Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A novel concept: New Year's Resolutions

Usually I don't make them. Why? I think I might not follow up on them, like everyone else.
My usual resolution is to have more intimate moments with my Husband. Well, if you think about it, one more time in the hay is MORE than the year before, right?  I've got that one NAILED! Time to do some serious stuff though:
My New Year's resolutions:
photo courtesy of the website mentioned
in the photo. 

1. To wear my weapon more. I have a concealed carry license. The world is going more cray-cray and less sane. I'm wearing my weapon and will be working on more practice on moving targets this year. NO, that does not mean humans.  God, how people think these days!  If someone does come at me to threaten my life or those of my family I want to be sure I am accurate.

Incidentally, those 4 rules over there are not just guidelines, they are RULES!! Everyone who owns a gun should live by these 24/7. Most 'accidental' shootings are because of the lack of following those 4 rules.

2. To get into shape/lose weight. Since I stopped my membership at the Y, I've gained 10 pounds. I want to go back to getting into shape and lose enough weight to be able to put my Engagement Ring back on without choking off the circulation to that finger and losing it. I miss working out because it helped me deal with stress in my life.  
 treadclimber or max trainer? We're still working on that. Dave wants the Max Trainer, but I can tell him from experience he will need to work up to the recommended 1/2 an hour SLOWLY. The treadclimber would be the better choice. (Photos courtesy of the makers of these machines)

U-Rock doesn't have a fitness center, BTC in Monroe doesn't have a fitness center --- honestly people, in this new age of heightened awareness of the benefits of fitness to stress and the body..why is it that Colleges neglect this? They have student lounges, but no fitness center. BTC's central campus has a decent one. I used it all the time while I was there.   Get with the effing program!

3. Finish projects on the needles. I have a lot of them in need of completion. A few sweaters, a few shawls, a few other stuff. Get them off and done. Either that or frog them. I'm thinking I need incentive for this. Maybe I will throw a giveaway for one of the shawls once it is done. I used to give myself the rule that no new projects would start until the old ones are finished. I'm not sure WTH I was thinking.

4. Finish a few writing projects I have going on. Nope, not going to tell you. Suffice it to say that the writing was done purely for my enjoyment. My biggest mistake was admitting to it to my husband. He thinks it will turn into some sort of career. Millions of people write stuff all the time, it don't make them writers. I like to write, I like to create stories. I just don't think they're all that good. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

My usual feeling on Christmas is dread. I used to despise Christmas with a passion. Not for it's meaning, but for the fact that it meant we had to schlep all over Wisconsin to see family. Lumpy beds, hours upon hours driving in bad roads, people with uppity attitudes, bullshit galore. Yeah, not a great way to spend the holiday, but we did it anyways.

After the big blowout shortly after Christmas before last, we've been freed. Dave's family finally came out of the closet and told us how they truly felt about us: We're stupid, horrible, evil people because we're not Libs. In fact, that apparently is the very reason WHY they felt it important to tell us so during a visit to our home. Yep, I invite them as guests into my home only to get called a stupid, evil bitch. Bitter? Me? HELLZ YES! I'm still bitter about that, and will be until my death.

I'm SO much better than that! I know how to be an excellent guest in anyone's home. But that's why I'm stupid, evil and deserve to be cut out of the family...............LOL

This is the 2nd year we are free of our restraints. I've been ruminating on starting traditions here. We are re-instituting the Birthday Cake. Way back when it was just Alex and I, he asked me a very astute question. If it's Jesus' birthday, where is the cake? So we'd bake Jesus a birthday cake (Carrot cake was the tradition) put candles on it and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
Our Christmas Tree. This year,
there are no ornaments, just lights.

The gifts are modest.

Dave needed new shoes, he got new shoes.
My only frying pan lost it's teflon coating. I'm getting a new frying pan.
Alex needs pajama pants that don't have holes in them.
He's getting PJ's.

Gift cards galore for other people. After I spent 6 months of my life one year spinning and knitting objects that I *thought* would be well-received, I'm not doing it again. Only a few gifts were made this year, mainly for kids.

I have 3 nieces who are expecting babies this year. Well, one of them had her daughter already. June bug gets a warm blanky and Mom gets a nursing blanket, or whatever she wants it to be. I'm calling it, '50 shades of pink.'

All in all, the struggle has been to create our own traditions; ones that don't involve driving or putting up with other people's crap. This year, I'm "meh" about Christmas, which surprisingly, is a step better than before.

Merry Christmas to you all. May your holiday be better than you expected! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

With an Eye towards the future......

Is it safe?Are all the integrals gone?
I'm also sporting a Deephaven
Cowl that I finally finished!
I will never have to take another difficult math class again! Yes, I advanced far enough to pass Calculus 2 with a dip into Differential Equations. That is, unless I bombed the final. I would not recommend that someone decide to abandon their course in University two weeks before a final. You find that your give-a-shit busts in every way. I wanted to do well in Calc, and I didn't even take the Circuits final, because..there was just no way that I was going to get anything other than an F in the class anyways.

And If you are in WI, thinking of taking the UW Platteville "Collaborative" course in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, DON'T. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY...................DON'T!

Mango, made for a couple who sat next
to me in Calculus. They have a daughter
who is young.
It's a ruse: They take your money, show you a decent lab then ...well, that's it. There's no help for you in Janesville or the Fox Valley. The teacher will fuck up the online classes so you can't see them, you'll have to GO to Platteville for any tutoring and then find out that the next semester that the material needed to perform labs is ONLY AT PLATTEVILLE. Yep, they don't even have the correct equipment here to do your labs. It's a fucking ruse to take your money. Yes, I'm still angry about this because of the fact that I was promised one thing, only to find out it was just to take my money. I expected better from the University of Wisconsin.

They lied and lied and lied and now I have to pay for that. BUT, in a better, more optimistic tone, I'll be starting classes at Blackhawk Technical College in January. I'll be at the Monroe campus studying Microbiology. Yeah, not much better than Calculus, right? LOL. But at least I know that there is help available and all the tools needed for me to get my degree are right there.

My friend Butchie is battling Lung Cancer and kicking
it's ass, but he needs to not be breathing cold air, so
I knitted him a Bandanna Cowl out of hideous acrylic. 
On a knitting note: I've been knitting while studying. See the photos as they are all cool.  Well, that Bandana cowl is not cool, but necessary. After a discussion with Butchie and the fact that the cold Wisconsin air was messing with his Chemo, I whipped that monster out in less than a day. I hope he burns it when he's done with all this treatment.

Prayer shawls are still being made, but at a slower pace. Butchie got his Packer Prayer Throw just in time for it to help him keep warm during chemo treatments. He says it keeps his bottom half warm while the top half is exposed so the nurses can get to his port....or whatever they call it.


Butch's Jackson Blanket made in colors of WIN.
We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this year. Nothing special in the celebration, just a bit of reminiscing with friends. I posted like 20 pictures from the wedding on Facebook so those who attended could see how young they were back then. Butchie and his wife were in attendance even back then, so I had to show him how cute they looked. A few others in those photos have passed on, and it was good to remember them as they were, especially Mark who was one of our Ushers.

It was also then that I had to admit to everyone that one painful thing: Dave and I met on the internet. In a chat room, In a Yahoo chat room. Back in 1997, Yahoo chat rooms were not filled with spam bots selling porn. They had actual people with actual thoughts. About 75 of us would gather every night in the Wisconsin area of the Adult Yahoo Chat room (that way we could swear without being moderated) and we'd chat about odd stuff.

After about 6 wintry months of that, we all decided to meet IRL and see what we looked like. That started a thing where we'd meet up about once every few months IRL somewhere and just party. Dave and I met IRL in  Racine at a party. He like my smile, I liked the he nibbled my ear and that was the end of it. We got married two years later.

Look at him...handsome devil ....he really fell for it didn't he?? Despite all those who warned him not to, he married me!  ;)



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yes, I am quiet..maybe too quiet?

I came to a crossroads of sort in my student career.  URock is refusing to allow me to take any more classes there due to some stupid f*cked up rule about maximum credits. Dude, it's all within the University of Wisconsin system anyhow, who gives a rat's hairy bottom if I take Statics in Janesville or Platteville. Apparently these people are SO stuck into their rigid rules and regulations that they cannot see they are losing students to it.

I panicked, tried to think of a way that I could save myself the 4 hour round trip to Platteville every stinking work day and could not. This is Wisconsin, y'all - 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad ice-skating- it's not cool to spend that much time on icy winter roads! So..transfer to Whitewater (only 1 hour away) and major in Math until I could transfer to Madison? I bounced it off of David.

"What are you going to do with a BS in Math?" he questioned.
"I don't know, calculate my unemployment?" My answer.

 And as I thought about it more and more, my brain came to a revelation. What the HELL are you doing, woman? Why are you spending so much time, effort and money on some pie-in-the-sky Engineering degree that may or may not happen!?!? Face it people. I'm 45 years old. Ageism is a thing...a REAL thing. People think the older you get, the more feeble you are. Even in a career such as this where physical prowess is not necessary, they *think* everyone over the age of 40 is just a bundle of medical infirmities.

As I came to this conclusion, staring at my Calculus 2 homework, the whole thing became trite. WTF is all this useless knowledge for? So I made a decision to essentially listen to my own advice. Sure, $85,000 a year is nice. I'm not going to say it's not. but there's no guarantee it will happen. BUT my family needs to eat, and honestly? I'm sick of being dirt-poor. I'm going to go get a skill, not a career. I'm going to get a job, not a dream.

I'll be meeting with an advisor at BTC to discuss what courses can transfer to their diploma for Medical Lab Assistant. Yep, draw blood, perform CBC's get paid about 20 bucks an hour. It's a job. It puts food on the table and with any luck I can get it done before I hit 50.

And as I look at my coursework right now, it's all very trite...useless info that I will not need. Circuits has always been a joke. My professor cannot pull his ass out of a wet paper bag for anything. Honestly, he should've retired by now and left the new digital age to a younger, more electronically adept professor. I'm sick of his inability to even run an online Blackboard Collaborative class.  And really, the whole "Collaboration" between URock/Platteville is a fucking joke. The only collaboration I'm seeing is that Platteville can take thousands of dollars for a crap education. Not a person over there wants to pull their lazy asses out of their cushy offices to drive 2 hours to Janesville.

The math is much more fun, no really! I like Calculus. I like the challenge of it. It's a puzzle in need of solution. My classmates are great and we help each other out a lot. I will miss that part of it. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Blogging on the go

So, i downloaded the app on my phone. Let's see if I can get more blogging done on the cell than I do if I sit at my laptop. Right now it's a lot of studying going on, some talk of transferring from one university in the Wisconsin system to another university because of problems with the collaborative online stuff.

Knitting has been stopped for a little bit. I've had a few request for more prayer shawls, but I'm taking a break from them right now. I turned out three of them in less than two months, that is a record for me.

I bought a truck. It is not a new truck, in fact it's pretty old, but I do like it better than having the car. If I am to commute to and from Madison, I'll need a truck that's not worthy of stealing. With the truck being a stick shift, it will be sufficient theft deterrent.

The photo is of Fred the goose and I. He's one of the the two last hatched. Papa Percy and Mama Mary are good goose parents for them. They like me to sit and let them chew on my coat buttons, hair and fingers.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I gotta be quick about this

I supposed to be studying Circuit Modeling, and yes, I'll get back to it. That in itself is at least a 12 page rant. The book I was supposed to be using sucks, the Proctoring is bullshit, and I've got at least 5 supposed professionals from the UW who are annoying me with their inability to think outside the procedures. If one more person sends me the 'procedures.doc' and insists that I peruse it again..I'ma throwing a brick at them. Yes, I know the bloody 'procedure' and I know you're hiding your inadequacies behind them. These people couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag without their ever-loving, vaunted 'procedure' And here's the kicker for all 5 of them: I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR PROCEDURES! I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT LAME EXCUSES!!

And their inadequacies has made me rethink my college of choice..maybe NIU has a better program...

Onto knitting: Three people in one week let it be known they have cancer. Three really good, really nice, pretty close to me people. I was gobsmacked and at a loss. My prayers were poured into their prayer shawls/throws:

First one is in garnet red, has a simple cable alternating in the columns. I took this one camping but rarely worked on it. It took over a month to finish, which was not usual for me.

The recipient has gotten through surgery fine. She shows no more spread of the cancer from her bewb and should be just fine. Prayers, good wishes and a hope for an excellent cancer-free future goes with her.

This one was made more of a throw than a shawl. It was made for a guy and I didn't want to make it seem girly. Made from the usual Hobby Lobby "I Love This Yarn." in burnt pumpkin. The recipient is a huge Bears fan. I had to suck it up for this one: I'm a huge Packers fan. But we do what we do for the love of the human, and not the team.

Um, It's 12 stitch cables, all with a right twist to them which means 6 stitches held in back then knit the 6 on the needle, then the ones on the cable needle. With 6 stitches, you really need a cable needle.  The rest of it was 10-stitch garter stitch background.  So if I was not knitting a cable row, it was knit all the way across, then k10, p12..wash, rinse  repeat on the way back. 14 rows in between cable rows. All my shawls/throws are started with a 6 row garter stitch to keep them from rolling.

Knitted on size 10 1/2 needles, it took me 2 weeks. My toes are at the end there, and it reached up to my chest. I've not had real intimate knowledge of what goes one during chemotherapy, but logic says there's an IV line in this somewhere. If there's an IV, there's a need to get at an arm. If this throw is used for 1/2 of the body and another blanket used for the remaining 1/2, nurses should be able to get to that IV line pretty easily without getting the patient too cold, right?  We will see.

The recipient has a bleak prognosis of less than a year. Pancreatic cancer is one of those less survivable cancers. The recipients' friends are rallying to help any way we can and mine talent is knitting. Prayers for as best of a result from  this sucky-soul-sucking diagnosis as possible went with it.

The third one is one the needles. A ripple throw in the pattern called The Jackson Blanket created with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn - again but this time in the colors of WIN! - The Packers.
Now I had some Red Heart in Packer colors and started the blanket, but I cannot in good conscience make a blanket with that crap. It's harsh, scratchy, unforgiving yarn. I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby is SO much softer and easier to work with. These throws/shawls need to be machine washable.

ok, back to studies...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Survive Enterovirus D68

Ok, I'm not totally SURE that's the cold I have, but if it's not...it's pretending well. Last Tuesday night I went to bed feeling like I had a bad allergic reaction to something. It happens. I took a Benadry, Ibuprofen and Claritin and went to bed. I awoke feeling worse than I did before bed: Runny nose, all stuffed up, that feeling that you've been run over by a bus. Yeah, it was not fun.

I took the day off from school, begged off my chores to Alex and just slept most of the day. A few days later I was better, but that cold has migrated to my lungs - my old, asthmatic lungs. I wake up, hork up some mucous, toke on my inhaler and get some coffee.

So how does one cope with having a bad cold like this without having to go to the doctor? Well, over the counter meds and some good old-fashioned home remedies.

OTC Meds:

  • Mucinex DM - Well, any generic medicine containing Guaifenesin will work. My generic med has that and a decongestant. Now the caveat to taking Guaifenesin: It will dehydrate you..make you go pee a lot. It also makes your pee smell like the medicine, BUT, it is the best there is for chest congestion OTC. 
  • Ibuprofen - When I cough, I get headaches. I also coughed so hard the first day that I started throwing up. When that happened, I heaved and coughed at the same time and swore I cracked a rib! A sharp pain encircled my chest right under my armpits. Oh it was a beautiful pain that took what little breath I had away. Thankfully, it subsided after a few minutes. 
  • Benadryl  - histamine reducers always help. I buy the caplets, split them in 1/2 and take that. 1 Benadryl will put me to sleep.
  • Vicks vapo-rub and inhalers. Dude, you just can't go wrong with menthol to open up the airways. 
Prescription Meds: 

   I've been hoarding the last prescription meds that I got before my insurance ran out. Pulmicort and an Albuterol Inhaler. The pulmicort is an inhaled steroid for asthma that I take once a day. Normally I wait for winter to start taking it because of my reaction to cold air, but this is an emergency. My stock is diminishing rapidly. 

Pretty soon I'll have to find an overseas source for this med...that doesn't require a prescription. Yes, I know it's illegal, but I don't have health insurance, and I am adamant that I will not be forced to pay for Obamacare and Abortions. I'm willing to purchase my drugs illegally as long as I'm not forced to be a party to murder. ...Yes, it's THAT important to me!

Home remedies:

Vegetable soup... the more hot stuff you can push past the lungs, the better. It frees up the mucous. The veggies replace lost vitamins.

Oranges - Thin mucous and give you more vitamin C

Heating Pad - Sitting at night with the heating pad over the upper part of my back helps my chest congestion. It also feels pretty good.

Sleep - Don't discount good rest.  Take it easy, don't rush the recovery. It should take a few weeks before I am back to normal.

Cover your nose and mouth when outside in cold air. I've got a cowl that I put on while doing morning chores. It's wide enough to allow me to dip my nose into it and breathe when I start feeling the struggle for air. My big triggers for asthma attacks is cold air and exercise.

The morning Purge: This requires me to stand in front of my bathroom sink, breathe in deeply then forcefully push the air out of my lungs while pursing my lips. I actually sound like I'm saying 'who' while doing this. What this does is bring up phlegm from my lungs. I end up having to cough and hack the goo into the sink, then I rinse it down.  If left alone this stuff will fester and start an infection.  
 
- This is also a good time to check the color of that goo. White, you're ok,, dull mint green, ok. Bright green or yellow, time for a doctor visit. Also, if you can't shake that run-down feeling, you need to see the dr. 

- This purging hurts. I'll not kid you on that. You might also start throwing up. Oddly enough, if you DO toss the 'ol cookies, you'll feel tons better afterwards. There was one time where the stuff refused to loosen from my chest. I cajoled my husband into smacking my chest while I exhaled to loosen the stuff up, much like parents have to do with kids that have Cystic Fibrosis. He was afraid to hurt me, but I needed it done. With a cupped hand, he smacked my back under my arms while I exhaled. Eventually the goo got out. A sore chest for a day or two is much more preferable than pneumonia. 

Right now, I've survived the first week of this cold. Yesterday I walked from the far end of the school to my car and had to stop once to catch my breath. 


Friday, September 12, 2014

I see reds and pinks. I like reds..not so much pinks

oh Hey!
that's George saying hi to me. He and Fred like to come up and chew on me a bit while I'm outside.

I've been inside now for a few days struggling with a nasty cold. First day was the clogged yet drippy sinuses, Yesterday was the migration to the asthmatic lungs. Today is just meh.  really really meh. I'm tired and glad to be going nowhere.

Last weekend was the Sheep and Wool festival in Jefferson, WI. As Dave found a cooking partner this year for his task of cooking the roasts for the Church's Harvest Festival, I got to go! I finally got my hands on one of Adam Mielke's spindles. I've wanted one since he started making them. I understand he's stopped, but a few can be had.

I started spinning with some nice red merino roving in it from the Fairy Yarn Mother.. Susan is a good friend of mine that I enjoy talking with at the fair each time. She has the most wonderful shades of roving around.  It's the one roving I am most trustworthy of to hold it's color and be wonderful to spin.

I had to tell her how much I enjoyed spinning and knitting my most go-to hat in the world, the red Rikke hat:

That hat has weathered last winters polar vortices with aplomb. I put that warm thing on my noggin' and go out to do chores happy that it won't fall off my head, fall over my forehead nor, get snagged on anything. It's all a work hat ever needs to be, and it's a pretty color.

And I have to confess that I have about 3 Rikke hats and more than once I've grabbed one to warm up a little gosling or duckling that's just hatched. They do well as pouches to warm those little buggers up. I remember last spring gathering a gosling who had fallen into a pool and couldn't get out in one. I snatched it from my head and popped the gosling into it. Betcha it was Lumpy. She's now as big as her Mom.

The Harvest Festival went well again this year. The meat again was delish, so kudos to Dave and Matt for the expert roasting of it. As summer dies to fall, canning is coming around...
40 pints of tomatoes put up for the year. Now I get to work on potatoes and carrots. At least the warm water will help with the cold. No worries, I DO wash my hands obsessively and canning requires high heat that will kill most viri.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Challenging others

Lots of challenges going around on Facebook.  Here's a challenge I have for everyone:

1. Donate whatever money you want to whatever charity you feel would benefit from that cash. Don't post a video of it, don't throw water on your head. Do NOT- I repeat DO NOT- challenge others to do so. What a person can give to a charity and to what charity they believe is beneficial is none of your concern.

2. I've seen the 'gratitude' challenge. Dude, if you need someone to TELL you to be grateful, you've got problems. Even in my worst days: my worst pain, my most desolate times, there were things to be grateful about. Even if that gratitude was that I woke up alive that day. If you're stuck in a complaint rut, think about 5 good things that happened to you today, even if one is that you got dressed correctly.

My list of gratitude is endless. When you see geese dance like that, it always brings a smile to my face. That's George, by the way...drying off after a bath.

My other challenge to people is to get off their duffs and DO something that they have not done either in a while, or in ever. Say hi to a person on the street. Sit and stare at fluffy clouds... just DO something that involves just yourself and something that makes you smile. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oh hey! A twofer, but this one is a rant

I'm back from the grocery store. We were out of milk. I was out of soda...it was necessary. Oh and HEY! Ice cream was on sale!

So I gather milk, soda, pizzas and that awesome ice cream and head to the checkout lane. I'm a tad frustrated because my pen is not in my purse. That means I'll have to wait until I am being checked out to write out the check. Meh, I write fast.

The woman in front of me...in her 70's by my reckoning has a whole cart full of stuff. She starts instructing the bag boy (man?) to not crush stuff, keep this to the side etc. Oh goodie! She's going to be one of those people. Others who queue up behind me suddenly realize how slow this line is and in a huff wander off to another line. Whatever, I mean, this can't possibly take TOO long, right?

Food's been scanned, the lady hands the cashier a dozen coupons. The two of them go through these coupons, 'did you buy this?' no..that coupon goes in one pile, the other ones that were for items purchased go in another. 'Did you buy Comet?' 'No, I couldn't find it, but I really need it.'

So we wait while the bag boy goes out into the store to get the Comet. I'm looking at a chick on the front of the Cosmo mag in a hideous dress. Oh look! Another stupid story about orgasms! Cosmo has been flogging that dead horse subject for 30+ years now.  Oops! Comet is here, and the lady finally produces her savings card. Mine has been in the checkbook bookmarking the check I must write out since I started this fiasco.

She produces her debit card and slides it through the machine.  I find a pen on the cash register and start writing out my check. Date, Pay to the order of, signature are ALWAYS written out before I hit the cashier. It's just courtesy to do so. Well, darned if that debit machine is hard to figure out. The cashier is needing to help the lady through the transaction...oops she wants cash back. 'how much?' $20. Ok. we get that taken care of. We are almost to the promised land!

'How do you want that 20 ma'am? Just one 20 dollar bill?'

 "I want a roll of quarters." really? REALLY? I'm trying not to giggle here. I mean, how much time could someone spend purchasing groceries? I'm about to find out! The Cashier wanders off to the Customer Service desk to retrieve a roll of quarters. I'm onto Family Circle Magazine now...how to make luscious summer desserts. Well, that's what the ice cream is for...........that's melting as we speak.

Back she is with that roll of quarters. Now the lady must stow all this into her purse...another few minutes of waiting while the Cashier starts rolling through my stuff.  I warn her about the top on one of the ice cream tubs that is loose and then tell her I have 2 12-packs of soda but only put one up on the check out counter. She swipes my savings card, I write out that amount on the check..booya I'm done!

Two minutes in my transaction, about 15 in the one before me.

Now WHY do I type all of this out? Because I want to point out a few things for you.
1. I have the patience of a saint sometimes. There was not one reason to freak out on the lady before me. She was doing what she had to do. She wasn't being slow to piss me off, nor to 'ruin' my day. She was being who she was. I have patience with people and would hope that by showing this patience off in public that others would do the same. which brings me to........

2. If I have ONE MORE chick shove her fucking cart up my ass, or throw the frustrated look coupled with the heaving sigh, or chat on her infernal cell phone about how that chick in front of her won't 'get out of her way!' I WILL BASH YOUR FACE IN WITH YOUR BOTTLED WATER!!

I DON'T FUCKING CARE IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT IT TAKES 10 SECONDS TO WRITE 4 NUMBERS AND 5 WORDS ON A CHECK!!

Yes, I am BETTER than others because I can show patience! Yes, it is boastful to point that out, but sometimes I cannot help it. I AM BETTER THAN YOU when it comes to patience! I think it is time for others to recognize how much it lowers other people in my esteem when they act horribly in a checkout queue. YOUR ACTIONS IN THE CHECKOUT LINE ARE WHY I HATE PEOPLE IN GENERAL!!

Grow up, get a clue, stop acting like everything and everyone should bow down and kiss your ass and get out of 'your way' MAYBE YOU'RE IN MINE!!

/rant.


Vacation

It's been 3 years since our last vacation, and Dave decided he needed one badly.  We trained up Alex and his friend Cody to watch the flock while we were gone and we headed off to Governor Thompson State Park near Crivitz, WI. It's a new park, situated on the Cauldron Falls impoundment. A very nice park, actually.

Except for the rain.

Seriously, it hadn't rained in Southern Wisconsin for WEEKS. No rain. the grass was brown, we really needed some! Up North, it rained for 3 days straight. A few hours here and there were dry but it was getting absolutely ridiculous.
The first night we were there, we set up and went down to see if we could get cell reception and call home. I took this photo from the boat landing. Nice, eh?  Even the mosquitoes were pretty scarce. We called home, everything was fine and went back to fishing.

There's been a fox stalking our flocks. Problem is, we've got a huge flock and the geese are actually bigger than the fox. they'll stomp/peck/hit him with their wings and he'd be a dead fox. Either way, if I can get him before the flock does, I'll sleep more soundly.

The next morning, rain. We head off to Crivitz to get breakfast and then put out on the lake with our canoe and kayak. Sure enough, even though the radar said all clear, it wasn't.

Dave is in the canoe, I'm in my Kayak and it started misting..then drizzling, then raining. I backed up under an Oak on the bank and watched Dave fish. It was nice to just be somewhere quiet.

Incidentally, twice -at two different lakes - I had people come by me and engage in conversation about me to their spouses: "What is she looking for?" was their question. I think the first lady had it right in her response, "I don't know....serenity?" Yep, I was looking in the water at some fishies, clams and snails. I also observed some interesting water plants that spiraled up to a small flower that broke the surface. It was peaceful. Apparently I am more curious about underwater life than others.

We ate our steaks in relative dryness, a treat we picked up for the trip. In the morning, more rain. We checked the radar and it showed endless rain, or what I termed, 'fresh hell.'

A discussion ensued and we decided to pack up and travel to a less wet park. We picked Buckhorn State Park on Castle Rock Lake, It's a HUGE lake, but there's inlets that are less inclined to be used by motorboats.  We had much less rain, but more mosquitos. Oh well. We put in on the lake and started our travels. Somewhere I lost my husband, but he's a big boy and can find his way back to the shore.
I rounded a peninsula and found this field of pond lilies. Now Dave says he's never seen them this high over the water and from comparing the maps of the inlets to actual inlets, I think he's right in believing the water was lower than it's normal level.

Aaand this lily pond was where I picked up the biting flies...............
I went in search of Dave, trying frantically to swat away the flies biting my back and armpits while paddling. Oh, and then my sweet niece starts a facebook conversation at that time that sets my phone to go BEEP-BUZZ every time someone responds to her. Wrong time sweetie!

Not to say that every day was rainless, I mean one morning we woke up and checked the radar for fresh hell and one was coming upon us. We decided to head on up to this shrine to the Virgin Mary up the road.
It was.............interesting. The entire complex was devised by a lady who had been receiving regular visits from the Virgin Mary in the 1950's. After Mary stopped coming, other saints made visits. From the completeness of the shrines, it was a busy place in the 70's but is in decline. As it was just getting done with the rain, there was no real place to kneel and say prayers. I think they probably should put a place inside where that could be done.

We paddled more on the lake, and tried to catch fish, but they were just not biting. We slept a lot, read a lot and got sand in lots of places it didn't need to be. Saturday we awoke to the hottest, muggiest day since last summer. We packed up and beat the storms home. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photo updates

That's George, Fred is behind him. They're doing well.  I've put up the enclosure again so they can be protected while outside. They have food, water and a bath in their enclosure. The rest of the flock is still harassing them. I don't know why, nor do I care. I just need time to be inside.

Carrie is sitting on the last 2 eggs we have. I've incubated them until yesterday when B5 was internally pipping. B3 and B5 were fertile and have progressed well since I popped them in the incubator. By putting them under a broody goose, she gets to be Mom and I get my life back.

This is just a nice photo of part of the flock. I can tell right away this is the flock we term "Ron's Flock" because Buddy is in it. Buddy, Ron, Sweet Pea and Gingi are all part of our original flock sent to us over 2 years ago. Everyone else in the group is Ron's offspring: Ronson, Sissysan, Penny, Nelly, Lumpy and Arthur.

It was a cool morning after a good rain. We could use some more rain, but never diss what you get. Out beyond that fog is acres and acres of farmland, woods and a few other farms. It's a nice view.

Inigo and Fezzik staring at Tyler the cat. Those two chickens roost on that chair and listen to the TV every night. I'm sure they are very well informed on a lot of things. We like to watch shows like "How it's Made" and "Food Factory".

We've tried to get them integrated with the rest of the flock, but these gals are just happy as a clam to be sitting on the front porch being creepy while we watch TV.

Ah well.

This is a photo of Percy. Why? Percy likes his photo taken. He's a ham when it comes to photos.  My Sister claims he's mean, but he's just a big ol' marshmallow. He will come up the front stairs and holler for me to pet him. He likes his belly rubbed. You can't get near him when it's breeding time, but when that's over............he's a big ol marshmallow. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Many nuances of pain

Last week, my shoulder decided it did not like shoveling loads of muck out of the mud pit. I had a grumpy arm that wouldn't allow me to move it without griping about the movement. Lovely, eh? It was my left shoulder as well, which makes it oh so much more challenging as a left-handed person.

I had gotten the TENS unit that Icy Hot sells for Dave, as his back was hurting. It did wonders for him, but was fiddly: the buttons are on the unit itself and impossible to reach when attached to the back. I tried it on my shoulder. It made it worse. It got to the point where any movement on my upper body sent it to thralls of great pain. The pain itself reached a crescendo Friday night when we wrapped the shoulder. I ended up on the recliner to sleep and spent the next 2 nights there as well. There was just no way to sleep in bed without it hurting.

At least in the recliner, I could prop it up and put the heating pad on it.  A regimen of 4 ibuprofen plus the heating pad helped out a lot. We rummaged around and found a sling to put on it during the day so I could keep it immobile. Monday was the first time I could move it without feeling it scream at the effort. I was glad.

The last few days it has been feeling more tired/worn out than anything. Like if you've had a big workout and overdid it. I am relieved that the pain went down so fast. Yesterday I got back to knitting a bit, and finished off that first Prayer Shawl:

This one is blue, with the pattern I wrote out and posted a few weeks ago. It's made from 2 skeins of I Love This Yarn with 1/2 the 2nd skein making the fringe. All in all, it's about 5 1/2' long.  The official Title of this pattern is Days are Numbers which references a song from my youth.

I handed it in to the church yesterday. As I don't think anyone is really keeping count of what/where these shawls are, I made sure that I handed it personally to someone so they knew why I was giving her a shawl.

So onto the 2nd one:
Made from Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn in the color of Mulberry, here's the pattern:

One day Off

Yarn: Hobby  Lobby "I Love This Yarn" - worsted, any color. The color of the yarn in the photo is Mulberry.

Needles: Size 10 1/2 US 6.5mm
Cast On 76 Stitches.
Border: knit 6 rows in garter stitch ending on WS row so you can start on RS Row.
Row 1: Knit 2, P1, *K6, P1  repeat from * til 3 stitches remain, then P1, K2
Row 2: K3, P8, K1, *P6, K1, Repeat from * 8 times, P5, K3

Repeat these two rows until you reach an acceptable length, then add another 6 row garter stitch border, loosely bind off.

Next up for prayer shawl:

It's actually longer than this now, but I've not taken a photo of it today. My main work right now is to teach 2 goslings how to be geese. They're 2 weeks old and no matter how much of an effort I make trying to foster them off to a female goose, the flock has made it clear that I am Mom to these geese and they don't take kindly to me pawning off my kids onto them.

They are smarter than I give them credit for!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

If Google wants to compete, they need to change

So here I sit, on a Google sponsored site: Blogger. Of course, I have nice photos and videos on Google + because they INSIST! I must put my cell phone photos there...but I cannot share them on blogger...........a Google site without downloading them and then uploading them again.

Stupid, moronic and vapid. If you want to compete with places like Facebook, you need to start acting like you can do better than them.

It's been a summer of 'meh'. Meh as in I just have not done much except sit on the ground staring  at goslings or taking naps. Yah, sure knitting is going on.

This is the photo of my prayer shawl with the pattern I've devised. So far I'm into it for a skein and a 1/3.  I'm thinking it would take about a skein and a half to get about a 6' shawl. It's almost done. Then there's another one in purple that I'm making as well.

Each one is from a pattern I've modified from looking at photos of other shawls/baby blankets. The patterns are all riffs off the number 7. The blue one is essentially a countdown from 7 to 1 using knit purl.

The purple one is a knit 6 purl one that is repeated so that there are two dips in each one instead of just ribbing.  The photo is a bit more purple than the real color, but you get the jist.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Secrets

I'll let you in on a little secret: In my mind, I have like 5 ideas for blog posts every week. Due to age and my schedule, by the time I get to the posting, I forget them.

Some ideas:

  1. A nice listing of hobbies/interests that I understand, but just don't 'get'. 
  2. List of what I've learned from my Grandmother. It boils down to three things: 1, independence 2. frugality, and 3 putting family first.
  3. Moments in my life where I've dodged HUGE bullets.  I lead a blessed life, not because it's all been easy, but because there were moments in there where I was given a choice between easy and correct. I chose correct. 
  4. If I were to write a book, which story would I choose?
  5. Mindless rants about how people drive, stare at their phones or just are assholes. Yeah, like that hasn't been overdone on other blogs!
  6. inane photos of more geese, ducks, chickens and knitting. Oh you know that will happen anyways, right? 
Summer is summer. Tyranny of the shoulds keeps reminding me to study math every day. I do get at least one day a week in so far. Two new goslings hatched this week.
 I'm not impressed by our hatchings this year, but two factors went into that: 1. Odd winter. Very Odd, very cold, very long winter and 2. Yearling girls. They have a tendency to be a bit wild in their teenage years and don't want to do the things necessary to be Moms.   With Molly's brood, we've only had 8 new goslings this year. We should have 3 times that. 

I've been repainting the downstairs. The last time I did that was in oh...2007?  Time to update. Paint colors are : Light lavender for the dining room, light mint for the front room. The kitchen stays the same butter color. I might do a cocoa in the bathroom if I get time.

I'm knitting prayer shawls for the church. I found that I prefer Hobby Lobby's "I love this yarn" to Red Heart. It's just softer. Who wants a scratchy prayer shawl?   Once I get this one done, I'll write up the pattern and offer it for free as a pdf file both on here and in Ravelry.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mother Geese

This is Nelly who has a baby gosling nestled under her wing with it's little head sticking out by her butt. Look closely and you'll see. I tucked this pipped egg under her wing 3 days ago and it hatched. Her eggs weren't viable.

She's last years' gosling and they really don't get the hang of brooding and such until the 2nd year. We've got a few gals that are really good Moms; Luna is foster Mom to Elsa and she is just loving it. Molly is just a natural Mom who has always had good clutches of goslings.

Nelly is slowly picking up what to do. The last 2 days we've had her segregated 98% of the time from the flock so that the gosling can get on it's feet, learn to eat and drink and learn who is Mom. Today they are out on the land checking out stuff. Nelly's got the jist of keeping the kid near her, but does not understand when the baby needs to have mom lay down so it can warm itself under her wing.

She's very protective of her; attacked me about 4 time already..coming at me with wings outstretched beating me with them. I'll have bruises on my legs for sure.

I've knitted another hat, and another baby blanket. I'm working on some prayer shawls for the church. I'm working on this pattern I've devised:

Yarn: Hobby Lobby  I Love This Yarn! in  whatever color you want. Mine is a dark blue.
Needles: 10 1/2 straights, though circs would be fine as well.
Prayer: Whatever one you use for your shawls
CO: 77 stitches. First row: K7 P7  repeat till the end
Row 1, P1, k6...repeat til end
Row 2, P2, k5,  repeat
Row 3: P3 K4,  repeat
Row 4: P4, k3,  repeat
Row 5: P5, K2,  repeat
Row 6: P6, K1,  repeat
Row 7, Purl all

Then repeat rows 1-7.  I like the repeat of the 7 rows that reminds me of the repeat of a week, and to rest on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who knew a smart phone would be this fun?

I've not had a cell phone for years. We have one cell phone that goes in the car. It's what we term, the 'burn phone' a tracphone with prepaid minutes we load every 3 months for those emergencies. Well, I'm doing a lot more things away from the house. Dave and I decided we might actually take a vacation this year, so I researched cell phones and plans.  I'm amazed that people will pay 600 bucks for a frigging phone and then fork over another 150 a month just to play on it. It's more than I can ever afford to pay for a simple phone and internet.

Mine is a $150 phone with a $25/month service. Republic Wireless.

The phone is good, and the 3G works fine. There's still a black hole of cell reception by the house, but the wifi takes over. I use my phone for photos, video, ebooks, radar, facebooking, and texting. The photos are turning out really good, with the exception that google is trying to hijack EVERYTHING on it. Someone should tell them their Google + sucks ass and no one wants to be on it.

A view of the side yard this morning. Storms rolled through all night and forced the tall grass down. The geese love that. the soybean field is in the back right, the garden is in front of that and there's a berm that curves around the garden. It keeps the lower field from flooding. Good grass is down there and you see the geese and ducks happily munching their way to the garden. As the top part of the garden gets washed out a lot, Dave planted oats in the top 10'. A span of 10' by 40' is covered in oats that the geese just LOVE to munch on.

Dave's birthday was last Sunday, and I invited people over to celebrate. I was walking into the house to get food out, tripped and hit my head on the back door. Yes, I saw stars. Yes, it hurt a lot. I hollered HELP! and Dave came to my aid. He gave me a preliminary once-over to make sure I did not have a bad concussion. He proclaimed it was a mild one and that I should take it easy.

that's a goose-egg on my forehead coupled with a long scratch. It's tender. This morning the swelling is down, but I still have the scratch and tenderness. It's a good thing I did not hit the door in the places where the pegs stick out. The door has a cross buck decoration on it that is basically plastic held on by pegs. It's coming off and there are pegs that stick out. I hit the door more towards the hinges and missed them all entirely. If I did, that would've been a trip to the ER to be sure.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sharknado!

Have you ever wondered why I have pictures of tornadoes on my blog? I find them fascinating. They're God's own havoc in a tight, spiraling cone of Hell. Spawned from nothing but wind, they can destroy lives and property in seconds only to go POOF! and be gone.  Utterly fascinating.

I know they kill persons and animals. I know they destroy lives. A conversation I had once with a person living in CA went like this:
"I wouldn't live in CA, too many earthquakes. Likewise, I wouldn't live in the gulf coast. Too many hurricanes." I said.
"Well I wouldn't live in Kansas or anywhere near there, too many tornadoes." My friend replied.
"Yes, but I don't build my house on a tornado! You built your home like miles from an earthquake fault."
My response.

To live in a place where danger is imminent because of a crack on the Earth, or location that gets banged up by tropical storms is inviting destruction. Tornadoes are much more random.

So as I woke from my nap today, I remembered the forecast from the weather man stating spotty showers. I look up the radar to see a storm heading right for me, with purple in the center. Oh what fresh hell is this? I go outside and look to the Northwest. I hear rumbles but the sun is shining and all is peachy. Then I hear that annoying tornado siren from 2 miles away in Orfordville. Aw shit!  I scan and scan off the back 40. I see nothing. Trust me, I can see for at least 20 miles off the back. And then I spot it:

To me, it looked as though someone had started their burn pile on fire. But the plume of smoke kept moving towards me. Just a fine feather of smoke, but it was gaining on me from the distance.  Now see how far I can look off my back yard? That thing had to be a few miles away at least.


By the time it gets to this close to me. I decide it's time to get Alex out of his upstairs bedroom and ready to bail to the basement. We never did get to the basement. We stood there watching the storm until he got bored and went back upstairs.

About a minute after I took this picture, the tornado dissipated; while I was trying to take video. Which sucks for me, but advantageous to the neighboring town of Beloit, which was spared any damage. The only thing out a few miles from me is a few farms and lots of corn. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I will stay focused on knitting this time

Ok, one thing first: I have become the mother of a gosling. She hatched out last Friday. We've taken her everywhere this last weekend as she is very needy. I'm in negotiations with Luna, one of our gals to see if she will watch the gal outside for those times when I'm needed to be inside. So far..so good. Luna is very shy but very taken with the baby. She'd love to be a Mom to her.

OK before my computer dies again:
 I've knitted 6 of these hats so far. Of all the yarns I've used, I like the Patons Kroy best. It's thicker yarn than the other sock yarns which makes a nice, warm hat for 3 seasons out of 4. I find myself wearing hats a lot lately to keep my hair out of my eyes when doing chores and to keep warm.  The upside to them is that they also make good pouches to keep baby goslings in. The babies like to feel as though they are under Mama's wing, so I will pop them into a hat, roll down the brim and let their noses peek out.
 Do I need 6 more hats? SURE! I mean, who doesn't right?> 


The green one turned out wonky due to the decreases being done wrong. I forgot to double decrease on the 4 decreases so it looks odd on the top. That's what happens when you don't read and comprehend the pattern fully.


Other projects on the needles:

  1. dogbone pillow that I just found...again
  2. Cabled Shawl about 2/3 done
  3. Prayer Shawl #3
  4. Baby blanket #2
  5. Another hat in Cadet Blue
  6. Queen Anne Shawl stalled on round 75
  7. Cabled sweater hibernating until fall
  8. Icarus shawl just plain hibernating
  9. socks of varying completion (at least 2 that I know of)
  10. 1 mitten out of 2 done
Yes, I have a disease and I need to complete some of these things. Some will wait until it is cooler out, the prayer shawls are ongoing and this one is about 4/5 done. I need about 5 more rows and then fringe because apparently, the recipients like fringe. 

My one baby blanket is done. I'll have photos when I weave in the ends. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sleepy

I've been having interrupted sleep lately which is screwing up my days something fierce. It also makes me very short-tempered.  I also could not give a rat's hairy butt what I look like with 4 hours of sleep plus 2 hours of trying to sleep on a 30 year old recliner. So. Here's my not giving a crap look:

Penny hatched out one gosling. Well, there was another one but it died shortly after getting out of the shell. Chaos ensued the days after the hatching and we could not convince the uncles that they should leave Mom and Dad alone to bond with the gosling.

In the chaos of hissing, wing beating and fights, some goose stepped on the egg and on the gosling inside. I tried to help it out, but he was a goner.

Nellie is brooding in that same garage. When her babies hatch the fencing goes up around the opening to the garage that same moment and does not go off until time to put them back in. The uncles are just too violent.

These are the uncles: Sweet Pea, Gingi and Buddy with Penny in front. They pretty much take over rearing the gosling from Dad once the door to the garage is open.  I don't know why Sissysan lets them do it, but he does.

Good thing is that Sissysan and Penny and baby get alone time in the garage at night. The uncles have their own space in the goose pen.

My knitting projects have become as sporadic as my sleep. A baby blanket has been knitted and I have to get it finished up for the little one. Another 2 blankets for upcoming babies need to be made. My Godson has reproduced!


This ought to be fun. No really.

Now I should be studying calculus like my life depends on it, but evaluating integrals with 4 hours of sleep is not working. I can't even do simple algebra.


oh wow ...how much would I love to just get some sleep....

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Summer!

Yes, Sissy's death has been a big blow to all of us. We miss her terribly. We suspect she became egg-bound, a condition that is most often fatal in poultry. She had not laid eggs this year and I knew she'd been shagged. There are a few things you can do, but you have to know that she's egg bound to start treatment.

My laptop had been shutting down randomly, so I had Dave take it apart and blow out the fan. It's been sporadic since. I've been using Alex's laptop (he has a desktop also) but it's frustrating. His touchpad is extra touchy and if you rest your hand on it, well...the laptop does crazy things.

We sold 2 of Molly's babies to a lady who lives near the Dells. She had bought 2 geese from someone and one died. Geese need a flock to survive, so I offered her two of Molly's babies. She said they are doing well and bonding with her gosling. It's good to have a flock of happy geese.
There's a good video of what it's like to have uber-protective Moms about. She hisses, she hollers and those 3 babies are the most protected goslings around.

School is done. My final went all right. I start the Collaborative Engineering classes in the fall. I'm more nervous about the financial aid than the classes. Since I had to register at two different universities I DO hope that I can get my full financial package. This last year I've been shorted so much aid that I had to put last semester's tuition on a credit card. Not funny guys, get this shit straightened out!

One of the goals of the poultry farm was to educate youngsters in poultry and such. We've lent out eggs to a teacher to have them hatch in her classroom. She got 2 chickens and one duck. I named the duck Buttercup and the chickens Inigo and Fezzik. Yep, from the Princess Bride.  I've also created a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GaleOaksFarm that I update for the kids and others who like to see life with a bunch of loud geese ducks and chickens.

Dave had them snoozing on his arm last week. Buttercup has doubled in size since then. They are inseparable, which confirms the fact that if you raise the poultry together, they are OK with it.

Knitting wise, well...what I'm knitting cannot be shown until it is gifted to it's intended owner. I've a friend who is expecting....so I'm knitting.

I've made a few more hats though. I mean, what am I up to? Like 5 of those hats? Well, each one has a nice name like Indefinite Integrals or Optimization since that was what I was studying when I knitted it.
\
Except for the one that is in shades of Watermelon. That's Warehouse 13 finale. I cried. I will admit to it. I really liked that show. Now if Sci Fi can get back to Haven, it'd be nice....

Friday, May 9, 2014

~sigh~

We lost our Sissy girl last night. Found her dead in the coop this morning. She'd been sick last week, with a swelling under her beak. We let her stay inside the house, and she was stumbling and bumping into stuff. Her bad eye went worse and I was treating that but she seemed to take a turn for the better last night.

She got in her last nibbles on our hair and Dave's beard and we put her in the coop because the others were harassing her.

Going to be a crappy day............

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The measure of a human is what they do when they have nothing at stake

I had a very odd dream last night/early this morning. I was sitting in class listening like a good girl when the guy who sits next to me looks outside and says, "WOW!" which makes us all look. We are on the 2nd floor of a building, so looking out over the parking lot we notice that the sky is not blue, nor gray nor any natural sky color - it is the color of fire.

We look for the cause and find none. We run down the stairs and out the door and find the entire sky the color of flame.  And in my mind, I realize this heralds the end of humanity; Armageddon, the Reaping,..whatever you call it. It's the end.

But life goes on and we all do our best. The next part of this dream, I am working in an office. I do not know the man with whom I work, but I realize it's a co-worker. He's on the phone with a customer across the world away. A flash of bright, a swoosh and we are both in another office. I look outside to see barren, brown rocks and a mountainous terrain. My co-worker is still on the phone, and as he still talks to the customer, we realize we've traded places. They are in America and we're in their office, in Tibet. yes, Tibet.  As time goes on, we realize that everyone in the world has traded places with someone else. There's no real rhyme or reason to it. You get zapped into another place.

My next trade is to a home in a large city. It's a nice Victorian with lots of wood paneling and such. As I pull back the curtains, I see people looting and violence, but I choose to stay with the people here: A grandmother with her granddaughter and a young man in his 20's. As we survey our surroundings, the girl picks up bits of jewelry on a table and asks,'Do you think our stuff gets to go with us, or that this was here all along?' I have no answer. We search and find one of those chocolate oranges: the orange flavor chocolate in the shape of an orange wrapped in orange foil. I open it and share it with the girl.

And as I sit eating the chocolate (incidentally, I've never eaten one of those in real life) I wonder where my family is. I start to panic - who's taking care of the animals? Is anyone taking care of my animals? Do they even know how?

Which then wakes me up. As I lay there adjusting to real life I think to myself, "what would it be like, if the only thing you keep is yourself but are constantly changing lives with others?" What would be the thing you prize most? Could you survive? What if you were left with a child to care for? Would you do it? How about animals? What if you traded places with a criminal in solitary? Would anyone let you out?

A good thought to ponder once in a while. People get attached to many things, but what if the only thing you had left was .............yourself? 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Naw man, it's OK

What? It's a very quiet time here at the ol' farm just before all heck breaks loose with babies.
Well...some babies are already here. I lent out some duck and chicken eggs to a school teacher so that her classroom can watch them hatch. They've got 2 ducks hatched yesterday, I'm guessing more today. We'll add those to our flock in a few days.

Currently I'm having a love affair with the Pattons Kroy yarn. It's a tad thicker than your usual sock yarn and these hats are just mindless. Knit while I'm studying, get a warm hat as a reward. Since it's yet to reach a temperature in the morning that can be construed as hat-less, I'm liking this style of hat. It stays on and doesn't move when you look down, look up, reach all over the place.

BTW: Dave doesn't mind the affair as long as it's just platonic.

Every Friday I go into town and hit Goodwill and then JoAnn fabrics. My MIL gave me gift cards to JoAnn's for Christmas. Armed with a 40% off coupon and my gift card, I can get a skein of Kroy for like 4 bucks. One skein/one hat. Takes me 3 days to knit it while doing my studies.



The geese have settled a bit. The pairing off has been completed and we see couples wandering around grazing and looking for nesting areas. Dave and I have most of them convinced that the best nesting areas are in either the pen or the garage.  So far the only one who has gone completely broody is Molly.

That isn't Molly in the picture, but Buddy. Molly is our other Toulouse goose. She's scheduled to hatch this weekend. I am hoping that once the other girls see the babies, it will help them realize why they need to be setting on those nests. I remember last year when Sissy's kids hatched, Molly took one look at the little fluffy bottoms ..walked over to her nest and started brooding.

And if that does happen; we will have a bunch of nervous-nelly Ganders pacing around for a month. Not as raucous as breeding, but they do get real touchy about anyone in the yard. We make sure to watch for the neck-down parallel to the ground/hissy postures and make a wide berth around that gander.  I'd show you what I mean by posting a picture of that posture, but usually at that moment I'm more concerned with getting my butt outta the way.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wild Times

Lots of fun around here...with spring being here and all. The goosie gals have been laying eggs constantly, so I've resorted to putting a few dozen on Craigslist to allow others to incubate and start their own flock. I tried something in the goose pen that turned out to be a failure: I had Dave take down the partition between Percy's flock and Molly's flock. Fights ensued between Percy and Albus, Adele was frantic and Molly was having none of it. After 2 nights, I put the stupid thing back up.

I'm knitting basic stocking caps while studying. So far, I've knocked out 3 of them within 2 weeks. The last one was thrown at my Professor who was surprised. I asked him if he was allergic to wool. His confused answer was, "I don't think so, why?" because you're getting a hat there skippy....

I was screwing up the decreases horrendously. Instead of a double decrease using SSK,then K2Tog, I was doing just the SSK....it screwed it up a lot. They are handy hats to have though; light enough to wear for spring and good for keeping your hair out of the way. I'm using up odd bits of sock yarn to make them.

I mean, they're easy...k2p2 for 4" then stockinette for another 7" or so depending on if you want slouchy or not. Then the ssk/k2tog decrease until 16 stitches left.  I can knit them without looking at what I am doing. It helps me focus on my studies.

There's other projects on the needles to be sure, but as I've got an exam next Monday, I'll focus on this until after it is done.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Lent is almost over

This is Holy Week, the last week of the Lenten Season culminating in Easter. So what was my sacrifice? Well, I didn't give myself one. I did pray about it and apparently God gave me a good one. Over the last month I've had to deal with people who have wronged me seriously. These are people whom I've distanced myself from because of their actions. In each case I was put in a situation where I encountered them again. The encounters were enough to tell me that I can be civil to someone but I don't have to go all mushy with them also.

The Grebe that we rescued from the frozen pond was transferred to the Milwaukee Humane Society rescue center as they have more experience with water birds. After a month of hanging out in a deep pool diving for minnows, the Grebe was rehabilitated enough to be let go. The Humane Society has had 2 Grebes as rescues this year which is a record for them. Grebes are endangered here in Wisconsin (well, they ARE migratory..they may just not migrate here any more) and to rescue two of them is good and bad.

It's just been a very cold winter. Lake Superior froze completely over. Lake Michigan almost did. Its no wonder so many water birds had issues this year.

Nothing's cuter than a man and his pet goose. Here he and Sissy are exchanging Good Morning greetings. Sissy's whole family have gotten themselves moved into the garage for breeding/laying season. Buddy's been fiesty with them all.

I finished up the green hat. I made a mistake and kept on knitting it on the size 3 circs, but that's OK. The biggest issue is that I made the cast on too big: 132 stitches is too much. I'm wearing it now because it's like 32°F outside and it's very windy. The gusts are sneaking into the house.

Molly has been sitting on her nest now for over a week. We get hissed at when we enter the pen, but that's just her being a good Mama. I told Dave that Molly brooded her babies in June last year. This year she's going to get it done early. I'm already thinking of things that we'll need to do when the babies hatch.

The biggest obstacle will be the fact that there is a 4" step down into the goose pen. The babies will need some sort of ramp for about 2 weeks. They grow fast so after that it will be OK.

And for the last fun of this week, it's Dave and Sweet Pea. Sweet Pea is a gander who is gentle, mellow and very friendly. He likes to give kisses to us. He'll come up and nibble on your bottom lip. He's the only goose we have that will do this.

So here he is giving Dave kisses. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The color of the Month: Green

It's a good color after all that white/gray of the last 6 months. The grass is greening up. I see shoots of the daffodils beside the house, and buds are starting on the trees.

I'm knitting a green hat from the leftover Knit Picks sock yarn from the shawl. The stupid yarn was just hollering at me to be used, so I found a nice hat pattern from Pattons: Basic beanie that will use up the rest of it and make something that I will actually use.

You see, I've decided to forgo an actual gym membership, not because I don't like working out, but because it takes 1/2 an hour to get TO the gym and 1/2 an hour to go back home...to spend an hour working out.

I've decided on using that time to work out here. I'm calling it the 'Rocky IV' workout. Unfortunately, I've seen all the Rocky movies. Rocky IV was when Rocky goes to Russia to fight Dolph Lungren. Dolph gets the state-of-the-art facilities while Rocky gets a barn with a tree stump. High Tech meets Old School. I'm doing Old School: A walk down and up the path with more walks down and up the hill. Like an eliptical, but with geese spectators. So I need the hat to keep my head warm from the continuous wind that whips up the back 40 here.

Oh, and I tried Yoga for 2 days, pulled a butt muscle. It's not as funny as it sounds.

Dave bought another van with our refund so the Jeep is up for sale. He was sorely missing the old caravan and bought one just like it except this one has bucket seats in the back as well as the front. Oh and it was in much better shape than ours.

Molly, our Toulouse gal is the first one to go broody on us. She is sitting on 13 eggs of indeterminate parentage. I think her daughter laid a few in there as well. This is the first time I've seen her and our Male Toulouse, Buddy shagging, so there might be a few true Toulouse this year!! I'm excited. Toulouse geese are so pretty.

Not to say that the Africans aren't pretty. They have their own good looks, but DANG they're noisy! Buddy can be noisy too, and he's a buttinski quite a bit of the time. He likes to break up fights.

Molly, she's pretty laid back for a goose, and a decent Mom. This will be her 2nd clutch, so I'm guessing more will survive this one. Out of 6 from last year, only 2 survived: Albus and Adele. Albus has healed from his injury and is walking fine. Adele is doing well on her own.