Monday, December 31, 2007

Retrospective 2007

Hello all! No I didn't disappear, but I have been on break, enjoying 10 days off in Cape Cod. It was a joyous time, with lots of family, food and fun. The beagles had an amazing time and truly are a six pack again. I did a fair amount of knitting, finished a scarf and a hat and worked on another hat, but ripped is out, started two more new scarves and contemplated the kimono shawl while helping mom with her lace technique. Also, finally finished reading "The Boleyn Inheritance..." love that historical fiction.

Finn is getting HUGE! He is really growing up. Here is a recent photo

I think he really takes after Gus. Sometimes when I look at him, all I see is Bassett Hound. He loved Cape Cod...the big yard, running through the bushes, digging up mom's yard, seeing his real sister, Rory. She's adorable too:

They are both certainly Bach Beagles.

I got some great swag for Christmas including, a heated mattress pad (tried it out last night and it is awesome when the beagles are hogging the covers in the middle of the night!), walking/hiking poles, two cashmere sweaters, Phillies Crocs (will be great for opening day...or at least Spring Training), the Vogue Knitting sock book and a new coffee grinder. Allison made both mom and I collage photos of our trip to Ireland. What a GREAT idea!

Everyone seems to enjoy my knitted gifts, especially Grandma and her socks:

Pattern is Loskins in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock; Colorway Devon. LOVE THEM!!!!

So I thought I would be all retrospective about 2007, but quite frankly in a year where the news was dominated by the antics of Britney/Lindsey/Paris, I just don't want to give it credit.

But there were also a lot of great things (personal things) that made this year memorable for me:

1) RAVELRY: What did we do before this? FINALLY, I am able to keep a knitting journal with ACCURATE information about the yarns I've used, who I've knit for etc. But even better, the community...amazing.

2) Phillies win the NL East- JRoll wins MVP. 'Nuf said.

3) Scrabulous on Facebook...keeps El and I working on our vocab and helps pass boring days.

4) I GOT A NEW JOB! Liberated from HUP, I realized just how masochistic the place is. I'm loving my new position as Director of Clinical Social Work and Pet Bereavement Services and for the first time in a LONG time, I'm not embarassed to tell people what I do.

5) Thanks to James the tow truck driver in Soctland who rescued our keys from the boot of the coupe. It was an amazing two weeks in Scotland and Ireland, but fishing things out of the trunk with a hook was certainly a highlight that I will never forget.

Now on to resolutions: which my friend Mike would rather call GOALS!!! Actually it is a much more accessible term...anyway, I've paired up with some pals for my resolutions this year and they are very task oriented.

1) Study, Take and PASS LCSW Exam (doing this with Carolyn)

2) Finish Scrapbooks from Scotland and Ireland (also with Car)

3) Manage finances and debt (with Heather)

4) Declutter and sell stuff on Ebay/Yard Sale (with Ellen, Heather and Mom)

Looking at the list, I realized I didn't have any knitting goals....hmmm....

5) Knit down the stash--no I will not say that I will only knit from stash, BUT I want to work on knitting FROM the stash. Should be easier after mom and I finish the hobby room and I actually know what I have (thanks for the inspiration Wendy).

So, Happy New Year to all...cheers to another year of Knitty Delicious, beagle antics and the like.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Newsflash: I am a sap

I know I haven't been blogging much this month...I'm just overwhelmed with it being December, the end of another year, and approaching the end of my "probation" period at VHUP. I can't believe I have been working here for almost 4 months! Even more exciting, my first UNIVERSITY Christmas break, commencing Friday thru 1/1! GIDDYUP! I'm headed to the Cape for major beagle six pack reunion. We are all very interested to see what happens when we reunite the "twins" (Maggie and Luther) and the "sibs" (Finn and Rory) after they have pledged their love to others (Maggie/Finn; Luther/Rory)...

Also thrown into the mix, my sister's dogs, Riley, a doberman/coonhound mix also known as "big boy." Sure, he could eat Gus, but Gus howls ferociously at Riley and scares the crap out of him. Gus is the alpha. Ali and Mike also have Abby, a terrier mix we call "fluffy." She's a cutie pie, but she LOVED Murphy and we don't know how she will do without him.

The holiday is bittersweet; we are THRILLED to have welcomed Finn and Rory into the family, but I think both my parents and myself thought Molly and Murphy would be here this year for another Christmas. Mom got cute ornaments with both of their names on them and I'm taking Molly's up to their house to put on the tree.

Work is WINDING fact it is downright slower than molasses in January. I can't wait for Friday.

So what have I been up to?
Well Sunday was annual cookie making extravaganza with Elizabeth, Heather and Carolyn.

I can't tell you how many dozens of cookies we made; but man they are good

We made a few different varieties including:

Snowballs (Elizabeth's recipe), Chocolate Krinkles (a Bach family fave), Peanut Blossoms, Corn-Flake Wreaths (Heather's speciality) and our new fave, White Chocolate/Macadamia/Cranberry cookies (a Tyler Florence recipe courtesy of Carolyn). YUM YUM YUM

Last night, I met up with Jen and the kids for our annual romp through Plymouth Meeting Mall---I mean we went to see Santa and exchanged gifts. I was SOOOOOO excited to give the kids their scarves; Alex proclaimed, "Oh yes, a scarf! I always wanted a scarf from Auntie Bach!"

I love these kids! The woman taking photos of the kids at the Santa booth asked if Jen and I were sisters, to which we proclaimed, "sisters from another mother" and had a big hug. Thanks for being such great family to me Wynne's!

Oh, Finn. He is amazing. He has settled in so nicely, it is like he belongs here.

He plays with Maggie ALL THE TIME, which is good for both of them. She is still an attention whore, and is acting out accordingly. Sometimes, Gus and I just sit on the couch and watch them roll around the living room. I just love this picture of the three of them asleep on the couch

Gus, Maggie and Finn; snoring away....

Today is my first VHUP holiday lunch and Thursday my last HUP Christmas party (likely).

Between now and then, support group, knitting circle holiday party, exchanging gifts with Trish, laundry, packing, wrapping, eating cookies...So likely I'll post again when I arrive on Cape and have lots more picture of a Bach Beagle family Christmas.

And why am I a sap? Ellen MADE me watch, "The Notebook" the other night and warned me, get a box of tissues. I said, "I don't cry at movies." I SOBBED for the last 20 minutes and am now officially in LOVE with Ryan Gosling. I guess I CAN emote...must be on the right dose of Paxil...

Happy Holidays

Knitty D, Gussy, Magpie and Finnegan

Monday, December 10, 2007


I'm not dead...promise.
I'm December-overwhelmed, struggling with bad fatigue again (thank you Mr. Thyroid) and trying to get into this whole holiday thing...with very little success.

I am SO close to being done with the holiday knitting.
I am SO close to having a housetrained beagle puppy.
I am SO ready to start my Christmas break (9 more work days!)

I will post more Finn photos and the finished dragon and catepillar scarfs from Morehouse...
Now I've got to prepare to teach my first class at the vet school on Thursday!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Not by the hair on my finney finn finn

Crap it has been a crazy week...yet at work it just DRAGGED on and on and on.
Now Saturday is just about over with and I just cannot bare to knit tonight. I'm really tired.

I sang in Carolyn's sister wedding today---traditional Catholic Mass in a non tradition setting, the Merion Tribute House. It was very long and my feet were really aching by the end of it. The singing was ok, had to wing it in a few places, but its done.

So I have two things left to finish knitting; Allison's gift and the second dragon scarf. Then the holiday knitting will be done! But for some reason, I can't work on either project. B-O-R-E-D.

Tomorrow I am going to BUCKLE DOWN and watch it Snow-Sleet-Rain and really try to make some progress with both. I keep trying to tell myself that if I finish these projects, I can start new, non-boring projects.

Oh, and the big project, Finnegan. That is going pretty well. He has a clue about going outside...we are down to about 2 accidents a day...he's sleeping well at night; and after a few hours, seems to end up in bed with us. He is a champion snuggler. Maggie seems to enjoy having a playmate and some of her bad behaviors have started to improve. Gus...well Gus is barking at Finn a lot and asserting himself as the Alpha. Note to Gus, we get are in charge. Finn loves rawhide. He has no front teeth...his baby teeth have fallen out already. He went to meet Dr. Soli on Tuesday. We figured he is 14 weeks old. He weighs 21 pounds and his microchip has migrated to the side of his neck. Justin thinks he is going to be about a 45 pound dog. It is hard to imagine this because right now...he is just so small. Last night, he howled. He is learning about his voice. It is the funniest thing. I am udderly in love with him...and had forgotten how wonderful it is to have a three dog night, every night.

Okay, I'm going to knit for a little bit longer and then retire to sleep off the hangover of this Catholic Mass.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Photos of Finn

Today Finn:

  • started learning how to walk on a leash

  • slept with his paws up in the air

  • fell asleep in his mommy's arms

  • had a little piece of leftover turkey

  • played hardcore with his sister and brother (Maggie and Gus!)

  • discovered mommy's new crocs...

Finn and Rory!!!!

My name is Finn---er---Finnegan Bach.
I am now officially a Bach Beagle. As you can see, I fit right it. I like to sleep on the couch, totally sprawled out like my brother and sister.

This is my REAL sister, Rory. She is going to live with Grandpa and Grandma in a place called Cape Cod. We like to snuggle together!

Of course, I hog the bed.

Grandpa put his Princeton hat on Rory...guess he is trying to get her to root for losers from the get go!

from KnittyD:

Hi all! Well, I did it! I'm a mommy again. Finn is sweet and silly. So far he's been a really good puppy. He slept THROUGH THE NIGHT and certainly has a clue about going potty outside. It is just a matter of DELIGENCE! He gives oddddddles of puppy kisses and has the sweetes little puppy teeth...albeit very sharp puppy teeth. He and his "brother" Gus get a long very well. Finn seems to take after Gus quite a bit. Maggie isn't quite so sure what this is all about yet.

My parents adopted Rory. She is tiny...maybe half of Finn's size...but she is "balls to the walls." She is not afraid of anything. They both love to chew rawhide and play with toys. And man, CAN THEY EAT!!!

We found out that their mother had been shot. Someone took her to the vet in West Virginia and the vet delivered the puppies. We are not sure if mom survived. There were 5 pups in all and I know the other three will find their forever homes very soon.

So that's the poop (haha) from here...more photos and adventure of Finn to follow. We will see how he does when Rory leaves...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Carnage

Since my folks are in Florida celebrating the holiday with Grandma, I was invited to join Ellen and her folks for Ellen's Birthday/Thanksgiving Dinner at The Prime Rib.

The restaurant is typically a bit out of my league, but I'm telling you, from now on, if I want big meat, this is the place I'm going. No, I didn't miss the turkey either, since we are having it on Saturday over here at my house.
It is a lovely place, with perhaps the most interesting, leopard print carpeting you'll ever see.

I had butternut squash soup, ceasar salad, filet mignon (cooked perfectly!), mashed sweet potatoes, sauteed spinach and to top it all off, a hot fudge sundae. It was awesome.

El's dad got the Prime Rib and had his bone wrapped up for Jake. The bone was bigger than Jake's head. Sam was then nice enough to ask the waiter if they happened to have any other bones "laying around" since I had four beagles at home.

The next thing I know, our lovely waiter brings out a SLAB of Prime Rib End, a total of six juicy bones. When I got home, I weighed it...FOUR POUNDS!!!

The dogs went MAD. I managed to get a few photos...none of Mags as she took her bone outside and killed it in the back yard...but here are Gus and Harry loving their bones:


I also NEED to thank my secret pal for her FABU spoiling of me over the last several months. I received my final package on Tuesday...THANK YOU BETSY!!! You were an awesome pal!!!

Here's a little peek at the goodies:

I wish the handknit dishcloth with a turkey design knitted into it would have photographed better! SO COOL. And these are now officially my favorite candy bar. I love the Christmas ornaments for the dogs...I'll just need another one for Finn!!!

Anyway, I'm off to Bed Bath and Beyond to cash in on a little black friday fun.

Tommorrow the pups come home...oh mom and dad are naming theirs "Rory."
And tomorrow is also the infamouse Saturday after Thanksgiving Dinner here...14 people, 6 dogs...should be awesome.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The therapeutic benefits of meltdowns

Clearly, letting some shit go is very helpful.

The blog post...tears shed during "sex and the city" reruns at 1am were very helpful and I'm going to do it...

Today I went and bought some things for the pup, including a tag, a bowl and a puppy kong.

Happy Thanksgiving to all...

Come Saturday, I will blog lots about my newest addition, Finnegan "Finn" Bach

Thanks for your thoughts!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Going Mental'm going mental.

I thought I had made the decision, finally, to get another dog.
Molly has been gone for 8 months now...and I know I can give another dog a wonderful, loving home.

I've picked him out. I've named him. I am supposed to pick him up Saturday. I've convinced my parents to adopt one of his sibs...just like we planned.

And I'm having second, third, fourth and fifth thoughts.
And above all, I have to ask myself,

Why can't I ever be happy with what I have?
Why must there always be "something else?"

I don't know what to do. I am so afraid that Gus and Mag will not react well to a new pup...that over the last eight months, they have become so accustomed to being a pair instead of a pack, that they won't be happy with triangulating the situation.

Or maybe this will be the best thing ever. The ambiguity is killing me.

I saw a client yesterday who is struggling with ambiguity too...and I've decided that it is really a challenge to the psyche because it keeps you from taking the next is what makes you stuck.

So I'm stuck and I've got three days to decide what I'm going to do...yes I know there will always be an opportunity for other dogs who need homes...I just wish someone or something would give me a sign...(hint hint hint)

On another note, I'll blog tomorrow about my final package from my secret pal...

Any advice about the situation would be appreciated...

Monday, November 19, 2007


I know I haven't been writing much lately...but quite frankly SO much has been going on I can barely keep my head on straight.

So...Congrats to

Heather and Serge who eloped to Lake Placid a couple of weeks ago!
Trish and Arthur who got engaged &
Robin and Ronnen who ALSO got engaged and are moving to San Francisco this week!

But with all the good, the sad as well...
A dear family friend, Kathy, has been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Kathy and her family lived next door to us in Willoughby. I've known them since I was 13 (whoa) and babysat all the kids (who are now in their 20's). Above all, Kathy was a big sister to me and Allison. We spent lots of time at her house after school, eating oreo's and talking about how stupid our parents were. Kathy is strong; a marathon runner. I'm channeling lots of energy into knitting her a very special chemo cap. Think good thoughts for Kath!

On top of all of this:
I'm dog sitting Harry and Luther---I've missed sleeping in bed surrounded my beagles...its very safe and cozy. Although there is LOTS of snoring.

And this was the weekend to set up my home office. Saturday night, 5 hours or so into the project, I started to panic that is was not going to get done and that I was having 14 people over for dinner in a week and the house was TRASHED. But got done and the downstairs looks amazing and is ready to welcome the masses for the "After Thanksgiving" bash.

So between being focused on knitting Kathy's hat and finishing the holiday knitting, I'm STILL not allowed to start anything new...So far, I'm sticking to this.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Visiting the 'burgh

Yeah I've been a little MIA...but I have really good reasons.

I gave my first talk/training as a Veterinary Social Worker and I was GOING BONKERS getting myself together, finishing power point slides and lamenting leaving Gus and Mags for three days.

But the best part was that the talk was in Pittsburgh so I got to spend some quality time with two of my closest pals in the world, and also fellow Woosterites, Annie and Connie.

Annie and I visited the Andy Warhol museum Friday night in Pittsburgh. It's an interesting place. We both decided there wasn't a whole lot of actual Andy Warhol stuff there. But, the place does provide great space for artists "inspired" by Warhol to be seen. Let's just say there was lots of pieces featuring penis' and boobs.

My favorite Warhol piece, the Cow/Cow Wall Paper:

What is super great about the Warhol; you can take photos of all of Andy's works. Here's a few more:

Saturday brought breakfast and awesome pancakes at Pamela's followed by shopping in Shadyside. Then we were off to visit Connie and her family, including new arrival (3 1/2 week old Amaya).

Connie also has a six year love muffin, Isabela, who met her match in her Auntie Bach. We became fast friends...I hadn't seen Isabela since she was 10 months old. Here are a few photos of our visit:


Amaya says, "Talk to the hand."

I snuggle with Amaya

Annie, Me, Connie and the girls

Angel and Amaya

So, it was an awesome trip-I'm still super tired and Maggie is acting out through destruction to show me that I shouldn't be leaving her again.

In regards to knitting-this is my pact:

I'm only knitting the stuff in my knitting bag from now until the Christmas projects are finished. In the bag: 1) The Hunter's Safety Stole 2) The Dragon Scarves (3) Allison's gift (4) My So Called Scarf and 5) Brooks Farm Ribbed Scarf

Mom and I have plans to have our own knit-a-long over the Holidays; we are going to make "Kimono" shawl. We both purchased Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Laci" and mom is really feeling like she wants to make the leap to lace. So, I've got a lot to get done between now and December 22nd when my Christmas break starts. On that note, must get knitting.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Yes, the Wynne's and I did our annual Halloween extravaganza; this year we went as the characters from Scooby Doo!
Samanatha as Daphne
Alex as Freddy
Timmy as "The Monster" who always chases us
Jen as Velma
Bob as Schaggy
Auntie Bach as Scooby

and Maggie, in homage to Cousin Harry, as a Vampire Beagle!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two New Books

I went to the dentist yesterday. On top of finding out that I have a broken tooth and need a crown and possibly ANOTHER root canal (the thing doesnt hurt at all!) But whenever I go see the beloved Dr. Rao, I always go to Barnes and Noble as his office is located next door.

They've moved the knitting books up to the third floor...right next to kiddie land...great.
Just want I want to be around when I'm looking at knitting books, screaming children and their frustrated parents who are unable to satisfy their children's every whim.

But, it's time to think about holiday knitting and as great as Ravelry is for inspiration, you still have to BUY the patterns.

So I picked up two new knitting books and here are my initial thoughts:

1)One Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant
The layout of this book sucks. Once you get past this, the content is pretty darn good.
All of the photos of the projects are located at the beginning of the book. They are ridiculously small. The book is organized by yarn weight; i.e. it starts with lace weight yarn projects and ends with novelty yarn projects. But after looking through it, there are at least 10 different things I would and could make from stash RIGHT NOW. So I suggest you get out those little Post It tape flags and mark the photos and the patterns to ease your mind. I have NO idea WHY a publisher would have set up a book this way...

2) The Knitters Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes; Clara puts out the great Knitter's Review. This book is lovely---full of lots of facts and tidbits you always wanted to know about fiber---and not just natural fibers, but man-made fibers (even acrylics YIKES!)!! And there are some lovely patterns, again that I could make right now. Here's my criticism on this, and perhaps it was just because I was reading the book in bed late last night, but Clara divides the books my number of ply's. So she will give a project for a single ply yarn, like Noro Kureyon for instance; and then say something like (to subtitute, use xxx number of yards of single ply yarn). Well short of playing with ply's at the LYS, I really can't tell when I walk in how many ply's a given yarn has. It would have been helpful to have an appendix of yarn's by ply to provide some guidance. And seriously, how many LYS owners want you coming in and unplying yarn for kicks???

So thanks to Dr Rao for providing me with a visit to B and N to update my knitting library...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The countdown begins

The Phils released their tentative schedule for next year and dad and I did the math;



To find the Morehouse Store, look for the fork in the road, Literally.


Frisbee Dog!

LLama's munching

Mom's Swag

My swag, being inspected by Luther

My new fancy ball winder!