Nearing Finish

As I imagined, I didn’t quite manage to finish the blue section on my shawl. But, I did get through a good portion of it, and I think I’ll be able to finish that section tonight. We do have to mow. But, I didn’t manage to bike to work today, so I’ve got time to work on it at lunchtime.

img_5807

That blue section on the left side is what I am currently trying to complete today. After that? A grey border and a bind off. So, I think it’s pretty definite that I’ll be able to finish this weekend and get it in the mail on Monday. If the weekend is pretty gentle on me, that means a couple more potential finishes as well. I’ve got half those purple singles left to ply, and I’ve got tibetan clouds ridiculously close to being done. Life is good in the crafting world, and since this current project has been “for hire” Mr. Ink has really tried to make sure I’ve got all the time I want for it. He certainly doesn’t complain when I want crafting time, but because this is a piece for someone else, he actually goes out of his way to keep my schedule clear. It’s fun!

Lizzie continues to show us daily what a joy she is to have around. We noticed that when she began playing, she’d get worn out so easily, having to stop and pant for a good long while before she was able to continue. We do know she probably could lose some weight, and we knew this was probably affecting her play time. But, we’ve now come to the conclusion that being active just hasn’t been a part of her life. We’ve had her for just over a week, and each day she plays more and more. It’s like what she really needed was consistent play time to build endurance. We’ve been trying to keep her very active, which she always seems to enjoy even though it’s a bit hard for her. But on Monday? She officially wore ME out. We played fetch for a long while, we went for a long walk, we played fetch some more. And, every time I’d sit down, she’d bring me her toy and ask for more fetch. Miss Butterfly would take over for a bit, then she’d take Lizzie for another walk, then they’d get back, and Lizzie would bring me her toy. So, then I began throwing it for her again, and Lizzie was so worn out she’d walk to the toy, bring it back, and let me throw again with none of the crazy exuberance she generally shows, as she was just too tired. But, she didn’t want to quit either.

It may be the case that the slightly lazy chill dog we THOUGHT we were going to get is not the dog we got at all. It may actually be a case of getting a dog that needed the correct amount of attention to build her endurance. And she’s certainly getting that now! We have a vet appointment tomorrow to see where we stand on her weight and feeding, and we are all quite eager to figure out a good plan for her increasing energy levels. This is where she’s not at all like Coco. Coco truly did not play. He spent his entire life not playing. Mr. Ink would wish for a dog that would play. Now he’s got one and keeps bringing home new toys to try out on her. I am going to have to make a toy bin for this dog!

That’s about it for here! We’ve been having a very pleasant week!

 

One Week In

It’s Tuesday, which means that this is the last day of a week worth of knitting on the Color Craving shawl. And, I think I really am achieving marathon status. After all, I have now finished section 3. It took me only 24 hours to finish section 3, and I even went to work during that time period! I feel pretty good about that.

I couldn’t get decent photos, it was late when I finished last evening, and then this morning after overnight storms, it was very wet. So, all I can give you is a poorly lit living room floor photo.

img_5806

In order to stretch it out that far, I had to use 3 separate circular needles. I am certainly not going to be able to do the last blue section in 24 hours. The rows are really getting long now. Plus, I want to use tomorrow as my bike to work day. And that means I will need to leave the knitting at home. Without that 45 minutes of knitting at lunch, I am sure it cannot be done in a day. That being said, it seems to me like this one may be done this weekend! Wouldn’t that be amazing?!  And then I can finish tibetan clouds too and have a second finish in no time at all!

In home ownership joys type news, on Monday evening I heard the main bathroom toilet running off and on without anyone using it. This happens from time to time, and Mr. Ink generally fixes it. It stays fixed for a couple months, and then I will notice it running again. It’s become a joke actually, when we all hear it running, Mr. Ink will look at me and say “You didn’t hear that!” because he never wants to deal with it.

Well, on Monday night, he ignored it until about 11 pm when we had decided to stop the movie we were relaxing with, and begin getting ready for bed. (Actually, I’d finished up the grey section on the shawl and determined that this was the perfect stopping point, so I refused to watch more movie.) Mr. Ink finally went in to deal with the toilet again, and I crawled in bed. Only to have him say “Well, now I’ve really broken it!” So, we were all relegated to using the master bathroom until he was done with work yesterday.

Yesterday evening he headed to the hardware store to pick up parts for the toilet. Then he used the water shut off valve for the toilet in order to save it from running the entire time he was working on it. Except, it was weird, the shut off valve didn’t actually stop the water. So, I go down to the basement and turn off the water to the entire house. Now Mr. Ink can work on the toilet.

He does so, fixes it up, turns on the water in the basement, goes back to check on the toilet, but now realizes that the shut off valve is leaking. *sigh*  So, I turn off the water to the house again, and Mr. Ink heads back to the hardware store and picks up more parts. He gets back, goes in the bathroom to work on the shut off valve. It seems to be taking awhile, and it’s getting late. And he hasn’t spoken in a long while, and that’s unusual. I can feel that fury is rising over the situation. We haven’t even begun to think about dinner yet. He comes back out of the bathroom holding up the new valve and saying “There’s 30 million to choose from and I got the wrong one.” As he’s stomping back out the door to go to the hardware store for the third time, I say “How about I order us some food?”  He thinks for a moment, and then says “Yeah. That might be good.” He often thinks it’s his “job” to make sure we are fed properly, and will do that at all costs, even when an evening goes totally awry, like it did last night.

So, I went out and got food while he headed to the hardware store again. When I returned, he was back and working on the valve again. As soon as I got back he said “IS THAT THE FOOD?!?!!” And then realized he had no way to wash his hands. I made him some “wet wipes” with a paper towel and bottled water. Once fed, he felt much better about the situation, and everything seemed to go smoothly. Before Miss Butterfly went to bed, the water was turned back on and she was able to go about her evening routine. A busy evening, a bit stressful for Mr. Ink, but it all turned out ok and we are back on track with the house.

I do hope your evening was less stressful than ours!

This Week, August 21-27

Last Week’s List:

  • Daily step goals
    • I am counting this. I missed it on Saturday by 1,000 steps. But made up for that with an extra 4,000 steps yesterday, so it counts.
  • One bike ride
    • I didn’t get this one, but I did go swimming for hours, so that kind of works!
  • Work on knitting marathon
    • It’s been less than a week since I began this, and I am on section 3 out of 4. Or maybe 5 if you count the border and bind off. Any way you look at it, I am rocking it.
  • Get all the stuff in my planner done. (Let me just go add to that now!)
    • Sort of? I mean, I got the stuff that truly counted done. There are a couple bits and bobs that I need to accomplish that got pushed to this week.
  • Clothing donation. I need to get about 3 very large bags of clothing out of the house.
    • They may have wandered around in my car for 4 days, but I did get this done. I do need to make another larger donation soon. Maybe I should add that to the list!

On to the shawl progress update. I finished section 2 yesterday. I worked hard on it, and I admit that the long garter rows were great for really banging out this section. Because I’d been sitting and knitting most of the day, Mr. Ink and I took Lizzie on a very long walk. Then we decided to go swimming in the afternoon, we take a once yearly trip to a local state park that has an aquatic center. We didn’t stay as long as we usually do, we had gone because it was supposed to be in the 90s, but turns out it was only in the low 80s and windy. So, we were frequently kind of chilly. Since we decided to go at the drop of a hat, we couldn’t find Miss Butterfly a friend to go with her. So, she used us as her friends. Which is fine, but a bit tiring. Mr. Ink, at some point, said “I feel like we are Marilla and Matthew, and we just got Anne Shirley.” There were a lot of words. So many words. But also a lot of fun and laughter. I knit on the way to the park and the way back. I knit once we got home. And before the light was over, I had section 2 complete. That was good, because this morning it was pouring and I wouldn’t have been able to get a photo. I did begin section 3 last night, and while I started out not loving knitting the shawl, these sections are exactly the type of knitting I enjoy.

img_5798

I’ve got this broken out on two needles so that it can sort of be seen, the entire project as it currently stands. I am enjoying adding the yellow in section 3 now, and am already rather eager to complete it so I can see how it all comes together!

Mr. Ink’s obsession with trees has continued. I guess his back was feeling too good, and his hole digging tendencies needed some action, as he added two more trees to our yard. One is looking lovely where the ferns, toad lily, and my brand new jacob’s ladder are:

img_5799

We’ve been eager to continue filling in that garden bed, so I am quite pleased with how these look.

The next tree is the one he’s been eager to put in on the bank he reworked this year.

img_5800

I caught him still working on it, but couldn’t resist a photo. It’s really filling in beautifully. There’ll be lots of lovely privacy in my veggie garden in a few years!

This week’s list:

  • Daily step goals
  • One bike commute
  • Finish marathon knitting. I think I can do it! That would be cool!
  • All the planner tasks. ALL OF THEM!
  • Take Lizzie to the dog park. (We tried this weekend but it was way too muddy when we wanted to go!)

I think that’s about it for this week. I am looking at my planner and realizing, much to my relief, it’s a pretty light and comfortable week/weekend for me! Looks like we are settling in to our back to school routine quite nicely.

Color Craving Day 4

I didn’t take a daily photo yesterday morning. Sorry! I had only managed to knit 2 stripes on Friday evening so it was just not worth it. I figured it would be more fun to knock out a good portion of it on Saturday for a post for today. My goal was to get through the stripe part, take a photo, and that would be that.

I worked on it off and on all day, and I did get through the striped portion. But, by the time that happened, it was too dark to take a good photo. I figured I’d get one this morning. But, I also didn’t want it to stall out so I started the third color.

This morning it has been raining. I’ve been up since 6 and knitting on the third color while waiting for the storms to pass so I could get a photo. They finally have, and unfortunately, I am not at a point where I can spread it all out to show off. So, now you get a photo of a bunched up shawl on the needles. But, at least you can see color 3 in there!

img_5793

Great progress was made yesterday!

Today we are going to go swimming I believe, so I’ll lose half a day to that. And by lose, I mean knitting time. Family time isn’t loss. We were hoping to take Lizzie to the dog park this morning to wear her out before we left to swim. Unfortunately, with all the rain the dog park is a guaranteed muddy mess. So we are tabling that.

Having us home during the day really wore Lizzie Bean out yesterday. She got so tired she even slept through cooking. So, I think we’ll take her on a nice long walk this morning and that should do the trick for the time we are away.

Lizzie has proven herself, again, a skilled alert dog. One of the many odd things about living on a very busy street is the number of times someone’s broke down car ends up in our driveway. When it happens, I generally go out and say hi, and ask if the person needs anything. It’s almost amusing how desperately apologetic people are about being stuck in our driveway, but thus far it’s never happened at a time where we have to get out to go somewhere. If it happens when we need to get into our driveway, we just park out back and walk in. Yesterday’s breakdown was a lovely classic mustang. Silver with two fat blue racing stripes up the hood and over the top. Mr. Ink was not home (otherwise he could have helped) so I went out and said hi, and asked if he needed anything. He says “This is the first time I’ve had it out all year!!! My wife was following behind me so she’ll be around in a moment. We’ll try to get it started.” Well, he couldn’t get it started, so he came up on the front stoop and even before he could ring the bell Lizzie Bean was barking and growling and carrying on. I was really surprised, she’s such a silent dog! Thankfully she hushed right up when she knew I was taking care of it.

This poor guy had to go get jumper cables and fuel, but did manage to get his gorgeous car back on the road without calling a tow. Every time he’d get that engine revved up, Lizzie would carry on. I don’t know how she could tell it was in “our” space, since there’s road noise almost constantly, but she knew!

With that story, here’s two Miss Butterfly and Lizzie photos from the weekend. They are fairly inseparable when Miss Butterfly is home and awake, just as it should be. And Miss Butterfly loves caring for “her” dog.

Day 2 Color Craving

Well, I think this knit is one of those knits where you knit and knit and feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, and then bam, you are done. Meaning, I knit during lunch break and I knit at home, and I felt like I really hadn’t made any progress even though I knew I had added 2 yarn over rows. Which makes 3 out of 5 yarn over rows done.

img_5788

But, then when I compare it to yesterday’s photo, I realize I made stunning progress.

img_5784

I mean, I went from 15 stripes to 25 stripes, which is great! Today I get to walk Max at lunch, so no knitting for me. And tonight we are out of the house, so this evening’s knitting will also be limited. But then I’ve got the weekend stretching ahead of me! And it’s full of no plans! I mean, no major ones anyhow. Mr. Ink has to work, and he’s going to have to fix the dryer for me too. But, I may get started on the laundry before he’s done at work anyhow, since I’ve discovered the phone line as clothes line to be rather effective.

We took Lizzie Bean out to a pet store last evening to get a few more supplies. I think we are basically set up to have a dog now, anything else is just extras. I set up a vet appointment yesterday to make sure she’s on track for her weight loss. To be honest, we are worried she’s losing too quickly at the moment. She seems quite hungry and already seems thinner than she was. I think we’ve kicked up her activity levels dramatically and we need a little bit of direction taking that into consideration.

Miss Butterfly has really done a great job perfecting her commands, so now she’s trying some more difficult ones. Miss Butterfly is eager to get her to roll over on command, So we are doing that in short bursts. We really have to wear her out first, she’s got so much wiggly energy in that little body, especially when treats and her humans are involved. So, if we can wear her out first, the entire process is a little more productive.

And as for today’s Lizzie picture, I filled her kong in a bit more complicated manner yesterday after work. We had a nice big play session, then I gave it to her. She was totally engrossed, really enjoyed the process.

img_5786

While we were out, we also got her a pretty serious dental treat, hoping she’d be into it. When we first gave it to her, she carried it off but didn’t eat it. So, it lay on the floor. Then later in the evening, Mr. Ink picked it up to see if she’d done anything at all with it. I said “Maybe we put it in her kennel tomorrow?” He thought that was a good idea, and dropped the treat back on the floor. Then Lizzie was like “Hey, what’s that?!?!” And promptly spent time working on eating it. Ok then! Just needed the right calm time and place.

She’s adjusting better and better all the time. She’s finding her favorite spots in the house to sleep. She’s exploring areas she wouldn’t go in alone. And best of all, she doesn’t need to be all up in my business all the time anymore. She’s always going to be a people dog, but she’s getting comfortable enough to wander off on her own a bit. She didn’t get on the bed last night or this morning, much to my relief. She has a very nice dog bed we bought her, but she couldn’t care less about it. That may change come winter, but at the moment she likes to lay on the hardwood floors. Last night Mr. Ink came in to see her laying on the floor with her head on the dog bed. He’s like “Oh, what a nice $60 pillow we bought you!”

That’s about all from here! We’re looking forward to the weekend for certain. Happy Friday!

And I’m Off!

The yarn for the Color Craving shawl I am making for Dyeabolical Yarns arrived yesterday!

img_5783

These are the colors I get to use for the project, aren’t they beautiful? And Rachel said she didn’t mind which I chose for the stripe section. While I adore yellow and grey together, I couldn’t resist putting the blue and the yellow together in this case. So, as of this morning, after working on it last evening, here’s where I am:

img_5784

I’ll be honest, this is NOT my favorite knit so far. The yarns are WONDERFUL of course. But, knitting something with that dramatic of a turn in it is kind of a pain in the butt. I brought it to work today, so hopefully I’ll get an hour to work on it today. Though to be honest, work breaks have been few and far between lately. In any case, I’ll try to post daily progress photos during this process, because it’ll be all this project all the time until I am completely done.

In your daily Lizzie update, we are adjusting very well, all of us. I didn’t take new photos last evening. But, we are getting a solid half hour of fetch/tug/jump time after work. And, Mr. Ink says she does it at lunchtime too. Between that and a nice long walk in the evening, her activity levels are dramatically increased. Mr. Ink commented that she looks hungry. We were told to keep her food amounts down so she could get back to a reasonable weight. However, we weren’t told what that reasonable weight is supposed to be. Plus, with increased activity levels, she may need more than we were instructed to feed her. As such, we’ve decided we need to set her up with a vet appointment, just so we can get some of those specifics. Plus we need to get her preventatives anyhow. Between now and then we’ll have to make a list of questions to ask the vet.

Miss Butterfly was the last one out the door yesterday, and it was Lizzie’s first day in a kennel. I asked before I left if she was comfortable putting Lizzie in the kennel. She didn’t really like doing it with Coco, but Coco was stubborn. She thought she wouldn’t have any trouble with Lizzie and agreed to do it. Once done and she was out the door, I had to hear how bad it had gone, she (Miss Butterfly) was in quite a lot of distress over leaving her. But, she went to school anyhow. I warned Mr. Ink about it, that reports were that Lizzie didn’t like being in the kennel, but that he should evaluate with the expert eye. At noon, I got a message from Mr. Ink. “Miss Butterfly decided Lizzie should have her water bowl in the kennel too. You can imagine how that went!” So, Lizzie probably had an uncomfortable and wet morning. Thankfully we picked a kennel pad that’s waterproof, so the outside needed drying, but the foam core was completely dry.

The more time we spend with her, the more I am convinced that she had some very good training at some point. She never goes near the garbage. She might want to get up on the couch, but she’ll go to the couch, and then look at me, waiting to tell her if it’s ok to go up there or not. If I don’t indicate, she doesn’t jump up. She never begs at the table, she’s never underfoot and begging while Mr. Ink is cooking. She’s lost a little of her politeness when we go for a walk, so additional training will be necessary there, and perhaps a harness. The only other time she’s a little insistent is when I go to bed and Mr. Ink hasn’t gotten there yet. With no prompting or asking, she gets up on the bed with me. Now, when I tell her to get down, she will. But, she certainly doesn’t ask. This morning I got out of the shower and headed back to the room to get her, and noticed she’d jumped up on the bed with Mr. Ink once I left. Now, Mr. Ink always wanted Coco to be more than a floor dog, but Coco was a solid floor dog. We used to try to put him on the bed from time to time, but all it would do was stress Coco out. So, naturally, Mr. Ink complained NOT AT ALL when Lizzie got on the bed this morning. In fact, I walked back in the room and they were both grinning from ear to ear about it.

The biggest news of the evening was that we got a visit from Miss Marja and Max! IT went quite well actually, about as well as can be expected. There was no growling or territorial behavior. Just a lot of sniffing at each other, and tail wagging. Miss Marja brought some lovely treats and a toy, though Lizzie wasn’t interested in showing off her play skills. At one point I was feeding both Lizzie and Max treats, they were pretty close together, and neither of them were trying to steal food that belonged to the other out of my hands. So, I am going to say it was a good success, and we’ve brought two very good dogs into our lives.

More Lizzie

Yesterday was all about Lizzie, which is just as it should be. However, after we took a long morning walk, she was ready for a nap, and I got to knit. So, just for a quick update on tibetan clouds, I finished the main pattern repeats. Just the final edging and a bind off now! I can’t believe it’s almost done!  I didn’t get the yarn for the upcoming project yesterday, so I had plenty of time on my day off to work on tibetan clouds.

Now on to Lizzie Bean. We had a pretty low key day overall. Lizzie slept quite a bit, which I think is pretty normal for another big change. She was rescued on August 1, so she’s dealing with two big home changes and a lot of shuffling in a 2 week period. I, of course, continued to take photos.

img_5781

Because those ears! Those funny ears!

She found her voice. She’s a very quiet dog overall, and since Coco didn’t bark at all, and she’s been so much like Coco, we wondered if she’d ever bark. Mr. Ink came home for lunch. When he walked in the door, she let out a lone, quiet “woof.” He greeted her, and then went to the kitchen to figure out what to have for lunch. He absent mindedly tapped on the fridge door. She tore out of the living room toward the door barking and growling! It startled us both quite a bit. Then we realized she thought someone was knocking. We weren’t looking for a guard dog, and we are glad she doesn’t bark much, but we’ll happily take the alert from her! Of course, after 17 years with a dog that didn’t bark, Mr. Ink thinks it’s great fun to instigate the barking. I told him he’d likely regret it if he kept it up.

We went to walk Miss Butterfly home from school. As soon as we got outside to do so, we had to spend 3 minutes rolling in the grass.

img_5779

This was the case every time we went outdoors.

It rained yesterday, and we realized that she doesn’t particularly want to be out in the rain. I went to take her outside, but when she realized it was raining, she noped right back into the house. I didn’t fight it, it was a precautionary trip outside. She’s totally housebroken, but she doesn’t indicate when she needs to go out so you have to just do the remembering for her. I think once she settles in, we’ll be able to read that better.

Mr. Ink and I went out to a pet store to pick up a few things. We needed a dog bed, and a kennel pad, as we threw out the one that Coco had. He had gotten so old and feeble toward the end that he was really struggling to not have accidents. So, a new pad was wise. While there, we picked out a soft squeaker toy and a kong. Since she had major work done on her teeth recently and is still on antibiotics, I wanted gentle toys. And, I didn’t want to spend too much, as the foster home told us she didn’t really play. So, we started with those two things.

Once home, Mr. Ink kind of teased her a bit with the soft squeaker toy. And then quite suddenly she began a very energetic game of fetch with Miss Butterfly, complete with jumping high in the air, and intermittent tug of war. We were absolutely delighted! We also need a more sturdy toy. I could hear it tearing as she tugged and tossed her head around with Miss Butterfly holding the other end. I guess her teeth aren’t hurting either?

She’s such a ridiculously polite dog. It’s almost as if Mr. Ink had to convince her it was ok to have a moment where she wasn’t perfectly good and polite. And then all bets were off for awhile!

I am back at work today. I wish I was able to take more time off with her, but I also realize she’ll have to get used to the routine of us being at work during the day. I am glad Mr. Ink will be home at noon to make sure she’s ok. I am also glad it’s Wednesday, not much longer before we have a weekend. Mr. Ink has to take a few more days off in September, so I plan to join him in that. So, Lizzie Bean will have people at home as much as is possible in the coming month! And you’ll probably be seeing a TON of her.