Sunday, May 25, 2008

a rose by any other name . . .

As Dirk and I were enjoying a morning tea and sun with Crystal, we heard her bark and saw that she was playing with this little fellow . . .










Crystal walked the skunk to its home, sniffing the woods out along the way.




















Unfortunately, Bodhi missed this little interlude because we had company, which she doesn't do well with, and was in our room enjoying P&Q. Besides, she wouldn't have been as friendly.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Some People Are Just Too Cool

There's a new addition to the Kitchen altar . . .










This morning, I received this purple ewe from Ruth in the mail. It is the sweetest thing. An unexpected pleasure, thank you!

I shall refrain from spinning the fibers off its little body . . .








In News of the Bizarre, Tom is going to his first concert at Madison Square Garden with a friend (and a chaperoning parent who shares Dirk's concerns ~ they've been to concerts; they know what goes on). My Chemical Romance will be on after two opening bands. That will make for a long night indeed. After much lecturing and eye-rolling, plans are set and it all seems kosher enough. I imagine Tom will have a good time.

We realized the proverbial can of worms was opened when Bennie was allowed to see Avril Lavigne at the Mohegan Sun with a birthday girl and her parents last month, but that was a hotel venue with girls near the same age. MSG in New York City it ain't! Now that leaves Ian needing to score a night at the concert. I wonder where we'd go.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dirt Under My Nails

Normally, this would be my baking area where I could knead bread dough or turn out an crust for quiche, but it is now the fine repository of my seedlings-gone-wild. They all started out in one of those little seedling kits I did an impulse buy on a few weeks ago. Bennie and I sowed the seeds during the Spring Break last week. I didn't expect to see any action for at least another week. To my surprise and amazement, seedlings began making their burgeoning appearance three days after they were sown. Then I knew I was in trouble. I started them too early. So, today, I purchased some soil for transplanting and gathered every available container I could find and moved the seedlings into less crowded conditions. There's two different kinds of lettuce and mesclun and two different kinds of tomatoes and Swiss chard and squashes and cukes (burpless, thank you) and broccoli and gourds. I decided the peas and pumpkins could be sown directly outside. I don't know where yet as landscaping is still in transition and I'd have to find places where the chickens and deer won't go, but in the ground they must go and soon.

I don't normally follow a whole lot of rules with regard to many things. Knitting, painting or spinning I fly by the seat of my pants and see what the results yield. Sometimes things turn out far more interesting than if I'd followed the rules. Other times the mistakes need to neatly disposed of in a quiet manner. However, I think plants are pretty smart and are willing to work with one and their shortcomings. Without much help from me, except sowing and ensuring they had enough water and light, the little buggers sprouted on their own. I've been reading plenty of seed starting info from books and the 'net la-di-dah-ing about how careful one needs to be with the tender shoots ~ they shouldn't be grasped by the stems, they need sterile soil, Beethoven should be played whilst transplanting ~ and I think it's a little loopy. Long, long ago, in this galaxy, in fact, seeds took care of themselves just fine. They endured dinosaurs and strange weather patterns and our early agricultural fumblings. I think they can handle Red Hot Chili Peppers while being transplanted. I'll see where this little experiment takes me in another week or so. They'll have to move out sometime.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fun dreary days

Today, it looks like this outside my studio window.












Dreary days are good for dealing with this . . .











by doing this . . .
This is the Border Leicester fleece I bought at the 2006 Sheep & Wool. It was waiting for me to get through the Rambouillet, not too patiently, I might add. Nothing crazier than a fleece nudging and winking at you to be scoured and spun ~ but that's my own sort of insanity, sprinkled with others, I'm sure.






Next to the pan of soaking wool are these . . .

Yes, eggs. Lot's of them. I think these are from yesterday and the day before. I've started putting the date of collection in pencil on each egg. If the date is too far back into the Wayback Machine, it gets chucked.







And for knitting nothingness, I'm making these . . .

Tree sweaters. Now before one thinks I've completely gone 'round the bend, here's proof that I'm in fair company: here, here, here, and here. What sparked this tree sweater idea in my own little part of the world was a desire to mark the dogwood tree after it's done blooming. (The dogwood can be seen from the big studio window in the photo up top.) And then I had these swatches lying around, so I figured I could use those and the as-yet-unraveled sweater I was de-constructing as well. Due to crazy pollination, I haven't ventured outside for long, but I hope to have some trees dressed by this weekend.

Back to the boiling vats . . .