Molly Mutt King August 2003-March 2017

I haven’t posted a weekly round up in a few weeks. First our family went on vacation. Once we returned, our dog, Molly, started showing signs of failing health, and we lost her last week. We’ve all been mourning our sweet puppy in the mean time. Maybe next week I will return to the weekly round ups, or I may just keep tracking on Instagram. Today, though, I wanted to talk a bit about Molly.

Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. – Agnes Sligh Turnbull.

March 2017

This house has been so quiet without her. I keep imagining her where she should be, a bit like a ghost following me around. Coming in the garage door, she’s waiting on me just inside. I take the trash out, and find her cleaning the trash can lid while I was out. I’m reminded of the fact our trash can even has a lid is because she would otherwise eat her way through the trash if it had been left open! She waits outside the bathroom door while I shower. Anytime I get up, she watches me for a second to see if I settle in one place, and then follows me around, room to room. Laying down right in front of the couch where I sit. Trying to put us to bed an hour or two before we’re ready. It’s all just a bit lonely, now.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time reminiscing. Sweet Molly came to us when she was a tiny puppy. That tiny puppy grew into an 80 lb bundle of energy! Also, puppies like to chew. A lot. Especially lab mixes. Our first house had nice cedar plank siding. She thought that would be a nice chew toy. Our deck had painted white lattice work under pinning. That under pinning apparently wasn’t her style, because she tore it down. She learned how to tunnel under the chain link fence at that house as well. Taking care of a puppy was a learning experience for us for sure. Speaking of that deck- she would run out of our back door full speed, and launch herself over the steps and into the grass with a single leap. She never much liked fetch. You could throw a ball, and she’d take a leap off of that deck to catch it. She would bring it back to you once or twice, but then she’d run out there, put her mouth on it to prove she knew where it was, then come back to you without it. So much for being a retriever. 🙂
Trying to figure this nursery thing out. Also, I always loved how she walked around with her tail curled like that.

She was great with the kids! I never once saw her show any sign of aggression towards them. Even in her later years when she was arthritic, she put up with the kids antics.
September 2008
Molly with Phoebe – September 2008

She was also quite sociable. She greeted anyone who came to our door with enthusiasm. She loved greeting the neighbors if she saw them outside. Thankfully she was usually in the house or fenced in yard. One day, though, I let her out and didn’t see a new neighbor working in her flower bed. Molly ran straight to her, thereby introducing us. I can’t imagine how scary it is to see 80 lbs. of an unknown dog barreling toward you. Of course, she just wanted pets, and this neighbor turned out to be a good dog person, so all turned out well!

Our vets office loved Molly, too. I know it’s their job to love our pets, but their bond with Molly went beyond that.

I flipped through photos last week as well. In the past couple of years, Molly has gradually lost weight. She was around 60 lbs on her last day. This weight loss wasn’t the good kind, though. Her muscles were atrophying in her back end due to arthritis, and potentially some nerve damage of some sort. This loss was gradual enough that I didn’t necessarily notice as it was happening. But looking back at pictures of a younger, more agile Molly, it was obvious that she was more substantial, especially in her back end.

Molly in 2007

I’ve dealt with a fair amount of guilt, too. What if I’d done X or Y differently type thinking. I know it is fruitless to do this type of thinking, and I’ve largely moved past that. At least for the moment. But, as I said a few paragraphs up that taking care of a puppy was a learning experience, taking care of a senior pup was a learning experience also. I know that Molly lived a relatively long life, we provided her with comfort, and she was a happy, sweet dog. Maybe that shows we didn’t do a half bad job as puppy parents.
“I definitely wasn’t eating crayons, again.” – 2014

We grieve. But we also rejoice for the many years and memories we shared. If you have memories of Molly you’d like to share, please include them in the comments.
March 2017
March 2017

What I worked on 1/1/17-1/8/17

I’m going to try to follow my friend Misty’s lead and start posting weekly round ups of what I have worked on the previous week. Hopefully this will help me have something tangible to point to when someone asks what I’ve been up to. Most times I freeze up leading the person to assume I sit at home and eat bonbons watching tv. While that may very well be part of my weeks, it’s definitely not the majority. 

This week I just worked on crochet projects. I’m having fun lately riffling through my various stitch dictionaries to see what I can come up with. I’m learning there’s a lot of trial and error with this method, but that’s half the fun. I keep describing it as experimentation, and hopefully in the end at least some of these experiments will turn into actual finished items, with their own new patterns to share. 

I spent a couple of days last week trying to come up with a shawl using some mystery yarn that a friend made up using leftover bits of yarns. These cakes are so much fun and make the most beautiful, colorful projects. 

I’ve been working on a blanket off and on since last Spring. I asked friends and family members to provide a skein of yarn to represent themselves for my birthday in December 2015, and this blanket is the cozy result of that request. I love that there are so many colors and textures throughout. This will definitely be my go-to couch blanket once it’s done. 

I started another section of this mystery yarn shawl. I think I need to start over, though. I’m not happy that the top is curved downward instead of straight, so I think I’ll try adding additional increases at the ends of each row. I haven’t given up on this, yet, but have set it aside for now. 

This weekend I decided to start something new with this Irish yarn gifted to me from a friend. I wanted to try my hand at these loopy braids, and am finding them quite fun! This is intended to be an ear warmer/headband once it is complete. 

I worked on the headband a bit more. I decided to do three braids instead of two and I like that look a bit better. I’m not quite done with this, but it’s definitely getting closer. 

Raspberry Scarf

This weekend I needed a gift for a Dirty Santa party, and thought it’d be a good idea to make something. Handmade gifts always seem to do well at these events.  I had this beautiful thick and thin yarn just sitting in my stash waiting for the perfect project. I started this scarf using a grit stitch, and the finished result with the thick and thin yarn reminded me of raspberries. So, here is what I did for this raspberry scarf. I’m sure it can be adapted to any yarn. The stitch pattern requires a multiple of 2+1 if adapting this to a different finished size or if using a different yarn weight/hook size combination.  


L (8 mm) hook

284 yards bulky weight yarn. I used a discontinued thick and thin yarn (Cascade Yarns Jewel Hand Dyed). 

Chain (ch) 15

Row 1: skip 2 ch (counts as 1 single crochet [sc]), 1 double crochet (dc) into next ch. *skip 1 ch and work (1 sc and 1 dc) into the next ch. Repeat from * to the last 2 ch. Skip 1 ch and 1 sc into last ch. Chain 1 and turn (counts as first single crochet in the next row).  

Row 2: 1 dc into first stitch. *skip 1 dc, work (1 sc and 1 dc)  into next sc. Repeat from * to the last 2 stitches. Skip 1 dc and work 1 sc into the top of the turning chain. Ch 1 and turn. 

Rows 3 and up: Repeat Row 2 until the scarf reaches the desired length. Mine was approximately 60 inches when I was ready to add the border. 

Edging: Once the scarf reaches your desired length you can ch 1 and sc evenly around the whole scarf. Slip stitch and finish off at the first ch 1. This step is optional, but it gives the scarf a more finished edge. 

Fringe: Once the edging is completed, you can add an optional  fringe. For my fringe, I cut 15  9 inch pieces of yarn for each end (30 yarn pieces in total). I attached one piece of yarn per stitch on each end by looping the yarn in half, threading the loop into a stitch on the end, and pulling the free ends through the loop. I illustrated this concept in the photo collage below, and a completed fringe end below that. 

I can’t wait to see your scarves! 

* Disclaimer – y’all, I’ve made this pattern exactly once. I started this pattern on Friday and gifted it by Sunday. For a comparison, I made the ponytail hat three times before I published. If you spot a problem with this pattern, please, let me know. Either comment here or message me on Ravelry. I’ll answer any questions and make any corrections asap! Thanks! 

Pain in the Eye

I’ve been trying to work more activity into my life. It’s difficult. I prefer going to the gym, but carving out time to drive down there, work out, then drive back is near to impossible between work (for me), gymnastics (both girls), soccer (at least two of us, if not all 4), and church (all of us). I have one day a week open where we have no after school activities. So far that one day a week has been spent trying to catch a nap to make it through the week, or running errands that didn’t get done earlier in the week. All that to say, getting to the gym is just not easy right now. Monday night I decided to sneak in a walk in the neighborhood after the girls went to bed. I got outside, and not 3 minutes into my walk, something flew into my eye! After a few seconds of fierce blinking, it didn’t hurt to keep my eye open, so I carried on walking. When I got home, I looked and looked in the mirror and didn’t see anything. A mystery! My eye still stung a bit, but I didn’t give it much more thought. I just figured it was irritated from whatever had flew into it, and hoped that whatever it was, was gone for good. I took my contacts out for good measure, and moved onto the nightly tv watching before bed.

Tuesday morning I get up, and when I look in the mirror – there’s a little spec on lower eyelid! Apparently, the bug made it’s way out. I called the eye doctor to make sure there wasn’t anything else hanging out in there and to make sure I didn’t need antibiotics, or something. My eye checked out ok, outside of some irritation remaining and I was sent on my way with orders to get eye drops and use for the next couple of days.

Later Tuesday, I had to take our cat, Jasmine, to the vet. At her last appointment, the vet was concerned with her eye. We knew her eye looked funny when you looked at it – it kind of reflects light back at you. At her previous appointment, the vet we saw that time didn’t seem too concerned. This year, though, the newer vet was much more concerned. Turns out her lens is no longer attached, and was turned around. The way her lens was situated is causing fluid build up in her eye, which is causing high eye pressure. Yesterday’s appointment was to check that pressure again. You can see here that one eye looks different from the other.

It wasn’t lost on me that we both had our eye pressure checked yesterday. While my check was for something minor, and turned out just fine, hers is a bigger deal. The vet determined yesterday that her pressure is still very high with no improvement in the past four months. She can’t see out of that eye currently, and the pressure is bound to be causing lots of pain, even though she doesn’t show it. Our pets are good at masking when they’re in pain. The recommendation was for her bad eye to be removed. On the surface it seems like it was a tough decision, but knowing she is in pain, and that the painful eye is of no use to her anyway, it just makes sense. She should be her same old self once she’s healed from the surgery. She’ll go in next Tuesday for that procedure.

And hopefully, I can keep all insects and other foreign bodies out of my own eye. A pirate cat in the family is just fine. I’m not sure the pirate look suits me, though.

Does anyone else have any experience with one-eyed cats or dogs? Any funny stories or tips or other anecdotes?

#MicroblogMondays Social Prompts

September first brings with it new prompts! The two I participate in most often are the FoxinFlats Style Dare (which doesn’t occur every month and I don’t always participate), and the Fatmumslim Photo a Day. I’ll admit that I enjoy the photo a day, but I rarely do it daily. It just seems to be to much to keep up with sometimes. Lately I have a hard enough time keeping up with every day life things! (Note to self: call vet tomorrow to reschedule the cat’s appt. that I missed last week…) Also I tend to get self-conscious somewhat with the style dare a day. I enjoy it, but a month of posting selfies definitely feels odd. But it’s kind of fun to think about what I wear each day in a different light. Keeps it interesting to say the least!

So I may have cheated a bit on Microblog Mondays already. I’ve already posted the photos for the two above prompts on Instagram. I’m reposting them here anyway.

Letting the hair air dry and almost make-up free on this holiday. Red lipstick for the #foxinflatsstyledare day 1.

#fmsphotoaday 9/1/14: in my cup.

What is #MicroblogMondays?