Jan 29, 2008

Product of the Week

For all of the dog lovers out there who haven't discovered this wonderful distraction, I highly recommend Frosty Paws. Carrie was the first one to turn Maggie on to these. These "ice cream" cups come in original and peanut butter flavor, cost about $1 each, and keep your pup busy for about 20 minutes. I have only been able to find them at D&W in West Michigan after searching many a freezer case high and low. I try to save them for the times when I really can't keep an eye on her and need to save her from destroying my books, coffee table, knitting, pillow....well, pretty much the whole house.

Jan 27, 2008

Hangin' Tough

Could it be true? I caught a teaser on the Today show this morning that said there is talk of a New Kids on the Block reunion. I remember going to one of their concerts as a tween. I think the parents enjoyed those studly men just as much as the little girls did. I might just have to break out the old cassette tapes and the pillowcase imprinted with their photo to get myself prepared for another tour. Let's hope they've aged nicely. Would anyone like to go with me? But you can't have Jordan, he's all mine.

Jan 26, 2008

Slumber Party

Last night was a slumber party at our house. We yanked out the bed in our couch, drug the duvet cover downstairs, and snuggled with Maggie while watching Eight Below.

This is an older movie which I've been dying to watch on one of these wintery nights. The acting by the humans is a bit lackluster, but the dogs are precious. My eyes welled with tears as I watched the eight sled dogs try to survive on their own for 160 days in an Antartica winter. Their barking kept Maggie's attention for most of the movie, too.

Jan 24, 2008

No one messes with my puppy

Maggie had her first day in doggy day care today and it could result in me being reprimanded by my boss. Why? Because I spent any spare minute loading the web cam to watch her play with other puppies in choppy segmented camera feed. I even forced co-workers to watch. They were polite enough to act like they cared. I'm sure the novelty will wear off eventually.
I watched her run outside, run back in, chase other dogs, probably eat their poop. She played the day away. Then at about 5:15, all the other dogs disappeared and there Maggie was left. She sat alone in the middle of the cold cement floor. Her back was to the camera as she faced the gate door, wondering if her poppa was ever going to come to get her. I called Brian to see when he would get there to pick her up. Not for 1 1/2 more hours. He was getting drinks with co-workers! Oh my poor lonely Maggie! Of course, she did fine. She's now asleep within minutes of getting home. I'm going to take advantage of that and go do some more reading. (I'm reading a book on Fertility Awareness, everything you never wanted to know about cervical mucus.)

Jan 22, 2008

Snow as high as a beagle's eye

We have bountiful snow in Holland today. I'd take a picture if I had any idea where my camera charger is hiding. There are over 250 school closings. I'd like to go outside and roll around in it if it weren't so frickin' cold. I'll leave the rolling to Maggie. I'm trying to get a meeting in GR rescheduled because it took Brian 3x longer to get to work this morning. What I'd really like to do is make some fresh chocolate chip cookies and snuggle under a blanket. MMm, maybe a little comfort food for dinner. How does Macaroni and Three Cheeses sound?

Also, interesting and upsetting news on caffeine and pregnancy. Brian forced me to drink decaf for breakfast today in a push to start me in the right direction. I guess I better buy some herbal teas. I may have to enjoy just one last Coke Zero before I give it up completely.

Jan 20, 2008

I don't mind the snow...

because I have no reason to do anything other than stay inside and knit. Well, I guess one reason not to knit would be that my upperback/neck has been screaming with muscle cramps for days. I can't look down for more than 3 seconds without an instant burning knot forming. But nothing a few hundred milligrams of naproxen, tylenol, and two ThermaHeat patches won't take the edge off....

I'm working on a few gifts right now, so I won't spoil the details. Here is a glimpse of each.

This is my first "illusion" project. I can't wait to show you the finished product (it's a little PG-13).


Another baby project. Sort of reminds me of an ocean right now.


I've also started another teddy bear that I'll use for a fundraising donation for the Junior League.

On another note, for those inquiring minds, another month goes by in which I am not pregnant. I was disappointed because my body was trying to give me symptoms to convince me otherwise. I'm trying to make the best of it to keep my spirits high. On the positive side of things, it was the first perfect 28 day cycle I've had. So I feel quite normal in that aspect. On another good note, I was allowed to drink a large margarita last night guilt-free.

Hopefully we'll have better luck next time. Until then, bottom's up!

Jan 15, 2008

Sweet tooth

We met the cutest puppy at the dog park last Saturday. Warning, this dog is so sweet, she may give you a cavity.

It's a Bernese mountain dog. The one we met was named Mackinaw and only 15 weeks old. She looked like a fluffy teddy. The owner already had her full attention and obedience. She obeyed to "come" and "sit" like it was old hack. When Maggie is at the dog park, she interprets "Come" as "Run away from me and go play with the other dogs." He said this breed is known for being especially calm and well behaved beyond their years. His puppy was acting like a 4 year old dog. They grow to be about 125 pounds. I would recommend that anyone looking for an easy maintenance large dog checks out this breed.

Sucky Dance Wars

Disappointment. That's how I've felt the last two Monday nights after sitting through Dance Wars. Carrie Ann and Bruno seem to be trying hard to be charismatic, but their acting jobs are fair to poor. Carrie Ann acts like an excited teenager and Bruno tries to pull off the macho man. The contestants are supposedly "dancers who can sing and singers who can dance." It seems that is a very difficult person to find, because out of their top selections, there are less than a handful of worthwhile singers. I will give the show one more week because they just now divided into Team Bruno and Team Carrie Ann. I'd like to see how the concept works out. But if next week is just as boring, I think I'll move to re-runs of How I Met Your Mother. Plus, American Idol is starting up again!

Jan 12, 2008

Knitting and cooking

Tonight we are having friends over for dinner. I think I'll make a turkey lasagna. I love having dinner guests in the winter. It's a nice time to catch up before the hustle of summer and share some comfort foods. I want to find some time to begin a scarf for my friend, since I finally received the necessary yarn from Webs. This will be my first project in shadow stitching, so I just have to cross my fingers and hope it works out. I also want to finish my hand spun cabled hat now that I've come up with several yards more of yarn.

Yesterday I had a mental breakdown as a comedy of (other people's) errors at work ate off a chunk of my lunch hours. Wednesday and Friday's I'm responsible for going home and letting Maggie out for her bathroom break. Now that my office has moved roughly 15 minutes away, I struggle to make it. It generally turns me into a witch that morning as I sweat whether I'll make it home and back on time for my next patient and feel like I provided Maggie quality time. I called Brian in tears as I sped home. He decided it'd be worth it to bite the bullet and hire a dog walker for those remaining days rather than have me feeling like that. He's a very supportive husband.

We're also going to check out a doggy daycare (called Camp Bow Wow, how cute) for one day/week. She has to be vaccinated for kennel cough and go through a three hour interview with the other dogs to rule out aggression. The daycare may sound extreme to some, but it will wear her out towards the end of the week and save us a manic puppy at 9 pm. We're usually winding down when she's winding up. Plus, it's only twice the cost of the dog-walker. A whole day vs. 20 minutes seems like a deal. The saying stands true, "A good dog is a tired dog."

Jan 8, 2008


"It's my second birthday today! Do you want to come over and share my Cars birthday cake?! I promise I won't stick my fingers in your frosting."

Happy Birthday Nolan!

Cloudy Day

Today is a quiet day off for me. I celebrated this morning when I did my check-out weight for our "Hold it for the Holidays" program at work. I not only maintained, but surprisingly, lost a couple pounds. I immediately celebrated by going to the gym :) I receive a $25 gift card to Meijer for my accomplishment and get entered for another $50 g.c. for losing weight. I'd like to buy a baby gate to put in the entryway of the kitchen. That should give Maggie a safe place to romp when we can't keep an eye on her. Right now she's howling at a quilt. Funny dog.

I made a delicious fruit smoothie for breakfast. 6 frozen peach slices, 1 cup o.j. and a banana mixed quickly with a stick blender. 10 am and my 3-5 servings of fruit/veggie are done for the day.

Later I'll walk Maggie in the rain and find time to spin some more yarn.

Jan 4, 2008


Every Christmas I look forward to one especially terrific honor. My college friend Amber travels home from wherever Air Force life has taken her and her family. I haven't seen her since Meredith's wedding in June. We are lucky that her parents still live on the west side of Michigan. There has been talk of them moving to Florida, but at least Amber's in-laws will still be here.

This year, for Amber's visit, the core group of friends was able to gather (along with our dear husband's) in Grand Haven for a nice dinner. We shared stories, laughs and Christmas gifts.
Here she is (looking adorable) with her husband.

Amber surprised me with a great new knitting book. It's so new, I hadn't even heard it reviewed yet on any of the (many) podcasts I listen to. It is Louisa Harding's Knitting Little Luxuries.

The book has classy patterns for purses, mittens, scarves and cardigans. I love the purse on the cover and the Cecily Beanie has actually been featured in the popular blog, Knitting Daily. You can get a free copy here.

Thank you Amber!


I finally committed my handspun yarn to a project. I decided to make myself a cabled hat. One big problem was that I had no idea how many yards of yarn I'd made, but I just crossed my fingers and turned this...

into this.

Looks pretty good, eh? Only problem is looks can be deceiving. I ran out of yarn and it really looks like this off the head.

I have a little bit of one ply that I've spun left on a single bobbin. The other bobbin had run out and I wasn't sure what to do with the leftover. Apparently there is a technique called Andean plying that I can use to turn that into more two ply yarn. I'll just have to hope that will get me enough yarn to finish my hat because I love it so!

Jan 2, 2008

All in one piece

Brian and I just came back from an excellent holiday in Elk Rapids. We stayed with friends, Carrie and Matt, at her parent's beautiful lakehouse. We played a lot of Wii (including Guitar Hero, DDR, and DWTS), skied at Shanty Creek, gambled at Turtle Creek Casino, and ate until we could eat no more! Maggie played her heart out with her buddy Scout and has done nothing but sleep since we came back yesterday. We came home yesterday to much snow here on the lakeside. I might have to use my new snowpants to go out and build a snowman.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the trip. You can see them all over at Flickr.

"Scout, I've missed you. I have so much to tell you."

Scout, I have so much to tell you

Snow bunnies

Carrie and Angie

Beautiful scenery on the "mountain"

Matt and Carrie

"I'm a wordsmith"

"Is poop a proper noun?"

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!