Humble Folks Without Temptation

Is it Friday again already? Well, good. I’m ready to change topics fastly…

sp1.JPG Let’s get the title to the post out of the way first…

Here’s my South Park character. She looks as much like me as my Simpsons character, I suppose.

Mo sent me the link to this little treat. You can make your own here.


img_6349.JPG I finished the top!

This is Twisted Sisters Pattern “Eve”. I have a feeling I will wear it more like this than how the model is wearing it.

I’m not even gonna model it like she did for a laugh. I’m more of a “bra girl” myself.

img_6350.JPG The yarn is perfect for this scarf. It is Mountain Colors Twizzle, in merino and silk.

Reversible cables. No wrong side. Super soft and warm.

Thanks again for the yarn gift, Melissa!


img_6345.JPG I like to think that I care about my appearance. I take time to do my hair, wear makeup, and keep my nails nice.

So why on earth do I wear this ugly row counter half of the day?

Is anyone out there making a row counter that I can wear with pride?


img_6356.JPG This is my lovely souvenir from the girls’ trip last weekend.

It is made from the fuzzy fur of the alpacas on the Old Oaks Ranch, and spun with a little angora bunny. I even found out that the bunny’s name is Charmin. Don’t squeeze her!


img_6335.JPG We are Ba-sen-jis if you please.
We are Ba-sen-jis if you don’t please.

Have a great weekend!

Three Little Birds

Ooooo…didn’t feel like posting. Then this happened!

Do you know the song Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and the Wailers?

Rise up this morning,
Smiled with the rising sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Saying, this is my message to you…

img_6323.JPG Don’t worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Don’t worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

I swear, I opened the door, and they were there! They weren’t afraid or anything – they just sat and watched me. What a wonderful surprise!

I was feeling sad and weird, and they totally changed my attitude.

Three little birds.


I don’t need to use a lot of words in this post, because the photos say it all.

It was a great weekend.

img_6250.JPG Laughing and drinking.
img_6257.JPG Knitting.
img_6278.JPG Lots of photos…
img_6280.JPG …And lots of posing for photos.
img_6292.JPG Nature. (Unfortunately, that included bugs, lizards, and one brave scorpion.)
img_6311.JPG Alpacas.
img_6319.JPG Yarn shopping.
img_6291.JPG And a big stupid bear.

It was a fantastic time away from it all. In fact, my face kinda hurts from laughing so much.

I can’t thank you guys enough…Abbe, Amy, Caro, Jene, Kristin, Meg, and (almost) Snowden. I really needed some fun, and I had more fun than I could have imagined. Thank you so very much.

staci.jpg Update – I was there, too, and here is photographic evidence. I didn’t have any photos of myself until I snatched this one from Caro.

I look so relaxed – I need to remember to hang on to this feeling.

Quick and Dirty

Today is an especially fast-topic-changing Friday. I’m headed off for a girls’ weekend full of knitting and drinking.

The Friday verypink Rule: Don’t get too comfortable with any one topic. They change before you know it.

Here we go!

img_5970.JPG This is the dirtiest part of the “Quick and Dirty” post. This is my sister Phyllis’ dog, Izabelle, who you may remember from my recent trip to Alaska.

She is dirty here…

img_5996.JPG …and clean here.

I couldn’t believe how different she looked! My dogs look the same when they are wet. Maybe a bit darker, but nothing as ridiculous as this.


staci1.JPG My Simpsons character, obviously before my haircut.

You can make your own here.


img_6248.JPG Bobbi Bear!

Out of yarn!

Just one arm and two ears left!



img_5664.JPG If there is a sunny spot in this house, you will always find at least one dog there.

Have a great weekend! (I know I will.)

A Cardigan for Staci

I don’t think I mentioned this while it was in-progress, but I recently finished A Cardigan for Arwen.

The story – well, if you’ve been reading verypink over the last few weeks, you know there are big and unexpected changes going on in my life right now. This has been The Knitting that has seen me through it so far. This is the sweater with a ton of stockinette that I didn’t mind doing, and just enough cable pattern to keep me alert. It has, in fact, been the perfect pattern for the last few weeks.

I kind of wish I wasn’t finished already.

staci.JPG Pattern: A Cardigan for Arwen, Interweave Knits Magazine Winter 2006
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca

The results: I love it. It is just so…wearable. Even though I used this sweater as mindless knitting, it ended up being a great fit. I even got the extra length on the sleeves that I love!

I purposely pulled my hair from my face to please the folks who prefer it that way. I got emails about it. I understand.

mannequin.JPG The thing that I like best about this sweater has to be the cable border. It’s reversible, so when the hood pulls the front open a little, it becomes a shawl collar – the same on both sides. Brilliant.
cable.JPG Here is a close up of the cable, in progress. It’s really pretty and intricate.

I can’t wait for it to get cold.

lou1.JPG This is half of what was going on at my feet while I was doing the self-portrait photo shoot in the sweater.

Lou and Abe were SO EXCITED for some reason.

They actually tore their way through a make-shift baby gate to get to me.

I don’t understand them, either.

blocking.JPG Now on the needles – this top. (You actually have to click on the link to find out why I’m calling it a top.)

It is actually a scarf named “Eve” from Twisted Sisters. I’m knitting it with the Mountain Colors Twizzle I got as a gift from my friend Melissa.

close.JPG This cable pattern is again – reversible. I do love me some reversible cables. It’s nice when scarves don’t have a wrong side.

This looks crazy and busy from close up, but as you can see in the photo above, it isn’t. I like how the pattern and the yarn are cooperating.

ike.JPG Doggie yoga.

Right Before Your Eyes

Okay, my friend. You stay right here at the top of this page until the bazillion photos have a chance to load below.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

This post is different from what I normally do (but “normal” is a very fluid concept for me right now). Here is a photo series I’ve been working on since September of last year. I had the rare opportunity (and hassle) of watching construction across the street, and I took over 100 photos of the progress. I’ve picked the best photos to tell the story.

A couple of things to keep in mind while you look – this is ten months of construction. Also, land in Central Houston is at a premium, so the trend is to build two (or more) homes on a plot that was originally designed to hold one. All of the new homes around here are big, but with small footprints.

b.JPG Day 1: September 12, 2006.
c.JPG Goodbye, tree!
e.JPG Dirt.
f.JPG Prepping for the foundation…
g.JPG …and foundation.
h.JPG Wood!
i.JPG Second story…
j.JPG Starting the third story…
k.JPG Goodbye, view of downtown!
m.JPG Second house is underway…
n.JPG Framed out.
o.JPG Solid structures.

Solid, yes – but they appear to be leaning backwards in this photo, don’t they?

p.JPG Tyvek paper on one…
q.JPG This is the houses looking their worst – covered in Tyvek with the driveway frame out front. The porta-potty isn’t helping them look any better.
r.JPG Scaffolding and black paper…

This part was really noisy. There were several guys with pneumatic staplers…bam! bam! bam! bam!

s.JPG The outside is covered in cement (or whatever it is)…
t.JPG …and the dudes put in the decorative stone.
u.JPG Just about there!
v.JPG Aaaaaaand done. July 15, 2007.

Landscaping, glass garage doors, etc.

I can’t say that I love the final look of the houses, but it was fun to watch the progress.

ike1.JPG Since this post is already photo-heavy, hows about two more?

I count my dogs, oh, 50 times a day. Just to be sure that everyone is inside whenever I close a door. On this day I couldn’t find Ike.

Was he upstairs? Downstairs? Outside? Shooting pool in a smoky bar somewhere?

ike2.JPG No. Just sleepin’.


You can actually see an ear in the first photo if you look really closely.

Zigazig Ha

Someone please tell me that you “get” the title to this post. I think I’m hilarious.

Can I do a fast-topic-changing Friday, in the middle of the most chaos I’ve ever experienced in my life?


Just watch…

hair1.JPG So, I did it. I mentioned on Wednesday that I wanted to get a “Pob” (not my term), and I rushed right out and broke the news to my hairdresser.

He was cool with it. It was his second “Pob” this week, in fact.

In these photos, I’m sportin’ my best Victoria-Beckham-miserable-look, complete with huge sunglasses.

hair2.JPG Don’t you smile, Staci! It was really hard to stay miserable looking. Every time I snapped a photo and saw it on the screen, my lack of a smile actually made me laugh.

My hairdresser did a fantastic job. He even gave me some new “hoochie blonde streaks” (his term).


nails.JPG One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Ah, I was ready to cut my nails, anyway. Most of my time typing was spent backspacing over mistakes.


sweater2.JPG Remember this baby sweater? (My own design, free pattern available here.)

I sent it off to my pal Craig for a little jazzing up…

sweater21.JPG And he did such a great job!

This sweater is already in Alaska, waiting for Molly Renee to grow into it. She just needs to be born first.


lou.JPG The boys are very upset with me today, since I made it rain and all. They are determined to “hold it” until the rain stops, which isn’t supposed to be until tomorrow. Could make for an interesting day.

Have a great weekend!

But That’s Not All!

Look at me! Posting again! I’m so happy to be doing it.

This post is full of presents. Presents that I made myself, presents that have come in the mail, and four hairy presents that have been around for a long time. (If you didn’t catch that last one, I mean the four-legged things that growl and whine.)

Lemme show you…

indiancorn.JPG Here’s a little unexpected goodness. My friend Melissa (who doesn’t even knit) sent me this Mountain Colors Twizzle in the hopes that I’ll make something nice for myself. She also mentioned that she hopes this yarn is nice to work with.

Umm, yeah. I believe I can force myself to work with this lovely merino/silk blend.

earringssmall.JPG But that’s not all! She also sent me these pink skull-and-crossbones earrings. LOVE them.

Thanks, Melissa!

If you look closely, you’ll see my Dutch birthday calendar, complete with Drew’s birthday listed on the 6th, and my sister’s on the 10th. Just click on the photo for big.

bear.JPG But that’s not all!

Speaking of Drew…He went to the Crochet Guild of America’s annual meeting in New Hampshire, and brought me back a Blue Sky Alpaca Baby Bobbi Bear kit. He KNOWS I love kits. And I love polar bears, too.

He also gave me strict instructions to make this for myself. (I see a trend here. I suppose I do have a habit of giving my knits away.)

Thanks, Drew!

spun.JPG But that’s not all! I made myself a present, in the form of this yarn that I spun. I bought some pencil roving ages ago and decided to give it a try yesterday.

It doesn’t look that great, but it was really fun to spin, and the pencil roving made drafting really easy. This is the first time I’ve actually spun enough yarn to take it off the drop spindle and wind it into a hank. Thanks, Me!

sweater1.JPG But that’s not all! I also made a present for someone else, namely my soon-to-be niece, Molly Renee. This is the Matinee Coat from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Cashmerino book.

My sister insists that she’s going to have this baby any minute now. The doctors are still telling her she’s weeks away. We’ll just wait and see…

dogs.JPG And the gift that keeps on giving…

They normally like to spread out a bit more than this, but the sun wasn’t shining in a very wide spot on the deck.

Please take special care to notice Abe…it’s hard to see him on the black grill pad.

68826036-viki22.jpg One last thing…if I don’t get my hair cut like Victoria Beckham’s immediately, I’m going to pitch a serious fit.


Let’s Pretend

Yes – let’s pretend.

This has worked for me in the past. I put a smile on my face and pretend that things are good, and amazingly – they become that way. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not going to pretend that my life is the same as it was a few weeks ago. No, no, no. But I can imagine that I’m on a good track, that I’m happy, and that my future is bright.

Part of this pretending is to write an (almost) normal verypink post.

I don’t have to pretend that two pillars of my life – my dogs and my knitting – are still there, strong as ever. So let’s go with that.

Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I see that this quote can be taken a couple of different ways. To me, it means that sometimes our happiness needs a nudge. It usually rolls along effortlessly, but every now and then we have to consciously give it a kick start to get it going again.

Can I say thank you a thousand times to everyone for all of your support and kind thoughts? They mean so much to me. I’m not one to let nice things go unnoticed. It has been my intention to write a thank you note to each person who wrote to me. I don’t think I missed anyone, but if I did – please blame it on technology. I had some email problems on Thursday and Saturday. Thank you so very much for your kindness.

Let’s get on with the good stuff…

blue.JPG First, a little yarn souvenir from my trip to Alaska. I don’t normally buy yarn just willy-nilly with no project in mind for it, but Kodiak has an adorable new yarn shop – and I couldn’t bear to leave the place without showing my support with cash.

This is Patagonia Araucania, 100% cotton, hand dyed. All the way from South America to Alaska, then Texas. World-traveling yarn.

orchid1.JPG I won’t show all of it today, but have some catching up to do on verypink with lots of stuff.

Here is the finished Orchid Lace Scarf.

It is so pretty and delicate.

orchid2.JPG I made this with the Malabrigo Laceweight I won from Twisted Knitter’s blog contest.

In fact, Janet was the one who suggested that I make this, and it’s the perfect pattern for this yarn. Thank you, Janet!

orchid3.JPG This pattern was SO FUN to knit, and I would recommend it for someone who would like to try lace knitting for the first time. Since it’s just a scarf, it goes pretty quickly. And the pattern is made up of only the most basic stitches, which is good for a beginner.

I wish I could wear it today, but that would make me appear insane and sweaty.

studio.JPG Today’s knitting photos were taken with the help of my new toy – a Sunpak eBox Mini Studio. I have a lot to learn about getting the most from it, but it’s so cool.

I also need to figure out the best way to make myself a white background, which I prefer to the background colors included in the studio.

stack1.JPG A triple-scoop of red dog, coming right up!


First, I’d like to thank everyone again for the kind thoughts and notes. Even without knowing what was wrong, you’ve all been so good to me. Now it’s time I let you know how things stand.

Chris and I met in 1999, in Seattle, Washington. He was walking his Basenji (Gus), and I was walking mine (Ike). We just happened to be at the same park at the same day, with the same breed of dog. After talking for a few minutes, we realized that if we hadn’t met that day, we would have met the next – as we both had plans to attend a Basenji Playday in a nearby town. Chris has always said that this is more than a coincidence, and that we were destined to meet.

gusnike1.jpg After that, we became instant friends and talked to each other nearly every day. We saw each other frequently, with the excuse of getting the dogs together to play.

It wasn’t long before we quit with the excuses, and just started dating.

This photo of Gus and Ike was taken on the day after we met. They were instant best friends, too.

paris1.jpg Over the last eight years, we’ve lived in four different houses and traveled the world.
canal.jpg We have had long-term plans of building our dream home in Illinois, with plenty of room for the dogs to run.
barkless3.JPG Our family has grown and changed. We adopted Hank in 2000, and sadly lost him to cancer 4 years later. Since then, we adopted Lou, and sort of accidentally adopted Abe once we realized that he was more than just a foster dog to us.
venice.jpg We’ve had good times and bad, and highs and lows. Even during the low times, I can confidently say we’ve remained best friends.

Everyday I’ve looked forward to waking up next to him, spending time with him, and taking care of him.

family.JPG Upon returning home from my trip to Alaska two weeks ago, Chris had an announcement.

He is done with me.


Now what? Well, I don’t know. Everything that I’ve known as my life, my loves, my family, my home, my future…it has all changed. I’m baffled and angry and sad. I live in a state that is still new to me, over 4000 miles away from my family. The most painful part is that Chris isn’t interested in getting professional help in the hopes of reconciliation.

I’m working on a plan. A plan for me as a single person. A plan I never thought I would have to make.

Surprisingly, I’m holding it together pretty well. After the first two days of nearly constant meltdowns, I’ve realized that I hate feeling like that. I pulled my head out of my ass and decided that was no way to live. I’m doing my best to take care of myself. I’m also being sure to give my dogs all of the love and attention they deserve, which brings me joy in return.

I promise that verypink will once again be a happy place to visit. Soon. I need it to be.

That’s how it stands.