Friday, March 30, 2007
That is a quote from my friend, Ms. Neverswept. Couldn't have said it better myself and I am glad I am not alone in my adoration of spring. The forsythia and redbud abloom are like a time/date stamp for the arrival of the season.
Overnight, the asian pear blooms have appeared and the lawn needs serious attention. The white violets and the gypsy wallflowers are evident and the honeybees seem to have come from nowhere to begin their pollination frenzy.
Then there are the bunnies. Those little darlings.
I knew that Anna Nicole was due to give birth on or around the 28th of March. I have gotten into the habit of checking on pregnant does early and often in the mornings near their due date, and so I was doing that. No bunnies for her then, but fortunately, I looked in on Precious and found a mass of kits all over the place. Really, I had no idea that she was pregnant. No nest at all. Some were, sadly, dead already, and some were stuck in the cage wire, but I gathered up six squirmy babies, all black like before, and brought them inside for warming. I began wondering how in the hell she'd gotten pregnant in the first place. It took me awhile to figure it out. Note to self: never place a caged female on the ground when there is an uncaged male in the same room. Where there is a will and all that. I reckon she was so turned on by the commotion that Precious and Percival were making that she wanted in on the action, too. I've heard it was possible and now I know it is true.
Later that day, Anna did produce two live kits, one of which is BROWN like Ginger. These are the first viable babies from her ever and I am so delighted. She is doing a good mothering job in the barn so I left her there, but I did bring Precious inside after I had built the kits a nice nest and lined it with Lucy's fresh cut wool. One of the six didn't make it - mom nibbled away not only an ear but also some of its hind end flesh and the poor thing wasn't strong enough to overcome the trauma - but the other five are doing peachy.
The older fourteen are all doing well! No repeat (touch wood) of the pasteurella plague of last spring. The new hygiene has worked. Apparently.
Right now, thirteen of them are in a big wire corral in the front yard, helping to keep the grass in check. These guys are ravenous! Seriously, the corral gets moved to new ground daily and it looks like crop circles where they have been. Nothing elaborate, just a nicely leveled, round area full of fertilizer.
The fourteenth, Ginger, has made herself at home in the kitchen with Heizen - who seems to have forgotten all about the outside-the-house world. Seriously, they both are content to stay in the kitchen and they both use the litter box for all of their pee and most of their poop. How cool is that! No electric cords for them to chew on in there, either.
The shawl is through being knit but still needs blocking. It will be smaller than I intended (the vagaries of spinning, plying and knitting, I guess) but is really a more manageable size than the last one. I especially like the ruffle. (There were over thirty-two hundred stitches on the needles when I began binding off.) So, yes, I do love me some ruffle. I love the movement, the weight, the romance of ruffles. No photo, though - not until the thing is blocked.
One last bit of news - Habitat for Humanity will pour a foundation for a new home across the street at the former Camp Swampy in the next couple of weeks.
Now, I think Jimmy Carter is the best ex-president we have ever had and I am particularly glad for his involvement in H for H. I am also glad that we had a plot of land to sell - at cost - to them. I wish we could have donated it, but, well, finances and all.
Here is more Buster.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I have been dyeing and drumcarding like the crazy person I am. The Drive by Knitter wondered where she could get my stuff, since my website is still so lame that I am not offering fiber online, yet. Answer, email me! Or come to Greencastle next month.
The fiber will be a blend of angora, merino and silk and will be produced in two pound lots. I think. Colors will be similar to last year with purples, greens and russetts mainly. I might create smaller amounts of several other shades. Maybe dye some silk for plying. Yeah, I'm on top of things!
In the end there will be pounds of fiber and it will be lovely and easy to spin. Eight dollars an ounce. What a bargain.
Monday, March 19, 2007
After 15 seconds and as I was beginning to wonder about the wisdom of our refugee locale, we heard the freight train go over the house. We felt the air being sucked out of the building and a sort of shriek. That was it. (The smartass question - What did tornadoes sound like before freight trains?) We lost a tree and a half at Camp Swampy and one of the dwarf apple trees in the side yard is now canted at a 60 degree angle. One neighbor lost the roof to one of his outbuildings, about 40 ft x 120 ft. He said it took off in one piece like a sail. It was an exiting night. For around here.
The thing about tornadoes is that, like the rain, they happen to both the wicked and the holy. Except that they do seem to pick on unsecured mobile homes, don't they? I am sure that both wicked and holy people live in trailers.
Had another stress dream last night. No Tom Cruise. No Space Opera. Just another of those backstage-opera-near-tragedy dreams. Sweetie said I woke him with my wriggling and mumbling. He told me that I said, "You're not sewing it right!"
I remember it being one of those long, tedious, all-night-long dreams. I was in charge (?) of costumes for a big opera, name unknown. I seem to recall that I spent sleepless days working on the wardrobe (with side trips to search for snaps and boning) and, just before the buzzer, everything was done on time and beautifully. If I do say so myself. There were Scarlet Pimpernel style tailcoats in dark green wool. Oh yah, leprechauns.
I've named the lovely brown, I think female baby "Ginger." She is living inside with Murgie and Heizen.
All the other bunnies have been sent to the front porch gulag. They love daffydils.
This is the green angora that I have been drumcarding.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
It was pleasant to be able to sit on the porch. It was 76 degrees the other day. Today it reached 50+ and it is sunny!
The bunnies are six and a half weeks old! It's hard to imagine that they have gone from being itty-bitty pinkies to these adorable fluff-balls in only fifty days.
Color du jour is green. Not a bright or lime green, but a soft, all around green. The angora is of better quality than last year - now that I know more about the quality of angora. (Previous buyers, take note! It's even better now!)
The shawl is nearing completion. I so totally suck at lace design. I am still learning! However, when the lace shawl I am working on is knit from my own angora and silk and wool blend, any stupid combination of stitches seem to work. Just wait until next shawl! Shawls are so nice to knit as there is no corporeal body to fit and so gauge is not so important. And once it is knit and blocked, it is beautiful.
Eunny Jang has been appointed the new editor of Interweave Knits and I am so glad. The last issue was full of ugly and lame designs. Yes, bulky knits make me feel so thin! I have not renewed my subscription with them yet, but now I will. Eunny is technically and fashionably smart and I hope she does well.
So. I have been busy (yes - me!) carding and dyeing fiber. Not such a terrible chore. I totally love the feel of angora. This isn't work. I dye silk, angora and wool and then blend them on the drumcarder. Add some dyed silk and angora noils and one can spin a fine, yet gently textured yarn.
I've heard the following term several times lately, Living in Squalor. Where is this place? Is there a Squalor Holler? We had folks from Squalor living in our rental house last year. Not a good thing.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
All of a sudden last week, my sense of smell returned as did my over all energy level. (Eww! What's that smell? Maybe it's time to clean.) My mood has ratcheted up several notches. The Enthusiastimine appears to have kicked in again after a hiatus of four weeks. I could have been taking sugar pills for all the good it was doing me. I feel better and so I've been working - dyeing and drumcarding angora for Fuzzarelly Fibers. There are puffs of angora absolutely everywhere in the kitchen and front living room, where I do my stuff. Sweetie goes to work decorated in a different color fuzz every day. Little Chick Yellow is the color du jour, and there is a mossy green in the dyepot. I still need some dark orange and brick and more purple. I'm making lists to prepare for my first fiber festival this year. Which is in five weeks. Hello. I'd better be getting my ass in gear.
The weather has been mostly above freezing so watering the barn buns is easier. No toting buckets of hot water to thaw out their water bottles. I have been able to clip several of them. Wool output on some animals is way down from last time. What up? Maybe the cold spell affected them more than I thought.
The babies are five weeks old! I'm hoping that by being in the house since birth, they will be socialized and friendly grown-ups. Now, they are a digestive system encased in irresistible cuteness.
Buster is so funny. He is the babies' self-appointed guard dog.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Little boy #1: I wish dinosaurs lived in Central Park.
Little boy #2: Dinosaurs aren't real -- they're from the TV.
Little boy #3: Dinosaurs are real, they just live on other planets.
Little boy #2: Like Pluto!
Little boy #1: Pluto isn't a planet anymore. The scientists blowed it up.
Overheard by: pluto is still a planet to me
via Overheard in New York, Mar 3, 2007
Oh -- We Are So Moving to Connecticut!
Little girl after dropping lollipop: Shit!
Little girl: What? It's not like I said 'fuck'!
--Dylan's Candy Bar
via Overheard in New York, Mar 2, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I can't really bemoan that my life hasn't been exciting or uninteresting. I have done a a number of unusual things. I have refrained from doing other unusual things but I also admit to many of the common things.
But much time has also been spent waiting - either actively or by marking time in my head only. Waiting for a phone call. Waiting for HIM to call. Waiting for the next paycheck. Waiting for warmer weather. Waiting for cooler weather. Waiting for the job to be finished. Waiting for next year. Waiting for Godot. There are times that I fantasize about being a spy, the kind that tails other people. Sitting in a car and waiting for the subject to act. I enjoy waiting. I enjoy watching.
So, Nancy gifted me with a turkish-style spindle that I am so tickled with! The thing is wood, about twelve inches long with light weight "arms" at the bottom. Looks like a miniature anchor. Played with it a bit and I can see this spindle as one to be propelled by the foot. It comes apart into three pieces so it stores easily, Interesting! I love it!
Unrelated next paragraph.
I have decided that if I have had previous lives, at least one of them was spent breaking rocks and keeping the fire going with Helena Handbasket. Hi! And I am sure that a thousand of those lives were spent manipulating fiber. In some way or t'other.
I love NetFlix. If I could, I would want to have their baby. I live thirty minutes from the nearest video/dvd store. No shit. Conversely, my mailbox is forty feet away. For a mere $15 a month, I can have two dvds at a time from NetFlix. I usually have one in hand and one on the way. Such a deal! Shipping both ways is speedy, with return shipping prepaid in its own envelope. What's not to love? Just queued up a ton of slightly old TV shows. X Files, Six Feet Under, Millennium. (What do these choices say about me?) (Gloomy and depressed.) TON, they have Boston Legal, too!
Obligatory bunny content: All of the babies are doing well. The fourteen are in a corral in my living room along with Precious, who is the mother to the eight black ones. She has stopped nursing but I don't have a place for her in the barn just now. Need the help of Sweetie for the heavy-lifting-of-cages thing. (Looks like he will be off Saturday!) The only other bunnies in the house now are Murgie and Heizen - so that only makes seventeen in the house at the moment. Not bad.