Knit the Dog

[...because if I ever run out of yarn--- I can just knit the dogs.]

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Great Peach Expedition

Went on the annual pilgrimage down to Candor for peaches today. North Carolina has a region called the Sand Hills, which are the remnants of sand dunes from a previous coastline. The soil is great for growing peaches. However, with the off-shoring of so many things, including growing a lot of our food, the peach farmers are dying out. Also, after ten years the trees need to be pulled out and the soil rested because the tree roots get nematodes. For real. Anyway, once a year we try to make it down there for peaches.
This year Phil decided to ride his bike (bicycle) to Troy, about 60 miles south of here, the town where he grew up. My job was to pack lunch, a change of clothes for the sweaty rider, etc, and meet him at an obscure intersection in the middle of freaking nowhere. Driving the stick shift pickup truck. Now, I'm entirely competent to drive the truck. I can also read topo maps. However, even my excellent intellect finds it darned hard to do them both at the same time. Phil said it would take me "no more than 45 minutes" to reach this mythical spot on the map, the intersection of Lassiter Hill Rd and Piney Church Rd, bounded by woods and soybean fields and not a man-made artifact in sight. It took more like TWO HOURS, what with starting and stopping and getting lost and swearing at the GPS, which refused to acknowledge the existence of a single road on the map. Meanwhile I am picturing him dehydrated and comatose on the side of the road (the reason for meeting him being to switch out water and Gatorade bottles.) My cell phone never rang, so I pictured the worst.
Meanwhile..... picture the Sweaty Rider, pacing in the sun at the side of the road, convinced that his wife is dead in a car wreck, because she will not answer her phone and she is an hour late. Yep, my new cell phone was set for vibrate only---even though I was sure it was set to ring loudly--- and I never heard it buzz over the roar of the truck (rocketing through the countryside at increasingly unsafe speeds due to the frustration of being lost.)
When we finally caught up to each other, I was not graceful. I said many loud and unrepeatable things about this and that. Thankfully Phil is a calm, patient sort and did not take me seriously. We proceeded on, he rode to Troy, we drove to Candor and got a peck of wonderful peaches and a slathering of creamy homemade peach ice cream, and all was well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We're in the monsoon season, with heavy rain every day for at least a week. The plants love it; I've never seen the lilies and daylilies put out so generously, and they look great against all the wet dark green foliage. Other constituencies are less enthused and would like sun. I know that once it gets sunny again it will also be steaming hot, though, so I say bring on the gloom.
We had a refugee yesterday morning; during an intense downpour, when Phil went to leave for work, the neighbor's dog Hunter, a big smooshy yellow lab who will lick you to death, ran into the garage & refused to leave. You can't argue with about 90 pounds of smelly sopping wet dog, so we left him there and later, when it eased up, I put him on a lead and walked him home. [Goin' for a walk? Huh? Yeah? Walk? Oh boy!] His folks weren't home and he refused to go into the crawl space, where he is supposed to hide out from the weather (yeah I think that's weird too.) So I let him in to their fenced back yard and it seemed later all was well. Something to be said for having your dog live IN THE HOUSE with its people. Just sayin'.
If you scroll to the bottom of this page you will see a little National Park map with "badges" for all the parks I've been to. It's a free widget on the National Park Service web site. Kind of surprised me how many I had been to, and reminded me of some I really want to visit. Got to get to Glacier, in Montana, before it melts, for example.
Have embarked on a cotton short sleeved cardi of my own design, based on the Incredible Custom Raglan recipe. I have to finish this before starting on Phil's office sweater for the fall, so I am being very earnest and resisting all attempts to be corrupted by new patterns, new yarn, etc. Be firm. Oh, this is hard.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hyenas at the water bowl

Our dogs have something really weird going on about the water bowl. They've always sort of snuck up on it, but now there's a whole kabuki dance-- Rosie wants a drink, she has to entice Jack to drink with her, but he doesn't want to be first, so they sidle around and creep up on the thing and finally--whew--they can slurp up water. As long as they both have their heads in the bowl at the same time. If one pulls out, the other jumps back. We've tried all sorts of bowls and locations for the bowl, and can't figure this out. Do they think lions are waiting to pounce on them? Is there some sort of reflection in the water? Are they experiencing early dogheimer's? None of this applies to Jack occasionally drinking out of the toilet [only in the guest bathroom.] Rosie, of course, has never sunk so low.
Finally off to the Emerald City tomorrow to see little Cate. My flight leaves in late afternoon, which will seem very strange; I generally fly at crack of dawn. By the time I get there at midnight-- 3AM body time-- I will be a blithering, drooling idiot. A little Vivace coffee the next day should perk me up though. Seattle does have the very best coffee in North America.
Have embarked on a Cotton Ease blanket loosely based on the Mason-Dixon modular theme. I'll knit six strips of garter, changing the five colors [coral, lime, banana, olive, light blue] at random along the way, and join them to make a 4' x 5' blanket. This is a ton of garter stitch, probably several miles, but it's soothing and useful for doing on airplanes or in front of movies. If I want to be done by early August, I need to knit about 5 inches each day. That should be doable. Maybe. On the other hand 2"/day would have it done by Christmas, with time for mailing. That I can do for sure.
I'm hoping that the Senate will confirm Sonia Sotomayor in time for the next session of the Supreme Court. I'm hoping it will be done with dignity and gravitas. I'm expecting to be sadly disappointed. And probably madder than a wet hen.