Sunday, December 26, 2010

See back cover for details.

Sweetie left yesterday to get back to Missouri and his job. It was wonderful to have him home. The 3 1/2 day work week is really nice, since it gives him time to make the almost 6 hour drive each way. Also, where he is living now and where we hope to be living, is only a 5 minute drive to work. A pleasant change after 15 years of 45-60 minute commutes. 

Fannie Mae made a counter offer on the new house, which we have accepted. It is almost $13,000 less than the original asking price. If everything goes smoothly, we should close at the end of January. Sweetie was able to get a VA loan, at a tiny fixed rate interest rate. Yay, us! I guess I need to start collecting boxes. 

I'm knitting on the socks. Had to rip out the heels after a wrong stitch count on both of them. Cheese and crackers! Oh, and the pattern on the one wonky skein has suddenly corrected itself. The original skeins were $4.29 each, and then were on sale at 40% off, which means the yarn cost me just a little over $5. The blend is 50% superwash wool, 25% bamboo, and 25% nylon and it has a soft hand. I like how certain things I make hold memories of events that went on during their construction. 

Howard hasn't been doing too well, and I know squat about ducks. He hasn't been eating his feed or quacking ever since the week I was gone and we had the ice storm, and is having trouble getting around. Yesterday his eye was matted closed. Sigh. I'm ashamed to say that I was secretly hoping he would die, but he has kept hanging in there. So today I brought him inside, and he is in an inch of water in our tub, along with Rubber Ducky. He ate some bread and drank a lot of water, and his eye is better. I figure he can stay there for the time being. I can take sink baths. He seems happier. I wonder if he wasn't depressed and lonely after losing his little friends, Omelet and Buffalo Wing. 

Henny Penny and her two kids, Peg Leg and Wing Man, are in cramped quarters, but doing well. They will go and live with Fried Chicken and His Hens once the chicks get big enough, or we move, which ever comes first. I hear that Fried Chicken loves cat food, and would come into the house if allowed to. They are all doing well, and I am so delighted that they are safe and happy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do Not Shake.

In the midst of this mess I call my life, I am knitting. I began these socks just before I drove to Missouri last week, and worked on them off and on while socked in (Ha! a pun!) by bad weather. 

The yarn is Serenity from Premier Yarns, the Deborah Norville Collection, in the color way Saffron. I remember Deborah Norville as a news reader, or maybe she was a weather person, on a local Atlanta TV station, back in the way back. I had no idea she is the host of Inside Edition until I just now Googled her, nor did I know that she had a Yarn Collection until I found this yarn on sale. 

And thank goodness it was on sale, because you can see the dye job is totally fucked up. The pattern starts out in symmetry, then one ball crapped out and went white. When the color returned, the patterning was reversed. I thought about ripping out the one sock, but thought that it would make a great memento of my trip.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Feel Like June Cleaver

So. 

Arrived back home on Thursday, several days later than intended, but the time was well spent and I am safe. Sweetie left today to get back to Missouri, and his job which wants him at 6 in the morning.

There was much weather last week. First the wind and snow, and then the ice. We had hoped to travel home Wednesday afternoon, but the forecast was for freezing rain and I made the call to stay one more night and drive during the daylight. The motel we were at is not too busy, especially since their cable is out, but Thursday morning I took Princess out to a lobby filled with sleeping people, a full parking lot, and 4 dozen tractor-trailers idling in any spot they could get. The roads were ice. MoDOT had even called back their snow plows/salt trucks to put chains on their tires, as even they couldn't get around. 

We left near 11, eastern time, and it was white knuckle driving for the first 60 miles. There were so many wrecked vehicles and evidence of wrecks that I gave up counting, but not noticing. But we made it home without incident. Yay, us!

As I said, my time there was well spent. Sweetie had had his eye on another house since he moved there, and the for sale sign finally appeared one day. We looked at it from all around the outside, then contacted the realtor, and we looked at it from the inside, too. 

It's a helluva house, and we have made an offer. Now, I am collecting and sending just about every bit of financial information about us to a Missouri bank in order for us to get a VA loan. (I remember when banks didn't want to fool with VA loans.) It's all very tedious and tiring, and I am glad I am as organized as I am, as I have been able to lay hands on every single thing that has been asked for. I have been dealing with our local bank, in order to pull in every single dollar possible.

I've been stressed. And elated. And tired. And numb. And thinking where to put our furniture in the new house. And what kind of curtains it needs. And about how all of this is going to happen.

From the outside, one can see how symmetrical it is, and that there is a shrubbery. In the back is a white picket fence. 

Here is a bad quality video of the inside of the house.


This is way more house than we were looking for. I didn't video the full basement or the attached garage, or the grounds. Closing looks to be in a little over 30 days, if all goes well.

I am trying to be the calm in the middle of the storm.

Think of a number between 0 and 100.

Cabinet of Wonders: If Only I Had A Fourth-Dimensional Mirror

As a 50-something, I really enjoyed reading this blog post.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What would Freud say?

I'm in Missouri. The winds are a constant 30 mph, but there is no ice and little snow, but what there is, is being blown into drifts. I am safely inside.

Looking at another house tomorrow. Sweetie and I drove around yesterday, looking at properties, until I grew bleary-eyed and cranky. This new one is nothing at all like what we were looking for. It is two-story, in-town, on a small lot. But, on the plus side is a living room fireplace, a full basement, a large screened-in back porch, and a fenced in back yard. It is also within our price range. Also found another possible in a little town just north of Montgomery City.

I had a dreams Friday night that I am trying to puzzle out. Two separate dreams featuring tornados that were nearby, which focused and then landed on me, and then were quickly weakened and gone. Very weird. i can only surmise that there is chaos all around me, but I am the calm in the center of the storm.

Any alternate explanations are welcome.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A duck walks into a bar...

As the old joke goes, "I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like to hear first?"

I'll start with the bad news, I reckon. When I got home from my spinners' weekend, it was to find Omelet dead, and Buffalo Wing and Easter missing. A hawk is the suspected culprit. Whatever it was, Howard the Duck was too big to be taken. 

The remaining 3 hens, along with Fried Chicken, have been staying very near the front porch, day and night. 

(I don't even want to write much about the road kill bunnies that I have had to attend to, in the last few weeks. It breaks my heart.) 

So much sadness.

The good news is that I captured the hens and rooster this morning around 5:30, and then took them to my friend's house. She has at least 15 hens and a couple of roosters that free range like mine do. 

Then there is Henny Penny, the Buff Orpington banty hen, and her two chicks that are a week and a half old. It has been so cold here, that I brought them all inside last week. They are in a large cage in the laundry area, where they are safe and warm. I call the chicks Peg Leg and Wing Man. I will keep them inside until other arrangements can be made.

Also, I will see Sweetie this weekend! He had a professional inspect the house we like, and the story gets more dismal as the wiring is all fucked up and needs to be replaced. Crap on a stick. On the bright side, that's one more bargaining chip and not a deal ender. He has been spending his free time looking at other houses, and wants me to look at them, too. He has another week of this all-week training before his 3.5 day work week kicks in, so I expect him to come home the weekend after this.

It's lonely here, rattling around in this big ol' house with only the cats and dog. (And the duck and rabbits.) I can't say that I am thrilled to be moving to Missouri, but, so it goes. I'm putting on my big-girl panties, and making the best of it.

Also? My doctor has prescribed me some new happy pill medication. Maybe now I will be less with the weepy.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Temporary Registration

KNITTING NEWS! I finished the Seaside Cardigan! (Pattern found on Ravelry.) Still need to block it, but otherwise, it will be wearable this weekend at our Friendship Spinners retreat at Shakertown in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. I have been doing little else but trying to finish this for the last few days. Am I that slow of a knitter? I know that I am a deliberate knitter, as I am not a knitting machine, and because of this, I have no problems with my hands or wrists when I knit a lot. Touch wood. So far anyway. I modified the sleeves, and made them straight instead of bell shaped. I think blocking will do it a world of good. You can't really see it, but the front bands were finished using a 2-stitch I-cord, and it's one bind-off I will absolutely use again. 

The color is more true in the first photo. I wonder now if green is a good color for me, but I will liven it up with some magenta and purple knit flowers. Those are more my colors. I'll wear my usual black underneath. I can always dye it a darker color. Nah, this has a nice, subtle tweedy look as it is.

So, Sweetie is gone to the new job. I miss him. He says things are going pretty well, though, and he has a line on a rental house for him to live in instead of the motel, until our house is ready. We are in suspense about everything as nothing concrete is known about anything. (How's that for a sentence?) 

In the meantime, workmen have been here for the past three days, putting in a new subfloor in the laundry area and bathroom, replacing some outside wooden siding and clapboards, and a few other niggling little matters. The practically new toilet I got for free on craigslist last fall has finally been installed! It's a shame that we didn't have this work done before we knew we were moving. So it goes. This relatively small investment has assuredly made our house easier to sell. 



I haven't sewn on kites in three weeks, and I hope that I can tomorrow, now that my plate is less full. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Answer yes or no

So.

Sweetie leaves tomorrow, to begin the new job on Monday. It's been nice having him home these last two weeks. He'll be staying in a motel until he can find a short term rental apartment or house. What is it with people not returning phone enquiries? 

The really good news is that when we met with the loan officer at our bank yesterday, she assured us that with our good credit, we are a shoe-in to get enough of an equity loan to not only buy that house we're interested in outright, but to also pay off our current home equity loan and the mortgage. We won't have an answer for about three weeks, though. Sweetie said he never in all his life imagined owning three houses, much less two of them outright.

We removed some suspect samples of non-friable asbestos from the new house, and I sent them off for testing. The insulation from the house siding is clean, (yay,) but some of the wallboard in the shed and basement is high is asbestos. This is the bargaining chip we were waiting for. (Non-friable means that as long as it is not cut into, crushed, etc., the asbestos poses no danger.) We'll be making an offer on the house this week.

In the meantime, we had a nice Thanksgiving on Wednesday past. Today, I have disposed of all meat from the turkey; turning it into soup with homemade noodles, and turkey salad. The chickens ate the giblets and I will let them have the skin and fat, too. The poor girls are finally acting less spooked, although they seem to be shunning Fried Chicken, the rooster. He continues to roost on the front porch at night, while the girls are in the tree out back. He calls them to food, and they don't come. Very sad. Still not sure if I will move them out west, but I don't have to decide right now. If I could give them to good homes, it would make my life easier. I am feeling the same way about my houseplants.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We use only the finest ingredients.

The price for the house we like in Missouri has been lowered by $5000. Just that much closer the the offer we plan to make. 

Today, I decided to go ahead and make the feast, as it is cold, rainy, and dreary. A day early does not unthankful make me. 

Roast turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole w/marshmallows, cornbread and pumpkin pie. Seating starts at 4:00.

The chickens have been released from the barn to take their chances with any stray dogs that may or may not be around. Because? Monday night, a critter, (and I assume it was a raccoon,) slithered its way into to the secure barn loft, and took one of the wyandot hens. Piles of feathers here and there was the only sign. They all must have been traumatized.

I thought they were safe, but they were mere sitting ducks, so to speak, being cooped up. 

A live trap was set last night, with some excellent pork barbecue as bait. This morning, the meat was gone, the trap was overturned, yet not sprung. It was for sure a raccoon. 

The chickens, however, were safe in the tree near our bedroom window. Sweetie spent a restless night, with shoes on and a gun in hand, just in case. 

Me? Last night, I snored away on the couch.

Today? I am thankful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sign and return.

Received a text from Good Neighbor Nancy on Saturday afternoon, saying that Omelet had been found safe and mostly sound!  I was so happy I positively cried. How that little hen ended up 100 feet behind our barn in some woods, I don't know and may never know.  Maybe the dog snagged and then dropped her, or maybe she ran/flew back there to escape the Evil Beagle. I was so glad the the two neighbor boys found her and then, since I wasn't home, took her to Nancy.

Omelet is now in the back yard enclosure with her sister Buffalo Wing, her mom Henny Penny, (who is sitting on 5 eggs,) Howard the Duck, and Sugar the Angora.

Also, we may have found Our House in Missouri. Not modern and fancy, but spacious and nice enough with a huge corner lot at the edge of town. The sidewalk literally ends at the front door of this place.  Hardwood floors, a full basement, a big outbuilding, and mature trees. It is the lot that I like a lot, in fact. It is near to town, but not with neighbors too close by, and it has become the yardstick that other properties have been judged by and come up short, truth be told.

So much to do this week. And I even bought a turkey for us to have at Thanksgiving, along with pumpkin pie.

Sweetie starts work a week from tomorrow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The 4-Way Stop Dilemma

File this under the It Could Have Been Worse file. Had made plans to take a quick trip to Missouri early this morning, to firm up some short term housing. 

It was early when I heard the horrible sound that chickens make when they are in distress. By the time I made it out the front door and into the yard, Roostifer was already gone. It was a stray dog, a beagle, one we had spotted yesterday, and mistakenly thought we had run off. 

That incident happened just at dawn, and by 9 a.m. we had captured Fried Chicken and 4 of his hens and placed them in the old bunny loft. Two hens were too quick for us, so we took a break from the chasing. About an hour later, one more hen was taken, as well as Omelet, who had ventured out into the yard from her usual safe enclosure. This time, Sweetie got a shot off with the pellet gun, and he hit the dog. 

Enquiries were made, it was indeed nobody's dog; from around here, anyway. Sweetie tried to track it, but the neighbor's said the cur was hauling ass-over-head down the road after being shot.

So. Looking at the bright side, we could have blithely left home for a day or two, only to return to no chickens at all. And I was able to snag that last hen a little bit later.

I'm sad for little Buffalo Wing, as her only friend now is Howard the Duck. But, unlike the folks in John Prine's song, I do know how lucky I am, living here in a semi-rural area, to have not lost any other chickens to predators this year. 

So it goes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feed daily.

One thing I haven't said a word about, until now, is Foxy. She has found a new home! It's been a week that she has spent with a young couple in Ft. Knox, and I haven't heard boo. In this case, no news is good news.

I have three pair of hand knit socks, 2 hand knit afghans, one blanket, and one pillow to mend because of her.

My left elbow is healing nicely, thank you, now that Foxy is not constantly yanking at her leash. 

My blood pressure is surely lower.

The only dog left is Princess, who is such The Good Dog! We have been taking her for car rides again, and we took her to Missouri a couple of weeks ago, too.

I am wondering whether I should just re-home the chickens or try to take with. Then there are the outside bunnies to consider. No need to decide right away, as I will be staying here in Indiana for awhile yet.

I emailed the Insubordiknit last week, as I knew she had moved to Missouri a few years back, from New York, if memory serves. She replied with a nice note and a list of fiber guilds and groups for the state. What a relief to know that I have friends there waiting for me. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Now, breathe!

Just over three weeks ago, on October 26th, I got a phone call from an old boss of Sweetie's, from the Potato Chip Mine days. Said boss asked if Sweetie was working, and so forth, and said there was a job in Missouri if he wanted it.

The first weekend of November, we went west and Sweetie interviewed and toured the plant. It is a frozen food distribution warehouse, with no food production taking place on the premises. It's a very big company, with very good benefits, but I'm not sure I'll ever say the name of it on this blog.

Sweetie came back here, peed in a cup and took the physical at the local plant last Wednesday. Sigh. He failed the pulmonary test, (machine malfunction,) and scheduled a makeup test the next day, Thursday. Which he aced.

Which brings us to Friday last, the day that Sweetie could finally and safely give 2-weeks' notice at his current, yet hateful job. When he got to work that morning, he was asked to step into the office, where they said, "You are a great maintenance mechanic, but a lousy manager, so we are letting you go with 4 weeks severance pay and a good referral." (I said, "You are a lousy manager? Why? Because you are not an asshole like all of the other managers?") 

If you were paying attention, he was intending to give notice as soon as the new job was set in stone, and because he failed the breathing test that first time, he held off until Friday. 

He just heard today that he will begin work in Missouri on November 29. Yay, two weeks of double paychecks!

Sometimes, the cards deal you a flush. (Other times, it's two of a kind.) This situation has all worked out so quickly and so well. Now, all we need to do is sell this place! And move, and get new driving licenses, and find a new home, and and and and………

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nails down to stubs.

I have stories to tell, but cannot just yet.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this link. It's Crackle.com and tonight I watched Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak in Bell, Book, and Candle. Yes, there are annoying and ill-timed commercials every so often, but still it was wonderful to watch this movie again.

~Link has been fixed.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Love those Innertubes

Thank you all so much for your good wishes on the upcoming move! It means a lot to me. The above photo is one I took today. She doesn't look too shabby, from across the street. I made it the header for the house blog, after I realized that I didn't have a current picture of the house online.

Have engaged a glazier, who has replaced and reglazed numerous windows over the last few days. Thursday, the painting begins. Also have a call in to an all-around handyman person to do a little bit of cosmetic carpentry and repair.

Me? I cleaned out two, yes TWO! junk drawers today. Found things that have been lost for years. Don't act like it hasn't happened to you.

Sweetie has awakened for the last several nights to the 2 am Terrors, and I feel for him. What the fuck are we doing? This is insane! I can't cope. Sounds like my old refrain. But, ya know? It'll be fine. Better than fine. In six months, give or take, we'll be mostly settled in new digs. I will have new photos and new adventures to relate.  And? I'll have insurance! Hot Dawg!

What's not to like?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Show Me!

Back from a three-day trip to my soon-to-be new home state of Missouri. Barring some catastrophe, Sweetie has a good job with good benefits waiting for him, as soon as he gives his two week notice at current crappy job with crappy benefits. I won't say who the new job is with until things are firm, but it is huge. The job is maintenance mechanic at a warehouse distribution plant. Fewer than 60 employees, with a culture of respect and good behavior. His soon-to-be new boss took us out to lunch Friday, and dinner on Saturday. His wife told me that he comes home happy every evening; or at least not angry. I would so like for that to be the future for Sweetie. And he will have actual days off! I have the name of the new boss's real estate agent as he just moved out there in April, as well as a local bank. 

I have put the for-sale-by-owner sign in the front yard, and posted the house to craigslist. Also, intend to post more photos, history, and details about the house here.

Sweetie will most likely stay in a nearby motel until a house can be had, and we may rent at first, so that we are not rushed to buy just any place. However, it is a buyer's dream right now, with low interest rates and lots of places to choose from.

Missouri will be different. More flat than here, but a bit more prosperous. They take great pride in their interstate system and their local roads. We spent a day and a half just driving the back roads. I see another blog in the offing. Also? Alcohol sales seem to be almost 24/7. Yay! 

Anyway. I am cleaning and sorting and throwing shit away and spending time at the computer doing research and blogging. Posting here may be even more erratic than normal, but rest assured, I will let you all know what happens.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Epic Journey begins.

So.

I asked my insurance agent for a recommendation for a real estate agent. I have never ever used one, and have known Doug since we moved here in 1994, and so when he named this person, I was ok with it. I gave her a call, set up an appointment, and in the meantime, I dithered and fretted.

What I expected from her? A list of What-the-Fuck-Do-I-Need-To-Do. In some sort of order, even. Do this, don't worry about that, etc. A Plan of Action, in other words. Help me!

What I got? Go ahead and move, get your crappy belongings and trash out of the place, and maybe, just maybe, I can sell your house.

Maybe not in so many words, but that was the impression that I got from her. This was after I told her the history of the house, how it was built, stories about the town, la la la.

I fired her last night, and I think she was relieved.

Today, in a fit of inspiration, I decided to make a blog about this house, and I'll try to sell it that way.

The Old Hurst House.

I have pictures and stories and real-ass history. And blogger is free.

Leaving tomorrow for Missouri, a place about an hour west of St. Louis. Job interview and pee-in-a-cup scheduled for 9 am CST. I am still dithering and fretting, but I have engaged a painter/glazier/drywaller in the nonce and have set him to work. Because in the last week, I have come up with my own What-the-Fuck-Do-I-Need-To-Do list.

Where's the bleach?

Friday, October 29, 2010

OMG

More than once, lately, I have said to Sweetie,"Things need to change." I am usually in tears when I say this.

So. 

Things are changing. I have contacted a real estate agent and will meet with her on Tuesday. 

Sweetie has a job for the taking in Missouri. I KNOOOOOOOW! (spoken a la Craig Ferguson.)

However. Whether he takes said job or not, we are moving within 6 months. I so much need a smaller house. Sweetie so much wants me to be around smarter people. 

Two things that I have told him lately seem to have made an impression. One is that we are one illness or one accident away from bankruptcy, as I am not insured, healthwise. Also, I will be almost 65 in a mere 11 years. Both of those items shocked him, yet it used to be he that could see the Big Picture. (Bless him for not realizing how ancient I almost am.)

There has been a job offer, to the west of here. Apparently, the job is his if he wants it and we care to move. We will go west to investigate next weekend. Thank goodness for the innertubes, which allows me to check out home prices, grocery stores, drug stores, etc.

So. I am making plans to move, no matter what. We will either be west or east of here in six months. 

Excuse me while I go and comtemplate drinking bleach.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, my holy trousers.

Stephen Fry reads from his memoir on BBC Radio 4. I particularly liked the bit about a fax machine and Stephen Sondheim. Hurry, the links expire in a week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ain't no use.

So. 

My 35th high school reunion came and went last weekend, and I didn't attend. I had decided to go, at one point. It would have been great to see this, that, or another person after all these years. Then it became apparent that, out of a class of 500, maybe 25 people were attending. And these people were not my friends, or even my good buddies.

I am positive that if I had gone, I would have been happily welcomed. These folk had not been overtly hateful to me, back in the day, as dozens of others had been.

But, on the other hand, neither had they been there to comfort me when my mother died. The memory of me weeping uncontrollably in class, during a showing of "Brian's Song," not long after her funeral, still lingers. No person, not even the teacher, thought to offer me tissues. 

I became quite ill during my final semester of senior year with Grave's Disease and I could not continue school. My mother had had thyroid disease, too.

I cannot recall anybody, save for two friends and my high school counselor, who gave a rat's ass about me or tried to help. (After all these years, my memory may be faulty.)

I never graduated high school. I had surgery, a partial thyroidectomy, the summer of '75, and even my older brothers were absent. Where were they?

I left home for good that August, and still I wonder why I keep looking back, wishing and hoping that I missed something.

The Tails of Three Mice

So, it's getting to be fall around here, and the creatures are going about their business of surviving winter. The hummingbirds have flown south, raccoons are staking out territory, I am putting on weight. 

And the outside mice are trying to become inside mice.

The first one I found thanks to Millie, who had it cornered in the linen closet. She flushed it out and took it to the bath tub and released the little thing. It was a baby whose body was no more than an inch long. She caught it again and let it go. Then she pawed it a bit as it struggled to climb the sheer, slick walls. I picked it up by the tail, took it outside, and let it loose.

The second I found in the kitchen sink, about 11 in the evening, and again the porcelain walls prevented escape. For this grown one, I used a dishcloth to pick it up and he, too, went outside.

That's when I finally located the mousetrap, baited it with peanut butter, and went to bed. About 2 am, Foxy and Princess both went nuts and woke me up, so I checked on the trap. It was nowhere to be seen. Damn Millie must have ran off with the entire thing. I looked for her without luck, then went back to bed. 

Up this morning, bright and early, to get Sweetie off to work. Doors open and close, and in comes Millie from the outside. Hmmm. I hear a bell, and notice Reece's on a kitchen chair, and look down under the table. There is the mouse with a trap closed onto its hind foot. 

"You want me to shoot it?" Sweetie asked as I took it outside.  

"No, you don't hang a man twice," I replied as I pried open the spring and watched it scamper away.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's Free! Only a dollar.

No sooner than I cast off and finished the shawl,  did I cast on for the Seaside Cardigan, a free download on Ravelry. The shaping will indeed look good on my body, although I'm not crazy about the sleeves.  I'll most likely make the sleeves wrist length and plain, with maybe one lace motif to finish. The knitting of it proceeds apace; it is a neck down pattern with raglan sleeves. I am using the green tweedy Cascade 220 I bought from WEBS for the pullover sweater Wisteria, because I decided that a cardigan would do me better service in the long run. I was also having trouble getting gauge with the Wisteria. I hate it when that happens.

It is still unseasonable warm here, and very dry, although there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow and a few more days after. The grass doesn't need cutting, but I should get out there and chop up the fallen maple leaves so they can become mulch and not grass killing mats.

Foxy woke me up this morning around 2am, and I looked out into the front yard to see if there was anything truly out there. I saw Millie in the driveway, or so I thought; it didn't respond when called or jingle as it moved. It was a raccoon, and I was perhaps ill-advised to approach it unarmed, which I did. Shoo! Scat! I said loudly, and it lumbered slowly across the yard. I found a long stick, which I shook at the beast and sometimes was able to even poke at its slowly moving behind. I finally had moved it into Good Neighbor Nancy's yard, which I thought was far enough away for the time being.

All chickens and current outside bunnies are accounted for, although I worry about Chocolate Chip's latest litter who are possibly still blind and helpless under the house. Time to tighten the doors to the crawl spaces.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The trees that still have leaves, here in Lovely LAconia

The Red Oak

The Cottonwood (r) and Aspen

The Locust

The Lombardy Poplar and Apple

Scottie's Weeping Willow

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Done and done

L'il Bunny Foo Foo blocking
This is how I plan to wear it.


This is more close to the actual color.

Particulars: Body - Misty Alpaca, Border Ruffle - Skacel Merino Lace dyed burgundy
Pattern - L'il Bunny Foo Foo which I found on Ravelry, I am sure, but cannot locate. copyright 2009 MMario Leo a Pola de Finale Emelia. There were directions for making a half-square, three-quarter square, and square.
Needles: American size 3 circular
Border: My own. The shawl pattern ended with about 550 stitches, and I increased by 1/3 via yarn-overs three different times. There were just under 1200 stitches in the final bind-off.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Scoopin' Up the Field Mice...

Here she is, before end weaving and blocking. Three quarters of a square, and there were about 1200 stitches bound off at the end.

I had never heard the "L'il Bunny Foo Foo" song before this. I merely thought it was an interesting pattern.



Southpark, on the other hand, had.

Clinically Proven

This is a link to a little bit of mash-up poetry, from the blog called Sentence First. Go, read and come back.

http://stancarey.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/book-spine-mashups/

Dentist appointment today at noon; just a cavity this time, but need to work a little this morning as I probably won't feel like doing much when I get home.

I'm tired and achy from a busy-for-me Saturday. Went with Sweetie to his work and walked over a lot of concrete floors and sorted through huge boxes of books. Slipped and fell when I stepped on top of loose cardboard sheets. Then went to see friends at the Southern Indiana FiberArts Festival and walked over more concrete. (Didn't buy a thing. Sorry friends.) I was sore that night, and was even more so on Sunday, and I still hurt last evening. I think the fall was worse than I realized. The allergies aren't helping; getting hives on my face which hasn't happened in years.

So it goes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thank you British Dental Health!

Listen!

This is my 750th post! Imagine that! Also?


The camera came today!!! Thank you B., aka AmpuTeeHee! She told me that she included chocolate, which unfortunately I am sensitive to but Sweetie isn't, but the little dickens didn't say that she included yarn!! There is a skein of lace weight in dark green tones from Odd-ish creations, and two skeins of fingering weight from Claudia Hand Painted yarns in a dark dark palette. There was also a great little and very reusable gift bag in the box. I am just about ready to cry again.

This is the first photo I took with the new camera. 


I also think there will be something going back soon, to AmpuTeeHee, with love, from me to her.




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One, Two, Three

Three things made me cry today. Two of the things were happy cries, and the other one I just couldn't help.

So, I wrote yesterday about my camera, which is lost and how it would be next month before I could get a new one. So Ms. AmpuTeeHee offered to send me one she had been wondering what to do with. Perfectly fine, out of the box one time, with rechargeable battery and usb cord and everything. For free. Because she is the Queen of the Universe. Yeah, I cried. I mean, I am not used to being given things, especially nice things, or getting offers of help, especially from people I've never met. 

And? It's purple.

I also wrote about the seasonal blues and the committee in my head telling me what a fuck-up I am. So I read an email from NancyNeverSwept that made me cry at the first few words, where she wrote that she cared about me and that I was setting off alarm bells and lots of other genuine things that I won't go into. 

She also made me laugh with this line: I know that a lot of it is the shortening days (I still prefer real butter, but I digress)

What have I done to deserve such good friends?

The last thing was finding Big Red cold in the side yard this morning, but I had been expecting that to happen, so that wasn't it. It was seeing Roostifer walking around her body, staying near her, being a loyal rooster to his only girlfriend. I took her away to the cemetery, and still, this afternoon, he seems to be looking for her.

You'd cry, too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Report Damage at Once

I still haven't found my camera. I fear it is lost, and I can't afford a replacement until next month. It's okay, though, as Sweetie has been wanting to upgrade for awhile. More megapixals for less money, is what he is saying. Fine. Whatever. I am just pissed that I lost the damn thing. (More of the I-am-so-bad-and-fucked-up voices in my head.)

So. The blog will be less visually stimulating for the next few weeks. No photos or YouTube videos of the Celebrate Laconia parade of 2010. (As an aside, why have I not made any videos lately?)(Shut up, you voices!)

The days are getting shorter, and by that I mean that the sunshine is less, and I am getting more and more blue. Remember my posts where I said, I feel good! I feel good!? These days, not so much. I don't feel bad, but that post-medicine rush has passed. 

I did get into my sewing room today. Seems that the first 6 kites I made were made sort of wawmpy-jawed, having oriented the wings in the wrong direction, and I was mortified and ashamed to have made such a mistake. Kite Man says, not to worry, he can sell them at a discount, but still I was so sorry to have screwed up. No wonder I was so at sea with that first batch! What I need to drill into my brain is that Kite Man didn't notice when I presented them, (and if anyone should have it was he,) and that it was my first attempt to sew these complex and new-to-me things. If they had been 18th century tailcoats? Piece of cake.) (And Kite Man is not mad at me or anything, so why do I flagellate myself so?)

The point being, I didn't want to try the kites again, but today I did, and I survived. I mean, I have looked closely at the offending kites, and they are well made; just, shall we say, different. My sewing skills are not at fault, just my mental processes. (So what else is new?)

All of my critters are a joy, and there are no more dead stock tales to relate. I looked out the back door this morning and counted 13 bunnies of all ages eating the pellets I put out, and that is no where near all of the bunnies that live around here. All the chickens save for Big Red are doing great, and whatever the matter is with Big Red is physical and not contagious, as she is weak and more pale, although Roostifer stays by her most of the day and night. The 6 new hens are vigorous and healthy and give me 3 or 4 eggs every day, and I share the extras with the neighbors. Lucky Duck and Omelet have become friends. Buffalo Wing is 3/4 the size of Henny Penny, and mom has not run her baby off yet. BW is a hen! Yay! 

So there is some joy in my life. 







Thursday, October 07, 2010

Special today...

So. 

I was detailing my day on the phone to a friend this afternoon. I had been in my sewing room completing wind socks. I had done the usual chores associated with the bunnies, chickens, and duck. I had collected the body of an entirely unknown, yet not wild, bunny from the street in front of my house and taken it to the cemetery. I had tended to the sick, and possibly dropped-off bunny that I have held captive and caged on the front porch for three weeks now. (I have administered Ivermectin and penicillin and topical anti-robotics, and yet a new wound cropped up yesterday from seemingly no where, and there were disgustingly huge amounts of pus expressed.) 

(I fear that I will nurse him back to health, only to have him squished beneath car tires when I release him.)

I collected two such squished bunnies from in from of Good Neighbor Nancy's house on Monday. I am not sure that I recognized them, either. 

My point is, if there is one, that I had not spoken to another person since Sweetie left this morning at 5:30 until the phone call at 2:00. 

My day had mostly been devoted to taking care of others and other things. That is my life. Probably just like 95% of other women in the world. Taking care of everyone else but me.

I did brush my teeth today. 

I also seem to have lost my camera. Damn it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

This Old House

So, Valerie asked me if I am still moving. 

The short answer is no.

The long answer is fuck no.

1. I love my house too much, and the mortgage is so almost paid off. 

II. Try to sell in this market? I'm not insane. 

C. I'd have to manage it all myself, and I am not up to the challenge. 

#. I am not as angry as I was nine months ago. 

It still takes 20 minutes to get anywhere, and 45 minutes to get somewhere, but…I can cope with that. Right now, I can have my chickens free range over a couple acres and nobody complains about them or the numerous rabbits that populate the town because of me.

I really do love this house and if I could transport it somewhere else, I would. The house is a mess and needs paint and repair and more attention and money than we have on hand, but she is a well-built structure on a solid foundation and we will eventually find the time and/or money to fix her up. And if we don't, the next owners will after we die. She is worth a over ten times more than the mortgage, so things could be a lot worse. 

Friday, October 01, 2010

that revolutionary thing that guy said

culture jamming win
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm

Machine Wash and Tumble Dry

Hey, chitlin's!

Not much going on here lately. My allergies still beset me, and I wake up tired and stay sleepy until midday, when I lay down again.

There are various annoying things happening with neighbors, but in general, life is plodding on uneventfully, but with a sub-layer of unease. 

Knitting, still, on the shawl; am up to 453 stitches, and increasing 6 every other row. Wondering if I will have enough of the Misti Alpaca to finish as I have used about 2/3s of the weight so far and still have just over 50 more rows. I can always get more, or something similar and then dye it. Once this is done, I intend to begin the green tweedy sweater. Intend being the operative word. I may, in addition to or instead of, begin a pair of socks. 

Socks are so comforting - to knit and to wear.

Haven't sat at my new and expensive sewing machine all week. Not sure what is going on with that. Must be because I don't feel well. J Dragon, it isn't like the bad old days after all, although I never thought I'd sew this much ever again. 

Kite Man has a friend who has an idea for clothing called InActive Wear, Slouching to Armageddon or something like that. Don't know if anything will ever come of it, but it is fun to speculate.

Sweetie has been at his job for a year, and there has just been a new manager installed who is making everyone miserable. I know it is against the law to not allow lunch breaks, but who wants to raise a stink and lose a job in this economy? It's not just him, but the warehouse crew as well, and maybe others, that gets no time to eat. Sweetie is putting out feelers and sending resumes to 4 or 5 companies a week all while he is under terrific stress, being the Maintenance Mechanic/Manager/Safety Trainer/Whipping Boy, and getting way more work to do than there is time in a day. 

My job has been, as it always has, to create a safe haven for him here at home that is free from stress and worry. As much as I can, anyway. 

So it goes. At least he still has a job, albeit one where he is treated like shit. Hope this changes soon. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am hating this new blogger interface.

My new baby!

As I write this, 4 o'clock on the second day of autumn, it is 98º outside. There are farmers in their fields, harvesting their corn and soybeans and kicking up dust and plant particles into the atmosphere, and these tiny bits of crap are finding their way into my house and onto my skin. (I don't fault the farmers. Please, no hate mail.) My skin is in flat out rebellion, I tell ya. Every year, my allergic dermatitis gets worse. This year, it's my knuckles that are red and flaky and itchy, in addition to all of the old red, flaky and itchy places: wrists, ankles, top of foot, odd places on my fingers, and elbows. The non-permanent irritations have been on my hips, front thighs, and shins. Least my face is still purty.

So far.

We are lucky here in Lovely LAconia, in that we have had almost an inch of rain in the last two weeks. My friend in the next county to my west said they have not had rain for six weeks. Lucky, too, in that there is a front moving through this weekend which may bring rain, but will assuredly bring us our normal seasonal temperatures of 78º daytime and 50-something at night by Saturday.

One more day.

Also? My new sewing machine arrived late Monday, the last delivery from a huge FedEx truck. Thank goodness I am married to a mechanic, because the thing needed to be assembled and fine-tuned and I couldn't even loosen a bolt myself. (Couldn't even find where he hides his ratchets and sockets and pliers.) (Because, of course, all of my tools have migrated to better pastures.) And thank goodness I had another machine, set in an industrial table, to use as a go-by. I pity the poor homesewer that gets one of these and doesn't have the hand strength or a handyman handy, as there were no assembly instructions. At all. My one complaint.

What can I say? I love this machine! I read as many reviews as I could find before and after I ordered this one, and one of the complaints was the noise of the one horsepower clutch motor. Noise? To me, that sound is as sweet as any Beethoven symphony! Ooooh, the power! She is mine! Bwahaha!

And the table is too big. Well, yeah. It's a big powerful machine in an industrial table.

And it goes too fast! Excuse me? Then why did you buy this one in the first place?

I hate having to stop and wind bobbins in the middle of my project! You can wind a bobbin as you sew, knucklehead!

The stitches are perfect, and at 2000 stitches a minute, just fine for my needs. Straight stitch and zigzag, with 5! needle positions. I love that I can backstitch at speed and not break a needle. This machine is manufactured in Thailand with Swiss-made parts. It is labeled as a TacSew. I saw Bernina Tacsews, the exact same machine, for sale online for $3400. I paid about $1700 less than that. (You do the math.) Yet mine still came with the Bernina guarantee and the Bernina brochure.) I am looking forward to working on this baby for many, many years to come.

Of course, I wish I could have bought this machine 20 years ago and know that it was made in Switzerland, but times change and this is the world I live in now.