Monday, 9 February 2015

February 2015 Vacation, Day 6

Stupid people should not own dogs. Well, they really shouldn't own any pets at all, but I'm just thinking of dogs in particular at this moment. I finally got out the snowblower yesterday and did my snow removal. Then I finished up with shovelling the deck and tidying up the sidewalk between the deck and the garage. Sometimes I do this sidewalk with the snowblower, but I like to finish it off with the shovel. As I was doing this, the neighbour let her dogs out to do their business. She has a sheltie who has spent most of her life in a chainlink kennel attached to the owner's garage. Matted, mangy-looking and mean, I never saw this dog being walked. She always barked and growled when I or someone else was in my yard. And unfortunately, her kennel afforded her a good view of the door onto my deck, which is my main door. I didn't blame the dog for being mean since she had no quality of life. But somehow I managed to befriend her with dog biscuits. I was actually asked to look after her once while her family went on vacation. And I discovered that this poor dog was just starving for attention. She actually loved being petted (don't most dogs?). Unfortunately, there was not much I could do since she was being provided food, water and shelter (she had a doggie door into the garage), and the owner was not being actively abusive. Finally a year or so ago, because the dog was getting older and arthritic, the owner took her inside. I'm not sure if this actually improved the quality of her life much, if at all. Unfortunately, not seeing me for so long, she will be her vicious little self on the odd occasion when we both happen to be out at the same time. I'm rather glad I had my shovel with me when she zoomed in for the attack yesterday. She came after me a couple of times, totally ignoring her owner, who tried to call her back. I tried to calm her by talking to her, hoping she'd recognize my voice. Since I had spilled some gas when filling the snowblower's tank, I didn't expect her to recognize my scent. However, she didn't calm down and finally returned at the owner's insistence and the fact that I didn't back down. And I was armed with a shovel. I didn't intend to use it on her, but would have if I'd had to defend myself. I really wish I could afford to put a fence up between our properties. That's on my project list, but the soffit and fascia are higher priorities. An avid dog owner I know once told me that if a dog is perpetually confined, it will go insane. And I'm beginning to wonder if this poor dog has gone insane. Nasty little piece of work that she is, I really feel sorry for her. From when I looked after her, I know that inside is a really sweet little girl. But a miserable life has made her a miserable mutt One of the other dogs let out at the same time looked appalling. I don't remember what breed it is, but it's one of those shaggy things that needs regular grooming or a haircut. Obviously, that's not being done as there were huge mats hanging off the side of this dog. When I say huge, I mean one whole side of the dog was bare with this big mat hanging off of it. It couldn't have been very warm, and it was -15C. She has a third dog, a poodley-looking thing. I don't think she ever walks any of them. She's had various and sundry dogs and cats in the 5+ years I've lived here. The cats usually just disappear and I don't know if she has them spayed or neutered. I remember one kitten that she insisted she was going to keep inside. She didn't. And he became a rather nasty tom cat, who tried to attack my Mystery on my deck. I was really relieved when she decided to leave one big dog at the home of her boys' father. That dog was loose more often than not, pooping in my yard, coming up on my deck, and I'm not sure if he was altogether safe. It's obvious she's not doing any obedience training. Why do people have pets when they're not prepared to be responsible pet owners? I don't know, but I really wish she'd stop. 
I guess that was my rant for the day. Well, the first rant. The second is about eTeacher. I've been toying with the idea of learning Biblical Hebrew, so I went online to search for an online course. I made the mistake of providing my name, email and phone number to eTeacher Hebrew to get more information. I'm only providing the link so you know what to avoid. I have received at least 2 phone calls and 5 emails from them in less than 24 hours. In today's phone call, I just told him I decided I wasn't interested. And I clicked on the unsubscribe link in the last email. Hopefully, that will be the end of that. Seriously, I don't like that kind of sales tactic and I have to question the validity of any supposed educational organization that employs that kind of tactic. Meanwhile, I've also applied for guest student status at Andrews University to see if I can take their Hebrew course online. That's the location of my denomination's main theological seminary, although I probably can't afford their course. I don't want to pay a small fortune for something that's just personal interest. I couldn't find the cost of the online course, or if Hebrew is even offered online. 
After finishing the snow removal yesterday, I decided it was time for another renoval, while I still had my coat and boots on. All of the wood that I have so far stripped from the walls in the sewing room was carried upstaris and outside behind the garage. Once I get it all off I will haul it to the dump. Or maybe that will wait till spring. 
I have to admit that I have been experiencing quilting/fabric withdrawal symptoms. Since the sewing room is in disarray and a lot of it's contents are currently stacked in my living room, and I've tried to focus my time on the renovations which I'm not getting anywhere with, I haven't been quilting. I've at least been crocheting in the evenings, but, as I've shared, the Bobble afghan is rather frustrating. So I decided to buy some fabric. Sunday is not a good day to buy fabric in my town. The only thing open that sells fabric is Walmart, which is not a great source of good quality fabric. I do occasionally buy fabric there, but it's not my favourite or primary source. But I didn't really feel like driving to the city. So I went to Walmart. Nothing really jumped out at me, shouting "Buy me, buy me" in the fabric section. As a matter of fact, their fabric section has seriously deteriorated over the years. They used to have a pretty good selection of fabric by the metre - even some good quilting cottons, but now there's only a small section of precuts. Sad. So I moved into the yarn section. Not long ago, I had enrolled in online courses to learn Bavarian Crochet and the Crocodile stitch from Annie's Catolog. I hadn't started on any of these projects yet, and several of them require sport weight yarn (3) and I only have one big ball of black in that weight. I really didn't want all of my projects to be black. So I bought some yarn that I assumed was sport weight. It's really weird because there's no weight on the label.

I found the yarn website here, but it still doesn't tell me what weight it is. But the label does have the recommended size hook/needle and the guage and it was the same as the sport weight that I compared it to. And it worked fine in my project.
Bavarian Crochet Head Band
So this is my first Bavarian Crochet project. Since I have short hair and wearing it as a head band would just make my hair stick out in every direction, I put it on as a hippie would wear it. LOL! But I don't intend to keep it for myself. I'm going to offer it to my long-haired niece. Here it is off my head:
And here's my actual haul of yarn that I purchased yesterday:
It's definitely not high quality yarn. I wasn't far into the skein when I came across a knot. I undid the knot and weaved the ends together with a darning needle, like I normally do when joining yarn. Then I noticed the yarn seemed to have gotten a lot thinner after the knot and it looked like it was missing a strand. It wasn't till somewhat further into the project that I found the other end of the missing strand. I decided not to unravel the project, cut out the thin part and rejoin the ends as it still looked acceptable. It's only a headband after all. And if my niece can find that section, she can put that part at the back under her hair. Unfortunately, this yarn doesn't have much stretch to speak of, so it's not great for a headband. But on a Sunday afternoon in a small town, I didn't have much choice for yarn purchases. Oh, and according to the label, 10 cents from each ball sold goes to Children's Miracle Network. 
As you can see, I got my favoured variegated yarn, and then one ball of each of the colours in the variegated one. 
The pattern I used called for a 3.75 mm crochet hook. I was actually able to find one amongst my supplies, but I found using it rather frustrating. It's 'throat' (or whatever you call it) isn't deep enough and the yarn kept separating or sliding off the hook. I do have a set of hooks somewhere (my travelling set, not my main set) that I think might contain one, but I'm not sure where that set is. The last I remember, it was in the sewing room, so maybe it's somewhere in the living room...
Yesterday, someone came and got the cookbooks I was giving away and someone else bought the vintage cream and sugar. Today I posted a vintage enamel bowl with lid and a set of brass planters. Hopefully, they'll sell as well.
I have an older dishwasher in my kitchen. It works, but not that well. I find the things on the top rack don't get very clean, probably because there is no upper water arm. So, a few years back I bought a newer dishwasher to replace it at an auction sale. Then never got around to installing it until last year I asked my ex to install it while my daughter and grandson were living with me. For me personally when I'm on my own, I would seldom use it, so it just wasn't a big deal. When my ex attempted to install the newer one, he found that I would need to upgrade both my plumbing and my wiring. It really wasn't worth it. So I sold the newer one recently and the new owner is quite happy with it. Meanwhile, I haven't use the old one since my ex tried to install the new one. Yesterday, I wanted to clean some new canning jars and lids. I always prewash new kitchen things before using them. Since they weren't actually dirty, I figured I'd just use the dishwasher to give them a hot rinse. The dishwasher was running, but it wasn't getting any water flow. I called the ex and he said that he thought he had turned the shut off valve back on and didn't know what else could be wrong. I checked the shut off valve in the basement (having fun finding it behind the dropped ceiling) and it was open. So I still don't know what's wrong with it, unless something was damaged during the attempted install last year. <sigh> Now I've got a really useless dishwasher in my kitchen. And it's probably not worth fixing. I would really rather have the cupboard space, but putting cupboards in there would probably cost as much as putting in another dishwasher. But it's not costing me anything to just sit there, so I'll deal with that some day...
That's all for now. In case you're wondering what happened to days 4 & 5 of my vacation blog posts, on Friday I really just had a lazy day and didn't do much of anything, including blog. On Sabbath (Saturday), I blogged about my thoughts on the Quverfull Movement, and that was blog enough for one day.