Saturday, July 28, 2007


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 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.


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.

Weekend Accomplishments

I picked up my meals at Cena and fed DH a tostada last night. It was very good! Tonight is some kind of steak things.

Mom's sock has a good chance of being completed. The foot is half done, and I think I can finish it today if I knuckle down. And if I don't run out of yarn. It will be close. If I run out, I don't know what I will do. It's a one-of-a-kind and it's not like I can buy just a little more.

I am going to go dye my hair now. MIL could not come over due to a small car issue, and I don't feel like leaving the house. Hence, I will dye my own hair and will try not to dye the carpet or cabinets as I have done in the past.

I am going to skip Harry Potter and Trader Joe's. I just don't feel like going anywhere! So lazy...

But the biggest accomplishment is that I think I finally fixed my internet connection for good. We have had constant issues that we can't figure out, and it's very annoying. I had a brainstorm today and called tech support, and in theory things should be resolved. And if they aren't, at least my ISP tech support will have to fix it. They wouldn't before because I was using a Linksys router, but I learned that their modem will also act as a router (that was my brainstorm) and now they will support all of my equipment. Fingers are crossed.

Okay, off to dye my hair!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend Tasks

What I plan to do this weekend...

  • Hopefully finish mom's second sock (Kew). I have a decent amount of the cuff/leg done; about 20%, I think.
  • Go to Cena to pick up my meals for the month. Good stuff on the menu this month, plus they are assembling for free. Yay! I enjoy the assembly, but I didn't feel like doing it this time.
  • Probably run to Trader Joe's. I am out of foccacia bread for my sandwiches.
  • Dye my hair. I am hoping that MIL will come do it for me. It looks awful right now, so faded.
  • Maybe go buy Harry Potter. I read the synopsis, so I may wait. I really need to reread all of them to remember how it all goes. I don't even think I own them all! So it may be a while. And I have several other books I need to read in a nice pile on the coffee table. I need to learn to read and knit at the same time.

That's about it. I think the hardest task I will have will be to make freezer room for the food!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Very Little To Report

Well, the Woot-Off is over and I didn't buy anything. There were a few things that temped me, but I don't need any impulse purchases right now. My Bag of Crap has not yet arrived. I have no patience... This is almost as bad as when I bought a grab bag of yarn from WEBS. But at least with that I knew I would get something good. Surprise yarn is fun.

DH's computer is all jacked up and I can't figure out why. It's times like this that I wish I actually knew as much about computers that all the people in my life think I do (hi mom!). I get very frustrated when I can't fix something. I am going to try a system restore to see what happens.

But the most important thing I have to report here is...


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bag of Crap Update

Still hasn't arrived yet, but should be here by Monday. Some people are receiving true crap, some are getting awesome stuff. One person got a 32" HDTV. Everyone is getting a red and black backpack that looks cool. So, even if I get crap, I really do need a new backpack. For $8, you can't go wrong!

There is also a Woot-Off going on today, but nothing has been worth spending money on. There was a seriously smokin' deal on a giant TV, but I just can't bring myself to buy one when my TV's work just fine.

Nothing more to report so far...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


First, a picture of the Shapely Tank. Yes, it is done and it is blocking. Since I am a terrible photographer, this is a really bad picture. Even the color is not showing well. I did do a crab stitch all around the armholes and neck line and it seems to make it more uniform. I know it fits well, hopefully it will be even better when it is done blocking.

Since I had the camera out, I thought I could share more pics... Cassidy is not the best model, but here she is. I could not get her to keep her eyes open for the flash, nor could I convince her to face forward. *sigh* That's cats for you.

And last but not least, a few garden pics for mom's benefit. Mom is the tomato thief in the family but she is not close enough to steal. :-( And those squash and zucchini are filling the veggie drawer, and yes, that one is giant.

Well, I'm off to admire my slowly drying tank top. And maybe go see what else DH will digg out of the garden. We are getting buried in veggies. Mom, come back!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Crab Stitch...

I made a crab stitch all around the neck line. It looks okay, and I'm pretty impressed that it is fairly straight and somewhat even. I think it needs a few more layers, so I'll work on it some more tomorrow and then will get to blocking. Almost done...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Shapely Tank Update

It is so close to done! It is all knit and seamed up. Now I have to weave in the ends and do some fort of edging on the neck line and arms. I may try my hand at a crochet edge...not that I have ever crocheted or anything! But I have a book and the internet. The pattern suggests a knitted edge, but I don't think I want that.

Anyhow, I will finish it over the next few evenings at the most. Originally I wanted to finish it for work tomorrow, but I realize now that the straps are too thin to fit dress code, so there is no hurry.

I will probably make this pattern again soon, but with alterations. First, I think I could figure out how to knit it in the round pretty easily. Also, I will probably make the straps wider so I can wear it to work. I may also add a couple more short rows.

Anyhow, I am thrilled. I finally knit something that fits well. And the color is great.

Oh, and a quick update on the weekend chores. I did complete them. The pedicure took a ridiculous amount of time. They were busy and I sat in a chair soaking my feet for 45 minutes before they finally started. *sigh* But that is where I completed the bulk of my knitting and they did a great job on my toes. I also got my grocery shopping completed, so DH and I can eat this week. Yay for food!

Now I'm off to bed to start a busy week. Lots of stuff going on, so we'll see how it all goes! As for knitting, once I completely finish the tank, I will work on mom's second sock.

Weekend Plans Updates

Here is my original list:

  • Costco - Lunch stuff for DH
  • Bath & Body Works - Need wallflower refills and have a coupon for some goodies
  • Various Clothing Stores - I am taking on some new work duties and need to dress a little more professional
  • Trader Joe's - More lunch stuff
  • Nail Salon - Desperately need a pedicure
  • Ulta - On Sunday they start a big sale and I am going to stock up

Here is my altered list:

  • Costco - Lunch stuff for DH - Done
  • Bath & Body Works - Need wallflower refills and have a coupon for some goodies - Done
  • Various Clothing Stores - I am taking on some new work duties and need to dress a little more professional - Calling this done for now
  • Trader Joe's - Skipping it since I need very little there and it can wait
  • Ulta - Skipping it because I don't need to spend the $$$
  • Nail Salon - Desperately need a pedicure - Doing this today
  • Grocery Store - Added because DH eats a lot of lunch stuff and we are out of a few things

These changes mean that I can do my tasks all within about 2 miles of my house and in a short time. Yay!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I changed my mind...I am going to tell you about my pets in order of seniority. Since Cassidy is the oldest, she gets to go first.

Cassidy is my first pet as an adult. I had many family pets growing up, but Cassidy was my first true responsibility. I moved out when I was 18, and when I was in my second apartment I started to really want a cat. Never mind that I am terribly allergic...I am a cat lover through and through. My best friend is also a cat lover and knew how much I wanted a kitty all my own. I was so jealous that she had one, and I kept thinking that I needed to do something about my kitty-less existence.

That Christmas, Darcy somehow made arrangements with my then boyfriend and our landlord to allow me to have a pet. She did this without my knowing, and kept telling me that I was going to love my Christmas present. I kept pestering her about getting me a cat, knowing full well that it was a pipe dream. I never figured in a million years that she would get me a cat for Christmas.

Lo and behold, she and our friend Gabe showed up on Christmas Eve with a litter box and tools, cat food, and the most darling little ball of long haired tabby fur EVER. She had Cassidy in her coat pocket and let her down on the ground as soon as she walked in the door.

Cassidy promptly did two things. First, she went straight to an ornament box and peed in it. She clearly needed to go after a long ride, and clearly knew that one should always pee in a box if one is available. Immediately after she peed in the box, she came straight to me, ran up my jeans and shirt and perched on my shoulder. Evidently she knew I was to be her person.

When Cassidy was a kitten, I used to take her everywhere with me in the car. I figured this would make it easier to take her places, and it worked until she was a couple of years old. But as a kitten, she was my constant companion (weather permitting).

We did have a scary trip that put an end to all unsecured car trips. I had a Saturn car at the time and we were driving down the freeway. That model of Saturn had power windows, and the switches were in the center console. One of them would roll the driver side window down in a flash with a single touch of a button. Of course, she jumped on the button and leaped out the window. Somehow, I caught her tail and pulled her back in. It's a wonder we didn't get in a wreck! To this day, I cannot believe it. I NEVER have reflexes like that.

Cassidy and I have had a few other scary incidents in our time together. There was this time that we were living alone in this awesome little in-law house in the country. Most of the time I would sleep with all the windows and doors open to conserve energy, and she loved to sit in the window. So this one night I heard an awful scream and came running to the living room. There was a mountain lion on the deck and my kitty in the window separated only by a screen. She was so scared that she was stiff as a bored and peed all over the window sill. Not thinking, I grabbed her and ran to the only room in the house that was not wide open - the bathroom. We spent the night in the bathtub scared to death. I did not have a phone in there and was too freaked to leave the room, so it was a long night. The next day I found semi-shredded screens and deep gouges in my deck, but it must have given up and not bother to come in the house.

Cassidy has lived a fairly exciting life, as you can see already. While she is mainly a house cat, she has had opportunity to be an outdoor kitty as well. When I met DH and moved to his place, she had a dog door and a giant field. She never went far, but she did learn how to hunt. She would often bring home gifts in the middle of the night. Always live gifts. Many a baby bird, mole, and mouse were deposited in the bed at 2 am.

One time she brought a mouse in the house and set it in her food dish. I came home and found her giving the mouse a bath while the mouse ate kibble. I guess she was bringing home friends as opposed to trying to kill. And then there was the time she was treed by a squirrel. Cassidy has never had good balance, so she never bothered to climb trees. But she must have pissed off this squirrel big time because DH came home and found her in a tree and the squirrel on the ground barking at her ferociously. It was hilarious.

Cassidy really doesn't like other cats, but she is very fond of dogs. When DH and I met, he had a cat. It was a really great cat and he brought it to my place. Cass beat the crap out of this poor cat so much that he finally took it home. It was later confiscated by his ex-wife, so we were never a 2 cat household. When we lived at his place (the one with the dog door), I would often come home from work to find Cassidy and one to three neighborhood dogs lounging around the living room. I guess she liked to have guests during the day. Eventually we had to make the door smaller because her daytime parties kept getting bigger.

After a few years, we finally decided to buy a house and moved to the city. Literally the first day, DH brought home our first dog and Cassidy's world totally changed. Instead of a dog she invited, this was a puppy she did not ask for. Poor Dino had to go to the vet on two occasions for repairs. The first time was when she sliced his ear, the second was when she scratched his eyeball. Since he was already deaf, blindness was not a great option. We discussed getting her declawed, but eventually decided against it. Instead, I started using SoftPaws and Dino stopped getting hurt.

Cassidy is a really sweet girl when she wants to be, but she has a mean streak and holds a grudge. The one thing she doesn't forgive is people (other than me) telling her not to scratch furniture. My friend Mary gave her an instruction about not scratching furniture once, and Cassidy found a way to get back at her. She went outside, caught a live lizard, deposited it in Mary's purse, and hissed at her. Mary and I were in hysterics when this took place. It was so deliberate!

My mom has also given the scratching instruction many times, and she and Cass have a somewhat challenged relationship because of it. One time when mom was here and shortly after a "No!" was issued, Cass went over and sat staring at mom's brand new shoes that were on the floor. She stared long and hard until suddenly the familiar barfing sound started up. Yup. She puked right in mom's new shoe. It was awful and hilarious at the same time. We couldn't believe it.

Aside from being a vengeful kitty, she is also very loving. She sleeps on DH's head every night without fail. And every evening when I get home from work, she greets me at the door. She will always come when called, but often just far enough so that you know she heard you and then will turn around and ignore you. Very cat-like. One of the oddest things about her is that she loves when you tug her tail. It makes her happier than any other form of petting possible. Once I taught that trick to my mom and MIL, she decided that both were okay in her book.

And probably the strangest Cassidy fact of all: She is very agreeable about litter box switches. For ages I was in search of the perfect litter box that would require little cleaning and no stinkiness. I changed her box as often as once a month, and she never freaked. Most cats have a complete meltdown when you switch out their litter, much less their box. Not Cass. She would use whatever was there. Eventually I found the Litter Robot, which is the most genious invention of the 21st century. No stink, no cleaning, just empty the drawn every week or so and it's good to go. Cass loves having clean sand all the time.

Over the last few weeks, Cass started throwing up every night. She was always a barfy kitty, but this was becoming a nightly occurance. I won't go into too much detail right now, but $750 later, I have recently learned that she has cancer in her small intestine and she cannot have surgery because her blood won't clot. The vet doesn't know how much time she has left, but she didn't think it was much. Maybe a couple of months if we are lucky.

Upon learning this news, DH went to the store and bought her every stinky can or pouch of kitty stuff he could find. Cass is eating like a queen and has no clue that she is sick. But she is so skinny now. This is really hard for me to handle, but there isn't much that I can do about it. Nothing, really. Originally we weren't going to do surgery but I changed my mind at the last minute. Then we found out that she wouldn't survive surgery. So here we are, trying to make her last time as happy as we can.

I love my kitty so very much. Can you tell?

Dammit I wish I could figure out how to add a picture! I will figure it out and add it later.

Name Change and New Blog Topics

Since I am already blogging about more than just knitting, I opted to change the name of this blog. Also, I just thought of some new favorite pets.

My intention is to write a post about each of my pets to introduce them to y'all. My pets are Cassidy, Dino, Daisy, and Deacon. I believe that my first topic will be Sir Deacon. Stay tuned...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Done So Far...

  • Costco
  • Bath & Body Works (they had a terrible selection!)
  • Some of my clothes shopping

I think that's it for today though. I am going to veg in front of the TV and knit. I'm hoping to finish the Shapely Tank this weekend. Wish me luck!

Weekend To-Do List

I have several things that I need and/or want to do this weekend, so to help with my accountability I will put a list here:

  • Costco - Lunch stuff for DH
  • Bath & Body Works - Need wallflower refills and have a coupon for some goodies
  • Various Clothing Stores - I am taking on some new work duties and need to dress a little more professional
  • Trader Joe's - More lunch stuff
  • Nail Salon - Desperately need a pedicure
  • Ulta - On Sunday they start a big sale and I am going to stock up

I'm sure I am forgetting things, but this is what I have for now. Wish me luck! That's a lot of crap to get done.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Project on the Horizon

A friend as work asked me to make a knitted item for her. She will be in a wedding and wanted something to cover her arms in the evening and found this horrific poncho type thing that she thought would work. I guess it wasn't that bad, but totally not my style. Anyhow, I discussed it with her a bit more and suggested a shrug. She had never heard of such a thing, so we went on a little internet search.

Literally the second thing we looked at was exactly perfect! Here it is: She hadn't considered such a thing, but I explained that it was way better because taking it off wouldn't mess up her hair. Not that she needed to be sold on was exactly what she didn't know she wanted but now must have.

It looks like a fun and challenging project and perfect for the weather whe will be in. She is going to go yarn shopping and then I will get started. I'm totally excited. This isn't my first commissioned project, but it's still cool that people want me to knit things for them.

Woo hoo!!!

I got my Bag O Crap from Woot! Now I have to wait an eternity to see what it is, but I'm totally stoked. From what I can tell, very few people ever get this on their first try. Let's all hope for a Roomba, okay?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Random Notes and Bags of Crap

What is a Bag of Crap, you ask? It is the mysterious item one can purchase from As one who is new to Woot!, I have yet to get one and they only show up occasionally. But the various info on the net says that for $1 you can get some pretty awesome stuff if you clicked the order button fast enough. Many people are predicting a lot of Roombas being sent out based on the fact that Woot! has had them offered several times lately and they have not sold out.

I clicked the order button almost immediately, but have yet to receive confirmation over 40 minutes later, so we'll see. Cross your fingers for me! Poor mom was on the phone with me when the BoC popped up on the screen for me and I totally brushed her off. Sorry mom! But if I get good Crap In A Bag, you will agree that it was worth it!

Other random notes...I am continuing on the Shapely Tank and I am sick of knitting stockinette. And I am sick of worrying if I will run out of yarn. Argh!

The World Series of Pop Culture is back on VH1. I love that show. It's pop culture trivia and so much fun!

DH is totally hooked on that silly sitcom Still Standing. I started watching it and he thinks it's hilarious. It's always fun when he finds a show he likes...he gets really into it. Between this and Reno 911, he's well occupied in the evenings when he's not tending to his vegetable garden.

As for the daily cat update. Miss Cassidy is doing well. She barfed today, but I really don't blame her. Here is a list of things DH fed her today (he is off work today and spent most of it spoiling the dying cat):

  • Extra large sardines in olive oil
  • Potted meat
  • Swiss cheese
  • Pringles Sour Cream & Onion
  • Chocolate ice cream

Evidently she appreciated all of these items. Other than one barf, she seems to be feeling well today.

On a similar but very sad note, condolences to Crazy Aunt Purl and Roy. *sniff* I was so sad reading her post today ( I honestly didn't realize it was a goodbye post until the end, I was so enthralled in the story. What a great post.

Well, I'm off to bed now. Hope my BoC order went through...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How the Addiction Began

I really was planning to go to bed, but I want to stay up for another 20 minutes to see what tomorrow's offering will be on That is my new addiction, BTW. Anyhow, here is my first blog request.

How/Why I Started Knitting and How I learned To Knit

Sometimes, okay, most of the time, I like to read really easy books. My brain gets worked so much during the day that I prefer to read what I call mind-candy. One of the authors on the very lowest rung of mind-candy (for me) is Debbie Macomber. I read one of her books when I was staying at grandma's one time and decided they are okay.

So I read one called The Shop on Blossom Street. It is about a knitting store and the stories about the various knitters and the owner. I enjoyed the book, and even more, I enjoyed the concept of knitting. Then she came out with a sequel and I got the same "stirring". In one of the books they did a class on how to knit socks using circular needles. I didn't know anything different, but she made it sound easy so I thought I would give it a try some day. But I didn't really know where to start.

So I visited TamarianG's blog and asked her a question about it. Tama is my other inspiration. Every time she would discuss knitting I would feel like it was something I should try. Anyhow, she recommended Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles, so I kept that on my mind.

To back up a little, grandma did say that I learned to knit when I was very young and that I loved it, but I don't really remember this. I also did buy a DIY book on knitting a few years back, but it didn't "take" I guess.

Anyhow, back to the story. One day I was driving home from my grandma's house and I remembered there was a little knitting store on the way so I dropped in. I tried to be casual, but I had no clue of what to do. A lady working there helped me to locate the book, some purple and yellow variegated yarn, and two #2 circular needles. She then asked me if I knew how to cast on or do any stitches, and I had to admit that I didn't really remember.

As soon as she demonstrated for me, it clicked. My memories from being very young must have come back or something, because I sort of understood what she was doing. I promptly went home and started surfing the net to find instructions. I think my main source of help was, which has helpful videos.

Anyhow, between that site and the book, I started my sock. Only problem? I understood the knit stitch (though I was knitting through the back loop, which was why it was not working quite right) but the purl stitch was completely baffling to me. So I knit the entire top of the sock using the knit stitch and various other made up stitches.

It sounds awful, but it was a surprisingly good sock for a first effort.

Eventually I went back to the yarn store and met the nice owner who straightened me out a bit. She patiently explained how to do the knit stitch the right way and how to purl and SSK and all sorts of other things I needed to know. I learn pretty fast, so it only took her a few minutes.

I never did make that second sock. The purple/yellow thing was quite horrific for a man's sock. But it was an interesting color combo and it kept me busy.

From there, I don't remember what I made next. But I was hooked from the first stitch. Now I am a fairly decent and completely fearless knitter.

Now that I understand what knitting really is, I will try anything without hesitation. The interesting part of this is the way I truly learn now. I will read up on a technique but it won't sink in completely. I usually won't even try it immediately because I always have something else I am working on. But then I will dream about the technique. And in my dream, I will work it out and completely understand it. And when I wake up, I know how to do it. I have done this with countless things...the two I remember most are using DPNs (double pointed needles) and cables.

As for the fearless part, here is an example. I decided that I wanted to knit a sweater for myself (my first one) and that I wanted to learn how to cable. So I picked this crazy complicated sweater with cables and lace and went to town. And ya know what? It turned out to be gorgeous! And it fits perfectly. Granted, every top I have knit since then has had fit issues. But still! The only issue with it is that it is knit with a merino/alpaca blend so it's really warm. And the lace is the whole shoulder area and full length arms. This means that when I wear it, I am roasting up to my collar bone area and freezing everywhere else. Not terribly practical.

Anyhow, I'm pretty proud of that sweater and many other things I have made. Knitting makes me feel like an artist. With a pattern to follow. I has zero artistic talent, so this is nice. I do not hesitate to "wing it" with knitting, but I am not yet skilled enough to make up a pattern for an actual garment yet. But I fiddle with patterns all the time. Anytime I can convert something to be knit in the round, I do because I really don't love to purl.

Anyhow, that's about it for my knitting story, I think. What did I leave out or need to explain?

Future Blog Topics

As requested in the comments, I will start an agenda of future blog topics (thanks Hollis!!!). Thus far we have:

*How I Started Knitting
*How I Learned to Knit
*Anything Else Suggested

I'll probably also have to have an acronym list at some point, but to address the immediate ones (and also names):

FO - Finished Object
UFO - UnFinished Object
DH - Dear Husband
Bugs - My beloved 6 year old niece (obviously not her real name, but it's what I call her. Always.)
Layla - My best friend's 20 month old baby girl (and frequent recipient of my knits)
Isaiah - My darling nephew who STILL does not have a suitable nickname. I was going to refer to his as Burke after Isaiah Washington's Grey's character, but for obvious reasons have opted not to do so any longer since my nephew is not a horribly dramatic bigot. Nope, he's a darling 2 year old.
Cassidy - My kitty
Dino - My oldest dog
Daisy - My middle dog
Deacon - My youngest dog

Okay, that's it for now. Tell me what you want to read and I will oblige. Off to eat dinner now...

The Wrap Is Done!

I finished the swimsuit wrap for my mom and it has left the house. Yay! I added fringe and blocked the hell out of it and sent it home with her. Of course I forgot to take a picture. *sigh* Why do I always forget that???

I may make a wool blanket for my kitty to sleep on. She loves my wool yarn, so that may make her happy. We'll see.

I'm still seriously thinking about the Mystery Stole 3 project. I have a nice lace yarn and the perfect beads dropped into my lap. If I made it, it would be for my grandma, most likely. I know she would love it. I just don't know if I have enough of an attention span.

Oh! And I had mom try on her one finished Kew sock and she loves it. She's such an awesome Knit Supporter. She said this was the best fitting and nicest sock yet. Dad of course piped in and informed her that she'd better enojy it because she'll never see the second sock. I have a bit of a reputation... But I have already cast on the second sock, so hopefully I will finish it! other knitting news. I haven't knit a stitch yet today and I don't know that I will. It's getting late and I need to eat and go to bed. I think I will knit a lot this weekend. It helps me to not be so sad about my kitty.

Kitty Update

My kitty cannot have surgery as her blood will not clot. She is now home and eating all sorts of kitty junk food. I'll probably discuss more later.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Office

I am working on the back of my Shapely Tank, and I just finished the waist decreases. While knitting, I am watching season 1 of The Office. Everyone I know loves this show, so I decided I should probably check it out.

It is making me want to poke my eye out with a rusty fork. Probably because I work in a corporate environment and some of the shit they make fun is too real. Exaggerated, but real. Ya know? So, I think I'm going to stop watching it. It's actually making me not want to go to work tomorrow. Blah.

Not much more to say for now...I'm going back to working on the back of my top. I'm getting a little worried about the fit. I'm to new to knitting to be able to tell if something will work out, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What I Did Today

It was a fairly boring but productive day. I finished the front of the Shapely Tank early this afternoon and then headed out to run errands. My errands consisted of the following:

Library - Dropped off some books
Cigarette store - Obvious
Quiznos - Little sandwich since I was starving
Bed Bath & Beyond - Toaster oven and accessories
Ulta - Hair color (gotta keep up on the red!) and mousse and some clearance body wash
Grocery store - About a zillion dollars in groceries

We really spend way too much on groceries. I am big on convenience type stuff since we are both busy and convenience items help ensure that we will pack lunch. But still! I need to figure out a way to cut back some. The biggest expense right now is that DH doesn't have a ton of time to eat his lunch but he always finds time for drinkables. So, I spend a fortune in liquids for him. Things like Gatorade and smoothies and protein drinks. Also, we like the good lunch meat, and that crap is EXPENSIVE!

Anyhow, back to the knitting content...

I casted on for the back of the Shapely Tank and I am wondering how soon I will finish. The front was just a couple of evenings, really, so I may have it done by the middle of the week if I work at it. I just have to hope I don't run out of yarn.

Also, I got some snappy sock yarn in the mail. Yay! All Lorna's Laces solids. Some are just single skeins, but there is plenty in a single skein for short socks or kid socks. One item is a kit for an ugly pair of socks with beads. I like the yarn and I may use the beads if I do the Mystery Stole 3 project, but I would not knit the pattern the kit was meant for.

Anyhow, not much more to report. I will be up late tonight waiting for a call from my kitty's vet. My kitty has been kind of sick and I am waiting for the results of her blood test. The vet has been swamped all day, so the call may come as late as midnight. Fortunately, I am a night owl and I have plenty of knitting and TV to keep me occupied.

Shapely Tank Update

I should be finished with the front in just a few hours, max. This is the part that is so hard for me...I usually knit things in the round, so I'm getting the equivalent of Second Sock Syndrome here! I just want a finished product, but I don't feel like doing miles of stockinette for the back.

The one thing I have going for me is that I adore the yarn and the color and I think I will love the finished product. One knitting secret I haven't told anyone? I am not crazy in love with any of the items I have finished for myself. I have 2 tops, one is a wool sweater and one is a cotton tank. I like them both, but they are not at the top of my list of favorite clothes. This makes me sad.

I haven't figured out why I feel this way about them. Maybe I feel awkward wearing something I made? I am kind of an introvert, so I don't really want the attention. I don't know.

We'll see if I feel the same way when this tank is finished. If I don't, I'll know it's just that I don't adore the others. If I do, well, we'll see.

Now I just have to get to knitting and hope I finish soon. I do have one other big worry right now...I'm a little freaked that I may run out of yarn. It's a fairly valid concern, since I'm cutting it close. Fingers are crossed!

Now for the big question/ I spend all day knitting or do I take some time to go do errands and chores? It's so easy to pass these things up in favor of knitting and watching TV. I really need to go to Costco and the grocery store...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On The Needles

I have a tendency, like so many others, to have a lot of projects going at any given moment. Right now I have the following:

Uniscarfity ( 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.

Kew ( 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 ( 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.

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.

I probably have a few other UFOs in the yarn closet, but I don't remember what.

The project I am spending the most time on right now is the Shapely Tank. Hopefully I will finish it soon... I really want to wear it. The color looks great on me and the pattern looks like it may work for me.


I think it's finally time for me to take the plunge and start a blog. So here I am. My name is Sunny (not really, but that's who y'all know me as) and I am a knitter. I have only been a knitter for just over a year, but it has become an addiction and a passion and something I use to define myself.Beyond being a knitter, I am also a wife, a daughter, a bookworm, a gambler, a procrastinator, a workaholic, an insomniac, and too many other things to list. Hence, this blog may not always focus on knitting. Sorry `bout that.

I feel like I should establish some blog goals here, but I'm quite certain I will not always remember to follow through. Oh well. My main goal is to discuss the projects I am planning, working on, and have completed. I have become a fairly prolific knitter and yet I only have a very few pictures of my FOs. This is because I am usually so excited to give the FO to whomever it is intended for that I forget to take a picture. *sigh* For example, last Christmas I made the following (that I remember) and have almost no pictures:
  • Baby sweater
  • Toddler sweater
  • Kid sweater
  • Scarf
  • Backpack (felted)
  • 7-10 pairs of Felted Clogs (I don't remember how many)
That is what? About 15 FOs? And no pics? Nice.So, one of my goals is to use a camera and show off pictures of my knitting. And to do so, I need to confiscate the older digital camera from my husband. He has a snappy new one, so I think he won't mind. I just need to find it. Now here's the bad news...I am a terrible photographer. My husband is a fabulous photographer. So I may need to tap into him for this. We'll see.

Woah! See what I did there? I went off about knitting and got way off the topic of Welcome! What else can I say here? Oh yeah. I am 30 (recently turned) and married, no kids. And there won't be any. We just don't want them. But we do have 3 rotten dogs and 1 evil cat. My MIL lives with us but is moving out in a few days. I am really upset about this...she is a wonderful person and a great friend/roommate.

I am very close to my parents. I talk to my mom on the phone at least a couple of times a day, and I usually go on vacation with them. My mom is the recipient of most of my knitted socks. I do have just a few close friends; I'm not one of those people with a slew of friends. My best friend has been so since we were about 14, and even though we are very different, we maintain our friendship to this day. She now has a daughter (20 months old) who receives more of my knitting than anyone. I also have a little niece and nephew whom I adore and like to knit for. But they are bigger than than the baby and therefore do not fit the instant gratification bill like the little one for FOs. Also, their mom is likely to ruin anything handwash, so I don't knit for them much.

Okay, now I'm going to call this post done. Mainly because I keep having to rewind The Closer because I am not paying enough attention to it! Oh yeah, did I mention that I am a TV addict? There will be plenty to discuss here, I'm sure.