Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pugtacular 2007

There are pugs, pugs and more pugs. If you like pugs for their utter cuteness, you are in heaven. It's the heavenly snorty panting three hours that I look forward to every year. Three hours drive round trip, worth every minute.

Per popular request, I took lots of pictures. In fact, I think that's all I did, when I was not in and out of the ring with Bucky, shopping at the vendor tables, looking for raffle winning, yakking with other pug people ....

Here is a team of Christmas pugs in the costume contest.



Pug with dreadlocks



Roxanne of PugSavers holding a rescue pug



A group of rescue pugs, some of them are available for adoption. Look, they are all black!



The singing pug that won the talent contest. She really did sing! Just look at the head tilting back.



Poor blind reindeer. The dad kept fixing the costume, but the face never made it out.



In the non-Christmas costume contest, she became a tiger, a seeing tiger. Here me roar!



Group (human and pug) costumes. Chewbacca and his ewok ....



they won the first place by a wide margin.



Bucky (in the back ground) in the "find the cookie" contest. Pugs were supposed to sniff the upside down cups and find which one has a cookie. The humans all watched the judge set up the cups, so it's a short term memory test for the humans. Free cookies for pugs.

Bucky (and his dad) won a second places and the cookie was rather tasty.

Princess Pearl, a rescue with PROS (Pug Rescue of Sacramento), born with disabled front legs, now outfitted with wheelchair.

Princess Pearl in the race, zipping like the wind.

More pugs getting ready for the race. Ready, Set,

Go!
No picture for Bucky's race, cause we were too busy doing the race! The judge this year didn't give us any senior advantage and Bucky had to race with a bunch of seven-year-olds. Well, he did offer us to race Bucky in the "disabled" category and we turned it down. Bucky came out third, not too shabby for an old grizzly pug.
Later Bucky won this little doggie cushion for being the second oldest pug there, the other pug was fifteen.

The loot: couple of t-shirts for me, the doggie cushion, a stuffed pug, second place and third place ribbons, and a handmade pin with a black pug face and says "I love my pug".


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pugtacular is Coming!



If you want to see hundreds of pugs all snorting and running around in one place, this must be it. We have been going to Pugtacular almost every year for most of Bucky's life. He won best time in agility one year, among the amateur pugs. One year we won the second place of pug and owner look alike. Last year he finally won the pug race (see my account and pictures here). This year he's a bit short on practice, but he will enter the race nonetheless. Not sure about the pug and owner look alike! Is it really a good thing that I look like my pug?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gift

For a late anniversary gift, my beloved husband took me to see this on Sunday:



It is my greatest pleasure to share my life with you, to be together with you, happily ever after. Happy 15th!


Bocelli's voice transcends music and language to a medium of soothing sound. It fills the stadium while touching each and every one. It's a gentle massage on the soul.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fall in the Garden, and Dogs

My husband planted a Fuyu persimmon for me when we first moved into this house about three years ago. This year I'm getting over two dozens of nice plump fresh persimmons. Lovely! The garden looks big only because the dog is so small. The persimmon tree is in the far corner where the wooden fence meets the wall. Bucky guards the back door.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Charity Knitting

A child's poncho in Lopi. Pattern is Emy from Best of Lopi, heavily modified. The green stripes are decrease rows. A hat to match, using left over yarn. These will more than likely go to The Dulaan Project through Commuknity in San Jose About two dozens of premie hats from my mom will go to local hospitals.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Muir Progress

Making progress on the shawl, one row at a time. With more than 300 stitches on the needle, I'm doing about two rows a night, two weeks for each pattern repeat. Fortunately since I'm knitting length-wise, there will only be about five repeats, plus the edges. So you'll see the finished shawl sometime next year.



Detail of the stitch pattern. It's much prettier in person. The cashmere is oh so lovely.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trinket on Thursday

Some days Trinket thinks he is human, no, make that Most Days. Being our first born, he enjoyed a few months of completely, absolutely, undivided attention from two doting parents who fought over which one would spoil him more than the other. Trinket went everywhere with us, and ate off of our hands.

Then came other dogs, then came the human child. Trinket thinks he is one of US, one of the folks in charge of these youngsters, only that he walks on four legs.

It's a sweet sight when the brothers all get along, and I try not to think they are sleeping on MY pillow, in MY cover.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bucky Turns Twelve

Bucky's birthday was Monday and I thought I'd do something to celebrate as usual, maybe a doggie cake this time.

Saturday we came home and found someone made a mess in the kitchen, horrible diarrhea. We congratulated ourselves it was on the hard floor, not on the carpet. Dad took Trinket out for a walk and confirmed he's not the culprit.

Sunday I came home to a bigger mess in the living room, on the carpet. It took me over an hour to scrub the carpet.

Sunday night Dad got up with Bucky twice in the night to take him outside.

Monday, Bucky's birthday, he didn't want to eat breakfast. Dad came home at lunch time and found another big mess in the kitchen. He ran a stool sample to the vet right away. Lab work didn't find anything suspicious, and the vet told us to feed him some rice mixed with his regular kibbles for dinner, and half a tablet of Imodium to stop the leak.

All along the puggie was his happy chirpy self. Did his regular barks, backyard patrols and all. Things must not be that bad.

Come dinner time, I put half of his regular kibbles in his bowl, and substituted the other half with rice. My sweet pug threw everything on the floor, rice and kibbles, and picked out the kibbles and ate them. Then he stepped in the rice out of disgust. Big sticky mess.

Bucky is very anti medication, just like his mom. Usually I can hide a pill in a piece of cheese and he'd swallow the whole thing. Given his tender condition, cheese is out of the question.

First try, I put the Imodium tablet in the rice.

Bucky: 1, Mom: 0 (he ate neither)

Second try, Dad wrapped the pill in some cooked sweet potato.

Bucky: 2, Dad: 0 (he ate neither)

Third try, more sweet potato.

Bucky: 3, Dad: 0 (he ate the sweet potato)

Fourth try, more, bigger chunk of sweet potato.

The humans won!

For the official birthday celebration, the candle is in a mound of rice. Each dog got a little doggie cookie.

That's Bucky's uneventful twelveth birthday celebration. video

Friday, November 02, 2007

Recent Reads

Finished:

1. (audiobook) The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, by John Grisham. Grisham's only non-fiction book, but I didn't know it was non-fiction till the end of the book, thanks to lack of labelling on the audiobook. This is a good case study for Blink, the power of thinking without thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell (who also wrote best seller The Tipping Point). If you don't want people to think you are a criminal, don't look like one and don't act like one. I had this book from the library awhile back but had to return it when it came due, glad I had a chance to finish it.

2. (audiobook) The Summons, by John Grisham. One of the Grisham classics, love the suspense and actions. He has a way to make the bad guys sound interesting.

3. (audiobook) Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. Thank you to Sarah for picking this for the bookclub. I thouroughly enjoyed it. I actually didn't know there was a book, only the movie, how terrible.

4. (audiobook) Jamaca Inn, by Daphne Du Maurier. Also Sarah's recommendation. I have to admit I didn't like it as much as Rebbecca, somehow the characters just couldn't grab my interest.

5. (audiobook) Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family, by Patricia Volk. Story of an immigrant family in New York for the past hundred years. Very funny, every family should have a book like this.

6. (audiobook) Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, by Alan Alda, read by the author. Also listened to his Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned couple of months ago, not sure why it didn't make it to the reading log. I only know Alan Alda from his guest performance on ER, very interesting and funny guy. I might get some M*A*S*H episodes so I know what he looked like when he was young.

7. Diana Chronicle, by Tina Brown. Somethings I'd rather not know.

Current Reading:
1. (audiobook) Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, by Daniel Goleman.
2. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel Pink.
3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver. Love it!

Didn't Finish:
A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey. I really should stop checking out books about mental illnesses.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bucky the Cheesecake Eater

Bucky's birthday is coming up next week. Let's review the celebration from last year, when he turned eleven. We got a tiny cheesecake and the dogs each got a bite, literally a bite, as you can see in the video, they pretty much just swallowed it.

Bucky is still getting over the itches from trying the new food last week, don't think the little tummy can handle cheesecake this year.

What to do ..... what to do .....

video

Monday, October 29, 2007

Seven facts about me that you probablay already know

I got tagged by Jennifer to write seven facts about myself. Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger, and also post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of you post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog

Having done the first, now are the facts, not in any particular order:

1. I drive a mint green 2003 Prius, which I secretly call My Little Green Engine. The best mileage I got was 46.6mpg for a tank a few months ago. It's at the dealer's today for a well-baby-check-up. The brand new Camry loaner is great, but it's not mine.

2. My favorite cocktail drink is mudslide -- alcohol, cream, chocolate, full of evil stuff. Had one Saturday night, mmmmmm

3. I only knit with bamboo or wood needles, same with crochet hooks.

4. I'm very superstitious. I'd never have an important meeting or travel on the 13th.

5. I can live on watermelons in the summer and persimmons in the fall.

6. The last time I bought yarn was well over two months ago, two small skeins of Misty Alpaca from Yarn Dogs for the Garter Stripes sweater. That was a mighty long time ago.

7. I watched the movie De-Lovely the other day and discovered Cole Porter. Now I'm looking for more stuffs about him.

I will tag:
Tina, who blogs at Tina in Wonderland (come see the cutest Boston terrier puppies!)
Sonya, who blogs at In the Skein of Things
Beth, who blogs at Stuck on Socks
Diane, who blogs at And In My Spare Time .....
Karin, who blogs at Knitting &;
Lynn, who blogs at Never a Dull Moment
Nichole, who blogs at Lapdog Creations

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bucky Pumpkin

From last year. Guess I forgot to pull those big ears through the loops. Oh never mind, it's humiliating enough.



Update on Bucky: I've been treating and cleaning the ears every day as instructed by the vet. So far so good. Have to deal with lots of wiggling, sometimes chasing. We end up wrestling on the bathroom floor every time. He has a way to close up the ear canal when I need it to be OPEN. But the ears are cleaner than ever before, which makes mom very happy.

In last week's visit the vet also mentioned that Bucky's kidneys might be aging more than we'd like. Urine test showed he's drinking a good deal of water which puts stress on the kidneys. The vet suggested instead of kibbles that he's had all his life, we should try to switch him to canned senior food. That way he'll have plenty of fluid in him without drinking too much water.

So we picked up some Nature's Recipe senior lamb and rice cans over the weekend. After three days, Bucky is itching all the time. Yep, allergic reaction to the new food. We'll have to put off the new food until the itch stops.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Muir Swatch

Did a little swatching on the Muir stitch pattern. Very interesting open mesh background with the little "tree" standing out. The original pattern works side to side, only four or five repeats per row on lace weight. I'm going to change it to working bottom up with eight repeats on fingering weight. This way when the shawl is on the shoulders the "trees" will be pointing up instead of sideways.

 

Will I really be able to turn this big ball of yarn into a shawl? It'll keep me busy for awhile indeed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bonsai Tunic Finale

Pattern: Bonsai Tunic
Designed by: Norah Gaughan
Published: Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Yarn: Donegal Lambswool
Started: August 2007
Finished: October 2007
Progress pictures: lower back, back done, lower front, almost done


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lights of my life

Do you think Trinket has enough cushions under the belly?



Couple of years ago we discovered two of the discs in Bucky's neck were pushing together, causing him a great deal of pain. The vet tried various ways to stop the pain. Thank goodness baby aspirin worked.

Bucky is a bit stiff these days, but no longer in pain. He can't manage the stairs so we carry him up and down. Here he is, waiting for me at the top the stairs, after I took a basket of laundry to the garage.




Yesterday Bucky had his check up. My baby got poked (ears, shots), pinched (bumps), clipped (nails), sqeazed (anal glands) and got his blood drawn. Dogs are never happy with these appointments. He has yeast and heavy wax in the ears, and I'll have to start cleaning those big ears every other day. Not an easy task.

Monday, October 15, 2007

New Project Planned -- Muir

This beautiful shawl designed by fellow blogger, designer Rosemary Hill, who blogs at Rosemary-Go-Round. The pattern was published in the Fall issue of Knitty. Being the good girl that I am, I shopped the stash and found this lovely skein of Newton's Yarn Country cashmere merino, 0.7 lb, 1750 yards. It's much heavier than the lace weight in the pattern, but since I'm not too fond of knitting lace, I'm just going to have to change the pattern a little so it comes out right.

First, gotta wind the yarn! I have a wooden desktop swift, but not a yarn winder. I love hand winding a big skein of yarn into round balls. It might take me couple of evenings just to wind the yarn, but that's more time to feel this lovely yarn going through my fingers inch by inch.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bonsai Tunic Almost Finished

Done with knitting, pieced front and back together, finished armhole band, wove in all the ends, and blocked. Only thing left is the belt.

 

A close up picture of the front pannels. The pictures look like different colors, but it's just the lights.



Come back next week and there will be finale picture with ME in it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dogs on Thursday

Our dogs are house pets, which means they never go outside without a leash and a human at the other end of the leash. Of course the only exception is in their own back yard, or the rare occasion when Bucky goes to a dog park to meet other pugs. Trinket goes to a dog park when he's hungry for the 250lb Rottweiler which we generally discourage.

As Bucky slows down with his decade old spine and perpetually round belly we bend the rules a bit. The other day he ran out of the garage while I was unloading the car (ok, I left the door open and had enough time to grab the camera).

He wandered in the driveway. (don't you love that little kick of the front paw?)



Checked the bushes for message.





And decided, I might just lie down and work on my tan.



All the while Trinket waiting patiently in the kitchen, pawing on the glass door.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Let Sleeping Dog Lie

Old dogs sleep a lot. When Trinket sleeps he tends to collapse and let his limbs fall into whatever position they happen to be. The ears flop up or down. I can lift up one of the top legs and let it drop, and it goes thump. After a few tries, he wakes up, gives me a dirty look, and goes back to sleep.



Please don't bother me, Mom.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bonsai Tunic Front Bottom Done, Corn



This looks almost the same as the picture of the back I posted over a month ago here, but that was the bottom piece for the back and this is the front. As of last night the ribbing is finished as well, thanks to Desperate Housewives season opener. Now the fun begins! I can't wait to do the front pannels. They are the highlight of this top.

On an unrelated note, we had home grown corn for dinner! Farmer Bill planted six corn stalks in the summer and yesterday he harvested six ears. They are the best corn we ever had! Not bad for a first try. We even have a scare crow helping out in the corn field. (click on the picture to see a bigger version)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Barky Bucky

video

Bucky is quite opinionated. Trinket says all that talk hurts his ears.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Moon Festival


This is Chang Er. In Chinese legend, Chang Er lives on the moon, away from her family. Every year in the middle month of the Autumn season, on the fifteenth day, when the moon is the brightest of the year, people gather with their families and friends, eat moon cakes and other festive foods. People celebrate the togetherness of their union, with the circle of moon cake and the perfect circle of the bright moon. People sing to Chang Er, to the moon and remember the loved ones away from home.

I am blessed to have my circle of family and friends around, today, tomorrow, always.

May you and your loved ones a fine union on this festive day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bonsai Tunic Back Done

Previous mention is here



A closer look of the lace pattern



This is the yarn I'm using. The actual color is closer to hunter green, looks much lighter than that in the picture (on my screen any way).