We rang in the new year by spending time in my childhood hood. After debating the pros and cons of a last minute snow backpacking trip, we decided to appease our hunger for the white stuff by stationing ourselves about an hour away from the Sierra National Forest, and taking day trips to pay our respects. That way, we wouldn't have to spend hours packing gear and we could say "See ya, wouldn't want to be ya!" to the Bay Area within a few hours.
When I called the parental units to tell them how lucky they were to get a surprise visit from us, they informed us that they were on their way out of town. When I called my brother to tell him how lucky he was to get a visit from us, he told me he was already out of town. Uh oh. When I called my good friend, LeannIAm, and informed her how she could be very lucky if she let two big dogs, one big guy, and one small person stay with her in, say, 3 hours - and this is in addition to the three kids and her husband - she said "Come on over!"
Gotta love old friends who welcome you with open arms that are already full with said children and husband. We've known each other for almost 20 years and we talk and email frequently, yet the last time I saw her in person was at my wedding 1.5 years ago, so we had a lot of catching up to do!
Since I like to spread my addiction, I also taught three generations of her family how to knit. Look at her go! *Sniff* I'm so proud of her!
While we stayed up and gabbed, Mingus got to explore his softer side and transformed into a beautiful princess.
Don't let his easy smile fool you, being a princess is hard work.
Vespa kept busy by playing with LeannIAm's new kitten, Soccer, named by the 4-year old daughter, a budding soccer star. I was amazed that Soccer came out at all with my dogs around, but that cat is either very brave or missing the part of his brain that houses survival skills, because he was rubbing all over my dogs.
Vespa was quite pleased that she had permission to sniff a new cat.
Soccer was not impressed.
From LeannIAm's place in Rural Suburbia, we drove to Dinkey Creek in search of some snowshoeing trails. Dinkey Creek is named after a small dog, named Dinkey of course, who attacked a bear that was about to attack his owner. Sadly, Dinkey died from the bear wounds, but Dinkey's heroic efforts gave the owner enough time to grab his gun and save himself from being a meal.
We pulled over when we spotted a promising location. After fiddling with our gear, we were off!
Unfortunately, this trail wasn't even a quarter mile long and it summited onto an asphalt road, but at least we got to touch powder.
That evening, my parents and my brother were back at their places, so the dogs had some time to play with the hula hoop. I was trying to get them to jump through it, but it didn't work out that way.
Vespa is seen here tormenting Mingus, who I told to stay. What an older sister!
They kind of sort of jumped through the hoop... I think I need a larger hula hoop.
The dogs did not get to meet Flick, my brother TofuNinja's cat. Flick is the kind of cat who could scratch my dogs' eyes out, so no Flick for them. However, Flick did mug for the camera. As you can tell, he doesn't mess around.
While in suburbia, I made the rounds and visited my relatives. Vespa got to play with her cousin, Cadence. Cadence was chasing balls, and Vespa was chasing Cadence. Vespa thought that was a fine game.
This vacation was also spent playing with the bells and whistles on my new camera. Note that all those action shots above would have been messy blurs with my old snap and shoot. Fancy lenses are fun, albeit frustrating, too. While at my folk's place, I decided that I would take pictures of all the dying flowers in their garden. Why? Other than the fact that they were more interesting than the perfect flowers, I have no clue why I do these things. Anyway, here's one picture.
Dog pictures are nice and dying flower pictures are disturbing, but isn't this a knit blog? There has been some knitting going on in these here parts! Besides tiny sweaters, I have been knitting dishcloths. Lots of dishcloths. I went a little crazy buying Sugar 'N Spice yarn, so I've been churning these out for family and friends. I've yet to use a dishcloth, but I was told that this pattern is the most functional dishcloth since it scrubs so well.
My other FO is the Marsan Watchcap. I modified the original pattern by starting with 120 stitches since I substituted RYC Cashsoft yarn. The resulting fabric has a fuzzball problem, but it is oh so soft. I think washing, drying, and shaving the hat will help to reduce fuzz factor. The swirling decreases make this hat so elegant and funky, yet it's still simple enough for a men's hat.
My first big project of 2008 is a Curve of Pursuit blanket for some newly married friends. The plan is to finish the blanket by February. Wish me luck! I have 40 balls of Elann's Sonata that need to be knit up. EEEEEK!
Happy 2008, blogosphere! May you and your loved ones have an adventure-filled, healthy year!