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Sunday, May 17, 2015

And Why Am I thinking About Another?

The beasts are just being pains in the butt this morning. Not listening, being pig headed, and ignoring anything you tell them to do. Then when you get upset, they are keeping their distance and acting like we beat them. Because that helps calm you down when you're already irritated and now they won't respond.

At least they didn't spill the tea I never brewed this morning. They have; however, spilled The Guy's coffee I brewed for him at least twice, being little F$#% Wits. Deep breath, everyone go chill out and think about the next step.

So I'm here finishing up that pattern I told you I may have for the next posting. You can get My Window Onto The Woods by clicking that green name link right there. It's a simple pattern using garter and stockinette stitches to create a "window frame" effect. It's a small lap blanket, or prayer shawl in it's entirety. I made it to replace a shawl that used to be in the living room for cool winter night when you just need something to sit across your legs or shoulders.

So, that's two major projects off the needles. Guess I should return to the Fox Paws pattern, right? Maybe. It's getting near time to ramp up for Tour De'Fleece 2015! Yay!

Until then, I think I should work on some stuff around here today. I should have bought some milk to make bread, but I didn't. Didn't even cross my mind at the store yesterday, but I thought of it this morning. I'm thinking homemade pizza sounds good for dinner though, and for that I need dough for crust, right?

This weeks pictures are a mash of ones I took over the last few weeks that have been sitting on my camera ignored.

Since I haven't taken many this week, which I need to start carrying a camera on the morning dog walk to remedy this.

Many of the birds you will notice have a blur to them, or halo effect on shiny things. That's the window screen playing with the light as it's not the focal point of the pictures.

We've had lot's of bird traffic this week. Caught this shy little Indigo Bunting the other day quick as flitted into the pine from the feeder. Haven't seen him back. Have yet to snag a picture of the Oriole I've seen a few times in the apple tree.

But, speaking of nectar feeders, the Hummingbirds are back in town. First saw one last Monday afternoon zooming around the deck, and soon saw them at the feeders after I put them up.

What can I say, they're favorites.

There's just something about them.

And the always present Robins. It appears that something raided the nest in the yard and we haven't had them return to it. No eggs... That's a shame but Im' not surprised. It's fairly easy to see in it's spot.

Too boot, while planting the window boxes Friday, I startled up a nice big fat Garter Snake. I think, based on the spacing of her size, that she may have been pregnant. Not that I've ever seen Garters in trees, but I know the local Brown's are adept at climbing trees and raiding bird nests for tasty eggs.

Since spring is in full swing, we've quit putting out suet. We just don't want the mess, nor the squirrels and dogs attracted to it. We've still seen and heard the woodpeckers around, but sightings at the feeders are down. The Nut Hatches as usual though, are happy to swoop in for some sunflower seeds.

And the doves. They seem to enjoy hanging around under the feeders for the dropped seeds. They as well as many of the finches are getting braver around us as they realize we are not going to bother them. We even had a little goldfinch sit on the feeder out front while were in and out of the garage several times mere feet from the feeder. He kept eating and keeping an eye on us but didn't budge until he was ready to.

These are from the farm field in the back of us. There's a farm off to the north west of us.

And if I had a pair of shears, a great source of fiber just to our west. Sometimes in the evening the sheep are quite vocal and it's kind of nice to sit out and listen to them.

This week The Guy ordered some more trees. This next spring and summer I hope we have more flowering plants to draw in birds and bees. And Grapes! Let's see if my hopes for grapes are any better in Michigan than they were in Wyoming. Although, the last couple years, I did have a few grapes to eat to myself.

They will be planed inside the fence since the deer are ever present. It appears that a young buck used the magnolia as a scratching post this last year for his itchy antler velvet and the top of the tree is now dead. We'll see how it does, but a new magnolia was in the order. Despite the abundance of grass and lack of tree damage by nibbling deer, it appears we still must take precautions with young trees. That dang nature just insists on running wild. Sometimes like my dogs... wee heathens.

Friday, May 15, 2015

You Zig, I Zag

So, after a bit of planning and playing, and a lot of knitting, I introduce you to "You Zig, I Zag". Hit that link to take you straight to the pdf document.

Even Sullivan Likes it.

As usual, nothing is as easy as it should be, so here's the videos regarding the couple of techniques I use that are supposed to be hyperlinked into the pattern, but the pdf conversion refused to accept the formatting.

Let me know what you think...

I'll be back Sunday for a real post, and if I get a lot of knitting done between now and then which will require a lot less computer and gardening time, I may have another pattern for you then too.


Monday, May 11, 2015

And it just keeps dragging on

It's been a week here. Sorry, Never found my way to the computer to make a blog post last night. Heck, my eyes were shutting down at 8 as I tried to listen to the end of a book and knit on a project that REALLY needs to be off the needles.  Because I'm so done with it.

All the knitters, or any crafter knows what I'm talking about. Hell, anyone with any kind of "project" knows this feeling. That feeling that this item needs to get off the radar. Be done so you never have to look at it again. Don't worry, when it's done I'll post the pattern so you all can have the joy of it too. It's not that bad, it's just tedious now that I'm almost done because it's a lot of knitting. And by a lot, I mean A LOT.

So, instead of knitting, I've been doing more weaving. I was right about just needing more practice with the loom. This project warped up in 6 hours although it's more ends than the previous one. All though, another lesson learned, keep the hairy yarn as weft only, or at least don't thread it through heddles until fully wound on. It's a bitch winding your warp on through the heddles when it's all stuck to it's hairy self! The yarn is actually a fun cotton acrylic nylon blend. I know, I'can't believe I just praised an acrylic, but it's one of those amazing ones that doesn't feel like an acrylic. And it has a mohair haze, feels like mohair, and I know it's the acrylic that does it! Crazy. This piece is going to have a nice little halo when it's all done. The colors as usual in a pic aren't quite right and the striping looks a bit more bold than it really is.

Let's play the "name that plant" game, shall we? If you know what they are, throw them in the comments. I would love to know what all these beautiful flowers I live around are.

But alas, I ran out of yarn for that project so while I await other yarn, I will return to the two knitting projects I'm so thoroughly done with. Maybe I can keep my eyes open tonight since I'm not near so tired? Yeah right. I was up by 430 and at work before 6 today, but I'll give it a shot after dinner.

Speaking of dinner, check these out bad boys out... Shrimp tacos! That's what I made last night. I sautéed the shrimp up in olive oil after letting them sit in lime juice, toasted sesame oil, cumin, garlic, and fresh pepper and sea salt for a while. Then I simply chopped up some green onion, radish, cucumber, roma tomatoes, cilantro, radish, and fresh mango, with more lime juice and a splash of rice vinegar. Mashed up some avocados into fresh guacamole and threw it all on a tortilla. I had mentioned shrimp tacos to The Guy earlier in the weekend and he looked at me like I was crazy, so I made a convert of him. Of course, he would have been happier without the veggie salsa and if I just gave him a bottle of ketchup, but oh well. He got what he got.

Oh, the mangos are those little yellow ones. I find them here often and they are so tasty. I think I prefer them over the regular larger green and red ones.

the Guy was gone again last week, so my life was dog walks and sleeping when not at work. Though at least I was off work by 7 all last week. Better than after 8 as the last two weeks had been. So that was nice.

And with spring solidly here, we had sun late enough that it was light for the evening walks and it was coking up during the morning walks. Makes it just feel better to have the sun light on you. And it makes my freckles pop.

You don't have to tell me what these are, thanks... I know what a tulip is.

this year, Spring is well ahead of where it was this time last year. We had very few blooms when we moved in at the end of May, and this year we have already burned through the Daffodils, and are now deep into Tulip and Muscari season. And every variety of Lilly we have is up and reaching for the sky though it will be quite sometime before we get blossoms. And the Iris's (Thanks Kim!) are getting ready to bloom!

The Pears and Apples have already bloomed out and I saw a hummingbird buzzing around the deck today so we hung the feeders up before our passing rain storm dropped it all on us. As I type this though, the sun is out, and the birds are singing.

Speaking of singing birds, I need to get some video recordings I have up and posted next week. I swear, the other day I just wanted to open a window and shout for everything to be quite for 5 minutes. Then I realized two things. One, it wouldn't have worked anyway, and two, I like the sounds even when I miss the quiet occasionally. Between the night and evening bug and amphibian calls, and the morning to afternoon bird calls, I was just missing a bit of quiet the other day. But I got over it.

Other things that I haven't gotten over... I don't think I've told you about my little strike agains all things J & K. J &K you ask? Yes, J and K, because I don't want anyone who even googles either of the family names to get a hit off my blog, because I am so sick of hearing these names and doubt that unless one of them goes on a shooting spree, that they will do anything that should be reported on, regardless of what the rest of the media-sphere thinks. Still stumped? Let's try this, I'm speaking of the J3nn3r and K4rd4sh14n tribes. Think that will stop them from popping up in a search engine?

Seriously. Why do I care if one of them wants to have sex reassignment surgery? Wait, I don't. To boot, I'm concerned by anyone who truly does care whether Bruce is an innie or an outie, besides a member of his actual inner circle. For that matter, I don't care about one of his step children's latest public wardrobe failures or paparazzi snapped cellulite. On top of that, I find it insulting that new agencies, and I use that term as loosely as possible if they cover one of these "stories" think that they are worthy of even a sidebar. So, I've gone on the J & K strike. If I pull up a news web page, or have the television on, and any member of this family is even mentioned, I either close the browser window immediately, or change channels or turn off the television. They get no more of my time for they mean nothing to me and I sure as hell know they aren't wasting their time worrying about me. And if that "news agency" thinks thats news worthy, I don't bother reading anymore of their coverage of anything for the day because I doubt anything else they see as important news will be worth my time.

And a little tip out there for anyone who manages to get themselves arrested. Don't run. Don't scream, don't shout. Do exactly what the officer tells you to do and be respectful. If you can't keep the words out of your mouth clean, keep your mouth shut. You can rant and rave later in the court room, in holding, or with your lawyer. When you are helpless at another's hands and they have weapons at their disposal and your next thirty minutes are in their hands, it's time to shut it down. Is this the way it should be, I think it is. Your actions in some form have gotten you in the system from that first contact with an officer, you now behave as the system deems appropriate or your pay a price.

Cops have a shitty job guys. They deal with people at their worse. Doing so gets their juices going. When you walk into a situation and even if you are the only one who perceives a threat to you, your adrenaline pumps and you become reactive. Someone who becomes reactive is not logic in motion. Add to that, that their underlying personality may be an asshole, and you are now possibly at the mercy of an armed asshole. So behave in a manner that won't assure that you get your ass handed to you.

I understand there's two sides to every story. I do. I understand that we don't know all the fact about any death, much less those at the hands of law enforcement officers. But I also see how ones own actions causes a situation to spiral downward. I've met plenty of cops in the various jobs I've worked. And just like in all the jobs I worked some of my coworkers were great and a joy to be around, some were pricks, same goes for any police force. Any group of people has a few dicks in it. Hell, any group of people has a few racist pigs in it, even if they keep it mostly to themselves. The problem in any group of people is that the assholes tend to stick together, and if one gets some power behind them, they stick up and pull strings for the other assholes. You don't know when you are being cuffed if you have one of the good guys that are doing their job and feel that they are serving their community, or if you have a giant prick with a badge that makes him feel like he IS the law. Is that a game of roulette you are really willing to play? Then again, your juices are probably flowing too, and you're not logic in motion either. So take a deep breath here.

To change a system, you have to work within the system to identify the problems and resolve them. Not get yourself into the hands of the very dicks you're pissed at by holding riots and committing more crime. It doesn't make the general public that you have now destroyed their property, or hurt their loved ones who were in no way responsible for any of it, sympathetic to your cries either.

Make your mother's happy, and get yourself home safely. Everything goes better with some respect and compassion from both sides, even when you have to dig deep to find it. I'm tired of turning on the news to see a kid getting themselves shot, and then more kids risking the same all for a chance to shout at what they perceive is their enemy. I can't imagine what their families feel like putting their kids in the ground and can only imagine the hurt, the pain, and the hate such things cause, and isn't it amazing how hate never manages to find the right target?

Okay, that got way to serious there... Want to hear a joke?

A Lutheran man walks into the lingerie department of Macy's in New York City. He tells the sales lady, "I would like a Lutheran bra for my wife, size-34B."

With a quizzical look the sales lady asks, "What kind of bra?"

He repeats, "A Lutheran bra. My wife said to tell you that she wanted a Lutheran bra, and that you would know what she wanted."

"Oh, yes, now I understand," says the sales lady. "We don't get as many requests for them as we used to. Most of our customers lately want the Catholic bra, the Salvation Army bra, or the Presbyterian bra."

Confused, and a little flustered, the man asks, "So, what are the differences?"

The sales lady responds. "It's really quite simple. The Catholic bra supports the masses, the Salvation Army bra lifts up the fallen, and the Presbyterian bra keeps them staunch and upright."

He muses on that information for a minute and says, "Hmm. I know I'll regret asking, but what does the Lutheran bra do?"

"Ah," she replied, "the Lutheran bra makes mountains out of molehills!!!"

~As seen in an email that was circulated. Sorry, I don't know who to give credit to

Isn't it amazing how a joke about bra's and their contents just lightens up the mood. If you have nay regarding jock straps and their contents, just plop it right there in the comments. They always light my mood too.

Sullivan says, "Goodnight"

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dog Shaming

Do You See This?!?

This is the face of shame. Shame for his brutal murder of Lucy the chicken.

That's right. We are down to three chickens. After all the work, and seeming to be over his issues, Emmitt took advantage of our lack of attention today. So his still damp from the bath; post two walks and a frisbee session, little furry ass is in doggy jail for a bit. He will no longer be allowed to be around the chickens unattended, and maybe not even then. Maybe next time he's out, I'll put him in the coop and let them out?

Actually, the girls are transitioning to be outdoor birds this next week. During the heat of the day they can be out in their coop. When someones home, that can be out of the coop. At night they'll come back in to the brood box until night temps are high enough for them to stay out even then.

And speaking of birds, we have some unintended birds in the yard, that we're glad to keep around. That's right, we have a robins nest in one of our maples. I can only see two eggs here and this is as close with a zoom as I'm really going to get to the tree to keep them feeling safe and around the yard.

On today's walk, I found a molted blue jay feather. Sorry, most of todays posts were taken with the iPhone and it's being a bitch again about focusing. Or perhaps not, you do know what focus means, right? It's really an acronym...

F uck
O ff
C 'uz
U r
S tupid

So, If I've told any of you to "focus" randomly for no apparent reason, you now know what I was truly saying. And it had nothing to do with your ADD. A paramedic I worked with once told me that and I kind of like it, because well, we've all had those conversations with people that you can't seem to get something simple through to them and this is what you really wanted to say, right?

Anyway, it's been  crazy week here. How about you guys?

This morning I wrapped up the bath mat! All done. Not the prettiest weaving job, but I learned somethings I'm excited to try on the next project along the way. Such as Selvedges and that I should really have hemstitched the leader edge before winding on. Oh well, the guy was a sport and held tension across the rug while I hemstitched the first edge then cut off the loom before actually hemming and washing the mat. I declare, "Not Bad". Too bad it took me about 8 inches to get my edges going strong. Good selvedges may have helped... Oh well, lessons learned.

Then I took the boys for a walk in the peace park. Being solidly in the 70's they were panting away so we cut it a little short, watered them and then headed to the dog park for a frisbee romp after they cooled off a bit en route. Then we all had baths, brushing and nail clippings.

If we keep these temps as they're calling for we're going to have full leaves by next weekend. I love how these ones seem to unravel out of their golden bronzes bud casings.

And we should have a bumper crop of maple whirligig seed pods. Does anyone know, are Maples like Cottonwoods and have male and female trees? We have one in the back that seems to get little tiny blooms, but never gets seed pods, and I was assuming it's a male.

Even though the whirlygigs are a bit of a mess, I like them. It must be the Alaska kid in me that's used to aspens, willows, and birches, and a whole mess of different pines, but never really grew up around the hardwoods.

See, tiny ones! Well, you could if it weren't so damn blurry. Let me go get another shot, the suns back out.

There you go. Oooh, pretty.

And here's the tree noticeably lacking any seed pods. You can't see here in this photo but there are still the little dried stems left behind from the "pollen plugs" I'm calling flowers that it had. They really weren't flowers in that sense, but that's as close to a description as I have for them. So, if they are like Cottonwoods, the boys have these "flowers" that produce pollen, or a trees endosperm, and the female trees little "flowers" are receptacles for the boy's pollen, and wala, we have seeds. Other non-sex trees and plants can self pollinate since theirs flowers have both the pollen creating bodies, and the seeding bodies in them.

Anyway, onto other things, like this delicious dinner that I wish I were re-creating tonight.

Jerked shrimp and pineapple kabobs. All I've eaten today is my breakfast Nutella and carmel pear jam sandwich and it's showing... I'm short on temper with chicken killing dogs. That's why he's in doggie jail. It's for his own protection.

So, I suppose I should go hunt up something for dinner.

Oh, and I snapped these the other day on a walk as they were popping up out of a front yard the boys and I were trotting by. I heard some feathery sounds behind me while snapping these but was stunned when I turn around and startled up the half dozen vultures that were lined up on the top ridge of this houses roof. None of the shots I got off were any good, but I thought, is that a good omen or a bad one if you vultures roosting overnight on your house?

And I found these while walking today too... Spring is here I say!

Even the bugs know it. We hung up the wasp deterrents the other day. We were noticing a lot of them around already so I placed them out and I'm noticing I see fewer already. We'll have the ones that don't care but it does seem to quiet the action down a bit.

And if anyone can tell me what this ground cover that's on the side of the house is, feel free to let me know. You'll get bonus points. For what, don't know, but you'll get them anyhow. Now, I need to go find something to consume or perish in the attempt.