Where's a Nice Lamb When You Need One?

If it's true about March that "in like a lion, out like a lamb", then the opposite is also true. And this March, which started off as nice and soft as a newborn merino lamb, is ending up like a whole pride of lions. Hungry and angry lions at that.

Beginning of March

End of March (ignore the fact the sun is out in this picture)

Days like today are the ones that make me ask myself, "What am I doing here in this place?". Precipitati0n has been coming down all day. Lots of it, in the form of rain, freezing rain and sleet. The temperature is stuck right at 32 degrees, so the rain portion of this mess is icing over. I can see some snow starting to mix in, but it's melting as soon as it hits the ground and then it'll probably turn to ice.

Where was this stuff during the winter?

The birds and the pine tree are not happy about this, either.

I'm feeling very frustrated with Mother Nature right now, because this is the third year in a row we're having one of these nasty icy storms just as the t
rees and shrubs are starting to bud. I know the flowers that have started blooming and the ones that are ready to bloom in the next few days are toast. I have my fingers crossed that my yellow "Butterflies" magnolia buds, which just barely started coloring up this week, will survive because the buds are still wearing their little fuzzy coverings.

It could be worse, of course. Up until I went to bed last night, the blizzard that has slammed western Kansas, leaving a record 28" (!!!) by Wichita, was headed straight for us. Our part of town was going to get the worst, anywhere from 8-12". So I guess this is better - it doesn't seem bad enough to knock out the power (fingers crossed).

It's a great day for knitting, at least. I have finally finished making
all of the squares for the baby blankie. They are all washed, blocked and ready to be joined together. I am not a fan of sewing squares together. Not only is the back and forth tedious, and all of the loose ends annoying, but I think the sewn stitches look very unattractive. So I am going to crochet the joins instead, which will end up finishing it off very nicely. I'm going to sit and catch up on the numerous tv shows I have recorded while working on the blankie. I'd like to have it finished and ready to go by next weekend. Here it is, laid out and ready to be joined:

And when I get tired of squares, I will alternate working on the Montego Bay scarf I am making for myself out of the merino/sea cell yarn I bought in San Diego. It's finally long enough to where I can see how it will drape, and it's going to be lovely.

I hope that you are all having a lovely weekend, whether your end of March is a lion or a lamb!


Mix Makers Swap, Part 2

Once again, I have been wonderfully spoiled by Caroline. It is amazing how she picks out things that I would get for myself if I had seen it first. She must be psychic or something.

The mix she put together this time is themed "Singer/Songwriter Mix" and has a great group of songs from such songwriter artists as Ani DeFranco, Ray LeMontagne, Jeff Buckley, Turin Brakes and, my favorite of the mix, Dashboard Confessional. While I've heard of, or have a few songs from some of the singers, every song on the cd is new to me, which is so much fun! I just love finding out about new music! The majority of the songs are mellow and it seems like the perfect cd to listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon, drinking tea and knitting.

She also sent a big bag of M&M's in pretty springtime colors, a pack of those thingies that hold needles together (thanks, Caroline, I didn't have any and was resorting to using rubberbands), an adorable and extremely useful little lunchbox type box that contained some very pretty fish stitch markers that she made. The yarn she sent is some crushingly soft baby alpaca in a dreamy fuschia color - perfect for an early spring hat - and the pattern for the amazing
Koolhaas hat that I had admired many times on Ravelry but never thought I could make something this beautiful. I still don't think I can make something this beautiful, but I'm going to give it a try because I love this hat!

Here's some yarn and stitchmarker pron for your viewing pleasure:

There was one more piece to the package that is not pictured, but is probably my favorite part of all. Caroline, a fellow animal lover & parent, made a donation in my name to the ASPCA. How awesome is that? Helping homeless animals is one of my favorite things in the whole world, which makes this part of the package priceless!

So, Caroline, thanks you most sincerely for another fantastic swap. And may the swap goddesses bring you an equally wonderful package this time around!

By the way, I found out that Caroline is not completely blogless. She shares one with her husband. Please go by and visit and check out her adorable fur-kids, Fenway and Cat.


DoT: Sure Sign of Spring

Although tomorrow is the first official day of spring, Chloe and Abbie decided that it should unofficially start today. As evidence, here are their usual winter napping spots - perfect for basking in the warm sun:

No dogs here....

...or here...

...not here either...

Today was beautiful with balmy temps and a sunny sky. That means the door to the porch stays open all day, letting the girls come and go as they please. Who wants to stay inside on a day like this?

Well, that's exactly what I had to do today. I caught an upper respiratory bug that Mr. C brought back from our trip to San Diego. I've been coughing and congested for over a week now. After mostly ignoring it, I finally had to give in to it when I completely lost my voice yesterday. Nothing at all is coming out, not even a croak. We will not pay any attention to Mr. Criquette's snarky jokes about peace and quiet.

I figured I could at least take the opportunity to do some overdue chores around the house, but moving around just brought on more fits of coughing. So all I could do was to hang out in front of the TV and continue knitting for the A4A baby blankie I am still working on. Since I haven't recovered virtually any ability to speak at this point in the evening, I will probably have to cancel my patients for tomorrow, too. Since other than the coughing and laryngitis I feel okay, I feel really guilty about staying home, but I can't do therapy without talking and miming is out of the question! Oh well, as long as I stay busy with my knitting for Afghan orphans, I'm still being productive, right?

Another sure sign of spring is when Abbie starts the compulsive chewing on herself. This year, it's her hind leg. The only way to stop her, and to keep her from licking off the medicine, is to put her into The Cone of Shame.
I'd pity her, but it doesn't look like it's keeping her from enjoying a gorgeous spring day!

Speaking of beagles, someone sent me this personality quiz to take. Usually, I score as a Labrador. I answered the way I typically do on these things, but this time, it seems like I am a beagle. Except, I am a beagle who does not chew holes in her leg. No Cone of Shame for me, no sir!

You are good natured. You enjoy spending time with people and animals.

You have a wild, independent streak. If you're left to your own devices, you get in trouble.

You love to eat and enjoy food of all kinds. If you don't get enough physical activity, you tend to have a weight problem.

You are very stubborn. You don't like authority, and you tend to do your own thing no matter what.