Doggone Good!

So, we’ll borrow photos from the internet.  Thanks to Nichole, I have upgraded to Internet Explorer v.8, which didn’t help that problem, but things look brighter and happier on my desktop, so…  Nic also found a linkymadoo that allowed me to email someone who MIGHT care at Flickr, so here’s to a prompt response and resolution to this nine day old problem.

Part of the reason there wasn’t as much knitting or spinning over the weekend is because Gmarie has tricked me into reading again.   Clearly, we can all see that the image is courtesy of Amazon, but they are my online book vendor of choice…

Before I get lost talking about this book, author and series, I do want to plug a concept I embraced long before I knew about blogs, Buy Books for the Holidays.    I’ve always enjoyed giving and receiving books as gifts.  My closest cousin – in both senses… we’re not even six months apart in age, and she’d be a dear friend even if there was no common genetic material – and my childhood best friend both sometimes stretch me a bit with their book gifts, but some of my long-term favorite reads have come from their favorites.

Anyway, just keep sharing literature in mind, especially if you send me pressies.  I have let reading slide for a few years while I knitted manically, and I think it’s time to recalibrate, so I plan on cruising through the Melanie Travis Mysteries and all of the other books that have piled up in the last three years!

About that book…  It’s the first in a long series of books about the heroine, Melanie Travis, whom we watch become an amatuer detective in Pedigree.    You can read the teaser at the link, but my quick, no-spoiler summary would say that Melanie’s aunt and uncle are breeder/handlers in the dog show world, and Melanie gets sucked in, trying to sort our her uncle’s death all while looking for a missing poodle.

Now.  This pulled me right in for a host of reasons.  Even if this is your first time visiting my blog, a quick scroll backwards will tell you that I’m more than a little taken with dogs.  What even most of my best bloggy friends don’t know – heck, add my real life friends to that too – is that as a teen, I was a junior handler who lived with an aunt (great aunt, if you must know) not unlike Aunt Peg.

It’s no coincidence that this post comes while Flickr and this desktop aren’t “speaking.”  Even if I had scanned photos from that era of my life, I’m not sure how freely I’d share them.  It was a rather special, sacred time.  I was the very proud owner of the most remarkable black lab pup EVER, and our mutual admiration carried us right through all kinds of puppy conformation show rings. 

My parents took tongue lashings when my pet was spayed, thus ending our conformation career, but that’s when my beloved aunt stepped in.  Let’s call her Aunt Nancy, shall we?  Aunt Nancy had cleaned up in breed classes, and had moved almost exclusively into obedience trials when that poor old maid suddenly came to share her home with of all things, an active teenage girl and her big dog.

Before I get lost in a biographical rambling, I’ll note that MJ also was a sheltie breeder when the Knight was growing up, so dog show rings aren’t unfamiliar grounds for him either. 

These books aren’t the biographies I have reached for in the past, but Ms. Berenson’s characters are people I can care about, which makes it hard to put the books down.   #2 in the series is already half gone, and I suspect I’ll continue to march on through the rest of the series.  I won’t review each one here, but if you like the idea of reading about people whose lives revolve around dogs, give them a try!

What are you reading right now?



Lucky Dog?

Well lookee here!

Evidently, several of us are livin’ right as the saying goes, because I can blog! 

Oh.  Wait.  Never mind.  I’m at home with my trusty laptop, where Flickr works and Comcast and its new commercial modem are removed from the equation.

This is the happy little Post-It Gmarie included in her package.   Silly little things like that make me ridiculously happy.  The dog, which jiblets aside could be a Sissy profile, is cute, but the colors really work for my inner preppy.  (Cue a Barbara Mandrell impostor singing “I was preppy, when preppy wasn’t cool.”)

photo by MJ, 11-2007

So, MJ did come in, after taking Nick to the groomer’s.   That means packages went in the mail, so hopefully in a couple of days, several of you will have your prizes in hand. 

Where were we?!  I honestly have no idea.  This thing with Flickr at work has really thrown my blogging mojo out of whack.   I still owe you a post about my spinning wheel, but that will come one day when I can blog at work and the mojo is back. 

I know yesterday, you missed the Lucky Dog photo I showed earlier, and this lovely pair of earrings from the awesome Ann.   They’re actually a cool, coralesque pink, that looks good with all sorts of shades of pink and red.  I know, because I have a very similar pair, without the rosette.

I have to pause here to again thank all of the very generous vendors who made the Blessed Big Bash possible.   I know not everyone had her donations featured here, but I do believe I mentioned everyone, and if not, correct me and I’ll make it so!

I failed to get a photo of Felicia‘s BEAUTIFUL wooden needle case, so we’ll have to wait for it to arrive at its destination.  I also sent along the business card Felicia sent, so I can’t even send you to look at the beauties.  With a bit of luck, she’ll help me out, because these are TRULY little works of art.  (And think sewing needle case, not knitting needle, okay?)

Last, but hardly least, I need to share the yummy braid Ann brought me from Rhinebeck.  That’s Gnomespun, and it’s my first Polwarth (breed of sheep).  I’m really enjoying spinning with different fibers.  I think it’s going to be next on my bobbins.  Thanks so very much, Ann!

Tomorrow, so I don’t have to rely on Flickr, I’m going to tell you about the new series of books I’m hooked on.   How goes your week?  Any of you work for Yahoo and/or Flickr?

The NOT Post

Well, well!  I’m glad some of you can see my Flickr account 24/7…  I suppose I could pull out my Blackberry and try, but that’s way too complicated for something that I usually consider fun and a little spontaneous.

So, tune in later.  I’ll post from home again, I guess.  It isn’t looking like MJ is coming in today, so that might scrap my plans to ship all the prizes out for another day or two…  I really am sorry for keeping the winners waiting!!

Friend for Faith

It was a great weekend, but the high point was definitely handing over the latest Hope & Faith care packages in person.

Poppet, handmade by Gmarie

Gmarie, Hope thought Poppet was “funny” and the mom assured me that young Faith is very much like her father was at that age, so I am quite sure that if Faith doesn’t like Poppet, she’ll say so. 

Gretchen isn’t really smaller than Poppet, but nearly so.

Poppet didn’t travel east alone.  Gmarie also sent a bag and needle roll as a prize for the Blessed Big Bash, and she knew I’d need a set of my own.  The dog stitchery is mine… have you seen anything so dear in stitches?

Then, Gmarie needs to choose a pair of earrings, as Ann donated two lovely pairs.  I’ll send the other pair off to someone else too, as I owe everyone for their patience.  Prizes will ship out this week, finally!  Truly, I do apologize for the delays, but life does happen…  It is because of my wonderful friends that I can continue to roll with the punches, and the worst thing that happens is that you good people are left waiting too long for your prizes!

In honor of Sissy

So, there is the only pair of earrings I can share with you at the moment.   (G, you and anyone else who follows me on Flickr, please go look at the other pair please?) On my ancient monitor, the photo is a little larger than life, but that just gives Gaylen  you a better look.  (Should I have entitled this post “Hey Gmarie!”?)


And here is my new logo for me.  (Post-its from Gmarie.)  I am a lucky girl, with two lucky dogs and a lucky Knight too.

You see, Flickr played well for THAT long this morning.  I’d loaded two other photos last night, and they were here earlier, but won’t load now.  So, we’ll end this post here, and I’ll try again tonight, tomorrow or something.  

As for my weekend, it was nice.  I rested, I knitted, I read, I spun, I walked the girls, and we had three adventures.  Saturday night, we had a rather large family dinner for MJ’s birthday.  There were more than 20 of us there, but MJ is/was one of 13 children, so…  Then, we had breakfast with the Knight’s brother and his family yesterday morning. 

Watching Hope patter through the firehouse, handing out candy from her silver with pink beads basket was definitely the highlight though.  Many, many thanks to those of you who’ve sent gifts, cards, hats, etc. 

If you’re local, tonight is the charity bingo in Hope’s honor.  I also have a Pampered Chef fundraiser going on, but you’ll have to leave a comment if you want more information on that, as I can’t link from here, per company regulations.




Trying Another Door

Since Flickr continues to be a problem, I’m trying Picasa’s web-based service, just for this post.  For those of you playing along at work and home, MJ is finding Yahoo painfully slow too, so it does seem to be a systemic issue, rather than this one poor, old computer of mine.

From November 2009

Well, that’s not so bad for my THIRD attempt to get a photo in there…  It’s embedded “medium”, just so you know.  (Okay, so I’ll know!!) 

I purchased those little cuties almost before I’d gotten into the Mistletoe Market shopping area, from Magical Monograms.   Can you have too many keyrings?

From November 2009

That’s one of the earrings I bought from Erin McDermott.  I spent a lot of time at her booth with a few friends, and I think all of us had trouble making selections.  I really like her disc necklaces too… 

So, those are my favorite purchases, but there was so much more there to choose from.   I’m really proud of the MM committee; they worked hard and fast to pull this together in just a few weeks really, and the results were fantastic!

Now, if it will EVER stop raining, I can get photos of some other stuff I need to share with you.  Maybe tomorrow?  And do let me know how this Picasa photo option works.  I’m finding it fiddly, and I didn’t even try to edit these photos…

Tell me about your weekend plans.  I have a couple of options tomorrow morning, but I do believe I’ll be staying at home and just taking a few deep breaths.  We do have a big ol’ family birthday dinner for MJ, and there’s a Creative Memories open house on Sunday that  I also think will fall by the wayside so that I can just chill at home for a change.  It’s time for me to recharge.

And I’ll be starting that process in a few minutes.  I’m looking forward to a fabulous lunch with some great women at The Shebeen!


It seems so much more appropriate to write a Dogs on Thursday post with Sissy lolled up against me, even if Thursday is rather much over in some parts of the world.


To the DoT only readers, please skim.  There are more photos of Sissy – my Diva Model Extraordinaire – with wee Gretchen peeking here and there, however, due to some freakish issue no one can pin down and fix, I can’t grab photos at work, so I’m blogging at home, which totally disrupts our routine. 



For the rest of you, this is my Handspun Headband, which Sis has kindly pointed out is always a HAIRband, but only marginally a HEADband.



Pattern:  The Noro Headband, which I followed to the letter, aside from perhaps making it a bit wider/longer than intended, just because it is the first project I’ve made from my own precious handspun, and I wanted to use up as much as possible.



Yarn:  Um, my own handspun, made from a handful of different little sample rovings.  Mostly wool, roughly light worsted.


Needles:  KA bamboo US #6 x 24″ circs.  (LOVE those needles… still thinking seriously about the KA Interchangeables…)



Verdict:  For what it is – a dog-walking, ear-warming, first project with my own handspun – it’s perfect.  I won’t be wearing it to the opera or anything, but it will serve the intended purpose well, and I was correct in guessing that a pattern designed for self-striping yarn would be kind to a mosh of fiber samples.  (And no, I don’t have a photo of me wearing it.  It’s not been a get a self-portrait kind of ten days or so around here.)



The REAL verdict is that my fur-girls rock.  As the song that was playing as I got out of the car says, “Everyone that sees you… wants to know you… everyone who knows you always has a smile… You’re a standing ovation… Everyone calls you amazing…  I just call you mine…”


Photo by Anita... if THAT doesn't make you grin, NOTHING will!


My hope is that each of you has someone in your life, two or four-footed, who makes you feel that way.  Sure, the Knight is pretty awesome and most people find themselves liking him (or hating him… he’s polarizing, I suppose), but these fur-girls never fail to make me smile.


So, happy what’s left of little friday, and I think I’ll get a head start on Friday’s post while I’m here!


Double Up


MJ, 2008

Happy birthday, MJ!  I’m blessed to have a sweet, great mother inlaw, so I’m sorry she has two doctor-ish appointments today.   (Why no, it’s not the best photo I have of her, but remember?  We’re limited to what I can do without Flickr.  Seems the problem is somewhere, somehow, with our new cable modem…)


Today is also Veterans Day here in the States.   I am blessed to know a host of veterans, from every branch of the Service, and I thank each of them and their families for their service.

In the craputer saga, it seems that I owe my old workhorse an apology.  (Mea culpa, my ancient beastie.  You continue to serve me just fine, and I was wrong to threaten you… it’s not your fault you’re the oldest ‘puter in the office.)  After IT Auntie (Uncle’s wife is a technologies person at UVA) worked her magic this morning without ever leaving her office, she agreed with a couple of you… it seems to be a wonky something with the new cable modem/router Comcast installed.  I’m not of the mind to put up with all of their reset this and redo that trouble-shooting, so I haven’t made the call yet.

The good news is that if the clock EVER advances to noon, my work week will be half over.  Hooray!  How goes your week?