Monday, December 30, 2013

Gone to the Dogs...

Once again. Fate has a way of making things happen. 

You all know that we lost our River several years ago. She was a gorgeous red Husky. She was a retired show dog, a friend to all who met her, and so stunning that I couldn't get very far walking her because people would stop us in the streets.

She had blue eyes that would make Paul Newman ashamed. 

She's my profile picture. She was a gentle soul with a heart of goofiness once she knew she no longer had to "turn it on" for the show ring. 

She raised our puppy Quinn because there was nobody else to do it. Quinn missed her terribly when she died. 

River contracted glaucoma later in her life and lost the sight in one of those beautiful blue eyes. Then, she was diagnosed with Cushings Disease. It was all managed, for about 3 or 4 years. She had a stroke (or at least the canine variety - the vet wouldn't exactly call it a "stroke" as we know it), and after a few hours, when we knew that she wouldn't ever recover, we made that most difficult decision. 

We'd been talking about getting another one in 2014... And a friend of mine in the Elkhound line passed a link on to me. 

I applied to adopt (yes, talked to Hubby before I did anything). I thought, "Snowball's chance. Everyone wants puppies."

Ha. We were approved. For a 12-week-old puppy. 

Meet Dolly. If Tippi & Quinn approve, Dolly will be our newest family member. And it's vitally important that they approve; we don't need the stress of fighting females in the house. I'm hoping that Dolly's mellow, though I absolutely know we won't have a clone of River, who was the very definition of "laid back." 

Dolly will be re-named. We have some choices. Kid #2 and I were brainstorming about famous Hollywood redheads (like Myrna Loy, Ginger Rogers, and Colleen Dewhurst). We know "Ginger" is a "normal" dog name. We go for unique in our house. And we already have the Hollywood vibe going on with Tippi. After Tippi Hedren. It fits, since she's in animal rescue. 

My object, if it all works out and her temperament fits, is to have this one as a come-along with Tippi, trained for therapy work. 

Oh, names... Sorry. We have a couple of ideas: Myrna (don't laugh); Merilla (Colleen Dewhurst role in Anne of Green Gables); Marnie (Hitchcock reference to go with Tippi); or some of the Russian names that are a little more rare: Galina, Raisa, Darya, Dasha, Anya. I could also go with the Sanskrit name Shakti, which means "peace." Though with a 12-week-old puppy, "peace" will be in short supply. I also thought of a name I'd always wanted to use: Ruby... if you want a Hollywood connection to that, it's Ruby Dee.

We will have to meet her, see if the girls like her and then go from there. 


The yoke is coming along. Already just past the second buttonhole. The decreases look good. The buttonholes need work, but that's ok. I don't know if I'll be getting the 3rd one in there, but we shall see. I'm fine with only 2 of them. 

I have to dig out the Nephew Afghan. They have a shower date. My mom is doing the cake and addressing the invitations. It's that old-school Catholic Education Handwriting! 

And I need to get working on that afghan pronto. I may set the sweater aside once I get back to work and start plowing through the afghan again. Well, "may" is not the right word. "HAVE TO" is more properly the phrase.

I have texted my friend N -- she wants to learn to knit. So what I think I'll do is what Sonda did: I'll cast on for a scarf and make it a "sampler scarf." You cast on for the student (because that can be frustrating and confusing), and then give them about 20 rows of different patterns, one after the other, so that they get the feel of the actual act of knitting. You can make a scarf any length you want, and I have enough stash yarn to give her something solid and easy to work with. An acrylic or acrylic blend that's not too fuzzy. 

I figure if she learns knit, purl, basketweave, moss stitch and ribbing, she's got the basics. Then I can bind it off for her, and then - after that - teach her how to start and end for herself. Actually, binding off is easier than casting on, in my opinion. This will also give her some basics in how to read "knitting" language. 

I mean really: how many of you who do not knit have any idea what this says:

K2, yo, (ssk, yo) twice, k3 - 10 sts.

That's row number 4 of a simple mitt pattern. Knit 2, yarn-over, then slip, slip, knit and yarn-over twice, then knit 3 - you'll have a total of 10 stitches on your needles, and the first batch of them are in a lace pattern. 

Yes, it is a language. And I don't even knit from graphs, like so many of my friends do. I find them confusing, which is funny since I have done counted cross-stitch for so many years. But reading a knitting graph to me is "reading backwards" and I prefer to read a pattern all written out. 

So I'm waiting to hear back from her. 


I'd snap a picture, but you can't exactly put -8*on film! The sun is out, you look outside and think, "How bad can this be?" and then you walk outside. 

And your eyeballs freeze. 

I was going to go out to do some errands today, but I'll save it for tomorrow. Not exactly jazzed at going out on New Year's Eve, but hey - I'll do it early. Or I can wait; it's only groceries and we actually are ok for now. And a bank run, but that can also wait. 

I believe we are to have snow to usher in 2014. But it won't be as much as I would like. I would like, God, if you're listening, a blizzard. A big one. Please.

Enough to keep us home for another week. Pretty-please???


I inadvertently had a private lesson, which is good because I have to do 2 of them for my certification. I had a class where only one person showed up, and he wanted to practice, so we went ahead. After I had submitted my evaluation of it, my teacher told me that she thought I might have an affinity for teaching in this way, which I have to say may be right. I felt very comfortable, and I loved being able to work one-on-one with a student, so that we could go through poses and breathing slowly and at that individual's pace. 

Who knows? You remain open and things happen. If I end up teaching just private students, that could work. 

I do have class tonight, but with a snow-watch happening right about rush hour, and the bitter cold, I wonder who will show up. 

Home Stuff...

So today I think I will tackle laundry (though it can wait till tomorrow if I'm lazy) and I definitely have to clean out the fridge. Should have thought about that yesterday, since this a.m. was garbage day!! And I absolutely have to take the stove apart and get that cleaned. Urgh - my least favorite job. 

But it needs to be done. 

I hear that just the act of getting your rear end out of a chair is healthy. So I'll knit awhile, clean a bit, knit awhile, clean a bit. That works for me. I haven't taken any Christmas decorations down, but we usually don't do that till the weekend after New Year's. 

Kid #2 has recovered sufficiently from the vicious attack on his finger by a can of artichoke hearts. So thankfully, he's been doing the majority of the let-the-dogs-out stuff. I do the "dawn:thirty" one and sometimes an afternoon one. He does the late-night one, though, unless he's not at home. 

Oh, look -- he's moving the garbage cans in! I was going to do that, but he beat me to it. Whew! Nice having him around...

Good thing Hubby gave me slippers. Even with wool socks, my feet are freezing, and it's not like we have the thermostat set at 68*...

Random Picture...

Silly Quinn
Once again, I don't feel like delving into politics. We'll let them all slide till after the holidays are over, because it's all stuff and nonsense. 

This is Quinn at her most ladylike. Just so you know, the AKC standard for the Norwegian Elkhound reads as follows:  "...normally friendly with great dignity and independence of character."

Well, she's got the "independent" and "character" thing down. We're not so sure about the "dignity" part. That's why some of us who are familiar with the breed call them "Elk-clowns."

This is her morning belly rub from Kid #2. 

When I talked to my friend Sarah, who passed the link for Dolly to me, she said, "Don't worry - your elkies will teach the new puppy the rules."

Yeah. That's what I'm afraid of! 

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