Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm not dead.

Despite the neglect that my blog has seen for the past several months, I'm still very much alive. I haven't been in a terrible accident that had me in a body cast or been abducted by aliens, either. But I have a really good excuse for not being around. And for not posting (or even officially finishing) my 29 days of giving. And for not having picked up my knitting since October. Oh, and also for not fitting into my favorite pair of jeans anymore. Yep, I'm knocked up.
This is a first for us and after the experiencing the first trimester, let me say that it might be very well be the last. However, I'm out of the "I'm going to puke 24 hours a day" phase (whoever named it 'morning sickness' was clearly a man...) and into pants with insane elasticity (why, oh why had I not discovered maternity clothes earlier?!) and I am happily crafting again (after having the rugs in the craft room removed since my cats thought that the fact that I was never in there meant they could use it as a litter box). That was a lot of parentheticals, but that's basically been my life for the past few months: I would have done this or gone to that (but there's this whole baby growing thing that's taking a good bit of my energy right now)...

As for the 29 gifts, I continued to give during my 29 days randomly to folks and most notably to The Turnip (so named this week since that's its current size according to this website); to whom I gave such precious things as my omega-3 fatty acids (thus beginning the shrinkage of my brain), 12 hours of sleep a day, and the health and well being of my teeth and gums, of all things. So I think, when you add it all up, I completed the task.

Now that I'm feeling better and the reality of all of this craziness has actually set in, I'm starting to craft for The Turnip more. OK, mostly I've been buying handmade crafts, but here's my first official made-by-me baby craft: the mobile.
I've loved mobiles for ages and ages. Partly it's due to my love for Alexander Calder, but mostly it's because of the fact that mobiles are a pretty perfect object. They can be made with just about anything, can be simple or complex, they fit in with my (currently nonexistent, thank you Turnip) yoga practice as they are all about balance, and maybe it's because I'm an only child but I can spend a pretty long time looking at one without getting bored. Making mobiles has been in the back of my mind for a while, but I never had the right inspiration until I realized that a baby was coming and I didn't really want it looking at a plain ceiling for the first year of its life. Also, I'm planning on birthing a baby without the ecological footprint of Sasquatch (I figure this will be better for everyone involved), so I'm trying really hard to not buy lots of machine made, toxic plastic crap. Oh, and also I really wanted to make some felt balls.My original intention was to use the wire from clothes hangers, but I found it very hard to manipulate, so I bought some wire that was malleable, but not too much so, at the hardware store (minus 10 points for having to buy new materials). However, I did restrain myself from buying a bunch more wool roving when I felt that the 28 different colors I had in my stash just wasn't enough (plus 10 points for using what I've got). I found some inspiration from a bunch of websites including this one and discovered the rule that you make mobiles from the bottom up from this site here; and in the end, I'm pretty happy with the product. When you look up close, you can see that there is a pretty big learning curve illustrated by the difference in balance and proportion on each side of the mobile, but I don't think The Turnip will mind. In the meantime, I think I've found a new project to make for future baby showers...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Day 4, 5, 6, and 7 (hello. procrastinator over here!)

Here's the latest giftie update. I must admit that I took last weekend off as I was laid up with a pretty bad cold (I decided that my goal that weekend was to NOT give anything, my germs) but I picked back up again with the following:

Day 4. I gave a smooth, round stone I found on the beach in Maine this summer to one of my students. She and I are working on helping her through some tough social times and I decided to give her something that I cared about (it was one of my favorites from this summer - - all black, smooth, but not too smooth so that you can feel it when you rub it, and nice and round) and something that would remind her about what we were working on and that I was in the room with her when things got tough. Not sure how it's working out yet for her, but it's one of my favorite gives so far.

Day 5. I brought some really cool seed pods with super-pretty seeds in to my metals teacher. She is as fond of the amazing things that Nature can do, so it's fun to give her earthy stuff. It was a ton of fun watching her unwrap the dried and shriveled seed pods and then opening them up to find these amazing black seeds with white stripes down the middle.

Day 6. I tried to give our friends on the other side of the country a call to end our horribly long game of phone tag, but ended up talking to their daughter who, I'm sad to say, is old enough to be less excited about a phone call from me and more excited about finishing the episode of Full House that she's watching. So I guess in the end, I made the conversation quick since I knew what she really wanted to be doing (even though I had a million questions about school and life that I wanted to ask!) and therefore gave her the gift of, um, the Olsen twins.

Day 7. I gave my mom a call. She's on vacation but I still should have been calling her more this week as there is important family stuff going on. It was super-good to touch base with her.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day 5

Brought a little giftie in the form of some cookies to my voice teacher. I need to think of something different than sugar, but it makes people so darn happy.

Day 4

Made some brownies for my metals class. Not much brings a group of women together like a plateful of warm chocolate goodness.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 3

A little late in posting!! Day three was a little bit of a blur.

Today I gave a good friend my ear when she needed to vent. It didn't feel like a real give, though...because I would have done it for her anyway. But maybe the lesson to learn is that there are lots of times when I'm giving that I don't always give myself credit for. I know I spend time beating myself up over stupid stuff more than I should, and so I probably should spend more time focusing on the little things that I do well throughout the trying to be a good friend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 2

Today's give may have been slightly cheating. I had my metals class tonight and a friend of mine had been talking about wanting sea glass to play around with. I believe I've waxed philosophical about my love of sea glass/ sea glass hunting on this blog more than once, so I told her that I had plenty of it and would be willing to give her some. This was a few weeks ago, so I decided to make good on the offer. I picked out two rare colors for her (green and blue) and then brought a bunch of brown and white since I have a lot of that and just let her pick some. I have to say, it was a hard give. While I have tons of sea glass, I can get quite hoardy about it. I think it's partly about the fact that hunting for it is something that I do with Andrew; but in all honesty the other part is that I'm an only child and I have issues with the concept of sharing. There, I said it.

I DID give a little less self-consciously today as well. I visited my dad after school and he had collected a bunch of guinea hen feathers in a cool wicker box for me. He had gone to take the chickens from the farm to be processed and there were also guinea hens meeting their maker, so he grabbed a bunch of really cool feathers. If you've never seen a guinea hen, I kid you not when I say that their feathers are polka dotted. It's the nuttiest, coolest thing. So I brought the box to class to show my teacher (she loves cool nature stuff maybe even more than I do) and spontaneously gave her a feather. Again, something that I definitely could have gotten hoardy about, but I knew she'd appreciate it.

So today was about tamping down my only-child impulses and beating the hoarding habit. I'd say it was a success:)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 1

Bear with me. I'm going to post each day to record my gives for the 29 day gift challenge and so there may not always be a photo involved (my apologies to all you visual learners out there).

Today's gift was probably one of the louder ones I'll make because I was trying to drum up support from the kids in my school. Since the goal is to have 2000 people signed up here by today and they were only 200 and something away from that goal last night, I figured I could tell the kids I work with each day to go sign up! So I announced at morning assembly today that for anyone who gives me a high five, handshake, or hug throughout the day, I'll donate 50 cents to the annual fund of our school.

Some nice things happened - kids I don't usually interact with sought me out to give me a high five, I posted the sign that you can print out from the 29 gifts website with those little rip off thingees that people can take - - and people took them, and in one class, a few kids actually gave me a few extra bucks to throw in. Plus, as an added bonus, I got lots of hugs today:)

Donation to the annual fund: $38.50

Sunday, September 28, 2008

36, 29

We are about 36 days away from election day, and the suspense is killing me. Really. I'm having more and more trouble talking about it without losing my cool, and I've had at least two nightmares about it. Even typing these few sentences has me a little keyed up. While flipping the channel between the two candidates on the talk shows this morning, I said to Andrew that I wasn't quite sure I was going to survive the next month or so.

Do you ever get the feeling sometimes that the universe is "watching", ready to smack you upside the head when you really need it. Well, this afternoon I stumbled upon 29 gifts and I've taken the pledge: to give 29 things away in 29 days. While deciding to sign on to this, I found myself focusing on the concept, not the length of time...but shortly after signing up, I realized that this may be the perfect way to keep my mind otherwise occupied for the next month. Rather than focusing on the impending doom that will befall us if we make the wrong choice on November 4th (See? I told you I get worked up), I'm going to try to turn my attention instead to what I can give. Maybe it'll be money to a favorite charity, maybe it'll be a hug to someone who really needs it, maybe it'll even be some time volunteered at the local campaign headquarters...but for the next 29 days I'm thinkin' good thoughts.


Oh, and P.S. - the photos are of my first ever attempt at a sock! Boy, it's hard to photograph your own foot in a way that artfully displays the sock!! In any event, it's a bajillion times easier than I thought it would be and I'm loving the self-striping...and the serendipity that leads to a little heel that's entirely yellow.

Visit 29-Day Giving Challenge

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Choose Your Color Wisely

I picked up some fantastic raw Bombyx mori silk cocoons at the fiber festival a few weekends ago. I had some visions of putting them together with metals in my jewelry class. I knew that I wanted to dye them and that I wanted to leave them stiff (which you do by skipping a step in processing silk called degumming).

And so, one night last week I experimented with some Kool Aid and my microwave and dyed one cocoon. Aside from some messy boiling over that occurred in the second phase of zapping (note to self: WATCH the microwave whilst dying with nasty stainy type stuff), the cocoon kept its shape nicely and I accomplished the deep red I was going for when I mixed up some red Kool Aid with a dash of purple. Of course, upon stepping back from my finished creation I suddenly realized that my color choice, paired with the natural shape of the cocoon looked an awful lot like, well, let's just say a certain feminine product. Used. Needless to say, some fruitful ideas for what to make with this dyed cocoon came out in my subsequent metals class. Ahem.

Never mind, though. I had it in my head that I was cutting the thing in half anyway, so we'll see what it becomes. In the meantime, I had some beets that I kinda sorta forgot about in the fridge (which is a shame, because I do make a good Borscht, if I do say so myself) so I made some dye from them. I cut them in half, brought them to a boil, and simmered them for about an hour. Then I let them cool, chopped them up into little pieces, and simmered for another good while longer. I think the dye I have is pretty concentrated and could even be thinned. I've poked around on the web and found that beet dye is actually not the best natural dye. Mostly because it apparently dyes a golden color, not that beautiful intense pinky red you would expect. I read pages where people complained of ugly beiges and tans and such. I'm not sure why these colors get such a bad rap, frankly. I took an incredible painting class in college (a hundred million years ago) with a teacher who just taught us about color. In fact, we never picked up a brush once in the whole semester - just a palette knife. The point was to dissect the colors that went into everything we saw, and I quickly learned that browns, beiges, and tans were my most favorite to figure out. This was the only period in my life that I think I've truly seen in color. To wit, I had an argument with my then-boyfriend one day when I remarked on how much purple there was in the clouds one day. He could only see white and grey (poor man), and I should have known then that it would never work out between us.

The point is (there was a point, I promise) that I don't care if my beet dye turns out to be a browny gold color. But I do care that I figure out how to make it colorfast. So I'll try to dye a few cocoons just straight into the beet juice, and then I'll talk with the Chemistry of Art teacher at my school and see if we can't mix up a mordant and test that out (although the whole natural dye thing pretty much gets shot to hell when you use a mordant, doesn't it?) In the meantime, I need to doodle out some ideas for this lovely deep red cocoon that I've Kool Aided...
Oh, and as a complete aside (and shameless self promotion), I was lucky enough to have a piece of mine featured here!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

projects for credit

After two years of hemming and hawing about continuing education and making a portfolio and thinking the stuff I make isn't worthwhile, I've finally enrolled in a metals course at a local university. It's a breath of fresh crafting air and each class I find myself doing an internal dance of joy when I realize that I have access to good dremels with all kind of bits! Enamels and a kiln! A tumbler! I think I freaked a fellow student out the other night when I came out of the back room and quietly expressed my sheer joy over the fact that we have those little letter stamps (she looked at me, slightly askance, when I lovingly held out the piece of scrap metal that I'd imprinted with the letter 'k'.) It's fantastic to be a student again and just about the funniest thing (not in a ha ha way, maybe more of a sob sob over a Campari and OJ way) to feel like I am a completely alien generation from the 20 somethings in the class. I can feel my inner grandma bubbling to the surface when I hear them singing along to a Beastie Boys song...that's MY generation's music, darnitalltoheck...and when I was in high school, we all worked in nothing but silver because it cost $3 an ounce (cue the wide eyed, gaping stares from wrinkle-less students).

I've been given the OK from my professor to just play (!) since I haven't taken a metals class since high school (and in case anyone was wondering, no, the technology hasn't changed and soldering is still a pain in the ass) and so I'm experimenting with putting fibers and metal together. I'm currently playing with singed polyester (thanks to this fantastic tutorial from Foundling), and this stone. I'm going to wait to show you until I actually have a finished piece, but let's just say it involves the fabric, the stone, a handmade bezel that will be the death of me, and perhaps the loss of the majority of my right arm hair as I learn the nuances of the classroom torches.

Next fiber up (maybe): silkworm cocoons I got at the Fiber Festival last weekend.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Endless Mountain Fiber Festival

I drove up to beautiful NE PA today to go to a fiber festival which was small, but satisfying and involved:
Alpacas with big, brown eyes,

Skeins and skeins of fiber,
And angora rabbits.
Truth be told, I took the trip to check out rabbits because I'm interested in getting an angora. I think I'm leaning towards an English angora only because they have extra tufts of hair on their ears so they look extra ridiculous (normal looking animals need not apply in this household) but the French angoras were pretty cute too (the picture above is a French). Too bad for Andrew, but it looks like rabbits are pretty simple to care for;)

Off to look for some hutch designs...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Completed / Begun

With the completion of summer comes the beginning of the school year (yep, I'm still on that subject) and here are some projects, finished and un, for the pivotal moment that is called The Night Before the First Day of School:A leaf scarflette (from here) that I made for Laurel a while back when she was going through a hard time. I stuck lots of little pearls on with my kandi kane thingee (I can't get on the official website right now, but here's a link to show you what I'm talking about) because I'm a big fan of sparkle. I'm thinking a lot of Laurel lately as she usually helps me to herald in the start of a new school year but she's out of commission for a little while. She's back!!
My angora neck warmer which ended up being a pattern all my own and a showcase for this knockout vintage button I had stashed away. There's nothing like knitting up a fuzzy lovely to get me excited about the cooler weather.And new* on the needles (*sort of, I just picked up this UFO from the spring...much frogging and I'm back on track with a project I never thought I'd pick back up again), my Wallis Cardigan.
And with that, here we go!........

Friday, August 29, 2008

For the love of knitting...

I have a love/hate relationship with the fall. I love the cooler weather after a sticky, hot August but I know that the end to my summer freedom is just around the corner. I love to have to bring a cardigan with me wherever I go and, most importantly, I love that the knitting bug comes back. Each summer, I wonder if my disinterest in wool means my love affair with knitting is finally over, but when fall rolls around again, I am immediately drawn to my stash. On the other hand, with school starting up again, I've let the garden go and my cats look at me like I'm killing them a little each time I leave the house in the morning. The long list of home projects I'd planned to accomplish this summer snickers at me each time I walk past, knowing that all of the repainting/building/and organizing I didn't get to will have to wait for 10 more months.

But, there is the knitting.

The school year starts with faculty meetings. There are ups and downs to these meetings, and with the feisty bunch of colleagues I work with, there are usually some difficult and frustrating moments.

But, there is the knitting.

Megan always asks in late August: so, what are you bringing to knit? And I'm thankful for that reminder, because I'm not ever in the middle of a project in late August (Megan is one of those knitters who keeps working right through the summer, how does she do it?), so I need to plan ahead to be prepared for the first faculty meetings. I can't have a complicated pattern or any UFOs since they would bring frustration (more of which I don't need while sitting in a meeting) and I do have to be able to pay attention and be involved in discussions.

This spring, I purchased a skein of angora wool at the Kutztown festival. This little ball of wool (only 58 yards!) now has had me pondering the idea of getting an angora rabbit ever since (I'll be at the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival in a few weekends to scout out some information) because it is so darn perfect. It's a neutral brown (not dyed) and as soft as anything. Therefore, I knew that the project I used for this wool needed to be simple to allow the yarn to be the star, and small since I only have a bit of it. Immediately upon purchasing this skein, I knew that it would have to find a home wrapped around my neck, so when Megan's inquiry came, I started searching for a neckwarmer pattern.

And here I am in late August, knitting up a neckwarmer. I found this pattern, but have really improvised to the point that it's completely different (mostly because it calls for way more yardage than I have). I'll keep the idea of a bunch of interesting buttons, though. I actually knit it on the first faculty day, then frogged it and reknit it again on the second (I've had to keep making it thinner and thinner so that I'll have enough yarn to get it to wrap around my neck!), but it was the perfect project. It was good to not have a pattern so that a little bit of my imagination could run wild; and anyway, when you work with really fantastic wool who cares if you need to frog it? As I ripped it out, I got some silent nods of apology and regret from others in the meeting, "oh, too bad....and you'd been working so hard on it" they seemed to be saying. Little did they all know that I was really thinking: I get to knit this wool up again!

So, on one of my last days off before the kids come, I'm poking around in my button stash (thank goodness for giant button stashes), and thanking my lucky stars that yet another knitting project has helped me to maintain my sanity as another crazy school year begins. And to chronicle my knitting endeavors this year, I've finally joined Ravelry (get on the stick, Megan) and am having fun poking around on a new site.

Happy almost-fall, fellow knitters!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

An Old-Fashioned Chicken Coop Raising or When Fences Come Down

We had our first chicken fright last night. In the early evening, we ran out to the coop in response to the loudest racket we've ever heard the girls make. Andrew made it outside first and came nearly face to face with a raccoon (which, I've just learned, can be spelled with one 'c' or two) on the lower deck where the girls hang out (but not where their coop is). The raccoon bolted under our deck and we found Amelia and Flora squawking up a storm by their coop. Kateski (the polish with the feathers in her face who can't see hardly anything and is often left behind by Ameila and Flora because she can't tell when they've see where I'm going) was nowhere to be found. We looked all over the chicken run and couldn't find her anywhere. We grabbed a flashlight and looked under the deck, half expecting to see her being devoured by the raccoon. We were in searching-for-feathers-and-blood stage when Andrew though to look over the tall fence to the neighbor's yard, to find Kateski looking safely clueless. And so we called on our faithful coop members to help us construct the larger pen around the coop that we'd been wanting to build. We've had a very dry summer here and digging post holes in the dirt has been quite like what I imagine digging post holes into concrete might be like; and since digging post holes even into plain old dirt isn't the most spectacular task in the world, we were waiting for some long, heavy rains to do half of the work for us. But the rains never came and raccoon did...and so we spent the entire day today digging post holes into concrete.
Well, not really into concrete, but certainly around it. We started by removing a part of a fence that runs between the upper portion of our yard and our neighbor's yard. One of the fence posts was stabilized in concrete. It was a joy to remove, and even more fun to hurl insults at once we really did have it out.
I generally have an uneasiness about anything we do around the house for fear of ticking off the neighbors. This probably stems from the fact that I'm ticked off by them very often (as they must be about me), but am too afraid of having an ongoing subtle war with my neighbors, and so I rarely talk to them about what my concerns are. My two current pet peeves are smoking outside the house which funnels right into our house and feeding the feral cats in the neighborhood who are now taking advantage of my frequently swept front porch by pooing on it. But I figure I'm the weirdo with the chickens in the back yard and I don't want to ruffle any...well, you I've never been brave enough to raise my concerns.

So as the fence between our yard comes down today (I say "fence" but really it was just a sadly aged suggestion of a fence which, to wit, was pulled apart by our bare hands) and I see my neighbor approaching (the only neighbor on the street who I haven't officially told about the chickens for fear that she'd freak out) comes over, plops herself down on the little wall that is now accessible due to the missing fence and proceeds to tell me that she's worried about the cat food on her porch because it may be attracting the raccoon and she hopes our chickens are OK. She points out a few more places on her evergreen that I could cut...the evergreen that I'd been tentatively trimming back so that we could build our coop, because I'd been so concerned she'd be mad about us cutting anything. I'd also been worried that she would flip when I started trying to trap the feral cat colony so that we can get them fixed and vaccinated, but she was thrilled and offered her porch for a good cat trap location. And all of this misunderstanding (which was really just careful avoidance) disappeared because a rickety fence came down.

And because our friends and family deserve to see what we couldn't have accomplished by ourselves, here's the coop-raising progression:

The coop gets a fenced bottom to keep out the raccoon.

Post hole digging is fun!
Mom feeds the troops.
The first fencepost gets leveled.

The girls help by making sure all of the worms around the felled fence are taken care of.

And they make sure to stay hydrated.

Working around a temporary door to nowhere.

Chicken wire saves the day!

Almost there.

Finished coop (still missing netting on top and beams across the top, but it'll do for now!)
The girls are happy in their new digs (with evergreen roost).Whew!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chicken Scratches

I found a fantastic set of cookie cutters at a yard sale yesterday. They cost a dollar and included the all-important chicken, so they needed to come home with me. Here are the girls sizing up the new chick in town.

Flora always needs to be the first to know what's up and Kateski has no idea what's going on because she can't see anything anymore, poor thing.Amelia is all about recycling.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Home At Last.

Here I am! In my home!! And I'm NOT planning on leaving any time soon. I guess I'll have to make my way out the door once school starts in a few short weeks, but I can tell you that I'm done with airplanes and long car rides and anything having to do with packing clothes or a toiletry bag. While I don't have much that's crafty to show for it, we had a great time in Maine. The weather was pretty grim, but it kept people off the beach and competing for my sea glass, so I wasn't complaining. While walking along the beach searching for said sea glass, I pondered the many reasons I love sea glass searching. These include, but are not limited to:

♥ ♥ ♥

It's free.

When you pick something up on the beach, no one looks at you funny (try that on the street. I dare you).

You are on the beach.

It requires some patience.

Sea glass is trash turned into a treasure.

While you can find lots of glass on the beach, it's not all worthy of being called sea glass - - and if you get too greedy, you'll end up with a lot of unfinished pieces (and in my opinion, you'll anger the sea glass gods, so you'd better just put that rough-edged piece of glass back where you found it, buster.)

It's a barefoot activity.

That elusive dark blue piece is out there somewhere.

Sea glass is one of the only reasons I can think to let my guard down about recycling...maybe if we just threw all of that glass into the ocean...

My dear AB will spend a good, long while finding sea glass with me.

♥ ♥ ♥

I know I promised that I'd get some photos up of my craftiness in China, but I still have to get those photos taken. In the meantime, I'm a little worked up over this pattern here for knitted postcards and may need to make a few hundred of them.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Early Morning Posting

Like, really early. I'm having a beast of a time recovering from my jet lag, which has been enhanced by the fact that:
a. I'm on summer vacation, so there's no real schedule to actually get back to, and

b. I had a reaction to the malaria meds I was on and have had to take benadryl since I got back which knocks me entirely on my arse.

I do have to say that today is the latest I've woken up since I've been home and I feel like a bit of a slob for having slept in 'till 2:30 am.

Anyway, I'm doing a hit and run post because we are heading to Maine soon. That's right, my favorite vacation of the year is upon us. I shall be eating my body weight in lobster and searching for sea glass for hours on end. I may be doing this all at 4 am of course, but whatever.

So to say hello/goodbye, I thought I'd share a few pictures from China. We had a wonderful time and made it into Tibet, which was important since it's the main reason that I made the trip. I have lots of opinions about the government, the people, and the Olympics, but this is a crafty blog not a political one so I'll just leave it at this: it's complicated. Now here are some photos:
Olympics countdown, Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

Smoke signals used to be the best way to send messages from the Great Wall. Today, texting works just fine. Badaling Wild Great Wall.

Gah! Look at those colors! Cloisonne Factory, Beijing.

Game time. Huxian Farmer's Village (in the old village).

Fiber fix at the silk carpet factory, Beijing.
Laser light show, Hong Kong.
I have about 996 more photos where these came from, so every once in a while, I'll toss some up. And, once the sun comes up, I'll take some photos of my personal crafty endeavor in China. I didn't bring knitting because I was taking a lot of internal Chinese flights and I heard that they could be strict (indeed, every day they chose to confiscate something different - - one day it was the toothpaste in our check-in baggage) and decided that I'd draw my journal rather than write it. Sort of inspired by this book, which I've only just begun to read and am already so impressed with, I decided to bring some pens and watercolors. I'll explain more and show the pictures in a future post!

Oh, and lastly, a thank you to my dear AB who took over the blog while I was away. Despite the fact that I had to turn sideways to view the photos and that there were a few days when our toilet was on the front page of the blog, seeing updates of my home when I was halfway around the world for three weeks made me very, very happy. ♥

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

hot hot hot

we are in the middle of a seven day heat wave, which is defined by a three day stretch where the temp. is above 90 degrees. A seven day heat wave well that is pretty self-explanatory.

To combat heat I have done several things.

1) swimming! note even the sharks are hot and just laying around.

2) low energy and heat output chicken watching!

3) eating lavender ice cream!

4) more low energy and heat output cat stalking!

5) and following Candide advice, cultivating my garden, where this lovely rose bloomed!

I have also played tennis and golf but that seemed to have the effect of not keeping me cool. On Saturday, I played in a tennis final when I lost about 6 pounds of sweat.

stay tuned for more cooling activities as the heat wave goes for eight days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

events around town

More pictures not rotated! The excitement continues while KD is in China.

Best news is our computer is updated, de-trojan horsized and RAM fortified. It is running like the well oiled machine it always could be. Thanks DL.

This week I changed toilet seat (wow!) It involved an exciting trip to Home Depot where no one was willing to help me, and any questions were met with contemptuous stares.

Our trap did not catch a ground hog but it did yield us this. Raccoons are pretty dignified almost cat-like. The city is coming to take this one away.

Finally, I got the thanks for showing up but you still lost plaque. I can add it to my collection of other sports memorabilia.

We got some much needed rain; garden is looking good (pictures in next post.)
Off to school for more summer work (picture censored by SCC.)

Friday, July 11, 2008


Well KD and dad have been gone for three days. It is hot here again but not so, so humid. Today was our share pick up. A lot of good food, but the taters and cukes are the highlight of the day. We have visitors for the chickens, and they are getting their exercise running around. I will be offline a couple of days while to computer gets fixed, which is okay because I hope to be in a tennis tournament both days. I hope China is great, and the time change is not horrible.

Eat your vegetables!

made. by k.d.