Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Have A New Toy!!

First you take this lethal toy-it is called a Triple Picker! It has three different ways to lock it for safety when not in use.
Then you take a batch of clean wool like this.
Then the picker fluffs it with these gi-normous teeth! They are very, very sharp!
And then you get this fluffy stuff! Isn't that too cool?

I have wanted a picker forever- since I first heard about them. They cost a LOT of money. I haven't ever convinced myself that I could afford that. Then Thursday I got an email sent to my spinning guild. A lady was selling all her equipment. So I bought the picker, some of her Jacob fleece (I know-like I need any more fleece!), and some books. It was a good deal for me! And I had to try it out. It was fabulous! So much easier than doing everything tediously by hand prior to carding. Although I have been using my little hands for 32 years, it is all forgotten with just two or three swipes of the picker!

No knitting going on right now. I can't seem to concentrate. My life is being turned upside down right now, and I am still really discombobulated. I manage to read to take my focus off of everything and to relax.

Anyway, the summer is cooler than ever I remember it. Tonight will be in the middle 50's for a low! And today's high was 80 degrees! June 29th! It is too strange!

I will try to keep up on my blogging, but I am very busy right now. More later.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's The Middle of June Already!

I bought one of the Knit Picks sock blanks. I took it to the lys for our knitting group. Sasha has to try it out first. She did not want her picture taken, and did not want to be disturbed.

I converted an old canvas tote bag with some patchwork on the outside and a solid print inside. I left the handles because they are sturdy. I put a pocket on the inside, too. It works for me. Not the best sewing job in town, but fully functional.
This is the surprise that I knit for the lys gals. Colleen was surprised. And it works!
It is a re-usable dust cloth for a Swiffer. When it's dirty-wash it-and use it again. It's a green product!!
I have been knitting on my little shawlette. The alpaca is so soft. I am not really sure if the lace work will show up with the black/white/tweedy yarn, but I am now on the edging. It took a few rows for me to understand how this is working, but I like it. I will picture it after I block it. I think it is going to be so cozy.

If you can stand it, here are more pics of my new little car. If you want to, you can exit now.

There are storms expected tonight. One south of us did some damage to the Ft. Smith area Monday night. I have given up on the mowing situation. The bugs are extremely ecstatic with the wet, soppy weather. I tried to sit outside yesterday to knit in the natural light, but these weird bugs kept biting me. They were teeny, black, and had a red stripe down the middle of its back. I've never seen them before. They moved like a silverfish-that side-to-side motion. And last night I was bleary-eyed from counting lace. I noticed something on the floor. So I put my glasses on, and there was a small centipede scurrying across the room. YUCK!

Nothing else new. Just the same old thing. I want to get that edging done, block the shawlette, and then I will start hitting the squares again. I figured out a way to make them jazzier. BEADS.
We'll see. I am all ready to finish this one project as you can tell. I am thinking ahead to the next.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wow! It's the Middle of June!

OKAY! What happened to June? It is still not oppressively HOT, it is still raining, there are really weird bugs everywhere, the frogs are still calling, the mosquitoes are overjoyed, and it is not acting like the middle of June.

I have been in the midst of frenetic activity that seems to be out of my control. After my friend OS left, I had a coupla days of my usual lazy routine. I did laundry, I did some housework, but I did very little else. I had to mow the lawn. Then I left in a torrential downpour and tornado-y threats to get to Little Rock. I had to take care of some business with my two brothers. During my time there, my older brother bought my pickup truck. I knew her days were numbered, and that I had to have an efficient vehicle for gas reasons. But I mean he asked how much I wanted to sell her, and he wrote me a check. I had to rent a car at the airport to drive home!!!!

After arriving back home, I got on the internet to study vehicles again. I have been doing this for a while, trying to get a perspective on costs, safety, gas mpg, and all that stuff. I finally settled on one I thought might work. I looked up the dealership on the internet, and took off. I decided it was time to do some shopping.

I bought this little cutie........ a Toyota Matrix!!!

The angle makes it look squattier than it is. It is longer, maybe the size of a small station wagon. I'll try to get an appropriate picture when I can this week. It is safe, it is gas efficient, it cost right, and it is super roomie inside. Like a small station wagon. I haven't named her yet. I am trying to get a feel for her.

Since I left something is dead under the floor!! I mean a powerful stink. Like maybe a body is under there. These strange beetles are all over the house, and I cannot identify them. I have never ever seen this kind before. Without looking at the beetle, it is suggested that they are carrion beetles. They are totally GROSS!

And to top all that off, I was in a major big hurry to leave Friday to get to the post office. My little town p.o. closes at noon for lunch. I got to the car, and then four vehicles swooped into my yard and obviously blocked my path. There were two people per vehicle-with bullet-proof vests on over their plain clothes and their badges displayed prominently on the vests. This huge burly guy that looked like a bouncer from a bar got out, identified himself from the parole office, and demanded to see ............. I told him that person does not live here. He insisted that this was the address the person uses. I told him he obviously was not the parole officer for that person because his parole officer knows his address and everything about him.

Now let me explain something here. I live in a very rural area. I mean way out in the boonies. If four unmarked official vehicles pull into your yard, it makes your skin crawl. It doesn't mean they are bad people. It means they have trespassed on my property. I know city folks are really happy to have the police establishment to protect them from the bad guys. But country folks are very leery of any law enforcement. And country folks take care of themselves and their neighbors.

But again I was given a wonderful speech by a lawyer friend that explained that Mr. Bush gave away my rights to private property. These people can come into my yard, block my driveway, try to intimidate me, break in my door if they want to, and can then say, "Oops, we have the wrong address." Another friend who lives in the city only said, "Thank goodness you were home. Otherwise, they might have knocked down the door and gone into your house." And once more, another friend told me that this group is a bully group of law enforcement that have a really bad habit of not having their facts straight, acting rashly, and they have a judge that protects them. This person said probably they will go before the judge today, and they will have a warrant in no time. Sigh! It just infuriates me that law enforcement can just overlook my constitutional rights.

And yesterday on NPR, there was a story told by a reporter for a large newspaper, either the NY Times or the Washington Post. I mean that big of a newspaper. He said in 2002 an FBI agent came to his office and asked him about a phone number that was called from his home phone. They wanted to know who it was being called. He smartly said, "You're the FBI and you are asking me about a phone number?" Well, he looked up the information, and informed the gentleman that it belonged to ........., who at one time had been in the IRA, and was now a researcher about terrorism. He used her information about some articles he was reporting on terrorism. The FBI agent then asked him who was Caroline. The reporter said that all his prickles went up then because it was his daughter. And she would not have called this number. The agent wanted to know if her name was Caroline Brown. His daughter was going to college at Brown University. Which then sent bells ringing in his head, because he realized that the FBI was tapping his phone. After the agent left, he made some phone calls to protest this action. He then finds out that the FBI can tap anyone's phone without worrying about constitutional rights. He wanted to know who gave them the right to just take over. Well, we all know that answer.

Anyway, enough ranting. I started knitting a surprise for the HandHeld ladies. I cannot show it now. But I will take a picture before I turn it over to them. Next time you will see the surprise. Otherwise, I have not knitted one stitch in ten days. It's a good thing. My hands do not hurt. I have been busy doing other things.

I am sorry to say I missed WWKIP. I went to Oklahoma to help a friend set up water barrels under her drain spouts. She is preparing for a drought. Which will eventually come in July. I think. I went with her to Tractor and Farm Supply to buy a pump for the barrels. She had no idea about that, and I negotiated and asked all the questions. We went to the swap meet, and we ate KFC snackers. It was a lovely, sunny, warm day. Today is overcast and windy. There are supposed to be storms all week. WHODATHUNKIT in June!

Til next time.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Compost Surprise!

Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. ~Michael P. Garafalo,

This is my compost bin for leaves and manure. I threw a dead sweet potato in there instead of in the kitchen compost bin. That bin is closed and helps to keep critters out. Surprise! I have never grown sweet potatoes and do not know what to do for it. Obviously not much!

These are my newest little sockies. Aren't they pretty? My girlfriend SH had knit one sock with this yarn, and she threw it at me. She hated the colorway, hated the sock, hated it all. So I unraveled her sock, and started one of my own. I think it's pretty. I wouldn't have bought the yarn, but for free yarn it's okay.

Hey, Lazy Mean Kitty! Wake up! Wake UP!

Get that damn camera away from me, you stupid human!
My friend OS from California was here for two days, and there wasn't any knitting or nothing going on. Today was supposed to be a stormy day. We had a sprinkle of rain, and now we have the MUGGIES! It makes my needles sticky! So nothing else new and exciting. Have a good weekend!