Wednesday, January 31, 2007

HOUSTON, WE HAVE BUNNIES...

I found this link on Franklin's blog. (Oooh, what a lot of html I just did! Ain't I the shit?)

She describes depression quite nicely and is such a better writer than me. Well, you know, she desires to be a writer, after all, so I certainly hope she is a better writer than me. I can probably flat pattern better than her. So there. (My self esteem is just fine - today.) Go ahead and spend a half hour reading her blog. And bookmark her. Send her comments to keep her writing.

So here is my admission of selfishness. After little Holly got strangled, I purposely bred six bunnies in order for me to have some babies, dammit! To be born, of course, just when the temperatures decide to plummet. Dammit!

Precious had her litter first. Born yesterday - January 30. Being an amateur, she didn't nest, but had them on the wire, as it were, and I was fortunate to have found them in time. The eight small kits could be clones - they are all dark skinned with a whitish blaze on their foreheads. I brought them inside with mom, (what's nine more bunnies in the house, after all?) made them a nest, and all is okay so far.



The lineage: Fuzzarelly (agouti) begat Spot. Spot (English broken) begat Shemp. Shemp (black) begat Precious. And Precious (German white) begat this litter with Percival's help.



Tonight, Kelly Bob (German white, daughter of Yoshimi) delivered several white babies, with Fuzzy Bob's help. (He is brother to Fuzzarelly, and also agouti.) One was cold on discovery, so I warmed him and then placed him with Precious' litter. Kelly Bob has proved to be an excellent mother, so I am letting her stay in the barn with her kits for the time being.

Babies, babies, babies! I'm delighted!

Knitting wise, I unraveled several rounds of the shawl in order to make the pattern more suitable for me. Here it is just before the great unknitting. I am pleased with the yarn and the pattern, actually. Spent tonight recharting part of the old and my new pattern, which was actually fun! Yes, I am a knitting nerd.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I HEART BUNNIES!

Our water pipes froze last night. One of the crawl space doors had blown off and the cold wind had blown in. Fortunately, I was able to scrounge enough water (and not from the toilet or anything gross like that - well, it was various water bottles sitting around and a little bit of jugged bunny water) to make coffee.

Once I had been caffeinated, I saw to the bunnies. This was the coldest weather of the season and indeed, their little water dishes were more like ice dishes. I'm so glad that I decided to bring that half filled jug of bunny water inside last night. By the time I had used that up, the water was flowing in the house again. Thank you Sweetie!!!

I gave each lapin extra hay, and then some more to the few that aren't in full coat. They are protected from the wind and are doing fine.

Then there is Heizen, the big white and brown Rex that moved out of our house last summer. He lived and was fed under the wood shed until, oh, maybe a couple of months ago, when he inexplicably began to live under the apartments next door. I still fed him and worried over him, like a kid gone to college or something.

This afternoon I saw him in the empty field on the other side of our house. Just sitting there, in the open. WTF? I walked over to him - no, I ran! It was cold! - assuming he would move. But he just sat there and I really got worried. Is he hurt? Is he frozen? Is he even alive? He let me pick him up (which he has never enjoyed) and I inspected him. Looked fine to me - no wounds, no frozen bits - and I brought him inside. He's eaten and drank and hopped around so I'm hoping it was much ado about nothing. Maybe he wanted to come inside, and so inside he shall stay until mommy deems otherwise.

I do love my bunnies. Even the prodigal one.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

THE DEPRESSED HERMIT

Two things I heard on NPR this week struck me. First, David Lynch opined that it was hard, if not impossible, to be creative when one is depressed. That makes sense - in my case, anyway. It has been very hard for me to be truly creative for the last few years, not just sort-of-productive. I have been productive but in a menial way. Knitting and drum carding take some thought and effort, but does not entail what I would call creativity.

The other thing I heard was from a self-styled hermit. He said that because he goes for weeks without actually speaking to another person, even though he emails and maintains a website, that it is hard for him to think and communicate sequentially. This must be what is going on when I feel I can't put two sensible sentences together. Most days, the only person I speak to is Sweetie. And sometimes, when Sweetie works way too much, I don't get to talk to him hardly at all. The critters don't count. And I don't think the nattering of the committee in my head really counts, either.

Most of the time, I don't much care to be around people. I don't want to talk to 99% of the local population. I'm sorry, but if I am going to talk with someone, I'd just as soon it be with a person that has an active mind and an encompassing interest and isn't a self-described Bush fanatic. I have been seeking some sort of Laconian Thoreau for the past 12 years in vain. Maybe there is one here, but I am tired of searching.

All the failed efforts at being creative over the past several months make me even more depressed. I look at work I did 3 or 6 years ago and am amazed. I did that??? I try now, but it seems forced - the spark isn't there. And it could be aging, too. I mean, even Einstein did his best work in 1905 - and not much else for the rest of his life. Maybe I should settle, but I don't want to. I want to have the energy to make the work that my brain, at times, still imagines.

I am working on the German Doily shawl and I want you to know that I have actually swatched the continuation of the pattern that I graphed. Maybe my brain power has been decreased or maybe I have learned a lesson, but I admit it is hard for me to imagine what the graph of the lace stitches will look like in the flesh - so to speak. And then I go to a site like See Eunny Knit! and I look at her incredible cable swatches and I think that maybe I am not so smart and swatching isn't so stupid, after all. There may be knitting savants out there that can immediately grasp how a knit 2 together, yarn over is different from a yarn over, slip, slip knit 2 together. And you know, if that is all I did every day, I most likely wouldn't have a problem with it, either.

Meander, meander. My brain is all over the place even as I try to write this.

Also, the Enthusiastimine has lost its effect. Dammit! It was great whilst it lasted.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

MOVING ON, OR CHEER UP, BUDDY!

We got pictures! This is Whitey after his haircut. Poor little things always look so nekkid.


If this isn't Whitey, it's one of his siblings.


Here is a better shot of the new window over the sink. I love it so much!


And finally, this is the german doily pattern I am using to knit the latest shawl. I am almost done and it will measure only about three feet across. I plan to chart something interesting in order for it to be big enough to wear. And yes, I'm using Fuzzarelly's Fibers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WE'RE A HAPPY FAMILY...



Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, but I have a few things to add to the previous Nutcase story.

I was merely one of four children that suffered from child abuse in our house. There. I said it. My parents were child abusers. By admitting it, I dispel the shame. POOF! BEGONE, YE DEMONS!

Our story is fairly mild compared to some I have heard. My girlhood friend was sexually abused by her father from age 12. (That explains a LOT!) Someone else moved out of her house at 17 and lived on the streets to escape an abusive home - and she continued high school to graduation. Another woman was struck by her father and tossed from a moving car one morning when she was about 10. She woke up that afternoon and walked home.

This kind of shit is all around us and nothing is new under the sun. The degree of abuse doesn't matter. All I know, and I can only speak for myself, is that I thought I was a bad child and if only I did better in school, if only I were better behaved, if only I prayed hard enough, then the abuse would stop. God said, "HA!" (I know. I stole that line from Julia Sweeney.) I attempted perfection for so long, not really knowing why at the time - hindsight and all that, don't ya know. When I could, I freakishly controlled my environment. (There was so much time spent not being able control anything.) Like being the shop manager Nazi at the costume shop. (Hi, Judy!) Now, I understand.

These are some of the symptoms of my abuse, which was mostly verbal but always with the implied threat of violence:
Alcohol and drug abuse.
Anger and rage.
Self destructive behavior.
Self mutilation.
Panic attacks.
Emotional detachment aka disassociation.
Social dysfunction.
Promiscuity.
Despair.
Low self-esteem.
Depression.
Hello! I know you all only too well!

Some kids grow up to be fairly sane and able to cope. Others, especially sensitive kids, are haunted by their experiences. By writing about these things in a public forum, I hope I can just get past some of the pain. Being able to say that I was abused as a child is a step toward sanity. Being able to name the amorphous fear that floats around me takes away some of that fear.

Also, I do try to remember that my parents were mere mortals with their own baggage and pain. We just happened to be there when they went out of control. It wasn't us, it was them.

Also, I try not to use this "victimization" as an excuse for purposeful bad behavior. Everyone has problems and baggage. I'm just trying to understand my own.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Why I'm such a nutcase.

I have been thinking, in my own scattered, haphazard way, about family these days since the funeral. Which, by the way, was attended by lots and lots of people who loved Tracy dearly.

I was glad that we four siblings cared enough to come together in this time of crisis. I mean, sometimes family is all we have.

I didn't grow up feeling particularly close to my two older brothers. I was mostly allowed to hang around them if I remained silent and didn't cause trouble. Second Oldest brother, being the middle child at the time, tormented me mercilessly - I think just to make me cry. Little brother came along when I was almost eleven. He was like my own baby doll. But when our parents fought, we each retreated to our own room and coped by ourselves. I pulled the covers over my head and tried to block out the noise of their arguments. We grew up with unhappy and tormented parents. What is surprising and gratifying to me is that my three brothers are pretty damn good fathers in spite of such a poor role model. I am so proud of them for that.

When I was seven, I remember having lunch with my dad. Why it was just us two, I don't know. We had tomato soup from a can, hot from the saucepan. He was silly and said, "Boy, this soup is so cold!" to which I replied, "Daddy, you're such a fool!" The next thing I remember is being back handed and falling against the stove. I reckon I abused his pride, I don't know. What I do know is that I was seven, he'd never done this to me before and what he did wasn't right. I thought, "I don't love you anymore!" And I didn't. Ever.

You might think that age seven is too young to think such a thing. But I meant it. What did I do wrong? I didn't know, but after that, I hated him and that incident was always just under my radar. Family gatherings bring it to the surface. Brothers, that is why I either avoid gatherings or end up in tears if I do attend. That slap changed my life and not for the good. Older Brothers have different memories, I know, of our growing up. All I know is that my Mom was my only refuge; she protected me from my father. I was never hit again by him but the threat was always there and I lived in fear and hatred of him.

Does this little tale have a point? Not really, except that I needed to say it. To tell my brothers about it - as an explanation of me. I'm ashamed that at age 49 this episode still haunts me and brings me to my figurative knees.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

OUT WITH THE OLD

We live in an old house. As in 1869 old. We are lucky that nobody had the money to "remuddle" after the last scion of the original owning family died in 1975 and the building went on the auction block. We still luxuriate in the nine and a half foot ceilings and there transoms over the front doors, of which there are three. There are still wooden clapboards outside and two of the original storm shutters on the lower north windows.

And boy, do we have windows. About twenty. Mostly six foot tall sash windows with 8 glass panes each.

Except in the kitchen. Probably in the 1960s, someone installed cheap new windows there and we have lived with them for 12 years. Aren't they hideous? And so not energy efficient.



Yes, that is cardboard covering gaping holes.



So. Sweetie and I have saved our nickels and dimes until had enough money to replace them this week. Just in time for the first cold weather of the season.

BEHOLD!



This is called a garden window over the sink. So cool. Not the best picture, but the cats like it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MAYBE YES, MAYBE NO...

11AM The Bridges of Heisenberg County

Boss: Well, we'll come to that bridge when we cross it.
Assistant: I would certainly hope so.
Boss: What?
Assistant: Nothing.

Kansas


via Overheard in the Office, Jan 16, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sit, Whitey!

It is a damp, foggy, and dreary day here in Lovely LAconia. However, it is also almost 60 degrees outside and so I shall not complain. Cold weather is on the way; it's due here Tuesday night and it seems all of next week will be cold. Meaning below freezing. It's rained a lot recently and we are soggy. Murgie really wanted out this afternoon and so he was let out. Wet and dirty boy!


I am working on my fuzzarelly.com website. I thought I could transfer my blog to that domain - but I thought wrong. If you have noticed a simple web page instead of my blog, then that is why. I have switched the fuzzarelly.com server (from easydot.com to doteasy.com.) One wouldn't think that one would be so different from the other, but if you go to the new and improved site, say next week, you will see an improvement. I hope. I want to be able to offer fiber and patterns for sale there as well as post silly blather stuff. I am unhappy with what easydot had to offer and that must be why I haven't messed around with it. For a small fee, I will be transferred to much more riches, web-site-wise.

Yesterday was the Friendship Spinners monthly Spin-In, this time in Frankfort, Kentucky. It was so nice to see all my buddies and all of you others, too. Sold a nice amount of knitting needles. (Hello! I am a dealer for Brittany, Takumi bamboo, and Bryspun plastic knitting needles. And Jacquard Dyes and Paints. Also, Louet Spinning Wheels. I'm just saying is all.)

In addition to the shawl, I am knitting my signature flowers. (Pattern soon available!!) If you have seen me in person, I usually have several knitted flowers in my coiffure. People certainly remember me because of them. Since I have lost a few hither and yon, I need to replenish the floral stock. This is a picture of the product in process.




And this is Whitey, just before haircut. Sweetie named him, so I don't want to hear about it. (Although every time the name Whitey is mentioned, I can't help but remember the Bob Newhart episode in which the dentist, Jerry, gets into an elevator with a large black man and his dog. Said large black mans loudly says to his dog, "Sit, Whitey!" whereupon Jerry crumples to the floor in terror.) Ha Ha.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

GO HERE...

A DROPPED STITCH and then come back. Isn't she sweet AND a great writer? I feel ever so slightly famous. Thanks, Shannon.

ME AND THE KIDS



It's been tired around here and Sweetie snapped these this afternoon. Spoke at the Lexington Quilt Guild. Yeah, me. But I wasn't particularly nervous; I know my quilts and like talking about them. I was told that I did a pretty good job and the kicker is: I got paid for it! Cool, huh? (Thanks for looking after my back, Kathy)

Bunnies make good pets and Murgatroyd is one of the best.

Friday, January 05, 2007

SADNESS AND MURGIE

When I got an email from Oldest Brother today, it all finally hit home. He lost his only child, the sunshine of his life. I'm so sad with, and for him. I believe Tracy is fine; her energy has been released into the universe. It's for the living I grieve. Sweetie and I will go up for the funeral on Sunday. I hate when funerals are the reason for family gatherings.

In the meantime, I'm going to immerse myself in bunnies. Silky and Whitey need clipt while the weather is still mild. Murgie got a hair cut too.

BEFORE:


AFTER:


All that wool hid how tiny and fragile and malformed he is. He has no concept of being different. He's outside now running in the yard where he gets good traction with his two and a half legs.


Lucy was in major nest building mode yesterday. I thought babies would be born at any second, she was in such a frenzy, but after all that activity, she flopped down to rest. She's added a bit to the nest since and the cool thing is the nest box is a little room off the main cage and I can lift the top to check on things. It's a lovely nest.