Goodbye, Charlie

Late last week we made the difficult decision to put Charlie, our rescued Border Collie mix, to sleep after a lasting battle with several health problems.  His thyroid had shut down, he was riddled with tumors, had gone completely blind, and was suffering severely from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.  Still, it was very hard and both Mom & Dad were heartbroken; after all, Charlie had been with us for over 10 years.

Charlie stays out of the way


The hardest thing, though, was watching him struggle for the past year. The last six months had been the worst, with a rapid rate of decline.  While it was devastating for the ‘rents (and I do miss the goofball), I have to admit that I’m relieved he’s no longer in pain or constantly confused and/ or frightened.

Goodbye, Charlie.  I hope Mom’s right and you get reincarnated as a cat.


I’m tired. Mum and Charlie and I went to Sauvie Island again. We went to the ponds (and island) at the center of the island. Where there was lots of wild grass and wildflowers:

wild grasses

Charlie had fun at several of the ponds. He even tried to help me catch frogs.

charlie on the rocks
(he was better at scaring them off than catching them, but don’t tell him that)

Umm, from there we went to a lot of farms…

fields of wheat

And bought fruit and saw baby bunnies,

baby bunnies

Brahma and long-horns moos, which were annoyed to be photographed:


And then a U-pick place:

bayberry fields


u-pick blueberries

From there we came home, along the southern dike:

the south dike

I worked on Geraldine #1 and am about to BO the cuff:

geraldine 1 progress

And the pies we made with the blueberries we picked today are baking right now.

Ick. This post is like a 3rd grader’s “What I Did This Summer” paper. I’ll do better tomorrow, I promise. I think I’ll go and BO those socks, as they don’t require an sort of coherence.

Sauvie Island

Sunday was completely uneventful. Monday was… I’ve already forgotten, so one can assume it was also equally uneventful. Tuesday was not uneventful, so it warrants a belated post.

Yesterday, Mum, Emm, Charlie and I drove out to Sauvie Island. It’s a large island located in the Columbia River, 30 mins outside of Portland. It’s famous for having been a Native American, and later Pioneer, site. Of course I realised, as we were driving along OR-30, that I had forgotten my camera at home. Mum and Emm sighed and made snarky comments when I told them I’d use my camera phone instead. Neider, neider to them – it actually worked.

Here’s the southern coast of Sauvie Island, inside the Wildlife Area, taken atop one of the dykes running along the coast:

I have to say that Sauvie Island was incredibly beautiful, and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t get any good photos to prove this. Being incredibly fertile (located on an island in the middle of a river along a volcanic line), there were farms and plants of every type. We passed fields of waving purple at a lavender farm. Rippling gold and green were acres and acres of wheat and corn. And Bailey’s gardening plants were being propagated, too. I even saw wild pears growing on the southern coast.

But, because I was so busy admiring, I tended to forget to take a photo until it was too late. I’m such a tourist, sorry. I can at least claim I remembered to take travelling sock photos:

(Baudelaires on the southern beach)

Once in the Wildlife Area, we managed to get down to the beach. Charlie went crazy, because he loves to play in water. I pulled out my Crocs and Emm rolled up his shorts:

(yep, Charlie still has the dorky haircut)

Here’re Emm and Charlie racing along the shore:

After playing on the southern beach, driving, hiking around the Wildlife Area – they have an island on Sauvie Island, can you believe it?, and finding fresh produce for Emm to devour, we went to the northern coast. The northern coast was different from the southern in a bunch of ways: the water was colder, it was windier, and there was sand:

The socks really enjoyed their time lounging in the sun. We all felt better for it, because they’ve been complaining incessantly about the trekking sock seeing all the action. Emm even offered to carry them into the Columbia:

And so the socks were quieter on the way home.

By 4:30, we had to leave because I’ve started a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch at Mabel’s on Tuesday nights, from 6 – 9 pm. Luckily, I wasn’t too late (oops?), and I got to sit and chat and knit with 3 other PDX knitters for 3 hours. We’re planning to make it a weekly meeting, if you’re in the PDX area and are interested.

By the time I got home, I was completely exhausted and barely managed to keep my eyes open long enough to watch Eureka. I (still) <3 Eureka.

Today was pointless. I went to an interview for a job, but there’s no way I can take it. It’s too far away for too few hours for too little pay. *sigh*

But, I have my knitting. And I heard from D at Knit/ Purl yesterday – they’re buying my pattern! I’ll get the contract details tomorrow or on Friday. W00T!

That alone makes today acceptable. I’m gonna go and find something cool to drink, it’s 92F out…

Another reason for:

  • Me to never become a sheep shearer
  • Australia and New Zealand to deny me entrance into their territories
  • Shear Genius to take away my scissors
  • and Charlie to run away whimpering whenever he sees me…

Luckily, within 15 minutes of finishing the most atrocious dog-haircut in the history of domesticated animals, Charlie completely forgot that it had been me to wield the Scissors of Doom:

It helped that I threw his squeaky toy around the backyard for him for awhile:

*squeek squeek*

The Most Atrocious Haircut took some time to finish (give or take an hour and a half – the dog was hairy). Afters, Emm and I went our separate ways. Him to WoW and suchlike. Me to sewing, silk, socks and stoles:

Oooh, alliteration. I promised Mum I would finish the mock-up robes for her to wear to the Harry Potter release party at Powell’s. But, since we’ve had so much difficulty with the sewing machine, I decided to test the waters before diving in.

So, I tried out this tutorial. Only, I had to change it because I didn’t have interfacing and a 12″ zipper (details, details). I used snap-tape instead and upholstery fabric to negate the need for interfacing. It all went well until I accidentally cut the fabric down the middle – forcing me to change the dimensions. At this point the bag will hold a ball of yarn and not much else. Ahwell.

At least we know the sewing machine works, right?

And the pink silk bag is my Lantern Moon project bag. I couldn’t take how open the top was (balls of yarn falling on the floor isn’t fun), so I used an awl to poke holes in the outer layer of the top hem. Elastic cord and a adjustable doohicky (no, I can’t remember what it’s called) make it easier to keep projects inside the bag.

And, now, the knitting. The Slighty Twisted sock, it turns out, doesn’t fit me. I made the heel flap just a weeee bit too long. It fits Mum. I’m too far to care to frog, so Mum gets the pair.


I take comfort in the fact that the Mystery Stole is still mine. And pretty as ever. I’m not through clue 2 yet (the sock distracts me with it’s flashy-flashy variegation), but I’m making progress without a single guess as to it’s theme. Well, maybe one.

I’m a Classicist, so I should know this, but was there a Greco-Roman g-d of confusion?


I haven’t knit a single stitch today. But I didn’t really feel up to it for most of the day. I was having terrible femm issues earlier (too much information?) and only went out with Mum because I need the exercise. That said, I am really, really glad I went with her to the Hoyt Arboretum:

(My Tour de Fleece pic)

Mum and Charlie:

Mum throwing sticks for Charlie:

And the coolest tree roots ever:

It’s a beautifully maintained place and the flora AND fauna are amazingly varied. After I took the last photo and we were on our way out of our little dell, a hummingbird (still unidentified) flew out of the creek and into a tree. I immediately grabbed Charlie and pointed the bird out to Mum, and I suppose the bird sensed that Mum is a member of the Audobon Society – it flew back down and hovered in front of us (I swear it was inspecting us) for a full minute or two. It was so magical and amazing. I’ve never seen a hummingbird so close (within 3′) without glass between us.

After that, at the Visitor’s Center, we met a really cool artist who we exchanged contact info with. Coolness abounds, as she’s leaving for the Galapagos in 3 days! I nearly died of envy. The Galapagos islands are on my Top Ten List Of Places I Must Visit Before I Am: Old/ Blind/ Or Dead. *sigh*

Then came the dangers of stepping into a Fair Trade store. Mum and I have killed our older gauze shirts, so we got two. Along with a Panama hat each, a hand-stamped kerchief from Ghana, and a Lantern Moon bag for less than I’ve seen at LYSes. How cool is that? I now have that medium sized knitting bag I’ve been needing.

And, last but not least, the knitting content. It might interest you to know that Sock Knitters Anonymous now has 80 members! Woot :D And, I have a question (actually, several). Some craftsters mentioned that they’d be interested in buying my Spox pattern. How does one sell patterns thru Paypal? And how much would I charge? Is $5 too much?

I’m going to go knit, so I don’t have to think about it…

freaking myself out

I awoke this morning to the raised voices of the workmen. One voice, who I can’t identify but certainly recognized, was complaining. Loudly. Since I was waking up, I didn’t hear most of it. Something to do with the hardwood floors. I jerked awake because St M and I had been forced to find alternative means inside last night (just don’t ask) and I had stepped across the dining room floor. Then another voice called, “We might have a problem, the fridge is plugged in but it’s not working!”

I twitched and got up. I ran out to see if I had done something really, really stupid and left a footprint in the new varnish. No. I hadn’t. Apparently, the workman was annoyed that we were painting the walls after finishing the floors and not pulling up “that tacky vinyl” in the kitchen. I, of course, pretended I hadn’t heard any of this.

And it turned out the fridge was fine.


Then Lapis/ Mr Fishy decided to give me a scare. He’s been behaving weirdly all morning. But, since he was fine for the first 6 hours after his tank change (the time in which it takes to kill a fish through chlorine poisoning), I was really perplexed.

TheBon and I chatted, and it seems that Lapis is freaking himself out over the new tank – he keeps starting and flaring (he’s a Beta). This is probably due to the fact that his new tank is rectangular and has (oops) a mirror-like inside. Thank goodness for that. Now that I’m not as worried, it’s nice to see him puffing himself up and flaring (he never did that in his old tank, though he would follow my finger on occasion).

ETA, 3:50 pm:
Just walked Charlie to dog park and back. He was moderately well-behaved. Probably would have been easier to handle had I been able to find the pinch collar. Talked to Emmos on the way, planning to go and see The Last Mimzy tonight. Have to catch a bus to meet her at the EPL in 40 mins.

Need to pack for sleep-over…

And, because I want to see what happens – I love that Sunflowerfairy occassionally has an open-question post – I’m gonna try it. Ask me any question you want.

another reason I want a cat

Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.
Winifred Carriere

I was honestly glad today that I could say that Charlie was not my dog (hey, I wanted the German Shepherd at Greenhill, but Emm and Dad were set on Charlie). Because I am entirely too soft on a dog spoiled rotten (I admit I feed him “people food”, alright?), I thought it’d be a worthy idea to take him on a walk to TKS. They allow well-behaved dogs in (and have a tin of doggy cookies), it’s a 3 mi round-trip, and I wanted to get my hands on a copy of Folk Socks (I lovelovelove this book, y’all – 6 different heel patterns and 6 different toes!!).

Let’s see, complaints to list:

  1. Charlie literally yanked the leash from my hand twice on the walk over.
  2. He tried to attack a cat (who was minding it’s own business and entirely freaked out)
  3. We got to TKS and he was okay for a while (he weired some people out by wandering around constantly), until he snarled and barked at a woman who tried to pet him (he even jumped at her, too). This was made even more mortifying by the fact that she apologized for upsetting him. He knows better. I quickly grabbed my stuff, put on his leash, apologized to everyone I could and dragged him from the store. All the while wondering if I could ship off to Africa immediately.
  4. On the way home he made the mistake of jumping at a runner (at this point I had lost all patience with him and tightened the leash so he couldn’t jump on anyone again)

Of course, when we arrived home, the parents had arrived. They were surprised by Charlie’s behavior and Dad immediately started making excuses for him (this is the man who doesn’t believe in obedience training). Until they finally admitted that he had acted inappropriately.

Now, I’m not saying that Charlie’s a bad dog. But, he’s half Border Collie (and thus, extremely neurotic) and has the attention span of a 2-year-old toddler. He’s never bit anyone or acted like he did today (at least in my presence), but it’s still unacceptable.

The other problem is the fact that Charlie was a rescue dog from the local animal shelter. He’s still terrified of newspapers (3 years later), won’t eat near anyone, and freaks out when we scold him. Makes you feel like the biggest bully on the face of the planet, too. So… finding a way to train him is problematic.

Blech. Still, I never ever want to go back to TKS again. That was just mortifying.

Anyway. Here’s a picture of the undyed, undyed and carded, and dyed banana silk (we used a crockpot and some Rit dye) next to Annabelle’s fleece (scoured thoroughly):

I couldn’t get a picture that fully expressed the vibrancy of the dyed banana silk (or the pure whiteness of the roots of Annabelle’s fleece), but this’ll have to do. I can’t wait to card and spin this all up! I think I might just take the banana silk to Guild with me on Sunday and work on it…

I also started in on the oh-so-sumptuous hand-dyed superwash/ tussah sock roving I bought from Carolina Homespun at OFF (using the loverly spindle I bought from them two years ago… seeing a trend, are we?). It’s soooooo yummy to spin. OMG. Just… wow.

Hand-dyed and machine washable socks, is there anything better?

pure silliness

Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Alexander Pope

Walked 3 miles today. Visited TKS. Bought a Lantern Moon wrist bag in pink taffeta. Love it. Highly recommend it.

St M came over for dinner and dyeing tonight. We’re playing with the banana silk and cotton dyes. We went for a walk to get me chocolate (none in the house) for medicinal purposes and took Charlie with us. Charlie made a friend, named Duffy, along the way. Duffy followed us home. We called Duffy’s human friend (aka “owner”) who was worried about Duffy. We took Duffy inside to wait.

St M feeding Duffy a cookie:

Movie of Duffy and Charlie chasing each other, whilst St M knits away:

Duffy’s owner showed up, he and Duffy demonstrated several tricks and offered to fix our furnace should we ever need it :D Then we went back to knitting…

I finished another Chemo Cap,
modeled here,

and here,

by St M.

I’ve assigned everyone their partners for the Hogwarts Houses Swap, made that pollo pomodoro soup, and made it to my Peace Corps dental eval today. I’m calling it a night. Loodles.