Saturday, February 28, 2009

i am sorta sick of alpaca and merino

ok now that all the fiber people dropped dead

while alpaca and merino are great to KNIT with
sometimes i found that they don't have the best longevity
they don't wear as well

i do like wool blends with mohair
wool with mohair and a bit of silk would be nice
i am liking my tunis

i like a woolen spun yarn but i am thinking maybe i need to be spinning worsted style
for durability, at least for outerwear

for mittens, hats, felted slippers and boots

when we move ( and we ARE moving............. even if i drop dead the day after we move)

i am thinking of adding a mohair (angora) goat to the flock
the other one i would love to add is polworth or polwarth.......

and a drum carder......

anyway......... right now it's saturday afternoon
i am thinking fibery thoughts brought on by the arrival of my new 'go to town' winter coat.....
it's a plum and navy
and i am thinking of what i am going to knit for a hat/mitten/scarf set to match

i came to the realization that i can SPIN for it
( really, yup, i can do that.......i CAN spin......have been now for almost 5 years!)

when i realized that i started thinking of fiber i got laying around and what i would like in a yarn

and that is how i realized.......
i don't like alpaca and merino for durability
and i want these things durable......... i am willing to sacrifice some softness for a bit more durability

( and.......i can throw in a bit of 'glitz'........ just a touch!)

out of sorts

it's one of THOSE days

i didn't sleep at all thursday
worried again about our sheep and goat

while last night i did sleep
i woke up a bit out of sorts

it's seeming to affect everything a bit
the woodstove doesn't want to burn right
the cats are fighting
the roosters are crowing for bernie

now also bernie informs me
that his safety glasses for work broke
so he's got one very bad pair of glasses to wear for work and for everything else
his new glasses should be here monday
then we are getting more back up pairs

now.......... to let you in on a window here on what i am watching right now

thaddeaus and fawn

the trimmings from my felted boot experiments have become coveted cat toys

they even STOLE one that i was using as a coaster!

i found a bit of red felt trimming and gave it to fawn
thaddeaus IMMEDIATELY grabbed it and ran over to stuff it in his food bowl

bernie asked why.....

i said well...........................

the boy's food is the most important thing in his little (not so furry) life.......
so he is putting anything important in there

my hand knit socks
the felted toys
my bra ( heaven help us all.......)
styrofoam pellets ( he loves the crunchy noise)
doll heads
bows from christmas presents
knitting needles
hand spun skeins of yarn

the boy is nothing if not eclectic

we have to hide anything that he's decided is 'food bowl' worthy
it will emerge covered with cat spit and kibble
cat kibble smells aweful and is a bit greasy

just so you know........

right now the boy is on the ceiling.............
trying to find something ELSE to get into trouble with

apparently he's gotten over his near death encounter with the bookcases.........

and now wants to again turn his mother gray overnight......

no wonder i'm out of sorts

Thursday, February 26, 2009

just another reminder

spring WILL come again

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a few off hand remarks

about the speach last night and the gop rebuttel

i listened to both on cnn live feed

one thing i would like to see..........NOT hear but actually SEE
is president obama's results
if they come close to his words we will be ok i think

but while i am very much in favor of president obama, believing that his election was inevitable..

i have to SEE some of this happening to trust him or any one else

now as to the gop rebuttal
i have one thing to remind this man about

katrina happened while HIS party was on watch
HIS president was the head of goverment when it FAILED the katrine victims

remember that

HIS president was also on watch when IKE happened
and my sister in law in galveston is still homeless

i do believe firmly in less goverment
but didn't nais happen under bush?
didn't the republicans seek to overturn roe vs wade
that is goverment interferring with the rights of the people
and i am thinking........the constitution as well

the lines between the republicans and the democrats in practice it seems to me.........are getting pretty blurred

but then i don't understand politics

i am so hoping that president obama can and does fix this economy
then gracefully pulls the govermental hand back to allow us a return to less goveremnt

mr husband and i are nearing retirement age........ about 15 years from now give or take

we were promised Social security
we worked hard
we tried to save
we paid our bills

we don't have enough for retirement, taking care of family members used it up
taxes used it up
paying for medical insurance used it up
greedy employers that paid 'flat rate' ( a law from 1938) insured that while we made money
we didn't get it!

and we are not just my husband and i
there are many many others like us

that did the best we could, with the events of our lives

are we to be thrown to the wolves after our useful work life is ended?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

today, for cooking

i have chopmeat in the house
i want to do meatballs in sauce
plain meat in sauce
stuffed peppers

canned of course

i also want to do breaded pork chops
and marinated london broil
and marinated chicken breast

those are for the freezer

what am i doing sitting HERE you ask?
with ALL that stuff to do
( i KNOW you were thinking it.................)

drinking coffee!
and trying to clear what feels so much like glue covered sponges in my head, sinuses and ears........

plus it's kinda cold and i am not quite awake yet

in knitting news, i can NOT believe how much pain free knitting i have been doing
for quite a few years now i had so much trouble with hand/arm/wrist pain

since the lyme disease treatment i have to say


i can knit for hours and hours and have been enjoying it
and i found out that i am also making less movement related mistakes
(stupid, not reading the instructions mistakes are still going on.................)

i have yet another ice queen on the needles right now
for a friend of mine
in birthday party pink with silver lined 'crystal' glass beads
i think she'll like it

after this it is back to felted boot experiments

my blue flounder footed slippers that i preformed surgery on
i am wearing
they are ok
i like that dip it stuff for the soles


Monday, February 23, 2009

the plague dragged on.......

and on
and on

and so forth and so on

i hope none of you folks get this
i swear my head feels like someone stuffed sponges in it
then put elmers glue all over that

we got snow yesterday, woke up to it

a heavy wet snow that was covering AND melting at the same time

the ducks weren't impressed
but they were also not in a hurry to get into the day pens either

cleo who is naturally my little scamp........ wandered here and there in her little duckie way
she is so tiny compared to the other two
lillianna is walkng around with her tail up and fanned out like a turkey
what's up with that?

phoebe is ..........ever being phoebe, i guess someone has to do it huh?
she goes her own way that one
in spite of being a duck and a 'member' of the flock
they are liking the warmer weather though
and have started to remember to GRAZE a bit here and there

something got into the compost......... and dropped an orange peel on the driveway ( without the actual peel part.....i took that before tossing that pith)
CLEO grabbed it and started to run

i said......'oh NO you don't cleo........ you don't know WHAT has touched that'

and the little duck DROPPED IT

i am so used to the chickens....... they get something they RUN AND REFUSE to drop it
be it a bread crust or a juicey grub or a styrofoam peanut they think is a grub ( remember chickens at times are not the brightest candles on the cake)

bernie brought falstaff in saturday night for me, as i was really too sick.
he got the girls of course as well
he came up shaking his head

'falstaff just walked into the night crate...........i opened the day pen gate, he walked out, into the house and into his night getting the herding nothing'

(we use a long stick to sort of direct 'traffic' a shepherd crook with out the hook on the end..........they really do keep away from that stick so it's very easy to herd them with it .)

falstaff is a good boy

he listens for the most part

not like the OTHER boy we have.............thaddeaus peabody
who does NOT listen at all




Sunday, February 22, 2009

it's the plague........the plague

oh man it sure is

i'm up again
i can't BREATH

i thought it was maybe a dust allergy
but i think i am getting ....
have gotten?

sick again
so here i am at 2:30 (ish) in the morning
stoking the stove
and typing

i can't see really well right now either

bernie went for an eye exam
we got the PD figure, 64.5
we also got him a pair of safety glasses with safety 'glass' for right now
we are going to order online a pair of polarized sun glasses and a few back up pairs
he is also going to go to an opthamologist
i am going to make the appointment this week

i used the wood money for glasses, i am hoping that A MIRACLE occurs so i can replace the wood money quickly
as i want the wood in and paid for by may this year
it looks like we are just going to really start breaking into the wood we got this past summer
that is good,
i still like having at least 10 cords, as during a bad winter we do go through wood

i still have NOT gotten up to ac moore
i am going to play with making some shawl pins
i want to wander around up there and see what they have
i could get away with a key RING and a bamboo skewer or knitting needle......
but i want to also see what they gots ( plus some felting classic wool for yet another test on felted boots)

the yarn i got for carol's ice queen arrived
it's a really nice birthday cake rose pink
i was thinking of green beads for it
but we all decided on the silver lined crystal

i am almost done with the alpaca cowl/hood for linda it is the color of tree bark in the winter
i hope she likes it
she may i think
as it is appropriately wood elvish looking
very rustic

fawnie my grammie cat, is sitting here next to me
old faithful

she was so very cute friday night
she got in the round laundry basket
she is rather...........ahem.........'fluffy'
and it isn't all fur...........................

so her most adorable little round body filled the bottom of the small round laundry basket

which is normally calpurrnia's domain

calpurrnia was concerned and confused
fawn was just adorable

she is now sitting her adorablness down next to my feet

she knows i don't feel good
and she is going to WATCH her mommy.......

boy she's come a long way

edited to add
what little sleep i did get last night was marred by nightmares
worries about bernie
about my animals
so today i am just not with it
i noticed that if i can't sleep most of the night, the next day all i am good for is sitting and knitting and surfing the net
not too much productive work

Saturday, February 21, 2009

small electrical issue

i turned on the brooder light ( since they really don't need it.....we turn it off at night, and it isn't a heat lamp anymore......but just a light)

only to hear some odd popping noise at the light which blew out the bulb and at the circuit breaker box

followed by the ups surge protector for the computer beeping...........

apparently something was a bit ..............wrong

ok so i flipped the breakers on and off
nope still hearing beeping
i noticed that the fridge and micro were also off

but the rest of the lights etc, and the freezers were all still on

i call bernie

he's busy

he tells me to flip the breakers

that didn't work dear............any more ideas?
nope just that
( apparently i didn't flip the breakers CORRECTLY............huh?)

finally it was 'call ken'

ken is our neighbor and electrician
he is a good man
there is a very special place in heaven for this good man

he told me
'ok, don't worry, put the fridge on an extention cord for now, i'll get down there later'

very good
i sat and knit for the day
( alpaca smoke ring for a friend of a sort of woodsy bark like brown and gray, her request for brown, with a lace cast on, flared, and a slightly tapered, plain stockinette body, with fingering on size 5 needles......i'm gonna be here a while)

5 came and went........i figured let me call ken back

'i forgot about you'

i had to laugh cause he really IS that busy

so i tell him

'ok the basement door is open, ignore the young roosters running around ( they are out of the box and running around........they crack me up, but they will be processed this coming week i think)
i have to bring the ducks in'

ken was amazing
he figured it out right away
the circuit lost it's neutral
he fixed it
and he only charge me about the price of a meal for ONE at red lobster!

told you

special place in heaven for this man

meanwhile the roosters crowed at him
they raised dust clouds
( i am still coughing)

and the poor man left here talking to chickens.......seriously he was actually starting to discuss things with the boys!

oh man

so we got a fixed circuit
i got a LOT of knitting done
and the chickens had some quality time with a visitor that wasn't us

i hope ken enjoyed it


Friday, February 20, 2009

eye glasses

i know......boring subject isn't it?

but i need new ones

bernie needs new ones

both of us need the progressive bifocals

i need frames that have no metal next to my cheeks
my face corrodes metal..........
( bet not just ANYONE can say that........ no ugly chick jokes please)

bernie needs frame that can stop a nuclear warhead
cause you know he drops them off his face

into engines
under ambulances

it isn't just anyone who can claim that his indestructible military spec cell phone was demolished as it was accidental run over by an ambulance...........he has true talent my bernie

ok so
the last time we got eye exams
we couldn't afford the glasses!
so my last pair i got is now..............what? 13 years old?
bernie's is about 10 years old

so i found a solution.........there are eye glass places on line

i been looking at them for quite a while
i almost bought me some
but i lacked a small however crucial measurement called 'pupillary distance'
without which eyeglasses can not be made

i found out that most 'eye care professionals' won't give you that number

even though the PA law is
23.72. Prescriptions. (a) Optometric prescriptions shall bear:
(1) The name, address, telephone number, facsimile
telephone number and license number of the optometrist.

(2) The name of the patient.
(3) The date the
prescription is issued by the licensed practitioner.
The expiration date.
(b) Contact lens prescriptions shall
specify the lens type, the specifications necessary for the ordering and
fabrication of the lenses, number of refills and expiration date consistent with
the type and modality of use of the contact lens being prescribed, but the
expiration date may not be greater than 1 year. The prescription may include a
statement of caution if the statement is supported by appropriate findings and
documented in the patient's medical record.
(c) Pharmaceutical
prescriptions shall specify the name of the drug prescribed, quantity and
potency prescribed, expiration date, number of refills allowed, instructions for
use and any indicated precautionary statements.
prescriptions shall specify any information that would be relevant to
manufacturing glasses including the dioptic value of the sphere, astigmatism,
prism, slab off, add power and axis or orientation of the astigmatism
correction. The expiration date of a spectacle prescription may not be greater
than 2 years.

The provisions of this
§ 23.72 issued under section 3(a)(2.1) and (3) and (b)(9) and (14) of the
Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (63 P. S. § 244.3(a)(2.1) and (3)
and (b)(9) and (14)).

The provisions of this
§ 23.72 adopted June 3, 2005, effective June 4, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 3220.

so, alrighty then............

i called a few of the 'eye care professionals', Monroe Optical, Pearl, Eyeland, as well as MD's that do eye exams.......... talked about my insurance, asked for weekend hours for bernie, then the PD, or pupillary they won't give that out.......

shit no cause then i would be able to go online and buy the SAME FREEKEN eyeglass you are about to gouge me on for 90% less money.......with a MUCH better guarentee

cause the last glasses we got from Pearl fell the F*ck apart two days after we got them, and we ended up having to crazy glue the lenses in.......

over my DEAD body will we go to Pearl again, and after the others informed me that 'we don't give out PD' hell will freeze over before i go there

as you can see from the quote above

the fact that they won't give this out is apparently illegal!

and yet they get away with our solution at this point, go out of the insurance network, pay 54.00 at walmart for the exam and get the PD and get the glasses on line

good news is PD doesn't change once your head is done growing........... so we will be ok after that

oh and btw, if you want to check out this glasses on line thing.......

do your homework, and make your choices.....

we've made ours


Thursday, February 19, 2009

so much for spring huh?

we got snow

when the duckies went out in the morning to the day pen
brown hard frozen ground........

when they came in at night
magically the world was all white again

they rushed the door.........

duckies crack me up

in the morning when i first went to go down
a small rooster was sitting on the basement stairs......... they are too old and big for their brooder now
i have been taking turns putting some in with the older girls

and some of the babies put themselves in with the older girls

marguerite hasn't killed anyone
and if she does chase them a bit
i can always call her and she knocks it off to come running to me

i love that chicken

i have some odds and ends canning to do
and i also need to scan some family pictures and send them to my cousin

i did indeed get an answer to the felted dinner plate slipper problem from the wonderful owner of fiber trends......
yup i screwed up
i had two strands of yarn for the cuffs not one
so they did felt tight but not pull in

i can tell you all i highly


recommend fibertrend patterns
especially to beginners
and i will tell you to follow them exactly and TRUST her

she knows what she is talking about

plus she is a seriously nice person to boot

and the upshot on the blue slippers.......... even after having stitched them up tighter and cut and nipped and tucked

they are still not wearable
i am going to put straps on them i think of elastic
and see if that helps

if not

well i am going to make a second slipper and cut those tops off
since the soles are great and also i put that dip stuff on the soles

a bit more stitching i guess

today it's going up to 40
i can't get the woodstove going

it looked like bernie STARTED to stoke it this morning and then..........

just left

he's got that plague i had and he is sick... really sick

let me see.....

oh we had breaded pork chops for supper last night, of the batch i breaded and froze last weekend..
i am now sorry i didn't get another three packages..........they were THAT good

i think we are all caught up now......

thaddeaus is about bald, but very cheeky yet
everyone here except the birds all had colds

the birds are all fine
but us and the cats are running around sneezing

til next time

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

here is something to make you all

think spring...........................

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

watching the squirrels

and the birds at the feeder
wow it is so very alive out there
really if you wanted to
you could sit for hours and hours watching all these guys

i haven't ever seen any backyard feeders that had this many birds and this many DIFFERENT species
we have the normal ones
mourning doves
house finches
gold finches
three different wood peckers

and then there are sparrows
tons of different ones
and i think i am seeing warblers too
i did see blue birds a few weeks ago
it is just amazing how many and how active they all are

i like birds

ok so someone that has pet house chickens and ducks MUST love birds ( there is a WHOLE yahoo group devoted to such insanity......called 'housechicken')

i think of my birds as overgrown canaries
or semi- less destructive parrots
that lay eggs
( i think of the sheep and goats as dogs....only much more useful and 'green')

all my birds are tame
even some of the wild ones that visit the feeder are pretty tame
the chickadees especially
those little guys crack me up
they are fearless!

they are also cheeky

and they will hit you in the head in their efforts to get to the feeder to have firsts on what you just put out........

some of them have sat on my shoulder while i am filling up the trays


but adorable

we also have squirrels..... grays, reds and i think fox squirrel with the tufted ears

we have crows, and larger hawks
sharp shin
red tail
they cruise by looking to snag a meal on the 'fly' so to speak

or a fat squirrel
or bunny
or even a sweet little white duckie......... who isn't listening to her momma

and speaking of a sweet little WHITE duckie...........who is VERY WHITE all of a sudden
while we won't mention names (cleo) SOMEONE has been bathing again in the drinking water bucket

even lillianna has apparently gotten into the act,

but not like cleo......... vain little thing she is

phoebe as always is a mess and looks like a gray/brown goose

cleo is so bright i SWEAR she glows in the dark

yesterday we grazed a bit........... ok so duckies grazed and momma watched for hawks and fox..

they weren't really sure about that whole grazing thing after a winter of nothing but snow and ice on the ground

they again were convinced that killer whales were on the driveway, just waiting to eat thier feathered little butts
and they did not want to come out of the house

oh man

oh and the roosters
will be processed in about a week
i feel bad but there is too many......and no room
i was thinking to keep one
but decided no
i can always get a rooster
i need laying hens right now

and some nicely marled dk wool/mohair yarn........ or a nice skein of mountain colors barefoot...


it's too early for me


Monday, February 16, 2009

the blue boots

are more like blue slipper scruffs
i am not sure what went wrong!
when they went into the machine they were shaped like they were supposed to be
they came out like dinner plates with a toe!

the toe is very very nice
the soles are very very nice

it's just that the backs don't look like they should
( again surgery is to be preformed, as soon as they dry)

i could understand knitter's error if it was one
but TWO of them looking like platters?

ok so i am going to email the designer and ask her if she could possibly tell me what i did wrong
i followed the directions for a change

maybe...... that will teach me to follow directions....
never worked when i attempted to follow a recipe
why would i expect it to work now

on the heel splinter
i soaked it
and somehow, by miraculous intervention i got it out
cause i could NOT reach where it was easily
i was balanced on the other foot
with the injury up on the cat tree
poking around with an exacto knife at a sodden and pruney heel

i sort of scrapped at a darker spot and that must have been it
cause so far it doesn't hurt!

also in fiber news.........
i am sort of waiting around to get an order from webs for mohair
i am knitting carol an ice queen in pink......
her winter coat is white, and her favorite color is pink.............sooooooooooo

i told her i would put spring green beads on the pink is birthday cake pink
her favorite color
i would love to have it done and in the mail to her by friday

if the yarn doesn't come
i am going to start something for me

the gray yarn came for the felted boots
now i am again back to square one with a pattern to knit it with
my final effort may be the snugglets from pick up sticks

i am so very disappointed lately in my felting
the only things coming out well are the clogs
but i want BOOTS


and my blue dinner plate scruffs that were to have been ballet slipper type shoes...... are hanging and dripping on the outside line as i type

i can save them of course
i will cut and stitch a fix for them
and the red boots
well the good news is
45 stitches will felt down with room to spare for my fat little round calves.

oh man


me and 1am have got to stop meeting like this

i'm up again
yup worry

i seem to worry a lot

i'll be up a bit then go back to sleep

remember when we had that last big snow that bernie stayed with the fleet?

i stepped on a large peice of wood splinter, which lodged in my right heel
it hurt like the dickens for days and days and well................

it's still hurting

and i felt it before
it's got a lump
oh man
i think i didn't get it all out that night
and now it's healed over

NOW what?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

weather, insane cats, and general odds

i don't know if i should be starting planting
or sitting tight and waiting
it's been so warm

in the garden the garlic is up
from what i can see the leeks are as well as the multiplier onions
maybe i better hay mulch?

now this morning, while trying to stoke the stove
thaddeaus who is again bald...........( don't ask........)
is running around like some sort of kamikaze cat,
UP the chair over the top
down through the studio up on the cat tree
over to the windows
shake and repeat

i got whacked in the shin by his streaking little body while trying to get a few more logs in the stove

the girls are laying around just watching his insanity
i can hear fawn telling me ' that boy just ain't right'

and calpurrnia.............'oh look a LEAF!' ( good thing she's pretty )

when i got done with the stove i started hanging laundry on the 'over the woodstove house clothesline'
bernie as he ALWAYS does
asks me when we are getting that thermal fuse for the dryer (it's a 9$ part as he keeps reminding me)
i been avoiding it for what? 2 years now

i like hanging clothes!
and i don't like drying them in the dryer

i especially LOVE them outside on the line
it's not only a green thing for the planet
i just love the smell
i love the actual motions of hanging out the clothes
and i love the sight of the line full of clean clothes

ok so i'm nuts
but it does make me happy

and the lower electric bills make me happy as well

i guess he is right...... during rains i got issues
but i don't trust bernie with that dryer

i know him

he would have that laundry in the dryer right out of the wash ( he has to get it out, i can't reach down in the bottom)
and no line no thermal worries about being 'accidently' whisked into the dryer

he hates line drying
i love line drying


well he got patio furniture, so i get clothes lines
so there
( ok so i use the patio furniture to watch my drying laundry.....he isn't as amused)

i do wish however that the WASHER was up in the studio
not only for ease of use
but also so i didn't have to stand there freezing my assets off talking to the chickens while i am felting some boots or something

although the chickens like it

Saturday, February 14, 2009

there is a rooster in the house

4 actually
they will be leaving for the processor in about a month
but until then

living with a rooster ..................or at least buff orpington roosters
is fun
they are like little alarm clocks
every day at the crack of 9:30 am they crow

'morning mom'

morning son, you know your crowing right?

'yup mom, how do i sound?'

you got a bit of a crack in your crow son

'well mom, that's cause i am just learning to crow.......'

they also crow when something in their world isn't right to a feathered rooster brain......

bernie was home on a work day.......that isn't right in their little chicken world
they crowed quite often

yet ironically the day i spent in the basement felting, they didn't crow much. they all took turns popping their heads over the side of the brooder and WATCHING me
i talk to them and they all stop and LISTEN
i get so much respect from CHICKENS!
not anywhere near as much from anyone or anything else........... but baby chickens....yup

now duckies............ they will and do lie you know

WHO dumped over the water bucket girls? it's totally dry........... you haven't had water in HOURS this means....

'not any of US mom, some big MEAN duck did it'

cleo, why are you all wet, and CLEAN, cleo you are spotlessly CLEAN?

'not me mom' ( she is so white and clean she glows....)

cleo is the smallest of the ducks, i worry about her walking up and down the hill, as she has such problems (see that whole worry theme here.....apparently i worry all the time......)
she is also the one with the biggest attitude, as well as the vainest one
she is always first to bath, and last to abandon the pond
she is the one that tells me off if i am late taking them to the day pen
i named her well i suppose........cleo would be short for cleopatra no?

phoebe on the other hand
she is rarely clean! even with a full fresh pond of water
she reminds me of 'columbo' that slovenly detective of the 80's or so, only with feathers ( dirty brown feathers at that)

lillianna is somewhere in between, cleaner then phoebe, not quite as clean as cleo
she is also STILL the duck that loves her momma the bestest......
she nibbles on me all the time
my coat, boots, fingers, scarf tips
as long as it is clearly a momma thing....she will nibble
she loves me to pet her
her favorite thing is sitting on a hay bale getting petted by momma
i hold her beak for a bit
then she nibbles my fingers

such is duck love i suppose

today i am going to give them that little duckie pond........not the big one i fill with the hose
the little 5 gallon one
that should make cleo estatic......... lilli smile and strike fear into the heart of phoebe....

yup to ducks i am a god

say goodnight roosters..............

happy valentine's day

morning all

it is almost 4am

i am up

stoking the stove but also i just can't sleep

i been reading this wonderful book about a member of my family

and between that and worry about my sheep and goat

i just can't sleep

the cats are keeping me company

we went to nazareth yesterday

our favorite used book store has changed owners

i don't really like the change

then we went to the yarn store

i ironically heard about my sheep ....or one of my sheep at the yarn store

from someone i have never met!

i got some of that 'knitted in panels and dyed to be unwound and knitted into socks' sock yarn

we are to go to the new yarn store up in mount pocono this weekend ...... but really more and more i found that i am shopping on the net

when i am shopping at all

the red boots are felted and need moderate cuff surgery......that will be done as soon as they dry

and i cast on for the blue boots

(just a test of another pattern)

plus received the gray yarn in the mail.....thank you karen

bernie's sister, my very favorite sister in law called last night

that is the one from galveston

they finally got a FEMA trailer set up so they are now out of the hotel

they have one of their houses almost livable ( they couldn't find contractors, so they are doing all the work themselves)

they had several houses, one they lived in, and the others that they had bought, lived in while fixing up, and then had rented while they moved onto the next fixer-upper, she did all this while working full time and raising 4 kids, plus taking care of her husband's parents

all of which were total loses during this hurricane, and the insurance company devalued EVERYTHING before they would give them a check......what they thought was full coverage, turned out to be about 40% of what the value was.

then, my brother in law got laid off one month after IKE

they are struggling to fix the houses to have somewhere to live and to get their renters back

as galveston has a shortage now of liveable homes

she is another person that started from nothing and worked hard

and then lost it all through an 'act of god'

she is working again so hard.......

she supports them all now by herself as her husband is laid off and in any spare time is working like a man to fix these houses up

i swear i love this sister in law so much

i was so worried about her when IKE happened

she is an inspiration to everyone who knows her, she has come back from the brink so many times

i heard from my friend jeanie in the fire area of oz

she is ok for the moment.......

she lost some neighbors and some friends to these fires

and they are watching the winds

if they shift

she is got to evacuate

i was so worried about her and another friend over there

they are both ok

for the moment

now my friend carol from the canning list

please everyone give up a good thought for her

in her fight against this breast cancer

the new chemo is a nightmare

she was in the hospital emergency ward again

i ordered pink mohair to knit her an 'ice queen' with pale celery green beads

i don't know what to do to perk her up

she said i make her laugh though ( hey i can always make her laugh.......thank goodness)

i wish i could do more

i can't wait for her cancer free three month and so on check up

another person who is just so inspirering

i swear ....if that were me i would be in bed with the covers over my head

but not carol

she taught herself to knit

to can

and to do embroidery

she is learning to cook

to garden

all this and she is a gramma.............

but you wouldn't ever know it to talk to her

or to meet her

she has sort of taken the cancer and most of the chemo in stride

even the coming mastectomy hasn't fazed her

she keeps going going going...

this new chemo however, is a nightmare

i don't know what is worse..........this chemo or the cancer

this chemo alone has damn near almost killed her a few times now

i am hoping she survives the treatment....but her tumors at the start of this new round were at 50% what they started out with

now on a final note

happy birthday kacey

consider me singing to you

watch the doggies cover their ears and yowl............

we love you kacey

and the world is a better place for you being in it

and even though people don't understand

you are you BECAUSE you care so very much....... that's why you work in hospice dear
and THANK GOODNESS you do......... while you don't realize it, you truly are an unsung hero.

well this blog post it would seem is dedicated to amazing and wonderful people that i have been so lucky to have met in my life
i thank you all
my life is so much richer because of you all
and watching you all go through so much adversity and still not losing your compassion nor your drive is such an a life lesson

have a wonderful day of romance and love everyone

hugs and kisses i hope are in your day today and everyday

hearing her voice made me so happy yesterday

she is like having a cool drink of water on a hot day

Friday, February 13, 2009

a treasure beyond price

i received a book written by one of my relatives today
in it is a picture of my great grand parents
i am named after my great grand mother on my mother's side
so is my mother

i can't begin to explain how i feel right now

from feeling a bit like an alien .......suddenly i feel like i belong
i come by a lot of what makes me me..................... from MY FAMILY!

as folks who know me.....know
i have a 'big personality'
i also have stories......( yup i suppose so............just look through this blog)
i laugh easily and make others laugh as well

i am also good at what every i turn my attention to

suddenly it all makes sense to me
where i wondered before.

i grew up not really knowing too much about my mom's side of the family
i had met one of my uncles and one aunt
(mom's brother jack and her sister fortuna. her other brother lived in california)
i also knew two cousins, both of whom were my aunt fortuna's kids...........she also had a third one marie, but she was in a hospital or something.
i had met my mom's uncle isaac, and her cousin albina

but that is about it for what i remember

a friend of mine who knew i was researching my family, decided to help as well.
she found a relative that unfortunately had crossed over.
she suggested i contact the funeral home and see if i could get in touch with the rest of the family
she dangled an irresistible carrot under my nose.........

'they could have pictures'

well she was right and my cousin candi DID and sent them to me

today i looked at the face of my great grand mother albina

i am still getting chills

words can't explain this feeling

just let me tell you

it's wonderful

bernie has off

to celebrate our anniversary and valentines day
he decided to take (tomorrow actually cause i am writing this thursday night) today off

mean while

i felted the red boots
the pattern is from fiber trends, the alpine boot pattern.
i modified the cuff a bit.......apparently a bit too much!
however it did give me an idea of how they work

i am knitting the mohair ballet slippers from the book 'felted knits' by the same person who owns and writes the fiber trend patterns

(btw, i had emailed her back and forth a few times a couple years ago..she is very nice)

i HIGHLY recommend fiber trend patterns
they are wonderful

i am sort of doing a test of felted boot patterns now
i intend on also trying the 'snuglets' pattern as well

i am figuring that eventually i will figure a pattern and modifications to fit my rather unique little feet and stubby legs
i also am going to play with soling when i get through with both
i have custom made winter boots
made for me by me

i am not sure what we are going to do on bernie's day off
i guess i will find out
i am glad he took friday off however, as he's been very tired from the weather and work lately
i want him to sleep in
i do know i have to get to the feed store
and the post office
but that is the extent i think of what i have to do

so anyway
i'll let you all know


Thursday, February 12, 2009

hmmmm it was pretty good

ok the menu for our anniversary dinner

stuffed chicken breasts with mushroom gravy
over white and wild rice
roasted brussels sprouts on the side

i made a cake
with pinapple and coconut
and a boiled frosting
with toasted coconut on top

that is our anniversary dinner

i am typing this ON our anniversary........while waiting for bernie to get home
i didn't sneak his card to his desk last night
while he put mine on my desk this morning
i got him a puzzle as well

he is taking off friday to celebrate our anniversary and valentines all together

and i am feeling better
my cold is started to break i think

tomorrow if all goes well
i will be felting my boots
and mailing a friends birthday card that SHOULD have gone out monday
i had it ready but didn't make it to the PO

i haven't picked a new project yet
waiting on the lamb's pride for the gray boots
but it is a toss up between a new 'ice queen' scarf
or another pair of house slippers

either one is a very quick knit

i really should start making the scarfs and the slippers for gifts i think
they make fabulous and impressive but fast and useful items
i love the ice queens scarves as they are light and warm and i can't lose them!

and the felted wool house slippers
what can i say
they are the BEST

this will post first thing in the am
i may not be down at that time

i can get used to this typing the blog at night thing

oh and it was WAY warm here
a lot of the ice melted

alien ice patch didn't..........
but hey that won't recede until may

the ice that did melt left me with sucking mud

cleo isn't too happy
she is having trouble walking in it all
but the good news is........ she is having so much trouble (poor little thing)
she can't yell at me
she has to concentrate on just getting up and down the hill...........and not on her beak



Wednesday, February 11, 2009

this cold is just dragging on

and on and on

drips and drags

i took the duckies out
cleo is the smallest and she is having a hard time walking around out there on the ice
the other girls seem to manage it better then she does

i keep wanting to pick her up and carry her
but i am so afraid i will fall and squish her

she is a tiny tiny duckie with a very big personality

now this post will post in the morning
but really it's tonight feb, 10, 2009............
tomorrw is our 32nd wedding anniversary

i can't believe it

sometimes i can't believe i didn't kill him already
but the truth is
i love him dearly
he drives me nuts sometimes
but i love him dearly

32 years seems so long
i have lived with my husband longer then i lived with my family!
i was with them only 19 years

i once said to him
'are we going to grow old together?'

he said.........'i thought that is what we were doing....................aren't we?'
that i think was around our 20th anniversary

somehow we have made it through

i was so upset with him last week over something quite small
then i got so very sick saturday and have been really in bad shape with this cold

he did the housework
took the duckies out
cooked ( with some slight supervision from my woozy head)
and took care of me
and the chickens
and the duckies
and did the laundry
AND hung it on the line

i sorta wandered to bed and back to the computer

i suppose i am going to keep him

someone after all
has to no?

happy anniversary noogums..........

we ARE growing old together it would seem

(but he sure looks a hell of a lot better then i do)


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 09, 2009

ok the start of the book list

first off

some odds and ends cook books

everyone knows or should know

the joy of cooking, ( haven't seen the newer additions, i have one from the 60-70's and a second edition from a million years ago)

if this isn't on your shelf...... go to ebay or the used book store and find one

Good Cheap Food by Miriam Ungerer
this is a great read to begin with, but practical and useable
also i would get it used

Better Than Store-Bought: A Cookbook by Helen Witty
Fancy Pantry
The Good Stuff Cookbook: Over 300 Delicacies to Make at Home
these are all 'yes you can' type books

and have stuff you never thought of

if you are serious about food and serious about good food......... these are the cookbooks to start off with

now onto some sort of related areas

Pantry, The: Its History and Modern Uses by Catherine Seiberling Pond

i adored this book, and believe that it should have gotten a MUCH wider audience
the photo's will just blow you away, and it will definately leave you wanting more.

i almost stalked the author i loved this book so much, i begged her to do one on root cellars/cold cellars and canning

this book just made me feel like home

Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike Bubel and Nancy Bubel
once you get past 'how do i grow this'
and you are to the point of ........ 'oh my GOODNESS what do i do with 400 pounds of potatoes'
THIS is the bible in this field

ANY of the elliot coleman books

Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch, and Kathy Bray
The winter-harvest manual: Farming the back side of the calendar : commercial greenhouse production of fresh vegetables in cold-winter climates without supplementary heat by Eliot Coleman

a good start for gardening is i believe
'square foot gardening' Mel Bartholomew

or if you can find it
'crocket's victory garden' jim crocket

this guy STARTED the victory garden on pbs a million years ago

now ironically i would say....for livestock etc
go to the various forums
backyard chicken is wonderful for poultry

just like a real time canning list is going to be excellant for canning
be careful with the lists however, i found a few of them to be 'not as advertized'
so if you join........ poke around a bit
check the files etc
you don't want to have to deal with a 'it's my way or the highway' mentality

ok that's it for today, i have to finish up some stuff i am in the middle of and the duckies are wanting out
i think the chickens do as well but they can't go out yet

til next time


finding ancestors can be interesting

and i found a second cousin!
what a nice lady

i don't know why, but lately in the winter, after the holidays but before gardening starts,

i turn to the ancestors

those who've gone before

i don't know why it started, but i know that the interest has grown for me
maybe it is the ancestors themselves
i think they may want to be found
that their accomplishments are not forgotten
their lives are remembered
it is also i think the thread that flows through families

this second cousin i found, she told me about the artistic side
which i knew part of

her grandfather was my mom's uncle
he's part of the reason i went to art school!

when i was little, i would sit on my uncle isaac's lap and show him my drawings.
he would tell me that i had what it took to be an artist and if i worked very hard i could be one

he was right
but what i never realized was..............

as hard as i worked in art school and in the 'field'

it wasn't anything compared to being a doll artist
to developing all those ideas
to learning all the ins and outs and such

that was amazing
it was also (thinking back on it now)
THE learning of a lifetime

i found out that on my mom's side of the family... artists, sculptors, writers, they are all represented

i don't feels as much an odd duck as i did before

i come by all this naturally..............
and was all there waiting

in the history of my ancestors

ps: candi, if you are reading this
thank you so very much, you will never know how much your call meant to me

Sunday, February 08, 2009

the plague is upon me

and taken up residence in my head, eyes, throat and nose
with occational forays into my chest, and legs

i am all woozy!

i am trying to knit a boot
i am praying that the boot will actually resemble a boot...............
not like the unfortunate 'bra' toed boot.....( very rare and endangered you know)

as i am anxious to get these red ones done and go on to the gray ones

i ordered lamb's pride bulky in dark heathered gray ( 06 color number)
and made a new friend!
Karen is the owner and a really wonderful person
she is in the process of trying wheels to see which one fits her

i wish her the best of luck ( and a lendrum double treadle upright...........but i am bias)

i researched bottoms for the boots
and i may end up following the russian model and useing galoshes
for a bit
but i am looking for rugged outdoor snow soles as well
which i am thinking i have found at a shoemakers supply

this boot project is a really exciting one for me
it's got me risking ripping out acres of knitting with the plague because i am so excited


someone please remind me

i have to post pictures and also i am thinking of posting a list of books that i think folks need to know about
stuff that's useful and books that are extremely satisfiying to read
they could be cookbooks
or how to
or dickens ( cause i do love my dickens)

but there are a few i know for a fact that should have seen a MUCH wider audience then they did


Saturday, February 07, 2009

so where is the thaw?

everyone is telling me

it's going to be really warm this weekend
everything is going to melt


there is two inches of snow covered ice outside the basement door
you actually have to step UP to step OUT

i think even if it goes to 80
it ain't going to thaw out this weekend
not when it's still 17 degrees out right now on the deck

i can't get the stove warm enough either
(wet wood, the dry stuff is warming up now)

i am supposed to be at the computer show

as you can see

i am not

don't ask



Friday, February 06, 2009

felted boots are a very good thing

i got the alpine boots pattern from fiber trends


i loved her clog pattern BUT
my ankles get way cold

so now i am about done with the first boot of a pair of red ones

this opens a LOT of interesting experiments up

i did research
came across russian felted boots,
and just totally had an epiphany

i can do this

i can get galoshes, like the russians do
i can take the bottoms of snowmobile boots ( cheapo boys ones at kmart)
and use them

i can have them soled at the shoemaker


i can experiment with 'tire sandels' soles

i can have a LOT of fun with this

just think
warm winter boots, that i can wear outside...............
and that fit my fat calves.......

and i can make them myself
what colors do you think i need???

this pair is screaming gnome red

i want charcoal heather too

and some purple or magenta no?

i see a LOT of boots in my future.....
i predict that this will be a bit addicting........................


Thursday, February 05, 2009

yes it WAS good

it made 7 jars
and two didn't seal
one i brushed over a pork loin last night

wow was that good

remember if you make it
take out the rosemary after it gives its all

don't can it with the little leaves and stalks in there

i slept in
boy did i sleep in
thaddeaus got under the covers with me and fawn and calpurrnia sat on top of me

' ok mom?............... you slept in two nights in a row!'

i did do that
actually it stays abover 65 in the studio now from about 10 pm to about 7am or so

i got a bright fire going now

i have to go to town, as our anniversary is coming, and i need more seed starter, plus i have the post office to get to

and if i am lucky, i can stop at ac moore
.............ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh nutting.........

just looking.........

this weekend is the computer show in allentown
i want to get there
i don't know what day we'll go

hmm and bernie got home so late last night (he walked in at 9:30..........i didn't realize it was that time)
we never brought wood in

so what i gots............. gots to last

as i can't reach the top of the woodpile now
the shorter piles are all done
the big one is over my head
WAY over my head ( that's what i get for marrying a tall husband)

i don't think the woodpile would be too happy if i started taking from the middle
it would most likely fall on my head

well.................i wouldn't have to haul wood then huh?

next to can..........

orange pineapple grilling sauce
here is what i am thinking

dash of hot sauce ( like two drops)
coursely chopped sweet red pepper
orange zest and pulp chopped
crushed pineapple and juice

what else?

maybe a bit of shredded coconut and some lime?

i also have some lemon grass in the house.......... the cats keep triming the plant

i wish i thought to bring in some mint cuttings
cause that would be nice with mint

gee and carol has that mint concentrate she made

she is far away though

carol from the canning list is in the hosptial with some side effects from the chemo
give her a good thought if you all would ok???



Wednesday, February 04, 2009

kitchen experiments

i feel pretty good
in spite of thaddeaus having aged me 20 years yesterday

a full night's sleep will do that for a person

i was in the kitchen
cleaned the STOVE
(i really do feel a LOT better)

canned up some stuff

todays efforts

cranberry/orange/ rosemary relish/grilling sauce

roughly as follows

a pound of raw cranberries
the zest and flesh of two oranges
and the zest of a third

the zest and flesh of one lemon
a goodly hunk of rosemary off the bush

about 22 oz of water
and about 3 cups of sugar

three minced cloves of garlic
and a 1/4 of a small onion minced

throw it all in a pot and simmer it

i canned it in 8 oz jellies in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes

a jar didn't seal

tonight i roast a pork loin peice
and about 15 minutes before it's really done
the sauce goes on

this is NOT for folks who like smooth seedless sauces
this is hearty, rustic and robust

you have been warned

go forth my child and grill


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

i think my heart is back in my chest

today so far hasn't gone well

in addition to the woodstove

thaddeaus decided to age me 20 years

he decided to fall and get stuck behind the solid oak library bookcase in the other room
in about 3" worth of space

i just thought he was getting into his normal trouble

but when i found out
i was frantic
that library stack without books weighs 200 pounds
and it was loaded loaded

and he is a bit cat but even a big HUMAN is powerless against that kind of weight

i started to throw books across the room
i ended up after a while being able to tilt the case forward

he climbed out
but then I WAS STUCK
i forgotten i was actually in there
and in my haste i had piled books around me as well

all i cared about was getting thaddeaus out

fawn and calpurrnia tried to help

they got on top of what i was trying to throw and cried for thaddeaus

then cried at me

i was crying too

oh man

now my boy is right here

naturally he threw up right after he got out

i ran to the bathroom and almost soiled my undies

it was not a good time had by all

but the boy is safe

i hope he is also a bit wiser................but somehow i doubt it

i can breath again



i don't like forced hot air furnaces

we had to put the furnace on


we have to clean the wood stove chimney

we had a problem with a smoke leak and after bernie banged on the chimney we got draft back
for about 12 hours
and then had draft issues again


we let the fire go out
and emptied the ash bucket which i will use to clean the hot coal out
and later bernie will have to brush out the chimney

it's snowing
did i mention that?

as he has to go on the roof

did i mention i don't like forced hot air furnaces?

did i mention i love and miss my woodstove?


Monday, February 02, 2009

but not warm enough

we need to clean the woodstove chimney again i think
it's been warmish
but not warm enough to dismantle the stove after a day of it not burning

i think this means.......................

(insert ominous music here)

using the furnace

oh no..........
that is not a good thing

bernie isn't too happy

well neither am i

but that is what has to be done

so far this week is not started well

i had to tink back the new clog i started
got the yarn all tangled
missed getting a fibertrend family slipper pattern for 2.50
now this with the stove

oh and........... THE BOY is losing his fur AGAIN


so what did i do today?
write checks
and checks and more checks
but not for the furnace
or the chimeny or the pattern

for the attorney from suing that jackass next door
and for board for my sheepies and goatie



oye again

now as to duckies
i got them a surprise
i even braved the iced and hilly driveway to get it out of the van for them

a tiny new bathtub!!!!!!!!
it holds 7 gallons and three tiny duckies comfortable.........
it isn't the spaciousness of their summer pond

but it IS liquid water
and it WAS warmer

did they RUSH to the little bathtub with a song in their heart and graditude on their lips

ok so they don't have lips actually
but work with me here


cleo finally consented to take a sip of water out of it
i put phoebe in it

oh man she acted like i threw her to the alligators............(no that would be NEXT WEEK....after the ungrateful duckies STILL haven't used thier little pond)

then without a backward glance....................

the little duckies from hell
single file down the hill

and stood at the door of their day pen

doing the peepee dance waiting to be let in

sometimes it just doesn't pay to be the momma duck