Saturday, September 24, 2011

SEVEN! (If you count the littler one)

That's how many friends I had all at once at the same time. In case anyone is worried that I don't have any friends, here is some internet proof. We got to eat at the "big table."

This is the zombie alpaca on the farm.

Here are the other alpacas not afraid of the zombie alpaca since alpacas are herbivores- I guess the zombie alpaca eats dead grass (there's your answer KnitNight Marc!) The littlest one was born on Monday and was sheared while we were there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Harvest Time

Behold the proud farmer and his ear of corn.
This corn was so rubbery, even the critters wouldn't eat it.

This is the sum total of the corn crop.
I boiled some for dinner but sadly it was inedible.

This is the total (to date) of the potato crop.
There are probably more underground. I quit looking after I found one.

While I haven't spoken this fact out loud, I'm fairly sure that the lovely corner where the garden was started is a little too shady to ever be bountiful. There are scads of green tomatoes dreaming of what they might have been and showing no signs of turning color. When picked to ripen off the vine they quickly mold and wrinkle. And so it goes.

Tomorrow the knit night crew is coming to the 'burg for an Alpaca Open House at Lippincott Alpacas. Our trip there will be preceded by a visit to Lavern's- which is the restaurant where they filmed the first episode of the West Wing- when they were stranded in a snow storm. Lavern's is best known for their apple dumplings- we are going only for dessert. I think I'll skip lunch entirely.

The final word on the video- I don't really feel like I can post it anywhere. When we were filming, I promised everyone that it would not be "youtube" material. It did what it was supposed to do for our girl. It took her out of the hospital room and back to her reality for a little while. Her mom made a special stop to see me on the way to the hospital the next day to thank me for making her daughter laugh (and cry in a good way) for the first time in a long time. She's shown it to every hospital employee that has passed through her room. It feels good. And gives me hope for the next project that I try flying into the frying pan.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I know that fall "begins" on Friday, but...

Somewhere around 12:20 pm today I felt my own internal equinox. Those green tomatoes in the garden don't have much longer to turn red, the corn stalks that made only rubbery sort of corn (not unlike the clay they were mostly growing in) are really only autumn decor, the September rain that is falling isn't that cold sort yet but reminds you of what it will feel like, and the felted clogs feel more comforting than constricting.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Things I would have preferred not to have heard today

The Neil Diamond song "I'm a Believer" rewritten to a song about eating vegetables in the mobile ag-science lab at school.

The fifth grade teacher saying "That outfit is really slimming." Hello! Why don't you just say Hey FatA$$- you wear black well.

The insurance company saying "We have no record of your check for $926.53." and also discovering that they took your husbands car off of the insurance instead of the one you traded in.

We did this last week.

It's a full moon.

I'm sure there were more that I've blocked out but those were the best and really set the tone for the day.

On the other side- the video is progressing nicely. It's mostly turning out the way I imagined. There are just a few more teachers I have to get clips from. The plan for my portion is to have people videotape me at various locations and in various situations saying "just a minute- I have one more clip to add" and possibly me snoozing on the laptop. The secretary at school had a dream that I sang "Goodnight Sweetheart" at the end of it and I may have to do it to make dreams come true.

The sweater is also coming along and if nothing else provides some meditation time for me to regroup and start over tomorrow.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Jumping in without a net, Flying in deep water...

That's when I'm happiest- case in point (and why I will curtail this blogpost)

That sweater of Silky Wool? No pattern. Not one. Measurements, washed swatch, Sweater Design in Plain English, EZ's percentage plan. I've got the math worked out (with some gracious help from kmkat- who does math for fun?) up until I add the sleeves (it's a bottom up cardigan) then I'll have to start thinking again. It's the first project that has piqued my interest in some time- and mostly because I don't really know how it will end or what will happen next.

Nother case in point. I mentioned in an earlier post that we've got a teacher who is serious bad sick. Won't be back this year. She's not very old- 30ish- cancer is revisiting-it makes a friend feel helpless. It makes a faculty feel helpless. She's got a great support system so kids and household are well managed so there's even less for us to try and do.

Since her visitors are limited, I'm making her a video. I'm going to each person on the staff and asking them to do something ridiculous for the sake of cheering her up. They all mostly (well all except one) agree- at first reluctantly and then are stars once the camera is on. I've got the principal singing "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes." I've got two burly custodians singing and marching to "Hi Ho, Hi Ho." You get the picture. Little snippets of laughable and lovable moments for her to have at her side when a little bit lonely.

I did make sure that the recordings would transfer to my editing program before starting. As the week has gone on, clever little clips are coming to me at random moments (All the 1st grade and k-ers in the cafeteria raised their hands at the same time and when called on said "Will you open my ranch PLEEEAASSEE????") I am slowly accumulating clips that are cracking me the heck up. I got a bus driver to sing a verse of the Wheels on the Bus singing- "The drivers on the bus say LET ME OFF!"

Driving home today I had a vision as to how I want to connect these clips using Final Cut Express and Live Type.

Here's where the flying without fish and jumping in a landslide happen. I have NO IDEA how exactly to work those programs. I am not an experienced movie editor. I have Zero Skills other than reading the directions and trying stuff once or twice a few years ago. And yet, today while driving home from work, I was sure I wouldn't need a nap after school because I'm so excited to get started on figuring it out. I may not figure everything out the way it is in my mind but I can't wait to try.

For being such a rule following anxiety ridden person in most parts of life, it makes me happy to realize that there are times when I can just say to myself "here's an idea, let's see what can happen!" Which is where I'm going now- just to see what I can figure out.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


The Swatch
Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool size 3 needles
garter, stockinette, moss stitch, double moss
I hate it when I decide to take photos in the dark of night.

The Stash
Elsbeth Lavold- a maroon and a blue jean sort of blue.
Thanks for that sale, WEBS.

The Plan
Based on a sweater that I wore endlessly.
Everything dark will be the maroon in stockinette
Everything not dark will be the blue in a single moss stitch.

The Math
Anyone who wants to figure out how to reduce 30 stitches evenly over 80 rows, email me in a few hours. I'm sure I'll get it by then. There's a great calculator on knitty but it wanted me to adjust for hips, waist and bust and it didn't accept the fact that my waist and bust are nearly identical. Hopefully Maggie Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English will be kinder to me.

The Cake
Didn't happen yet- it's too hot to bake a cake.

The Neighborhood Racetrack
I bravely put on my teacher face and asked that junior no longer ride roughshod through our driveway gravel and into the mud puddle (caused by a spring) at the bottom of our front yard. So far so good but I'm not holding my breath.

The Family
Lil' Liza went for her first ride in Gilda. While she seems to approve, she looked a little overwhelmed by the amount of space in the hatchback. Mr. Sophanne is experiencing some unpleasant dental pains. I miss him when he is sleeping pain away to the background sounds of college football.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

hi blog.

School started. Do you miss me?

All is well.

Bullet points of note with a real blog post this weekend.

- I have a snow car now. My $ubaru 4ester will eat the snow that covers my road. Her name is Gilda.

-the Sophanne's have new neighbors. They ride midget motor bikes and four wheelers after school every day. Their backyard is in front of our house. Soon we will make a call regarding our township's noise ordinance. But first...

-we have to find out where the easement on the property is in case we have to use some of their yard for when we get City Water (as opposed to well water)

-I've taken to doing my own vacuuming at school. And still the custodian (who I like but am always discouraged by) comes in and complains about her job and the people she doesn't like. Another custodian had to change the vacuum bag on her vacuum cleaner so that I could vacuum my floor. There's so much wrong with that.

-knit night makes me happy. We may have a knit night field trip on September 17 to the local alpaca farm. I hope we do.

-there is a kid at my school with the name Nimrod but we call him something else. I'm glad for him and me.

-tonight's plan was to make a Black Forest cake for a cake walk this weekend. The walk was cancelled so I might be making it this weekend just to see if I can.