Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I love getting packages from knitters...don't you? They are always so imaginative and fun. The package on display in the video below was my prize for nominating Johnny Depp for The Knitter's Hunk contest hosted by my good twin Kim Spence Dean.

Thanks Kim!!! I love it all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

National Alpaca Farm Day

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Today is National Alpaca Farm Day, and we celebrated by going out to Silk Creek Alpacas to visit with Bil and Julia, see all the alpacas, and most importantly, gaze with envy on the new fleece picker and electric drum carder. I also spun one of the batt's on Julia's spinning wheel, which is lovely (an Ashford, that Julia got for pennies!). There was a reporter from a local news station there too so my spinning hands might even be on television. If so, I'll post a link here.

This handsome fellow is Atom, whom we are going to 'adopt' into our family. He's a fiber boy, meaning he won't be a breeder but he has lovely fleece and white to boot. So he'll be a good companion alpaca for our future breeding boy...we're thinking ahead a few years to starting our own alpaca farm.

This is the official end of the summer for me...classes start next week. I'm working on a better attitude for fall term. Hope I succeed!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Originally uploaded by kbshee
The past few weeks have gone by in a blur...first the trip to the coast, then saying goodbye to Cody, then the horrible days after we said goodbye to Cody, then pulling myself together for a weekend trip to Ashland, Oregon, then getting back into the swing of school stuff.

Classes haven't even started yet, and I'm worn out.

Thank you for all your kind words about Cody. It still hurts....and I still have those 'automatic' 'Where's Cody" thoughts at random times. Juneau is being a very good girl and being my constant companion, and I do appreciate it. While they'll never be another dog like Cody, we will love another dog again.

Ashland was good...I was still a bit raw emotionally so what better balm is there than seeing some Shakespeare plays? Kidding. Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which rotates nine different plays across three stages, including an outdoor Elizabethan theatre. We saw "Much Ado" and "Henry VIII" at the outdoor theater, and then an incredibly awesome "MacBeth" at the Bowmer Theater (an indoor theatre, pretty intimate, and this production was just chilling). That was the highlight for me, plus I had started to pull out of the funk by the time we got to that guaranteed-to-put-a-smile-on-your-face Crowd Pleaser the Scottish Play.

There has been mindless knitting, but I also realized that I finished a pair of socks that I hadn't shown you yet. Everyone in the pool! A pair knit from the same ball of yarn. Crazy.

Oh...went to the Web*Sters in Ashland and bought some discounted Mountain Colors. Score.

OH! and my nominee won the Knitter's Hunk contest at Kim, my good Twin's blog . I also was tied for the awrd winning colorway. Double score.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Little Guy

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Ten months after we got married, Tim and I made the big decision to welcome the patter of little feet to our family. Four little paws, to be more specific. We brought home a 6-week old, 7 pound furry bundle of love from the pound in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that we named Cody. And from the day he came home, he became a Very Important Pup in our lives.

He joined us on hikes, on boat rides, on cross country road trips, on camping trips, and on a gondola lift. He was welcomed into homes and offices that hadn't allowed dogs in. He accompanied us to classes, to dinners at friends' houses, to movies and to Canada. He learned to use an iPhone (just kidding on that one). He was our constant companion who asked so little of us.

Liver tests showed a wonky liver many years ago, and our vet couldn't quite figure out what was wrong. A little over two years ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, and had sections of his liver as well as his spleen removed, and underwent chemo treatments. Once he finished chemo, he had more than a year and a half of good health.

This summer had its ups and downs, but Cody enjoyed some good swims in the local park and some short walks around the neighborhood. He joined us in Pacific City for a short vacation, and spent a sunny afternoon dozing on the deck listening to the ocean. He started failing about halfway through the vacation, and knowing his time was coming to an end made the last days bittersweet. Sunday, before we came home, we took one last short walk on Cape Kiwanda.

He passed at home, with the gentle help of our good friend and vet Priscilla Gibson, and now joins our other beloved animal friends at the Rainbow Bridge. I like to picture him with angel wings surfing the giant waves by the bridge.

I miss him so. Thank you for your kind thoughts. He was, and will always be, one of a kind. But aren't they all?

Monday, September 14, 2009


We put Cody down today. It was time. We had a few good days at the beach but by Saturday it became clear he was ready to go to the Rainbow Bridge. He passed peacefully and quickly at home in the presence of our wonderful vet.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Has it been a week?

Originally uploaded by kbshee
Thank you so much for your positive thoughts and comments about our Cody dog. It was an odd but good week last week...we took him to the vet first thing Monday, and our vet wanted to try one last thing...an anti-nausea drug that is used on human chemo patients. It had an astonishing effect, making him seem much happier and less in distress, and bringing back some of his appetite. Once he kept food down, we added back an antibiotic to try to control his diarrhea, and that kicked in on Thursday. He's also getting a low dose of steroids to help with his inflammation.

The upside is: he's put on some weight, he has a bit of his old personality back (ok, sometimes a lot of it!) and he has a good appetite for a few hours every afternoon. The downside of course is that any drugs are not good for his liver, which is where his cancer is growing. But we have our dog back, and we'll be able to take him on one last trip to the coast.

As I write this, I know to some it may sound selfish, but we spent much of last week ready to call it quits at any sign that he was sliding again. And he didn't slide...he has little rallies every day. So I don't think he's quite ready to go, and so...to the coast!

We're staying in Pacific City, where we own a little piece of land, and we're renting a house one row back from the beachfront houses...we've stayed in the house before so we know we'll be comfortable. The steps are steep, so we bought one of those lifter things for Cody...it's a piece of canvas with handles that you put under the dog so you can support/life him while he's walking up steps or getting into the car. A little easier than lifting him up and carrying him up steep steps a few times a day!

Originally uploaded by kbshee
And there has been knitting. I've started "St. Patrick" from "A Fine Fleece" using Felted Tweed in this great red color. The cables in this sweater are so pretty! I've also been doing a mindless sock in the rainbow colorway from Woolgirl. I'm working on the second Cookie A sock and there's a third pair in the basket that I've lost interest on. The big question is of course how much to take to the beach...all three projects, of course, and I have three other skeins of sock yarn wound into balls...just in case. Ha!