Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hanukah and winter stimulation

Hanukah's nearly over and we've had a nice, quiet holiday. Aside from being grateful for plumbing (every night!), it turns out the professor bought the dogs a game before our drainage woes began.
We both notice that Harry and Sally become restless and bored in the winter time. Although they get a walk every day, in the winter, it is too cold for them to spend long periods playing together in the backyard. By "too cold," I don't mean below freezing. I mean, when the high temperature of the day is 9F (-13C), that is too cold to be playing outside for extended periods. It isn't unusual for it to get down to -40 (C or F, it doesn't matter) this time of year, so we need to be careful about how long we spend outdoors.

This year we splurged and bought a fancy dog toy that helps encourage mental stimulation. It requires play with dog and owner. Since there are two dogs in our household, one of us holds a dog in the sit/stay position while the other dog gets to play. The game, called "The Brick," has been perfect to play while the candles are fits exactly this relatively minor holiday's "30 minutes of fun while the candles burn" each night perfectly.

If you're interested in learning more about the game, it's called Company of Animals Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Interactive Game. We bought it from a local pet store but I'm pretty sure it's easy to buy on Amazon, too. You do have to train your dog to play with it and you can't let the dog play with it on his/her own. That said, when I go anywhere near where the game is stored, the dogs now get very excited. Obviously, this worked in terms of keeping our brains stimulated around here!

In human terms, new knitting patterns do keep our brains stimulated too! Someone from Saskatoon asked how one can buy my downloadable patterns. My full line of patterns is available for download on my website. Most of these patterns are also available for download on Ravelry as well. Of course, you need to use Paypal for most of these transactions.

I don't make these patterns available to stores. That is because it costs a lot to print, mail, and stock paper patterns...and it increases the carbon footprint of each pattern. It's just not cost effective if I want to keep the pattern price low. I made this decision back in 2005, and I've chosen to stick by it. For most people, it works.

If you want to buy a pattern but cannot download it yourself for some reason, you have these options:
1) Ask a friend with a computer/printer/Paypal account to help.
2) Contact me via my email address or Ravelry personal message to make other arrangements. On rare occasions, folks send checks through the mail--and if you do this, please add $1 US to the price of the pattern to cover postage, etc.

Unfortunately, I can't do business through my blog. It's very hard to track people's contact information down this way!

I hope everyone's staying stimulated mentally, physically, and socially this winter. I am off to take some homemade meringues out of the oven to enjoy some treats that look just like snow!

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Blogger Cathy said...

The game sounds like great fun for the dogs. But again, I'm glad you are the one with the extra cold weather. However, it has been very cold and windy here in PA! And it isn't even officially winter! I'm knitting away on a Mobius cowl to help keep me warm, but I'm not getting much time to knit.

December 9, 2010 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad the plumbing is fixed!

Interesting re: the pdfs only. That's my gut feeling with my patterns, but I don't know if moving to include wholesale hardcopies is something I ought to do to increase exposure, income, etc etc.

December 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger AdrieneJ said...

I'm going to have to look into that game. My boy doesn't seem to have problems with restlessness, but I know plenty of other dog owners who do.

I'm quite happy to have pdfs only. I like that I can square them away on my computer and not have them scattered everywhere. And, as you say, it saves shipping, and you pretty much have it instantly! It also means that you can hold off purchasing them until you're exactly ready to cast on. All the better, I say!

December 13, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

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