Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This year, we're having a decidedly unchristmasy Christmas. I can't decide if I wish I were back in Florida, surrounded by hordes of excited family members.. or if I'm happier here, spending the day quietly with my husband and kitties. I guess I wish for a little of both.

I managed to satisfactorily finish two Christmas knits this year.

Persephone for Nanny
Details at Rav link here

The first, Miriam Felton's Persephone, is perhaps one of my favorite knits. (Though don't I feel like this every time I finish something? Haha) I will certainly be knitting more of Miriam's patterns in the future, and already have more of Heather's amazing yarn stashed. ;) I did 5 repeats of the pattern, and my scarf ended up 12" x ~60" post blocking.

The second is a simple garter ribbed scarf for R, out of less than one skein of Henry Galler's Prime Alpaca. (Gorgeous stuff, I just want to snuggle it.) Super easy, and flew off the needles between various lace and cable projects. Hasn't been blocked yet.. I wasn't sure how to work that without him seeing.

Suppose I'll stop here. I have entirely too much knitting going on for one post, and I have some wheaty/oatey/corny cranberry maple muffins on the counter that are demanding immediate attention. And a hubby to wake up....

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The countdown begins

The Christmas knitting is well underway, but I'm afraid that I didn't get started soon enough. That, and I keep getting distracted by things I want to make for myself. 'I will not be a selfish knitter! I will not be a selfish knitter!'

And then my coworkers (thank goodness there are only 3 of them) keep not-so-subtly hinting that they'd like handknit scarves and hats of their very own....

So I guess I better get back to knitting. And perhaps I should check on the chili I left simmering!

But not before I post another picture of Addy in her fall colors:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New pup!

Introducing: Miss Macy Gray!

Macy is our new foster pup. She arrived from Daytona two Saturdays ago, and has settled into the routine of house life incredibly quickly. She never raced, so perhaps she was simply destined to be a pet, rather than an athlete. ;)

Macy has the cutest waggly eyebrows. For the first several days, we thought that they were permanently crooked. Now I think she was just worried and watchful. She also has a hilarious almost-helicopter tail. It zooms around in circles when she's happy, but she doesn't seem to have full control of it..

She's really a darling. I think she'll even be totally cat safe - yesterday Tucker climbed up the side of her crate, crisscrossed all over the top, tried to share her dinner, and even chewed on her ear.. and she pretty much fell asleep. (Maybe now we know why she didn't race?)

I'm not sure how much longer I can do the foster mom thing. We keep getting such wonderful dogs, and it gets harder and harder to part with them. Poor R had to put up with me begging to adopt Mimi for at least 6 weeks. And we only had her for 1 week!

Anyway. In other news:

Innit gorgeous?! What better to cheer up those nasty damp days? Sunshiney tweedy cabley bobbley mittens designed by the immensely talented Jared Flood. Yay! Now if I can just find the time to finish the pair...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am so excited for our country!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Well.. a few days late, but then, that's right on time for me! ;) (Yes, he has a little foil hat on. Paranoid, that pumpkin is!)

I hope everyone had a safe, fun, Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ladybug, ladybug...

In the gardens of Monticello.

Turns out that my old camera didn't in fact die - just the rechargeable batteries (every set of them). Of course, I only figured this out after I bought myself a shiny new camera. Not that I'm complaining..

My mom has been in town, so we've been all over the place, and have eaten more than our fair share of really yummy food. Then Addy was sick.. then I was sick.. and now some friends are in town. Hopefully I'll get around to playing with my camera, taking some FO shots, and updating this for real someday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

No, I haven't died...

..but my camera did!

This is the last shot it took, courtesy of Ryan:

Evidence that the kitties are actually finally tolerating each other! (And yeah, I've cleaned the windows since then!)

My dear little camera was a graduation present from my mom. Maybe it wasn't the fastest, and maybe it wasn't the bestest.. but it braved mud, rain, fog, and cold to capture 'on pixel' memories that I'm glad I have. (Since my memory is an utter failure, I rely heavily on pictures, haha!)

Squirrel and her sweet, mischievous, darling Sampson.

The cobbie who stole my heart, Dragon's Lair Spring Edition.

Miss Squirrel, and my little Gainesville cottage.

Mom driving Piwi (DL Prince William).

Summer camps with the kiddos.

Tie dying with Glabra, Ken, and Trevor.

The sudden, happy arrival of Little Man.

My first vacation with Ryan.

Nights in St. Augustine...

And so very much more. Thank you, little camera! You served me well.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Life, as usual, has been chugging right along. I can't even remember everything that's happened since the last post (big surprise!) - but most notably, we had a little vacation.

Ryan, my brother, and I went to play and gorge ourselves in Chicago for 5 days. Neither of the boys had been to Chicago before, and they both loved it. We ate, and ate, and ate. And then went to see:

Wait.. Wait.. Don't Tell Me! Very exciting. (Yeah, so I'm a dork. But you knew that!) I've listened to this show for years, and have gotten Ryan addicted as well. The show was even better live.

Anyway. The point of this post was actually to write about Miss Adventure. I'd been struggling to get out to see her regularly, and worried about both her crappy feet and her weight. Being an air plant, she doesn't need much food.. yet she's out on grass 24/7. She looks like a tick about to pop. I figured I could keep her weight under control by exercise, but that hasn't been happening much, because of her crappy feet. So I haven't been going out.

However, I think I've finally found a farrier in this area that I'm comfortable with. Addy's feet look better already, and the farrier suggested that I purchase some boots so that Addy can more comfortably deal with the rocky trails. I hate to do just ring work, especially with an out of shape horse.

Yesterday we ventured partway down the least rocky of the trails, scouting for fairly level, open areas for trot work. We found several that work immediately, and a few more that will work once Adventure has her boots. Even better, some are hilly, forcing Addy to rock back on her haunches and balance herself for the downhills, and use that big ol' butt to power up the uphills.

So now my plan is to get us both back into shape. My goal is to ride 4 times per week, starting mainly with loose, open trot work. Bareback a few days (mostly to help me get balanced again), in the pastures, on the trails.. and then slowly begin introducing ring work, with lots of transitions, circles, and lateral work. At some point, I'd like to get an instructor out, as well.

We'll get to 2nd level someday!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Puppy Love

Monell has moved to his new home. I miss my big ol' boy.. he was just about the perfect dog. Never mind the dog aggression (who could blame him?), the resource guarding (he is getting so much better!), and the fecal obsession. He is my ideal dog - big, quiet, friendly (but not overbearingly so), gorgeous, a gentleman on his walks, and generally well-behaved. Perfect.

So when we got the call less than a week later that an emergency foster sitter was needed, I was a bit reluctant to volunteer. Mo is a hard act to follow. But I had no reason to say no, and thought it might be nice to have another dog for awhile. Along comes Mimi....

Now really, who could resist those eyes?

Mimi is another return, so she is well aware of what houses are all about. She's very much a lady, most of the time. She tolerates the kitten, even allowing him to sleep on top of her crate at night, and chew on her tail during the day. And she roaches. In the middle of the hard floor.

She is also a very patient model.

I'm very surprised she hasn't found a new home yet. She's just as wonderful as Monell!

In the above picture, she's modeling what I have so far of a dog coat that I started back when we first got Abba. It's not perfect, and I'm not a huge fan of the yarn (Dark Horse Yarns "Fantasy").. so it's taking me longer than usual. Perhaps it will get it's own post someday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

FO! Rusted Root

Finally - pictures of a finished object!

I've had a relatively productive summer as far as knitting goes, and have actually created things I can (and probably will) wear! Whoa. Creating clothes out of sticks and string is almost as fascinating as creating bread out of flour, water, and yeast. Such magic! Who knew?

(Side entrance to the Howard County Court House. So gorgeous!)

I'm about the gazillionth person to have knit a Rusted Root.. and I can certainly see why it's so popular. It's a quick, easy knit that is super-easy to customize. The recommended yarn comes in any color imaginable, and is reasonably priced. The pattern is well-written, and there are hordes of people to help you out if you get stuck. I'll definitely be knitting another Zephyr pattern in the future.

My only complaint about the pattern is that the yarn is worsted weight, which makes it somewhat hot and bulky for a summer knit. I guess this will be relegated to spring and fall for me...

While down at the Ellicott City section of the Patapsco River, we noticed some fun rocks. These were striped like zebras:

And these had up, one on another! Ah, the wonders of nature. ;) (Actually, it was fun to watch people cross the bridge and notice the stacked rocks. They made everyone stop and smile.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Eeekk.. a roach!

This is the first roach we've seen in our new house!

Way more fun to discover than the ones we found I'm used to from Florida.

Mo had his first potential adoptive parent come by yesterday. As much as I don't want him to leave, I think that this person could offer the perfect home for him. We'll see. In the mean time, he's Tucker's only friend...

I had big plans for a photo shoot this weekend so that I could finally post pictures of some of my recent (and not so recent!) FOs. Unfortunately, it didn't quite happen. Didn't even come close to happening. Perhaps I'll get myself together for next weekend.

However, I did make it out to the barn for an early-morning ride. Mornings at the barn are perfect. I miss waking up to my ponies in the fog....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

About time... introduce Monell, our latest foster.

I was a little unsure about fostering him, since he is a return and has some issues. He's turning out to be incredibly easy, however.. as well as a lot of fun. This boy already knows all the basic commands, and will perform tricks for you (without solicitation) if he thinks you might be hiding a treat. He can be a bit aloof at times, but loves it when you get down on the floor with him.

Dogs have been flying out of here, and I'm definitely enjoying having this guy around. I hope he sticks for awhile.

As for knitting... this orange Blue Sky Alpaca Skinny Dyed Cotton has tempted me every time I've gone into Spinters. I haven't been able to capture it's color properly, but the name does it: Squash.

It's being turned into a Drawstring Chemise from the Spring '08 IK. I had to modify the pattern for a heavier weight yarn, and my own measurements. I also lengthened the midsection by about 1.5". I'm hoping that during blocking I can squeeze another inch or so of length out - it still seems a little bit short.

Perhaps I'm just abnormally proportioned, though. ;) I did have a heckuva time finding a backpacking pack that would even come close to fitting. I'm too skinny for even the XS size of the Gregory Deva (my top choice).. and it was about 3 inches too short for my torso. (I finally ended up with an XS Osprey Aura 65, though it's still about an inch too short.)

Anyway. I enjoyed the pattern, and would even consider knitting it again with a different yarn. Something wool/silk, possibly.

Next new project in the knitting queue is the decidedly girly Rusted Root. Thanks to a wonderful destashing knitter on Ravelry, I have some brilliant red Cotton Fleece that I am extremely excited about....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Goals n' other assorted things

Not too long ago, a friend posted 101 Things to do in 1001 Days. I had never seen this before, but became instantly intrigued with the concept. Since then, I've found myself creating a list in my mind, adding to it as the days go along. So perhaps it's time I make the list and goals a little more concrete.

The main site for this idea seems to be here: Day Zero.

While making concrete, one-time goals is a good thing, I would also like to create a shorter list of things that I will repeat on a weekly or monthly basis. I'm terrible at keeping in contact with people, so that would play a large role in this particular list. I'm going to start with this list first, since it's much much shorter and I'm still working to attain 101 TTD. ;)

1. Hand write a letter twice a month.
2. Call someone every Sunday.
3. Read 2 new books a month. (I tend to reread the books I already have)
4. Ride at least 3 times a week. (I used to ride several times a day, every day.. so this is getting ridiculous!)
5. Go for at least one hike a month, and not always in Patapsco.
6. Update this list every 6 months.

That's it! We'll see how it goes.

In other news, life is moving right along. R leaves for England soon (grr!), I'm going "camping" in a few weeks, and we just found out this morning that we're getting another foster dog. This guy is definitely a dog in need - he was returned after 3 years living in a home. He has some issues that we will be working on, but I hear that overall he's a sweet little dude. Pictures soon! :)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Attack of the kittenhead!

I love an underdog. Given a choice, I will invariably pick the runt. It's just not in my power to resist.

Except when I have a grown up runt at home. A grown up runt who, while certainly my favorite living cat, is the only cat like her that I can handle.

(She's long since been put on a diet.)

So when we went to pick out the newest addition to our little family, R and I resisted the call of the runt. We totally resisted. We picked the "big boy" of the litter - the precocious one. And boy, is he full of it. He's non-stop. No time to cuddle. Must climb the curtains. Must eat books. Must attack feet. Must kill Squirrel. Must destroy yarn.

He's being a normal kitten in these pictures, and I only don't have pictures of him being bad because I need both hands to stop him. ;)

This is one crazy kitten. Good thing we adore him.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Today was a long day. One of those days that would make you swear that time was moving backwards. And it was made even longer by a faulty a/c unit at work and an afternoon rain storm that left the highways at a standstill.

So what a pleasant surprise to find a package in the mail at home! And not just any package, but one from a person living in another country.. a person I've never met. A package full of the most wonderful things!

Included were two booklets about the New Forest.. one is a Visitor's Guide with enticing pictures.. the other is a book of stories. (And oh, how I love stories!) But I was most amazed by the lovely hand knit mohair scarf. I keep looking at it, amazed that someone who knows me only through Ravelry and blogs would take the time to knit this for me. It is beautiful, and I will cherish it. (And as I told Bea - it will get lots of use because I'm not at all fond of the cold!!)

How refreshing that there do exist, in this crazy world, people who are so thoughtful and kind. I'm inspired.

Thank you, Bea!

(Someday I'll get a better picture of the scarf!)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A farewell and a greeting

Zaaz was adopted on Memorial Day. I was completely unprepared for that to happen. I think she found a great home though, so it's hard to be too sad. (But oh how I miss those eyes!)

Another reason not to be sad is Tucker!

This one's *ours*! His mom and siblings were rescued from a kill shelter 7 weeks ago. The day he turned 8 weeks, we picked him up. He's the biggest boy of the batch, at 2lbs, 3oz.

We've been wanting to get Squirrel a buddy, so I was very excited to find out about these kittens. Unfortunately, Squirrel is not yet interested in being his friend - though she is fascinated by him. We'll see!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The rain has finally stopped and has left nice cool days, acres of green green grass, and some very satisfied horses!

Aren't they a cute little herd? Really though, this is such an ideal situation for a horse. 24/7 turnout on 30+ acres with a happy, healthy group of horses. Safe fences, shade, and a natural watering hole. I love it, and I hope Addy does too.

Speaking of love - who doesn't love feathers?! Addy's are thin for much of the year (darn that Thoroughbred half!), but they're looking pretty good at the moment. So freakin' cute.

I think I've finally figured out a way that I can actually ride several times a week, even when we have a foster dog around. And it will be perfect for when the days start getting hotter, too. Just need to talk to the boss. I get so depressed knowing I have such a cute, capable mare just living her life out in a pasture. She's one of those mares that likes to work too.

Someday we'll get back in shape. Hopefully before winter. ;)