A Chronicle of My Jerkface Dog

My dog Apollo is one of my favorite creatures in this universe.  The way he snuggles up to me on the couch after a long day or leaps with joy when I return home makes me think the feeling is mutual.  I adore my little dog, and I spend a lot of time worrying about his well-being.  I imagine this is, in a very small way, what a parent feels like.

So I love my dog.

We got that part out of the way.

But you guys…can I tell you secret?

HE IS A MASSIVE JERK.

It’s not so bad now that he’s a little older.  Apollo is five and a half now, and he’s much calmer now.  But when he was a puppy, oh god.  I still remember the second day after we’d gotten him.  I was sitting on my carpet in tears, staring at this adorable but totally destructive little puppy, thinking, “What have we done?  I HAD A GOOD LIFE.”  In his heyday, Apollo chewed up, among other things, my carpet, the bottom of my blinds, two laptop chargers, and shoes.  And since he’s a dachshund, he’s incredibly stubborn and, admittedly, not very well-trained.

Like I said, he’s a massive jerk.  I don’t remember when the switch happened – when he stopped being utterly exhausting to a pet that brings me a lot of joy, but it happened and here we are now.  He’s cuddling next to me as I type this.

But the jerk gene is strong in this pup and he wills it as he chooses.  When Apollo was a baby, his insatiable appetite to destroy everything in my apartment was really a function of his curiosity.  Now that he’s older, he only steals or chews things when he wants our attention.

Relevant example – I was cooking dinner yesterday.  Fiancé was traveling home after being gone for several days, and I was very excited to see him.  I’d left a knitting project on the couch so I could preheat the oven for the chicken wings I was making.  You guys are probably all, “Why did you leave your knitting project on the couch after talking about what a jerk your dog is?” I KNOW, GUYS.  But I’d already taken him for a walk and thought that I’d expended any energy he had.  Wrong.  I heard this unusual crunching sound and rushed out of the kitchen to check on Apollo.

Jerk face knitting needles

This is not the first pair of knitting needles he has munched on. (I should have known better, etc etc I GET IT).  Thankfully, he did not ingest the bit that he’d torn off.  I was very upset since I don’t have extra needles in this size, and I wanted to continue being a loner introvert and not have to, you know, drive to a store and deal with people.

I found a pencil sharpener from my cosmetics kit and was able to file the needle down fairly well.  It’s been a bit of a struggle to continue using this particular needle, but it’s getting the job done without too much damage to the project I’m knitting.

Apollo’s reign of terror and bid for attention did not stop there. Fiancé surprised me with an adorable teddy bear when he came home.  I placed the bear on my coffee table and was attempting to take a picture of it when my dog snatched the bear and ran off with it.

jerk

I laughed so hard when I saw this picture.  It is probably one of my favorite pictures of Apollo. This perfectly captures his endearing jerkface qualities.

And then, by the end of the night, he crashed hard.

Buggy and Mama.jpg

Advertisements

This Post is Brought to You By Caffeine and Lots of Pictures

Today’s post is brought to you by the copious amounts of caffeine I will be consuming to get through today.  My body just could not get to sleep before midnight, but at 5:30 this morning it was like, “I FEEL ALIVE. LET’S GET UP!”

I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation lately and goal-setting.  I’ve set some ambitious goals for myself lately, whereas a couple of years ago I may not have had the motivation (nor courage) to set them.  It’s one thing to dream big – it is another to have the persistence and discipline to achieve your dreams.  And having persistence and discipline is the toughest part of the journey, I think. We all like the reward of doing something big and bold – but the persistence and discipline portion is often tedious, tiresome work.

What I’m saying is, I wish I could be lazy and pass my test without studying for it, but alas, I was not blessed with a photographic memory for material I learned over a decade ago.  For the next five weeks my posts are probably going to be picture-heavy as I enter into crunch mode for my test.  I just need to think positive happy thoughts like, “YOU’RE SO SMART JENNY! BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF YOUR DREAMS!” and not, “You’re gonna fail,” which I currently have on a loop in my mind.  (Said in the voice of Kristen Wiig from Walk Hard, of course.)

YAY PICTURE TIME!

First off, I received my Wool and the Gang package in the mail yesterday.  Wow, that was fast.

IMG_0295.JPG

I said in the last post that I was geeking out over using Scheepjes yarn…I do that too with Wool and the Gang.  I really want to try their Crazy Sexy Wool but that’s probably going to be too warm to work with for the next ten months.

IMG_0296

It is so squishy!!!!!

I’ve also been making progress with my Little Box of Crochet project…but not as much, since I’m studying in the evenings and don’t start my crafting until the Daily Show.  I promise not to be posting incremental pictures of the same project for the next five weeks.

IMG_0309.JPG

More pictures, you say? SURE!

IMG_0308.JPG

I am really loving the way this is working up! And the colors are just gorgeous.

Finally, I received my ipsy bag in the mail yesterday…I really am loving the color palette from this month’s bag.IMG_0303.JPG

The earrings didn’t come with the bag…I just thought they would be a pretty addition to this soft spring palette! I wish I could make a dress out of this print:

IMG_0305.JPG

And of course, this is such a cute little card.

IMG_0304.JPG

Now that we’re full of positive and happy vibes, I’ve got to go wake Fiancé up.  My car decided to overheat yesterday so he’s got to drive me to work. Have a great day, everyone!

Starting the Week off Right

Good morning everyone! I wanted to write out a quick weekend post since I wasn’t able to update yesterday. I hope you all had great, restful weekends and a good start to your week.  I feel much more like myself this week.  I really attribute it to my weekend.  It was definitely restful, like cuddling up with this little chunk:

20170304_105305

But I was also productive, and I think that’s what put me in a really good mindset for this week. I was able to get some good studying done for my test, went for a run, planted veggies in the garden (fingers crossed they don’t die), did ALL the laundry, and made some good progress in reorganizing the guest room. I found this gem while going through my old notebooks. This is from a phase in 2008 when I was depressed and would go to coffee shops to write poetry:

20170304_163402.jpg

So much anger, Jenny! I’d totally shop at Central Market now, if it were closer to my neighborhood.

I found time to craft, too.  I’ve been focusing exclusively on the Calvin Top.

IMG_0285.JPG

I’ve finished the first body piece and am working my way through the second.  I am very eager to finish it so I can try it on.  I still think it will fit like a burlap sack when I’m done, but hopefully I am wrong.

Time for me to get ready for work! Have a great day!

Stumbling into the Weekend

Happy Friday!  I am writing to you a little later than normal.  This week was definitely an “off” one for me…feeling really tired, anxious, and antisocial the entire week.  This week was full of meetings and training classes, so I could not be the hermit that I wanted to be. AND to add insult to injury, I got home just now, and Apollo was being really possessive of his treat ball and was growling and barking angrily at me 😦  He’s usually so sweet and loving with me, so I hate when he gets possessive like this! I wasn’t even trying to take his dumb treat ball away from him, I’d been trying to hand him EXTRA TREATS that had fallen out of his treat ball.  Silly dog! ALL I DO IS FEED AND LOVE YOU. It bums me out when he acts like that.

ANYWAY.

Here is a one step forward, two steps backward kind of situation.  I canceled one of my subscription boxes today. I really enjoy Knit-Wise but I want to start saving up for the wedding. I felt really responsible when I did that.

Then I went to Barnes and Noble and bought ALL THE CRAFT MAGAZINES.

Well, not all. Just two. But lookit.

This is the kit that came with Issue 54 of Simply Crochet. Isn’t it adorable?

mollie-makes-76-with-embroidery-hoop-gift-811x1024

I’ve been waiting for this issue of Mollie Makes.I love the embroidery kit!

As for my Wool and the Gang Calvin top, I’m about done with the first body piece. I had to frog it this morning (yes, I did a little crochet before work this morning…shhhh) since the mesh section was uneven and looked crappy. It looks better now and I think I can be done with it this weekend.

Hopefully by relaxing with these projects this weekend, I’ll be able to unwind and be back on track for Monday. Here’s hoping! Have a great weekend!

Making Mistakes to Grow

One of my roles at work is being a safety rep.  For the next several months, I’m giving focus topic meetings on different aspects of being a safety rep since we have a lot of new safety reps in the area.  For my first focus topic yesterday, I decided to discuss the aspects I’d found most daunting about being a safety rep when I first started – like dealing with difficult project managers and people assuming that I was suddenly an OSHA expert and asking really detailed safety questions.  My area safety manager told the group that it was okay to make mistakes and encouraged people to get out there and try, even if they failed.

This maxim, that it’s okay to make mistakes, is one I constantly remind myself.  I made one that my team member gently reminded me of via email.  I was so frustrated!  I should have known better! I went home and felt better after eating my feelings and walking my dog.  But making mistakes just helps us grow, and part of working on a team is having other people holding you accountable and ground-truthing your work.

Last night, I started thinking about making mistakes in my own creative work.  I still consider myself a beginner with crafting which holds me back, because naturally, I don’t want to make mistakes. I just want to make a perfectly Instagrammable piece of art. But that inclination keeps me from trying riskier stitches because it will “look bad.”  Staying inside the box all the time can really hinder creativity, and I’ve definitely always been a rule follower. I can’t even purchase any of Keri Smith’s books, like This is Not a Book, because the idea of tearing pages from the book or destroying a page by pouring milk on it (or whatever the creative prompt actually is), is just so foreign to me. (I know! That’s supposed to be the point! BUT I CAN’T, YOU GUYS).

I’ve been working on a Studio MME Super Stitcher’s Club piece.  What I love about Megan Eckman’s work is you can stitch the piece as simply or as elaborated as you’d like.  It’s designed for stitchers who don’t like the crazy fancy stitches like French knots, but allows enough room for improvisation in case you decide to go crazy and plop a couple on there.  I’ve decided to go outside the box and play around with some extra stitches on the piece.  It’s made me uncomfortable, if I’m being honest.

MME piece.png

My brain is like, “STOP IT. YOUR STITCHES ARE UGLY.” But I know that I need to at least try this idea and see where it takes me.  Maybe my stitches will continue being ugly.  Or maybe I will end up with a piece I’m really proud of.  I’ll never know if I don’t try, or if I just continue doing the same back and running stitches and nothing else.

Making mistakes is a sign that you are growing and if you stumble a little, it means your path will be smoother in the future.  I proposed a risky little strategy at work several days ago and to my shock, the team decided to accept it!  There’s no way I would have had the gumption to propose it without the stumbling blocks I’ve had over the past year in this role.  And I know if I continue pushing myself with my creative projects -instead of restricting myself to the ones I already know I can do – I know I’ll continue growing in that aspect, too.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be indulging in a lot of crafty time while Fiancé is at band practice.  Need to buy some flowers and plants since the one hard freeze we had this year killed all my succulents.  The house needs to be cleaned because it’s looking cluttered and I feel stressed when it’s cluttered.  I’ll need to do some yoga and maybe a run, because I haven’t run since the half-marathon and now I feel that pent-up crazy lady feeling when I haven’t been able to run in several days.  Maybe watch more of The People v. O.J. Simpson (not sure how I feel about it yet – and those fake Kardashian kids take me out of it every. single. time) and listening to a lot of this song, which is a current obsession.  See you Monday!

Where I’ve Been: Field Work and Lots of Crochet

Good morning everyone! I apologize for my absence.  I was in the field for the past two weeks doing groundwater sampling.  This trip had the most wells I’ve ever had to sample (59!) but it actually one of my least stressful trips.  None of the equipment broke down, we stayed ahead of schedule for most of our time out there, and I was working with a great co-worker.  There was one day when our radar looked like this:

radar

It turned our site into a small mud party and we did briefly get stuck in mud. But we were able to get ourselves out by shoring up rocks near the tires,  WHICH NEARLY NEVER HAPPENS.  It was awesome.

The adjacent property has a bunch of judgmental cows who stare at us while we sample the wells. One of them was very sweet and playful. I called him an Apollo cow because like my own beloved dog, this cow was trying to eat my personal belongings, i.e. the keys to all the wells.

apollo cow.png

Even on good sampling trips like this one, I was so exhausted at night that I barely had the energy to answer work emails, much less craft.  I did work on this beautiful piece from Studio MME’s Super Stitcher’s Club.

IMG_0253.JPG

On weekends I’ve been doing a lot of crochet.  Crochet is my go-to craft when I’m feeling stressed or just need to unwind without thinking too much.

garland.png

This is a pretty piece I’m doing from an old issue of Mollie Makes (crafting from my stash!) Crochet in the round is still challenging to me so it’s a good way for me to practice my new skills, even if it looks a little wonky right now!

I also worked on this piece from an old issue of Simply Crochet:

hearts.png

I’ve making progress on my blanket as well.  I think I mentioned in the last post that I’m using Attic24’s Cosy Stripe Blanket as my pattern, but am modifying it by making more stripes with the same colors:

IMG_0257.JPG

And finally, I started working on this cowl while visiting with my wonderful future in-laws this weekend (that is still a slightly surreal sentence to type):

cowl.png

So that’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods! Keeping busy with wedding planning too; Fiancé and I have selected a venue and pinned down a date.  My parents are coming up in March and Mom and I are going to start doing wedding dress shopping, which is going to be so much fun.  I really cannot wait for that.  Fiancé and I ran a half-marathon yesterday.  It was his first and he CRUSHED IT, I’m so unbelievably proud of him!  I was about to cry when I saw him coming up on that mile 12 marker.  As for me, I’m not super thrilled with my time but given the humidity I will accept it.  I almost want to do another one just to prove to myself that I can run it faster than I did yesterday.

Also, I have not been studying much this month, which is fantastic given the test is two months away. I had this conversation with my parents this weekend:

Mom:  Have you been studying?
Me: Umm…yes, I’m on chapter 8 in my book!
Dad: Out of how many chapters?
Me:  …..52.

Well, I’d better head off to work before they send a search party looking for me. I hope you all have a great Monday!  See you Wednesday!

Love Trumps Hate

love2.png

 

After the election, I struggled with what to say about it on my blog.  I ended up writing a passionate post about how dismayed I was about Trump’s win.  I never publicized the blog on my Instagram or Facebook feeds, and I hid the post several months later.  The tone didn’t fit with my blog’s overall feel, I thought, and I didn’t want to offend anyone as I slowly grew my blog and future business.  It’s just best to be nonpartisan with this blog, I thought, and on my private Instagram account I can say what I really feel.

But after the terrible first week we’ve had with the Trump administration, I can’t be nonpartisan here anymore.  It’s too dangerous to be silent.  I have Muslim friends and I worry about their safety.  I worry about my country’s safety as we close our doors to others and as this president makes allusions to a Holy War on Twitter.  What Trump is doing is not American.  It’s hateful and disgusting.

I’m fairly new to the world of activism, so everything in this post is inspired by the great work being done by friends on Instagram and helpful articles I’ve encountered while researching.  I’ve linked the articles in this post.

  1.  Donate.  There are many causes that need our support.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)  does essential work in fighting for injustices.  They challenged the Trump immigration ban, along with the National Immigration Law Center  and the International Refugee Assistance Project.    The Council on American-Islamic Relations  is another organization needing support.
  2. Contact your elected official!  Use this website to get contact info for your elected senators and representatives.  I called my senators and congressmen today, and all their voicemails were full! I’ve read suggestions to fax them instead.  There are also emails/contact forms on their websites, but honestly I’m not sure how effective that really is versus calling them.  You can also send postcards from the Women’s March 10 Actions 100 Days initiative.  If you’re like me and never called an elected official before, this article is really helpful on how to approach it.
  3. Don’t become complacent.  There’s a lot of terrible stuff happening in our country right now and it would be too easy to want to turn off the news when it gets “depressing.” But we can’t do that.  Our administration is counting on these unconstitutional actions to become normalized.  We can’t let that happen.  We must fight back by protesting, by staying informed, and by reaching out to our elected officials.

Let’s show the world that there are still plenty of Americans who support free speech, freedom of religion, equality, and justice for all.  Love trumps hate.

And since this is a craft blog…I used a pattern from Maybe Matilda for these beautiful crocheted hearts.