Monday, December 31, 2012

How Christmas was ruined AGAIN

This is a long post, filled with cursing, ranting and bile.  I apologize to anyone not in my family.  For those, let me say that Christmas was ruined again, this time it is solely the fault of my Brother In Law, Dan.

Readers Digest Version: I invited Dave's family for a celebration here on Saturday.  They intended on spending the weekend here. Everything was going great until about 10 pm when my Brother In Law deliberately started a political fight with my husband. This escalated into a whole family fight. In the end, my Father In Law decided they weren't welcome, shoved every one into the van and took off.  Despite all efforts to make them calm down, they refused. Mostly because my Brother In Law would not shut is mouth. David and I are now disowned by that side of the family and will never see them again.

For those of you who still think Christmas is a beautiful, wondrous time of year, please stop reading now, because your life does not need this.

(this is where I have the urge to post the photo of my Brother In Law, but the lame ass motherfucker would probably sue..he thinks his shit don't stink, and that he's 'perfect.' Yes a man who had to move back in with Mommy and Daddy at the age of 50 because he could not find a job in California, got a job in a factory and has lived with Mommy and Daddy since [what's it been Dan, 3.....4 years now? Can't find your own place in Town? You're living with you MOM AND DAD and you're older than me! Face it, you.are.pathetic, and verbally abusing women doesn't make you awesome, it makes you vile.])

For my family, you'll hear an entirely different side of this story, I am sure: The one where we 'forced people out of our homes in the middle of the night.'   Which is complete and utter bullshit: THEY DECIDED TO LEAVE and nothing would have changed their minds. But hey, it keeps with the ol, "Dave and Brenda are EEEEEEVIL" mantra doesn't it?

Dan started it by not keeping his FAT MOUTH SHUT! There is an explicit rule at family gatherings: NO POLITICS, NO RELIGION!!!  Did ya hear that DAN??!?! OR did you think it did not pertain to you???

I bet you did, because you're soooooooooo much better than us, aren't you?


AND YES, making derogatory remarks or pretending to gag about stuff on the news IS CONSIDERED TALKING ABOUT POLITICS!! I don't give two rats asses' what you say, YOU DELIBERATELY STARTED A FIGHT WITH MY HUSBAND OVER POLITICS BECAUSE YOU KNEW WHERE IT WOULD GO.

I find it so very very lame and so very very STUPID (Like you called us about 100 times) that you would:
1. Start a fight about this shit. I mean really? You KNEW it would start us off but you did it anyways.
2. Your abject and obsessive worship over Obama and his ilk is nauseating, and repulsive. You, your Mom and Dad just decided that Obama is more important than your family. A MAN YOU HAVE NEVER MET gets precedence over your family. That's how bad your worship of him is.  I know you don't see it, but the rest of the world finds that just so telling. Keep your Messiah, and honestly, why are you even pretending to worship God? Stop going to church and just set up an Obama altar in your house.  It'll save you time on Sundays.
3. Just because your Messiah gets criticized, you decide to break family ties. Really? (I honestly stopped counting during this whole incident how many times I said Really? Because only INSANE people talk like you three.) How does one get to the point where they will break a family up over a GUY???? Even over a political idea?
4. Tolerance? HA! Who invited whom over for a celebration? WHO started the fight? I mean, is politics so much more valuable to your life that you cannot even shut your fucking holes about it for 2 days?!?! WE DID!! I found zillions more to talk about. but you? OH HELL NO! PRAISE BE OBAMA! Makes the rest of us want to fucking puke all over your shoes.  YOU ARE INTOLERANT, BIASED ASSHOLES! Just admit it and you'll feel better.
5. Dan, you sat there and proceed to 'educate' us on how awesome your side of the political aisle, because we only read the 'conservative news.'  I did not ask, nor need your opinion. The simple fact that you cannot refrain from doing so means that you have a mental illness that should be reviewed by a professional.  I came *thisclose* to decking your sorry ass.  No one cares what you think, no one wants to hear your shit, just SHUT THE FUCK UP!
6. Then get Dad and Mom into it. You are such a fucking prick! You KNEW EXACTLY what you were doing! But then again, we would not know how they truly feel about us if you didn't.  I honestly did not know my Father In Law and My Mother In Law think we are stupid, evil people.  I'm sorry you had to 'put up with us.' for so long. If that's what you think of us, maybe you ought to go see if you can get a trophy or something befitting of a Martyr.
7. DAN, YOU CONTINUED TO FIGHT EVEN WHEN YOUR KID TOLD YOU TO STOP!!!  Don't you know what kid of spot you put your son in??? He was home for THREE DAYS!! and you turned it into a disaster! For what??? Because you needed to prove how awesome you are? I feel bad for EJ: he wanted to see his family, not be shlepped all over Wisconsin because YOU CAN'T KEEP YOUR FAT MOUTH SHUT!

EJ, I am sorry this happened. Like I said, when you allow nameless, faceless people on TV to form your opinions on people you've known your entire lives, this is what you get.  

You and your Sister's families are welcome to my home ANY TIME.  Bring your families, we'll throw something dead on the grill, swim in the summer, sled in the winter.  We love you and wish you all the best!

Your Father, however is not welcome here. If he steps foot on my land again, he'll get one warning to leave and if he refuses (like I think he will) I will make sure he leaves with a limp. Yes, THAT is how much I hate him now.  He's done nothing but tear this family apart.

8. That whole thing about believing some voice on the phone who 'told' you to go to Pearl St. instead of Pontiac to pick up the bus told me all I ever needed to know about your worthless ass.  I TOLD YOU FIVE TIMES WHERE THE TERMINAL WAS - FIVE FUCKING TIMES! I've lived here all my life,  my Uncle WORKS for Van Galder, but you believe some chick on the phone before me???? You suck.
-and when I called Van Galder back, the lady on the phone said, "Oh we would have never told him to go to Pearl St." That's when I said, "Oh I know but he does not believe me when I said that the terminal is on Pontiac."
And when I said to you that the lady confirmed the terminal on Pontiac, YOU STILL REFUSED TO LISTEN TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You got on the phone and spoke to her. Oh and what did she say, Dan???THE SAME THING I DID!!  Again, YOU ARE PATHETIC! No wonder you've been through two wives! Let me give you a hint of what's wrong: YOU!
9. I'm guessing it was you, Dan, that put that Obama toilet paper on? What, did that mess with your pwetty little vision of your Messiah? Did it make you snap to know we've got Obama toilet paper? I can understand how you needed to refill the toilet paper roll, but did you somehow miss the ENTIRE PACKAGE OF TWELVE ROLLS OF TOILET PAPER SITTING NEXT TO THOSE TWO ROLLS???? Those Obama toilet paper rolls were not to be used, idiot. I was going to gift them to the RNC in Janesville.  It's still tragic how much you feel that your messiah cannot stand to be criticized.  YOU decided to pick him over YOUR OWN FAMILY!  That's going to be fun to see in the future: Is Obama going to come over and wipe your ass when you get old? Is he going to feed you when you can't? Is he going to give you a nice cushy home when you cannot work any more? Oh but he's so totally worth all that worship isn't he?

And yes, comments are closed.  You know my email address. I refuse to take phone calls and suffer any more abuse from this family.  You've done your best to ruin Christmas for over a decade now. I'm done.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ah Christmas, Winter and all that ...stuff

I've got 6 geese, 4 ducks and 11 chickens wondering what the heck this white stuff on the ground is.  I mean, it tastes like water, but doesn't work like water.  Snow and cold makes working with animals and outside just that much harder.  The power is out in the garage, probably due to the high winds during that last snowstorm. But that's something that won't be looked at until spring.

Oh and my car is dead. I mean dead/dead, not even mostly dead. Dead/dead.  It will need a new battery.

Our lone girl goosie, Sissy is laying eggs.  We're so proud!

For that continuing education on Geese and such: Girl Goosies lay one egg about every other day in a nest they create by themselves.  Sissy started on one near the house under the hedge during the snowstorm. I took a chance and moved the egg plus some of the nest material into the garage next to their pen. I had a 60% chance she'd reject the nest, but she accepted it! I think that is because she saw the chickens nest there earlier in the year and produce many chicks.

She'll lay more eggs-one every other day-until there's about 20 in that nest. Then she'll become what they call, 'broody'. Broody gals sit on their nest in a trance-like state for about 3 weeks only leaving to eat, drink and poop. It happens with most birds. We had a chicken go broody last fall for no other reason than she thought it was cool.

Sissy is the goose laying down.  She's surrounded by her posse: Ginny on the left, Ron in back and Sweet Pea on the front.  Ginny and Sweet Pea were supposed to be gals, but they are boys.

And after 3 weeks of brooding, there should be little babies. I wish Sissy would have picked a later date to start laying, maybe in mid January, but who knows.  Maybe she knows it will be a short winter and everything will be OK.

The ducks could care less about the snow. They wander around in it then go back to the coop for food and water.  We have heated dishes to keep fresh water for them.  The chickens? Eh, they mostly stay in the coop.

Christmas has come and gone.  It was a quiet family affair here. The real fun is this weekend when all gather to our place for a delayed Christmas. We are lucky to have our nephew Eddie here up from Texas.  He's in the Air Force and will be here with his Dad, Grandma and Grandpa. With luck I can get a Skype call to his Sister in Ramstein for a nice visit. That is one of the perks with staying here instead of going up north, Wi Fi.

Dave shared his cold with me, so I've been taking it as easy as I can for a few days.  It's trying to settle into my asthmatic lungs and nest, but I don't think so. I've been running the humidifier and taking decongestants like they're skittles. So far, so good.

I'll be much happier when there's no snow on the ground, when that huge block of ice I dumped out of the kiddie pool is melted and I can see green again.  Right now I am grateful that the days are getting longer and the animals can have more time outside.






Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Many Uses of my Ipod Touch

Ok, so this time I'll try to remain upbeat and stop bitching.  Although I have to say that being cursed with SADD at the same time as Christmas is challenging.  Seasonal Affective Disorder...whatever that last D means just means you get the winter blues.  Last year was bad, let's see how this year goes.

Ok, so one thing I really wanted was an Ipad, but I settled for an Ipod touch for 200 bucks less. I've had it a few years and it's my smart phone without a phone.  I carry it everywhere.  It's got wifi and a lot of apps I use every day. I can email, skype, take pictures, video, get weather updates, check the doppler radar, look stuff up on the internet and read books on it.   Just like a $400 ipad but much smaller.  I used to call mine the Ipad Mini............until Apple came out with the Ipad Mini.


That's one of my lab partners goofing with a long-chain polymer we made in Chemistry. We mixed two chemicals added a bit of food coloring and we got Gak.  We colored our Gak booger green (my choice). In chem lab, I use my ipod touch a lot: I take pictures of results to compare color, data on the board gets photographed, and just to remind me of what we did that day. 

I downloaded a graphic calculator for College Algebra which is working out great. It was free, so I am not out much. My alarm clock on this thing wakes me at 6:30 every morning to "Gangam Style" and if you don't know what that is, Google it.  It's a perky song from Korea.  I chose that song because I hear it through the earplugs I wear at night.  It comes on and I think, "What IS that noise? Oh yeah, time to get up."

Words With Friends for a bit of downtime is on there. I must admit to never playing Scrabble as a child.  This is more of a challenge than I guess. I lose regularly, but it's fun. I had a shopping list app on it, but it kept crashing after the update on the OS, so I just use the notes feature. 

When I am shopping, I'll take pictures of things that I want to research further, or remember to get later on sale.  This yarn is a great colorway, and acrylic as well. One of these days Hobby Lobby will have a sale and I'll snag a few skeins and knit something for someone else.  These days, I don't knit in wool for anyone other than my family. Others never remember NOT to throw it in the washer. 

My biggest gripe about the Ipad is that it has *one* button.  You use that button to get to the main screen, and sometimes it refuses to do that.  That is a major frustration and I swear I've come close to throwing the danged thing about a dozen times. 

Because of the fact that we don't get cell reception here, and I don't like phones, a cell phone is not necessary. Not to mention that we don't have $200 a month for 3 smart phones, and service. The Ipod Touch hops on wi-fi and saves me $2,400 a year just in the fact that I don't need cell service for it. The downside to that is it's pretty much useless if I need to call someone in the car. I've reasoned that there is no place I drive that is too far from a home that I cannot get out of my car and walk to.




Friday, November 30, 2012

WOW It's like, 50 degrees outside!

If I could find a working razor, I'd shave my legs and wear a dress today! Ah well, the pasty white skin reflects light..might not be a good day for that.

So I read this article yesterday about these cruel farmers who live pluck the crap out of their geese for some chi-chi down coat industry.  The picture showed these poor Toulouse geese denuded and just looked so wrong. I went outside and stared at Buddy, our goose and just cried.

Let's take another look at the cutie goose we call, Buddy :
Buddy is the most easy-going, calm, upbeat goose we have.  I've been told it's the breed: Toulouse are very docile geese.  Buddy, however has not been forthcoming on his/her real sex, so I had to pluck 3 feathers and send them to a DNA Sexing business to get Buddy's real gender.  I suspect Buddy's a she, but I could be wrong.  Heck, plucking 3 feathers made me feel real bad, could you imagine plucking Buddy until he/she was bald? Not a nice sight.  

It's just wrong, plain wrong. Anyone caught doing that should have every one of their hairs (including ones NOT on their heads) plucked out one by one.  Maybe then they'd stop being assholes.  Yes, I said it and I meant it! There is absolutely NO EXCUSE to be cruel to animals, especially ones in your care. If you are being cruel, it's because you have no soul.  

Knitting has started for Christmas, even though I know that no one wants to receive a knitted gift from me. Effing TOUGH! I say.  I'm almost at the point where I will refuse to accept another store-bought crappy gift from family and friends just because I'm sick of their laziness.  I mean, really.. the last post said it all; I get crap I never use and not a one of them considers that huge elephant in the room : YARN!!!!!!

Did I tell you about the time I actually went into a liquor store, bought my brother a nice set of shot glasses and pint of Doc because...here's the kicker..........He DRINKS! What else would you give an alcoholic, right? What did I get in return? A pair of shitty earrings he snagged off the clearance rack for 50 cents -with the tag still on them.  ~facepalm~  I rarely wear earrings and I spent at least $15 on his booze. No thought goes into these gifts whatsoever, but I'm supposed to be gracious about it....when others cannot even accept an effort on my part.

You see? How the HELL is someone supposed to be in a Christmas Spirit when they are treated like shit all the time? 

Christmas is NOT what you make of it, it's what people make of it FOR YOU. If your efforts towards others is lazy and uninspired. If you cannot accept a gift graciously -even when it's not what you wanted- you are :RUINING CHRISTMAS FOR OTHERS.   

There,  I said it. Now think about how you are treating others this Christmas.  If you cannot gather enough gumption to actually put thought into a gift, then don't even try.  Give them a smile and a hug.  Or is that too hard to handle as well? 




Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nope, no spirit

Still can't get into the Christmas Spirit, not in any way shape or form. I am really trying to figure out how to get there, but it is not happening. Everyone else is singing their carols, bedecking trees and I could give a crap less.

So why DO we put up trees? Why DO we spend all our $$ buying crap for others. Ok I know that they are termed 'gifts' but really............what do you remember of last years' 'gifts'?  I mean, think about it: I am a knitter.  I knit. All the time, everywhere. It's not a secret.  Now you'd think a gift of yarn would be greatly appreciated, right. Any kind of yarn, even that fun fur stuff.  I'll use it. I've got charities that I knit for.

How much yarn have I received for a Christmas gift? NONE.  Really? I mean REALLY? How freaking hard is it to go to Wal Mart and pick up Red Heart? I'D USE IT! I'd REALLY use it!

Instead I get more body creams.  Do I smell bad? I DO shower and stuff.
Or Candles.  Scented candles.  Yeah, the only candles I use are the ones when the power goes out.  Is this some sort of effort to 'chickify' me? It's not going to work. After 43 years, it.   won't. work.

Why is it we see family at this time? They're always bitching, always fighting. Can't shut their pie holes for more than one second.  I'd rather spend time with my geese, thanks.  At least I know where I stand with them.  They aren't two-faced.  Yes, I know of all the times when you mock my handmade gifts and throw them out.  Thanks.  At least I keep YOUR crap. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Apropo, is it not?

Solitude
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain. 

-The interesting note about this poem is the fact that Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote it in 1883. In 1885 a writer by the name of John Joyce stole it -word for word- and published it in his own book. Ella demanded he stop, offering $5,000 if he could prove it was his own. He refused and pimped it as his own for the rest of his life. Atypical behavior for those days, yet I will be the one to remind you, it's par for the course in 2012. 

People steal from you your ideas, your money, your soul if you aren't careful. Even when you call them on their thievery they will refuse to acknowledge the theft, nor your pain at doing so. It's nothing to them if they leave you naked, without food or hope as long as they get theirs. Witness the mobs of people who crowd the stores on Thanksgiving weekend for the want of a bargain on cheaply-made Chinese crap.  Crap they will give as gifts to those they propose to love. Recipients will then throw out that cheaply-made Chinese crap when it breaks, return it for money or throw it on a pile of other cheaply-made Chinese crap. 

But oh, we must abandon our warm beds and stand in line at stores for this stuff.  They, I should say.  I refuse to join this utter madness. It's stupid, pedantic and oh so apropo: The poster children for what is more important in people's lives today: 'Stuff" over others.

Greed's become the currency of the realm.

If it means that I am not part of this Greed Crowd, I would prefer to stand alone, weeping or laughing.  My currency is different than 99% of this world. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Personal Rant

There was a wonderful rant here, but I cut it out because it was pretty harsh.  Face it people; no one really wants to hear what you say it it means upsetting their pretty little world.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Things I've learned in College to apply to next semester

1. If I can avoid it, no more professors of the female gender.  No, I will not expound on why because it will just tick off many of my gender.  Suffice it to say that you cannot have it all and do it all well.

2. Online classes? No. I need on campus classes.  I need the structure.

3. No Friday classes if I can do it, and try to schedule more than 1 class /day to make it pay.  This one hour a day in class M-W-F is killer.

4. Eating in the cafeteria is actually pretty cheap.  $5 gets me a decent meal.  Though I won't do the chicken fingers any more.  They sat like a rock in my gut all afternoon.

5. Stick to my study schedule. It works and even if a prof throws a monkey wrench, it will work.

6. Expect some sort of nervous breakdown weekly.  It helps to expect it.

7. Check that d2l more seriously because of #1

Random photo: The antlers off the deer we last put in the freezer.  I'm having fun walking around constantly chewing on venison jerky.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kicking Pools

Sounds like fun doesn't it? Kicking pools.  Except I've been doing it for a few weeks now because of the ice. The pools are used for the geese and ducks.  They're just kiddy pools, but it gives them a chance to bathe and get clean.  Apparently the pools also play a crucial role in mating for both ducks and geese. That happens in the big pool There's a larger pool that's deeper and more uh...mating friendly over by the house.  In this picture, Buddy is in the blue one, Percy is in the pink one and Ron is in front.  Now wait for it.............



Up pops Sissy! Isn't she adorable?!?! The interesting development over the last two weeks is that Sissy and Ron have bonded.  Geese are one of the animals that chooses a mate for life. I checked the forums on this and it's not a hard and set rule that the ganders won't go astray, but they do have their favorite gals.

Ron likes Sissy.  Oddly enough, Ron is not our biggest gander and he does bully Percy on occasion. Percy outweighs him, is larger and has an unnatural affection for me.  One I hope shakes out with next springs mating........thing.

Oh and we're going to send off a few of Buddy's feathers to determine whether Buddy is a goose or a gander.  Buddy's not forthcoming on that bit of info and we want to get a mating pair of Toulouse.

I've added a pattern to Ravelry.  It's the "Butt-Cold Cowl" seen here.  It's a cowl I designed a few months ago to keep me warm while doing chores.  It's name comes from the line from Grandpa in Grumpy Old Men: "It's butt-cold out here and I'm fresh out of beer!"

For a mere $1.99, you too can make this cowl. Hey, I'd make it free, but I'm a college student now.  Books, tuition, pencils and paper don't come free to me, and I need to pay for them.

For my birthday, I asked for a pound of undyed merino roving. I've been playing with dyeing some great colorways. This one was done last Sunday. I call it Sweetarts. I do still spin pretty much every day on my drop spindle.  I find it helps me coalesce thoughts on things like College Algebra, Organic Chemistry and stuff like that. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Pre-Christmas Rant is coming early this year

Usually I don't throw down the pre-Christmas rant until closer to the actual day, but what the Hell.  According to the Mayans we'll be dead by then.

In 2007, I made all my Christmas gifts.   In fact I spun and knit two of them from soft wool and gave them to my Mother and Mother-In-Law.  So lets roll on some photos, shall we?
This one actually was taken before I washed it. The color changes were actually *dirt*. It came out snowy white with green glass beads on it.  I gave it to m Mother In Law. She folded it, put it away and I've never seen it again.  She said it would make a lovely table runner.  *facepalm* it's a STOLE!
Onto #2:
My Mother's shawl, Mystic Waters I think it was called.  Also spun from Targhee, with no beads. My Mom doesn't do that frou frou.  She opened it, Dad said, "Oh look, it's an old lady shawl!" and that was it.

Mom keeps it on the back of her chair in the sewing room.  Hey, at least SHE didn't throw it out..right? It's a nice pattern, though I screwed up a bit right in the middle.  Oh no, wait! We're not even CLOSE to being done!
I know it looks like a weird nipple, but it's actually a beret. I made like 5 of these, two in the same colorway for a Mother-Daughter set. Yeah, I got the "I'm allergic to wool" mantra. Princess? It's Soy Wool Stripes, the amount of wool is negligible  I offered to knit a replacement in Alpaca.  "I'm allergic to that too." Princess? Alpaca is HYPOALLERGENIC!

What she really meant was "Your homemade shit is crap, give me money." After that Christmas, she got neither.   Stop streaming sunshine up my ass, Princess.  Your greed is showing.  In fact, that was the mantra of most of the younger generation of Christmas Gift recipients, "Your homemade shit is beneath me. Give me a Wal-Mart gift card." So ah yeah.  No gifts were given after that.  You want that stupid fucking gift card? GO EARN ONE! The amount of flipping laziness and greed is astounding these days.

So I DO still give out homemade presents: My Step Son has received and been grateful for the thoughtfulness of his Jayne hats.  I've also knitted up some fun Transformers Dishcloths:

I mean, who doesn't want to wash their dishes with megatron?

One year, My Father-In-Law asked me what I wanted for Christmas way before Thanksgiving.  I answered; a homemade headboard for our bed.  We didn't have one, and I was frustrated picking up my pillows from behind the bed all the time.  I also wanted something made by his hands. He getting older, and I thought someone ought to openly appreciate his woodworking talent.

This is what he made for us.  The wood was harvested from his land, milled in his own sawmill, planed, routed and put together with his own hands.

Lightly stained, it shows the grain of the wood beautifully and it's exactly what I wanted.  No fancy anything, just a solid, beautiful headboard.  Forgive the ratty pillows.  Tyler the cat was sleeping on the bed and I really didn't want to make the bed to take the pictures.

Yes, those are barnwood beams with a stucco finish in our master bedroom.  The two ends have a false, stone facing that makes it look very rustic.  Interesting, and probably not my choice for a esemb, but we rent. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

I should take pictures ...maybe later

Knitting has been done, really. I've made two Rikke hats, finished off a lace scarf from Kid Seta, finished off a pair of fingerless mitts and now I'm working on the 2nd of another pair.  Problem is, photos aren't taken.  But I'll uh...wax nostalgic on it.

Rikke Hats:  One is handspun camel-colored alpaca.  The cast-on is more stitches and I start decreasing at 7" instead of 9.  I just don't have the need for another 2" in the hat.   The second is a handspun merino in shades of red.  That's the one that I have enough yarn left over for fingerless mitts. One is done, the 2nd one is on the needles.

The lace scarf: From Cascade Kid Seta. White in color, this thing took forever.  Not because it was a hard pattern, but because I just lost all interest in it 1/2 way through the skein.  It's now done, but I have to block it.

OH I found a hat that I really have a picture of:
It's a hat made from Knit Picks Palette.  I made up the pattern. It's a bit snug, which is good while you're trying to refill pools and water buckets.  The Rikke hats keep sliding down into my face. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's been awhile since you've seen a real picture of the geese. They're full grown, with full grown voices and full grown annoyances. Yeah like teenagers. But here's a few of the others things that hand out back:
Four Pekin ducks.  Two breeding pairs so to speak: Two male, two female.  That's great right? Yeah, no. One male has usurped all the females.  Most of the time we've got one male dejected duck by himself.

Man, even when you stack the deck, things just don't fall right! The ladies are laying eggs.  We'd love to hatch out the eggs, but right now is not the time to start incubating, with winter being about a month away.

Incidentally, I don't think those guys can NOT walk and talk at the same time.  They quack away while waddling one after the other from place to place.

This one is a bit hard to puzzle out, but there are two hens and 7 baby chicks in the lilac bushes. We started with 10 chicks, but 2 drowned in the pools and one disappeared; probably down a feral cat's throat.  I saw one lurking around last week and got a shot off at it. I don't think I hit it, but I am sure I scared it enough not to come around for a while. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Watch Me Try to be Nice

Reality is what hits us every day.  Sometimes we accept it, grasp whatever bits of goodness come out and move on. The people who deal with reality every day will tell you that sometimes the hard parts are unbearable, but must be done.

We've been dealing with reality a lot here: Alex gets a job, but it's 45 miles away.  $40 bucks every two days to fill up the car so he can go to his job.  Which means $50 to fill up the van every 2 1/2 days to get both Dave and I to work and school.  $180.00 per week IN GAS.  Reality sucks, my friend.

And today I get to finish my chem lab early, drive back home, disarticulate a deer and put what large pieces we have in the freezer to butcher later after I drive back to school at $4 in gas to take an Algebra quiz. If we don't get this deer butchered, the meat will rot and we'll be eating chicken all winter long.   Reality is we cannot afford to waste meat, nor buy it from the store.  My Brother In Law offered us the Doe he got last night, so we need to make the time.  Reality.   I can't remember the last time I ate a piece of beef.  It's too expensive to buy now.

Reality folks, is a bitch.

Reality is dealing with a feral cat that keeps trying to kill my baby chicks.  Reality is that some moronic lazy-ass MF from town decided that their cat wasn't worth the effort to find a new home, or to take to the shelter.  "Oh we'll drop it off in the country! It will find a home as a barn cat!" Um, not really.  What they do is become feral and kill off chickens, pheasants and quail.  All ground nesting birds are prey.

So when a feral comes sniffing around this area, I shoot it.  Reality is ya dumb sonuvabitch that your cat would have been better off at the shelter.  At least there the death is more humane.  Your cat wouldn't have starved, had people shooting at it, nor tried to find a comfortable place to hide from coyotes. But since reality was so 'hard' and you couldn't man up....your cat will either be shot, run over, mauled or starve.

And I'm not paying another $30 to take YOUR cats to the humane society.  Yes, they require you PAY to take you pet to them.  I'm not the owner, but those two kittens someone left on my doorstep somehow became my mess.

I've got 3 cats here.  They live inside, have cushy lives and are NEVER let out.  There are too many predators to get them. Reality is, in the next few years Tigger's health will decline.  He'll need to be euthanized and I will man up and do it the right way. My Tigger's been with me 15 years now, he deserves that. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Cold Reality

Fred the goose died last night. That's a picture of Fred.  I was out buying new work boots for Alex and found him in front of the pen..already dead. Two geese dead within a week.

I'm exhausted emotionally and physically.  I've spent the better part of the last 2 weeks trying to will Fred and George to good health and then cried over their bodies. I'm up early every morning to let them out, feed and water them and to try to keep Fred and George alive for one more day.

School is well, school : Professors demand you drop everything in your life to study and then get all shitty when you can't.  Perhaps it was stupid of me to think that returning after 25 years to get a degree was going to work. I've got no tolerance for bullshit profs -and both of them are not as competent as my HS Chem teacher by far- and their inability to remain focused, no tolerance for people who cannot comprehend there's a REAL life outside of University.  School is making us all crabby, cranky and rude.  I'm trying to find more time to study and I've got real life that is just as important.

I'm about thisclose to saying "F it" and just finding a job.  I've got the car, right?

Well no.  Alex got a job in IL. He needs my car to get back and forth.  So I'm pretty much where I started: Getting up early, going with Dave to his work then driving home, going to school then going to get him. I'm excited for him; this is his first REAL job. He's all excited, and I'm sure he's running $$ through his mind at all times.  I remember that first real job...it was cool.

WHY did I decided to go to school in the first place? Oh yeah, career and retirement.  Screw that. I want my life back.  I want time to spend with my family, my husband and my friends. And with everything that's fallen into my lap in the last week. I could give a shit less whether or not I pass anything.



Monday, October 8, 2012

~sigh~

Well, Georgie the goose died last Tuesday.  I came home from school to find him collapsed by the lilac bush. I  had him on my lap for about 10 minutes hoping he'd come out of it, but in the end, he convulsed a few times and died.  Dave was a trooper and got him dressed out and  put in the freezer for me. I've put his feathers and down in a bag that I made from pillow ticking and dried it.

We learned quite a bit from the process and we'll be using those skills soon.  Cuz you see, Fred's been doing the same thing: Collapsing out of breath...horcking up a lung like he's got asthma.  We've discussed the future of Fred and the ducks, but it will wait until we have the cone.

http://meadowcreature.com/poultry/ sells one like we have on order.Ours is on backorder for another week.   Basically it's a galvanized steel cone with a hole in the bottom. Drop your poultry into it, pull out the head and chop it off, or slice the jugular and let them bleed out. Sounds pretty hideous, right? Actually, it's one of the fastest and less painful ways to kill poultry. The animal isn't flopping around breaking wings and such, it struggles for less than a minute before it is dead dead. I don't want my goosies to suffer more than they have to.

The Bantam Hens have lost 3 of their chicks: 2 were found in the wading pools drowned and one we just have not found at all. The problem with the chicks is that they like to jump and run. They jump in the pools and can't get out.  Ah well, we took out 2 of the 5 pools we have available. It's getting colder anyways and the ducks and geese aren't in them as much.

School is getting better handled. The first few weeks were just insane. Now that I've been in it a month, I can calm down a bit and focus. That doesn't mean I'm not freaking out, but it's just about more than school now. I don't feel the need to be constantly studying.

I've finished off one Rikke hat which is made from brown alpaca.  It's a nice slouchy hat that holds a lot of hair. Warm! My issue is with working in the mornings feeding/watering/filling pools for poultry, it falls down over my eyes more than I'd like.

Now I'm just a font of great news aren't I???  Yeah, it's been a trying week. Until we either send Fred off to Goosie heaven, or he recovers miraculously, I will be working for 2 hours every morning to 'release the hounds' as I call it, then sit with Fred as he tries to recover from collapsing.  That's the hardest bit of all and one I don't look forward to.

I'll see if I can get in a Random Tuesday tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hey Google? I don't have a cell phone, stop asking me to give you it's number!

Back to the original plan; which was...I didn't have a plan really.
I've got 2 geese that collapse in the morning when let out of their pen.  It's like they have asthma or something.  I isolate them in the pen and after about 10 minutes they recover. It's inconvenient but I am dealing with it. It takes a morning chore that was 1/2 an hour and now it's an hour-long.

School is eh: I was 20 minutes late to my first Algebra exam because I was studying FOR it.  I got into class, apologize and grabbed the test. My brain froze and could only remember the quadratic formula.  Yeah...got a D on that bugger.

Chem is fine.  I hear I have to watch an ice cube melt for Engineering fundamentals.  great.

Knitting: I can only focus for about 10 minutes at a time.  Other than that, I've got a cat that needs my lap every stinking time I sit on the couch, whether or not I'm studying, 8 geese, two that faint, 4 ducks 3 that get along and one drake that's alone, 16 chickens -10 of which are the size of a small bottle of medicine (they're cute), 3 cats, one husband and one kid that all clamor for attention. I'm only one person - any animal under 3' BUGGER OFF! geez.

So I'm knitting hats. Apparently I knit hats in my sleep. I've attempted to start the back on the Aidez but was interrupted. What A FREAKING SHOCK!! Nothing I do is left uninterrupted lately!  I went to sew a nook bag for a friend of mine...got 10 minutes into it (it's quilted) interrupted. My Sister came over to see if I wanted to \_ another interruption - some telemarketer selling shit for seniors (dude, I'm 42 not 102) ok done w/ that- sell me her Son's car.

Interruptions have become my life lately and it's frustrating me to all heck. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Update-a-rama

Honestly, I have been knitting! The thing is though, when you're working on a new design, you have to keep it secret.  This is a cowl that I've designed and now I need to write the pattern out and publish it. It's a nice, close knit pattern great for guys. This morning I wore it outside to test it out since it's 41 here in WI.

I'm also working on a stranded hat.  There's about 10 skeins of Knit Picks Palette that I scored for 50 cents a piece at Goodwill some time ago.  I've been playing with different stranded designs.  Sometimes I just want to mess around without a real aim.  The Aidez is taking a time out mainly because I am afraid to mess up the bind-off on the sleeve re-design. I know, ...get over it! It's getting colder, so that might be my impetus to get it done. I find that some of my homework reading is done better if I am knitting at the same time.  I concentrate better.
Bantam chicken update: we have 10 baby chicks under two hens in the garage. This is one of the two black/gray ones we have.  The odd part about this is that our hens are either speckled white or white, and our roosterss are either brown or white.  So where the black comes in? Who knows.  Genetics is a fickle science!

And they are little! This one is well....1/3 of my hand. I had him/her on a bale of straw but it wanted Mama so bad it started running and almost fell off.  We don't need that.  The broody girls are very good Mama's and do well in caring for their babies. It's interesting on how well they do just based on instinct.

That's George on the left, and Fred on the right. Our geese that hatched over 5 months ago.  Both of these boys were found last night all wobbly and panting for air. So Dave and I held onto them while we put the others into their pens for the night and for about another 1/2 an hour. George was my charge and he was just breathing so heavy I didn't know what else to do for him except keep him warm and talk to him to calm him down.

We suspect something was chasing them around the yard in the dark. We'll have to watch that and put them to bed earlier to keep them safe. This morning I watched them carefully, and they seemed fine.  Perhaps a bit more slow than usual. I told them to take it easy.  I've got one class today for an hour, so I'll spend the afternoon doing my Algebra outside to watch them.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hey, wanna see what I look like these days?  I had to take a picture of myself for my online profile for school.  That's me, in the kitchen with my hair down. Which usually doesn't happen due to the fact that it gets in my face or gets eaten by geese if I leave it down.

School: Yeah, it's going pretty OK right now. I'm taking Pre-Calculus, Organic Chemistry and Engineering Fundamentals.  The last one is online. The 3 classes keep me plenty busy, thanks.  That and driving back and forth between Janesville, Beloit and Orfordville.   Once we get another car for me, I'll stop having to be in the van for about 3 hours a day driving 100 miles just to go to school.

I've got 3 options for cars: 1988 Mustang Convertible, 2001 VW Bug, or a 2005 Aveo.  Really? I want the Aveo. It's new but costs more than I'll be getting for financial aid this semester. Unless we can come up w/ about $2000 in financing, I'll be driving a Mustang Convertible. Which would sound more awesome if it were like a 1968 Mustang Convertible.  But then I would not drive it to school. I know how people drive!

The Geese, Ducks and Chickens: Ducks are learning how to mate, which apparently is done in the pool.  High romance it is not.  The female duck will only have patience for a fumbling mate for so long before she bucks him off and goes on her way.

They are getting along better with the geese, who have figured out they are now bigger than the ducks.  This leads to 'paybacks are a bitch.'   They run around bullying the ducks like the ducks used to bully them.   Eventually though, everyone settles down and they get their baths in, preening and grazing.
The geese are now at that point where they are getting full-swing into goose puberty.  The two in the pool; Sweet Pea and Percy are fighting.  Sweet Pea is our mermaid and insists on solitary time in the big pool.  Only once so far has Percy won the fights.

Fighting starts with words, then neck biting like you see here, then with wing flapping. They really don't injure each other while fighting. Oh some feathers fly off, but that's about it. The other geese sit around screeching while it's happening.  Kinda like a goosey chant, 'fight, fight fight!'

Oh by the way? Percy's a girl. I'm about 80% sure about that.  We're going to keep the names even when they don't hit the gender correctly. Percy has a big butt, small knob and no dewlap.  Which makes me think girl.  There are now 2 Bantam Hens sitting on 21 eggs. We call the the 'broody girls' and we should have little bantam chicks in a week. Dave found where the other hens were laying their eggs: On the tool bench and behind the pool pump.  So we have had laying hens for quite a while now, they just keep hiding them.  Which ticks us off because we built 2 very nice, large, comfy nesting boxes in the coop.

We've also been doing a bit of shooting. That is me with the shotgun.  You know, they don't kick if you snug that barrel right. into. your. shoulder.  We had some friends over to try out their AR and to give them some time with the semi-auto pistols.

I've learned a lot in the past few years about handling - and I mean SAFE handling - of firearms. I've noticed that once a person is taught the safe handling of a semi-auto. then learns to fire it...they aren't as afraid of them anymore.  Contrary to popular belief, a semi-automatic firearm does not just 'go off'' when sitting around.  I mean you really have to work at getting them to fire.

And there are 4 rules to firing a gun that many people just might not know:
1. Always handle it like it's loaded.
2. Never aim it at something you don't mind shooting
3. Always look past your target because the bullet will be most likely going past your target.
4. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THAT TRIGGER unless you're planning on firing!

I don't know how many times I read news stories about people who 'accidentally' shoot someone because they don't follow these 4 simple rules.  Then again, stupid is as stupid does.  Guns aren't toys, they are protection.  You don't go swinging around a bat at your kid do ya? Then don't go swinging around a gun.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

That's what I remember

Lots of people will give you great and moving tributes to those who died on 9/11/2001.  Lots of tributes. And me? I remember the feeling of emptiness, helplessness and horror as we saw what unfolded that day.
I start work at 8, so I was in by 7:45 doing my thing.  Dave and I carpooled and he needed to be across town by 8, so I got dropped off early.  As I slipped in the front door, my boss Jeff came out of his office directly across from my cubicle, "A plane just hit the World Trade Center." he says incredulously.  I was thinking Cessna with a student pilot.. small plane got out of control thing.  Jeff walks back into his office.

The next time he RUNS out of his office.  "Another plane just hit the other tower!" he says.  My first words were, "Terrorist Attack?" He nods and says, "Seems so." Now as the day unfolds, not much work is done.  We had radios dialed into whatever we could. I scan for any type of info online as the IT Gods would allow and find a weather webcam across the bay in Jersey that faces the World Trade center.  It updates every 10 minutes, so I see everything sporadically.

Then I look down and realize that I cannot go anywhere but home after work.  You see, I love the Middle Eastern dresses.  The style and embroidery are elegant and on those days when you really don't want to wear much, an elegantly embroidered caftan works. And that day, I had just pulled out of the box sent from some Ebay dude, a maroon caftan with gold embroidery done in the style of Egyptian Arabic Caftans. I am so totally screwed! Any place I would have thought to go to like the grocery store...nah.  People are just off the wall freaked about what they are hearing.  

I did eventually get rid of the dress.  I wore it once: that day and never wore it again.  Bad mojo.

My first time watching the 2nd airplane hit the tower was when I went to pick up our son Alex. The video was replaying on tv.  My only word was, "Shit!" it was just so....surreal.  We discussed my upcoming workshop on learning to spin when we got home.  I was scheduled to go to Black River Falls and take classes on learning how to spin about a week later.  My decision was to go.  As I said, "What are the terrorists going to do, start bombing cows? There's nothing worth bombing in Wisconsin."

Sitting across from my Father In Law, Ed the next morning eating breakfast, he asks, 'does this whole thing make you nervous?" And I think about it, "Not really." I say.  We're in flyover country, surrounded by hay fields and cows. We're not a target.   Only about a week later they were giving news updates about the rescue and recovery efforts when it just hit me: 3000 people dead in one day... for no reason. Absolutely no reason.

I just cried. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Updates

Yeah.  Sauteed is fine. Setting on a nest of eggs somewhere in the 30 acres we call home.  I see her every morning.

Today was the first day of school, which is daunting at 42 years old.  Even worse? Most of these kids could be MY kids! I sit in classes with a bunch of 18 year olds trying to look inconspicuous.  Yeah, right!

I put the shop in semi-permanent vacation for now. Still getting used to the whole....not having to do stuff all the time thing. Not having to check for orders, sew bags, finish bags, answer questions, ship orders...it's odd.  I've spent the last few days wandering around doing *something* to keep from going bonkers.

So...one thing I've been doing is gleaning feathers from where the geese and ducks lie. When they huddle together and preen, they leave feathers behind.   So I gather them in plastic bags and then dump those into a 2 1/2 gallon zip bag.   That is the first one, I am working on bag #2.

From what I've read, geese will molt twice a year. Ducks about once.  The geese are teens, so they will molt an extra time this year to get rid of their juvenile feathers.  Now that's a lot of down and feathers! Mama's gathering enough for a down comforter, I think!

Friday, August 31, 2012

BOLO: One Bantam Hen named Sauteed

About a month before we got the ducks and eating chickens, my Sister asks if we wanted these chickens her Brother-In-Law had. Sure, 'in for a penny, in for a pound'.  So we got 6 chickens.  We did not realize until they got older they were Bantam Chickens, or as my Momma would call them 'Banty Chickens.  They're smaller than your usual chicken. About the size of a Cornish Game Hen.

Ah well.  We kept them, threw them in the coop when they got older  and they free range.  I even gave them names:Fried, and Fricasee are the roosters, and Sauteed, Broiled, Broasted and Curried are the hens. Yeah, that was before we realized they were too small to hassle butchering them.

They're like 6 months old now.  We have fun watching the rooster displays, holler at Fried and Fricasee to STFU and let them eat bugs. Well Sauteed come up missing one night.  We have a nightly ritual where Dave herds the ducks into the coop with the chickens and I herd the geese into the garage into their pen.  The chickens are the only ones who will go in voluntarily on their own.  The others need to be herded.  Sauteed come up missing at bed count.  She's the all-white hen.

We searched hastily for a bunch of feathers on the ground, fearful that a predator got her.  No sign. Ah well, we closed up the coop and the garage and went to bed.  After all, it's not like we're missing much, it's a Banty Hen. Not even big enough to take the time to butcher...

She came back the next morning.

She's come back every morning to join her flock.  Which means one thing: She's setting on a nest somewhere outside. Just what we need, more Banty chickens!  Dave and I discussed and we decided to allow her her clutch of babies.  After all, there's talk that meat prices will become abhorrently high.  We may find that at some point those Banty Chickens aren't so much of a hassle to butcher. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

ch-ch-ch-ch-ch

That is the sound of the truck going down our road marking the middle section now.  About a month ago they put down pea gravel and mucked up a perfectly good road.  Now they're marking their mess...sort of like marking their territory. It will be fun to dig out pea gravel from my yard come spring due to the snowplow.

SO, as my MIL would say...Anyways....

Working on closing the shop.  Dave and I have talked about putting up some sort of place holder to keep the shop open without really working on bags. I have some knitting patterns I've written that can be added.

The Geese and Ducks are getting along more and more each day.  Now that the geese have become fully feathered, they are bigger than the ducks.

Here is Dave with 3 of them. They look alike and I really cannot discern who is who all the time now.  I know the one in front of Dave is Sissy just from her head structure and the fact that all her baby down fell off before everyone else's.

Knitting wise - I'm still knitting on the Aidez.  The sleeves had to be frogged because they were too small.  I mean really too small. I rewrote that whole part to make bigger arms. It starts with 34 stitches and increases gradually to 70 then starts the decrease/raglan shaping. 

On a side note: I did no know how popular My Little Pony is with teen guys.  No, really! I'm going to use my sewing skills to see if I can make a stuffed on for my kid. If it's as easy as I thought, I might sell a few to his buddies..


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Officially Closing Up Shop

The official date for closing the Etsy shop is Aug. 31.  I'm done, spent out, fizzled.

It's been a strange, odd, goofy ride.  I started selling bags to help out with the budget while staying home to make sure Alex stayed out of trouble. I was going to Blackhawk Tech at the time and was going to become a Physical Therapist Assistant.

Did you ever start something and somewhere along the line get a real nagging feeling that this was not for you? Yeah, that was the PTA thing.  Somewhere along the time when they started admonishing us to be careful when transferring patients because their skin could be so thin it could tear...well that's when I got nervous.  Could I do that? How would I feel if I inadvertently hurt someone? Maybe this is not the path for me.

I washed out of the program about a week later.  No amount of coercion could make me go back.  I will always be just so nervous that I'd hurt someone just by moving them.

EH

The knitting bags are still great, still fun to make when the sewing room is not like a sauna.  I can spend hours listening to music sewing along without really thinking of what I'm doing.  Hey, I've made over 5,000 of these things. I make them in my sleep! I once made one while talking to my sister.  She is still confused how I did it so fast.

10 Things I will not miss about closing shop:

1. working 6 days a week.  Yeah, I was supposed to have Thursdays and Sundays off.  Lately, it seems as though the only day I get orders is Thursday.  So I spend the morning sewing, then go off to knitting group later. Sundays are still mine though.

2. Taking pictures, endless pictures of bags.  The hardest thing is to find a good place during the winter. Normally I take them outside on the front porch.  During the winter, ain't no way I'm standing out their freezing my butt off for a photo.  Last winter the photos were taken in the bathroom.

3. Gobs of leftover fabric.  No really, I've got 3 boxes of bits of fabric that is too small for bags, too big to throw out.  Maybe I'll make more quilts when I'm closed....

4. Uh..how to put this nicely? Clueless Customers. 99.9999% of my customers are spot-on, smart knitters with know-how.  I remember one customer well: I spent a month explaining to all that I would not be working on the Friday before Halloween 2011 due to my surgery. I had my Gall Bladder taken out. So wrapped in preparation for the surgery, I forgot to close up shop.  Some woman from Great Britain ordered a bag on that day and then gave me a neutral feedback because I did not send out her order til the next Tuesday.

Yeah, 7 Billion other people could read the postings over that month, ONE PERSON ignored them and I get knicked for it.  Still makes me cranky thinking about it.  That's your lesson small business owners: Close up shop when you're going to have surgery, lest someone expect you to bound out of bed, shake off the Vicodin, drive down to the nearest post office and post their international mail.

5. I Like the ladies at the fabric store, and I'm sure they like my revenue.  I'm not liking the fact that I'm there so much that I can direct other customers to what they need.

6. Knowing the VAT taxes for different countries, plus the postal rates for such countries is not info that will get me dates, fans or money in a trivia game.  I'll be glad to let that bit of useless knowledge go.

7. Oh! You sew? Let me give you my fabric that no one wants nor likes!   Yeah, the Thimbleberries and Sue's stuff was AWESOME, but the other stuff? Eh.

8. Bags are EVERYWHERE in my house.  I'm sure my husband would like to have his home back and my guests would like to be able to sleep somewhere where there's not inventory stacked to the walls.

9. I've spent the last 4 years explaining to my extended family that I work 8am to 3 pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  I don't know how many times I've gotten a call, "Oh are you busy?" Yeah, I'm WORKING!

10. I've lost both my health insurance and retirement.  I've got nothing else to lose.  My retirement $ went to pay the fuel oil bill winter before last. Badgercare kicked me off because apparently when your kid reaches age 19, you're not a Mom anymore.  The really pissy thing about that one was that I was one of those who actually PAID to be on Badgercare: 25% of my monthly earnings went to health insurance.

Obama's thing of 'You didn't build that, someone else did.' pretty much pissed off a lot of small business owners like me. I built this business with a flat sheet bought from a Dollar General and some remnants from working at Hancock Fabrics. It was MY knowledge of sewing- passed down from my Grandmother, plus MY knowledge of Ebay that got me my first orders.  I've never gotten a loan, nor asked to borrow anything from anyone for this business. Along the way, I've lost it all, but it was MY risk! I'm not asking for a bailout, just an opportunity to work and regain what I've lost.  Obama can kiss my failing small business owner ass. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

 Oh hey there!

Sissy says Hi.  She was especially talkative today and wanted attention.  I think she's just adorable!

It took her a few minutes to realize the rest of the flock -er gaggle- had moved on to a different grazing area.

She caught up in typical Sissy fashion: All honking and waddling around.  Her defective left eye means she relies on the responses from her family to tell her where to go.

So I finished off another Cavallo Point the other day. and  this one is in white.

I was not happy with the ending in the pattern as I thought it was too abrupt, so I attempted to make one that would resemble the borders. Not bad, I think.

The scallops were made in a short-row fashion. I knitted the same shape as the outer border with the increases and decreases, knitting the last of the group from the scallop + one from the shawl each right side.  It's a charity item, one to be raffled off at the Church's Harvest Festival in September.  I'll need to block it before then.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shhhh....

Dave's still sleeping, which is odd for him.  Let him sleep. He's been working a lot lately.  So I'm up and getting the animals fed, watered and released from their pens.
Meet Sweet Pea, our smallest goose.  She is also the one who will allow us to touch her when she's not being held.  This morning they were all very chatty and very clingy.  From the time I let them out of their pen, they followed me around everywhere.  As I filled pools and water dishes, I had a chatty bunch of geese behind me.

They grow in front of your eyes, I swear! Each day I see new feathers, added inches to height and a thickening of that neck. If you compare Sweet Pea to George here, you can see the difference. 


George is 1 week older than Sweet Pea.  Here George is looking for water, but I'm busy filling the other pool. As they are too big these days for the back porch (what we call the laundry room. No, I don't know why) we created a pen for them in the garage where the 23 chickens were.


Where are the chickens, you ask?  In our freezer.  Last Friday we butchered them.   It's a hot mess to do, but we did. The best help we got was from our chicken plucker attachment we purchased for our drill. Chicken Plucker From Amazon is hands down the cheapest, yet best value for plucking those pesky feathers.

It took about 5 or 6 hours and the worst part of it was that I got a sunburn on the backs of my knees.  I had my back to the sun all day and I was too busy dressing out chickens to feel what was going on.



And here's the mafia ducks, who bully the geese around.  I've been trying to tell the geese there are more of them than there are ducks, but they're little still.

Knitting? Working on another Cavallo Point in white for charity.  Frogging sweaters for the angora and planning a sweater w/ some fisherman's wool.  Probably the Aidez...Sweater Link.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dear God

Dear God;

This is WISCONSIN, not Arizona! We cannot deal with 100 degree heat! No wait.........it's 101.
Our grass is brown, my flowers and garden have died.  People are losing their livestock and are looking at a complete loss of all crops.

STOP IT!!

We need rain - something that's not been seen for over 2 months.  Sure, 1/2" last Saturday was cute, but really? It lasted like 10 minutes and did nothing for my lawn.  You ever try to teach geese how to graze on brown grass?

WE NEED RAIN!

It's gotten to the point where all I do is schlep the hose around filling buckets, pools and waterers all...freaking...day.  Who can work when I have to make sure 35 animals have enough water to keep them from dying when it's been over 95 degrees for over 2 weeks...without rain.

Yeah, God...thanks for forgetting us. Asshole. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Same Ol' Same Ol'

It's the usual stuff that keeps me away from blogging: family, fowl and knitting.  The family is good; in fact my Son was selected as Member of the Month at the Y. When he decided on joining the Air Force, he was 40 pounds overweight. Now he's down to the last 10.  That's pretty good!
The funny thing? that's a 3x shirt he's wearing. Now it looks like he stole it from a hobo.  Not dissing hobo's mind you. 

Fowl: Yeah, freaking fowl.  Geese are getting big and getting feathers. They are in a cranky, tetchy mood.  One of the goslings, Sissy has taken to chewing on her siblings' tailfeathers.  It's annoying them and awarded her her very own cubby next to the rest of the flock.  She can see and hear them, but she can't nibble on tails.
Sissy was hatched with her left eye deformed. We suspect that she can see movement, but not clear movement.  Other than that stupid tailfeather thing, she's our most lovable goosie. She likes to be held and luvs, luvs, LOVES hair! Here she's nibbling on Dave's hair.

Knitting: Cavallo Point shawl is done.  Knitted in Malabrigo Lace, it was a quick knit that helped me pass the time duck and goose watching.  It's not been blocked yet, but it does show the nice lace motif of the pattern.
I've had such a smooth time with that pattern that I'm now doing it in a cream lace weight yarn.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thoughts on stuff

High School Reunions: Mine is coming up on the 25th year this year.  I'm not going, nor have I gone to any of the others.  When I think about going, it gets my stomach wrapped up in knots with stress.  High School was not the wonderful, la-la-la that others must have had. I mean, they celebrate it with reunions, right? I was depressed through High School, horribly depressed.  That's what I remember. Oh, I had a few friends, but I just cannot force myself to pretend that those years were the best of my life.

Returning Student: Yeah, I called to register for classes at the Community College yesterday, stating I was a 'returning student'.  The lady questioned, "Oh, you were here for Spring Semester?" to which I replied, "Yeah, about 23 years ago."  There was a pause after that.  I then realized there were kids attending college who weren't even born the last time I was at College.  Kinda depressing and positive at the same time.

Heat: I'm a WI girl; I can put more clothes ON in the winter to stay warm.  I'm down to the absolute minimum I can take off and still have my dignity. It's too freaking hot! And we desperately need rain. All storms either fizzle out before they get here, or skip right over us.

Poultry: Another gosling died last week, about 4 days after we got it.  The hatchery was real good in responding to our email about what could have happened; they thought it was stress. It was either that or some sort of physical deformity. The gosling was gasping for air for two days before it mercifully just died in my hands.  Otherwise, 8 geese, 4 ducks, 30 chickens still wander around the farm doing their thing.

Birthdays: Hubby had another birthday, he's doing just great about it.  I never understood those people who get their knickers in a twist over their age.

Knitting: Cavallo Point is proceeding nicely. Other stuff has been shelved because I don't care.  Tour De Fleece starts like...soon.  I need to card up some Alpaca and spin it.

AAAND a picture:

OH and Cap Sleeves: Whomever designed dresses with these deserves to be tortured! I end up digging them sleeve out of my armpit like every 5 minutes because they just don't. fit. right! STOP MAKING THINGS WITH CAP SLEEVES! Another 2" of sleeve length is all that is needed.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Old MacDonald had a farm

I'm not that old, nor am I MacDonald, but I am part Scottish!
To count:
Three goslings hatched last week.  That was primarily why I was not blogging.  One was a bit slow emerging from the egg and needed help.

There are 24 chickens under that galvanized roof that is the brooder.  They are bigger now, but still UGly! These chickens were bred for meat and show it: large breasts, spotty feather production, stupid as the day is long.

We put them in the garage for protection until they are big enough to head on out to the coop. The coop is 99% done - we are working on shingles and that's it.  If it weren't 100 degrees in the shade, that would be done by now.

Four ducks. They're fun to watch.  Until a few days ago, they were out in the laundry room. They're only a month old, but they wanted out...really wanted out.  So now they are in the coop with the larger chickens.

Yesterday it rained for about 15 minutes.  Those ducks were outside happily preening and oiling their new feathers during the whole thing.  They've been staying mostly in the coop hiding or something but this morning they headed for the lilac bush directly across from their new home.

 And for the last: The 6 larger chickens: Fried, Fricassee, Broasted, Broiled, Sauteed, and Curried. The Roosters are Fried and Fricassee, with Fried being the white one.  They like to fight and dominate and crow.  All the time with the flipping crowing...............

Thirty five animals; not counting the three cats inside. Two months ago, we had just 3 cats.

oh and knitting? I made a bunny for a friend of mine's daughter's birthday.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Not So Random Tuesday

Today is recall election day here in Wisconsin.  I'm sad to admit it, but I've learned a lot about how horrible people can be to each other in the last 2 years.  It culminates today, but I do not think I will forget the abuses hurled at me by my own family very soon.  I've learned a lot, and most of it is just depressing.

On the re-entry to Uni front: I've applied for admission to our UW System. I am three courses away from an Associate's degree. After High School graduation in 1987, I attended our UW Center for two years.  That is why I've gotten so close to that degree.  I'll just throw that one up with the one I got from BTC.    The important issue is the Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering.  Some smart local businesses got together and and donated money towards land, building and professors so that people like me don't have to drive to Platteville to get my degree, but I can earn it at U-Rock.  That saves a ton of money, commute time and resources.

And in about 3-4 years I will have a degree.

So randomness:
Not as random as I usually do, but it does help those who want to raise chickens and ducks.  We brought home a cardboard box to brood the chickens/ducks.  Brooding is keeping them warm in an isolated spot until the blighters get their feathers.  Above the area is a warming lamp that is calibrated by putting a thermometer in the middle of the pool and adjusting the height of the lamp until it reads correctly.  At this point it needs to read 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The cardboard box did not work all that well as liquid crap + water soaked through and the bottom fell out.   The ducks like to splash water all over and the chickens crap like champs.  I was changing out the bedding once a day with  a clothes pin on my nose.

So we bought a cheap plastic wading pool.   I still needed to change the bedding once a day, but not the cardboard box.  This little area is in our laundry room.  25 chickens and 4 ducks fit in it just fine for about 4 days.  As you see, the chickens look horrible.  That's because they are losing their down and replacing it with feathers.  They are not happy about it either.  Lots of 'help me' calls come from them. It's a very loud, "PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!PEEP!!" that is one common call among all the poultry we've had. Geese, ducks and chickens make that same call when they need help.

Now they are stashed under the real brooder. It's a thing that looks like a roof of a shed. Inside is a heater and a lamp.  It rests on 4 adjustable legs. Dave got it from the magic barn.  The ducks are staying inside as their heat needs are more than the chickens.  They're chatty ducks too.  Every time I open the door they start talking.