Tuesday, December 29, 2009

socks & the pointy things on trees

Hey! It's 4 days after xmas and we're all still breathing! It's the little things . . .

Anyway, here's the promised snap of Bennie's Catnip Socks by Wendy. I'm almost at the heel of the second sock. Naturally, the second sock is easier. Then I'll have to find a pattern for my sock wool. Still sitting around on my desk are a variety of other projects. I seem to be suffering a creative ADD in that I can't seem to focus on anyone thing for too long. I took the other baby step of creating an Artfire account. The Basic Member status is a little annoying. I'd put images in a few key places just to check them out and can't seem to change them. Figuring it all out takes time. If only I had my own laptop . . . Soon enough. The other thing to figure out is what I want to sell right now and for how much. Again, this takes time and head space. I can't be bothered with clean underwear, dog doo, or the making of meals. I feel a need to move forward on something here, but need the computer time and organization. *sigh* Clearly, I lack discipline.

On xmas morning, we got a treat ~ no snow, but a fog that crystallized on the trees up here on the mountain. Dirk ventured out after feeding the chickens to get a few photos of this nifty phenomenon. The happenings of nature are always a pleasure.

And now, time to put some xmas stuff away. Xmas is over, turn out the lights, as Mr. Morrison says.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's 8:00pm and What's Due Tomorrow?

1) An illustration from a book that was read.

2) Interview with a Grandparent.

3) A diorama depicting a wildlife habitat.

These are three things Bennie has due by tomorrow for Reading. #1 was a cinch ~ she's illustrating all the time. Done. #2 happened easily enough. It only required finding a grandparent still awake and available after 8:30pm. My mother focused on the '60's, let things get hazy 'round the 70's and then revisited the '80's. Three decades before 9:00pm! Not too shabby. It was #3, the diorama depicting a wildlife habitat that was a bit of a stumper, but, as always, grace under pressure (hydrolic, at that), I quickly produced a small box to create this:

A wild mouse habitat under the snow, under some pine trees with stolen daffodil bulbs. I am so done. And now I can go to bed and avoid twitching with the thoughts of xmas gifts yet to purchase.

Oh yeah. I finished one Catnip sock for Bennie. The other is in progress ~ just not too quickly. If I'm allowed time at the computer I'll post pics.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

little accomplishments

I've turned the heel and started up the ankle of the Catnip Socks. That'll be New Trick #2 ~ turning a heel in the opposite direction. Progress is slow and the blogging is sketchy because xmas is looming as evidenced by the recent tree trimming. A seasonal accomplishment of sorts.

And another little accomplishment: found a site that'll let you post artwork to sell for FREE. Artfire. Etsy, despite the glitz and glamour, disappointed me with fees. Needs to be free right now. Bupkus, nada, nothing ~ just make an account and post stuff. Now to actually get off my butt and do it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

a moodling sort of Monday

Having gotten through a 5-day weekend with the youths, it's kind of quiet 'round here. I can hear myself think. Actually, there's much to do ~ phone calls, watering plants, replenishing the food supply for catsdogschickens. Instead, while I had time to hear myself think, I remembered someone needs a replacement knitted rib hat. The previously knitted item got lost or tossed in a recent move and the effects of its loss are being sorely felt now. It should knit up quick as I'm doubling the strands of some fairly chunky wool. I hope to be done with that the middle of this week.

In the meantime, Bennie's socks are moving along. I'm almost at her heel which means the process of learning another new skill: gusset and heel turn in a toe-up sock. The suspense is dizzying.

The rest of the week is Girl Scout Leader/Daughter meetings and Parent/Teacher conferences. That means baking cookies and gearing up for Grade "team" meetings . . . polish up the armor, ladies.

Friday, November 27, 2009

post t-giving goodies

A pair of Comet hens we named after the Gabor sisters, Eva and Zsa Zsa (who has the flashy white ring of feathers 'round her neck), have started laying. It's a nice surprise for this time of year when the nights are long etc. etc., but we didn't know where they were hiding them until this morning. Like the coy women they were named after, Eva and Zsa Zsa were scooting off in different directions to add to their secret clutch of eggs ~ one in a niche of roots between the tree and the fence in the pen, the other at a corner of the house. All in all a little over 2 dozen eggs. Quiche anyone?

Here is the pattern beginnings of Bennie's Catnip Socks from Wendy Knits. Lace patterns require a bit of attention from me. I'm getting better. In fact, I'm considering watching TV and knitting this lace pattern simultaneously. These are the risks I take in life. Hopefully, the most I'll sustain is a mild limp.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the horror

My children have viewed many horrors. There's the zombies of Resident Evil and Dawn of the Dead. Their peepers have travailed the terrors of Jeepers Creepers. Jason and Friday the 13th (both old and new) have been viewed ad nauseum. Heck, the boys listen to Rob Zombie with verve. For some reason they are disturbed by this:

It's just the Thanksgiving turkey sitting in a brine and thawing out for the big day. Jeesh!

Monday, November 23, 2009

not-so-old dog learns new trick

Nevermind the spinning I still have to do with the Shetlands or some seriously purple fiber I don't recall the breed of, there's another Soweto Comfort Club square in progress. (I've lost count, don't ask.) And, and, and . . . my first ever toe-up sock beginnings!

After a few practice runs using Judy's Magic Cast-on for the dpn's, I was able to start Bennie's Catnip Socks designed by Wendy. We are both elated, but for different reasons. Bennie is looking forward to knee-high's and I'm pleased with my beginnings.

It's so cute, ya just wanna kiss it. Or maybe not. Depends on one's passion.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

cats in bizarre places

This is how one can tell winter is coming early . . .

A cat in the Bill Basket covering the latest oil bill.

The same cat earlier that day in a small basket of yarn stash.

And finally, one found in the last of the Halloween candy.

This is the weirdness that is my life. There are no words.

Friday, November 13, 2009

got squares?

I'm up to 5 done so far. My personal goal is 10, but with these mitered squares I might bump my goal up to 20 (which will increase the postage to Africa, I know, but it will be worth it). The mitered knitting is most certainly faster. Once you've got your guage and know how many stitches will make 2 sides of an 8" square, you're good to go. No measuring, no checking along the way. And the results are far more interesting than stripes. I feel quite nifty right now.

I'd recently had an opportunity to speak with someone who had lived in South Africa. Her husband was stationed in Soweto. When she described the plight of these people, how the government is corrupt and would prefer they be kept in their squalor by taking funds in anyway possible, I remarked, My stupid little knitted squares mean nothing. On the contrary, she said, at least it was something the government couldn't take from the people because it wasn't money.

So it's a little thing. Like the Starfish Story. A square might make a difference to someone.

Monday, November 09, 2009

feeling square

Mmm . . . sideways photo. Well, anyhow here's one and a half of the 10 Soweto Comfort Knit-A-Squares. A little Garter and Seed Stitch fun. The next might very well be a mitered square which is easier than I thought after reading the very easy directions. It's all good. It will add some variety to knitting squares.

It will also give me something to do whilst idling the minutes away in the Waiting Room for the pediatrician to add my youths as statistics to the H1N1 Flu-zie Masses. We never miss a trend.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

I'm not slacking . . .

Well, not much anyway. (Some would beg to differ. I don't cook food or clean underwear often enough. Let's not broach the subject of dusting.) This is the third spool of Shetland not Blueface Leicester. Wild Apple Hill Farm has no truck Leicester ~ only Shetland. I stand corrected and humbled. It's what happens when unidentified fleece (with the exception of the sheep's name) is hanging around in my studio. I simply forget what I have. It's a sort of Fiber Alzheimer's.

I'm trying to spin this Shetland fat and loose. If I add it to the Blueface Leicester, I might have the makings of a fat and loose sweater ~ something of my own design. Boxy and simple. That's the plan for now. Who knows what will happen tomorrow.

In the meantime, during my favorite WAMC radio shows yesterday, I finished Bennie's Fun Fur tube scarf. Our pediatrician loved it. He thought it would be great on Sesame Street as some kind of a muppet animal. Ah, the mind of a pediatrician! Remind me not to go there.

Bennie loves the finished product. It will come in handy when we are shamelessly selling baked goods outdoors come November 22 for the Troop. We, Bennie and I, wonder why plans are made to sell homemade baked goods on cold blustery days. Builds character, I suppose. Not mine. I head for the warmth of the car anytime I can get. Girl Scout leadership is not for the feint of heart. Which is why it's my liver that invariably seeks the warmth. And possibly my spleen.

Tragically, I am again without a knit project. Which means I embark on another 10 squares for the Knit-A-Square folks and a trip to the P.O. to send it all off to the Soweto Comfort Club in South Africa. And I could cruise one of many sock and hat patterns for inspiration. Could take hours. I don't know if I can be bothered with all that on a Sunday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy National Hermit Day!

Go ahead. Give your search engine a whirl . . . You'll find this. And some of this. A smattering of that. (Actually, that one is my favorite.) And, lest we forget, there is this fellow. Now that you know what day it is, crawl into your shell while you have the chance and be introspective in the most deepest sense.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

the day was moist

Well, a bit rainy actually. All of which initially had me thinking I'd be spinning, drinking large quantities of English Breakfast tea with honey and 1/2 n 1/2 (milk is for wussies) and watching hours of X-Files Seasons 1-5. However, the rain has stopped and a few small errands have reared their ugly heads. So while I'm waiting for my mother to drive me down for one errand, I have meandered over to my Ravelry account by way of Wendy Knits. As it had been nearly a year since I last posted anything there, it's clear I'm not Ravelry savvy. I spent a little time clicking around the site again. It is one worthy of a little more of my time. Stash list, needle list, an exchange of patterns and knitting information ~ where have I been? (Oh. Right. Florida. Where I spent my car money. As I'd said to a kind woman giving me a ride down the hill one afternoon, "Now I just put on my Mickey ears and dream of the car I could have had." Where's my Fairy Godmother? And no bloody pumpkin coaches this time!) Much has improved since I last visited ~ nearly a year ago, as mentioned. I prefer uploading photos from my computer; that feature has been added so I don't have to have a Flikr account for my images. It's easier to find stuff.

The problem is going to be the time displacement. Finding Ravelry again and creating an Etsy account means time here at the desk and computer as well as the nail-biting fear that all will go down in flaming misery once the computer cashes it in for that main frame in the sky. But, hey, I don't bungie jump; got to have challenges somewhere in life.

Now I'll go play with my account for a little while longer and then get to carding my wool. Priorities skewed all over the place.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


You might recall here that I'd left a fleece unwashed awhile back. Well, the other day, I fast-tracked that puppy and now we're cardin' and spinnin' like nobody's business. Sort of. If people left me alone to card and spin until I could stand no more I'd get a lot done. However, there are youths to rouse and bark at in the morning, a man to get out the door for work and then there's the catsdogschickens to contend with. Not to mention the time displacement spent on the computer.

I'm car shopping via the internet. Something new for me really. I prefer going to amazon.com, but they don't sell cars. (Correct me if I'm wrong ~ I don't go there unless I want books or music.) Car shopping on the internet requires a bit of research. Craigslist will have one going to Wyoming for the best deal if one isn't careful with one's search request. I'm not going to Wyoming to buy a car. I'm not even keen on searching throughout the tri-state area, but that concern largely goes ignored. Dirk is all about finding the good deal ~ no matter the distance. We may purchase a car in Alaska for all I know. The shipping charges will be hell.

Well, whatever whatever . . . I shall continue carding and spinning in a quiet corner of the room. I hope to sit unnoticed ~ three days maybe.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Boy Gets Belted

I now reside with two Black Belt Jeet Kune Do martial artists. Ian received his Black Belt from Sifu Richard Torres this evening. Ian's framed certificate will grace the center hall along side Tom's. Ian can, if he chooses, move on up to the adult classes where the men are men and the women can do damage if provoked. We are now complete. Bennie isn't interested in practicing Jeet Kune Do. She lives with two boys and feels that's quite enough training for the World.

As promised, a finished photo of the Herringbone Rib Socks from Interweave Knits ~ couldn't tell you which issue, but I got it free from Knitting Daily. We're just loafing at the desk with a touch of Crystal hair. Gotta break 'em in early dog hair-wise.

And in other news: Dirk and I are enjoying 28 years of Un-Wedded Bliss and Solitary Confinement. In celebration, we moved his father closer to us. You can't say, after 28 years, we don't know how to have fun! Break out the whips and chains.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Here's the poop: The Herringbone Rib socks are done. I look to another pair for knitting while hanging out in a Dr's office later this morning. Something with Fun Fur goddammit!

Photos in a couple of days.

Dirk is on a train out of East Rutherford and the U2 concert as I blearily write to catch some train or another to Cold Spring for me to pick him up @ an ungodly hour in town. The only reason I'm up this late to write at this particular ungodly hour is I'd hoped he'd be in Cold Spring by now.

I shall sleep while I can. The wool waits.

Monday, September 21, 2009

24 1/2 hours

Saturday, 9:00pm ~ A wandering eye is cast upon an over sized Ziploc bag full of Blueface Leicester fleeces waiting too long to be washed. In a fit of whimsy, I decide Sunday is not just for Football and plan to scour said fleece. I retire early to read and doze to Brit-coms.

Sunday, 7:00am ~ Awaken. Realize the hour is still ungodly, roll over and resume sleep.

8:00am ~ Awaken again to TV chattering. Attempt to ignore TV through slitted eyes as Dirk randomly changes the channels. This activity gnaws at my sanity.

8:30pm ~ As Mental Serenity departs for the morning, I sense no amount of meditation could coax its return and head for the shower instead.

8:45am ~ Showered and fresh, I dress casual. No need for taffeta and tiaras when scouring wool.

9:00am ~ Hearing the staccato trumpeting of Sunday Morning, I remember we have an overnight guest which means cooking a decent breakfast. There is no cold, left-over pizza to offer.

9:15am-10:30am ~ Waffles made from scratch. Ian and guest return to the realm of X-Box 360 Live. Tom arranges a movie date. Bennie arranges hang time with a friend here. Dirk makes vague plans to install tub spout #2. I clean up and make room in the sink for the planned wool washing while listening to WAMC.

10:30am ~ It's delightful to find, after ignoring a fleece for a year, photos of the contributing sheep. From the Wild Apple Hill Farm in Hudson, NY, I had procured 1.6lbs of Sheep #318 Alisa and the same weight of Sheep #239, sadly unnamed. (I suspect his name is now "Chops.") Skirting wasn't necessary as the fleece was blessedly free of dung tags. Heaps of delight, I begin drawing the bath and admire the crimp and color of Alisa.

11:00am-4:00pm ~ Various events occur. Dirk continues moodling about in the downstairs bathroom. This is punctuated by Pre-Game viewing. The punctuation resembles a long line of ellipses . . . Tom solidifies movie plans. The sleepover guest is granted more time to hang out until late afternoon. Bennie's friend arrives. Pre-Game ends. Game #1 begins. Although I've cleaned up after breakfast, I break out more food and make quesadillas. All the while, I've washed and rinsed four batches of #318 Alisa. Dismay occurs when I discover Alisa enjoys long walks in the park and wicked rolls in the dirt ~ it might take three sudsings to clean this fleece. One wash manages to soak for an unintended hour and a half while taking Tom to the movies, shopping for food and stopping in to see my mother who wasn't home. She attended a Psychic Fair. My brother commented maybe if I'd gone to said Psychic Fair I might have intuited her absence. Yoda, I am not. I spend time with sister-in-law and children in the park. Pick up Tom. Once home, I resume washing wool . . . and prepping for dinner. Dirk is asleep in the Big Ass Red Chair. I suspect the tub spout has yet to be installed.

4:00pm-7:00pm ~ Dinner preparation and service done. Again, I clean up. Food prep and dish clearing is all the while punctuated by continued wool sudsing; that punctuation resembles a semi-colon followed by several commas.

7:00pm ~ Sunset. The Flame is lit for my turn at Vigil. Freed from the bonds of Domestic Engineering and Hostessing, I return to the task at hand. Full force into the wool washing, Dirk requires help with the tub spout installation. Realizing the torch could indeed stand hands-free, he doesn't need my help after all. He'd waited nearly a full day in the Big Ass Red Chair for my help only to reach this realization. Luckily, the TV was filled with visions of full-grown men chucking and chasing pigskin on well-marked fields. I return to the tub undaunted and mildly miffed.

8:00pm ~ Game time for the third time today. The last little pile of Alisa eyes me smugly. Dirk has run out of solder. Again, I suspect no dermis will be lost neither nasally nor by posterior because, as mentioned, it's Game Time and the Giants are playing. The pile of Alisa grins broadly with the knowledge of another full fleece, the Nameless #239, waiting to be cleaned.

9:00pm ~ The Sheep #318 Alisa fleece is scoured, wrung and now drying in the Cat-Free Containment Zone (aka laundry room with a working door). My daughter, a keen observer, notes that it has taken me all day to clean this fleece. Nameless #239 waits another day . . . or three depending on the Daily Demands. I detect a pout as I turn off the lights and . . .

9:30pm ~ trudge off to bed wondering how women with less technology at their disposal ever got anything done. Terry Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant, gently transports me to Discworld. I bask in the iridescent glow of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and dream of elephants scouring wool.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


There's a lot going on today with regard to the impending Equinox and the subsequent shortening of days. Plants are moving back in. Crystals are also coming in from the summer fun.

I only dropped in quickly to remind everyone . . .

Yarr! And Shiver me timbers!

More tomorrow. Or Monday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

things in progress

It's been a day of Small Domestic Chores and Minor Activities. Dogs were walked. All the way down the 1/2-mile Hill from Hell and back up again. Chickens were fed, but not enough ~ low on feed. Low on cars too. So no feed. Ironing was done. It piled up just like I've heard on The Donna Reed Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Father Knows Best ~ not to mention, Dennis the Menace. These are what Retro Moments are made of. Crystal's matted backside was combed for as long as we could both stand. Bodhi helped by playing with Crystal while I was trying to comb said backside. She does like to be included. The cats merely watched on in disgust from high places like the countertop. I allowed myself time to meditate and practice asanas.

Now that I'm feeling accomplished, I can vegetate. And I feel a cold coming on. I'll need to determine which youth to curse ~ I suspect it's Tom.

But I divaricate . . .

Here is the Herringbone Rib ~ one down, one to go.

And if you knew Saori, like I knew Saori . . .

It's just having fun with itself all over the place.

Monday, September 14, 2009


A Sleepover Birthday Party was hosted here Saturday night and, man, are my arms tired! . . .
Wrong punch line. The point is, I was certain I would be in a state of death-warmed-over recovery from the squealing, feeding, soda-drinking, cupcake-decorating, Chinese buffeting, Man Hunt playing, late night movie watching BUT . . . I'm actually doing alright for a Monday. I shall refrain from posting photos. Not only do I have snaps of other people's daughters, but I didn't take a photo of one finished Herringbone Rib sock. Tomorrow, perhaps.

Creative points of interest:

As mentioned, one sock done. One to go. Started 9:30pm last night. Not bad for a partied-out mother of three.

Saori progressing nicely on the loom. Tossing the shuttle when I feel like it. Thinking of including chicken feathers. What? It's what I've got.

Painting awaiting attention on the easel. I glance at it daily. Isn't that enough? When did artwork become so needy?

Any input on creating an Etsy thingy? Anyone? In the back, there? I've been tossing that about recently. Starving Artist has become a tiresome description for Occupation on forms. Homemaker doesn't cut it anymore either. Don't go there.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


There has been a great flurry of deskwork activity today. Much uploading and sending of files which allowed me time to continue winding bobbins for this:

Saori, people. People, Saori. It is a freeform means of weaving where the Journey is more important than the finished thingy. It's also a fine way to clear out the stash and little bits lying around from other knit projects. It also makes weaving seem less technical and more, you know, fun. Special Saori looms are sold for this process of weaving, but my superfluous 4-harness Fanny does the trick of the simple over/under required.
At this section, I used a beaded cord made on the lucet. I found this length of cord languishing in my jewelry box as it was being cleaned out. (Actually, I was looking for a lost earring, but no luck. I guess that means the garnet stud is gone for good.)
And, as promised, a cake was made yesterday, from scratch, for Bennie's 11th ~ yes, 11th ~ Birthday. She's already casting an eye at my wardrobe to see what she can borrow . . .
Can I nap now?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

stuff on the table

A chill is in the air. Late August, a time when one's thoughts and tasks turn to knitting a warm sock or two ~ if one is knitterly. Otherwise, one might be chopping wood or canning tomatoes. The spinning-in-progress is llama down. I'm not actively seeking to finish the down, merely spin when I feel like it or have some frantic time to kill. The sock pattern is from Interweave Knits. A little freebie from the Knitting Daily e-newsletter. This isn't progressing too quickly either as the pattern requires attention, something I'm having a hard time paying these days. It looks to be a sturdy and interesting rib. The feet should be happy this autumn.

Next week is school. I could have enjoyed at least another 2 weeks of summer vacation. I didn't get to do enough of nothing this past summer. Ah, well at least it'll be quiet 'round here during the day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

altars 'bout house

Finally! The Creativity altar is set. This is an old liquor box, Dujardin Brandy according to the labels, transformed into greatness. I bought some crate-like thing from AC Moores with the intentions of using that as the Creativity altar, but didn't like the feel of it once I'd gotten it home. Then I remembered dumping a load of old paints and paint bottles from this box and felt it would be a better structure. I like intuition. It's fun and not just for breakfast anymore. This box has been with me for years. I kept the mixed bottles of tempera from the beginnings of my Source painting days. It's well-travelled. The inside is painted with Holbein Extra Fine Gold oil and the edge was trimmed out in Winsor & Newton Artist's Oil Colour Bright Red. Set atop is a biddy doll made for me last year. Inside is a small note card with Georgia O'Keeffe's Flower Abstraction, a nifty pendant of a Frida Kahlo self-portrait and a wrapped rock a friend made for me to find after her visit. Below all that is the Buddha Board Tom bought for me ~ I can paint an inspirational word or squiggle in water that will disappear as it dries. Above the whole she-bang is a medicine wheel, the center of which my grandmother had crocheted, filled with feathers collected as well as bits and baubles. All in all, I'm a happy camper with this altar's beginnings. I look forward to adding to it over time.

I'd mentioned tending to my morning meditations again. That's all been happening or Not Happening here. All I have to do, as early as I can stand, is grab my sitting pillow and do the Not Doing. Inspirational reading is neatly lodged below.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

creativity is . . .

After engaging in soul-sucking, joy-depriving T&M billing I had some fun. Red Hot Chili Peppers and White Stripes was somewhat cranked (the kids asked me turn it down!) and I got busy.

Yesterday, I kicked this painting off my easel. It was more boring than I thought it would be. I've lost the excitement of still life. I wasn't finding any fun in it. The finished piece shows the complete lack of fun. So it's signed and waiting for a decent drying and a coat of varnish. Even boring pieces should be preserved as a reminder.

Then I bumped into some crinkly purple artsy paper in my studio begging for paint. Although this shot doesn't show yesterday's beginnings, I'd started with some white paint and a brush, then abandoned the brush and used my hands. This is today's results so far with the brush and a little detail work. I don't know why, but I'd painted LOL with my fingers somewhere in the middle.

I got these eyes developing in my hands . . .

Laughable to think my creativity would stop in the studio is it? Well, when one has zucchini languishing about in one's fridge it's necessary to make . . . ah, the anticipation . . . zucchini bread.

The T&M billing paperwork was not available for comment or photos.

I'm going to nosh now. Maybe a little more X-Files to round out the day.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

chop wood, carry water . . .

mow the lawn.

With this.

In a fit of some sadistic whim, I asked for this mower. A simple push mower. It begs your full attention on the task at hand which would be . . . well, mowing the lawn, by golly. One has to get Zen (or a beer and forget the whole matter) in order to do work like this. On the one hand, I'm perfectly suited for work that's easyily laid out, no confusion, no complications. It's the paperwork and tallying numbers that generally have me glazing over like a donut. Those tasks frustrate and annoy me. Ask me to mow lawn, do dishes, vacuum carpet or even chop wood and I'm perfectly in my element. On the other hand, it's hard work.

I get a good workout at least. Saves money at the local exercise centers. And it reminds me that humans are meant to use their bodies. I remember watching Frontier House on PBS years ago. I thought it was the neatest show since Carol Burnett. At one point, one of the participants was concerned about his rapid and very apparent weight loss. The doctor on site for the shoot, checked him out and declared him healthy as a horse. His weight loss was due to Real Work ~ cutting cords of wood to survive the winter, raising or hunting animals to eat, plowing the earth for food, cutting hay with a scythe (no wonder Death looks so svelt). Using his body. Not pampering it and then heading for the squash court three times a week at minimum or working the weight training circuit . . . just physical work.

I like technology. We go way back ~ not quite to the wheel, but I appreciate appliances that make life easier and free up time: dishwasher, the washer, the dryer (I keep forgetting to use the sun), vacuum cleaner. But some tasks are done just as well with a little elbow grease and attention. That attention does away with multi-tasking; something humans suffer too much of. The push mower acted as a source of meditation for me. I learned that the first pass requires more dumping of clippings than the second, cross-wise pass. I learned that my arm muscles, where one's "bat wings" might develop, were doing work. I learned that push mowing isn't about getting the perfect cut lawn ~ it keeps the grass from getting over grown. That's a good enough goal.

It's Miller time. Becks, actually, but let's not get technical.

On to other Work:

Some summer sun art I'm inflicting on the local populace at my corner garden . . .

And the really good, dry-stack, no-cement rock wall all made from rocks cultivated on our land.

We do know how to grow rocks.

Anyone know what kind of rock this is? I literally dug it out of the wall before it got buried in the center. I think there's mica. Maybe the matrix is a quartz?

I like rocks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This is what summer's all about

I don't like required summer reading as furnished by school. I do like summer reading though. When I went to school (slightly post-Jurassic), we didn't get required summer reading lists. It might have turned me off to reading altogether if I weren't already such a voracious reader by the tender age of 15. It was my favorite time of year to do Absolutely Nothing whenever possible. (Yes, I got bored as well. I wasn't quite the avid knitter yet.) I had plenty of time to read whatever the hell I wanted to ~ The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Catcher in the Rye, anything from Vonnegut (I should revisit that fellow). Not required, merely admired.

Following in my literary-engulfing footsteps is Bennie reading one of the Twilight series (not required, but we've read all the Harry Potter books and Because of Winn Dixie was easily swallowed in DVD format). Piwaqit seems to absorbing the book along with her. The boys are playing on the X-Box 360 until their eyes bleed. Banging my head on the wall would be easier than getting Tom to read his required Catcher in the Rye and Black Boy. Ian can skate one book on the list by going to see Much Ado About Nothing, but still needs to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Required reading just kills the interest in reading. And I don't subscribe to this theory that children "loose their skills" during summer vacation. The skills aren't lost when they get back to school, they just aren't bloody interested in going over old ground. I'm certain we all retain what's necessary in life ~ public education just doesn't like they're not considered "necessary."

But enough of that. Look at the lawn!

All photos taken from the comfort of the aluminum folding lounger.

Directly east.


And Lord Vader digging the rays.