Had Matter

(Play on words intended almost exclusively for a specific friend.)

Photo from Wikipedia

You see, I feel a bit like the March Hare and the Mad Hatter are my social secretaries these days.  (And if you must know, I do certainly mean the original Carroll versions, not the current big-screen interpretations.)

You see, I left work yesterday and went downtown for a meeting.  I arrived a whopping two minutes early and hustled one row of shops down to Animal Connection, and still made it to my meeting basically on time.   Then, home for a quick visit with the fur-girls, then a fun family dinner, then the firehouse…

I took photos for today’s planned post.  I downloaded them onto my laptop, but evidently, I didn’t upload them to Flickr.  (Can a techno-savvy someone PLEASE verify the correct usage of those -loading terms?)  So.

Venture a guess? What are they?

I don’t mean to tease.  I hate to be teased or strung along, but I’m afraid that’s what this week is going to look like, while I hop around to the manic beat my that seems to be my life.  I say I crave calm, quiet evenings at home, but I must enjoy being busy, because I can recall being advised to set priorities and scale back on my activities way back into my childhood. 

Most of my friends are busy.  We schedule social time, just as we do everything else.  The Knight is a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, causing me to adapt.   So tell me…  do you like to take life as it comes or do you prefer to grid it all out on the calendar?

No Pictures!

Wasn’t it Zsa Zsa who was famous for her “No pictures!” line to the press?

Well, I have plenty to share, but no photos.  I finished spinning my batt – as in MY. BATT. that I made almost all by myself – and even got it plied, but it is sitting on the bobbin, waiting, and again… no pictures.

Bring on the holiday weekend!!

My evening was hectic.  I raced home, grabbed Sissy and we headed to the vet’s.  She got a great report, but you can see the fur-girls’ blog for more on that.   Then the Knight was a man on a mission.  He marched on through his honey-do list, tossing in a few surprises too.  Did I mention that I have no pictures? 

She really is THAT good...

Tomorrow, I’ll have pictures.  Gretchen is getting antsy because she feels I am impeding her ability to send prompt, proper thank you posts for her gifts, and I too have much to share… but I won’t even give hints until I have pictures.  (And the couple of you that are in the know, HUSH!)

Blue Moon

I don’t think we really have a blue moon, but it’s been a stunning sight the past few nights, and I was looking for something with blue for a title…

When I got home Friday, I had the sweetest package waiting for me!  Anita sent all kinds of goodness, but you’ll have to wait for the girls to blog about their goodies later.  (The girls also got pressies from Ann, so they have some thanking to do!)

First up is the superwash Anita dyed just for me.   She named it “Ocean” and it does look just like our mid-Atlantic waters.  There are six glorious ounces there, so I can spin it finely and navajo ply it and still get plenty of yardage.  Anita knows me so well…

I am blessed to have received Anita’s first WIP tool. (Wraps per inch… a necessity in spinning, but nice to have for any yarn-related crafting)  Isn’t it ADORABLE?!

Look at that sweet face!   I love the detail in Anita’s clay animals.   This long-backed sheep has a poodle cut so that  its “bare” middle can be used to measure the wraps per inch.  (You don’t need to REALLY wrap…  I just spread my yarn one row “deep” and line it up closely, then count…)

Of course, the other end is pretty cute too, thanks to Anita’s attention to de-tail, er… detail.   

I’m so honored to have the first of Anita’s newest line of clay fiber arts  jewelry.  If you’re local, you can find Anita’s cute critters at Dog House Yarns & More in Culpeper.   They quitely opened for business on Saturday.  Yes, I’m going to scoot up there sometime this week and tell you all about it!  If not, you can find them on her Etsy site.

Oh – and I wasn’t the only one smitten with Anita’s fiber, but you’ll have to click over here to find out more…

Edited to add:  Here’s a photo of another WIP tool in use.

12 WPI (wraps per inch)

Faerie-ly Late

Well, I missed the contest deadline for our Blue Mountain Handcrafts group on Ravelry, but I finally finished my blue batt.    The Knight and I were working on wrapping the yarn on the niddy noddy during the crazy storm that rocked the city, and then, I gave it a nice bath.

It dried overnight, so I snapped photos while the girls had their first trip outside of the morning.

Blue Mountain Scyllia Batt

 This was my first true laceweight yarn.  I spun extremely fine singles and then plied 750 yards or so of them with a blue metallic thread.   THIS  is one yarn I’m keeping for me.  While there’s plenty of room for improvement, I think it’s going to make a lovely shawl of one sort or another.

Not all of the yarn got plied with the metallic thread.  When I ran out of thread, I just navajo plied the remainder. 


It turned into a nice, fingering weight yarn.  Pity I only have about 135 yards.  

That’s a close-up of the laceweight.  You can really see all the extra bling from the metallic thread!

So, what are your plans for the weekend for the last weekend in June?

2nd Chance

Photo borrowed from Auntie's Facebook

World, meet Chance.   He’s my aunt’s third rescue dog, hence the title… he’s found his forever home on his second try.    He’s a darling, handsome, playful, black and tan standard daschund.     He’s three years old and my girls are smitten.

Sissy did her own post about the day, but alas, it’s a bit ego-centric.   I’ll start at the beginning.  Friday night, the girls got baths to be all purdy for the family reunion.   I really thought I took several photos, but this is the only one my camera shared with me when I downloaded (uploaded?) to my computer.

Why yes, that is the Knight's hand in the toy basket

Sis is right that I had the devil of a time trying to get a photo of Chance.  He’s one happy, active little guy.  However, what I also didn’t capture was how sweet Sissy was, trying not to overwhelm him.  She dropped to her belly when he seemed a little uncertain about the big, playful dog, and when that wasn’t enough, she rolled onto one side and just batted at the little dogs with her front paws. 

There was a “hayless hayride” we skipped to continue supervising the doggy romper room.  I also missed the trip to the local alpaca farm because Sis had an upset tummy…

I was a little nervous about having Sissy and her food restrictions at a family reunion, but it went pretty well.  Phew!

My aunt’s other dog, Luna, is also a rescue.   She didn’t adapt to their household quite as seemlessly as Chance has, but my aunt and uncle were patient and she’s quite the fixture now.    She wasn’t interested in the playful antics of the younger set though. 

Here’s Sis, being the alpha-diva.   Luna’s bed, the two bones Gretchen found…  And don’t you love that LOOOOONG pink tongue?!

Of course, I can’t leave Gretchen with that less than flattering shot from the tub.  She was  happy to pose for her fans!

What?!  Your family reunions aren’t all about the fur-kids?  Huh.  Well, ours are…

Happy dogs on thursday and little friday!

Vacant AND Pensive

(With my apologies to Mr. Wordsworth, althought I’m sure he’d be honored to know that a poem I had to memorize more than 30 years ago still flows from mind to lips with ease…)

My poor head is flipflopping from vacant to overly pensive these days.  I over-think most things, most days, but it’s been brought to such a fevered pitch that you have to suffer with me now.

I spun – plied, to be exact – for SIX hours last night, while the Knight fixed dinner, and I still didn’t finish my blue batt for the contest.  Still, if you’re on Ravelry and so inclined, pop over and view the other handspun beauties and vote, vote, vote.    You’ll get photos when I do finish plying, skeining and such, but I don’t think it will be this week. 

I did stop to Wii…  There has to be a better way say that I worked out with the Wii, without all those words, without sounding as though I’m telling you about a potty break.  Oh well.    I’m really into the skateboarding “game” on Wii Fit Plus at the moment.  It’s totally out of my element, and it makes my thighs burn, so it’s all good.

Since it’s little Thankful Thursday here in my crazy blog world…

I’m thankful that my body and I are making friends again.  You see, I’m afraid I don’t like her much when we can’t be active together.  As cerebral as I am, I also have high physical needs, as though my body really does want to be balanced with my mind. 

I’m hard-pressed to identify a favorite body part.  I will say that this hourglass figure serves me well, thick or thin, hiding a multitude of sins.

My strengths and weaknesses are different sides of the same coin.  I have a take-charge personality, and I like to think I’ve finally gotten a grip on my temper.

Hard at work, fall 2008

Really though, I’m blessed to have the time to sit and ponder these things that make me who I am.  Some people actually have to work at work!

Numbers Hostage

I’ve been having a few conversations with different friends about the numbers in our lives.  You know… weight, clothing size, shoes size…  I feel I’m held hostage by some of these numbers, and I know several of my friends are very concerned about their numbers too.

My pretty, bronze Merrell sandal, size 6.5

Why is it that most of us couldn’t care less what size shoe we wear, or if our shoe size changes?  I was a true 6 narrow for much of my life to date, but a few years ago, I started wearing some “regular” widths, then some 6.5s, and now, I sometimes need a size seven even.  Other than the sad fact that some of my lovelies don’t fit anymore, it has had NO impact on my view of self.

However, that’s the only number/size not currently in hostage negotiations.  My weight doesn’t matter AS much to me as some, maybe because I’ve ALWAYS weighed more than it appears I do.  Still, I weigh more than I should, and I know that. 

Sissy says she FEELS like a cow because the costume is too small!

What REALLY does me in is clothes.  I’m down almost two full sizes, despite the fact the Wii insists I haven’t lost much weight at all.  (And maybe I haven’t; I’ve always tended to build muscle faster than I lose fat.  I know, I know, that’s a good thing…)  I can also rationalize that different manufacturers and/or designers use different templates, so I SHOULD wear different sizes.

That’s why I feel I’m a hostage to these numbers.   I can sit here all day and tell you why they shouldn’t matter, but they DO. 

Sissy says to run for the shear joy of it

Another number that matters is how fast I can run a mile.  Now, keep in mind that I haven’t run competitively since I was 17.   That’s a LONG time ago, right?  Still, I know my competitive nature, and I know that means I can’t train WITH other people, because I just lose focus and have to be out front, whether it is what is best for me or not. 

I’ve decided I can’t train with the Women’s Four Miler program, but after chatting with a childhood friend and her hubby lately, I’m wondering if I can even participate in the event without hurting myself.  I mean, if I can’t train without losing sight of my limitations, why on earth would I trust myself to “race”?! 

 Are you held hostage by numbers?  Have you figured out how to pay the ransom?

Oh – and Gretchen has up her review of the Thundershirt.  It does come in a PANK version now, but that doesn’t seem to matter…

Soul Socks

Don’t look now, but I’ve finally finished a pair of adult socks this year.   This whole post will make more sense if you’re a Harry Potter fan, but in case you’re not, a horcrux is a bit of dark magic, with a piece of the dark wizard’s soul inside. 

Project:  Horcrux from London   Must be magic, because it restored not only my sock mojo but my general knitting mojo as well!

Pattern: Horcrux Socks, by Susan Lawrence  I really like her designs.  These socks were just right for me…  even if I do prefer toe-up sock knitting.  If I make them again, I might try to transpose them to toe-up.  Love the 3×2 ribbing, and the bit of lace – the horcrux connection, to resemble the scar on Harry Potter’s head – on the leg was perfect.  It wasn’t too challenging, but it broke up the sock a bit to keep it from being too boring. 

Yarn:  Regia Galaxy, from the awesome Monica.  That’s part of why I chose this pattern for this yarn; Monica picked it up in London a couple of years ago, and some of Harry Potter happens in London.  I look for these to become a favorite in my sock stable.  Jeans are a staple in my winter wardrobe, and I love the splashes of pink, aqua and pale yellow.  The good news is I have about 90% of one ball left, so I might need to start two at a time toe-up…  I should have enough for some anklets.

Needles:  US #2 Addi Turbo circ.  A bit too large, actually, but I couldn’t find my #1, so what’s a girl to do?  (These were cast on pre-Clicks.   If I haven’t waxed poetic about the Clicks, I’ve done you a disservice.  LOVE that set so much that I’ll have to add the Lace tips too, just because…)

Verdict:  I could totally knit this pattern again, but there are so many sock patterns out there.  If ever I run out and need to start knitting them a second time, I’ll start with this pattern.

The weekend was a nice one.  Saturday, we headed to the farm for a family reunion.  The fur-girls love their new cousin Chance, but you’ll have to wait to meet him later in the week.  The calming collar definitely earned its keep, but it does cost more than I thought at $8.99.  Still, we purchased two more Saturday night.  Yesterday, we celebrated Fathers Day with Dae and Uncle Timmy, the uncle next door to the inlaws.   The Knight’s cousin like a brother to us both grilled perfect steaks, and CLAB’s sweet bride shared her wine with me, so what’s not to love, even if it was 100 degrees outside?! 

On my (first) wedding day, 1993

Please don’t take my silence on Fathers Day as a slight.  I was blessed with the most awesome father in the world, but his death still finds me raw and emotional a few times each year.   The fur-girls wanted to post to their Dadaw on Sunday, but I just wasn’t up to it.   It’s not fair to the great fathers still in my life, but he and Pop left big holes in my life.  (And yes, we glossed over the second anniversary of Pop’s death last week too.  More rawness.)

How was your weekend?

Finally Friday

This has been a long week, for some reason.  I’m glad to see it winding down.   The weekend has a bit going on, but there’s a lot of time to catch up too.

Fur-girls at the great bathtub of the East Coast, OBX fall 2009

Tonight, the fur-girls get baths.   They’re not crazy about it, but they’re cooperative.  Then, we have a family reunion and of course, Father’s Day on Sunday.  I plan on finishing a sock and I desperately hope to finish spinning AND plying that blue batt…

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Calming Collar

Do they make one for humans?

A few weeks ago, something on the pet aisle in WalMart caught my eye.  If you’ve been reading this blog very long at all, you know that Gretchen just doesn’t ride well.  We’ve tried all kinds of drugs, with no relief for her, and the side effects have been VERY stressful for the humans.

So, with a low price point (I honestly can’t recall, but I’m hoping to grab a few more this  weekend), the Knight agreed we couldn’t afford NOT to try it.

The maiden voyage was a simple trip to Smoothie King, all of 15 minutes from home.   Gretchen was notably less stressed, which is to say she didn’t try to bounce off the walls in the car.   She’s used it four more times for trips to and from the shop, all of which were less than 15 minute rides, and by the last one, she sat in the back seat with Sissy like a sane doggy.

Do I look stressed to you?!

On the very first use, we noted that even Sissy – not wearing a collar – wasn’t whining, which is highly unusual (and appreciated).  It is my theory that Sis, like Fred before her, “sings” on the first part of a ride because she’s that darned happy.  It is also my opinion that Sis’s antics add to Gretchen’s frenzy.  If we can find the 27″ collar (we suspect the small one that barely fits Gretchen was a mis-labeled CAT collar), Sis will be wearing one too, just for the heck of it.

(Hey!  The 27″ one would fit me too.  Just a thought…)

Keep your fingers crossed that podunk’s Wally World has more.

Dudley, center, snuggled up with some of his pack

While you have those fingers crossed, think good thoughts for dear Dudley and his pack.   I really, REALLY hate cancer, but when it is a sweet old doggums stricken…  He’s fighting a good fight and maintaining his loving spirit, so I’m wishing more of the same for the rest of his pack, especially the humans.

Thanks for the continued support for Sissy and me.  Wondervet called this morning, but you can read the update here. 

Happy dogs on thursday and little friday!