Monday, October 31, 2011

Until We're Together Again

This post isn't easy for me to write, which is why it has taken me almost a week. On Wednesday, the 26th, I had to say goodbye to my best friend of 15 years. Scooter's body just couldn't keep up with his spirit and he was having a hard time doing basic things, like standing up and walking. So, I did what any loyal pet owner would do, even if it was hard for me. Wednesday morning David and I took Scooter to the vet's. We sat out in the car and I hugged and kissed Scooter while the vet helped Scooter ease out of this world.

It was hard to do, especially because Scooter has been with me for half of my life. I got him the summer I turned 15. Mom took me "just to look" at a puppy being fostered by a local rescue organization. Of course it was love at first sight and we brought him home with us, much to my dad's surprise. He was 7 lbs of cuteness and attitude.

I can remember spending time after school training him out in the yard. He learned to "play dead" in about 10 minutes. He was smart, which also sometimes got him in to trouble. Let's just say he did his fair share of chewing things in my room! It didn't take long before we were best buds.

Scooter loved going camping with us. He loved to swim and when we would let him out of the tent in the morning he would make a beeline for the lake!

Scooter has been with me just about every step of the way. He went to college with me, he moved to Vermont with me, and then moved back with me when that didn't work out. When I first moved to the area where I live now, I didn't know anybody. Scooter was pretty much my only (local) friend at that time. He went every single place I did. He'd sit in the passenger side of my car and look out the window. Every now and then he'd crane his head backwards to look at me. I'd scratch him on the chin and he'd turn back to the window. Sometimes I'd have to stop quickly and I'd tell him, "look out boo boo" and he'd sit down quickly so he wouldn't slide into the dashboard.

I swear he understood me when I talked to him. He knew me so well.

He loved to play ball! He'd pop rubber balls so he could carry them around more easily, and he would play any chance he got.

David loved Scooter too. He knew how important Scooter was (is) to me and he proposed to me with Scooter's help. The three of us went down to the river one day and David played fetch with Scooter. He handed me the stick to throw, and when I looked at it I saw, "Will you marry me?" written on the stick. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect proposal!

I took the picture above and below on that day. It was a perfect day.

And I knew I couldn't get married unless Scooter was in the wedding. He was an honorary bridesmaid (er, bridesdog?) and wore a flowered collar and leash.

I am so glad I have these memories and pictures of that special day.

He had been with me every step of the way up to that point, and I wanted him to be included as well.

It was hard to see him age, because I hated to think that he wouldn't be with me forever.

I never thought of Scooter as old, even when he looked old. I always saw him as the same Scooter.

This picture below is our last picture taken together. I took it on Tuesday night while we were getting some more snuggle time in.

It has been a hard week for me. It just doesn't seem real that he's not here anymore. I find myself going to look for him, or waiting for him to walk around the corner. Elmer and Buford were playing too rough last night and I got ready to tell them to settle down, since they always used to get in Scooter's way. One night I put Buford in his crate and said, "Night Scoot." Those are the hard things, because those things just come naturally and then it's a hard reminder that he's not here with us. Today Buford took a car ride with me, and as I slowed down to turn back into our driveway I said, "look out, boo boo" out of habit. It's getting a little easier every day, and I've been thinking back on all the good times and memories we had together. It helps that my family and friends have been so supportive. David has been my hero through this whole thing. I don't know how I would have done it without him. He has definitely been my rock.

I had Scooter cremated, because I just didn't want to bury him here when I know this won't be our house forever. I have a few plans for his ashes, like spreading some in a couple of our special places, and putting some under a special plant in the yard. I'm thinking it'll be a peony, since those were the flowers in my wedding bouquet. I know I'll smile and think of him every time I cut a vase of blooms.

I'm not a religious person, and I had never really put much thought into heaven, whether it existed or not. As I laid in bed on Wednesday night, I thought there must be a heaven, because how could our loved ones just cease to exist? I think he's somewhere right now, playing with all of the other dogs my family has lost over the years. He's swimming, playing ball, and bossing around other dogs this very moment. If ever there was a dog that deserved to go to heaven, he was it! I'll miss him so much. Love you, Scoot.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Lara's Cowl

With cooler weather coming, I've been wanting to knit a cowl. I saw Lara's Cowl and loved it, so I knit it. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, but I think it was a little too thick. I also had to go down to size 13 needles, since I didn't have a 15. I think my combination of smaller needles and only 2 skeins of yarn made this skein come out different than I expected.

It's not quite wide enough for me. If I wear it like a hood it doesn't even cover the back of my head. Add Image

I found someone else who likes it though...

I told her to strike a pose.

She had fun modeling it.

Then Devin had to get in a picture with Tucker.

So it looks like Lara's Cowl will go to Kylee. Oh well, at least I didn't have to frog it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Yarn Harlot Was in Town!

My sister, Becky, and I are both fans of the famous knitter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She's a hilarious lady who has a fabulous blog called The Yarn Harlot. Even if you're not a knitter, you would appreciate her humor!

She's just come out with a new book and is touring the US (she is Canadian) and she came to Baltimore for a book signing last night! We're about an hour and forty minutes from Baltimore, so I decided to go see her! I was really excited and was going to buy 2 of her books- one for me and one for Becky. I was going to get them signed, and give Becky her book as her birthday present. Since Becky couldn't come with me, I decided to take a picture of her along with me so I could show Yarn Harlot and maybe get a picture of the "three" of us.

Here I was, starting out on the trip, just me and my 2-D sister. I was happy. Full of hope and excitement.

I got about 45 minutes away from home and noticed the car was running hot. Very hot. Almost-overheating-hot. I turned on the heat full blast and managed to get it to a WaWa (gas station). I called David and he had bad news. If the car wasn't low on coolant (which it wasn't), then it was probably the thermostat and I really shouldn't drive to Baltimore unless I wanted to permanently damage the engine. AAAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!! I was so frustrated.

So there I sat in the Wawa parking lot, with the hood up, wondering why this crap always happens at the worst possible time. I called my brother, Chris, who happens to live in Baltimore, since we were planning on meeting up after the book signing. I told him the news, and he told me he was going to make a few calls. I decided to try to limp the car home, stopping and letting it cool down if I had to.

Chris called a few minutes later and said he cleared his schedule and offered to come pick me up and drive me to the signing! I really wanted to take him up on his offer, but I was afraid of having to drive the car back home late at night and having it break down. I figured I better head back while it was still light out.

So Chris did the next best thing! He went to the book signing for us (I say us, because Becky was going in spirit). How awesome is he?! So my non-knitting, very hip, drummer-in-a-band brother spent 2.5 hours at the signing, waiting to get the books signed for his lucky sisters! He got to meet the Yarn Harlot and he told the story of the broken down car. And she blogged about him!!!! SO EXCITING! You may be thinking it's not a big deal, but it's a huge deal! She's famous! Here is her blog post, if you'd like to read it. Becky and I owe Chris big time! We are incredibly lucky to have such a sweet brother!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Follow Us on Facebook!

Purl & June is the new name of my "brand" of crafts, including felted items and NEW goat milk soap! Follow Purl & June on Facebook and see what's going on! It's in the beginning stages now, but I hope to post pictures and updates while I add new things! Hope to see you on Facebook!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pink Hair for Hope

I got my pink hair extension yesterday to support Breast Cancer Awareness! Learn more at Pink Hair for Hope. There are a ton of salons participating (even if they're not listed on the website) so call your local salon and get your pink hair extension today! They're about $10 and support a great cause! And they're cute!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Two weeks ago I went to visit my dad and go to the county fair (post on that coming soon). While I was there, I asked Dad if he could help me with a project. Dad is good at building stuff (like the goat stand) so I thought he'd be the perfect one to help me make a couple soap molds.

These soap molds run anywhere from $30-$45ish dollars online, and I knew we could build them for a fraction of that cost.

In no time at all we had 2 soap molds made! We used wood he already had in his garage, and only had to buy the bolts and wingnuts. Each mold cost about $6.00.

These are 4 pound molds, which means they hold 4 pounds of soap. There's a "track" on one side so the soap can be cut into even 1" bars. The end pieces of wood come off so the soap can be easily removed.

I've used these molds a few times already, and I love them! They need to be lined with wax paper first, so the soap doesn't stick. Then the soap gets poured in and the whole thing goes in the fridge for 24 hours so it can set.

After 24 hours the soap gets taken out of the mold, the wax paper gets removed, and the soap goes back into the mold for slicing.

I just now realized I need to keep the end on the mold while I'm slicing so I get more even bars. Doh!

And here are the bars after they've been sliced. They've still got to cure for at least 4 weeks before they can be used.

I've got some soap ready for sale, but they were made with a different mold so they're not quite as pretty as these bars. I'm debating adding them to my Etsy shop now, or waiting until my craft show in December to sell any. I'm not quite sure yet!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Pee Wee football, that is. Devin is playing in the local kids' league this year.

He said it's fun, but next year he wants to try basketball or baseball. I don't think he's an aggressive enough kid to really play football. He worries he'll hurt the other boys if he tackles them too hard. :-) If you want my opinion, I'd rather he be too nice to tackle anyways.

And Kylee is cheering in the same league. She cheers for the team of boys that's younger than Devin's group. She's had a lot of fun and met a lot of new friends. She says next year she'd like to try soccer.

And I tell ya, I really have to give my parents props for encouraging us (me, my sister, and my brother) to be so involved. We all tried sports (but none of us stuck with it), 4-H, and marching band. My parents were band parents for 12 years! 12 long years of Monday through Friday practices,Friday night football games, and Saturday competitions. Oh yeah, and sometimes we had multiple competitions in one day, and parades on Sundays! You never realize until you're the ones driving kids to practices and games that it takes up a lot of time! One thing about parenting is it makes you realize just how much your parents did for you! Thanks Mom and Dad!

USDA Fall Webinars

The USDA is having several webinars this fall on some pretty great topics! Click the link here to read more about it. They're free for everyone, but you need to register.

2011 Fall Webinar Series

Wednesday, October 5
Webinar: The Basics of Home Canning with Elizabeth Andress, Ph.D., food safety specialist with Georgia Cooperative Extension and Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition.
Learn the basics of canning fruits and vegetables from your garden, as well as USDA recommendations for canning pickles and sweet spreads. Make sure you are safe from botulism and other risks when you preserve food, and learn best practices for high quality preserves.

Wednesday, October 12
Webinar: Introduction to Seed Saving with Shannon Carmody, public programs manager for Seed Savers Exchange
Learn about the biological and ecological needs of saving seeds. Topics will include plant reproductive structures, isolation requirements, pollination methods and taxonomy.

Wednesday, October 19
Webinar: Pollinators For Your Garden with Dr. Jeff S. Pettis, research leader with USDA-Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.
Pollinators are essential to any gardening endeavor. Hear about the variety of native or wild pollinators and things you can do to encourage or increase them in your area.

Wednesday, October 26
Webinar: Food Stamps Grow Gardens! Leveraging SNAP to grow gardens across America with Daniel Bowman Simon, founder of SNAP Gardens
Did you know that you can use SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits to help plant a garden? This session will provide ideas for how garden-minded professionals and amateurs alike can spread awareness and connect SNAP recipients to resources and information that will enable productive gardening experiences for all.

Wednesday, November 2
Webinar: Extending the Growing Season Using High Tunnels and Hoop Houses with Ron Cordsiemon, Missouri Plant Materials Center Manager for USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Elsberry, Missouri
High tunnels and hoop houses can be used to increase the growing season of a variety of plants. This session will cover the different types of structures used and the time and expense involved for construction. This session also will look at the potential for increased production among different types of vegetables.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Turns out I'm 0-2 in the "search for female rabbit" quest! This little guy turns out to be a buck! Drats. He's really cute though, and very friendly, so he may be able to stay here for a while. We'll see how it goes. I've learned my lesson though.....double check sex organs before buying any more rabbits! ;-) At least I know what to look for now...
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