May 23, 2009

Oh the joys of dog ownership

As a new dog owner I've found that there's a secret society out there that I never knew existed. It's the society of dog owners. We nod at each other as we walk with our 4 footed friends. As Milo barks like a nut case at every dog he sees I explain in a voice a little louder than usual that he's friendly but loud. I know the names of all the dogs in the neighborhood but not the person at the other end of the leash. But that seems to be OK because we just love each other's dogs.
Milo says: OK so I bark a little but that's because I'm sooooo excited to live here with you.

Milo started dog training classes 2 weeks ago. The first week he spent 20 minutes barking and pulling at the other dogs and people. Finally after a while he started to respond to his name and was given a treat when he made eye contact. He was walking without pulling using a new collar and I went home with some homework to do every day.

Milo says: I'll make all the eye contact you want Diane as long as you keep those snausages coming my way.

Last week he didn't bark at all, walked well, paid attention, and got treats like crazy. Our current homework is learning to walk in a heel position and recalling back to me ending in a sitting position when called. He's doing well with both so I think he's a pretty smart guy.

The only real ongoing issue we're having is that Milo barks like crazy when someone comes into the house, someone is in the yard (and of course my property backs to a town owned pond so there are always people in eyesight in the yard), and is fearful of strange men. I've been trying to get him to stop barking by giving him a treat when someone comes into the house so that he sees someones arrival as something good instead of something fearful. We'll see how that works out.

Milo says: Ummm aren't you forgetting to mention Tanner?

Well thank you for reminding me, Milo. Tanner is still with us but he's not hanging out upstairs anymore. Tanner decided a couple weeks ago that this was his house too and he wanted to sleep in my room on my bed just like he always did. At first Milo was excited over the entire thing. Now after 2 weeks he watches Tanner come in, leave, etc without any issues at all. I think they would be friends if Tanner way younger. But at least they are getting along without much chasing.

I've been working on a lap ghan for the cancer infusion center my dad used when he was under going treatment. We always joked that the ghans they had there were a little girlie so a manly man ghan is in process right now. I'm hoping to have it done by his birthday in the beginning of June but we'll see. Being someone with knitter's ADD it's hard to stay focused on a bigger project.

Happy Memorial Day to those in the USA. Take a minute to say a prayer for those who gave their lives for our freedom and thank their families who have suffered so much.

May 04, 2009

Don't be looking for me at ...

the humanitarian of the year awards ceremony any time soon. My track record lately is less than stellar ........

1) Tanner got out again over the weekend. I was a terrible foster kitty mama because I didn't look for him at all, didn't set out traps, didn't put out his beloved can food, and didn't call the cat group to let them know their cat was missing. He was out for 2 days and when he finally decided he had roughed it enough he came inside.
2) Milo got out too. Of course if you chase the dog he thinks it's a game and this 50 yr old asthmatic doesn't stand a chance against a little hyper 16 lb dog. Instead I swore, caught his eye, and walked the other way toward the door. Milo of course is nosey and had to see where I was going. I opened the door, he ran inside and I closed it after.

3) Speaking of Milo, I took him to the vet and didn't think to ask for a female vet when I made the appointment. Milo hates men so he almost bit the vet.

4) My brother broke up with his longtime girlfriend. We're happy because while she was a nice person the two of them together weren't a good combination. He's a giver, she's a taker, and she took everything she could. Of course the timing is awful because her mom is at the end of hospice care for cancer. She told my brother he was the worst person on the face of the earth. This is not true. I'm the worst person on the face of the earth because I thought she made up the entire cancer story. Well when you tell 99 half truths and whole lies how am I suppose to know the hundredth thing out of your mouth is true.

So that's it from around these parts. If the rain stops sometime this month I'll be happy. Wet dogs are no fun to be around. Still knitting and one of these days I'll grab my camera to snap a pic of all the baby socks for A4A.

April 22, 2009

Hey long time no blog

Well I'd like to say that I've been busy but the truth of the matter is that this is mostly a knitting blog and since I haven't finished anything lately I haven't blogged. I've got lots of stuff that just needs to be blocked and ends hidden but haven't gotten around to it.

Of course this hasn't helped ....
may be our new dog
I've never been a dog person. It's not that I disliked dogs but I had enough to do with raising 4 kids to worry about a dog so I've always had cats.

Anyways, I've loved fostering the cats and kittens a lot. It worked out well because I'm always home. So a couple months ago I decided that when my own cats were gone I'd only have foster cats and would get a dog. I was researching breeds for characteristics weighing pros and cons of each breed. Treating it like a business decission.

And all the planning went right out the window when I looked on petfinder and saw a little guy named Shadow. I put in an application that night, made arrangement to meet him on Friday and ended up taking him home with me.

He was renamed Milo and he's been a handful. From what I've come to understand he was a puppy mill dog who is 18 months old. He has limited social skills. Every household sound makes him bark. Every person who walks in the door sends him barking. He's a bundle of nerves. But already he seems to be doing better so we'll just work together to give him everything he needs to be a part of our family.

Of course not everyone thinks highly of Milo. This guy has been checking him out from a distance.
joey napping 030409
They said Milo was good with cats but other than being in a foster home for maybe a day or two with cats I don't think he had any contact with them. Joey of course has had no contact with dogs. Since it's warm and Joey is outside most of the summer things should shake out ok.

I still have Tanner. He's been sick with a uri so antibiotics twice a day for him. He's been hanging on the 3rd floor since Milo got here and wandering down every so often. Milo is only on the main level and my room so he's not upstairs. The way my house is set up there's a catwalk/loft area over the living room with a circular stair case to the living room. So Tanner hangs out mostly on the catwalk looking through the railing at the dog. He'll walk down the circular stairs and sit just out of reach. I'm so proud of Tanner; he's come such a long way. Now if only he could get adopted.
tanner napping

So that's about it. Never a dull moment around here anymore.

March 30, 2009

Tanner's big adventure

Long time no post huh? Well I've got 3 shawls knit that need to be blocked, one cowl that needs to be blocked, about 15 pr of infant socks that need to ends woven, and a pair of adult socks that need to be kitchenered and the ends woven. So what did I do? I casted on a cowl instead of finishing a single project because that's how I roll.

I still have my foster guy Tanner. He's my buddy and pal since we spend about 17 hrs together every day. He follows me around the house constantly so my hubby jokes that it's Diane and her shadow.
tanner 12909
I love this guy. So imagine my shock when he followed hubby out of the slider Friday at around 11 pm and decided not to come back home for the weekend. OMG I felt like such a kitty mama failure because although he's technically not my cat he's my baby. We spend a couple hours looking for him on Friday night and I actually had him but he sunk both sent of back claws in my leg and took off. We left our cat Joey outside figuring that Tanner would see his friend and stick around.

Saturday morning D3 saw him on the front porch when she was leaving but he took off and she couldn't spend any time looking for him since she was on her way to work. By the time my hubby and I got up he was nowhere to be found. Saturday afternoon FFCC dropped off a couple traps which we set. Traps empty Sunday morning. Pouring rain on Sunday and thunderstorms on Sunday night but no Tanner. I was getting pretty worried.

My son is a night owl so around 2 am he was going down the hallway and looked out on the front porch. There was Tanner sitting next to the trap with my other cat Joey. S1 opened the front door and distracted Tanner with a toy long enough to grab him and bring him inside.

So this morning when I woke up Tanner was sitting right outside my bedroom door happy as anything to be back home where it's warm and safe. I'm happy he's home.

March 04, 2009

Gator country

As Joey naps on the loveseat he seems blissfully unaware that he is now in dangerous gator country.
Yes there are 3 gators on the couch just feet away from him. How could he not be concerned.
Aren't these just so adorable? The pattern is from Morehouse Farms. Since there are for the grandkids (who's mom doesn't hand wash anything) I used red heart sports weight yarn.

W wore his to school today and his teacher went nuts for it. Actually called my daughter to rave about it. She said, "Oh you'll have to keep it and pass it down to his siblings." My daughter mentioned that each child had one of their own. Seriously what terrible grandma would only make on gator scarf and expect the other kids to wait to use it?

March 01, 2009

Goodbye Oscar

This morning we woke up to find Oscar had passed away. She had been in failing health lately however we made the decission not to take her to the vet feeling that since she was not in pain she should be able to live out her time in the home she loved.
Oscar came to us 18 1/2 yrs ago. My oldest brother was going home down a main road and watch as someone threw something out the passenger window from the pick up truck in front of him. He pulled over and this little grey cat came over to him. He's a dog person and I'm a cat person so she came to live with me. My youngest daughter picked her name (which is why you should never let a 2 yr old name anything).
I'd love to tell you that she was a wonderful pet full of kindness but to be honest she was a terrible pet. If she had gone to a shelter they would have put her down because she was aggressive and unadoptable. We offered Oscar love and kindness but in the end all she's accept from us was food, water, and shelter. She hated every other cat we've ever owned more than she hated us.
We'll miss her and her crabby self around the house. There'll be no one biting and scratching my foot as I try to eat dinner. She won't be nagging me for milk in the morning. Although she wasn't a warm cuddly she was a part of our life for a long time. I hope her spirit is now at rest.

February 18, 2009

Gifts form a friend

The interesting thing about the internet and blogging is that you get to 'meet' such interesting people from all over the world that you would never know otherwise. Such is the case with my friend Vivian in California.

Vivian is quite the knitter and an interesting person however one of the most interesting things about Vivian is the love and admiration she has for her mom, Lena. Her mom is also a knitter who has a passion for knitting for CIC.

Lena has some recent surgery right before her birthday so Vivian reached out into cyber world and asked if we could send a card to her mom. I decided to sent a card plus some yarn. It worked out better just to send an order from knitpicks directly to Lena once I figured out what it would end up costing to mail from CT to CA. The yarn and card arrived and I knew Lena would be happily knitting some wonderful vests for CIC.

Imagine my suprise to get a package that contained this
and these
Everything lovely made by Lena. I'll donate the vests in her name to CIC and throw in a couple pair of socks too. Isn't she just a treasure of a person. Vivian you are so lucky.

Knitting but no finishing

Knitting right along on anything that grabs my attention. Take for instance left over sock yarn. Instead of gathering it up and putting it away I decided just to knit some infant socks. Not that I know anyone who has an infant currently but I'll find somewhere to donate them. Please notice that Tanner is earning his keep my insuring all socks are done to the highest quality and coated with a layer of cream colored cat fur.

Socks without my cat helper.

Helena is moving right along for my granddaughter. I stopped when I finished the body so I could try it on her to make sure the length was ok. Looks great so now I just have to finish the sleeves and front/neck. D1 and I decided that they need to make this pattern in an adult size because it's so pretty.
The grandkids needed scarves so a little surfing on ravelry and I found alligator scarves. I ordered the pattern from Morehouse Farm a while back but just casted on the first on on Saturday.

Pretty cute. The yarn is red heart in a sports weight. The green camo is for N. W picked red and Missy A picked purple.
My friend's mom isn't doing well. I finished the knitting on the white shawl only to discover that the color for brain cancer is grey not white. The color is something that is very important to her mom so I knit up this smoke ring instead using opal sock yarn in a light grey color. I figured it would be easy to toss in the washer and dryer with no fuss leaving plenty of time for my friend to worry about other things while taking care of her mom.
I added more repeats to the width since sock yarn doesn't block out and the width as the pattern was written would have been 20". Easy pattern that was fun to do. My youngest daughter thought it looked pretty cool so I might have to make her one.
So that's about it for around here. Another storm is coming in later today. Anything but ice would be fine with me. I've had quite enough ice this winter, thank you very much.

January 31, 2009

End of the month already?

Where does the time go? The kids are all back to school. D3 made the dean's list complete with certificate mailed to the house. The school that the other 2 are in just publish the dean's list and both D2 and S1 were on it. Smart kids .... must take after their dad.
I've been working with the foster cats quite a bit. Lily is a peach and hopefully will be adopted tomorrow. Her new mom is an older woman who lives by herself, disables, and would love a nice lap cat. Lily will fit the bill perfectly.
Tanner has turned into a cheeky little boy. Playful and full of energy he doesn't run away as much anymore. I can pick him up and pet but no one else in the household can pick him up. There's a couple that adopted a persian (not one of the ones I fostered) and they are looking for a pal for him. Tanner might be a perfect fit so fingers crossed that he'll have a forever home soon.
I've done a little knitting. Still working on the shawl for my friend's mom. Almost done with it but had to set it aside until things settled down a bit so I could wash and block it.
I made a couple kitty wontons which seem to be a hit. They work up very quickly.
kitty wantons
tanner with wonton
I decided to cast on a sweater for my granddaughter. The pattern is Helena from and the yarn I decided to use is red heart sports weight. I finally got gauge on size 4's instead of the recommended size 6's and it's moving right along. If the sweater is a hit then I'll probably make another one is a nice cotton blend that can go in the washer/dryer. I don't care for the ties so I'll probably put on a couple buttons. We'll see.
new sweater
I've been involved in a traveling scarf project with one of my on line groups at Ravelry and sat on some scarves for a long time. The person I mail to moved like 3 times in a month which is crazy!?!? Her hubby is in the military and they've been apart for a while so at least at the end of it all her family will all be together. I can't begin to thank the families of the armed services for everything they do.
So I finally mailed off these today and will wait patiently for some more to come. Fun project with beautiful results. My own scarf is MIA currently and I've got to say that if it comes up missing forever I won't be the least bit upset because I'm loving working on everyone else's scarves.
scarf 1
scarf 2
scarf 3
So snow, freezing rain, ice skating in the driveway, etc, that's been about it for me. Hope everyone is keeping nice and warm while they knit away.

January 15, 2009

It's all about the cats ........

Being a kitty mama is always interesting. You just never know what the next phone call will bring. My phone rang before new years and I was asked if I could take a 5-6 month old cat who looked to have been abandoned on a farm. Of course it was single digit cold at night so I said yes. Unfortunately when they went to get the little cat they couldn't find it but this one came running over.
lily 010309
I named her Lily and she's a friendly gal. According to the vet she's 2 yrs old and already had been neutered. She'll be up for adoption soon and deserves a great home.

When they finally got the little cat on new years day he was thin and had about 30 ticks on his little body. His name is now Tanner and he's 8 months old. Tanner was dropped off the same time as Lily because they seem to know each other. Unfortunately because Tanner was outside a little longer than Lily he's having a hard time trusting we humans.
I've been working very hard to get him to be a little braver but he still runs and hides the minute I walk in the room. It's he beautiful?

And there's been some knitting. I finished 2 pair for socks for grandson N who thought they were the greatest socks ever.
child size 11
And I finished my brother's socks that weren't done in time for Christmas.
andy socks
I'm currently knitting a shawl for my friend's mom who is currently undergoing treatment for brain cancer. They removed most of the tumor but it'll grow back quickly. I feel terrible for my friend because I know it's so hard to watch as things start to slip away and cancer wins.