Monday, March 24, 2014

It's 5 O'Clock somewhere

It's the song that's playing right now. You know, I went through my entire Spring Break and did not drink once? How lame is that?

So we got an update on Elvis the Grebe. Apparently the name did not stick, so the Grebe will be it's name from now on. The Four Lakes people sent the Grebe over to Milwaukee to the Wildlife Center at Wisconsin Humane Society. They have more experience with water birds and such being so close to Lake Michigan. The Grebe is chilling in a pool that allows it to dive for food. They want the bird to gain some weight before release. 

Our animals are in mating mode. There's hookup and breakups, and it's just hectic out there. We're dealing with an animal who keeps stealing eggs in the garage. We've tried live traps, snap traps, glue traps, sulfur bombing, and poisoning. So far, not so good. I'm now putting poison into egg shells so that the stupid thing will GO AWAY. I've got 4 girls that want a place to lay their eggs and this thing refuses to read it's eviction papers.

Spring Break meant doing some work, some sewing and some sleeping. My asthma has been giving me grief. Of course, without opening that whole...health care can of worms, suffice it to say I dove into my hoarded stash of Advair to kick it. It's not going to be doing me any good hoarding it if I am dead from this asthma. 

 I'm still working on the cabled shawl. It's about 1 1/2 skeins down now. I don't know how many I'll use, but probably not all 10 of them. That would be 2,800 yards of shawl.

The cables are doing well, and I am happy that I got one of those try-it sets from Knit Picks before I committed to a whole set. The Caspian needles are just pointy enough to make cables easier. The nickel ones are not. I think if I have the extra $$ I'll get the set of the wooden ones.


This is the start of a shawl called Piper's Journey and it's really easy for the first 1/2: Just knitting back and forth increasing at the edge. Now it's directions state to add both edge increases on the same row and just knit back. Well...............that worked for about 3 rows. 

I have a habit of reading e-books while knitting brainless stuff like this. I forgot to add the increases at the beginning. Then I thought, "Hey, why not just add the increases at each end?" It works out the same: added 4 stitches on each end.  I'm getting some Lime Green yarn from a fellow Raveller for the edging. This shawl will probably be gifted to a friend of mine who is expecting her first child in about a month and a half. She'll need a nursing shawl that is light and airy. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

He ain't nothing but a Red-Necked

Grebe.

Thing happen around here that are both fascinating and just odd.  Last Friday, Dave was settling down for a good nap. We're getting over our colds slowly. Chores were done, and he had the time...

A Coworker of his calls, they have what they say is a juvenile goose that's near their pond. We have geese, come over and get it before their dogs get it. The Coworker has hunting dogs trained for retrieving geese, ducks and pheasant. So there's sort of a rush rush to this scenario.  I wake up Dave, we put the dog kennel in the back of the Jeep and head on out to the other side of town.  What's funny is that there IS another side of town when the town's population is about 1,300 people.

The coworker's place is off a dirt road near a creek. He's got a pond, but it's frozen over right now, and some nice work areas to perpetuate his hobby of fixing up old cars.  We get out, he points over near the pond and there sits a bird. It's small enough to be a juvie Goose, but...

It ain't no goose once we get up near it.  

Long, sharp beak, odd feet - almost webbed, but not - and a hideous screech any time we got near it. We chase it for a minute or two and it eventually skitters too fast and turns on it's back. Dave endures it's beak and gets it into the Jeep. A search online when we got it home and covered was to give us the name of this species as Red-Necked Grebe. A migratory bird very dependent on open waters to survive, this guy must have tried to fly to where he knew there was a pond only to have that pond frozen over. Winter has not ended here, everything is still frozen.

We take a few pictures, search for some place to take this bird for rehab and wait for answers.
 This is what the little fella looks like when it's threatened, this time by my hand.  He puffs up his head and gets this great Elvis look. I needed to show it's defining characteristics to get a confirmation of his species.

As you see, he's in a dog kennel with towels draped on the outside. With the thing entirely covered, the guy settled down quickly and we didn't hear much from him.


Without the threatening hand near him, he did have many characteristics of geese: Long neck, small head, kinda  a longish tapered body. His feet gave him away though. They are lobular and have an almost-webbed appearance. The lobular feet plus the tapered beak made me think water bird with a diet of fish and small amphibians.

Saturday morning, after getting no response from one rehab center, I decided to call my Vet, who gave me a # which I called, which gave me another # of a Wildlife Rehab center partnered with Dane County Humane Society.  Just as Dave and I were considering whether we start with our day's chores and not wait any more for a return call...they called. Could we bring the fella to them?

We put him in our cat carrier and drove him up to Madison. They were very intrigued by the guy and thankful that we took the time to rescue him. These Grebes are not common in this area of the state and as the fella looked to be in good condition, they were confident that he could be rehabilitated and release back into the wild quickly.

Here is where I put my shameless plug for the Rehab facility that took him in: Four Lakes Wildlife Center is located near Madison, and they were very helpful to us. Because we were in a hurry to get the fella to their facility; we left all our money at home. Thankfully I had a gift card in my purse for Culver's or we'd have a hungry drive home. Give them a donation, if you can. I've been thinking of putting up a few of my knitted items on Etsy to sell and donate the money to them.

I'll post pictures to what's being sold on Etsy for them. I know I have a nice, lacey scarf that needs to be blocked, plus a shawlette that is a prototype that I will be putting up for sale soon. It's my Spring Break, so I can get a few things whipped out in honor of the RedNeck Grebe.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yes, that last post was brief, wasn't it?

That's what happens when you try to write a post on your ipad instead of the laptop. Blogger won't let you add photos without signing up for their FB Wannabe G+, and then they think they own all of your pictures on your ipad. Really, it's stupid and I was not in the mood to fuss with it.

And if you're in for looking at a tablet to buy; I don't recommend the ipad for school. It sucks. Here are the reasons why:
1. No ability to run MS Office. I NEED to be able to run Word and Excel. It don't happen on the ipad.

2. I had to purchase a separate app to be able to write notes for my classes. TopNotes is a good app, but DAYUM! Didn't anyone at Apple think that a student might NEED an app already installed to write notes?

3. Inability to run two programs at once. No, I do need to check my email, and futz with an excel spreadsheet at the same time, or Skype a fellow student and write notes.  None of which can be done on an ipad.

4. oh great it's snowing again...nothing to do with an ipad, just a general frustrating thing. It's like the winter that will never end. Now where was I?

5. Oh photo sharing/document sharing is crap. Worse than crap. If I have something on my laptop and I want it on my ipad ...........which is on the same network............sharing what is SUPPOSED to be the same 'icloud'.............I  have to physically get up, go over to my laptop, choose the document and email it to myself to get it on my ipad. It's either that or connect ipad to laptop w/cord. Is this...2014? How is this not happening in the cloud? Or on  my network? When will this 'cloud' sharing shit actually successfully happen?

6. Photos are still shitty w/an ipad. Yes, I have 2nd generation because I didn't need HD on it, I needed to do schoolwork. Not to mention the fact that you look like an absolute goober trying to take pictures with an ipad.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd have picked the Samsung Tablet. Fellow students have it and I've seen it do things that this ipad wishes it could do.

On the homefront it's the same stuff, different day. More chicks and ducks have been hatched. We're up to like 20 chickens and 5 ducks hatched in the last 3 weeks. Dave hurt his back last weekend, and caught a cold, which he shared with me. That's the one that has me grumpy. Honestly, I'm not usually this grouchy while I'm sick but I just have zero patience this time.

I cleaned out part of my sewing area. Mostly because I need to get rid of some of this fabric stashed forever. It's going to the theater department. Four banana boxes stuffed with all kinds of kitschy fabric so they can make whatever they want. Along the way I found an entire banana box with 1/2-made KIP Bags. I'll finish those up and either sell them or donate them. I have no idea what I was thinking when I stashed those. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I am not a good patient

No really. Illness makes me grouchy. I have a head cold that is just nasty.  I am impatient, grouchy, and lose my temper easily. Hence the fact that I had to tape together my take-home quiz yesterday. One of the problems was giving me fits.

Oh and I'm sure the test taken yesterday was not my best. I was heavily medicated at the time.