Monday, January 19, 2015

Brrr!

We had some cold weather last week.  So cold that on the way down the driveway to drop my poor kid off for the bus the car thermometer looked like this:



On the way back up the driveway, it looked like this:



It was the kind of day when a fresh container of water for the chickens would start to freeze on the 60 foot walk between the house and the coop and when even the frost makes its way inside to warm up a bit:




So we did what any rational people would do with this kind of weather:  we boiled some water, threw it out the door, and watched it snow:



Today we are back to normal:  30F, snowy and blowy, with a treacherous layer of ice on all the walkways where the snow that softened in yesterday's 40F re-froze last night.  I am, of course, thrilled that I have (almost) nowhere to go today.   I will even try not to complain about the fact that my hot coffee and warm blanket time will be spent working rather than goofing around, because it's still nicer than dealing with the great outdoors right now.

Before I get on with the dreaded employment, I will leave you with a small and cheerful WIP to counteract any sympathetic shivers you might feel on my behalf.



It's the bottom half of the first of a pair of Fiddlehead mitten, which I am making to replace these sorely missed mittens, which vanished last year.



At the rate I'm going, they should be done and lined sometime in June. How very useful.


Stay warm!

Monday, January 5, 2015

A World Gone Mad

This was in my inbox this morning and I can only conclude that someone in the advertising profession has lost his or her mind. 




 Did you read it?  Let's summarize the theory here:  Never mind the live action outside, kids; it's time to ignore the great outdoors and  improve your understanding of nature by staying inside and playing with plastic bricks.

Well, there's a grand idea.


Who wouldn't want to trade all the colorful action outside for these utterly life-like models?



Not that the birds aren't cute, in their oddly modular way, but I have to say that I find the beaks a bit sinister.  They look strangely militaristic and I keep expecting them to fire little green laser blips. Which, of course, would please my boys immensely and send them running for the nearest Lego store  so they could add a new threat to their ongoing Lego battle.

Naturally.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Just Some Stuff

Some things just have to be done:



Some things are so much fun, they should be done again:



Baking is, of course, much more fun with my new friends.

Speaking of fun, some of us are back in third grade, the land of the Friday Letter.  In this week's missive, we learned that Matthew has apparently emigrated to Australia:








Can't read third grade-ese? He says:
Dear Mum and Dad,  
G'day and greetings from Australia or "the land down under." Did you know that Australia is both a country and a continent? Since Australia was once owned by Britain, it [is] still their chief of state.  That is why there are so many british expressions. And Mum, I really with Nate would nick off, he's always eating my cheese!  By the way, I will say ta later.  And by the way, can we have a barbie for tea?  Please write back.   
Love, Matt

So we did:








Saturday, October 25, 2014

Caught in Her Own Trap

So my daughter is in the other room sorting through the many partial decks of cards we have accumulated.  The following conversation ensues.

Isa:  We're missing the 4 of spades.
Me: You're the 4 of spades.
Isa:  No I'm not.  I'm the Ace of spades, the awesomest card there is.

Silence for a bit while she sorts another deck.

Isa:  We're missing the Ace of spades.
Me:  You're the Ace of spades.
Isa:  No I'm not. (pause)  Well, yes I am.
Me:  Wow, you really are a contrarian today.
Isa:  Am not!

Does anyone else have conversations like this?

So that you won't think my life is made up entirely of oddball conversations with my kids, here is a picture of a snake that I stepped on this morning:



Isn't it cute?  It was sunning itself in the road while I was taking my walk today and I didn't see it until I had just barely set my foot on it.  It became very irate and opened its mouth as wide as it would go and lunged at me and flicked its red tongue,  all of which would have been impressive if the snake hadn't been miniscule. Unable to frighten me away, poor Snake had to avenge his disrupted  nap and near-squashing by refusing to let me catch a picture of it in its "enraged snake" pose.  Silly reptile.

The last picture today is the sample for the project I plan to start this weekend.



We will for now politely ignore the sweater that I absolutely had to start a few weeks ago and the pair of socks that would not be denied a chance at existence the week before that.  They remain very important to me, but this project, which at its full size will be a beaded merino-silk stole, has a deadline because I want it for a fancy dress party we're going to in December. Nothing like a deadline to help you prioritize, although it is very likely that my priorities will shift again when I decide that I'm cold and want a new sweater.

It turns out that it's next to impossible to take a good picture of clear beads with an iPhone, so you'll have to take my word for the fact that I will not be using the purple beads for this project (although I am hoping there will be enough left over yarn for a second project that will use the purple beads). Instead I will be using the invisible beads on the left, while ignoring the slightly visible beads in the middle, which are actually the kind of beads called for in the pattern.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Half-Mad

We had a little meltdown here the other day.

By "we" I mean those of us who are sixteen years old and passionately attached to our iPhones.  And by "meltdown" I mean a crisis of epic proportions.  A emotional event that, left unchecked, could level a city.

It started when PhoneGirl tried to update the operating system on her beloved companion and ended up with an unresponsive black screen instead of than the highly anticipated iOS8.  This was followed by the usual ranting and raving, and panicked plugging in of phones to this computer and that, all to no avail.  In the depths of her despair, PhoneGirl seems to have tried to comfort herself by hearkening back to the halcyon days of her youth ("Enjoy it now," she loves to tell poor Matthew, who is all of 8 years old, "pretty soon you'll be in High School and its all SUFFERING there!").  That is to say, she found this



and this



and went to work.


Observe now, if you will, the shocking evidence of one teenager's descent into iPhone madness:
























Clearly, the suffering was overwhelming.  And, fortunately, fairly short lived.  By the time our damsel in distress was eyeing the activities on page 56, the cherished phone beeped back into consciousness.  It's memory had been wiped, but it had clearly returned from the land of the lost and all was on the way to being well again.

Until the next Teen Drama.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Half-Truths

I'm back, which I suppose is an unnecessarily obvious thing to point out.

I still have nothing to say about where my summer went, but before I put on my audiobook and crank out the rest of the rigid heddle table runner that I still have not freaking finished (and let's not even mention the Socks of Eternal Knitting and the Scarf That Refuses to End), here are a few pictures from this past week that I just can't not share.

First, apples and honey for a sweet new year.



 My kids scarfed them down during dinner the other night, even though I had imagined I was serving them for dessert. That's how much I know, right?

Second, it would appear that Freddy and the Gang are either hot on the trail of the next masked creeper or desperately in need of Scooby Snacks, because this is what Isabel and I found in the Target parking lot Tuesday when we did our last minute shop to make sure she and the boys had something decent to wear to Temple on Thursday.




We were neither the sole nor the boldest photographers on the scene:





And last, we have our Wildlife Update. We've been seeing an awful lot of teeny tiny snakes.


 

This one had the good fortune to still be alive. The others have mostly been lying flattened in the road. Their elders do not seem to have done an effective job of teaching survival skills, such as Not Getting Run Over by Cars.

 That's all, except to wish you all a  Happy Friday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lies!

Ahem.

Well, I, uh, was supposed to show up last Monday with marvelously entertaining tales from the summer that just sped by us.  Since it is, as far as I can tell, no longer Monday, perhaps we are gaining a small understanding of why it is that I think a summer vacation that was fully 10 weeks long (well, minus a day, if you want to be strictly accurate) passed in the blink of an eye. That is to say-- as my eldest and most infuriatingly punctual child is regularly tempted to point out-- I occasionally demonstrate a faulty understanding of time.  I prefer to think that I have such an advanced concept of the matter that I have evolved beyond the need for clocks and calendars. Unlike certain persons of limited imagination and understanding that I could mention. So far I have found very few people who see things my way, which often happens to those of us who seek to enlighten the world with such mind-blowing explanations.

To distract us all from this unfortunate topic, here is a picture of some yarn.



"Oh no!"  I hear you groan.  "Not more knitting!"

And you will be relieved to hear that all this fluff is instead destined for the loom.  Not all in the same project, of course.  I may (or may not, depending on enrollment) be teaching an introductory class in rigid heddle weaving.  The yarn is intended for a sample of the first class project, a scarf.  If I am super-speedy, I will make more than one scarf in order to demonstrate different fabrics and color effects etc. etc., and if I am as slow as usual, I will put the extra yarn away in the drawer and pull up some useful project pictures from Ravelry.

And that's all I have to say for today.  I will be back on Monday at some date in the not too distant future and maybe I will have a finished table runner to show (that's the blue thing underneath all my yarn). Or a new door for the chicken coop.  Or some totally unnecessary goodies from the fiber festival I'm going to tomorrow. At this point, I'm making no promises.