Thursday, November 18, 2010

See Emma Run!

Puppy Power
We had our first experience with Emma bolting from us on the street. Tom was showing me how the new garage door worked and Emma came out - and instead of hanging out she bolted down the driveway, down the street and across a pretty busy street into an empty lot. Gave us both a heart attack watching her. YIKES! I know she had a stressful weekend - but man. It was really upsetting. Tom managed to grab her and by the time I caught up with her with the leash Tom was carrying her to me. I hope we never have that happen again. And I am so grateful that no buses were coming down the road at that time. I get sick thinking about WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. I still shudder from the thoughts!

Our groomer came by this week for Emma's appointment. We have this really awesome groomer who struck out on her own and has a mobile grooming unit (RV) and she comes to our house, Hooks up to our hose and gives Emma a shampoo, blow dry, brush out, and nail trim as well as cleaning her ears and stuff. It's pretty sweet. Before that I was taking a day of vacation and taking her to PetCo. You REALLY burn through the vacation days that way! And the last appointment I had there with a different groomer - was Not good. Emma's nails were ragged - even though I paid the extra to have them filed after the trim. And they talked me into the deluxe spa package - which really Em doesn't need. She is short haired and pretty much just needs a bath and a brush. You don't have to style her at all. So I kinda felt like I got taken for a ride.

Stick it & Stuck it
While the garage doors were going in I sat with my mom and knit pretty heavy on my It's My Birthday Too! Cowl. I would say I am around half way through the cowl. I had a rough row or two where I kept having to back up and re-do. Once I got a little bit past that rough patch I looked back and saw that about three pattern repeats were slightly off. I decided I could live with it. It would suck to rip it out at this point. It's so pretty! The yarn is JUST gorgeous and the pattern is wonderful. Unless of course you screw it up - it does not knit back real well. At least not for me.

So I set is aside when I realized I was talking too much to focus on my knitting and instead did the finish work on 11 washcloths! I have had a pile of them sitting next to my desk for months - and the pile just got bigger and bigger. So it was really nice to get them all taken care of. I am trying really hard to get things cleaned up in my office area. It's a pretty big mess of yarn, books and paperwork these days. I am feeling the weight of all my STUFF. I think watching Hoarders all the time is getting me looking at my stuff a little different these days too. I have so much. Of everything. I think I can justify it because it's just Tom and I and the cat and dog. But seriously - Who needs all this stuff all over the place. I know there are boxes in the basement that we never opened after we moved in this place. Eight years ago. That's messed up! So I keep looking at all my "piles" and thinking - Stuff has got to go!

But a girl can only knit and read so fast.

How's the Weather up there?
Cold. The Snow we got over the weekend did melt a lot - but sadly there is still plenty left. And it's hard and chunky. Happily the roads cleared up pretty quick and there was only one scary moment on my morning commute when I hit a patch of ice. It's my first winter with this car so I am nervous yet about driving it on the winter roads. This car is the peppiest thing we have owned - so I have potential for crashing a lot faster and harder.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good Morning!

Check out what greeted me when I opened the door this morning to let Emma out. She took one look at it and went back inside. So I had to put on socks, shoes, coat, hat and head out there with her. It would have been fun - but I had not had coffee or anything yet - so I was a little unhappy. Also - After all that she still would not go. Anytime I stood near her potty spot she would run into her dog house and stare at me like "are you nuts?" So it was all for naught.
Kind of pretty though. Wish I didn't have anywhere to go today. Wish we were not installing garage doors today.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yippy Skippy it's Friday!

What a long crappy week. We have been having record warm weather all week - then today BAM! November is in your face! Weirdly the cold weather brought in one of my better days at work - and not just because it is the last day before the weekend.

My co-worker, my service desk support people and myself have all been working on getting a printer to work for us for about a month now. It's SOOOOO frustrating - and the behavior it's exhibiting makes no sense whatsoever. It's possessed by the devil I swear. So that has been fun fun fun. I also had a former co-worker send me a bitchy e-mail where she did a typical sandwich compliment. First she thanked me for something. Then she made a snotty slap in the face comment. Then she wished me a happy birthday. Jerk. She exhibits the behavior my mom used to call "Dry Drunk" behavior. Her moods and emotions turn on a dime and nine times out of ten - kitty got claws. I have been on the wrong side of her angry stick too often. Argh.

So the weather is gross and that means it's time to do some outdoor projects! YAY! Tomorrow Tom and my dad will be out working on installing the new garage doors. I thought I would be helper girl - but now it looks like I will be hanging with my mom and knitting or whatever. Should be interesting. Not sure how spending that much time with my mom will go. We will see. I better put more wine in the fridge in case. And maybe do a taste test tonight. **Sigh**

As the weather gets colder and colder I find I want to spend more and more time in my owl flannel pajamas on the couch knitting. Sadly that doesn't do a whole lot for reducing the size of my fairly ample butt nor does it advance me in life all that much - but it probably keeps me from choking the living daylights out of my co-workers and family.

I have been struggling with being motivated with my diet and "healthy lifestyle". Mostly I ping pong back and forth a lot between uber goodness and wallowing in a slop bucket. It's been a rough year that way. I can't seem to get up enough steam to stay on the track of righteous healthiness. Well, I am on my last year in my 30's. The countdown has begun to the big 40. I am better health wise on my 39th Birthday than I was on my 38th Birthday. So I would love to say that again (but maybe with exclamation points and a marked lack of fear of swimsuits) next year. I mean seriously - if Valerie Bertanelli can look that flipping fly after doing Eddie Van Halen and having a kid - then what the hell is my excuse? Ok - I didn't start off looking that hot - but come on! I know I can look (and feel!) better than THIS.

And that is another issue. Negative Nancy in my head. What an evil thing that is to have an inner child who does nothing but point out fault after fault. I would giver her a hug but I just know she would use that chance to knee me in the crotch. She is NOT nice. I have got to figure out a way to silence her. Problem is I believe in what she is saying just enough to not feel like I CAN silence her. Garg. How do you learn to love yourself?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What up Dog?

It's Thursday and I want to try and talk about Emma On Thursday's. Honestly not much is new in the world of our awesome Dog. We had a storm last night and that always causes worry for miss Emma. She hates the thunder and the lightning and tends to cower and shake when she hears it. Last night Tom came back from his bike ride as the rain was really starting to hit and he reminded me that it was good to close all the curtains and make the house into a Puppy Cave when the weather turns sinister. Sure enough - She settled on the couch and calmed down while I sat on the other couch and watched Hoarders on demand and knit my Malabrigo cowl. She forgot at one point that it was raining like mad out and asked to be let out. When I let her out she took one step out onto the deck and turned around - tail between her legs - and headed right back inside. Memory of a goldfish? Not such a bad thing. I prefer she push her fears away. I think the best thing we can do for our fearful pup is to try and be steady and calm.

This week has been a tough one for that. I went back to work after a pretty blissful week off for my Birthday. After spending one of my Birthdays working at the store and having to scoop vomit out of the sink in the customer bathroom - I vowed to try like mad to never work on my B-day again. Last year I had to work on my Birthday due to staffing issues - but this year I was able to take the whole week off. Awesome! Sadly - my week back has been mighty stressful and I have been tearing my hair out almost everyday. Which leads to me coming home and ranting and stomping about like JenZilla. Not a great way to keep the dog calm and happy. I try on days like that to run with her in the yarn a little more than normal to make up for it.

Hows the weather up there?
We actually had a record warm day yesterday and today has been mighty nice too. They are saying snow for this Sunday - so it's NOT going to last. (Hello - MN and November? Our day's are obviously numbered!) We are putting in new garage doors this weekend which I am really happy about. Our doors are falling apart and we have to stand there and guide the door down when we close it. I can't imagine pushing the button and walking away from the door. It will rock! Also - Our current doors are ugly as all get out - so it will gussy the joint up to have pretty new doors with NO rotten chunks falling off of them. Sweet. I am sure it will make the rest of the place look like hell in comparison - but you got to start somewhere. And since new windows and siding are not in the budget - this is what we get for now.

Stick it & Stuck it
I have finished a few projects since my last blog post. I have been on a cowl frenzy. I love them! I can wear them at work without them getting caught in books and chairs and toilets (Nobody likes a toilet dipped scarf!) and they are really warm. Also - they don't add as much bulk to my ample bust line and equally ample stomach line. I knit the Mochi Plus Cowl out of two skeins of Crystal Palace yarns Mochi Plus from my stash. The pattern is really simple and I loved it enough that I cast on almost immediately for another one out of another ball of yarn in my stash.

This time I knit the cowl out of yummy Malabrigo. I used 1 skein of worsted weight and I named the cowl "Clown Vomit Cowl" because the color is awfully like what I imagine it would look like if a clown horked up a colorful stream of yarn. It turned out great and I wear is just as much as I wear the first one I made. But after making two of the same pattern I started to get a little weary of the pattern - which is pretty much knit knit knit with a little purl purl mixed in. I would love to do this cowl in a softer color variation instead of the crazy colored Yarn I am so drawn to - but I think it would bore the pants right off my bum to knit that. (The picture at the top of the post is the Clown Vomit Cowl - Emma was as usual an awesome model.)

After the cowl madness had released me from it's grip I whipped up a simple hat out of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky that I named "Orange you glad I didn't say Banana?" You would think after knitting on my treadmill afghan for the last two years I would be sick of looking at this yarn - But I am so not sick of this yarn. I love this yarn. It's warm and easy to work and has great colors. And just the right touch of mohair fuzzy goodness. Love that yarn. Don't think I will ever NOT love that yarn. It felt's well. It knits up really nicely. I made a bowl out of it once and it's just the prettiest felted wool bowl. I think if I had to make a list of top ten favorite yarns - I would have to include Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky. It's just that awesome. I know Bulky isn't for everyone - but it's for me!

After the hat I finished a headband/neckwarmer in some left over stash yarn (Sandy's Pallete single worsted yarn). I named it Keep them Ears Warm and it does indeed keep my ears warm. I love this headband. When I finished it I wore it almost all night long. I took it off for a minute or two to see how Emma looked in it - fabulous - and then made Tom try it on as well. It's super awesome. I knit it out of some left over yarn I got at a shop many years ago. I had knit my Sunset Hat out of it a few years back and still had a lot left over. This headband only used up about half a skein - so I still have a little more than one skein left. Perhaps it will be a cowl?

And finally - I finished a One Skein Scarf out of the book One Skein Wonders. It's the Filippi Scarf from the lady who used to own Clickity Sticks - whom I got almost all my yarn bins from when they went out of business. I called this Oooh Baby Baby! because it's knit from Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grand and it's so soft and yummy! It's black with a bit of silver metallic woven in. The pattern was really easy and I did it MOSTLY right. Sadly I bound off the way I always do rather than with the k2tog method the book called for - which made one of my ruffle d edges more ruffled than the other. But still - it's pretty awesome! I mean seriously - running alpaca yarn through your hands over and over for hours - it's pretty awesome. (Emma Once again modeled for me.)

On my needles right now is (wait for it....) a cowl. I know! It's the very popular Birthday Cowl by Nova Seals on Ravelry made out of yummy Malabrigo worsted yarn I got as a Birthday gift from my friend Abbey. I am calling it "It's my Birthday too!" and I have been working on it pretty hard since I got the yarn on Tuesday. I came home - balled it on my swift and cast on as fast as I could. I love the pattern! It causes the edge to curl in a gentle wave. It's just wonderful - and I have taken it to work with me everyday in hopes of showing Abbey it's awesomeness. She has been out most of this week - so I will try again tomorrow. Love love love it!

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