Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Store in a Cool, Dry Place

In an effort to decrease the predator presence* around here, I took Sheila's body down the road a piece to an old family (not my family) cemetery and laid her in the woods there, on the wool she had collected for her nest. Sweetie suggested that we get a little bunny statue for the site. I don't know who was affected worse - me or him. Unless someone complains, that area will become our new Tibetan burial ground.

Saw Wednesday yesterday. Sweetie and I feel particularly fond of Wednesday and we are always glad to see him/her in the back enclosure. Here is Wesnesday and mom, Floppy. Gosh, isn't that sweet?

Claudia's four babies are thriving outside. They pretty much stay close to home but it's hard to get a good shot of them because they are always running or frisking. They won't keep still.

The barn bunnies are all fine, thank goodness. It is clipping season again, so the living room is coated with a fine layer of angora.

*Many of the yard bunnies have suddenly disappeared, amidst sightings of dogs clenching bunny bodies in their mouths. Also, a hawk got one, and cars got a few others. They breed prolifically for a reason. The girl bunnies seem to stick closer to home. Home meaning our house and the neighbor's house. Bambi, Jackie Brown, Ramsey, and Barbara Bobo are all seen regularly. The boy Jump and two other white ones are still around. (One of the white ones has the loveliest lion head mane!)

Here is a shot of my hair and flowers. Did anyone like the pattern??? Did anyone read that post?

"From my earliest childhood I wanted to be a genius, but my parents were against it…" ~
playwright Nikolai Erdman

"A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just
want to say to the authors of that study: ‘Duh.’”~ Conan O'Brien

"Those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand." ~ Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Remain Seated Throughout Ride

The kids got me up this morning around 7:30. Buster was at the foot of the bed (on the bed,) Milly was sitting on me, and Sugar was sitting beside my face. Ok. Time to get up. The kids are hungry. (This is not like Bonnie, our late dog. Bonnie would wake me up around 7 or 7:30, and her job being done, would go back to sleep.) No, when these kids get me up, it is because they are hungry.

So I filled their bowl with pellets and Heizen and Sugar eat. Sheila? Where's Sheila? Hmmmm. I made coffee and looked for Sheila. Front of house. Back of house. No Sheila. I take my first sip of coffee, still calling for Sheila. She is not one to miss her food. Sheila appeared and came to me. Yay! There you are -- uh-oh. She was obviously sick, the little bit of hopping wore her out. I picked her up and she whimpered. Her eyes had that far away look. WTF? I held her and loved her. Sweetie and I were there when she died - maybe fifteen minutes after I found her. Sheila was just over a year old and had lived all of her life inside with us. A healthy and happy bunny, with 6 healthy siblings in the barn.

What I got from the Internets is that sometimes bunnies just die. Jaw problems. Stomach problems. Dain Bramage.

Fuzzarelly died, too. April 9, just before Greencastle. Four and a half years old. Her lungs gave out.
That was a sad, sad day, too.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Select Firm, Ripe Fruit

How about a little knitting content, hmmmmm? This blog is not all knitting, all the time, although I usually have something on the needles as I do now. It's the same old and some old. Same old purple cashmere laceweight shawl. I would guess that it is about three feet across, but it is also a hexagon so that number is almost of no use. I'll have to slip it onto a string to see what she really looks like. When I do that, I will take pictures. This is my erstwhile Kentucky State Fair entry. I will get a blue ribbon this year. I will.

Haven't touched the double helix socks for almost 6 weeks. I am committed to getting this shawl done in time for entry, so there will be no other knitting projects until then.

Older Brother took the great bumblebee photo that I posted yesterday. He said that {he} "walked next door and took several pics of the tree we got for Tracy & Chad. This is its 3rd year and it just bloomed Monday. During my visit the bee decided to gather a little bee stuff right in front of the camera. 97 % luck and 3 % skill."

He lives upstate Indiana even though he does not like the cold.


While at Greencastle, I took the opportunity to save shipping costs and sent four pounds of raw angora and 6 pounds of prepared merino roving off to Zeilinger Wool, Co. in beautiful Frankenmuth, Michigan. I have learned the hard way that it takes a shit load of time and effort to create batts on my wonderful but non-electric Louet drumcarder, especially when I have to crank and card and re-card to blend it well. Upshot is...

the roving arrived yesterday!! Very Prompt! (Your mileage may vary. I think I was just lucky because I was told it could be up to 6 to 8 weeks.) What a nice job they did! No affiliation yadda yadda. I'm just so pleased and now I will have something new to take to Troy, Ohio's Upper Valley Fiber Fest. Date is Saturday May 10.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Hair Flower Pattern

If you know me, then you know that I am half insane usually wear knit flowers in my coiffure. Nothing compared to the girlz of the B-52's, though. But still, it's a welcome addition of 3 inches to my height. I have been repeatedly asked for a copy of my pattern. Can I find a photo of said flower right now? Hell Yes! Be adventurous and try it. C'mon.

You will need: an ounce or less of yarn (maybe start with worsted weight,) a dab of yellow or orange yarn, a set of five double point knitting needles appropriate to yarn (or maybe just a tad smaller,) and a large-eye blunt needle. Plus, a crochet hook in a size to suit the yarn. In a general way.

Cast 3 stitches onto one needle.

Row 1: slide stitches to right end of needle, as in I-cord. Knit 3.

Row 2: (Continue in I-cord through Row 4) K 1, YO, K 1, YO, K 1. (5 stitches)

Row 3: Knit.

Row 4: K 1, YO, K 1, YO, K 1, YO, K1, YO, K1. (9 stitches)

Begin working in the round.

Row 5: K 3, on new needle K 3, on new needle K 3. (9 stitches on 3 needles)

Row 6: [K 1, YO, K 1, YO, K 1, YO] three times. (18 stitches)

Rows 7, 8 and 9: Knit.

Begin first of six petals.

Row 1: K 1, P1, K 1 and turn. (each petal will begin with 3 stitches.)

Row 2: P 1, K 1, P 1.

Row 3: K 1, YO, P 1, YO, K 1. (5 stitches) (Other increase option is to knit into front and back of first and last stitch.)

Row 4: P2, K 1, P 2.

Row 5: K 1, YO, K 1, YO, K 1, YO, K 1. (7 stitches)

Row 6: P 3, K 1, P 3.

Row 7: K 3, P1, K 3.

Row 8: P 3, K 1, P 3.

Row 9: K 1, SSK, P1, K 2 tog, K 1. (5 stitches)

Row 10: P 2, K 1, P2.

Row 11: SSK, P 1, K 2 tog. (3 stitches)

Row 12: P 1, K 1, P 1.

Row 13: Slip 1, K 2 tog, PSSO. (1 stitch)

Transfer this stitch to a crochet hook. Chain 1. Turn, so that back of petal is facing you. Slip stitch 6 or 7 stitches down right side of petal. Crochet together with the first stitch on next needle and transfer that stitch back to double point needle. Three stitches on needle. Ooh Hoo! Time to start another petal!

Ready to begin the second petal.

Repeat Rows 2 through 13 five more times to make six petals total.

At this point, you may decide to single crochet around all six petals, or you can stop now and cut yarn. I suggest you do the single crochet thing. If the center of the flower seems too big, you can gather it with the tail end of your working yarn. Using the yellow or orange yarn, make pistols and stamens with french knots or a loop stitch. Weave yarn ends in with blunt needle.

Notes:You can slip the first stitch of every row for a tidier look. The number of stitches per petal and the number of petals can be easily changed. Make one or two flowers with this pattern and then let your imagination take over!

Do Not Freeze

Spring in Northern Indiana

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Puzzle Level: Medium

Note the Elder Squirrel.

Larry W. Timberlake
Died: Saturday, March 29, 2008

Larry W. Timberlake, 79, Palmyra, died Saturday, March 29, 2008, at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany.

Born April 14, 1928, in Laconia, he was the son of the late Stoy and Mary Ellen Singleton Timberlake.

He was a retired logger and sawmill owner, an Army veteran of the Korean War and a member of Old Capitol VFW Post 2950 in Corydon.

Survivors include his companion and caregiver, Judy Clark of Palmyra; two daughters, Arla Jo Durham of Corydon and Jan Wathen of Brandenburg; two brothers, Everett Brooks Timberlake of Hazelton and Norman Timberlake of Rineyville, Ky.; a sister, Audrey Regan of New Albany; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation: Monday, March 31, from 3 to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, April 1, after 9 a.m. at Beanblossom-Cesar Funeral Home in Corydon.

Funeral: Tuesday, April 1, at 2 p.m. with burial in Otterbein Cemetery near Laconia.

Officiant: Elder Squirrel Murphy.

Pallbearers: Phil Myrick, Chris Harbeson, Wess Durham, Gerald Ray, Joshua Cullins and David Clark.

Monday, April 21, 2008

We're Sorry for the Inconvenience

Wowee. Just made a frantic, yet surprisingly subdued and non-panic-filled, drive home from errands. I usually keep my albuteral enhaler in my purse or my pants pocket. Not today! I forgot! Crap on a stick!

A quarter of the way home, I began to cough and then, of course, panic set in when I became unable to draw a breath. (Breathing is kind of important.) I had, in the bottom of my purse, an Epi-Pen, (from the shrimp episode) and that was why I made it home in one piece. One breathing piece, even.

Lesson learned! Check for "Binkie" before leaving the driveway. And get a new Epi-Pen.

My brain has not been in blog mood this past week. Don't know why exactly, except that I crashed for a day (or two) after Greencastle, then commenced on the chores that have gone neglected as I cranked away at the drumcarder for the past several weeks.

All but one of Sheila's babies are either sold or are in the barn. We are keeping the newly-named Sugar in the house for the time being. However, if Sugar keeps misbehaving, it'll be The Barn for him, too.

Sheila, who may be pregnant after a few hours spent outside two weeks ago, has again begun building the Nest to End All Nests. She has found a washed fleece in my studio and has been dragging it, lock by lock, into a closet corner. Fine. Take it. When am I going to spin sheep wool again, anyway? And it isn't like I don't I have more.

Oh. I have also now taken four trips in six days to the metal recycling yards with my two buddies here....

They have made between them almost $800. I drive because the fellow in the red shirt has never had a driver's license and I don't trust know the other one enough to let him drive Zippy, Sweetie's favorite yard sale purchase ever. (1972 Chevy) They don't have a running truck between them.

What I get for my trouble (and gas money!) is a mucked out bunny barn! Well worth my time. Since I can't breathe well enough to tackle it myself.

This weekend, the crazy yet overactive neighbor was in town to work on the "summer cottage." Does anyone remember the old nursery rhyme:

Hark, Hark the dogs do bark
Beggars are coming to town.

Some in rags and some in dags
And some in velvet gown.

In other words, here be the non-Romany gypsies. One of them has a crack problem.

And last, the obligatory bunny shot. This is, from the bottom, Ramsey, Jackie Brown, and Bambi.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Official Business Only

“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice
that I am not a Republican.” ~ H.L. Menken

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free Admission

The Fiber Event at Greencastle was the bomb! My friends Blue Acorn and Hippie Art Chick and I were lucky enough to get three booths together in a row. And so a mini-mall was created, with all of our wares scattered throughout.

Blue Acorn had bunches of hand dyed yarn, and kits for hats, sweaters, and vests. How she does all this and works a full-time job absolutely amazes me.

Hippie Art Chick is a multi-tasker. She displayed rug hooking patterns and wool, hand dyed yarn, hand spun yarn, and spinning fiber. She acted for the most part as our cashier and money manager, too.

Victoria of Fiber eXchange Guild, wore this wonderful hat that she knit. The silver beads were strung on thread and plied with the wool. Very cool.

I had my Fuzzarelly Fiber, five baby bunnies, knitting needles, and maybe 7 hanks of handspun angora. Bringing the yarn was a last minute choice and I put a high price on it. I charged a dime a yard plus the cost of fiber, so there was a skein that was priced at $82, another at $70 something, and others a bit less.

We all did well. The business was steady throughout Friday and Saturday. The mini mall concept worked to everyone's benefit.

And most of my handspun sold! Goodgodalmighty! I was dumbfounded and thrilled. Ya never know what will strike a person's fancy.

Three babies went to good homes, the other two are in the barn. We are also keeping one of the torties (sp?) since it looks so much like its daddy, and also has Percival's sweet personality. I am delighted to get the almost grown darlings out of the house. So now, there is Heizen, Sheila, and NoName and the four dwarf babies, who are in a cage. Oh, and Winehouse. Only eight inside now.

I found this sign in our building. What kind of party did they have?

Only Fifty Cents

Scary Scary! Just what I want to cover that ugly Kleenex boutique box - the headless bride of Chuckie.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to Hold a Plectrum

Okay. Hey, you all. Hi.

Working hard to get ready for Greencastle, aka The Fiber Event. Here is some fiber....

.....ready to be made into batts.

I am so ahead with most things that I am trying not to get freaked out by trying to do more. You know how it goes, if you are ahead, you'll find a dozen of other things you could do to make your booth better. At some point, you gotta quit.

I am trying to make more fiber instead of fretting.

I have a lot of pictures, just none of the forsythia (Sorry, Valerie!) that I am seeing everywhere. I love forsythia even though blooms only 1/26th of the year. If the frost doesn't get it.

This respiratory infection of mine is in its eleventh week. I've gone through the snot bucket stage, the strep throat phase, etc. etc. and am now still in the coughing up a lung stage. It has been a wet winter and spring. (Just heard that this area has received nine inches more rain that usual for the year.) I have done the antirobitics and other, more "natural" remedies. I can talk and I feel generally well. The cough I just deal with.

A respiratory infection has invaded the bunny barn. The lovely and delightful Anna Nicole passed away last week. She was one of Fuzzarelly's daughters and was four years old. And now, horrors, Fuzzarelly herself has become ill. I brought her to the front porch and have given her the first penicillin injection. I don't know if it has been the wet and dreary winter or what but something has been hard on them, out there in the barn.

The longer one raises bunnies, the smarter one becomes. One learns about the sadness.

Here is Wednesday, who is almost tame. Don't know if it is a boy or girl, but its coat is so soft! Thank you, Percival! You horn dog.

Floppy, his mom, has been in the back enclosure and, since every other bunny in the world (except maybe Bambi) can fit themselves under the fence back there, she is about to kindle. Make babies. Hoosier daddy?

And out front, on good days, are Sheila's babies. They are nine weeks old!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Do Not Get in Eyes.

Long story short.

Feeling good in spirits and flesh. Which is good because that is so different from the past two years. Maybe more? That sort of waiting around to die feeling.

I am now able to focus, act, and get stuff done. I am able to plan ahead for more than a few hours. I am so ahead with my booth for the Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana, which is next weekend. I am enjoying working in the studio.

The huge basswood tree that was cut and left across the driveway, for maybe fourteen months, has been removed! It's just down the alley a bit, in a field, but it is out of the driveway.

Have six baby bunnies now, as one was stolen, in his cage, from the front porch. By two big, out of town dogs. There is only a patch of fur where that bunny used to be. Still in the cage. Sweetie was so upset.

Friendship Spinners meeting tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

But my main thing is, I am feeling good.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

May Cause Nervousness

It is so beautiful.

I've just been sitting outside on the front porch; facing west. The sun is setting not to my left and not to my right, but in front of me. Spring is here.

As I drove home from errands today, I marveled at the incredibly green fields. Some trees have catkins, some have tiny leaves. The daffydils are blooming everywhere. I always have liked seeing solitary stands of naturalized daffodils. Some are from old homesteads and others have migrated across roads to thrive under stands of trees. The forsythia is flowering all over, too. There is all this GREEN interrupted by browns and greys and YELLOWS.

I like it.

I'll take pictures and show you.