5 And A Beagle

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Perils of the Great Outdoors 

There are a lot of silly things to watch out for when you walk out the front or back door around here.

Like the time we heard a commotion outside the front door, only to open it and see not a raccoon as expected, but a bear rummaging through our garbage. Or the time #5 was coming home and a skunk crossed her path. Then of course there was the angry woodpecker that was pecking away at the facia above the front entrance. Or the time, shortly after we'd moved in to the neighbourhood, when the squirrel that #3 and I had been throwing nuts to decided that he wanted to come into the house. Luckily I managed to slam the screen door before he could get in, but he scampered up the screen and stared at us angrily for some time. I think it was then that I started looking at those cute puffy tailed creatures as just big rats with fluffy tails. No longer the cute little critters like Chip and Dale, but just plain old rodents.

Every fall, #4 is reluctant to be the first one out the front door for fear that she'll be passing through a newly spun spider's web. Of course the rest of us tease her and mock her fear. That was until I came within inches of walking into this one outside the kitchen door when I was going out to take pictures of the backtack parcel.

It still creeps me out just looking at the picture. I can't imagine why #4 is afraid of spiders. Did I mention that I HATE SPIDERS!!! Could it be she picked it up from me. Okay, I admit it. I've screamed and jumped up on the furniture when one has meandered across the floor. I know that as the kids were growing up I should have acted brave, not made a big deal about it, but I'm afraid I couldn't do it and so as a result I've raised two girls who are almost as squeamish as me.

I did finally get out onto the porch to take the photos, although they aren't as nicely set up as I would have liked. (I think I was still a bit distracted)

A close up of the roll used to hold some secret goodies.....

And if you're curious enough to look further, here more or less is the complete package. Knitting bag filled with "stuff", a small pouch with a couple of patterns and other "stuff", and the rolled up 'Roll', yet again, filled with "stuff".

Self Portrait Tuesday 

The usual weekday morning...
Drive the oldest (at home) to school and head off to work. I hate to think what percentage of my life has been spent behind the wheel of a car.

Tomorrow...backtack II c'est fini, mate

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Sock in the Scanner 

There still may not be a camera, but the good thing about socks is that they can be scanned. Here is the first finished sock in about 20 years. I'm not even sure if my first foray into sock-dom even counts because it was a couple of these from a Mary Maxim kit.

This one is a Rib and Cable sock from the pattern in the fall Interweave Knits made from the yarn I received from Stacey. Knitpicks merino in Hydrangea. Ohh so comfy and warm. #5 already slipped it on and then proceeded to slide around the floor. If you look close enough, I'm sure you can see dog hair already embedded into the fibre. I think the hardwood is overdue for a vacuuming and sliding around on it was like giving it a cleaning with a handknit merino 'swiffer'.

It's quite an easy pattern made just a little shorter than called for because #4, the recipient, doesn't like her socks too high. However, the sock fits me, #4 and #5 so once the mate had been made, we'll see whose drawer they end up in.

Unfortunately, my son isn't coming home this weekend as planned which means I still have no camera. I have to post this backtack parcel off, or it will be hard pressed to make it down under (oops, big clue) to my partner before the end of the month. So I'll have to try something creative on the scanner along with whatever pics I've already taken then send it on its way.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Kingdom for a Camera 

My son took the digital camera with him when he went back to Victoria on Tuesday and I'm lost without it. I'd hoped to take a bunch of pictures to tide me over until he came back, but I just didn't have the time. Between 1/2 a day of weeding the gardens at the high school, sewing some more goodies for backtack, cleaning the house for Thanksgiving guests and cooking a turkey dinner, I didn't get organized with the camera.

I received some Knitpicks yarn from Stacey of Stacey's Corner Cafe about a week ago. She had a contest on her blog and I, the lucky winner, received some beautiful "Hydrangea" Merino yarn with which I've started on my very first pair of socks.

I also received a package from Kath at Red Current. She had some of the lovely items made for the local school's Spring Fair that she generously swapped for fabric remnants. A cute handmade 'Kroo' softy, an apron just right for my #5, some bath salts, handmade cards and a soothing lavender sachet.

Then there's the package just received from Knitpicks. Some "Colour Your Own" lace weight Merino (880 yards for only 3.49) and a few skeins of lace weight Alpaca/Silk blend in the colour "Maple Leaf" (440 yards for only 4.99)- all for my backtack partner. Ohhh so nice. I've almost been tempted to put the sock aside and crack open the Maple Leaf for myself.

Either I have to borrow a camera from someone, or hang on until next Friday until my son comes back with his. Oh well, it is his so I guess he's entitled to take it with him.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ladder Ribbon Shrug 

A not so crisp picture of #5 modeling the shrug made for #4.

#5 would like one made for her, only in pinks or purple but I don't think I want to work with that ladder yarn again. Her's will have to be in something else.

This is a straight up pattern of purl 3 rows and on the fourth row, some YO and PSSO. A pattern that should be able to be worked on with your eyes closed. But with the ladder yarn, it's impossible. Did the needle go through the stitch properly? Why do I have an extra stitch (or 2)? Unless you're looking at the needles as you make pratically every stitch, you run the risk of creating extra stitches or pushing the needle through only part of the yarn instead of the whole thing.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.

That reminds me... gobble gobble gobble

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bags and Crickets 

A few years back when my son was in Gr. 11, he and a friend had to do an 'experiment' for Biology. I'm not sure I ever fully understood just what said 'experiment' was, but our home became home to 2 of these guys. His (our) two Chinese Fire Bellied Toads are affectionately called Clive and Daphne.

Clive and Daphne dine on live crickets. Every week or so, we stock up on a dozen or so crickets and keep them in a plastic bag on top of the piano next to the toads. Sometimes we hit upon a chirpy bunch of crickets and I find it hard to plunk them into the toads habitat, knowing full well that within seconds the chirping will end when either Clive or Daphne pounce (yes, toads pounce) and chomp down on the poor cricket.

This week we had an exceptionally noisy bunch of crickets. It was actually quite nice though, because I could sit in the living room and while working on my crafts, I felt like I was actually out in the great outdoors. I even held off feeding the toads as many crickets as I normally would because I was enjoying the chirping.

Last night one of the crickets chewed his way to freedom. While sitting in the living room with #5, the pitch of the chirping seemed different. Not only a different pitch, but a different source location. The vocal cricket wasn't serenading us from atop the piano, it was in the kitchen. Chirping so loudly and joyously as if to say..I'm free, I'm free. We followed the sound of the deliriously happy cricket to under the fridge. Whenever we came close, he'd chirp a little quieter and when we shone a light under the fridge, he stopped completely. I could just imagine him scrunching himself behind a dust bunny and waiting until we went away. His chirping has stopped now. He's either moved on or he suffocated in the dust bunnies under the fridge.

Lessons learned... 1) Don't hang on to a cricket just because you like the sound he makes. You make not like where he ends up making the sound from. 2) Clean under the fridge more often. 3) Don't let your kids bring living creatures into your house for science experiments, because when they move out the animal stays behind.

On a crafting note... here is the knitting bag. Complete and ready to go to the backtack recipient. Well almost ready. I still have to finish a pouch that I'm part way through and I'm waiting for an order from knitpicks of some 'dye it yourself' yarn.

Also, an experiment with the Chinese Takeout Box. This one is a little on the small side and I've since made a larger one. I'm still debating whether or not to send either of them or toss them into the 'experiment that didn't work' pile.

If you're in Backtack II and green is one of your favourites, then these might be for you.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday 

It's SPT and I've hi-jacked the blog. After all it's called 5 and A Beagle, and I think I should get some screen time. I've taken advantage of the fact that #1 is off making lunches. Yes, she's known as #1 because she feeds me (always), walks me (sometimes) and picks up after me. She's also #1 because she's the oldest in the house, but we don't talk about that too much. And with me growing in dog years, I figure I'll have her beat in a couple of years. This is me doing what I love (next to chasing down tennis balls for hours on end). #4, who graciously shares her bed with me, rubs my tummy and scratches all the spots I can't get to.


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