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Tuesday, November 20, 2012


or what are their owners thinking?

I've often thought that dog owners assume that as they love their dogs everybody else should too. You know those people who don't control their dogs because "it's OK he's friendly". I remember an acquaintance being quite taken aback when I told her that some people really do not like dogs running up to them, as she related a tale of some teenagers trying to escape into bushes to avoid her dog. She really was surprised by their actions, after all she was standing in her driveway shouting "he's friendly".

I do not know how much dog ownership has increased, so I Googled and found differing statistics with different start years and end years but pet ownership (in the US) has been rising since the 1950s. There are more households with dogs than cats but there are more pet cats than dogs as households are more likely to have multiple cats than dogs.

So with the rise in ownership of dogs as pets has come the expectation of some owners that their dogs should accompany them anywhere and everywhere they go. The problem with this way of thinking is that it is all about the owner with no consideration for the poor dog.

A couple of weeks ago was the village fair. Streets were blocked off and filled with vendors. (As an aside the trains made their way through this without incident.) The weather was wonderful with temperatures hovering just below 90, so you can imagine that it was very busy. And in the middle of this people brought their dogs. (Did they see the posters of burnt paws from hot pavement?) The owners of big dogs kept on short leashes were not a problem, but those girls with their little dogs (why does it seem to be girls in their early 20s who need a living fashion accessory?) on long leashes. Being hugged by children on the same level was the least of the poor canines' problems as many a yelp was heard as they were trod on or run over. But surely that's not the fault of the owners.

And another aside about fairs, the day of making glasses by cutting the top off bottles is over.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Today is Veteran's Day. Now I am back in the US there are not poppies to be worn to remind us of the sacrifices servicemen have made for us. And for many this was a choice made by government and not their own free will.

The husband of my good friend in Denver is retired from the US Air Force. I never really gave much thought to what he did until one day after 9/11 we were at a BBQ and when another guest found out that Steve was in the military, he shook his hand and said thank you. Even then I thought what's the fuss about because I was blinded by the camaraderie, teasing and joking that goes on between friends.

What had Steve done that prompted a stranger to thank him? From the age of 18 he was prepared to go where the government said he was needed. Nearly half of his career was spent overseas including a year in Korea. Not exactly a relaxing assignment. And this stranger recognized that Steve was prepared to do what most could not, put his life on the line to protect his country.

So Steve for all those times I joked with you about the safety of the US being in peril because you had taken the day off, I'd like to say thank you for serving the country. And thank you to all current and former serving members of the military.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ongoing October

So to continue the alliteration from last month I had to come up with a catchy title to show that although I have no completed projects to show you, I have been knitting away.

With the relief that came from having just two projects on the needles on the 2nd day of October I had to cast on three projects. Two of which were shawls. Yes you read that correctly two more shawls. Instead of knitting socks I am now knitting shawls; but they are needed as the average day time temperatures are now below 70.

Talking of socks, the other item cast on was a sock. One of the challenges in the sock knitting group on Ravelry was a pattern specially designed for self-striping yarn. I had some such yarn that I was given a while ago and my aim is to use gifted yarn before yarn I've purchased. I chose a pattern from, liked how it worked with the yarn but did not like how the pattern looked. It incorporated short rows and in some places yarn overs had been used to try to hide the hole and in some places there was a hole. I tried to compensate for this by picking up threads/stitches to hide the hole but it was rather tedious especially as the needles I was using were rather blunt. So goodbye to that sock. But here's a photo of what it looked like before I pulled the needle and a picture of the balls of yarn pre-knitting.

So this crazy-knitting lady is actively working on three shawls and as it is the beginning of the month there is a good chance that more socks will be started - from gifted yarn of course.