Sunday, January 31, 2010

Keep from Freezing.

This morning, it was 0º with freezing fog, and everything was coated with ice crystals. Not ice, but Ice crystals.

This was the willow tree across the street.

By 10 am, all of the crystals had fluttered to the ground.

Click to embiggen.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Data Detectors

Thanks to Jean, I have discovered the joys of the BBC's Radio 4.

There is the History of the World in 100 Objects, fun game shows, a dramatization of John LeCarre's The Honourable Schoolboy, and all sorts of other great programs.

I have been listening while I knit. Three simple hats and a neckerchief, are complete, made from the hand spun yarn, Fuzzarelly Fiber ripped from the Handsome Shawl.

I gave one hat and the kerchief to Good Neighbor Nancy, to warm her in this Hateful Cold, and a hat to one of the future renters.(!) (Occupancy, first of March.)(Yay!) The last hat is for Nancy's little girl Autumn, who asked me nicely for a hat like Mommy's. Finished it this morning.

I also listened as I began plying some FF with silk. I can't remember the last time I spun and I have enjoyed doing this.

Yes, we have the Hateful Cold weather back with us for a few days. The forecasters don't know quite how much snow we will get tonight. It is coming up from the south but there is a north wind blowing at my house. They are hedging their bets, saying we will get 1 to 3 inches. I told Sweetie that I will let him start up the wood stove in the bedroom this weekend. If he tends the fire and totes the wood in from the shed. There are more moderate temperatures coming shortly.(Yay!)

The bunnies and chickens are doing well, although I haven't seen Wildy Brown or L'il Bit for over a week. I fear that they did not survive the last very cold snap. But Heizen, Haley, Smokey, Sparkle, the two Black Jacks, Chocolate Chip, and Steve are all still around, outside. I was able to capture one of the latest babies, a beautiful tan and white thing, and bring it inside to live with Nibbler. I haven't seen the other babies for awhile. It all makes me sad, the number of babies that come and go. I try to catch them and bring them in, so they can get big enough for outside, but they are wary and hard to corral. Inside, I also have one of the babies from October that a little blonde girl wanted so badly. Her grandma brought Blue Jean back to me over a month ago. She is grey and fuzzy, and is staying with the other two buns in the house.

I have made the decision to downsize my bunny herd, and maybe even give up my business. I am not sure if that last thing is just my depression talking, but I am considering it.

Sweetie and I are seriously talking about moving. The question is, to where?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Nothing to see here, keep moving.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rotate Clockwise.

Another pair of socks done.

Although, I can only find one of them right now, as Fugsley has hid the mate. I wore them once or twice, enough to get my scent on them good, and, well, when Fugsley gets her separation anxiety, she looks for a small piece of me, a sock or hair flower, and carries it around. She doesn't chew or destroy, just carries it and lays on it. Not so much anymore, as she is settling in, but she was still doing it last week. I don't wear underwear anymore, or she'd have had them all over the house instead.

The yarn was hand dyed superwash, merino and nylon, and there is a barely discernible zigzag seed stitch pattern on the leg and top of foot. As an experiment, they turned out well enough, but the added bulk of the seed stitch make them not so comfortable in the clogs that I wear practically all the time.

I frogged the stupid, yet Handsome Shawl. I might have finished it, maybe, if only the chart in the book wasn't printed in the smallest possible type. I did scan and enlarge it, but then it was so freaking' huge and unwieldy that I gave up trying to keep my place.

I'm making a hat or two out of the yarn, instead. Nothing fancy.

I have a cold, and it is raining. Gloomy weather to be sure, but it is at least above freezing day and night.

Princess and Zander (aka Fugsley,) are cozy enough.

Friday, January 15, 2010

You're Breaking My Heart

As a young person, I was in the school band. 6th grade was only the recorder, but I loved it, and in Junior High, I played clarinet and traded first chair with Jody Neff on a regular basis. We are talking early 70s here.

We were good, for only being young teens, because our band director made us good. His name was Mr. Redman; a short. red-faced, and heavyset man who loved classical music and tried to instill that love into us. We went to contests and won first place many times, playing Beethoven's Eroica and other difficult music. At some point, I took up the oboe at his insistence. (Which was not a good move, because the band tunes to the oboe, and I never seemed to be in tune.)

Back then, you got little medals when you won at contest. Which you had to buy, actually, and seriously? I never had the money to buy more than just a few. It could have been because we were pretty damn poor, or maybe I couldn't bear to ask my parents for the few dollars. Life at home wasn't so great then. But I digress.

Anyway. Mr. Redman asked us one day to bring in 45s of our favorite music. We thought, Cool! Let's Share! and so we brought in our little black discs of Top 40 pop and rock and roll, which he played on a tinny little portable record player.

He proceeded to knock and ridicule each song, music by the Beatles, Mungo Jerry, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks. His point was that popular music didn't, nay couldn't, hold a candle to the Greats of The Past, such as Mozart, Brahms, Wagner. Now that was Music!

Jody then meekly offered up Simon and Garfunkel's Cecilia. After we all heard it, and sort of sang and bopped along to the happy tune, his first comment was about how immoral it was, sleeping with a woman that leaves you when you go and wash your face. Then he criticized the chord progressions and how it never resolved at the end, blahblahblah. He really crushed us all that day. At least, he crushed me.

That incident has stuck in my poor brain for almost forty years, and I just heard this song on the radio, and for whatever reason, I feel moved to write about it now, because later I learned about Saint Cecilia the patron saint of musicians, and how the meaning of the song suddenly became clear to me.

Mr. Redman was wrong.

Popular music can be good, deep, meaningful, and creative.

No Lubrication Needed

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

10% return guaranteed.

My Little Brother, (not so little, he is 42,) stopped by for a visit last night. I am still recovering. We are so related, it isn't funny.

We laughed, we drank, (I am so off the wagon,) we danced, we put makeup on the dog. We came up with band names. Tits and Indifference is the only one I remember.

I have been feeling so freaking' low, and seeing him, at this moment, was wonderful. There are things that only family and very old friends can know and share and relate to, and it did me so good to be with him and talk about certain issues.

Sweetie and I really need to just get away from Lovely LA, (forever,) and so that is my goal. I hear that Laguna Beach is nice.

And by the way, Little Brother turned me onto Pandora Radio. Nice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Use Caution.

So why do I wonder why I ache so much? The bruise, she has gotten larger yet is softer to the touch.

Bustling Hedgerows

This is my least favorite Ed Led song, but is so sweetly rendered here.

Friday, January 08, 2010

No parking.

I'm feeling quite sorry for myself today. I think I am also feeling my age, not that almost 53 is aged, but, I am having to come to terms with not being 25, 35, or even 45 any more or ever again. Damn it.

I am considering downsizing my bunny herd, especially after my recent fall, which was not my first down those steps. Then there were the nine staples in my head from an ill-conceived bunny chase, back in '04.

I haven't been in my studio since October, although every morning, I get up and tell myself, let's go card some angora!

It got up to 16º outside today, which I can cope with, but the wind has been bad and it always just sucks the warmth out of the house. (Should I just be happy not to have to bring in firewood and tend two wood stoves everyday? For not having to do that, I am pleased. Wood stoves are charming for about a week, then the hatred of ashes and the fear of chimney fires take over.)

Today, to relieve the furnace, I set the thermostat at 60º and brought the space heater into the living room. I cut up cardboard strips and stuffed them into the front door to quell the draft, and draped two shawls over the doorway leading to the kitchen.

Fugsley shat on the kitchen rug this morning, shortly after being outside.

I am cold and miserable and worry about finances. I look like an Eskimo in my layers of sweatpants and sweaters.

I feel overwhelmed, old, ugly, grumpy, tired and sad.

But, it's going to warm up by Monday, at least to above freezing, and so far the chickens and bunnies still live.

At least I'm not in Fargo, ND. Note the wind chill.

Now in Lime Green

Fleegle's Blog: Rana Pilosus

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Unpack carefully.

Where is Carl when you need him?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Made in the USA

To ring in the New Year, I acquired a playmate for Princess.

I know. I know. Like I don't have enough shit to take care of as it is. But when there are already 24 barn bunnies, 10 or so yard and house bunnies, 2 cats, 4 chickens and 1 dog - what's one more?

Meet Fugsley, whom I have dubbed the Ugliest Dog in the World, yet she is also among the Sweetest Dogs Ever, rivaling the Princess herself. It it hard to capture her ugliness, which is part bull dog and parts unknown. Dachshund? Beagle? She has a mere tail stub, large polka dot ears, and a left rear quarter panel in brown brindle while the rest of her is mostly white. With spots. Her front paws point outwards like a ballerina's. Estimated age is 9 months, and she appeared on a big-town woman's porch about sicks months ago ~ from who knows where. She comes to me from one of the local, private dog shelters that is trying to place several of their charges in the face of economic hard times.

I've had two dogs at once in the past, and have rather missed the raucous play that two canines are capable of. The running, barking, and tussling. We have spent the last three nights on the couch, as Fugsley is not quite house broken, so I can take her out at frozen hours of the night to relieve herself.

Oh, and yes, like much of the midwest, southwest, east, southeast, etc., we are in the throes of minus 32º temperatures, day and night, and shall be for the neckst week, at least. Caring for the outside critters is no fun, although they all seem to be taking it in stride. Big red hen has been giving me an egg just about every day.

In other news, I took several stairs at once, out in the barn, when one foot flew forward and my amply padded behind went bump, bump, bump, and bump. There is a bruise the size of my hand on my left cheek. It hurt like hell, but I am mostly over the Shaken Baby Syndrome. Still have a bit of a headache, but nothing is broken and that is a good thang.

It is difficult to take a good picture of one's behind without a tripod and a timer. Hope this isn't tmi.