Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘this and that’ edition

 

Piles of granny squares

Piles of granny squares

I have been neglecting my blog as of late. I want to post about all sorts of political and feminist things but I am tired. I am tired of the governmental corruption, patriarchal bullshit and our politicians thinking we are stupid. The state of affairs for women is deplorable; the dominant discourse is doing its best to keep us in check. It seems that any ground we gain in one area is lost in another. All over the world, women are being raped, beaten and subjugated and I feel powerless. I am still fighting the good fight in my tiny corner of the world but it is not enough. We need a revolution.

Instead of political commentary, I shall regale you all with tales from The Swamp!

• Jesse is awesome! He is doing so well. We have started playing fetch in the backyard and he loves it. He is getting much better about actually bringing back the ball. He actually caught some air yesterday, jumping a foot off the ground to catch a ball. The downside is that he is obsessed with playing ball. He is now barking and whining at the pail of balls on the barbecue. He is a happy, happy boy!
• Gracie has also come leaps and bounds. Her anxiety-based chewing on herself has lessened a great deal. The key is to keep her brain stimulated and lots of love and attention. Luckily she landed at The Swamp where all of this is abundantly available. She loves to cuddle with us (mostly Deb) although I do get my daily cuddles too. This dog never stops moving. She wants to play all the time. Her toilet training has improved greatly and she seems settled for the most part. She still does not like going in the car. I think she associates the car with bad things although who can really know. She whines and cries the whole time. Hopefully she will begin to realize that trips in the car mostly end at the dog park and then she comes home.
• Everyone else is doing well. Zoe still has quite the spring in her step given her age. Piper has lost a little more weight and is looking like a skinny pug these days. I have been taking her to work once a week and she really enjoys it. She gets to be the centre of attention for a whole day. Sawyer and Kiefer are also doing well. They like to cuddle together in odd positions!
• I have discovered David’s Tea. Oh my god is all I can say! The Earl Grey is to die for; it is so full of flavour. I can never see going back to Twining’s. I doubt I will ever drink coffee again!
• We have been watching some outstanding TV as of late. The Americans, a new show on FX, is about 2 embedded KGB spies raising a family and posing as Americans. It really does a great job of capturing the Cold War and the tension of the 80s. Justified is another great FX show particularly if you like hillbillies and the American south. He is an unconventional US Marshall. I am still digging the Walking Dead, Deb not so much. Deb is now watching Weeds from the beginning, which has been quite amusing.
• I am making another afghan now. For some reason, I find it very comforting to make piles and piles of granny squares. Then I turn them into an afghan. This one will take a while as I am making it for our queen-sized guest bedroom.

DSC_3846

Finished afghan

Finished afghan

 

I am obsessed!!

I think I may need a crochet 12-step program soon. I received one of my two Noro crochet books today. All I want to do is go home and crochet! For the uninitiated, Noro Yarn is from Japan. It boasts interesting colour variegations that make unique finished patterns in the fabric. I recently discovered Noro’s silk garden, which is amazing to work with – it, is so soft and flexible. I predict that after November there will be much less blogging and a lot more crocheting!

Published in: on November 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘things I have crocheted’ edition

If we are friends on Facebook you already know how much I crochet. I thought I would share some of the items I have made recently here.

Realta Afghan – I made this for one of my staff who was having a baby. It is a blanket that can be used in the crib to a single bed. I am now making a queen size one for my best friend Joe and his partner Sheldon.

 

Baby Afghan from Granny Squares

Baby Afghan

Detail shot:

Detail of granny square

Scarf from Noro Yarn – to be donated to Bully Buddies next auction. I am in love with this pattern. It comes from a book that is full of crochet ‘stitches’ that are basically small patterns that repeat. You can make them as big or as small as you want as they are all based on multiples of a number of stitches.

Purple variegated yarn

Detail:

Detail

Another Noro Yarn Scarf:

Orange variegated yarn

Detail:

Lovely orange and brown

I will turn this into an infinity scarf. It is made from Diamond Luxury DK yarn:

Purple!!

Another Noro Yarn scarf worked the long way:

One more baby afghan that does not yet have a home:

Baby afghan from granny squares

 

 

Published in: on November 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Dispatches from The Swamp – the ‘I am on vacation’ edition

I have next week off. I can hardly believe it. I have been working full out since June and I have had no time off this year that did not involve my mother.[1] Deb also has most of next week off so we are looking forward to some serious together time and communing with the dogs. In no particular order, here are the things I plan to do next week:

  1. Crochet
  2. Let the dogs in and out about 15 times per day.[2]
  3. Cook. I want to make some soups for the freezer to take for lunches.
  4. Sleep
  5. Watch obscene amounts of TV whilst I crochet.
  6. Blog[3]
  7. Listen to music
  8. Play computer games
  9. Buy some new music

If I can help it, I intend to only leave the house to forage for supplies. I really could become a hermit if I didn’t have to leave the house to work. It sounds like a great week to me!


[1] This does involve my mother but not until the end and only for 1 day!

[2] Heaven forbid they all go at once!

[3] NaBloPoMo does not recognize vacations!

Published in: on November 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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Evangelism at The Swamp

Over the years, I have been accused of militancy in many areas of my life. It started when my friend Joe told me I was a musical imperialist. This came about on a trip driving from Calgary to Vancouver. We did not have the same taste in music.[1] We decided that we would alternate playing a tape.[2] A problem arose when he would start a tape and asked me if I liked it and I would say no. He would try another one and I would still hate it. Then he gave up. I told him to just play his music and it would be fine but he said he couldn’t enjoy it if I hated it. Clearly this all worked out in my favour![3]

I can be a bit like a dog with a bone when I find something I really love. Of course I think this is a good thing. I like to spread the word so to speak. So here are 5 things I am a bit evangelical about:

  • Raw Feeding– it took me a long time to come around to the idea of feeding our dogs raw meat on bones. I finally agreed to it when one of our Shih Tzus had to have a bladder stone removed at age 5. When I saw the stone it looked exactly like a piece of Iams kibble that she had been eating her entire life. I did a lot of research about what causes these stones to form and I learned that her system needed to be more acidic if we did not any more stones to form. Kibble fed dogs have a higher pH because of the carbs in their food. The only way to get a more acidic environment was to feed raw. Se we jumped in and we have never looked back. Our dogs are happier and healthier and our vet bills are much lower. I have written several posts about raw feeding if anyone is interested: herehere, here, and here.
  • Nasal Rinsing – another friend of mine had been trying to convince me to use a neti pot for years to deal with my allergies. I was really suffering once we moved to Maple Ridge because of all the hay. My doctor referred me to an allergist who did some skin scrapings. Unfortunately, due to my ulcerative colitis I am on immune suppressant drugs and he couldn’t get a reaction. So he told me to rinse my nasal passages daily with a Neil Med bottle. I have not looked back. I do this faithfully every day. I also spread the word whenever someone is having allergy problems.
  • Hopcott’s Meat – we have the best meat store relatively close to us. It is all hormone and antibiotic free and it tastes really good.
  • Crocheting – I have become reacquainted with crocheting. I used to do a lot in my 20s and 30s but had stopped for some reason.[4] I find it much more relaxing than watching TV and being on the computer. I can almost get into a Zen-like phase as I create something. Here are some pictures of projects I have completed recently:

Dragon in filet. Pattern circa 1900

Baby blanket

Realta Afghan

  • Apple – my first computer was a Mac Plus. It had no hard drive and 2mb of RAM. Around 1995, I decided to get a PC as I was discovering I had a knack for computers. I even had my own mobile computer repair business for a little while.[5] I stuck with PCs until about 2009. I had noticed over the years that every PC I had became really slow no matter how much RAM or how fast the CPU was. It was infuriating. I did some research and apparently as Windows degrades the machine slows down.[6] The only answer was to format and re-install windows every year. I was not into doing that. The other answer was to get a Mac. I already had an iPod, iPhone and an iPad so I knew the quality of Apple’s products. So I made the leap back to Apple and I couldn’t be happier. Apple gets a lot of flack for its proprietary ways but really there stuff just works. I live happily in an Apple world.

So, for my 12 readers, what things are you evangelical about?


[1] He likes syrupy female singers and I think I was going through my male rocker/folk phase.

[2] Yes, that would be a cassette tape! I am that old.

[3] We had a passenger with us who threatened to get out and hitchhike if we didn’t stop arguing. My dog Tippy was with us too and she liked to dance on people’s legs in the car!

[4] I suspect the reason was dogs…

[5] I discovered that I really did not like going to people’s houses to fix their computers.

[6] Unfortunately, I cannot find the original article I was referred to.

More Pictures

I am busy crocheting this today.

My newest project!

I am two-thirds of the way done, so the push is on.

Instead of a blog, I give you more awesome dog photos!

"I want my agent."

"I have a very large tongue, apparently."

"I have no idea why I am in this pose."

"I am truly one of the beautiful people."

"You don't really think you can get away from me, do you?"

Posting may be light over the rest of the weekend. We have people coming for dinner tomorrow for Thanksgiving!

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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