Sunday, August 31, 2008

the sad passing of ruth

well, i write this post with saddness. we lost our BIG MAMA partridge rock hen ruth the other day. this is the first time we've lost a hen to something other than a dog attack. the truth is -i'm not totally sure why she died. my best deduction i can come up with-which i'm ashamed to say is heat exhaustion. we have had triple digit days and my girls have not had the opportunity to free range as much as before-since "blue" came into our lives. as he must be closely monitored if he is outside with the hens and we don't always have the time to do that. their fenced in yarn gets real hot later in the day. i had checked their water earlier in day but failed to do so later. by the time i noticed their water had been emptied-it was too late. i found her in the coop. it was extremely hot. i feel just terrible(like a bad chicken mom) for not checking the water sooner and keeping a better eye on the situation. i've been letting the girls free range during the heat of the day now where they can find better shade.

ruth was our largest bossiest gurl. we will miss her. i'm so sorry ruth!liam honored ruth with one of his glass insulators.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

that time of year again!!

every year at this time i start to panic and totally freak out. ugh!! summer is my time off. i had high hopes as usual-of getting liam all caught up in math and spelling during the summer months-and the days slip by-and my good intentions float down the river. i want to kick and scream when school starts again while i watch other parents do a jig as they sent their kids off to school. i want to take a year off and say "lets unschool-and do nothing but what you want to do" -forget standards, forget testing, forget all the bullshit!!!! but i return every year with my tail between my legs and follow the rules. i hate rules. you see we belong to a homeschool charter. we homeschool-but since we are governed by the public school system we have guidelines to follow and monthly meetings with educational specialists to hand in samples of work- but jeez-can't we start until after labor day?????

but then i remember all the cool stuff our school does-all the field trips and neat classes they offer. such as the mural painting class last year. all the students in Lew Toll's art class participated in a group mural for the outside of our school building. they presented it on the last day-very awesome! here's a pic. when i remember these things i put on my big girl panties, pull myself together, get busy and realize i'm doing the right thing. we started this past monday.

yesterday i had the great idea of trying to school and dye at the same time. i had been soaking many skeins of drab grey yarn-yes, i too had a grey phase!!!! how much grey yarn does one need? i decided to over- dye them-i wanted a variegated purple heather -i mixed 4 different shades of purple-this was gonna be awesome. kill 2 birds with one stone. i don't know what i was thinking-i didn't cover the kitchen table, i didn't move the bills or liam. i thought i could just squeeze in there and do a quick job and stick them in the sun. well, to make a long dramatic story short-i had dye everywhere, it was running onto the floor, Blue was trying to lick it up, dye all over books, dye on the bills, i forgot my gloves again and i had total purple hands-i'm yelling at the kids for help-"get the puppy! he's drinking the dye! get me some towels! GET THE PUPPY, move the books!!! GET THE PUPPY!!" well, my grand idea turned into all my colors mixing into one-i got pissy and put the yarn in ziplocs and into a black trash bag-and threw it out the back door-and didn't look at it till this morning when i rinsed. well, i must say- it's quite pretty. sorry no pics yet. grey rocks when you get mad at it!

it's back to being broiling hot-little "blue" doesn't even want to got outside to pee-making house training an adventure. we don't have a.c.-so it's not like our house is cool-we broil inside too.look his ears are starting to stand up!!! a couple weeks ago we went to union flat campground liam became obsessed with building "ducks" on the north fork of the yuba river.Blue can sleep anywhere!! very tired river pup!i have all this sun and heat and no undyed roving-boo hoo! supposed to be even hotter tomorrow!

Friday, August 22, 2008

more tea please!

i'm sooooooooooooo tired. blue wakes me up bright and early every morning-ever so chipper. but the week after the full moon brings the coyotes(we have very bold ones!) and they carry on-right outside my our house-they are very loud with their ear piercing shrill yaps-which excite all the dogs on the hill-especially skippy. he's the neighbor dog but considers himself "dog of the hill!" lives most of his life at our house. i swear i thought they were ripping skippy apart last night-he has a dislocated hip and broken teeth so he's an easy target. i had to bring him in the house and he barked all night-i finally let him out at around 4 a.m. when i knew the coast was clear. then i worried whether they were getting into the chicken coop or whether the cute flock of wild rogue banty hens that live in the forest will survive another moon. needless to say-i did not sleep well.

the triple digit weather has left-whew!! i was extremely cranky and i got a bad case of uptight impatient mother syndrome-i hate when that happens. hubby's been working out of town a lot lately so no quiet moments for me. blue hates the heat too! everytime i'd open the fridge he's jump in.
sorry for the blurr-but he is an active bugger!

i finally got around to solar dying with the marigolds i had steeping in the sun-like for ever!!!! i was waiting for alum to arrive from dharma trading co. and trying to spin up some undyed yarn. well-my patience was lacking-remember the heat? i knew my friend and neighbor rhodie just got a knitpicks order in-i.e. undyed yarn ready to dye! i borrowed a big hank of bulky-mordered it for a day in the sun with alum and cream of tarter. then strained my oozy marigold sludge water and rinsed the skein and put it in the smelly marigold tea-it could have fermented at this point-hey maybe i had some mighty fine wine-marigold wine. should have tasted it. let the sun do it's business and wah-lah! it worked!the heat finally ripened the tomatoes and peppers in my garden and i've been doin the salsa thang!the bright side of the heat has been solar dying. here's a few items.we had a great knit nite last nite. we actually had 5 of us!!!! it was at rhodie's who graciously let me bring blue as i couldn't leave him alone for that long. rhodie's hubby made a big spread of homemade chips, beans, guacamole-i supplied the salsa-being that i'm overflowing with it. birdsong brought some delicious home brewed beer , mary lou showed up which was a wonderful surprise-her first time and barbara sue supplied us with delightful stories of growing up jewish in new york-complete with singing "oklahoma" in hebrew!!!

blue needs a walk and i got get ready for horrid town day complete with a trip to get the car smogged-i hope it passes! then off to the delightful DMV. where i get to spend my afternoon with other "wishing to be anywhere but here" folks. sigh!

tibet awareness photo:

Monday, August 18, 2008

i've been tagged!!!!!!

OMG!-for the first time ever, i've been tagged........ by jeanne. something called a meme?-does anyone really know what that stands for-drives me nuts as i can't figure it out!

so here it goes!

The rules: Are posted at the beginning. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answers.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Hubby and i were living in Nevada city, ca. I was a happy new mama-liam was 7 months old. Carey is hubby’s first born-he was 3 ½ when we got together so I was adjusting to the baby world. I never spent much time with babies before. So I was scared yet thrilled as I have had several miscarriages in the past.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today- not in any particular order?

Clean chicken coop, chicken mite dip & butt baths-having some dirty butt issues here-probably worms as my gurls free range, water and feed garden, laundry-seems to be a daily thing around here, bills-and figure out what’s for supper!

3. Snacks I enjoy.

Salty, crunchy, spicy stuff. I’m not much into sweets-but I love popcorn, salt and vinegar potato chips, seaweed, pretzels, egg rolls, nuts, chips and salsa or cheese and crackers.

4. Places I’ve lived:

I’ve lived in many places! Idaho(my birth state),Hawaii-I was a baby-don’t remember it. Dad was in the navy, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This not in any particular order

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire: I’d totally freak out! First I’d pay all my mom’s debts and set her up in a sweet house let her live the rest of her days with out working and take her on a trip to Prague-someplace she always has wanted to go-she is half Czech. Then I’d pay all our debt and buy lot’s of land and let it be wild. I’d have a fabulous fiber studio and cottage in Ireland. Hubby could retire. Oh yeah-and fiber animals- a little farm-I’d live the homestead life of self-sufficiency and not have to worry about making ends meet!! I’d have a Belgian draft horse. I’d pay my brother tom back for helping me years ago from financial crisis-he paid my student loans for me! Knit and travel. I’d love to give, give, give-have breakfast at a diner and really make that waitress, cook or dishwashers day!!! I’d be able to give money to all those wild animal foundations-like save the wolves and polar bears. I’d give money to folks that need health care and can’t afford it- give money to single mom’s-wow-it would just be so great to give to anyone you wanted any amount any time! I’d be able to pay for college for our boys if they desire to go. The dreaming goes on and on and on.

6. What are some jobs you’ve had:

I’ve had a lot of these-my first job was working at a nut shop-it was owned by a priest-I’m not sure how that could be-he also had a girlfriend! Then I was a salad girl at a restaurant, department store clerk-these 3 jobs were high school jobs. Then I moved to Minnesota and had the pleasure of being a pizza delivery person, submarine sandwich maker, dishwasher, natural body care store clerk, croissant shop, alternative clothing store clerk-way fun job! Worker/owner at a vegetarian cafĂ© cooperative, nanny- I still wonder to this day if the 4 year old ever told his mom-I used to jimmy parking meters with Popsicle sticks as I never had change and I was diving the parents car-I didn’t want parking tickets sent to their house. Luckily the 18-month-old tyke was unaware of the situation. Worked in many health food stores, card shop, professional house painter, prep cook, cocktail waitress at a STRIP club-very short lived-but I got stories! Perfume shop, herb/coffee shop. There’s probably more that I’ve happily forgotten.

7. Peeps I want to know more about:

soxchik, moonalisa, turbo kitty, karen,




if any of you ar totally against this mememememem thingee-don't worry. skip it. or if you'd rather you can send me your info personally!

my computer is possessed again-can you folks see everything written in blue and underlined? now it's wriiten in black-must have been the full moon. the coyotes were back.

tibet awareness photo:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

snot monster!

there's nothing i hate more than a cold-but even worse-a summer cold. it's bad enough to feel all crappy and miserable but add intense hot weather and you've got the recipe for HELL! ugh! i'm dragging myself around trying to get things done and it's so hard.

i realized-or i shall say liam realized i haven't done a garden post in a long time. well, i guess i'm not too excited about the garden this year. it's been a bad year for my garden. ear wigs galore, blossom rot, miniature peppers, pathetic tomatoes, gophers-the list goes on. i had 3 huge zucchini plants-over 3 feet tall. gopher delight-it's the only thing that wasn't wired underneath. i only got 1 sunflower this year-they also eaten by some creature. it bloomed this week!
despite all the problems with the garden this year-we are getting a few things. liam was excited about his " bounty harvest" as he calls it.the only thing doing well is the basil and purple beans. knock on wood! i realize i have much catching up to do on this blog a county fair post and update you all on my fiber adventures. i'm slagging i know-but i write blog posts in my mind all the time!! does that count? too bad i couldn't just download directly from my brain to the computer-on second thought that would be just too weird. forget i said that. it's the time issue you know.

i'm in puppy time zone now-we are working with potty training, not ripping apart the furniture, biting and chewing on toys not human flesh, not chasing the chickens, not swimming in the water bowl and flooding the kitchen and not eating chicken poop! maybe we should have named him Ritalin. but he is a dear sweet boy and oh so cute(it's a good thing) i always thought mother nature was right on when she made babies of most species cute.i actually got a wee bit of spinning done the other day with him!did i mention-not attacking feet, wheel or wool while spinning? i promise updating soon!!! very soon.

tibetan awarenss photo:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

puppy breath!

okay-right now i have limited computer time-no time for a real post. but as per request from several-more puppy pictures. when blue is not asleep-he's moving a mile a minute-very hard to get a clear pic. here's the best i could do this morning.hi ears stand up more everyday-he is a happy guy!! he sleeps in a laundry basket next to my side of the bed at night. he lays on his back! only gets me up once to pee-around 4:00. then sleep till 6:00-what a great guy!

as i stated before-i will end every post during the olympics with a picture from tibet.

Friday, August 8, 2008

“None of us are free until ALL of us are free!”

“None of us are free until ALL of us are free!”

thanks to beverly and pippi for getting the ball rolling! please check these sites out!


free tibet

students for a free tibet

free tibet 2008

i wish i was more computer savy-tried to post all their groovy banners but it just didn't work out-please check the above sites out!

we are very fortunate here in our neck of the woods-the tibetan monks visit our community yearly and build a sand mandala. when my kids were younger and they met the monks, they gave each of them a teddy bear. they still have these bears. unfortunately these bears were made in china-gads!!!! my kids noticed this even though they were young.

i'm going to end my posts during the olympics with images of tibet, her people and her culture to raise awareness. warning some images may not be pleasant.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

welcome Hartley Blue!

surprise, surprise we got puppy after all-last night. what a peach he is. he's a red heeler named blue. hartley blue. we are in love. here's a very tired boy-just woke up from a nap under the kitchen table-he likes the cool linoleum.
notice the ears are starting to stand up.

last night i was startled out of sleep-lightning and thunder. barely a drizzle. so i couldn't sleep-as dry lightning=forest fires. heavy sigh. this morning we watched the fire planes fly low over our house. a friend of ours who is on the fire department next town over called me to reassure me. the two fires(close by) caused by lightning last night were small and further than they seemed-even though one was called the bullards bar fire-which is just a few miles from us. i could smell no smoke but actual wood burning last night. scary. but it was on the northern side and this afternoon they got it out. thank you fire fighters!!! thanks for calling lynn and shawn to reassure me.

i went to the farm store last weekend to check on my yarn and hand knit items. i was thrilled to find i sold a baby sweater!!!!! remember this one?the sweater was knit from Marr Haven yarn- i love that stuff-soft, not itchy and machine washable on gentle-just keeps getting softer!! the photo has issues-once again-it's a brighter green heather.

younger son just made a killer honey sweetened zucchini muffins and bread. sorry no pics-devoured to quickly-the neighbor kids sniffed it out !!!

gotta run- the kids are anxiously awaiting- mystery science theatre 3000- the killer shrews.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

still waiting........

i'm soooooo bummed. we were supposed to bet baby boy today-miscommunication! not till next week. i can barely stand it!!! here's his latest baby picture.okay- i guess i can make it another week-heavy sigh of impatience!

here's some solar dye pictures:the skein on the far left i dyed with fresh wolf lichen on the stove years ago-in real life it's very chartruessy. the middle skein is what i just recently solar dyed with dried wolf lichen-it is brighter as well. the small skein on the right is undyed. i did some solar dying for my fiber swap but i can't post till they receive it-i have not mailed it yet!!!

i'm having brown issues. i always end up with purple. i kept making the dye darker-but it just ended up being darker purple-i tried adding yellow and got glorious shades of monkey shit. getting frustrated i threw it all in a zip lock-squished it around and threw it out in the sun for the day. the results were pretty cool-but the camera won't make it look real. i have camera issues as well as brown issues.the true colors are a deeper bronze, purple and some greens-i didn't even add green!!! the picture looks totally washed out!!! it's a dark roving. quite beautiful! i'll never be able to recreate it.