Monday, May 28, 2007

Slow Monday

Sweetie is back to work doing start up at the potato chip mines. We had a wonderful three day weekend.

Everyone around here had hoped for rain but we didn't get more than sprinkles last night. Today is cloudy and hazy and hot. I am, of course, sequestered inside with my best friend, Central Air.

I have some photos! The latest shawl has been blocked. I am quite pleased with it. I have begun spinning for the next one.

Here is the evidence that I have been actually working. (I know. It's hard to believe.) This is pink Fuzzarelly Fiber for the Hoosier Hills FiberArts Festival in Franklin, IN.

Some of you know that I enjoy finding unusual vinyl record albums. I love this one. You cannot make this stuff up. What were the producers thinking? This shows the back.
The front sports a bright pink price sticker from Walgreen's - 87 cents. What a bargain!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Holiday

Pushed mowed today, in spite of Sweetie's direct suggestion. "No push mowing and no weed whacking, okay?" Allergies and all that. But my allergies have been non-life-threatening, maybe a stuffy nose but no body inflammation. I can deal with a runny nose. So, I push mowed and it was a blast! After I did a hit of asthma medicine, I really felt great. My abs, such as they are, appreciated it. I mowed the entire front yard. Woo Hoo. Back in the day, I used to push mow over an acre every week, half of it uphill. That's when I was slim! Not so slim anymore, not since the riding lawn mower. And middle age.

So. The lace books arrived! The one book is called New Victorian Lace Today. I am in what passes for heaven - for me. Just finished knitting the latest shawl and will block it tomorrow. Maybe. Also trying to decide what to knit next. Meaning, what will I spin next?

I have found several new blogs about lace knitting and will post them to the sidebar. Maybe today. Using a dime for scale for lace yarns - wow. Check them out.

I hope you appreciate the meaning of this Memorial Day. When I lived in Atlanta, I became upset in - what was it - 1991? BS - Before Sweetie. One radio ad was about WSB's "Mom-orial Day." Pissed me off. War is not a cool thing, but men and women have DIED for our country and they have a day for their remembrance. Do not combine it with Mother's Day. Mothers have their own day.

So. Anyway. I made my protest call to the radio station.

That same year, I had to call some car dealership because they were advertising a "Ground War on Prices." This was during Operation Desert Storm. Was this tacky or what? People were in combat and dying, and they wanted to use that metaphor to sell cars. Pissed me off.

I called the dealership and expressed myself. Did it make a difference? I don't know but I had to do it. One can be for peacelovedove, but it is okay to remember those who died for us. It is also okay to remember those on the other side.

That is one lesson I got from my dad. He served in the Army in WW2. In Germany. Back in the sixties, wearing an Iron Cross was cool among a certain crowd, surfers and such. It pissed him off. He would say, "The men that wore that medal earned it. They were fighting for their country, just like I did." Coming from him, that was something. He was a complicated man.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Just Checking

TICKED OFF!!! I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I’ve even done it myself a couple times unintentionally...but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list. If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, do not do it!! This is a scam!! They only want to see you naked! Wish I'd heard about this yesterday. Damn.

Otherwise, I am feeling really good - still! Almost three weeks and counting. Finishing the last 16 rows of the latest shawl and preparing for the Hoosier Hill Fiber Arts Festival in Franklin, IN. All the pretty colors!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Buster - A Story

Our dog Buster is the oddest old boy I have ever known. Bonnie was smart, much too smart for her own good, and was to be watched at all times. Buster, on the other hand, has always been sweet tempered and dumb, also loyal and needy.

I stole him from the next door neighbors during the fall and winter of '95 and '96. They were an awful couple with two awful children. One day, a little puppy appeared in a ramshackle "kennel" in their back yard. Part Rottweiller, part german shepherd and part wolf, the dad bragged. Mostly neglected and pitiful is how he seemed to us.

They called him Spooky because they brought him home in late October. At first, the kids would take him out every day or so for playtime, but you can guess the rest. As it got colder, they would only run out to toss some left over macaroni and cheese or some such over the fence for his supper, and then run back inside. I watched it all from my kitchen window.

He had no doghouse, no shelter except for a bale of straw, and it got cold that winter. One day it dropped to 5 degrees above, and I snatched him under cover of darkness and brought him into our house. Now, mind, Bonnie hated other dogs, hated hated hated other dogs, but for some reason, she tolerated Spooky. He was sooooo not a threat. Early the next morning, I took him back to the gulag.

It stayed cold and soon, Spooky was not just an sometimes overnight visitor, but a full time resident. Strangely, or maybe not, the neighbors didn't say a word. They were most likely glad not to have the thing to take care of anymore. Every so often, one of the kids would ask to take Spooky out to play and I obliged, but eventually, they didn't even bother with that.

I renamed him Buster, and he was not part Rottweiller/shepherd/wolf after all. Imagine that. A small shepherd/collie/whatever mutt was more like it. Bonnie taught him about table manners (no begging!) and potty manners (outside!) His one little flaw was food and toy greed (no wonder) and that must have been what prompted him to devour an entire calf-length athletic sock - with two knots tied in it. It took us awhile to miss the tug toy and by then, the little guy had gone off his feed. About the same time, The Incredible God Awful Snowy yet Cold Winter descended upon us. I had never, ever driven on snow or ice and wasn't about to start now, so I doctored him the best I could. (The vet was fifty minutes away - on clear roads. We were also exceedingly broke at that time.) I spooned Gatorade into him mostly, sometimes with cooked egg. Occasionally, he would keep it down but often as not he'd immediately barf it all back up. Nice.

Each morning, I would come downstairs expecting to see his cold, little corpse in his crate, but he survived my ministrations. His coat was pathetic, his eyes so dark and sad. For an entire month, I nursed him while the snow and wind raged outside. He seemed to feel better after awhile, well enough to go outside for short walks. The weather cleared and I made an appointment with the vet for later in the week. On our third or so walk, he scrunched down and strained to poop, and lo and behold, I saw part of a sock emerge. He struggled and struggled so I finally grabbed aholt of the nasty thing and gently pulled the sock from his behind. He only "Yiked!" at the knots.

Went to the vet next day, sort of after the fact. He got some shots and all turned out well. That little guy ate and ate and ate! His coat got its sheen back, his eyes brightened, his energy returned. And we never ever played tug of war with a sock again - never ever.

Buster is almost twelve now, and Bonnie is gone. He gets all of our attention, dog-wise, but has to share us with two cats, two house bunnies and the barn, porch, and yard bunnies, too.

Over this past winter, when all the baby bunnies were inside, Buster became their Special Protector. I've never seen anything like it. He acted as if those little fur balls were his own, whining over them and trying to run off the cats. He would groom them, oh so gently! When they were moved outside, Buster was there with them - as often as I'd let him. He'd bark warnings to the town dogs ("Go Away!") and sometimes, he'd even get between them and me. He would pick them up at times, by the nape of the neck like a momma dog, and move them away from perceived harm. However, once they got to a certain size, he backed off and let them be. As if his job were done.

Now we have the new litter and I've noticed all the previous behavior. Today, I let the five babies out for free time - mostly under adult supervision. Knowing that Buster was minding the store, I didn't worry. After awhile, I went to collect them and one was under my car. I was on my knees, fruitlessly trying to grab the errant one. I talked to Buster, saying, "Where's the baby? Where's the baby? Buster, get the baby!" and don't you know that he did! I saw him crawl under the car and grab the baby and pull him out, ever so gently, and keep him until I could scramble around to scoop him up.

What a Good Dog!

post script: The awful neighbors moved the next May and as I saw them off in their moving van, the oldest child turned to Mom and asked, "Can we take Spooky with us? Please?" For once she had some sense and said no.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Greetings, Earthloids!

The weather has turned delightful here in Lovely LA; cooler, less humid and breezy. Very much like May, in fact. It's been weird weather-wise so far this year what with the record setting cold of February and the record setting warmth of March. April was undecided as has May, so far.

The irises (or as the local folks call them - flags) are abloom and here are the ones by the back door. Notice that we still have our redneck insulation stapled up behind them. The plastic came in handy in February - see above.

By the way, since I have several photos to post, I have made them smaller than usual. Click them to make bigger, if desired.

Here is the promised shot of Bunicula, sans wool. He is a real sweetheart.

Also, a look at Bongo the One-Earred Bunny. She is a trouble maker, having escaped her cage not once, but twice in the past month. My only hope is that she is still too young to get preggers, what with Percival still on the loose. Which is Sweetie's desire and as he wants so little from me that if he wants one rabbit to be free in the loft, then one rabbit is free in the loft.

Went to the Friendship Spinners meeting this past Saturday. A small turnout, maybe twenty, but small groups make it easier to chat with everyone. We may not get a lot of spinning done, but we do get caught up on the news. And no matter how few we are, we still eat well.

Here is NancyNeverSwept proving that she was indeed in Maryland for the Sheep and Wool Festival. I like that zippered sweat shirt!

This in one of our male members, Ken, who is new to us but has been spinning and knitting for several years.

I have been feeling quite well for almost a week now. The dishes have been kept washed, the living room vacuumed and the front porch has been deep cleaned of bunny urine and other stuff. My allergies and asthma have not felled me. It feels good to feel good!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Stepping right into the thick of it...

Thank you, ItGirl, for this link.

I am conflicted about this issue. I think people should have at least a passing acquaintance with the bible, both the old and new testaments. I know my comprehension of art and literature would lack if I hadn't read it. (In my case, more than once, being raised the southern baptist that I was.) References to events and people in the bible are everywhere. (And if you must know, I was saved and baptized at the age of ten and at the age of twelve, I came to realize what a big bunch of crap the southern baptists were trying to teach and the harm they were doing in the process. Hello, mostly buddhist now.) I wish I could have been taught as thoroughly about the muslim, shinto, animalist, etc. religions, too.

The comparative religion class from my high school was definitely christ-centered. Mostly along the lines of - we (christians) good, them (everyone else) bad and going straight to hell in a handbasket.

If a comparative religion class could be taught, as an elective, without bias and proselytizing, it would be a good thing. But I seriously doubt that in Georgia or anywhere else in the States could that be done. Except maybe Hawaii.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I have been swimming in sadness lately. Not like grief exactly, because there is no particular cause. I'm just sad and the sadness is enveloping - like an opium haze. Sweetie says it is the allergies.

I found a funny website about Disapproving Rabbits. I had to send in a couple of photos but I don't know if they will be posted ever. I think I must have the T shirt.

I ordered two books about lace. One is the NewVictorian Lace and the other is Meg Swanson's A Gathering of Lace. I also ordered 5 pounds of tussah silk for dyeing and blending. Trying to get my shit together for the Hoosier Hills Fiberarts Festival in Franklin, Indiana over the first weekend of June. I was late to apply because Blue Acorn and I boothed together last year and I thought I had booked my own self for this year. But no. I will be there with my fibers and my bunnies. The five little babies are growing up and will be at their most adorable in three weeks.

Here is a recent shot of the Queen herself, Fuzzarelly.

Monday, May 07, 2007

You Can't Make this Stuff Up

From News of the Weird (link is on left sidebar):
Officials in Apex, N.C., finally confiscated the 80 sheep that David Watts had long been keeping in his home as pets (he slept upstairs, they downstairs), with the final straw coming when some of the sheep wandered into the local cemetery and munched on fresh floral arrangements. The town had apparently tolerated Watts's eccentricity for years because of his pleasantness. Said a next-door neighbor, "(Officials) felt like he was (merely) living an alternative lifestyle." [News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 3-27-07]

Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) on Randall Tobias, implicated in the D.C. sex scandal:
"Tobias had been running the Bush administration's Global AIDS Prevention Program which emphasized abstinence, because there's nothing the administration can do that is not ironic."

And now for something completely different.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How to Get Teenagers...

... interested in Geometry.

A small rant

I hope my several friends are having a great time at the Maryland Sheep Festival at our annual Run from the Roses getaway. My regret is not being there to watch the Kentucky Derby with them on TV this afternoon, wearing a silly hat and placing a friendly and uninformed bet. I went last year and the event I enjoyed most, after the derby, was the Parade of Breeds, where maybe 80 different types of sheep are displayed. Once was enough for me, though, and I doubt I'll attend again.

Here in Indiana, the allergens that make me ill are on the attack. Seriously. I have been sick, achy and asthmatic for the past week - worse that usual. Not to mention depressed and weepy from same. I have stayed inside, in the air-conditioning, and I have cleaned the dust from living room where I spend most of my time. I don't broom sweep but rather vacuum daily and still, I have been so sick. I have been sleeping 12 to 16 hours a day.

Rant: The one medication that really works for me is Singulair. It does something to my sinuses that allows me to smell and it eases the body aches. Under Sweetie's old insurance plan, it cost $40 for a month, which was not great but affordable. Under the new, not improved plan that took effect March 1, it costs twice that. My other medz, the Enthusiastimine, now is $65 a month. Preventafit and the regular anti-depressive are now $30 each. Then there are Sweetie's medz. All in all, about $250 a month.

Also, I broke my six-month-old glasses last week. The frames were bought "as is" with no guarantee, so that was my bad. However, the new frames and lenses, lightweight with no-line bifocals were over $450, out of my pocket. The insurance will not cover another eye exam or another pair of glasses for 18 more months. It doesn't seem that a little bit of metal and plastic should cost so much. We are not poor or destitute, (in which case said medz and glasses might not cost so much) but it is still a major chunk of change out of the purse, especially the medz which are a monthly expense.

We are frugal people, Sweetie and I. We don't buy new cars. I buy my clothes at Goodwill. We don't splurge on much - Netflix and Sirius are a combined $25 a month. We rarely eat out and I pack Sweetie's lunch. We don't have kids - not the two-legged kind, anyway.

Rant recant: But to be honest, I shouldn't complain. We have so much and I am grateful for everything. We own property outright and are considering buying another house just outside of town that is coming up for tax sale for a mere 35K. If we weren't so frugal, we would be in debt like most Americans. I don't have to work - how much is that worth?

I want to rant, hard and loud, but It's difficult when so much of the world has so very little. Wind has gone out of sails.

On a different note, I am now spinning for a new shawl.
It's always fun to begin a new project, isn't it? I'm experimenting with one colorway using a pattern from Interweave Knits, Fall '06, the Swallowtail Shawl.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

It's the Law...

* Law of Repairs: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin-to itch or you'll have to pee.
* Law of Workshops: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
* Law of Probability: The probability of your being watched is directly proportional-to the stupidity of your action.
* Law of Telephones: If you dial a wrong number, you’ll never get a busy signal.
* Law of Alibis: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
* Law of Variations: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in willstart to move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).
* Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
* Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increaseswhen you’re with someone with whom you don't want to be seen.
* Law of Results: When you try to demonstrate to someone that a machine won'twork, it will.
* Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
* Law of Theatre: The people whose seats are furthest from the aisle will arrive last.
* Law of Rugs: The chances of an open-faced sandwich landing face down aredirectly correlated to the newness and cost of the floor covering.
* Brown's Law: If the shoe fits, it's ugly.
* Wilson's Law: As soon as you find a product that you like, they’ll stop making it.
* Law of Logic: Anything is possible if you don't know what you’re talking about.
* Law of Location: No matter where you go, there you are.

This cheap blog entry is courtesy of Phil Proctor