Sunday, March 12, 2017

Goodbye, Sweet Boy

Eight years ago we adopted a three year old Westie. I bought him for $50 on Craig's List, but after he was with us a while it was obvious he had been abused. He didn't have the typical Westie ears because he'd been tied up outside with a Great Dane and the Dane chewed on his ears and they had to be amputated. He was very nervous and barked constantly. He wasn't neutered so he thought every corner in the house was fair game for potty breaks.

But he was a sweet boy and with lots of work and even more love he turned into a loveable loyal pet. Every morning while we were having coffee, Merlin would put his feet on Stan's leg so he could get his ears scratched. His best pal was Chloe, a Westie just a year older. But I was his person and wherever I went Merlin went too.

I was cautioned that he didn't like kids, but he loved our grandkids, they were good with dogs so I think that helped.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed he was coughing and even mild exercise made him winded. I took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with collapsing trachea, something small breeds can be prone to, there is really no cure. We started him on medication, but none of it helped, some of the side effects were terrible. The vet was working on compounding a different medication. But today I could tell his breathing was getting worse and worse. I decided that I would take him in to the vet tomorrow, I wasn't going to let him suffer. Before I left for church this morning I gave him a cuddle and told him that if he wanted to leave it was fine.

All day he sat and lay by my side just looking at me. Every now and then he would slip out the doggie door and sit on the deck for a while. About an hour ago he turned up missing and when I checked the deck, there he was-he made sure we wouldn't have to see him die.

So our precious boy is gone and Chloe is our only dog now. She never left his side all day, I think she knew, too. I wrapped him in a baby blanket that came with him when the woman brought him. He's in the garage and tomorrow I'll call the vet to arrange cremation. It sure is hard to say goodbye.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mexico Again (And Again)

Stan and I spent ten days in Mazatlan in the middle of October, we flew home, and now I am back in Mexico. I'm in Ajijic, a town on Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara. A friend moved there a year ago and has been wanting folks from her hometown to come see her and her new home. I'm always game for a trip so here I am.

I have to make room for more pictures on my blogger server, so words will have to do for now.

It was beastly hot in Mazatlan, the locals even complained. El Nino had warmed the ocean and created super high humidity. We still had fun and went to the places we like the best. Last year I was so very sick when we left I forgot my Kindle. Took a long time to get well, but that's another story. Our friend Steve from the resort took it home and one year later I got it back! I bought another one in the meantime, now I have a spare so the grandkids don't hog the new one. We got home before the hurricane hit, but it missed Mazatlan anyway.

The weather here in Ajijic is perfect, high 70s during the day and around 60 at night. The altitude is high and the humidity is low, similar to Montana only without the snow, lol! Carol is taking me to lots of places, today we rode the bus to Chapala and some of the outlying towns. We walked the malecon in Chapala and had lunch there. The rest of the week will be filled with social events, more food, and a little volunteering.

I am slightly homesick, two trips back to back kinda do that to you. But this has been a great adventure, traveling all by myself, and I'm missing a couple of big snowstorms back home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Toe-Up Sock Pattern

I've shared my socks on Facebook for a while now, and everybody has been asking for the pattern.  So I finally got my act together and here it is:

                                          Toe-up Socks
Materials and tools:
1 set of double pointed needles, size 2 (US)
Fine sock yarn, about 400 yards.  This usually takes most of two 1.76 oz skeins for adult size
Yarn needle, tape measure, scissors, small crochet hook for picking up stitches

KFB=increase, knit stitch as usual but don’t slide off left needle, then insert needle into back of stitch and knit another, then slide original stitch off needle.
SSK=decrease, Slip two stitches as to knit, slip left needle in the front of both stitches, wrap yarn around right needle & pull through, slipping off onto right needle

Sized for infants-toddlers, older child and adult sizes in parentheses

Toe & Foot:
Cast on 8 (8, 12, 12) stitches. Knit one row straight across.
Pick up 8 (8, 12, 12) stitches on the other side.
Round 1:  Knit 1, KFB, knit 4 stitches, with another needle knit the next four stitches, KFB, K 1.  Go to last needle-K 1, KFB, knit to last 2 stitches, KFB, K1
Round 2:  Knit around.
Continue rows 1 and 2 until you have 28 (36, 48, 64) stitches on your needles total.
Knit in the round until the length of the foot is 2 inches shorter than the length of your foot. (For an infant about 1 ½”, for a toddler about 2 ½”, for an older child about 4”, an average woman, about 6 ½”, for a man 7” or 7 ½”)

Gusset Increases:
Round 1:
Needle 1: K1, KFB, knit to end.
            Needle 2: Knit to last 2 stitches, KFB, K!
            Needle 3: Knit across
Round 2:
            Knit around
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are a total of 40 (48, 64, 84) stitches on your needles.

Forming Heel:
Knit 7 (8, 12, 16) stitches from first needle.  These stitches will rest for a bit.
            SSK, Knit 10 (12, 12, 18) stitches. 
            Divide the rest of the stitches evenly on two needles, including the first 7 (8, 12, 16) you knitted.
            Row 1: Working back and forth: Row 1-P 2 together, purl across row, turn
            Row 2: SSK, knit across row.
            Repeat rows 1 & 2 until there are 6 (6, 8, 8) stitches left on needle, ending with the right side facing.
Heel Flap:
            Slip 1, knit across.  Pick up 6 (8, 9, 11) stitches from the increase edge you created when extending for the heel
Turn, slip 1, P across picked up stitches and the heel stitches. Pick up and purl 6 (8, 9, 11) stitches on the other edge you created with the heel formation.
Turn, you should have 18 (22, 26, 30) stitches on your heel needle.
Row 1:  (K 1, slip 1 as to purl), repeat between () to the last stitch.  Slip last stitch onto needle, slip one stitch from reserved stitches and knit both stitches together.
            Row 2:  Turn, slip 1 as to purl, purl across row to last stitch.  Slip stitch onto needle, slip one stitch from reserved stitches and purl both stitches together.
            Repeat rows 1 & 2 until you have a total of 28 (36, 48, 64) stitches on all your needles again, ending with a purl row.
            Divide stitches back onto 3 needles again.  Work, knitting in rounds until leg is as long as you want.
            Work in K 2 P 2 ribbing until cuff is as long as you want.  Bind off.

Baby and toddler socks are the most fun!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

At the River

Stan suggested we try to cool off at the river so we drove out to the bridge with Sydney and the dogs. After Stan dragged me through the mud, which I fell into after my flip flop got stuck, we found a nice spot.

Grandpa and his shadow.

The dogs hated the water and Merlin rolled in the gravel to try to dry off. It took a long bath to get the sand out of his fur!

The boy dipping for minnows.
Came home and we all showered. Then I cooked bacon, fresh farm eggs and pancakes. Now to muster the energy to clean up the kitchen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


We've been sailing through this summer, here it is August-don't know how it got here so soon! We thought we were going to have a very hot summer, but after the fourth of July it cooled down to balmy.

I'm still teaching a class on Wednesdays, it morphed from knitting to crocheting and from adults to kids. It's a good thing, there are plenty of latchkey kids out there, having something to do in the summer is a very good thing. Sydney has been staying with us. He's here all week and goes home on the weekends. His mom moved to Atlanta so we get to enjoy his company. He's been taking classes at the shop too, gets him out of the house and away from electronic screens.

On Tuesdays through the summer the Bozeman city band plays at Bogert Park in conjunction with the Tuesday farmer's market. So far Stan and I haven't missed any.

A lovely way to spend a summer evening, listening to a variety of music, watching the kids play, inhaling the scent from the barbecue vendors, and munching on freshly picked Montana Flathead cherries.

I get a little knitting done while I listen, unless it's too cold, it is Montana after all!
I haven't done much sewing, a few wedding gifts, but I really have the itch to make some new clothes for myself. The Manhattan Potato Festival is next week so first I want to be sure I have a good stock of items for the shop, she should have lots of traffic that day. Then some new tops for fall.

I've knitted something special but I can't reveal it until after Saturday. It's a very special gift, I can't wait for the recipient to see it-she might cry and I might too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Morning Fog

It's foggy in Manhattan this morning, I just had to snap this photo of the sun shining through it. Fog is fairly common here, we're pretty close to the Gallatin river. Makes me appreciate Montana's beauty.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Flowerbed Labor

I've been wanting to redo my back flowerbed for a long time. The daylilies were choked badly by crabgrass and the sod had grown into the bed. Everything else I had planted had died off. Since I've been seeing a naturopath for a year now, I have tons more energy so I was raring to go. I already had some bark and a roll of landscape fabric, a trip to the garden center resulted in more bark and a flowering cranberry bush. So I started on Tuesday digging the bed.

A nice mess!

I did the digging on Tuesday but I conned Stan into helping on Thursday. I'm glad he did, what a big job!

Rain delay.

Second rain delay. We mostly shoveled mud.

Landscape fabric down and ready to plant.

Ta daaa!!! 5 1/2 bags of bark later that included another trip to the garden center and it's done.
Now just don't look too closely at the deck, it's very old and needs a good coat of stain, plus some repair work. Guess I know what's next.