Thursday, December 13, 2007

Loopy Girl

I got a new kind of sleeping pill because the other ones weren't doing a lot of good. They would keep me asleep, but I had to fall asleep in the first place. Which is an equally difficult task. So now I am taking Ambien. My beloved Ambien. I think perhaps that I should start taking a half a pill because they seem to make me loopy. And forgetful. I also need to not have access to the computer after taking one because the loopy kicks in FAST.

For example the other night I was perusing shirt.woot.com and came across what seemed to be the most fabulously cute shirt ever. And evidently I ordered one if the email confirmation is to be believed (it was only $10!). http://shirt.woot.com/Blog/BlogEntry.aspx?BlogEntryId=3617

I mean really. What could be more cute than 2 bears playing an accordion together and sharing a beer? You really should read the description in that link. I think this is the line that got me "And as you can see, they certainly do have cute noses." And I am fond of cute noses on critters. Just ask my dogs and cat...their noses are pet all too often for their liking.

On a separate note, my pill is kicking in so I will make it quick. I am now doing the new job and I am crazy overwhelmed and freaked. But I do this with every new job, so I hope it will pass like it always has. Wish me luck. I have a fabulous boss and that makes all the difference in the world.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So Much To Report, So Little Time

Where to start? This will not be detailed as I need to go to bed, but I am way overdue for a blog.

  • I got a promotion at work. I start in 2 weeks. I'm totally stoked. I'm also very nervous.
  • I got an awesome bonus and have purchased a few toys.
  • One of the toys is a Roomba Scheduler. I named him Jeeves, and DH did not like that name, so he has been renamed by DH. His new name is Mr. Belvedere.
  • Tomorrow Mr. Belvedere's partner in crime should arrive. DH has pre-named the Scooba to Snork.
  • Can you tell that DH grew up in the 80's?
  • Mr. Belvedere scares the hell out of poor Deacon and he chases Cassidy. It's about the funniest thing ever.
  • I have purchased way too much yarn lately.
  • And about that, I got a knitting "job" today. Someone was seeking a test knitter will be sending me the yarn and pattern this weekend. I will knit socks and return them with pattern correction and will be paid a decent sum. I'm pretty excited.

I think those are the major developments for the day. I will try to get back to regular posting here soon, but I can't promise anything...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Terrible Blogger

Yes, you have again been neglected. I have so much going on right now that I just can't keep up! Mostly work stuff...going for a new job and very antsy about it. And I won't know anything for about 3 weeks, so the antsy will continue.

What else? Oh! I won $500 in a raffle today. Cool, huh?

Ummmmmmm. Not a lot to report, I guess. I am working diligently on my knitting. I am making the Tilted Duster for my best friend for her b-day/x-mas gift. It is turning out very nice and is a pretty quick knit.

So, that's it for now!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

iPhone Irritation

So I am about to head over to the mall to get my third iPhone of the weekend. The first one wouldn't hold a charge, and the new one they gave me Friday won't ring when it is in sleep mode. Very irritating.

I still love the product, but I'm a little peeved right now.

On the knitting front, I have a ton of projects going and not enough time to finish them.

Not much to report, but I thought I should post something...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Weekend Report

Last weekend was awesome. Mom and I decided to visit grandma for the weekend, so we headed up there on Friday afternoon. During the drive, I got a text from one of my employees that she was offered a job/promotion and it made my day. She is awesome and we had been working on this for quite a while. Anyhow, I was thrilled.

When we got to the casino (yes, this is where members of a gambling family meet up) we both bought our bingo cards and then went to play cards and slots for a bit. Bingo was pretty boring and we did not win, but we sat by some fun people and had a good time. After bingo we went out to the casino to play some more.

After a little while at the Pai Gow table I got a hand of cards that shocked the heck out of me. They dealt me a royal flush! It was one card off from the big payout (a 7 card straight flush), but it still paid out about $650. This was awesome.

Mom and I ended up staying for quite some time and she got a 4 of a kind which paid $125. Overall it was a very profitable, and late, night for us. We were having breakfast at Denny's at 3:30 in the morning. Eek!

The next day we slept in rather late and then spent the day being lazy at grandma's. I worked on my Cardigan for Arwen and we fixed the sound on grandma's computer (the speakers were unplugged). Grandma made us what I would consider the be the perfect meal: Macaroni & cheese and her special carrots. She makes these carrots that are just so yummy and that none of us can duplicate. They are just made using butter and brown sugar and salt and pepper, but they taste fabulous. Anyhow, see the picture below. I know, it doesn't look very exciting, but it tasted awesome.


After dinner, we went to the other casino in town for more playing. I didn't win, but I didn't lose much either. My uncle joined us for this trip and we had fun. We also got home before 1:00 am, so it was less of a late night.
One of the funniest things ever happened when we got back to the house... Grandma's DH was in bed sound asleep with the radio playing old country music at full blast (neither of them can hear worth a darn). Mom and I were cackling about it and figured they would turn it down or off sooner or later, which they did. But the next morning, grandma's DH told us that he woke up to see grandma in putting on her PJ's and brushing her teeth and dancing around the bathroom. This just cracked us up! They are such happy and goofy old people.

Grandma had such a fun time having us visit and we had a great time as well. I realized something important while we were there that probably had a lot to do with it... I have spent so much time over the last year worrying about grandma and her husband and how they are getting old and shouldn't drive and so forth. Over the last few months, my other grandparent's health has declined dramatically and it made me realize how well these grandparents are really doing. It's a sucky comparison, but I will not worry about them as much for now.

So what else to report? Oh yeah, I started my Cardigan for Arwen. A pic is below of my progress. Oh, and the Baudelaire sock? Doesn't fit me. But it fits grandma perfectly so I will make a second sock and give them to her.


Here is a pic of my new favorite yarn. I have no idea of what to make with it, but I have plenty of it.

Oh, and a cute picture of Deacon. Just for fun.

Well, I can't think of anything else that should be reported for now... Just cross your fingers for the internet to get fixed!

Reader Neglect

I am so sorry. My internet is giving me an incredible amount of grief, so you all have been sorely neglected. I am going to try to post this and hope for the best. Then I will attempt to do a real post! Wish me luck...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mail Call!

I love getting yarn in the mail. I did some swaps on Ravelry (and maybe a little buying on elann.com) and here is what was in the mailbox today.

And there is more to come! I also did a big swap with a knitter in Canada, so that will be a picture all in itself when it shows up.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

FO Report!

The Trellis is complete! Okay, it still needs buttons. But I know me...once buttons are on, I will forget to take a picture and will send it off to be given to it's intended recipient. So here is a picture of it blocking.
This is a really cool pattern. It took a lot longer than any other baby sweater I have made, but I like the finished product. The hardest part was all of the seed stitch. That is not something I do very quickly. Also, the collar instructions did not make a ton of sense to me at first, but I finally understood. If I were to do it over again, I would pick up the stitches as I went rather than attaching the collar when complete, but it's really fine either way.
Anyhow, it is now blocking and I need to figure out the button situation. This is one of those things where I don't want the buttons to overtake the pattern, but I also don't want them to be boring. I'll have to do some searching with the sweater on hand for comparison.
Now that this is done, I can get back to the jacket for Bugs. I think it has been in time out for long enough...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Poor Readers!

You have all been so neglected. Please blame Ravelry, not me. There was a lot of set up to do and it's really cool. By set up I mean entering info and pictures. My yarn stash and I had a little photo session over the weekend just for this purpose.

Anyhow, not a ton to report. I have been so busy with stuff lately that I am exhausted every evening. I have accomplished very little knitting, which sucks since I need to finish that baby sweater for mom soon! I will probably get most or all done by this weekend. At least, that is the plan.

So what other knitting content might I have? Oh! The cool part about Ravelry is just what I expected...I can see what other people have in their yarn stash and offer to buy or trade. I have snagged several cool yarns so far, and have sold a few as well. All with $0 out of pocket. I found someone to trade some of my sock yarn with for something I like much better, I sold a yarn that I absolutely hate, I found someone willing to sell a favorite yarn that is no longer being produced, and I have a big trade in progress. I will be making a post office trip in the next day or so...

Well, that's about it for now. Just a lot going on, but I will try to keep the blog up to date!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I'm In

And it's awesome. Off to snoop...

The Suspense is Killing Me!

I am now #78 on the Ravelry list. ARGH!!!!!!

And in other news, the back of the baby sweater is done. So cute! And surprisingly, the seed stitching isn't driving me completely batty like it usually does.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Random Notes

First, for the Ravelry update since I know you are all on the edge of your seats about it: 619. Almost there!

Now for the knitting content. Lots to discuss! One unplanned project has been completed and a few others started. For the completed item, the New Toy needed a sock to keep it safe in the purse. So I made one with some sock yarn scraps in lieu of spending $$$ on an official iPhone case. I really like mine. It's soft and exactly the colors I would want. It took 2 evenings to make and was very simple. I will plan to write up a recipe for it and put it on the blog. Here is a picture...it still needs either a button or some Velcro, but I haven't decided which yet.


One to the new projects. First, I decided that it was getting about time that I knit some socks for myself. I have admired the pattern for Baudelaire for some time and am now making them using Lorna's Laces in Blackberry. They are awesome so far, and the pattern is great. Easy enough to zip through, but not so easy as to bore me. Here is a pic of my progress so far:
While I would love to just keep working on these socks, mom has a friend that just had a baby boy and there is a need for a hand-knit gift to be made and mailed. I am going to make Trellis in Knitpicks Shine Worsted in the color Bachelor Button. I intend to get started on this item tonight.


As for the other UFO's, well let's see. The jacket for Bugs is pretty much in time out. Having to rip out various parts multiple times has really peeved me, so I am going to focus on other projects for the moment. But I will finish it sometime soon. All the errors have been user errors, but I'm kind of frustrated with it. And the socks I am making her are kind of boring, so they are on hold for the moment. Poor little Bugs!

For a pet update. All of the dogs got to hunt for quail this weekend and then they got baths. They look so pretty and they are so soft! Here is a picture of the three of them on the couch after their long weekend.


It's a wonder DH and I can ever find a seat in this house. Starting from the left, you see Deacon, Daisy, then Dino. It's a pile of spots!

Well, I think this is about all I have to report for the moment. Wish me luck on all the knitting I need to accomplish!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Love at First Sight

Well, the poll indicates that the iPhone is the preferred purchase. Which is a good thing, since I went and bought one today!

I just couldn't resist it. While they did have the 4GB in stock, I decided to go with the 8GB. It seemed silly to spend that much $$$ and not get the better one.

I played with one in the store for quite a bit and I was sold. This thing rocks. Right now I am at my parent's place so I am waiting for iTunes to download so that I can activate it.

I am so in love with my new toy.

Ravelry Update: 1,136

BTW, this was obtained while checking out the iPhone at the store. Yes, I tested the iPhone by checking my Ravelry place. It is a sickness. Between the iPhone and Ravelry, if y'all don't hear from me for a bit, don't be surprised! :-)

Things I am excited about with the iPhone:
  • Pulling up knitting patterns while away from my computer
  • Viewing movies away from home
  • That new toy smell

Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Poll About A New Toy

There is a new poll up. Please help me to decide. If you have been paying very close attention to the blog (AS YOU ALL SHOULD BE!) you noticed that I won some $$$ last weekend playing cards. I really want a new toy. Now that the new iPods are out and they reduced the price on the iPhone, I think I might want one. But which one???

The iPhone looks super cool. I think I would buy the 4G because it costs less. But now the Nano plays videos, which is one of the capabilities my iPod does not have and that I want. The iPhone does that too.

So, please help me by voting in the poll.

Ravelry Update: 1,285 ahead of me

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dammit.

The knitted jacket I am making for Bugs is just such an issue. Here is the list of mishaps since I started it earlier this year:

  • Started knitting it in Elsebeth Lavold Angora in a beautiful teal color. The yarn is aran, the pattern calls for bulky. I thought I could get away with it. Nope...a little too thin, but I pressed on.
  • Sewed most of the pieces together (I think I finished all pieces before I gave up the first try). I didn't fit Bugs. The arms were too short. I thought I could knit on a cuff.
  • Looked at it some more and realized that I had set the sleeves in wrong and that had a lot to do with the poor fit. At this point, I realized that I needed to just rip and start over from scratch.
  • Put it in a bag for several months before ripping. Finally ripped and lost a decent amount of yarn because angora is not the easiest thing to frog.
  • Decided to make new using double stranded worsted weight pink yarn. Working well, but a pain in the ass to use two strands. I finally learned that I could wind two into one and it was easier. This was my first success.
  • While knitting the first front piece, I did the arm hole and neck shaping on the wrong sides. Riiiiiiiiiiipppppppppppp! And reknit.
  • Now, I just finished the second front piece. Can you guess what I did wrong this time? I forgot to switch from size 11 to size 13 needles on the 13th row (where the ribbing ends and the cables begin). *Sigh* I guess I'll be frogging again tomorrow. And I was so happy to be finished with these evil front pieces. *Sigh*
On the plus side, I am now #1,382 in line for Ravelry. At least that is something. And I am pleased to know that Tama will be getting in at about the same time and Pam will probably already be there, so I will have friends. Friends that can sympathize with such frustrations.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yay!

Thank you, Mother of Chaos! I was able to delete the stupid spam comment.

Also, I am now in spot 1,412 on Ravelry. I AM IMPATIENT, DAMMIT!!!

Argh!

Got my first spam comment on the last post. Sorry all, but I added the word verification to try to prevent this in the future. Does anyone know how to delete a comment?

A Week's Worth Of Information!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a week since my last post! Sorry folks. It’s been kind of busy around Casa de Soliel. So without further adieu, here is all the news that is fit to report.

The jacket for Bugs is about one-third complete. It would be more but I have had trouble staying on task with knitting this week. I think all my FO’s of the last few weeks have burnt me out a little. Not sure. Anyhow, the back and one of the front pieces is done. I still need another front and two sleeves, then I piece it together and add a collar. It is darling so far and the yarn is great for this project. The yarn is one of the other things causing delays though. See, I am using it double stranded and I was having some trouble with finding an easy way to do that. I have since learned that I can wind two balls of yarn into one and it’s very much more easy to work with. But the winding is a little challenging, so I need to get back on task with that part too. Anyhow, I expect this item will be done in the next week or so at the most.

In addition to the jacket, I decided that Bugs will need some new pink socks soon. I have a single skein of Lorna’s Laces in the color Wisteria, so decided to do a pair of boring old stockinette stitch, toe-up, two at a time on 2 circular needles for her. The yarn is so cute that any sort of fancy pattern would take away from the colors. Anyhow, I know she will like these if I make them fit right, and the added benefit and reason I love Lorna’s Laces so much is that they can go through the washer and dryer with no issues. The socks are maybe 1/8th done, BTW. See how bad I am being about staying on task?

On to other stuff, primarily the weekend. I was off on Friday, so I had a nice long 4-day weekend. And my GOD it went by fast. How does that happen???

So on Friday I woke up at a reasonable hour because mom and dad were on their way to the house. Oh, did I forget to mention that this last weekend is usually a major event in my family? It was the opening day of dove season. I don’t hunt for doves but it’s a big day for DH and dad because it’s the first real hunt of the year. So anyhow, mom and dad were coming down Friday morning so the boys could play with their hunting toys in preparation for the opener on Saturday, and mom and I were going to our annual Fair Day.

See, I love the fair. Not the midway, but the food and exhibits and all the things to look at and buy. Any the California State Fair has the added benefit of being connected to a water park. Since mom and I probably have hidden gills and fins, this is a good thing. The biggest problem with the fair has always been the heat, but once mom and I discovered that we can go to the water park during the day and the fair part in the evening, it has become a great fun time.

This year we spent about 5 hours in the water and then hit the fair. The water park was pretty decent this year. Last year they had let the maintenance go so badly that we were concerned about going this time. But a new company bought it and put in some $$$, so we were happy. They did not have a part open for most of the day, and when mom asked a manager about it, he said that he would do his best, but just in case he couldn’t get it open, he gave us some comp tickets for next year. That was really cool, particularly since mom truly wasn’t complaining, just asking a question.

On to the fair… I did not consume as much fair food as I planned. But what I had was pretty good. Here is what was eaten over the course of the day:

  • Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream
  • Pepperoni Pizza
  • Pesto Tortellini
  • Deep Fried Artichoke Hearts


Pretty wimpy, huh? I am rather disappointed with myself, but I think it was just too dang hot to eat much. But it was not too hot to shop! Here is what I bought:

  • Watkins dip mix in cucumber and dill flavor
  • SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia, grape flavor
  • At the kitchen stand: small lighter refill thing, lighter shaped like a fire extinguisher with an adjustable nozzle for lighting the BBQ, butter dish
  • 2 turban towel hair wrap thingies (cheaper than the ones I buy at Ulta, but also not as good of quality)

It seems like I bought a few other things, but the heck if I can remember what! The most impressive purchase to me though is that Liquid Stevia stuff. I think I had heard the word some time or other, but I didn’t really know what it was. The guy manning the stand was giving out samples, so we decided to try one. Basically, it is super-concentrated sweet stuff with flavor to put in water (or whatever). It is all natural and has no calories or any bad stuff, and is a great alternative to things like Crystal Light.

They also have the stuff that is just a sweetener to replace Splenda and Equal and such. Anyhow, it is different, but in a good way. I was not sure about it at first, particularly since the 2 oz. bottle was $20. However, after walking around a bit I decided that it was a good idea. Mainly because those Crystal Light on the Go things are about $0.25-0.49 per serving, and this stuff was waaaaaaaay less. You only use a few drops in each bottle of water, so it truly is cheap. Also, if the info is true, it’s not unhealthy like the other stuff out there.

Anyhow, I am enjoying it. It’s pretty good and definitely getting me to keep drinking water. I rarely drink anything other than water, so sometimes I want it to have a little flavor. This fits the bill. I did find some places to buy it online cheaper, which is good. www.drugstore.com actually has it for $12, but they only have 3 of the flavors, only 1 of which I want to try. But I will add it to my next order through there, that’s for sure.

The other cool thing at the fair was that the Commodores were playing. They still have their musical talent, so mom and I watched from the grass for a bit. We also looked at the fur and feathers exhibit and fell in love with the chinchillas. They were available for petting, and they were so stinkin’ cute and soft! They really liked us, so we got to stay and pet for quite a while. We also looked at the crafts exhibit. We were a little disappointed this time. Last year there were these great miniature models of rooms and such that were just so cool. This year we only saw one or two that were remotely similar. Big bummer. But at the same time we decided that I need to enter some of my knitting next year. I think I would have a good chance at a prize based on what we saw the last two years. I will have to make something really cool to enter.

Heard enough about the fair yet? I figured! On to Saturday…

On Saturday mom and I decided we were going to go play bingo. When we got there, it was so crowded there was no way we would enjoy it, so we decided to just go gamble a bit and think about heading home. Well, I sat at a Pai Gow table and was doing pretty well. Not winning much but not losing either. Since I just really enjoy playing, this was fine with me. Poor mom lost her money pretty fast and came and sat by me for a while. There was a penny machine right by the table, so I handed her a wad of $1’s to go play since that was the only cash I had on me. Not too long after, she yelled at me. She had hit a $220 jackpot on her little penny machine! This was awesome, so I got comfortable at the table since I knew we would be there a while now.

After a bit, we decided to go get some dinner. I was down maybe $40 at this point, so it was all good. Dinner was just okay, but my comps from sitting at the table for so long took care of the entire bill. That was rather nice! After dinner, we went back downstairs and saw a set open at a penny Wheel of Fortune machine we enjoy. It’s one with a giant wheel in the center of the machines, and the seats are like benches for two people. Mom put in $20 (since she was the big winner) and we played the minimum bet of 80 cents. We kept getting the bonus spin and just couldn’t believe it! We got the $100 spin twice and several others ranging from $9-$25. We walked away with $270 and split the winnings. After this, I went to another Pai Gow table and mom went to the Penny Train machine. By the end of the evening (and after a couple more slot machines as well) I left up $510, and mom was up $100 (she had poor luck the second half of the evening). All in all, it was great fun.

Sunday and Monday ended up being lazy days to end all lazy days. Mom and I lounged around all day Sunday until the boys cam home from hunting, at which time we made them dinner. Mom and Dad went home on Monday and DH and I carried on with the lazy for the remainder of the day.

I managed to watch a few movies during the weekend that I had DVR’d at some point. Not sure if this is all of them, but here are the ones I recall:

  • Shopgirl – Very odd. The story line was kind of weak and it was fairly boring. I vaguely recall the book, and it seems like the movie was pretty different. Either way, I don’t recommend it.
  • Lord of War – Another odd one. I had some trouble following the story, but it was pretty good. I really like Nicolas Cage, so I enjoy most anything he is in.
  • Invincible – I loved this movie. Which is surprising because it was a football movie and set in the 70’s, two things that are almost guaranteed to bore the hell outta me. But it was great. And since it was based on a true story, all the better.
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby – Incredibly dumb movie, but DH enjoyed it. I got a lot of knitting done while watching this.
  • The Guardian – Predictable, but we both really enjoyed it.

    So, what else do I have to report? Not much, I’m afraid. Oh, I have moved up to spot 1,454 on Ravelry. I am really anxious to get in. Beyond that, I don’t think I have anything else to report for the day!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Project and Knitting Mishaps

What did Sunny start last night, you ask? Well I'll give you a hint. Not any of the items discussed in the past post!

Nope. Instead, I decided to start the jacket for Bugs. I cannot find a picture of it anywhere online, so you will have to use your imagination for now. It is a zippered jacket knit in a 2x2 rib with cabling in various areas, particularly the front. It has a nice big collar (very stylish and cute) and the zipper pull should ultimately have a pompom. I haven't made a pompom yet, but I guess I will have to learn! I probably need to go buy one of these things to make it nice and even.

Anyhow, I am knitting it in a nice pinkish-lavender merino yarn. The yarn is worsted weight and the pattern calls for chunky, so I am holding 2 strands together. Bugs will love it; this is her favorite color.

So far I am halfway through the back and it is going well. It's a pretty fast knit, so expect a FO in the next week or so. I just have to decide if it should be saved for a Christmas gift or give it now. The problem with knitting is that for knitted Christmas gifts, I need to get started now. But when I finish, I just want to give the gift right away! So, I have to decide on that one.

That being said, I do have another story that will make mom cringe. I threw my 3 knitted tanks in the wash machine last night. I have washed them before and it's NEVER been a problem. They are all cotton blends, so I wash them in cold and hang to dry. Anyhow, the original Shapely Tank has a hole in it. I can repair, but it will take some effort. And the new Shapely Tank got a little too much fabric softener and looks stained. I don't think it is...I think another wash or two will take care of it, but it's so frustrating!

So, wish me luck on fixing these issues. Very annoying indeed.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's Done! It's Done!!!

The second Shapely Tank is complete. Yay! It is on it's way to the wash machine and a hanger (my concept of blocking, apparently). I will get a picture, I swear. I am very pleased with the crochet edge. It really adds to the tank and gives it a nice finished look.

Now on to other tasks... I just can't decide: Mystery Stole 3 or socks? I'm thinking I need a nice pair of socks on the needles. Once I figure out the pattern and yarn, I think I will cast on. Probably in the next 20 minutes. I'm really missing socks...

Oh no! Wait! There is a project I have been dying to work on. I have just enough Debbie Bliss Cathay in a nice olive tone to make this lace nightie.

Argh! Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shapely Tank Update

The knitting is complete and I have learned how to do a double crochet (dc). I am doing the dc around the neck and armhole edges, and it looks nice so far. I will finish the armholes tomorrow and will them block it and share pics. I'm pretty sure I will not love this one like I love the original Shapely Tank, but it should be nice.

I am quite ready to move on to new projects though. I need to get some socks going...since I finished the short pink socks, I have yet to start a new sock! I think my next socks will be toe up with short row heels and some lace. I have attempted toe up and know I am capable, but have not really done it from start to finish. I have not done a short row heel yet, so I'm anxious to try that. And I intend to do these 2 at a time, so that should be a good challenge as well.

My big issue is deciding on what pattern to try. I have several lace patterns that I could incorporate and just make some up as I go, but I may go with an actual pattern instead. One that I keep coming back to is the Campanula. This one looks really nice and it incorporates all the elements I want for the next socks. In addition, to get the pattern I will need to make a donation towards a breast cancer walk, which is a good thing. I did find another pattern that I really like, but it fits none of my current criteria, so it will just go on the list for the future.

As for my Ravelry update...there are now only 2,245 people ahead of me in line. They are doing a lot of invites right now, and based on the latest update, I expect to be in within a week or two. I'm certain it will be the time-suck to end all time-sucks for a while. The most exciting thing right now is that I read somewhere that you will be able to view other people's stash lists. This means that maybe I will find people that have some Elann Endless Summer Luna that may be willing to sell it! I adore that yarn and I can't find any anywhere now that they stopped making it. *sigh* I also have high hopes that there will be yarn swap groups. I have plenty of stuff I want and some pretty good stuff to trade.

Side note to goodstuf3: I found another good sock knitting resource that you may enjoy: http://www.knittersreview.com/article_how_to.asp?article=/review/profile/070719_a.asp. There are some good tips there, though the info is directed to people using dpns rather than 2 circular needles. But it still may help.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ravelry Update

There are now only 2,504 2,351 people on the list ahead of me. *sigh* I have zero patience!

That aside, the Shapely Tank is coming right along. I am starting the bust short rows and once those are done, it's very close to completion. Probably not tonight though...I am most likely going to the fair for some fried food on a stick for the evening. Yay!

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Project on the Horizon

At some point, I plan to make a couple of these. Not sure if this link will work, but these are called Knitted Cuddlies. Little knitted kitties, bears, and bunnies. They are extremely simple to knit and are very cute.

They show one of them in a nice chenille yarn which is what caught my eye. I have a couple skeins of chenille that I have no idea of what to use them for. Now I have a project for them!

I will probably be making them for Layla, Bugs, and Isaiah. I will have to stop off at the craft store to get some stuffing, but other than that I have everything I need. My intent, however, is not to start one until I finish the Shapely Tank. We'll see how that goes...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another FO!

The short pink socks for mom are done! Yay!

I really like these socks. They are very comfortable and very cute. And a very quick knit! I think mom will really enjoy them.

As for the pattern, it's one I bought from the yarn store so I can't share a link to a free pattern. It is a very simple pattern though, and you can check out ordering instructions here. The ones I knit are called the Seashell Shortie and are knit using Cascade Fixation. I really like this yarn because it is very stretchy and there isn't a lot of concern about fit because of the stretchiness. When I knit socks for mom, I always make them so they are slightly too small for me and they turn out just right for her.

On a separate note, we had a visitor the other night:

Cool huh? It turned light to try to blend with the blinds, but did not get light enough to hide. DH took him outside and let him loose in the tomatoes. This picture isn't very clear, so in case you can't tell, that is a giant praying mantis. Those are 2" wood blinds and he was as big as a slat. He was very happy to go to the tomatoes.

Well, I guess the next item to finish will be the purple Shapely Tank. I better get busy!

The Gloves

To respond to Reddames question about the gloves, this is the pattern I used: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer05/PATTcigar.html. The only modification I made was to leave all fingers exposed. I did use the Knitpicks Wool of the Andes suggested, but only because that is what I already had for the scarf. Any worsted weight wool would work just fine. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FO Report! And Poll Results!

DH's Fingerless Gloves are done! Yay! Wool is really not what I want to knit with during the summer, so I am thrilled to be done with the scarf and gloves now. Here is a pic:
As for the poll...well, the results were evenly split between all projects. So as you see, I am doing whatever strikes me. I'll have to come up with another poll here soon.
Well, I don't really have much else to report right now. Just very busy working and knitting. In theory I should have the second pink sock done in the next few days. Wish me luck! And I swear, my post about Daisy will be coming. Miss Daisy has a story, and I need to sit down and write it!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Operation: Yarn Organization

Today I decided it was time to organize my stash. It was not terrible, but it was not great either. Basically, most of the yarn was in various Ziploc bags and well protected, and that was about it.

So, I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get some organizing cubes and went to work. Here is what I started with:

And here is what I ended up with:

I still have some work to do. I just threw all of the yarn in random cubes, except for the sock yarn. Sock yarn is all in the upper right-hand corner. Mom's feet had better watch out!

On my to-do list for Operation: Yarn Organization is to sort the rest of the yarn in the bins in some fashion. I just haven't decided if I will sort by weight, or fiber, or color, or what. We'll see what strikes me.

Another task is to get a binder to sort my patterns that are not in books. I have only a very few knitting books, but I print patterns from the internet all the time and they are in no particular order.

While doing this project today, I did do one very good thing. I started an Excel spreadsheet for my stash. All pertinent details of my yarn stash are listed. This will really help me when I am trying to decide what I want to do, and also if I decide to sell some of my stash at some point. Eventually I want to add my needle info here as well, but I ran out of time and energy. One interesting fact though...I have the equivalent of over 13 miles worth of yarn. Eek! That's a lot of yarn. Spreadsheets are both a blessing and a curse sometimes...

Now, on to the FO report. Here is a picture of DH's completed Uniscarfity:

I am very happy with how it turned out, though I do think it should have been a little longer. But DH thinks it is just fabulous. I hope to finish his second glove this week, but no promises!

As for the WIP list, here is the update. Aside from a few items that will be tough to frog, I frogged several WIPs that were not working for me or that had been in "time out" for quite some time. I now only have WIPs that I actually intend to finish, and I will frog the remaining things when I have a free evening and when my brain isn't fried from all the yarn play. Here is my current list of WIPs:

  • Shapely Tank - a little over half complete
  • Short pink socks - 75% complete
  • Cardigan for Arwen - Less that 5% complete, and very possibly going to be frogged to work on it in a different manner (different hem line)
  • Mystery Stole 3 - About 40% complete. I need to get busy if I want this for Grandma's b-day! Probably not going to happen, if I am honest about it.
  • DH's Fingerless Gloves - About 75% complete, should be done soon.

The good thing here is that I put each of the WIPs in it's own Ziploc and they are fairly ready to grab-n-go. I need to print a few patterns to put in the Ziplocs though, since a few of these have been worked on while looking at the patterns on the computer.

In addition to a nice and neat list of WIPs, now I have the materials and the organization to plot out my future projects. For example, the jacket for Bugs that was a WIP wasn't working. The yarn was not thick enough and the jacket (though nearly complete) was too small for her. I greatly underestimated her size. She is long and skinny, and the arms alone were at least an inch too short. Now I have the same yarn neatly wound into center-pull skeins and ready to use doubled up, or I may use some pink yarn that she will like even more I think.

Well, I feel like I make progress. My yarn is neat, my major chores and errands got done today, and I am ready to relax. You didn't think I just did yarn stuff today, did you??? Heck no! I also did the following:

  • Mervyn's - Returned some slacks that I didn't love (Mom is probably so proud to read this. I am notorious for buying, not liking, and never returning. See, I'm growing up!)
  • Bath & Body Works - Hand soap and lotion. They had a sale, and we needed soap. DH likes the foaming hand soap at the sink, and I like when he uses that as opposed to dish soap to wash his hands. The lotion was free with a coupon.
  • Ulta - Shampoo, hair spray, mousse, makeup, face wash. All on the list. But they were out of hair color, like always, and I was irritated, like always.
  • JoAnn Fabrics - Tiny crochet hook that turns out not to be small enough to use for adding beads to the Mystery Stole. I will either have to deal with my current method or order one.
  • Grocery Store - Needed some food

I can't believe it's already Sunday night... I am really not ready to work tomorrow. Oh well. At least I have things to look forward to. In less that 2 weeks, mom and I go to the fair and the water park like we do each year and I'm totally excited. Fried food on a stick, here we come!

FO Weekend

There will (hopefully!) be another post this evening with photos and more updates on my week. But for a very quick FO object, I finished the Uniscarfity! Yay! I will try to share a pic later. DH loves it. But evidently not enough to remember to wear it to the deer hunting trip I quickly finished it for! That's how it goes when he wakes up at 3:00 am to got hunting. Poor guy. He was very disappointed. But he was pleased to come home to see that I am using the left over yarn to make him some matching fingerless gloves. One is done and the other is half done.

My big excitement today is that I did a zillion errands (and got the done fairly fast!), which included going to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get some shelving to properly store my yarn stash. Theoretically, I will do a "Flash Your Stash" photo shoot sometime this week. We'll see how fast I get it all sorted and put away.

Well, I am going to go try to complete some chores now and I will try to come back with pics of FOs and whatever else my camera points to.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Of Socks and Sick Kitties

I'll start with the sick kitty update, just to get that out of the way. Cassidy seems completely unaware of the fact that she is supposed to have passed on by now. In fact, she is putting on weight and throwing up very little as compared to before the vet visit.

I am not trying to fool myself into believing that she is not sick. The tests confirmed that she is not healthy...she wouldn't even make it through a surgery. But I am truly wondering if it was/is actually cancer. That could not be definitively confirmed without the surgery, but she showed every symptom including an ultrasound showing a mass in her intestine and likely in her lymph nodes. But there was a small chance that she had some sort of infection that looked like cancer, so maybe the antibiotics cleared it up? I doubt it, but you never know.

All I know for sure is that she seems like she feels fine and I am getting to enjoy every day with her for now. She hasn't put on a ton of weight, but she has put on a little. I think this is largely due to the fact that she is eating kitty junk food and not barfing up everything she eats. I am normally a firm believer in feeding pets the food that is best for them rather than the cheap crap, but this is an instance where I am making an exception. We are all about the canned food and potted meat around here. I still don't even know what the hell potted meat is, but she likes it a lot.

So, keep good thoughts for Cassidy please. She is doing well and enjoying life, and that is the best I could ask for.

As for socks... I think I am addicted to making socks. If I don't have a sock on the needles, I feel like something is wrong. I am going to finish mom's other little pink ankle sock this week (I hope) and then I need to figure out what ones to make next, and for whom. I think mom may be getting a little overwhelmed with socks. Mom? Do you want me to stop making you socks? And if so, who should I make them for?

I think my next sock projects will be toe up, 2 at a time on circulars. The reason is that I got a great deal on a bunch of single skeins of Lorna's Laces, and it is important to knit from the toe up and 2 at a time so you don't finish one sock and run out of yarn for the second one. I have made several pairs of socks out of single skeins, so I know it can be done. And since I don't like to make socks that are super long, this works well for me.

Anyhow, my goal is to finish some of my WIP's before starting anything new, but I will have to have some socks going. It's a sickness, really.

Oh, and about socks and sicknesses, mom has an issue with all of her handmade socks. She seems to think that if she washes them that they will disintegrate or something. She flat out won't wash them! I have made all but one of her pairs in machine wash and dry yarn, but she won't do it. I have to steal them and wash them when I am visiting. Fortunately, she doesn't wear them often enough for them to get all dirty or smelly, but come on! Mom, I swear. Your socks will not fall apart if you toss them in the wash machine. I think there is only one pair that will shrink, but you would have to remind me what socks I have knit for you because I don't remember. I know the navy ones are fine, as are the purple ones I gave you in Reno and the striped ones I just gave you. The burgundy ones can also go in the washer, but I can't remember if the dryer is a good idea. Don't you have one other pair though???

CRITICAL UPDATE!!! Mom just informed me that she does now put the socks in the wash machine and they do not fall apart. Good mom!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend Report

Not a ton to report. Mom and Dad and Payton came to visit and it was very fun. Mom and I went to a casino yesterday and had some Chinese food that I crave. This place makes this incredible sesame chicken, chow mien, and spring rolls. Totally unlike any other Chinese restaurant.

Anyhow, mom and I got to the casino at around 2:00. I started on a slot and lost so I headed to Pai Gow. I adore Pai Gow poker. It's my newest favorite. Anyhow, I played for a while and we headed off to lunch. Yum! Mom was a little ahead at that point and I was a little behind.

After lunch the Pai Gow tables were packed so I sat at another card table, Ultimate Texas Hold Em. It went well for about 10 minutes and then my money started flying out of my pocket. *sigh* I made it back to Pai Gow after a while and won back some of my money. We ended up leaving there at about 10:30 and headed home.

I was tired, but stayed awake by boring mom with work information (sorry mom!). We got home and sat around for a bit and eventually went to bed.

Today was terribly unexciting. Just some lounging around and stuff. I worked on mom's computer for a bit and then dad came back from a doctor's appt. I don't have a ton of info just yet, but it appears that he does have a heart thing going on. We should know more soon. Hopefully it's nothing serious.

Of the productive things completed this weekend... I am halfway through the waist shaping on the Shapely Tank. It seems like it is taking forever, but I think it's because I haven't devoted a ton of time to knitting this week. I also got my house in reasonable shape before my parents arrived. It needs some deep-cleaning on a few things, but it's fine for now. Included in the cleaning was completion and putting-away of all laundry, so for the first time in ages we are starting the week with all clothes in order. That's a very nice feeling.

I can't recall any other productive stuff taking place this weekend, so that's all I have to report!

Oh...notice that I did move a few things around on the blog, and I added a poll. Please add your vote!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Photo Blog and Attack of the Giant Zucchini

Today I will present you, my readers, with a lot of pictures and maybe a little content. Also, a request... Who is reading the blog? If you are reading, do you mind leaving a comment? Thanks much!

Now on to the photo blog.

First, I present you with my knitting muse, Layla. This is the little one I do most of my knitting for. She belongs to my best friend. She and her mom were over last Friday evening and I started snapping pics. In this, Layla is showing us how cute and spoiled she is. See, DH and mom were having a spat about tomatoes. DH didn't want to share with anyone. However, when Layla came to him and batted her eyes in his direction, he gave her the most beautiful tomato he could find.


And here Layla is continuing to admire her tomato. Isn't she adorable???
Here, Layla is modeling some socks I made for mom. Right after this picture she walked on the tile in the socks and fell. There was some crying, but no injuries. And yet, she STILL wouldn't take them off. She really likes my knitted items. Her mom has to hide her summer cardigan because she won't take it off even when it is 100 degrees and she's roasting.


And here is a picture of what we do with children in our house when they misbehave. Just kidding! She thought that spending time in the dog crate was a fine idea. The dogs were completely perplexed.Had enough of Layla? Didn't think so. She's so cute. But, I must show you a few other things. Namely, the fact that my yard is under attack. This is threatening to take over the world, and it has a few friends that are nearly as big.


While that picture shows that I have a big zucchini in my garden, I don't feel that it truly captures the magnitude of the threat. So, here it is posed with a bottle of wine. If you don't hear from me again, please send help.


On to a corn update. Here is the corn "field". It just keeps growing...
But more importantly...I HAVE CORN!!! Also, I have an ANT IN MY CORN!!! Damned ants. DH thinks they were just crawling up to get away from the water, but I am worried that I won't be the first one to eat this corn. I have at least 7 like this...



Well, I think that's enough for the evening. I also had a little photo shoot with Miss Daisy in preparation for her story. Which will be coming soon...I swear!

Monday, August 6, 2007

WIPs (Works In Progress)

Here is my list of current knitting projects. Crossed out items are ones that were previously listed and are now finished.

Uniscarfity (http://magknits.com/Nov06/patterns/uniscarfity.htm) for DH. Making this out of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, and it's about half done. I can't bring myself to work with wool during 100 degree days. Update: I haven't touched this one and DH is getting discouraged...

Kew (http://www.knitty.com/issuefall06/PATTkew.html) for mom. Using some beautiful cranberry wool. I don't remember the brand, but it is mildly variegated and really nice. I completed one and started the other and have a small case of Second Sock Syndrome.

Swimsuit wrap that I am making up as I go for mom. It is garter stitch with a YO 2 stitches in on each side with the occasional random increases. It is out of a cheapo finger weight purple yarn and using size 11 KnitPicks Options needles. I've increased enough that each row takes a while to complete and I'm seriously bored with this project. Mom wants it finished though, so I will keep plugging away. I wanted to make a really cool lace one from the Summer 07 IK, but she wanted garter stitch. BORING!

Shapely Tank (http://www.whiteliesdesigns.com/patterns/lpullovers/fbcprintx.html) for myself. I am using Elann Endless Summer Luna in Burnished Clay. I adore this yarn. I am using the pattern at the suggestion of my LYS owner and I like it so far except that it is not knit in the round and I'm not a huge fan of purling. I prefer to knit in the round. Anyhow, I actually reclaimed this yarn from a tank I knit a few months ago that did not fit right. It was a little too big. Unravelling was challenging since I am really good at weaving in ends! But it happened, and I am on the waist shaping portion of the front of the tank.

Jacket for my niece. I don't have a link to the pattern, but I am making it out of Elsebeth Lavold Angora. So far, the yarn is just a bit too light so I may rip it out and use a double strand. It's a super fast pattern and the yarn is so soft. I've made several mistakes and had to frog a lot though, so starting over may be a good plan. Update: I haven't touched this either!

Cardigan for Arwen from the Winter 07 IK. I am making this out of a dark navy wool from elann. I made the baby version for my friend's little girl, so the cable pattern is easy for me at this point. But again, knitting with wool is a bit hot right now. Update: Same as the others!

New projects and FOs

Cute Striped Socks - I made some really cute basic striped socks and gave them to mom with her Kew socks. I have a picture of them but am not sure where the camera is right now. I will add it later. These are done and delivered.

Mystery Stole 3 - There is an online knitting project out there that I started called a Mystery Stole 3 (the 3 is because this is the third annual one they have done). A lady makes this pattern for a stole/shawl and sends out 1 clue a week to the participants. The participants knit each clue without knowing just what they will end up with. I decided to try it and I really like it so far. I am way behind because I started late, but it's working well. It is knit with KnitPicks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor with beads and I think I will try to finish it for my grandma's birthday.

Pink short socks - These are really cute and one of them is complete. I finished it in a day, so the other will be done sometime soon. Maybe before mom visits this weekend. I used some left-over Cascade Fixation, which is a nice stretchy elastic-cotton yarn. The finished sock is really cool.

Shapely Tank - I am making a second one using Debbie Bliss Cotton-Cashmere in a dusty plum color. I like the pattern so much and I had this yarn laying around, so I'm working on another. It's a good easy knit for working on while watching TV. I am knitting it in the round this time and it's working well.

I did start another project that did not work out. It is the pattern for Coachella from the recent Knitty and it doesn't fit right. My boobs are way too big to make the sweater fit in a non-obscene manner. *sigh* Now I have to figure out how to unravel a half-tank knit with 2 strands of yarn held together. I don't think it will be easy. Eek.

I think that's it for my WIPs (Works In Progress).

On a separate knitting note...welcome goodstuf3! goodstuf3 is a friend from another site who is re-taking up knitting and is going to work on socks. I can't wait to see her progress!

The Last Four Days

Friday
I woke up unnecessarily early and sat on the couch to knit. Eventually I got up and straightened up my house because I had guests coming to visit...MY PARENTS AND PAYTON!!!

They got here around noon and we all proceeded to lounge around in a lazy fashion for the day. I love having every other Friday off...it really makes the weeks go by easier.

Anyhow, dad started being a pill immediately. He hates that I only have the 100 channel Dish package at my house, and he complains loudly every time he visits. This time he complained because he would be missing the Giants game, and eventually wore me down. I upgraded to the 250 channel package and that shut him right up. Since the game didn't start until later, he watched that damned shark show where they were eating seals again. *sigh*

After upgrading the TV, mom and I started badgering dad (as we do always). We begged him to let us go play bingo, but he was having none of that. He's such a pill. So instead, we stayed home and made him a snack. He is a spoiled pill. He's just lucky he's cute and charming.

Later in the afternoon my friend and her little girl came to visit and stayed for dinner. It was great to visit with her. She's had a lot of rotten health stuff to deal with for a while, so it was nice to just have a mellow evening. Her baby is just the cutest little girl ever.

Saturday
Saturday was the family reunion, which is the reason my parents were up to visit. It's a long drive, but it's in a nice park in a nice town with very nice weather, so it was good. I got to see my niece and nephew, and we brought Bugs (my niece) back home so she could go home with my parents for a week.

As expected, I spent most of the time at the reunion knitting. I decided to make mom some short socks for summer. I finished one and it turned out very cute. The funny part happened when I was working on it in a lawn chair... One of the random old lady relatives saw me knitting a smallish (but not that small) light pink sock. She came over and asked if it was some sort of "announcement". Note to self...possibly do not respond with "Oh hell no!" when at a very religious family reunion. Oops. But honestly! Who asks a question like that???

After the reunion we made the long drive home. Since Bugs was going to mom and dad's, she came home too and mom and I spent the evening in the park so she could play.

Sunday
Slept in a little and got up to see off mom and dad and Bugs. :-( I spent the rest of the day being fairly lazy. The weather got really weird here and it was downright cold and VERY windy. I think the only productive thing I did (other than knit) was some laundry.

Monday (today)
Went to work and got some of my confidence back. I am in a completely new role for a while and feeling a little out of my comfort zone. But today I started to get into my groove and got some stuff going. That was good. The first week or so in a new role is always very tough for me. I tend to freeze up internally a little bit and it's hard for me to deal with. I don't think anyone notices but me, but it's mentally taxing.

Anyhow, on the work front things are interesting. Not for me but for DH. The opportunity for him at my company did not pan out (long story that I won't be going into, but nothing we could have done different) and he officially gave notice at his existing job today. This stresses me out but also feels good. He was working so many hours that it was about to kill him! The good thing is that he is a hard worker and a good guy so he will make money until he finds the right job. But for now, I will be a little stressed.

After work and all of that I decided that I needed to do something useful when I got home. I hemmed and hawed up until the last moment, but I finally got my lazy ass to put on my shoes and walk on the treadmill. Yay! I went for about 40 minutes at a reasonable speed and watched "Cash Cab" on the Discovery channel. That is a fun game show. I told myself that if I want to watch TV that I would have to do some of it while on the treadmill. Now I have to make sure to stick with it. I can't let the damned thing become a giant coat hanger like DH said it would!

After the exercise I started to work on a second Shapely Tank in a different yarn. I have some purple Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in a dusty plum color and it's perfect for the pattern. I will make this one with slightly wider straps so that I can wear it to work and be within dress code. You know? I have a lot of WIPs (Works In Progress) going...I think they deserve their own post.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Final Wishes and Sharks

Oh lord, mom and I just had quite the discussion on IM. Per DH, she was being as dramatic as a hospital scene in a Mexican soap opera. :-)

The discussion started with her asking us a Very Important Question. Said question was if we would take Payton (their dog and Deacon's German Lady Friend) if they die. I said that of course we would, who else? WTF is one more dog in this house, ya know?

She also informed me that Payton prefers to sleep on the sofa. As I well know, since she gets very peevish when I go on vacation with them and take over the sofa. Very. Peevish.

She also told me there were other things I was to know and I reminded her that I know many of those things already... Mom is to be cremated, Dad wants a box. If Mom goes first, she wants to be placed in Dad's box. If Dad goes first, we are to either sprinkle her over his plot or dig a hole and put her in his box. Also, I am to keep an eye on my niece, Bugs.

I figured since we were on the topic that I should remind her that I am against being plugged in and I am all for donating my guts. But not my kidneys, because that would just be mean (they make kidney stones like nobody's business!). Mom is a little more pro-plug, so I just need to keep reminding her that I wouldn't be fond of being a vegetable. DID YOU HEAR THAT MOM???

In other, lighter, news... it's Shark Week on the Discovery channel. And lucky me, I have a DVR. (That was sarcasm, BTW) DH has every shark program taping and we have 20+ hours so far. *sigh*

And more on summer TV... I am hooked on a few shows, most of them REALLY bad. The worst? That one on VH1 where Bret Michaels from Poison is looking for love. Rock of Love or something? This show makes 7th Heaven look like good television.

Some of the fun and/or less stupid ones are: Don't Forget the Lyrics, Army Wives, Burn Notice, Side Order of Life, Saving Grace, and a few others I can't remember.

OH MY GOD IT'S A SEAL SNUFF FILM!!! The shark show is showing sharks mutilating seals! The poor seals are leaping to try and get away. THIS IS AWFUL! And the camera man is saying how you just can't help but root for the poor little seals.

I hate Shark Week. Poor lil seals!

Let's see...in other news, DH won't be working with me right away. The job got filled before he got an interview. We are pretty bummed, but are moving on to plan B. We just have to figure out what plan B is.

OH MY GOD THEY JUST RESCUED A SEAL THAT IS NOW MISSING A GIANT CHUNK! So. Gross. And sad. But they said it will live.

Okay, I have to stop writing now for fear of alienating my few readers with awful shark stories.

On the knitting front... I am making a few things right now that I will post about soon. I also have at least 1 FO to show a pic of. Maybe tomorrow I will bust out with the camera.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dino

And for this installment of The Pets of Casa de Soliel we shall discuss Dino.
Dino is a Llewellyn Setter, like all of our dogs (and there are many!). While I am not positive about this, I believe that he is 7 years old. DH thinks he is 8. I'm pretty sure I am right, but who knows? And I am way too lazy to go find his papers to find out for sure.
Anyhow, here is Dino's story.

DH and I had lived together for a couple of years when we decided it was time to buy a house. He was working in construction at the time and was out of town during the week most of the time, so the house buying was challenging at best. But we did it, and then began the escrow and planning phase. At some point during this, DH reminded me that his best buddy's dog, Babe, had produced a litter of puppies. Said litter was sired by a Famous Dog by the name of Hank.

Anyhow, DH started to really get pesty about wanting a dog. I am not much of a dog person, so I wasn't terribly on board with the plan but he eventually wore me down. I told him that once we were in the house that he could bring home a puppy.

Never has any man taken an agreement so literally! When escrow closed, it happened right on the opener of dove season, so we went hunting, then drove back to our old place, loaded up the bed in the rain, drove to the new place and slept there for the night. The next morning, DH left for a short time and came home with a puppy.

It is important to note here that at the time I did not find these particular type of dogs to be very appealing looks-wise, since I was raised with labs which are very different. Llewellyn's struck me as too fancy, what with the long fur and all. And the spots really turned me off.

Anyhow, DH walked in the door with the biggest puppy I could imagine and set him on the floor. Said puppy sat there in a perfect pose and stared at me, lightly tapping his tail on the carpet. I asked DH what was wrong with him, and he said he was waiting for me to come tell him hello. He explained that these dogs are somewhat introverted and polite in an odd way. I walked over to the puppy, kneeled down, and wrapped my arms around him. This was how he knew I was him new very best friend ever. And also, the Cutest Dog Ever.

We had discussed names and came upon Dino. See, Dino was DH's grandfather's name, and his grandfather was dying. Also, he did not have anyone to carry on his name and as a fellow hunter and dog lover, we thought he might be okay with this. Dino's full name on his papers is Dino Brownbutt B*****. The Brownbutt part is because he has a giant brown patch on his back end and the B***** is DH's grandfather's last name (I'm just not going to spell it out on the internet).

Soon after bringing Dino home, he was introduced to his namesake. This wonderful old man was so happy to have a prized bird dog named after him that he had a tear in his eye. We definitely made the right choice.

Dino's first week home was somewhat challenging. I had taken the week off to unpack and try to get to know my puppy, all while DH was out of town working. What I learned very quickly was that Dino missed his litter mates and Babe. I went for days with no sleep because this puppy would cry and cry when it was time for bed. I was like a new mother. Fortunately, my MIL came over one day to help me set up my kitchen and she saw what a state I was in. She ordered me to bed and took care of my whiny puppy for several hours. I slept like the dead.

A few days after this I was taking a nap with Dino (he finally figured out that sleeping was okay). Evidently he had eaten a little too much or something because while I was sleeping he barfed all over me. This was the first time I had ever run into the shower fully clothed and with no regard for water temperature. Yuck.

Somehow, though, Dino and I made it through that first week. At the end of that first week, my mom came to live with us for a while. She and Dino because best buddies immediately.

One of the most interesting things about Dino as a puppy was that he was almost immediately potty trained. He only had two accidents in the house as a puppy. The first was when he met my mom...he was so excited that he kind of piddled while running in a circle. The second time was when he had been barking and whining to go out and I wasn't fast enough (I was sleeping, in fact). He went right by the door and was very upset about it.

While mom was living with us, she made an interesting discovery. Dino was a very mellow dog and never startled, but I just thought he was lazy (which he is, but that wasn't the issue). One day, mom did something very noisy near him while he was sleeping and she noticed that he never stirred. She called me over, so we started making all sorts of racket and Dino never moved a muscle. This is when we realized that something was terribly wrong with my puppy.

After well over a thousand dollars in vet bills and tests, it was proven beyond all doubt that Dino was stone deaf and probably had been born that way. DH was devastated and in denial. In fact, he still, to this day, tries to convince me that Dino can hear. I was fine with a deaf dog...he never barked at random noises and he never startled. In fact, when he went to a doggie neurologist for some of the tests, I was really worried because he said there was a chance his hearing could be restored (but that chance did not pan out). I was fine with having a deaf dog and was worried that he might change if his hearing were fixed. Fortunately, there was nothing that could be done.

Before getting Dino, DH and I made a list of rules we planned to follow as dog owners. For example, we agreed that there would be no table scraps and no begging allowed, and that there were certain ways to train and so forth. Obviously some of the training had to be changed. Dino was a hunting dog and had to be trained using hand commands only. And we had to do the same for his household commands as well. This was a little challenging, but DH is an awesome dog trainer. The most creative command though, in my opinion, is how I call him in to the house at night. Instead of tromping through the grass in the dark, I just flick the light switch a few times. This gets his attention and he comes right in. DH is always impressed with this.

When Dino was about 10 months old, everything changed. DH was in a serious auto accident and everything went to hell in a hand basket. He ended up being home on disability for over a year. This included physical therapy and a lot of pain pills, and most importantly, a lot of time with Dino.

Dino became the most well-socialized dog in all of history. DH took him absolutely everywhere unless it was too hot. He also got a bath and was fully groomed a least once a week. Since he is deaf, the hairdryer was not a scary thing. Nope, he considered it a treat. And he always looked beautiful and smelled nice. Can you tell that he had grown on me? I think I neglected to mention earlier that I was crazy about Dino from that first hug.

Anyhow, in short, Dino was spoiled rotten. He was also a typical puppy. When he didn't get to go somewhere he would tear up the house. He had a dog door, so he had free roam at all times. One time he ate a pepper shaker, a watch, and a wallet all in one sitting. Another time, I had my best friend check in on him when we went out of town and he tore out the hall carpet. He was a very bad dog. Very bad. But so cute and lovable.

Dino grew to be an amazing hunter. Since sounds provided no distraction at all, he was completely focused. He does wear a shock collar, but we use the vibrate mode more than anything. It's like a pager...you buzz him and he knows to look to us for a command. Very cool. DH loves that he can take him into a field that has been combed by other dogs and declared empty, and Dino can find birds. DH also likes to leave him on point for extended periods of time to impress guys at the hunt club with his focus.

When Dino was 3 and DH had long since been back at work, we thought that maybe he was getting lonely. So, we thought he should have a pet. Enter Miss Daisy. Daisy's story will be told next, so I won't go into a ton of detail here other than to say that Dino clearly did not want a pet. He had the cat to keep him company, and he had no interest in a dog horning in on his territory. Granted, his relationship with Cassidy was somewhat strained. She filleted his ear and sliced his eye, but they eventually got past this. But the introduction of Daisy was when Dino decided it was time to become a Grumpy Old Dog.

Dino has turned into an absolutely marvelous Grumpy Old Man. If you wake him up he groans. He glares at you if given a command he would prefer to ignore. Better yet though, if he really doesn't want to obey a command, he closes his eyes. This is the funniest thing ever. It is his equivalent of putting his fingers in his ears and saying "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" Hysterical. Even better? Sometimes he will open one eye ever so slightly to see if you are gone yet. And shuts it REALLY FAST when he sees you are not.

Dino has some serious quirks that also crack me up. First, he likes to sleep on his back sometimes. All the pets do; it's because I hold them like babies when they are little (and sometimes now too!). Given the option, Dino puts his head on a pillow or other elevated surface when he is laying down. He's fairly insistent about it. Also, he is an incredibly polite dog. If he has decided that he will sit in your lap, he does it gently. Thank goodness, since he weighs 60+ lbs. and has no business being a lap dog. But try telling him that...

He is also polite when he is given a treat. He's not one of those dogs that will snap your fingers off (I'm looking at you, Miss Daisy!); instead he takes whatever is offered in a very polite manner.

On this treat subject...when we were in the process of selling our last house, Dino gave us a scare. One morning I was making a sandwich and offered him a piece of salami (so much for the no treat rule, huh?). He was a HUGE salami fan, so when he didn't eat it, I panicked. And when he sneezed, that sealed my fate for the day. I called in sick and rushed him to the vet (he loves the vet). After 2 days and over $1,000 in vet bills, it was determined that Dino didn't like salami anymore and just had to sneeze. No, really. Evidently DH had been using salami to give him pills recently and he was sick of pill-flavored salami. *sigh* To this day, he is a little suspicious of salami.

Dino has had a few other health crisis's in his life. About a year and a half ago, DH discovered a growth on one of his paws. Of course this turned out to be a cancer and a pretty deep cut was made. The cancer had some "fingers", so it wasn't simple by any means. Since we were planning to go to Reno that weekend, guess who got to join us? He needed to be kept calm and watched, so we couldn't just leave him home. My parents joined us in the motorhome and Dino got to spend his time lounging in his grandpa's recliner for the weekend. That dog is so spoiled.

Oh, here's a funny story about Dino... Even though he will happily tromp through the mud and muck to hunt, he gets really pissed when it rains and he has to walk in the wet grass to pee. Last year there was a time when the rain seemed never ending. Dino clearly blamed me for this and would "hold it" for an amazing amount of time. One day while my mom was visiting, Dino had enough. He was so angry at me about the rain that he walked over to the stove, looked right at me, and peed on the stove. Needless to say, I was thoroughly shocked. And the next day he did the same exact thing on his dog bed. He was REALLY MAD. He was also in really big trouble and spent a lot of time in his crate over the next few days. It was so deliberate though, that I couldn't help but laugh.

Well, I think I've written quite the essay about my Dino so I will stop now. Overall, you couldn't ask for a better dog. He is truly amazing and I adore him. Everyone who meets him adores him. He is so handsome and polite and soft. I will add more Dino stories as I think of them...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Less Bored, But a Bit Ill Now

DH and I rather suddenly decided to go see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. By suddenly, I mean we got into the theater just as the previews were ending. It was okay, but the first was the best. I was lost on the storyline for a good portion of the movie, but I was on the second one as well. Such is life.

Anyhow, now I am less bored. But with the amount of popcorn and butter in my stomach, I am now felling a bit ill. *sigh* I think now I will actually take a nap.

Bored

Sorry for not posting for several days. Our internet has been unreliable at best. Seems to be working right now, but I don't know if it will continue...

So, what has been new? Well, DH's cell phone is literally falling apart. It is held together by one single wire and you can sort of use it to make a call, but not reliably. I spent my morning on the phone with a very helpful lady from AT&T/Cingular trying out a bag of phones, none of which ultimately worked. The challenge is that we are not yet eligible for a new phone, but also didn't have a functional phone. After much discussion, she got approval from her manager to get us new phones a few months early, so new ones should show up Monday or Tuesday. Yay! The best news is that they are Bluetooth compatible, so when Woot! has one of their zillion cheapo Bluetooth headsets for sale, I will buy them. I like to talk on the phone while driving, but would prefer to do it without holding a phone to my ear. Overall, this was a successful morning.

On to other topics. You will notice that I do not really discuss work here. This is because I don't really want to and I also don't want to be one of those people that ends up getting in trouble for talking about their company online. And since I spend a good chunk of my life at work and talking about work already, I don't feel like blogging about it as well. What I will say is this...I like my job and I like my company. I've been there for a long time, and even though I complain now and then, it is overall a great place to be. And right now, I am trying desperately to get DH on with my company as well and I am not dealing well with the patience aspect. So, if y'all could keep your fingers crossed for us, I would appreciate it.

Cat update: Cassidy seems to be doing very well. She may have even put on a tiny bit of weight, which is good. She barfs a lot, but not as much as before the vet visit. I don't think she is getting better or was misdiagnosed or anything, but I do think that she is happy and not in pain and we are getting to enjoy her for a while. This is good.

Now for the most important reason I am blogging right now. I am bored to tears. DH and I are both home today and tomorrow and we have no plans and no motivation and we are bored and lazy. I want him to take me to a casino for lunch and a little playing, but he doesn't want to right now. Nope, instead he wants to lay on the couch with the dogs and watch Das Boot. I don't even know what this movie is about but I know that it is over 4 hours long and boring as shit. So when I finish blogging, I may go take a nap. If mom had her way, I would go take a train ride and visit her. But I do want to spend time with DH and I have hope that we will do something during our days off. Something other than go out on the boat, since it's hot and my swimsuit is at mom's house...

Well, this is all I can think of to report for now. I intend to post about Dino sometime soon, since he is the next installment in the Pet Stories series here at Casa de Soliel. Not that he is a terribly exciting subject. In fact, he is currently laying on the couch with his head on a pillow staring at the wall. Yes, my dog is bored too.

Edited to add: Marcia and Hollis, I have not tried any of those things you mentioned for zucchini, but they are both on the list now. I'll keep y'all posted.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Bag of Crap Has Arrived

The Bag of Crap has arrived, and it is exactly as promised...3 craps in 1 bag. I got a black and red backpack (nice and worth the $8), a blue and white ship piggy bank without a plug to keep the change contained, a patriotic mouse pad, and a random computer cord. 1 bag with 3 craps. It was totally fun and I would buy it again. I just wasn't one of the lucky ones this time. At least 1 person did get a TV, and one person got this seriously cool plastic armadillo. I am jealous of those people.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

FO and Garden Report

Mom's socks are done! Yay! Below is a picture. It's not a very good picture, but get used to it...I am not the family photographer. Anyhow, I think she will like them. She asked for socks in this color, and when she tried on the one she said it was the best fitting sock yet. I knit mom a lot of socks... Mom is my top knit supporter. Well, mom and DH that is.
Mom, you can pick up your socks when you and dad come to our house to go to the family reunion!


And here is the picture that will explain my concern about possibly running out of yarn. This is exactly how much yarn was left upon completion. Including the bits trimmed off after weaving in the ends. All knitters will look at this and feel the sting of fear.




And now for some garden pics. Below you will see Corn Corner. I decided that I wanted DH to plant me some corn. He said there wasn't much chance of getting actual corn, but now it has grown taller than the fence and is starting to get those corn dreadlocks that start actual ears of corn. I'm so excited!


And this is where a small portion of our veggies come from. These barrels contain tomatoes, squash, radishes, garlic, and some herbs. A little crowded, but producing like crazy. I don't have pics yet of the rest of the garden, but this is the fancy stuff. DH used rebar and caging left over from concrete pouring to build 10 foot tall tomato cages. And I think the tomatoes may actually get that high! DH is a little bit of an extremist with, well, everything.





Here is what we picked last night. This is in addition to the stuff you saw a few days ago. Anyone have any good squash and zucchini recipes? We're getting a little sick of it already. Here's the cool thing though...see that one that is yellow but shaped like a zucchini? DH says the roots merged between a squash and a zucchini plant and this is a hybrid. It is mostly green on one side and yellow on the other. Seriously cool.



This is about all I have to report for the evening. We are about to feast on some yummy steak, cheddar broccoli rice, and, you guessed it, zucchini. Wanna see how DH is BBQing it tonight? Here's a pic. He should be a chef.