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Saturday, January 23, 2016

I'm here. I swear I'm here.

I promise, I'm around. Just not online. We're good. We weren't slammed by the east coast storm. We still have our inches of snow, not feet. The boys are still silly the girls still laying and the cat; well, she's a cat so crazy as normal.

Been busy due to this little project. Double knitting anyone? This is sort of a gag gift for a friend. Well, her son really. He is a grown man living in New York and can't seem to keep any of the scarves she's knit for him. She swears she just finished the last one she'll knit for him. So this is it's replacement. I blurred out her email address. Sorry... Only the other half to go. He's a Harry Potter fan, can you tell?

Off to work with me. You all have a great day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's a New Dawn, A New Day... Okay, it's a new year.

Welcome 2016. I hope all you that may read this had a wonderful, safe, and warm New Year. We stayed in and once again I forgot to even use the box of fireworks I meant to shoot off. Of course, i was in bed and close to sleep by 10:30, so am I surprised at all? I know, some old folks. Shady Pines Ma, Shady Pines.

We here finally are looking like winter. I know, had to wait until the new year to finally get some snow. It's not mice, but I'll take it. Just because it's a new year doesn't mean Sullivan won't carry around whatever big stick he deems worthy of his attentions.

Of course, this morning he had other things to occupy his strange little mind... Masked Capers anyone? This little young one had obviously spent the morning here as he was frost covered on his back but was definitely awake. The sad thing is, I think I smelled him and first and even located him before the dogs. Captain Oblivious Canine? Aren't you supposed to have awesome sniffers? He was nervous but wouldn't get up and move. Don't worry, these are zoomed in, I didn't get any closer.

There was no blood or obvious injury so I left and called the authorities just to notify them that this guy was there as this is a park. There were prints in the snow showing at least one other person and dog had been there that morning already. There were also some rather cool prints that appeared to be a fox hunting a rabbit but they pics didn't come out too well as I only had my phone with me. If I had known it was going to be so gorgeous out, I would have grabbed a real camera.

That was the way to start the day today. Well, technically I started the day getting up at 6 and taking the car in for a service campaign. Then I came home, got the boys and took them out for their morning walk when it was 14 degrees, rather than the 8 my car said as I headed into town this morning. Emmitt's paws appreciated it, even if he doesn't know it.

I really wished I had a better camera this morning as the frost had coated everything.

Perhaps another day. I'll try again tomorrow. Promise.

Do you know the best part of the holidays? I know you do, and if you think hard, you'll know what I think the best part is. Fooooooood!

All that leftover Christmas ham? Sorry Sarah, this is how the grownups eat... We won't discuss the amount of bacon this infidel has consumed this last weekend alone. All that ham goes wonderfully into homemade four cheese Macaroni and Cheese. I'm still eating the leftovers...

Then there's the sides.

Oh, and the left over Mac & Cheese? Throw those thick cold slices in the frying pan and have fried Mac & Cheese. That's why the dogs need walked, to wear off my calories. And it keeps them happy. Win-Win.

Sorry, no photos of the New Years feast. The pork roast, the sauerkraut, the black-eyed peas. Mmmmmm. Maybe that will be lunch here in a few minutes.

Besides cooking, walking dogs, beating on the baseboard heaters, I've been knitting. The vest is done.

The sweater is getting there. Both sleeves are done and the lower half of the body. Now it's time to connect and start the raglan decreases. Kia had perfect timing today. They came to get me for my car just as I was wrapping up the second sleeve.

And this last weekend I arrived at work to find this had been left for me... Yay. Everyone loves a challenge right? excuse me here, but fuck that. The owner of this piece is the grand daughter of the knitter. The knitter thankfully perhaps, has been dead and gone for some time now. So, this afghan means more than it maybe would normally. So, I dove in.

It appears that perhaps a knot was left intact it failed. The lesson here people? Never leave knots in your yarn, or tie them there yourself. Knots fail. Weave your tails in correctly. It may seem tedious, but which is worse, 10 minutes of tail weaving or hours of repairing holes? Once I got things situated and a plan of attack going, it wasn't too hard. The picture above was what I got done Saturday between helping customers and ringing people up. It was kind of a busy day.

And here is what it looks like now. The blue paper clip is where I started the repair, the gold needle the end. It's not perfect, but it will look even better with a washing (which this musty thing needs) and blocking. If you look close, the decreases are now leaning the wrong way in this repaired area. This is due to the fact that the only stitches dropped were straight stockinette stitch and increases. No decreases, so I couldn't absorb the increases in pattern. For non-knitters, this means that every 4 rows of knitting in this pattern, I would have increased by 2 stitches. I should have 4, but by row 5, I would have 6 stitches, by row 9, 8 stitches and so on. I always had to have just 4 stitches by some magic of the knitting needles. Now, looking back, I could have unwound some more stitches to incorporate 2 full repeats of the pattern and accounted for it that, but lets be honest, I didn't care that much. I chose to do a simple mirrored decrease that accounted for the extra stitches and hid the damage to the casual observer. Then I found yarn that blended in decently well to graft the hole at the line of broken yarn after closing the top of the run and on went life. Not perfect, but granddaughter gets not only her knitted heirloom back, but one that's usable and full of good memories with each cuddle. Not worry of furthering the damage. Now, let's hope no other knots are present or fail.

Psssst, I didn't want to frog the whole thing down either because there was a crocheted edging that went around the entire thing that would have had to be pulled out before I started the repair. No Thank you.

Oh, and Midge Fly says "Hi Y'all"

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post Christmas Wishes

I know, I know... Post Christmas Wishes? What the heck are those? Well, I kind of figured that the most of you were busy yesterday with family. Oh, and playing with your new gadgets and gizmos. Who wants to check out this blog when you have new toys?!?

Actually, I figured that most of you would be knee deep in family stuff. I realize my kids are easy compared to real kids. The Guy walked them in the morning, then we did a mid-day walk before I dove into getting dinner ready.

Meanwhile you with actual little ones are putting things together, finding batteries for such toys, then stepping on toys, nursing hurt feet and feelings due to stepping on toys, and if you have more than one kid, breaking up fights about toys. I know the cycle. And I'm happy it's your cycle and not mine.

See, these guys just needed a walk. Well, a couple of walk but that was it.

Then you had to feed your horde. Mine just require a scoop or two of food and some affection. So I could focus on feeding just the two of us. And it was oh so good.

So, here it is, the 26th and I'm hoping that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. May you be surrounded by those you love and loved in kind. May the family spats been kept to a minimum, or at least been entertaining enough to be turned into a hilarious Christmas tale of family woe. Just remember, someone out there may write a best seller based on your family dysfunction. That means there's always hope that maybe one of the kids will be able to pay for their own therapy.

And lastly, may you have had a white Christmas. We sure didn't. But it was sunny and there wasn't a pond in our foot yard like last year. It's all about the little blessings.

Yes, that's a hand knit star on my tree. Shush it.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wobbling Towards the Light

I hope you all celebrated the Solstice with a sunbeam to lay in,

Not that we did today. Today it rained. That's right. Rained. Relentlessly. We are going to have another Christmas with a pond in the front yard. But, just like the dark, the rain is needed. As is snow, why can't I have snow?!? Ahhh, perhaps next week. So, today as the earth wobbles on it's axis and starts the long slow tilt back towards the sun with it's northern hemisphere I hope you, like Emmitt there on Sunday, found a touch of warm light to bask in. That't the true meaning of Christmas if you ask me.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bad Friend

I just realized I missed a big event in a friends life today. Not only have I rarely been putting up my blog posts but I've rarely been reading them and I looked right over one that happened a month ago. My friend lost one oh her beloved animals. I know that feeling, that hole in ones life. Friends help fill that void and I fear I didn't. I was completely oblivious to the loss.

For those of you who may have met Rio Catalina, or just know her through my association and references to Betsy's blog, I thought I'd share the news here today of her passing to any who had not been aware of it. (Click here for Betsy's Blog post) She was a wonderful girl. Big, lovable, and a comfort to be around.

I'm so sorry Betsy. For the pain of making such a decision, to the heartbreak of following through, and for that constant hole you feel for so long after saying goodbye to one of our loved ones, no matter who or what they are.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Walking in the Woods

It's been a busy week here.

Between walk in the rain and sun, I've gotten a couple things done.

Including the guys Christmas present.

He wanted a hat. So meet the hat. It's a wonderful Superfine Alpaca, Donegal, and Linen blend. Ooh so soft and I hope, oh so warm. He's kind of wearing it funny there, I'm going to make hime pose with it again soon and wrap up the writing down of it and post a pattern for those interested in such things.

Today it was almost the perfect temperature for walking in the woods.

But as you can see from some of the earlier pics from the week, not so much.

Which Mr. Fluffy Butt wasn't so crazy about, as you can see. He hates the rain, even before it made him smell like skunk again.

the beasties just got their baths again today.

Cat and all three dogs all smelling wonderfully fresh. Yay! I was loving trying to get pictures of these delicate trees and their drops of water hanging from them.

I couldn't tell until I went around if this was just a little leaf jam or something more purposeful in this stream.

Looks like the beginning of a beaver dam with leaves piling up. He has a good pond starting to form. As there is a neighborhood just through those trees I'm assuming this will be cleared out and the beaver trapped soon.

People never like when nature runs wild on them... Just as Ted Stevens.

Though, to be honest this isn't truly a very wild spot. Just another little "nature preserve" on the edge of town surrounded by neighborhoods.

I thought this tree might be porcupine damage with what looked like shaved off bark.

There was a couple of downed trees in the area with the look.

Then I fond this one, still standing and apparently healthy and fine. Just a different kind of tree I guess.

I like how cloudy days make some colors pop, while sunlight plays differently with other colors.

Though this was just a wet day with rain coming down regularly in intervals through out it.

Just as we were getting back to the car to head to the grocery store for dinner makings, the skies darkened further to usher in a new session of rain.

But it was still a wonderful walk and it led to a delicious dinner like this. Turkey Pot Pie! Gotta use up those left overs after all. I let it stay in for a few minutes to long. It happens.

It was still delicious.

The following day we had home grilled burgers, soycatash and beet salad. Mmhm.

It too was damp day and after our walks I snuggled at home with the kids and introduced Midge to her first round of cat nip.

Oh, and the fireplace. I think stoner kitty likes fire. Hide the matches!

I had actually done two runs into to town starting with my cars oil change at 700 in the morning and unfortunately spotted a cat tree when I was at petsmart with the dogs that was a reasonable price. I was irritated as my little Kia Soul can't hold three dogs and the tree so I left it and made a comment to The Guy about it.

He got it on his way home. I think she appreciates it. What do you think? You like that smile? She was actually yawning when I got the shot. I can't wait to see her pounce on one of the dogs from the top of it. You know it's going to happen.

Friday was Ada's bridge lighting. I snapped this after work on Saturday. For some reason I can't remember any such display last year though I worked right down the street from it last year too. Hmmm.

Okay, have to go and deal with tonights dinner and call my Mom as she doesn't bother to read the blog... Some people's parents.