I had many plans for this month, including finally starting an Etsy site, posting a pattern, and finishing the reworking of a certain baby blanket. I did finish some things, and I started on the blanket, but there was alsoand I did some knitting, too. I finished my first attempt at a hat, and I learned that I need to get in the habit of knitting gauge swatches. I generally don’t with my crochet, because I can usually tell how a piece is going to look. Knitting is still pretty new to me, though, and I had to restart the hat three times, once when it was halfway worked up and waaay to big and floppy. My next hat will be a little more complicated and I’ll knit a swatch first.My current crochet project is a reworking of the Tardis-inspired baby blanket I made last summer. I wrote the pattern down as I went, transferred it to my computer last month, and now I’m remaking the blanket to make sure the pattern is (relatively) glitch free.I still intend to complete my plans, but they are a bit delayed. Maybe April? This is Cricket, the grouchy old lady cat. I bought this bed for her 8 years ago, and she has NEVER used it. Until last week, that is. Now, it’s her favorite sleeping spot. I guess that means that I can reclaim my reusable shopping bags that she had been using. Ah, the perversity of cats…
More boxes are unpacked, and our house is starting to feel a little more permanent. I’m still a bit unorganized, so the baby blanket post is … pending. So is the baby blanket, for that matter. Instead, I’ve got a story from when Mr. Gecko and I were first married.
Our first trip as a married couple (not counting the honeymoon, when we were still filled with wedding bliss, eggrolls, and cupcakes) involved moving all of my worldly possessions about 900 miles. We decided to test our compatibility early.
I’ve moved a few times over varying distances, so I knew how to prepare( Having someone else move us was a different story). I started packing months before. I was fairly ruthless when weeding out things I didn’t need. I obsessively labeled boxes. I fell down the stairs a week before the wedding and landed on my bad knee. That was fun. I still have a scar.
Midway through the fourth day after returning from our honeymoon, we were finally read to go. My stuff and the few things of his that hadn’t been sent to him were loaded in the moving truck; my truck, the cab also full of stuff, had been loaded onto the trailer and tied down. The critters, each in their own little (or big) carrier, were put in the cab of the moving truck. This was pre-Sugar, so everyone fit (barely) in the smallish space.
The cat, who never liked car rides, since they had only involved going to the vet, ended up in her carrier between us. She wouldn’t fit anywhere else in the cab. Her carrier has a door on both the front and the top, so I was able to keep an eye on her. The crested geckos, who were in smaller carriers with damp moss and paper towel hiding spots (easy to replace and not heavy enough to hurt the geckos if they moved or fell over) had been tucked under the seat. I had a crochet baby blanket to start for a friend who’s baby was born a few days before the wedding, so that was in a bag at my feet. I was ready. We waved goodbye and were off.
Two hours down the road, we stopped to check the load and stretch our legs. Cricket was handling the journey well enough. I narrowly averted disaster with the geckos, however. Unbeknownst to me, there was no insulation on the floor of the cab under the seat. That little area got so hot, I almost burned my hand touching it. And of course, I had innocently put the geckos right on top of it.
Fortunately, I had lined their cages with plenty of paper towels, and had made sure the moss was nice and damp before we left. They were a little on the warm side, but otherwise unharmed. Phew! I relocated their little tanks to a cubbyhole behind the seat. It meant more stuff around my feet, but better that than poached gecko.
Mr. Gecko and I had gone on long car rides together before, but not that long, and not newly married. I admit, I was a little nervous going into the whole expedition, and the little almost-disaster made us both a bit tense. That’s when Cricket decided to fix things.
The sun had set to the right of the long, boring stretch of I-5 before us. We had eaten dinner, and wanted to get a couple more hours in before calling it a night. The cab was quiet, and we were both resting our arms on top of Cricket’s carrier. Out of nowhere, Mr. Gecko yelps and throws his arm in the air. I jumped, startled, and from Cricket’s carrier came a soft little “mew”.
Turns out, Cricket had sat up in her carrier and touched her nose to my husband’s bare arm. I thought it was a good sign that she was investigating things, and laughed.
But it took her less than two minutes to figure out that if she touched his arm with her nose or ear, he would react with a yelp, “hey”, or with a semi-violent arm jerk. It was a new game! This game continued off and on for the rest of our journey, to my very ticklish husband’s dismay.
Well. I had intended to schedule and post more after the last post, but obviously that didn’t happen. There were many things that I had intended to do before we moved, like organize my house more, finish a few projects, have time to finish a book, and vacuum before the movers showed up. Oh well. The posts I pre-wrote will be posting soon. We don’t have internet at the house yet, so I have to drive into town (a little over a hour) and upload things from coffee shop wifi…
So we’re moved now. Our house is lovely, if a bit smaller than the last one. We’re still unpacking and trying to find places for everything. Cricket has laid claim to several spots, some of which will be leaving.
The move went somewhat smoothly. The movers were great, and my mom was right- if it wasn’t nailed down or marked with blue “Don’t Pack” tape, they packed it. That included a small jar of bacon grease that I had intended to throw out and my mp3 player that I had intended to move before they got to the kitchen. Oops.
Mr. Gecko got waaaay too much amusement out of the number of boxes of books that were packed. Some of those boxes were cookbooks and some were his books, but I don’t know how many of each were there. The total number of boxes was… 27. And they are not small boxes.
We spent the week between when our stuff left Arizona and arrived in Wyoming cleaning our old house, traveling, and adjusting to our new place. All of the animals traveled well. Mr. Gecko had most of the geckos in his truck, and I had the remaining gecko (on the floor), Cricket (in a carrier on the front seat), and Sugar (seatbelted into the back seat). There were hitches here and there- leaving Arizona much later than we had planned, having to wait a day to check into our house, cleaning up cat vomit on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming (or maybe Idaho).
The tradeoff for the rough spots has been the beauty of this area. It has snowed a little every day since we arrived, but the snow on the ground is melting faster than new snow is accumulating. I haven’t seen the Tetons in their entirety because of the clouds, but what I’ve seen so far has been stunning. (Edit: I saw them on my drive down to town today!) On the first day here, I saw elk, bison, moose, swans, osprey, a bald eagle, and grizzly bears. I’ve traded one amazing place to live for another. Pictures will be coming soon!
Mr. Gecko has a new job in Wyoming. If everything goes as planned, we’ll be moving there in April. It will be difficult to leave here, but I’m looking forward to new adventures. Cricket, Sugar, and the geckos are moving with us.
We’ve been going through our stuff to “lighten the load” for when we move. When we’re not at work, that is. So far, I’ve gone through my books and cookbooks and my yarn stash. The hardest was the yarn- I had to fight the “but what if someday I need it” voice. I had already purged my books once, so it was easier to do it this time.
I’m working on two books at the moment, but crochet has somewhat taken over my free time. I’ve been working on three baby blankets- one is finished (pics to come soon), one is almost done, and one is still in my head. All three of them are blankets that I’m very excited about, for various reasons. But more on that later.
We are on our third foster animal. The first was a yellow lab who was adopted by a lovely family. The second was a fearless kitten who is in a foster home that’s a bit more kitten-proof. Moe, our third, is a slightly cross-eyed Snowshoe or Snowshoe mix cat who weighs about 18 pounds. He’s an awesome, laid back cat, but he doesn’t like small children or rambunctious dogs. Sugar is borderline- Moe will walk right under her, but runs away if Sugar moves suddenly. Moe also sleeps in our bed, which has taken some time for me to adjust. We can’t take him with us, so hopefully we can find a permanent home, or at least another foster home, for him.
About once a month, usually a few days before we apply flea and tick medicine, Sugar gets a bath. By that time, Sugar’s coat is noticeably less shiny and she is starting to smell “doggy”. Over the months since we adopted her, baths have gotten both easier and harder. She has gotten more used to them, so she fidgets less in the tub and doesn’t try to jump out. She has also gotten bigger and heavier, which makes it more difficult to get her down the hall and in the tub once she realizes what’s going on.
Today, I decided to give Cricket a bath as well. Not all cats need bathing, but with her allergy and skin issues, she does. Her baths only happen when she really needs them, which is about once every four to five months. She’s fairly well behaved during them. For a cat.
Cricket’s bath came first, since bathing the dog first would give everything away. Her baths involve prepping the bathroom by turning on the heater, grabbing a couple of towels and a plastic cup for rinsing, pulling out the cat shampoo and ear wipes, and running an inch of warm water in the tub. Cricket does not like to be picked up, and is pretty vocal about it. Her meows take on a panicked note as we get closer to the bathroom. Once in the tub, she doesn’t try to get away, but she will put one or both front paws on the edge of the tub. Her baths are a mixture of baby talk from me, and pitiful meows, hissing, and kitty swear words from her. They finish off with an ear cleaning while she is wrapped in a towel like a kitty burrito. They also involve lots of cookies. We can’t forget the cookies.
Sugar spent the time during Cricket’s bath digging in the garden (which will be fenced off as soon as we prep the soil). Once we got her down the hall and in the tub, she was pretty well behaved. She was also very, very dirty. Billows of dust and sand mixed with tiny bits of grass dirty. She likes the massage part of the bath, but not the rinsing off. No picture of her in the tub, since she decided that the bath was over as soon as I touched the towels. At least I cleaned her ears first. I normally try to get her to shake a few times in the tub, where I can keep the water from going everywhere, but today she hopped out and shook water over everything before I could grab a towel. Oh well.
Once her bath is over, Sugar races around the house like a crazy dog. She also goes back into the bathroom to investigate. That’s pretty much the only time she goes in there voluntarily. As bath day also means that her blankets get washed, she spends a fair amount of time rubbing them to make sure they start to smell right. She gets cookies, too.
Cricket will be grouchy for the rest of the day. Sugar is sleeping and waiting to be dry enough to have her collar put back on (she seems to like the tags jingling). Tomorrow will be nail trim day. Woohoo.