Sunday, September 28, 2008

He's A Horse's Ass And We're Thrilled

Riso has never been an easy dog. You know how it's said that every dog wants nothing more than to please it's master? Not Riso. He's usually well behaved, but it's because he happens to feel like it, not because he gives a crap about what we think. A rugged individualist, that dog.

Since he's gotten sick, he's been very quiet, and quite cooperative. A little easier on the ears to be sure, but sad because we knew he wasn't feeling well. But things have changed over the past few days. We're working with a vet who practices homeopathic medicine as well as some standard veterinary medicine. In addition to his medications, Riso has getting some herbal supplements, he has changed his diet and he's been receiving acupuncture. And what a difference - all of these have combined to help him regain his appetite, and when he eats, he feels better.

Consequently, he's driving us crazy.

He spent several hours last night, half-on/half-off his bed in the kitchen, wagging his tail, and doing a combination of mooing and yodeling. At high volume. So soothing. The more we told him not to, the more he mooed and yodeled and wagged. See? Horse's ass. It means he feels better. Which makes us happy.

Trouble, on the other hand, behaves because she's constantly hoping we'll reward her with food.

On the fiber front, I finished spinning the Merino/Tussah blend for H. Four ounces yielded about 360 yards of 3-ply, nearly-worsted weight.

And now that I've re-learned how to count to 7 (it was harder than I thought...), I'm making good progress on the February Lady Sweater.

It's a really fun and quick knit. I opted to knit the yoke/shoulders in stockinette rather than garter stitch - I think it suits this particular yarn better.

Riso is yodeling again. I have to go at him with zombie arms and growl at him. He thinks it's funny, and he may be asking for that. Weirdo.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well Now.

Whooda thunkit?

You Are 88% Interesting

Believe it or not, you are a very fascinating person.

You're probably too busy being interesting to realize exactly how interesting you are.

You have a rich, full life. You are curious about the world, and you are very open to new experiences.

You have a lot to talk about, and people find you to be an amazing conversationalist.

And most importantly, you are truly interested in other people. How could anyone find that boring?

You truly listen and learn from others. You're not self absorbed or shallow.

I totally lifted this off of Nora. Maybe 88% interesting but clearly I'm not very original...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'm back. Wow - sorry, I didn't mean to be gone for so long! Actually I didn't intend to be gone at all. Things have been busy and kind of stressful around here. We're dealing with a sick doggie (Riso, the English Setter) who's aging quickly and has developed a tumor that results in him producing way too much calcium. Which leads to organ failure. He's been in the hospital and lately to a vet who practices holistic medicine (in conjunction with his regular vet), and we're working to keep him comfortable for as long as we can. As long as we can convince him to eat, he seems to feel ok. We know when he's acting annoying that he's doing well.

This is Riso, last year, helping me catalog my stash on Ravelry:

Then Trouble (the Beagle) started acting sick - I took her in today and it turns out she may have thyroid issues but we're waiting to see if some antibiotics work before we have to give that a serious look. All of our animals are older; Trouble is the youngest and she's 9. It's not fun watching them slow down.

On a happier note, another reason for my silence was the arrival of my son J. and his girlfriend H. for a week. They arrived late Wednesday and left just last night. We did a ton of stuff and had a great time!

We took a quick trip up north. First stop was Leggett so we could check out some giant trees. Then we spent the night in Ukiah, so it would be just a quick hop over to Boonville for the Mendocino County Fair/CA Wool and Fiber Festival. There were some great vendors at the festival but I was surprised at the size of the show - I really expected more booths. What was there was super nice, but until I hear word that it has grown, 3+ hours to drive each way is a bit much for what was there. We stayed about 2 1/2 hours (and saw everything), and then headed back home.

Other things we did:

Took H. out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant for her birthday. Here's a shrimp head starting a confrontation with J. J. won - he ate the head. Though H. ate one of the eyes and pronounced it good ('tastes like popcorn!). Ewww...

J. said the head was fishy.

We went to the beach - and discovered that seaweed in Santa Cruz likes to sport dreadlocks.

We went to the San Francisco Zoo:

I've been trying for years to convince my husband that we need a pet giraffe. So cute!

A very contemplative gorilla...

Yesterday we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

I got to pat a Bat Ray as he (she?) swam by.

I think I irked this fish - he was hiding around a corner, and poked his face out to find me looking right at him. He promptly turned around and hid again.


We didn't spend much time at home but when we were there, H. crocheted me a dishcloth (she knits too and learned how to use a spindle while she was here - I love her!):

And the two of them picked tomatoes for me.

Here they are. I asked them to pretend to like each other the picture, and they cooperated. Proof that kids might actually do something you ask them to do. Granted it took until they were in their 20's but hey, cooperation is cooperation. For those of you with small, challenging children - there is hope!

I haven't been totally slacking in the knitting/spinning department:

At the fiber festival I treated myself to a new, lightweight spindle from Carolina Homespun. Prior to trying this one out, I'd always pretty much sucked at spinning with a spindle. Turns out I didn't have the right spindle - and my old one was just too heavy for the fine yarn I wanted to spin. I improved right away - this is some tussah silk I picked up along with the spindle. I'll dye it after it's spun.

I also started work on this:

It's a merino/tussah blend that H. brought from Vermont - and asked me to spin up for her. I agreed to make the sacrifice. Someone's got to do the grunt work, right?

And here's some knitting:

My first toe up socks - and knit on 2 circs instead of DPNs. Damn I'm adventurous. So far so good. This is the Marigold pattern I found on Ravelry, knit in Glorious from The Yarn Place.

And the February Lady Sweater is progressing as well. It's not really this bright - but the picture without a flash made it come out gray. It's actually kind of a dark denim. The yarn is Noro Cash Iroha that has been hanging out in my stash for just over 18 months. At first glance (or feel) it doesn't seem like anything super special but once it's washed - wow. Super soft and absolutely fab.

Today is my last day of vacation. While I'm sorry to see it end, I've got no reason to complain - it was really fun, and I only have a 2-day work week! Life is pretty good.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Things That Grow

Old Friends Grow

This is G. We went to high school together - a small boarding school in Putney, Vermont. He was passing through town a few weeks ago, driving with his daughter from Ohio to CA. Together with another schoolmate we hung out for an evening. None of us had seen each other since graduation over 30 years ago (of course we were all 2-year old geniuses at the time - we're not really that old)!

The first time I met G. I was about 4'9" tall and he wasn't much bigger. When did this happen?

Finished Objects Grow (in a good way)

I finished my 3rd Montego Bay Scarf! This one's for me and I love it.

About 4' long pre-blocking:

About 6' long post block:

Finished Objects Grow (not so good)

Remember Ariann? Well, Ariann fit pretty nicely preblocking. Now? Not so much. The lace opened up and Ariann became the Sweater That Ate San Jose. It's too horrifying to show a picture. However, all hope is not lost. I have more yarn - if I remove the collar (to re-graft later), frog down to where the sleeves join, rip back the sleeves a little bit, re-knit the raglan (for the 4th freakin' time - at least I know how to do it right now) and reattach the collar, then Ariann can be made right. Right now the thought makes me tired though, so Ariann is going to be put away for a little while.

On a more humorous note...

The Size of My Head Grows

Thanks to my husband who thought it would be fun to fluff up my hair. He's just a stitch, isn't he? You can tell how amused I am.

Tomatoes Grow

If you have tomato overload, here's a great way to use them. This works particularly well with cherry tomatoes, but you can also slice regular ones and roast them the same way. I got this recipe from Norma's blog - she waxes eloquent about them here. I followed her recommendation (somewhat) and had them with crackers and goat's cheese for dinner this evening. Absolutely fab.

Knitting For Evil

Last year, I was involved in knitting for good, and made over a dozen hand-knit items for various charities. This year, I'm apparently headed in the other direction.

A friend in our Oregon office submitted a request for a new Blackberry - her faceplate had cracked and kept falling off. I sent her a note giving her a hard time about throwing her phone at fellow employees, and how Purchasing had told me they were probably going to supply her with one of those giant bag phones which she couldn't possibly break. But, I told her I'd soften the blow by knitting her a phone cozy - and that it would look like a fuzzy bedroom slipper on her belt. She LOL'd and thought I was joking. Silly girl. Look what I made for her!

Tackiest Blackberry Cozy Evar

I didn't know I had it in me to make something so freakin' ugly. See? Knitting for evil. I'm so proud!