Thursday, July 28, 2011

You'll never guess ...

... what I've been doing, so I will tell you: working. A lot. You'd never know it, to look around. Weeds are getting the best of me in the garden. The heat has been overwhelming. There are still a number of quilts in queue at the studio. My desk looks like the aftermath of a tornado.

I've been cranking out quilts like a mad woman. Photos will come when I get my new camera. It's on order.

Tuesday afternoon I managed to stitch through my thumb on the longarm. Owch! Actually, it didn't hurt nearly as much as you would think. I thought for sure it would be all swollen and sore the next day, but it isn't. Odd, eh? The needle went in alongside my thumbnail, through the fleshy part and out again on the "in" side of my thumb. And I kid you not: it doesn't hurt at all! Scared the snot outta me, though. I'm usually very careful, but was startled by an alarming noise and in a split second, wham! I'm current on my tetanus shot after last year's episode of poking a hole in my hand on the barbed wire fence.

You know what they say about all work and no play ...? Here's evidence that I took some time last night to go "play" with my friends (photo thanks to Kelly who's always got a camera at the ready):

These ladies are a few members of the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild at the B Mets Stitch & Pitch night -- most of us were knitting because it's really hard to work on a quilt while watching a ball game. (L-R it's Kelly grinning ear-to-ear in the back row sitting next to Carolyn, The Village Idiot, Stacey and AJ; Ceil, Cassandra, Amy and Mary in front of us. The empty seat belonged to the guy in the group who took the photo for us.)

That poor guy -- Mary's DH -- was absolutely mauled by a stadium mascot/clown. I originally was supposed to be in that Seat #22, and fear I would have been his target had I not earlier moved back a row. Ghack! I would not have been such a good sport as Mary's husband was. That clown would have been pierced about the head and neck with all four of my knitting needles if he came after me -- at the expense of my sock-in-progress.

It was a fun night, even if we didn't get much accomplished. At least we didn't get beaned by a fly ball!

Now it's time to get back to work.

"Listen to everyone, read everything, and don't believe anything unless you can prove it." B.C.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Murder on the hill!

I'm sure you've heard that you learn something every day. Today I learned what a murder is. Believe it or not, that's what they call a flock of crows. Don't you just wonder the origin of THAT!?! I do not know, so go ask Pat. (My apologies, Dr. Seuss)

Speaking of Dr. S, my fav from him has always been One Fish, Two, Fish ... (I still have that one stuck in my head, having it memorized from reading it so often to my kids when they were tots).

I have to wonder if being a reading teacher isn't the toughest job in the school these days, next to being the disciplinarian? Reading just doesn't seem to have the same draw as it did when I was a kid. We didn't have a library of movies in our homes back then, and TV viewing time was very limited. When it was on, we all watched the same thing on the one TV in the house. If we didn't like what was on, we could go outside or go read a book.

And speaking of murder, I'd better get to the garden and do anything that's going to get done before the murderous heat expected for the day arrives.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


That last post was supposed to say Camera Died. Tsk!

Camer died. No photos for a while ...

I know it’s absolutely nutty, but when I’m overwhelmed with work and responsibilities, I start thinking of something to start knitting. I actually did come up with a project that I think I’m going to enjoy, but not before spending precious time perusing numerous knitting magazines and visiting a bunch of blogs and websites for ideas. In a sort of twisted logic, my brain (totally independent of the rest of me, mind you) thinks that if I’m so busy, I must need more things to do so I can maximize the opportunity to multi-task. If you understand all that, I feel sorry for you.

One thing I keep seeing over and over is wrist warmers. I’ve seen some pretty spiffy designs, but cannot convince myself it would be worth it to me to make fingerless gloves. After all, it’s the fingers that go numb from the cold while I’m doing winter chores. I cannot recall a time when I wished just my wrists had an extra layer of protective covering. Sleeves work pretty well for me on that front.

Last year, I had a pair of wool mittens that had a flip-top, under which was a sort of glove-with-amputated-fingertips. Only half fingers, I guess. I loved them, and thought they were just the ticket. The only problem I had with them is that the flip-top part had a piece of Velcro fastener to keep the flip-top securely flipped. Worked slick for that. But when the flip-top was not flipped back, I would often scratch my face by brushing hair out of my eyes – because the Velcro spot is like having a mini wire brush on the back of the hand. I finally resorted to sticking a tuft of wool from one of the sheep onto the scratchy spot. Looked stupid, but worked.

(Things that cannot be fixed with duct tape or a wad of wool should always be viewed with suspicion – as potential soul-suckers.)

Here’s another thing that makes no sense to me: hiring a pink stretch limousine to haul your daughter’s lazy butt, and those of some of her friends, to go see the Premiere of the last Harry Potter movie. Does anyone else think that’s a bit much? Or is it just me?

Last night, we had the briefest storm that produced just enough rain to raise the humidity level from unbearable to parboil. Land sakes, I'm hot! I cannot imaging how anybody survives the kind of temperatures they're suffering out West.

I went out to feed my bottle lamb in the wee hours of the morning, out the kitchen door rather than the front door, so I wouldn't disturb the dog who was sleeping soundly after an evening of sheep rustling with me. We had to bring an older ewe home from distant pasture so we can keep a close eye on her. Her lambs are kind of wild, and were a problem to catch up with. If I don't register a weight loss when I step on the scale after all that running up and down the hill in the heat, I'll sue. Anyway ... as I passed the cellar door that I had left open, out scrambled a skunk. I haven't yet gone to see if he left his calling card while he was in there. Oh, please ...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Did I even SAY that ... ?

I think I may have told someone, or posted, that we seldom get more than one summer lamb in any given year. Well, if you think you hear a chomping noise, it's just me. Eating my words. Today, we had numbers 10 and 11.

I knew something was fishy (or should I say, "lamb-y"?) this morning when I went out for chores. While everyone else was budging their way to the feeders for grain, one ewe lingered way down at the bottom of the pasture where the other mommies had given birth. She was blatting a lot, so I went down and checked around to see if she had a weak lamb waiting for help. Nope.

I had to go to the dentist to see about fixing some broken teeth. (Yes. Again!) When I got home, DH told me there's a new lamb in the barn, the momma being the old gal who cannot feed her own babies and expects me to bottle feed them for her. So I went to do my duty. Well ... there were two I hadn't seen before. I had to stand back and observe for quite a while to figure out that the ewe who was blatting in the morning was the mother of one of them. But that still leaves me with a bottle lamb to take care of. Realize this means round-the-clock feedings, just as if it were human baby. I'M TOO OLD FOR THIS!

I daresn't complain, though, because DH keeps telling me to get rid of the momma. But I can't stand the thought of sending her to her demise just because she's too old to manage everything on her own. (Maybe I'm afraid that what goes around, comes around. Or else I'm just an idiot.)

I've told my son that when I get that old, he should just shoot me and bury me in the compost heap. Nobody will be any the wiser. He thinks he has a better plan: he'll tether me in the garden and build a tall fence around it. He'll leave me a bowl of water, so I can stay out there all day. (Come to think of it, he didn't say who'd fetch me in at night, though. Hmmm ...)

As far as the trip to the dentist? I don't wanna talk about it. It's a never-ending battle with me because I grind my teeth in my sleep. Do you think I have a little stress in my life? Or what?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Plant Propagation ...

I am a gardener. I've been mocked by friends and family because I enjoy gardening so much I'll read whole books on one species of plant. (Ahem ... you mockers know who you are!) I like to plant things. I like to weed things (keep your comments to yourself, thank you very much). I like to shovel and hoe. I don't especially like the harvesting part of gardening. Nothing worse than picking beans, as far as I'm concerned.

What I like the most, I think, is propagating plants. It can be done by planting seeds, by starting cuttings, layering, division -- all of these things fascinate me. If I could just get someone to take care of the other details in my life for me, I'd specialize in it!

Here's an old-fashioned climbing rose grown from a piece "rescued" from an abandoned farm overgrown with weeds.

There's a pretty bush in my front yard that someone in another state passed along to me via my sister -- and asked for only a few comfrey plants in return. How cool is that?!?

Here are some daylilies just beginning to put on a show this morning, given to me by a friend who's neighbor had dug and tossed them.

I have a massive lilac bush and a mock orange in my yard that I started from a small clipping cut from yet another of those abandoned farm sites. Okay, the mock orange came from the front of the office building where I used to work -- just nipped off a small piece of a branch on my way out one evening. And that's not to mention the clumps of daffodils I've accumulated by digging just a couple from those old places, too.

The problem is, there are so many other things to be done around here that I run out of time before I run out of good ideas. I need a crew of workers to help. Guess I'll have to take a ride to the city and find some of those people who hold up signs that say, "Will Work for Food." Yeah, right!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The New Generation’s Logic …

We had visitors over the holiday weekend, and that included some pre-teens who anxiously awaited the fireworks display with cameras in hand. I’m pretty sure they spent more time trying to focus their cameras than actually watching the sparkly explosions in the sky. One camera-less child repeatedly asked her Mom to video it for her. I gently suggested that we just enjoy the moment and not worry about having it on camera. But what really cracked me up was when one said to another, “I wish the fireworks would hurry up and end so I can go watch them on my video.”


The girls kept busy for four days playing together, riding the horse, and inventing games that involved jumping from one huge hay bale to the next with results that reminded me of the “Wipeout” commercials on TV. The boys in this group divided their time up between bouncing on the trampoline and playing video games on my computer. One would play while the others watched over his shoulder. Then they’d change places, taking turns at the controls. They seem to enjoy this kind of “activity.” I use that term generously, because I see little activity taking place, unless you count the sound effects coming from the guys. Somehow I have a hard time imagining that my parents would have allowed much of this. Unless it was raining or pitch black nighttime, it was always “Go outside and play.” Our neighborhood gang (that included anyone old enough to walk and not yet old enough to drive) played games that encompassed several blocks of back yards, and lasted for weeks during the summer. Each day, we’d pick up where we left off the evening before. When the town’s curfew whistle blew, we all scrambled for home on a run, because we dared not be late.

Eventually, most everyone here for the weekend headed up to the pond with a kayak in tow. The first one in the craft dumped himself before ever launching away from the edge of the water, much to the amusement of all the others. When they came back to the house, they were all dripping wet from an unplanned dip in the pond. Everyone was laughing and jabbering at the same time. Now, THAT is what I’d call genuine activity.

So much for that … now it’s back to the old grind for all the parents and grandparents. The kids? They’ll probably continue doing what they like best for the rest of the summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who DAT?

Carol's quilt -- mostly Stitch-In-The-Ditch, but encircled with feathers. The outside border is filled with a curvy feather design, as well.

* * *
Saturday evening when I returned home from fetching grandkids, DH informed me we had an unexpected lamb. It's not that big of a surprise. The momma ewe is an oddball in the flock who always waits till summer to have her babies. We just hadn't paid a lot of attention to the flock because they're out on pasture, and with a brief glance at feeding time it has looked like everyone's okay.

The lamb was a husky fellow, and is doing very well out with the big guys, sez DH. But because I have to have something to fret about at all times, I decided to check up on him -- just in case. So first thing in the morning, I trekked up to have a peek. Well, now ... to me that lamb I see looks awfully wobbly for a day-old baby. It looks more like it was just born. I turned aside for a few minutes and came back to have a closer look. Then there were TWO wet and wobbly ones. Another ewe had just had twins. The momma is last year's bottle lamb, and I had no idea she was expecting.

We had a terrible thunderstorm last night complete with torrents of rain. (So that explains it! You know they always lamb in the worst weather.) I even thought about trying to go out in the dark and fetch them back to the barn, but realized it would be a mistake to attempt it. I tossed and turned all night, hoping they'd be okay. This morning the lambs look a little stunned but none the worse for wear.

(all of the above was written and put on hold for a week, waiting for me to get a photo or two of the lambs ... the following is from today)

Just now, I counted heads in the sheep pasture and snapped this on the run. That's why it's so blurry.

Hey! WhoDAT?!?

... and another one say'd, "Who DAT say whodat?"