this past week while mom was having MOHS surgery for a large area of cancer on her face. Fortunately they got it all, but not until they did five excisions. We were there for ten hours, so I got a lot of knitting done! Mom is doing great...a little swollen, actually a lot swollen...but we are all so happy that the cancer is gone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

This week, we have three special guests for Dogs on Thursday! My sister and I helped transport brittanys this weekend for ABR, NBRAN and NEBR. The only pictures I have are from them inside the car. Think about it...three dogs, but only two people to hold them and take pictures? I wasn't going to attempt it! We have never transported three at a time before, but these sweet brits were just fine together. The two boys were wrestling in the back of the car for a good portion of the ride, so you'll have to forgive the blurry picture. This was the best shot I could get.
They were hilarious together! Rolling around, clunking heads, biting feet. Typical little boys... After a while Cole needed a nap so he curled up in the back...

...and Toby decided to ride in the front passenger seat so my sister could scratch him with one hand while navigating traffic with the other. Toby was also able to replenish his fluids from my sister's cup of Vitamin Water. Wrestling and playing is thirsty work!

The little girl in the group, Bria, picked out her spot in the back seat and curled up and never moved!

Little Bria is a black and white brittany, probably a French brittany. I've never seen a black & white one before - she looked an awful lot like a border collie.

Bria was going to her forever home in Connecticut, and Cole and Toby are both going to foster homes in New Hampshire (I think).
Cole says "Anybody want to adopt me? I'm a good boy!"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there, but especially to this guy.

That's my dad when he was only 20 years old. Does he look old enough to be a father? I don't think so. He barely looks old enough to shave, but he had already been married for almost two years when this picture was taken. Notice the dog in the picture - that was Kip. I don't know what kind of dog he was but he looks a lot like a terrier, maybe a JRT?

Here he is when he was 28 years old. That's me in the life jacket and some neighbor kid in the white shirt. What's up with that life jacket? Do you think he was afraid I would drown? You can tell this was before someone invented those swimmie things kids wear on their arms.

Here he is a few years later. That's me leaning on his shoulder. Can't you just feel the love?

Here we are the day I graduated from High School. Notice the dog - that was Sam, really Samantha. She was a Border Collie mix, and she was the smartest dog I have ever known, by far. Dad put a lot of time into training her, and she knew dozens of tricks.
Here is dad from a few years ago displaying his burger-building skills. This man is serious about his burger. There is an order to all of the fixin's, and it's not done until it's too big to fit into his mouth.
There are a million and one reasons why I love this man, but right at the top of the list is illustrated in this picture:
My sister Donna got an Easy Bake Oven (can you believe they still make these things?), and here she is with her first cake. If anyone has never tried one of these cakes, they have the consistency of Play-Doh, and taste like it, too. At least that's what they were like when we were kids. Dad knew this at the time, but just look at the anticipation on his face. You know he's thinking "How and I going to get out of eating this lump of clay" but he would never show it. Sure, now and then he would tell us that he would take it to work and have it as a special snack during the day. We would lovingly wrap up the icing-covered-hockey-puck "treat" and put it in his lunch box, and picture dad enjoying his cake when he got hungry during the day. Not until many years later did he confess that they ended up in the nearest dumpster. He let us make those horrid cakes for him, and ate them if he had to, and "saved them as a special treat for later" when he just couldn't stomach it. If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

I love you, dad, more than words can say.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Year in the Life...

...of a very special boy. This week's Dogs on Thursday post is about Cooper. Saturday will be the first anniversary of the day that Cooper found us. How can that be? This year has just flown by.

Cooper, goofy Cooper.
Pretending to be so innocent!

When really he is very naughty.
Very, very naughty!But he is quite the dashing gentleman.And such a snuggler!
Since it has been a whole year, Mr. Cooper got to go in the C-A-R for an R-I-D-E to the V-E-T. Actually, there is no need to spell in front of Cooper. Unlike Emma and Tara, Cooper has no clue what his crazy humans are talking about most of the time. Anyway, it was time for ten-year-old Cooper's first-year check up and he thoroughly enjoyed his car ride.
He was also very brave when he got his needle in the hiney, and since he was such a good boy, he got treated to an extra car ride. He got to visit my workplace! Truthfully, I needed to fax something, so Cooper really didn't have a choice, but he was very good just the same. He was a big hit with everyone at work, and got lots of treats, then wandered around emptying the trash cans looking for anything else to eat. He's quite the scavenger! After that, we stopped at McDonald's and Cooper got cheeseburgers to take home and share with his sisters. He is such a good boy! I can't imagine what we ever did without him!

Cooper says, "All I really want is a nap..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Funny thing happened on the way to the birthday party...

Recently we went to our Nanny's son's birthday party. He is 10 years old - hard to believe, especially since the Nanny started taking care of the dogs when her son was 4 months old. Where does the time go? Anyway, guess what we saw just up the road from our house...

A peacock! Actually it was a whole family, but by the time I got my camera out, the momma and what had to be at least 20 baby peacocks had already crossed the road and disappeared into a wooded section.

Unbelievable! There are lots of turkeys & guinea fowl around here, but peacocks? That's a first for me.

When we got to the Nanny's house, we saw the Nanny's sweet little sheep, Sosi. Remember her from last March when the Nanny brought her over to meet the dogs? Here is a picture of Sosi back when she was still wearing diapers.
Here is Sosi now. She had just spent her second night out in the pasture with the rest of the farm animals instead of in the house.

Is it me, or does she look the tiniest bit angry for having to sleep outside? At least she had company-- a couple of other sheep, a cow, a donkey, and some horses, including this big boy.

I think his name is Timothy, or Teddy, or something with a "T", and he is one of those horses like the ones on the beer commercials, but I don't remember what they are called right now. He came to live with the Nanny several weeks ago after his previous owner could no longer afford to care for him. See his hip bones sticking out? That's after he has already put on about 300 pounds. Our vet says Timothy could use another couple of hundred pounds. Poor sweet boy, but he has found himself a wonderful home now!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

For this week's Dogs on Thursday, I thought I would share some of the shots I took of the babes while I was trying to get some good photos for Sue's Blue Bandanna Day. (Click on over there and see all of the participants in Blue Bandanna Day - it was such fun!) I must have taken at least 20 shots, but most of them are just orange and white blurs and a splash of a blue bandanna. This one, however, is just hilarious. To me, anyway.
That's Emma catching Tara in mid-yawn. Emma likes to swoop in and lick the inside of Tara's mouth when she yawns. I know....eeeewwwww, but just look at the wild look in Tara's eyes!

In an effort to get all three dogs in one picture, I even enlisted the help of one of the chickies.

Yes, the brits are behind a firmly closed gate. If not for that gate, I'm afraid that little chickie would have gone to the great chicken coop in the sky.

And here is a close-up of the chickie:
She felt left out because she didn't have a teeny tiny blue bandanna, so I tied a bit of blue ribbon around her neck. She thinks she looks very pretty!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Babs says...

"I'm lonely without my chickie friends!"

Yes, sadly Bab's new chickie friends went back to their family. It's very lonely at work without their little "peep-peep-peep"-ing in the background.

:sniff, sniff, sniff:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Not Bad for my First Time.

It's a little crooked, and you mostly see carpet, but I did it! I Kinneared!

Can anyone tell who that is? Of course not, but I'll get to that. Ever since the Yarn Harlot first came up with Kinnearing, I've thought it would be great if I could get close enough to a celebrity to have a shot (no pun intended) at Kinnearing. However, since I rarely go outside a 25 mile radius of my home in the middle of the Back of Beyond, chances are not good. Hey, don't knock the Back of Beyond. I like it in the Back of Beyond, which is why I rarely leave. That, and the fact that there are three residents of BritKnitterville (the capital of B of B) who appreciate frequent potty breaks.

But I digress. My point is that a celebrity would have to practically drop into my lap (so to speak), and I just don't see that happening. Until yesterday. I've known that the Antiques Roadshow would be coming to the museum where I work to tape a segment for their show. I didn't know that the host, Mark Walberg, would be coming along. Yep, that crooked picture at the top of this post is Mark Walberg talking on the telephone. Woo Hoo! I kinneared!

He's a really, really nice guy, too. Not to mention really, truly, incredibly good looking. It turns out that a reporter from a local paper wanted to interview him, so they used the museum's library. Fine, but that's where my desk is, and if you recall, I have six baby chicks at work with me this week. If I had known they were going to use the library, I would have moved the chicks to the workroom or something, but the peep-peep-peeping didn't bother him at all. Way to roll with the punches, right?

Anyway, they were in the museum for quite a while taping a segment on paperweights as a filler for the show, so I had a great thought - why not ask him to pose for a picture with my current sock in progress? How cool would that be? VERY cool, right? But it turns out that I'm a loser and a dork and this is as close as I could get to asking him to pose with the sock.

Yep, that's me holding the sock, and one of those people way off in the next room is Mark Walberg. Great, huh? I just couldn't do it. I felt like a slimy stalker papparazzi type taking that picture, but it's the best I could do.

Anyway, the aforementioned residents of BritKnitterville were due for a potty break, so I had to leave work and run home to let the dogs out. It's probably for the best, because if I attempted to approach him and say "Hey, could you hold my sock while I take your picture?" I'd probably choke on my own spit, my face would turn purple, and then I'd pass out from a coughing fit. So, all's well that ends well, right?


While I was gone, my coworkers told my former boss (the one who abandoned us retired, but comes back to help out with special projects in the absence of a replacement curator) about the whole picture with the sock thing, and look what was on my camera when I got back to work!

Can you believe it? She asked Mark Walberg to pose for pictures with my sock! It almost makes be want to forgive her for abandoning us...almost. (Just kidding!)

And get this...while holding my sock, Mark said "Hey, I know how to knit." Yes, fellow knitters, Mark Walberg is a knitter! Well, later that afternoon when I screwed up the courage to thank him for holding my sock, he told me that he can knit, but he doesn't know how to cast on. Who cares, though? How cool is it that he even knew the term "cast on"? It's his wife that is a knitter, really, but he has apparently looped some yarn around some needles at some point. That's good enough for me!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Chick's Tour

Every morning at work I have to go around the museum and clean off the fingerprints (and other questionable smears that I prefer not to think about) that the little rug rats precious school children have left on the glass from the day before. Yesterday, I decided to take the chickies along with me.

They had a wonderful time, and wanted to share their favorite pieces with you.

Chicklet says "Awwww, a baby chick!"
"Chess, anyone?"

"Ooooh, a little tiny chair that is just my size!"

"Hey, are you my mother?"

"Are you my mother?"

"Are you my mother?"

"Mommy, I found you!!!"

We hope you enjoyed the Chick's Tour!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dogs on Thursday, and Up with Toes!

For this week's Dogs on Thursday, Cooper offered to help pick the yarn for this month's Brown Bag Sock Yarn selection. Emma usually does it, but she decided she needed a break this month. Cooper gladly jumped right in, and there was much sniffing of bags...

...and scratching of heads....

...and he finally needed them spread out on the ground for him to make a final selection.
He made a good choice - Knit Picks' Felici! I already cast on, too. I've joined a Knit Along on Ravelry for Wendy Johnson's new book Socks from the Toe Up, and decided to use Felici for this month's assigned pattern, Lacy Ribs Socks (Ravelry link).
I've never been fond of knitting socks starting from the toe, but I'm loving this book. It's clear, concise, well written, and gives several options for toes, heels and bind offs. I used the Judy's Magic Cast On and it's great. It's really magic! I'm sure this book is one that I'll be going back to again and again.