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Category Archives: Dogs

Shoveling Mud

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After 2 days of cold rain, flooding in the garden has threatened to drown the new peas, lettuce, zephyr squash and newly planted tomatoes. The garlic aren’t supposed to have poor drainage either, not ever.

Rain Day

I took a couple of hours this morning to dig trenches to drain the water. When I laid the rows out this way we were in a drought cycle and I was focused on holding rain in the rows by leaving the grass in between the rows. Now I have had to drain off the lake that each row became.

Drainage trenches

What a mess! As I worked the trench filled up immediately and water rushed to the back of the garden. Here the rush of water is down by half of what it was. And even now, hours later there is still water running through the trench.

Gaely GoLightly, The Hunting Dog, got into the action by deciding that little particles swirling down the trenches were something that she must capture. She dove right in to her job and worked along beside me. Westies are pack animals and we do everything together

My Helper

Westies are bred to “go to ground” after varmints and love digging in the dirt. No lie. This Westie loves water, too. Bath time!

Someone Needs a Bath

She didn’t want one and she really hates being photographed. Clean Grumpy Dog


And The Dog don’t pose neither.

No Photos Please

She’s so helpful! If I could just teach her to run the vacuum.


Cabbage Ravisher Caught!

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I’ve had very bad luck with computers and internet lately. In fact I’m totally burned out and in spite of being on the very edge, I’m still stubbornly trying to fix things. Now I’m fixing things the repair guys messed up.

OK, I’ll spare you all the major whine brewing in my soul and tell you that we have finally captured the critter that has been eating the cabbages in the garden. And she sleeps in my bed every night.

(These are pictures from last summer)

Gaely in the Garden 2012

Sigh, so cute

Yes, Gaely GoLightly is the prime suspect.

How could that sweet, innocent looking dog be our cabbage ravisher? Any why???? Who knows.

Since we have prevented her access to the garden by blocking off the porch stairs,

Gaely Guarding 2012

not one cabbage has been chomped.

Who Ate the Cabbage Last Night?

I sure hope May is an easier month. I could use some smooth sailing!

Doubleknit Wool Pants

Every so often when blog cruising I see poorly sewn or fitted garment photos that are posted and ask, “Why would s/he post THAT on the blog?” Here’s my version:

Front Back

I am not declaring these pants done right, I am saying I am done. Doubleknit wool is not my favorite for pant making.


See, I can decide to stop and admit I won’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Every new pose brings new wrinkles and I have been making myself crazy trying to fix them.

100_2608 Front Again

My intent for these pants is to make something to wear under tunics so really the badness of this pant will be covered by a top layer that will fall to the thigh. That was the original plan and in spite of obsessively diagnosing and unstitching and restitching, I must save myself and move on.

I have completely reshaped the legs to be a very slight boot cut, skinnier to the knee and then flaring 3/4 inch to the hem. The boots I usually wear in winter have higher heels than these (yup, you saw that, right?) sandals with socks. Oh, I am shameless today!

OK, some thoughts on further construction:

I removed the over-locking through the crotch and did not “stabilize” the seam. As it is now, the seam is stiff and continues to fold, twist and bunch, no matter what. Adding more fabric or thread would only exacerbate those problems.

My original draft was a tracing of a pant made 5 years ago from a woven wool. I intentionally made 1″ seam allowances in the cut and then removed much of that extra fabric in the tweaking. As you can see even a fairly hefty full bodied knit falls too close to the body for a woven draft.

I cut these after a couple month’s worth of cold/virus/whatever and I had lost weight. Much to my surprise food seems to be a good idea again and my size has since changed. These pants are now too tight through the upper hip. Eating will do that! But it is so good to want to eat again, that I’d rather have this pant problem than to be back in bed, guzzling water.

I have another pant cut at the same time, in a bit thinner fabric. A new pattern is coming in soon that may save me from further angst with doubleknit wool. This pair took too long and the fit is like a 80’s sweat suit. On to making tunics.

So, Folks, that’s all I have to say today on the subject of doubleknit wool pants.
The obligatory dog show. Gaely GoLightly is a fun snow dog! She disappears into the landscape.

Wrinkles Change

She loves to roll in the snow.

Joy Rolling

No disappearing in her dog coat! And dressed, she still likes a good snow roll

Roll in the snow

Gaely GoLightly

The Queen and her Court

The Queen and her Court

December 10, 2012, Gaely turned 14. Finally 🙂 I’ve been saying she was 14 for the past number of years but I found her AKC registration papers the other day. So I need to set the record straight. Here she is two years ago still acting like a puppy at 12.

"Going to Ground" Is Hard Work, But Someone's Got to Do It

“Going to Ground” Is Hard Work, But Someone’s Got to Do It

Now, I am going into the sewing room and every hour or so she will come and stare at me, wishing I would feed/let her out/take a walk/get her the dog friend of her dreams.

The animals consult on what they are going to do next

The animals consult on what they are going to do next

I wish I could get her the dog friend of her dreams. It would be a 14 year old, submissive, gentleman Scotty who obeys the whims of his Westie girl and loves and respects Cats. Always.

See why there’s only one dog in this house?

So how did Gaely celebrate her 14th birthday? She used Martini’s cat door to take herself for TWO walks sometime after midnight. Here’s Martini sitting on a stool in the house, looking out her door.

Martini's favorite place

Martini’s favorite place

And here is Martini exiting the house via her cat door.

Martini going out her door

Martini going out her door

How did my 17 pound Westie fit through that door????

Yup, Westies are stubborn, determined and almost always get what they want 🙂

That famous Westie Tongue!

That famous Westie Tongue!

Happy Birthday, my 14 year old (that’s 84 in human years) BFF!!!

Rocky Mtn Trip & HP 1003: The Perfect Traveling Jacket

My new uniform! Enough room for multiple layers and sweaters but style enough for just a cami underneath. Easy to slide into and out of, those huge sleeves make perfect sense. And the pockets, Oh My Gosh, made keeping keys and necessaries so easy.

The New Uniform

Seriously, I wore this jacket last week almost constantly on a driving trip to the Rockies. That is 4 days in the truck and 3 days in Estes Park, going with the flow from hot weather to snow.

We rented a tiny cabin

Miner's Cabin

with a fantastic view


and explored the local surrounds after making breakfast, packing lunches and cleaning the cabin


while David Lee showed his Hello Wood Products Montessori materials and furniture to a wonderful group of teachers attending the Montessori in the Mountains conference put on by the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies.

It’s the time of year when elk come down from the high mountain to graze the lower meadows


and they wandered everywhere through the grounds of the site of the conference, the fabulous YMCA of the Rockies.

Gaely GoLightly kept vigilant watch for smaller things she could understand, like squirrels and and chipmunks.  She’s 14 now and her eyesight is poor enough that she doesn’t wander far from my side.  She’s a much more prudent dog than she was as a wild Westie youngster when nothing could stop her


We dined out only one night and mostly ate in the cabin which had a tiny kitchen. We were able to keep costs down and avoid the rich foods served in restaurants. These sales trips can be plenty fattening if we have to eat out all the time.

Dave had originally planned to pack up quickly and return to Tennessee ASAP to get back to work but Jane, a very wise woman who owns Montessori Services convinced me to plead for a quick trip through the National Park.


You can see the trip photos here on my Flikr set  I must apologize (even tho some will tell me not to apologize, this I already know) in advance for the darkness of the photos. It was difficult to use a point and shoot camera, even with amazing telephoto lens, to shoot across such light and dark and deep landscape. The colors were amazing, changing constantly with the snow storm and then clear mountain light in the afternoon.

I wish we had more time to spend in Rocky Mountain National Park. Maybe some day I can go back and hike and camp and do all the things that I wish to do.

I am reading A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird. You can read it online here or download an audio version here I highly recommend getting to know her life and work.

What a delightful time this has been and is continuing to be, thanks to the book. More access to it is available at LibriVox

I was scheduled to join Dave on this weekend’s travel to South Carolina Montessori Alliance conference in Columbia tonight and Saturday, but I reneged on my driver’s responsibilities in order to stay home and process the jalapenos and bell peppers which are bending their bushes to the ground. The Santa Ana pole bean plants are still producing as are some of the heirloom tomato plants and okra. The fall plantings of sugar snaps and sweet peas are coming in and the cole crops are being enjoyed by caterpillars that I mercilessly pick off and smash under my toe. For the first time in my gardening life I used Sevin, sprayed before our trip, to protect the plants from aphids and those caterpillars while I was gone. I really don’t know if I’ll do that again. While it helped the Brassicas to thrive (except for one row that was being munched when I got home and I can’t explain why) I am afraid I’ve done more damage than good. My wasps are gone and aphids have invaded the okra. Oh dear, I do hope I didn’t upset the balance of nature there! Ah, well the okra is over 12′ tall now and slowing down it’s production of pods in the cooling Fall temps.

One beet has been pulled by me (yay!) and a number of carrots have been pulled by what I suspect are voles tunneling under the row! That’s a funny thing to see: the carrot tops slowly disappearing into the ground. Yeah, I’m easily amused. 🙂

By Wednesday I’ll be on the road again, this time to Sarasota, Florida’s beautiful beaches and perhaps a dinner with the Hot Pattern crew if we can match up our schedules. Sadly, Patch won’t be with us this trip but it’s fun to see the pictures of him and Gaely enjoying the Beach from our Nov 8, 2009 trip.  Click this link, to see my fav shot of Patch on the Beach, looking so happy after such a long life at the end of a short chain.  Ah, that was a grand trip, too!

Isn’t it great to be able to sew and have a wardrobe that will work in all these different climates? What a luxury, I couldn’t have matched it back when I worked in a corporate environment and had to travel.

After Sarasota, Florida, we will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From the warm beach to the cold beach. Ahhhhhh! I will have my new jacket with me for sure


100_1186 Dog & Jacket

I clearly wasn’t ready for this last shot, LOL!

Sheriff’s Back In Town!

Sheriff Dog

This neighborhood Interloper Kitty took advantage of our recent absence to challenge our kitty, Martini, on her own front porch. Gaely Golightly, Westie Extraordinaire, knew just what to do. This standoff lasted for a long while. Visiting Interloper Kitty escaped unharmed but hopefully with a lasting impression of territorial rights claimed by his neighbors.

2010-09-13 Martini by The Thyme plant

It’s one thing to hunt our woods but don’t make Martini yowl on her own front porch.

The Sheriff’s Back in Town!

Messing with My Sewing Time!

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Yesterday was all taken up with grooming a well deserving dog, while the cat snuggled up to her catnip plant. Story in the titles at the Flikr picture set here: Gaely and Martini Make Use of a Nice Warm Day