Monday, March 31, 2008

A Weekend of "Ands".....

And it rains! And the snow and ice will go away. And the frost will come out of the roads. And maybe, just maybe I can find my garden and get some dirt to start seeds. The world is good.

And the 120 Days Ago Sweater is almost done. The knitting is done and the seaming is almost done. One seam left, crochet a shell edge around the neck, weave in ends and say "Good Bye" to this bad boy!

Then I'll work on finishing Granddaughter's spring birthday sweater. That one will be quick and easy. It's almost mindless, which is good during a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are soooo awe-inspiring. Another favorite thing to do is sit out on the porch with a cup of coffee, blanket and knitting and watch and listen as nature throws it's very cool temper tantrum!
Very cool!

When the snow and ice and frost are gone, and the mud dries up just a bit (Michigan's 5th season is mud!) I can start to ride my bike again. Yay!! I can also get out to get fences fixed, tree limbs hauled to the wood pile, scrap metal hauled to the scrap yard, barn cleaned out.. all those things that snow and ice seem to make just about impossible. 18" of snow is how much we lost this past few days. Because underneath it was a pile of lumber that was about that high, and now it's all visible. Probably still frozen to the ground but it's totally visible. Another project that got waylaid.

And I found a green thing in the yard today. Usually there is so much green that it's really not noticeable, but there, in the middle of a HUGE patch of brown dirt (yay for dirt!) was this little mullein plant. Gotta get rid of those, they are truly pesty. Those and the burdocks. But if it weren't for these weeds, we wouldn't have much of a lawn at all. One of these days I'll have time to properly "do" a lawn.

And I found another turkey egg, so we're holding at 8. I'm not counting on anything, but I got 2 eggs in 2 days. Dare I hope for another today?

And "Cat" came back. "Cat" is my infamous barn cat. Always scratched up, always with fur missing and the fact that he has come back time and time again for going on 3 years now is a testament to his immortality. Around here, barn cats become coyote food in short order. But he's a vicious one, although very very loving. He'll cuddle and purr and get all his loving and then go out to fight more unknown intruders. This time he was gone for probably a month, I really didn't ever hope to see him again, but then this morning in the barn, there he was, in all his scratched up, fur missing glory. Yay Cat!

Red Wings won AGAIN!! No surprise there. It was a great game, against Nashville's always tough Predators. 3 periods of no score, and then well into the first 4 minute sudden death overtime, they pulled it off again.

Yay rain! Yay thunderstorms! Yay dirt! Yay Cat! Yay Wings.

Friday, March 28, 2008

120 Days Ago Sweater

The 120 Days Ago Sweater did not get finished last night at Knit Night, however, I did approach it with vim and vigor as promised. But there was pizza, and cinnamon spears and we do have our priorities!
Got a new handle on it though, and tonight my Wings play, so maybe, just maybe...

I Can't Wait To Ride My Bike. This is laughable as this is the road that I travel every day to work and back: But with the days getting longer, and increasingly more sunny (ier?)the pull is starting to get to me. I know better though. How do I know better than to try to ride my bike on snow and ice? Don't ask. Suffice to say, the last time I tried to ride my bike in the snow I found out that picking my bike up all by myself was do-able!

Before anyone questions my sanity, more than what has already been done, I was not being irresponsible. Not trying to extend my riding season as long as I possibly could. There was just the cold (literally) hard fact of snow on the ground, and being a semi-responsible sort, we decided to store the bike for the winter in the barn. Well, since pushing it there wasn't really an option, riding was the only way to get it there. Turns out there was a third way, but hang with me here. As soon as the back tire hit the snow, we went down. Hubby was watching, that much I knew. I also knew that there was NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH I was not gonna not be able to pick that up by myself. Not with hubby watching, nope, not gonna fail. So I did it.

Turns out the third way to get the bikes to the barn was for Hubby to take them. Yeah, that worked out way better!

On the turkey egg front, still holding at 6. Geeeez. Stupid birds. They're really shooting their average here. Another nest might be an option, but I've looked and can't find anything.
This is my incubator, such that it is, sitting on my kitchen counter. And the eggs currently in my incubator, with the first ones scheduled to hatch around 4.4

I LOVE little birdies!!

Little Birdies Rock!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When Work Gets in the Way of Life!

This morning I was handed a Total Shift In The Way I'd Been Thinking About My Newest Project. This is all fine and good, unless you know me. I don't do change. Ever. I avoid it. Religiously.

The first thing this change requires is for me to bring my Little Brain to a screeching halt! This is never good. At some point Little Brain will be expected to run yelling and screaming in a different direction. Forge a new path if you will. As a person who doesn't do change, you can imagine the stress that this involves. Just pulling in the reins on Little Brain is enough to derail me for an hour or so, but then to set off in a totally different direction, and expect to be productive? Ok then!

Not that this new direction isn't best. Actually it will be better for all involved (except for Little Brain), it's really a better way to go, and the masses seem to agree, so all the distress sounds you hear in the background is Little Brain trying to accept the inevitable with grace and dignity. We don't generally do grace and dignity either, but sometimes drastic measures must be taken.

I think I need another cup of coffee.

So, in my knitting world not much is happening. I have 2 sweaters that have to be done, 1 that should have been done about 120 yesterdays ago and another that needs to be finished in another week. Ugh. Ok, we have Knit Night tonight and the 120 Yesterdays Ago sweater will be tackled with vim and vigor (but probably not grace and dignity). It is after all a sweater! And there will probably be a beer or two involved. This is all well and good. A beer or two will be just what Little Brain needs to switch directions on this project too. And there you have it. Not only is Little Brain being deluged with changes on the work project, but also on the knitting front.

Turkey egg count is still at 6. I posted yesterday that I was getting a turkey egg every other day, but I forgot to lock the door to the house and the turkeys evidently got hold of my computer and read that post. Because.... no egg yesterday. I was all set to have 1 egg every other day, or roughly 150 eggs per year and now even the turkeys are conspiring against Little Brain. How much more can she take?

Must. Have. Coffee..... Beer

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No Power - and other Random Events

Apparantly, even up here where we're used to the snowy, blowy, drifty, waaaay slippery weather in March, our power lines are still subject to, well, snowy, blowy, drifty things happening to them.

No power means - gasp - are you sitting? - NO INTERNET!!
Ok, catch your breath, is everyone ok?

Yes, we weathered the storm, such that it was, and all is well now. Except the clocks. Why is it that when the power goes out and all the electric clocks go out with it, that when lights, etc. come back on, each and every clock registers a different time? Something in the space time continuum (I love that word!)gets warped, or distracted, and in a world where Argentina, Alaska and Africa all are in the same place because they all start with "A" very little makes sense.
This is what happens when our internet/phones.... go bye bye. A world without internet! The thought is mind boggling!

My Red Wings (as if I actually own them) continues to skate and shoot their way to the playoffs. While the playoffs are what the world is made of in April, it also signals an end to the hockey season. Now what do we do with our Tuesday nights? A whole new time continuum is created, when all of a sudden, anywhere from 3-15 hours of our week needs to be filled with other activities. Nascar still remains, thank goodness, lest the entire state curl up and die, but soon hockey will be no more, until September anyway. Go Wings!!

This forced withdrawl of my favorite winter sport launches me into the spring things, like venturing out to try to find the garden (it's still buried under at least 18"), digging out the shovels, rakes and hoes, and making a last minute dash through the seed catalogs. The barn needs to be cleaned out and organized - maybe this year I'll get a rack built for all my scrap wood instead of piling it around the hay.

Speaking of hay, it's looking like I will have enough, and the Farmer's almanac is predicting one sole week towards the end of June that we will have to get our first cutting in. That's not encouraging, it will be a mad scramble and we won't make it, we never do, no matter how much we scheme and plan and rush around, we never get the first cutting in on time, but in our mad rush, we get enough done that it's held over for awhile. Second cutting will be a bit more relaxed and third, if we get one, will be a "if we think we'll need it" kind of thing.

Turkey egg count is currently at 6. I seem to be getting one every other day.

My to-do list this time of year often fills up every scrap piece of paper and kilobyte I can find to write or type it on. Fences need to be fixed, barns cleaned out and pens built. Garden started, pool cleaned out, filled up and, and, and, and.... looking ahead to the fall harvest, critters need to be bought, fattened up, or started and there still needs to be some time to enjoy the little things in life. Like a bike trip across the UP that so far 6 of us have planned.

Speaking of gardening, does anyone else try to garden by the "signs" (moon, stars, location of such). For example, a popular myth is that your onions should be started by Good Friday. Who are they kidding? Started where? Easter was way early this year, and as such, so was Good Friday but come on! Technically our frost date to put in tender annuals such as tomatoes and peppers is June 1, and they want our onions started by mid March? Ok then!

I found a fun game:
Here's how to find your Easter Bunny name - Mind is Cuddles Honydrops - Could it possibly get any cuter?? Go here to find yours!

Someone was kind enough to suggest that if I oiled my roof, the snow would slide off and I wouldn't have to shovel it. Actually, along those lines of thinking, our roof does need to be redone this year, and it will be a tin roof. We scored a bunch of leftover tin at an estate sale last year, problem is, it's 3 different colors. Since I'm not willing to have a red/white/cream striped roof, I'll be setting up sawhorses and painting the tin before it goes up. I think a dark hunter green. Will probably paint the doors the same color, and who knows, the trim around the doors and windows maybe too, stain, not paint, but the same color. We'll see.....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Busy Weekend!
Our oldest daughter owns and operates a resale-consignment shop and all day Saturday I played over there. I love going through all the "treasures" that come in. All of my clothes come from there anymore. Also scored a nice pine scented candle (try and find pine scents anymore!) And a huge plant stand that will be nice for organizing the rain forest I have by my sliding glass door.

On Easter Sunday, we shoveled off more snow from porch roof. There was still close to 2 foot up there. We got a lot of it down though. The porch roof doesn't have the steep angle that the regular roof does, so the snow just stays up there.

I got a lot of laundry done before it started snowing again. I love hanging out laundry, even in the snow, it always seems so fresh. Most of this will probably have to be put in the dryer for a few minutes. And look! Over to the left of the picture, there's actually a piece of ground that you can see! Spring really is coming!

And doesn't this look nice? I like to cut wood, on a day when it's about 35 or so, no breeze, bright sun, beautiful! You don't get so overheated that it's a chore, and it's still warm enough to stay warm.

Hopefully it will be enough wood to last the rest of the winter.

Turkey egg count is at 5! Would be great not to have to buy turkeys this year, they are soooo expensive, so, keep them coming ladies!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring and Hoppy Easter!

Today is one of our "Food Fests" at work.

We do this occasionally to celebrate Easter, Christmas, Wednesday, Pink Day, really anything that we can think of to celebrate. Everyone brings a dish to pass and we, well, indulge.

As my contribution, I brought steaks. On this list that is passed around to disclose each contributors contribution, it was specified that these steaks be from a cow. Well, I found humor in that, in that because of my backwoods, redneck ways, the gals I work with thought it necessary to clarify. So, of course I took it apon (upon? don't know) myself to further clarify as female elk and elephants are both considered cows, as are water buffalo and Quiviet. Elk being the most likely "alternate cow" for me to show up with, they specified beef.

Of course that could also mean beefalo (beef, buffalo) as they are also considered cows. So it was related in great detail that if I couldn't go in to the local supermarket and specify beef and get this, then don't bring it. If it didn't moo while still alive, don't bring it.

Spoil Sports!

So Cow it is, nice thick big steaks from a real cow, raised on real pasture, without additives, antibiotics and not having lived it's life in some feed lot somewhere eating chicken crap as alternative protein. A real cow, that when it mooed, it was a happy moo, not an uncomfortable, yucky moo. I know, enough! But that's the reason I grow my own cow (and chickens, turkeys, pigs...) I know what they eat and what they don't eat and I prefer it that way. Plus I just love my critters! They may be intended for the freezer from the day I buy/hatch them, but they are still loved, nurtured, given names, petted and played with. When their life is over we give thanks for their contribution.

So this is the schedule this weekend: Gotta shovel more snow off the roof as the porch is leaking again, bathroom trap is leaking so will have to trace that and fix it, and a few other maintenance things.

Have a hoppy Easter, everyone, and Spring is Finally Here!! (Now to tell the 3 foot of snow.....)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Insomnia, Bulldogs and Turkey Eggs!

Insomnia sucks. Menopause sucks! I've come to deal with the hot flashes, mood swings and assorted other fun things associated with this, but now we have insomnia. We're not one to deal well with lack of sleep. At all. We get cranky. At everyone. So night before last, I spent a good deal of time watching the clock. Ok, when the word "insomnia" rears it's ugly head, normal people think of no sleep at all. My version is waking up and looking at the clock 4 or 5 times a night. Part of my bedtime ritual is trying to make it to the top of the stairs before I fall asleep, so you can imagine how distressful this is.

Distressful is a fun word don't you think?

Another thing that is distressful at times is The Bu-Dawgh. Being part Shar-pei (wrinkles included) he is afflicted with allergies. He is allergic to anything that even thought about being made out of corn at anytime during it's lifetime. Corn, corn oil, corn syrup, corn flakes, stories about corn, foot corns, and probably the whole state of Iowa.

These allergies are manifested by vigorous ear shaking and pawing at the skin. Vigorous. Shaking. Of. The. Head. At. 2:15 AM!

This is distressful to Hubby who doesn't care for dogs anyway and cares even less when they disturb his sleep. We won't go into his snoring disturbing my sleep. That's another dollar for another day, or up a tree without a paddle or something like that. You get the idea.

So at 2:15 AM during a night when insomnia has decided NOT to visit me, I get out of bed to take care of my critter. He gets benedryl. Before someone sics PETA on me, remember that I have 1. a distressed 60 lb puppy, 2. An already irritated (further distressed) hubby, and 3. A houseful of guns. Way more humane (and less distressful) to get up and get the benedryl than it is to let hubby take care of it. 1/2 hr later we are both soundly asleep, me on the floor rubbing his ears, and him (puppy, not hubby) on my pillow, snoring!
They are so much alike, that at times it's well, distressful!


I found another turkey egg, so life is good! 3 and counting now, all marked and in the incubator. I've decided to hatch out 24 RIR eggs (rhode island red), and as many turk eggs as I can get.
Yes, turkey eggs can aleve a lot of distressful!

No pics today, other than the standard. Sorry about that, lack of sleep and all, I was able to sleep in a bit this morning.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Daffodils For My Mom!

Another "wintry mix" has been entrusted to us. This is the new catch phrase of The Weather People. Wintry Mix shows up in purple on our TV screen and usually contains The Entire Viewing Area. Duh! Again, N. Michigan in March. Supposedly this Wintry Mix consists of 2-4" of snow followed by sleet and freezing rain. That pretty much covers any kind of precipitation that could occur here this time of year. That also explains where my mother's daffodils went!

My parents winter in AZ. Clearly they are out of touch with our Michigan winters, but she wanted a picture of her daffodils. So, this one's for you mom! Yup, it's what you wanted. A picture of your daffodils, or rather where they will be when our Wintry Mix goes away.

Youngest child is currently stationed in Germany, on active duty. He's going to Iraq in a few weeks. This will be his second time there, he tells me not to worry, actually, he tells me what he thinks I want to hear. Like "Where we're going is in a good area, most of the people there like us". The word "most" is what worries me. It only takes one of the "not most" to change his world forever. 15 months is what they're telling them to tell us, at least now they have cell phones and computers. I can't imagine being a mother to a son in combat 30 years ago, and just having to wonder when and if you'll ever hear from them again.
I know I'm not alone in this, lots of parents (and grandparents, and sisters, and brothers, aunts, uncles...) are in the same boat, it's a bit easier to lean on someone when they can understand what you're feeling. Enough of that!

On another note, The Egg has come home to roost, or hatch, or whatever. This is the vehicle that will supposedly buy me 45-50 mpg. But first, hubby has to make it run. I still have some time before I won't need the 4WD anymore.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Weekend of Activities....

This was a busy weekend, but I don't feel like I got anything done!
Apparantly my emails to The People Who Schedule Nascar AT The Same Time That The Red Wings Play went unread. I'll have to fire off another one.
The chickens continue to lay more and more eggs, I've currently got probably 12 in the incubator, but so far only 1 turkey egg. The Mouth, who works in town and can do this for me, will pick up some laying mash this afternoon, hopefully that will spur the turkeys into being a bit more productive.

If I can get a few more of these I'll be very very happy.
Where we are cutting is a left over logging site. We've cut 14 truck loads so far. Can anyone say "Ow, it hurts"? Right now it's just a huge pile of wood, but this summer I'll try to stack it so it dries. That's not something that absolutely has to be done, it will dry anyway but it will look nicer.

I started another sweater this weekend. Granddaughter #3 (oldest daughter of The Tall Blonde) asked me to knit her a sweater. And her birthday is coming up so..... And she looks just GORGEOUS in yellow, and being of the age that they like the hoodies.....

We also accomplished this during the weekend. There's more to be done, obviously. But the porch was leaking. Seriously, the porch was leaking. We can't have a porch that leaks, that would be wrong, considering that's where we keep the firewood, (and my chair that I sit in on a nice day to knit and forget about my chaotic life) it really doesn't do good to have a leaky porch.

Put up another clothes-line this weekend. Can anyone spot the design flaw? Maybe one of my Engineer brothers would care to help me out here.

I'm not sure what happened other than that
1. I used a cotton clothes rope and
2. It stretched.
Maybe a nylon covered cable would be better. Have to re-think this one. Soon I'll be able to use the old one, this is mainly for winter so I don't have to slog through major amounts of snow to hang laundry. No, I don't have to go through the snow to hang the laundry, but I do have to go pick it up out of the snow.

Tonight? Hopefully we'll cut a few more loads of wood. I say that with mixed feelings. The wood is free for the taking right now, and the weather is nice enough, but it sure feels like work! Next winter I will be full of very much happiness that this early spring we did this.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another Day, Another Clump!

If someone had told me, a few years ago, that one of the reasons I would look forward to spring is so I could de-clump the PAF (aka... Puff-A-Fluff... aka... Siberian Husky) I would have called the White Coat Guys. Now, I live for it. I pull the clumps out much the same way I used to when I had the Angora Rabbits, every spring as he sheds. Someday I will spin this into yarn. I'm not good enough yet to spin dog fur, I'm really not good enough to spin roving, but I'm working on it.

If someone had told me, a few years ago that the most exciting part of my day would be going out to the barn and discovering my First Ever Turkey Egg, I would have called the White Coat Guys myself. But here we are.

Now I bet you're wondering what the most exciting thing I did yesterday was. Well, I dug out the incubator, when I say "dug" that's not far from the truth. I had to dig for it, it's been a few years since I used it, but the First Ever Turkey Egg demanded to be hatched. So I will try. I hatched out a bunch of wild turkeys once (a nest we found while haying) and they all flew away. Hmm. Funny how I didn't see that coming. My turkeys are left overs from last year, domestic big white dumb things. But this will truly be exciting if I can hatch my own. I also gathered a few Rhode Island Red eggs. As long as I have the incubator going (on my kitchen counter, which The Mouth had a comment for) I may as well fill it up. Right? I thought so too.

I missed Knit Nite last night, we went to cut wood again. It's a good time of year to cut wood, not so hot that you want to curl up and die and not so cold that you don't want to be out. So another pick up load for next winter. I won't do another picture, look at yesterday's post. Same truck, same parking spot, different load of wood. We'll go do that again tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day and as much as we can while the weather and wood holds out.

If someone had told me that the very cute, very adorable puppy (Bu-Dawgh - part Shar Pei, part I'm not sure what else) that I got for Christmas last year, well year before last actually, he's 1.5 yrs old now, would have the Ears That Itch And Drive Him Nuts, I may have thought twice. Probably not, but maybe. By the time he became mine, he was already pretty much part of me. He started out being Blondie's puppy and as is so often the case, became mine when she moved out. To make it official, she put a ribbon around his neck and "gave" him to me for Christmas. Never saw that one coming either. Hmm.

Today is Oldest Grand Kid's birthday. He's 12. I'm pretty sure. I should know this, but I have trouble keeping track of how old I am. Happy Birthday Oldest Grand Kid!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

The Plan:

(Sidetrack) It has been suggested to me that I write about what is happening in my life currently. I have such an exciting life that the enthusiasm knows no bounds but I will try to apply myself.

Back to The Plan:

Knit! Blondie called and said she was coming up from The Big City Where She Lives and Works so the rush is on to get the pink sweater done. I don't know why I can't take an interest in this sweater. When The Mouth tried it on, it almost fit. A couple rows of gussetts under the arms and it will be good to go. Sew up the side seams, crochet a shell stitch around the neckline, weave in ends and send it on it's way. So I will knit, and knit and knit. I figure 2-3 hours before I can lay this bad boy to rest.

(Sidetrack....) I forgot to mention another green thing that I like yesterday. My barn that is still 1/3 full of hay. that's a good thing. It was such a sucky year for hay that it's selling as if it were gold. Speaking of which, I need to stop at the neighbors and see how his supply is holding out. He put enough hay away for 1 horse, and then aquired another. I'll have some to spare, so will stop to make sure he's ok.

(Back to the plan...)This is what actually happened:

Hubby came home from work early. Sometimes this interferes with my carefully laid out plans. My plans were to knit, but instead of that we went to cut a load of firewood. By the time we got back it was dark and my hands hurt. So... No knitting. But on the up side... The Mouth had pizza in the oven. Crack open a beer... Make a cup of coffee and collapse in the chair.

Conversation between Hubby and myself:
Hubby: I bought you an egg.
CAT (Crazy Aunt Ter - duh!): You bought me an egg?
Hubby: I bought you an egg!
CAT: The hens are laying again, why did you feel the need to buy me an egg (or 12 or 18).
Hubby: I bought you an egg, I paid 300.00 for it.
CAT: (This egg better be chocolate with a diamond inside) You paid 300.00 for an egg? Start talking!!! NOW!!!!!
Hubby: (laughs) It's a little Geo. Gets 45-50 mpg. Looks like an egg. But it needs work.
CAT: (everything that comes into this yard needs work. Most come in on a flatbed)
Ok then!

Back to the real world..... In which The Weatherperson predicts rain today. Since we live 1.5 zones N of where The Weatherperson assigns his/her dire predictions, I translate that into snow. I was wrong. It was worse. We're getting sleet and freezing rain. Apparantly in my issuing of orders to Mother Nature, who's sense of humor never ceases to amaze me, She took it to mean.... Bring It On! And she did. This was fun on the way to work since my truck has no heat. The no heat thing I can handle, but the lack of heatage coming out of the defroster kind of makes the freezing rain/sleet thing kind of build up and I have to drive to work hunched down in the seat looking through the 2" space of windshield that does not attract the elements. My life is so exciting!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Green... and More Stuff

One of my favorite colors. This time of year I just ache for green things. Thought I'd give you some pictures of Green things today, in honor of the upcoming St. Patricks Day. I told you I'd give you pictures but I lied. Either that or I forgot my camera - you know the one, the Awesome Camera That I Bought Myself For My Birthday Last Year camera. Oh well, work with me here.

Pine Trees (a picture of a pine tree would go here if I hadn't forgotten my camera)
My absolutely favorite kind of tree ever! The big one in the background is named "Katie" (picture a big white pine in the background). When the kids were younger they would climb up and up and up. I love the smell of pines all the time. they are beautiful just after a fresh heavy snow. And in they smell sooooo good in the spring!

Yummy Yarn (The would be a picture of all of my green yarn, which is all categorized by color, you know, green!)

I have a lot of greenery in my house. I'd show you a picture of the boughs that top all of my windows, but well, again, no camera.

Sweater I knit
I knit this cabled Aran a long time ago. Green is one of my favorite colors and this sweater is no exception. (Picture a really pretty sweater, really, it's pretty!)

Favorite Mug
Well, not the favorite, but close. (It's green, I'm sure you know what a mug looks like)

Aloe, Geraniums, and Cactus. (I would have put a picture here of the plants that I overwinter in the house, if I had remembered my camera)

More stuff.....
I went down to my craft room (formerly known as "The Mouth's" room to take a picture (you know, with the camera that I don't have)of my shelf of green yarn and found that the icemaker to the fridge directly above was leaking. A lot. We had puddles. I thought I saw a trout jump. Seriously, I thought about putting hubby's waders on! I'm no stranger to leaks in our house, I would refer you back to the Great Aquarium Bursting of Seams that happened 2 yrs ago, but I'm not over it enough yet to be objective.
So anyway, turned the water off to the fridge (not a bad thing this time of year, but I will have to investigate and fix it before I want ice in the summer).

Refresh my mind. Did I or Did I Not tell Mother Nature that I had had enough of winter for one year? I did, I know it. I always figured she liked my going out in shirtsleeves and danceing in the new snow barefoot rituals, so she kept piling it on. So naturally, when I said UNCLE, I figured she'd take the hint. Notsomuch. More Snow yesterday. Again, this is March and this is N. Mich, but come on! I have a brother who is tormenting me mercilessly because he gets to go out and ride his harley and I can't even get mine out of the barn. ENOUGH!! UNCLE!! Whatever it takes!!

It's time to do laundry. When I open my sock drawer and the only thing I can find is Santa Clause socks with Ho Ho Ho on them (picture Christmassy cute socks), it's time. That's a clue. Hubby yelling about not having any jeans is another clue. No, he doesn't do laundry. He did it once and that was enough. One of these days maybe I'll get brave and show him where we keep the washer and dryer, but it's not gonna be today.

Is Daylight Savings Time kicking any one else's butt? Seems the older I get, the more I am resistant to change. So along with my email to The Powers That Be to consider not scheduling Nascar and a Red Wings game on the same Sunday afternoon, I'll mention the Daylight Savings Time thing too. I mean, if no one complains, how will The Powers That Be know that I'm unhappy with it? And if it takes 7 complaints and they only have 6, then I can be the one who makes the difference. It's tough, but someone has to take up the cause.
Here would be another pretty picture of a pine tree.... use your imagination... you've all seen a pine tree!

Go Wings - another win last night!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just Clearing Up Some Stuff!

I feel I have to comment on one of my comments yesterday.

You know, they make things called VCR's so you can record a show while you're watching another.

Yeah, a VCR? I can make a computer jump through hoops but I can't figure out how to set the clock in my truck! And now you want me to add another black box to the assortment that already lives under the TV, and know how to use it? For all I know there may be one there already!

The frozen barn, you should move your barn into the sun so it'll thaw out.
Now why didn't I think of that!

The high electric bill... Do your laundry at mom and dad's since they're not there anyway and they won't know.
I HATE, HATE, HATE soft water, have no use for it. No, I'll hang them out.

The high gas prices... Ride your horse to work since they're not doing anything other than look pretty.
It's very tough to just stand there and look pretty, just ask PAF. That's about all they can handle. Plus my 50 yr old body says "there's no way I'm gonna be the first one to ride any of them for the first spring ride." That's why I have kids! Plus, going back to the 5 or 6" of ice on our road.......

You should paint your bike a fluorescent pink color!!
Um, yeah! Probably not gonna happen. It will either be a cactus green (favored choice) with a hand lettered "Life Is Good" logo, or it will match hubby's who's is more of a dark mauve, almost raspberry, or plum. yeah, a ripe plum, that's the color. With black accents. But I'm still in favor of the cactus green (Like little brother's jeep used to be.)

See... Aren't you glad you have a bro that full of ideas and answers?
Lol, don't know what I'd do without you.

Tommorrow, I promise a really fun read complete with pics! (A challenge has been issued!)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random Stuff

A few random thoughts pinging around in my little brain. You're in for a treat I tell ya.

No knitting has gone on this weekend. Not one stitch, not one knit, not one purl, and definitely no ripping. That in itself was a good thing.

I need to speak to the people who schedule sports events around the globe. How is it that Nascar and NHL both have an event going on, neither of which I can miss, on Sunday afternoon? On the good side, we (Red Wings) tromped the Predators. Well, maybe not tromped, but we did win. I always like to watch these two teams battle it out. There's a history between them and the intimidation games that take place within the Flinging Of The Puck Toward The Net game are just as much fun to watch as the actual Flinging Of The Puck. On the other side of the coin, my fantasy Nascar team needs to step it up a bit. My points are waaaaayyyyyy, well..... down.

The water in my barn is frozen again. OK. enough! There! I've said it. I'm always the last to say Enough to Mother Nature's yearly Winter Games but I've said it now. Now we can maybe climb out of the single digits at night and a bit higher than 23 during the day.

My electric bill arrived with it's always fun surprises. For some reason this month was a bit higher than the previous month. I don't know why. We heat with wood so there's no furnace that requires a fan which requires electricity. In the winter I do a lot of my cooking on the woodstove, so it's not the electric range. I suspect hubby's aquarium. That has to be it. I don't know what else it would be. Certainly none of my computer stuff, or washer and dryer, freezers, or all the little black boxes that are hooked to the tv. So, the sooner I can start slogging through the snow out to my clothesline the better. I've done this before, it's no biggie. I had at one time 2 kids in cloth diapers in the UP of Michigan with no dryer. I hung them out. All winter. I survived to tell about it, and I do regularly.

Gas prices? what's up with that??? Well, they're up, again. My truck gets about 11 miles to the gallon. Before you tsk tsk me for driving such an inefficient vehicle, this is my farm truck. I need this truck. I've not yet met a Geo that will haul critters or hay as well as my farm truck. And besides that I really love my truck, even though it only gets 11 mpg, going downhill, with the wind, on a good day. I seriously need to figure out a way to turn all of this manure we make on a daily basis into fuel. But until then, I should get to work, you know, my paying job. But, first I have to haul water out to the livestock in my 5 gal. bucket that lives by the side door. That's a log of hauling, so we're back to the water in the barn being frozen again. Let not go through that again, shall we?

Besides, once the ice is off the roads and I'm certain it will stay off for at least a few months, I'll pull my bike out of the barn. That get's lots better gas mileage!

I think I'll paint it this year. To match hubby's bike. And spruce it up a bit. But until I can get it out of the barn......

Friday, March 7, 2008

PAF (or Puff-A-Fluff)

I want to introduce you to another of my favorite critters. He is a 3 year old Registered Siberian Husky, actually belongs to my daughter. He is affectionately known as PAF (Puff-A-Fluff....aka....Dawson....aka...Fins - my family are serious Jimmy Buffet groupies!)
This is the nicest dog HOWEVER.... we have issues with walking on slippery surfaces. Yup, that's right, a sled dog that won't walk on ice! (or hardwood floors, or tile, or even a slippery deck). I'm telling ya, if there is a critter out there that is "not quite right" it will find it's way to me!

He's very vocal, as I understand huskies can be, will actually "talk". Well, more like argueing and expressing his opinion but it's very fun. And talk about High Maintenance! We've endured several pancreatitis episodes as well as Heartworm (yeah, in Michigan!). He's allergic to a lot of different things (seriously, beef? A dog who can't eat beef?)Total Arm Fur!

But... he sheds the most GORGEOUS fur. Last spring I pulled and brushed several grocery bags full of this soft, soft, downy under coat (puff). One of these days when I'm good enough at spinning to try dog fur, I'm going to try to spin this. It's beautiful! This puffy is just about useless, but he's gorgeous and that's all he has to be. And he knows it, just ask him!

In my yarn world, I got another yummy package from Yarn of the Month Company

I LOVE the Debbie Bliss Cotton (yellow sample) as well as the silk and wool laceweight from Nature's Pallet (variegated blue sample). Those two will definitely go on my "must have" list.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Frozen Dirt!

Every October I make a note to myself to gather up some of our good dirt (we have a lot of it on the farm, we make it every day) so I will have dirt to start seeds in, in Feb. and March. I also remind myself that last year I didn't do it and I was sorry and mad at myself. So, now that it's time to get seeds started, do I have my dirt? Of course not! And why? Because I didn't do it in October when I told myself to and currently it's under 2' of the white stuff and frozen solid.

Every spring hubby takes the bulldozer (he can use it in the pasture, just not through my paths) and pushes up all the previous years dirt into a big pile for it to compost. This is mostly horse crap and old hay, but there's been pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, chix, turkeys.... in there too. Oh yeah, rabbits too. Don't forget those adorable rabbits I had that I was gonna spin yarn out of. Yeah, that worked out well. Maybe someday.....

So, here I am at seed starting time and no dirt to start them in. Grrrr.
Obviously I'm not going to buy dirt when I have TONS of it everywhere, so I'll have to wait another month and hope I can find it then.
Anyone wanna send me some?

I'm also getting in the Hanging Clothes Out On The Line frame of mind.
Someone stop me, there's still a lot of snow out there, and besides, the jeans and towels would never dry.

Knitting? Last night I had The Mouth (dd#4) try on Blondies (dd#3) sweater to see if it fits BEFORE I actually finish sewing it together! They are pretty much the same size and besides Blondie called and told me it would be another week before she made it up from The Big City Where She Lives And Works. It actually didn't turn out too bad. I have just the tiniest bit of adding to do under the armholes, so rather than tear it out, I'll get creative with short rows and yarn overs. Take that Yarn Karma!! Ha!

Tomorrow..... I will introduce you to PAF

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Path

A Path is an interesting thing. It can be a life choice, a life misson, or a route to get from point A to point B and back again. It can meander all over the place or it can be a straight line.

I love my path, absolutely love it, unless I'm carrying a 5 gal. bucket of water because the pump in the barn is frozen again. Then it gets tricky. My path is an odd 60' long. Actually that's a rough guess, as in estimating anything over 6" I'm pretty much lost. Mostly it's a straight line, however as the snow falls and I have to slog through it (and around critters, lawn chairs, or dog piles) it may take a more meandering type of direction.

It starts at the chaotic insanity of my people world, and takes me to the serene serenity of my critter world, my barn. I don't know where in the 60' roughly estimated path the transformation takes place, there's an invisible door, but I can tell everyday when I've walked through it. (or lately, slid through it). And a funny thing happens on the way back, the door all but disappears and my world is all quiet and serene.... UNTIL.......
SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS and for no reason I can think of other than to bother me, sees fit to tear a hole through my path with his bulldozer or snow plow or quad. Now, I ask you, does the yard really need to be plowed? Or is it just a matter of a big boy playing with a big toy. Never mind, don't answer that. It's an ongoing issue every winter. Oh well.

I'm almost done with Blondie's sweater. I'm afraid of it. I don't like it and I'm sure it knows it. I don't like the yarn and I don't like the pattern, but on the off chance that the Yarn Karma hasn't caught up with me yet, don't tell. This sweater has seriously taken me soooo long to finish. Why? We've been through this, I don't like it! And if I get it all sewn together and it doesn't fit and I have to tear it apart to reknit parts of it, I will not be happy. At that point the Yarn Karma WILL know about it.

On a more positive note, I made some yarn this past weekend.
I found a sweater in our thrift shop that had glorious colors, but the design... not so much. And it is mohair! So I bought it and tore it apart. Then took bits and pieces from my stash to add to it and tied it all together and rolled it all up again. I LOVE IT. It hasn't told me what it wants to be when it grows up, which is ok, cause I have a few other projects on the needles currently, and I have a feeling that the Yarn Karma is gonna come back to bite me!

Tomorrow: Frozen Dirt!! Bet you can't wait eh?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My World and Welcome To It!

We live a simple, fairly self sufficient life and while I mostly work in the 21st century in a job I really like, I live in yesterday. Summer will find me out on my bike, in the garden or in the kitchen canning everything not nailed down, and winter finds me curled up by the woodstove knitting or reading. Have to admit to being a Red Wings Wing Nut and having a mild fascination with the boys who go round and round in fast cars.

I've thought about doing this for quite awhile and finally the time is right. Why is the time right? Because in the foggy murky world of "starting to wake up" I thought I heard Bu-Dawgh whining. (Stay with me here, I'm nothing if not a rambler, but I will eventually get to my point) Bu-Dawgh is my 1.5 yr old Shar-pei-spaniel cross "puppy" and the biggest baby in the world. OK, back to his whining. It's 5:15 am and he's whining. While normally I'd ignore him, my sleep induced brain remembers that I wormed him last night, so if he's whining, he has to go out. Turns out that in the early morning haze a whiny Bu-Dawgh and a rooster sound very similar, but he was happy to go out anyway. So now that we are awake, I made my coffee and started this.

I like to get up early and have coffee with the sun, such that it is, in Michigan, in winter. This weekend brings The Time Change so it will screw me up a bit but I'll adjust. That's how we roll!

We are expecting yet another round of Mother Nature and her always whimsical I'm Not Done With Winter Yet game. It is, after all, Michigan and it is, after all, early March.
These pictures are of my view from my office window, taken this morning. I know it's rough having to put up with a view like this but we will endure.

And since this is a knitting and homesteading blog expect more pictures of my fascinating life when I remember to recharge the batteries in My Awesome Camera That I Bought Myself For My Birthday Last Year. This is one of my turkeys, apropriately named "Tom-Tom"
(unlike the navigation system, this turkey tends to get lost on a frequent basis).

I would show you pictures of the eggs that my Rhode Island Reds are now laying, but I don't have any. Pictures, or eggs either for that matter. I 'spect there's a possum involved. He will become a dead possum when I find him. And no, I won't cook him up in a stew, he will become coyote food.

Tomorrow I will regale you with tales of "My Path".