Category Archives: Dogs

Finding Joy, One Day at a Time

(I had every intention of posting this yesterday but my computer was uncooperative.  Let’s pretend, for a moment, that it’s still Tuesday.)

I haven’t been around for a while, I know.  Winter has really been kicking my butt lately.  Dark days, dark nights, cold, snow – I’m really fed up, as I’m sure many of you are.  It often feels like there is little or no joy in my life these days.  A short time ago I heard about something called 100 days of Joy.  The idea is to find a moment of joy, however small, and take a photo of it each day for 100 days.  It was an idea that really appealed to me, something along the lines of a visual gratitude journal.

When Skye and I headed out for our first walk of the day, I was discouraged.  Something about the weather left the morning feeling very flat. The colour of the day, the clouds, even the air looked/felt flat.  It made me think that depression is not blue, or grey or black; it has colour but everything about the colour is flat. It has no up or down, light or dark, it’s just flat.  Maybe that only makes sense to me, but it certainly describes the way the morning made me feel.

It didn’t seem there would be anything really uplifting to the day, certainly nothing that merited a photo.  And then, on our after-dinner walk, Skyler picked up a big old tree branch left on the deck by his friend Izzy, and he showed me joy. It’s more than one pic, but I’d like to share it with you.

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Aside

I finally finished my do-over socks.  I shouldn’t say ‘finally’; all in all, the pair took only 20 hours of knitting once I’d restarted them.  There were a lot of do-over rounds on these socks for some reason but that didn’t seem … Continue reading

Old Dog, Old Trick

It’s cold this morning; I mean really cold.  And there’s a wind chill.  That means the thermometer says the outside temperature when you’re in the house is -19ºC (or -2ºF).  Once you go outside and the wind hits you, it feels like it’s really  -25ºC.  Logical then, to stay in the house.  Even the dog’s not keen on being out, and he LOVES the snow.  He’s sitting here with me now, waiting for more snow – and less wind.  Yesterday was much warmer and being the  loyal dog he is, he came along when I said I needed some exercise.  Here’s what I did.

Here’s what he did.

I only lasted about 20 minutes.  It only took 10 minutes to remember that I usually leave the dog at home when I’m snowshoeing.  When I’m on snowshoes, he feels a need to stay close to me.  I wish he wouldn’t.  I’m plowing along, having a great time, when I suddenly find myself on my knees, the air pushed out of me in surprise, and the dog trying to lick my face.  He’s stepped on the back of my snowshoe.  I always think it’s a one-off.  It isn’t.  If When it happens a third time, I take him home.

From Sticks to Pics

Living in a resort town means that we get to visit with a lot of friends we don’t see very often, as people take the opportunity to vacation rather than “staycation”.  Our guest room is booked most weekends from mid-June through the end of August and we normally spend a lot of time touring the area with guests, taking them on hikes, shopping for souvenirs and of course, eating.  This year’s been a little different.  Guest visits have been for shorter stays, and with BB still recuperating somewhat from his Spring injury, we haven’t been on a hike all season.  I’ve been feeling a little trapped here in the park.  Yesterday BB suggested a day trip.  We’d never been to Kananaskis yet and even though the day was cloudy and cool, we decided to pack up and take the dog for a Sunday drive.  On the way there, I finished this:
 
 
 
The second Lacy Mock Cable Sock is now done though I had a heck of a time with the toe seam.  I used kitchener stitch on the first sock (my first time ever!) and it worked beautifully.  I followed the instruction in the “techniques” section of Creative Knitting and it worked like a charm.  For the second sock I went online to my favourite knitting website, www.knittinghelp.com and followed the video for kitchener stitch.  Then I had to undo it (please note that kitchener stitch is an EXCELLECT way to seam a sock as it is almost indestructible).  I tried again.  This time I had to unlock the stitches AND frog back a couple of rows.  Cue the wine (just a small glass).  And dinner was going to be a little late.  I finally dug out the magazine instructions again and it worked as perfectly as for the first sock.  I absolutely love them!
 

  

Kananaskis proved to be a lovely get-away  

Kananaskis Country Golf Course

  

 

Reflections: Wedge Pond

  

 

Merganser mom & chicks: Beaver Ponds

  

 
 Skyler had a good time, too, though it seemed to be thisty work!
 
 
 
 
 
 We don’t have anyone scheduled to visit for the next couple of weeks, so I’m back working on my cardigan. 
 
 
Annie's Blues Fest
 

 I started the sleeves last night and am working them both at the same time on circular needles, so this should go pretty quickly.  That’s all I have left to do before blocking and seaming.  If this cool weather holds, I’ll be able to wear it as soon as I’m done.  

 

 

Shark vs. Collie: And the Winner Is …..

 We have a rather large kitchen.  Our kitchen table seats 8 comfortably so we often entertain there.  Some days I almost live there – cooking, eating, reading, knitting, watching TV, all in the company of our collie who loves it there as well.  It’s a great space, until it’s time to wash the floor.  The floor area is about 15 ft x 20 ft and it’s laminate.  I’ve discovered that dog drool sticks to laminate better than glue.  I did find a solution:  after thoroughly washing the floor, scrub at the drool spots with a Magic Eraser,  then rinse.  It feels like it takes a whole day to get that floor clean.  A friend suggested using a steam mop.  I said I’d think about it; and I did.  I researched.  I read reviews.  I did price checks.  While I was doing all that, I wasn’t washing the kitchen floor – well, at least not often, and not near as often as required.  The dog drool was gaining dimension.  I found myself in Canadian Tire the other day, deciding between 2 steam mop models.   

This is what came home with me. 

Shark Deluxe Steam Mop.  (The only difference between the Deluxe and the regular is 5 ft more cord and 5 cleaning pads instead of 2)

Safe for wood floors, ready to go in less than a minute(!), no wringing, no rinsing.  How could I go wrong?

Did I mention that the floor hadn’t been cleaned in a while?  I was getting streaks halfway through, so I switched to a clean mop pad and that did help.  The dog drool however, wasn’t going to give up without a fight.  I steamed it in every direction but couldn’t get it all up.  I finally gave up and used the Magic Eraser. 

Although the Shark Steam Mop did eliminate 90% of the dog drool, Round 1 has to go the Collie.  Way to go, Skyler.

Aside from that though, The Shark did a really good job.  It’s fast, it’s easy and the floor, aside from the aforementioned collie contributions, is noticeably cleaner.  I’m actually pretty amazed. 

Today’s another day, 24 hours since the last cleaning, and a new set of droplets have dried onto the floor.  This time, The Shark fared better, getting about 98% of the job done.  But in the end, dogs drool, dogs rule.  Sorry, Shark.

Woof, woof!

Shrug It Off …… or On

I’ve been working on a cardigan for a while now, and it’s coming along, but ….. 

Once I’d finished my socks, I realized that I could knit a couple of socks for the dog.  He’s been recovering from a slight paw injury and needs the paw covered to keep him from licking it.  Store-bought baby socks are great but just not long enough.  What he needed were knee socks, and knee-high (for him) tube socks were exactly what he got.  This is the one sock that he doesn’t pull off and he seems very happy with it.  Go figure.

               

Mary Maxim  Mardi Gras in Cajun 

Another project done, so back to the cardigan.  Until I realized that I need a shawl of some sort for a wedding at the end of the month.  Enter the Simple Crocheted Shrug.

Simple Crocheted Shrug, a free pattern from Lion Brand

I’m using Lion Brand Homespun in Nouveau and  working it on a 9 mm hook, ‘tho a 10 mm would be better.

I’ve changed the single crochet to a half-double to make it go faster.  I love the texture and colour of the yarn, but it would probably be easier to knit with, than crochet.  I don’t have that option though, as I need the shrug done in 10 days, and crochet is faster for me.  And that means I can get back to the cardi sooner.  Here’s what I’ve got so far.  Hopefully it’ll work up as fast as I think it will.