Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time For a New Friend

It is time for us to get a new dog. Sam is old and blind. He is in great shape, but he can’t do any sheep herding for me. And I’d like to get a dog before he starts to go downhill. Not to mention he loves having someone to hang out with. So, I am searching around to find a nice border collie. One to herd the sheep and goats when I need to and to be a fun friend for us all. And female. I’ve been around male dogs all of my life, but Sam has been a real trial. When he was young, he wanted to fight with every male dog he met, he wanted to bite almost everyone he met, and he’d get even with me when I left him home by peeing on things. He has mellowed with age, thank heavens. Sam was a good cow dog when we were on the ranch, though. I do not want another dog in my life that I have to watch like a hawk. Finding a decent sheep dog is not easy. Everyone thinks their dog is the best stock dog ever.

I am sad that we now only have 2 cats. Spotty passed away night before last. She was almost 17. My cat, Bob, does not admit to missing her. I know she does. She’s got no one to hiss at, now. They were the same age and Bob absolutely lived to give Spot a good hissing and swat at her. Brent said she was sitting out on the porch with her friend yesterday before he buried Spot. Our outside cat, Mouser, came in to look around the house last night. I think she was probably looking around for Spot. Spot started out life with my friend Hillary and then came to live with our family. She stayed with my Dad when I got married. When Dad died, she came to our house to spend her old age with her ‘sister’. I miss her even though her early morning demands for food were annoying.

Enough animal talk. How about some allergy talk? Mine are making me miserable. I’m back to taking Benadryl and I’m a zombie. Between the lack of sleep because of allergies and the medicine to help with them, I don’t really know what I am up to. All I know for sure is I am making yogurt and we have soccer tonight.

Just for the record, I am glad March is almost over. I am ready for a new season and a new outlook. I want bright flowers, sunshine, and fun.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Proof of Knitting

Yesterday was a hard day. We cleaned house. The children’s toys were forced back to their homes and room was made for our ‘new’ recliner. The kids’ room is still a nightmare, but at least you can see the floor in some spots. They wouldn’t clean their room until I told them they weren’t allowed in there while I was cleaning it. It worked like a charm. Of course, it was an accidental discovery.

How about proof of knitting? This is a pair of legwarmers for Knitter #2. She has ballet. Nice warm legwarmers just in time for winter to be over:



And this is Soria as of yesterday afternoon:



She no longer looks like this. If I actually knit, I could be done with Soria in less than a week.

With the legwarmers done and Soria nearing completion, I’ve been thinking about unfinished projects. I am thinking about getting out projects I haven’t worked on in a while. There’s a sweater for Knitter #2 that is about half done. And my Monkey Socks. And some socks for Brent. I may be in that place where I actually want to finish things. If that place really exists. Back in the old days, I only had 1 or 2 projects at a time and they always got finished. Then one year, I tried to make too many things at Christmas. I have had ufo problems ever since then. I don’t think I am prepared to discuss finishing the bear sweaters yet. I loved knitting the bears, but the sweaters and sewing the bears together was a whole different story. I have learned to love Christmas sewing projects since that year. I could go back to having 1 larger project and 1 small project. That would be so cool. I would feel SO on top of it then!

After we got done cleaning yesterday, I went through a knitting basket and found my Cathedral Mitten project:



What a tangled mess it was. I often wonder HOW knitting gets that way just sitting in a basket. Here is the pleasant, after shot:



I think I will finish my sock projects before tackling this one…

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Pals

It’s been so long since I posted. Our trip to Seattle was great. When we got home, it was very spring. The grass had grown noticeably. And, the following Friday, we took a little road trip to the farm with the Shetlands. And these little darlings came back with us:


Skye



Skye, McLean, and Ruby



Ruby


I didn’t get a good shot of McLean, he seemed to get in most of the pictures, though. He is definitely the friendliest. He has no problem with letting give him plenty of scratching on the neck every morning. Skye and Ruby are a little more skittish. Sometimes Skye will let me pet him. The first few days were a real experience. I had to save the goats from the McLean the first night. I was afraid they were going to get super stressed and lose their kids. I had to let them out and have the run of the barn which was not good. Zoe still wants the run of the barn. McLean and Skye are wethers and Ruby is a ewe.

I got a little bonus from my new friend, Lois:



Kefir grains! I love kefir. It is going to be a nice addition to smoothies around here. We’ve become smoothie drinkers because Brent went in to the Men’s Health Check this past week. It’s been a hoot for his friends and siblings. You know this means the report wasn’t good, right? He has to go back to see the doctor in 6 weeks. In the meanwhile, he has to walk briskly 40 minutes at least 4 times a week, no more junk food, no fried foods, and they gave him some books on diabetes. His blood sugar was 120. 100 to 125 is considered pre-diabetes. The doctor says he has gained 30 lbs in 2 years. He has gained 20 to 25 of it in the past year. His cholesterol was also high. I’ve been telling him for the past year that he needed to quit eating so much junk and get off his backside and do something besides stare at the tv. Doctors are so much better at scaring men than wives are. He’s already lost 3 lbs. Since Tuesday. I’m pretty sure it’s his vastly lowered salt intake. The funny part was he’d just been to Walmart and loaded up on snacks he can’t eat anymore. Feel free to laugh. I am thrilled that he is embracing this new forced health kick. I will breathe much easier if he gets his blood sugar down below 100. If I ate the way he has in the past, I would weigh 300 lbs.

I finished a knitting project today, too! Pictures next post.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Gettin' My Thrifting Shoes On

I’ve wasted my day packing and playing on the internet. I have all the stuff packed that I want to take to keep the kids occupied. So much for clothes. Well, we girls do have underwear. However, there is just one bag for all of us to put our clothes in. This is going to be interesting. Everyone can have just one pair of shoes. But a change of clothes and pajamas do seem important. I have a feeling that I will be rummaging in the closet for another bag. Plus, I want to go thrifting when I am in Seattle. They have better stuff up there than we have here. I plan to bring back as much loot as I can.

Speaking of thrifting, my sister in law, Cherie, has been buying sweaters and felting them to make mittens. Like these:



She really should sell them, but I don’t think she is going to. I asked her if I could buy some of her mittens last week when things were a bit too exciting. Then we never talked about it, and she told my husband she left me some mittens at his mom’s house on the counter. I love them. These obviously weren’t made from an all wool sweater, but most of them are. I’ve looked at similar mittens on Etsy and Ebay. Hers are way nicer looking.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Crazy Stuff

I finally seem to be shaking that cruddy cold. I came down with it on Monday and spent most of Saturday in bed. Nice, huh? Needless to say, I didn’t knit much for the ravelympics. But I am not in it to actually finish. I am in it just to participate. Or at least pretend to!

I was touched with a little inspiration during the week and picked up some fabric to make some grocery bags at JoAnn’s. I’ve washed and folded the fabric and it sits gathering dust on the sewing table. I can’t really start anything just now because I am going to be really busy this week.

I think next week we will be going up to the sheep farm. I was happy to hear from the breeder that Mapquest had not been attempting to lead us astray. I don’t trust those things. They tend to send people a good 15 miles out of their way if they are coming to an address on our road. It tells people to go way up the state highway instead of turning in town and following a paved road out of town that our road intersects. 10 miles up the highway and then backtrack however many miles back. I actually tested the thing to see how I could get it to tell me to use our way to get to town, and it is an extra 15 miles by their calculations. And they have us 2.4 miles from the road right across from our driveway. Right across. Anyway, the sheep. I am getting a couple colors at least. I will get 3 if I can. I’d buy more sheep if I thought I could afford them. Like if Brent was working. I think 3 sheep and the 2 goats should do a good job of grazing off the grass around the house. The more I think about it, the more I think even more sheep would be better. We have plenty of property to graze. But I have to think of the facilities I currently have, too. We can add more later. They will still exist…

The craziest thing happened tonight. I was reading a blog post at The ADD Knitter and she made a reference to the Dionne quintuplets. I couldn’t believe it. They were the first quintuplets to survive infancy. They were born the same year as my father, 1934. My grandmother made a scrapbook for my Dad and uncle and she had pictures of them in it. She also said their childhood was a travesty. The government in Ontario took the girls from their parents to make money off of them. I couldn’t believe there was anyone under the age of 65 besides me that knew who they were. It was so cool.