Monday, August 30, 2010

Finished - socks edition

Earlier this month, I was working on three pairs of socks in a fit of sock ADD. You remember, of course?

That's them. Well now, they're all done! Here they are in ascending order of how much I like them. Starting with Meh and ending with Swoon.

Multi-colored yarn is difficult for me to knit with. Very easy to buy, however. These socks are fine, but not spectacular.

Some Red Sox for this NY girl.

My favs. Lovely socks from the CSK. I keep licking them. I love them.

All three pairs have been set aside until the Autumnal Equinox. I am becoming a Sock Pagan. New thing...just invented it today. I've decided to roll out new socks with the seasons. Every sock I knit between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox goes into a basket, not to be worn until the start of the new season. On the equinox, I'll pack up some of my favorite current socks as well, so I can rediscover them at a later season. See:

Sock Paganism. Everyone's doing it.

Hop-A-Long Animals

We've got all sorts of animals with leg issues around here. One of our cochin hens did something to her left foot so that now she can't stand on it at all, and she just squats around all day with her leg sticking straight out in front of her. She's not sick. Just injured.

Now, Sugar Pie has some sort of sympathy injury to her back left foot. She's still able to get around mostly fine - though jumping on the couch has been an issue. So, she's been quiet, calm. We're spending the evening on the floor with her in solidarity and taking advantage of her sedentary-ness to get some in-focus photos.

Or not.

This is a bit closer.

Here we go.

Pathetic puppers, looking for some lovin.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Summer of Indiana

We have been enjoying the summer of Indiana - lots of lovely folks have come to visit us, and this past week we took some time off from the day jobs, but didn't go anywhere. We hung out with the turkeys, canned up lots of peaches, read books, didn't do a lick of work on the house, and ate good food.

We also spent a very exciting day in Lafayette...

...where we got ice cream. All summer vacations require ice cream...

...and a visit to the county courthouse(??)...

...and beautiful souvenirs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


We painted Bill's hobby room a few weeks ago. It still needs some finishing touches, such as a rug (I think Bill would really like an animal pelt) and we may install a wood stove.

But the painting is done and the room now has the major furniture to make it a second guest room. In fact, it's already housed guests - twice! The first guests, however, didn't have access to the futon (sorry Sis).

Or the wicked cool dresser we scored at Goodwill (my favorite place to shop).

The dresser is stamped Dixie, though I have no idea how old it is. Any guesses? It likely doesn't have value as an antique (which is probably why it was at Goodwill and not the antique mall down the street), but it is solid and in pretty good shape.

I love the details, and the funky contact paper in the drawers totally sold me on it. If this were fabric, I would absolutely make it into a quilt.

I used to quilt all the time before I was distracted by other things. But, suddenly this weekend, I decided to finish something old.

Because it's been so long (at least three years) I know nothing about this quilt. I'm pretty sure the pattern is from a magazine and I remember that I had to paper piece AND applique parts of it. As I dislike both those techniques, I'm surprised that a) I started this quilt and b) didn't finish once the hard parts were done.

All I had to do was tie the border and apply the binding. (Because I like piecing tops and buying fabric much more than any other part of quilt making, most of my large quilts are tied, rather than quilted. It works for me.)

But now it is finished and ready for fall.

I stopped quilting in earnest about three years ago when I learned how to knit. While the autumn leaves quilt took perhaps 7 years to make, this fantastic sock took only 7 days. The pattern is the first of a Community Supported Knitting project - Indie Socks. As participants, we're supporting a super designer in the writing of her next book.

Plus, I get to knit socks like this. How great is the scalloped edging?

Off now to finish more things!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Butterfly Blogging By Bill

Willful incompetence... Do you know it? Do you use it?

I'll admit that I do. Not seriously as mentioned in the link... (I can do anything. I rock like that. You do too.) ...just playfully with Bill for things he doesn't mind doing such as cleaning toilets or cooking dinner. In return, Bill claims willful incompetence with regard to using the washing machine and uploading pictures to the interweb.

This week, he spent a while in our pasture taking photos of butterflies and then whined a little about blogging them until I promised to do it for him.

What I don't think he realized, however, is that now I get to tell the story of his butterfly blogging any way I want.

Bill is kind of a girl. He's a total softy. Remember that bunny from the spring? He totally wanted to keep it to snuggle with. He also really likes flowers. One morning as we were carpooling and, of course, running late for work, he wandered off into a brushy area following spring wildflowers, completely obvious to the time that we didn't have.

I said, "Ahem..." (I probably didn't. It's more likely I swore at him.)
He said, "But, Baby...Flowers!" As if that was all the explanation needed.

Picture Ferdinand the Bull.

But he also takes pretty awesome photos, which I'm pleased to post. More here.

Bill's turkeys are also doing well. They've got free range of the whole pasture and are finding lots of good food to eat - most recently they've learned how to wrap the tall grass with the fuzzy tops around their beaks and strip the seed heads right off. Delish.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things we built...

Here is Coop Mk. II (aka the Duck Hut). It is currently home to the 29 chicks we got earlier this year.

This was initially supposed to be a chicken tractor - a light, portable structure which is moved frequently to provide birds access to yummy things to eat and mitigate destruction of the area they are in. So, before the grass turns all to mud, the chicks are moved to a new location.

'Cept our "tractor" weighs about 4 tons. We did attach it to the truck and drag it from the location in front of our garage out into the pasture, but I think it's going to stay there forever.

The chicks have a solar powered electromesh fence to keep them in and bad things out. It's working so far, but we've seen a curious Northern Harrier trolling our fields. The chicks have plenty of cover inside their fence and they seem to know how to use it, so we're hoping they get big and don't become prey.

Two of our Wyandotte roos, lookin pretty:

So, all these chickens...why "The Duck Hut?" Well, when the eatin birds are all in the freezer and the Wyandottes and Cochins are integrated with the Barred Rocks, we'll be filling the coop with ducklings. Maybe Cayugas.

Also being built....socks. I have contracted a common disease among sock knitters: SSS or Second Sock Syndrome. Pictured here are three socks currently being knit. None of them has a match yet. And that's just fine. Clearer photos when they're all done.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I've been reading Walden and appreciating it much more than I did when I was in High School. I pointed out the bit below to Bill because it reminded me of one of his favorite Heinlein quotes:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

While Heinlein said it logically, practically and succinctly (which appeals to Bill), I prefer Thoreau's poetry. This here is why chopping wood, clipping turkey wings, laying tile and generally living in a beat up old house that needs lots of work is appealing and fun for me.

There is some of the same fitness in a man’s building his own house that there is in a bird’s building its own nest. Who knows but if men constructed their dwellings with their own hands, and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged? But alas! We do like cowbirds and cuckoos, which lay their eggs in nests which other birds have built, and cheer no traveler with their chattering and unmusical notes. Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter? What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men? I never in all my walks came across a man engaged in so simple and natural an occupation as building his house. We belong to the community. It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man; it is as much the preachers, and the merchant, and the farmer. Where shall the division of labor end? And what object does it finally serve? No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.

Every time I read it, I love it a little bit more.

Photos of stuff we - mostly Bill - built for birds soon...