Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chihuahua -ish

This video on Youtube, which would not let me embed here, produced by Animal Planet, eloquently states that Chihuahua has "enormous brain". It describes our Trinket perfectly to a T. We've always wondered why our little pup thinks and thinks, and over thinks, and thinks that if he thinks some more he'd stay out of trouble and keep his brothers out of trouble too. He thinks so much that he gets scared just thinking about what might come to his thoughts. Oh hide me, Mommy. We adopted Trinket as a terrier mix, as you see here when Trinket met his bio-Mom, she's very much Rat Terrier like. We assumed his dainty size was him being born the runt of the litter. Our vet mentioned Trinket's temperament and head shape resembled Chihuahua, and we were mad at her for a long time. Alas, fourteen years of cuddling the little deer head, we know better. He's definitely a two-person dog, well, maybe two and half, he's getting around to like Henry a little, accepting him into the pack, after ten years of parental enforcement. In human age Trinket is about 76. We cut him some slack.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

The guys went to Berkeley for a Cal Father and Son basketball camp. They played quite a few games, and spent Saturday night in the student dorm. Here is Henry with Jerome Randall, point guard on Cal team. And with Jorge Gutierrez, back up point guard on Cal team. Jorge came from Chihuahua, Mexico. Trinket thinks it's very cool that Henry finally met someone (a human) from Chihuahua. For years we avoided the C word so as to create a discrimination-free environment for Trinket. I made sure my time alone was well spent. On Saturday I painted a bathroom door, albeit only finished two coats. It will need another round to look right. The gallon of red paint seems to last forever and ever, so I see a bit more painting work ahead. It might just be enough to paint the whole house red, and we'll be color coordinated. On Sunday I went to Vasona Park for a duck race. 15,000 rubber duckies, adopted at $5 a piece, were dumped into the creek and "raced" in front of cheering crowds. The race benefited many local charities. This little bad guy hitched a ride home with me in my backpack.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pagode: RIP Champion

The Pagode saga continues. Recap:
- I was very happy when I bought it in April 2006
- Cast on a year later
- First RIP, when I switched ivory with wheat
- Second RIP was not documented, but I think it had something to do with a pocket
- Finally finished knitting two fronts, and miraculously, they are the same

Since then I finished the back, which thankfully does not look like either of the fronts. Last week I let a Boston Legal rerun distract me, and ripped out one of the fronts. Couple of people asked me why I can't just flip one of them over since it's all garter stitch. Well my friends, I'd certainly do that if they look the same on both right and wrong sides. But the wrong side looks like this:

It looks blurry because the color changes created ridges on the wrong side. The right side looks like this:

Also I couldn't make another two opposite fronts since there wouldn't be enough yarn to get around, and I would be bored out of my skins doing that much garter stitch any way. And why or why would a girl want two sweaters that are exactly the same!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Charity Knitting

A new batch of baby things from my mom. I'm trying to encourage her to write down some of her designs in very simple patterns -- cast on numbers, ribbing, arm hole decrease, etc. Will see if I can get more out of her besides the end products.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Paint Job

When we bought our house our stair railings were painted white, so we could carefully identify all the black finger prints. When I scrubbed the spots the paint came off. Rather unpleasant sight after four years.
A dull colorway with all white and beige. The little boy on the wall is Henry's self portrait in kindergarten.
This is what I did when the guys left me alone for two whole days -- first Henry went on a twelve-hour day trip to Sacramento, then they went to a father-son basketball camp. Posts and railings are painted dark red. I'd prefer darker, closer to black, but the brighter shade adds very pleasant, lively colors to the area.
Looking up to the landing. There are spots here and there when the red paint got on the white. I'm still trying to figure out how to get rid of them. We don't have the original color to do spot painting, but it shouldn't be hard to find a blinding white at the store.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bucky the Potato Head

Bucky has been on antibiotics and pepcid for the last week or so for his pancreatitis. His digestive tract is in a tender state, for the pancreatitis and his nasty reaction to the pain killers in the previous week. The vet ordered us a bland diet for the puggy till he recovers. First I tried to feed him rice, he didn't like it. We only have brown rice and mix multi grain rice and apparently the grains are too harsh for his tender belly. Then I tried mashed potatoes, mixed with various foods I dig up from the back of the fridge. Some meals he really liked, when I used real mashed potatoes with butter and chicken broth, which I'm concerned was not exactly bland and in fact quite fattening. Some meals he didn't like; and when I say he didn't like I mean he threw up, which was when the taste of the broth was too strong or store brought food with too much spice. I cut back on the add-ins after he threw up, and gave him plain mashed potato with a slight hint of broth. That my friend, was not real food in my puggy's dictionary, so he refused to eat. Today I tried potato with broth, mixed with some cooked egg, tiny pieces of peas and carrots. He swallowed it down. But I'm seriously short on ideas now. What else can you dress up plain mashed potato so it's nice and tasty yet still bland?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Henry on Stage

Henry class did a stage show early this week as part of their Gold Rush study. Here is Henry singing solo in the show. He's the young man on the right, without a bandanna.

Me thinks these kids needed more practice and maybe just a little more enthusiasm. Some of the boys really didn't want to be there at all, looked more like performing a torture scene. The girls, now they sure had loads of fun.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Knitted Blankets

These are both projects finished years ago:

Project: Pink Shawl
Pattern: Anthracite Shawl by Shawn Stoner, published in Knitters magazine Spring 2003
Yarn: hand spun wool received in a knitting retreat gift exchange
Size: 71 x 33 (about 6ft x 3 ft)
Completed: 2004

Project: Fisherman Blanket
Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool, used to be available at Michael's and I bought them every week with those 40% off coupons
Needles: US Size 8
Finished Size: 87 x 62 (about 7ft x 5ft)
Completed: 2005
Notes: Made for my 6’4 husband, so he would have a blanket to cover him from head to toes. The pattern is mitered squares with applied i-cord edging. I didn’t care too much about the direction of the squares, just started a skein of yarn and knitted till I ran out, then started the next skein, picking up somewhere along the existing squares. It was knitted all in one piece, until it grew big enough.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bucky Update

It's been a long week. Bucky had nasty reactions to the pain killer and narcotics. He was up all night howling his little head off on Saturday and Sunday, plus most of the time during the day. He sure found his singing voice. No less pleasant, but more traceable was the vomit. We now have colorful patches on the living room carpet, looking rather like a world map.
After kicking down Dr. Larson's front door a few times, and $900 later, these are a few things we found out:
- Bucky has pancreatitis.
- Bucky has bad arthritis in both hips. The joints are bone-on-bone.
- There is a chance that Bucky has internal bleeding in the stomach.
- Bucky is on antibiotics for pancreatitis but once we get it under control we need to manage his hip pain. It will be a challenge considering his tender tummy against the pain killers.
- Bucky does not have cancer, abnormal growth, or serious ulcer, no obstruction in the digestive tract.
- Bucky's singing voice is very loud, especially between 2am to 5am. When he howled he almost seemed like he could pronounce words.
- Tramadol made Bucky lose his mind. He didn't seem to know who I was and where he was. It made me very sad, as I don't want to think about the unthinkable, not yet.
- If you need to give your dogs a pill, skip the cheese and use Pill Pocket. It's a soft treat that you can break apart and wrap around the pill. Works wonders.
In the mean time, the humans fared slightly better. Henry had a stomach bug early last week (insert sick people noises), and Bill caught up with him over the weekend (insert more sick people noises). No one got much sleep for a week. I told Trinket he was under strict order not to get sick.
In the mean time, I attended a job fair, and met the unlucky folks assigned to help me land on my feet. Job search, here I come.
A little bright spot to keep our hopes up! After burying himself in sand for days, Crabbe reemerged yesterday on the very tippy top of the big log. He molted and got bigger.