Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chicken Check and New Wheels in the Driveway

As you may know, not long before Ophelia passed on to that great free range in the sky, Pearl and Snowflake joined our odd little family. They are two Plymouth Rock pullets, and they were pretty traumatized by the whole human interaction thing, having been pen raised. They are beginning to warm up to us, though, and a few days ago left pullethood behind.

One of these was laid neatly in the center of the nestbox, the other outside in the run. They are tiny, as are all pullet eggs, but they will grow into laying regular sized eggs soon enough. I felt the occasion should be marked as the rite of passage that it is, but I did not know what would be best. There are no little pamphlets entitled "Today You Are a Hen", celebrating henhood and giving basic instructions on the changes your little chicken body is undergoing. There are no rituals, no bok mitzvah ceremonies, nothing like it. I checked. So, as their deity, I wished them long and happy laying lives, and that will have to do. Today there was another tiny egg in the run (not in the box where it is supposed to be, grumble, grumble). So now we have to try and figure out which chicken is thinking like Felix Unger and which one is our Oscar Madison, and try to get across the idea that that pile of straw is there for a reason. We'll just see how well that goes.

Now for a surprise. About a week ago my husband and I took a little staycation, which was really wonderful. While we were buzzing around town, we decided to take a Smart Car out for a test drive, just to see what they were like. They are cute and amazingly roomy on the inside, but don't have much pickup, possibly due to the engine which is about the size of a large tackle box. Still, the mileage was great, the price wasn't bad and the whole thing seems marginally safer than a scooter, which was another getting around town cheap option we had been bandying about.

Still, for all the good points, and the cuteness, let's not forget the cuteness, the Smart Car was rejected in favor of an alternative fuel vehicle which we greatly prefer:

Now, if at first you are skeptical, let me point out that this type of vehicle has been the choice of emperors and military leaders for hundreds of years, and won races for just as long before being supplanted by new fangled modes of transport which, face it, just aren't nearly as stylish.

And it's plenty roomy, just look!

That will hold one fully decked out hero in all his armor with room to spare! And horsepower? How many can you harness up to it? And the thing basically runs on chicken feed.

This chariot has been living in my basement for the past 15 years. It was a gift to my husband when he was King of Meridies, the SCA kingdom we live in. He is dusting it off and spiffing it up for the Dragon Con parade, which is the Saturday of Labor Day weekend downtown. While he will be appearing in Roman splendiferousness, I will be walking alongside in my own splendiferousness. We will get pictures, do not fret.

It is funny what happens around this time of year. Even though this summer, and particularly, this August have been unusually temperate, the body knows where it is in the year, and you find the urge to grab wool and make something flees you somewhere in the middle of June like the proverbial bat out of hell. Nevertheless, in late August, often in zillion degree heat and record breaking humidity, the body knows fall is coming, the summer lace project gets tossed in a heap and your instinct impells you toward the pile of shetland wool you created in June in a fit of heat induced catharsis. ZOMG! Winter is coming! Every fiber of your being screams at you to cast on! cast on! cast on! If you don't, YOU COULD FREEZE TO DEATH THIS YEAR! All reason flies out the window until somehow you forget you live in a centrally heated house in Georgia. So I did what any self respecting knitter who is the boss of her knitting would have done under these conditions.

I cast on like 9 things.

And you know what? I don't care! I have UFOs from 5 years ago I could work on, but why? I have new shiny stuff to play with. I don't knit out of necessity, although it is my one truly useful hobby. So that's just a bonus that I get stuff out of knitting that is useful. If need be, I can buy socks cheap at Wal Mart. Some UFOs need to age, like wine, to reach their full potential anyway, at least I'm convinced this is so. New yarn needs to be bought, aging in a shop doesn't marinate it quite like mingling in your stash at home does. So here are a few of the new hotnesses:

Dubbelmössa in unspun Icelandic wool from Schoolhouse Press. Just one example of the high quality project you can achieve through careful stash marinade.

The rather excitingly named "Wimple No 3". Sounds like a piece of art, no? You won't be catching me without some kind of headgear this year, apparently. A Fiddlesticks pattern from the Needle Arts Book Shop.

Not last and certainly not least, my newest obsession is twofold. One fold of it is the Glitten. Just go and see. Yes, it is a Ravelry link, but there is no more waiting list to get on, although I think everyone who wants to be there is by now. The other fold is the semi solid line that Dream in Color is producing. All the colorjoy of Malabrigo in a smooshy high twist yarn for your cabling pleasure. Two? days ago I cast on in Classy colorway Absolute Magenta. What do you think?

Sorry about the crappy pics, but I am entirely too excited to operate a point and shoot camera correctly right now. They're Sleestak Gloves, people!

Um, you DO remember Sleestaks, don't you? It's all too awesome for me, I may need to go have a lie down now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Well, I am back in action for sure now. During this summer I have had the opportunity to step back and take a look at the direction my life has been heading and do a little thinking on it. So far, what I think is this: I'm going in too many directions all at once.

Now this is actually the usual state of my life, so it is hardly a big shock or anything that I feel I need to fix right away. Except that I really want to, because I think it will make me happier. So here it is, and I'm pretty happy with what I've hammered out.

First, the knitting stays. Period. That was actually on the table for a minute or two, simply because somewhere between casting on a ton of big projects and now I have lost 35 pounds. This is great, and it is about half what I ultimately need to lose, but it means I have lots of stuff on the needles (and even finished *gulp*) that needs ripping and restarting. That alone nearly did me in when I realized the extent of the possible destruction needed. Or the gifting. That's not decided yet, but since the knitting keeps me from stabbing people, I thought it would be a good thing to continue.

The SCA stays. But on my terms. Really, it has to stay, because my husband enjoys it so much (and I enjoy it, too, sometimes...) but I will hopefully enjoy it more now, thereby making us both happier. First thing I did was change my persona from the 14th c Welsh thing I haven't really been doing to late Roman Empire, and changed my name to start. The rest, it will come, but not at the expense of my inner peace, so the time frame will be very relaxed. This will also prevent me going all stabby. And this is good, right?

The glass stays. I truly enjoy hot and cold glass, and with a newly discovered resource for classes and supplies, and a new configuration for my torch, as well as a whole new world opening up for me with borosilicate and blowing techniques, glass is a keeper.

The bellringing may be going. Not that I don't love it, I do. But I'm spread too thin. Maybe if I had found it at another time in my life, but right now I have only so much time to allocate and some of it needs to be rest. And I realized that I was a lot less exhausted before I started ringing because I wasn't running somewhere every evening to do something somewhere else and I need that down time back.

Spinning is going for now. I am far more in love with the idea of spinning than the reality of it. The end.

The blog is staying. But it will change a bit. It will begin including glass and SCA as well as anything else I want, because I don't intend to have a separate blog for everything. Plus, I now use Ravelry for much of what I had originally intended to use this blog for in the first place, asit is much smarter and better organized than ever I could be on my own, and that only leaves ranting for the blog. Even I would like it to be more than that.

The knitting machine is staying. I still get shivers thinking about all the stuff I can do with it when I have the time, so it can stay, albeit in semi hibernation, until I have that time.

Mean people are going. I used to try to be civil and polite to everyone, especially those who were not so to me (and that mostly out of sheer bloodymindedness). All bets are off now. I don't have time for it. If people are rotten to me or my friends, to hell with them. And since I am lucky to be friends with the best people in the world, I win.

BTW, lack of inclusion in the above links does not signify anything more than I ran out of words I wanted to link to.

So there. I'm about halfway through the weight loss and halfway through my life reclamation project. It must be time for Skycoaster!