30 December 2007

Hit & Run

On Friday night, I got involved in this case. The wife brought the dog in while her husband was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. I'm not going to share any photos on this one, since they will likely be part of the criminal investigation. Phoebe's wounds were fairly gruesome, though, and she only narrowly escaped wounds that would have been much, much worse. As it is, she has a pelvic fracture that will probably require some sort of surgical repair, and I anticipate that the healing of her other injuries may be less than straightforward.

Until today, the news stories have all mentioned that Mr. Smith was hit while walking his dog, but none have mentioned Phoebe. I've tried to rectify that today and to see if I could generate some donations to help cover her expenses here. I've already written off nearly $700 in my fees and we have a pet assistance fund to help with extraordinary situations like this, but the fund simply is not large enough to absorb all of the expenses associated with her care and it is strictly donation-based.

To that end, I've created the donation button below if anyone would like to help out. This simply goes into my Paypal account and I will, in turn, transfer funds to the pet assistance fund here at the clinic, since we don't currently have any mechanism for direct donation set up aside from people coming in and making one. In the event that any donations were to exceed Phoebe's expenses, they would remain in the pet assistance fund for the next case to come along. There is no tax write-off for this, no particular reward other than helping out a family and dog in need, but I'm sure they'll appreciate it. And I will thank you for it.

25 December 2007

Merry Xmas, Everyone!

It's been an appropriately festive holiday already chez tête-de-laine. I went to breakfast at Becky's with Franklin, Sue and Sue's husband Phil for the second Christmas Eve in a row, which I think makes it a tradition. I managed one surreptitious cell phone pic of the dashing and famous blogger and soon-to-be-famous author.


The Habits and Bartletts really are some wonderful folk and good company, and despite the fact that I was likely babbling incoherently after having worked all night, they still treated me like I was in full possession of my faculties and not drooling all over myself. Or maybe Abigail's just desensitized them to saliva.

I had to take what turned out to be a fairly long nap at the clinic before I was safely rested to drive the hour home, and then David and I had dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant in Portsmouth. Afterwards we came home to a lovely spread of hors d'oeuvres David had prepared beforehand (and which we were too stuffed to eat very much of), I made some hot chocolate, and we opened presents while carols played on the stereo and the kitties played in the wrapping paper. In amongst our gifts to each other was a nice little handknit gift bag from James full of wonderful little souvenirs from New Zealand. I don't have a photo of my own, but you can see Joe's in this post.

Today we are off to my parents' house for Christmas dinner with the family, which is pretty much always a raucous time. And in that spirit, I offer you all this little bit of holiday cheer.

Happy Holidays, y'all!

24 December 2007

Warm Fuzzies

Here's Tuck's finished sweater:


This is actually the second finishing. When I cast off the first time, the neckline sat way down on his shoulders. David said it looked "boatneck-y", and I said it looked like he was ready for a competition at Muscle Beach. So I picked up stitches, undid the cast off - not easy, since I did EZ's sewn cast-off - and turned it into a turtleneck. The final product is quite dashing, don't you think? And he really does love wearing it.

I basically knit this one on the fly, and I'm already thinking about construction details for the next one. His barrel chest and broad shoulders definitely pose some design issues, but David suggested a long-sleeved one and, of course, I'm now compelled to rise to the challenge.

Holiday Wishes

I'm actually off for both Christmas Eve and day this year, so David and I will be going out to dinner and having our little Christmas for two on the eve, then heading to my parents' for Christmas Day. When I get off work this morning I shall be going out for breakfast with Franklin and Sue. We're shooting for a somewhat brunchier hour, so that I have time to deal with any last-minute cases that might come along and so that David can hopefully drive up to join us. We did this last Christmas Eve and really had a nice time.

My hope for all of you out there in Blogland is that you have company this holiday season that is every bit as wonderful.

22 December 2007

Who Wouldn't?

Fall in love with this face, that is.


I was also going to take photos of his new sweater, but the neckline really needs to be extended, which means picking out the cast off (EZ sewn cast off, no less). It really is frightfully butch, though, and he loves it.

20 December 2007


...is doing well in his new home. Yesterday was a little stressful for him, being in a new place with mostly new faces, but he's settling in well, all things considered. He's already trying to get the cats to play with him, which is going about as well as one would expect. Which, of course, means it isn't (I'll see if I can't get a video, 'cause it's pretty damned funny). Still, Tolo actually came out of hiding today and they even touched noses briefly, so it may not be totally out of the question.

The biggest issue that we'll have to deal with, aside from the obvious medical ones, is a bit of separation anxiety. This isn't unusual for animals coming out of abuse/neglect cases. Since they've been abandoned or otherwise let down by humans in the past, they've got a very legitimate reason to fear that it will happen again. So we're starting in on the behavioral modification right away. He's still pretty much stuck to me like glue, but he's a pretty sharp one and I can see that he's already starting to figure things out.

If you're interested in knowing more about the situation he came from, I found this article & video. There's nothing too graphic in the video, but Tuck was one of the cases that led to criminal charges against the people. That he's done as well as he has is a testament to the dedication of the folks who have been working with these dogs

One More Thing

Turns out I didn't have as much of the C220 as I thought I did - or at least not where I can readily find it - so I've cast on a doggie sweater in some natural heathery lopi-style yarn from Sweden that I had in stash. I'm doing it in wide ribs with a chunky cable running along the back, which will look ever so butch.

17 December 2007

Oh the Weather Outside Was Frightful

This was the scene yesterday morning when I was getting ready to leave work.


It had only been snowing for a few hours at that point, but it was near blizzard conditions. David called from home and told me not to attempt the drive because he didn't think he'd be able to get the driveway cleared enough for me to get in. So I called over to my friend Shawn's house, which isn't too far from the clinic, to see if they were up for a wayward traveller.

Shawn works part-time at a zoo down in Boston, so he was snowed in there, but his partner Chris was home and told me to come on over. So we had a pleasant day hanging out mostly indoors with their two dogs and four cats, with a bit of snow shoveling and plenty of very good food and good company.

Of course, not having planned for an overnighter, I was lacking in a few necessities, most important being shaving materials and clean underwear. So today I made like a certain sheep and popped over to Target for some fresh undies. I also got some gift wrapping matériel and got all the gifts I've been accumulating here at work wrapped up to go under around the tree. Then it was off to Whole Foods for a few necessary toiletry items and a very, very early arrival at the workplace.

FSM willing, I may try to get in a nap tonight, as tomorrow's going to be a busy day, too. First on the agenda will be signing some paperwork so that I can bring a certain little fella home with me to meet David & the cats. He's been called Romeo at the shelter, but I'm changing it to Tuck. This article should give you the information to understand why I picked that name (aside from it just fitting him well). One of the first orders of business once he's home is to measure him for that sweater.

Catching Up with Technology

David and I have been swapping off our single cell phone for two years now, but now that he's got the warehouse and is working away from the house more it's getting more difficult to coordinate and we decided it was best to become a two cell phone family. This is the one I picked:

It should be arriving tomorrow, and I'm as excited as a little girl.

14 December 2007

A Word of Advice, and Some Less Painful Stuff

If you own a wolf hybrid, you should make damn sure that he is not able to escape and run off into the woods. Otherwise, he might come back looking like this:


Can't see that closely enough? How about this?


Fortunately, no bones were broken and his toes were still warm, albeit very badly bruised, so he'll likely do fine. Turns out he's gotten loose and damn near gotten himself killed before this, too, so who knows what it'll be next time.

And Now for Something(s) Completely Different

Let's see.... It snowed here last night.


I'm very excited at the prospect of having a white Christmas this year, since we missed out on one last year and the year before started brown, then saw us driving home from my grandmother's in an ice storm. Of course, there are 11 more days to go and today's temperature is supposed to rise to about 40F, but we're expecting a Nor'easter on Sunday which should bring even more of the white stuff.

What else? I cast on finally for the wedding vest.


That's a provisional cast-on in purple laceweight with 341 stitches. I'm now 3 whole rows into the hem, and I am just hoping and praying that my gauge swatch didn't lie by too much. I'd really hate to have to start over. The plan is to knit the hem flat, then turn it up, cast on steek stitches, and continue in the round in color pattern. After the front steek is cut, then I'll knit on the button band and facing as one would a shawl edging. This will allow me to place horizontal buttonholes, which won't gape like a vertical buttonhole is prone to do. I've only got 6 months and one week to go, so I'd better get cracking, eh?

Oh, one last thing. On Wednesday, I got to meet this little fella:

121207Romeo 001

Here's the video:

Once I actually sat down on the floor, he came back out and climbed into my lap for some more lovin'. He's the last of the frenchies to be adopted or go to frenchie rescue. His current foster person didn't want him to be bounced around between homes, as he's still coming out of his shell and learning what it's like to be a loved dog. He's also got some significant, but treatable or manageable, health issues. The only remaining concern is how he'll do with the cats, so I'm hoping to be able to bring him home for a trial run next week, when I'm off and will have the time to spend with him and supervise introductions. I'm pretty optimistic, though. So much so that I'm already planning a sweater for him in my head. I have some green heather C220 that'll be perfect.

10 December 2007

You Could've Knocked Me Over with a Feather

Last night I showed David & Don the video of the frenchie I posted here. And then I showed them this video of Janie Sparkles, which is just too precious for words.

Then David said, "If you can find one without any major health issues who's good with cats, I'd be okay with you bringing one home." So I guess on my way home from work Wednesday, I'll be stopping by the shelter that's currently housing the frenchies to get a better look at them (FYI, Stephen, they're in the process of coordinating foster homes with Frenchie Rescue). It's by no means a done deal, since a lot of these dogs have issues and frenchies don't always do well with cats, but we'll see what comes of it.


Just to clear up any confusion, cockaigne is an English word derived from (presumably Norman) French, so I pronounce it as rhyming with the modern English pronunciation of champagne.

Flogging My Cockaigne

I'd blame Rabbitch for the title of this post, since we all know what a shameless trollop she is, but I will confess to having thought of it myself. I'm sure she's corrupted my innocent little mind, though, so I'm gonna blame her anyway. And see what sort of google searches hit this post.

Okay, I promised a recipe, so I guess I'd better deliver.


Preheat oven to 400ºF/204ºC

Sift together:

- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar

Into this mixture, cut in 2-3 tablespoons of plain unsalted butter. In a measuring cup, beat one egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla, & enough plain yogurt to make ½ cup (about 120cc). Add this to the flour mixture and mix to make a stiff dough. Spread out on the bottom of a well-greased 10" (25cm) pan, mounding up slightly around the outside to hold the filling.

To make the filling, squeeze the pulp out of three clementine oranges (a puree of a small can of mandarain oranges would likely be a reasonable substitute out of season). To this, add one cup of sugar and 1½ to 2 cups of fresh cranberries. Boil these down until all the cranberries have popped and spoon the solid(er) portion into the center of the dough (The remaining syrup can be used later for pancakes or some other bit of yumminess). Pop the pan into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes and allow it to cool a little before cutting and serving.

I only got to taste an earlier, slightly overcooked version of this recipe, but the one I showed in the last post was a huge success. Visiting friend Don said he wanted me to make it for him every day.


Speaking of Don, he went with us to pick out our holiday tree the other night and snapped this pic of David & myself with his cell phone.


We ultimately settled on a little potted balsam fir, so that we can plant it when the ground thaws and so we'd have a very heavy base that the cats can't knock over. Since we didn't really trust Cougar not to attack it, we left off all breakable ornaments. It makes for a fairly sparsely decorated tree, but I think it's homely in the best sense of the word.


Except, perhaps, for the creepy, disembodied, demented Santa head ornament.


It doesn't show too well in this, but the thing has these bizarre sideways-glancing pale blue eyes. In a way, the grotesqueness of it is the most compelling reason to put it on the tree. Or maybe that's just the demon voices talking.

08 December 2007

Look at the Pretty Pictures

I should write more to go with these pictures, but I'm tired and have had a headache for a few days that I can't seem to shake. I was hoping that neti pot and a hot bath before work would help, but it didn't. Anyway, I think I may have mentioned that Mendy, David's customer service rep down in Tennessee, came to visit last week. Since we had an appointment with the minister last week, as well, we took Mendy with us Downeast so she could get in a little sightseeing. I'm still trying to get all of them off my camera, but I did get a few uploaded to Flickr before I came in to work.

This one is of Mendy in the Schoodic Point section of Acadia National Park. We encountered some heavy flurries, so she had to get out of the car to catch a snowflake on her tongue.


And this one is of the snow clouds after they'd moved offshore. The photo can't quite do justice to the quality of the light, which was shimmering in blue, pink, and silver off the water.


This is the house where my grandmother grew up in Winter Harbor. I have always loved this house, not least because it has a name - Casa Marina. My grandmother's sister owns the house now, and I worry what will become of it when she's gone. I would live here in a heartbeat.


And this one is of the harbor in the little fishing village of Corea. I was reminded of this vista when James posted a harbor photo from his visit to Ireland in this post. The architecture may be different, but the boats are just the same.


Baking Porn


While I was here at work this evening saving puppies and kitties, David was holding a party to christen his new(ish) warehouse space. And even though I wasn't able to swap a shift around with anyone, I was recruited to contribute to the spread of food. So in the wee hours of last night I made some spinach dip, sliced up some veggies and hollowed out a sourdough boule for that. And then I baked the luscious beauty you see above.

I adapted the recipe for "apple cockaigne" from Joy of Cooking. I did a bit of reading, and apparently the Rombauers applied the term "cockaigne" to recipes they particularly liked, Cockaigne being the name of a fictional medieval utopia (and their family home, continuing the theme of named houses). David really likes the part about it raining cheese there (in the fictional version, not at the Rombauer place).

The name was supposedly originally derived from the name of a type of small sweet cake, so I suppose it's appropriate to apply it to this tartlike delicacy, which I adapted to a cranberry-orange filling. I'm told it was very tasty, and I shall post the recipe later, after I've had a chance to get a nap. Have to do something to keep y'all coming back, right?

07 December 2007

06 December 2007


This one is especially for Stephen. This little guy was confiscated in a raid on a local puppy mill a few months back. The state has moved really quickly on getting this case through the courts - likely because they now have 300 or so dogs that they're paying to take care of. He just got neutered today and stayed the night for us to watch because he's a got a wicked heart murmur (grade 5 out of 6, with 6 being the loudest). I don't even know if he has a name.

Otherwise, tonight's been mostly a night for catching up on some sock knitting. I'm working on the heel to the first Hundertwasser sock (using the Sherman short row technique. I had actually done the heel over the weekend and figured out when I finished that I needed to add another inch and a half to the foot. That'll teach me to be optimistic.

05 December 2007

I Am the Gentleman

Courtesy of The Mafia, 'cause I'm too damn tired tonight to offer up anything else. That and, well, there's just not much to offer. Between work and that tired thing, there hasn't even been any knitting for 3 days now, and I'm still working on editing the pics on my camera to share some of them (see that tired thing again).

The Gentleman

Deliberate Gentle Love Master (DGLM)

The Gentleman

Steady & mature. You are The Gentleman.

For anyone looking for an even-keeled, considerate lover, you're their man. You're sophisticated. You know what you want both in a relationship and outside of it. You have a substantial romantic side, and you're experienced enough sexually to handle yourself in that arena, too. Your future relationships will be long-lasting; you're classic "marrying material," a prize in the eyes of many.

It's possible that behind it all, you're a bit of a male slut. Your best friends know that in relationships you're fundamentally sex-driven. You're a safe, reliable guy, who does get laid. In a lot of ways, you're like a well-worn, comfortable pair of socks. Did you ever jack off into one of those? All the time.

Your ideal mate is NOT a nut-job. He is giving and loving, like you, but also experienced.

Your exact male opposite:

The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth

Random Brutal Sex Dreamer

Always avoid: The False Messiah (DBLM)

Consider: The Gentleman (DGLM), someone just like you.

Link: The Online Dating Persona Test @ OkCupid - free online dating.

And I've seen this one a couple of places now, but most recently from Brett. No big surprises here.

Your Inner Color is Blue

Your Personality: Your natural warmth and intuition nurtures those around you. You are accepting and always follow your heart.

You in Love: Relationships are your top priority, and this includes love. You are most happy when you are serious with someone.

Your Career: You need to help others in your job to feel satistifed. You would be a great nurse, psychologist, or counselor.

02 December 2007

The Ecstasy of Da Feet, or Ich Liebe Wärmflaschen

But first, an overdue FO photo:


I had intended also to snap a photo of the back, as that's not often shown, but I was all excited and running on too little sleep and packed it and shipped it off to my cousin Brian, who's currently stationed on a remote field operations base in Afghanistan. I had a packet of RedMaple Classic Crew socks to send him and figured he could pass the BSJ and a hat I knat along to one of the locals working on the base. It's a much poorer area than Kabul (which is already quite poor) and an area of at least some Taliban activity, so groups like Afghans for Afghans are less likely to do distributions there.

Anyway, onward to da feet. It has gotten cold here, folks. Colder'n a witch's titty in a brass bra, as we are wont to say in my family. And in the cold part of the year, the coldest part of my body is my feet. As I sit typing this, I am wearing two pairs of alpaca socks and felted wool slippers (those double-soled Fiber Trends ones), and my toes are at that painful stage of cold. I actually think it may be Raynaud's phenomenon, as it often takes some time for circulation to return to my toes and for them to warm up.

Since we keep the thermostat turned down to about 55ºF (13ºC) at night through the winter, this means that my cold, cold feet are generally getting into a cold, cold bed this time of year, and my blanched and ouchy toes do not make for good sleep. David's actually very good about putting his feet up against mine when we cuddle to help warm them up (yet another reason I love him so dearly), but my back just doesn't allow me to spoon all night long. His doesn't, either, for that matter.

So it was with a particular frisson of pleasure that I took delivery the other day on a pair of Fashy hot water bottles purchased through Amazon. I did not order covers, since I figured I could make them cheaper. It turns out much cheaper, as David suggested using some extra swatches he had for a bouclé alpaca throw in his line. They were of a perfect size, so it was a simple matter of getting out the serger and sewing around three sides to make wonderfully soft sleeves to put them in. I can slip one under the sheets on my side of the bed before David goes to bed, then when my bedtime rolls around I can climb into a toasty warm bed. And it stays warm all night long.

This week our friend Mendy has been visiting from Tennessee (photos forthcoming), so I let her use one of them, which will also be serving to warm our bed once she heads home in the morning. She loved it so much (She tucked it under her shirt and called it her "baby". I'm pretty sure she was joking. Mostly.) that we went online and ordered her one of her very own.

I may still need to make her open up her luggage for inspection before she leaves this morning, though.