Friday, August 15, 2008


Marilyn thinks the most discrete place to be
is tucked into the vegetation near the garage.

Goliath and Lulabelle agree.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


A few days after Tasha left for the summer, Luc pointed out how peaceful the house had become. He held this out as proof that I should have "stopped at one." (Ah, brotherly love.)

After a summer of adventure, she's now home again. She has begun to spread her laundry and toiletries throughout the house again, and she's already borrowed my car and insulted my taste. I'm biting my tongue. After spending 10 weeks on her own, adjusting back to being a child in a household of 5 is going to be a challenge for her. And in all probability, this is her last year with us; after high school, she'll be off to college and other adventures.

So far, things are going fairly well between her and the dog, who of course sees her as a stranger. But Tasha says her biggest concern is that once she and I start arguing, the dog will get upset at her. I'm hoping (foolishly, perhaps) that it just doesn't come to that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Short Commercial Break

A few years ago I happened across the Crown Mountain website, and ended up with the most gorgeous pencil roving ever beheld by woman. Look at the colors of this stuff! I mean seriously, doesn't it just make you want to dive in naked and wiggle around a bit?

Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, even though I don't spin and don't really aspire to learn, I have a big bag of the apparently discontinued "Crown Jewels" colorway in my stash - a wonderful mix of dark blues and bright yellows which reminds me of the textiles of Provence. I'm thinking it will become part of a squiggle shawl as soon as I have the spare time to make it. (Any minute now . . . )

But today I happened back across the site, and discovered their superwash merino/bamboo/nylon sock yarn. The colorway "Tobacco Road" is freaking gorgeous, and "Sunshine Of Your Love" isn't bad either.

I have no affiliation with the company, other than unbridled lust for their products. But my birthday is coming up, and so I just thought I'd mention it, in case anyone is in a shopping mood.

Here we go again

It's not like I didn't see this coming. I mean, the world continues to circle the sun and all. But even if I could ignore the facts that Tasha is done with camp for the summer, Fleet Farm has notebooks on sale for 10 cents each, and I spent $418.93 on schoolbooks for Lucas last night (not counting the one he'll need later in the semester), I'm starting to see things like this on my walks: Fall is coming. Fall is both pleasant and pretty in Wisconsin, as if the world were trying to suck up to you one more time before the gut-punch of winter hits.

I don't think I'm emotionally prepared for another Wisconsin winter just yet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where did Monday go, again?

I haven't been feeling well for the last few days; just general malaise stuff, possibly the result of too much snoring and not enough sleep. But I keep feeling like I'm behind the 8 ball and frantically trying to catch up. I was reciting the remaining steps of my morning routine the other day as I raced down to let the birds out, and I realized I had 8 things left to do and 4 minutes in which to do them. (1. Let the birds out. 2. Feed and water the chicks. 3. Pick a few handfuls of fresh switchgrass for the rabbit, who has been feeling poorly. 4. Feed and water the rabbit. 5. Feed the dog. 6. Retrieve my phone from the bedroom. 7. Retrieve my phone from the other car. And so on . . . . )

But market was good on Saturday, if not as great as the prior week. The pirate hats continue to be all the rage - I finally finished one in an adult size which went to April, the young lady who works at the market and had first asked for it a month ago. Then the lady who had ordered three stopped by, and I managed to sell her one of the undersized ones for her 8 year old while promising the other two adult ones really, really soon. Then an older lady from Rhode Island stopped by, having seen April's hat, and decided it was just what she needed as a gift for her goth granddaughter and asked me to mail her one. And April's younger sister asked for a corn-stitch hat in plain white, with a caution that she did NOT want to match her sister. And another lady ordered a baby hat, rolled brim with squared off top, with matching mittens in a frog theme. All told, I need to make 4 more adult hats and a baby hat & mittens by Saturday, just to keep up. That's one per day.

So yesterday, still feeling lousy anyway and a bit overtired from attending the horse pull at the State Fair on Sunday (very cool - I still find it amazing to watch thousands of pounds of horse go airborn for the sheer fun of hauling) I called in sick. Slept until noon, which made me feel a little better, even if I was down again with a migraine by afternoon. And then I knitted.

Knitting soothes the troubled soul, Elizabeth Zimmerman said. (Or something like that.) It's also nice to concentrate on something repetitive and not too demanding when my head hurts. So I did this:

I figure if I do one "not-pirate" project in between cranking out pirate hats, I will get what I need done and still won't go crazy. The hat on the left is the requested frog hat, using the frogs from Pondemonium. (Embroidered eyes and mouth will follow.) Standard recipe, using 66 stitches on size 4 needles. I still need to do matching mitts, but I will have to do some research first to find out exactly how large 6 month old mitts should be. I'm thinking I'll do them in the same blue/white/green space-dyed cotton (Peaches & Creme, of course) I used on the top & bottom of the hat, and then embroider little flies on them.

Meanwhile, Nora seems a bit out of sorts as well. Maybe it's because with me not feeling well, her walking schedule has been a bit off. She also endured a much needed bath at the dogwash on Saturday, after we established that she didn't like waves and was NOT going into the lake. But she growled at me yesterday afternoon when I was trying to teach her to "shake"; then Luc took her for a walk and she panicked and snapped at him when he tried to free the leash she was sitting on. I put her in her kennel and isolated her after that last incident to emphasize that this was not socially acceptable behavior, and the trainer has warned us that there will be ups and downs as she learns to trust us. Still, Tasha is coming home from camp tomorrow and it worries me when Nora gets like this. But today we managed her two mile walk without incident, and she had a great time on the deck helping me photograph hats. So every day is a little better for her, more or less.

Spotting chickens.