the last straw

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At this very moment, we are having the Very First Real True Blizzard of Winter 2015/2016, right here, right outside my window. No. Really. See those white smears? Blizzard.

It’s been a rather nasty winter, to tell the truth. People have been people, for all values of “people”; I have been human (for ALL values of human, believe me); my body cramps up in the cold, and for some reason, both Melody and I have been hearing Buddy’s tags jingling around the house at odd moments. I wake up because I hear him barking.

I gotta say, sobbing because I dream of Buddy, only to wake and realize my beloved dog is gone, is a great way to start a dreary December day. Just peachy.

Buddy pawprint 1

I don’t know if other folks do this, but on bad days, I fight back by wearing my favourite clothes and jewelry. Like armor, right? Gifted armor that shelters me from invisibility, from loneliness, from all the Goblins of Winter. My shield, knit or sewn or woven or gifted, proclaiming I Am Loved. Every day, I don at least one thing that someone who loves me made for me, or gave me, or long-term loaned me. Lately, it’s been a pair of adorable silver owl earrings that my BFF gave me.

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Left owl is grumpy because I dared show her sister’s backside. What can I say? It’s a nice backside.

Those earrings remind me that she loves me, and that no matter what lies Depression hisses in my ear, I am still, and always will be, Myself, a Wiseheart.

Good friends remind us of who we are. Their respect and love gives us the courage to be more ourselves with each passing day. It’s hard to be My Self: I am loud, friendly, outgoing, and will chatter with strangers in the oddest situations. I am also moody and I think too much. I dress like a Berkeley hippie artist, I carry stuffed toys in my purse, there is usually a melted chocolate in one of my pockets. I steal a baby’s nose, kiss it, and then gently press the freshly-kissed nose back into place, giving it a wee nudge to make sure it is on straight. I compliment strangers, I hug trees in public, I greet every living thing within sight while other folks watch and roll their eyes. I weave, I knit, I quilt. I spin yarn. Heck, I even spin embroidery thread.

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A quirky, laughing weirdo being herself. That’s me.

I am weak, because Chronic Pain/Illness (::ominous background music::). I am strong, because, well: Chronic Pain/Illness is not for wusses. I am lonely and spend way too much time alone; I have friends, close friends, good friends, literally all over the world, and I can talk to them every day on my computer. My soul sings when I write; I seem to have the worst case of writer’s block for about half the year. I become more real every time I lift my voice in song; I am terrified to sing for others because I once did it for a living and people paid to hear me sing, and now I sometimes have the idea that they were all just being polite. (They weren’t. I know that.)

Small Gifts MED.jpg

These are gifts from friends the world over. Well. The wooden spools contain that handspun embroidery thread I talked about earlier. Perhaps those are gifts to myself: Competence. Confidence. Bit o’ Pride.

I finally got my dream job working for a publisher of yarnly books and magazines, and I walked away from it when I was insanely successful because I was not strong enough to fight the evil that is Upsell and SEO and Marketing. (Yes, money is lovely, and yes, we were there to make money. However, I personally cannot make money by using my god-given gifts to prioritize ads above content, to persuade my own community to spend money they may not have on things they may not need, and to treat them like six-year-olds in the process.)

wow. um. a rant. how did that get in here?

Ahem. Back to Friends and Handmade Gifts.

Last year, a whack of knitters decided that they each would knit me a pair of socks to help me get through the winter. I got green socks and pink socks and plum-coloured socks and striped socks and blue socks; I cried every time a new pair arrived in the post. These socks have become quite precious to me, and they are treated as though they are the best part of my wardrobe (which, in fact, they may be).

A few mornings ago, a bad day was made even worse by the necessity of issuing a First Warning letter to the Sock Gremlins.

Dear Eaters of Socks,

I see that you have been busy this year. I appreciate your help in goading me to discard some socks which were becoming quite ragged; thank you for filching half of those pairs so I had no choice but to toss the remaining singles.

I will say that you Sock Gremlins perform a much-needed service to our community. As mentioned above, you help us to let go of unworthy socks when the time comes. You nudge us to clean behind the dresser, to look under the bed, to run a broom handle under the dryer. This cleaning is both essential for tidiness and for the continued happiness of our feline children, who dance with joy when reunited with long-lost toys. Sometimes, we knitters even find such treasures as an actual tape measure. We thank you for your role in the smooth running of our households.

We also applaud you for helping to start new fashion trends: wearing mis-matched socks in public. This habit is now seen as “cool” and has been adopted by children who are thrilled not to have to bother matching things. Also, by some grownups who like to be a tiny bit irreverent.

HOWEVER.

This time, you have gone too far, Sock Eaters. This time, I will put locks on my sock drawers (one for handknits, as you well know, the other for the mundanes) so that you will find no sustenance in this house.

For here is the evil you have done: you have stolen a piece of my heart. You have DARED to touch a sock that was hand-knit by someone who cares about me, and as I have not been able to find that sock for two months, I can only assume that you sauteéd it with Gold Bond Foot Powder and a teaspoonful of Tinactin Anti-Fungal Creme, and served it hot at one of your Winter Sock Harvest Banquets.

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Alas, pretty sock. I am sorry for your loss. Here’s a purple kitty to console you.

You…you…you monsters, you. How could you do such a thing?

If you return this sock to me, I will consider unlocking one of the sock drawers. ONE.

The mundane sock drawer, of course.

No love from me,

Sandi

Did I mention I think too much?

CHISPAS

~ If you love birds and Legos, this is your man: Article. Flickr Gallery.

~ Do you know where your pet is? The satellites do.

~ A recipe to cheer us through the blizzards of life: Dark Honey Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream, oh my. (I doubt this one is gluten-free, low-cholesterol, low anything. Food Pr0n!)

~ Press Upload to Shoe. (Might as well track the humans, too.)

~ Speaking of Her Majesty (we were, weren’t we?): Off-Roadin’ It with LizBet

~ And finally, I leave you with this: Archival Integrity

Writing takes courage. I am trying not to be too much of a chicken these days.

namasté
sandi

Posted in Animals, Family, Goblins of Winter, True Friends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Report from the Milk Maids

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Seventh
 
Eighth Night


Hi. Howya doin’? I thought about you folks quite a bit over the holidays. I hope you felt the holiday warmth that I was beaming into your brains courtesy of the Psychic Bloggers Network.

I had meant to send this post last night. Obviously, the scheduling software disagreed, which is why I had to go back and edit things a little. Always the unexpected around here.  Also: This is a weird post. You’re welcome.

XRF_12daysBecause I am curious about AllTheThings, I looked up the 12 days of Christmas. There are two different ways to figure out which night is Twelfth. If you count Christmas Day, the 25th, as Day One, then 12th night falls on Jan 5th, with the 6th being celebrated more or less tongue-in-cheek as a “thank heavens we’re DONE”. If you count Boxing Day, the 26th, as Day One, then the 6th is indeed 12th Night and the balance of the universe is more or less restored. (For all sorts of fascinating factoids about The Twelve Days of Christmas, WikiP is quite amusing and informative, if not even a bit vaguely truthful.)

Thus by my count today, yesterday was January First, the Seventh Night of Christmas. The famous gift exchanged on Day Seven (amongst the literal) is…Seven Swans a-Swimming??

Really. Well now. Anyone have a good-sized decorative pond?

Thankfully, by the magic of my editorial keyboard, we can leave behind the Seven Swans (in the good hands of a swan sanctuary), and our Eighth Night gift suggestion is: 8 Maids a-Milkin’.

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copyright 2013 Becca Brody

A-milkin’ what, may I ask? Because I don’t see any cows (nor goats)  in that gift list, no sir, I do not. Partridge installed in Pear Tree, couple of turtle doves, some French hens trying to peck the feet off the doves, some calling birds (who are they calling? and is the call on my long-distance or yours?), FIVE GOLDEN RINGS, which by law and tradition must always be shouted and/or typed in all-caps, to the annoyance of everyone with an internet connection. Then we have some geese laying eggs, and those seven swans in search of a pond.

No cows. No goats. No nuthin’ that could reasonably be milked by those industrious young women. Well. Unless they brought their own cows. I guess that could happen.

8+maids+a+milking

copyright Rebekah Simon-Peter

 

Just to clear up a few more mystifying calendar details: Technically, it is the season of Christmastide until after the visit of the Three Wise Dudes on Epiphany. Epiphany, the infamous Twelfth Night, falls on Wed., Jan. 6, 2016 this year. Many churches celebrate on the nearest Sunday, which in this case is Jan. 3.

I was born part-elf, which means in MY household, we persevere in Christmas cheer until the bitter end at 12 AM. Jan. 6.

 

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A Shiny New Year

Yesterday, Today, of course, was New Year’s Day, January 1, 2016. Peace be upon you and yours this new year, and may beauty walk beside you as you navigate the days to come.

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Ahhhh….smell that new year smell.           That’s the smell of Hope.

I shall sum up the end of my 2015 with three things, and then I shall move on to more amusing topics.

  • Pain sucks. Chronic Pain over Yuletide makes Santa’s Elves feel a titch past whiney, and let me tell you, there is nothing worse than a two-foot-tall whiney dude with pointed ears and those damn ring-a-dings on both feet and the tippy-top of his hat.
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“No, my nose is NOT shaped like a heart. And my union says I am in no way obligated to sing any ridiculous tune about The Big Guy and his belly and the  especially not about the reindeer, cuz they’s union members, too. Ya hear what I’m saying? The Jolly Dude works hard for you, squeezing down those non-regulation chimney stacks.
Have some respect, would ya?”

  • Seasonal mood disorders of any kind wipe all the lyrics to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” right out of the entire soprano section’s brains. But, yanno, who needs a melody line anyway? Let the congregation muddle along, they all know the words to Hark, Hear Harold the Angel Singing, right? I knew the words to THAT song, backwards and forwards, by age five or so (Harold was so proud of me, spelling his name right and all.) Listen to Harold. You’ll be just fine.
  • Thank the Lightbringer that we are blessed and comforted with hearts of kindness all around us, and that the Christmas Tree Recovery Room is currently filled with Grinches getting foot massages.

Oh, and the Christmas Cookies! Never underestimate the power of Christmas Cookies to sooth an anky, cranky heart this time of year.Cookies Rule this Yule.

Boast Local

It helps that I have discovered a priceless local resource for the Cookies:

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One of Canada’s best places to go (especially if you ascribe to the belief that She Who Has The Bestest Cookies Wins) is exactly 1.0 km (a 12 minute walk) from my front door. Wicked Shortbread. Oooh, baby. These delightful folks bake all their goodies onsite, in a variety of ever-more addictive variants. Aside from the three house blends (Classic, made with rice flour because Goodness; Toffee Bitz–my personal fave; and Belgian Chocolate Chunk, my personal fave again), yet more flavours make guest appearances at the whim of the BFreshBaked-300x300aker.

And now, I realize that I am being completely and utterly cruel, because although one may order these delights online, one may only do so if one has a delivery address in the province of Ontario. (Party platters available starting at CA$25, just sayin’.)  Please console yourself with delicious online cookie pr0n: Wicked Shortbread.

Usual disclaimer: I don’t work there. Those Wicked folks, they have no idea who I am. They have no idea I am posting this, and given the ramble-scramble here, it doesn’t really do them honour to introduce them this way.

But: COOKIES!

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My doctor, is quite firm on the dosage of 1 oz dark chocolate a day for women. And the Chocolate Chunk Shortbread is indeed quite soothing, I admit.

CatFaces

Do you have something special near your house? A place to eat, a place to see, a Really Rockin’ Tree? I’m a curious sort, so let’s hear about those marvelous things we may never get to see in person.

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Also…what’s in store for you in the days ahead? I’m interested to see what y’all are up to in 2016.

CHISPAS

What? You want Chispas? I gave you Cookie Pr0n AND Kitten Pr0n, and now you want CHISPAS?

Next time. Promise.

And next time will not be so long in coming, my friends. I’ve missed you.

May the New Year bring you your best future yet.

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Posted in Knitting | 4 Comments

I Blame the Nargles

Yep. Definitely the Nargles.

At  least I think it’s them. They must’ve left the door open when they snuck in last time, because they brought with them the cold dark winter. And as usual, I’ve got the cold dark winter’s  blues.

This year, I noticed the change right away, instead of a week or two into January. The Blues arrived about a week after my return from my nearly five-week adventure down south.

It always amuses me when I hear myself saying “down south” nowadays. That used to be south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the Graceful South, the south where my in-laws live (hi M&M!), down Alabama-way.

Now, “down south” means Syracuse, upstate New York.

Turns out, I wrote several thousand words in those five weeks, much of it organized rather loosely into blog posts. I decided that I needed some help getting back in the saddle, so I am going to post some of the Syracuse Writings (makes me sound like Hemingway, “the Syracuse Period”) along with some current meanderings.

Here’s a short bit to start things off right.

written mid-November, 2015

 Yep….I’m baaaaa-aaack.

Back, as in I have spent the last four-and-a-half weeks away, visiting friends in the States. I have already posted about some of my Rhinebeck adventures; I still have yet more stories to share from my time away.

A busy booth is a happy booth

A busy booth is a happy booth

While I was editing and organizing my notes and photos from the rest of the trip, I discovered a wee treasure-trove: In my list of blog posts were several which had never actually been posted. What, were they unworthy or something? Best guess is that I was experimenting with scheduled posts and I forgot to hit some critical button, such as the “Start” button. Oops.

I must admit that I was puzzled at the lack of comments on these posts, but I have been having computer trouble, so perhaps I blamed the Nargles.

Why, yes, I am playing with my iPhone, why do you ask?

Never trust a Nargle. (I am told Nargles adore purple.)

Some of what I wrote is from weeks ago, however, I think of these posts as “backstory”—the voice is that of Sandi Past, but the words may amuse in some small way.

I will add the tag #backstory to these posts, in case you want to find them again.

Other than that: Yes, my dears, it is high time to revive the CHISPAS, those beloved little sparks of inspiration, laughter, wisdom, or just plain WTF.

CHISPAS

If you are not already familiar with the music of this stunning vocal quartet, please allow me to introduce the work of Pentatonix. Their newest album is filled with Christmas carols both traditional (Little Drummer Boy) and modern (Mary, Did You Know?). Please do not be put off by the Christian wrapper; give a listen for the soaring harmonies and the wonder of music created wholly without instruments (at least in these videos).

Dear Doritos Lovers: Don’t Say I Never Gave You A Chispa.

I stole the title of this post from one of my fave yarn colours at Holiday Yarns: I Suspect the Nargles Are Behind It.

 

From Jen at Holidayyarns.com

From Jen at Holidayyarns.com

Posted in Knitting | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Rhinebeck: All the Everythings

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in the eighth decade of the last century, shepherds in Duchess County, NY, gathered at the local fairgrounds to buy and sell ewes, with an eye towards enhancing their breeding lines.

two sheeps

“Food? No food, Ok, we get that, sure. How about snacks? Cheerios? What’s your skirt made of, that might be tasty…”

Three decades later, herds and flocks of wool folk of all shapes, sizes, and colours descend upon the lovely town of Rhinebeck each October to attend the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, affectionately known to fiber folk as simply “Rhinebeck”. For a few short days, shepherds and sheepdogs, fleece folk and meat folk, knitters and crocheters, spinners, weavers and basket makers all come together to celebrate the joys of Things Sheep and Things Wool.

Lotsa peeps in da barn

All The People and some of All the Things.

This year, on Saturday alone, the fairgrounds hosted somewhere around 43,000 people, breaking all prior attendance records across sheep and wool festivals from sea to shining sea, as far north as Alberta and as far south as México.

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Can you tell that it is lunchtime?

I was Attendee #43,001; and I freely admit that I and 43,000 of my closest friends had a truly grand time.

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A slightly less busy moment in the vendor barns.

Writing about my festival experiences has always been a bit of a puzzle for me. How on earth do I write about two days which contain a month’s worth of meeting old friends and new; of petting hundreds of skeins of yarn, each one more beautiful than the last; of gazing into the wide eyes belonging to creatures whose coats make fingers sing and bodies warm? The sheer volume of sensory input offered up at Rhinebeck is enough to dazzle even the most jaded of bloggers, the most savvy of yarn and fiber shoppers.

Goatie 1

Everywhere you look, there is colour: The trees! The vendor booths! All those amazing hand-knit sweaters, all the artistry of handwoven cloth and handspun yarn, all the hours of work and the buckets-full of creative energy resulting in shawls, stoles, capes, ponchos, pullovers, socks, leggings, mittens, Hats!, dresses, skirts, tops, cardigans, and handmade coats whose hems left small trails through the crunchy carpet of fallen leaves that Mom Nature had laid out to welcome us.

Trees of colour

More than once, I found myself standing still, a river of colorfully dressed fiber folk breaking into twin streams on either side of me, as I gaped at the sheer OhMyBob of it all.

People

If you are on Ravelry and post in the forums, chances are good that you have a “home forum”. This year, as we did last year, members of my home forum designated a picnic table as a meet-up location; various people volunteered to “woman the picnic table” and act as texting contacts, so that we could easily find each other.

Picnic table 1

Several times throughout the weekend, I wandered over to be surrounded by the friends who live in my computer. Long-promised hugs were finally traded, adventures shared, bags of goodies opened to gloat over purchases with old friends one has only just met.

Nao at table    Georg is not a vikingRachel dawn    Marcy laughed

I think that our meetup table must have been a little bit like the place just inside the Pearly Gates, where we joyfully recognize the loved ones we have never seen.

Maggie and woolizard

I have more Rhinebeck Stories to tell, but those will wait for another day.

I'm a goat. I'm hungry. But then, I am a goat. I am always hungry.

I’m a goat. I’m hungry. But then, I am a goat. I am always hungry.

It was truly a delight to be amongst my Tribe: All of them, thumbs, waggy-tails, horns and all.

Casey, Ultimate Frisbee Champ

Casey, Ultimate Frisbee Champ

One small Chispa for now… Back Then…I wrote about my Top Ten Reasons to Attend A Wool Festival, back in 2010 when I was KD Sandi, Founding Editor of Knitting Daily.

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Joy comes after

It’s been really tough coming  up with something to write about after that last post.

buddy new sock

I didn’t want to just go on with knitting progress reports and gushing over this new fibre or that new spindle; that seemed too disrespectful. This being, this dog, lived for the moment when my key turned in the lock, shoving a very wet nose through the gap as soon as possible, unable to contain his joy at seeing me even one more nanosecond. A love like that? Surely it is worth more than a single page on the internet, more than one short mention and then goodbye?

Buddy pawprint 1

Of course it is; but then, any spirit that touches us and loves with abandon is worth a tome of internet pages and then more again than that. And in the case of a heart that loved and was loved dearly, it makes no sense at all to talk about its worth. Yet, I find myself, along with so many of those who have lost a beloved animal companion, wanting to say, “This life mattered!” in the face of a society that wants us to move on after a week, a month, of grieving a human beloved, let alone an animal beloved. We live in a culture that barely admits it is even acceptable to grieve (for more than a day or so, perhaps) for a cat, a dog, a bird who was as much a part of the family as any human. And as anyone who has ever had a pet knows, animals love us in a way no human ever could. Not more. Not better. Just…different.

For us, the loss of Buddy is the loss of a cherished family member, a devoted spirit, one that cannot be grieved in a single blog post. We talk about “Before Buddy” and “After Buddy” now: “Before”, we had a playful, bouncy, not-terribly-bright-but-very-perceptive dog who never strayed more than a few feet from my side, the clicking of paws on hardwood just part of the music of my day. Buds.The Budster. Bud-Buds. BuddyDude.

Buddy ready for a belly rub

Now it is After. Now, After, we are a House Without its Dog.

In a House Without its Dog, bananas are just two bites too big for a person to eat alone.

Without a dog, a human cannot effectively work in the garden. Who is there to point out the hidden holes in the fence that the stray cats uses? Who is there to sniff every cut branch, every pulled weed, every picked flower, in order to  approve its removal? Who will roll just as joyously on snow as on grass, creating angels with three limbs (missing a wing, perhaps?) instead of four? Who will chomp at the BUGS that fly past so they don’t get all creepy-crawly on me?

Who will help keep the hardwood floors shiny and free of stray bits of food?

Who will get so excited at the word “Walk” that we must right then have an impromptu dance of celebration at the mere thought of a stroll around the block?

And who will fling themselves down the sidewalk the minute they see me, black ears flying and flag tail nearly spinning in circles from sheer joy?

Sheer joy, because at the end of the brief gallop down the sidewalk, waits the one most-special-est person in that dog’s whole world: Me.

I notice that the word that keeps showing up over and over when I talk about Buddy is “joy”. He was, indeed, our joy.

As with any loss, we are remembering Buddy: we tell stories, we laugh, we tear up, we cry. Remember the time Buddy got his lead so wound around the bird feeder stake that he couldn’t even move his head–he just looked up at us with those big brown eyes, tail slowly wagging: “Mom, can you come get me out of this? I’m sorry I’m stepping on your flowers.” Remember when? Remember when…?

I didn’t mean for this to be a maudlin post. Looking back at other losses, I realize that each time one of my animals has died, I have written a story, a post, a chapter, about that be-whiskered soul and how he or she changed my life, comforted my saddened and discouraged heart, and challenged me to love, to give, to see the world in ways that made my own soul the better for every tail wag, every purr, every kiss on every furry head.

I was a cat person before I met Buddy. Budster was our first ever dog. We had no clue even how much to walk him, how to play with him, where to put his food bowl and even how to talk to him. He taught us, of course, over the years. He taught us the way of the Pack, just as our cats have taught us the way of the Tribe. We learned how to live with a dog–a very special dog–and now, I suppose, we are learning how to grieve a dog, a most beloved member of our pack.

CHISPAS
At first, I was going to skip the Chispas, and just  let the above stand on its own. But Buddy would have hated us to give up our playtime because we thought we had to be all serious and grownup and stuff. Thus, I give you Chispas.

Do we need a little lightness of heart right about now? Yes, methinks we do. Go forth and grin like a fool.

Mother Nature, bless her heart, can be quite creative at times. And sometimes, you just really want to ask her what she was thinking at the time.

(I seem to be on a theme here.) We hear a lot of stories about heroic dogs saving lives and getting Presidential Medals of Honour (well, maybe not really), but what about heroic cats? Eight Heroic Cats.

Parents, don’t let your kids become hardened criminals. Tell them to leave their clocks at home. (Honestly.)

Like many of us, I have a love/hate relationship with my web browser, with any web browser, in fact. I am a Mac Girl, and I tend to like Chrome for some reason. You know how you can install little add-ons that do useful or fun things? Here are two of my favourites:

  1. One Tab: I like to open links as I come to them in posts, emails, blogs; I like to open each of these links in a new tab, collecting tab after tab after tab until my poor computer just stops and begs for mercy. One Tab takes all those tabs and puts them on a single web page of links, closing the actual tabs without losing your place, and without having your computer lose its mind. Brilliant.
  2. Flickr Tab: Warning: This one can be addictive and cause smiling to occur. Each time you open a new tab, instead of a blank window, Flickr shows you a random  utterly  gorgeous  photo. And yes, there are kitten photos, and dog photos, and llama photos included. And even an owl.

Finally, a video that seems chosen especially for us by Buddy himself:

Posted in Knitting | 8 Comments

RIP Buddy Wiseheart

So much love, my three-legged companion;
So brave, so joyful, so much happy devotion,
You were truly much more than
This woman’s best friend.

Buddy “Dog Star” Wiseheart
Fall 2004/Winter 2005  -to-  August 25, 2015

buddy watching squirrel

We loved you.
You loved us more.
(We’re sorry the cats wouldn’t let you herd them.)

mom that was tasty

mom, that banana was soooo tasty!

buddy smile 2

Best Dog Smile Ever

Festive Buddy

Festive Buddy

hanging in the hood

Hangin’ in the Wiseheart ‘Hood

 Your Story

Born: Louisiana, USA – Fall 2004/Winter 2005

buddy face window

Survived: Hurricane Katrina – Landfall, August 25, 2005

Before the amputation

Before the amputation

Adopted: Loveland Humane Society, Loveland, CO – March, 2006

me and buddy

So happy together…

Moved with his family: Milton, Ontario, Canada – August, 2009

buddy driver

Moved with his family: Bolton, Ontario, Canada – June, 2010

buddy helps 2

“The three-legged star of Nancy Street”

buddy scarf

Moved with his family: Orangeville, Ontario, Canada – July, 2015

buddy curled up

Relocated to Heaven – August 25, 2015

buddy rolling

Much beloved, he gave us so much more than we could ever give him
his devotion to us was whole-hearted;
his joy in life was
His gift to us and
our gift from God

In our hearts always and forever:
Buddy, we love you and are so grateful you chose us
to share your life, your home, your heart
We could not have asked for better.
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again…
We miss you already.

With all our love,
(save us a place on the grass!)

Your moms, Sandi & Melody;
your faithful tribe of cats: Dusty, Zoé, and Tim;
and beloved Rainbow Tribe members
Sparrow (RIP August 2009) and Amber (RIP 2008)

Buddy’s Web Page: His Story

Posted in Knitting | Tagged | 21 Comments

Progress Report: All the Things

We are The People of the Box these days.

We unpack, and the pile does not get any smaller. We unpack yet again, and still the mountain looms large, even when the basement door is closed.

We are Doomed.

I am curious. Are some of you sending your basement/garage boxen to us? That is truly generous of you, but really. Thanks. We’re good here.

House Musings

I wanted to put up a birdfeeder, since my Mom taught me that a birdfeeder was an absolute necessity in order to get in good with the neighboring critters. (One wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of a house finch, I’m told.)

birdhouse backyard

See? Cheerful little bird café, on its own little wrought-iron fancy pole.

Guess what I learned.

Squirrels like birdseed VERY much.

squirrel eating

Buddy does not like squirrels on his property.

buddy watching squirrel

Buddy is powerless to do anything about this…and for now, so am I.

persistent

I did learn one thing, however.

birdhouse moved

I moved the birdhouse far away from Things Squirrels Could Climb On.

Silly me.

The next morning, I caught sight of one little black scamp shimmying up that pole as bold as brass.

I don’t have a photo for that one. I was too busy running outside and waving my arms and hollering. 

Once I scared away the squirrel, the crows were delighted to accept my hospitality.

No photo here, either. Same reason. Too busy hollering.

I don’t want the CROWS to eat the suet and seed, I want the charming little chickadees and momma cardinal who live in the trees to be my guests.

I’ve read the experts. I know squirrels are going to be my persistent and ever-lasting enemy. But crows? Really?

I am girding my loins.

Found in Sandi’s Garden

first rose

This is the Very First Rose.

Meaning, when we moved in, it was a stick, and we weren’t sure what it wanted to be. However, it was in a place of honour in the main flowerbed, so we watered it and weeded and hoped it wanted to be something awesome.

One day, there it was. One perfect yellow rose.

I know there’s something nibbling on it. I don’t know what that is, but I have the Internet, I will conquer that foe just as I have conquered certain Weedly Things lately.

And then, yesterday, there was this:

beautiful

I was open-mouthed with joy when I saw this lovely bloom. The bush it is on is center-stage in the flowerbed, so I figured it would be something special.

There are dozens of buds on that bush.

I am so grateful for the glory of the garden today.

It’s Sunday, I have to go get dressed, so no Chispas this morning. But I couldn’t resist sharing a bit of my morning garden with you all today.

And now, here comes the sunrise over my east-facing garden beds…

peace this day,
Sandi

P.S. Book Recommendation: If you have not yet discovered Anne Bishop‘s work, you have a treat awaiting you. I read the trilogy starting with Written in Red first, and wow. (Warning: the books are trigger-heavy if you have any cutting in your history.) Now, I have started the Tir Alainn series, beginning with The Pillars of the World. Stay-up-all-night warnings apply. (And wait! There’s more! A third series, The Black Jewels, is supposed to be equally excellent.)

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