Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Skim Off Fat

Interesting weather here in Lovely LAconia. Are you familiar with the eastern curse - May you live in interesting times? It could just as well be - May you have interesting weather.

Yesterday, storms swept across the left middle states (Arkansas, Missouri) and kept going over the midwest. Almost fifty people dead. Thunderstorms, twisters, rain, hail, and wind wrecked havoc.

We be fine and shit. The sirens went off twice, and at the second wail I took shelter in the understairs closet for ten minutes. A piece of metal was torn off our barn and the burn barrel was knocked around. I've seen worse. But this morning, I looked out my kitchen window to the south, and saw what was left of my neighbor's equipment shed - less that a quarter of a mile away. The building had no doors, so it became an airfoil sometime around midnight. The high winds completely lifted it up off its foundation and then flung back down. Hard. Looks like kindling.

No one around here was hurt. Nor in Brandenburg, Kentucky, which is just over the Ohio River. Drove over there today to recycle (and to rubberneck, yes, I admit it.) Several signs, fences, and trees were down and power was spotty. Power poles were snapped in two or tilting at scary degree angles. Windows were shattered and roofs (rooves?) were missing or damaged. Brandenburg was pretty much leveled by a huge tornado outbreak back in 1974, so I bet the older folks were a little freaked.

Knitting News

I've been toiling away on Sweetie's socks. I'm using the Eesti Trail Hiking Socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks book. (Yes, I am using a pattern!) (What can I say? Sweetie bought me the book.) After a frustrated evening of trying to figure out how to reconcile the chart for the fair isle pattern with the written instructions, I put down the socks and slowly walked away. The chart was a multiple of 22, but the written instructions said I should have 64 stitches on the needles. Not divisible by 22. I'm ashamed to say that it took me a while to figure that out.

The next day, I visited the errata page on Interweave's web site. Oh, yippee, there was a correction! I ripped back and began again. However. Yes. There is a however. The new and improved chart was a multiple of 6 and you know whut? 64 ain't divisible by 6, either. I'm ashamed to say that it took me a while to figure that out.

I emailed Interweave, and I was pleased with the quick response - but not by the response itself. "Check the errata page," was their reply.

I did!!

"Okay, I'll send this to the technical editor."

A few hours later, my face turned a little red. The technical editor explained everything and it was my bad. I had read the correction wrong. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had improvised and soldiered on using the 6 stitch chart repeat over 60 stitches (instead of the 16 stitch chart repeat I should have used over the 64 stitches.) Dammit.

On the plus side, my adaption looks great - it fits Sweetie's leg perfectly. And we all lived happily ever after. La dee doo dah day.

Bunny News

Sheila's babies have turned into fat little fuckers, except for the one that didn't. There are four brown ones and three black ones. I had to remake her nest, though, as the kits were getting lost amongst the sheer volume of material that Sheila has been collecting for 6 months. She used the usual hay and her own wool. Also, wads of Fuzzarelly Fibers that she found in my studio, along with bits of polyester batting and fiberfill, pieces of fabric and a couple balls of yarn. I stuffed a plastic shopping bag full of the overflow and still had plenty of soft stuff left to cushion the babies.

Backstory. Both Sheila and Heizen live freely in the house. House bunnies are not supposed to have free rein. They are supposed to be caged when I am gone, according to the "experts." Blah. Blah. Blah. Heizen the Hut stays entirely in the kitchen and living room. Sheila, on the other hand, has always roamed all over the downstairs. She is very good about using the litter box and not tearing up stuff. She hasn't learnt to climb stairs. Yet. What's not to love?

They are not overly DestructoBunnies™. Yes, they have chewed through their share of electrical cords. (Not so much anymore. They made me become a pro at splicing wires.) And Heizen in particular loves to swipe magazines from the coffee table to nibble on. And there is the occasional doily that gets et. All in all, though, they are good kids.

So. Sheila found a lower, unoccupied shelf in the pantry last year and began keeping house. Sweetie and I, being Sweetie and I, let her do her thang. What we will do once the babies begin exploring their surroundings is a good question. No answer available.

Floppy and Wednesday are now living in the backyard enclosure. (At least Floppy is. Wednesday is small enough to slip through the fence.) Sweetie was aghast that I turned them out when the weather was so bad. I can't keep every critter that we feed in the house. And they are doing just fine outside, thankyouverymuch.

A Bit Late. As Usual.

May peace break into your house.

May thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your pants become a magnet for $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline.

May laughter assault your lips!

May happiness slap you across the face.

May your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address!

In simple words -- may 2008 be the best year of your life, so far.


Anonymous said...

That has got to be one of the best blessings that I have ever read, and I thank you for it! Hope it all happens for all of us.
Nancy NeverSwept

Valerie said...

SO glad you are okay after those scary storms. It sounds like it was bare luck, with your neighbor's shed and all. Did the bunnies freak out?

I was amused that Sheila stole bits out of your studio for nesting material. I guess some of that's fair since it probably was rabbit hair, right?

I'm home with flu and very exhausted, so can't comment as long as I'd like, but I did want to say I just found some nice mail that you'd somehow sent to my gmail account (I guess now it auto-posts with my blogger account or something, but I never read it). Sorry I didn't answer you :(