God is Good

She’s home.  After crying through the thunder and rain around 4am, I went back to sleep, only to jump out of bed a couple of times for noises – we slept with the windows open, just in case – I awoke again at 9-something, let Sissy out, took care of a couple of things, and then checked the front door once more.  Imagine my pure JOY when a white and brown wad ran across my feet before I could get the door open!

She’s still damp, and she must have been out in the rain because her collar bled onto her neck a bit.  (Yes, Lupine even has its limits.)  Otherwise, she’s fine as froghair, and so are we.

Sissy evidently was on a hunger strike, as she wouldn’t eat last night, so both girls are chowing down now.

Thanks for your prayers and support.  I’m quite certain that’s what kept our baby safe and brought her home!

Be on the lookout…

One day after her nine month birthday, Gretchen didn’t come home.  She and Sissy were playing in the yard while the Knight and CP visited, and then Sissy took off after a deer, with her baby sister right behind her.

Sissy came home about an hour later, but as I type, Gretchen has been missing about 14 hours.  We’ve combed the woods, driven the roads, talked to neighbors, called Home Again, and still no sign of her.  To say we are crushed is an understatement.

Sissy had on her invisible fence collar, but even her Dadaw has given up on training her to anything but a leash now.  Of course, she’s distraught too, and has gone out in the yard and just stared.  She wailed on the front porch at one point, and I even hiked several miles with her with no other instructions but “find Gretchie.” 

Prayers, good thoughts and crossed fingers, toes and paws are appreciated. 

Oh – and it’s raining, after they assured us a sunny weekend.  Rumbles of thunder in the distance.  If I wasn’t worried about Gretchen being scared, alone and now wet and cold too, I’d find this fittingly ironic.

Wanna’ Know a Secret?

Back in February, I began making excuses for not knitting hiding behind a veil of secret knitting.  There’s more still happening that should be happening, but the BIG secret can be seen HERE.   For today anyway (well, since earlier this week to date), it can also be seen on the “front page” of Elann.com!

It’s not as pretty as their photos, but MJ was good enough to model it for me before I shipped it off.  I knew from Anita‘s experience last fall that it might be a while before I saw my work again.

Project:   Firsts Moebius Capelet

Pattern:  Candace Eisner Strick’s Moebius Capelet.  It cap1227398n be found a couple of different places, but Elann sent me the Spring/Summer 2006 Vogue.   The moebius cast-on is a little challenging per the pattern, but I found good ol’ Cat Bordhi on YouTube and suddenly, everything made sense.  After that wee moebius neckline, you switch to the bigger needles and the thing just flies off the needles.  That is, as long as you like the picot bind-off, which I simply adore.  

Yarn:  Elann’s own Soie Lin in Provencal Blue.   It’s a nice go-with-everthing shade, and I do hope my sample is returned in time for me to enjoy it a few times this summer, but I am going to use my store credit to order more for a yet to be determined project in garnet.  I also love chartreuse, but know that’s got too much yellow in it for me to wear near my face.

The yarn is a silk-linen blend, in case you aren’t great with French.   I hated knitting with pure linen a couple of summers ago, but since this is 70% silk, the linen merely keeps the yarn for slipping all over the needles.  It is splitty, but that doesn’t bother me much.

Needles:  I used my trusted Addi Turbo Lace #1 for the neck (I think…  not being able to use Ravelry’s project page created some memory lapses, but whatever the pattern called for, I used.) 

The body was done on a #6 circ, because gauge mattered and particularly with anything with a few yarnovers (aka: lace), I’m a loose knitter.  Can’t recall which needles, but I suspect it was the Knitpicks Options in one tip or the other.

Verdict:  A couple of you know I had the devil of a time getting started on this project, but once I figured it out, I really enjoyed everything about it, except that it was over too soon.  I’ll definitely use the yarn again, and I am teaching a workshop on moebius for my knitting guild.  I’d do the pattern again too, if the circumstances required it.

That brings us to the weekend.  There’s a baby shower I can’t get out of tomorrow, and I’m making a great, quick, practical pair of booties.  (Says the child-free one.  But I did thrust the first FO of the pair in the hands of a dad with a newborn and an older toddler, and he says they’re far better than socks, especially for the summer.  Because he was too polite to ask for a pair [or ten] for his baby, he’ll get at least a couple of pairs.)

That’s really it, I believe, but you can bet there will be some car shopping, unless I throw up my hands and quit.  I’ll post later about the Knight’s drive-by veto session last night.

What’s up for your last weekend of May?

Diva Desires

(Note:  Sissy IS leashed, with the leash in the Knights hand as I snapped the photo)

(Note: Sissy IS leashed, with the leash in the Knight's hand as I snapped the photo)

Sissy here.   It was Mommy’s week to do Dogs on Thursday, so Gretchie and I thought we’d cover this blog for her.  We like that she’s thinking of us, but frankly, she’s a little off on what WE want and need in transportation.

Firstly, she needn’t bother with that Dogcars.com site.  That’s fine for those show dogs who have to travel in crates to keep from messing up their hair or something, and for those dogs who ride in the way-back of a vehicle, often behind bars (like a crate?), but we don’t roll like that, and never will.

(See Gretchens harness too?)

(See Gretchen's harness too?)

Just seeing my blue travel harness makes me leap and dance.  Gretchie isn’t a great rider, but she’s getting better.  She didn’t stand on my head once on our little jaunt over the weekend, nor did she barf.  I get to ride up front in the black truck (note: that would be what I call the dogmobile – Chan), because it has one of those sensors that keeps the airbag off.  I like that A LOT. 

So, here’s my wish list.  Gretchen has wandered off, as she’s still not sure about this riding thing just yet, but the brat does everything I do, so I’m sure whatever I think a divamobile should have will suit her too.

  • Room in the floorboard for leaping in.  I’m a great jumper and all, but still…
  • Doors that open wide enough for that leap to be made without a lot of twists and dodging.
  • A bench seat.  I’ve heard rumblings about bucket seats in the
    Me and Mugsy, but Gretch does the same thing

    Me and Mugsy, but Gretch does the same thing

    second row (like we need more than two rows of seats?  Are they planning on growing more humans or something?  [Note - No Miss Diva, there are no little humans coming, not ever.  But gee, wouldn't it be nice if when Auntie 'Nita comes to visit with a new friend too, all of us could pile in for a ride without anyone on someone's lap?])   Back to that bench seat.  Gretchie insists upon likes to smother   cuddle me, so I think the bucket seats would upset her, and if the humans think we’re riding way in the back, they’re crazy.

  • Rear climate control.  And not that pathetic little vent we have now that cools off the support the back seat is on.  That’s just stupid.
  • No road noise inside.  I think that might help put Gretch at ease, and it would allow me to sleep more soundly.
  • A SMOOTH ride.  Honestly, who did the roads about an hour from home on the way to the beach?  (That’s Richmond folks, with lots of concrete sections.)  That REALLY stresses my little sister out, which is no fun for me either.
  • An escape hatch.  I surely hope Mommy won’t wreck us, but I’ve heard the tales and I’m glad she and Mugsy were able to exit safely and quickly.  As a plus, I love the sunshine and the smells that come in when it is open.
  • I’ve fussed a lot about the cargo area, but I’d like that to be something I can jump into too.  Not that I’ll ride there, but Mommy always says I’m not much on boundaries and it’s true.  If she’s looking at something back there, I wanna’ look too!
  • Perhaps most important of all, we need something where Mommy can safely reach us when if Gretchie does get carsick.  We also really like it when they reach back and pet us.
  • Oh! I almost forgot.  The doors need pockets.  That’s where our leashes and spare harnesses live.  While I love to run free, I’m getting wiser with age and I realize that just isn’t going to  happen on trips.
Mommy has the leash, but Dadaw almost got some tongue

Mommy has the leash, but Dadaw almost got some tongue

Don’t look for Dadaw to guest-post and share his desires, although I’m sure that would be helpful.  He’s all about looks, and that’s cool too, because I don’t want to be laughed at because of my ride.

Don’t forget to visit our fur-friends on Dogs on Thursday.  If Gretchie ever really kicks the carsick thing, maybe we can take trips to visit some of them!

Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Thanks to everyone for the vehicle search suggestions.  No progress has been made, other than the Knight eliminating the Toyota Highlander from the list because he doesn’t like the way it looks. 

Since a few of you seem interested, I’ll add tracking our journey to the things I rather randomly blabber about here.  And I do realize my must have list is excessive, but it’s a significant purchase, and I have a vehicle that is still doing its job, so…

Image3

Darcy honored me with an award.   I think my imagination is a little weak these days, but maybe this will inspire me.  Thank you, Darcy!

The Rules:
you must resend to 5 bloggers and you must tell 5 things about your crafts you like the most…what inspires you to make home made gifts…

  1. I like yarn.  Most of you understand without elaborating, but I just like to TOUCH yarn. 
  2. The repetition seems to calm me.
  3. I like that knitting can be anything I want it to be.  I can do complex lace that requires yarn that makes dental floss look fat, tiny needles and my sincere focus, or I can grab big yarn, regular needles and just garter stitch into tomorrow.
  4. I’ve always liked making homemade gifts.  I appreciate the personal touch, and many others do too.
  5. Strangely, I feel very connected with my roots.  Knitting seems to ground me in ways that needlepoint and cross stitch did not, even though I know my grands did those too.

My 5 bloggers:

  1. Anita – She inspires me, and doesn’t let me forget that I have a wheel sitting in the guest room. 
  2. Kathy -  She’s just so darned creative.  She’s always doing something fun/pretty/that I want to do!
  3. Sue – She inspired me to knit lace.
  4. Sue – She has the most entertaining blog.  Some days, she challenges me to reflect a bit too…
  5. KM – She’s just crazy-creative, especially of late with her stint as a children’s art instructor. 

And the title?  It just reminds me of Mary Poppins and puts me in a good mood.  Love me some Julie Andrews.   Might need to find this soundtrack to crank in my new ride…

Slacker’s Return

I had big plans for the weekend, and for the blog.  Instead, I didn’t read a single blog or post even once.  My big plans for yesterday crumbled in the air.  I didn’t even make it to say bon voyage to the young man who headed for Mosquito Island yesterday.    He graduated from high school on Saturday, and is starting on his next adventure already.  We’re very proud of him, although like his mother, I wish he wasn’t so eager to head to the front lines.   

Of course, we know him from the firehouse.  The only nickname he has that is polite enough for print is Snowplow, and since no one will tell me how he got that name, I’m not sure how polite it really is…

However, I did manage to drag my lazy self across the county to meet a fellow blogger.   Robin is in and out of my area a good bit, and finally, our paths were able to cross.   Her husband quickly came to my rescue and often had one or the other of my girls in hand.  Rudy was a delightful little gentleman, and Gretchen enjoyed playing with someone her own size very much.

(Forgive me Robin - its the only photo I have of both of your faces!

(Forgive me Robin - it's the only photo I have of both of your faces!

It was really Gretchen’s first public play date, and she did well enough.  She made the 35 minute trip (one way) both times without incident, so maybe, just maybe, we’re conquering this carsickness.  She did act like a yappy terrier a bit much, and we’re going to have to work on that.  (Anyone have any suggestions?  I’ve never had a yappy dog before…)

Might I have another treat?, says Gretchen

Might I have another treat?, says Gretchen

Sissy was good enough; she was in her riding harness and not her walking harness, so she pulled a bit more than I would have liked, but she was respectful of the two small dogs she was ripping and running with, as much as their leashes would allow.

Its hard to get a decent photo of THREE dogs!

It's hard to get a decent photo of THREE dogs!

Robin, her hubby and Rudy were simply delightful.  Time flew by, but they’ll be back this way again, and maybe by then, Sissy will not be so eager to tug and we will have corrected Gretchie’s yappies.  Perhaps next time, the Knight will join us too.

How much better behaved could we be?!

How much better behaved could we be?!

What else did I do?  Not much.  We went to dinner one night, went to the firehouse only one night (to see the Marine-to-be), and we spent a lot of time researching vehicles.   I’ll need to replace mine in the next year at the latest, and there are some great deals to be had.  The problem is, I make vehicle shopping as long, drawn-out and painful as is humanly possible. 

You see, I must read reviews and look at every possible option online until I am so confused and frustrated I just want my existing ride to last forever.  The Knight gets put-out with me VERY early into the process, so I’m thinking that I’ll even do most of the test drives alone, and just take him along for an executive veto when I’m ready to buy.

I’ve said it in jest to a couple of friends, but really, here’s my must-have list:

  • The ultimate seats, as in Cadillac, with a ride to match.
  • Luxury.  We’ll say it’s because my back needs it (true) but the fact is, we’re creatures of comfort.  That means leather, power everything, heated & memory seats, etc.  Make/brand isn’t so important, as long as I can get it serviced here in Podunk. 
  • Escape hatch – er, sunroof.  Not negotiable.  I am a sun baby, but now, I claim it as a safety feature, since Mugsy and I made our great escape from that hole.
  • Fun to drive.  We have trucks out the wazoo.  I want something that doesn’t feel like a tank, that I can park without fear of dings.
  • Decent gas mileage.  We’re talking SUV or crossover here, but if it’s not better than the Knight’s neglected Silverado, why bother?  (Because actually… aside from not being fun to drive, it meets all the other requirements.)
  • Cargo room.  Remember, the Knight dreams of a house-pony (giant breed dog of some sort).  Besides, you wouldn’t believe how much stuff we take to the beach.  Sissy and Gretchen require TWO large totes of their own, not counting their food bucket.

Then, we have the ooooh, I want it list:

  • keyless ignition thingee.  Wouldn’t we all love to NEVER dig for the key again?
  • Built-in navigation system.  Why should I have to remember to grab the Garmin?
  • Satellite radio.  Again, why clutter up the dash when it can come installed?
  • One of those panoramic sunroof-things that lets the sun shine in across the passengers too.  My girls are sun babies too.

Things I don’t want:

  • Four or all-wheel drive.  See above – don’t need it, and it makes for a larger turning radius, increases insurance costs and eats away at the fuel mileage.
  • Anything that requires premium fuel.  I get tired of reading that if I can afford a premium vehicle, I can afford premium fuel.  That’s not the point.  It gives me heartburn to fill up at a higher price. 
  • Anything “sporty” because that firm suspension kills my back.
  • Third-row seating that doesn’t fold COMPLETELY flat.
  • Any type of entertainment package.  While Sissy does rush to the TV if I ask if she wants to see Tony, we have a portable DVD player if it comes to that. 

So, you see my problem.  The Knight also insists that a hybrid won’t suit my daily driving, so that’s off the table.  Hrmph. 

I’ve bored you enough, but that also records my list so I can come back and review it.   (And that’s not even talking colors…)

How was your weekend?

Well Limey!

Woohoo, it’s Friday!  I have all kinds of stuff to share today, so hang on…

So the title almost makes sense, we’ll start with my newest Namaste bag.   (See there Rosanne?  You’re redeemed, and I am again, the one with a bag problem.)

Don’t get excited; this is last year’s seasonal color, and it’s long since gone.  (But there could be a finder’s fee for anyone finding a new or like new lime Newport out there somewhere…)  It’s called lime, and it is a tad bit brighter than what the afternoon, shaded garden photos show, but I live in the woods, so I did what I could with what I had to work with!

That’s the center section.  I think you can see the four power-magnets that pull it all together.  The wooden needles are roughly 10 inches, and the red metals are 14 inches, just to give you an idea.  I think this will likely be a dishcloth toter for dressier moments, but I’ll have to try it out first.

front section

front section

Pockets abound.  If it was a couple of inches shorter, I think this would be the love of my grab and run life.  (The new mini clutch I think went too small, and I’m not excited about the colors.)

the other compartment

the other compartment

The Knight hates the color, but what does he know?!

Next, we have earrings by Ann.  This pair is for MJ.  I believe Ann has decided to sell her pretties for $10 each, plus shipping.    You can contact her directly, but tell her I sent you.  I think she has another successful venture on her hands, but I also hope she doesn’t give up dyeing yarn!

 

 

For Anita

For Anita

I think that’s enough for now, so we’ll finish catching up over the weekend.  Any exciting plans for you?  I have a cocktail party tonight (and nothing to wear – anyone seen my warm-season little black dress?), and then tomorrow, I think I’m going to get to meet up in person with a favorite blogger.  (Yes, of course I’ll take my camera, but don’t expect me to remember to use it!)

Monday, I hope to have a really special post.  It’s going to be a Memorial Day to remember, but you’ll have to come back later to find out why.

Happy Girls

Happiest of little fridays to you!  The sun is shining, it was almost 50 degrees this morning so I have on sandals and capris, and a long weekend looms ahead!

The girls are quite glad to have had some sunny days to romp and play.   I love to watch them rip and run, and one afternoon, I just clicked and clicked photos while they did what doggies do.

 

Doesn’t Sissy look like she’s laughing,  one of those really hard laughs where your eyes pinch close and your mouth is open wide?

Here, I believe they are plotting their next adventure.  If you look at Gretchen’s right shoulder, you can clearly see her lone, brindle stripe.  At first, I was sorry it grew in, but I love it now!  Don’t miss Sissy’s forehead wrinkles.  She’s doing that more and more, and they tickle me to no end because they make her look grumpy, which she NEVER is.

Today is also Natalie‘s birthday.  Happy birthday, Natalie!  Sissy is either getting ready to help you blow out your candles, or she shares your allergy pain…

Don’t forget to visit the other Dogs on Thursday participants!

Much Ado…

There’s so much to share!  Ann made more earrings, but they haven’t been photographed yet so maybe on Friday you’ll see those.  And my tracking info says I will have goodies on my front porch, but I won’t go home until late tonight.  (Not, I’m not tellin’.  You’ll just have to wait, just like me.  Only with tomorrow being Thursday and all, you’ll have to wait even longer.)

My handmaidens...

My handmaidens...

Last night was such a lovely evening.  It was the League‘s annual meeting, which ironically, ends the year.  I always think of an annual meeting as the start of a new year, true here too, but it always feels more like an ending, because we take the summer off from regular membership meetings.  Those of us on the Board still meet, but because of my “internal” placements (meaning I serve the League and my fellow members, not the community, but everyone needs support staff, right?), summers are often my committee’s busiest time.

For those of you keeping score at home, I am again Research & Development Chair.  Today marks the beginning of my third year on that committee, and for all but a few months I have been in the chair position.  R&D is tasked with growing our endowment, which is strangely near and dear to my heart, because it too is intended to provide operational support for the League.  It’s called The Living Legacy, and THAT name just makes me giddy-happy, for reasons I can’t explain.

(logo property of the JLC)

(logo property of the JLC)

For the previous two years, the bulk of the commitee’s focus was on the cookbook, which is no longer on the table as a fundraising option.  (Heh.  That’s for you, Alison!)  We simply don’t have the resources, human and otherwise, at this time.  However, in January, our Mistletoe Market shifted from under the fundraising umbrella to R&D’s, and I’m very nervous glad they found a chair excited to be indirectly (meaning the chair reports to me and I report to the Board) involved with another internal support effort.  (Our signature fundraiser’s proceeds go in total to our communnity grants and projects fund, so at least for now, MM’s profits will slide back into the general fund.  Do I really need to tell you that even our well-managed, adjusted to protect us from market fluctuations endowment income is suffering too?) 

However, *MY* big push for the next 364 days or so is grants.  Community grants are what the JLC gives, but being internally focused for the League, I’ll be pursuing grants and awards for which we might be eligible.  I have done grant writing in the past, so I’m eager to sharpen my skills and share them with some other members while establishing a grant-seeking pattern for the future.

Since I never found a photo from the retirement dinner, I snapped a couple of shots of the dress.  Sadly, a decent self-portrait was not to be had, and the Knight wasn’t home.  Sissy offered to help, but that no-thumb thing is problematic.  (And see the first photo in the post.  Sissy was licking the dress, and Gretchen was trying to get me to throw the ball one more time…)

 

The out-going president always presents her board with a gift.  Luckily, we get to keep this president for another term, as she actually stepped up in late summer last year when the president had to move.  This year’s gift was the infamous The Devil in the Junior League, which I am going to read over the weekend!  There are at least a couple of inside jokes behind that gift, so that’s one book that will live on my bookshelves and make me SNOL (snort out loud) for years and years to come.

The flowers were a sweet touch from our fabulous meetings and events co-chairs.  Each Board member was told to take a centerpiece home, and I was lucky that the first gals at my table picked one with Gretchen-endorsed pink flowers!  I thoroughly enjoyed the ladies I sat with, a few of whom I didn’t know before dinner.

This is long and belabored, but I do want to note that serving with the now former board of 2008-09 was truly my pleasure.  I’ve never been in a room with such a collection of brains, poise, ethics, commitment, style, grace and class.  I’m sure the incoming leadership team is just as dynamic and strong, and I look forward to getting to know the new faces, and especially to working with some of the savvy chicks I know.

Tomorrow, we’ll do dogs, and Friday, I’ll update you on the goodies that should arrive on my porch later today.  Of course, we’ll also talk about those holiday weekend plans too!

Spring Back?

There are my pretty roses in the boys’ garden.  I have to remind myself that it is spring, and we are moving into the summer season, this very weekend, actually. 

Why do I need the reminder?  Well, Memorial Day is shockingly early this year, and that has me all out of whack, but the bigger problem is that yesterday morning, it was 39 degrees (F), and it was even colder this morning, with tomorrow promising more of the same.

I’m supposed to take solace in the fact that it will crest 70 this afternoon.  That’s great, but how is a girl supposed to dress for this weird weather?  (Layers.  I know.  But tell my feet that.)

One of the things I used to love about living in Central Virginia is that we have four distinct seasons.  Up until the last few years, we had hot summers (dang the humidity!), cold winters, and arguably the sweetest springs and crispest falls going.  Not anymore.   I’ve had to wear a short-sleeved shirt and flip flops on Christmas, and here I sit less than a week from Memorial Day in a sweater, jeans, wool socks, etc.  Hrmph.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to work so I can scoot away for lunch with Ann in a bit!