Dog Tied

Ignore the trash in the floorboard.  Ignore the “Hurry up.  I want to go get kibbles,” look on Mugsy’s face.  Instead, observe the harness with the little webbing shank that buckles directly into ANY seatbelt receiver.  It’s the way the pups ride these days. 

Guardian Gear has been using a dream catcher or something.  Had the Knight and I set out to design our own dog restraint system, it would look a lot like this one.  The chest piece is wide, long and padded, so it doesn’t even bother the Prince’s collapsed trachea too much.  We don’t leave him in it once we reach our destination.  Sissy took to the harness much faster than we anticipated, but she still doesn’t seem to like to ride.

The little shank detaches from the D-ring on the harness, but it also had an adjustable strap, so it could be used as a short lead in a pinch – you know, like when you flip your vehicle on its side in the middle of oncoming traffic and you and the dog are trying to race out of the sunroof… 

And yes, Mugsy rides in the front seat.  My vehicle has a sensor in the front passenger’s seat, and Mugsy (despite his extra bulk) doesn’t activate it, so the airbag thinks there’s no front seat passenger.  He does like his seat warmer though, because his Dadaw flips both seatwarmers on when he starts the vehicle for us in the morning.  Poor Sissy gets her fleece crate pad on the cold back seat…

Don’t forget to check out the other Dogs on Thursdays out there! 

Purple Strain

Remember “Purple Rain”??  (Then you weren’t a teen in the ’80s, were you?)  Come to think of it, that might be why I wasn’t crazy about purple until the Knight announced that Princess Sissy would wear it.  Anyhooo, I’m sure straining with this purple stitch eater of a snuggle.  So, here’s a photo for Mary to review and tell me if it looks ANYTHING like it should…

The yarn isn’t blue at all.  It’s a purple, purple.  If anything, a touch of plum, but not blue.  So much for natural light, huh?  I fear I’m doing my FDDCs and my BDDCs too much alike, somehow, but we’ll wait to see what the hooker say.  (SNOL…  I have always worked in a predominantly male workplace.  I love being able to use hooker in polite company!)

Meanwhile, I think I’ll return to my sweet sock.  I don’t want to hook more and hear that I’m doing it all wrong.

Cocoa Topic of the Week

What is your most memorable vacation? Where did you go? What made it memorable?

I would have to say my most memorable vacation would be our honeymoon.  We went to Arizona.  We flew in and out of Phoenix, but in between visited Sedona twice, and the Grand Canyon for a few days too.  We loved Sedona so much we seriously discussed moving there.  We went to the NASCAR race in Phoenix, and that was my first race. 

What made it memorable was the scenery.  Very much a four-seasons, East Coast couple, I was shocked at how much both the Knight and I loved the desert.  The red rocks were breath-taking, and we actually preferred Sedona’s brand of natural beauty over the more famous Grand Canyon.  I would be remiss if I didn’t toss out the Knight’s opinion on the matter.  “Have you seen National Lampoon’s Vacation?  Yes?  That’s about all of the Grand Canyon you need to see.”  I think had we been able to do the mule ride or a helicopter flight (I was due for back surgery but we traveled anyway!), we might have been more impressed with the Grand Canyon.

Oh, and the food!  I know Phoenix pretty well, and there’s some of the finest dining in the world there.  One of our favorites though is Pinnacle Peak.  The Knight adored the “no neckties” rule, and the steaks were as good as any.  There’s also a little hole in the wall that serves the best, authentic Mexican going, and while I could take you there, I don’t know the name.  However, in Sedona, we ate at the Red Planet three times and loved it.  Their spiked apple cider was incredible.  We also had breakfast at Enchantment, where the views are truly breath-taking and the food is worthy of the scenery.  In fact, I don’t think we had a bad meal in either “town.” 

Sigh.  We are we leaving for the next one?! 

All Around the Mulberry Bush…

Okay, Sissy’s no monkey, my yarn’s hardly a weasel, and the coffee table isn’t even wooden, but it’s either laugh, cry, or have myself committed, because when one repeats an action destined for disaster over and over, it’s insanity. 

See the depth of the “wrapped” section, around the commercially wound skein?  See the hook, so deeply shoved under all of that yarn?  THAT is what three times around my coffee table looks like when re-wound, in a fashion.  I thought Sissy was with me in the kitchen, but I guess she got tired of hearing, “No.  Get down.  Sissy, no” as she tried to stand on the dishwasher door, so she could pre-wash the dishes on the bottom rack.  Sure, it’s cute now, when she only weighs about 20 lbs., but do you want to chip in for the new dishwasher when her full-grown 45 lb. self snaps the door off its hinges?

Quiet isn’t a good thing with awake toddlers or puppies.  Sigh.  The one thing  I will say is that crochet seems a little sturdier for puppy gallops with yarn.  The hook holds up to her teeth better than my circular needle cables too.  Guess I won’t be ordering a wooden or bamboo hook to try for a while.  Not a stitch dropped, thank goodness, because you wouldn’t believe how hard it is for me to count to 102 with the initial chain.  Seriously.  That dark yarn, and I still have no eye for those little chainermuhdoodles…  Go ahead.  Laugh.  Snort, shake your head.  Calculus and trig I can do, but counting is painful.  The first of my Etsy friends who stops laughing long enough to make me crochet stitch markers AND includes the remedial guide on their use will be paid in gold, yarn, or something fantastic.  I have yarn ADD, and I live with a puppy with ADD, so don’t laugh unless you are laughing WITH me.

It’s no wonder the girl does what she pleases.  She – and her Dadaw – think she’s a celebrity AND a princess.  Please, don’t y’all tell him about doggles.  I’m afraid he’d buy her a pair, and this is a man with skills; he somehow used “peer pressure” to lure his then 84 year old grandfather into buying a pair of BLUE – electric, cobalt blue – DESIGNER sunglasses at the beach one year.  I wish I’d gotten a photo of the two idiots in their matching, designer shades.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, neither of the spendthrifts ever wore them again after that week.  And you were wondering how I got away with building a stash without borders in just one year?? 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do lots more FDDC, SC, BDDC, SC… before I forget how to do the BDDC again.  Oh – thanks to Firefly and the others who explained to pick up both loops.  I do like the way it looks, and perhaps it will withstand the wild woman’s wear and tear for a while.


First, it seems I make Amanda’s day.  Wow, that’s flattering!  I’m not sure anyone other than Sissy would agree, but I certainly appreciate it.  Now, you know I don’t normally hand out awards, but this time, I’m going to make an exception.

Anniebananie is a relatively new blogging friend, and lives close enough that I hope to soon add her to the “real life” friends column too.  I love her candor; she isn’t afraid to blog her frustrations, and she doesn’t seem to mind that  I often find her trials entertaining.  (It’s all in how you write it, I swear!)

With that in mind, Cass also needs the award, for the same reasons.  The ability to laugh at yourself in a manner that allows the whole world to laugh with you cannot be underestimated!

Both Nichole and Rhonda presented me with this one.  How cool is that?!  Nichole even searched out the origins of said award, and my link will take you to her post with said link.

The same two gals also presented me with this one, which I SNOL’d over.  Me?!  Loveable?!  Surely, you jest.  Clearly, I am not blogging so that my genuine personality shines through.  Compassionate, I’ll grant you, but I’m sure my real life friends are SNOL’ing with gusto at “loveable.” 

Those two are hard to pass on to a short list.  I read so many blogs, many of which I need to add to my blog’s roll.  I enjoy each and every one, whether I manage to comment or not, so if you haven’t been awarded, make it so.  Many of you I’ve chatted with via email do seem to be sincerely loveable, and if that’s you, grab the button and make it your own.

Maybe Nichole just gave me the button because it’s pink.  Yeah, that must be it, because she certainly knows better.  Rhonda is just getting to know me, so…  😉

I’m being silly and maybe borderline rude, but I don’t mean to belittle the awards.  Each time someone else considers my blog noteworthy, I am touched.  I enjoy meeting new people, and I am always amazed when someone new wanders over here and is moved to leave a comment.  Thank you, and please stop in again.

Admitting It…

… is half the battle with an addiction, right?  Today, Comcast and a slow Monday at work made me face my problem, head on.  I am addicted to blogging – meaning posting here and reading your blogs – and to Ravelry.  Heck with my personal email accounts; they serve only to deliver my “you have a comment” emails and other stuff that isn’t so important, like reminders that I have minutes to type up and a marketing plan to develop for my assorted volunteer efforts.  Please Comcast, I want my Hi-speed, but I NEED a connection of any sort if I must sit in that office for 8 hours tomorrow!!

In saner, happier times, since you know I wasn’t reading your blogs or doing much writing here over the weekend (I do know I owe a couple of memes back attcha’, and Comcast willing, tomorrow will be a better day!), I did finally cast on for socks I knew wouldn’t fail me, with a favorite yarn.  They’re for someone who reads here, so shhhh…

Whew.  Wick love.  It’s the Pedicure Sock.  It’s more stockinette than I favor, but it’s a safe, happy way to channel that sock zen back into my fingers!

However, the bulk of Sunday was spent hooking frogs.  I mean, crocheting and frogging.  I started out with a pattern I found that required interpretations via Mary.  First, I tried CottonTots.  Icky.  Don’t know that I’ll like knitting with it either.  I can’t stand yarns with that kinda’ funky thread plied in with the yarn.  It surely doesn’t lend itself to multiple frogs, so I can’t see it being ideal for a baby blankie.  Here’s a shot more for Mary than the rest of you.  I then moved to the Honeysuckle Cotton, but it seems I’m crocheting WAY too loosely, which isn’t practical for a dishcloth.  So, I’ve already frogged and have pulled out the J hook and the Sissy yarn to make the girl a big snuggle for the back seat, now that she’s graduated to her seatbelt harness.  (She must like the yarn; she gnawed the label off both skeins on the night of her escape.) 

So, critique away.  Fireflytook a crochet class recently, and she said the instructor said to crochet through both loops on the foundation.  Makes sense, but I SWARE I ain’t read that in nond of my learn to crochet booklets. 

Now, to try to make this a little tighter with Sissy’s yarn…

One of Many…

I owe several posts, for awards I’ve received, and I know I’ve failed to promote a few contests along the way.  Learning to crochet, house-breaking Sissy, meeting Mugsy’s “I feel left out because I’m already trained” needs, trying to find a moment for the Knight and me to act like a couple, taking on yet another Board position, etc., leaves me a little short on blog stuff. 

Still, at this very moment, I’m going to tell you to rush over to Katie’s blog and tell her why you blog, and that I sent you!  Her bloggiversary was the 24th you see…  Which reminds me, I need to figure out when I began, because it’s coming up soon. 

After the Frogs…

After Friday night’s frog-strangler, I am delighted to report three finished objects.  First, is Fishy.  He just needed some eyes, and a lip tuck.  The eyes are merely permanent marker, because this is intended to be a pet toy.  His lips are just rolled up inside themselves so that if the recipient wants to add a squeaker or a bell or whatever, she easily can.  It should also be washable for a long life of human and pet play!

Next came the be-frogged burp cloth.   Sugar ‘n Cream in Faded Denim.  I had to monkey around a bit with the Mason Dixon pattern, but at 40 stitches on my #6 Bryspuns, I found something close to gauge. 

However, my happiest project is Michelle’s Snowman Hat, in an infant size she’s going to post soon.  I knitted it in the round because I avoid seams at all costs.  Paton’s Shetland in Aran, #8 dpns, a quiet morning, and you too can knit the cutie pie in your life a snowman hat. 

Sissy finds the darnedest things as toys.  Remember this? 

Sissy found Mugsy’s Halloween costume and was running through the house with it, so the Knight thought she might want to wear it.  She did.  We weren’t able to capture a great photo, but… 

It’s  hardly the best photo for the big news  I have to share.  At 13.5 weeks, Missy Sissy Princess of Potty is housebroken, as long as the humans are paying attention!  She even has a little routine to get the humans to note her need.  She trots to the door (the CORRECT door now), turns around to face the humans, and sits down.  Should we fail to notice her, she’ll squirm, “bump” the door and whine or moan.  Hooray! 

Crochet, Anyone?

All the Knight has ever REALLY wanted since I first picked up the sticks and yarn over a year ago, was another hotpad.  I quickly realized the average knitted cloth wouldn’t do even when sewn together with another average knitted cloth, but as the regular reader knows, I had ZERO interest in crochet.  Well, the secret project required a bit of single crochet, and it was so quick and easy…

Yeah.  That’s the single side.  Scrap cotton, per the Knight’s request.  He wanted it made out of leftovers, so there are FOUR different colorways in there.  I ran out of color #3 about halfway through the seaming together stuff.


I had a little trouble with the double crochet.  I increased every once in a while, but it all worked out in a homely, functional way when I stuck the two cloths together.  I had to turn one sideways to make them match up, so Mary or one of the other “hookers” will have to tell me how to cast on the right amount to make a double “swatch” match a similar single “swatch.”  All that matters is that the Knight is happy.

I was going to show you photos of my two socks on two circs.  Forget it.  I was too stressed (yeah, me, the Sock Lady!) to do anything other than pull the needles out and immediately wind the yarn back on the two balls.  And no you Magic Loop lovers, I don’t think that will help.  I have the same problem with any type of color work; I simply cannot manage more than one strand of yarn at a time.  Period.  The end.  (Locals… know of a color work class?  Can  you tutor your idiot friend?)  My sock mojo was so deflated I couldn’t even find a pattern I wanted to attack, one sock at a time.  Of course, it helped not that I was without an internet connection, as our computer dude (who works for Pampered Chef products; how cool is that?!) was overhauling things last night, so no Ravlery.  Oh, the horrors!

So, I headed to Mason-Dixon’s bib pattern, but fell for the burp cloth on the adjoining page.  Cast on, knitted to nearly the end of my ball of cotton, and KNEW I was going to be way short.  Went to bed.  In the morning light, I thought to measure.  Du-oh.  50 stitches = 10 inches, *NOT* the “about 7″ the pattern suggested.  Crap.  In another fit of frustation, I pulled out the needles, and frogged.  Cast on with my trusty Bryspuns.  8.5”.  Frogged, but only the three rows I’d so wisely stopped at for a “gauge” check.  Dropped down to 40 stitches, and voila!  So, we’re about a quarter of the way into it again and I hope you’ll see an FO tomorrow or later tonight.  Oh -and because I always seem to knit loosely with cotton, I began on #6s in the first place.  I don’t have #5 straights, and I don’t think the stitches needed to be any tighter!!  I’m off to Ravelry to see what others say…

Picture of Innocence

I know there are a lot of different beliefs out there, but for me, Sissy confirms there is a God and He has a plan.  Puppies have to be incredible cute so that we forget quickly about the curious, naughty things they do!

The box is now called Sissy’s throne, and we’re all waiting for the day she hops upon it and it collapses from her ever-increasing weight.  It allows her easy access to whatever MJ (Granny, to Sissy) is eating, and they both seem to like it that way.  I suspect that MJ will send an employee or two to build a wooden box when this one fails…  The box has already been turned over and reinforced with packing tape, so it’s lasted longer than I anticipated.

Happy Dogs on Thursday everyone!