This winter has been an odd one for me. We’ve had a bit more snow than last year, but now the weather is warming up more than normal. I haven’t been working, due to Baby Gecko, so I haven’t seen as much wildlife.
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…
Since I’ve been slacking some on posts, this is going to be a bit of a catch-up post, with more to come in the next few days. I’ve been busy with yarny things, and I’m working on writing up a couple of new patterns, so expect more on that soon.Last weekend, there was a moose hanging around where I work. In the afternoons, on my way out, it would be pretty close to the road, so I was able to get some decent pictures, which I’ll post later. It would also go on walkabout through the parking lot, but I was working during those times, so this picture is as close as I got. I was able to do some distance shopping with my mama this past weekend, as well. One of the LYS’s in her town is also an outlet yarn store, and they were having a big sale. Between text messages, pictures, and a phone call, all crammed into my lunch break, we worked out which yarns I would like. She sent me pictures of what she ended up with, and the caption on this one was “Happy Birthday”. 😀One of the things I enjoy about living in a small town is reading the police blotter in the paper. A while ago, I discovered that the newspaper across the pass in Idaho puts their sheriff’s logs online. Whoever writes them must have a similar sense of humor to mine, because I find them very amusing. One of my favorites so far, brought to you by TetonValleyNews.net:
“A woman reported that a man walked into her home early in the morning. He was so drunk that he didn’t know where he was. He didn’t want to leave… (and) wasn’t making any sense. The woman and her family were able to get him out of the house… In an interview, the woman said her dog, a pug, was useless and did not even wake up during the incident.”
Sugar is three today(ish)! In honor of that, I have a Sugar story for today’s post. Though sometimes Sugar does silly things, in most cases, she is quite smart. And manipulative. She also didn’t want to pose for pictures for this post, so most of these are older. Or of bad quality…
A little backstory for you:
Ever since we adopted her, Sugar has had… quirks… when it comes to eating. Toss her a dog treat, and she tries to catch it. Toss some “people food” her way- bacon, shrimp, cauliflower, whatever- and she will watch as it hits her between the eyes, wait till it lands on the floor, then eat it. Put people food in her dish and she’ll gobble it up. Put down a person dish with food on it, even if it is for her, and she won’t touch it without a LOT of encouragement. These behaviors have developed from the basic house manners training we did when we first brought her home.She’s one of those rare dogs who can be free-fed without becoming overweight, so there’s usually food in her dish. One of her most common quirks involves the first bite of her food that she picks up. She will grab a couple of kibbles, bring them into whatever room we are in (even if we are in bed with the lights out), and spit them out. Sometimes she will come back and eat them later, sometimes I pick them up. She won’t eat the rest of her meal until that’s done, though. Mr. Gecko started calling them her “offerings”, and the name has stuck.
She will also “trade” me. She’ll bring me the plastic parts of her toys- eyes, squeakers, etc.- and I will give her a bite of treat or of my food, if I’m eating something appropriate. This is a behavior that I trained into her when we first started giving her toys and she was rapidly destroying them, and I have reinforced it by randomly rewarding it. It has been a great behavior, because I don’t worry (much) about her ingesting toy bits.
The unintentional result of this has been that she will bring me other things off the floor if she doesn’t have plastic bits handy. She’s brought me paper, tissue, twist ties, envelopes, anything small that she can grab, just in case I trade her a cookie, which I sometimes will. If she can’t find anything, she will casually walk past a table, knock something on the floor, then loop back and pick it up to bring it to me. That doesn’t get her anything.
Ok, so this has been more than a little backstory…
I’m like I AM one of those crazy pet people who’ll talk about their dog forever.
Last week, Mr. Gecko and I were relaxing one evening. I was stretched out on the couch reading, having just opened a bag of peanut butter M&M’s (no sponsorships here, I just like them). I felt a gentle touch, and I looked over to see puppy dog eyes above a long nose resting on the couch next to my leg. In front of the nose was an “offering” of two kibbles.
I tried to give them back to her, but she nudged my hand and looked at the candy bag. I may have been anthropomorphizing, but it looked like she wanted to trade. I pointed it out to Mr. Gecko, and then we both watched in amusement as she licked and pawed at the single M&M I gave her. Given her reaction to the one she eventually ate, I doubt she will ask for one again. But I may have made her more of a spoiled monster than she was already…
This is the Birthday Beast, some of her toys, and an offering. The moose ends up in a sitting position in random places around our house. Since his eyes have been surgically removed by Sugar, and he ends up ensconced “looking” at us, his name is “Creepy Moose”. *Important note: I know chocolate is bad for dogs. The comparatively tiny amount of theobromine in a single M&M, given the minimum toxic dose for her size, weight, and health, is not going to cause any damage.
This year has been a wild one. Moving, crafting, learning new skills, creating new habits, and making some wonderful friends.We moved from the desert to the mountains, leaving Arizona on a windy, 86 degree F day and driving to our new home in Wyoming through the snow. In March, we fostered a fantastic, loving giant of a cat that we still miss. He found a great home a few weeks after we moved. My mama came to visit before we moved, and I had fun showing her around. I also finished the first of three baby blankets.Our first few months in the Tetons were filled with discovery and wonder. Summer was filled with guests and trips to Yellowstone.Mr. Gecko’s parents came to visit, and we had a long, amazing day in Yellowstone, capped by a large herd of bison that we watched for at least an hour.Among the visitors to our house was this little guy who dropped in for a swim.I finished baby blankets two and three, and was really pleased with both. Mr. Gecko and I went to California and Tennessee, before settling in for the winter. In between, I had my 100th blog post.We have better internet at the house now (I’m using it now), but it took a long time to decide what we wanted. For most posts, I’ll be going into town, especially if I have lots of pictures to upload. Almost all of these pictures are from earlier posts. I have found that having to drive an hour into town to use internet makes me more likely to post. It is somewhat like having a deadline, and I’m more likely to write them at home and have several ready when I head into town. Which has been great, except for the weeks when I’ve forgotten to bring my laptop…The critters have adjusted really well to the changes that this past year has brought. Sugar loves the snow, and Cricket is much happier in this house. Her little kingdom- food, water, cat tree, snuggle cube, windowsill- is in the living room, much closer to us than in the house in Arizona, and she comes every day for (brief) snuggles. Christmas Eve and day brought more snow to our house, and this past week has brought frigid temperatures. This is the thermometer on my car at 11:42 in the morning. We didn’t see positive numbers that day, and that night it got down to -27. 2014 was crazy, and stressful, and uncertain, but it was also filled with wonder. I miss the friends and family that we were so close to in Arizona, but I love that we have made so many new friends here, and that we live in a small community where people do nice things for each other all the time. Though there were parts of the year that were tough and frustrating, I wouldn’t have traded a single moment of it. I feel blessed every day here.