Saying Goodbye To Our Boy, Charlie

Family Life

Today was a hard day. Today, we said goodbye to our beagle, Charlie. We knew it was coming, but there’s really nothing that can prepare you for that pain of letting go.

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Charlie was definitely one of a kind – a crazy, loveable, hilariously human dog. He was a rescue, passed around from home to home and abandoned by his original family in a stranger’s backyard when they moved. By the time we got ahold of him he was scared and aggressive, anxious all the time, and distrustful of everyone. It was challenging and it was heartbreaking and in a lot of ways we were in over our heads, but from the moment I saw that dog I loved him, and I knew he was worth it.

Charlie spent 5 years of his life with us, full of laughter and tears and lots of snuggles. He wasn’t just our dog, he was the family dog – everyone loved him and he loved the attention. Over the past week we’ve had some visitors, friends and family stopping in to grab some snuggs and say their goodbyes. My sister came over yesterday and spent the night – all of us piled in the living room, blankets and pillows all over the floor, watching cheesy movies. This has been a hard one to swallow for everyone.

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This morning we woke up early and mixed up a batch of salt dough to make paw prints for everyone.

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The rest of the morning was spent at the dog park, Charlie’s favourite place to be.

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The drive to the vet was the longest of my life. Miriam, Grace and I all stayed in the exam room until it was over, crying and laughing and holding each other.

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We took him with us, wrapped in a blanket, to a quiet little spot in the country. We dug his grave ourselves, a cathartic process for all of us. Now we’re home, and the house is eerily quiet. All I want to do is curl up in a ball on the couch, but life doesn’t stop – we picked up our keys yesterday, and we’ve got a little over a week to be out of here. New home, new life – will it make the adjustment to life without Charlie easier or harder? I guess we’ll see.

New Yarn, New Project!

DIY, Knitting

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What’s better than getting some beautiful new yarn?! Getting done beautiful new yarn for 99¢ a ball! The yarn/fabric store near my house had a huge basket of this gorgeous mohair on clearance, and I had just enough change on me to pick up 4 balls of it, the exact amount needed for this sweater pattern that I’ve had on my knitting to-do list forever.

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Ribbed Baby Jacket

Ravelry: Ribbed Baby Jacket

The boy I’m watching today is feeling a little sick and just wants to sit on the floor and look at books, so I’m taking advantage of his low energy to get some knitting done.

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I just cast on and I’m already in love.

Knitted Creatures

DIY, Knitting

The countdown is on – we’re moving in two weeks and we couldn’t be more excited (or more stressed). You’d think that I would be spending my time packing and going through things, doing all that I can to avoid that last minute rush, but instead I’ve been spending all my free time curled up on the couch binge watching Netflix (Friday Night Lights – how am I just finding you now?) and knitting.

This seems to happen every year once spring finally rolls around. I’m like a polar bear, I love the cold, and no matter how long and bitter the winter I always want more. Once the sun returns and the ground thaws I go into one last mini-hibernation – bundled up, knitting, making soup, and ignoring the sunshine.

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Is he not the cutest little hippo you’ve ever seen?! Such a quick and easy pattern (link), perfect for when you need something that doesn’t take a lot of focus (like Friday Night Lights marathons).

IMG_20150417_132238 A little boy I take care of has a birthday coming up, so I made another one for him – I am seriously in love with this pattern.

I’m also gearing up to open a new home daycare once we move, so I’ve been trying to finish up a few toys to mix in to the collection.

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I plan to make a few more of these adorable dinos for our toy bin, and maybe a couple for our nephew.

And I saved the best, or at least my favourite, for last…

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Hedgehog!

I’ve wanted a pet hedgehog since the 2nd grade. A woman from our local Humane Society visited our class with a selection of animals, including the cutest little hedgehog. It honestly blew my mind. Somehow it had never occurred to me that there were more than 3 different types of pets – dogs, cats and fish – which is even more strange if you think about the fact that I spent half my childhood on my grandparents’ farm. Anyway, I absolutely adore this little guy with his little scarf.

I’m also working on a purple elephant, the largest knitted stuffy I’ve ever done. I just need to finish the ears and the tusks. Exciting!

A New Look For An Old Gossip Bench

DIY, Home Decor, Thrift Store Finds

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I found this gossip bench in a local free or cheap Facebook group for $5 and I couldn’t resist. The problem is that we are moving soon and I had promised Grace (although I don’t remember it) that I wouldn’t bring anymore furniture into the house. Apparently she thinks I have a problem. So I made her a deal – we pick up the chair, redo it and sell it. Who could say no to a fun project and some extra money? It’s win-win.

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Honestly, I was pretty tempted to just leave it as is – there’s something so good about that horrible 60s upholstery – but the chair was in rough shape. There were some tears and cracks in the vinyl, and the metal frame was rusted and scratched, so we decided to grab some spray paint and raid our fabric stash. We thought about a few different colour palettes before finally deciding to go with something a little loud and unexpected – black and gold.

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The second-hand store I volunteer at gets donations of leftover upholstery fabrics from a few furniture manufacturers in town, and I am constantly coming home with fabric that we have no use for and no room for. I picked this piece up last week for $1 and it was perfect for what we wanted to do.

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We quickly took it apart, sanded down the frame and sprayed it gold. We finished the tabletop in a high-gloss black lacquer,and at the last minute decided to spray the screws black as well. Honestly, that might be my favourite part.

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Grace took care of the upholstery. She finished the edge of the seat back with a black flat gimp edging, giving it a polished look.

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I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. I’m just wishing we could keep it.

Negative

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We spent the morning waiting, jumping at every noise my phone made, bouncing back and forth between optimism and hopelessness. Of course, the phone doesn’t ring when we’re sitting quietly on the porch, it rings when the dogs are barking at a squirrel, my hands are wet from doing dishes and Grace is making lunch. We jumped, panicked a little and I threw my phone at Grace.

She answered, and I watched her face – it changed almost instantly.

“We’re sorry, but your results were negative. If you’d like to try again you can give us a call on the first day of your next cycle.”

So that’s that, for now at least. Between moving house, going to school and the starting two new businesses, it’s going to be a couple months, at least, before we try again.

For now, we’re just trying to stay positive. It will happen, just not yet.