Seeding the Lawn…with dogs

Posted by mrssmythe on October 27, 2014 in Critters, On the Home Front |


The above title is misleading. We aren’t seeding the lawn with dogs. We’re using grass seed. But, we are trying to seed bare patches in our back lawn, and with three dogs running around, that’s proving to be more challenging than we had expected.


Look at that dog sitting in the dirt. That’s a freshly seeded spot! He doesn’t care. He does that all the time. They all do. All three dogs feel compelled to sit in the dirt. Why do dogs like to sit in the dirt?


For a while, we tried to keep them out of the dirt with barriers. We used lawn furniture and we taped off whole sections of the backyard. But the dogs barreled through anyway, and we eventually gave up.


Now, we don’t even bother to block the dogs. They come and go as they please, and we follow along behind, throwing more grass seed onto the dirt. Some of it will eventually take hold. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

From the dining room table, getting ready to make a paper crown for this Friday’s costume party,

Mrs. Smythe

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Oh The Things You’ll See…

Posted by mrssmythe on October 25, 2014 in Out & About |

Ginger went to a birthday party today – a birthday party at a farm, where she ran through a corn maze and went on a hay ride and played zombie paint ball….Yes, zombie paint ball.

Meanwhile, those of us who weren’t playing zombie paint ball headed to the nearest town to seek out some coffee at whatever sort of coffee shop we could find. And then, once we had our coffee in hand (CPT America and I, that is. Pepper does not drink coffee), we went for a walk because the homes around the coffee shop were quaint, and it was a beautiful day, and who knows how many more of those we’ll have before the cold well and truly sets in.

So! There we were, walking; CPT America, Pepper, and I. I, of course, was looking at everyone’s gardens and noticing things like cats in windows. Pepper was looking at the sky, pointing out contrails and cloud formations. And CPT America? CPT America was noticing things like this:


A pipe lodged in a tree.

Now, I would have never noticed a pipe lodged in a tree. It never occurs to me to look at plumbing fixtures. But, CPT America notices things like that – and I’m so glad he does, because, this was amazing.


A tree (or maybe it was a massive vine) outside a beautiful brick building had literally grown up and around one of the building’s pipes. It swallowed the pipe and then kept growing until it reached roof, twisting around and around itself the entire way.

Amazing stuff.


How often do you see a tree swallow a pipe?

And that’s why it’s so nice to have three people on a walk instead of just one. You see so many interesting things you might normally miss.

(But – don’t get me wrong. Solitary walks are nice too. They’re just a different kind of nice.)

From the dining room table, getting ready to watch The Wizard of Oz – which the girls have never seen (I know! Can you imagine?),

Mrs. Smythe


Maine Morning Mitts

Posted by mrssmythe on October 22, 2014 in Crafting |


I finally broke out the “Maine Morning Mitts” I knit for myself this past summer. I first spotted these on the hands of our mail lady, CarolAnn. Her mother knits them, and once the weather turns cold, she wears them religiously. They’re a great balance between warmth and finger freedom, if that makes sense?

So, anyway, I complimented CarolAnn on her Maine Morning Mitts, and the following week, she dropped a pair off for Pepper. Wasn’t that kind of her? Pepper is often out of doors – frequently without gloves – and CarolAnn must have noticed.

CarolAnn also gave me a copy of the pattern, with the stipulation that if I had any trouble at all making them, I should just ask. Her mother would certainly know what to do. I thought that was kind too.

As it turns out, though, the mitts are pretty easy to whip up. If you’re comfortable knitting in the round, they shouldn’t give you any trouble. The only tricky part is the thumb hole, and even that is not so bad. I made my pair in a couple of days out of less than a skein of acrylic yarn (Vanna’s Choice), but I think anything worsted weight would do. Also – this would be a great way to use up leftover yarn from other projects.

So! If you’re interested in making a pair for yourself, you can find the pattern HERE.

Finally – one last shot of the mitts, this time in focus:


(I was surprised how hard it was to take a picture of my own hand. Strange.)

From the dining room table, waiting for CPT America and Ginger to come in out of the rain (they’re out running),

Mrs. Smythe


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