Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Slippery When Wet

We are no longer a one car couple!

This morning, we went to the bank for the cash and even though I no longer keep any savings withdrawl slips on hand, we got our money in about five minutes. Love me some local bank.

After giving the cash to the seller, we drove the car directly to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and even though the man neglected to record the mileage and write down the date on the title, we were able to transfer said title and get tags. In SEVEN MINUTES. I sing the Praises to our local BMV!

Then we drove two blocks to our insurance agent, (who greeted us by name,) and he completed our paperwork, issued new insurance cards, and chatted about this thing and the other. Another whole fifteen minutes. (We got deer coverage and all that, too, just in case.)

These are several of the really good things about living in a small community.

Oh, the new car is a 1990 Mercedes Benz 300. In pretty fine condition, too. Leather interior and electric everything. Sunroof. It's smaller, a bit, than mine, and so should get better gas mileage. It also has two airbags. We both feel better now about him driving home along the Horseshoe Casino Carnage Highway.

p.s. Reckon we'll be putting up the Obama yard sign soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Weekends

This charming bonnet is from the January 1980 Workbasket Magazine. Click image for much bigger.

After my initial laugh and eeewww moment, I thought about how the idea of a face on the back of a hat could be improved upon. A sculptured, knitted face. A happy face. A scary face. Or, alternately, a symbol such as @ or red circle w/slash. What do you all think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do Not Get in Eyes

Livin' on the Edge. That's my Sweetie and me. We applied for our passport cards today at the County Clerk's Office. We were both over-prepared and nervous. I had to hit the rescuer enhaler.

I don't know why we were I was nervous, except that any official paperwork - the kind that has to be just so, last name first and all that - just freaks me out anymore. The clerk I dealt with knew me from when she worked at my bank. She lives within a mile of my house. Sweetie had his own clerk. (She didn't know him but was nice anyway.) Upshot? Nothing scary happened, and so if we do get to Canada in October, with these cards, the US will let us back in. Imagine!

Limited Liability

The back, she be healed!

Yippee and Wahoo! (Cue James Brown - I Feeel Goooood! Na na na na na na nah)

The two slips and falls that I took still seem like the instigators of my injury, yet in hindsight, the "new" knitting chair is also suspect. The "old" and beloved knitting chair, the new one's fraternal twin, had bunny pee on it (imagine that) and the new slipcover didn't fit and so, it was sent to live in the back room. However, I quickly discovered that the "new" chair did not fit my body well and my coccyx soon began the slow ache. Being the cheap bitch person that I am, I was sloooooow to acknowledge that free may not always be good.

These two chairs have a story that I shall now bore you with. About four years ago, when I still had the store, I took an(other) unfortunate fall in the bunny barn one evening. I went forehead first into the corner of a 10"x10" post. Hard. I stood up and immediately understood that 1) this was gonna hurt and b) this was gonna leave a mark. Exit barn, stage left.

Halfway to the house, the blood began leaking through my fingers. What to do? What to do? Go to the hospital? Nah. Maybe. Okay, and how? I could drive, I thought. But I don't want to get blood all over the upholstery. What to do? Ask a neighbor? Betty? Who is 78 years old? In the end, I walked the few feet to the general store and asked the cashier what I should do. "Let me see it," said Peg, "911 it is."

Maybe I could drive? "Nuh uh. You're gonna need stitches. I'm calling 911."

Long story short. After dealing with our local, lively and mostly inept first responders (I mean, how hard is it to take a person's blood pressure?), I got to ride in the bambulance to the emergency room. Peg was nice enough to also call my friend, Nurse Kelly, who met me there. Dr. Precious (a whole 'nuther story) gave me 9 metal staples and a 30 day supply of antirobotics. (30 days!!!???) (For a copiously bleeding head wound?)

Honestly, I thought that the whole thing was much ado about nothing because I felt pretty good. (Showing Sweetie the staples that night; yet another story.)

Of course I went to the store the next day and the rest of the week. (If not me, then who?) The first day, I mostly sat with my head on a table. Later, I took to sleeping on the floor in the back. Then Kelly arrived with two rose colored, velvet upholstered chairs. They rocked and swiveled too! She said that when she saw me that first day, sitting on a metal folding chair with my head on a table - and miserable - she knew that she had to get me some more comfortable chairs. She found them through a classified in the local paper placed by an elderly couple. The Chairs were in excellent condition and so joined The Couch to form the knitting area in my store.

That's where these chairs come from. They are both special to me in several ways. However, one of them needs to be set along the street with a great big FREE sign on it.

I am now using what I will call the Vaguely Mediterranean occasional chair. Having a high back and firm seat are its good qualities. It was also a gift chair. No rocking, no swiveling, but my back feels great! And I can knit in comfort again!

Here is the current afghan for sweetie, and Gospel Organ, in said chair. Remember the Happy Organ guy?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Visit our Website!

I still subscribe to Interweave Knits. Used to get FiberArts, Knitter's, SpinOff, American Craft.

I got so little from the magazines. Lame writing, ugly patterns, (Knitters,) too much glass and not-very-interesting-most-of-the-time contents. (American Craft) I'm sure it's just me, but the so-called art world pisses. Me. Off. (The same stupid question - Is it art or is it craft. Fuck You.) FiberArts had some really good stuff, but not enough. And SpinOff seemed to be a repeat of stuff from past issues. This mild rant could continue for many paragraphs. I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't feel a need for what these magazines have to offer. Your mileage will vary, I am sure.

Anyway, my sub to IK is good for at least another year and so every three months, it arrives. I thumb through it, read the articles, look at the ads - in about an hour. Then it joins The Pile.

I won't recycle them yet, because my mood and needs may change and I will need That Pattern someday. But it is more like at some future date, I will look to these magazines for inspiration, not the particular.

My internal thermostat is running hot so I don't need another sweater for the winter except maybe a light cardigan. Neither does Sweetie, ever since he discovered sub-artic polypropylene undies. I have plenty of sock, shawl, lace patterns to last my lifetime. I'm not a beginning knitter or spinner. Even crocheter.

So. The latest IK arrives and Sweetie and I flip through it together. He could tell that some of the patterns were ugly and/ or stupid without my help. I had hoped that Eunnie would have had a greater influence on content by now. Granted, it must be hard to appeal to a diverse audience; to keep the newbies and the old hands happy. But still, good design should reign.

Two things struck me as most lovely. One was a Norah Gaughan sweater (Strawberry Hill) in an advertisement for Rowan yarns on page 4. (The pattern on page five for a Loop-d-Loop for a sweatercoat is so awful that I cannot imagine what the designer was thinking.)

The other thing that caught my eye was a pair of mitts shown on page 70. The pattern itself, Winter Twilight Mitts, is clever and I downloaded it free from their website. I thought the tree imagery would work very well for socks.

So, this is my thing. One this subscription is up, I won't renew.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For Professional Use Only

There is a pernicious tale still circulating that one needs to kill a rabbit in order to use its wool. I stridently say, Nay Nay!

Now, if one requires a rabbit PELT, then yes, the said rabbit needs to be of the deceased variety. Likewise with the so-called Lucky Rabbit's Foot, which is lucky only if killed at the full moon. (Not so lucky for the rabbit, though.)

Angora Bunny Wool, on the other hand, is harvested from a live and frisky lapine. With good husbandry (in my case, wifely?) skills and luck, an angora can live many years, thus yielding several pounds of lovely wool per creature over its natural lifetime.

Angora rabbits are apparently a genetic variation on a wild rabbit, and the histories say that they were found and subsequently domesticated in Ankara, Turkey. (Hence the name.) Without the aid of humans to frequently shear their long wool, they could not survive in the "wild."

So, they exist because of human keepers, with their long, soft, warm, and luxurious angora wool. We angora ranchers harvest that wool. Very much like how shepherds shear the sheep wool once or twice a year. (Yes, they generally eat the extra lambs and the older sheep - mutton.) In that way, those sheep are different from my babies. (I could not eat Baby Bunny Stew. Unless I were starving. It's all relative, I guess.) (See below.)

My bunnies are kept in clean quarters with fresh hay and water, rabbit pellets and occasional treats. I tend their diseases, if they have them, in the best way I can. I even snip off the rare tumor if I have to. When I scissor off their wool every three months, I clip their toenails and give them a general once-over to check for problems. Mostly, I believe my rabbits are healthy and as happy as a rabbit can be.

They depend upon me for their survival. I am not a farmer. I am an all-too-caring human and so I do not cull as a general rule. Take for example Groovy of the Wry Neck. I should have culled him, aka killed him, more than 6 months ago. I couldn't then and I can't now. Not as long as he is eating and pooping and not suffering.

I am responsible for their care and well-being. I have put a bullet in my babies' head, when I knew they were dying and they were suffering. I hated it, oh how I hated it, but I felt it to be my duty to them. I hate to see them suffering, knowing what the end would be in any case.

At times, when a bunny dies and has a good coat, I will skin and process the pelt myself rather than letting it go to the coyotes and buzzards.

It has been a process, finding this balance. I am fortunate in that, during my lifetime so far, I do not have to hunt, shoot, trap, and kill fur bearing creatures to keep me warm and keep me alive.

In another lifetime, I imagine I would have had no qualms about making the choice between them or me. Eat or be eaten.

So it goes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Electronic Access Denied

In a conversation with Luna at the last Friendship Spinners meeting, I remarked about how I hate people. "No! You? Not possible!" she said.

Luna is interested in my Free Barn Loom that was in the last FS newsletter.

In an email to her, I stated that I had purchased the loom from a local couple about 5 years ago. I had great plans. That local couple had bought said loom twenty years earlier for $100. Here I was, giving it way. She joked that in ten years, she would be paying someone to take the thing away, considering how the value of it was going.

I really hope that she might be able to set it up to weave.

So I clarified my statement to say the I hate people in general, yet not so much in particular. "Oh yeah, I'm like that!" Ah ha!

I have a few friends that I care for very much. But there are so many more individuals out there that I would just as soon avoid. I do not want to know them. At all. The trick is to sort the chaff from the wheat.

Friendship Spinners contains both, I say in all honesty, but there is a greater percentage of the wheat in the mix. In my defunct store, I met much wheat. In my little community, I have met 95% chaff. Go away and leave me alone.

My point is that spinners are often self-described hermits who venture out maybe monthly to meet other hermits. To spin and commune.

Debra told me once about when her husband met many of us at a large get-together. He looked around and told her, in a half-joking way, that these folks were just like her and she was replaceable. Not so unique anymore, was she.

These people, these mostly women, are My Tribe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Enjoy Responsibly

Weird bunny stuff.

Removed some sort of tumor from Kelly Bob's back today. The growth appeared suddenly and I thought it was fly larva. The barn bunnies so not suffer from fly problems and I was puzzled. As I cleaned it, a pea sized part of the nasty thing broke off. Hey. Wait a minnitt... This ain't no larva! A snip with some very sharp scissors to a thin connective stem and it was gone. Some minor bleeding but the patient never seemed to feel a thing. Saved the fatty mass in a jar full alcohol - just in case. I've never seen anything like this.

At tonight's feeding, I saw that Big Sister (Brokeback Mama's older daughter) hadn't eaten her morning carrot. Not good. I examined her poop tray and it was full of poop. And blood. Sooo not good. I brought her inside for examination and placed her in a cage while I tried to find something on the interwebs. Fifteen minutes later, she was already gone. WTF? Her coat was not very good, so I didn't save the pelt, but the autopsy showed a pale interior. She'd bled to death and I don't know why.

That's two of the 6 bunnies I bought this spring dead. Not good!

Some bunnies take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Poor ol' Anna Nicole for one, who suffered from a myriad of maladies yet still lived four placid years. There's Groovy who, in spite of wry neck since the winter, is still hippy hoppin' with a fine appetite and nice fur, too.

Other lapins seem to keel over with no notice. Fine, fine, fine. Dead. Candy. Hippy. Salty. RIP

Hello. Let us move on.

On a brighter note, went to the Friendship Spinners meeting Saturday at the Bernheim Arboretum. What a nice place and what a beautiful day it was! Mid-80s and breezy.

(As an aside, I'd like to comment on the good weather we've had this year. Here it is, August, and I am still having to mow each week. Everything is still green and growing. We've had enough rain all year long without temperature extremes.)

So. Lot's of folks were there. Here's Jean modeling the Meditation Shawl from her handspun. The pattern is a variation of Old Shale.

Jean, cut that out!!!

Blue Acorn brought her tapestry loom. She may have a little showing in New Orleans and is furiously working on several pieces. I want to see her knitted masks.

Last week I counted thirteen outside bunnies and here are four I found at Good Neighbor Nancy's place.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Drop Mail Here

I want you all to meet the marketing geenius and all around excellent person, Susan.

She has my stuff for sale. I am in love with her.

Please go there and buy. Heizen needs a new pair of shoes

Operators are Waiting to Take Your Money

How did I miss this? How did I miss Northern Exposure? Was it the same way I missed Twin Peaks and Picket Fences? Was it on Channel 3, the station that never comes in? Was I busy those nights?*

But due to the loving goodness of NetFlix, I have just watched the pilot and subsequent three episodes of Northern Exposure. Twice. I lurve John Corbin so much. At least his character as the uber-hipster. The guy who is so hip he doesn't even know how hip he is. The guy that looks like the young John Lennon. A guy I would kidnap and hold hostage because I love him so much. (I am so Lucy Butler.) I love Ed, too. And the Molly Ringwold-type chick. In a platonic way. And Joel the Jerk. And Hawling.(sp?) Yeah, he's nice.

I may just have to upgrade to the two, nay nay, to the three disc-at-a-time plan in order to see more of Cicely at one sitting.

Damn. I will have to wait for the back to heal because I want to knit something special during that marathon. Screw the Tour de Fleece. Screw the Knitting Olympics. Give me the Northern Exposure Knits and Purls! Fits and Hurls???

*Guess I was busy back in 1990. Working several jobs and being so totally clueless and miserable in a hateful marriage. (This was BS - Before Sweetie.) A so totally miserable time that it makes today's miserable seem like a walk in the park. Like, using dental instruments to clean out my sinuses compared to -- awww, I dropped my Blow Pop.

As for the TV show I worked on, from '91 to '93, I didn't even watch all of those episodes. Hmmmm. Wonder if NetFlix has I'll Fly Away?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Your Partner in Good Government

We be knitting, bad back and all.

I am able to do a little bit of work on Sweetie's winter blankie, every so often. It has grown to almost 4 square feet.

It definitely has a "right" side, although I am working in the ends as I knit, so the tidying up at the finish won't be onerous. Each color block is picked up from previous work and there was only the tiniest bit of sewing at the beginning as I was honing my technique.

Sweetie finally harangued persuaded me into visiting his Chamber of Ho work out room and arranged me on some instrument of tor what he called the Roman chair. It helped me to stretch my back muscles and spine and there was relief. I am also using the heating pad more and the medz less.

The medz give me Bad Dreams. Sad dreams. Make me weep dreams.

Thanks to the support from NancyNeverSwept - "Go on and wallow" and Nibbler, who apparently was arrested over the weekend, I am getting better.

I was sad that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. So I shot him. Now I feel better.

And now---Bunnies!

Oh, and this deserves its own post, but I am delighted that our apple tree and asian pear trees are drooping with bounty!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Restricted Access

I hate August.

Not that the month itself is bad, but the month itself makes me feel bad.

I am hot, in the bad way. Hush.

We are still a one-vehicle family. Sweetie passed on the Mercedes I wrote about, although now he has his eye on a larger and newer and cheaper one. The truck has been in the shade tree shop for about 2 months, getting its cracked manifold thing uncracked.

Even if I am agoraphobic and misanthropic, I like having at least the option of leaving the house after 2 pm.

My sacroiliac is still out of whack and the doctor medz make me woozy. It hurts to sit in my knitting chair. So I'm not even knitting. It hurts to bend or twist or reach. Sometimes it hurts to stand up or lay down. This happened to me several years ago, this sudden back outage. After about six weeks, the condition somehow righted itself. It's all about the waiting.

There are still four baby angoras and the two wildies in the house. Pooping everywhere. I just got out the lightweight vac to clean up, and did two rooms until the back told me to quit, already. Fuck.

Good Things.

Watched the movie Harold and Kumar in Guantonimo. I have to agree with what the New Yorker reviewer said, which was something like - The movie is totally sophmoric and stupid, yet innocent and likable. And funny. "Doogie Houser," aka Neal Patrick Harris, makes a return appearance at the most improbable moment.

Susan thinks that Fuzzarelly Fibers are Good Enough to Sell in her shop and on her website. She's the kick in the seat that I need to get back in the studio. Once the back rights itself, of course.

I have this little imaginary box in my brainsoul that I take out when I am feeling particularly miserable. Like now. Inside this box are memories of the awful things that people have said or done to me. Long ago hurts and slights. Engraved images of car wrecks, injured animals, angry faces. My own Little Box of Pain. I've been toying with this little box lately, peeking inside to see if the world still hates me.

It does.

But, cooler and pain free times are ahead and I can merely wait for them. In the end, I am an optimist and a survivor.