I promised more knitting photos, and I can deliver! I knew I was pretty close to finishing a little project I never even had the opportunity to mention. It’s a handspun Royal cowl.


This was a nice easy pattern, I loved the braided cables. It was an easy pattern to memorize and an easy pattern to work on in my spare moments. Easily picked up and put down again. Since it was such a terrifyingly busy work week, this was exactly the project I needed.

I would certainly make this pattern again, but I would not do the icord cast on and bind off. Well, the bind off wasn’t too bad but I really disliked the icord cast on. I could do better just making an icord and then picking up the appropriate number of stitches around to achieve the same look. It would be more seamless than doing this on the needles.

I would actually like to do another of these with a long infinity type cowl, the pattern is pleasing and I really prefer a long cowl that is easily doubled.

I took the dogs out for a long walk around a lake yesterday. It was Rose’s first time at the lake. She did pretty well with passing people, much better than when we first got her and she’d refuse to move if someone tried to walk by. But, yesterday the challenge was bikes. These were new for her and terrifying. I am happy to report that after an hour and a half walk with multiple bikes passing by, she was able to come to the conclusion that bikes aren’t that terrifying after all and will probably leave her alone if she’s walking nicely by my side. This brings me to the conclusion that our method of exposure therapy for her is working. We just keep doing what we do with our dogs and assume that she’ll realize it isn’t that scary after all. We definitely need a few more trips around the lake to solidify this lesson.

After that, we ended up with some tired doggos!


Here’s Rose all balled up so much that her tail is touching her eye. Such a cutie!

I was able to get a nice nap in and then it was time to work with Miss Butterfly on getting ready for her first homecoming dance! It took her all day long to get ready, she probably spent 3 hours total on her nails. She had a notebook full of a list of her plans on what to use and what she needed to remember. She’s definitely my kid! In the end she looked great.


She did not have a date, she just went with her best friend. So, her father, stepmother, Mr. Ink, and I all took her out to dinner beforehand. Her father and stepmom drove her to the dance, and Mr. Ink picked her and her friend up after I was fast asleep. This morning she tells me she had a great time, it was super fun, and she even danced which is completely surprising.

Oh, and I did her hair! She had two tiny braids connected in the back to keep her hair out of her face, and then I curled the rest. For the makeup loving folks, I used morrocan oil texture spray, as I had a sample size, and it really held her curls in beautifully! They still look fantastic this morning.


Here’s a close up of her telling me off because I wasn’t taking photos at the correct angle. Gives a closer look at her makeup game which was amazing. She really wanted to wear RED lipstick, and it looks really nice! She’s wearing bare minerals liquid foundation, and on her eyes, she’s got the too faced chocolate bar palette on. Not that you can see it, but it was a nice neutral look with a tiny bit of shimmer and it looked wonderful.

So, that was our Saturday excitement. Now it’s Sunday and we’ve got a lot planned for today as well. But, I was able to sleep in! Mr. Ink took the dogs out early before they started making enough noise to really wake me up. Then they settled back in very well and I was able to stay in bed. What a lovely moment that was! Today we start some formal training classes with Rose, and we’ve got a trip to the dog park planned before that. And of course there’s all those pesky weekend chores to complete! But, I also plan to start another project today, I just have to decide what that will be!

The Week

It was a long week for me, extra work hours, non-stop work, extreme stress, a boss with a family emergency suddenly leaving for a week or two in order to take care of that, so all major decisions about my team fall on me with no back up or validation or anyone to bounce ideas off of.

It was also a week I took care of a friend’s cat while he was on vacation, and of course, with long hours and high stress, the days felt really overwhelming.

I finished this Brillig shawl last weekend, it was blocking as we moved into the week. But I never bothered to take a photo until last evening. I mean, blogging just wasn’t high on my list of things that had to be done this week.


It turned out pretty good! Subtle. But pretty. Not at all what I was expecting. I adored the pattern though, so I think you can expect to see more of these from me. And it used up two skeins of handspun yarn, which always feels like an accomplishment.

There was a high point to the week though, and I’ve got pictures from that. On Wednesday morning while I was deep in work terribleness, I got a message from a good friend of mine asking if I wanted to go for a sail. He got a boat this summer and I hadn’t gotten to go out on it yet. I thought of the millions of things I needed to do and how tired I was and I almost said no. Then, he said “Moody teens also invited!” To which I thought what a great way to spend some time with Miss Butterfly!

So, despite the exhaustion, I took Miss Butterfly and her friend and met up with my friend and we went for a sail. Here’s the thing, I adore sailing, I really do! Everything about it interests me. I love being on the water, I love the work of sailing, I love how you are stuck on a boat and can’t get distracted, I love how quiet it can be if motorboats aren’t around. It’s peaceful. But, I’ve only ever sailed on the ocean. This was a new experience.

We decided to sail until sundown, watch the sundown, turn on the lights and sail back in.


It was a fantastic way to spend an evening and de-stress. And it tired us all out very well, we checked in on the cat, grabbed dinner, and headed home straight to bed!

Sailing on the lake takes a bit more concentration than on the ocean. There’s no large amount of time you can just keep moving one direction. You have to really be paying attention and there’s a lot more work to it. But it’s still very good!

We’ve now got an invite to come back and sail any time, providing the weather works out. So that’s fun! I look forward to getting out there again. Next time I’ll bring bug spray for the biting flies around my ankles!

That’s the week in hindsight from here. I’ve been doing a little knitting, so there should be more content at least tomorrow. But I haven’t been able to do a ton of it.


Gone Quiet

Sorry all, I haven’t been able to maintain any type of regular blog posting schedule lately. I am in a seriously busy cycle at work, which is unlikely to let up until the end of October. When home, I am pretty busy with doggos and parenting and various activities. It’s not been easy!

Plus, I think I may have mentioned, but not sure, this week when I was in the yard with Rose she managed to try to play with Lizzie, yanking so hard on her leash unexpectedly that she slipped her collar and managed to injure my shoulder. It hurt that day, but for 2 more days got progressively worse. It got to the point where I couldn’t sleep in bed, I had to sleep upright in the recliner to get any rest at all, even on ibuprofen. Knitting was a challenge, Miss Butterfly had to do my hair, and Mr. Ink had to pick up my slack. This was also challenging because I could no longer walk both dogs by myself, and had to make sure I had someone around to help with that as well. Obviously, with that much pain, I also wasn’t feeling the blogging. I was getting quite worried after 2 days of a worsening shoulder pain but today I am on the mend! I am so pleased.

So, all I’ve got today is dog and kid photos. But, I’ve also got a finished object that is blocking right now, I can offer that to look forward to!


There’s been some play between Lizzie and Rose, sometimes they play tug of war. Every once in awhile they wrestle as well. Progress!

Friday night Miss Butterfly insisted that she cuddle with both doggos while we were watching a movie.


She also ended up with two large scratches on her face from playing with Rose.


And here’s Lizzie monitoring Rose at dinner time. Lizzie gave up her typical spot and now allows Rose to use it. Also insisting that she stay under there while Mr. Ink is cooking.

We’ve had a really fantastic weekend with Rose actually. On Monday she’ll have been here two weeks. Prior to this weekend, she’s been pretty naughty in the mornings. But, I think with a now steady schedule and routine, and also now also knowing her boundaries, she’s no longer quite so naughty and I am getting the opportunity to knit and drink coffee again instead of chasing her around trying to get her to chew an appropriate toy rather than shoes, socks, or a record album. The combo of pain, exhaustion, and monitoring the dog all of the time was really wearing thin. I am glad we’ve put that behind us now.

That’s my weekend! I hope you had a great one as well!

This Week So Far

It’s been tough finding blogging time when work is insanely busy and we’re spending evenings busy as well. Add in a new dog to that and no blogging time has been found at all!

Let’s start with knitting-over the weekend I worked really hard on my Brillig shawl. It’s easy to work on and fun to knit. It keeps me occupied without having to think too much about it. I can watch the new dog and make sure she’s not destroying anything she shouldn’t be while also getting some knitting time in. I threw it on the lawn for a super quick photo Monday morning with the intention of getting a blog post up, and realized only after I got to work that I wasn’t going to have time to blog, and was in such a rush that I never even moved the water hose from the photo. Ah well, this is a description of my life right now.


I really enjoy this knit. It’s at work now since I wanted something that didn’t need weighing partway through at work. But, I am kind of bummed it’s not at home and I can’t really work on it all the time.

In dog news, here’s a report. On Saturday Mr. Ink decided to take them both to the dog park so I could get some rest. I’ve been up early with them each day while Rose adjusts to her new life, and I was exhausted. He thought he’d take them to the dog park so I could nap. Doesn’t this sound like life with kids? For us, it’s our life with “kids” I suppose.

Now, we weren’t sure how Rose would do at the dog park. We’d been told to keep our various activities low for the first two weeks while Rose, a timid dog, adjusts to her new situation. However, we also felt like she was missing playing with other dogs and needed an opportunity to RUN! So, Mr. Ink thought he’d try, and it worked beautifully. He found that indeed Rose needed a place to run like crazy and play with other dogs and she had a wonderful time there.

That went so well that on Sunday we decided to take her swimming. This is a one day a year event where the local water park is closing for the winter season and allows dogs in. It’s crowded and nutty, but also good fun. The rescue where we got both dogs was going to be there with a booth. We figured we’d try it, and if Rose dissolved into a puddle of anxiety we’d just go home. After all, it’s not necessarily Lizzie’s favorite event. But, Rose did NOT dissolve into a puddle, she did exactly what she did at the dog park. She ran, she played with other dogs, she greeted people she didn’t know without any nervousness (that’s a big deal!) and she conquered quite a few fears.


Here she is conquering her fear of the kiddy pool area. There were too many noises coming from here for her to want to go in, so she wouldn’t. Mr. Ink forced the issue, and then after that, she decided the water was fine and chose to run through it while running around. She also took it upon herself to go down the kiddy slide into the pool! She’s got adventure dog in her, we just have to bring it out.

Monday evening was the local botanical garden dog walk we try to get to once or twice a month. Now, leash walking is NOT Rose’s strong point right now. We’ve got her signed up for training which starts at the end of the month, but we are so entirely NOT there yet! But we went even so because the dogs needed a good walk, and she maneuvered that event really well too!


Here’s my family, all except the teen since she didn’t want to come along.

Lizzie and Rose are getting along much better than they did at the start. Lizzie is showing signs she MIGHT want to play when they are together outside and Rose is trying to engage her in it. She has begun to do so in fits and starts, those times being short lived as she gets overwhelmed. Lizzie is the mama dog and has realized that it doesn’t take too much to get Rose to behave. So, when she spots Rose doing something she doesn’t like, she makes sure to correct her. If Rose won’t lay down nicely at meal time, Lizzie pops her head out from under the table and puts her open mouth on Rose’s jaw. Rose complies. When Rose tries to be in the kitchen while Mr. Ink is cooking, Lizzie herds her back out and gives her a stern talking to.

And then there’s the one that is driving us a little nuts. When Mr. Ink comes in from outdoors, Rose will bark at him. Lizzie will then bark at Rose and correct her. She’s telling Rose “We don’t bark at dad!” But it really makes Lizzie mad, so she keeps barking. Which annoys us. So, that’s a behavior we are all trying to get back under control.

Rose looks to, and leans on, Lizzie for her confidence. Here they are riding in the car. Eventually Rose leaned in on Lizzie so much that Lizzie had to sit on top of Rose to get a spot to place her bum.


I think this picture also shows the personalities of these two exactly. Lizzie is the all in adventure dog. She wants to go wherever we go and do whatever we do, and she will do all of this with amazing confidence and joy. She’s a completely joyful dog. Rose is always concerned. A little concerned about people, about situations, about noises. She’s just a little bit concerned about the world, and a little skeptical of it. The wrinkly hound dog face and droopy eyes and ears really showcases that part of her personality in photos. But truly, her confidence is boosted by Lizzie and getting better each day. I read that sometimes dogs who are nervous about new situations and not exposed to them while young tend to never lose that fear as adult dogs. We are hoping we got her young enough to counter that, and we’ll just keep working on her now that we have her.

Last evening Miss Butterfly and I had a pretty full after work/school schedule. I took her to get a haircut, and then we had parent/teacher conferences. Mr. Ink was left with the dog care, and when we got home he was feeding them. They’d been kenneled longer than normal, so they were a little nutty. Lizzie got so excited to see us that she ran over Rose’s food bowl, spewing 2 cups of puppy chow all over the kitchen and scaring Rose who ran off to hide. So, we walked into quite a mess. We decided that after they ate, the best thing to do would be to take them to the dog park again. So we did, and Rose got to run and run and run and play. And Lizzie got to sniff things and eat grass.

I am really hoping that after 4 days of dog adventures these pups will allow us to stay home and just have a long walk tonight. I am exhausted!

Happy midweek my friends!

Proud of This One

I knit a lot, and I like what I knit. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. But, so often it’s more about the process than the finished object. Every once in a while though, I’ll finish a project and realize I am really proud of it. Scottish Stripes is one of those finished projects.

Let’s start with the handspun yarn:


I finished it in early 2016, and I am unsure as to how I managed to not cast it on right away. Perhaps it really just needed a perfect project and sometimes that takes awhile.

Once found, it still took a while, the pattern sitting in my queue for a long time. I began it and really enjoyed knitting it. I concentrated on it until I was about halfway done, then set it aside for other things, like decluttering the craft room. In the end, to push myself to finish this project I had to take it to work for lunchtime knitting. Then, with the end in sight at the beginning of my little vacation, I brought it home for a vacation finish. I finished it, I blocked it, I got a new dog and forgot about it. Crazy right?

So, today I took photos. It’s the best day for it anyhow, it rained all last week.

I absolutely love this scarf. It’s clever and creative and colorful and interesting. I am so glad I chose to knit it, and I am so glad I managed to finish it.

August Empties part 2

I split my August empties posts into two and posted the first one a while back. I was working my way through so many sample sized items it was getting overwhelming and I really just wanted to let go of some of them before the end of the month. It also saves me from having too long a post that no one wants to wade through.


Here’s the remainder of my August empties.

Simple micellar wipes and Simple micellar eye pads-I really enjoy the Simple micellar wipes, this was a repurchase. Once I did repurchase, then I received the eye pads in a subscription box. I don’t feel the need to repurchase the eye pads as I really prefer my Almay eye pads. But, the regular wipes I’ll probably repurchase. I don’t use wipes daily, and I am currently trying some that are really cheap from Big Lots, so it’ll be quite a while before I need to buy these again.

Lab for You juice up sheet masks. I used the kale one and Miss Butterfly used the blackberry one. These were decent sheet masks. They did make my skin soft. I am not a huge fan of sheet masking, I rarely take the opportunity to do it, so I probably wouldn’t repurchase unless I begin regularly using them.

I used two perfume samples, a YSL Mon Paris and a Hermes sample as well. The YSL sample made me realize I didn’t want the full size, though I previously thought I did. The Hermes was strong, but just all right. Nothing I loved. I won’t purchase either. Though to be honest, it would be very surprising to find myself purchasing perfume in general.

Kiehl’s brightening and line reducing eye serum-This sample was not that impressive to me. It, oddly, felt a little warm when I put it on. I used it daily for the duration of its use, but only once a day as I had this distinct feeling it could be drying. I don’t think I saw much in the way of skin improvement either. Not one I’ll repurchase.

Next to that is Origins Ginzing brightening eye cream and quite frankly I hated this product. It didn’t moisturize, it just existed on my undereye area with a little sparkle that didn’t actually show up after I put concealer over it. To be perfectly frank, this sample made me never want to try any other Origins products. So, if anyone out there has good recommendations from the brand, feel free to leave that in the comments.

I finished a buxom lip gloss sample. I love buxom lip glosses, and this sample made me go out and purchase a full size in a color I preferred. (With less sparkle) So, I guess you could say I already have repurchased?

Mary Kay lip mask-this was a slightly, very gently, exfoliating lip mask which I was trying to use up. It’s not my favorite, though I believe they’ve changed their formula since I purchased this one. It could be better now. I also had the lip balm in my project pan to use up, but it’s starting to smell funny and will probably get tossed. It didn’t have any healing benefits, just added some slipperiness to the lips. I won’t repurchase either.

First Aid Beauty Resurfacing liquid AHA-This I liked! It was a small sample, but it really only takes the smallest amount each day. I may repurchase this one, I feel like my skin isn’t quite as clear now that I’ve finished it up and had a few weeks without it. It’s expensive, So I’ll be waiting until all other such products are out of my stash AND there’s a sale.

Ulta brand brush cleaner-I loved the smell of this soap. I didn’t love the spray delivery system. It worked really well, but I’ll be exploring some other options before I decide if I will repurchase this or not.

That’s it! All the remaining empties. I’ve got a plan to try to use up a mask a week this month. I am already behind! I don’t think September empties are going to be quite this large in number. While I do still get quite a lot of samples from subscription boxes, I tend to also concentrate on one item in a category until I’ve used it up, rather than getting overly excited, opening everything, and giving everything a try. It gives me a much better idea how each product performs now, and that I appreciate.


Another Beginning

Here’s another shawl I decided I just had to start, since I didn’t have a proper work project. At the moment, it’s not the one at work, it’s the one at home. However, since it’s a project where I just knit until I run out of yarn, it’ll be a perfect work project for next week.

First let me show you the handspun yarns I am pairing.

This is a 2 color shawl called Brillig and honestly? It’s not really turning out how I expected. I was expecting more striping, but what I am getting is more a gentle wash of color out of the colorful handspun. No matter, it still looks great. I’ll continue on. But, I may choose to make this shawl again, changing my yarn pairing to something actively stripey.


It still has a very cool effect and I am truly enjoying working on it. Once I established the pattern in my head, I don’t need to look at the pattern and that makes it go all the faster. After this weekend I’ll bring it to work.

In a Rose and Lizzie update, things are going ok. We had a night there where Lizzie really got grumpy, then after I talked to Rose’s foster family I was able to establish a couple changes we could make that would help Lizzie adjust a little better. Foster family say they are huge fans of the older dogs teaching the younger dogs, and that most of the grumpiness is a “conversation.” However, I felt that Lizzie was starting to head into more than conversational territory. So, we corrected that problem and are now TRULY seeing those conversations become teaching moments. Lizzie has shown Rose how to be, where to be, and how she thinks Rose should act in various situations. Now Rose is doing those things, and this makes Lizzie happier. It also gives Rose more confidence, as she’s learning her place and also learning she can trust Lizzie to show her what is safe and what is not. For a fearful dog, this is ideal. It’s pretty cool to watch Rose’s brain begin to work. You can see the wheels turning. You can see her cower, then watch Lizzie and realize Lizzie is not scared, and then see her go do the thing she needs to do even though she’s scared.

Yesterday Miss Butterfly wanted to take Rose on a playground while we were out on our walk. I didn’t expect it to work, as Lizzie wasn’t doing it, and Rose already seemed at her limit with new experiences. But, she did!


You can see she’s pretty nervous and looking around, but she’s up there leaning on her human for support. She even went down the slide with Miss Butterfly. We stopped after that, and continued on our walk. We’ve all the time in the world for more new experiences.

Poor gal was SO exhausted after her walk that she ended up falling asleep with her toy in her mouth.


It’s almost like she needs to mentally regroup after all these new experiences. She’s doing great though! Getting naughtier by the day, which is the sign of her feeling more confident around us.

As soon as a few weeks have gone by we plan to get Rose some serious training. Leash walking is really difficult right now due to her fear. I believe that if she’s had some training under her, we’ll be able to mitigate some of those moments where she’s feeling particularly overwhelmed and fearful and trying to run away.

Anyhow, I have to remind myself it’s been just a few days, not even a week, and we’ve seen TONS of wonderful progress. I’ll have more time this weekend to work with her and see if I can get her to walk a bit better on a leash even before training.

Anyhow, that’s all the updates from my side of the world today! It’s still raining, and after a while, rain can be exhausting! Hope it’s clearer where you are!