Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm one of the COOL kids now!

This came in my email at some point last night (and its not even my birthday yet -- woo hoo!)

frecklegirl has invited you to join ravelry! "Here you go! Thanks for your interest in our little site. Let me know if you have any questions or problems

Yeah... so I'm one of the cool kids now, woo hoo! My user ID is non other than LapdogCreations, so please add me to your friends or however it works. I know a bunch of you who've been cool much longer than me already posted your IDs but please oh please don't make me go searching thru your blogs for all of them. I'm going to be overwhelmed with searching all over the Ravelry site just trying to figure it all out!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mom update

Just a quick update on my Mom. She will begin radiation treatments on October 1st... 14 days before her 61st birthday. She will be going 5 days a week (not sure how long duration just yet) and will be taking a pill form of chemo at the same time. I need to learn more about the pill chemo, as I hadn't even realized there was such a thing. The doctors suggested she do some regular chemo, but that she would not be able to return to work until Feb or March. She told them that she needs to be back at work before winter, so they are going with this pill instead.

Thank you all for your continued thoughts, messages & prayers... the process is still ongoing. Its been wonderful to be able to talk to friends about this, and blogging a little about it has been my extra little stress reliever, so thanks for listening, caring and understanding. I've also discovered that a few of my friends are going thru much of the same things with parents or other family members lately and it has brought some of those "casual" friends a little closer. Sometimes you were just meant to have something in common that will bring you closer and make you stronger in the end.......

On a side note, a fellow bloggers recent "I'm IN!" post prompted me to check my Ravelry status again this week. On Wednesday I had 1,818 people in line in front of me. Just 2 days later, I'm down to only 641! More than half got invites in the past 2 days - nice! I wonder if I'll get my invite next week? Maybe by my birthday? ;-)

You signed up on July 22, 2007
You are #19564 on the list.
641 people are ahead of you in line.
17276 people are behind you in line.
51% of the list has been invited so far

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hey there Lilah!

Happy Doggy Day! Now there's no better time than today to overwhelm you share with you pictures of the lovely Lilah, right? Boy do I have plenty (I actually snapped so many in the past few days that I ended up deleting several as I downloaded them from the camera... a little snap happy I guess)...

On that note... please meet
Lilah (click all the links for extra photos - I told you I took way too many!), the 45 pound basset hound/black lab mix who will wrap her stubby little legs around your heart in an instant!

LilahGOOD92207

She sure is a Dandy... though we never called her that (it was her original name in the South and so unfitting for such a pretty little lady)! She's been making herself right at home since the minute she walked through our front door. Our kids are all happy to have a new wrestling and tug-of-war buddy (how cute are they?) around.

This is actually the only picture I've managed to snap of all 4 of them thusfar... its hard when your guest target moves at 100 miles a minute!

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She's been wrestling with Tut outside...

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Cleaning everyone's ears...

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Finding favorite spots to call home...

Lila on the box

Trying to imitate her big step-brothers & sister...

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And sometimes not quite understanding

the concept of a camera (I so love this photo)...

LilahSUPERCLOSEUP

Lilah's a great little girl who's going to make one fantastic doggy and it sounds like she may be getting adopted over the weekend! Friends/neighbors of the family who adopted her sister Bella are very interested and if all goes well, we'll meet them tomorrow.

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Lilah (are you still clicking the links? check out her gigantic feet!) wanted to give an extra woofy thank you to the wonderful Gigi who so graciously crocheted a whole bag full of snuggles for me to have on hand for my foster dogs. I had made mention to her that I wanted to start knitting some and have a stash on hand for the dogs to take when they come and just a couple weeks later, I have a huge shopping bag full of gorgeous snuggles! Thank you Gigi, you are such a thoughtful person! Lilah got to have the first pickings and I think she choose beautifully...

Lilah Snuggle

Doesn't she look beautiful in her Snuggle by Gigi? She wrapped herself up in it right away and has been carrying it around the house, balling it up in her create, etc. Now... speaking of snuggles, I wanted to announce a little contest that I've had in the back of my mind for a little while now. Do you see the link at the top of my blog to donate to the ASPCA? I set my fundraising goal to $1,000 for them and hope to reach it by Christmas. Some of you donated when I first put it up, but donations have come to a screaching halt in the past month or so. So, I'm anncouncing the first ever Lapdog Creations contest... details to follow very shortly in a separate post!

This sure has been a long post... Mom Lilah (you still clicking? don't they look like the Three Amigos?) needs a nap now!

Lilah92607pillow

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What scout badges have you earned lately?

While doing my usual check in on blogs, I was over at InsanKnitty and found a link to The Illustrious Order of Cast On Knitting Scouts. So while some of your daughters are heading back to their Brownie & Girl Scout meetings this fall, you too can earn some badges of your own. I bet you've all earned a few already, without even knowing it. A few of my earnings...

T
he “Proselytize Knitting” Badge - A requirement for all Knitting Scouts, the recipient must do his or her bit to present knitting in a positive light, whilst at the same time avoiding all references to “hipness”, grandmothers, and yoga.

The “Knitting Whilst Under the Influence” Badge - This applies to both actual knitting under the influence, as well as achieving moments of stunning intellectual clarity about ones knitting under the influence. Presumes talking about knitting whilst under the influence a given.

The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One) - The recipient must demonstrate clever use of a non-knitting tool in a knitting-related scenario. For instance, recipient has used paper clips as stitch markers, or successfully whittled and then utilized bamboo skewers as dpns.

In Ravelry news, I'm a little closer to the highly sought after invite...

You signed up on July 22, 2007
You are #19564 on the list.
1818 people are ahead of you in line.
16498 people are behind you in line.
49% of the list has been invited so far

Wow, well I guess I'm glad I finally gave in when I did! There are now over 16,000 people behind me in line. Holy smokes batman... this is one big-a$$ knitting community!

Sweet Lilah is indeed still looking for her forever home. Unfortunately, it sounds like those %#$)@&!*$#!@ friends of ours Marc & LB won't be adopting her after all... sigh, I digress. I was really selfishly hoping optimistic that she'd end up finding a home with friends, and she may still, but in the meantime if you are looking for the cutest little cuddlebug, lick-a-sorus, let me know!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Honey, I shrunk the lab!

Yeah... fall is finally officially here and what better way to start than with the Fall Into Autumn dishcloth swap topic of the week...

Question: Autumn has now officially begun here in the States!! What is your favorite thing about Autumn/Fall? Why?

Answer: If you haven't already noticed by my swap question answers already, I love all things fall in New England! The fresh crisp air, the
fairs & festivals, the food (hot apple cider, cider donuts, apple crisp, chowder in bread bowls...), the colors (nothing beats foliage in New England!), pumpkins... and I am a fall baby (my birthday lands Oct 7th)!

Another thing I love about fall is that we can take the dogs out to the dog park and not be sweltering in the heat! Hopefully we'll get to meet up with
Dustee over there soon... In the meantime, I received some updated photos of little Dottie from her Mom over the weekend. She said that Dottie has been playing with her brother Jack non-stop and really coming out of her shell. I was so happy to hear from her!

Here's the little girl all snuggled up with Jack...
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Isn't she a doll?
Dottie907

On Friday, we welcomed the newest foster baby into our home, the beautiful Lilah (formerly known as Dandy in the South, but that name just wasn't fitting so I renamed her Lilah). Lilah is a bassett hound / black lab mix and one of the sweetest dogs in the world! When I first saw her I thought "honey, who enlarged the dachshund?!?!" She's 8 months old and still very much full of puppy energy, but really seems to know when to be more on the calm side (read: when at Matt's racing on Sunday, having loads of kids coming up to pet her, give her hugs and stick their face right in front of hers for some sloopy wet kisses). We took her to the dog park on Saturday afternoon and within minutes she found - and plopped down in - the pool! She definitely has a love of water... she made her way in & out of the pool constantly at the park, then when we got home, she got a prompt rinse off in the bathtub. About 10 minutes later, I found her sitting in the bathtub looking up at me as if to say "okay lady, will ya turn the water on already?!?!?" Too cute! I have to download pics off of the camera, but in the meantime here are a few from my cell phone.

Chillin' at the dog park...

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Performing crew chief duties in the pits on Sunday...

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Have house, will travel...

LilahTent

I also uploaded a quick little video which you can see here (taken as we were leaving the dog park). Lilah sure was the star of racing yesterday. By the mid-morning driver's meeting, it seemed everyone knew her name and that she was looking for a forever home. She wrapped her little legs around the hearts of nearly everyone with a pulse, having many wishing they could adopt her right then and there. I'm very hopeful & optimistic that we did find her new Mommy & Daddy! You see, my secret mission of bringing her yesterday was to introduce her to our good friends who had made recent mention of wanting a 3rd doggy! Lilah's is the perfect addition to their little family and I hope to be getting that "where do we sign?" call at some point today...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Its a Bird, Its a Plane, Its a....

... hot air balloon! When Zeus is outside, we always know when the hot air balloons are going by the house...

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Ever since he was a puppy, Zeus has noticed when they come by, and let's the neighborhood know by barking & carrying on. I'm not sure if he thinks they're going to invade the house and he's barking to keep them away... or maybe he thinks someone threw a ball really, really far... or if they're alien birdies in the sky, but he is very observant. He's to the point if you ask him "Where's the balloon?" he'll go outside and run around, looking up in the sky for them. We had a little impromptu photo shoot last Friday when two of the balloons were going by...

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Some closer up shots of the beautiful balloons, thanks to a wonderful super zoom digital camera!

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"Mommy, Mommy.... look Mommy... baaaallooooonnnsss! I get 'em, gonna get 'em..."

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One happy dog chasing balloons...

Zeus_HappyDog_907

Isn't life grand in New England? The balloons are floating by... leaves are beginning to turn color ... nice weather to be outside ... squirrels are actively gathering nuts and causing many near accidents due to one slamming on the brakes to avoid squishing them ... and oh yea, I even came home last night to a cute possum haning out by the bird feeders! I took a beading class at Violet Bleu (I forgot to photo our finished product, so that will have to come later) with Joanne last night, got home a little late and saw these beady little eyes staring at me thru the lights. At first I thought it was a cat or rabbit, but quicky realized it was a possum when it started scurring around a mile a minute. It was mayhem when I let the dogs out after... Mr. Possum might've been long gone, but his yummy smell was abound all over....

Lola was annoyed that she couldn't find him...
Lola_91807

Teutul looked like he wanted an extra
snack (omg, how freaky looking is this picture?)
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Happy Dogs on Thursday ... back to work for me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I am Simba... hear me roar!

So fall doesn't officially start until Sunday, but we've been enjoying some lovely fallish weather for the past week or two here in New England. Late yesterday afternoon I got inspired to make some chicken soup for dinner. So... I did a quick google search for "easy chicken soup" (after all, I'm no Martha!) and found this wonderful recipe. It had my key requirements - EASY. QUICK. DELICIOUS. I highly recommend it and it will become a staple recipe in my kitchen. I even got to use my new Rachael Ray cast iron casserole dish for the first time!




Oh my gravy (love Rachael!), it was sooooooooooo yummy! Screw that all day cooking soup stuff! Of course now I don't know how to clean it because it came with a handy dandy sheet that says to not use detergent on it. Does anyone know (hello, calling all Marthas!?!?!) if that means I can't use any dish washing soap at all on it? It is cast iron, but has an enamel coating.

I found this fun quiz over
here and since I love The Lion King, I thought I would take it too.... its a bit long, but fun!

You scored as Simba,You are Simba! You've suffered immense hardships, but you can see the larger picture, realizing that there is light at the end of the tunnel as long as you continue on. Family and best friends are sacred to you and you would leap to defend them at any time, at whatever cost. You also have a tendency to be sentimental, sometimes allowing your emotions to supercede your better judgement. And yet, at other times, you're not enough in tune with your emotions. You need to find an equal balance between faith and logic. You're still great, though, overall!

Simba

82%

Timon

64%

Sarabi

61%

Rafiki

57%

Mufasa

54%

Nala

54%

Zazu

46%

Scar

43%

Pumbaa

36%

Ed

29%


Which Lion King Character Are You?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dishcloth Swap Topic of the Week...

It was a long weekend of driving back and forth to NHIS and I'm tired. Flat out tired. So this will be a short post, but I did want to answer the Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Swap topic of the week, so here we go...

Topic/Question: When you knit or crochet dishclothes, washclothes or face clothes, what do you use? What size needle or hook? Wood? what type? Metal? Plastic? A specific Brand? Why do you love that needle or hook so much? Is there one you are dying to try? Is there a particular yarn you love and use all the time for clothes? What is so special about it?

Answer: Well, I only knit so I'm using needles and my weapon of choice when knitting with dishrag cotton (read: Sugar 'n Cream or Peaches 'n Cream) is wood or bamboo needles and lately its been by beautiful Fiddlesticks needles with the coconut and mother of pearl ends. Love them! The fiddlesticks just glide thru the cotton so easily (sometimes too easily, but that's okay, they are a joy to knit with). The Sugar 'n Cream is a great go-too for cloths... cheap, easy to find, works well!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chucky, Chucky, Chucky...

Happy Dogs on Thursday!

I went "swap shopping" for the pals I get to spoil a little yesterday and happened upon 2 of the most adorable tea cups for myself. I am pretty positive they are both Rachael Hale photographs too - and you all know how much I love her work! They are china and even came with the cutest little spoons (not sure they'll actually be useful for anything, but they are cute).


With the cooler temps this week, we've seen lots more critter activity, including lots of Chucky sightings, which cause chaos in our house and send 3 dogs in to a tizzy to race from window to window, crying and carrying on... Sometimes I'm quick enough to snap a pic, as in the case of Zeus & Teutul here...

Lola_cute807Lola wanted to remind you to pick up your 2008 NASCAR Pets Calendar if you haven't already. They make great gifts for the NASCAR fans and pet lovers on your holiday shopping list! Proceeds from the calendar benefit the Greg Biffle Foundation. Founded in 2005 by Greg Biffle & Nicole Lunders, the foundation strives to create awareness and serve as an advocate to improve the well-being of animals by engaging the power and passion of the motorsports industry. The foundation donates to local Humane Societies, no-kill animal shelters, spay and neuter clinics and animal adoption leagues.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Goodyness in my mailbox!

We all love that good mail in the box, right? Finding a handwritten note from a friend or new pictures from family afar... and swap packages from all those so easily to get addicted to joining knitting related swaps! Well, I was a little spoiled the past 2 days with my mail...

It started with my first package from my Secret Pal 11 spoilee, who so obviously is reading my blog and learning about me! She rocks... look at what I got, all wrapped up in pretty colored tissue...


She sent me books and candy (Matt said "hey cool, a swap that didn't include yarn!" I said, "oh honey, just you wait!")! I got Romantic Hand Knits and Funny Dogs, a super cool dog photo book that I've already been purusing! My spoilee also sent me 2 of my most favorite candies (Haribo gummy bears and gummy berries), as well as chocolate covered tootsie rolls. Chocolate covered - I didn't even know there was such a thing! YUM-O! Thank you secret pal!!!

Yesterday I got my latest order from The Loopy Ewe - the order that made me an official Loopy Groupie! Yippee! I never thought I'd be so excited to be called a groupie before. My "welcome to the club" goodies were the big Loopy zippered tote, Loopy kisses and - get this - 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn (see honey, there's some extra yarn... free yarn!)! Sheri & her staff sure do know how to treat their customers right! On top of that, I hit the level for a $25 credit to my account and used it to snag a skein of Yarn Nerd handpainted in yesterday's sneak-up. (btw, it was raining rained cats & dogs yesterday and I was trying to get some light by holding the bag up to the window... didn't work so well...)

Then today, I got a lovely surprise in the form of a Yarn Bouquet from the Manch Vegas girls with Zen Yarn Garden handpainted 70% superwash / 30% seacell sock yarn in the gorgeous colorway Tea Cups! (excuse the poor quality photo, I picked up the package on my way to work and used my cell phone to snap it) I can not wait to use this yarn and call me sappy, but even down to the colorway name, it made me smile (you see, my Nana's birthday would have been Aug. 18th and some of my fondest memories are of her & her tea, which was a constant as long as I can remember... and this just makes me think of her and smile!) The girls really made me smile when they surprised my Mom and now, this for me too. Thank you so much girls! Your thoughtfulness and caring gestures are truly appreciated and mean so much!

Knitting news... I've been busy knitting away on some items for the upcoming 2nd Annual Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at Jenn's (check out her Etsy shop for some great tote bags and baby items). My goal this year is lots of smaller things... things people will easily grab for gifts & stocking stuffers, and things I can package as ready to give gifts. This week I've been working on lots of cozies... quick & fun to knit things!

I've also been working on random WIP's (yes, yes.... I have many due to my raging cases of startitis and leave-it-and-forget-it-itis over the past couple months). One of which is my Cabin Fever Tank, which I'm still working the endless miles of ribbing.

Speaking of startitis, I wound up some yarn the other night for these two projects... the Loopy Ewe anniversary socks and some silk mittens (kit which I picked up at the TKGA show in July)....


Well, that's it for Wednedsay.... Hump Day.... Knitting Day! See anyone at Joanne's tonight?


Monday, September 10, 2007

On Behalf of My Mom...

My Mom wanted to thank the Manch Vegas girls who sent her this lovely Get Well Yarn Boquet! Isn't this such a cool idea for the knitter in your life?!?! Since Mom doesn't knit socks, they included a copy of the Opera Scarf pattern to go with this beaufitul yarn.

Speaking of not knitting socks.... Mom also wanted to use some of Heather's beautiful handpainted Sereknity yarns for baby sweaters and had her dye up some special order in a worsted weight. The result? Isn't it gorgeous? This one is Pixie Dust. Mom's now working on another baby sweater from the other colorway she got, which I believe was Carousel...

As you can see, Mom is happy to be home, knitting away and doing much better. She still has the visting nurse come by, but things are healing quite nicely. Thank you again to everyone who's kept her in your thoughts - it really has meant the world to us!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Place To Bark

I just wanted to cross post and share a wonderful video from A Place to Bark (Sept. 8th post has the video). Please check out Bernie's little tour of her facility... she is one amazing woman who is saving many lives in Tennesse! Our kids all give Bernie 4 paws way up!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Woo Hoo... its Friday!

TGIF! Or more like, tgif and we don't have an overly full weekend that will keep us running non-stop from Thursday to Monday like last week. That means I might actually have a minute to vacuum up the tumbleweeds dog hair that's taken over the house. woo hoo!

So... for some final "catch up" blogging from the past week... and I appologize in advance for the lack of knitting content (yes, yes... I do knit... I just haven't photoed any WIP's lately).

We ended up heading up to the
Hopkinton Fair on Monday. I have no interest at all in the may or may not be safe rides or the overpriced, play for a piece of crap games, but had a blast wandering around the exhibits and seeing all of the animals! We (the big kids) even played in the little petting zoo ring for a bit. I forgot to bring the camera, but did use my phone to snap this couldn't-resist shot...

How friggin adorable are these sleepy guys? They totally reminded me of 2 of my own children... see?

LolaTut 100_2800

For the multi-crafty bunch out there, I wanted to share this awesome how-to that I found over on Ericka's blog. Have I not mentioned my love for all things autumn? I also love roses (what girl doesn't? although my favorite flower is the gerber daisy). So, take 1 part autumn & 1 part roses, mix 'em up and what do you get? The coolest roses made from maple leaves! Ericka is going to make them for her wedding, which just so happens to be taking place on my birthday! (side note: anyone who wants to be so crafty as to make me maple roses for my birthday, please know that I would adore them)

Dish Rag Tag update for the non-particpants... the official winners are Team Hip-Knit-Tised! Congratulations to them! My team's (Lucky 13) box arrived to Emily yesterday, as I'm sure others did as well. We're still anxiously awaiting the announcement of who placed 2nd and 3rd. The wonderful Joanne of A Knitter's Garden provided the beautiful hand made row counters for the 3rd place finishers.... check them out (you'll need to scroll down to the Aug 10th post on Emily's blog) and if you like, she has some available at her shop!

I decided to check on my Ravelry status this morning...

You signed up on July 22, 2007
You are #19564 on the list.
8035 people are ahead of you in line.
11775 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far

So I'm still waiting to find out just what all this fuss is about.

I got our tickets for this year's Trans-Siberian Orchestra holiday concert and guess what?!?! I managed to get us 3rd row! Cool. I went for the first time last year when Matt got me tickets for my birthday and it was amazing... if you have a chance, go see it! You won't be disappointed... young or old, no matter what kind of music you enjoy... if you love the holidays and amazing musicians, GO!

Apparently our former foster, the loveably Dustee, was also enjoying some of those final lazy, hazy days of summer like Lola the other day. I got some new pics from his Mom this week and couldn't resist sharing this one... so, kick back and relax like Dustee (wow- I can't believe its been so long since Dustee was with us, that we had snow!) this weekend... I'm looking forward to getting some good knitting (and hopefully a little of that house cleaning... ugh) in this weekend.

Dustee_807