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Remember When

Scrolling through my drafts, I found this piece from over a year ago that never got published.  I’m not sure why.  But for some reason reading it today gave me great comfort.  My now dearly departed Zoey lived six months past the writing of this, surprising us all with determination to live on and love well past her expiration date.

zoeyatthepoint
Sweet Zoey lived to be 16. Even though we only knew her for the last three years of her life, we feel the lucky ones for having had her.

 

maggieonourbeach
Sweet Maggie died just 12 weeks before her older sister Zoey. At 14, we had fooled ourselves into thinking we’d have her longer.

January 2016

The New Year is always a time of taking stock, regrouping, making plans. This year is more poignant than most. We have numerous life transitions going on, but the most important may be that our 16 year old dog is phasing out. She came to us as a 13 yr old whom we thought we’d have a couple of months, at best. Almost three years later, she is our shadow, our hipbone, our much loved and constant companion. And now she is dying.

We first realized how her ailments were outpacing her in early November. We didn’t expect to have her for Thanksgiving. Her appetite waned (usually the kiss of death for a lab!). She slept longer and deeper. We were preparing ourselves.

I thought we’d be burying Zoey at Christmas, then again after she got to see her favorite people, then New Year’s. She eats sporadically. I’d do anything to help her, but she confuses me. She is skinny as sin, refuses to take any of her medications, but she is the first dog to meet me at the door with wagging tail, loves to go for her walk (aka put-put), can’t wait for a car ride, dozes peacefully touching one of us—tucked on top of my foot, curled into the the crux of Dave’s arm. We swaddle her in love and sweaters. Gauging her happiness and comfort is a minute by minute task. We wish she could talk to us.

Our life is moving in big, bold new directions. It saddens us that Zoey won’t be on that journey with us. But what she has brought to our lives, and (we hope) we have brought to hers, is an immeasurable gift. In the meantime, we are gathering the strength to help Zoey with the best path for her final days, stunned with the knowledge that her only goal seems to be to let us know how much she loves us.

Distractions

Distractions

It’s a bitter day out there.  The wind is whipping.  The sun is even intermittently hiding.  My dogs steadfastly refuse to go outside and are equally unanimous in that the beautiful color coordinated tartan fleece jackets I got them make them all look like dorks.  Stogie seems to lose his ability to move in his and starts to moan.  Shmoo hides and hangs her head in shame.  The girls are blind, so don’t experience quite the same level of mortification, but the point is made.  I’m supposed to be hooking and writing out a new knitting pattern, but I’d rather be baking, and I really want to see high tide.  I forced us all out of our comfort zones — they into their plaid, me into my oompa-loompa coat that I can’t move my arms in, and marched us into the cold.

Harvest Time

Harvest Time

It is that time of year when we are busy preserving our and our local farm’s abundance.  There are pestos and sauces and most especially this year apples.  And apples and apples and apples.  Then there are more apples.  We are making chutneys, and crisps, and pies, and applesauce, and drying them in droves.  Never one to let me down, Dave has risen to the occasion and has engineered an ingenious apple corer.  Click below to see it in action!

 

Core them Apples!

Oldies but Goodies

Oldies but Goodies

As you know, I’m prone to a vintage bent.  And it extends beyond “things” to the world and family Dave and I create.  Case in point:  this week we are celebrating a very happy Gotcha Day anniversary of our sweet Zoey.  Three years ago our home was enriched by the arrival of Zoey and her sister Maggie.  They came to us with the help of a Tennessee rescue I volunteer with and at the time they were 11 (Maggie) and 13 (Zoey).  They were elderly with numerous health issues.  We thought they would be our summer dogs.   While our Maggie died at 14+  just this Easter and our 16+ Zoey is fading, we never would have thought we’d be blessed with the joy and wonder these dogs brought to our lives for so long.  It’s been THREE YEARS!  Honestly, it is a toss up who loves me more—Dave or Zoey.  They are in open competition and are fierce rivals with each other–though they utterly adore each other, too.  I’m flattered to be the subject of their affections.  And I’m honored to have have known both Maggie and Zoey and to have ensured that their final years were ones that were comfortable and well loved.  If you’ve ever considered taking in an elderly pet of any ilk to your home, all I can say is that the rewards will leave you speechless.

 

 

June Buzz

June Buzz

bee:  “a meeting for communal work or amusement”

Sounds like a good excuse for a get together to me, and I am thrilled to continue this ole’ time tradition in new places.  Starting this June I will be hosting a monthly Bee on the Farm– a gathering of knitters, quilters, hookers, and other hand-workers of all sorts and skill levels–in the bucolic setting of Dandelion Spring and Straw Farm in Newcastle, Maine.   If you are in the area, please join me for an afternoon of companionship, laughter, and progress on all your UFO’s surrounded by the fields, animals, busy farmers, and an abundant farm stand.   While this is not a class, I’m happy to answer questions to the best of my ability—dabbler as I am in many things…  And truly the best thing about a bee is the community and shared creativity.  It is a time to be inspired by and to both learn from and teach each other.

The First Bee on the Farm will be June 29th, 4-6:pm. Bring a project and a friend and join us! 30 Brick Hill Road, Newcastle Maine
The First Bee on the Farm will be June 29th, 4-6:pm. Bring a project and a friend and join us! 30 Brick Hill Road, Newcastle Maine

To you folks in MA and NH who have been joining me for the Bee in the Barn in Rowley, fear not!  We will continue to meet monthly admidst all the beautiful antiques, art, and fine craft that The Barn at Todd Farm has to offer.  This group has been so much fun to stitch and secretly hope with that Scout(milliner/baker)shows up with her banana bread!

The June Bee in the Barn at Todd Farm is the 26th, 2-5:pm. 275 Main St, Rowley, MA
The June Bee in the Barn at Todd Farm is the 26th, 2-5:pm. 275 Main St, Rowley, MA

For a full list of dates for each venue, please see the events calendar.

 

 

Belgian Linen Crossback Maker’s Apron

I’ve been itching to make myself a super cute smock.  There is something romantic about the idea.  Somehow I believe that I will put it on and be magically transported to wide open farm vistas padding around barefoot with either my basket of veggies or basket of knitting.  Big deep pockets will hold my phone, my scissors, my rug hook, etc., etc.  My dog frolicking in the tall grass.  Yeah.

Finally, it is a reality!  I was able to source some truly lovely heavy weight Belgian linen and sat down to sort out a design.  I’m thrilled with how it came out.  It is both timeless and able to pull its weight in the studio or kitchen and even just part of my daily wardrobe.  This style is now available in my shop for you, too.  And I have a bevy of other style ideas I need to draft out.  So much more to come!

Stitch Mystery

The other day I was perusing a yarn store looking for a suitable candidate to mend a sweater for a client.  While staying on task, my eye did not fail to notice a sample scarf knit up on the first display.  Despite the fact that it was knit in the yummiest of cashmere yarns, what really got my attention was the stitch pattern.  But I was short on time with things to do.  I filed it away for further consideration later.  That didn’t work.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since and kicking myself for not spending more time examining the delicate lace.  It’s at times like these that you head to Barbara Walker’s Treasuries.  What would we do without them??

  
I’ve messed around a bit.  Tried a few things.  While finding all sorts of wonderful new stitches, the one I seek continues to elude.  I guess I’ll just have to keep knitting.

The Beau

Still cold out, but in my head my toes are still tucked in warm sand. The Vintage Bathing Beauty needs a Beau. And I think I may have finally come up with a design I’m happy with. Still tweaking, but I’m liking it overall.

My head is dancing with ideas of how I’d like to hook this, what materials and colors I want to use. I know a lot of folks color plan their rugs, but that just never works for me. Maybe more to the point, I don’t seem to be good at sticking to a plan. Free spirit and all…

The Beau for our Belle.