Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cables and Marshmallows and Dogs

Mornings have turned a little chilly, which means work on my annual gray cabled cardigan has begun. I don't know when I got to be so predictable, but August and September is gray or brown cardigan season in my workshop. I have also learned that I get much better results when I make up the pattern myself as I go along than if I follow a published pattern, so that's what I'm doing. There are so many great designs out there, but the finished product just won't fit me as well as it will if I do it my own way. Thus the brown cardigan I worked on earlier in the summer and the pink striped pullover I set aside a few weeks ago in frustration will probably both be unraveled, because life is short and yarn is too pretty to be caught up in a halfway-wearable garment that will probably just live out its days on the shelf in the back of my closet.

I spent some time in the kitchen, too, making marshmallows from scratch, which is time-consuming but not that hard. If you don't mind having a cloud of powdered sugar settling over every surface in your kitchen, you should try it. From-scratch marshmallows go in these sticky and delectable peanut butter marshmallow bars (recipe from this book, similar to this) and I guess you can use marshmallows from a bag, but for this project, a gift for some of my favorite people, that's not how I roll. Soft, fluffy marshmallows covered with peanutbutterscotch? Yes, please. I gave most of these away, but this recipe hasn't seen the last of me.

I try really hard not to annoy you with a trillion very-similar photos of the sleeping catdog, but dang. I just find her so irresistibly cute. She was the superstar of her manners training class, which finished last week and I miss it already. Training with this catdog has been the most fun thing I've done this summer. She focuses on me like a laser beam, does everything I ask for; sit, down, stay, wait, touch. She will not be distracted, and she works like she's doing a degree in Manners at Yale. We take her to the park, and she sniffs around in the wildflowers--milkweed, goldenrod, Queen Anne's Lace--and we amble along, walk ahead, ten, twenty, thirty yards, turn and stop. She stops sniffing, lifts her head, notices that we have gone on without her. I signal her to come back, and she tears toward my open arms, lips and ears flapping, zero to sixty in about 0.25 seconds, and skids to a cartoon stop right next to my leg. Plops into a perfect sit. Grins like a sap. Friends, there aren't enough dog biscuits in all the world for me to give this little girl. She fills my life with fun.

Later at home, this what she does. She curls up like a kitty and tucks her tail and feet up underneath her chin and goes inert. She has a very deep and rich inner life, I think. She composes poetry in her dreams.