Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast, Bend Oregon

On our way to Crater Lake then Eugene, OR via Bend, OR...

We came across the Mill Inn on accident and it's AWESOME! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

My nearly finished Daybreak Shawl!

I mostly finished my Daybreak Shawl this week! I still have ends to weave in and it needs to be blocked, but I was very excited to see what it will look like so, since I sit across from an empty cube and there are T-pins all over, I decided to pin it up at work this afternoon. 

I got my co-workers to come over and admire it - they all did a very nice job of at least seeming impressed which I appreciated! 

Our fluorescent lighting isn't ideal for photography with a cell phone, but I took several pictures anyway.
I am quite pleased with it - I made some annoying mistakes, but they won't be too obvious when I'm wearing it.  Normally, I'd be much more of a perfectionist...but it's my first shawl and first big project with sock yarn...and it's pretty!

The Daybreak pattern is by Stephen West and is available on Ravelry for $6.  I was pretty intimidated by the pattern at first, but once I figured out the weird cast-on and started getting into it, it was actually not too difficult.

I used size US 4 32" circular needles, lots of stitch markers, a row counter, and tons of notes.

The black yarn is Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock and the variegated yarn is Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Caribeno - a very lovely navy, teal, purple, bluish blend.
(Have I mentioned that I looooooooooooove Malabrigo anything?)

Both were purchased from the Yarnery on Grand Ave in St Paul, Minnesota (I'm pretty sure that's my favorite yarn shop in the Twin Cities.

You can see more pictures and details on my Ravelry page!

Monday, June 6, 2011

RIP, Lucy: April 29, 1998 – June 3, 2011

My family’s pug dog Lucy died peacefully around 1:30 AM on Friday, June 3, 2011.  She had a good life and was loved very, very much.

My mom and I got Lucy from a home breeder in the summer of 1998.  Pugs weren’t especially trendy back then – and the Internet was still a novelty (no Craig’s List or Pet Finder) – so she was a wee hard to find.  We went through the classified ads in all the local papers for a few weeks with no luck, but finally found a litter of pugs for sale in St. Paul. We called the owner and she tried to tell us to come that evening because she was running a daycare or something, but I guess we were persistent because an hour later, there we were.  There were several puppies – male and female, black and fawn – and since we didn’t have any preferences, we kind of left it up to fate.  A fawn-colored girl with a double-curled tail gravitated to us and we knew she was ours.

Driving home, we brainstormed names for her.  Anything like “Pugsly” was definitely out of the question.  Mom suggested “Sugar” which was also not an option.  I said “How about ‘Lucy’?” and that settled it.  She was definitely a Lucy.

Lucy fit right in at our house.  She was a sweet, cuddly, good-natured little girl, always putting up with the cats’ bullying, my dad’s teasing, and my brother and I playing keep away with her from opposite ends of the stairs.  She liked to lie in the sun or in our laps, perfectly poised for belly scratches.  At night, she loved to cuddle under the covers with her head on a pillow.  Lucy had the typical pug snore, but even at her loudest, her snoring couldn’t compete with my dad’s so we hardly noticed it (I actually found it soothing). 

She was instantly a part of our family as well.  Lucy went trick or treating, had lots of presents and a full stocking on Christmas morning, and we always remembered to celebrate her birthday.  At my college graduation party, she wore maroon and gold bows (and discovered an appetite for cake and beer thanks to my grandpa…) It’s impossible to look at pictures from any holiday or event and not find Lucy in half of them.

Lucy went lots of places with us.  She liked cabins up north – as long as she didn’t have to swim.  We learned that early on when she ran down the dock…and kept running right off the end.  With her front-heavy pug build, she tipped right over with only her curly little tail staying above water.  The North Shore and Taylor’s Falls were a bit more her style.  She happily jumped around the rocks with us, sticking close by even when her stature forced her to find an alternative route.  Lucy also went to Arizona with my parents, but was definitely a Minnesotan at heart, preferring the air condition and cool tiles to the sand and cacti.

As Lucy got older, she got lazier.  I’m sure her laziness contributed to her…larger stature (some might say she got fat, but she was very dense and a perfectly fine size for a pug, as far as we were concerned.  She was a PUG, after all!), but none of us would try to deny the fact that we were largely to blame.  She still loved going for walks, but after a few blocks, she’d simply plant herself on the ground and wait to be picked up and carried like a baby…so we would, of course!  Lucy never had to beg for food – we never thought twice about slipping her a piece of bacon or a hot dog or a pancake.  My dad was probably the worst when it came to this – they’d lie in front of the TV together for hours – Dad on the couch, Lucy on his belly – and share a box of Cheez-Its.  My mom and I did try to put a stop to that at first, but my dad always responded with, “But she likes them!”

Last week, Lucy fell asleep in my mom’s arms and didn’t wake up.  I know she felt safe and loved and I hope she was dreaming of sunshine and tummy scratches as she drifted away… maybe she’s with my dad now, somewhere with sunny skies, comfy couches, and bottomless boxes of Cheez-Its.

We will always miss and love our snorting, bug-eyed, curly tailed, chubby little pug.  Rest in peace, Lucy.