Lovely long weekend

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Leo and I have put this labor day weekend to good use, if I do say so myself. Since we are renting a house, it's always a struggle to decide how much time and money we should invest in beautification of our humble abode. It's a great little place, but after years of being rented, there's a lot that has gone neglected. This is not the loving little first home, it was originally built to be, but a way point in the lives of folks like Leo and me. Still, never one to shy away from a little hard work, Leo has decided we should get things tidied up, so on Saturday and Monday, we shoveled, we weeded, we hauled masses of toppled brick and we planted a little flower garden that we hope we'll stick around long enough to see bloom once, and only once, before buying our own home. But Sunday, we put aside our shovels and spades and seeds and bulbs and packed up our car for a trip to Manzanita Beach.

On the way, we listened to Harry Potter and I got in a little knitting.

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This skirt remains my one mindless piece of knitting, that I can plug away on when I don't want to have to worry about row counters and lace patterns and other distractions.

We were expecting some serious crowds at the beach, and places like Cannon Beach and Hug Point, were, indeed, crowded, but Manzanita proved to be an ideal spot. While there were many people, we never felt crowded or cramped.

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The girls had a wonderful time and Thea is really starting to come into her own. Slowly, Thea is building her recall and we are able to keep her off leash for longer without incident. She's still so filled with social excitement that I wouldn't trust her implicitly, the way I do Panda, but she's proving to be a wonderful little girl.

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After a quick stop over at Blue Heron to pick up some provisions, we went back to Manzanita and set up camp. We are currently conducting reconnaissance in preparation for a bigger excursion with our friends; Erica and Larry and Jackie and her pup Tulip.

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Leo is in charge of setting up the fire.

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I am in charge of proving that pups will do almost anything for salami.

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Thea was a little scared of the fire at first. Can you see her hiding behind the log?

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But she came around after a little while.

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We attempted to take a family portrait, by way of self timer.

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Twas not so successful.

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And as the sun set and the air got a little cooler, my ample tush proved excellent insulation for the not-so-little one.

See more pictures over at Flickr.

It's ALIVE

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The yarn was broken in two places and all the knitting had to be ripped, but the skirt has been revived and I've even knit a few rows.

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And lest you all think I hold any sort of grudge towards Thea, fear not. I could never be mad at her for my own poor planning. I do, however, love to give you all a good laugh, and I suspect that you all find Panda's guilty conscience even more humorous than Thea's mischievousness. If we could harvest just their best traits, we'd have one perfectly balanced pup and enough left over parts for one entirely neurotic dog.

I'm guessing it's the latter.

Over and over again, I obviously need to be reminded that Thea is not Panda and probably won't ever be. In my nearly 6 years with Panda, I can think of only a couple of items she has destroyed before she learned that she could only have things that had been explicitly given to her, everything else was off limits. Brilliant, I know. We were spoiled.

Thea, she is loving and sweet and cute in so very many ways. But there are times.

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And while her handy work does take your attention away from some of the clutter, I'm not sure it does so in a very aesthetically pleasing sort of way. Luckily, it was nothing important.

That was 3 weeks ago. Except for an odd incident when I found her giving a hex wrench a taste, she's been as close to angelic as she's capable of being. Then, on Monday, Leo and I came home from dinner to this...


Brace yourself.

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Since I last posted about this skirt, I've probably put another 6 hours into it and all that work has been handily undone.

The Inox needle and clover stitch markers are destroyed. She seemed to mainly be interested in those and not the skirt itself. There are only one or two breaks in the yarn and areas where she has pulled out short sections of rows, repeatedly, down several inches, but not across the whole round. It salvageable but it'll be some time before I'm back to where I was.

I think the hardest thing is that my momentum for this piece has been (hopefully temporarily) quashed. A few hundred stitches, worked in stockinette chevron does not for exciting knitting make.

But just when I think I might actually be able to hold a grudge, she goes and makes cute at me again.

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I'm such a sucker.

Junk filter gone loco!

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Woah, I was wondering why I hadn't really been getting any comments lately and suddenly it occurred to me to check my junk comments folder.

Well, there you guys all are.

If you commented recently and didn't hear back from me, that is probably why. I'm going through the loads of junk to pull you guys out.

A sort of anniversary

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A year ago today, Julia and I were in the redwoods on our way from LA to Portland, Oregon.
I had just spent a month away from Panda and Leo, who'd moved up to Portland to start his new job.

After a couple weeks at Julia's house, and much planning we hit the road for our scenic and spinny adventure. There is no event quite like a road trip to get one past the "close acquaintance" stage right to friend. It's hard not to bust out laughing as we regale ourselves and anyone else who will listen, with stories from our adventures.

I'll forever hold a warm space in my heart for the Ravenwood, even though there was no running water when we awoke.

And I still remember the gorgeous fog over the ocean, surrounded by redwoods. Who wouldn't bust out into full dorkatude?

We nearly skipped Crater Lake, after some set backs and delays, but we made it and it's as breathtaking as everyone says it is.

And best of all, I have been able to live in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I love it up here, though I miss all my friends in LA. Julia makes for a great road trip companion and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


I've been doing a bit more than my usual reading and all of it has been good, so I thought I'd share my recommendations.

On the nightstand


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Actually, that's not the current cover for SI. The current one covers AIDS deniers. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a real hoot and sure to offend almost anyone. I'm glad to call myself a Pastafarian, rAmen! Guards Guards is currently my top reading to keep me from reading too much of what I'm...

...Savoring


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Need I say more? I don't want it to end.

Recently finished


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I really love Michael Shermer's books and articles and The Science of Good and Evil is no exception. He's also the publisher of Skeptic, to which I subscribe.
My mother lent me Middlesex and it was indeed funny, touching, thoughtful and moving. I generally shy away from books that are highly publicized and I'm not a fan of all of Oprah's suggestions, (yes, I'm one of those wet blankets who isn't into the whole The Secret phenomenon.*) but this book is definitely worth a read.




* That is, I don't believe in a magical force that brings luck and money to people who really want it.
However there is evidence to suggest that people who believe they are lucky are more likely to do things like enter drawings and raffles or build their social and business network which can result in more fortunate outcomes.

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