It’s not all sadness around here. Only a couple of days after Jake died I realized that I did not want time to grieve. I needed a new dog. I firmly believe in rescuing dogs. I wanted one that was no longer a young puppy, but still young enough to easily train and have a long life with us.
I figured I needed to start looking now, because finding all this in a rescue dog that’s also good with cats and kids would take time. Right?
Wrong! I found Foxy through the rescue No Greater Love. They foster their dogs in homes in Alabama and transport them up once the pup has been chosen by a family.
It felt like a bit of a risk welcoming a dog I’d never met into my home. But the people at the rescue agency were wonderful about communication, answering questions, and helping me feel sure that Foxy was just the right dog for us.
I wanted to rename her Mae (after the astronaut Mae Jemison) but Windsor really liked Foxy, so we’re compromising with the name Foxy-mae. She’s somewhere between 6 months and a year old. And no one knows her back story. She’s very shy, but already starting to warm up to us. We have small victories every day, like her walking in and outside on her leash on her own.
And she’s already mastered the selfie. Good girl Foxy-mae!
I’ve been putting off this post for two weeks. SO much denial.
The world is a colder place without your big goofy smile and happy heart in it.
You were always an excited wiggly boy. They said you’d calm down when you were older, maybe 6? Boy were they wrong.
I loved your energy and happiness. I didn’t always love your stealing food off people’s plates. But that was just part of who you were.
And you were so good with the babies.
So, soo good.
We all miss you, and always will.
You were “three or four” when we adopted you, and you’d never been inside a house before. We had just bought our first house and were so excited to welcome you to our family. You went on ALL the hikes and walks. 30-45 minutes twice a day. It was wonderful.
We’ve moved a couple of times. Been through some epic winters and gorgeous summers. Sure you ate the butter off the counter more times than I could count. But you were always a Good Boy.
Your brother Jake loved you. Moxie-cat would have loved you too if you’d just sit still for her. But when the babies joined our family you were so, SO gentle with them.
And so patient.
It’s been a long time, you lived with us for 12 years. Your muzzle went white, you clearly couldn’t hear anymore (which was really just as well when the thunderstorms rolled through.) It was so sad to say goodbye this weekend. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you.
We made a space themed room for my future astronaut.
Windsor needed a twin sized bed. So I offered to help her put together a themed room, and she chose outer space! She currently wants to be an astronaut when she grows up, a dream I am (of COURSE) supporting and encouraging.
The majority of this design was done with some washi tape, a couple of posters, and some new books.
Overall it was a fairly inexpensive transformation, except for the mattress. Although I went with the online Tuft & Needle brand so even that could have been worse. (no reviews here – my 4yo doesn’t like to go to sleep. With her new mattress? Still doesn’t like to go to sleep. Is that the mattress’s fault? Probably not.)
Did you notice the calendar? It’s MARCH! Also known as – still winter in Vermont. Every year I joke that the groundhog is wrong – from February 2nd “six more weeks of winter” is an early spring.
But every year in March I start to get excited about GARDENING again. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, and that’s ok by me. If things go to weeds at least I tried. Right now my garden still looks like this:
But I’m already buying seeds from High Mowing
And trying to figure out how much soaker hose I need. Note: it’s hard to measure my garden when I can’t open the fence door because of the snow.
But that doesn’t slow me down. I’m planning to plant flowers in the garden bed that went to weeds last year. Flowers are lower maintenance. I think. Or at least will probably bloom even if I ignore them. Sunflowers will be happening too. Assuming I can figure out how to protect the seedlings from those pesky squirrels. And I’m dreaming of Bean Tents. That way the girls will have some place to play when they get bored of digging in the dirt with me.
Yup. I’m ready. Bring on spring.
This was my official project of the ravellenics, and I completed on time!
It’s another Quinnifer hat, this time knit out of some unlabeled yarn from the deep stash. It’s cozy, quick, and pretty.
Me being me, I didn’t swatch with my substitute yarn. And so a hat meant for Windsor fits me nicely. But she likes it too.
So what if it has room to grow?
A family weekend in photos
Hiking and scrambling
Building our new fire pit!
Maple Open House weekend. A chance to drive all over Vermont, visit neighborhood sugar houses, and drink large quantities of maple syrup. Well, that was past years. Windsor doesn’t love her car seat, so more recently we’ve gone to just a couple of them. That was just as well since half the sugar makers weren’t even open. The maple season is wacky. (I mentioned that recently, didn’t I?)
Saturday, at least, was seasonably cold, sunny, and generally perfect for maple weekend!
Also perfect for making friends with the donkey
And the pretty draft horses.
And I had a chance to take some scenic photos
and some close ups
Saturday was the right day to get outside, because Sunday was cold, rainy, and then snowy. We stayed inside, made soup, and had a lovely quiet weekend.
Here’s a quick little project: more toddler mittens!
If you spend a little time in the knitting-mommy groups on ravelry you’ll start to hear stories about daycares (ok, probably true about any circle of people containing more than two moms). I’d heard that some daycares :::gasp::: don’t like wool mittens because they get WET. Nevermind that wool keeps you warm when wet, unlike synthetic mittens.
But, as in many other ways*, Windsor’s daycare is amazing. They have not worried once about her mittens, honestly they told me that all the toddlers mittens get wet every time they go out. I mean, this age group spends most of their time scooping up snow and shoving it in their mouths. Of course their hand-coverings get wet.
So when the monthly newsletter asked that all kids have two pairs of mittens (in case they go outside twice in a single day) I knew I needed to whip something up. These used scrap yarn and no particular pattern. She’s getting so good at putting her own mittens on that I wasn’t even begrudging about having to knit teeny-tiny thumbs.
In this iteration the icord has loops at the end. These loops are meant to go around the velcro closure at the sleeve cuff, hopefully this’ll make it easy to switch the pairs of mittens and she still won’t loose them. That’s the theory anyway. It’s been below 10F with windchill for a week and a half and no one has had a chance to try them out…
*they didn’t bat an eyelash when I sent her in as a baby in cloth diapers with woolen covers. That was a sign about how chill they are.
The other way they are amazing is that they take the kids outside at least once any and every day that the temperature/windchill is over 10F. I can’t imagine getting EIGHT two year olds dressed in all that gear on a daily basis.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!
This year’s frazier fir came from our local llama and tree farm (as always). It’s a bit shorter than what we’re used to because we had to trim up the stump to make it level once we got it home. I was in charge of cutting down the tree this year, and apparently I could use the practice!
The ornament collection has been sorted, so that only toddler-friendly items are on the tree. She loves to hang them up, take them off, and hang them up again.
And yes, that IS a needle felted sheep on my tree. Why would you even need to ask?
The weekends have lots of fun activities like baking Christmas cookies. Toddlers are really good at crushing candy canes:
She also loved dipping the rolled up balls of dough in the crushed candy canes, and smushing them onto the cookie sheet!
And we even managed a family photo, although we had about 45 seconds of cute snuggles before the toddler made a break for that interesting, moving, whirring camera on that stand over there (I took these with the remote control)
I hope that where ever you live, and whatever your beliefs, you take a moment this month to slow down, enjoy your loved ones, give thanks for what you have, and give help to those who need it. I don’t often get political here, but I just want to implore everyone to remember that love and kindness toward our fellow humans would go a long way toward solving our problems.