Monday, May 28, 2007

Wool Washing & House Volleyball are a Walk in the Park

My ears smart to the clash of alternative music (Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails) and Doom III. While the guitars wail (or grind, I haven't figured out which just yet) and the carnage rages on the Family television, replete with chainsaw sounds, there is a volleyball game going on in the Great Room. I believe it will be a sad day when furniture is purchased for that room ~ there will no longer be space for rough-housing dogs, wall ball or volleyball.

This summer's weekend kick-off has been a house bound one. People have come, we've gone to the lake. Otherwise, we've been just kicking 'round ~ sometimes getting things done, sometimes not. I was happy to get my herb drying ladder up over the kitchen sink. It meant I could hang my dangly-doo's that catch the sun. Makes the sink feel a little more magical. So the ladder is no longer an herb drying ladder; it's a Dangly-doo Ladder. Herbs can hang elsewhere to dry.

Under the Dangly-doo Ladder soaks the second washing of the Rambouillet that's been lying 'round since late summer last year. I've decided not to mix the dyed mohair with the rest of this fleece. I want some white yarn to Kool-Aid dye with.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Big Bamboo

A friend of a friend was clearing their yard of Invasive Bamboo. I was keenly interested in getting my hands on some free Invasive Bamboo and jumped at this rare opportunity (like Ginsu knives). So Grace and I trundled our way down to Rye, the site of said plant, with coffees in hand, to dig it up.

When we got to the friend's house in Rye, we got a hold of the domestic authority by cell and let him know that we were there for the bamboo and we meant business. He gave the all-clear, with a warning: "It's invasive, you know. I'm not responsible for what happens to your yard once you plant it." Verbal waivers against all claims of future damages were issued then Grace and I set to work.

Let me say one thing about bamboo: it's a veritable bear to dig up. I rarely, if ever, walk away from a plant digging with blisters. Ferns, echinacea, hosta, even peonys have yielded easily to my trowel ~ but bamboo? The runners/rhizomes they cast about are sometimes as thick as their springy little trunks and just as strong. I battled a couple of 30-footers for strong established plants waiting to hear the CRACK of the main runner just to get a decent root ball out of the ground. It was murder. If I were a drinking woman, it would have been Miller time after the first plant. But we persevered (without alcoholic beverages), Grace and I, until we had enough plants for me and Kirsten (I think Grace wanted to avoid planting Invasive Bamboo on her landlord's property).

Hands cleaned and only one Band-Aid to share between us, we then went to a local haunt of Grace's; a fairly decent deli and got lunch. Now one of the plants suspiciously resembled a well-known narcotic. With all that foliage hanging out the back of the blue Ford, one dopey Rye idiot couldn't contain himself and came up to Grace's window with: "Hey! I've got 10 minutes; let's spark one up!" With a double barrel of the Drop Dead look from both Grace and myself, the dumb Rye Guy scurried away with his tail 'twixt his legs. Kirsten got that plant.

Now . . . I hope these puppies take.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Soon, She'll Be Asking for the Keys!

Bit of excitement up here atop the mountain. Bennie (aka, Pookie, but don't tell her I told you that) decided it was time to try free-wheelin' sans training wheels. Really, she hadn't ridden a bike in ages, so this was a bold move. And she did mighty well, as you can see . . .

She fell a couple of times, sustained few injuries even though her lip hit the handle bars. We'll sign her up for hockey next year.

And don't worry Future Aunt Vanessa, she'll look fine for the wedding!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What Abundance Means to Me

I'd become suspicious of the sudden drop in egg production. So this morning, I trundled out to the South 40 (ft) in my slippers (socially, this means I've given up) to hunt down the Nest. The only clue was a pile of egg shells in the general vicinity of leftover brick and the pack of bikes. Careful inspection yielded a clutch of 20 eggs here:

Not any one of the hens is broody. In fact, I've come to discover a complete lack of maternal instincts throughout the entire flock. If there was a brooding hen, one would have been pictured atop the pile of eggs, glaring as maliciously as a chicken could glare and threatening bodily harm (again, as much as a chicken could incur harm) should one egg be tampered with in anyway. That includes omlets. In this case, a missing hen only means that the flock was actually keeping these for themselves to eat. While there are days I heartily agree with devouring one's young, noshing at ovum stage hardly affords the little fellows a chance. These hens top Medea in child chowing to say the least.

Well, at least the 19 eggs on the left (one broke during washing), add to my present egg cache of 24 which translates into a lot of quiche. In another time, I might have bartering power. Say, 2 dozen eggs for one month's electricity or 1/2 a dozen for some yarn . . . Maybe I could strike a deal with the phone company. They're good eggs.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Sometimes, an artist needs to do SOMETHING in order to distract herself from the guilt of doing nothing. The constant nagging I've felt since winter, gnawing nagging, about not working on a personal project finally gained more voice. I finally told it to shut up; I'll do something, but it won't be the Project. I don't seem to be ready for that just yet. I feel rusty in the arena of manifesting Tarot visions. So I played with the watercolors ~ kept it simple. No salt tricks or using rubbing alcohol to make fish eyes or sponges; just water and paint. I may need a few more days of just this to loosen the hard crust of doing nothing.

In the meantime, knitting has been easier to manage and I am on the second sleeve of the Fair Isle. This sweater is working out like the Stephen Wright one-liner about matching socks ~ I go by thickness. I am acutely aware that the green of the sleeves isn't matching the bluey-green of the body, but the pattern is still working out nicely. I wonder how it'll look finished.

These are shots of the finished kitchen with appliances installed and fully functional. I think my favorite is the dishwasher. I haven't had one in years. Yes, I'm in love with the dishwasher ~ I can admit that now.

Now, back to the drawing board to see what I can make of this.