Friday, October 30, 2009


The sun has been peeking out here and there this morning. It can create some dramatic effects, turning the corn all golden and innocent when it is out.

And turning the corn rather creepy and menacing when it isn't.

Happy Halloween! Don't get lost in any corn!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blue and White

Lily asked what colors I would spin in a yarn remembering my Mom. Blue and white, without question. Mom loved the combination, (as do I) and wore it often. Maybe it was a subconscious choice when I was spinning up the yarn for the raglan sweater I am knitting. The blue/gray/white yoke yarn was spun sitting next to Mom, and I began knitting it sitting next to Mom too. Now I sit, knitting on the sweater, trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my life.

The yoke part is done, and I still don't like that wide white stripe. Here, I have wet the sweater, and arranged it on my sheet pan I use for felting. I mixed up my dye (Pro-Chem One Shot)with a bit of hot water, and started dabbing it on using a cotton cloth. A sponge brush probably would have worked better, but I didn't have a clean one. I decided the one row of white (under the wide white stripe) looked out of place, so I dabbed it blue too.

I then gathered it up and put it in my dyeing crock, being careful not to touch the new blue dabbed stripe on anything else. I made sure there was a bit of water in the bottom of the crock pot, and put it in the oven at 375 for about 25 minutes. I let it cool, then rinsed. It seemed to have worked. Once I have the whole thing done, with sleeves and body in the dark dark blue, I may change my mind and try to dye the stripe darker. It's staying for now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Blues

First, thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It feels good knowing that Mom made a lasting impression via the HBO documentary. Thank you for letting me know.

I found this little block in my shoe the morning after Mom passed. It made me do that hiccuping/laughing/crying thing.

It is resting on the latest reincarnation of the Kinda Cobblestone, which isn't even kinda anymore. It is now a top down raglan. I'll see how that works out. I already don't like the wider white stripe. It accentuates my already broad shoulders. I might try to dye that stripe blue or gray, by painting the dye on as it is, and then microwaving it to set the dye. Has anybody tried that?

Yesterday I looked up from my plooming (peg loom weaving) just in time to see my biggest llama rushing the gate at the driveway, and a man backing very quickly away. I went out, it was the deer hunter that hunts the land all around mine. He was just stopping to let me know that they will be out again this year, just so I'm aware if I see them out walking. That was nice of him.

I found out that my llamas are better guards than I knew. He said that one year they cut across my upper pasture, and pretty soon the llamas came running. One guy dropped his gun and hightailed it out of there, being chased by a llama. I didn't explain that they like to run, and if they see someone running, they will join in, often jumping and bucking and twisting their necks around. I did explain that they are very curious animals, and probably just wanted to check them out. Now that I know when the hunting party will be out, I'll shut the gates to the outer pastures. I like having the animals within the barnyard when there are hunters out and about. Just in case.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Mom passed quickly, unexpectedly, and in my arms late Thursday night.

Funeral is Tuesday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not for the Squeamish

Warning: This post is not for the squeamish, those who think chickens are vegetarians, or mouse lovers. If you've been reading long enough, I've probably dispelled the chickens are vegetarians myth a while ago.

So, the other day, I was in the kitchen when I heard a sound coming from the mud room. I knew nothing (no dogs or cats)was in there since the door between the rooms was closed, so went to the door and listened. It sounded like the dog food bag crinkling. I quickly barged in there, grabbed the bag and held it closed. I took it outside, making sure to shut the door behind me. Oh look, there were two or three cats hanging out on the porch. I laid the bag down, opened it enough so the cats could look in. Finally, a cat ventured inside the bag and started eating the dog food. Hm, that wasn't the reaction I was expecting. Then, a mouse jumped over the cat's back and ran a little ways. The other cat didn't even see it. I picked the cat up and set it down next to the mouse. The cat was still clueless. After several more attempts at showing the mouse to the cat, the mouse finally moved off a little more. It was moving pretty slowly. Full of dog food, you know. The cat finally saw it, but wasn't quick enough. In the meantime, the chickens had started running my way, thinking I had brought them food. Before the cat could do anything, the rooster caught the mouse in his beak, shook it once, and it was dead.

Another game of chicken football ensued.

The rooster ran first one way, (sorry for the blur, he was moving fast!)

then the other.

He was chased by the black hen,

and the yellow hen.

I don't know which chicken finally ate the mouse, but there is no doubt in my mind that one of them did indeed eat it. Chickens are not vegetarians.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Felted Legwarmers

This is what I came up with to try to keep Mom's legs warm. Cold air seeps up the back of her pant leg and her legs freeze! This is felted alpaca on the outside, and lined with polar fleece on the inside. There is a casing at the top and bottom threaded with a length of yarn that I tie shut. Her legs/feet are sometimes swelling a bit, so I wanted it adjustable.

Hey, does anybody know what those little doohickeys are called that are often on sleeping bags or stuff sacks or backpacks, two parts on a spring that you squeeze together to move the doohickey, on a string, and let go when you have it as tight as you want? I think those would work a lot easier than having to tie them, but I don't know what they are called so I can look for them online. Anybody know what they're called or have a link where I can buy a few cheap?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Simba trying to tell me something?

I walked (luckily, camera in hand) into the living room this morning and found this.

Simba with one of Mom's flashcards.

Is she trying to tell me something?

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I had a hospice volunteer here for two hours today. I pulled weeds and just generally tried to put the garden to bed for the winter. It was wonderful to be able to be outside without worrying about Mom. I enjoyed myself very much.

To be honest, I was sort of amazed it actually happened. When hospice asked how many hours of volunteers or aides I wanted, I didn't know how to answer. Wait, I can have a volunteer? Really? How about two hours? I was worried I was asking for too much. I was hesitant to ask for that much. I was afraid to get my hopes up. It had happened too often before. I would find an organization that looked like they could help, and then oops, sorry, we can't find any volunteers for your area. I had given up looking for help anymore. If there were no expectations, then I couldn't be disappointed. So to be asked, how many hours do you want was almost overwhelming.

The hospice nurse is suggesting that I have more hours. The volunteer lives only three miles away, and she also suggested I ask for more hours, because she is available.

I wonder how many caregiver lives have been saved by hospice.

Ok, to brighten things up around here, this is Ollie.

I can almost hear him saying, "If you make me get up, you'll be sorry."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kinda Cobblestone Fiasco

I finished spinning up the yarn for the yoke. I have more of each color (blue, gray and white) if I need to spin more. Unfortunately, it looks like I will run out of the dark blue I'm using for the body and sleeves. I thought I would be happy having a yoked vest, but the more I think about it, the more I want sleeves. I'll have to see if I can dye some more and duplicate the color.

I needed some stitch markers because all the ones I had are being used for other projects. I made a set using beads I had around the house. I used a brown bead in one for the end of round marker, just to differentiate it from the other all blue ones.

Since I am making this with a split seam, I knit a few inches for the front, and about six inches for the back (like a rugby shirt), and then joined them to finish knitting the body in the round. I just discovered that I joined them with a twist. Aaarggh! I have to rip out about two inches of knitting. The Kinda Cobblestone is in time out while I recover from that. I'll felt Mom some slipper boots and leg warmers instead.

Mom is doing ok. Sometimes she eats and sometimes she doesn't. She is still drinking though. Last night as I was helping her get into bed, she reached up and squeezed my nose so I would honk for her. Just another little glimmer that she is in there. The glimmers are getting fewer and farther between, but they're there.

The hospice aide just left. What a luxury that is. I'm not used to it. An aide will come for two hours on Tuesdays, and a volunteer for two hours on Thursdays. Four hours to myself! What shall I do? Oh yeah, I have a date with a barn that needs to be cleaned.