Snowy Saturday

Posted by mrssmythe on January 24, 2015 in Critters, Seasons |

Before I’d even brushed my teeth today, I went for a walk.


Ginger and Manny went with me, and it was wonderful – so quiet, with the falling snow and only a few cars out on the roads.


When we got home, the other dogs were out in the backyard, along with CPT America and Pepper. The dogs were frolicking.


Ursa is a Chinook (in case you didn’t already know) and on days like this, you can really see her affinity for the snow.


She makes snow nests for herself. She eats the snow. And the snow doesn’t ball up on her fur the way it does on Kipper. I imagine she’d be very well suited for sled work.

Instead of making the backyard more manageable, though, the snow only seemed to make things more slick.


Everyone had a hard time getting up our small hill. CPT America fell several times – much to the girls’ delight.

I tried to stay off the icy spots – turning my attention to the back woods instead – so pretty!


I did squeeze in some sledding, though. I’ll admit I haven’t outgrown it. Nor has the CPT. The other day, I saw him hop on a sled when he was supposed to be taking the dogs out back. With the ice the way it is, he shot clear to the back fence, only barely escaping a collision. It’s more like a luge run, right now, then a hill for sledding. You can see the layer of ice underneath the snow in the photo below.

By dinner time, the snow had stopped. From the looks of things, we got about six inches, but that’s just an estimate.

It was awfully nice to have a snowy Saturday like this. It was lovely to have an excuse to stay put. I did lots of tidying, played cards with the family, and am now heading upstairs to watch Kung Fu Panda II. A pretty decent day all around. Hope you enjoyed a nice day as well.

From the dining room table, wondering if I could train Ursa to pull me on skis,

Mrs. Smythe

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The Olive Cowl

Posted by mrssmythe on January 21, 2015 in Crafting |

I finished a cowl the size of a coffee table today.


It was Lion Brand’s Dreamy Pastel Cowl, stitched up in six skeins of Lion Brand Amazing’s “Olive Medley”.

It was sort of an accident. I had originally bought the yarn to make a sweater. But as the sweater progressed, I became less and less sure I liked the colorway.


It was that streak of flesh-tone there toward the top. I really didn’t like that.

So, the sweater stalled, somewhere near the front shoulders.

Then I found the Dreamy Pastel Cowl pattern, which conveniently took the same number of skeins as I had purchased (assuming I could unravel what I’d already knit – which I did). And, since it used a different stitch (seed as opposed to stockinette), I thought perhaps the colorway would appeal to me more the second time around.

And it did.

Here is the result:


Much better. It reminds me of a braided rug, actually. And that troublesome fleshy bit? Well, it’s not nearly so noticeable when the yarn is knit the new way.

So, I took the cowl for a spin this afternoon, to see if it was going to be as warm as it looked.


And, you know…it wasn’t.

I was surprised.

You’d think with all that yarn – a good percentage of it wool – it would have been warmer. But, I think scarves have a definite advantage over cowls in that you can hike them up over your face and cinch them down tightly, whereas cowls stay pretty loose. I kept wanting to hunker down into this one as the wind blew, but I never could do it satisfactorily.

And so, this is probably something I’ll save for occasions when I wear my charcoal dress coat. Times when a bit of warmth is nice, but not vital.

Also – it will probably match my charcoal coat a lot better.

From the dining room table, hoping the neighbors didn’t see me taking selfies out in front of their pine trees,

Mrs. Smythe

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Spotted at the D’Amour

Posted by mrssmythe on January 20, 2015 in Art, Museums |

The girls and I spent the morning at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, taking in the new origami exhibit. Some pretty amazing stuff. No photography was allowed, though, so I don’t have any images from the exhibit, but I do have some pictures of a remarkable sculpture I spotted outside the museum.


Isn’t it amazing? It’s called “Leafy Phoenix”, and it made me happy just to look at it. The colors – the movement (it spun and swiveled) – the liveliness of it – everything. Wonderful. And then to find out someone commissioned the work in celebration of another person’s life – well, that just made it that much more incredible.


Here’s one more shot from a slightly different angle.


So beautiful.

I think this alone would have justified my visit to the museums.

From the dining room table, wondering how in the world you begin to put something like that together…,

Mrs. Smythe

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The Backyard Ice Rink

Posted by mrssmythe on January 19, 2015 in Critters, Seasons |

The girls are still waiting for a really good snow – something that will put down enough white stuff to build a snowman with.

In the meantime, we have ice. A huge sheet of ice covering the entire backyard. It’s like our own personal glacier.

Today, it was even more slippery than usual. The dogs spent the day mincing about the lawn, trying to stay upright. Meanwhile, Ginger decided to go gliding.


As you can imagine, she spent a lot of the time on the ground.

And, yes, Kipper laughed at her.


He was paying her back for laughing when she threw the stick and he went after it. He completely forgot he was running on ice. (It was funny to see).


In fact, Kipper isn’t a big fan of ice. He really just wanted back inside.


But Ginger couldn’t get to the door.


If only she could get to her feet…

Kipper started to go back to help her.


And then decided against it. In his opinion, Ginger was beyond help.


Come on, Ginger! You can do it!


Then again…maybe Kipper’s right.


From the dining room table, assuring you that both Kipper and Ginger did, eventually, make it back into the house,

Mrs. Smythe

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A Day in the Life of Mr. Wa

Posted by mrssmythe on January 15, 2015 in Critters |

From time to time, people ask me why I don’t write more about our cats. And that’s a good question. “Why don’t I write more about the cats?”

I don’t really know. Both our cats have loads of personality. And, from time to time, they each have adventures. But, the kinds of adventures they have tend not to be the sort I like to write about – things like, “Shadow has just brought me a bloody mouse” or “Mr. Wa is angry with Manny and has just peed on his dog bed”. I’m sure you understand.

But certainly there must be something I could write about concerning the cats….

So, what I thought I would do, is write a nice, everyday sort of post about Mr. Wa and how he spends his days. I decided to follow him around and take some photos.

Here is what I found:


Seven o’clock a.m. – Mr. Wa appears in the kitchen, expecting breakfast.


The dogs greet him. Mr. Wa is more reserved than the dogs and only tolerates this sort of “greeting”.

Mr. Wa then retires to the basement to eat his breakfast. He prefers to eat away from the dogs who would try to take his food from him if they could.


Afterward, Mr. Wa heads upstairs to Ginger’s room (his preferred haven) for an after breakfast nap. It is now 9:38.


At noon, Mr. Wa is still on Ginger’s bed.


At two o’clock, Mr. Wa is still lolling about the bed. He looks to be contemplating another nap.


And now the sun has set,  and Mr. Wa is…still on Ginger’s bed. He looks sleepy. It’s been a long day.


At seven Mr. Wa rouses himself and returns to the kitchen. Dinner time.


He is rather impatient. He seems to have worked up quite an appetite.


And, later tonight (at about eleven), Mr. Wa will prowl the downstairs, yowling his goodnights to everyone. If he feels especially feisty, he will claw at the living room sofa a time or two, knowing full well we won’t leave the comfort of our beds to go correct him. Then, he will return to Ginger’s room and sleep away the rest of the night.

Such is the life of Mr. Wa.

From the dining room table, not sure if I should be disgusted or impressed,

Mrs. Smythe

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