Sunday, May 30, 2010

Like the Hot Kiss

At the end of a wet fist, puppy hood has hit us. There are many things I had forgotten about very young puppies; how persistent they are, how hard they play and how equally hard they sleep.

Yesterday was spent getting to know Stella, a free for all kind of day while I work on a good flexible schedule for the little bundle of joy and pee. She went outside for the first time, and Smoochie has emerged as her long lost Uncle. He is my right hand man when it comes to tiring out Stella.

Dennett would prefer to have nothing to do with her. I thought when she grabbed his tail she would be a goner, but no, he growled but never snapped. Bea snapped (complete with a noise heard only in hell) but never contacted when Stella stepped on her while sleeping in one of the floor beds. Lesson learned for at least yesterday.
Charlotte doesn't know what to think so avoidance is best, Jack growls then wants to sniff, Pogo wants to play but is unsure of something much smaller than him and Peter while tolerant of her when he has to be would just assume ignore her much like the D man.
It's all fine. I knew the older dogs would not appreciate a pup and this is just about as good as I could hope for. As she gets older, and more user friendly, the older dogs will warm up. They only require a little dignity.

Yesterday marked her first time outside.

The day was warm and sunny and she was a champion follower. We did a long circuit around the driveway. I am using that homing instinct to very good advantage right now. She stuck to me like a burr.

I would stop and let her begin to explore and then get moving again getting her attention on me while I used her name. She's a smart little thing, feisty but not terribly dominant. She loves to be cuddled too and lap time is a treat for both of us.

I did have a wee bit of help while trying to redo the ruby scarf warp.

Today will mark the first day of a formal schedule. We all need for Stella to have some enforced crate time. She has one set up in the living room and a smaller one up in the bedroom. Last night she only whined when first being put in and again when she heard everyone getting restless in the morning. A vast improvement on the crying every two hours or so the night before.
Gene thinks Stella is wonderful, of course he has been gone at his big paragliding weekend event, so contact in all respects has been limited.

Tuesday I take my oldest to the vet ( scheduled blood work follow-up) and my youngest for a complete physical.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Surprises Happen

In all forms and the belief that sometimes when you want something but aren't really looking for it, the universe puts that one thing right in your corner.

The scarf warp was an unmitigated failure. The sari silk which was actually sari silk pieces sewn together had a complete meltdown on the warp. I just cut it off, grumbling to the weaving goddess but grateful that it was, after all, only a scarfs worth of work and material. I was able to find a substitute yesterday in town and this weekend we get a do over if there is time.

Now about the universal wish list. When Angel passed in January I knew sooner or later another critter would come into our lives. In actuality, I have been investigating a couple of different breeds, but went no further since I do have a 17 year old who is quite deserving of as much attention as I can give him. I had decided last week that what I really wanted was an English type Russell Terrier. Otherwise known as a shorty.
The Parson Russell Terriers as they are now known have much longer legs and are a leaner more square dog like Jack. The shorties tend to look like little solid rectangles and have a more mellow (it's all relative with terriers!) temperament. Thursday I had called Russell Rescue to investigate their procedure only, Friday at the Grange there was a flyer for two 8 week old English Jack puppies, a male and a female. To top it off I knew of a long time breeder in the area that happens to work at the Grange and Karen was right at the register working. The pups are directly related to her stock and well, she was more than happy to enable and facilitate. So, let me introduce Stella who at 3 pounds soaking wet has single pawedly turned our whole household upside down.

To give you some perspective, Lexie was the last true young puppy I had in the household and that was...1989.

I see lots of potential trouble.

Time to puppy proof the house. Strap in folks, it's going to be bumpy (but fun) ride!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It Could Go Either Way

I've started a new scarf warp to put on Hannah. I love the fibers, I love the colors but even with that great start I'm not to sure about how this will look once done. The combo is Mountain Colors Winter Lace and Frabjous Fibers Sari Ribbon. The sari ribbon might end up being a little to ragged and uneven in the scarf. Of course it could be really fun and interesting too. Guess we'll all find out soon enough!
While I was winding the lace yarn ( all 1200 yards of it) I had supervision as you can see.
Jack wants to get to know all facets of weaving. He really does intensely watch what you do. I love those little flopped triangle ears, they speak to me.

Pogo quit the little dog bed once the swift got going and went and hung with his peep Gene.
Smoochie and his cat couldn't be bothered with our goings on. They were happily curled up together on the comfy chair.

The sofa was similarly occupied with the rest of the four legged household Everyone spent our dreary rainy Tuesday just as they pleased.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pay It Forward Knitting Book Give-Away

I've cleaned out and pared down some of my knitting books and rather than let them collect dust on the "dead book" shelf, I would rather see them go to a good home. The rules are simple. It's first come first serve, you can take one or many but please take what you will actually use. The book is free, postage is $5.00 for the first book, $2.50 for every book after that.I offer those prices to those internationally too, no worries! Other than postage I ask that with the money you saved on buying a book ( or three) that you do something good with it. Donate a bag of kibble to a local shelter, extra cans for your local food bank, help a neighbor, do a kindness for a stranger. Let me know which books you want in the comments section, that way everyone else can see what is still available. My e-mail is camprunamuck at hughes dot net. I'll need your address so I can get the book ready and you'll need mine to send postage.
Here is the list of available books: If you see it in the picture but NOT on the list, it means it has been spoken for.

The Yarn Girls Guide to Beyond the Basics by Carles & Jacobs

Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller
Stitch 'N Bitch Nation by Debbie Stoller

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Good Green Deserves Another

Some of you may remember the painting of the bathroom last fall. Now green is my favorite color and I fell in love with it all over again doing that bathroom. Over our long winter of mud I craved it. I bought green cups, green fabrics and yarns showed up. Certainly green clothing is always coveted. So it was no surprise to anyone when I whispered in the dark one night that I think I should repaint the bedroom green. Gene only half heartedly mentioned I just repainted the bedroom last year. He knew there was no stopping this freight train. The paint chips and samples arrived in short order, the gallons followed and then my trip back east. But as soon as the house was in order he knew it was coming. I had been assembling brushes and rollers. I told him I was going to do it in one day, a marathon painting session and that's what I did. It started at 6:30 in the morning and ended when my dear husband pried the roller from my hand at about 7:00 in the evening. While he didn't paint, he did all of the clean up.
So, without further ado I give you the green room.

While it was sunny yesterday it was cold and windy as I put pictures up and got everything back in order.

This cabinet is French and mid 18th century. Made of Pear wood, it is well over 8 feet tall. All my bedroom linens are in it. The triple walled stove pipe runs up through the corner of the bedroom. The little Morso Squirrel stove use to be in this room, but it heated us out, so we dropped it down a floor into the living room.

The Ladybug spinning wheel has been getting some use. The cushioned bench works perfectly here and is just the right height for this wheel. The dogs love having that little hidey hole in it. Fabrics are in the two side cabinets.

The sewing center is small but adequate for my needs these days. I'd like to put a shelf above the serger area.

I'll close this post with the Cheddar Cheese biscuit recipe since a number of you asked.
Here goes!

1/3 C butter
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I've been known to add a bit more)
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9 inch square baking pan melt butter in oven (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine all ingredients except milk. Stir in milk just until moistened. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface: knead 10 times or until smooth. Pat or roll dough into a 12x6 in rectangle. Cut into 12 (1 inch) strips. Dip each strip into the melted butter in the pan, fold in half and place strips in two rows in the same pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. Eat warm

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happiness is..

Well, yesterday it was a batch of homemade Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.

A big pot of hot chili.

All on a snowy cold day in May.

We had plenty of warm puppies too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's on Which?

I think it's time for a loom update and of course some pictures. When I last updated, Hey Baby had the pillow warp in threading mode and we're still in that stage. A little progress but even turtles might be tapping their feet at my speed. I could say I was savoring the threading, but I would be lying through my teeth. 20/2 just isn't my favorite and it isn't so much how fine it is but it's lack of body.

The single prayer flag warp is off the loom, and I think I got about 15 flags.

This all needs to be cut, hemmed, bells and fringe knotted but they were a very fun weave. Julia is bare at the moment and I'll use this time to make some adjustments and clean the lint off her.

Hannah the Hollandia is waiting patiently for a new scarf warp although it may not happen until next week. I have some painting I want to do and this weekend looks as good as any to get it done.

Gene's sweater is moving along at a steady pace.

I'm not knitting as quickly with this one since it's obvious I have a whole summer before he's even going to think about wearing a sweater let alone a heavy wool one. The other factor is the smaller needle size. I had to make adjustments with the heavier yarn and now I am knitting true to the pattern. I still love this pattern and I adore the color on this yarn which I wish like heck I could get a decent picture of! The colors are so rich, along with bottle green is a hint of teal, nubs in sienna color and streaks of natural grey just hinting in the plies.

It's beautiful yarn.

For posterity's sake I've included a picture of the lovely Cotswold wool I want to get spinning on and two books I'm pretty excited about.

The 60 Scarves for 60 Years book has a lot of great ideas and I'll be pouring over this one as I get my warps ready for more shelter scarves.

This was purchased in MA at Loom with a View. Since I swoon looking at most Scandinavian weaving it was a given that I order Tina Ingell's book
Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave: 45 Stylish Designs for the Modern Home.
There are some wonderful projects in this one and as always the colors and sensibility grab me.

The weather has been pretty decent ( of course snow and rain predicted this weekend) and I have gotten at least one horse out and worked each day. Dandy was his typical hot little redhead self for the first 5 minutes and then settled down to work handsomely. Boo who turns 5 this spring surprised me. I was waiting for the bucking and snorting on the lunge line, the silliness and got none of it. He went right to work and while a little fast in his paces he was focused and smooth. I was very pleased and told him so frequently. Nick was Nick, curious, gregarious and a little lazy. Imp has yet to be taken out and worked. It will be interesting to see what he's remembered and what he hasn't.

Other than the horse work, I've gotten out for two walks everyday, early morning and evening after dinner. Both with Dennett and sometimes two in hand depending on my mood. Sometimes even this little devil! ;-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Updates

I will first apologize that this will be a picture less post, unless of course I get up and snap one of sleeping dogs.

The trip back to Massachusetts was well worth the do over after January's trip. The weather was nice, fairly warm and not a bit of snow. It was very windy though and that made for some reduced time on the water. My Dad is looking and feeling great, both boats were put in the water during my visit, the little skiff Ingenue and the big boat BYGONE. I loved watching them get the boats out of the yard and onto the travel lift to place in the water and it would have been picture worthy.

Mother's Day found us up north on a very chilly morning at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. We had a grand time walking through the barns and looking at all the different sheep and the sweet alpacas. I did feel bad that it was such a cold morning and most of the alpacas had been sheared and were more than a little chilly and shivering. A lot of owners had brought coats for them, but many didn't.
There was a prodigious amount of fiber and I bought some Cotswold for spinning.
I now have the time to get to know my little Ladybug wheel better.

As always, there was great shopping ( 7 new dog collars and a harness for Pogo), lots of reading and watching baseball and hockey, eating a delicious assortment of the local bounty, good libations and interesting discussion. There was one fly in the ointment though, poor Gene had to deal with 3 sick horses, the blood work on them came back as inconclusive but five of his days were spent with stalled horses, all with catheters and dosing antibiotics and Banamine. By the time I arrived home the crisis was passed, the horses all out with their buddies and looking perky with only a little shaved neck hair to tell me something had been up.
The barn however was another story. We were both thankful that there was no hay in there allowing Gene to haul down panels from the round pen and make stalls, and to their credit, Boo, Cooper and Dandy were sweet and easy to handle. I have often thought that sometimes I go over board on the ground work with my guys but it was nice to see it had paid off.

Lastly, after cleaning and picking up, unpacking and settling in, I did get a little weaving time in yesterday on Julia and a lovely ride out on Cooper. Gene got two days of sleeping in and not having to look at horses or worry about feeding schedules. It's good to be back home.