Saturday, November 22, 2008
If you want more timely updates, look at my facebook updates. I update it a little more frequently.
Farset is now 13 months old. She is doing the obnoxious, adolescent thing right now. She is very mouthy and chews up a number of things including some felted slippers that I made (from knitty.com http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter02/PATTfuzzyfeet.html). My sister gave me a beautiful merino sweater that had been accidently washed and dried. It is now tiny, so I gave it to Farset as a chew toy. She has really enjoyed it. It is now missing a significant number of pieces.
Farset is now up to 155 pounds. Even Lagan didn't weight that much at her age. I figure that she is going to be bigger than he is. As it is, her rear end is taller than his is. I expect that she will be taller than he is.
I've been hand spindling (using a hand spindle) the merino fiber that I created at the end of Deb Menz's color class. I've spindled all of it. I am in the process of plying it now. It is primarily purple. I've been really pleased with how it is turning out.
Thinking of you.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Next week I will be driving up to the Poconos for SOAR 2008. I can't wait to have a whole week devoted to spinning. I am bummed out that Heather Ordover (of Craftlit fame) will not be coming this year, but I am looking forward to getting away.
I was able to find a great person to help me out. Not only is she going to take care of my dog walks while I am out of town, she is going to take care of my dogs and my other dog sitting jobs. I have someone else taking care of my cat sitting jobs. I've been busy enough to need help even after I get back. I feel very fortunate to find good people to help me out.
Both have their own pet related businesses.
My dog walk and dog sitting person is: Ruth Jones
Her website is: www.alloverart.net
She create pet portraits
My cat sitting person is: Sue King
Her website is: www.companionchi.com
She performs pet massage, the Healing touch, quantum healing, Reiki, and teaches classes
Both have their own businesses
She has been eating like there is no tomorrow. She has been eating even more than Lagan ever did.
Currently gets fed two times a day:
- 5 to 6 cups of dry food (I have changed her food to a higher calorie food to cut down on the fiber – cuts down on the amount of poop)
- 1/2 can of canned food
- 1/2 pound of 4% cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup of canned green beans
This is on top of treats and occasionally stealing some of Lagan’s or Murphy’s food. We’ve been going through a 30 pound bag every week and a half. It has become very expensive.
Lagan’s prescription Duck & Potato food is now selling for $91 for a 32 pound bag. He goes through a bag in about 3 weeks. I spend a lot on pet food.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Farset turned 10 months old on Thursday. We celebrated by going to the vet. She and Lagan have been having diarrhea, so I wanted to get it checked out. So we all went. Farset is now up to 131.5 pounds. Lagan weighed in at 179.3 pounds.
Their diarrhea could be due to something in the natural pool at the bottom of the driveway. They both drink out of it after we have gone on a walk up and down our driveway. I collected samples of their poop to bring into the vet’s office and had intended to bring in a sample of the water too. It didn’t happen. The poop is still in bags on the front porch. I’ll dispose of them later today.
Farset has also been eating unripe blueberries. We have about 5 blueberry bushes in our front yard. I think that Farset can find the ripe ones by smell, but winds up eating unripe ones by mistake. She can’t smell and pick at the same time. She is good about not eating the leaves amazingly enough.
I’ve been working really hard lately. It is great that I have been getting a lot of calls about pet sitting this summer. It has been keeping me busy. As I keep saying (and not doing), I really need to find a couple of people to give me some assistance.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Lagan's weight is in the 175 to 180 pound range which I consider too heavy. As I said earlier, he weighed in at 140 for a long time. It was only once we got Farset that Lagan suddenly became very food obsessed. I have cut back on his dry food and am adding in cooked broccoli stems pieces as added fiber to help him feel full.
Since we got Farset, he has been getting a lot more exercise. She certainly makes sure that he runs around a lot. I also take him and Farset out on walks usually twice a day, depending on my work schedule and the weather. If you have ever seen my driveway, you will know that those are not easy walks. I may have to go to a weight reduction food in hopes that it will help.
The problem with monitoring Lagan's weight is that he is not easy to weigh. I have to take him to the vet to get weighed. I usually weigh Farset at PetSmart when we are there. I'm not sure that Lagan will even fit onto the scale at Banfield (it is in a box instead of being out on the floor like at most vets. I've been going by how he feels and looks.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I've been doing the low carbohydrate diet thing since March (I think). I read the book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" and created a diet with that information in mind. It is primarily the Atkins diet with a little less restriction. Because of the negative association with the Atkins diet, I have been describing it as just a low carb diet. Specifically, I say that I am eating "no sugar, no grains, no fruit."
I am also avoiding starchy vegetables (actually low glycemic load vegetables). So I'm not eating winter squashes (butternut, acorn, spaghetti, etc), sweet potatoes, peas, corn, lima beans, beets, etc. I also limit my intake of beans; legumes, not green beans. Primarily, I eat tomatoes, greens, cabbage family vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, etc.), bean sprouts, lettuces, mushrooms, summer squashes, raw carrots, onions, shallots, etc.
I eat as much protein and fats as I like. The fats and proteins keep me from getting hungry. I don't eat just to eat. I eat limited amounts of nuts. For snacks, I primarily eat nuts (cashews, macadamias, and almonds), cheese, and Atkins chocolate chip granola bars. For desert, I've been eating sugar free Jello cups.
I firmly believe that if I am hungry, I need to eat. If I don't, my metabolism with decide that I am in starvation mode and slow down my metabolism (within reason). By not eating the sugar and grains, I keep my blood sugar and insulin levels low and relatively stable. It makes me less likely to get uncontrollable cravings for sugary or starchy treats. It is the first three days that are the hardest. I do try to avoid situations where I am watching other people eat sweet things. Sweets are the biggest craving for me.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My getting in this year was due to luck (and statistical probability). A lot more people applied to go this year compared to the number of available spots. They had a 5 day period in April where they accepted applications. From those applications, they selected by random drawings who got to attend. Some of it is related to the popularity of the classes you are interested in taking.
SOAR consists two separate parts. The first part is a three day intensive course. They have several choices available. Participants are able to list three choices in order.
The second part of SOAR is two days of half day classes. That is just strictly a numbers game. You don't choose the classes until you are at SOAR.
To me, with the price of travel, it only makes sense to attend both parts. The location changes every year. This year it is in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Next year it is in Bend, Oregon. Last year it was in Michigan.
Got to have something to look forward to. I've been keeping really busy with the pet sitting and dog walking. Yes, I am walking dogs in the middle of the day and the highs last week were in the upper 90's to 101. The heat here is a wet heat, so it makes it feel quite a bit hotter.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Farset turned 8 months old last weekend. She is about 115 pounds (and has remained so for the last 3 weeks) and about 30 inches tall. She is going to be a big girl.
More later including pictures.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I handled Lagan on Wednesday with the same result as Tuesday. My sister gave me constructive criticism afterwards. I handled Lagan again today with a similar result, third out of three. I arrived late and really didn't have my head together, so I am not surprised that we didn't do very well today. I tried to remember as much as I could from what my sister said. I do think that it helped.
As of Friday, the shows become really big. There will be 25 Irish Wolfhounds competing on Saturday. I don't think that I have ever seen that many in a show.
On top of the dog shows, I have dog walks and pet sitting to do too. I have also been walkign Lagan and Farset in the afternoons. Lagan may get some exercise, but Farset hasn't and gets a little explosive. So for her sake, I try to get them both out too. And if you have ever seen our driveway, it is a good cardio workout just getting to the street.
I certainly have been getting a lot of exercise. Since I am not getting any thinner, in my opinion, it just reinforces the message from the "Good Calories, Bad Calories" book. When you exercise more, you get hungrier to compensate. I have been trying to cut out the carbs, but they are truly an addiction at this point. It is going to take some non-super stressful time to get past the hump. If I can make it for three days, things begin to get much easier.
I love my dogs. They can just be a little challenging at times. Trying to handle them myself and work full time and do anything else is a struggle right now. The shows will be over on Sunday, then back to once a week handling practice. I do want to enter them in the Hound show in early May. Farset will be old enough to show by then. I will need someone else to handle one of the dogs in case we do really well. With them being different genders, they don't initially compete against each other. It would only be an issue if they both won their groups.
I am also craving fiber arts. I did actually finish spinning my yak/dyeing experiements yarn. My goal was fluffy and soft and I think that it accomplished that. I had no interest in making it really uniform or anything along those lines. I still haven't gotten a photo of it yet.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Well, the Vet Tech program at Central Carolina Community College happened, and I didn't do anything craft oriented for the year I was attending the program. Since then, I have been working out of the boxes. I started to get more involved in knitting and actually bought yarn from stores (rather than spinning it myself). I had a small dresser that worked pretty well to store it. I kept buying yarn as I learned more. Most of my early yarn purchases were novelty yarns. I have quite a lot of that kind of stuff, especially since I most of my yarn purchases were from AC Moore and in the beginning, I would buy enough yarn to do a particular project 2 or 3 times (usually in different colors).
I worked for Nancy of Nancy's Knit Knacks for about a year and learned a lot more about knitting and the fiber arts business and just how hard it is to make a living in the fiber arts business. I have been involved with dog training and my own pet sitting and dog walking business since then. So I have spend up until the last 3 months staying busy with that.
After getting a little overwhelmed with the pet side of my life, I am finally back to doing more crafty kinds of things. Farset, our 5 month old puppy, has made it almost impossible to spin up until now, but I have been able to knit. I have been doing enough knitting to have a better understanding of yarn and how to use it in projects.
I am in the process of sorting through my craft room/office finally. I have sorted the yarn into the different sizes. I used a WPI (wraps per inch) tool to determine the size and attached it as a small label on the yarn. Not all yarn marked Worsted or DK or fingering is actually the size the label claims it is.
Now I just have to find homes for it all. Plus I need to finish going through everything else in my sewing room/office so that I can actually get some things accomplished. I really need to have an additional table set up. My desk/table contains two monitors, a desktop, and a dysfunctional printer. There really isn't room for much else.
I have a knitting machine that I would like to set up. I have a drum carder that I would actually like to use on occasion. I really need to have a ball winder and swift set up all the time. I just remind myself that I have to take it one day at a time. I really need to find someone to help out with the dog walking. It is hard to grow my business (and find time for crafts) when I am working all the time.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
She looks very puppyish in these pictures. You don't really get an idea of scale.
Here is a photo of Lagan and her together. You still don't really get a good idea of her size.
Since I am usually taking pictures, I am not usually in them. I have a photo of Farset graduation photo that includes me. All of these pictures have been taken in the last 2 weeks.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
She is now about 4 ½ months old (20 weeks) and up to 68 pounds. At this point, there better be a darn good reason for me to pick her up. Getting her into the car when Lagan is in the car is one of those reasons.
Farset started the class when she was 10 weeks old. The instructor, the other student, and I figure that Farset gained 40 pounds while in the class. She went from a small harness to a large harness during that time. When we started the class, she was smaller than her classmate, a cocker spaniel. When we finished, she was so big the cocker spaniel could walk under her and had been able to do so for several weeks. I just wish we had taken a before and after picture. I do have an after picture that I will eventually post.
She learned so much in that class. Things that were never covered in all of the obedience classes that I had taken with Lagan. I haven't decided if I am going to move her up to the intermediate class soon or if I want to wait a little while. I would like to work on conformation (what they judge in dog shows)with Lagan and her. There is a class on Tuesday nights
at a different place. It is a drop in kind of class, you just go when you can.
I would also like to take Lagan through the intermediate class. He could use the practice.
It figures that a week before the end of class, Farset "forgot" the "down" command. She also forgot how to stay. She is driving me crazy in that respect. I think that it is just a matter of working through it. Some of it is due to her wanting to be close to me. Right now, she inevitably breaks a stay or wait when I am out of view. So we have been working on all of it here at home.
There are two practice matches coming up. One at the fairgrounds on Feb 23rd and one at the Durham Kennel Club on March 8th. I really want to enter her in both of them. I would love to bring both her and Lagan to the event at the fairgrounds on Saturday, but there is no way for me to handle both of them in that kind of situation. I can do ok when they are both just walking around outside, but not with a big crowd inside. Yet another thing to practice.
So much to do, so little time.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Farset continues to grow. As of last Wednesday, she is up to 62 pounds. She only gained 2 pounds during that week. I expect her growth to slow down a little bit.
We will be going to the fairgrounds on Feb 23rd to participate in a B match. The AKC is hosting an event at the Dorton Arena. You can find out more at: https://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3425 B matches are for inexperienced dogs to get some practice being in the ring without the points. They allow puppies as young as 3 months old, so it will be perfect for Farset.
There are regular dog shows at the fairgrounds from March 18 through 23. I will only be able to show Lagan since puppies need to be at least 6 months old before they are able to go into the regular match. I plan to showing Lagan and Farset at the hound show at the fairgrounds on May 11 & 12th. That assumes that I have an additional handler.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
It is a little difficult to read. It contains lots of analysis of scientific (and not so scientific) studies regarding food, weight, exercise, and health.
Basically it says that everything that we have been told regarding eating healthy
and how to lose weight is wrong. He shows how almost none of the information
we have been told is not backed up by any study/research/biochemical pathway, etc. Plus he shows how some of the seemingly new radical ideas about food and eating are not not new.
Also that not all calories are the same. Carbohydrate calories behave very differently in our bodies than fat calories.
It is truely mind altering. An absolute must read.
For more info on this book check out the following websites:
He wrote an article for the NY Times back in 2002 which led him to writing this book. You can read the article at:
There is a YouTube film of the Larry King live show featuring Dr. Andrew Weil and Gary Taubes. You can see it at:
Farset hasn't been getting as much training lately either. I haven't had a chance to do any of our homework since our last puppy class. I am going to see the effects of that in a couple of hours.
I have been doing some serious reading, see my next entry.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
This class, we were working on Stand Stays. Pretty challenging. We need to practice that and just the "Stand" command. Plus we need to start working on her "Stack" command so that she will know what to do at shows. I hope that I will be able to make it to the conformation class next Tuesday. I also need to take Lagan so that he can practice before the March shows.
I shot some video of Farset and Lagan together using my camera (first time I did that). I am not sure how to handle it yet, but I am going to try to post it somewhere. Assuming I can find time. As it is, I still haven't had time to put up some new photos of her (as you probably noticed).
the meeting, the local Beagle rescue group turned up and the place
became a whole lot noisier. I didn't have much voice to begin with,
and by the end, I had none at all. I brought Farset with me as a
socialization experience. It is the perfect example of some of the
promotional activities we will be doing in the future.
I realized that Lagan needs more away from home activities. Since we have had Farset, he has not been getting out much. Plus there is an upcoming set of dog shows in March at the NC State Fairgrounds in which I want to show him. Farset won't be old enough. They need to be at least 6 months old.
There is a hound show in May that I am planning to show both Lagan and Farset (assuming I can get help). In the first classes, they will be in different groups, but if they win a couple of them, they will be competing against each other, so I will need an extra handler.
I have been working on a Nalbinding square (well, actually a tube that I will cut to make it into a square). I have gotten very excited about doing Nalbinding again. It creates such a neat fabric. I have all of these ideas about projects to make with it. Like I really have time. I have also gotten excited about all sorts of other projects too. I just bought the new Cat Bordhi sock book which is very exciting. I also have been excited about the idea of making wristwarmers using sock patterns. I just don't have to do the heel part. I also want to spin and knit a scarf for me. I bought some more paco-vicuna fiber from Chris Switzer at SOAR this year, and I think it would be wonderful as a scarf. I am such a "princess and the pea" kind of girl that I find almost every fiber scratchy. I bought a relatively inexpensive
cashmere scarf at Target and just love it. It makes me want to make a scarf
or two for me. I really would like to make the DNA scarf. I also want to make
a lace shawl. I love the one from Winter 2007 knitty,the Jeanie one. I also want
to make a shawl for my mother. And I want to make several pairs of wrist warmers/fingerless gloves for me.
I have been walking 3 - 4 dogs a day plus the occasional pet sitting client (Jan & Feb tend to be a little slow pet sitting-wise). It doesn't leave much time to do anything else, especially since I am behind on documenting my business finances so that I can close out the year.
So much to do, so little time. . .
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Here Farset is playing on Dec 12th. One of the toys is the shell of a formerly stuffed toy with stuffed legs. She really likes it. Don't ask me why. We have been crating her in our bedroom when we are away.
Photo of Farset on top of my DH taken on Dec 28th. You have to remember that my DH is 6 ft 3 in. She may be on top of him, but she certainly isn't the dominant one.
We often go off roading, so we wanted her to have an experience doing that. Fortunately, there was an outing in the beginning of December at Uwharrie National Forest. We put her in a crate that was almost too small. We put a blanket down for padding and to keep her from moving around too much. We strapped the carrier in the back of the Land Rover Defender 110. It was a lot of fun and she had a good time too. The photo on the left is of my husband looking at the underside of a Land Rover Discovery after we went off-roading.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
We are hoping to show him in upcoming AKC dog shows. He did very well in the last shows that he attended. I would love to "finish" him (earn his Championship). I think he is a beautiful dog and he moves so well. He has a more mature attitude which shows in the ring.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
move the large crate out of our bedroom first. Plus I desparately need clean clothes, so I need
to do that too.
Farset has been eating a ton of bark, paper, sticks, leaves, etc. I have been unable to keep her away from it. I woke up to sounds of her retching last night. I took her outside, and surprise, surprise, it was primarily bark, paper, sticks, and leaves. She threw up two more times this morning. She has been having problems with diarrhea over the past week. I have been feeding her rice and ground meat for the last 4 days. She seems to be doing fine on it. No more diarrhea. She does seems to get fevers too. I took her temperature the other day, and it was 103 (normal is around 101.5). We have an appointment to go see the vet on Thursday. I'll let you know what he says. Her energy level seems unaffected. She remains a happy & energetic puppy. She is really enjoying playing with Lagan. She is finally tall enough to play well with him. She just needs to fill out a little. Their playtime is always supervised. On occasion, he will step on a foot or something like that and she will yelp.
Friday, January 4, 2008
I weighed her on January 2nd at PetSmart. She is now up to 37 pounds. She almost reaches Lagan's chest.
She has almost outgrown her current crate. She isn't too tall for the Large crate that we are using now, but she is so long that we will need to get something a little bigger soon. We have a Giant crate, but it is almost overkill. An extra-large would be ideal, but I really don't want to spend money on one since she will outgrow it in a couple of months.
I'll let you know how things go.
And for the crafty part of this blog:
I am almost done knitting the second sleeve of a baby sweater for my nephew (4 more rows to go). It is a size 12 mo, and he is now just past 13 months, but he tends to be a little on the small size for his age (or so I continue to hope). I've been working on it off and on since Oct 2006. He was born at the end of Nov 2006. I have already woven in the ends for the body and the first sleeve. I just haven't had much time to do crafty things since November hit. Between working the holidays, normal work, and Farset, I just can't seem to find the time. If I am in front of the computer, it is primarily either email or work related (or both). The only tv I watch is either while I am eating dinner or working on the computer.
I did actually start knitting on a lace scarf that I started I don't know when. It is in commercial sportsweight black baby alpaca yarn. The pattern is an arrowhead lace from the cover of Spin Off a while back. The one on the cover is in white merino. I'll try to post pictures of both soon.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Puppy Class Update:
Well, Farset and I have been learning a lot. The instructor uses positive reinforcement, but she comes at the training differently than I learned with Teamworks. I was disappointed at first because there was only one other puppy in the class (a cocker spaniel), and there wouldn't be any puppy playtime. I am glad I signed up for it. I think that it is good for me and Farset to experience a new method of training.
She continues to be a very brave puppy. The instructor set up a covered narrow platform suspended by two bricks with cones on the sides. She was planning to use it as a fun learning activity after we worked on the stay commands. When Farset and I came in, she went right to the end of the platform and walked all the way down it without any hesitation. The instructor had come over right as she was doing it. She was really impressed.
We went over to our neighbor's New Years Party last night. They had live bands and lots of people, noise, and smoking. We brought her right in. She was a little reluctant at first, but soon settled down and started checking things out. She was fine with the band, the crowd, and everything. Before long, she was tired out and curled up in a little ball in the kitchen (where most of the people were hanging out) and started to take a nap. It is hard to beat that. My DH brought her home to sleep and then came back to the party. When I got home after midnight, I let her out to see and hear the fireworks. She was unconcerned.