Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

Snowmelt 2013 Contest Winner!

May 28th, 2013 by knitnzu

My high school friend Lynne! She guessed May 27. Truthfully, I didn’t look yesterday, but it is all gone today. There was still a bit of ice under some dirt there last Thursday.

In other news.

You might think I’ve been ignoring the blog. You might not be wrong. I still can’t get in from home on my iPad, and it’s a pain to post from there anyhow (wordpress admin platform issue). And I regularly can’t get in on my laptop. But I seem to almost always be able to get in on the old, old, old PC.

And I’m very unhappy with the new flickr set-up. It takes forEVER to load, on my iPad, laptop, and PC. Sure it’s pretty, but I don’t care what it looks like. I want to be able to go in and quickly manage or grab the photos I want.

Pics, so this isn’t a totally photo-less post…

I’ve been snorgling these puppies… they’re 4 weeks old here, and related to my girls.
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Random shot around the yard from a week or so ago, before the deluge. That rhododendron in the background is beginning to bloom!
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I saw these folks earlier this month in NH… and will see some of them again this weekend at Fiber Frolic!
nhsw gf gang (1)

So it’s snowing…

February 9th, 2013 by knitnzu

And I can still get into my blog, so here are some pictures.

The big part of the storm came overnight, and it’s still going on. High winds, drifting snow, a lot of snow (especially for Maine). I think we have between 17 and 20 inches in our yard. Records are being broken all over southern Maine with 29-33 inches and still snowing). Not sure about here.

The view out the kitchen window this morning,
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and the view the other way… (Gravy in front, Zuzu in back)
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The inside of the door to the outside, and cracking it open to get out,
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We had to shovel out to go get the boyo, who had spent the night at a friend’s,
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No problems driving around in the old Subaru. DH says I want a Subaru. I think we will fix this one (it needs a head gasket and new timing belt), and probably get another at some point.

Coming back from gathering up the offspring, and coming down Sand Hill, we wondered what was going on. It was soon apparent that somebody tried going up the hill and couldn’t make it, so they had to back down the hill. A truck was sitting next to the car, waiting for it to back down the hill, and there was a line of trucks with plows waiting at the bottom.
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(SUV in that line decided that it wasn’t going to make it up either and is turning around here)

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State Street, between the rotary and the turn up Winthrop,
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Crazed driver and non-plussed sprog,
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Turning onto our road!
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And almost at our house, there it is on the left (in the right photo),
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That snowdrift out the back kitchen window?
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(for reference, he’s about 6 feet tall)

It is nearly impossible to shovel with the dogs around, especially Zuzu. She wants to catch the snow as it flies off the shovel. So she’ll put her face right at the shovel. She frequently gets bopped in the chin, but she doesn’t care. And then Gravy starts barking, because she wants in on the fun too. Here’s Zuzu waiting for the next shovelful. She was eventually enticed to go play ball and we finished clearing off the steps.
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making tallow for face cream!

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

I have dry skin. I have always had dry skin.

When I was 17, my friend Ana and I went to the makeup counter at Jordan Marsh to find out about moisturizers and such. The clerk was gushing over Ana’s skin… “ooooh, you have such lovely skin, such peaches and cream complexion“. True enough, but the snarky part of me was thinking “huh, she’s got a forehead covered in acne“. (Ana still seems to have very lovely skin…)

And then the clerk got to me.

Oh. My God. You are sucking up everything I put on you.

Needless to say, I’ve used old lady moisturizer on my face for decades.

I’ve been making my own body lotion for a few years now. It’s great stuff, and cheap to make. Only three ingredients-though I often add a bit of beeswax and also some essential oils. It isn’t the best thing on my face though.

When I was in Spain, I picked up some Argan oil, and it has been great… except now that it’s winter, I need a bit more. The regular face cream I have isn’t working for me anymore. With the dysosmia, it just stinks (smokey, heavy, wet, a bit fishy), and I have to immediately wash it off.

Yesterday, a friend was talking about making face cream… from tallow! And so we went to Bisson & Sons in Topsham to get suet to make tallow (they raise grass-fed beef).

tallow making (1) tallow making (2)

Basically, you get all the fleshy parts off, chop the suet into bits, and then heat it over a low heat for some time to get the tallow out of it. I chopped it up with a knife (some people use a food processor), and put it into the crock pot for about 6 hours. Zuzu was very interested in this…
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I cooked up the meaty bits for the dogs… they licked their bowls for a long time after finishing the kibble…

I forgot to get a photo of how it looked when it was done in the crockpot, but here’s what I ended up with…
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The open jar is a little cloudy as it was squeezed from the cracklings. I may cook with it.

And in the morning, it was all hardened up,
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I basically used this method, though I chopped the suet more finely. Here’s another link about how to do this. Both of these links talk about using suet for cooking. I suppose I could have saved the cracklings, but I didn’t this time around.

For tallow face cream, the general proportions are 10 parts tallow to one part oil (I used olive oil). You can add some essential oils if you want.

Now before you go ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, read this and this (though this latter link is regarding home made lard). Basically, unless you are making your own lotions and creams or using a vegan product, you are probably already slathering industrial waste from a rendering plant that renders hormone laden meat… and that would be the waste that wasn’t good enough for hot dogs, or that pink slime everybody was talking about a few months back.

The tallow face cream I made does feel really good, and yes, it does have a faintly meaty smell… even with the essential oils. After one use last night, I didn’t have the instant improvement experience that mommypotamus did, but I’ll give it a while and let you know later.

stuff that comes to our house… knitting the sky!

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

Stuff that arrived here last week

The boy had been begging for this, and so spent some xmas $$ to get it. He says shenanigans will ensue.
horse mask (1)

DH keeps showing it to the girls, because they were (understandably) rather freaked out by it at first,
horse mask (3)

My mama clearly loves me,
heart (1) heart (2)

Riveting book…
mycology book (1)
(not). There aren’t any pictures!

Beads for the sky shawl when I thought I was going to use only the laceweight,
artbeads
They came packaged so nicely!

knitting the sky!

I joined a KAL (knit-a-long) over at LSG (Lazy, Stupid, and Godless) in Ravelry. We’re all riding a geek high knitting the Celestarium shawl. When I first saw the pattern, I thought “eh, it’s nice enough, but I dunno”, and then I saw that it is a shawl that shows the star chart of the northern hemisphere.

A star chart of the northern hemisphere!

And I knew I had to make this. I’m using that laceweight alpaca that I dyed with the black food coloring. It wasn’t working up quite how I liked with just the single strand, so I am running another strand of laceweight merino (in black) with it.

It is totally addictive. I don’t have any good pictures of it, because it droops while on the needles and it’s hard to capture the color.

The new, too small, beads (I may work these into a lacy border somehow)
sky shawl (2)

Working away on the E charts (there are 4 to get around the circle). There are six charts for F…
sky shawl (3)

I’m looking for a lacy border for this, something that is reminiscent of feathers (but not that feather and fan, no, no, no, not that) or a raven’s wing. I have some old pattern books… we’ll see what I find. I have some time before I’m ready for that.

The cool thing? I can recognize some of the constellations as I do this!

The funny thought? Years from now, archeologists will discover these knitted shawls and think WTF, why are people navigating from a shawl? Didn’t they have GPS and fancy technical stuff???

more maine morning mitts

I only made 2 pair of these to ship out at xmas… special request from a year ago. I still love this pattern for a mindless knit, but I haven’t made many of them this year. The green ones are from my handspun.
Photo 6 - 2012-12-30 Photo 8 - 2012-12-30

Christmas Highlights

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

I should have posted this a while back, eh?

Zuzu was sniffing around the tree early, and she discovered a toy wrapped for her. She started dragging it out, ready to open it. We said “Hey, you, we need to wait for the teenager“.

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We managed a posed pic of the girls,
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Zuzu has her paw in the air… it’s her “I want something” pose.

Teenager got up around 8:30.
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Gravy immediately caught some excitement, ran over to the tree, and randomly grabbed some package and started opening it. “Hey, you, wait a minute, that’s not yours“. But she got to help open all the gifts, and had the best time opening Don’s.

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Even though he’s 17 now, the boy still enjoys the packaging too…
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And clearly loves his fleecy socks,
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Don loves the hat I made him… from leftover yarn from that striped mushroom sweater. He’s goofing off here, but he does like it,
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Photo 1 - 2012-12-26

It’s the Cathedral Hat from Bill Huntington at Hope Spinnery. Project details on my Ravelry project page.

I’ve started knitting the sky, but I think that needs its own blog post!