Keep on Walkin’…

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Last year

… the lights are off and there’s no candy to be had here.

If it was Christmas, you could call us Scrooges.  What do you call the folks who don’t do Halloween?   It’s not totally a lack of spirit…  we live in the woods, far enough off the road that we just don’t get costumed visitors.  (More of the why explained here.)  

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More 2010 looks

Do you dress up?  I know some workplaces even have contests and such, but I’ve never been one of those people wired to conceive awesome costume ideas, even if we assumed I had the talents to pull together whatever my mind could come up with.

We did have a low-keyed weekend.  No snow fell at our house, but all around us there were dustings and more.  I got lots of knitting accomplished, and I’m hoping to FINALLY get some finished object shots later this week!

How was your weekend?

Camel, caramel…

Larry Levine camel hair coat from Overstock

… toffee, tan…

It’s cold and damp here in the woods, with the earliest snow of my recollection headed this way any moment.  My thoughts have turned to … all things warm.

I think maybe it all goes back to the camel-hair coat my father had.  As a small child, it was the ultimate symbol of warmth.  It was also connected to the camel on his brand of cigarettes… Tobacco.  There’s another beautiful brown, right?

Or maybe it was his love for butterscotch, heath, toffee and caramel…

Anyway, for whatever reason, I’ve always been drawn to those honeyed hues by whatever name you call them and I’ve been snatching them up left and right.

Food?  gMarie gifted me my first salted caramels and they’ve been a passion ever since.  Ghirardelli’s Dark & Sea Salt Caramel Squares are now a staple in our house.   They’re the perfect size to soothe a craving without killing a waistline!

Have you tried the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha?  I want to, but there are two problems…  I fear it will be too sweet and I can’t get past the pumpkin latte!

I’m not the only one thinking camel-caramel-whatever thoughts.  College Candy has a really great post about some under $20 finds to feed the need.  I’ve also already added a cardigan and cords, and I’m pretty sure I’m not done yet… but I keep getting distracted by leopard prints (not all animal prints… just leopard) and RED.  I wore all three today – that cardi I linked to above, a red turtleneck and belted ’em with a skinny faux leopard belt – but you’ll have to imagine it because I’m now home, have had a 2-mile very brisk walk with the girls and not even for you will there be a photo.

What do you do when the weather outside is frightful?  You know… until World Series Game #7 starts?

Shutterfly Cards & More

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and more!   Please don’t miss the contest on the girls’ blog, or their very quick and even easier muffin recipe

Many of you know I’m a fan of photo cards.  I love to send them and receive them.  Most of my cards have come from Shutterfly.  It is truly my pleasure to share my very positive experiences with you in return for 25 free photo cards.  

photo.JPGMy all-time favorite Shutterfly project/product is the photo mug I made of the girls last year.   It’s a little bittersweet because that is a two-eyed Sis, but it’s PANK and Gretchen is also featured.   I actually ordered a few extra earlier this year… just in case.  MJ got one for Mother’s Day, and if by any odd chance you need your own fur-girl mug, say so in the comments and we’ll work something out. photo.JPG

I also did special Valentines, which both of our vets still have up on their bulletin boards, thanking select people for their support during what was perhaps the most difficult period of our lives to date.   Shutterfly… it isn’t just for Christmas cards!

Of course, I *HAVE* ordered holiday cards from them too.   I like a matte finish for some reason…  What do you prefer? 

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Last year... I'm dreaming of a photo for the card without brown, dead leaves in the background!

In the end, it usually comes down to what card template works best with the photos I want to use.  Since I want a portrait done… hem.  Yeah.  Not yet!!


Grumpy girl blooper 2008

Thankful Thursday?  Well, I’m thankful for businesses like Shutterfly, with quality products, fast turn-around, and honestly… those free cards.  Hem.  (But it works!  I wouldn’t have blogged about where I do most of my online photo cards otherwise…  Good marketing, Shutterfly!)

And yes…  I guess I’m beginning to think about Christmas.  I’ve ordered a gift or two, and I suppose I need to call and arrange for photos to be taken ASAP…  I’m even doing some Christmas knitting – you know, that red mohair cardigan I want to have done to wear for the holidays?

Are you starting to think holiday thoughts?  What kinds of business and/or services are you thankful for as you start planning for the holidays?

A Pumpkin a Day…


Gretchen's first Halloween

It’s pumpkin day!   (And another good excuse to enter Louise‘s contest, but that post from our house will be going up later, when Sissy and Gretchen can help…)

We love all things pumpkin at our house.  So far today, I’ve had pumpkin spice coffee with a  pumpkin whoopie for breakfast (whoopie courtesy of Best Thing, the Knight’s assistant’s wife), and a bite of unremarkable pumpkin bread from some country store somewhere in the Knight’s travels, which I was promptly told was NOT for me, but for me to take home for Sissy.  Hem.  Can you say Daddy’s girl?!  Yes, yes, we’ll share with Gretchen too.

DSCN2103There are no photos of all the pumpkin foods and beverages we enjoy, but luckily, Gretchen was a pumpkin her first Halloween… 

(Well there are photos for the recipe, but they’re stuck in the camera at home.  Hence, that post coming later…)

Do you prefer sweet pumpkin recipes or savory?  I love both… and if you share a recipe, don’t forget to enter Louise’s contest too!

I still do…

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Chief Knight

Fourteen years ago tonight, I married my best friend.  The poor guy doesn’t get much press here, but he’s our ever-present rock, the doggy Dadaw and much more. 

My trip through Flickr makes me all the more determined to get new “family” photos done.  We haven’t had one done since our engagement photos, and we were engaged over a year…  Hem. 

The fur-girls wish to thank everyone for their good wishes.  We had a grand birthday celebration last night, complete with pumpkin muffins and milk – two of Sissy’s favorite things, but I’ll share more about that later. 

Time for some brainstorming.  What does cabaret themed attire say to you?  It’s not too soon to be thinking about what I’ll wear to Vintage Vegas Casino Night in February…

Oh – and happy birthday to Mr. gMarie and to King Tut!

Queen of our Hearts

Okay, so both fur-girls hold that title, but today’s all about Missy Sissy, Princess of Moo, Haddon Wood’s Princess of Joy, Mango Minster’s Best of Show, winner of the Shameless Doggy Diva category, and so much more. 

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The most darling girl is four today.  Ironically, today also marks 10 months since she lost vision in her left eye due to glaucoma.  Yes, on Christmas Eve.  I’ll never feel quite the same about that day… but today is a celebration!  Please pop over to the fur-girls’ blog and enter the contest.   We intentionally didn’t announce prizes because we want everyone to participate… so we promise we’ll dream up something good when the winner(s) is/are selected.


October 2010

It’s been one heck of a year with the Queen.   One year ago, we were battling eye allergies, but otherwise, she was great, and she still had that beautiful left eye.

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December 26th

Then came Christmas Eve and the roughest January on record.  I hate that photo, but it’s terribly important that you see it.  That’s what glaucoma looks like, and yes, that’s pain and suffering on her sweet face.  (I couldn’t bring myself to edit it, so enjoy the snowy steps, okay?)  We were bolstered by the best vets in the world, and continue to be grateful for their compassion, wisdom and whole-pack care, and held together by you, our friends and relations.


I’m pretty sure both girls got their Mango Minster wins on sympathy votes, but even I am shameless and proud.  It was the beginning of our heeling  healing, and again, we are grateful for each and every one of you who voted, made a spouse or co-worker vote, etc., and for the judges, who are shameless dogs and divas in their own rights.

Since then, our luck has indeed turned, with the noted exception of losing Wondervet to her home state and her hubby’s dream job.  But she’s not really gone… she just isn’t here to put her hands on Sissy anymore.  That’s the kind of impact this dog has on lives… she just wins people over everywhere we go.

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We love you, goofy, sweet girl.  It is truly an honor to be your caretakers, to tuck you in each night, to give bellyrubs on demand, to tend to your walking needs, to watch you mother the Wee One…  Happy birthday baby, and may there be many, MANY more.

Basically Finished Report

Okay.  I give up.  We’ll likely have a frost the next night or two, so clearly it’s nearly past time to blog my “summer cotton shawl”.  I was waiting to block it, but I’m also already a couple of FO reports behind… 

For those of you who aren’t lace knitters, the fact that it’s cotton means there will be no drastic changes.  Cotton doesn’t lend itself to the wonders of blocking… honestly, I sometimes use a steam iron to “block” cotton projects.

Anyway, I present Quake-icane… thus named because it was a work in progress for an earthquake, lots of aftershocks and a hurricane!

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Pattern:  Miami Beach Shawl, from Cascade.  It was the first of Dog House Yarns’ KALs.  Most of the KAL-ers are part of their knit night, but I’m doing what I can “remotely”. 

It’s a nice, quick, easy pattern.   Per the pattern’s suggestion, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Yarn:  Cascade’s Ultra Pima.  Wow.  Soft stuff.  Didn’t make my hands hurt, and hasn’t gotten fuzzy either…  not that it would get too fuzzy being moved from one spot to another on the back of the loveseat.  Hem.

Needles:  US #7 circulars, Addi Clicks.

Verdict:  Some of the ladies have made multiples of this shawl.  If I was a fan of weighty, cotton wraps, I could see that happening. 

Anything fun on your weekend agenda?   Celebration week begins for me tomorrow, with gMarie‘s birthday…  but I’ll share more about all the other celebrations later!

New neckwear

Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday!  I’ve posted a review of our new Lupine harnesses over on the girls’ blog, but I’m going to continue the Pet Expectations/Lupine love here too.   (Be sure to click over to Lupine and wait for the pirate and the basset photo!)


Gretchen's first Lupine 11-2008

I love Lupine.  LOVE.  The boy dogs chewed each other out of countless rolled leather collars as pups, so when I discovered Lupine and their unconditional guarantee, I was RIGHT THERE.  They also have wonderful patterns, styles, etc., so whatever you’re looking for, they have it… now that they’ve added the fab no-pull harness to the line-up.  And yes…  we’ve tested their guarantee.  That cute harness we passed down to Micro?  Yeah…  Sissy chewed the original off of baby Gretchen the first time she wore it.

Anyway, the new no-pull is the answer to our prayers, so Thankful Thursday is rather covered too…  We’re grateful for Jill at Pet Expectations and for Lupine!  Isn’t it great when there are fabulous companies that truly care about your pet?

I suppose you’re wondering how Lupine stays in business when their guarantee is so fabulous.  Well… 

October 2011 007Pank fades.  I had no idea how much so until new vs. old was side by side.  Plus, while the wee one ain’t happy, we’ve moved up to the 3/4″ size for her, to match the harness, and because that’s what Lupine recommends for Jack Russells, because pound for pound, they’re stronger than the average small dog.

And yes, that’s the same pattern, Puppy Love.  Looks like it was made for Gretchen Greer, doesn’t it?!  Pretty and preppy with a dose of love on top…  Another reason I love Lupine.  When form meets function, it’s a beautiful thing.

October 2011 005Likewise, I moved Sis up to a 1″ pattern, Sunny Days.  I loved her now-retired Picnic Basket, and I suppose I could have looked into getting a custom harness made for her, but…  Sunny Days is a good fit too.  She has a sunny disposition, and after all, the Queen should wear royal purple, right?

I also feel as though the wider web will dispurse any potential “stress” on her neck more evenly.  Maybe that’s crazy, but that’s what I do…  I obsess about Sis and her glaucoma (and her food allergies) and then do what I can to assure her greatest, safest quality of life.

Along the Thankful Thursday theme, are you wearing purple today for Spirit Day?  I am… and obviously, the fur girls wear purple every day.  It’s something small that says I care and want the world to be a kinder place; bullying is NEVER okay.

Social Media Plan?

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October 2010

Some days, I feel I need to hire a social media person.  Seriously.  I blog.  The dogs blog.  I tweet sporadically, I’m on Facebook, and now there’s Pinterest and Scoopit, both of which are new to me and I’ve yet to sign up, although the invites are in my inbox.

I feel like I’m chasing my tail and being pulled in 20 directions.  Devoted readers know I’m trying to move to a single address/identity while still maintaining two blogs AND starting the groundwork for a foundation.  Unfortunately, the more I learn, the less I know. 

Oh — and there’s Google’s thing to compete with Facebook…  If I haven’t put you in a circle yet, it’s because I’m lost, not because I don’t want to be in one of your circles!

Will you share your social media philosophies with me?  I know for some of you, it is purely social.  Others of you have rather crafted social media identities, and only a chosen few know your real name, home address, etc.  Still others of you “do” social media as a business – at least from my perspective… so let’s not quibble over whether it is a second job, or whether you actually MAKE money doing it – and I’d love to hear from each of you, because I’m positive I’m not the only blogger treading water here.

I’m especially interested in hearing how those of you with ties – professionally or otherwise – balance your social media presence.  For instance, I’m not just Chanknits.  I’m President Elect of the Junior League, and I fear people don’t want to friend me on Facebook because I “spam” everyone with Farmville posts, because for me, Farmville is a connection with friends and relations, not just a stoopid game (because it *IS* stooopid).  I’m also a life member of our fire company, where I’m also the chief’s wife and membership chair, and then perhaps most of all, I’m Sissy and Gretchen’s mom and personal assistant.

Oh – and I do have a full-time job, even though I rarely mention it.

See?  Help. Me.

These Boots Weren’t Made for Walkin’

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I have signed up for virtually every bargain shopping offer that shows up in my inbox.  These little beauties showed up several weeks ago on No More Rack Daily Deals.   They were a steal, but you have to wait a good while for your order to find its way to your front porch, and then those wee little heel bottoms (what are they called?!) make me feel pretty unstable, but I’m not sure I care… 

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Aren’t they cute?!  They were advertised as gray, but they’re a taupe-gray, I think.

October 2011 002I was a little shocked at how great they looked with the fun crops I had on.   I see lots of cropped pants in the fall/winter stylings… not really much different than a skirt, eh?  Sorry the photo is so awful, but that’s what happens with a timer, me jumping over a dog or two, trying to strike a pose… all in less than 10 seconds, just for you.

So what do you say?  Boots and crops, or save ’em for my dresses?