Friday, September 11, 2015

Wildlife Rescue Nests ~ Knitted Hanging Nest

Knitted Hanging Nest

adapted by Della Reid

This hanging nest pattern was created for Wildlife Rescue Nests.  We have seen a few wildlife rescues hanging the nests in cages for older, ‘eyes-opened, ready to explore’ mammals, such as squirrels.   It can easy be attached to the interior of cages with the new addition of a flap and buttons.


  • it's important to keep your tension as tight as possible.   2 strands of yarn is used to increase strength, more tension on the yarn while knitting will yield a tighter fabric with no holes.   even though these nests are typically lined with paper towels/cloths, it is essential that these are made as tightly as possible to reduce the risks of claws/toes getting caught and it also helps to hold their shape properly
  • yarn weight and needle size are dependant on each other.  what's worked for me is to knit with 2 strands of the yarn, but use the needle size recommended by the yarn wrapper.


  • 2 strands of medium (4) weight acrylic yarn used
  • 4.5mm circular or double point needle
  • 2 - ¾ Inch buttons
  1. cast on 6 stitches, join in a circle being careful not to twist, place marker at beginning
  2. knit 2 in each stitch, place a marker after each pair (12 stitches, 6 stitch markers)
  3. *knit until last stitch, knit 2 in last stitch*, repeat 6 times until 10 sts in each section, total 60 stitches
  4. purl one round
  5. knit 20 rows
  6. purl around
  7. knit around
  8. purl around
  9. knit around
  10. purl around
  11. cast off 4 sections (40 sts)
  12. knit to end (20 sts on needle)
  13. continue in garter stitch for 9 more rows
  14. button hole row ... continue in garter stitch for 3 sts, cast off 2, continue knit/purl for 10 sts, cast off 2, knit/purl 3 sts (16 sts on needle)
  15. continue in garter stitch for 3 sts, cast on 2 sts, continue in garter stitch for 10 sts, cast on 2 sts, continue in garter stitch for 3 sts (20 sts on needle)
  16. continue in garter stitch for 3 rows
  17. cast off

Line the buttons up underneath the flap you created on the top edge of the nest and attach loosely so you have enough room for the layer to fit beneath the edges of the button when threaded through the makeshift button holes.

NOTE:  The 5 rows of garter stitch at the top of the nest, not only lead into the flap, but help give the nest some structure and stability.

Check out the Facebook Group Wildlife Rescue Nests for a list of Rescue Organizations in need of these nests, and for more pattern ideas.

Feel free to use and share this pattern, but please do not sell it or any nests you make unless proceeds are directed back to a Wildlife Rescue Organization.

Friday, October 16, 2009

18 years .... how can time go so fast ??!!

no knitting today ... it's all about my baby ...

18 years ago today, I wasn't doing so well, but quietly laying in the nursery of Markham Hospital was a perfect wee baby girl .... ok, maybe not so wee, and apparently not so quietly. my parents came to visit me in the ICU, but stopped off to visit with their first (and only) grandchild (that should have been my first clue as to where I was now on their priority list *LOL*). I saw them coming from across the unit, and was so excited ... had they seen the baby??!! they said oh yes, but then completely irrational panic on my part set in .... are you SURE it was MY baby??!! how can you tell, babies all look alike, and you hear of them getting switched at birth. OMG .... how do I know that it's MY baby ??!! I calmly (NOT) voiced my concern to my Parents (and probably to most of the staff and any conscious patients in the ICU with me) about the chances of them not finding the right baby .... but not to fear. My Dad, in his unique (blunt) style reminded me that Markham Hospital Maternity was a "rooming-in" facility, meaning all babies stayed with their Mother's for their entire stay ... unless there is a medical reason why they cant. the only babies in the nursery were preemies (itty-bitty ones) and jaundice babies (who were usually on the small side). apparently my parents had no problems finding their new Granddaughter ... she was (only) the 10-pounder, and on top of that what little bit of hair she had was read red and she was screaming at the top of her lungs (obviously healthy). that made me feel better :)

well ... 18 years later and my baby is all grown up, and is now away at college. where has the time gone ??!! I'm sure every Mother feels the same way, looking back over the years at their grown children, but still sees the the wee babe that used to need them. it's such a strange emotion to be so proud of them you want to burst, while at the same time wishing they were wee again and wanted to crawl up into your lap for a snuggle.

DD is heading home from school today to spend the weekend at home. she'll be spending the day with her Dad, and then coming home for a "Girl's Night" together .... dinner & a movie *WOO HOO* !! Saturday maybe some shopping together and then we'll be meeting my Parents for a late brunch at Cora's.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October ~ Breast Cancer Awarness & Knitting

I cant believe October is almost half over already .... where has the time gone ??!!

we ended August in our favourite way .... spending a week at a rental cottage just outside Algonquin Park. it's a great way to relax, get some reading & knitting done, play some boardgames, and go hiking with the dogs.

September was a huge month for DD and myself ..... Labour Day her Dad and I moved DD into her dorm room. the day turned out really well, the move went smoothly, we spent the day putting things together, then out for her first grocery shop and a nice lunch. the house is going to be quiet with her gone, but I'm very proud of her and going to enjoy watching this next phase of her life unfold.

Tuesday September 8 ..... first day of college for DD, and first day of my new job. dont know which one of us was more nervous, but we both survived, and seem to be settling in just fine.

just when I thought I was getting used to my "empty nest" ..... I end up with a houseful. Wendi and her hubby go off to the great (not so) white north on a hunting trip, and I acquire 2 teenagers and another dog while they are away. the kids are more than old enough to look after themselves, and pretty much did their own thing, but boy did I enjoy having them around for that week!!! I think I found the house harder to adjust to after then left, then when DD went off to college.

I have some earings that you can get from SKWD Creations and wanted to point out their breast cancer pink-ribbon items ..... if you're looking for any Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon items go check them out. they also have a great selection of earings, shawl pins, stitch markers, and a few necklaces & cellphone charms.

Knitting Update .... this is going to be big, as it's been ages since I blogged

Scotch Thistle Lace Stole ~ a lovely lace stole that I knitted last year, but only recently got around to blocking. the good news is, it turned out lovely .... the bad news is, I must have dropped a stitch back in the beginning, so as I blocked it a hole started to emerge. it turns out that it was a wee bit small for my liking, and with the un-fixable hole, i decided to frog it out and re-use the yarn

Blender Socks for DD ~ well the blender socks that I did for me turned out so well, I decided to give it a try for my DD (who wanted to scoop mine). I used some left over yarn that I had done a previous pair of socks for her, and put solid (kettle dyed) black toes and cuffs on them (I would have done a black heel too, but didnt think I'd have enough yarn)

Los Monos Locos ~ these socks were for me!! a "crazy" version of the famous "monkey sock", with a toe-up reverse heel flap that I wanted to try. love the socks, love the yarn, not impressed with this style of heel

Hug Me Boucle Shawl ~ I got some acrylique boucle from a yarn swap. the colour is lovely, but not really a type of yarn that I really knew what to do with .... thank goodness for Ravelry and their wonderful pattern search. entered some critera, and up pops up some suggestions ..... I ended up making this really awesome shawl. I'm so pleased with how it turned out, the colours are just lovely, and it really works with the type of yarn. with it being made of acrylique, it will be really easy to look after. I'm not a shawl person, and the ones I like are much bigger than this, so it will be gifted to someone (or a charity organization) that I think will get some use of it

Bored, and dont know what to knit .... get out the dish cloth cotton and whip up a dishcloth using a basic no-thought required pattern. and to match the dishcloth, how about a crochet market bag. everyone is so concerned about plastic bags, and them ending up in the dump, here's a great alternative ... they are strong, expandable, can be thrown in the washing machine, and are kind of cute.

Cropped Raglan Sweater ~ while away at the cottage I wanted an easy knit, but something practical. this is an easy raglan (neck down) sweater, that was brainless to knit ..... just to add some character (and because I dont do anything the way it was written) I added a "lace" pattern down the front, and made to hang just below the waist band of my jeans. I love how the sweater turned out, but I think it's a wee bit large .... so guess that means that I'll get to knit it again for next year !!

Sketchy Shawl KAL ~ well the girls all got together and decided they wanted to do a shawl KAL. I dont think any of us did the same shawl pattern, but we all had our "ceremonial cast on" together at our meeting. I had a hard time choosing what pattern to work on because I'm not a "lacy shawl type of person", and I wanted one that would actually wrap around me ... I found Wild Flower Shawl. it was just what I was looking for, and I thought it would be perfect with the lace weight yarn that I had already decided I want to use (no matter what pattern I found). both the yarn and shawl are on the casual side, and I joined the group and cast on ..... by the end of the night, I was NOT impressed. although the pattern was nice, you couldnt see all the work I was doing because it was too loose .... so frogged out, and down I go in needle size, and then again frogged and down another needle size. at this point, I've decided I not only hate lace weight, but all shawls. fortunately Wendi suggests some lovely yarn that we both have, and knowing that I wouldnt have enough for the shawl, she offers me the remainder of her skein (aren't friends great !!). the shawl turned out lovely, and as worried as I was about then knitting on the edging, it turns out there was nothing to worry about, and the edging really makes the shawl .... and now that it's finally blocked, I love it even more !!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday June 7th 2009 ~ A Day of Firsts

ok, this has nothing to do with knitting, but after the day we had I just had to blog about it.

DD and I spent the day with the dogs on McCrae Lake with Eren & Jessie from Dog Paddling Adventures, along with 7 other people and their puppies, for a canoe & portage trip around the area. it was a good solid 2 hours from our house to get there, and the farther north we drove the worse the weather seemed to be looking. by the time we met up with everyone it had already started to drizzle. fortunately DD and I had purchased excellent canoe/hiking trousers, that for the most part were rather water resistant (thank goodness !!). DD has a good rain jacket, but I only had a pull-over style windbreaker & my running jacket (neither of which are great in the rain, but better than nothing). as luck would have it, Eren saved the day with some extra rain jackets (I wasn't the only one that needed to borrow one). we all got suited up in our canoeing gear, including life jackets for everyone, including all the dogs.

after our initial introduction chat, we all headed down thru a muddy path to the water's edge where the canoes were waiting. this was our first taste of how the day was going to be. as we got a quick introduction to canoeing, we were constantly being attacked by SWARMS of mosquitoes.

FIRST # 1 ~ apparently Hasia, and eventually Betty, bothered so much by the mosquitoes, decided to coat themselves in the black muck at the shoreline that we were standing at, while Eren was giving his instructional talk about the canoes. although DD and I had seen Hasia do this once before (and have pictures of the end result), apparently no one else had ..... everyone was EEEWWWWWing and YUCKing as Hasia did everything she could to get as coated in mud as possible

needless to say Eren gave his instructions as quickly as possible and when asked for volunteers to be the first in a canoe, DD and I quickly offered our hands up.

FIRST # 2 ~ it was decided that I would steer. now, I have been "in" a canoe a couple of times, and even tried War Canoeing once ..... but my paddling skills were VERY limited, and nor was I ever really interested in working that hard in the past. it always seems to be very hard work, and difficult to get anywhere quickly. this was my FIRST time to not only really be involved in paddling a canoe, but also in control of the steering of it

so I very gracefully (NOT) tried to make my way to the back of the canoe. once I was seated "comfortably" it was DDs turn to get in

FIRST # 3 ~ getting 2 VERY excited Labradors, COMPLETELY covered in mud and soaking wet, into a canoe, without all of us going for a swim.
it took a wee bit to cokes the dogs into the canoe, and then get them settled into their own "sections". unfortunately, they both seemed to want to sit on the same side, which got a wee bit tippy at times. then, of course, as each canoe was loaded with it's occupants of humans and dogs, and came near to another canoe ..... often times the dogs wanted to "visit" with each other (which did NOT amuse the humans they were sharing the canoes with !!) Hasia and Betty did REALLY well, and my only complaint was that every so often Betty would stand up to look around .... and would have to circle around 2 or 3 times before she'd settle back down again.

well, off we go. everyone is finally settled in our canoes and we're ready to head out. unfortunately, like myself, many of us had no idea what the heck we were doing. Eren was an awesome instructor, and very quickly we were padding our way thru the straight towards our portage spot.

FIRST # 4 ~ our first portage. although I've heard of this, I've never experienced it before ... and to be honest, it wasn't my favourite part. the terrain was hard enough for me to handle on my own, but with a canoe on my shoulders, or even being carried between 3 or 4 people, it was brutal. the one GOOD thing about the portage spot was that we pulled up on rocks & the water was clean ..... so we had Hasia & Betty in the water as soon as we stopped to try to get them cleaned up.

we (by that I mean Eren) hauled one of the canoes across the paths down to the lower part of the waterfall as we all followed. fortunately, there was another chap with us who had portaged before so was able to help with moving the canoes, and then a group of 3 also helped bring one over. DD and I stayed on the lower side, keeping watch over the dogs and our canoes. ours was the last canoe to come over, and before it was brought DD and I had a chat. although we were both wet, DD's hands were beat red and ICE cold. we seriously considered leaving the group and heading back to our starting location and going home. in the end, DD said she'd be ok, and our canoe was brought over with the rest.

FIRST # 5 ~ time to get back into the canoes. again, DD and I were first .... with Eren's assistance, I head in and towards the back of my canoe. just as I'm settled down I feel a tugging on my canoe. Eren is holding the front of the canoe steady, while Sophie (a yellow lab) is tugging with all her strength on the bailing bucket that attached to the back of my canoe, and was floating in the water. I seriously thought I was going over, between the tug-of-war of my canoe between Eren and Sophie. I was in hysterics laughing so hard. everyone was laughing, as we couldn't believe this was happening. finally, I was able to reach around back and grab the rope attached to the bailing bucket, and Sophie's "Mum" pulled her out of the water, and we were all ready to load up the rest of the canoes without incident. everyone piled back into their canoes and we head into McCrae Lake towards Georgian Bay.

the dogs were getting the concept of the canoes now, and it was much easier getting them in and settled down. I think all the swimming they were doing during the portage break helped tire them out *LOL*. the rain was coming on and off, sometimes drizzling, and then stopping for a wee bit, teasing us with how lovely this trip could be in nice weather !!! the one bit of wildlife we saw was a magnificent blue heron take off as we canoed past it thru a weedy section of channel. it was just beautiful to see !!

our first 2 planned locations for lunch were already in use by campers (what kind of crazy people would be out camping & canoeing in this type of weather ??!!). apparently 3rd time is a charm .... we landed in a great location (I actually thought it was the best, and flattest of the 3 choices). the weather was threatening to get worse. we tossed around setting up a tarp over the lunch are, but decided against it as it would take too long, and we "probably didn't need it". LOL ..... ok, so we set the lunch up, did Eren's "warm up dance" (thank GOODNESS no one was around to watch that !!), and then the clouds opened up. I think Eren made record time in hanging a tarp over the lunch area .... it wasn't a GREAT job ... but it worked, and many of us used it to try to stay out of the rain. this final down-pour seemed to be what "Mother Nature" needed .... after that the skies seemed to brighten, and was much nicer. lunch was a good and bad thing ... by the time it was over we were all wet and chilled to the bone. it was time to go back, and as much as we enjoyed the chance to stretch our legs, at least while we were paddling we were warmer.

after a quick flip of the canoes to empty the rain water out of them, we all piled back in again (as we're all starting to look like we know what we're doing now ... including the dogs !!) head back to portage back upstream. the portage spot was lovely !!! it was a small waterfall so the water was calm enough that we were not afraid of the dogs being in the water. this was play time for the dogs, as sticks seemed to be constantly dropped at our feet to be thrown back into the water for them to fetch. again Eren, with the help of some of the others carried our 5 canoes across to the upper section. Kelsey took our paddles, and I carried one of our large group backpacks. the mosquitoes, again, were brutal, at the upper portage location. thank goodness for bug spray ..... and for the fact that there was no mud for Hasia to coat herself in !!!

after loading up for our final leg of the journey the sky was bright, but still overcast, but it was probably the quickest time we made for the entire day !!! as much fun as we all had, we were all looking forward to getting back to our vehicles and changing into dry clothes !! we pull up to shore, back where we started ... we're warmed up from paddling but still chilled from being wet, our feet are soaked, but we're all smiling and laughing.

FIRST # 6 ~ ok, maybe this "first" is a stretch, but as I've never done it before (picked up a canoe, and moved it), I'm counting it. DD and I picked up our canoe, and with the help of Sophie's "Mum" we hauled it up a SOAKED and MUDDY trail to the truck. I started out trying to avoid the mud, but with all the rain that had fallen while we were out, this was next to impossible .... and besides, I was already wet, and my running shoes soaked and squishing ... what's a little mud ??!! we handed in our canoe, paddles, all 4 lifejackets .. and before I was able to finish, DD had gotten my keys from the waterproof bag and was booking it to the truck. I turned in my loaner rain jacket (without which I think I would have been "oober" miserable), and after some "thankyous" and "goodbyes" I squished towards the truck myself. DD had already managed her change, and was WAY more comfortable ..... fortunately we were the last in a line of vehicles, and with the doors opened and the back seats flat it was very easy to get our of our wet soggy clothes and to change into the dry ones we brought with us. this change made for a much more enjoyable ride home.

warm and dry, we turned around and headed back to the 400. I think the dogs were asleep before we hit the highway. we made a stop in Barrie for a much needed pee-break (and a HOT coffee), then headed back to the 400. DD followed the example set by the dogs ... and she was very quickly asleep too. it was a wee bit more than a 2 hour drive home, because of traffic .... then baths for the dogs, and hot showers for DD and myself. the rest of the evening was VERY quiet, ending in us heading downstairs to watch "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" (well, only half of it ... we were too tired to watch the entire movie, and ended up going to bed early)

all in all .... we were wet, cold, muddy, tired, eaten alive my swarms of mosquitoes ..... and had a GREAT day !!! DD and I talked during the last leg of our journey .... weather aside, we had an awesome day, and are looking forward to doing it again (hopefully with nicer weather next time). our thanks to Eren & Jessie of Dog Paddling Adventures for their great leadership and instructions, we couldn't have done it without you .... and to Kathryn; without your organizational skills, excellent lunch preparation and e-mail suggesting that we bring a dry set of clothes to drive home in; we would have been confused, hungry and had a miserable drive home !!

please check out the pictures that Eren took during our day's adventures!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sock Wars IV

Sock Wars IV The largest, bloodiest, extreme knitting tournament in the world. the dossiers for each target have been sent out to their Warrior Assassins, while our "Pages" (i.e. children, husbands, pets, etc) ready our weapons (knitting needles, stitch markers, row counters, conversion charts, etc), and ensure that we are not distracted during the battle with mundane things (i.e. Mum drive me here, Mum what's for dinner, Mum the dog just ate the cat, etc)

my Target:
"PatchWorkBumbleBee" is from Michigan .... another American to die at the feet of my knitting needles. it's going to be like the War of 1812 all over again !!!. it's a shame too, she seems like a nice person, and this is her first Sock Wars ..... I'm sure it will be hard for her to die so quickly & painfully, but she's chosen a nice colour of yarn, so I hope she enjoys her early death !!!!!

my Assassin:
"IPakosh" is an Ex-Patriot .... who, ironically lived only blocks from me before she had to flee from her homeland. when asked if I'm at all worried about her being a threat .... I laugh in their general direction *HAA HAA* !!! I have no concerns about her being able to complete her mission, and send me my death socks ..... right now, she's probably sipping a rum punch, while lounging in a recliner on a white sandy beach, overlooking the blue ocean .... so do I fear her, NO WAY .... do I envy her, OH YEA !!!!!

this year there is a new facet to the fighting ... warrior assassin teams !! I was able to gather 3 of my sketch knitting friends and get a team together, and so "Team Sketchy" was born. myself, Knitted Squirrel , Vaedri and Loki are out for blood together. Warrior Heather has also joined in the fighting, but as our other Sketchy friends were not SKETCHY enough to join up, our poor Heather will have to battle on her own :(

R2Sock2 ~ this mediocre team of warrior-knitters has been assigned us as their target. they seem like a lovely group of ladies, and I have to admit, it's hard to trash talk Marion, who like myself is also a DogGuide Foster Mum .... but that being said, I'll be cheering on the LI team from the U.S. to kick their butts (before they get a chance to take out all 4 of us)

The Shocking Stocking Killers ~ an International group of knitters (2 Canadians & 2 Americans), that will hopefully be dying a VERY quick death by the Team Sketchy !!! it's a shame that we'll have to be taking out fellow Canadians, but that's the spoils of war !

the battle begins on Friday May 15, 2009 ... let the carnage begin ..... MWWWWAAAA HAAAAA HAAAAA !!!!

May 22, 2009 .... Kill #1 as "PatchWorkBumbleBee" falls to her sketchy pair of Insidious socks!!! to help her family thru their time of mourning I also included a box of yummy maple sugar candy, and some ladybug stitch markers (there were the only "insect" stitch markers that I was able to make).

June 1, 2009 .... it is with great sorrow that I post the detail of my demise. I believe that I was the last of "Team Sketchy" to be killed, but fortunately there is still one stealthy Sketchy Warrior still alive and kicking !!! as much as I'm sorry to be dead, I couldn't have been killed by a more lovely pair of socks. "IPakosh" also included some lovely wee pressies to help ease the pain .... a couple of bath bombs (rather appropriate I thought !!), 2 different teas, some perfume samples and a sample of another yarn and some roving.

Monday, May 11, 2009


wow, I cant believe another month has come and gone already !!!

Blog Changes
- although this has happened as of May 1st, it's a subject that's very close to my heart. you'll notice some new banners added to my blog ... Red Friday, and Support Our Troops. I dont care about your politics, or if you believe that our troops should be in Afghanastan or not .... they have CHOSEN this career, and as part of their job they are putting their lives on the line because they believe in what they are doing. I cry every time I hear about another one of our young people being killed over there. there is very little I can do, but I do what I can. I have a support our troops magnet on my truck (well, I did have one, but it "dissappeared", so I have ordered a new one) and I wear a Red Friday Support Our Troops t-shirt (and have ordered one for my Dad for Father's Day). I am also a proud participant in the Chosen Soldier Project ... each tour, I get assigned a new "soldier boy" (I suppose I may get assigned a female one of these times, but so far they have all been men) that I sent parcels to every so often. it's a wonderful thing to be a part of, and the biggest thrill I get out of it is finding a wee thank you letter in my mail box or my e-mail. DD will be dancing in the Hamilton Tattoo in June, and the Kingston Tattoo this July .... each year they always ask any Vetrans in the audience to stand up so that everyone can show their appreciation, and each year the number of people that stand up get's smaller and smaller ... but the lump that comes to my throat is always huge !!!

ok ... back to knitting .....

Blended Socks
- Wendi has knitted quite a few of these, so I decided to try them. after going thru my stash, I pulled up some left over yarn and as I was sitting down to get started DD noticed it ... HEY, are you knitting me another pair of socks ??!!! NO, says I. well, it's "my" yarn, she says ... well it's yarn from 2 different pairs of socks that I had knit for her. LOL ... sucks to be her ... THESE ARE MINE, and they turned our quite lovely !!! I've already caved, and have found more yarns, so the next pair of blended socks are for her (boy is she ever lucky to have such a great Mum !!)

ASL Charity Afghan
- ok, have I mentioned how much I HATE this project ??!! in the past month I have gotten almost nothing accomplished as far as this bloody thing goes. it's turning out ok, but such a pain to knit ... working with 2 colours that twist and get tangled. although the squares are small, and so you'd think that it would be a portable project ... HA, not really ... you see every row is different, so I have to have the pattern with me all the time, and follow it VERY carefully (frogging this back when I discover a mistake is VERY frustrating !!)

- no, not mine (unfortunately) ... my parents were gone for a good part of April, on holiday in Croatia. yea, ok not the first place one thinks about when asking themselves where should we go this year on holiday (especially when you are not from that culture) ... but that being said apparently they had an awesome time. the people were wonderful, food excellent and the countryside absolutely beautiful ... in my Mum's words "it's one of the hiden jems of the world!!". I'm so happy that my parents are travelling again. they used to go somewhere in the world every year, but due to health problems that stopped for over a decade. last year they decided to "risk it" and went to Ireland .... well apparently they are back in full force, and I couldnt be happier for them. NOW that being said, it sucks for me !!! I dont "talk" to my parents very day, or even see them every week, but my Mum is on-line daily so there is MSN and e-mail exchanges every day. also, before they left my Mum discovered FaceBook .... OMG !!!! so even though we dont "talk" we have regular contact, and I know that they are only a phone call away .... unless they are off galavanting across the pond somewhere .... and I dont like that at all!! dont get me wrong, I'm happy for them ... but it's amazing how lonely it is. The good news is they had an awesome time, and go home safe !!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March ~ an emotional rollercoaster !!

I'm not even sure where to start, but let's start with knitting .....

ASL Charity Afghan ~ this has turned into afghan from he!! after more attempts than I'd like to think about, the first row is finally done, and actually looks pretty good. I'm working on the blocks for the 2nd row, to discover that the last block on the first row has the wrong colour combination .... and I just cant leave it, as it will drive me absolutely around the bend .... BUT, on the advice of Wendi, I've decided to continue along with the squares as planned. IF I have time after all squares are completed, I'll re-knit the mistake square .... and if there isn't enough time then maybe we can include a game of "what's wrong with this afghan" during the raffle !!!

Old friends come back for a visit ...
I had 2 old friends come to town on March 12. Lucy, the beagle, is our house guest when her family go away on holidays. ironically I was just saying to DD that it was getting to be time when I was craving my "Lucy fix". thank goodness for March Break ... Lucy came to stay with us again !!! she comes running in the house like she never left, knows exactly where everything is (including where HER crate is, I mean used to be ... I ended up having to move a crate back to "her" spot in the kitchen). her and our Betty have a marvelous time wrestling and running around, while our Hasia just sits there "supervising" ready to discipline should anyone get too rough. (you'll notice the picture where Lucy is hugging my latest pair of knitted socks!)

Ironically, on the same day, Kris is flying back home from BC, where her and the family moved to about 5 years ago. what a great reunion .... needless to say we went thru quite a bit of wine for the 2 weeks she was here !!!

the first weekend of March Break DD and I tried something I had found on-line. Dog Paddling Adventures is an outfit that arranges hikes, canoe trips and camping (yuck) trips for dogs and their families. what an AWESOME idea !! the only catch with this first hike was the addition of Lucy, who had never been off leash, and we were worried about her recall. no worries ..... up we get, bright and early .... configure the back of the truck so that our Betty and Lucy have a crate to sit in (which they both prefer) and our Hasia is able to sit up towards the front in-between DD and myself so she can look out the window. after a quick Starbucks stop off we head to Pigeon River Conservation area. OMG .... what an absolute hoot ... before we even got out of the truck we were greeted by at least 3 dogs who came running over to introduce themselves. based on this greeting, and not seeing any dogs on leash, we just opened the back of the truck and let our 2 labs jump out and introduce themselves ...... we were a wee bit more careful with Lucy, and kept her on a double leash. the day was bitter sweet ..... the weather was perfect, the guides Eren & Kevin were awesome, and the other hikers (both 2 and 4-legged) were all very friendly. unfortunately, just before lunch, DD slipped on some ice (of which there was lots of) and ALMOST fell ..... she was able to catch herself on a bench beside her. maybe she should have let herself fall ... she ended up really spraining her wrist quite badly. fortunately there were 2 doctors on the hike, and they graciously checked her out to make sure nothing was broken. DD ended up being in quite a bit of pain, so we headed home after lunch. sprain aside .... what a great way to start off March Break .... we were already looking forward to our next hike with them on the ride home !

MUD MUD MUD .... oh my gosh .... off we go with our 3, Kris & Raven (her care for the week while she house-sits for her brother). I assumed there would be SOME mud, but I don't think any of us expected what we ran into. between us trying to walk thru it, and the dogs running thru it, we were splattered up to our nether-regions. that being said, it was a beautiful day, and the dogs had a blast !!

Kris loves dragonflies .... so I had to find something that I could whip up for her before she left .... a great wee project that knit up really quickly, and turned out super !!

GIRL'S NIGHT (and puppies too) .... it was a full house Kris with Raven, Wendi with Tiger, myself and our Hasia Betty and Lucy. there was lots of munchies, wine and laughs all night long. Wendi's hubby Jim showed up about 11:00. they didn't leave until the wee hours of the morning, but Kris and I were up even later (her and Raven stayed for a sleep-over). I've decided I'm too old now to do this too often ... but it was well worth it (and resulted in a very quiet Sunday at my place)

Hasia turns 5 ~ this is a wee bit out of sequence, but that's ok. March 27 2004, proud parents Pyke & Daisy announce the birth of their 12 puppies .... the "H" litter. on Saturday May 22 2004, one of their little girls came home with us, and changed our life for ever. Hasia was our first foster puppy for the Lions Foundation of Canada DogGuide Program. for her 1st birthday, Hasia was SSD training at the foundation, for her 2nd birthday she was on her "honeymoon" with Toby, and for her 3rd birthday she was in CVC training with her foster sister Betty. this year, her birthday was a Friday .... what a wonderful excuse for a party. attendees: Tiger (with Auntie Wendi), Wilbur (Hasia's son) & foster sister Libby (with Auntie Sharon), Rory & Akita (with Auntie Cindy), Betty & Lucy (with me). Eddie (from next door) came for a short time while everyone was playing in the backyard to pay his respects. before Kelsey booked it out of the house after all the guests arrived, she made some special treats for all the guests (that went over REALLY well). Auntie Sharon brought a special b-day cake (fried liver and kibble) .... the ladies weren't impressed, but the dogs all seemed to love it. Happy 5th Birthday to our Hasia ... my special puppy :)

week of good-byes
  • the 2 weeks just flew by, and the next thing we know it's Thursday again, and Kris is back on a plane going home. hopefully it wont be another 5 years before we see each other again.

  • a couple of days later, it's Saturday and Lucy's family have come home (and apparently want her back .... can you imagine the nerve ??!!). so we say good-bye to our wee Lucy, and look forward to seeing her again when her family go on their summer holidays

  • driving to work on the morning of Monday March 30 2009, I hear about a horrific car crash that had happened early that morning. a 17-year old young man crashed his jeep into an embankment on the 403 and was killed instantly. it's 8:44 am and I get a text from my daughter "Thomas died". the next thing my phone is ringing, she is crying and all I can hear in the background is people crying and talking. he was 5 minutes from home .... but a combination of speed and fatigue caused him to lose control of his vehicle and he never made it. he was my daughter's grade-9 boyfriend, but remained to be her good friend and they saw each other and got together often. he ended up moving to her school for grade-11 and they shared their lunch breaks and some classes. he was an honour student, an entrepreneur, always positive & up-beat (the glass is half full kind of person), well-mannered & polite (a very important trait if you want to date my daughter !!). his senseless death has touched so many people ... my thoughts and prayers go out to his parents and family. to all this friends, and those that will only hear about this, my hope is that you take a piece of Thomas with you ..... he lived more in his 17 years that most do that live to old age. give life everything you have, stop moping about "what sucks" about it and take control to make the best of it. Learn from Thomas .... from the good things he did and the positive way he lived his life .... but as no one is perfect, learn from his mistakes. NO ONE is too young to die, or too invincible .... you have been blessed by God when you were given life, so don't throw it away. part of me wants to smack him for being so stupid and careless, and such a teenage boy .... I know WE think he was taken too young, but who are we to question. hopefully Thomas, how he lived and how he died, will be a lesson for all those that loved him, and even for those that will only hear his story.
God Bless Thomas .... Rest In Peace