February 23, 2009

Baby Hat

Once again, thanks to Last Minute Knitted Gifts for a cute and easy pattern. My first attempt at this one came out very nicely even though I dropped a stitch and had to find a way to fix it a couple of rows later. This is not something I know how to do...but somehow I managed to end up with a flaw I'd have to point out for you to see. Woo hoo! The color is much more of a dusty blue than the picture indicates. I didn't make this for anyone in particular so it'll hang around the craft room whilst more people we know cook up some babies. I did try it on Penny, but it was too big and she didn't like it anyways.

The regulars are becoming irregular

Sometimes I just don't have any motivation - or content - to complete my regular posts on time. So I've decided to just allow them to happen when destiny dictates. Hopefully that will lead me to focus more on crafts and less on being angry about crazy people!

February 20, 2009

Joe's New Hat!

I shrunk the original hat and it's definitely wearable now, but I made another one for Joe anyways. This one is just a very basic wool in a fun red! It's the same pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts but I had more help on the sizing this time, and I got the idea for the little i-cord loop from a friend's hat. Something on top just makes the head look less bulbous.

Friday's Sweet Stuff: Studio Mela prints

Working out of the Lake Minnetonka area is Studio Mela, which makes some very cute poster prints and cards. They were posted on Etsy by Dazeychic, but I think the prints are actually made by Shelli. I had a hard time picking one to show here, so I chose three.

"So Very Happy" is a signed and number 8x10 print for $23. There is another, newer version with a pink background, too.

"So True" is an 8x10 print for $18.

"Little Flats" is a signed and numbered 8x10 print for $20.

February 18, 2009

Wednesday's Comment Call-out: More on selling virginity

Well, here it is. One of the scathing comments that lacks any resemblance to decent, human concern for each other.

"I think the oddest part of all this is something that people rarely seem to comment on in all the attention that stories like this seem to generate:

'I'm a 22-year-old woman who recently earned her Bachelor's Degree in Women's Studies, and soon I'll be entering a Masters Degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy.'

Four years of your life have been devoted to 'Women's Studies,' and this is the best you can do? This is what you've learned in four years - to sell your ass? And you're proud of yourself for having the idea? You think that with publicity like what you've had, that you're ever going to find a job in 'Marriage and Family Therapy' anywhere? Nobody who wants to run a reputable clinic is going to touch you with a ten-foot pole.

'Hi, Mr. & Mrs. Jones. We've set you up with one of our newest therapists. You may remember her as having been the woman who sold her virginity on the internets. She'll get you both fixed right up.'

While it's laughable (and beyond ironic)to see what feminism has degraded into over the last ten or twenty years, it's still sad to see people who trumpet themselves as educated wallow in prostitution and call it feminine oriented capitalism.

I weep for you and those like you."

No you don't. You love passing judgment! "Internets," by the way, is not my misspelling. Once again, I can't get over how vindictive people are to those who don't share the same views. The commentator basically wishes Natalie Dylan ill. I don't think she'll have any trouble getting a job. Natalie Dylan has to be a pretty common name, and I'm guessing she's not going to put "sold my virginity" on her resume. And I'm guessing most employers don't have a wanted poster with her photo on it behind the desk. If you're wondering where feminism is today, it's not degraded - nor is it a pillar of puritanism. It's an ideology that probably leads the employers Dylan will apply for jobs with to believe in her prerogative to do what she deems right for herself.

February 16, 2009

Monday's Wise Words: Selling your virginity

Natalie Dylan, who is selling her virginity and has received a whole lot of attention because of it, wrote an explanation of sorts for The Daily Beast recently. In the article, she describes her traditional childhood belief in purity and sanctity and so on, but that her whole moral code changed in college as she was educated on the historical and current status of "woman" and "virgin." It's interesting to see where she's coming from, and my favorite part is when she points out that "for what it's worth, the winning bid won't necessarily be the highest -- I get to choose."

My favorite comment on her story is this one:

"Okay, but seriously, the objection from the more traditional feminist viewpoint (I know, "Mom, get out of here!") is that establishing a price for sex with a virgin reinforces the patriarchy's viewpoint that the value of a woman is set by her body and that for women sex is always a means to an end and not an end unto itself (that is reserved for men, you see). Does the fact that this woman is in a privileged enough condition that she can afford not to care what men think help women who are in less fortunate conditions? You don't have to be trafficked to feel forced into Sex Work and I've talked to many dancers who feel (and are made to feel) terrible about what they do. One woman in particular stands out in my mind. She was poor, had few friends and apparently little in the way of family and had made enough mistakes that she was undereducated in a community that didn't have many opportunities. For her, dancing wasn't a shocking and empowering way of embracing her femininity, it was survival. And after she took that job, getting any other job proved almost impossible -- inevitably someone would recognize her and then the harassment would begin. But she fought back, thank goodness, found a way to get an education and eventually a job away from that community where hopefully no one would recognize her. I will always remember how happy she was when she told me the news. So, I can sympathize with the idea of embracing that scarlet letter as a way to fight against oppression and society's norms. But just remember that not everyone is as privileged as you are, and be careful not to romanticize sex work as the ultimate expression of a woman's sexual power."

An excellent point. I think someone else mentioned the perplexing fact that there really should be more talk in general of how virginity relates to men - because as it stands, virginity seems to only be important, sacred, righteous, revered - or in a noir sense, damning - when it can label a woman. I actually would thank the Jonas Brothers for recently bringing male virginity into the spotlight, even though the media has already forgotten about it but will continue to harp on Miley Cyrus's and Taylor Swift's status for years to come. Remember when Britney was claiming to be a virgin? We cared about that for way too long. Anyways, this really is an interesting social experiment.

Perhaps on Wednesday I'll talk about some of the horrible comments made toward Miss Dylan.

February 13, 2009

Friday's Sweet Stuff: Short scarves

This artist from Rochester has confirmed my suspicions that short scarves are a really good idea. They don't swing around willy-nilly or fall off your shoulders or get caught in your coat zipper. Many of hers have cute buttons like these and they all look very cozy. This one is $36, but some are as little as $24. Go to the Fennel Studio etsy page for more!

February 11, 2009

Wednesday's Comment Call-out: What a boob

"I'll try to restrain the tears. I've seen pictures of the author and she's an attractive woman. She should talk to my sister sometime, who has chronic, flaking psoriasis, and see what it's like to go through life with actual social problems and widespread abuse from shallow people. I wonder if even Ms. Ginsberg would have treated my sis with the affection she deserves. Nobody else did other than my fam. I also couldn't get out of my mind the massive number of vainglorious women who intentionally augment their breasts. Who would do that when it's so obviously horrible to have them? Hmmm, I wonder how awful this condition really is. 'Woe is me! Men want me sexually and people treat me differently because I have great big breasts and I'm pretty. Boo hoo.' I guess I should walk a mile in her shoes before getting so testy over this stuff, but I've seen the other side and it gets far nastier. Some people would love to have even one man lean out of a car to say he wants to f--k them, because nobody else has said it all their lives."

This lengthy comment was left on alternet about an article originally from RH Reality Check by Samara Ginsberg. The article is titled "Women have boobs; get over it." The author describes scenarios from her youth like being held down and groped by boys, being called slutty, being told by a teacher that he likes women with curves, and hearing about rape fantasies she inspired. Does that not count as abuse?

Here is a person sharing something very intimate and humiliating about her life and I'm shocked that some commentators don't respect that. Throwing in a "I should walk a mile" statement at the end here doesn't make up for the fact that you have just done the exact thing Ginsberg is arguing we should not do - the thing that YOU are arguing we shouldn't do: invalidate and judge people based on their physical nature and bodily concerns. The poster's sister with psoriasis undoubtedly has a tough time, but does that preclude her and her family from having sympathy for other people? It does no good to compare the two situations because everyone deals with their own burdens differently. Comparing only makes the rift between "me" and "everyone else" larger. The solution to both problems (judgments and harassment of people with large breasts and people with skin issues) is founded upon building understanding and empathy instead of alienation. Then we can start reading in between the lines for more specific solutions.

Sure, it would have been nice for Ginsberg to point out her ideas of resolution, but we can use our brains, too, when we read things like "I believe that the reason that so many women feel that it’s acceptable to mock large breasts is that there is an underlying assumption that all women want larger breasts," and "It’s as if women’s breasts are public property." So is that assumption true? Where does it come from? Who does it benefit/hurt? Who's property are they? What needs to change? What can I do?

Finally, I have to say I think it's funny that this poster seems to believe Ginsberg is feeling sorry for herself (which wouldn't necessarily be uncalled for given her story) when Ginsberg states "I’m not saying: 'Boo hoo, look how difficult life is for gorgeous women, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!' Being regarded as attractive generally makes life much easier and puts one in a position of privilege, an unfair and wholly undeserved privilege that I am aware of having."

Check out the article and comments here.

February 9, 2009

Monday's Wise Words: Women in sports broadcasting

SNM posting on the blog Awesome & Fabulous wrote a great personal story about her childhood dream of becoming the next John Madden being stifled by the glass ceiling over the industry.

"Something had sparked a flame of feminist indignation in the pit of my stomach about watching women relegated to sideline reporting while men got to do play-by-play and color commentary in the booth."

She goes on to explain that her eventual decision to go into sports writing instead of broadcasting had something to do with the obvious conundrum of having her appearance constantly judged. She also calls out both men and women for perpetuating the systemic sexism...

"It burns me up that sexism is still such an accepted part of working in sports that women are privately--as opposed to publicly-- seething about the fact that there is a glass ceiling in sports journalism, for fear of angering the boss over a perfectly legitimate grievance."

In other words, speak up for yourself! The fact that we don't is another issue - explained quite well in the book "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide," by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.

Anyways, in response to the men in charge at ESPN who assert that the lack of female representation is just a product of what fans want, SNM says:

"That's the best excuse TV executives can come up with? Don't blame us, it's our pig-headed fans? The fact that this is coming from a network that posits itself as the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' is even more ridiculous. You won't do it because you're afraid of losing a few idiot gut-scratching viewers and some ad money?...You're the Worldwide Leader, ESPN. You own so much of the frickin' sports television market you make everyone else look like a joke. Stop cow-towing to sexism and put a woman, no, two, in the booth already. On football. On a regular basis."

Read the full post.

February 8, 2009

Penny's Sweater; take two

So I followed a pattern this time and the sweater came out much better. The pattern came from the Labpugglechi blog by Caroline. Thanks!

I did add stitches to make it longer so it would become a turtle-neck sweater.

Sunday's Mischief Managed: Bath time

Penny doesn't get baths too often and like lots of dogs, she's not very fond of them. She tolerated me pretty well for this bath, although I always had a hand on her lest she jump out of the tub. During the bath, the look on her face is typically confused and bewildered, which you would never guess was the case if you viewed one of her post-bath frenzies.

Without fail, the water that has permeated her coat sends her into a crazed blur - she runs as fast as possible up and down the hallways and around corners for several minutes. The house echoes with the sounds of her toenails griping the carpet as she changes directions and her growls and grunts as she lets all of her little inhibitions go.

I think this is a dead leaf from one of my dead houseplants and I'm pretty sure Penny ate it during a lull in her mania. Just to re-fuel.

February 6, 2009

Friday's Sweet Stuff: Soy candles

Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles!

I bought a Milton and Margie soy candle at a local craft show last fall and haven't even burned through half of it. It smells warm and comfy like chamomile. The other scents (like hot chocolate) are similarly pleasant without being too sugary or syrupy like a lot of candles out there. In other words, these are the opposite of all those nauseating pine or vanilla scented candles that somehow smell like the worst version of themselves. These make use of old canning jars, tin cans, tea cups, and other funky containers. You, of course, are then left with a container to reuse or recycle in your own way. At the show I went to they had one candle in a juice glass EXACTLY like the ones I remember using at my great-grandma's house as a little girl. Mine was $12, which you can easily spend on a decent candle anywhere, but this one has lasted a long time, smells great, and was made locally.

Read more on Milton and Margie's blog. You can purchase the candles at various places around the Twin Cities and on Etsy.

February 4, 2009

Wednesday's Comment Call-out

"They just do not get it. Why are they trying to create class warfare? I have been reading on how the Nazi's came to power. This is right from their playbook. Get everyone depended on the government. then propaganda, then arrest those that do not follow this ideoligy. We are living a scary time folks."

This is a comment from a Star Tribune article on proposed rules for the companies receiving bailout money. Specifically, placing a cap on the salaries and bonuses of the top executives, among other things. I just want to point out the Obama is not a Nazi and I think it's pretty ridiculous to make that connection. Do people not know that there is always class warfare? Under capitalism, too. Also, propaganda is innate to politics of any kind - even the politics that seep into pop culture. Who are all our movie villains these days? People who just-so-happen to look middle-eastern. Sounds just like what we call propaganda as we look back on all the movies of yore in which the villains were always Commie Reds. Let's also not forget that Obama is coming into this at a mid-point. The bailout business and a lot of other goings-on were in the works before Obama became the Dem candidate, let alone the president. Finally, I read nothing in this article that suggests anything about arrests - or, like many other commentators seem to fear, the crossover of beginning to enforce rules for companies that aren't receiving bailout dollars.

I swear, I tried to get something from the Pioneer Press, but no one seems to comment there.

February 3, 2009

Knitted Owl Pattern!

Well folks, I finally heard back from Knitty, where I submitted my pattern for this knitted owl. I did not make it into their Spring issue :( but that means now I can post the pattern here with some pictures! It's kind of a long pattern, but that's because I'm long-winded and not yet very efficient at writing patterns, so don't be discouraged.

Asma Owl
by Egret Effects

Height: 6 inches
Width: 4.5 inches (not including wings)
Body Circumference: 13.25 inches

[MC] Main Color: TLC Heathers [100% Acrylic; 260 yd per 140g skein]; Color 2443: Nutmeg; 1 skein
[CC1] Contrast Color 1: Bernat Satin [100% Acrylic; 166 yd per 100g skein]; Color 4040: Ebony; 1 skein
[CC2] Contrast Color 2: Bernat Satin [100% Acrylic; 166 yd per 100g skein]; Color 3005: White; 1 skein (I used a Monique yarn, which came from a shop that’s now closed, but this will work equally well)
[CC3] Contrast Color 3: Lion Brand Homespun [98% Acrylic/2% Polyester; 185 yd per 170g skein]; Color 311: Rococo; 1 skein
[CC4] Contrast Color 4: Bernat Satin [100% Acrylic; 166 yd per 100g skein]; Color 4011: Sable; 1 skein
[CC5] Contrast Color 5: Lion Brand Wool [100% Wool; 158 yd per 85g skein]; Color 820-133: Pumpkin; 1 skein (I used a scrap piece of worsted weight wool that a friend gave me without the label; the Lion Brand color will come out a little darker, or you can substitute another worsted weight wool if you like the brightness)

1 set US #6 double-point needles
1 set US #6 straight needles
1 yarn needle
Two safety pins

19 sts/28 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch, but it doesn’t really matter.

This pattern is really pretty easy. The eyes are the hardest part, but if you concentrate on keeping your needles and strands of yarn organized, you’ll be fine! I would suggest using boots or rubber bands for the double-pointed needles when you begin knitting in the round for the eyes so the needles don’t slip out of the stitches – and color-code them to help keep track of where each needle belongs. Finishing is easy in this pattern because you’ll do a little at a time for each part, so it comes together quick! You’ll notice that the yarns are of different weights but you will always use the same size needles, so don’t be surprised that some yarns are tighter to knit with and produce thicker pieces.

Using two of the double-pointed needles and [MC], CO 10 sts.
Work in stockinette stitch for 8 rows, ending on a WS row.
CO an additional 28 sts to the front of the 9th row and knit that row.
Redistribute the stitches on three double-pointed needles, marking the beginning of the round.
Rnd 1: Knit (38 sts)
Rnd 2: K2, kfb, k2, kfb, k16, kfb, k2, kfb, k12 (42 sts)
Rnds 3-4: Knit
Rnd 5: K3, kfb, k2, kfb, k18, kfb, k2, kfb, k13 (46 sts)
Rnds 6-10: Knit
Rnd 11: K4, kfb, k1, kfb, k22, kfb, k1, kfb, k14 (50 sts)
Rnds 12-16: Knit
Rnd 17: K4, ssk, k1, k2tog, k22, ssk, k1, k2tog, k14 (46 sts)
Rnds 18-24: Knit
Rnd 25: K3, ssk, k2, k2tog, k18, ssk, k2, k2tog, k13 (42 sts)
Rnd 26: K2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k16, ssk, k2, k2tog, k12 (38 sts)
Rnd 27: Knit
Rnd 28: K2, kfb, k2, kfb, k16, kfb, k2, kfb, k12 (42 sts)
Rnd 29: Knit
Rnd 30: K3, kfb, k2, kfb, k18, kfb, k2, kfb, k13 (46 sts)
Rnd 31: Knit
Rnd 32: K4, kfb, k1, kfb, k22, kfb, k1, kfb, k14 (50 sts)
Rnds 33-39: Knit
Rnd 40: K4, ssk, k1, k2tog, k22, ssk, k1, k2tog, k14 (46 sts)
Rnds 41-45: Knit
Rnd 46: K3, ssk, k2, k2tog, k18, ssk, k2, k2tog, k13 (42 sts)
Rnd 47: Knit
Rnd 48: K2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k16, ssk, k2, k2tog, k12 (38 sts)
Rnd 49: K3, ssk, k18, k2tog, k13 (36 sts)
Rnd 50: *Ssk, k4, ssk, k3, **transfer last st worked to left needle and pass the second st on the left needle over; return transferred st back to right needle,** k5, repeat from ** to ** once more and then repeat entire sequence from * (28 sts)
Redistribute sts onto two of the double-pointed needles; 14 sts on the front side, and 14 sts on the backside.
Break yarn and use kitchener st to sew across top. Weave in end.
Use a scrap of [MC] at each corner of the seem to make the “ears.” Thread the scrap through just one strand, tie in a square knot, weave in one end, and trim the other to about 1/2 inch. Pull apart each ply to make a feathery look.

* The front of the owl is the side without the flap at the bottom.

EYES (make 2)
Using two of the double-pointed needles and [CC1], CO 3 sts.
Work I-cord for 3 rows.
Break yarn and join with [CC2].
Redistribute sts on three double-pointed needles (1 st on each needle).
Rnd 1: Knit
Rnd 2: Kfb all sts (6 sts)
Rnd 3: Knit
Rnd 4: Kfb all sts (12 sts)
Rnd 5: Knit
Rnd 6: Kfb all sts (24 sts)
Rnd 7: Knit
Rnd 8: Kfb across the first two needles, then BO the third needle, transferring the last stitch worked back to the left needle
Rnd 9: Knit across the two remaining needles, turn and BO all sts using very loose P sts
Bring all ends to the back side of the eyes and secure by tying together (as you pull the CO strand through it will bunch the I-cord, making a nice little ball for the pupil). Weave in ends.
Using [CC2], sew the eyes onto the head just around the pupils. You should position them with the short sides together and the ridges opposite each other. Lay them quite close together so that the ridges sort of overlap the other eye because they will spread apart after the owl is stuffed. Weave in ends.

Outer wing (make 2)
Using straight needles and [MC], CO 4 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, kfb, kfb, k1 (6 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: Knit
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: K1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 sts)
Row 12: Purl
Row 13: K1, ssk, k1 (3 sts)
Row 14: Purl
Row 15: Ssk, k1 (2 sts)
Break yarn; weave end through sts and into WS of piece.

Inner wing (make 2)
Using straight needles and [CC3], CO 4 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, ssk, k1 (3 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Ssk, k1 (2 sts)
Break yarn; weave end through sts and into WS of piece. Lay the inner wings inside the outer wings with WS facing each other and sew together using [MC]. The inner wings won’t be as long as the outer wings, so line them up near the tips, not the base.
Using [MC], sew one wing onto the body just below the narrowest part of the neck. Follow a row of knitting around to the other side and sew on the other wing. Weave in all ends.

Using straight needles and [CC3], CO 10 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: K2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k2 (8 sts)
Row 8: Purl
Row 9: K2, ssk, k2tog, k2 (6 sts)
Row 10: Purl
Row 11: K1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 sts)
Row 12: Purl
Row 13: Ssk, k2tog (2 sts)
Row 14: Purl
Row 15: Ssk (1 st)
Break yarn; weave end through the st and then into WS of piece. With RS visible, sew the belly onto the body a few rows above the very bottom. Weave in ends.

Using straight needles, the tail is made with [MC], and the beak is a double strand made from [CC4] and [CC5].
CO 6 sts.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: K1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: K1, ssk, k1 (3 sts)
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: Ssk, k1 (2 sts)
Break yarn; weave end through sts and into WS of piece. Using [MC], sew the tail onto the back of the body. Using the double strand, sew the beak onto the face just below the eyes and in a slightly curved shape so it's kind of a semi-cone. Weave in ends.

FEET (make 2)
Using straight needles and a double strand made from [CC4] and [CC5], CO 2 sts.
Row 1: Kfb both sts (4 sts)
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Kfb all sts (8 sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: BO
Set aside until you’ve stuffed and closed the bottom of the owl.

When stuffing, make sure you get enough fiberfill into Asma’s body so it’s slightly wider than her head.
Use safety pins to attach the corners of the bottom flap to points in the opening across so that the flap will be sewn straight (there is more opening area than flap area). Using a strand of [MC], stitch the bottom flap along the opening. The flat flap should serve to keep Asma upright. Remove the pins and weave in the ends.
Using a strand of [MC], sew smaller ends of feet onto the body where they'll stick out straight – just below and on either side of the bottom of the belly. Weave in ends.


Monday's Wise Words on a Tuesday

Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without.

This short but sweet mantra is the title of a post on Danger Kitty Designs' blog. She may have got it somewhere else or it may be her own words. I don't know, but I like it.

The husband and I were talking about commercialism the other day - a convo brought on by the ever-intriguing Super Bowl commercials. We were just commenting that all the stuff we want is the result of marketing and watching the lives of people we know. Nobody wants to believe that advertising affects them, but it totally does. Specifically, we were frustrated by the new Pepsi Max commercials - which are genius as far as marketing goes...Rule 1: be funny by showing stuff that has nothing to do with the product so that people will relate the product to laughter and fun. Rule 2: use every gender stereotype you can fit into 15 seconds to make your audience feel like they need that product to be a man/woman. Men would never drink diet (after all, dieting is a woman's issue) soda...so we've made Pepsi Max! We have no idea what's in it or how it's different from Diet Pepsi other than the color of the can - but we've laughed and been shown that it is, in fact, a man's drink. There you go.

I can make fun of it, but the fact remains that when I see, I don't know, 800 commercials a day (I don't really know, but a lot) plus bus ads, billboards, radio ads, magazine ads, and so on and so on - how can it all not affect me? I don't mean to pick on Pepsi. It is my preferred cola.

I digress! Sometimes it just helps to have a reminder that we have so much more than we need and that it's ok to not always get what you want. Like most people, I didn't truly have an appreciation of this until I was grown and feel sort of a sense of irony that here we are in a recession and my mom and grandma are SO depression-era mindful. Will my kids think I'm nuts for saving everything, too?

Sunday's Mischief Managed on a Tuesday

Ok, we had a rough weekend in the house, which will happen. So I'm playing catch up now.

I will spare you the disgust of posting pictures, because I'd like to recount one of Penny's more...sordid...outdoor activities.

I'd like to say that our dog gets enough exercise out in our backyard since we fenced it after moving in. In the summer, I'm good about taking her for half-mile or mile walks quite often. But in the winter, it's cold. This is Minnesota - and it's too cold for me and it's too cold for her. Not only does this mean we don't go for walks, it also means that from sometime in November to sometime in March we don't even go out in the yard with her. Coincidentally (or not so), this is also the time-frame that I can be found wearing long underwear every single day.

So our yard in the winter becomes somewhat of a mine field. Our hope is that she goes out to do her business and comes straight back in to claim her treat. We don't let her stay out for more than five minutes or so alone for several reasons. The "mines" being one, plus there are sometimes hawks around and as a Jack she might start digging holes. Luckily hawks and digging haven't been problems so far, but sometimes she gets distracted and sometimes it's because she's eating her own crap. I'll be at the door saying, "no!" or whistling or calling her name - but she honestly doesn't notice. It's not that she's intentionally ignoring me...because when she happens to look up and catch sight of me, she usually comes. She just gets so focused on eating that crap that nothing else exists. It's amazingly frustrating.

Once in a while she sees me and continues her dastardly deed just to be naughty. Half the time I stay inside getting angrier and angrier, and the other half I put my boots on and go get her. Of course, by the time I get to her she's already ingested it. Either way, by the time she comes in, I can't very well reprimand her because she probably wouldn't understand what she did wrong.

I assume this is because she does need more exercise or attention. It doesn't seem to hurt her, but obviously it's gross. I know I'm not the only dog owner with this problem - how do we handle it?