Friday, April 23, 2010

of patios and peeps

Watching Dirk work on his mother's patio, I figured I'd be dipped if I was going another summer without one myself. As I am the Queen of Using Stuff at Hand, a plan formulated with bricks our mason refused to use and some of the substrate materials left over from Dirk's mother's patio project. The new table and chairs had been spending all of last summer through to date on a left over piece of carpet. Nice on the feet, not so good for the wood ~ especially if the carpet gets wet.

So we took these bricks.

And made this.

Here it is again from the future balcony. At present, we have doors that lead to certain peril if it weren't for the 2 x 4's barring the way.

This has absolutely nothing to do with bricks and their uses, but here are the new additions to the flock. (Or additions to the errant critter's Midnight All-Y0u-Can-Eat Buffet menu ~ perception is everything here.) Safely tucked away in the trailer, under a cozy heat lamp are 2 Leghorns, 4 Americanas (1 of which is a rooster, of course), and 2 Rhode Island Reds. Soon to join this batch are a pair of Buff Orpingtons a little late in arriving. The little peeps are a pleasure.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

good eats?

Just a jot: Last night, I watched Food Inc on PBS. I am appalled. If I didn't like meat so much, I might go vegetarian. But then, it's difficult to be careful of what you buy as only a handful of industries (they are NOT farms) own the meats and poultry producing "feed lots." Again, they aren't farms. The only bright spot on real animal raising was this fellow. Slaughter isn't the prettiest thing to see on any level, however, Joel seemed to have some sense of respect for the animals in his care. If you can get your mitts on this DVD through the library for viewing, it would be worth every second of your life.

Now to figure out how to eat more sensibly and humanely. I don't think it'll happen overnight, but awareness is a helpful step. I love my chickens so much now I went out and kissed 'em full on the beaks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

cozy squares

I love mitered squares for this Simple Mindless knitting! All in garter stitch, too. Nothing fancy about these humble grays and umbers. The squares are randomly sized, however, and that is where the challenge will come in: the construction of the monkish sweatercoat. As I've been knitting through the earth tones, I began imagining colored wools holding the squares together ~ bright, crazy colors dancing in between. That idea came along after having all of Bennie's brightly-colored cashmere down spun and ready for knitting. (Forgot a photo.)

What I really enjoy are the textures and subtle tone changes these wools make.

And in other news: This past weekend, Tom was the villan, Jafar, in the Rec Center's showing of Aladdin. Ian was a chorus guy in the show, but the camera was refusing quality photos for far away people. I gave up and enjoyed the show instead. It was said Tom stole the show.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

pony up, gals . . .

The Troop went to Hot to Trot Stables yesterday for learnin' and ridin'.

After horses were brushed (they were might muddy, at that) and tacked everyone made their way to the riding ring.

This ring is managed by three wonderful, confident ladies.

Rebecca, on Frosty.

Rachel, astride Ebony.

And Laurie, the ring leader, head honcho and other labels of high degree in the art of running stuff. As noted, on terra firma.

Bennie lead Tank up to the ring. She's kind of an old hand here as she's slept over at Rebecca's house enough to have spent time with the horses.

Later, she got her turn on Odie (former actor ~ was in Shanghai Noon with Jackie Chan).

Then Dirk got his turn for a trot with Odie. We had showed up early to remove rocks and rake the ring. And Dirk was familiar with dealing with horses from his days working the Cimarron Ranch.

And I got to ride Tank, by golly! Honestly, it had been years since I'd been on a horse. A back operation at 13 kept me terra firma all these years for fear of falling and injury, but Tank was sure and steady, sometimes not even interested in moving. That was fine by me!

I'm pictured here with the other leaders of our Troop.
L to the R: Carol on Odie, me on Tank, Marie on Ebony.

We didn't all exactly ride off into the sunset, but once home I was full of horse hair, mud and exhiliration. Sleep was good. Fun must have been had.

Friday, April 09, 2010

gray photo-less friday blog

It promises to be a quiet day until 'bout 3:00pm when we'll be trundling to the Hot to Trot Stables where a GS activity will take place. We've got one kid home sick (strep and possible mono, thank you). The other two are where they need to be in school. If we remember the camera for this afternoon's event, there will be photos tomorrow.

Today, however, it's the calm and easy management of household ~ dishes and dirty underwear. The Simple Mindless Knitting with a Grand Plan. And what to do about the latest chicken carcass. Something has been visiting for midnight snacks. Last night's visit was met with Chicken Delight success.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


It's my third day on Claritin-D, 12 hour. Must be spring.

But that's not why I'm here, folks. I'm here to reveal the Plan. To begin, here is the Cast of Characters:

In this pile of wool are the Shetlands, Alissa and Kevin; the Romney, Sweetpea; a nameless, dark brown Blueface Leicester; and yet another nameless, soft brown Border Leicester (I think ~ I can find no notes on this yarn at present).

The Plan:

Sure, it doesn't look like much at the moment, but enough of these babies joined together and I'll have a large-ish, boxy, Buddhist monk-like sweater kind of thing. I like Simple Mindless/Mindful Knitting. Don't get me wrong, I like the challenge of multiple cables, lace knitting and turning a heel as much as the next knitter, but we're headed into summer. I want portability and ease. I want to see Beauty found in Simplicity and then figure out what I can do with all that once I've knitted up enough of 'em. That's all.

Just off the needles: the Matching By Thickness Socks based on these instructions. Where function is all that matters ~ looking pretty is completely secondary.

On a final note, by the good graces of Something Larger than myself, I'm enjoying a 46th year of life on this planet. When I'm done here, I'm going to Mars. Maybe Pluto, despite the demotion.

Monday, April 05, 2010

more on the flipside

But first: Bennie swimming in April! I'm chilly just looking at the photo. Neither of the boys would participate in anything so crazy. They played games until nearly blind during the short Spring Break.

This is nearly all of my SoulCollage deck with the backs finished. Some are a little sticky still, but nothing that can't be managed. Little tidbits were added to a few ~ feathers, pressed flowers, confetti. I used an old credit card to spread the acrylic paint around, waited for that to dry and then covered the lot with matte medium finish. I feel rather nifty.

And it's true, patience isn't my strongest virtue when it comes to finishing a project. I didn't have another ball of the #147, but I did have the same Vanna's Choice in #304 Seaspray Mist. Like Steven Wright, I match my socks by thickness.

In the Cats In Weird Places section, I give you: Piwaqit on the Millie.